Resolute Reaches AK — and the Final Leg Before St Elias

Day 10—Prince Rupert to Ketchikan
April 14, 2009

We enjoyed previous night out in Prince Rupert-late start the following day. Beautiful day with lots of patches of blue sky to do the 90-mile border run to Ketchikan, USA. Auto-pilot seemed “possessed” today by the magnetic disturbances which spun us circles. Taylor spotted a whale spouting and then breaching.

Day 11—Ketchikan to Meyers Chuck
April 15, 2009

Arrived in Ketchikan at 4 a.m. Alaska time and woke up the Customs Officer, who then came down and “did his check.” He noticed the stove and zoomed in on that for whatever reason-no contraband, buddy! Back on American soil where beer was cheaper (less tax), we raided the liquor store in addition to picking up groceries. The wind parted the gib sheet from the genoa (one of the sails) and prompted a quick response to recapture the sail. This was the first day we were exclusively under sail power-money saved on diesel would be well used for beer. We docked in Meyers Chuck, which was a well-protected hidden bay with a handful of houses. We replenished our drinking water supply from a mountain lake a mile away.

Day 12— Meyers Chuck to a bay at south-end of Wrangell Narrows
April 16, 2009

We woke up in Meyers Chuck to a seaplane that was taking the ladies from the handful of houses “into town (Ketchikan) to go shopping.” Cold temperatures all day, though no favorable winds to take advantage of for sailing. In the afternoon, a pod of porpoises escorted us for almost an hour. Strong winds kept the crew awake most of the night anchoring in our first gale-we kept thinking that the boat was going to run aground.

Day 13—Wrangell Narrows to Hobart Bay
April 17, 2009

Did an early morning start to ride the tide into Petersburg, another major Alaskan fishing town. Captain Steve nearly sunk us by having a near-miss through Wrangell Narrows. We continued northward from Petersburg and caught great wind through Frederick Sound, sailing all afternoon picking up good speed (8 knots). This turned into our best sailing day yet, getting good speed sailing on a broad reach-the crew broke out the wine and any remaining beer left on board. Spirits were high…then the spirits ran out, but the crew was still happy.

Day 14—Hobart Bay to Juneau
April 18, 2009

The porpoises returned in the morning riding our bow, but we were done with them and so they soon left. The team spent the day making wands and taking inventory of mountain food supply. David calculated that we would need 450,000 more calories for our time on the mountain. “We f’ing need 50 more jars of f’ing nutella,” Tauru exclaimed in sailor talk. Meanwhile, Steve’s engineering genius fixed the auto-pilot otherwise, we would have to steer the entire way to Icy Bay.

Upon entering Juneau, there was a bridge that had a passing height of 50 ft. “I’m not sure the mast is going to clear it,” Captain Steve said. So Taylor climbed to the top of the mast as we approached the bridge to let us know whether we would clear it or not. He gave the thumbs-up while hanging on to dear life-the slight drizzle didn’t help much.

Day 15— Day in Juneau shopping
April 19, 2009

Spent the day pillaging Costco and various stores for last minute items before hittin’ up the Alaskan Brewing Company for free samples. The Barley Wine brew clocked in at 10.4% alcohol by volume and sent us into a spin. We got a ride back to the boat with some guy who had rotten seal blubber for bear in the back of his truck…where Tauru and Taylor were piled in. We sail for Icy Bay the following day-Juneau is three-quarters of the way to Saint Elias and a month on the mountain.



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