On Thursday, we decided, because of misty, rainy, cloudy weather’s making it impossible to see much at all, not to motor into Endicott Arm and stay in the cove called “Ford’s Terror” (said to be absolutely stunning. Instead, we traveled first to Taku Harbor, where we docked in the rain and spent Thursday night, and then motored on to Juneau, Alaska’s capital city with about 32,000 residents, about 20 miles to the north. It wasn’t foggy or cold, but drizzle and mist clouded Braesail’s windscreens and I popped in and out of the cockpit numerous times to wield the squeegee. Fishing boats, monstrous cruise ships, and little speed boats passed us, and we needed to keep a sharp look-out as we motored.
Early on Friday afternoon, we moored in a very nice boat basin on Douglas Island, over which soaring, thickly wooded peaks keep watch, and across which one can hear the whispering of the long cataracts (I counted eight) that wind down from the heights to the sea. The east side of the island is connected to Juneau by a bridge, and we rode the bus into the city’s downtown area for a good walk. We visited the office of Travel Juneau to pick up city maps and guides, located several places of interest to be visited later, stopped at the post office to pick up some packages, looked around in a sizeable grocery store and snacked on pastries and coffee in their cafe, and had a marvelous king crab supper (crab legs, crab bisque, and crab cakes!) at Tracy’s King Crab Shack near the waterfront, an eatery consisting of five tents, one for ordering, one for picking up drinks, one in which the crab legs are cooked, and two large tents containing picnic tables. Used crab and prawn traps, deployed in creative ways as planters, decorated the spacious grounds.
We wandered around a bit more and finally took the bus back to our marina. On the way, however, I was horrified to discover that I didn’t have with me a shopping bag containing my clutch purse (no credit or medical cards therein–only my driver’s license), the packages of Walt’s medications and some parts for the engine’s alternator that we had retrieved at the post office, and a plastic bottle we’d bought at the grocery store. Because I thought I had probably left it on a bench at the transit center, Walt rode the bus back to search for and inquire about it, with no success. I felt awful about my negligence for the rest of the day and all night.
Today, Saturday, July 30, we again made inquiries about my shopping bag and failed to get any news of it. We spent a fully-overcast, mild day visiting the Alaska State Museum (presenting the history and culture of the state of Alaska and its economic development, with a focus on the salmon canning industry) and the Sealaska Heritage Center (specializing in Native Alaskan history, culture, and art); visiting the waterfront; eating excellent Russian food for lunch and Indian cuisine for dinner; wandering down the streets of the central tourism area and looking into some gift and book shops (Walt was happy to find a volume on relationships between Native Alaskans and the Russian Orthodox Church that he thinks will be useful in his research in one bookstore, and the tea-and-spices shop was worth a visit just for the pleasure of inhaling the delightful aromas!); savoring gelato as a mid-afternoon snack (Mt. Juneau Landslide with its chunks of caramel and peanut butter fudge embedded in dark chocolate was terrific!); and joining in the singing of Vespers at St. Nicholas’ Russian Orthodox Church (founded in 1893 at the request of the Tlingit people and the oldest original and continuously used Church in Southeast Alaska). Late in the evening, we rode the bus back to Braesail, waiting in her slip in handsome Douglas Harbor to welcome us, after a very fine day!