Day 11 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ketchikan to Santa Anna Inlet

One consequence of our quick trip from the San Juans to Ketchikan is that we didn’t have as many chores to take care of in Ketchikan as we usually would. Many of the boats don’t need fuel, laundry, or significant provisions. We haven’t been out for weeks—and we’ve been confined aboard—so the boats are still clean and don’t need any washing. And thankfully, nothing has broken. So after just a … Read more

Day 10 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ketchikan

Today was basically chore and explore day in Ketchikan: grocery shopping, laundry for those who needed it, picking up packages at Frontier Shipping, etc. Today was a little less rainy than yesterday, but still gray and moody. A good day to work on any boat projects or just see the town in the rain. (It has rained a LOT so far this trip.) The group met for dinner at Bar … Read more

Day 9 | Flotilla to Alaska | Foggy Bay to Ketchikan

We left Foggy Bay this morning around 7:00 a.m., headed for Ketchikan. We had some light swell at first, and a little more than light swell later in morning (and some fog) but overall it was a pretty smooth cruise. Arriving in Ketchikan was uneventful compared to past years when it takes all the concentration and focus you have to keep track of the incoming and outgoing boat traffic, float … Read more

Day 17 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Tolstoi Bay to Ketchikan

The 34nm route today from Tolstoi Bay to Ketchikan crosses Clarence Strait and transits south down Tongass Narrows. Traffic increases exponentially as we near the “big city”  — cruise ships, tour boats, float planes, ferries, fishing boats, pleasure boats, and so on. The rest of the group headed for the docks at Bar Harbor (closest to groceries and laundry), while Airship found a spot at city floats in town. Kevin’s … Read more

Days 19-20 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ketchikan

Our time in Ketchikan has been spent shopping, doing chores, reprovisioning, visiting the marine stores and museums, and eating out. Ketchikan centers up and down one main street (Tongass Avenue) so it’s relatively easy to get from here to there either on foot, or by using Uber or riding the city bus. We mainly choose to walk to and from everywhere, since we don’t get much walking while cruising. (On … Read more

Day 18 | Flotilla to Alaska | Foggy Bay to Ketchikan

We staggered our departure times this morning. The two lead boats headed out first at 6:00 a.m., and the rest followed, two boats at 6:30 a.m. and the last two at 7:00 a.m. This sequence would allow the lead boats to fuel up, get into their slips, and be available to catch lines for the others as they got their slip assignments. We had a beautiful, calm cruise up to … Read more

Safe Harbour | Vixen Harbor, Tolstoi Bay, and Ketchikan

Clarence Strait, more than anywhere else in Alaska, has beaten me up. It’s a big body of water, open at the south end to Dixon Entrance, and even with just 15 knots of wind on the bow, it gets uncomfortable. From McHenry Anchorage I planned to head south in Clarence Strait to Kasaan Inlet to meet up with Tom and Caroline on Silver Bay. The weather had other plans. I … Read more

Days 20 and 21 | Flotilla to Alaska | Hanging Out in Ketchikan

The weather in Ketchikan for the past two days has been typical Ketchikan — gray and windy and raining sideways. This is a town that averages more than 150 inches of rain per year. Seattle’s 37.5 inch total is paltry in comparison. We only intended to stay in Ketchikan for two nights, but the weather on the day we planned to depart was truly bad. At the dock, we recorded … Read more