After the aborted shore mission at Iyoukeen Cove, we were not done for the day, there would be more bears.
We knew there was yet another opportunity to see bears, under somewhat safer conditions, just around the corner in Freshwater Bay. Pavlof Harbor is a small cove off the bay that offers a small river that tumbles over a low waterfalls right at tideline. If there are fish in the river, there will be bears fishing here. As this is still Chichagof Island, they will be grizzly bears, there are no black bears here.
As we entered Pavlof harbor we were surprised as a float plane came overhead and landed along the northern shore. The plane quickly beached a few hundred yards north of where the river enters the cove and disgorged a group of passengers, the plane deparing as soon as the passengers were off. While we set about anchoring the Quest in the cove, they got a briefing from their guide and slowly walked along the shoreline trail to the river.
In binoculars we could see at least two bears at the river. It looked like these folks were getting what they paid for, a chance to see and photograph grizzlies fishing in the river. Deciding to give the other group a head start we broke out the chow and had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
Access is through the Hualalai Resort. You must check in at the security shack just off the highway at the southern entrance, just 1/4 mile south of the main entrance to the resort. There you get a beach pass from the guard and head down to the public parking area. Get directions from security, you have to double back and take a right. There are only so many public parking spaces available, to ensure entry just get there early, arrival before 8am is pretty much guaranteed access.
From the parking area a nice concrete path leads to the Kukio Bay beach, a few hundred yards further north along the shoreline. The beach is not where you want to go! The beach is on Kukio Bay, we want Kakapa on the south side of the point. Divers only need walk a short distance to the dive entry into Kakapa bay, a good thing when weighed down by tanks, weights, and in a wetsuit.
A small sign noting the presence of public restrooms at the beach is the marker to turn off the path and head straight to the water. Head to the little inlet where a small point of rock creates a protected pool where you can finish gearing up and swim. The pool is deeper towards to the right and the small rocky point.