Since leaving Petersburg we’ve taken our time meandering down the outside of Prince of Wales Island. Prince of Wales Island made me think Canada, but we are still in Alaska.It is definitely the route less traveled. With the exception of fishing vessels, we have seen very few pleasure boats. Most anchorages are all ours and the weather has been quite nice. As I write, I am wearing shorts and it is about 70 degrees. Alaskans are loving what they call an unseasonably hot summer here and so are we.
This week we landed at the El Capitan Caves along the El Capitan narrows during minus tide (and rising). At one point we had 7 ft. under our boat, our keel draws 5 ft. but an inch is as good as a mile, right? So our reward was meeting the two outstanding young women that are working for the Alaska Forestry Service this summer. Tiara is working on her PhD in Geography and Karen, from Wisconsin, is working towards an undergrad in environmental science. She and Mike enjoyed reliving our trip to Wisconsin and their love of cheese curds. But seriously, after climbing 370 steep steps we got our own personal tour into the limestone cave. We enjoyed the stalagmites and stalactites, the different features, etc., etc. At one point, we all turned off our headlights and it was absolutely pitch black. The nice part was listening to the dripping sounds coming from many different directions inside the cave and it’s miles and miles of walkways. We of course were only allowed to climb through the cobbles a short distance into the cave itself with guides but it was fun nonetheless. Both our guides rode back with us in the dinghy to our boat for a soda and short break from land and wanted take a look at our “home” before they had to get back to work. These two really love their jobs!
Since then just anchoring here and there until we landed in Craig where there are 1,200 residents. It’s a dusty little town with more nice locals and a few nice areas to walk and hike which we enjoyed while grazing on salmon and thimbleberries. Until today we were pinned into our slip due to all the purse seiner fishing boats that returned to the marina. There were lots and lots of young, tough fishing men in port the last couple of days. We anticipate leaving today or early in the morning . Did I mention there are 30kt winds and 10 ft. seas awaiting us at the Dixon entrance on our way to Prince Rupert, B.C.? Maybe we will take our time getting there….