Day 12 | Santa Anna Inlet to Thoms Place

Day 12 was an easy cruise from Santa Anna Inlet to Thoms Place on Wrangell Island. Thom’s place is a nice large anchorage on the south end of the island with snow-capped mountain views, historically good crabbing, and some fun tidal channels to explore by dinghy at high tide. The group left Santa Anna later than usual, enjoying the idea of the comparatively short two hour trip.

In the morning, while we were pulling our crab traps and getting ready to leave, a couple of humpbacks wandered into our cove and made a loop or two around the edge of the bay, passing close to to all our anchored boats one at a time.

Humpback in Santa Anna Inlet
Humpback surfaces next to Dog Star in Santa Anna Inlet

The cruise was smooth and easy, rewarding us for the previous day’s change of plans to avoid the 10-foot waves that were forecast for Clarence Strait today. It would have been interesting to stop in Meyer’s Chuck, but getting out of there this morning could have been really not fun. One of the most important things we’ve learned on these trips is to be flexible and adapt to the conditions. Sometimes we skip a planned stop, but replace it with an equally fantastic alternative, or stay two days instead of one at a beautiful anchorage. SE Alaska is so rich with amazing places to explore that there is no point causing yourself major discomfort or risk just to adhere to some arbitrary pre-conceived schedule.

When we arrived in Thoms place, we dropped anchors, crab traps, shrimp pots, dinghies and… sat inside our boats for awhile watching the pouring rain.

OK, not really. We donned our Grundens, h0pped in dinghies, and explored the nooks and crannies around the inlet, dropped some fishing lines and pulled up (and threw back) a dozen or so too-small rockfish and other miscellaneous critters (Sea cucumber anyone? No thanks? It’s a delicacy, you know. We caught three.)

Entering Thoms Place anchorage
Red sea cucumber

Laura’s brother Jason joined us in Ketchikan (from Girdwood AK, near Anchorage), and brought with him a digital microscope and other equipment for getting a closer look at some of the tinier sea life in SE Alaska. These little guys (feather stars) were gripped around the line of one of our crab pots when we pulled it up…we stuck them in a little clear tank and photographed them…beautiful, aren’t they?

This is what they look like with the naked eye, out of the water:

And here’s the same thing under the digital microscope:

This other little starfish-looking thing was on the cockpit floor, so we took a look at it under the microscope as well:

A fun activity to do on another gray rainy day!

We invited everyone over to Airship for taco night…this is such a fun group!

Taco night on Airship

Tomorrow, on to Wrangell!

14.0nm today
666.5nm total