NORTHBOUND VOYAGE ENDS

Today Ngozi and I had some quality time together in Hoonah.  Once the usual chores of laundry, provisioning and maintenance were out of the way we went for a walk around Hoonah.  Its not a big place so its not a difficult mission but the locals are friendly and always have time for a chat so it’s a pleasant experience.

Walking around Hoonah
Walking around Hoonah

In the evening we visited Icy Strait Brewing again to sample the latest brew.  It’s pretty strong stuff and after three glasses each we felt no pain.

Ngozi is flying out to New Zealand tomorrow morning, it has been fantastic to have company again but the time has gone too quickly.  I will be sorry to see her go.  We have been very lucky with the weather, beautiful calm warm days and balmy nights.  We have experienced the Glaciers calving, whales feeding and a whole range of wildlife – apart from bears.  It’s been a unique experience for both of us.

Tomorrow I will start the next voyage south from Hoonah to Victoria BC.  I haven’t decided which route south to take yet, maybe the weather will decide for me in the morning.  Total Voyage distance 1,632.8 miles.

BARTLETT COVE TO HOONAH

We arrived back in Hoonah this afternoon after an easy crossing of Icy Strait in calm conditions. Calm conditions meant we had to motor again which is not restful but preferable to wind on the nose, so we will take it. In Icy strait there is a lot more ebb than flood so correct timing of the tidal window is essential if you are in a low powered vessel. Fortunately, we got it almost right today and made good time.

Spot the Whale bubbles in The water. Hoonah Harbour
Spot the Whale bubbles in The water. Hoonah Harbour

Our visit to Glacier Bay was great, apart from a nasty night to start off in Fingers Bay we enjoyed wonderful weather and hardly any rain. The Glacier visit was memorable, to get up close to a calving Glacier is an awesome experience. We saw a lot of whales in the lower section of Glacier Bay but the best whale encounter occurred just outside the Hoonah Harbour entrance.

As we approached the Hoonah Harbour there was a single large whale feeding in the entrance. We slowed down to watch as the whale blew a bubble ring and then arose in the centre to collect his prey. This happened three times, the last time very close and the whale dived under the boat before surfacing on the other side. Ngozi is very happy she has seen a whale up close. She will have to go to the zoo to see a bear.

Ngozi in the Icy Strait Brewing Bar, Hoonah. Photo Ray Penson.
Ngozi in Hoonah, Alaska.

We plan to stay two nights in Hoonah as Ngozi is flying out from here on Sunday back to New Zealand.

Truce is now moored in Hoonah Harbour, all secure alongside, now we can explore the town and surrounds without any concern for the anchor.

We are both hoping to get some fresh fish and maybe some crabs and shrimp to cook. Total Voyage distance 1,632.8 miles.

HANGING AROUND HOONAH

What a beautiful warm day, the warmest so far this trip. Hoonah turned out to be a great place to hang out, do a bit of provisioning and visit the local hardware store for interesting stuff. The hardware store proved to be a great surprise, amazing stock of just about everything from iphone charges through to kitchen ware, hair curlers nappies and just about every screw ever made.

Town centre, Hoonah. Alaska
Town centre, Hoonah. Alaska
After provisioning we migrated to Icy Strait Brewing, a small microbrewery, to sample the wares. Surprisingly good beer and the bonus of Thai food cooked by the owner’s wife next door. The green curry shrimps were a hit and so refreshing to get fresh broccoli and vegetables. A definite recommend to future travellers.

Craft beer  at  Icy Strait Brewing, Hoonah. Alaska.During our walk about today we came across a shed where carving was being performed inside. The four pillars and backdrop of a new meeting house for Glacier Bay were being completed. We had an interesting chat with the head carver and learned a bit about native culture, traditions and oral history.  Tlingit traditional wood carving. Hoonah, Alaska.Truce is now topped off with fresh water and all systems checked ready to depart in the morning to Glacier Bay. The wind forecast is against us and the tide for the trip up Icy Strait tomorrow, hopefully it won’t be too strong and we will benefit from an early start.Youth Centre, Hoonah, AlaskaA guy, Jay, who I met many weeks ago in Port McNeill is tied up alongside us today on his lovely motor launch. He has just returned from his second trip to Glacier Bay this year and generously gave me his Glacier Bay chart and pointed out some of the better anchorages and places where me might see bear, moose and wolves. I will keep looking.
This evening I had a panic attack as I thought I had left my phone in the brewery and had to return. Luckily I later found the phone on the boat so panic over and a return to normal stress levels.Logged 8th July 2016.