Brown Bear Adventure in Alaska, Part 4

You’ve heard it’s always darkest right before the dawn? Well … not this time. The darkest came our fifth day out when a fierce storm swept in from the Pacific bringing torrential rain and gale winds up around 50 mph. The Ruffinit bounced like a cork and swung wildly on its anchor line. Repeatedly the skiffs nearly swamped in the vicious chop and the guides had to battle to keep them pumped out. Though nowhere near “Deadliest Catch” turbulent, the storm was an amazing spectacle of nature’s power even in those sheltered waters.

Weather was not the only wonder, however. We saw porpoises, sea otters, orcas hunting near our boat, harlequin ducks and other waterfowl by the hundreds. In the evening herds of Sitka blacktail deer gathered to browse the tidal flats. The snow receded up the surrounding ridges and tiny wildflowers dotted grassy areas. Spring had come to coastal Alaska, and every day we saw bears on the move.

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