Sunday, June 26, 2016

2016-17 A Counterclockwise Circumnavigation of Chigagof Island with The Boat People

2016-17 A Counterclockwise Circumnavigation of Chigagof Island with The Boat People

Tuesday, June 14, 2016: The Boat People as Crew

Over the years the Wild Blue has hosted many a crew, most of whom seldom if ever get on the water. They've learned while crewing and do excellent work for little or no boating experience. On the flip side, there is this week's crew: the opposites.  These folks are on the water as many as four days a week, every week.  They are experienced boat owners, and yacht club enthusiasts with years of sailing and power-boating.  In short the folks are..... The Boat People!

Alex met Dick Squire in the early 1980's  and soon thereafter Denny and Lori Haythorn, all of us members of the California Yacht Club, Marina del Rey. We've raced and cruised sailboats as well as power boats many times over those years.  We've enjoyed the many highs, as well as a few scary times on the ocean.  More Boat People information here. These folks arrived today and Pat flew in on the afternoon Sitka flight from Seattle to join us.

After a few Sleemans and Alaska Ambers, the crew began discussing their desires for their time aboard.  Fishing has never been The Boat People's priority but dining on fresh salmon or crab is desired.  A decision was made: attend Wednesday's "Cafe Concert" at the Totem Square Inn.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016: Sitka

Provisioning and dining out kept the Boat People busy.  There was some crew grumbling about the quality (and quantity) of excellent bourbon whiskey available in Sitka.  A survey was commissioned with payment in fine whiskey, and by the end the the day, the Wild Blue's stores were burgeoning with bottles of various tea-colored distillates.  Then the Boat People, with Alex and Pat, journeyed to hear a world class cellist and pianist from the Sitka Classical Music Festival at a Cafe Concert.  By the end of the day all were exhausted from the 7 miles of walking.

Thursday, June 16, 2016:  Ushk Bay

Ushk Bay is in Peril Strait on the north side of Sergius Narrows.  Our destination means departure timing is needed to insure crossing the Narrows at a slacker tidal current, so we departed at 5AM, a time considered unhealthy by the majority of The Boat People.

We rode the favorable current through the Narrows, avoiding flotsam and jetsam and the Alaska Ferry LeConte.  Around noon we turned left at Point Marie and noted the yacht Orion moving slowly in Ushk Bay near where we hoped to anchor.  As they passed us on their way out, our hail on VHF was answered and the skipper gave the anchorage high marks.  He also assured us he didn't reduce the crab population one bit!  We decided not to set our traps here.

We anchored in the lee of the peninsula on the NW shore in a light NW breeze.  Even with a 10 knot wind from exposed southerly compass points, the anchorage was secure, but quite noisy!  The Boat People consumed just enough spirits to dull the noise of the anchor chain as it loudly dragged across the flat-rock bottom.  Others made good use of ear plugs.

Friday, June 17, 2016: False Island Float

By this time the Boat People had decided they wished to cruise over the top of Chigagof Island, a clockwise circumnavigation.  Chigagof is the "C" island in Southeast Alaska's ABC Islands: Admiralty, Baranof and Chigagof.  Tenakee Springs was our next stop and we since passed close to the False Island USFS float on the north side of Peril Strait, we decided to check it out.

On the way we were hailed by the Orion who wanted confirmation on our stay in last night's anchorage.  Turns out the Orion crew was also kept awake by the chain dragging demons.

We've checked out the False Island float last year but all the charts we have, including raster, vector and even Navionics, show depths of 1 foot, or just that scary "shallow" color for the last 100 yards to the float.  Bonaventure, another Selene, had told us they tied there so we decided to sound our way in.  The tide was six feet and still rising, so we had more height to go just in case we slid aground.  After inching our way forward to the float using forward looking sonar and both sounders, we noted 21 feet  depth, or 15 feet at zero tide.  Awesome!  We secured the lines to the float for the evening.

Wild Blue at False Island USFS float with 15 foot depth at zero tide.
A nicely protected float.
The Boat People wished to stretch their legs so we took a stroll ashore.  We noted scat and, as usual, had forgotten the bear spray.  We walked east along the one lane road about 1/2 mile until the frequency and size of scat intensified.  We thought it prudent to reverse course and head west.  Along the way, we checked each scat pile and none were fresh: there was no steaming poop!  At the logging landing at the far west end of the area, we stopped for photos and headed back.  As we turned from the road to the dock path, a fresh pile!  Suddenly all crew were clapping, singing and talking loudly.  We quickly returned aboard. A few of us got a good night's sleep.

