Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 36-Bartlett Cove to Hoonah

Peter and Grandma have a flight out of Gustavus around 5:30 this evening, but nothing else to do.  I spent the morning making phone calls to Sitka, scheduling a haul out and maintenance work, and ordering a new, lower pitch prop.  Without cell phone service and exceptionally poor internet connectivity, this proved to be quite time consuming.  I ended up finishing everything around 11:30, Grandma got checked out of her hotel room, and we ate lunch before heading out in the boat to find some more whales and drop Grandma and Peter off in Gustavus for their flight.
View back towards Glacier Bay after leaving
We were once again rewarded with many whales, including one that surfaced no more than 40 feet from the boat.  I was turned around taking a picture of Peter and Grandma when Peter yelled out a whale was dead ahead.  I quickly cut engine power and we watched as it surfaced four more times.  More porpoises, otters, seals, and sea lions as well.
This guy is close!
A view that never gets old...
Peter and Grandma while whale watching
Soon after dropping Peter and Grandma off the rain began pouring down.  I headed for Hoonah to fill up the gas tanks and jerry cans for the 120nm trip down to Sitka.  Unfortunately I arrived at the Hoonah fuel dock at 5:32 pm, and they close at 5:30.  I didn’t know what time they closed, because they hadn’t answered their phone or VHF all day.  As I approached an employee came out of the office, I thought to help me tie up my lines, but instead he told me I was too late for gas.  They don’t open until 9:00 am tomorrow, so there goes my early departure.

Without gas I headed into the marina for the night.  The marina claims to monitor VHF 16, but my calls went unanswered.  Eventually another cruiser suggested I call on 09, and I did get in touch with the marina.  While the marina appears to be half full at best, the guy on the radio seemed concerned that there wasn’t space for me and had me drive around for 30 minutes while he tried to find an open spot.  I don’t know if he wasn’t looking or what, but there must have been at least 100 different spots that I could have easily fit into.  So far Hoonah is 0 for 2 in being accommodating.  Indeed, the fuel dock staff seems to be the least helpful yet, and the marina staff seems clueless. 

With heavy rain falling I got hooked up to shore power and just hung out on the boat, catching up with writing this blog and watching a few episodes of The West Wing.  Tomorrow I’ll pick up gas and then head down Chatham Strait.  I may stop at Tenakee Springs for the night, since it is supposed to be a nice, funky little village, or I may try to make it further.  I’ll just see how I’m feeling, how the weather is, and how much daylight I have to work with.

37.5 nm today and 1,490.1 total

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