Posted by: Ann | May 21, 2023

May 20, Foggy Bay to Ketchikan

Saturday, sun swallowed up by fog

It felt like we got an extra hour of sleep given the time adjustment. Jon went out in the sun at 7:35 to pull up the anchor and returned chilled by the fog that was pouring into the cove.

  • 7:45. We started creeping out the now foggy narrow entrance on a 2.5’ tide. We measured only 12’ below Fifth Element at this low tide. That’s ok since the boat has a 3.5 foot draft.
  • 8:25 We had a delightful long visit from several white-sided dolphins frolicking in our bow wave. It’s really hard not to think they are having fun playing as they criss-crossed and leapt out of the water just in front of the bow. As they disappearedA , we passed out of the Clarance Passage and continued up the Revillagigedo Channel.

We spent most of the morning trying to see s/v Quotidian which remained invisible even though our AIS showed them on a converging path only a mile away.

  • 10:30 Passing Hog Rock; the fog finally cleared enough for us to see Quotidian, now over 2 miles behind us
  • 11:10. Approaching Ketchikan. Our internet devices chimed to life and my clocks corrected themselves. I checked the cruise ship schedule and we have a full quotient of 4 in port, but mostly smaller so “only” 6368 visitors to deal with.
  • 1:15 Stopped for 185 gallons of fuel at 5:04 a gallon. It was really bouncy at the Petro Marine fuel dock and Jon had a real mess to deal with because he couldn’t hear the fuel filling and the “slow” pump overflowed onto the deck. I hate to think what the “fast” pump would have done.
  • 2:00 Continued on to Thomas Basin but it the first come first serve transient dock was full, so we stopped briefly at the pump out station to call the harbormaster. Fortunately he was able to give us a slip on Float 3. Then, shopping in Ketchikan!

My favorites: the art of Ray Troll at Soho Coho and then shopping at Simply Salmon, both in the famous old red light district in Creek Street. Then to Alaska Coffee, the best coffee in town. Too bad their packaged product is not ground fine enough for our fussy machine. We checked the Cedar Chest, home to the friendly poodle mix, Roxy, but a note on the door said they were only open by appointment until the end of May.

We dropped our parcels at the boat, then went to find the Tatsuda IGA grocery which, it turns out, has completely disappeared! Despite Google showing a photo supposedly only a week old of a big corrugated building next to the Gas At Last station, there was only a bare concrete pad behind a pop-up food truck selling pizza. Fortunately, the free shuttle bus was just coming around the corner, so we ran over an hopped on for a ride to the Plaza Safeway.

We got the same bus driver and lugged the groceries and a case of water back to the boat. Jon carried a full 24-pack of water with a carton of mineral water on top. He wanted to try more, but I talked him out of it. The reason being: the price was two cases of water for $7.99 each or 12.99 for one. Annoyingly, you had to buy 2 to get the only semi-outrageous price, but I convinced him it was worth the extra $4 not to injure his arms.

I think its the most I ever paid for water, but again we need it to keep the coffee machine happy, and Jon makes ice tea with it which can taste pretty bad with some of the water from the marinas here. I myself brought a Brita water bottle which filters the water as you drink it. I wanted to bring the Brita carafe, but we don’t have the counter space.

We cleared some email, and now that 3 of the 4 cruise ships had left, we finally got to enjoy the blackened salmon burger and bbq seasoned fries at home ur favorite, Alaska Fish house. Then we picked up some jackets needed for the quickly changing weather and walked out on the breakwater to watch the Disney Wonder leave port. We think the captain waited for a small sailboat crew struggle to get their jib furled and retrieve an overboard fender, because after they passed the big ships thrusters fired up and engulfed the entire entrance to the basin. As the ship glided away, they played the Disney signature lead—in to When You Wish Upon A Star.

Goodnight Ketchikan!

Fifth Element in Thomas Basin

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