The roads on this side of Chigagof apparently have been developed for logging.
These vehicles here apparently are parked in the "Long Term" lot.

Saturday, June 18, 2016: Tenakee Springs

We disconnected from the False Island float early Saturday and headed east in Peril Strait with the current.  Flat water, light winds and overcast skies prevailed.  Not many boats around but did see the Nordhavn Ocean Voyager heading into the Strait.  Turns out there is a Nordhavn Rendezvous in Peterburg next month which accounts for the most Nordys we've seen in AK in the past eight years.

As we entered Tenakee Inlet, Orion checked in with us. They had enjoyed a fine anchorage in Long Bay.  Around 11AM we tied up to Tenakee's transient dock having discussed this with the Harbormaster, who turned out just to be a voice on the VHF.  Well I guess it was Saturday anyway.

Tenakee has a hot mineral spring that has been used since about 1900.  In 1940 the buildings sprung up around the spring. There is a public bathhouse which allows nude bathing only with separate hours for men and women.  The Boat People chose to bathe in the ........ free wifi "pool" at the public library with all our clothes on!

Tenakee offers hiking along the coast road both east and west up to 7 miles.  Hikers are cautioned to prepare foe bear encounters especially during salmon runs. The town sports a lodge, rental cottages, diner and volunteer fire company.  After walking the town, all crew headed back to the boat for a nap with public bathhouse dreams.

There is no room in the inn,
the Morris Reef buoy at east end
of the Peril Strait.
Nordhavn Ocean Voyager off east side of Chigagof Island
ready for the Nordhavn Rendezvous next month in Petersburg.
First view of Tenakee Springs.

At Tenakee's transient float.

Sunday, June 19, 2016:  Hoonah

By 7AM we were moving east in Tenakee Inlet headed for Chatham Strait, Icy Strait then Hoonah.  It was a touch bouncy with winds to 15 knots but a comfortable ride.  On the way into the harbor, we passed the empty cruise ship dock and faux waterfront cannery buildings at the northwest end of Hoonah.  At one time this was an active cannery but closed, then renovated and reopened for cruise ship visitors.  Besides the shops and demonstration cannery, the biggest attraction is a long zip-line from the top of the 1500-foot mountain above Cannery point.  Unfortunately we non passengers are not allowed inside the fenced compound, and our pining for the zip-line went unfulfilled.

The real Hoonah is a busy Tinglit marina and village with market, hardware store, liquor store, brew pub and about eight restaurants with multiple dining options.  We enjoyed lunch out at Mary's Cafe and the free-to-take bookshelf in the harbormasters office.

Monday, June 20, 2016: Idaho Inlet

Today we moved westward over the top of Chigagof Island and Point Adolphus.  There were whales around but no bubble feeding frenzies.  After a few hours we pulled into Idaho Inlet checking in on VHF with Orion and Shearwater as they exited.  Crews of both enjoyed the Inlet's Anchorage.  Next we started fishing along the west shoreline with a few other boats.  After an hour we decided frozen salmon is a good as fresh and moved to the head of Inlet anchorage.  

There's a bunch of fresh water flowing from the rather large river.  We decided to run the water maker and fill our water tanks.  After a couple hours of running fine, the machine stopped abruptly as a clump of something blocked the seawater intake.  We replaced filter, cleaned strainer and ran the power washer down the thru-hull but, no-joy.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016: Lisianski Strait USFS Float

We scurried out of Idaho headed for a brief stop at Elfin Cove, "A Drinking Town with a Fishing Problem".  Once out of the Inlet, Orion called us with the information that there was space at Elfin's float since they just departed.  Soon we tied up and visited this quaint community known on the Wild Blue for it's high-priced potato chips.  Those store people know that sometimes boaters will pay any price for a bag of chips.  One of The Boat People, the one that lives on the Malibu waterfront, paid big bucks (over $9) for a bag of Fritos. Yikes!

This little town is on the move with more homes and fishing lodges being built.  I would say Elfin's stock is on the rise.
The marina in the Cove behind the town.  Note new construction far right.
We were off again towards Lisianski Inlet and eventually the Strait.  Note the Inlet goes to the town of Pelican.  We stayed there last year and IMO it's stock is on the decline.    

