Alaska Wandering Part 5 – Bears and More Bears Pavlof Bay

Alaska Day 6

It looks as though our fair weather has come to an end.  After a quick walk around town and an unsuccessful trip to the local grocery we shoved off for Pavlof Bay.  The weather is typical of what I recall from my last trip in 2008 to Alaska – low clouds, socked in and drizzle.  We made good time and pulled into Pavlov about 1pm.

Along the way we pass some Humpback Whales traveling, camera shy Harbor Porpoise and a  few Eagles.  The seine fishing boats are out all over and appear to be standing by waiting to for their season to open.  With the flat light and choppy seas it was harder to spot wildlife despite my constant scan of the horizon.

Pavlof Mama Bear

Mama and her two cubs — wish my lens was just a little bit bigger!


Waterfall and fish ladder — or should I say bear magnet

Pavlof is a small beautiful harbor on Chichagof Island that includes a beautiful waterfall going into the bay.  The bay is known as a great spot for bear sightings and halibut fishing.  My step brother caught a 70 pounder right off the boat just last week.  Within minutes of dropping the anchor we are joking about who is going to watch which section of the shore for bears (or moving rocks) as they first appear.  Dave says he is going to nap and won’t be watching – then pipes up with oh, you mean like that mama bear and 2 cubs.  I thought he was joking.  We quickly confirm that we do indeed have direct line of sight to the bears.  The distance is just a little too great for a good picture.  But through the binoculars we see the cubs pouncing on one another and rolling around.  They are very small and look awfully cute!   Mama looks small for a grizzly – but I am not willing to get close and really see how small she is.

We are anchored just off the waterfall and have beautiful views.  The steak that has been marinating all day will have to wait until tomorrow.  No volunteers to stand outside in the rain and grill.  It seem all the rain we have missed during the week is trying to fall all at once.  A good day for some reading, napping and staying inside.  Dinner will be homemade pizza.

Post pizza we had a little more bear activity on the shore.  It was too far away, so we put the dingy in the water and putted over there to take a look.  At this point the tide is high and we were able to go right up to the base of the waterfall.  This is the same waterfall we just saw a bear walking across.  Sure enough we found him.  Looks like an adolescent grizzly just walking and munching away.  With my Dad driving and me shooting we got some great shots.  At points I was frightened as we seemed so close with the telephoto lens.  But the boat was running and pointed toward the sea — so if he lunged at us we could make a quick getaway.  And no he hardly even noticed us.  Finally we revved the engine to get him to look our way.  While I didn’t get him walking on the waterfall, we did get some great shots. Pavlof-4 Pavlof-5 Pavlof-6 Pavlof-7

2 thoughts on “Alaska Wandering Part 5 – Bears and More Bears Pavlof Bay

  1. Mich and Cathy

    We’re looking to travel to Alaska next season! No posts lately from you guys…hope all is well and you’re still having fun. Looking forward to an update soon 🙂

    1. wanderer Post author

      All is well, we have just been so busy having fun we haven’t had time to write about it. More updates coming soon! Alaska was great and I highly recommend it. Are you boating or RV’ing?

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