On our last trip to Afognak Erica and I took most of the gear over in a Boston Whaler. I was impressed with how much it carried! The trickiest and most stressful part was backing up the boat on the trailer. The trip itself from Anton Larsen Bay to Afognak only took a 1/2 hour or so, and anchoring up the boat proved to be fairly easy. It was also the first time I have skippered a boat by myself to Afognak. I have made the trip countless times before, but it has always been with someone else driving.
The trip reminds me of when I was a kid and we did a similar trip in Maine from the mainland across Penobscot Bay to North Haven Island. We had an old aluminum Mirror Craft with a Mercury 50 horse on the stern and sharks teeth painted on the bow like a WWII fighter plane. We called the boat 'Jaws'. No electronic navigation aids back then, and when it was foggy you'd take a compass bearing, account for the tidal current, and go. Then when you got to the other side you had to go slow for a while until you recognized where you had ended up. Once oriented you turned the appropriate direction and finished the trip to the North Haven harbor.
The GPS gear on the whaler we took to Afognak took all the guess work out of it. The GPS shows all the rocks and a map of where you are going. And it was sunny and clear anyway. However, I still found myself staring a little too hard at it, and not watching where I was going! I think I preferred boating without the gadgets, but I also realize that for safety reasons there is no going back to those days.
Anyway, the whaler is too small to take the whole family and gear over to Afognak. But it does lighten up the plane load, and a lighter load is a cheaper floatplane charter than a heavy load. Funnily enough we also looked into boat charters over to Afognak and the floatplane costs about the same as a boat charter! The floatplane also carries more, and is way, way more convenient. Patrick
|Taking the kids out for a joy ride in the whaler out at Afognak|
|Load of gear for the whaler on the ride home|
|Willy and the beaver floatplane took 6 passengers and personal gear|