(August 9th, 2017)
At 7am this morning we got a knock on our boat. Coming out to the cockpit we found Cassie (a Meyers Chuck local) in her aluminum skiff, handing us four warm cranberry cinnamon rolls fresh from her oven. I should note here that we ordered them by phone last night, as one is supposed to do anytime one finds oneself in Meyers Chuck. Being one of several boats in the harbor (most of which were part of our Sail Alaska fleet) this morning meant Cassie was a busy lady last night prepping dough and this morning cooking the cranberry, plain, or walnut flavored sugary delectables.
We found out later that Cassie is also the Meyers Chuck Post-Mistress, and lives in a house right next to the post office building. She recently bought a new oven and was so busy lately she had to plug it in and start using it outside on her porch.
Most of the fleet took off early but we wanted to take a short bit of time to walk the boardwalk/paths, check out some of the buildings, and visit the post office to send some letters from the girls. On shore we found that Meyers Chuck has everything that a proper seaside town needs. Of course it has a fire station:
A lumber mill:
A freight terminal:
A post office:
An art walk:
And a marina of course:
What Meyers Chuck doesn’t have? Power, or water, or a sewage system, or any other utilities. AT&T has a large tower right in the village, with it’s own dedicated generator power, but there is no AT&T cellular service within 20 feet of it, which makes no sense. The homes get their power mostly from diesel generators and solar, water from wells, and send their sewage to septic systems. In the winter the town is mostly empty, with just a few permanent residents.
As we walked we saw a large house on the hill above the fire station, which turned out to be the old schoolhouse, now a private residence for the same woman who owns the art gallery/store nearby.
After a tour of the towns many amenities, (a total of 10 minutes of walking) we dinghied across the bay to the dock for the post office. We were told by a resident of town that the mail plane comes at 2pm today so the post office would open about that time. Being 9am, it wasn’t open ( I think Cassie was likely gardening, cleaning up her kitchen from all the cinnamon rolls she made, or possibly taking a nap from all the work) but we walked up, took a few photos and dropped the letters through the mail slot in the door. After that we headed back to the boat, pulled up anchor and started heading toward Bailey Bay, where there is reportedly a short hike to a hot spring pool. Some of the boats decided to skip Bailey Bay and headed for Loring early (a shorter run) where we were scheduled to go the next day, our last stop before returning to Ketchikan.
It was a very nice warm day. Since the cockpit was messy still and the sun was shining, I fired up the wash down pump, pulling the hose from the anchor locker back to the cockpit, and filled a bucket with soapy water. I took the starboard steering wheel off to clear space to clean the fish blood off of the fiberglass, wood, and electronics. I ended up washing the entire cockpit and even used an OxyClean spot remover to soap up and scrub the cockpit seat cushions, letting them dry in the sun.
During this time Devon and I discussed what to put in the space between the helm seats, since we removed the barn doors back in May. There are a pair of lifelines across at body level but we would still like something to prevent things from rolling/falling off the stern from the floor, as well as a place to clean fish, and another place to store cold food. I found a cooler online, a Yeti Tundra 105, that after measuring the space it seems to fit the space perfectly, and we can use it as a seat (with a cushion on top) or place a cutting board on it to clean fish. At anchor we will need to move it out of the way somewhere, so that’s still something we need to consider, but it seems like a good solution so far. Unfortunately the Yeti cooler is almost $500 (a good chunk of our monthly cruising budget), and a cushion adds to that, but it might be worth it since Yeti coolers keep ice for a LONG TIME and are super durable, even bear resistant when locked, a useful feature here in Alaska.
When we finally got to Bailey Bay, we found it to be another steep anchorage, difficult to anchor in, and we started to ready our stern tie line. As we came in closer to shore to survey the area, a sailboat occupying the only mooring ball in the bay waved us over and said we could share the mooring. After finding that this mooring ball was the largest mooring ball I’ve ever seen, we happily took advantage of their hospitality. After tying up we talked with the crew of s/v Calypso, from Seattle, about their cruising up and down the coast, especially knowledge of places in SE Alaska we should see and bays in the Sea of Cortez as well. Unfortunately there were quite a few bugs in the area so both boats has to keep screens on all the hatches. We shared a coho a filet from today’s catch and some roe with them as a thank you and eventually went to sleep early to prepare for tomorrow’s hike.