Cruising to Chatham Strait, Alaska


Chatham StraitChatham Strait, or Shee ya xhaak in the Tlingit language, is narrow passage of the eastern North Pacific through the northern Alexander Archipelago, southeastern Alaska. Chatham Strait, a deep 240 kilometre-long strait was historically inhabited by explorers and fur-trappers. Along the Baranof side, many narrow inlets and secluded bays penetrate deep into the rugged, mountainous interior of the island where you can keep an eye out for wildlife activity. To the south, ruins of failed enterprises, now reclaimed by the forest, might be glimpsed: old whaling stations, salmon salteries and canneries, mines, and fish-meal plants.

More than anything else, though, Admiralty Island is known for its bears. The island has an estimated 1,500 to 1,700 brown bears living among the forested mountains, lakes and rivers. Humpback whales cooperatively feeding, killer whales among icebergs, black and brown bears foraging, sea otters surrounded by kelp, gangs of rowdy Steller sea lions, bald eagles soaring overhead, the lush temperate rain forest, colorful local communities…rain or shine, the lands and waters around Chatham Strait, Alaska offered us memories that will last a lifetime.