Airship Goes to Alaska
We left Petersburg on Wednesday morning, timing our departure so we could arrive at the middle of Wrangell Narrows at slack tide, thus riding a favorable current in and a favorable current back out. The weather was gorgeous and clear and it was a smooth and lovely cruise to Wrangell.
Passing Two Tree Island again (last time we came through here was June 14):
Arriving in Wrangell:
The last time we were in Wrangell we stayed in Reliance Harbor, closer to town, but this time the harbormaster put us in the newer Heritage Harbor, about a mile and half from town. We got a spot on the transient dock right in front of S/V Delphina.
We met Richard and Tracy on S/V Delphina when we were in Taku Harbor the very first time, and they were super cool, so it was fun to meet up with them again. We've passed them a few times and seen them on AIS, but never managed to be in the same place at the same time until now.
We took the dinghy over to Reliance and made a quick stop at the market for a few things we forgot or couldn't find in Petersburg (salsa, green onions, rosemary, wine).
That evening, Richard and Tracy came over and we had a little top deck party with wine and snacks: ikura we made from some sockeye roe and some good cheese and crackers.
View from the top deck:
We had a great evening catching up and telling stories about our respective summers in Alaska. We made a plan to meet up for dinner over at the Stikine Inn the next night and said goodnight at around 10:30pm. The sky was nice and clear so we kept checking to see if we could see any Northern Lights and it turns out that at about 11pm, we could! We sat out on the bow and watched for a bit, and I texted Tracy so we all got to see 'em. This is the only photo I got (with my iPhone) but trust me, it was pretty dang cool!
Yesterday afternoon we did a jet boat tour up the Stikine River, but I'll post about that separately. I took a ton of photos and a fun video so I'll give it its own post.
Dinner at the Stikine Inn last night was quite good. Kevin and I shared some seared ahi tacos (delicious), a caesar salad, and the most popular thing on the menu, the Crispy Chicken Chop. The Crispy Chicken Chop is a tenderized chicken breast, coated with Panko and fried 'til crispy, served over a bacon cream gravy and some mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. It was very good, and we brought about half of it home with us.
The weather forecast for Clarence Strait (our next bigger body of water) through Tuesday is as follows, as of yesterday at 4pm:
CLARENCE STRAIT- 400 PM AKDT THU AUG 27 2015 ...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY... .TONIGHT...S WIND 20 KT INCREASING TO 25 KT LATE. SEAS 5 FT. RAIN. .FRI...S WIND 30 KT. SEAS 6 FT. RAIN. .FRI NIGHT...SE WIND 25 KT DIMINISHING TO 20 KT LATE. SEAS 7 FT. RAIN. .SAT...SE WIND 15 KT. SEAS 4 FT. SHOWERS. .SAT NIGHT...SE WIND 20 KT. SEAS 4 FT. SHOWERS. .SUN...SE WIND 30 KT. SEAS 8 FT. .MON...SE WIND 20 KT. SEAS 6 FT. .TUE...NW WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS.
I think we'll be hanging out around Wrangell Island until things calm down a bit…it's looking like Tuesday is a good day to be in the strait. We may head over to Berg Bay (back side of Wrangell Island) and also check out Thom's Place (south west corner of Wrangell Island). Both bays have good crabbing, so maybe we can replenish our Dungeness supply.
Here's the Petersburg to Wrangell track (about 41 nautical miles):