Wednesday 25 March 2020

Across the Gulf of Alaska to Friendly Yakutat


Eventually we had to leave Prince William Sound so as a short weather window revealed itself we departed in early September for Yakutat.  In case the weather turned against us we selected Icy Bay as our port of refuge as it was slightly closer.   As it turned out we had a lovely light air downwind passage.  The Alaskan mountain ranges were visible during the daylight and then at night the Northern Lights entertained us.  Sunrise over the mountain ranges was especially spectacular for the on-watch crew.

Yakutat was as friendly or perhaps even friendlier than the previous towns in Alaska - a very high standard indeed.  On our first walk into town - after being warned again about bears on the walk - we were invited to the school opening ceremony with the children dancing in full traditional regalia.

Traditional dances for the start of school

Not a lot of sailboats visit Yakutat so we received a lot of friendly questions.  We tied up to the public harbour the first night but then moved to the anchorage as it is free and actually closer to town.

Anchored "downtown".  It was much more convenient to the stores in town (and the playground). You can see the state trooper boat in the background.

After our tour of "Enforcer".  Due to OPSEC we did not take any photos onboard.

While we let the weather pass by I caught up on some maintenance while the teenagers worked on their school work with some of the somewhat available internet.  Benjamin was excited as we anchored the closest to a playground as we had ever been in seven years.  We also had a chance to tour the state trooper patrol vessel and invited one of the friendly local police officers over for a visit (she actually drove down to the docks after the school ceremony it see if she could find us to say hello).

Giving Lorena,  one of the friendly local police officers, a tour of Fluenta.  She grew up in Yakutat so we learnt a lot from her and Benjamin was quite smitten.  Alas we could not stay long enough to take up the invitation to go halibut fishing.

Not only are there stores but a great playground !  The other side of this wall has a story about each family group of the Tlingit

Caged !

Cruising ... chasing internet for home school in exotic locations.

After a few days the weather abated and it was time to move further south as we were getting further into September.  Yakutat is famous for its surfing and fishing (although we were invited by the local police to go out) but alas we did not get a chance to do either.  Next time !

We can carry a lot of diesel in Fluenta but it is nice to have full tanks to be on the safe side.  Still aways to go, and lot of motoring, until Juneau.

The chart showing our track in red from Prince William Sound to Yakutat.  You can see our port of refuge at Icy Bay if needed.

The close up of Yakutat.  We briefly tied up at the harbour at (1) but moved to anchor at (2) as it was free and closer to the shops and the playground.

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