July 26, 2016
Packed up the rig and are ready to board the ferry. Despite all of the diesel trucks, we had to drive out of town to find our petrol. The widely trumpeted uniqueness of the Cow Bay area of Prince Rupert again was more for attracting tourists than satisfying certainly us. We found a cappuccino hut and sat for a cup of pretty good cup of coffee. Otherwise, there was not much worth seeing. We had hoped to have a seafood lunch before boarding the ferry but there really was not much of interest.
Stopped at the Safeway where Bob had a sandwich made. The baked and fresh good areas throughout the store were basically empty. We thought about buying a cooked chicken but reckoned they must have been sitting there for a week if not sold. If we come back to catch a ferry to Nanaimo, we will plan it so that we don’t have to stay in PR.
Lined up for our 2:15 ferry at 10:45 as there was not much else to do. Talked to folks while waiting but basically we were “chilling”. Great people watching. Bob spoke to a 90 year old woman who was traveling home to Fairbanks solo in her 28 foot rig after a month on the road to Vancouver. She was a natural beauty with hardly a wrinkle. ( I will have to take a picture of her tomorrow.) Had to laugh. She told Bob her current rig “had no guts”!
The ferry is far from being fully booked despite the fact there are many like us who were supposed to have boarded the Columbia in Bellingham, WA . We are on the M V Matsanuka which purportedly holds 450 people and has 32 berths. Not too many seem to be sleeping on deck in the solarium. We have an outside 3 bunk bed berth which allows Bob to put his feet at the end of my bed on the bottom bunks. We have a desk and enough outlets for charging all of our electronics. No WiFi. Glad we brought our own snacks/wine/beer/meals. Cafeteria is not inviting. Not difficult to get a front row seat in the observation lounge.
Snacked on Triscuits and asiago/rosemary cheese, a favorite. Dinner is salami/ham/cheese sandwiches with chips and 2014 Alamos chardonnay for Bob and a Deschutes IPA for me.
At 8:00 we docked in Ketchikan for 3 hours. We walked into town along the docks which had little fishing or lumber activity. The town survives on tourism although not sure how! The area seems very depressed evidenced by 2 high rise apartment buildings that appeared to be abandoned. The most vibrant attraction in the area was the Best Western hotel/restaurant/pub. Saw First Nation totems.
We gained an hour in Alaska so a 9:30 bed time was not so bad. Throughout the night it seemed we were getting announcements. I finally got up at 5:00 when we docked in Wrangel. Sorry that we missed he Wrangel narrows which is supposedly a highlight. Weather is overcast.