Tuesday, August 6, 2013

24th June Elfin Cove to Pelican. 20 miles

We squeezed off the dock in Elfin Cove having shoehorned ourselves on the dock yesterday. It was low tide and we had just under 3 foot of water under the keel. The sun shone and we could see the huge Brady glacier as we set course for Pelican.

A few fishing boats had filled the small dock in Elfin cove. Always a cheerful bunch we had chatted to a few of them and gleaned local advise on our planned passage to Sitka down the outside of Baranof Island. Most cruisers seem to go to Sitka via the protected waters of Peril Strait. One of the fishing boats had a pet Siamese cat which had decided to pay Steve and Sandy a visit in the evening by going through the hatch in the V berth.     

We raised the sails and as we rounded Column point a flock of about 30 crested Puffins flew across our bow. We had been waiting to see Puffins on this trip and we were all delighted to see them flying low around the boat. We made our way down Lisianski Inlet and arrived in Pelican about 1pm. We called up the harbor master to get our slip assignment but there was no answer. We assumed that as it was a lovely day, and we had seen salmon jumping, he must be out fishing. We tied up at the transient dock and we in search of the harbour masters office. As I walked up the dock it seemed that this pretty town was completely deserted, not a soul in sight. Finally we managed to find somebody and they advised us that the harbourmaster had indeed gone fishing. We found the local café and tucked into ice cream before exploring this lovely boardwalk town.

Pelican has a year round population of only about 60 people which swells to around 300 during the summer when charter fishing and commercial fishing bring in non residents. The once mighty cannery at the end of the dock stands forlorn, now out of use with the exception of making ice for the commercial fishermen. It’s up for sale if anybody is interested.

We took the opportunity to give Sarita a bit of a wash-down as she was starting to look a bit dejected. The harbourmaster game to see us and collect our dues. An interesting man who has travelled the world and is looking to move on to Hawaii. Clearly the winters have taken their toll. He is also the police chief and Fire chief for the town.
Pelican is home to the infamous Rosie’s Bar. Infamous he because of Rosie, who is over 80 years old, she has seen life and quite a character. It is a less than salubrious establishment and rumors of certain bar antics reached us before we even arrived in Pelican. Clearly we needed to see what all the fuss was about. So we set a movie playing for Katya and the rest of us walked along the boardwalk to the white and red establishment adorned with red, white and blue bunting, perhaps left over from the 4th July celebration. It had a certain wild-west look about the place, although it did not have swing doors inside could have come straight out of a western, a long bar with a mirror behind, a piano in the corner, bar stools and tables where people were already past the point of no return on a drunken evening. A loud cheer sounded and a man stood up on the bar with a felt marker in his hand, he was writing his name on the ceiling but as he was doing so the octogenarian, less than deftly, undid the man’s trousers pulled them down along with his boxer shorts. Further cheers sounded from the party he was with and the man waved to the crowed as if some sort of right of passage had been achieved. Five minutes later another man had to attain his accolade and the process was repeated without the element of surprise from the participant or the audience. Apparently this is what Rosie is renowned for.

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