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Holgate provides a humble retreat for a group from Japan

The end of July spelled the beginning of rejuvenation for six adventurists from Japan.  A small travel company brought their company owner and an outdoor chef that is renowned in Japan.  All brought years of paddling experience to the cockpits of our new fiberglass boats.  Audrey and I had a workout while the six of them styled every stroke.  After moving in to Holgate cabin, the group joined Audrey and I on an evening paddle up to Holgate glacier (see below photo).
The water was calm as glass and every creak, growl, and moan of Holgate and Surprise glaciers could be understood in Japanese as much as every language.  We had a late evening meal and arose the next day to spectacular weather!  The water was flat and only small patches of bristle thin clouds found their way into our sky.  Shortly after rounding into Aialik bay, a "kuma" (bear) appeared on a beach.  We watched the solitary black bush stomper clamber its way up a scree slide and disappear into the alder patch and continued to Pederson Lagoon.  Entering the lagoon shortly before high tide gave us time to enjoy our picnic lunch in the sun with wonderful views all around.  There were tracks from a black bear that were perhaps left shortly before we had arrived.  With bellies full, we entered the ice-sanctuary where Pederson glacier spills into the lagoon (below).
Our progress was glacial as we sat and observed the wonder of bergs and seals.  As we left the land of incandescence we passed four other parties ready to crowd what we experienced humbly to ourselves.
The next day was too windy to paddle so we enjoyed resting and exploring near the cabin.  We had an adventure to find water and found over 20 bear scats.  Chocolate lilies and chipmunks brought us some fascinating observations.  The final day was again serene.  Our early morning paddle took us across Holgate arm to find oystercatchers, auklets, and lots of ice floating in the placid waters.  Once we found ourselves as near the face of the glacier as safety allowed, we sat in awe at the calving and rumbling resounding between the narrow fjord walls.
After cleaning up camp, the sun allowed us to relax in warmth on the beach as we waited for our pickup.  A few of us tested our ability to float in the frigid waters and bath in the sun in just our shorts.  Just to top off the day, and the trip, we had a show from the AK pod of resident orca on the ride back to Seward!  All said and done, the trip was a relaxing and brisk rejuvenation for everyone involved and excitement for the next trip has already set in for the entire group.  Domo arigato goazaimasu Alaska!