Today we land in Juneau. It is a little wierd, I have been to this northern city so many times. A place that I have never lived, but know my way about reasonably well. The ritual is always the same… Check the boat, go over the shopping list, drive about town to buy the mountain of supplies it takes to spend a week or two exploring and fishing. Fred Meyer, Costco, Western Marine… The places where I can find the mutitude of items on The List.

Nordic Quest
The Nordic Quest underway near Tenakee, AK
Between stops for groceries, there may be a trip or two to the airport to meet a flight. Not that Juneau Airport is any trouble. Three gates, one baggage claim, you can park just a few yards from where your folks are grabbing the bags. An uncle, a good family friend, the rest of the crew for the trip. Another run down Eagan drive to Aurora Harbor.

Errands completed, grocieries stowed, we will finally slip the lines and head down Gasineau Channel. The desination is Icy Strait and Glacier Bay. We will not make it all the way there, getting started too late in the day. Where will we anchor for the night? Swanson Harbor? Funter Bay? Depends on how late we get started, how long the light lasts.


It is a rather long list.

Fred Meyers Aisles
Looking down the aisles of a Fred Meyer grocery section
Three weeks of food for half a dozen people reduced to a spreadsheet printout. As usual, I draw the shopping detail, a few hours in the Juneau branches of Costco and Fred Meyer. The result will be a vehicle filled with food.

After it is all purchased there will be the chore of carrying it all down the dock and stowing it away into the many cupboards and freezers aboard the boat. Invariably this will occur at low tide when the ramp to the dock is steepest.

  • 5dz eggs
  • 3 bags frozen potatoes o’brien
  • 5lbs sugar
  • 1 box tea, assorted
  • …this list goes on…

The procedure is fairly well practiced at this point, this is not the first time we have done this. I know where to find everything, in a supermarket I visit about once a year. The list is refined each year, it has a history now, the failures removed and perhaps a couple new menu ideas included.

We will rely on catching a few fish along the way. If the lines come up empty the menu may get a bit monotonous. But this is Alaska, we will catch something.