Eating my breakfast of huckleberry pancakes at Point Hayes, Chichagoff Island, Southeast Alaska, USA.
This was my main camp for many years when I was photographing the bubble net feeding humpback whales. It was a perfect lookout point enabling me to look up and down Chatham Strait, which is the longest navigable channel in the USA. It’s also the point where the Peril Straits enters Chatham Strait from the Pacific Ocean to the west. It was a perfect camp site in many ways apart from being near one of the whales’ favourite feeding sites, the Morris Reef. It had two protected beaches for ease of launching and landing, facing either north or south, depending on which way the wind was blowing from. It was close to streams for fresh water and there was always plenty of firewood washed up on the shore. Perhaps my favourite reason was that in the forest nearby was the biggest patch of huckleberry bushes that I knew of, and huckleberries were my favourite berries to have on my stack of pancakes every morning, to fuel me up for another long hard day paddling with the whales.
It was also a beautiful spot to eat my dinner in the evening. I cooked very elaborate dinners because that was evening’s entertainment every night. Every night I would slide back into my reclining camp seat and watch the dying embers of the fire flicker beneath the stars, and the moon cross Chatham Strait from Admiralty Island to Baranof Island. The stillness of the night was periodically punctuated by a gentle volley of whale breath, which perfectly complemented the sounds of contentment rumbling inside my full belly.
- Duncan Murrell
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- Camping and Kayaking