It was an all day ride on the M/V Matanuska from Petersburg to Ketchikan with only a quick stop at Wrangell. We linked up with a friend of the Fogarty’s almost immediately, a very colorful Kim Coolbeth. Kim has a 35 foot yacht and we spent our first day touring the bays and channels surrounding the island. We sailed up every channel in Misty Fjords which was just breath taking. One of the ladies made the mistake of saying “yes” when Kim asked us if we wanted to see some bears and we were immediately off on a 60 mile high speed trip to a remote channel in Scowl Arm. Upon arrival at our destination we were all a little surprised when Kim anchored the boat offshore and launched the dingy. He told us we were going to paddle up a small stream where the bears would be feeding on the spawning salmon All 5 of us climbed into a dingy built for 2 and were even more flabbergasted when Kim climbed in with a shotgun. I held the shotgun in the bow of the dingy and Elaine made the comment that I looked like a poster child for the NRA. We paddled and climbed through some very heavy timber along a small creek but never did see any bears. We didn’t get back to our dock until 8pm which after starting out at 6am made for a very long day. We had covered approximately 300 miles by boat!
The next day the girls had had enough excitement so we went our own way…..they went shopping and Mr Coolbeth took Pinky and I fishing. The fishing wasn’t great but we did manage to land 4 Silver and 3 Pink salmon along with a small halibut.
Today we stayed ashore, slept in and toured Ketchikan. Interesting and bustling town mixed with commercial and sport fishing and tour ships. We went down to the southern end of the island looking for a stream where bears frequented at Herring Cove. While walking around looking for a trail that followed the stream, from between two houses out of the brush, not more then 100 feet in front of us, a black bear walked across the road and gave us a quick glance. Startled we all froze and the same thought raced through all our minds.....where is mama, for the bear looked young. Several minutes passed and no mama so we went on our way. We did view 3 black bears feeding on salmon in the stream.