And we apologize in advance if we inadvertently omitted any of you; it wasn't out of malice... We will simply claim it was our understanding at the time that you were in a witness protection program... or chalk it up to Cruisenheimer's...And before we begin... Read this post if you want to see how well we did with our pre-2015 planning...
We left Fairbanks the middle of January, to attend the Seattle Boat Show. We stayed at the Woodinville B & B, and the hospitality was excellent as usual. MANY purchases were made, [boats are demanding mistresses...] especially since we had our 28 ft trailer, camper, and truck and we filled all to capacity for an eventual trip to Wrangell.
|Plenty of new boats to look at, as well as many vendors just waiting to help outfit your boat.|
And as usual, a trip to Seattle means a visit with my daughter Alexa.
|Donna and Alexa|
|Model of life aboard an early Naval sailing ship.|
|Byrd's sextant used in his 1938 expedition to Antarctic.|
|Many ship models to look at, amazing detail.|
|House Restoration Project|
|Being towed out of the mud.|
|Too much rain-soaked ground.|
|Pete and Cyndi|
|Donna and Bill at the beach.|
|We pulled off at night in highway pull-outs.|
|Loaded on the Alaska Ferry in Prince Rupert, bound for Wrangell.|
We left the trailer in a storage area in Wrangell, and got back on the ferry with the truck/camper, and sailed for Haines.
|The scenery was spectacular!|
|March: temporarily snowed in.|
|Tubs, all labeled and ready to go.|
|Sold the trailer sailboat, the MacGregor, Bill is delivering it to Homer, and it's new owner.|
|Our last float trip on the Chena River with friends.|
|Fully loaded car, inside and out.|
|2 kitties in 2 kennels, added to 1 boat.|
|Greased pole contest, winner gets $100.00 bill that is tacked on the end of the pole.|
|Hometown Heroes; the theme for 2015.|
|The usual parade fire trucks throwing candy, and blaring horns.|
|One of the contests in the logging show, trees cut from the forests on the island. BIG!|
|Downtown closed to traffic, open to having fun!|
The O'Family arrived soon after, and we enjoyed taking them to see local sights.
- Madan Bay
- Frosty Bay
- Anan Wildlife Observatory
- Wrangell Narrows
- Le Conte Glacier
And fishing, swimming, (yes in the ocean, not me though, just them), crabbing, dinghy rides, kayaking, good food, and living on a 43ft boat for 10 days. See the story here: O'Family Vacation
After our guests had left for home, we decided we would like to see some of Prince of Wales Island, so off we went. St Johns Harbor is a great anchorage on the way, and due to some inclement weather, we spent a few days in Labouchere Bay, which is a large bay on the NorthWest tip of Prince of Wales.
We were expecting our next guests in Ketchikan, and we needed to head there to pick them up. As serendipity would have it, some cruising friends of Bill's from his days in Valdez were going to be in Ketchikan just a few days before our next guests arrive. We made a beeline for Wrangell, got some supplies, and headed for Ketchikan. It was wonderful to connect with old friends, new, and renew. I was totally amazed at how much sailing Sophie and Didier do in a year on their yacht Sauvage. [They came up from Japan to Alaska for this summer, then on to Mexico and Chile before enjoying our winter, or their summer in Polynesia...] They had this sailboat built for them, and they literally sail ALL over the world. If you want an ADVENTURE, these are the people to contact: Sauvage Sailing Expeditions .
As Sauvage left, Pete and Cyndi arrived. We filled our diesel tanks, acquired groceries at Safeway in Ketchikan, and weighed anchor.
We tied up to a public floating dock for the night in Helm Bay. This was the first public dock we have used, and it was secure and clean.
The next day we left for Traitor Cove and a bear viewing area at Margaret Creek. We stayed several days there, the weather was wonderful, the scenery was terrific, and we saw bears. There was a road that the tour companies use for the tourists they fly in on float planes, they drive buses, we walked it.
