Today is a day to adjust the body clock, do some sightseeing and a preliminary provisioning run. We’ll buy some wine and beer, and check out the various sources for fish, meats, groceries and the like.

I always like to find out the best source so when the big day of shopping comes, it can be as easy and straightforward as possible.

Having a rental car (nice term for what was clearly an old beater),  we decided to drive out to the end of the road and see what there was too see. It was quite windy, with white caps along the Tongass Narrows. As the road changed from paved to gravel, we passed a few busses from the cruise ships obviously on same mission as us. We had a map of the various “points of interest” along the way. However, none were marked. Karen asked, “How do they expect you to find these spots?”  My reply, “They don’t,  but the bus drivers know where they are, that that’s what’s important.” Ketchikan is a cruise ship-centric little town. The area near the docks exists solely to serve the big ships.

When they arrive, no matter the time, the town opens up and welcomes the guests. The lumberjack display kicks in, even if it’s 7 am in the morning. I have been awakened a few times by the sound of the crowd cheering for one or another of the men dressed in plaid. The other change you notice is that when the cruise ships are in town, there are cross walk guards at every intersection. I wonder how many voyagers they ran over before they started that service?

We did find a waterfall along the road. It was not much to speak of, but after all our searching we had to get out and take a picture. Imagine if you came here on a cruise ship and then piled into a bus and this was the one the highlights of the excursion? To each his own.


Karen at The Falls


Bob joins in the tourist excitement


The Falls is all their glory

As we made our way back into town along the road that parallels Tongass Narrows, we spotted five Grand Banks heading north toward to town. It was the Mother Goose crowd from Northwest Explorations(, the charter company that we’re scheduled to pick up our boat from tomorrow. We stopped at a small marina with a dock and as the lead ship, Deception approached, we called the Captain, Brian Pemberton, owner of Northwest Explorations. We exchanged welcomes and offered to lend a hand tending lines as they docked as the wind and current were being the usual nuisance in Ketchikan. Mother Goose had come in a day early owing to the gales that were forecast to begin that night….but they declined our help and so we headed off for some provisioning. We checked out the Safeway (best), the Walmart (just OK, but not bad for cookware if needed) and bought a bunch of wine and beer. We were pleased to see our favorite, Alaskan Amber, readily available. It’s brewed in Juneau and really quite good.


The Mother Goose fleet makes it way north, up the Tongass Narrows

We joined the group from Mother Goose at Annabelle’s, one of the local attractions. The food is good, the atmosphere a bit touristy, but they do a good job of handling such a large group. Everyone was happy with their selection.

As usual with a Mother Goose “leg”, the boaters were a fun and interesting group that had bonded over their 3 week journey from Bellingham, WA to Ketchikan via the Western coastline of Vancouver Island. A very small percentage of cruisers can say they traveled “the outside” and now these lucky mariners can claim that accomplishment.

In case you were wondering, my missing bag did finally arrive at 3:15 pm today. This is only one reason we build in buffer days at the start of such a long and remote journey. We headed back to the Cape Fox Lodge well fed and ready to sleep.