Posted by: Ann | September 10, 2019

9-8-18, Sunday, Thorne Bay to Ketchikan


Thorne Bay is on Prince of Wales Island. POW is larger than Revillagigedo, the island featuring Ketchikan. I feel that POW is worth spending more time on. Tourist guides are always full of glowing prose, but undisputedly there are miles of roads, campgrounds and shoreline to explore. Charters for both sea and fresh water fishing are also available as well as ATV and car rentals. Yesterday, we also visited the fishing lodge in Thorne Bay, and Victoria the hostess showed us the remodel they were just completing. It seems to me the best way to experience Alaskan fishing with expert advice and without hauling our own gear around <= another future adventure for the bucket list.

We slipped away at 7:15. Jon saw some whales spouting off POW. We crossed the Clarence Strait diagonally southeast and were happy that these potentially choppy waters were calm. By 11:35 we passed the light at Guard Island and approached Ketchikan via the Tongass Narrows. The Narrows make me a bit nervous with all the float planes buzzing in and out, but we manage to skirt the west side until we needed to cross into Thomas basin.

We found the yacht club floats mostly full or too narrow to fit into safely with the breeze that had picked up. Actually, we weren’t sure if it was the wind or the current, but Jon had to fight a bit to get us onto the transient side-tie. A local who arrived the same time jumped out to help us. By 1:40, we were tied up and registered by phone, which was an odd experience since the harbor authority didn’t ask Jon’s name or boat name, just whether we’d visited before (Jon guessed she used his cell phone number)

On our way in, we noted that all four Cruise ship terminals were full. One fortunately departed just before we pulled in. The others meant that Newtown or Cruise Ship town as I call it would be hopping. We went up for a late lunch and had to wait in line to order at Alaskan Fish House. We needed to sit in the alternate dinig room and I was disappointed that our salmon and chips were burnt. I didn’t know this until I saw other dishes on tables as we left, or I would have sent it back. We wondered why the cruise ship patrons are here with all the food they have onboard?

I stopped by SOHO COHO for another Ray Troll Tee-this time Bear Family Tree. Then we took the free shuttle to shop Starbucks and Safeway. I almost got my foot injured on the bus when a tourist ran me over with their wheelchair.

Another cruise ship left, blasting Louis Armstrong which I thought odd.

Later than evening, I dragged Jon to the Alaska Crab House. I had to try King Crab, but it turned out to be disappointing. The prices were way higher than A. Fish House, and the crab was tough. It was interesting to the plaza now devoid of cruise ships. We were the only ones in the restaurant and the waiter was quite chatty

We enjoyed Thomas Basin being closer to the dining options in Newtown. One possible disadvantage is that it smells terribly of dead salmon especially at low tide which exposed several dead carcasses on the rocks.

Looking back at Thorne Bay Harbor

The view across Throne Bay to the Southeast

The old Guard Island Lighthouse

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