Great bear viewing, several black bears fishing, and as we were packing up to hike back to the boat, a mama bear and her 3 cubs came very close. It was the first time I took my bear spray out of it's holster, and got ready to use it. I have pictures of bears, but sorry none of mama bear. I was too busy thinking about how not to use it on a mother bear and her three cubs.
We had wonderful sunny weather in Traitor Cove, and enjoyed our stay. Float planes were coming and going, noisy, but fun to watch.
|Sunset is always beautiful in St Johns Harbor.|
|Ya gotta eat....|
|Our neighbor one day in Labouchere Bay, the floatplane landed, transferred supplies, and then took off again.|
|Sophie and Didier on S/V Sauvage.|
|Heading up Behm Canal.|
|Bill, Cyndi, and Pete in Helm Bay.|
|Pete and Cyndi on the road to Margaret Creek to see bears.|
|Black bear in Margaret Creek|
|2 Baby bears, soooo cute.|
Clarence Strait is the way home, and after this last trip to Ketchikan, it has become my least favorite Southeast Alaska waterway so far. The transit to Ketchikan was lumpy, but not bad, and we saw whales, but the transit north was very uncomfortable. We had 20-25knot winds on the bow, and 4-5 foot seas. This strait is hemmed in by islands, and the wave occurrence is short and very choppy. We had several hours of this, and even one of the cats was seasick. There aren't any duck-out bays, and we had to persevere until we reached Meyers Chuck.
Meyers Chuck is a small community of mostly vacation cabins, and very protected from the wave action out in Clarence Strait. We negotiated the narrow opening, and set the anchor in near darkness. This was a first for me, and fortunately we accomplished it without any problems, and whew, it was over. (Bill is totally accomplished at all of the above, so no worries.)
|Denali Rose anchored in the bay at Meyers Chuck|
Bill flew back to Fairbanks the beginning of September to work on the house, and spent quite a bit of time blowing snow out of the driveway.
|A ridiculous amount of snow.|
|Taking Dad out for exercise, and fresh air, with my brother, and niece, Dad, and Ellen.|
|Lord Nelson Hotel|
|Another museum fix: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.|
|Recognize this from "Thomas the Tank Engine"?|
|The government offices in Stratford, Ontario, close to Waterloo. I love the architecture.|
|Enjoying the game!|
|Beautiful fall colors in the trees.|
|Ready for the trick-or-treaters.|
We spent Thanksgiving with some new friends at their beautiful home in Wrangell, and we had more food than our group could have eaten in a week. Ham, turkey, all the trimmings, and TWELVE pies- each one different. We went home with plenty of leftovers. [Thank you Pam and Dan!]
We had to stage this photo before we left for dinner, however, just for fun...
The town had a "Midnight Madness" night, really only till 10:00pm, but that is later than normal, as most all business downtown close at 5:00pm. We had a special tree lighting, bonfires in the street, places to roast marshmallows, (all provided), and the fire department was giving out hot chocolate, and popcorn. Local handicrafts were for sale in the lobby of the Stikine Hotel.
We had to stage this photo before we left for dinner, however, just for fun...
|Our "boat" Thanksgiving meal.|
|Warming bonfire barrel|
|Marshmallow roasting barrel full of glowing charcoal [which doesn't show in this photo...]|
|Wrangell's downtown Christmas Tree.|
|Dad, in the Dodge Charger he bought for his 90th birthday.|
We will be spending about 3-4 months this winter in Fairbanks, as we finish our projects in the house, and either rent it or get in on the market to sell in early spring. At the writing of this, the temperature is supposed to drop to -40°F this week, and it makes me wish I was back in Wrangell, where it will be a 70 degrees warmer... [+30°F]
We were blessed to be able to go many places, enjoy new sights, spend time with family and friends this past year. Here's to more adventures in the upcoming one.
May all of you have a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!