Avalon and Teacup anchored in The Brothers Islands with my Klepper kayak on the shore, in Stephens Passage, Southeast Alaska, USA
This is the entrance on the West side that faced Admiralty Island. To the right of the photo you can see the distinctive outline of the hills that creates "the Sleeping Giant", as everybody called it. Later on when I was just kayaking, I still liked to stop here to camp because there was a very good place to camp near where I took this photo from. In the opposite direction behind this beach was a small island that was used as a haul-out by Steller sea lions. Whenever they were there you could constantly hear their rumbling groaning and roaring. There is also a lot of seal and seabird activity around the island, and particularly around the kelp beds. One of the regular seabirds there are pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba), with their distinctive high-piched squeaking. Humpback whales also frequently feed in the nutrient-rich waters around the island, as a result of the strong upwelling created by strong currents colliding. I had my first close encounter with humpback whales lunge-feeding right next to the rocky shoreline of one of the islands.
- Duncan Murrell
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