This is Prince William Sound -- lush spruce forests down to the waters edge; massive glaciers flowing down from the mountains to the waters edge; deep blue waters of long narrow fjords.
Oh, I should say that this is Prince William Sound on about 1 in 2 days. On those days, the sky is just a little paler blue than the ocean, which has a slight ripple on it. But the next day, the sky and water could be equal shades of gray, and the wind could be whipping the ocean into waves 2', 3', 6', and 8' high.
The latter were the conditions on the day we had scheduled to get dropped off by a charter company at the Paulsen Bay cabin. The charter operator called into the office from about 12 miles out to tell us that the winds from the north were whipping up waves 6' - 8' high and that he suggested we come back the next day. The cabin faces north and he thought that unloading on the beach would be difficult. So we came back the next day. I took this photo about 30 minutes after arriving. A slight breeze from the south caused a slight ripple to move across the small bay. The glaciers of College Fjord, about 15 miles to the north, seemed only a few miles away.
But even on a day like this, the weather can be fickle. We assembled our folding kayaks and headed deeper into Cochrane Bay, the arm of the Sound we were on, to see some birds and the sights at its end. A little headwind going that way, but we looked forward to a tailwind on the way back. At the end of the bay, we saw a pair of black bears fishing for pink salmon and a large flock of gulls hanging around for salmon bits and we waded a braided glacial stream to see a waterfall. When we returned, the wind had shifted from the northeast and we had a headwind going back to the cabin.
The north winds returned in full force the next day, along with heavy rain, and we hunkered down in the cabin. I awoke to the sound of heavy rain and slid deeper into my sleeping bag with that delicious feeling that there was just no reason to get up. One of our traveling companions, visiting from Cincinnati, spent much of the day trying to interest the spawning pinks in a lure. Paul and I did puzzles, read, napped, and ventured out in the afternoon to pick ra