Inside Passage Blog

By Linda Lewis



July 9 , 2007 – Crabs, Glaciers and the Fourth of July


We are in Auke Bay Harbor at the north end of Juneau. This is what the marina looks like. You can just barely see a sliver of the Mendenhall Glacier from this harbor. It is just about at the lower middle of the mountains in this picture.

And here is the Mendenhall Glacier which I had not seen close up before this trip. A friend who lives in Juneau drove me out to see it. She commented that in the 10 years she has lived in Juneau she has noticed a considerable change. The brown area at the right was all glacier when she first arrived. She said she believes this glacier recedes about 100 to 150 feet every year.

And here is downtown Juneau. Is has not changed much at all since we first visited it in 2001. Downtown is designed basically for the cruise ship visitors. Lots of shops.

The Douglass SE AK cruising guide book is in print! I couldn't help but put this picture in to show the result of the project that I worked on as editor for so long. The publisher was kind enough to send me a copy. It was a treat to see the real thing. [See: Exploring Southeast Alaska, Don Douglass and Reanne Hemingway-Douglass, Fine Edge Nautical & Recreational Publishing, 2007]

A new record has been set for a Royal Souhder crab haul. These two pots counted out to 21 crabs!

Now get ready to see something amazing that was in one of the pots. No, not this crab. This picture is actually from a previous trip to AK. However, it shows the underbelly of a male crab very nicely. See the arrowhead shape? When it is narrow like that we know it is a male and therefore is a keeper (if it's big enough). If we saw an arrowhead that was very broad shaped that would indicate a female. We are required to throw females back in the water so they have a chance to reproduce.

And here is the amazing sight. Something we have never seen before. See all that "stuff?" Look at the next picture to get an even closer look.

Can you figure out what you're looking at? This is a female loaded with tons of eggs. (One source I looked at said they can lay millions of eggs at a time.) Apparently that arrowhead portion just peels away and out come the eggs. Needless to say, this crab went back into the water right after I took these pictures.

Oh, and I didn't say who the new record holder is. Well, here he is. All smiles.

We have always been at anchor somewhere on the 4th of July. However, this time we were in Juneau and thought we would finally be able to see some fireworks. Think again. The fireworks display didn't start until 12:01, July 4. You see, it doesn't get dark up here at this time of year until about 11:30 PM. And it is light again by about 3:00 AM. You think I'm kidding?
Look at the next two pictures (which I took in Hoonah). I took this picture at 10:00 PM !! Yes that is the sun going down past the breakwater.

And this picture was taken the next morning -  at 3:15 AM. No special camera settings and no photoshop touchup in either photo. This is the real scene.

Did I see the fireworks at 12:01 AM? Are you kidding? When you only have a few minutes of sleeping ambience you better shut your eyes and sleep!
However, we did get a nice treat on the 4th of July when we looked over at the U.S. Coast Guard boat. The Coasties had decked the boat out in a great flag display just for the Independence Day Holiday. Tah dah! Happy Birthday U. S. of A.

During our stay in Juneau I took the Fast Ferry "Fairweather" up Lynn Canal to Skagway for a fabulous 2-day Gold Rush history holiday. You'll have to wait a while until I get those pictures organized. But stay tuned for details of a terrific trip.
In the mean time, we will be leaving Auke Bay on Tuesday to host our wonderful Santa Fe friends to a week on the water. The Skagway trip and adventures with our friends will be in a future email.

Linda & Dave
M/V Royal Sounder



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