The Alaska Ferry ship Kennecott was further delayed due to wind but eventually arrived and I boarded her for a ride to Juneau. Interesting to note that a 400 foot long ship can also be adversely affected by wind/waves as my 17 foot canoe often was. What a nice change of pace to just sit back and enjoy the ride through the Gulf of Alaska. I really enjoyed the ride as the winds picked up to 50 mph gusting to 65 mph for most of a day. The crew told me the captain considered going to port to avoid the wind but ultimately decided to stay out.
The storm delayed our arrival into Juneau causing us to get there around 4 am. I was pleasantly surprised to have someone call my name as I departed the ferry. Local resident, Mike F., had gotten up in the middle of the night to come pick me up at the ferry terminal. I ended up staying with Mike and his wife, Noreen, at their home for a few days while I was waiting for the next ferry to arrive. Mike and Noreen both work for the US Coast Guard and had followed my adventure. I had a great time trading stories and hanging out with them- thanks Mike and Noreen for being such great hosts!
While in Juneau, I wanted to canoe up to a glacier somewhere. The Mendenhall Glacier is close to town so that was my destination only I chose to get there the hard way. Most people drive to Mendenhall Lake and put in there, I decided to do it by paddling from Mike and Noreen's place. I put in at Fritz Cove and paddled to and up the Mendenhall River to get to the lake and then the glacier. The Mendenhall River is really cold (30 something degrees) and has some class 2 whitewater making for a challenging paddle/pull upstream. I made it to the glacier and proceeded to retrace my path back down the river. Although the Kruger Sea Wind canoe is a great expedition canoe, it is not built for whitewater paddling. Yup, I capsized on the approach to the class 2 rapids ending up bouncing my way through part of them. I managed to save the canoe and myself, once again, but did crack and deform the boat's hull.
From Juneau I boarded another ferry headed to Washington State. Much of the route taken by the ship was the same as I had paddled this last spring. Seeing some of the same areas again brought back past memories of both struggle and accomplishment. These areas now observed from the ship's deck perspective differred from before- now it wasn't personal, it was just scenery to be glanced at from far away and lacking of a sense of experience. Sadly, I had become a tourist.