..did we really just cross the border over to Alaska? It is definitely an odd moment when you pass a red line on your digital Navionics chart, indicating the border to the United States. Seconds later we celebrated ourselves for making it into another country, one of the very few times we did not have to go through customs. The other side of the “border” looked pretty much the same. Surprise!
Over the last 4 days we have finally been lucky to get a nice push by southwesterly winds, YES! We had our Windpaddle sails up in no time and were flying up north, through beautiful shallow intertidal zones and along the most magnificent white sandy beaches. There is no better feeling as to lean back in your kayak and watch the coastline rush past you with all its stunning details.
Navigating in Fog
Over the course of the last stretch we got back into the rhythm of setting our alarms for 4am and getting on the water before 6 am, and although early mornings usually bring better wind conditions, we were confronted with a different obstacle: FOG. We navigated with our deck compasses and the help of the app Navionics and tackled some 2nm crossings (using our VHF to let boaters know we were crossing). The fog started to dissipate around noon.
Welcome to (S)ketch-ikan!
When we paddled into Ketchikan, we were accompanied by a huge cruise ship and its hundreds of passengers. Apparently there is space for 6 cruise ships at the same time here.
Fortunately, we immediately ran into very friendly Alaskans, who directed us to the U.S. Customs. The local kayak company, Kayak Ketchikan, allowed us to store our boats on their dock. Everything went smoothly and by 2pm we had a ride to our hostel. After so much time away from society, it was quite a culture shock to be greeted by thousands of people, bright colours, music and a bustling atmosphere.
Hottest news off the press: We are super stoked and can’t believe that we will be joined by filmmaker and editor Hank Leukart for leg 9 – Glacier Bay! Check out his films and adventures on his website!
Right now we are overlooking the harbor from the peaceful Eagle View Hostel and are preparing everything for leg 7 (Ketchikan – Petersburg).