Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ketchiken to Thorne Bay 37 miles

Two days seems to be the limit that we like staying in a town before we get twitchy and want some space. How is this going to work out when we all get home? Don’t think about it now…  we motored up Tongass narrows and about 1 mile from the north entrance a large humpback whale surfaced about 30ft from our port beam on the same course as ourselves. It scared the daylights out of me at first and when it surfaced the second time Katya and I watched in amazement. As it took its next dive it’s large tail? (Fluke?) surfaced before it disappeared. Wow! Our first close encounter with a humpback. No time for the camera unfortunately but at least both Katya and I saw it.
We made our way up Clarence strait in poor visibility, at one point we turned the radar on to see what might be in the rain clouds ahead. As we passed Tolstoi point on our approach to the channel markers of Thorne Bay we saw another whale cruising around presumably feeding on something in the area. Two whales in one day, this looks promising.

The entrance to Thorne bay is narrow and has a spit heading south from the north shore. We had to get pretty close to the north shore of one of the islands but there seemed to be plenty of depth – 70 feet, once through the narrow channel, and we could relax, we could see a number of floating houses tucked into small bays along both shores. A few small aluminium boats were buzzing up and down the channel presumably coming and going to the small village of Thorne. We decided not to take a slip in Thorne, albeit it is supposed to be cheap we dropped the anchor and sat and watched the goings-on in town. At one point a procession of vehicles went through town, including the local ambulance, fire engine and about 5 cars all tooting their horns and sirens. Jude gave a toot on our air horn - A wedding or some other celebration perhaps?            

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