About halfway down the Inlet, we turned right into the Strait, which actually curves to port.  Just a few miles into the Strait is the USFS Float on the right behind a small spit with about 8 feet of depth at zero tide.  It is a pretty stop with shelter ashore for kayakers, small boat people, or those that just want to sleep nearer the bears!  All crew sleep aboard the Wild Blue.

Hole in the island along Icy Strait,
with Glacier Bay National Park mountains in background
The Alaskan Ferry LeConte passes us on the way to Pelican.

Our approach to Lisianski Strait USFS float.  There was a 
bit of current which made backing in just a bit tricky.

View  southwest from the Lisianski Strait USFS float. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016: Kalinin Bay

Today we head south along Chigagof's west coast towards Sitka.  We plan to anchor at Kalinin Bay on the north end of Kruzof Island. We'll spend some time in the ocean, some miles in protected waters, navigate skinny Piehle Passage, then back into the ocean until Kalinin where we'll troll the mouth. 

Our early departure allows us to ride the ebb down the Strait to open ocean.  The forecast for 6-foot seas and 15 knots of breeze hasn't materialized yet and we enjoy 90 minutes of mostly gentle swells with the occasional deep roll prompting a question from the Admiral down below: "Are the stabilizers on?"  On or off, the answer is always the same: "Of course dear!"

Exiting Lisianski Strait to open ocean.
We joined the inside route via Kukkan Passage into Smooth Passage to the Admiral's delight.  After a couple hours we encountered the northern entrance to Piehle Pass and finally woke up the Boat People.  These Southern California boaters are used to very straight courses to Catalina, Santa Cruz and the other offshore islands.  More than two course changes in four hours is a big concern so it was fun for them to watch the autopilot drive the Wild Blue through the maze of rocks in Piehle.

At last we exited the Pass and re-entered the sea for the short cruise to Kalinnin.  Once there we trolled the entrance with 4 other boats.  Earlier John Little on Prime Time landed a BIG king salmon, but The Boat People didn't, at least this year.

While trolling we heard squealing and yelling from the Pilothouse as the Admiral and Lori spied a single Orca.

A southbound view into Peihle Passage.
Pay attention!  There are rocks out there!

It doesn't take much to impress these folks! 
Keep your eyes about 100 yards just to right of the course.

Thursday, June 23, 2016: Sitka

After a restful night with Orca dreams, we departed for Sitka and the end of a fun cruise with The Boat People.  We'll see this group in October as they crew the boat from Seattle to San Francisco.

Peter and crew on Seaducktress is an Alaska veteran.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016-16 Redfish Bay, Whale Bay, Sitka

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

On Wednesday 7AM we pulled the hook and headed deep into the head of Redfish Bay to retrieve our crap traps.  Our hopes of dining on fresh crab evaporated when we noticed a pair of sea otters lounging in the back bay.  The otters have steadily reduced the SE Alaska crab population over the years such that when you see one, you can be assured there are no crabs remaining in the area.

Redfish Bay looking one mile inside to 1st Narrows.  2nd Narrows and
the Head are not visible at 3 miles from the mouth.
After pulling the empties and exiting the Bay, we turned towards Whale Bay, our favorite King salmon fishing zone. During our smooth cruise northward, we passed the yachts Canadian Mist and Shearwater headed southward.  During brief VHF conversations we learned that Whale Bay hadn't yielded any Kings for them.

We entered the Bay with lowered expectations, dragging hootchies along the North side. Soon we were elated to land our first King of the season.  The Bay was generous to the Wild Blue and after four Kings in two hours we anchored in Kritoi for lunch and a nap.  At the evening slack tide, we netted two more kings completing the daily limit for our three guests.

Next it was up Small Arm for the nicest anchorage in the Bay.  Alex marinated King fillets in soy and lemon juice with crushed garlic, salt, pepper, lemon olive oil, wine and capers then slowly barbecued them on ocean soaked cedar planks. The entrĂ©e was served on the plank with rice and peas and was tasty enough to delight the pallet of the most discriminating epicurean.  “Hunt for the Red October” was screened for and enjoyed by Shawn.

Roger knows how to pose for a fishing photo: wear the Wild Blue
boat cap, look serious, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h that fish!
Shawn is learning from Roger.
Four of the six fish landed on Wednesday which are 29 to 32 inches long.
Fresh King salmon fillets on cedar planks in the BBQ.
Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2016

Thursday’s fishing the northern side of the Whale Bay entrance and the Krishka Island’s NW corner yielded just four kings. That’s pretty good and there is still Friday.

