Thursday, May 29, 2014

Signs you (fortunately) don’t see every day

We gave this one a wide berth ……..


That’s just off the southeast corner of Douglas Island which forms the south side of the Gastineau Channel with Juneau on the north side.  I’m not sure what the story is but I’d hate to be anywhere nearby when it turns from “unexploded” to “exploded” ordinance. 

We had a longish day yesterday starting from Excursion Inlet and concluding at Harris Harbor in Juneau.  Averaging 6.5 knots we typically do a 60 mile day but yesterday was just 0.3 short of 75 miles.  We had help from favourable currents but it still was close to an 11 hour day.  There were 4 of those damn floating hotels in town when we arrived but mercifully they have created their own faux community on the southern edge of town and our harbour is on the north side of town.  So we were able to go shopping without ever encountering any of the touring hordes off the floating condos.  We did see evidence of them as we approached town in the form of several “deep sea fishing adventure” boats and as we got closer to town “aquatic tours of scenic Juneau” houseboats.  Evidently there is a thriving local business built around fleecing the fat tourists off the cruise boats.

They get some wicked tidal swings up here – 20 feet on the one that’s just ending now. 


There’s a huge tidal grid extending to the right of this photo.  The ramp is pretty well useless at this tide but add 20 feet and it would be quite usable. 

IMG_7515 The pilings for the floats are sticking so far out of the water now that they almost look like sailboat masts. 

The rates are pretty reasonable here - $4.15 per foot monthly c/w the roughly $11 per foot that we pay in Cow Bay – so we’re going to stay three nights.  From here on we’ll be working our way slowly south until we get to Ketchikan again.  Then we’ll start a marathon run for Cow Bay.  When we started this adventure we planned to buddy-boat with another boat from Cowichan Bay.  He hopes to arrive in Ketchikan tomorrow so we’re really glad we didn’t wait for him.  No doubt it would have been a fun trip but a very different trip from the one we have had.  We do however hope to connect with him somewhere between here and Ketchikan.  Next to a depth charge, a schedule is likely the most dangerous thing you can have on a boat so I’m reluctant to predict where we’ll meet up but the wonders of modern communication will help us organize something.  He just came out of the black hole between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert so we can talk to each other again. 

We’ve been very pleasantly surprised by how good the cellular coverage is in S.E. Alaska.  Our roaming data is expensive so we don’t use it any more than we need to but it is great to have it available.  With our cellular booster we even had limited coverage inside Glacier Bay.  Outside the bay its a rare day that we haven’t had some level of coverage at some point every day.

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