One of our most popular trips takes us to the east side of the Inlet, and requires cooperative winds and weather. We cruise between Red Sandstone Island and Quadjuk, looking for wildlife, and cut across the Inlet to the Tinney Hills. Here, in a glacially carved ridge of red quartzite, are veins of crystalline quartz. Some is clear quartz, some pink amethyst, smoky quartz, and other areas show a veneer of crystalline hematite. This is a day of fascinating geology; the story of the Inlet is intriguing, and easy to see and understand for those that walk the land.
Small coves below the outcrop are good places to look for shorebirds, and a huge variety of plants. Caribou may pass by, and in 2015 we were delayed in landing by a large bear feeding on liquoriceroot near the landing spot. He watched us, we watched him, and he finally loped off and up onto the Tinney Hills. Those who want can hike from the amethyst outcrop along the ridgetop to the next bay, where the boat meets us. This is Iktogiak, the “Crossing Place” where people hunted caribou by kayak, and we will see the structures used by these long ago hunters.
After Amethyst, we often circumnavigate South Quadjuk Island, stopping in the narrows to watch birds, seals, and often passing caribou, then sail home along the western side of the huge Quadjuk Island.