Day 11: Wrangell to Thomas Bay (Ruth’s Island)

June 7, 2022 Day 11: Wrangell to Thomas Bay/Ruth’s Island: 101 miles: 1231 total miles

When we got up in the morning, Chris went to change the oil on the boat.  Since the boat is in the water he used a pump to get the oil out. He said it did a really good job, just as good if not better than gravity. A little later he will also have to do the lower unit oil change and we will need the boat to be out of the water to do that one. While Chris changed the oil, I stayed in the hotel room with the kids. Since Ellen has been going to bed pretty late she does sleep in really well, and add the blackout curtains where we are able to sleep in the dark she sleeps in even better. It was nice being able to have a little alone time. When everyone was awake I was able to pack up the hotel room and load everything in our little wagon so we could go eat as soon as Chris was done with the boat maintenance.

We ate at Nic’s Place, a pizza place. During lunch it is only by the slice, but everyone was happy with it. I was feeling much better after getting food in me, I’m never the best me when I’m hungry. After pizza we stopped at a bakery and got some cinnamon rolls, (with orange flavored frosting. SO good!) and snickerdoodles. Then we went to resupply our food at a grocery store. 

As nice as hotel stays are, they are also kind of a pain. We have to unload quite a bit of stuff, and most hotels are at least a mile away. People are normally tired and grouchy. I’m not sure how refreshed I felt after this stay. (Although I really did like the actual hotel we stayed at.) I’m not sure how many more hotel stays we will do. We need to try out marina showers/laundry to see how we like that.

We loaded the boat and we headed out of Wrangell at around 1:30PM. 

We went through the Wrangell Narrows on our way to Petersburg. there are currents and it can get shallow in parts. We passed through without having to wait for a better tide. Following the buoys allowed us to have a safe passage. I was surprised at how many people were fishing there while we were going through. Seemed a little precarious for fishing to me, but I am a wimp.

I was looking forward to spending some time in Petersburg, but the weather was looking OK, so we just got gas and decided to do a side trip and visit LeConte Glacier and skip Petersburg for now. In some of the books we used in planning this trip and we are currently using help us find anchorages/routes, they don’t recommend visiting LeConte Glacier because a lot of the time its too tricky to see the Glacier. I read several personal trip reports where people went to LeConte and loved it. Since I really wanted to go, Chris decided we would give it a try. We did have to cross Frederick Sound to get to LeConte, but again, the weather was decent so the trip wasn’t too bad. In the distance we saw some boats, they either looked like they were fishing, or waiting for something. Even further in the distance we thought we saw waves breaking. Chris was concerned there was a bar there (a bar is where sand/mud/sediment is built up in the water and makes for a more shallow area. The wind’s, tide’s, and current’s reaction to this are waves, and rough waters.) We assumed that the boats may be waiting for a tide change where during slack tide the waters would calm down. We thought if this were the case then we may need to turn around and miss out on LeConte Glacier. As we got closer to the “boats” that were just hanging out we realized they weren’t boats after all, they were huge icebergs. The waves we thought were breaking in the distance was an ice field. The closer we got to the glacier, the more ice there was. Huge blue icebergs, small clear icebergs. Beautiful ice sculptures. It was incredible!

We slowly picked a path through the ice and it just got more and more thick with ice. Everyone was mesmerized. The kids kept saying that this would make the whole boat trip worth it. We went as far as we could, but we had to turn around before we reached LeConte Glacier. So while the guide books were correct that it was hard to get to the actual glacier, I would say seeing the icebergs in the water was so worth the trip and I wasn’t even sad to not see the glacier. (Although, I’d love to go back and try to see the glacier again!)

After LeConte we headed to our anchorage spot for the night in Thomas Bay. We stayed at Ruth’s Island there. Once we were anchored we pulled out some bergy bits we got at LeConte (bergy bits are small icebergs). We all had some bergy bit soda and the kids thought that was the coolest thing. Such a spectacular day!

Ryan’s Thoughts: We saw a deer and we saw icebergs!!! It was amazing. In Minecraft I went to a woodland mansion and got a totem of undying. I made it home with a parrot very very happy!

Lillian’s Thoughts: Today was fine, I didn’t have breakfast and pizza for lunch then we went on the boat and we drove to some icebergs! not its dinner! Love it!

Ellen’s first icecream cone!
Ellen loves to draw on herself.
Our bergy bit
Ellen was a huge fan
Thomas Bay (Ruth’s Island)

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