Friday, August 28, 2015

'Kevin Costner' - God's Pocket - Kake, Alaska -- 7/24/2015

Waking at our usual time of 5A, we see the ‘Little 21,’ as we have fondly come to call it, easing away from the dock.  This is smart, as it is slack and a good time to go.  Strong currents come in soon and by the time we are ready to leave, we will want some help pushing off, being sandwiched in between other boats on the dock. 


Steam rises from the private hot tubs, escapes through the open windows, and signals that the hot water is waiting to soak someone this morning.

Kanzy, the beautiful Golden Retriever from Frangelica comes by the boat to get petted, and we are happy to oblige.

(Sidebar:  remembering Angela and Lisa, whom we promised that we would display our Dockstreet caps at many of our Alaska destinations, Herb puts his on one of the masks.  How funny!)

The six guests on Adventurous will catch a sea plane out this morning, and I hope to get a photo of it flying low over the falls as he lands on the seaplane float at our dock to pick them up, so we are out with camera at 6:45A.  Capt. Travis of Adventurous tells us it is due at 7, but sometimes comes early.  Seeing my camera, one of the guests turns to me and angrily says, “No more photos, please!  I am tired of this paparazzi stuff!  I can see who know who I am!” 

This surprises me and I respond that it is not about him, it’s about photos of the airplane.  All his companions laugh at his joke and tell me people say he looks like Kevin Costner.  Well, he really had me going there! 

The guests on Adventurous have had an awesome tour and are taking home boxes of halibut and salmon they caught while cruising.

The plane is actually late, so we have plenty of time to visit.  Captain Travis gives Herb several locations of places to cruise and anchor on our way south today.

When the plane taxies to the dock,  I call to Frank aka ‘Kevin’ for another photo.  He steps aside for me to get a view of the plane, but I tell him to smile for the camera so I can get one more paparazzi shot!  He is the surprised one, now. Then I give him a hug.  Laughter is heard from the guys as the joke continues.

Frank or 'Kevin'

A second plane comes in to offload supplies for Adventurous' next tour guests who will arrive Monday.

Soon it is time for us to cast off, and Earl and the skipper from Frangelica come to push us out as Herb uses bow and stern thrusters to slip away from the dock, backing down the side of S/V Cambia.  The current is so strong and continues to hold us in, while the thrusters do their best,  but Earl is quick to jump on the sailboat bow and hold us off as we glide by.  Thank you Earl!  See you in Anacortes!

The sun teases us in between the clouds, and we have no more rain as we get underway and enter Chatham Straight.  Wind waves are two to three feet, but the seas settle down to rippled as we come to the confluence of Frederick Sound.

Whales here!  Camera goes into action.

Soon with no whales to watch, no traffic or logs to avoid, I follow the cloud formations – the one below looks like Papa Bear tossing Baby Bear into the air.

There are many boats fishing here, as the tides are changing and fish are plentiful, trying to hide among the rock grass and kelp.  It becomes an obstacle course to thread our way through the vegetation.  We alter course a bit to give plenty of room to a boat engaged in fishing.

Our plan is to anchor in Lord’s Pocket, recommended by Capt. Travis, who calls it "God’s Pocket."  He tells us it is a beautiful cruise through the islands to the protected cove.  Herb has it plotted on Garmin but it is hard to get a visual on the entrance. 

This way?  or that way?

Square Stone Formations Covered with Grass

Yes, it is truly beautiful with the rugged terrain and sandstone shores, appearing pock marked as we cruise close by at 4.9 knots.  

The Eagle

It is easy to anchor in the mixed rock and gravel bottom and we quickly turn on laptops for long awaited communication.  Oh, No!  No Internet!  We should be able to get it from the nearby town of Kake on Kupreanof Island, but maybe the problem is low tide.  After several tries, we opt to check out moorage in Kake, so head across the bay.  Whales again!  Oh, my!

An adequate space is available for us the City Dock, which has several skiffs tied here and there at the back side of the float plane landing.  Willie’s Tug is home for the night, and I have Internet to write a blog post for July 1, which is 23 days in the past. 

Kake AK

Totem Pole

The first people we meet are a group of school children dressed in white shirts and ties, apparently from a parochial school, who come to the dock on a little fast skiff.  They are so cute, wave to us, and the Priest stops to visit.  He welcomes us to Kake, and points out a few places of interest.  Kake is a small town strung out along the coast, so we will get some exercise walking.

The breakwater extends out into the bay a bit and behind us.  Locals regularly stroll out for a view of the sea.  While we are securing Willie's Tug,  a family passes by having a discussion, but soon all is quiet, and we walk into the village to explore.  The Organized Village of Kake is a Tlingit village with a Federally Recognized Tribal Government.

Kake is pronounced 'cake' and comes from the Tlingit word Keix (dawn or daylight) and from X'e (mouth). Kake means "mouth of dawn" or "opening of daylight." I read that some scholars believe the first European explorer to enter Tlingit lands was Sir Frances Drake, British explorer, who traveled to the area near present-day Kake in 1579.

In 1967 a 128-foot totem pole was carved for the Alaska Purchase centennial, and is thought to be one of the world's largest.

Just up the gangway from our dock is the Post Office and Herb is shown in the lower right corner of the photo below holding his Dockstreet cap in front of the Kake, Alaska, sign to document our visit here.  We continue a walk around the area to check out our surroundings.

I meet a lady who tells me she lost her job in Juneau and had to move back here.  She says the only regular work is road building, so she plans to soon get back to Juneau.  We find the locals are very friendly, every car or truck that passes waves to us, and we are reminded of Lopez Island in the San Juans and the 'Lopez Wave.'

Presbyterian Church

A recent storm damaged the top of the totem pole, causing a tilt to the right.

Grave Island and Payne Island

As beautiful as we have found the village of Kake, it is even more lovely as the sun disappears over the horizon and is reflected in the clouds.  We take a late evening stroll and find what looks to be a bear track on the beach at low tide. The last fishing skiff comes in and I hope they did well.

Find Willie's Tug

Half Moon over Grave Island, Reflected in Bay

Find Willie's Tug....

Our sunset tonight is a glow. 

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Friday, July 24, 2015