Anytime while trolling for salmon near the bottom, sometimes “by-catch” such as small fish go for the bait or lure action.  These so-called “shakers” usually don't even wiggle the rod.  They reduce fishing time because they’re large enough so that target fish, the King salmon, will not go after them.  A good fisherman periodically reels in to check his bait and only then are the small fish are revealed.  The fish is then quickly unhooked and returned to the sea.  Many are the bottom fish which take a couple minutes to recover and swim back down into the deep. Just seconds after being sighted while still at the surface, most are talon-fetched for the an eagle's dinner.

Such was the case today for Shawn as he quickly reeled in a small rock cod.  As the flasher and hooked fish broke the surface 2-feet of the boat's stern, unbeknownst to Shawn, a hungry eagle sighted it.  Before Shawn could remove the rod from the holder, the bird grabbed the still-hooked fish and flew.  There was a slight pause, then a loud crack as the eagle powered off breaking the fishing rod in half!
Eagle dive-bombed rock fish still on the hook.  Instead
of the line breaking, the rod broke!
After dinner, continuing in tour patriotic movie theme, we enjoyed “The Patriot”.

Friday mid-morning after four hours of hootchie dragging, we reeled’em in and headed away from the Bay for Bjorka Island.  Due to the low tide on the inside route at Second Narrows, we took the outside route which featured a light breeze and low swell.  By 11 AM we again started trolling but without action.  After 2 hours we called it a day and headed to town.  Sitka Harbors found the Wild Blue moorage at familiar Eliason Harbor where we cleaned up for the evening concert at the Sitka Classicial Music Festival.

Each June for the last five years or so, Alex, Pat and crews have enjoyed the sounds of the Sitka Music Festival.  Tonight’s performance features the world renown Cypress Spring Quartet of San Francisco.  This classical music group has practiced and performed throughout the world for the past 20 years, recording 16 albums.  Amongst their numerous accolades, they also have been heard on the Netflix original series House of Cards. They play exceptional music instruments including violins by Antonio Stradivari (1681), and Carlo Bergonzi (1733), and a cello by Hiermonyous Amati II (1701).  This is their final year together and tonight’s performance is 3rd to last as the Quartet.

Over the past four summers or so,  Patrick and Miriam of the Selene 55 Spirit and Alex on Wild Blue have hosted the Cypress Spring Quartet and friends for fishing excursions out of Sitka.  They've done well landing their daily limits of King salmon.

On stage at the Sitka Classical Music Festival
CecilyWard, violin, Tom Stone, violin, Jennifer Kloetzel, cello, Ethan Filner, viola
The Sitka Fishing Musicians: Cypress Quartet, Zuill Bailey-Music Director,
friends and kids with Patrick and Miriam of the yacht Spirit and
Alex of the yacht Wild Blue.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2016-15 Craig to Redfish Bay

Monday, June 6, 2016

The permanent slip owner didn't show and we departed at 4 AM.  We pulled our crab traps located just north of Craig off the fish processing plant to find 10 good looking ones.  When it comes to crabbing, there's just no gender equality so all 10 females used their "Get Out Of Jail Free Because I'm A Girl Card".   To be fair, the girl crabs keep making more crabs so there is a good fishing reason to free them.

We were hoping the open ocean King salmon fishing spot west of St Joseph Island would be comfortable this morning but it was wishful thinking as the higher wind and sea forecast made for a rocky ride. We settled on trolling Sonora Passage.  It was less windy and not so bumpy but the fish weren't there.  By 8:30 we motored up again headed for Port McArthur on the SE side of Kuiu Island.  Crossing Sumner Strait was another bumpy ride and we were happy to set the anchor and two halibut rigs in the Port.

Although we had seen only a single boat this morning, two others showed up later to share the anchorage with us. A boat called Scorpius was loaded with many 200 gallon propane tanks, and a helicopter.  Once the wind lessened, the copter took off from the boat and headed southwest into the Kuiu Island forested hills. Soon it was back to hoist a propane tank.  Later it returned with an empty tank.  The tank shuttle activity continued for a couple hours as about 15 tanks were transported ashore to some installation.

Have gas will travel! Scorpius with propane and helicopter.
Tank on the move.  Please don't drop it.
Alex and Sid enjoy prawns and pasta.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sunday's short stop in Craig netted us another crew.  Shawn McNamera flew in from California to join Roger Larsen and Sid Findley completing this leg's crew.  Roger and Sid have cruised on Wild Blue many times including portions of this years's trip from Anacortes, WA.  This is Shawn's first time aboard and we have on good information that he's an excellent fisherman and outdoors-man who enjoy's boating.  Shawn is in his final year at Chico State and is a partner in successful sporting goods store.   His father Dave was a regular Wild Blue crew.

