The Alaskan Marine Highway Ferry – Rest At Last!

Aboard my ferry ship and sipping a cold Alaskan Amber draft in the lounge about this 400 foot vessel – the Matanuska. My GPS is tracking the journey from the window in my 3 berth cabin on the port side of the ship. My sick bike, Doc, sits on deck #4. After an expensive $400 or more standard 6K service performed by The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage, the bike no longer runs right. It simply stalls and won’t idle.

Having a cabin or stateroom on this boat is key. Full bathroom, writing surface and a hot shower. This is living. The auto deck is closed when the ship is under sail, so I took advantage of the secure room and brought much of my gear up from below.
The islands we pass are heavily forested and show no real signs of habitation. Looming above are glacial peaks and icefields. The water is still, silent and deep. Clouds hang low enough that the tops of the spruce trees poke their pointy heads through with grace.

A forest service ranger is aboard the ship and several times during the day he gives wildlife or historical talks. I attend many of these and bask in my newfound knowledge and appreciation of both the inland passage and the amazing Alaska Marine Highway System which will take me through Juneau, Wrangell, Sitka, Kechikan and a few others.
My foot seems to be doing better as I’m relying less and less on the cane that Angie gave to me in Seattle. Not sure if it’s really healing or if the 600 mg ibupropen tablets are masking the real pain. I’m running low on these tablets so I hope the former is the case.
In a couple days I’ll be in Prince Rupert. But with my ill acting bike, I’m not looking forward to dealing with a bike that stalls every time I pull in the clutch to slow for a left turn or stop light.
Haines, AK to Sitka, AK 8-18-05
Sitting and chilling on the 400ft. Matsanuka Ferry

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