Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sunshine in PA

June 4, Thurs Port Alexander
VHF weather didn’t sound promising but we headed to Cape Decision for a first-hand look at conditions in Chatham Strait. Not so bad, so we pressed on across the strait to the southeast shore of Baranof Island and found space at the dock inside Port Alexander. What a beautiful spot, and 70+ degrees in full sunshine helped us love everything about it. PA is reported to be the rainiest weather reporting station in North America - you would never know it today.

Locals worked on their fishing boats and charter boats, tuning engines and painting hulls, getting ready for this season’s activity. The twice-weekly supply boat had delivered a shipment yesterday, so pallets, lumber and propane were being ferried across the small bay or carted uphill or onto boats. 

A tracked machine, transported by barge, came ashore and positioned a small building at the head of the dock - PA’s first coffee shop. A local group is renovating the de-commissioned lighthouse for 2010 rental and has several pallets of flooring finish material ready for action. 

A small troller from Arlington, WA overnighted in PA to visit with friends and then head north to Sitka along the west shore of Baranof. We plan to run the sheltered eastern shore and visit a string of bays we haven’t yet explored.

We relished the chance to stretch our legs and take a boardwalk stroll to the PA back bay, discovering its second dock and another sprinkling of houses. The route passed the post office, an active schoolhouse and Bear Hall, the community building. The store/gift shop was closed, but peering through the windows it reminded me of the small gift shop in Meyers Chuck, another very small settlement in SE. 

A hike out to the harbor entry netted some cool photo ops - but who has time to process the cards? The Capt is too busy shooting more pictures! My little Lumix has good color and some terrirfic features, but I do covet the stabilized 400mm lens he uses to shoot wildlife.