We said farewell to Hydaburg this morning, and slipped away from the docks under the watchful gaze of a bald eagle perched atop a large cedar tree. The tide was out, so we were quite aware of the shoals and rocky bits as we threaded our way through Sukkwan Narrows, past Whisker Point on Goat Island, and out into Tlevak Strait. All these islands and channels and coves and inlets sure make the west coast of Prince of Wales Island a fascinating area to cruise.
In Tlevak Strait, as we passed the Lively Islands, we saw our first whale blow, then another and another! The boats hovered as we soon found ourselves with humpback whales all around us. One came quite close to Deception, to the great excitement of her crew. As they moved away from us, we reluctantly moved on, only to have Change of Latitude spot more whales in Ulloa Channel. Again, we hovered and soon found ourselves in the middle of a humpback whale show – blows, slapping flippers, flukes and an occasional breech. Naturalist Martine noted they were probably feeding as they did not dive very deeply and were staying pretty much in the same area. We certainly enjoyed the display put on by these impressive animals!
The day became progressively mistier with clouds dipping lower and lower over the hillsides. Before long, we spotted the town of Craig. The harbormaster efficiently found us slips all together and the docking was smoothly accomplished. Off we went to explore the city of Craig; with about 1,200 residents, it is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island. Several crews enjoyed dinner at Ruth Ann’s Restaurant and provisions were topped off at the local supermarket. We settled in for a cozy rainy evening, watching the fishing boats come and go in the harbor.
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