We love to sail! We hoist the sails anytime the wind is fair, and we welcome your participation. You can have a turn at the helm, assist with navigation, trim the sails, or just sit back and relax while we handle everything. Captain Dave has taught a lot of people how to sail and would be happy to share his skills and knowledge with you, too.
Everywhere you turn you will see wildlife. On one trip we were met by a Bald Eagle every morning. On another we watched the phosphorescent outline of an otter dance through calm waters on a moonless night. We see humpback and orca whales perform spectacular breaches, porpoises cavort in our bow wake, and salmon spawning in the rivers of their birth. As we cruise further north into the Great Bear Rainforest, and Southeast Alaska you will have more opportunities to see coastal wolves, grizzly, black, and the rare white Spirit, or Kermode bear. Emerald Isle has been the preferred charter company for the filming of wildlife documentaries by Discovery Channel, Canadian Geographic, and National Geographic. We have the knowledge of the best places to observe wildlife, responsibly, as the seasons change. Wherever we sail, you’ll see the Northwest’s abundance of creatures.
LISTENING TO WHALES
We have a hydrophone aboard that enables us to become a part of the whales underwater world! Listen to the haunting melodies of the enormous humpback, or the excited squeals and chirps of a pod of hunting orcas.
The Na’walak carries two single kayaks and an electrically powered inflatable dinghy for exploring the myriad coves, rivers, and shorelines of our cruising grounds. Exploring by these quiet means, you become more a part of the landscape. Opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography are at their peak. And whether it’s a mossy, sun-drenched knoll in the San Juans, or a lush, wild river estuary in the Great Bear, many occasions arise for shore exploration.
FISHING AND CRABBING
One of the joys of being on the water is the opportunity to experience seafood at its freshest. You haven’t eaten salmon until you’ve had it out of the water and on the grill in mere minutes! We’re completely outfitted for fishing, crabbing, and shrimping. As a former Alaska commercial fisherman, captain Dave knows fishing! He is also knowledgeable in wild edibles, and a spot of Labrador tea, or a miner’s lettuce salad have been known to appear on the menu!
Many of the areas we visit contain Native American/First Nation cultural sites, a few of which we will be able to visit. Some of these are village sites that have been continuously inhabited for up to 10,000 years. In places, remnants of these rich cultures such as totem poles and long house beams can be seen quickly disappearing under luxuriant growth. White shells of kitchen middens piled high over the millenia can be seen spilling from the beach side banks. On some trips native interpreters lead us through the history and legends that help bring their intriguing culture to life. We are also gifted with the opportunity to occasionally share in a traditional salmon bake with them.
On our northern tours natural hotsprings provide a wonderful, soothing stop on our itinerary. Sit back, relax, and let the warm waters work their spell, as you gaze out at the dramatic scenery.
Scuba is offered by several companies in the areas we travel. While we do not scuba from our boat, we can easily help you make arrangements for a scuba trip. The Pacific Northwest offers INCREDIBLE diving! We suggest that you are comfortable with dry suit diving and that you take a refresher course that focuses on cold water and tidal currents skills if you are not accustomed to diving in this area.
ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY
We encourage you to bring your sketchbooks, small pallets, and cameras, as wonderful opportunities exist to record subject matter beautiful beyond description!
The Na’walak is perfectly designed for small classes. We occasionally offer film, photography, meditation, and other instructional cruises — all with professional instructors. If you are interested in taking or teaching a class, please contact us.
© 2015 Emerald Isle Sailing Charters.
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Photos © Emerald Isle Sailing Charters or © Ian McAllister. All rights reserved.
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