Day 25-26 | Flotilla to Alaska | Petersburg and Le Conte Glacier

We decided to spend three nights in Petersburg. Part of the reason was practical: we arrived late in the afternoon, will depart in the morning, and will spend a full day out at Le Conte Glacier. This barely gives enough time to get groceries, fix any boat problems, do laundry, or explore Petersburg. Plus we really like Petersburg; it’s a charming, proud small town. So the day after arriving in … Read more

Day 24 | Flotilla to Alaska | Wrangell to Petersburg

The group left Wrangell by around 10:00 a.m. this morning and headed for Wrangell Narrows. Petersburg is only 40nm from Wrangell, but the short distance belies the complexity of the route. About half that distance is transiting Wrangell Narrows, a winding, shallow, rock-lined, and busy waterway. Alaska State Ferries, fish boats, tugs and barges, sport fishing boats, and cruising boats all transit Wrangell Narrows routinely. About the only boats that … Read more

Safe Harbour | St. John Harbor, Shrubby Island, McHenry Anchorage

From Petersburg I had two goals: see as many new anchorages as possible, and make it to Ketchikan (only about 110 nautical miles) before a flight out of town in a week. Easy! After a morning of chores in Petersburg, I rode the flood south, to arrive at Papke’s Landing (roughly the mid-point, where the flood current from each side meets) at high water. The timing worked out nicely, but … Read more

Safe Harbour | Le Conte Glacier, Brown Cove, Scenery Cove

When I first came to Alaska, I was unprepared for the scale. Even Southeast—the relatively small portion of the state where I’ve cruised—is truly vast. Somewhere around 70,000 people inhabit an area that stretches more than 300 miles south to north and a hundred miles west to east. Even a few miles from the population centers, it’s easy to find solitude. By solitude, I don’t just mean a lack of … Read more

Day 27 | Flotilla to Alaska | Petersburg and Le Conte Glacier

Le Conte Glacier is the first tidewater glacier we encounter on our trip north. LeConte is an easy day trip from Petersburg, so we all climbed aboard Fortunate and Cassidy to make the short trek across Frederick Sound to make our attempt at the glacier. Visiting tidewater glaciers by boat is always a hit-or-miss endeavor as far as actually making it to the glacier. As the face of the glacier … Read more

Day 26 | Flotilla to Alaska | Wrangell to Petersburg

We didn’t plan to leave Wrangell until 11:30 a.m. or so to get the timing right for Wrangell Narrows, so we took advantage of the late departure time and dinghied back into town for some breakfast and grocery shopping. We grabbed breakfast at J&W’s Fast Food (now serving breakfast) and it was really good — breakfast burritos, french toast, captain’s platter with eggs, potatoes, and sausage or bacon, hot coffee. … Read more