Day 35: Auke Bay to Taku Harbor

July 1, 2022 Day 35: Auke Bay to Taku Harbor 61 miles- 2405 total miles

Boating to Alaska is a big trip. There is so much to do, people will take months to do the trip and still not see anything. Since Chris only has so much time off work we got our Airbnb in Juneau, but part of the draw to that is that we can still go out on weekend trips to explore South East Alaska. Alaska is an hour behind Washington, and in the summer Zillow has it so no meetings are scheduled after 1:00 PM on Fridays during the summer, that would be 12:00 PM Alaska time. Potentially that lets us leave on Fridays and extends what we are able to do. 

This weekend is also the 4th of July so Chris has Monday off as well. This allows us to take a longer trip than we would normally have time for on a weekend. We were really hoping to do Tracy Arm, Endicott Arm, and Ford’s Terror over the long weekend, but we also needed a good weather window to do it quickly and safely. Luckily the weather continues to cooperate with us this trip and we are able to go! 

I’ve been really looking forward to this little section of the trip since I started reading and planning for our trip and I am so glad we are making it happen! 

Since we don’t have a car getting to the boat is a little trickier. We have to take all our stuff with us onto the bus to get to the boat. The bus stop we took was a little over 15 minute walk. Which isn’t bad, but combine that with three little kids, everything we need for the long weekend, including all our food, it made it more complicated than it would have been. Something came up last minute for Chris at work so he sent me and the kids ahead of him. Ryan had on backpack with our stuff in it, and Chris had a wagon load with everything else. We didn’t have room in the boat for Ellen’s stroller this trip, and the bus was coming quicker than she could walk it, so I had to carry her. 

The kids and I hustled and we made it to the bus stop with time to spare. Chris was a couple minutes behind us, but luckily he made it too! Our wagon was full of stuff, but we had to unload it all on the bus and fold up the wagon. We also had to pay with our laundry/shower quarters, luckily we had the exact amount for our family to ride the bus. ($2.00 for adults and $1.00 for each of the big kids, Ellen was free.) 

Chris had to bring his work stuff with him and he finished up what he was doing on the boat. We also were going about as far as we could on the gas we would have on the boat with us. There was one more gas station on the way that we needed to stop at. The gas station is at another harbor in Juneau, closer to downtown Juneau. There is a quick way to get there, but it is over mud flats. Guide books recommend going only with local knowledge.  We definitely didn’t want to blow out our prop taking a short cut, so we decided to take the long way around. It would be just over an hour to get there. 

We got gas, then we went to check out the harbor. We found a spot on the transient dock, we were doing OK time wise, so Chris decided to take a Lyft back to the airbnb to drop off his work stuff and to grab our bear protection. The boat ride was a long ride from the other harbor, but a car ride wasn’t too bad. 

While he was gone I made dinner for all of us on the boat, and about as I finished up Chris got back into the boat. It ended up working out really well.

While we were docked at this harbor in Juneau I saw the Airship. Its the boat from the Slow Boat website. I used their trip reports a lot in planning out our Inside Passage trip. It was pretty fun to cross paths with them, even if I didn’t get to say hi. I did take a picture of our chart plotter with their AIS tags. 

After we all ate we headed off. Since it was late we didn’t want to go too far and we decided on staying at Taku Harbor. Its an old cannery site. It has a public dock and land access to walk around. It was also on my list of places to visit on our Alaskan trip, so it worked out well! 

We found a place on the dock and tied up behind Lituya, a Nordic Tug 42. I have become very fond of Nordic Tugs over the past few months and I am dreaming of having one of our own and doing this trip again, but with more space. After we docked we decided to walk around. It was evening, cool outside, and it was low tide, all three things normally mean bears, so the kids and I were a little skittish. Chris would have loved to go further, but the kids felt like something was watching them in the woods, and the bugs were eating us all alive. We decided to head back to the boat around 10:00 PM. On the way back Chris found an old outboard on the beach and took the big kids to go get a picture with it. It’s interesting that all the bears we’ve seen have been on beaches, but the kids weren’t nervous once they were on the beach. I guess the fear of what they can’t see in the forest is scarier than what they can see on the beach. Luckily we didn’t see any bears, even on the beach.

Ryan’s Thoughts: We left our Airbnb and went on a bus and our boat.

Lillian’s Thoughts: Today I woke up and watched a show with Ellen and then Sulfur Springs. We played our tablets, ate lunch and went on our boat. Then I played base raiders  SMP with Ryan! I hid my farm from Ryan!

Getting a quick snack before we head out on our weekend adventure.
Ellen’s first bus ride
The AIS tags of “Airship” the Slow Boat people. Rubicon is a boat that went with them on their floatilla.
The old outboard that was on the beac at Taku Harbor
Bedtime at around 11:00 PM

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