Cruising on Just Lucky

The travels of the sailboat Just Lucky and the able crew

17 December 2021
17 December 2021
17 December 2021
16 December 2021
16 December 2021
16 December 2021
13 October 2021
13 October 2021 | Avila Beach
22 September 2021
01 September 2021
11 August 2021
18 December 2017 | Sitka, AK
12 December 2017 | Sitka
12 December 2017 | Peril Strait / Appleton Cove
11 December 2017 | Warm Springs, Baranof Island
10 October 2017 | Portage Bay - Kake Village
10 October 2017 | Petersburg, AK
31 August 2017 | Wrangell Narrows to Petersburg
31 August 2017 | Wrangell, Ak - Low tide boat work
30 August 2017 | Anan Bear Observatory

Ketchikan 7/28/2017

15 August 2017 | Ketchikan, AK
Ron
Our route and current location: [Note - I forgot to turn on tracking for a while - the track is discontinuous but does pick up later]
https://share.garmin.com/RonRisden
For those following along at home - and at work - the Sail Blog app is just a straight line, giving our anchored locations - where we end for the day. The Garmin track linked above, which starts in Powell River, gives a fairly continuous track of our travels; showing the ins and outs (and backtracking) we are doing. Also you will notice that the dates of the writing may seem a little off. Entries get written when there is a good internet connection and may reflect that date. We will try to start putting the date(s) we are at a specific location into the heading.

Ketchikan is an interesting place. It started out as a logging/fishing town as did quite a few towns in South East Alaska. When that economy started to go a little flat, the town turned to a different source of income. Nowadays, during the summer months, there are usually 4 to 5 large cruise liners parked in the "historic" downtown area. I say historic in quotes because while some of the original buildings (early to mid 1900's) have been renovated, many more have been constructed more recently but built in an old style fashion. It gives the appearance of an old town movie set. The fact that so many of the streets that front the water side have wooden board walks only adds to the feeling of a movie set. In fact, most of the stores and shops in this section of town have contracts with, or are totally owned by the cruise lines. The folks coming to visit 'wild Alaska' are looking at the same merchandise that is in St Thomas or St Croix in the Caribbean; the goods just get rolled up at the end of the season in Alaska, and transported to the next seasonal destination for the ships. Not quite the experience we were looking for.

The town itself has a population that is one of the larger ones in SE Alaska. There is still a viable economy there that is not dependent upon the tourist trade from the cruise lines; it is just smaller than the one that runs from June to end of August. Many charter fishing boats are there as well as a lot of the local government services. The Coast Guard has a base that as well as the US Customs and Border Patrol. The airport has many flights arriving from the lower 48 that make Ketchikan the first stop. Travelers continue on via commercial jet or float plane or one of the many ferries in the Alaska state ferry system.

Finally no small story of Ketchikan would be complete without mention of the 'liquid sunshine'. Living in Seattle, we always get asked about the rain a lot. The average rainfall in Seattle is @ 63 inches a year; but only @ 5 or 6 days that get more than 1" at a time. That means it rains frequently, but lightly in Seattle.

Ketchikan gets an average of 140 to 150 inches a year. Think about that. 12 feet of water falling out of the sky in an average year. The record is somewhere @ 200 inches in a single year. It is the wettest spot in SE Alaska - which is the wettest section of Alaska as a whole - and one of the wettest in the US.

Given that, the entertainment value was great as we watched when a cruise ship would pull up and the passengers would get off to check out the town. They were ready; they had their cruise line approved rain gear - basically similar to a large plastic garbage bag with holes cut out for your head and arms. As the sky started to open up, the raingear failed under these conditions and the passengers headed back in droves to the ships. The only problem is that once off the ship, you need to "clear" back on, using your personal ID and the cruise line issued ID. If you have never gone through it, the process is a little like clearing the TSA checkpoint at the airport, just not quite as severe. The lines on the uncovered ramps quickly grew to over a ½ hour long. Not my idea of a fun cruise.

We walked around town in our foul weather gear, covered from head to toe in waterproof stuff, and had a great time; we even went on the boardwalk where we came across the infamous 'Red Light district' where we took the shot shown at the top of the blog entry.
Comments
Vessel Name: Just Lucky
Vessel Make/Model: Pacific Seacraft 40
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Ron & Kirsten Risden
About: Retired and seeking new places to travel to and explore. Traveling up the Inside Passage to SE Alaska and exploring the coast along the way.
Just Lucky's Photos - Main
5 Photos
Created 17 December 2021
2 Photos
Created 17 December 2021
3 Photos
Created 16 December 2021
3 Photos
Created 16 December 2021
Baha Haha Event
7 Photos
Created 16 December 2021
4 Photos
Created 13 October 2021
3 Photos
Created 13 October 2021
4 Photos
Created 22 September 2021
Local highlights
6 Photos
Created 1 September 2021
Photos of the Powell River area and just prior to Desolation Sound proper
5 Photos
Created 29 July 2017
Shots from the trip up and back and in the Inlet
6 Photos
Created 29 July 2017
Pender Harbor photos
4 Photos
Created 29 July 2017
Shots of the Cove and the hike we took
4 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
Various photos along the way
3 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
Shots of the Strait and Bowen Island activities
4 Photos
Created 12 May 2017
Places we've eaten or had a drink along the way that we enjoyed
7 Photos
Created 12 May 2017
Things we did in Ganges
5 Photos
Created 12 May 2017
Boats and other vehicles or mechanical items I've seen along the way that I thought were cool or looked very nice
5 Photos
Created 12 May 2017
Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca
2 Photos
Created 29 April 2017
Photos of the boat and boat projects
9 Photos
Created 27 April 2017