Two years ago, I read a book, A Long Trek Home, and recommended it here. At the time I shared passages with Mr. X who decided he wanted an Alpaca raft. We saved and saved, reconsidered the idea, and saved some more.
Well, the day finally came. The boats arrived and we eagerly/nervously started our new adventure of packrafting (We kept mum about it for a few weeks to get all the kinks out of the system. Things look good so I've gotten the go ahead to post here.)
Our first time out, we went to Mendenhall Lake and paddled around ice bergs for 45 minutes in pouring rain.
Our next time out, the sun was shining and Mr. X decided to be a little more daring - so daring we didn't even take any pictures! We went to Auke Rec which is the beach near Point Louisa. We met a nice dog on the beach. Well, actually he was really scared of us while we were carrying the boats but once we set them down, he came and investigated.
Auke Rec is a nice sheltered cove in which we could easily practice paddling through small waves.
We launched into the cove and were elated to have porpoises diving next to us. We felt like the boats handled the water easily so we kept paddling.
Soon we crossed into traffic coming in and out of Statter Harbor, thankfully we were easily spotted by the boat captains. There were rafts of scoters floating near an island. We saw several whale spouts across the water.
Eventually, we reached the shores of Coghlan Island. Coglan Island had a nice sandy beach and is home to an FAA light to assist planes in landing at the Juneau airport. The island is also where several people we know have swam to when their boat capsized or they were thrown off. It is not remote or private; just quite lovely on a warm (50 degree) Juneau evening.
Because it was late in the day and we really hadn't planned to go so far, we just took a quick pit stop and got back in the boats.
In an stroke of dumb luck, the tide had turned and we had a leisurely paddle back to the Auke Rec. It was a good time.
Stay tuned for our third trip a.k.a. Mendenhall River Disaster - the Sinking of Banana Boat Two.