Now who’s going to believe me when I tell them I went to Southeast Alaska and returned with a suntan? It was an amazing trip.

We arrived in Sitka on August 20th. The view flying in was marvelous. The water is just a few feet off the side of the runway and dotted with tree covered rocky islands.

U.S. Forestry cabin at Kanga Bay

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The weather was a little gray but not bad. We all kept saying to each other, “Boy, if it would stay like this all week it would be great.” Well, the weather was better than that. MUCH BETTER! Six of the eight days we were at the cabin was warm and sunny in the upper 70s and perhaps a day or two in the 80s.

We contacted Davey Lubin, owner of Ester G Sea Taxi, to verify our schedule for the next day, stopped by Baidarka Boats to verify or kayak rentals, and then off to the grocery store to buy supplies. We then went back to the Sitka Hotel to repack and sort supplies.

  The next day everything went like clock work. Baidarka Boats picked us and all of our gear up at the hotel and dropped us off at the boat dock. They then conducted a safety briefing. They had arranged for us to get the use of an emergency radio from the Sitka Fire Department, plus they loaned us bear spray and water containers. By 11:00 we were loaded onto the Ester G on our way to Kanga Bay.

This is the only fresh water supply near the cabin.

This was the first time any of us had rented a U.S. Forestry Service cabin and so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. Wow, it was great. It was certainly worth the price. It is kind of a Pan Abode style rustic cabin that sleeps 6 although I think 6 people would be too crowded, especially if the weather was bad.

There were several good surprises, we weren’t expecting any firewood and there was a large woodshed full of cut rounds and a splitting mall. We weren’t expecting any mattresses and there was several egg-carton foam rubber mattresses on each bunk plus 4 aluminum lawn chairs.


Additionally previous users of the cabin had left useful items such as propane, can goods, mosquito coils, etc. The mosquito coils weren’t needed since I only saw one mosquito the 7 days we were at the cabin.

Since we were bringing everything in by boat there was no reason to scrimp on food. We ate well, fresh meats, and veggies every day. Great view from the deck, beautiful bays for kayaking, spectacular weather, and lots of good food.

The cove behind the cabin.

The rapids that come from Redoubt Lake.

We had several good paddles in the bright sun shine in Kanga Bay, Salty Reef, Islet Passage, and Redoubt Bay. We tried to find a hiking shortcut from Kanga Bay to Redoubt Lake but without success.
Stacks near Salty Reef.
  The only disappointment of the trip was the lack of wildlife. We were all very surprised at how few birds and animals we saw. While at the cabin we saw 1 seal, 1 sea otter, 2 deer, 2 ravens, 1 eagle, 4 seagulls, a couple of terns, and I could count on one hand the number of small forest birds we saw each day. That was it. We didn’t see any bears, weasel family, squirrels, fox, mice, rats, voles, shrews, and very few birds. There was however, several hundred salmon milling around that would attempt to traverse up the small stream at high tide. I emailed the Tongass Forestry Service asking about the lack of wildlife but I never received a reply. We did see LOTS of spent shell casings of rifles and shotguns everywhere. We decided that KANGA was actually an acronym for Killed All Natures Good Animals. Of course Dave and Karen had a conspiracy theory that included a hidden government facility hidden deep inside Camel Mountain that emitted signals that had driven the animals away … It’s amazing what comes to mind as you sit around the campfire sipping, beer, wine, and Crown Royal with lots of time on your hands.
  Davey’s boat blew an engine and so on our last day we were picked up by Burgess Bauder onboard the Death Barge IV. Davey is a rather polished individual while Burgess and the Death Barge IV reminded me of Mel

Burgess and the Death Barge IV

  Gibson in Mad Max. We all liked Burgess, he was a well versed good guy and a bit of a character. We learned that he is the local veterinarian and owns one of the lighthouses near Sitka. As Burgess put it, “I just like going for boat rides.”
  We returned to the Sitka Hotel for our final night in Alaska. The Sitka Hotel is located on the main street (Lincoln) in Sitka. It is an older hotel and nothing fancy but very clean, conveniently located, inexpensive, and a friendly staff. After a nice long hot shower we spent our last day in town doing the standard tourist stuff. While in the shower I thought to myself, “Now who’s going to believe me when I tell them I went to Southeast Alaska and returned with a suntan?”

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