After the Wrangell Narrows, we awoke to another glaucous day at anchor outside of Wrangell, a small, relatively undisturbed town of 2,000. Fishing is still the predominant activity and income, and lovely boats speckle the harbors and horizon. At the top of the dock, we were greeted by a few of the local youth who displayed their cache of garnets for sale. Wrangell garnets are unique because there is truncation between the twelve-faceted edges. These gems are special, and Wrangell only allows local Boy Scout troops to search for and sell them, keeping them from being exploited. We were privileged enough to take a jet boat capable of navigating the shallow water of the Stikine River. Arriving at Shakes Glacier, we marveled at its differences from other glaciers we have seen. The moraines and gravel covering the ice gave a much different and enriching experience. Those of us more curious about the cultural side of things enjoyed a city tour with the highlights of Wrangell. The first stop was an intimate visit to Chief Shakes house, a replica of the Tlingit building standing on the same isthmus. A stop at the excellently curated Wrangell Museum pieced together the rich history of humans and nature and how they intertwine. The tour was finished with a walk in a local muskeg, where the naturalist described the unique flora, like the carnivorous sundew, to our curious onlookers. After another exquisite lunch back aboard the ship, there was free time in town to explore, support the locals with souvenir shopping, and an opportunity to hike to a memorable viewpoint at the top of Mt. Dewey. The day concluded with a feast of fresh Dungeness crab, bringing full circle all we had learned throughout the day.
- Daily Expedition Reports
- 23 Jul 2023
Wrangell, Alaska, 7/23/2023, National Geographic Sea Lion
- Aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion
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