How to get to Ketchican from Foggy Bay without an engine
28 May 2022 | Foggy Bay, Alaska to Ketchican, Alaska
Having anchored in Foggy Bay, Alaska without an operating engine, we wondered how to get 35 miles to Ketchican. We had our dinghy and 15 hp outboard, but only 5 gallons of gas. We were also concerned about our boat batteries getting too low. We had anchored in 48' of water
not thinking about Alaska tides of 17'. We let out 150' of 3/8" chain weighing alot. When we left Foggy Bay, we were lucky to be able to use our anchor windlass for most of the lift. I had the manual lever available, and used it for 15' only. With the dinghy strapped along side Julia Max,
we were able to move the mother ship as much as 3 knots without over doing it. At least long enough to get out of the reef-protected harbor, and out into the main channel ultimately leading to Ketchican. After mid-day we saw as much as 13 knots of wind which allowed us to go 5-6 knots.
In addition we had a favorable flood tide which gave us an additional 1.3 knots. As we came into the last channel about ten miles from our final dock, the wind was dieing. At a particular constriction in the channel, only one boat could get through at a time. An ocean cruise ship called us
on VHF 16, and asked us to stop, and let them go through first since we weren't sure we could maintain our speed. So we turned into the wind, and hoved to, stopping our boat's meager progress. Losing time and speed, we struck our sails, and dinghy assisted the final four miles to our
dock at North Bar Harbor, on a large square dock used by fisherman to repair their nets. The dock landing was somewhat comical, affected by an unsuspected side current. I was maneuvering from side to side, pointing the bow in the right direction, and finally pushing from the rear to get
the boat in time before being overpowered by the current. 12 hours from portal to portal. Some of the best light air sailing that we have done!