WHALES AND SEALIONS

I woke up this morning at four with light shining into the cabin and the patter of raindrops overhead.  It started raining again last night and has continued all day without respite.  It’s hard to believe I was stripped off in the sun only a couple of weeks ago.

Cruise ship Noordam entering a damp Ketchikan at six in the morning. Photo Ray Penson
Cruise ship Noordam entering a damp Ketchikan at six in the morning. Photo Ray Penson

This morning I went for a walk around Ketchikan.  A couple of cruise ships came in early and disgorged their thousands of passengers, many dressed in pastel coloured designer outdoor gear.  We all thronged around the souvenir shops admiring the tat from China, India and Haiti and Bangladesh.  There are some shops with good quality art and jewellery at eye watering prices.

The old part of town has been preserved and you can do exciting things like tour Dollys whore house and indulge in historical follies.  Once out of the tourist area the town of Ketchikan looks quite shoddy and run down.  I planned to spend two nights in Ketchikan, maybe it was the rain but I found it a depressing place so will move on.  This is not the Alaska I had come all this way to see.

Old creek Street Ketchikan. Photo Ray Penson
Old creek Street Ketchikan. Photo Ray Penson

I had to make a visit to the supermarket to top up on some fresh fruit and veg.  The selection was disappointing and not as good as Prince Rupert, pretty expensive as well.  By far Prince Rupert has been the best place for storing up outside Victoria.

Being completely fed up with the rain and Ketchikan I decided to head west to try and find some dryer weather.  I left the dock in Thomas Basin just after noon and headed to the fuel dock to top up on diesel and buy some petrol and two stroke oil for the outboard.  Having refuelled we headed out to cross the Clarence Strait to Prince of Wales Island.

We had wind to start and sailed under the Jib.  Then the wind died so we motored.  Then the wind came back and blew gale force from the South East, we made good time under the Jib hitting seven knots at times.

Ruby Princess cruise ship in Ketchikan Photo Ray Penson
Ruby Princess cruise ship in Ketchikan Photo Ray Penson

Half way across I was startled to see a rock off our starboard bow sticking out the water – Impossible, it was the fluke of a whale sticking up vertically.  I didn’t see the whale but it must have been very big, a humpback maybe.  Later a sea lion came up right alongside the boat with a big fish in his mouth.  He was so close and didn’t seem bothered at all.  I tried to take a shot with the camera but didn’t make it unfortunately.  Heading into the anchorage this evening we had the usual welcome from the nosey resident seal.

I don’t have any firm plans for the next couple of weeks.  Prince of Wales Island looks interesting and worth spending some time around.  I would like to find a nice dry sheltered spot where I can do some maintenance and dry out.  Total voyage distance 762.7 miles.

Logged 31st May 2016

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