Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015-17 Petersburg, Wrangell, Anan Creek Bears, Santa Anna Inlet, Ketchikan

August 9th:  Petersburg, Wrangell and Zimovia Strait

Last night after walking the town, we ignored Petersburg's dining and enjoyed dinner aboard.  It's an easy run down Wrangell Narrows towards Wrangell.  We need to leave around 8:30 this morning to ride the tide up to the Narrows midpoint and high slack, then down exiting into Sumner Strait.  Sunny weather with calm winds and seas ushers us into Wrangell at 2PM for a 3-hour tour.  After some light provisioning, we did a walk-about town, then up to Wrangell's Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park.  Here we photo'd some interesting Petroglyphs.

A wide spot on a sunny day in Wrangell Narrows.

 Petroglyph #1
 Petroglyph #2
 Petroglyph #3
By 5PM we were ready to motor down Zimovia Strait for an anchorage closer to Anan Bay and the Anan Creek bear viewing site.  Three hours later we set the hook just south of the S-turn in the lee of the islands due east of Whitetale Cove.

August 10th: Zimovia, Anan Bay Bears, Santa Anna Inlet

By 6:30AM we hauled the anchor and got going to arrive at Anan Bay before the bear viewing crowds.  We couldn't break through the USFS website to make a reservation as the all the bear viewing slots were booked.  This is typical as the commercial passenger operators out of  Wrangell get preference, or at least know the secrets as to when the reservations will be offered by USFS, leaving none available for private boaters.  It costs $10 per person for a reservation with USFS and the commercial operators charge $200-$400 round trip, depending on demand.

We arrived at 8:30AM and took the tender boat to the base of the USFS trail to see if we could go "standby".  The very friendly USFS interns, who carry large gauge shotguns, said they were booked, but invited us to hang out.  Three hours later, they called us on VHF 16.  We paid our $10 each and spent several hours with the ursine.  See last year's Blog entry for some nice bear video.  Back at the boat, we fetched a nice bottle of red vino and delivered to the intern's quarters, a float home anchored in the Bay, as a thank you for accommodating us.

At 4PM we stowed the tender and departed for Santa Anna Inlet.  This is one of Pat's favorites and we've missed it since August 2009.  On arrival at the Inlet, the waters were calm and the salmon were jumping.

August 11th: Santa Anna to Ketchikan

At 8AM we started towards Ketchikan and once around Lemesurier Point and abeam of Meyers Chuck the sea had a bit of current against wind, creating some stomach churning wave action.  I hope the crew chewed their breakfast well!  We eventually arrived in Ketchikan at 3:30 on City Float.  The Floats were booked so we moved to Bar Harbor and then walked to dine at the great restaurant of the same name, which moved from Bar Harbor and has new home near City Float!

A great local favorite has relocated near City Float.

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