July 5, 2005

Milestones – We left home exactly one month ago. We’ve cruised exactly 1001 nautical miles, and now sit inWrangell harbor, at 56 degrees 30 minutes latitude north. Sunset is officially at 10:40 pm.

We slept in today, and didn’t rise until around 8 am. Being up until midnight celebrating the 4th with Tavis and Greg (Tavis Forrester, Rogue River OR and Greg Wilson, Wrangell AK) the night before had something to do with it. Another rainy morning. I pulled the crab trap, just one undersized dungeness. As we prepared to depart, we watched the float planes and excursion boats begin to arrive with visitors to Anan. This parade of visitors underscored just how special yesterday was for us.

We got underway around 9 am, and took our time heading up Blake Channel. We caught the flood tide which gave us a boost all the way to the Narrows. Sandy manned the helm most of the way. It was alternately foggy and rainy, and the water was interesting to read. With a slight headwind opposed to the 2 knot current, the surface was rippled as long as we were in the current. If the surface smoothed out, we knew we were in an eddy current, and the speed of the boat dropped accordingly. Once past the narrows, the tide changed and we gained the benefit of the ebb for the final dozen miles to Wragell. The scenery was very striking, with steep forested walls along the rather narrow channel, punctuated regularly by cascading waterfalls, all running strong from the recent rains. I watched closely for whales, but didn’t spot any.

We got in to Wrangell around 2:30 pm and tanked up at the fuel dock. The occasion was marked by the first appearance of sunshine in over a week. Unfortunately, it was shortlived, and was raining again soon. We looked for a spot at the transient dock and squeezed in behind a 30 foot sailboat from Seattle. Up at the harbormaster’s office, I learned that we were in the 50 foot and over section, and would have to move. Rafting of boats is the norm here, since their transient facilities are limited, and so the Seattle boat and I pulled out to retie further back. He tied up first and then we rafted up to him. He’ll be leaving tomorrow morning, so we’ll have to go through the shuffle again then. They’re nice folks, and don’t mind our walking back and forth across their cockpit.

We got laundry together and headed up for showers. We ended up at a unique establishment which catered to our every need. It was a bar, which had showers (you pay the bartender $3 for use of the shower). Laundry facilities were back with the showers. And, they serve the best pizza anywhere out front. We ate dinner while the laundry was finishing. It worked out great. Afterwards we went for a stroll to work off our dinner. Wragell actually looks like a real town, much less impacted by the cruise ships than Ketchikan. We’ll spend the day tomorrow exploring it in detail.

Distance for the day: 30 nm; total for the trip: 1001 nm

Mileage since Knudson Cove: 5.4 mpg

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