Alaska Adventure Journal



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June 2008 - Alaska Inside Passage Exploration

Northern Portion ABC Islands

Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof Islands 

June 9, 2008 ~ Monday

We spent the night at a highway pullout approximately 40 miles outside of Tok with plans to get an early start for the Canadian border. We were so tired from bouncing down that road they called a highway, we could have all slept anywhere! It seems like we barely closed our eyes before it was time to get back on the road again.

John was queuing all to make sure we had the necessary paperwork in order before arriving at the border checkpoint into Canada’s Yukon Territory. He wanted to make sure the entry went as smooth as possible. Our crossing was uneventful with the only highlight being the border agent asking what we had to declare. John promptly informed her we had eight cases of beer, 1.75 liters of Jack Daniels, five liters of wine and two rifles. She asked “Why do you have so much alcohol?” Are you making a delivery to someone? John informed her we had plans to drink it all! She apparently has never been boating! While glaring at us, she informed us that we were “way over” our personal allotment, but didn’t pursue the issue further . John knew we were over our alcohol limit, but that it was allowed as long as we were just transiting thru Canada. With the questions asked and the $25 fee paid for the firearm permit, we departed toward Haines.
We wondered if the Canadian roads were any better than what we’d already suffered through. Very shortly we learned the answer, “Hell No!” They were just as bad and possibly worse. The Canadians didn’t bother warning you with fancy road signage, but instead had a creative way to warn you of rough road conditions ahead. They selectively placed orange flagman’s flags in the gravel beside the worst part of the road. A trip down this nasty road really makes you appreciate the well maintained, frostheave-free roads “Outside!” We arrived in Haines around 11:00 PM and went looking for a bar. We ended up in the bar at the top of the boat launch. We asked the bartender where we could park the truck and boat to spend the night . He said we should just park down the way in the boat trailer lot and if anybody said anything, to just tell them Kevin, at the bar, said to park there. After a couple of nightcaps, we retired to the boat to sleep for the night.

June 10, 2008 ~ Tuesday

Overcast 54F Light Rain

We woke up at 7:30 AM to get the boat launched . We donned our rain jackets and went to work readying the boat and putting more supplies onboard. We pulled up close to the boat ramp beside the bar and went to pay our launch fee. The guy we thought was the harbormaster was very friendly, then the real harbormaster showed up and wanted to know why a truck and boat were parked outside and he said it needed to be moved. Things kind of went downhill from there. We still had work to do extending the hitch before launching, and managed to piss off one of the early morning bar regulars who parked right in front of us. His choice of parking places made moving the truck and boat a bit more challenging. Shanna told him that we were trying to launch and we were about to move. To which he grunted his reply that we were supposed to park “over there” and pointed to the trailer lot. Shanna asked him if he was really going to park in front of us and he just walked on toward the bar. We weren’t trying to break the rules, we just didn’t know what the rules were! Finally the harbormaster came out and told us we HAD to move, he said he was getting complaints and the bar had also called complaining. We finally backed down the ramp and got the boat in the water. We pulled up to the fuel dock and used the one way phone to call the fuel guy. He said he’d be there soon, so we took the opportunity to put air in Willy (the dinghy) and put him on top of the boat. We topped off the boat and filled the 15 gallon drum then motored to the slip we’d been given to use. From there it was into town to find Internet access to complete John’s bid for his July schedule. We ended up at the Pioneer Bar, where John segregated himself from Shanna and Jeff to concentrate on his bid.
After completing our chores in town, we headed back to the harbor and got underway.

Lynn Canal Light House

We traveled in rough waters for 86.9 miles until we reached our intended destination -- Couverden Island. We slowly motored our way through a treacherous passage which was fairly shallow and filled with rocks. John actually had the Douglas cruising book (our Inside Passage bible) open in his lap to refer to while motoring thru the passage. Some agency (we assume the Coast Guard) had actually marked the channel with a series of pilings with red and green signs to assist in safe passage. The inside of the protected cove seemed to be a favorite of local boats. There were several public floats located inside the cove with about six boats tied off for the night. Our first goal was set out our crab pots for the night. John baited two of the traps with hooligan we had brought along and one with commercial shrimp bait. None of us cared to join the crowd on the floats, so after setting out our crab pots, we found a nice little spot to anchor up for the night. Shanna & John prepared an excellent meal which consisted of bear spaghetti with warm pan toasted garlic bread. We were all hungry and tired and entertained ourselves by listening to various songs over the stereo from our respective IPODS. We quickly succumbed to the day’s activities and with our bellies full, we called it a night.

Anchored behind Couverden Island
N58 12.732 W135 07.184
Trip odometer 86.9
Miles traveled today 86.9


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