No kayaking or hiking on today’s agenda – the anchor was up and the engines were on shortly before breakfast. We were headed to the small town of Wrangell, 155 miles South of Juneau. Wrangell sits on Wrangell Island, and you need a boat or airplane to get there. It has a strong cultural history, with the Tlingit people having settled here long ago. (Note – Tlingit is pronounced like “Klink-it.”)
While underway, Hannah – one of our five Expedition Guides – gave a talk about Tlingit Art and some folks tried their hand at the techniques.
Chris prepared a morning surprise on deck, available with and without alcohol.
The final approach into Wrangell. Could we have had a nicer day? Since we were a small ship, we could dock at Wrangell. During the summer, there are kids at the dock selling garnets – which only they can mine in the local pit.
We had a hamburgers for lunch onboard before setting off to explore. There was an option to take a group tour to Chief Shake’s Tribal House, or wander around on your own. We knew we would have the opportunity to learn more about Tlingit culture next week, so we opted to stroll around on our own. We visited the Wrangell Museum, which was very well done, and the Totem Park. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many flowers in bloom already.
Wrangell is home to the oldest Catholic Church in Alaska; it’s called Saint Rose of Lima.
Lou took photos at the museum, and he captured flowers and many other interesting sights as we walked through town. He was in charge of photography for the day!
We were all back onboard and ready to roll by 5pm. I think everyone had a good time in Wrangell, and we certainly enjoyed the perfect weather. We were also looking forward to dinner – Chef Jo was serving crab legs.
I haven’t mentioned the evening programs held most nights after dinner – mostly because I was usually on deck taking photos, or already in bed. Lou managed to stay up for several of the programs and enjoyed them. We were treated to talks about our route, about Alaskan Wildlife, Intertidal Creatures, and more. There was also a library on board where you could read about many Alaska-related topics.
As we cruised towards Yes Bay for another day of water activities and hiking, we were treated to some amazing evening light. Still light well after 9pm.
A quick peek out the cabin door at 3am: