In my last post about this summer’s sailing (Back to Alaska), I mentioned that we were in Petersburg awaiting parts for our engine. Well, that ended up dragging on for over two weeks! We thought we’d have them in just a few days, but it turned out that they didn’t actually get shipped from the place we’d ordered them until 11 days after we’d placed the order!! That would have been frustrating on its own, but what made it worse was that the merchant kept telling us he had shipped them when in fact he had not, so it was difficult for us to plan. For example, had we known it was going to take so long, we might have jury-rigged something and cruised locally around Petersburg instead of sitting at the dock. Nonetheless, we did manage to make good use of our time in Petersburg. And, as it’s one of the loveliest towns in Southeast Alaska, it wasn’t a bad place to be waiting!
Our first weekend in Petersburg was the annual Viking Fest, celebrating Petersburg’s Norwegian heritage. There was a parade featuring a large model long-ship, a “herring toss” competition (literally throwing a dead herring to your partner), craft and baked-goods market, toy battle-ax toss for the children, and an all-you-can-eat shrimp feed served by Petersburg’s local “Vikings”.
In the week after Viking Fest, the weather deteriorated, so we took the opportunity to do our computer work, getting as much done as possible before the sun returned over Memorial Day weekend.
With a high pressure settled over the central Alaskan Panhandle, we played in our dinghy, did a few more hikes (including actually summiting Petersburg Mountain – the snow had melted sufficiently since our earlier attempt), and went fishing (without great success – the salmon have been slow to start running this year and we’re not superb anglers…). Click on any of the images to display a slideshow:
Once our engine parts finally arrived, it was the work of an afternoon to put everything to rights and then we set off early the next morning for a 70-mile motor-sail to Baranof Island – a favorite haunt of ours. The waterfall there was roaring – more water than we’d seen in previous years, mostly on account of it being early June instead of late July when we’ve been there before. We did a little more hiking, a bit of trout-fishing, made a new friend who runs a charter boat, and soaked in the hot springs.
As it was already the second week of June by that point, we left Baranof earlier than we’d have liked and went through Peril Strait to the Pacific over the course of two days. En route, we got a great showing of two humpback whales bubble-net-feeding – they really surprised us when they surfaced right next to Celeste!
And in one of our anchorages, another boat very generously gave us a few of the Dungeness crabs they’d gotten in their traps.
Once through Peril Strait, we set our bow west and headed across the Gulf of Alaska for Prince William Sound. Stayed tuned – hopefully I’ll manage to sort out our pictures and write something up about that before too many more weeks (months?) go by!