Airship Goes to Alaska
We left Wrangell on Friday morning and headed around the back of Wrangell island toward Berg Bay.
It was pretty windy (okay, very windy). Berg Bay was about 22 miles from Wrangell and we figured we could stay there for a night or two before moving on toward Clarence Strait and to Ketchikan (though, no rush since Clarence was not looking good until about Tuesday).
Wonder what happened here:
Wrangell to Berg Bay (about 20 nautical miles):
Berg Bay was pretty and we caught a bunch of Dungeness crabs (6 the first day, 5 the second day). Here’s our tiniest catch (of course we released him…so cute!):
Also, Kevin caught a shark!
The weather at Berg Bay was super rainy and windy and we spent the first night at the unoccupied Forest Service float (intended for cabin occupants only, but there were none) and the second night at anchor. Promptly at 5am this morning the wind came up dramatically and we got our weather forecast early (right about 5am our time, when we woke to the wind) from our NY connection (Hi Larra! Thanks again SO MUCH) since we couldn't get any of the VHF weather channels in Berg Bay. (XM weather is on the list to have for next summer.) Forecast was for 50kt winds and 11ft seas in Clarence Strait. Yikes!
We decided to go back to sleep and stay in Berg Bay one more day (since we had a few to kill, it appeared). We got up and around later in the morning and made coffee and breakfast, showered and then decided we might try heading down Blake Channel and out to Santa Anna Inlet (25 miles or so…and that much closer to Ketchikan). Worst case we’d get out of Blake Channel and it would suck and we’d just turn around and come back. We looked at the current though and it was 3.4kts against us until about 2:30pm, so we read for a bit to kill some time and then pulled anchor and headed out at around 1:30pm.
The weather was gray and windy and rainy (and a little foggy at times) but not bad at all.
Many waterfalls were visible, flowing rapidly down the hillsides and through the forests…it’s been pretty wet the last week or so in SE AK!
We pulled into Santa Anna Inlet and there was one other boat there. This anchorage is beautiful…there are several waterfalls nearby and we hear there's good crabbin' in here. We anchored in 35 feet (give or take 20 feet with the tide change).
Berg Bay to Santa Anna Inlet (about 25 nautical miles):
We put the crab traps out and made dinner to the sound of the rushing waterfall out the galley window.
Dinner last night: Alaskan sockeye salmon tacos with homemade corn relish (corn, jalapeno, lime juice, tomato, garlic), avocado, salsa, sour cream, with half of a baked sweet potato topped with lime juice, sea salt, and cilantro. Super yummy (and colorful!)
This morning we retrieved the crab traps (5 more Dungeness!) and left our anchorage. Our plan was to go over to Vixen Inlet and see how conditions were in Ernest Sound along the way. We checked out Vixen Inlet and it seemed like an okay anchorage, but the weather was looking fine so we decided to try our luck getting to Meyers Chuck. Seas for Clarence Strait were forecast to be 6ft, but the tiny bit of it we saw as we got to Meyers Chuck was only about 2ft.
Aside from several (maybe six??) giant LOGS blocking most of the narrow entrance to Meyers Chuck (Kevin did a fancy avoidance maneuver and didn't even graze one), it was an easy cruise.
Today's track from Santa Anna Inlet to Vixen Inlet and on to Meyers Chuck (about 28 nautical miles total):
The public dock at Meyers Chuck (with room for us…bonus)!
We cooked our crab while under way and then finished picking the crab meat after we got to the dock. Freezer = restocked!
Tomorrow we plan to head across Clarence Strait (Tuesday: N wind 15 kt. seas 3 ft.) to Prince of Wales Island to visit the Haida village of Kasaan, and then we'll probably head to Ketchikan on Wednesday (Wednesday: NW wind 10 kt. seas 2 ft. or less). Info about Kasaan here and here.
We are seeing fewer and fewer pleasure boats in SE Alaska these days. It kinda feels like we're still in the amusement park after it's closed. 🙂