Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Enroute to Redding - August 22, 2012

MV Columbia / AMHS photo
Alaska Marine Highway's M/V Columbia
The ferry trip aboard the MV Columbia from Haines, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington goes remarkably quickly.  Five calendar days are involved, but the trip is really only four nights, three full days and parts of two others.  We boarded on Monday evening and got off early on Friday morning....not bad for 1,800 miles.

While Columbia's 17 knots can't compete with its faster cousins in the fleet (Chenga and Fairweather) with their 32 knot service speeds, it rocks right along through darkness and foul weather.  It goes while we are sleeping.

The ferry is more expensive than travelling by land, especially for people who can travel long, fast and light.  However, it is easier on our backs and we can do other things while travelling.  And the scenery is always pretty and sometimes spectacular.

Our suspicion that we really do use the `Net a great deal was confirmed on the ferry.  Other than 3G cellular data available in Juneau and Ketchikan, there wasn't much Internet available during these days aboard the Columbia.  We turned off our data roaming once we entered Canadian almost $16/mb for data, we thought we could live without it for a little while longer.  Barely.

I woke up on August 23 with fog out the port and no forward movement on the ship.  It turned out we were just about to leave Wrangell.  The fog dissipated somewhat as we headed down Clarence Strait towards Ketchikan.

We arrived in Ketchikan at noon.  It is a busy place with jets arriving and departing Gravina Island, across the narrows from the city, ferries shuttling back and forth, fishing boats coming and going and a constant roar of float planes using the narrows as a runway.

We transited the Alaska / Canada border in Dixon Entrance just as the sun was going down in a spectacular fashion over Prince of Wales Island.  

The ferry did make an unscheduled stop at Prince Rupert for a medical evacuation.  Fortunately for the ill individual, it was only a few hours distant, and not far from the normal course.


Enroute to Redding - August 18 & 19, 2012
Enroute to Redding - August 20 & 21, 2012
Enroute to Redding - August 22, 2012
Enroute to Redding - August 23 & 24, 2012
Enroute to Redding - August 25, 26 and 27, 2012
Enroute to Redding - August 28, 29, 30 & 31, 2012
Enroute to Redding - September 1, 2012

All pictures
Enroute to Redding

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