Meyers Chuck to Santa Anna Inlet

Precisely at our agreed upon time, 7:30am, Cassie arrived with her basket of Cinnamon Buns. First, she stopped at Inspiration, and then strolled down to our boat. She had a spring to her step and a big smile. That,combined with fresh baked, still warm, pecan covered cinnamon buns, made for a great start to the day.

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Cassie makes her morning rounds with fresh-baked cinnamon buns

We cast off the docks at Meyers Chuck at precisely the same time as we did yesterday in Ketchikan, 7:58am. We’ll need to work on that. It’s far too much precision and repetition for a holiday.

Three and a half hours north to Santa Anna Inlet. The weather was superb. Light winds and seas that ranged from 1 ½ feet to calm. Not much to see along the way. There was an occasional fishing boat and a bird or too. We did pass a large sea lion, it must have been a male given the size. He was just floating about a hundred yards offshore doing not much of anything. We did successfully run the watermaker, which was exciting – having it allows us to continue the more wilderness portion of our trip without having to worry about access to fresh water.

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Sometimes the most useful marks are the home grown variety

Santa Anna is a long inlet, well protected from the weather. Karen predicted that there would be boats anchored there due to its popularity. As we rounded Santa Anna Point we spotted a sail boat under way towing another smaller sail boat, leaving the inlet. We also passed three identical canoes paddling out of the inlet. We have no idea where they came from or where they were going.

Almost to the end of the inlet, a Krogen was anchored. We never saw any signs of life from the small Krogen, which was out of Comox, BC.

We continued down to the end of Santa Anna. According to my map reading , there was plenty of room in about 50 feet of water opposite the entrance up the creek to Lake Helen. As it was low tide, we had a clear view of all the obstructions, drying flats and anything else that might impinge on our swinging at anchor.

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The view from our anchorage at the head of Santa Anna Inlet

The anchor held well on the first set. We launched the dinghy to take advantage of the low tide and exploration opportunities along the shore. There was a vast amount of beach uncovered that would grant us access to areas not be available as the tide came up.

Of particular interest was the outflow area from Lake Helen. As we made our way over the mussel encrusted rocks that make up the “beach”, we found the walking tricky and tiring.

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The “beach” at low tide is tricky footing

The outflow from the Lake was running strong. We could find no information about whether you can navigate this at high slack tide in either a Kayak or a Dinghy. But looking at the portion we saw, I think it would be possible given the depth, the only remaining question is how strong the outflow current might be.

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Arctic Star and our neighbor, West Coast Spirit in Santa Anna Inlet

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Some leftover hardware from an abandoned camp

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The final outflow from a large waterfall above that provided a constant soothing sound to the anchorage

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Tide coming in during our exploration of Santa Anna Inlet

After tooling along in the dinghy for a while, we returned to the boat for some killer Curry Chicken salad I made, then Karen read up on the flybridge while I took a nap. Dinner was marinated honey Dijon pork tenderloin with maple-orange mashed sweet potatoes – Karen’s favorite treat.

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Marinated Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Maple-orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes

It was a very peaceful evening, flat calm and a perfect scenario for a restful night of sleep.

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