Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 44-Sitka

After yesterdays rain it was nice to wake up this morning and find dry weather.  Sure, the sky was uniformly gray, but it wasn’t raining.  Today is Jeff’s last day in Sitka before he meets his son (my cousin) in Juneau and then goes to Glacier Bay for a few days.  We decided that a boat ride around the area was in order and then we’d check out some of the museums around town.

With a windy weather forecast and the strongest winds I’d seen at the dock since arriving in Sitka, I thought it best to stay in protected areas.  We first cruised up Silver Bay, a winding inlet close to town with remnants of various commercial activities along its shores.  At the head were a few homes and a hydroelectric power generation plant.  Strangely, the outflow from the hydroelectric plant seemed to be filled with jellyfish.  At first I thought we were about to run aground (the depth sounder did not agree), but upon closer inspection we were just floating atop a sea of jellyfish.
Jellyfish everywhere
On our way back to town we checked out a few coves.  The area surrounding Sitka is filled with islands and coves, many of which have homes in them.  I suspect most of these homes are for seasonal residents.  We pulled into one cove and dropped the anchor for a bit.  Jeff took a quick nap; I read.
Abandoned vessels in one cove
Jeff in front of a tiny cave
After that we headed the few miles back to Sitka.  With no cruise ship in town we tied up to the centrally located cruise ship tender dock, grabbed lunch, and checked out the Sheldon Jackson museum and the Russian Bishops House.  Lots of interesting information, first about how the natives lived in this part of the world and then about how the Russians did.  Both stops were worthwhile.

By mid afternoon Jeff headed back to his hotel and I moved the boat back to the proper marina.  The previous day a nearly new Nordhavn 60 (named Daybreak) had pulled into town.  I’ve been a fan of Nordhavn boats for a long time now, ever since I first saw a 62 pull into Roche Harbor as a kid.  For those who don’t know, Nordhavn’s are long-range powerboats, capable of crossing oceans and traveling nearly anywhere.  People have taken them through the Northwest Passage, around the Southern capes, through the Aleutians, and around the world.  I’d love a 40 or 46.

Anyway, I talked to the owner and Jeff and I got a complete tour of the boat.  The finish work was flawless, the mechanicals seemed to be well thought out, and everything about the boat seemed up to the task of going anywhere.  The owners, Jerome and Karen couldn’t have been nicer.

After the Nordhavn tour Jeff and I grabbed dinner and he headed back to his hotel for the night.  I got back to the boat and got caught up on a few things before the scramble of Dad arriving and then departing Sitka tomorrow.

25.8 nm today and 1,683.9 total

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