Tuesday July 28- laundry and food shopping day as well as a trip to the Post Office. We met several boaters on our dock, spent a lot of the day socializing (with distance).
Wednesday July 29- the boat was moved to the City Dock, from Bar Harbor, it’s closer to downtown Ketchikan. Our 5 miles of walking the historic district would have been over 10 miles. Many establishments were closed or out of business, there were a bars and restaurants open. It was the nicest weather day so far, sunny, blue sky in the mid 70’s.
Ketchikan sits at the southernmost entrance to the Alaskan Inside Passage – a network of waterways that wind through islands and beautiful wilderness. Known as the the salmon capital of the world, Ketchikan is also famous for its scenery and Alaskan Native culture.
Tlingit tribe were first settlers to the area. In 1885 European explorers founded salmon canneries and a trading post. By the end of the century with the influx of miners, hunters, fishermen and loggers, Ketchikan developed as a “Wild West” frontier town. At the start of the 19th-century it was known as ‘Alaska’s wickedest city, focused on Creek Street, a boardwalk with houses built on stilts above the Ketchikan Creek. During prohibition it was the place to go for a drink of smuggled Canadian whiskey, prostitutes and backroom saloons. Today the houses are shops, galleries and restaurants.
Thursday July 30- we departed Ketchikan around 9:00am, headed southeast to Behm Canal, part of Misty Fjords National Monument, New Eddystone Rock, pillar of basalt, a volcanic remnant, projects 237 ft from the sea near the entrance.
In the late 1960s, members of the Mountaineering Association hiked this backcountry. The timber harvest was spreading southeast, this area was not on the Forrest Services exempt map. They formed the Tongass Conservation Society and fought to set aside this over 2 million acres of glacier carved valleys, waterfall-slicked granite cliffs and alpine highlands. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter created the Misty Fjords National Monument, later to be made an irrevocable wilderness status by Congress.
We motored up Rudyard Bay, an inlet off Behm Canal, said to be the most scenic section. It did not disappoint! Just past sunset, picked up the mooring ball in Punchbowl Cove.
Friday July 31- The drone was flying this morning, it’s height limit set at 400ft, not enough see over the mountain next to us at 3110 ft.
We departed the cove around 10am, when then drones 2 batteries were exhausted.
Heading back down the Canal, for awhile we were sailing over 8 knots with 29 knots true wind off our starboard stern quarter, 343 true wind direction. We rounded the corner and the wind lightened. As we approached Metlakatla (met-la- KAT-la), where we stayed for two days waiting for a weather window, the wind was back over 20 knots.
Saturday August 1- Here in Metlakatla, we were told not to get off the boat unless we take a Covid test, coincidently we took one three days prior in Ketchikan. They were administrating free test near the dock, drive and walk up, so the three of us did. There are no reported cases of Covid here in this village, still waiting for test results. Joe owner of f/v Ocean Harvester gave us 6 lbs of Prawns and 2 lbs of Halibut, and Vance, crew on f/v Jaci Grace brought us 2.5 lbs of smoked Sockeye Salmon Strips.
Metlakatla is the only Indian Reservation in Alaska.
For dinner I cooked shrimp with rice on the side. Just as we’re about to start dinner, Joe stopped by with 6 skewers of just cooked barbecue shrimp! Thanks Joe for the wonderful seafood!