From Sitka to the Wild – June 9

Sitka’s harbor looked like a painting as we packed our gear onto Scott Harris’ small boat.  We were headed North to the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness where we would meet up with Ken Merrill and his 42″ sailboat the Pauleta.  It was another nearly perfect day in Southeast and I began to wonder if i would ever see the rainy days I experienced durning my past two summer in the region.  Adam Andis, SCS employee and wilderness guide, would be leading our three week expedition.  Also on the team: Kitty Labounty, botanist, Matt Geoff, naturalist and statistician, Thomas, botanist.  Everyone was extremely nice and I was very excited for the trip.  After a couple hours of riding the waves we spotted the sailboat.

As we pulled up we were greeted by a surprise passenger…A Great Pyrenees named Baranof!!

From there we were on our way into the wilderness and the first order of business was a visit to a beautiful beach known as the potato patch.  The area was once used to grow potatoes and other vegetables but has since been vacated.

We took a skiff from the boat and explored the area on the beautiful day.  I was quickly introduced to the work of Kitty and Matt.  They slowly strolled around the island, naming and geomarking every specie of plant they saw.  Their task on the trip is to monitor and survey plant species as well as search for rare and invasive specimens. We relaxed on a highpoint looking over the ocean for lunch and then continued the botanical surveys.

We met back up with the Sailboat for our first night sleep and were greeted by a truly amazing sunset! It was a great first day and I got a ton of great photos and video.  The full galleries of the trip will be available after the trip and prints will be available for purchase.  Hope everyone is doing well and I look forward to sending more materials soon.