Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walking the Docks in Craig, Alaska

Craig Harbor
Monday, August 2

Under rare sunny skies, a leak in the steering created a diversion to Craig … a small town we’d never heard of half way down the west coast of Prince of Wales Island … in search of o-rings.

Who knew? With a population of about 1,200, Craig is the largest town on POW Island, and is shaped like a figure 8, with one road connecting both halves and boat harbors on each side of the intersecting road.

Rick and PETEY
After procuring our o-rings at the General Store and having lunch at Ruth Ann’s Restaurant next door on the waterfront, we spent the later part of the afternoon enjoying one of our favorite activities at new harbors … walking the docks.

We’ve met some of the most interesting, generous, colorful and considerate people  … just by walking up and down the docks of Alaska. And Crag was no exception.

We crossed the street from the South Cove Harbor where we were docked with mostly pleasure boats and visited the North Cove Harbor, which was predominantly filled with fishing boats, usually where you’ll find the most interesting characters. Half way up the docks we heard a loud squawk unlike any native birds we’d heard in Alaska and looked up only to see a huge blue Amazon Parrot in a cage aboard one of the fishing boats from Washington State. As we walked past the boat we heard another loud squawk followed by a throaty “H-E-L-L-L-O!”

Later, walking back down the docks, the parrot was perched down on the back deck and we had the opportunity to meet “Petey,” and his captain, Rick, who jointly owns the bird with his son.  

We learned that Petey has a great vocabulary, and uses his words appropriately (which is more than you can say of most people). He is 7 years old, sleeps on the boat hanging from his perch upside down by one claw, and has a bad habit of climbing up the mast … a dangerous performance with so many eagles around looking for easy prey.

Further down the docks we also happened upon the motor yacht called Siverado, which originally was the largest fiberglass yacht ever built, back in the early 1970s … and still is quite handsome.

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Engelenbak is a custom-built 62-foot steel trawler ... designed to cruise anywhere in the world.