Alaska Flotilla: Leg 5, Day 9 – Berg Bay to Meyers Chuck | NW Explorations


Alaska Flotilla: Leg 5, Day 9 – Berg Bay to Meyers Chuck

We left Berg Bay this morning at 8am at an extremely low tide (-4ft!).  Because of the extreme tide, we were able to see much of the exposed intertidal zone.  Sea stars clung to the rocks, and many different types of seaweeds were exposed.  It was a beautiful, calm day for cruising.  As we neared Meyers Chuck, we saw humpback whales spouting near the shore.

Meyers chuck is a wonderful community.  Only around 5 people live here year-round, but quite a few more spend the summers here.  There is a post-office and a small, local art gallery; however, there are no other stores and the entire place is off the grid.  The town cannot be reached by road and small trails connect the houses that perch on the edge of the shoreline.  Houses also dot the surrounding islands, and instead of cars, boats are tied up in front of the homes.

The people of the town are extremely friendly and welcoming. The postwoman, Cassy, has lived here with her husband Steve for 57 years.  They are an amazing couple, with many great stories that they willingly share.  Her husband worked as a commercial fisherman and still heads out on their boat, Patsy, to fish on his own even though he is almost 80.  The post office was recently featured on NPR’s series Our Land hosted by Melissa Block.  The post office is the social hub of the town, evidenced by the personalized coffee mugs that line the walls.

After touring the local art gallery and purchasing souvenirs we took a short hike out to a nearby beach.  The forest was much drier here than that of Berg Bay and the dominant trees were Western Red Cedars.  These cedars are known as the “trees of life” to the Tlingit people.  Historically, the trees provided wood for shelter and canoe building as well as bark for the weaving of baskets and cloth.  We also found blueberries and salmon berries to snack on along the trail.

The crew on Change of Latitude was able to buy some fresh caught Coho Salmon from the local fishermen.  Some of the other crews went out and tried their luck fishing and crabbing themselves. We enjoyed a quiet night on the dock in Meyers Chuck.  And, we are greatly looking forward to trying Cassy’s famous cinnamon rolls in the morning!

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