JULY 18 - 25, 2022: KETCHIKAN – HAPPY HARBOR – KASAAN – MEYERS CHUCK – THOM’S PLACE ALASKA
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
‘Why is this wet?’ is the anthem of our trip
One of our hardest days for the crew (at least Coco and Cassie) was the journey to Ketchikan. Departing obviously named Foggy Bay at 6 AM to heavy fog and pouring rain, the swells started to pick up even more as we entered the channel. Allan deftly managed the boat in conditions that were less than ideal as many things below flew across the cabin due to the large waves and swell. White knuckles. But as always, it passed.
Soaking wet, we arrive in Ketchikan. Obviously being on a boat is a wet environment but the first mate vastly underestimated the sheer magnitude of wet clothes, boots, towels, damp rugs, wet dog and a persistent dankness of all things. But back to Ketchikan.
This is a major cruise ship port and boy are they here. It is like a wall of apartment buildings in the water. A town big enough we can get Allan’s iPhone glass replaced (shattered from a drop in the cockpit). New sim cards for our phones with coverage in Alaska, since we have none, and the usual routine of coin op conveniences of fresh clothes and showers
We are ‘hot berthed’ here which means we are using a slip that belongs to a fishing boat. Of course, one day into our stay, he comes back so we are moved to another ‘hot berth’ for the night.
Eager to leave the sights, sounds and smells of the fishing dock, we head across Clarence Strait to Happy Harbor (no u since we are back in US) and it lives up to the name. Lovely protected spot. We take the dingy to shore for a beach fire BBQ including smores.
We putted up to the village of Kasaan (only a few miles away) and had a great experience here. Tied up at the state dock, the three of us walked the Kasaan boardwalk and bridges to ‘town’ which is maybe 20-40 people. Passing by a garden and greenhouse we met Skip, a fascinating guy who has lived here more than 50 years. He shared stories and told us how to get to (and in) the native longhouse in the village. The canoe and totem carving shed and nearby café are closed and we wind our way along the forested path to the sacred area of the longhouse and totems. Unforgettable. Skip advised us to stay the night due to the wind and waves but we left Kasaan and with 20 kts of wind at our back we went all the way to Meyer’s Chuck near the top to the strait.
NPR’s feature on Meyer’s Chuck was but one of the many reasons for our stop here but we very much had wanted to meet Cassy (‘y’ not ‘ie’) the postmistress, but maybe next time.
We left in fog to a glorious day of clear skies and little wind as Cassie skippered us to a sweet inlet called Thom’s Place for the night. Started Stanley Tucci’s audio book and love it so far. We trimmed Coco’s nails in the cockpit and hit a quick so the boat looks like a crime scene. Sadly, tonight we enjoy the very last Ted Lasso. On to other downloads, audio books, DVDs and our epic gin rummy competition, which Allan leads, at the moment.