Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The company store

You load 16 tons and what do you get

Another day older and deeper in debt

St. Peter don’t call me cuz I can’t go

I owe my soul to the company store.

I had never actually seen a company town (or store) until today.  Tonight we’re tied up to the (free) “city” dock at Excursion Inlet which, curiously enough, is located close to the mouth of Excursion Inlet, directly east of Glacier National Park.  In fact, the eastern park boundary runs directly down the middle of the channel behind my back as I type.

We tried to leave the park yesterday but got blown back in.  The wind was howling out of the south, coming right up the bay.  We considered spending the night anchored in Bartlett Cove, in front of the park entrance centre, but it was too lumpy and we weren’t happy with our options for an anchoring site.  Anchoring up here is more of a challenge than in some places – the anchorages tend to be deeper and the bottom is less sticky than I’d like most times.  When we finally got the anchor stuck last night I still wasn’t completely happy but it was getting dark and we were well sheltered so we said “good enough”.  “Good enough” in this case was 50+ feet of water over some kind of gravel that left the anchor shiny clean when we pulled it this morning.  I’m a lot happier when it comes up coated in Regina gumbo or a reasonable likeness to Regina gumbo.


The company activity is a cannery and its a big enterprise – we could see it from a long ways off.


I felt like an intruder so I didn’t go too deep into the little town behind the company store.


Judging by the derelict equipment and buildings scattered around, this place has been here for a long time.


The dock is a little scary.  Its free but we’re likely getting our money’s worth at that.  We ended up tying up twice.  I hope we don’t have to redo any of that at Oh-dark-30 tonight.  The picture was taken before we moved around to the outside.  The inside initially appealed to me because we’re right out in the strait and I thought being on the inside would offer us a little protection from waves and wakes.  However I soon noticed that the dock isn’t really attached to very many of the pilings.  When I saw a three foot gap between the dock and that piling immediately ahead of us along with a two foot gap by the piling behind us I decided it was time to move.  The section of float that we are tied to now isn’t much more securely attached but it does have the ramp to keep it sort of in place and it is kind of sandwiched between pilings on both sides of it so I don’t think it can go anywhere quickly.  It would be really bad to wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself adrift with 60 feet of dock securely lashed to the side of the boat.  We’d probably have gone on to somewhere closer to Juneau, given the state of the accommodations, but the weather tends to kick up later in the afternoon and its doing it again today.

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