Day 28: Finger’s Bay to Auke Bay (Juneau)!

June 24, 2022 Day 28: Finger’s Bay to Auke Bay (Juneau!) 111miles- 2344 total miles

Chris made breakfast again this morning. Ellen had a poopy diaper blowout. There are still so many bugs.

There were a few spots we still wanted to check out on our way out of Glacier Bay. We stopped into Berg Bay and saw a brown bear immediately. We made our way closer,  we spooked it and it ran off into the woods. This is the first bear we’ve spooked. It was fun to see how quick and agile it was. Normally the bears are pretty slow just meandering along. 

After leaving Glacier Bay National Park we decided to head to Hoonah. We are making our way to Juneau and Hoonah was a slightly longer route, but we knew the gas situation, we knew the town, and we thought it was a safer bet than Gustavus.  

When we got to Hoonah Chris did a few chores and me and the kids went to the Fisherman’s Daughter for lunch. We told Chris we would order the food and he could meet us there.

Chris checked in with the harbormaster. The Harbormaster remembered us from our previous time in Hoonah. He said he heard on the VHF the Coast Guard sending out a pan pan message about our distress call. The one where we accidently sent off an SOS and the Coast Guard and Glacier Bay National Park were all out looking for us. On the VHF radio there are a few different signals you can start a message with. Pan pan, Mayday, and Securite. Mayday is an immediate danger, help is needed NOW and things are life threatening. Securite means there is something that boaters need to pay special attention to, basically be on high alert. And Pan pan is an emergency, but maybe not life threatening or as urgent as Mayday. When we hear pan pan messages it sounds something like this. “Pan pan, pan pan, pan pan all stations all stations all stations, US Coast Guard Sector Juneau, US Coast Guard Sector Juneau, US Coast Guard Sector Juneau. We received a distress call for the vessel “Lil Teal” a 22 foot powerboat, in the vicinity of Reid Inlet, Glacier Bay. All vessels in the area be on high alert and report findings to the Coast Guard. US Coast Guard sector Juneau Out. They also give the time of the call as well. (The alert, who it’s addressed to, who’s issuing the alert, and then the message.) Of course I didn’t hear our own pan pan alert, but based on the ones I have heard I am assuming that was the gist of it. The Coast guard would also send out an alert saying that it was canceled, but they don’t say why it was canceled. Anyway, the harbormaster said he heard our pan pan and he was glad to see us, and that we were OK. We still feel so bad about that whole situation. 

I think we got to Fisherman Daughter’s the same time all the cruise ship passengers were getting lunch. There would be an hour wait for food, and all the tables were full. Since we were waiting on Chris, and we would have to walk about a mile to the next place, the wait didn’t seem too bad. A table cleared up quickly, we ordered milkshakes with our meal that came out fast, so I am definitely glad we waited! Chris met up with us pretty quickly, so while we waited for food we were able to talk about what we were going to do next.

We thought about staying in Hoonah, but Auke Bay (Juneau) wasn’t far. We had no cell service in Hoonah so we just decided to go to Auke Bay. 

The drive to Auke Bay wasn’t bad. As we were coming into Auke Bay there was a pod of Orcas right there. I think this was the closest we’ve come to Orcas yet. It felt very fitting that we started our trip with orcas and we ended the trip with orcas. 

As we were watching the orcas a pan pan message came over the radio for a Seasport (A boat similar to ours) taking on water in Fingers Bay. Fingers Bay is where we stayed last night, and where we started the day off today. They were requesting any vessels to assist. We wished we were there to help out. The Panpan was canceled, but we don’t know what happened to that Seasport. 

It was kind of late when we got in, around 8:00 PM and we didn’t have time to walk to a restaurant so we ordered Dominos Pizza and had it delivered to us. The kids were very happy with this meal. 

I am writing in my journal at 10:52 PM and it still light out. Light enough to write with natural light.

Bear count:  Today: 1    Total:30

Ryan’s Thoughts: We got milkshakes and got Domino’s Pizza and we saw whales. 

Lillian’s Thoughts: We made it to Juneau. We woke up and ate oatmeal then we had an OK lunch. Then we got milkshakes! Then we got to Juneau!

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