Friday July 17- We left Hoonah around 10am, heading south to Sitka.
A large pod of whales swam by us on the Icy Strait. There were at least 8-10 of them.
The wind and waves were greater than predicted, so we stopped a little earlier than planned. By 5 pm, the anchor was dropped in Pavlof Harbor.
Saturday July 18- anchor up by 8:00am. More whales this morning! A few Humpbacks and a couple of Orcas. I think I need a bigger zoom lens!
We traveled about 58 miles today to Adams Channel Bight.
Dan went up to bow to ready the anchor. While standing there he saw an Orca swimming towards the boat just below the waters surface, then the Orca swam right under us.
Sunday July 19- anchor up by 8am. Did I mention it was a cold, foggy, rainy day in Alaska? Locals have said the weather was great May, but June and July have been exceptionally rainy.
We arrived in Sitka around 4pm. I think we got one of the last slips available as we heard the marina tell several boats after us they were full.
Things that go bump in afternoon. A seam on the holding tank popped. A less than two year old tank! The manufacturer, Wellington Plastics said it’s out of warranty but they would repair it for free, if we ship the tank back to them. This however creates a logistical problem. Instead we will look for a plastic welder in the Pacific Northwest to have it repaired. They along with the service department at Haven Harbor in Rock Hall who installed it, both said they never heard of tank splitting like that.
Monday July 20- Mark on fishing vessel Lady Linda, we were parked next to in the marina. He’s a troller mostly for salmon, typically he fishes by himself.
Today was laundry and shopping day, plus we walked 8.2 miles around Sitka.
Here in Sitka, at Baronof Castle, which is now a scenic park sitting high upon a hill overlooking the harbor, where a mansion once stood, is the place where documents were signed when the US purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. July 4, 1959, the first 49 star American flag was raised here, at the Castle. Alaska became the 49th state, January 3, 1959.
St. Michaels Russian Orthodox Cathedral built in 1848 by St. Innocent the first bishop of Alaska. Russian explorers, brought the Orthodox Faith to Alaska.
On display in town is this canoe, carved by the Tlingit to commemorate the centennial, in 1967, the purchase of Alaska.
Sheet’ Kwanzaa Naa Kahului community house resides at the entrance to where the Indian Village used to be. It’s a gathering place for clan families and special occasions like performances, graduations, events, even weddings. We spoke with Dale Linstrom, who is the tribe travel tours manager while there, he was very informative regarding the house as well as some Alaskan history like the Tlingit language is also taught in schools here. One interesting fact, only Alaskan natives can hunt otters, seals and seal lions. Every otter caught has to be tagged and processed.
In Sitka National Historical Park there are a few miles of trails in the Forrest with replica totem poles throughout. Originally totem poles stood in tribal villages, not a forest, near the ocean where travelers could see them. There is also a Visitor’s Center which was closed. Be Bear aware.
For lunch we stopped at Ashmo’s food truck in town. Dinner we cooked Alaskan sausage which has reindeer meat in it.