4. Juneau to Sitka
19 July 02 to 27 July 02
Marv Fleming came aboard at 1000 and we took off for Swenson Harbor. Tied up to
government dock with several other boats. Nice people. Watched a man fillet a halibut.
Exchanged a bottle of wine for a big chunk of halibut. Excellent view of the mountains to
the NE. Several people rowed ashore that evening and set bonfires and, later, fireworks.
Everyone was gone by 0500 the next morn. Thats what fishermen do.
Swenson Harbor at Twilight
Bartlette Cove, Glacier Bay – BLT, Alaska Amber beer. N. Sandy Cove. Pizza. 2 other
Margerie Glacier - Started out in fog and rain. Got some 1000? year old glacier ice for
cocktails. Sat on the foredeck in bright sunshine amid a sea of iceberg chunks and sipped
Scotch over glacier ice and noshed on halibut. Lomplugh and Grand glaciers. Blue Mouse
Cove. Rocky bottom. Had to use the Spade anchor. All to ourselves.
In Glacier Bay
Fog. Rain. Big currents. Used a Vidal Sassoon hair drier to defog the windows. Bartlette
Cove again, for lunch and to top off the water tank. Crept into Dundas Bay in a dense fog.
Lovely, lonely, quiet, serene, scenic. The sound of the falls. The sound of the slowly
flapping Canadian courtesy flag (courtesying).
N. Inian Passage – A strong current from the west and a strong wind from the east. Big,
short, steep breaking waves. Very dense fog. Vidal Sassoon weather. Very dense tugboat
driver and his tow. I called him and told him that I would turn left towards Inian I, into beam
seas, and stay out of his way, thinking that he would hold his course and continue to cross
my bow from port to starboard. Instead he turned right. Then he called me and suggested
that we pass port to port, while he was already to starboard of me. A near miss. Never
assume that a tugboat driver has more sea sense than you do.
Coho Bar & Grill
Elfin Cove – Best stop yet. Very quaint boardwalk town. Fishing lodges. Friendly people.
John Little, who we said hello to in passing, insisted that we accept 2 chunks of halibut and 2
chunks of salmon. Chris, a Coho Bar & Grill denizen and commercial fisherman, insisted on
buying us a beer. Pasta y Fragiole soup, Pizza and Alaskan Amber for lunch. Patty, the
smoked salmon lady, interrupted her visit to her neighbors to supply us with primo orderves.
Stopped by the Cross Sound Lodge the next morning and inquired about breakfast. They
insisted that we join them and fed us coffee and pancakes, and refused payment. Bought an
item of Eskimo soapstone art. 28$, haggled down from 30$. Probably 300$ in Palo Alto.
(More about this later.) Sun, after weeks of rain and fog.
Hoonah – Good harbor. Not much of a town. Got a lift from a 90 year old couple. They
bitched because they had to give up skiing and sell their Aspen house. That just left them with
houses in Alaska and Seal Beach. Were accosted on the dock and made to eat some fresh
caught halibut fried in a beer batter. Another transient boater tried to force us to take some
fresh frozen salmon and halibut.
Appleton Cove, Peril Straight. – 5 female and 1 small male crab. Heavily logged but still nice.
Stopped at Deep Bay to await slack current at Sergius Narrows. Sunshine. Very pleasant.
Sitka – A bit of history, lots of tourist traps, some slums/fishing industry. Harbors full up with
fishing boats. Darn few pleasure boats. Had to raft up. Harbormaster said we couldent do
that. But there was a humongous turning basin that could accommodate a raft of 10 deep, and
there were quite a few already rafted 3 deep. He said that he was going down there and kick
out the rafters and leave us a note to tell us where to tie up. Mary Ann Fleming watched us
dock and came down to join us. We left for chow on the town. When we got back, no
evictions and no note.
Well that’s it for now. More later.