Ketchikan to Meyers Chuck

After a night of heavy rain, we awoke to calm winds and not a ripple in the marina. It is a good day to leave Ketchikan for Meyers Chuck.  

We cast off at 7:58am, two minutes before our planned departure. I guess we were excited to get on our way. The skies quickly went from mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to downright sunny. The winds were light ranging from 5 to 10 knots. A perfect day for cruising.  

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Just north of Ketchikan, the answer to the question: “Where do I keep my boat?”  

As we approached northern end of Tongass Narrows, a Norwegian cruise ship was starting to enter the head of Tongass Pass, southbound to Ketchikan. We called the bridge on channel 13 and worked out a plan for passing. They were very nice and appreciative of the call. There was not much traffic on our trip. We saw the occasional long liner and a couple of local go-fast aluminum runabouts, but not much else.  

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Our first cruise ship passing of this trip  

Karen did most of the helm work on this leg, as I was preoccupied with trying to find out why my Nobeltec navigation program would not display Course over ground nor Speed over ground. I invested a couple of hours trying everything I knew to solve the problem. We did have a cell signal at Meyers Chuck so, after a 35 minute wait in the queue, I talked to tech support only to find out that my problem was a known issue with version 10.5. The fix, downgrade to 10.2 or upgrade to 10.7. Given that I had recently just upgraded from 10.2 to 10.5 I expressed my disappointment with their bad computer code and reminded them that cruisers like use are seldom in internet access range to accomplish such an upgrade and that this problem was going to be with me a long time. Ever since Nobeltec’s upgrade to version 10, the program has been plagued with bugs. I’ve been a loyal customer for over 8 years, but my allegiance is waning.   

There was lots of space available on the docks at Meyers Chuck. This is not always the case, so we felt ourselves lucky. We secured Arctic Star and took a walk up to the “Gallery”. There we bought a postcard to send home and since the proprietor is also the postmistress, she was kind enough to make certain it got into tomorrow’s weekly pickup. She is also the cinnamon bun lady, so we placed our orders for delivery to the boat at 7:30am tomorrow. Although we are trying to eat lighter this trip, we justified indulging in this famous Meyers Chuck tradition because we skipped it last time we were here in 2006. How’s that for rationalization?  

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Karen at the Gallery  

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The “Pay Phone” at the head of the docks where you cna call to have the gallery opened or order cinnamon buns. I know pay phones are passe, but a bird's nest? Really!  

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“Welcome to Meyers Chuck”  

The rest of the afternoon we explored the paths around the chuck. We made it over to “Back Chuck”, south of the main “chuck”. As it turns out, this is the high rent district. The homes are newer, larger and the floats most impressive. It’s fun to discover something new.  

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A “souvenir” sign back on a dock in Back Chuck  

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Some “spider art” along the trail around Meyers Chuck  

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The docks at Meyers Chuck   


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 You can see Arctic Star with our red Pungo 12 Kayaks  

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The trails around Meters Chuck, Karen loves to check out see the “homesteads” of the year long residents  

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If it is at Meyers Chuck, it either came here on a boat or a sea plane

We met a very nice couple that tied up behind us. They were in Hull #1 of a Kristin 46 steel trawler named Inspiration that they commissioned. It’s a fine boat you seldom see, he told us that there only a handful made, before they went out of business. It had one of the finest looking, most nicely faired steel hulls I have ever seen. They were from Texas, and spend about four months a year cruising Alaska. They invited us aboard and Karen jumped at the chance to “snoop”. It always a delight to see a new boat and add it’s high points to our learning for what we want in our cruising vessel.  

Dinner was halibut tacos with a chipotle “cream” sauce. There is nothing better than fish that’s fresh. The evening was beautiful, the day was perfect. Not a bad start to our five weeks in Alaska.  

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Halibut tacos with a chipotle “cream” sauce


Kwatsi Bay to Potts Lagoon

Weather as predicted; as we awoke, we are greeted with low clouds and a fine mist. We are in no hurry; in fact, we spent a very lazy morning reading, working on the blog and doing a lot of nothing.  _rem4531editedit


The other boats starting leaving around 7:30 am with the last leaving just before we did; about 1 pm. We would have departed earlier, but Max wanted to chat. This is the first year that his family is gone for the winter so the kids can attend school in Port McNeill. The local school at Echo Bay was closed this year, forcing the kids and their mom to take up residence in the “big city” for the winter. Max has lots of projects on his list for winter at Kwatsi, but you can tell he is missing his loved ones. 

His loss is our gain because we were able to spend about an hour with him, listening to his stories and getting local knowledge on places to go, things to do and other destinations not worth the trouble. 



We’re as far Northeast as we planned to go. That leaves us with a three and half hour trip to make our way to the South Broughton Islands.

The weather was a repeat of yesterday, with the clouds clearing and the winds picking up in the early afternoon. The sun was welcomed for our spirits, but as we were traveling directly into the sun, spotting debris in the choppy water was a challenge. 

Karen made lunch in route and we shared duties at the helm because looking into the sun is very tiring.  

Right on schedule, we dropped anchor in Potts Lagoon. A nice sized lagoon tucked well off Clio Channel. There is a small community of float homes that call this lagoon home. The tidy little buildings sit on floating foundations that are tied to the shore. The largest of the buildings, and what appeared to be the oldest, was the site of much construction activity. It looks as if there was a recent addition made to the original building and the workers were busily running their saws and swinging their hammers. 

I started dinner early because we wanted to get to bed before 10pm. We are getting up at 6am tomorrow in order to make slack low water at Beware Passage. This small passage is a circuitous path around rocks, some visible, but most with their tops just below the water. It’s one of those many passages with a reputation that deserves respect. But with proper planning and careful navigation it can be traversed with safety.  

We’re going to take a look at the stars tonight, as the skies are clear. However, since we’re only three days from a full moon, the conditions are not ideal. Of course, not quite ideal here is a 1000 times better than back home with all the human light pollution.