Shawn abides by the Wild Blue new crew
initiation of downing fresh King salmon roe.
Our regular 4 AM start from Port McArthur assured we enjoyed the best conditions for crossing Chatham Strait and rounding Cape Ommaney on Baranof Island's southern tip.  We pulled a couple empty crab traps but noticed a few of those pretty sea otters with fresh crab breath.  It's a given in SE Alaska: if you can see an otter, there just won't be any crab around.

After 40 minutes we cruised past Cape Decision and her handsome lighthouse entering Chatham Strait.  We steered to round Cape Ommaney.  The conditions were nice: slight 3 foot swell with light winds.  Six miles in front we saw a cruise ship.  AIS identified the ship as the Celebrity Infinity which just days ago slammed into City Float, poking a hole in here hull.  The hole repairs commenced within a few hours of the mishap and she continued in service. 

Port McArthur sunrise looked to forecast a nice day.
Cape Decision lighthouse.
Celebrity Infinity just off Cape Ommaney entering Chatham Strait.
You can hole her but she stays in service!
Welders inside Celebrity Infinity begin hull repairs just two hours
after dock mishap.
We approached the Cape just before 8 AM.  The seas built up just a bit but the ride stayed nice.  Baranof Island's west side showed the beauty of high surf and the windswept shoreline.  Amazing there are many calm anchorages in the mist of stormy weather on this rugged ocean coast.  With our great weather we pulled into Redfish Bay and troll a bit.  We enjoyed lunch at anchor at the head of the Bay 3 miles inland from the mouth.  After landing two halibuts, we anchored for the night in Tenfathom Anchorage a calm spot, nearly landlocked yet close to the Bay entrance.  From their we enjoyed the pretty scenery, fried fresh halibut and a quiet night at anchor.

Approaching Cape Ommaney.
Seals enjoy the surf and sun on Baranof's west coast.
The view to sea just outside Tenfathom Anchorage.
Redfish Bay

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016-14 Ketchikan to Craig

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

After Celebrity Infinity's dock smash, we hoped for smooth exit from Ketchikan.

Early is relative.  In the lower forty-eight, 6 AM might be considered early.  But here in the Land of the Midnight sun (so to speak) our definition of early is 3:30 AM.  With sunrise at 4:08, it was already light when Roger and Alex arrived in the galley. While the coffee brewed, we shortened lines, readied the chart-plotter, and radar with dimmed displays, then after our first cup, we stowed the electrical cable and motored out.

Ketchikan Harbor was glassy calm with 2 knots wind from the NE, a dramatic contrast from yesterday’s gale and 35-knot gusts that caused a cruise ship to damage the City Float dock.  Once in Nichols Passage moving south, moderate ocean swells caused minor some pitch.  By 9 AM we had crossed Clarence Strait and were ready to round Cape Chacon as the winds remained light.

With all ocean points, capes, and peninsulas, confused seas prevailed.  The flood current had started, with half the current wanting to go west up Cordova Bay and Tlevak Strait, and the other half pining northward up Clarence.  Being at the Cape Chacon made for a messy ocean and this bathtub effect lasted for 2 hours until a crewman to asked “when does it get flat again?”  After Alex suggested “Tums”, we entered the Barrier Islands, picking our way northward between small islands in calm water.

Just past 1 PM we set a couple crab traps and the hook in Kassa Inlet.  The sun came out for the rest of the day.
North pacific swells attempt to bury the rocks of Prince of Wales Island.

Sunday, June 4th, 2016

This morning we slept in until 5 AM, pulled the hook and two crab traps without catching mud, a line or a crab! By 6:30 we stopped at a King salmon favorite fishing spot…. Jackson Island.  The place is highly recommended by a tug captain and that story is here.

Jackson Island view from our westerly approach.
There was bait everywhere: at 60, 80, 100 and 120 feet, all good King depths.  There were bait boils everywhere on the surface and we fished from 40 feet to 160 feet of depth trolling the lime green, sparkle-skirted hootchie.  The bait never seemed to scatter which means there were no big fish around. There were no seabirds dining either, just one lonely humpback feeding about a ½ mile over.
After three hours we again restated the obvious: salmon fishing is hours and hours of boredom punctuated by a few minutes of shear excitement.  We enjoyed no excitement.

