Ketchikan, Alaska After a month of wandering the BC coast, with a short stop in Shearwater for supplies, it feels a bit unreal to be docked in downtown Ketchikan. We have a slip right in the center of the action, our neighbor is a massive Norwegian Cruise ship, it pulled in this morning around 6:30 and will most likely move south in a couple of hours. Last night there was a Holland American liner in its place until sunset.
Yesterday morning we were in Foggy Bay, a stopping point on the way from the Canadian border to Ketchikan, a serene cove surrounded by forest with a notch that gave us a view out into Revillagigedo Sound. The route from the cove was shallow at low tide when we left and we motored slowly in almost no wind, winding around to the mouth of the inlet to the cove. As we left the inner cove two deer swam across our path, coming to the mainland from their night’s retreat on a little islet.
It was perfectly calm as we motored north from Foggy Bay to Ketchikan. we had some weird vibrations with our prop and kept our speed down. We came into sight of Ketchikan shortly after lunch. Quite the change from the serenity of the past month. There was a long line of cruising boats making their way to the city - it is the major port of entry for all boats heading north into the US. Long liners and sport fishermen with charter crews were out in force, the long liners had their rigs down and fishing along the shoreline, charter fishermen were running their clients out at full speed, other boats were idling along fishing along the shore as well. Two cruise ships headed our way as we came into Tongass Narrows, which is as named, narrow. We idled along as they passed by closely, a sudden wall of windows and people watching, taking photos.
Pulling into Ketchikan we were given our dock assignment in the city dock, right in the heart of the action. We went along to the stern of a Holland American cruise ship and found the narrow slot into the small marina. I circled at the mouth of the marina a couple times while Douglas finalized our shore ties, during which time four float planes landed within feet of us, two landed at either side in tandem at one point. It was all a bit nerve wracking like we’d been pulled into some circus act.
From the calm morning of two deer swimming across the channel to the whirlpool of Ketchikan.
It feels good to to be in Alaska. We came through this way 12 years ago and talked about coming back this way at some point, bringing kayaks and taking a ferry to various towns and exploring from there. Coming back in our own boat wasn’t even remotely on our minds. Alaska has been a place we have been aiming for the past couple of months, we’re not sure how far north we’ll travel, Glacier Bay is a remote point in our minds, there is so much to see and explore just between here and Juneau.
We’ll spend the next couple of days here, sorting out the issues with the prop, taking on provisions, enjoying the circus.