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Old 06-14-2011, 09:45 PM   #1
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Petersburg Bound

The boat is ready and we are ready** ...only a month late. Itinerary looks like this. Red Bay, Duncan Canal, Petersburg, Portage Bay, Farragut Bay, Thomas Bay, LeConte Bay (depending on ice conditions), Dry Strait, Wrangell, Zimovia Strait, Whale Tail Cove and return to Thorne Bay. Looking to get back about the 27th of June. See ya later. Pics will follow.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Have a great trip.....Arctic Traveller
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:54 AM   #3
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Eric:

Have a great trip!* I was lucky enough to have Red Bay all to myself for 2 days during my 2008 trip, and got to paddle the entire shoreline.* If heaven is like that, I would think about changing my ways.

I remember Petersburg, too.* The harbormaster*assigned me a slip, and then asked me what the name of my boat meant.* When I told him, he changed my slip so that no one passing the marina on the main street would be able to see my boat, and told me to be out of town by 8 a.m. the next morning.* He explained "why?".* I left at 6:30 a.m.* (Sea Horse II better not go there, either)

When you travel Dry Strait, I would ask that you leave some markers for me, so I can stay outta' the mud, when I try it next go round.

... waiting patiently for the pics ...

OS
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:12 AM   #4
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RE: Petersburg Bound

I remember Petersburg, too. The harbormaster assigned me a slip, and then asked me what the name of my boat meant. When I told him, he changed my slip so that no one passing the marina on the main street would be able to see my boat, and told me to be out of town by 8 a.m. the next morning. He explained "why?". I left at 6:30 a.m. (Sea Horse II better not go there, either)

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Old 06-16-2011, 12:48 PM   #5
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Petersburg
*
We pulled into the fuel dock in Petersburg late in the afternoon, near the start of our 2002 initial tour of Southeast, and after filling the diesel tank, readying for the trip to Juneau, we radioed the Harbormaster to ask for an o/n slip.* He assigned us a spot near the gangway and his office, and asked us to come immediately to his office.
*
When we entered the office and introduced ourselves as Stalwyn, he right away demanded, What does the boats name mean?* We told him.*
*
Our first vessel was purchased as a benefit of a business success with a Seattle area company, with an association with the Welsh wizard Merlin.* We used the Welsh spelling Merlyn, which is also the Welsh word for Pony, for the name of the Bayliner 2452.* My wife would not go around Cape Caution in a 24 ft. gas boat, so later I was forced to purchase a Commander 30 twin diesel.* We named the new 30 Stalwyn, (the Stallion) in recognition of our step up in size and range.
*
The Harbormaster at Petersburg told me that the majority of Petersburg residents (Scandahoovians/Norse folks) were superstitious, in the extreme, about boats with horses names or references to horses in the boat name.
*
When the Vikings loaded their ponies on their raiding vessels they would occasionally run into a North Sea or Baltic Sea storm that would get the ponies riled up and they would kick the crap outta the boat.* Over time they lost boats, horses, and men, and* started meeting increasing resistance to their raids, so they gave it up as a bad job.
*
The association of Scandanavians, boats, and anything to do with horses, was decreed to be a no-no, and that thought apparently has rooted in the modern Petersburg residents as well.
*
The harbormaster told me of a Petersburg resident who found a great boat for sale in Wrangell and purchased it, brought it back to Petersburg and added some finishing touches to it, including renaming the vessel Citation.* He was thinking award, recognition, reward, but the populace of Petersburg found out that Citation won the Kentucky Derby in 1948, and gave the poor guy the choice of moving, or selling the boat.* He didnt Ponder (another unusable boat name in Petersburg he was the Kentucky Derby winner in 1949) that decision for long.* He sold the boat.
*
He reassigned us a slip far from the main street, hidden from street view by some warehouse buildings, and instructed us to be Outta town before the residents started heading for work at 8 a.m. the next morning.*
*
We were awake early, fired up, pulled out, had breakfast while heading NW in Frederick Sound, and made Cape Fanshaw long before 8 a.m.
*
Whether he was serious, or whether he had cleverly enlisted us to contribute to the folklore of Petersburg by retelling this story, is still in doubt.* I guess we will know for certain when we attempt to return to Petersburg in Stalwyn.
*
O.S.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Thanks for the story Old Salt. My relationship with the harbormaster office has always been positive but my boat name doesn't have anything to do with a horse. It will be interesting to see how your experience is this year, if you are going there.

