Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Whale of a Visit at Meyers Chuck

32.3nm          Meyers Chuck
The fog cleared midway through Tongass Narrows as we departed Ketchikan and we enjoyed a sunny albeit somewhat lumpy run up Clarence Strait to Meyers Chuck. There was plenty of room to moor on the inside of the dock, a welcome surprise at the beginning of a three-day holiday weekend. We love The Chuck and make it a point to stop and visit at least once each year. (Check the archives for previous posts and photos in and around Meyers Chuck.) A salmon barbecue potluck with two other boats, a community crab feed on the dock, a big community potluck in The Back Chuck and a final three-boat hamburger dinner meant we ate a lot, laughed a lot and swapped a ton of stories during our stay. Just the memory of those meals makes me hungry all over again. One example: that amazing community potluck included grilled scallops, venison tidbits, oyster stew, just-caught Dungeness crab, BIG local prawns prepared two ways, barbecued pork ribs, grilled marinated beef strips, baked beans, a corn casserole, salads galore and several tempting, ooey-gooey desserts.

We did more than eat, really. All of those dining events encouraged multiple walks ashore and along the dock. Not power walks I’ll admit, but we kept moving. Native plants added color to the path along the water’s edge, and towering old lilacs perfumed the air at a nearby homestead. Aromatic cedar sawdust gathered from the small sawmill now sits in a plastic bag waiting to be transformed into sachets. The local gallery held some tempting artwork, craft items and jewelry. I couldn’t resist buying a stunning, multi-toned, turned wooden bowl. It’s an eye-catching decorative item as well as a functional serving piece.

Just outside The Chuck a lone humpback whale surfaced and slapped the water with its enormous flukes to drive its feed tight up against the steep, rocky shore of nearby Misery Island. The whale opened its huge mouth and scooped up the small, silvery fish by the hundreds. As its mouth closed the baleen retained most of the fish while letting the water stream out. Then he did it again, and again. What a sight!

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