Friday, June 24, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: Our final day, back to Ketchikan

Day 24:  Fishing at Clover Pass and back down Tongass Narrows to Ketchikan.  20-miles

The city of Ketchikan - Ports & Harbors, operates multiple marinas such as the Thomas Basin, Bar Harbor (both in downtown) and the fairly new Knudson Cove marina out on the southwest corner of Revillagigedo Island.  This is a great location and nice facility near Clover Pass which historically has been good fishing.  We spent the night there in anticipation of finally getting my salmon...

Ketchikan's Knudson Cove Marina - early morning.  Cinnamon Girl at left.

If you have been a loyal reader of this series then you know my relationship with the salmon thus far has been a one-way affair.   In the past we have been fishing on incoming & high-slack tides, bait fish flashing, known good spots, but never with any other boats in the area which would indicate that currently the fishing is productive.  Clover Pass on this morning is different as there are a bunch of boats here.  This could be my day!

The cruise ship was not trolling, everyone else was.  Click for larger image.

We trolled for three hours.  No strikes.  We did see one of the professional charter boats net a small salmon, maybe 6-8 pounds, but that was the only action.   Later at the Bar Harbor docks I met Rick, a commercial fisherman who said that all the fish are down at the south end of Prince of Wales or out at Sitka, that they have not come "inside" yet.  He did mention that anyone can limit on Kings just south of town at Herring Cove, near the hatchery.  In fact the State had just raised the possession limit to six Kings in that specific location because of excessive hatchery fish beyond their need, if I had only known that a day earlier...

Alaska Marine Lines - the lifeline from Seattle to Southeast.  Trucks & boats on top!

Tongass Narrows is the 14-mile long channel that separates Revillagigedo and Gravina Islands.  Gravina provides the protection for Ketchikan and is the home of the Ketchikan Airport.  You may remember the "bridge to nowhere" issue during the 2008 presidential election; it was to span this channel leading to the airport now served by a 5-minute ferry ride.  It is a fun passage as every kind of boat imaginable is here, some never to leave, others just arriving.

Former Navy PT boat, now a yacht moored on the Narrows.  Very cool!

There is tremendous activity along Tongass, I must admit it is a bit of a shock after so much solitude.

Cruise ships docked & anchored in Ketchikan.  They will be busy at Thomas Basin today!

Bar Harbor Basin, slip #9-13, Ketchikan Alaska.  Our final destination.

I would like to thank Marc & Myra for making Cinnamon Girl available to us for this fantastic trip.  Cindy & I really enjoyed her.  The American Tug is a wonderful expedition cruiser, she was all systems go all the time.  A comfortable and capable passage maker.  We did not want to go home.

British Columbia and Alaska are incredible, the scenery is gorgeous and the wildlife was way beyond our expectations.   We had so much fun!

I want to go back; it seems to me that Southeast Alaska has two ecosystems and we navigated the southern coastal region, that still leaves the northern glaciated fjords to explore.  The areas north of Petersburg includes Tracy Arm, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Icy Straits, and others. I want to chip clear ice into my drink.  I would like to see the Anan Wildlife Observatory when the Pinks are running.  I would like to see two fishing poles with simultaneous hook-ups.  There is so much more...

Our trip was a one-way delivery with a little extra time in Southeast Alaska.  The schedule was tight and we moved at a fast pace.  I would have enjoyed another month there, or more, much more.  We passed through the central British Columbia coast very fast, there is a tremendous amount of cruising to be done between Cape Caution and Prince Rupert.  I have been fortunate to have cruised Desolation Sound and the Broughton's several times and look forward to seeing this area again soon.   The Inside Passage is an incredible cruising paradise that begs to be explored.  We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area with friendly neighbors. 

Trip stats:
24 days
1238 nautical miles covered over ground (per Nobeltec & GPS)
1179 nautical miles covered over water (per the Log)
188.7 engine hours total
2.99 gallons per hour average includes travel, trolling, furnace and generator.
0 salmon (that one hurts)
Many, many crab...

Thanks for reading our blog, 

Steve & Cindy Scruggs
Expedition Yacht Sales, LLC
Cell: 206-930-6139

Call me for your next expedition yacht!