Day 16 | Flotilla to Alaska | Petersburg

Today was a free day in Petersburg. We awoke to clear blue skies and bright sunshine, with a predicted high of about 68 degrees F! How did we get so lucky? We spent the day exploring, provisioning, and enjoying the glorious weather! Petersburg is a proud fishing town and we love looking at all the boats. The sunny weather had many crews outside doing maintenance: painting, sanding, scrubbing, etc. Walking … Read more

Day 15 | Flotilla to Alaska | Day Trip to Le Conte Glacier

Glacier day! For most cruisers, their first visit to a tidewater glacier is both exciting and anxiety-inducing. Since Le Conte Glacier is so close to Petersburg (about 20nm away), it’s an easy day trip. Several years ago we started visiting Le Conte on just a few of the flotilla boats. This lets some people have a day off from driving their boat and allows others to make their first glacier … Read more

Day 14 | Flotilla to Alaska | Wrangell to Petersburg

The shortest navigable route from Wrangell to Petersburg is through Wrangell Narrows, a narrow, winding, rock-laden 22 nautical mile passageway with swift current and lots of traffic. In order to minimize opposing current, we typically time our departure from Wrangell so that we arrive at Papke’s Landing, where the flooding from the north and south meets, at high tide. That way we ride the dying flood into Wrangell Narrows, and … Read more

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