This is a partial look at Eliason Harbor (formerly
New Thomsen) in Sitka.
We stayed in Sitka for six days. The nice, long
stopover gave me the opportunity to catch up
on the cruise photo/emails that inundated all
of your email inboxes (apologies again). The
time here also gave us a nice chance to just
harbormaster came by the boat one day while
Dave was out fishing. He said the slip owner
was going to be coming back rather suddenly
and could we move the boat – like right
now if possible. I said sure, if he would be
kind enough to slip my lines and then pick
them off the rails at the newly assigned slip.
As I brought the boat in to the new spot, he
said: “Did your husband teach you to
do that, or did you teach him?” Now that’s
what I call a politically astute harbormaster.
There are lots of things to see in Sitka. This
little guy wanted a starfish he could see clinging
to the dock. Tall Dave reached down and plucked
it off the piling for him. Aiden was delighted.
I am fascinated
by all of the fishing-boat activity in the
harbor and out on the water. Most of us don’t
realize how labor-intensive the fishing industry
is. These young men are repairing a fishing
net on a purse seiner.
fine work. The ‘master’ repairer
has a tool that he weaves through the net to “sew” it
back together. It looks like a pair of wooden
tongs with fiber wrapped around it.
The skiffs the purse seiners use are incredibly
Even their propulsion-steering gear is massive.
Very protected; very powerful. The round part
you see in the photo (around the propellor) is
called a "cort nozzle"; the whole ring
pivots to direct the prop wash and steer the
boat, which is driven by a 300 hp engine. Notice
that there is no rudder! So... there is nothing
to foul the nets. (That prop is four feet in
sun finally began to show itself again, we were
ready to move on. We had seen nothing but fog
and rain for weeks and weeks. It is strange how
cruisers seem to move in windows of weather.
Many people we met were raving about the great
sunny cruising they were having this year. Ours
had been nothing but overcast, rain, and fog
for days on end. That’s the way it goes
up here. You just never know.
Here’s the prize that we saw in the sunshine
as we headed north out of Sitka.
We really regretted
that our geologist guest did not see Mt. Edgecumbe
in the flesh. Here it is, Mike. Sorry that
we didn’t have
any sun when you were onboard to see it for
We had hoped to
go up the outside of Chichagof Island this
year, but the weather said “no!” Thirty
knot winds and nine foot seas are certainly
a no-go for most cruisers. So we made our way
back through Sergius Narrows and east into
Anchoring in Deep
Bay, then in Sitkoh Bay (at the east end of
Peril Strait) we found lots of deep water and
some slippery holding. When we brought the
anchor up in Sitkoh Bay, this newspaper kelp-laden
anchor explained the difficult set. Just as
I took this picture, a little crab leaped out
of the kelp and went splashing into the water.
Time to bail out! You can just see the splash
on the left side.
When we set the
crab pot, we hope for crabs. One year I brought
up a (very small) halibut in the crab trap.
This year, Dave brought up an 18-armed starfish.
But, of course,
this is what the crab pot is really for. This
fellow had been out there for a long time.
after the work of cleaning, picking and cooking
we proceeded up Chatham Strait, Dave continued
to regret the poor mountain viewing Mike had
endured during his rainy cruise with us so he
took lots of pictures in the sun. Mike, what
Mike had already
explained to us that the whole Baranof Island – Chichagof
Island land mass (to our west) was moving northward
compared to Admiralty Island (to our east).
The subduction zone is right in Chatham Strait.
This is where the tectonic plates meet, much
like the San Andreas fault.
This mountain rises to 3,870 feet from the waterline,
two miles inland.
Here is one of the
purse seiners working their net in North Chatham
We pulled in to
Tenakee Springs on another sunny day! This
is one of our favorite spots in SE AK. Main
street is the ONLY street.
This is the kind
of home you see.
This one too. Can
you read the sign?
In case you can’t, it says: “Never
mind the dog, beware of the man.” And above
the door? “Let cares cease.”
We like signs.
I was delighted
that we were in Tenakee for David’s
birthday. There is a nice little bakery here.
So… David had a Bakery Birthday Breakfast.
It was complete with a cinnamon roll, topped
with a candle (supplied by the Bakery).
The final gift of
the morning was a black lab that took one look
at Dave and raced to the water, clearing signaling: “You
may now throw a stick for me.” Dave joyfully
Dog and man were
Well, we finally
had to close the door on Tenakee. David promises
me he will build one like this for me.
Next, we are off