The bonus of loading on the ferry early allowed us to catch some sleep in the well appointed cabins on the MV Matinuska. When we awoke, the skies were grey, the ceiling low...and...the rain!
We travelled on the wide open spaces to Wrangle where there is a small community supported by fisheries. A young Tnglet lad got on and told us he had been fishing since he was nine years old. So far this year, his dad has landed 200,000 lbs of salmon per month. As a deck hand, this 18 year old says he is earning $5,000 an outing...not bad when the fish are running.
The Wrangel canal, nicknamed "the ditch" is a narrow, shallow, dredged waterway to Petersberg saving some 150 miles for the ferries. The captain did a wonderful job....I guess he has to know the waterway like the back of his hand.
Then, we arrived in Petersburg. A wonderful town settled by Norwegians a few generations ago, where they have a very lucrative fishery, canning, fresh and frozen. The towns people were so friendly and cheerful, the rain and fog didn't dampen our spirits. I loved the town...no cruise ships, just real people living in a idyllic setting...I think most of them spend the summer there and the winters in Texas.
We found a place to buy fresh fish and try the crab which was taken to the steamer kicking and wriggling. It's a lot of work cracking a crab for not much return and a shower of crab juice from head to toe! It was well worth the effort....succulent morsels....next when we are ready to break the bank, we'll try some King Crab.
We took a run to the south end of the Mitkoff Island and the clouds lifted enough for us to enjoy the vista on a calm day. Alaska is wild and woolly and sooo beautiful. The rain is a challenge for soggy spirits, but so far we haven't let it pull us down. The locals say there has been more rain than they remember....hmmm, doesn't that sound like the summer in the Gatineau's so far.
Tomorrow we are off to Juneau for more adventure!