We had just finished processing our big halibut that we had caught this morning as we  hear a strange splashing noise.

We soon see a wet brown bear hauling himself up the rocky incline of the small islet a  hundred yards from the boat. 

He must have swam from shore.   His nose is up in the air.  Jeff thinks he has winded our halibut cleaning process and now hanging carcass. We quickly eases the filleted  halibut carcass into the water and it sinks below the boat.   We enjoy watching the  bear munch on grass for several hours.

  He is a young male. Later in he evening he swims back to shore.

  When we were here at Takatz two years ago, we had the privilege of seeing a mother and three Cubs.  Baranof Island is part of the ABC islands.  Admiralty, Baranof, and Chicagoff are world renowned for their concentration of Brown Bears.

Takatz is a perfect place for exploring by kayak.  The steep rocky walls from the surrounding peaks along with the drying mud flats at the head of the bay give us plenty to explore.  A steady four knot current from a small stream at the head of the bay makes paddling up this glacier fed stream  a challenge.  

As we are returning , we see something in the water just behind the boat.  “what is that floating” Jeff asks?  “I think it is the swimming bear”.  “No , it must be a log.”  As we get closer, we see that it is now heading our way.  Logs don’t swim.  It is the swimming bear.  He soon passes within a few hundred feet of our bow and is paying no attention to our presence.  We watch in astonishment as he swims over to the rocky islet and hauls himself ashore once again.  That is a first. We have never encountered a bear in the water while kayaking. He came from the opposite shore from yesterday and swam over a quarter of a mile to reach the island today.  These guys sure are smart and persistent.

We spend an hour paddling around the islet watching this grass munching bear.  

Every so often, he glances at us but is completely unconcerned with our presence.  He tears apart much of the tuffs of grass in search of tender green shoots and grubs.  A few hours later, he swims back ashore and disappears into the thick forrest.  You never know what you will see in Alaska.

A second surprise of the day occurs this evening.  The mom and triplets that we saw two years ago here appear on the southern shore.  It is wonderful to see her and her now two year old fat siblings  doing well.  She was too far away to get any photos.

Tomorrow we are off to continue our search for the King Salmon.  Thanks for following along.

1 thought on “Yes Bears Do Swim

  1. Great bear photos!! Glad he wasn’t interested in you two. Your halibut was amazing, as big as Susie!

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