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Old 06-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #7
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Well We're back on the beach for a week or so then we go to Ketchikan for a few days for me to have a stomach inspection. Then north depending on what the doctors find.* In our wake we went to Red Bay, Duncan Bay, Level Island, Petersburg, St John Harbor, Wrangell, Bradfield Canal and home to Thorne Bay. The highlight of the trip was Bradfield Canal but for all the heavy mist and clouds and rain we did'nt see much. I planned to anchor at the head of the canal on the river bench but it was too shallow (15' close to high tide). Low tide would have put us on the mud in the middle of the night. We did find an acceptable anchorage before dark** .....we were getting a bit desperate.
Red Bay was as Old Salt knows a jewel. As we approached we saw 2 boats near the entrance. When we got close they started up and filed in right behind us. I did'nt know about the current there and soon was down to a bit less than 3 knots. Both the following boats crowded us as they were bigger and SD hulls. They peeled off for the 1st anchorage in the bay and we went on to the head where there was a big Selene anchored. Lots of room so anchoring was perfect as was the weather. Sunny and calm.
In the morning we went across Sumner Strait and behind Level Island. I had seen what should, may or could be a good substitute anchorage for St John Bay that I don't like. Lots of rocks and other hazards going in and I kinda expected to find basically no sign of man but there was a government float and campers on the beach. There was one boat anchored right where I wanted to anchor but the worst of it was all the crab pot floats in the immediate area. Too many crab pots in anchorages up here. We wound our way around more rocks and reefs on our way to the bottom of Duncan Canal.
Spent the day up in Duncan Canal and anchored high in the bay in the afternoon. Got out the new dinghy and the 2hp Yamadog and proceeded up the very shallow upper canal. Did'nt like the dinghy but it was'nt all bad. The beach ball floor was awful and the speed was even terrible for me. Brand new boat (if one can call it that) and it leaked** ...through the transom drain. After awhile we beached it and examined an old cabin in pieces on the beach. The little 2hp 2 stroke ran fine. It required carburetor work before we left though. Duncan is a very large and shallow bay w lots of crabbers fishing. We saw some very interesting volcanic rock formations but mostly crab fishermen. Did'nt like the anchorages I had picked out so we headed back to Level Island. Could'nt find a good place to anchor without pot floats so I dropped the anchor between 2 pots and shortened up scope. More need for short scope performance.
Went up to Petersburg through Wrangell Narrows quite slowly as the tide was'nt right for us. I'll never get tired of running this channel. Only a kiss of challenge but it's interesting all the way. This time we witnessed a Coast Guard Buoy Tender retrieving a large buoy that was far from where it should have been. As we went up the narrows we saw where buoy #5 should have been. There are 57 navigational aids in the narrows and I don't think that includes the range markers. A fun place to go and even more interesting at low tide and it was low for us. Then we noticed a dog on the rocky beach keeping pace w us. A big black lab that seemed very interested in us and soon it jumped in the water and began to swim toward our boat. About the time I was about to give up on him swimming back to the small island he was stranded on the brine scow behind us got on the radio and appealed to residents there to please rescue the dog. The dog went back to the island and I hope all went well for him. The only time I wished I had a swim step and a transom door. We stayed in the old harbor (north) and made several friends*** ...both yachties from down south and local fishermen. Across from us I saw what I believe is a boat w the same hull as Skipperdude. It's in slip #110 in the north harbor at Petersburg. Of course we did shopping and eating out. We took showers at the swimming pool and the water nozzle was a bit of a water cannon. We walked the streets and looked at houses we considered buying a few years ago. Very few places to eat out at and very few boats from down south cruising. The old north harbor in both Wrangell and Petersburg is usually jammed w boats but there was lots of space available. Of the few yachts cruising more than usual were sail boats and of course under power. Had several interesting discussions about boats, hulls and gear with mostly fishermen. One gent (Dave) built an 18' version of the Phil Bolger/Dyanamite Payson boat called Diablo. Beautiful boat and tender as he towed it without even a slight mishap from Washington State. Late in the next day we went back down Wrangell Narrows to St John Harbor to anchor for the night. Another usually crowded place w only one other boat. Sorry Old Salt**** .....I chickened out and avoided Dry Strait. If it was'nt for the current I would have done it. Talked to several in Petersburg that had run Dry Strait in a skiff but no bigger boats had done it.
In the morning we went to the east side of Zarembo Is to Roosevelt harbor where a fisherman had said there was a state float. There was but it was barely bigger than Willy. Went on to Wrangell. Called the harbormaster twice w no response. Went on in and tied up at the main float and walked up to the office. $14 a night w power. Alaska moorage is cheap compared to Canada. When I was a young man Canada had beautiful floats w red railings and moorrage was free for everybody. Went up town, ate cream pie and got sick for awhile. Met nice people here too** ...spent a extra day as well. Met an interesting chap on his sailboat from Ketchikan that was moving to Wrangell and a very nice couple from Van BC that had just bought a 42' Nordic in Kassan on POW is and were working on it. On another sailboat there was a couple that lived in Fairbanks Alaska in the winter and on thier boat in SE during the summer. The people are as interesting here in Alaska as the scenery. More eating out and shopping. We shop for things like cookware, towels, throw rugs and other stuff we can't get on Prince of Wales Is. Saw a very interesting Dutch built yacht on the hard w a very banana shaped hull much like my old Albin. Could have been a 10 knot boat but was under powered. Steel of course as are most Dutch boats.
Went to the head of Bradfield Canal via Blake Passage known locally as the back channel. The low ceiling and constant rain started here. We'd had showers in Petersburg and Wrangell but now it just rained. As we went up Bradford Canal the ceiling got lower and misty clouds were on the surface and most everywhere else too. Had the radar on but did'ny need it really. As we neared the head of the canal the GPS had us on land. Without some visibility I would have needed to chose between GPS and Radar to stay out of trouble. The GPS chart said there was 12' of water over the river shoal at low tide. There was only 10' not too far from high tide*** ......no good. Made me wish I had bilge keels. Tried 2 other places to anchor and wound up between 2 crab pot floats but otherwise fine about 3 miles from the head of the canal. Was very beautiful. I'll post many pics later. In the morning I pulled up a big limb off the bottom as my line was wrapped around a double dogleg branch on the branch. Took me 20-25 minutes to get free. What a battle that was. No mud on the anchor though. We headed for Vixen Inlet but decided to go on home. I was'nt feeling very well and 5' seas were predicted for the next day. Was a good one week SE Alaska cruise and I'm looking fwd to going to Juneau in a few weeks. Pics to follow.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:47 PM   #8
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Eric, thanks alot for sharing your boating time.* Just wetted my desire for SE again, will be up next year.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:31 PM   #9
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Eric:

