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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ketchikan to Meyer Chuck to Kindergarten Bay

July 11, 2011
Position: @ 10:30AM: 56°14.75N 132°41.60W
Underway in Stikine Strait toward Wrangle, AK

Spent two nights in Ketchikan tied to the dock in Thomas Basin. Our dock near the bridge that crosses Ketchikan Creek put us in position to watch salmon jump as they approached the creek to spawn. From dawn to dusk fishermen lined the bridge hoping to hook a salmon but we saw few caught. I managed to hook a Chinook, but the powerful fish was more than my small spinning rod with 8 pound line could handle.

Arriving in Ketchikan in the early morning of July 7th we set off to do laundry and shopping. It was a remarkably productive day that included the purchase of a 23qt pressure canner to can fish in pint jars, laundry, shopping and a night out on the town. Ketchikan is a busy town with 2 to 5 cruise ships calling each day. Depending on the size of the ships, the town of around 8000 can swell to 10,000 on a light day to 18,000 on a busy day. Needless to say the town is tourist centric with innumerable shops to tantalize the cruise ship guests. Sometime in the evening as the last ship leaves the waterfront, the shops close and the tourist zone becomes eerily vacant.

Ketchikan is pretty cool despite the heavy tourism. On Friday night we stopped by the Ketchikan Yacht Club where we were warmly welcomed for the Friday night social. Enjoyed meeting lots of great locals and could definitely see Alaska as a great place to drop anchor.

Canned some of our freshly caught salmon in our new Presto pressure canner. It's really a simple operation, just fill the jars with uncooked fish and then cook under 10 lbs of pressure in the canner for 100 minutes. So far we have 17 jars done. Looking forward to opening some of these jars of salmon in exotic locations for appetizers.

Early on Saturday July 9th we sailed North to Meyers Chuck, a small bay with a State of Alaska dock at: 55°44.3694N 132°15.4673W.. Meyers Chuck is a small super cute little community of homes perched on rocky outcrops around the bay. On the dock we met a nice couple from Ketchikan on a 62' long 1926 live aboard cabin cruiser. We also met the crews of two Seattle based sailboats whom were kind enough to share their highlights from their recent journey to Glacier Bay. The postmistress for the little town bakes fresh cinnamon rolls and delivers them to the docks in the morning. Yumm!

On Sunday July 10th we sailed from Meyers Chuck to Kindergarten Bay where we got the anchor down sometime after 8PM and dinner down by 9:30PM while still enjoying substantial amounts of sunlight. Spent quite a few hours doing a little fishing, but only picked up two five pound silver salmon. We also spent a few hours anchored trying for a halibut with no success. Likewise we got skunked on both the prawn trap and crab trap when we pulled then early this morning on our way out of Kindergarten Bay.

Dropped the lines in the water and briefly had two salmon on the lines, but didn't boat either one. As we entered Stikine Strait we encountered milky blue waters indicating the presence of glacial till and glaciers in our future. Planning on ventures into Thomas Bay to check the Baird Glacier which is sort of near Petersburg, AK.

Our weather has been remarkably nice for the last five days with each day trending toward more and more blue skies. Early this morning we enjoyed a cloudless sky which is a remarkable thing here in Alaska.

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