We got a late start again, not launching until the afternoon. But this is Alaska the land of the midnight sun, or at least southeast Alaska with 18 hours of sunlight in June. Well, 18 hours if the sun is visible which it was not. There was a low cloud cover and heavy rain all day long. This blocked out a lot of scenery we might have seen, limiting us to the shore and forest to our right, water and an occasional island on the left. Trying to take pictures and keep rain off the lens of my camera I dropped behind at one point and thought that I saw everyone ahead of me stop to look into a crack in the cliff. When I got there everyone else had continued on but in the track I saw a large river otter! It jumped out of the water and climbed up the cliff, disappearing into the forest! When I caught up with everyone else I asked them what the otter was doing when they saw it. But no-one else had seen the otter! They had been looking at something else and didn't even know it was there.
Eventually we made it to our destination for the evening, Icy Cove. We had asked Steve the outfitter about this cove and he had jabbed his finger on the map saying "Yes, you can camp there". Unfortunately his finger had covered a stretch of coastline two miles long on his map. The tide in the middle of the night was still too high to leave room to camp on the beach, we had to find a place in the forest. We split up and crashed through the brush at the shoreline in many places. Once through the close brush we found ourselves in the Forest Primeval again. Steep banks, fallen logs, lumpy ground and no place to put all 5 of our tents. Usually no place to put even one tent, There was a faint trail running parallel to the shore that I referred to as a "moose trail" or a "bear trail". Either way the wisdom of setting up tents on it was questionable, even if it had enough room for us. After two hours of looking we were about to give up and try camping on a meager ridge that hadn't looked good enough before. But Don Fleming said that he saw something unnatural, a pole, standing up on the beach another half mile north. When we got there we discovered that someone had cleared a trail into the forest! It was wide enough for all-terrain-vehicles to travel on and had room enough for our tents. We never had time to explore the trail and find out where it went.
Our late start and the long search had us setting up camp after 9:00 PM. Despite the long summer day it was soon dark enough to require a flashlight under the forest canopy. I set up my parabolic rain fly on the beach, using paddles to hold it up and large rocks to hold down the guy wires. It was a welcome place to stage gear coming out of the kayaks, sit for a rest, or start cooking dinner. Kate DesLauriers was planning to cook dinner but this late people were not sure we had time. She had planned to serve miso soup as an appetizer so she made a large batch of that with extra tofu, mushrooms, and vegetables added to it. Despite saying they were not interested in dinner everyone drank that up and asked for more!
Ruth Cooper offered to make a batch or two of soup and a few enthusiastic people told her to make it a big batch. This took almost all the water I had left. Unfortunately the tide started coming up under the tarp, people started disappearing into their tents, and nobody really wanted this second batch of soup. I had poured my water into the last of Kate's soup in the pot and I could not take it back. Although we had never added Ruth's soup mix to the pot, it now smelled like food and we couldn't leave it out for critters to find. I was forced to dump all the water out. But this is Alaska and there will be cascades of clear water bubbling down the next cliff tomorrow.