In this installment, we are getting ready to cruise, intending to row and sail around Chichagof Island, a distance of about 450 nautical miles—if we were to limit ourselves to the straight and narrow. But first we recap a change of venue, from the Southern Admiralty Wilderness site where we built MUSTELID to our home port of Tenakee Springs, Alaska, our jump off point for the voyage.

This trip will touch on each of the ABC’s: Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof Islands, which are the 7th, 10th, and 5th largest in the U.S., respectively. All are known for their abundance of brown bear (aka grizzlies), and our Chichagof has the highest known density of them on earth; there are 1,600, outnumbering the roughly 1,350 humans huddled in four communities.

Our trip will take us via “Outer Chich,” a raw and remote maze of rock and islands off the open Gulf of Alaska. We’ve dreamed of this place!