Today we're off to Wrangell just over two hours east of St. John Harbor in Sumner Strait. Wrangell started as a Russian fort in the 1830's. Over the years since, it has had boom and bust years due to gold mining around Stikine River. The Tlingit Indians also inhabited the area and Wrangell has a great museum of their culture. The city operates a well-equipped boat yard including a 200-ton Travel Lift, with competent riggers, fabricators, and repairman. These facilities were put to good use on last year's cruise when Dick Squire of Seagate decided to replace his props and straighten his prop shafts.
Sunday in Wrangell is quiet. Just a few stores are open for business. Even the grocery store and museum are closed. Unlike Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau, this town is not swayed to stay open for a cruise ship visit. We did make a stop at the open hardware/general store and replenished our supply of mascerator impellers, just in case.
Last year, when fuel was $4.10 per gallon, Seagate was forced to side-tie to Wild Blue as this dock was filled with visiting boats. This year the dock is empty with fuel at half-price.
High speed tour boats will run you to the Anan Creek bear observation for $210, and those were running with lots of cruise ship customers. Instead we made reservations for $10 via the US Forest Service website for tomorrow. We'll stop at Anan Creek on our way to Santa Anna Inlet.