Thanks for including valuable details of the anchorages you visited during your week-long trip to Petersburg and back.

I am glad you enjoyed Red Bay.* With all that anchoring space, one doesn't really*mind a few other boats for company.* But I am really ticked that you couldn't find the time to set out the reds and greens for me in Dry Strait.* That still leaves me with only Wrangell Narrows, Keku Strait, or getting my tail kicked running*north past Cape Decision, the long way around, in order to get from Sumner Strait to Frederick Sound.*

Hope to be meeting up with you one of these summers.

OS
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:03 AM   #10
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Jay,

Thanks Jay. I know many people will read my thread and enjoy it or even learn something about SE so I feel it's worth doing even w my one finger typing. Almost everyone seems interested in Alaska. Some like OS and myself can't seem to get enough. One has to be highly motivated to come up here (and go back) on a boat that goes less than 10 mph. It's a long way but some of us think it's worth it. Standing on the deck of Willy in all that mist and wilderness silence is almost a religious moment for me. Come and see us Jay.

Old Salt,

Oh well. Looks like you'll just have to blaze your own trail. I may have gone there w a faster boat but a 5 knot current could come close to totally controlling where Willy goes. With no current (or little) and a rising tide I'd have gone for sure. But one needs a rising tide w a slow boat in Wrangell Narrows anyway so Dry Strait is'nt much or any advantage anyway. And one can just as easily do the Narrows on a low tide. I just wanted to go there as I hav'nt done so. The more we see and do the more we learn and know AND the more fun we have. And the more places we can go boldly forth w confidence.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:22 AM   #11
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Eric
Thanks for the great update on your trip, we were all wondering where you were by now!! Hope all goes well with your checkup nad will look forward to your photos and to your next report from your Juneau trip.
Have a great summer
Bob
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #12
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Petersburg Bound

1.** Tidal current near Point Colpoys. Near the NE corner of Prince of Wales Is. This is not in a rapids but out in the wide open water.

2.** We're anchored in Red Bay at the head. That's my trip line buoy.

3.** Peace and solitude in Red Bay.

4.** Dinner and a happy cruising wife.

The above pics were a bit dark as I had the camera set wrong.

5.** Level Is in the distance accross Sumner Strait.

6.** Behiend Level Is. Did'nt expect the fish boat and government installation.

7.** Leaving Level Island. One needs to follow a serpentine course to avoid all the rocks.

8.** Duncan Canal is ahead to the left. Petersgurg is over the mountians to the right.

9.** One of the rocks on Castle Island.

10. Duncan Canal.

11. Upper Duncan Canal.

12. Upper Duncan Canal. All the water in the background is too shallow to navigate w tides. Had to anchor here and proceed w dinghy.

13. Willy looks better without the yellow dink on top.

14. Chris and the thing on the beach.

15. The rocks on the beach here seem to be growing.

16. More on the beach in the canal.

17. Above the high tide line.

18. Just above the beach also.

19. Sunset at anchor behiend Level Island.

20. Level Is to the right. Mountians in the distance are east toward Wrangell.

21. Seine boat entering Wrangell Narrows.

22. In Wrangell Narrows at low water.

23. Cabin across the narrows from Petersburg ----$95K.

24. Bucking the tide at Petersburg.

25. Willy in the old harbor at Petersburg.

26. I loaned this street bum my nice new wool jacket.

*











-- Edited by nomadwilly on Tuesday 28th of June 2011 06:36:29 PM
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:17 AM   #13
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RE: Petersburg Bound

Excellent! Quite a good peek at cruising SE Alaska.
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