Location: Ketchikan Alaska
Lat/Lon: 55.3502°N 131.6838°W
Weather: Hi 55° F Low 44° F, Overcast with rain. Winds 10-20 kt
Day 32, 713 NM from Anacortes
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Ketchikan is the first town that you come to when you enter SE Alaska by boat but it is not where you spend you first night in Alaska. It's 90 NM from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan, too long for a 7 kt boat like ours, so we, like many people, will stop in Foggy Bay (54.9504°N 130.9433°W) on the north side of Dixon Entrance. Foggy Bay is in AK but the US Customs recognizes that most boaters can not make it to Ketchikan in one day and will overnight in Foggy Bay so when you clear US Customs in Ketchikan you state that Prince Rupert was your last port of call.
One of the things that strikes me most when we get into Alaska is the number of eagles and how close they are. They are not some remote bird you watch through binoculars at a distance like you do down south in the lower 48. Up here eagles are like sea gulls in a southern city. Around the marina they fly so close you can hear their wings passing through the air. They are a striking bird, seemingly enjoying flying in and around the masts and high poles of the fishing boats, occasionally plucking a fish out of the water and sitting for hours above your head on light posts and masts.
We're going to stay in Ketchikan for a few days waiting for some packages from down south and for the weather to improve a little. A few days after leaving Anacortes our alternator regulator started to act up, letting the alternator put out over 15 v to the batteries. I called Balmar and after some discussion and testing they agreed to send a new regulator to us in Ketchikan. Fortunately we had a spare regulator, not a new 'smart' one but a functional, working one. We're also waiting for a new Pactor modem for our SSB radio. There's nothing wrong with the current one but we've had some issues with Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and decided to upgrade to a Bluetooth version of the modem to try to reduce the RFI. The supplier for our SSB equipment (HFRadio.com in Oakland) agreed to send us a new Bluetooth modem and give us full credit for our existing modem. Thanks Don! The marina here will not accept packages for us so we're using a private mail store just down the street as a mailing address. They only charge $1 per package.
So here we sit in the rain and wind waiting for better weather and for packages to arrive. If the weather improves (no sign of that in the current 5 day forecast) then we might move on and have the packages forwarded to Petersburg. If not, we'll wait. One real nice thing about Alaska is that the marinas are cheap, $30 per day for us vs. nearly $70 in Canada.