The Zeiger Family Boat Building Page
Cruising in Sitka, Autumn 2004
October 18 is Alaska Day, commemorating the day in 1867 that the Russians transferred Alaska to the United States. The transfer took place in Sitka, the capital of Russian America. Each year since the 1950s, Sitka has held a celebration on Alaska Day. Dave and Anke are now based in Sitka, so this year our sister, Beth, and the Juneau Zeigers joined them for the holiday.
We arrived on Saturday, October 16th, and sailed out to the Kasianas Islands, where we spent the night.
Just casting for fun, Mark caught three cod. Aly pulled in a fourth, for the first fish she's ever caught.
They tasted mighty good!
The sail to Pirate's Cove was excellent! We had good swells coming in from the open ocean, gentle, but big enough to splash impressively around the rocks as we passed.
We arrived in Pirate's Cove in the early afternoon. This was a place where Dave and Mark had spent time as kids, and learning to row. Felt like old times.
Someone strung a fishing net over a clearing in the woods, creating a bouncy jungle Jim of sorts. Talk about a full body workout!
Dave rowed Beth, Aly and Mark around the corner from the cove to a narrow fissure in the rock. The dory barely fit into it, and we had to push ourselves in with our hands against the walls. The fissure takes a right angle, and ends in a tiny gravel beach. When we got in there, some unexpected swells started knocking us around, so we beat a hasty retreat. It was like a rollercoaster—very exciting but pretty safe.
The next morning, Alaska Day, started out gray and windy. We had an exciting ride across to Sitka in 20+ knot winds. We passed right through a pod of humpback whales that dove all around us.
We actually made it back to town in time for the parade, by which time the wind had died and the sun came out. The story goes that the Russians cursed the day so that it would always rain. This was one of only two or three sunny Alaska Days we could remember.
That evening we had to fly back to Juneau. Beth stayed till Thursday.
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