Bait balls from 40 through 120 feet with boils on the surface.
Unfortunately there were no hunger salmon around.
The water was pancake flat all the way to Tlevak Narrows as we made turns for Craig, Alaska.  Surprisingly it was also filled with hundreds of logs, sticks, trees, and other wooden obstacles which called for zig-zag course, (and also assured we wouldn’t be torpedoed by an enemy sub!)

At 2 PM we set the crab traps just north of town and began looking for dock space in the crowded North Harbor.  It’s Sunday so no harbormaster.  The transient slips were occupied so we opted to tie up to permanent slip in hopes the owner won’t come home tonight!  We’ll sleep very lightly…..

Friday, June 3, 2016

2016-13 Cruise Ship Damages City Float Dock in Ketchikan

Friday, June 3, 2016

Yesterday evening we enjoyed the lightly filled Alaska Air flight from Seattle to Ketchikan.  Roger, Sid and I returned back to town to get the boat moving towards Sitka.  We hope to be there around the 10th.

Except for the big winds, we would be off to Prince of Wales Island today.  We've seen some nasty wind gusts today while we wait it out until tomorrow's more moderate conditions.  This morning we set up for fishing by installing the down-riggers, rigging the rods, unscrambling the flashers, leaders, hooks, weights and associated gear.  It is relaxing, until a big southerly gust pushes Wild Blue over so much that you feel like you're out of the confines of City Float, away from downtown Ketchikan.

The wind not only affects the small boats, but the cruise ships on a much larger scale.  There were four ships in early today, including the Norwegian Pearl at the City Float cruise ship dock.  This dock has six major sized pilings with maximum size fenders.  The dock sits just in front of City Float small boat harbor and since the Wild Blue is moored just 100 feet away, we get close up cruise ship activity.

About 1:30 the Pearl was leaving southbound in the big winds while the Celebrity Infinity waited patiently about a half mile north and astern of the Pearl.  So with all the noise generated by the ships engines, thrusters, etc, we moved up to the pilot house to watch a professional un-docking and docking exercise.

The Pearl made a clean exit into the heavy winds.  Then Infinity started approaching from the north.  As she nosed her bow towards the City Float cruise ship dock, a big gust pushed her bow even further towards shore.  Moored just to the north of City Float is the Zaandam.  Having watched many a ship dock here in Ketchikan, it appeared to Alex, that Infinity was too close to shore, and too close to Zaandam!  Alex stated this fact out-loud, but failed to start rolling the cell phone video.  Darn!

Both the Infinity's stern and bow thrusters running hot apparently couldn't keep the ship from gaining towards shore and the moored Zaandam.  A bow only starboard thrust would allow a soft landing square to the dock, but would push the stern to port and shore-ward, and since the Infinity's stern was overlapped with the forward part of Zaandam, a collision would occur.  The pilot's only choice was to continue thrusting to starboard and moving forward.

When the forward sections of the Infinity hull ground into the City Float piling, a loud metal-on-metal noise could be heard.  Once clear of Zaandam's bow, the stern thruster helped square up the boat.  But the cruise ship dock, catwalk, piling, auxiliary inside float and Infinity's port side suffered.

Big southerly winds blasting up Tongass Narrows
just outside the partially protected City Float small craft harbor.
Collision with cruise ship dock piling pierced and scraped the Infinity's
forward hull.  By 5:00 pm we could see welding occurring from inside
Infinity's hull, confirming that the ship was holed!
Aleutian Ballad is tied to 200 foot float on the inside of the City
Float cruise ship dock.  The U-clamps holding the float to the pilings
were separated by the collision.  The float became unattached with the Ballad and
Safari Endeavor tied up and now free floating.
Tugs moving Safari Quest off free-floating float.
Zaandam is moored in the background.
Damaged piling at far left. Partially sunk catwalk and twisted steel.
Note large crowd of passengers watching.  I bet someone has a great video.
Piling separated from bollard platform.

An undamaged piling and bollard platform.

Here's some video from the folks with a front seat:

At 4pm the Seven Seas, berthed off the bow of Infinity, called for two tugs to assist in exiting Ketchikan northbound.

At 5:30 the Infinity was assisted by tug south to the undamaged the berth exited by Seven Seas!
We now have a beautiful view of Tongass Narrows, only slightly enhanced with twisted metal.