It’s still cold, very cold, in Alaska, but that hasn’t stopped John and Kathy Youngblood from cruising about 150 nm up to Haines, north of Juneau, on their 2004 Selene 53, Mystic Moon. The Youngbloods are veteran cruisers, having completed a 35,000-mile journey around the Pacific three years ago, and cruising in the Pacific Northwest since then. Despite storms and snow, they encountered whales, bears, otters and a lot of Dungeness on their latest voyage. Read about it on their blog:
Change of plans….Mr Weather has decided to complicate things a bit. Two storms are coming and we decided to make a 3-day ~150nm fast run to Haines/Skagway. We had to skip going to Tracy Arm and seeing the Dawes glacier (Endicott Arm)….for another day perhaps!!
Thursday 4/28: We moved to Snug Cove still in Gambier Bay…..~9nm, didn’t even deserve a passage beer it was so short:))))….another DDG anchorage with a large mud flat and meadow (still brown grass). Checked crab traps before leaving…..1 keeper and several more small Kings. Snug Cove is one of our favorites and it lived up to its beauty. Set crab traps and prawn pots!!!
Friday 5/29: Another day off….boat style….means no moving but projects. First check traps….0 crab….2 small ones and no bait…good grief….someone has crabbed all the keepers out of these places…..arghhhhhh!! Prawn traps…..oh how the Prawn Gods keeps one humble…..only 3….and I had to go chase a runaway trap maybe a mile down the channel….hmmmm…I think there is a lot of current here. And, we saw 2 Brown bears…beautiful….large, healthy males but very lean….they walked the meadow but really didn’t stop or find anything to eat….the grass is still very brown!! Dinner: fresh Dungeness crab….culinary orgasm time:)))
Saturday 4/30. The parties over….time to haul butt to Skagway avoiding two approaching storms. We left after hauling pots, 19 prawns….better than before but still not so good, 1 keeper crab but again no bait left, raised the dinghy, put watermaker back together…..good grief I was worn out by the time we left….I got up at 5am and we left by 8:15am….not bad John-boy for an old guy:))) We expected flat calm seas….what we got for the first 20nm was 15-20kt North wind against a north setting tide….wind against tide…3-4′ wind chop with lots of spray….margarita time again!! We did the 48nm run to Taku and tied to the public dock. We thought there was going to be wind overnight but it stayed flat calm. Docked and passage beers open by 3pm!!!! Sat in the FB enclosure to a warm sun!!!
Sunday 5/1: Up and out by 7:15am for the 59nm run to William Henry anchorage in Lynn Canal. Oh what a dark, grey, rainy day…..Alaska style….mist on the mountains…beautiful as long as you are inside. And once again the strong winds did not develop. I think the strong winds stayed south and we beat them going north as fast as we did….tomorrow the winds most likely catch us but it will be behind us!! And as we passed Juneau and Auke Bay we briefly got internet….yea….GO WARRIORS….won their 1st round!!!
We arrived ~3pm at William Henry anchorage….holy snow….there is still 3-4′ of snow on the beach….whoa!!!! This is a very cute anchorage, exposed to the north but fortunately as we entered the winds clocked to the south and the anchorage was very calm!!! Popcorn and a movie tonight!!
Monday 5/2: Up early and out by 6:45am….the winds are still calm but the forecast is to increase to gale force by this afternoon. We have ~35nm to go to Haines….by 8am the winds up to 20kts, all behind and the ride remains smooth. We arrived ~11:00am and the winds had freshened to 20-25G30kts, still behind us but it made for a very cold docking….brrrrr. Docked, power plugged in and passage beers opened by 11:30am. We set off early afternoon to walk the town….whoa….hadn’t been off boat since Wrangell….a week+ ago…knee painfully said hello….I said got the cure….made it to the local brewery where we sampled several nice beers…knee said all better:)))
Haines took a beating in the Covid pandemic….many people moved out, many businesses closed and now many businesses are struggling to find labor to reopen. We found only one restaurant open for lunch and the lady said after 17 years she will probably close as she can’t find any labor…..either people moved away or the young people don’t want to work anymore….yikes!!! Read more: