The amount of daylight here in Petersburg is currently increasing at a rate of over 25 minutes per week. We’ve quickly moved from the “dark months” to days that are noticeably longer. On the Winter Solstice (December 21) we had 6:46 hours of daylight, today we’ll have about 10:45 hours, and on the Summer Solstice in June we’ll have just shy of 18 hours.
Meanwhile, as the east coast continues to deal with a cold snowy winter, we’ve been enjoying mild temperatures. Winter in Alaska – come here and warm up!
As boaters we’re much more in tune with the cycles of the sun and the moon, going up and down with the tide every day.The biggest impact on us with the tide is the steepness of the ramp from the floating docks to shore. At low tide it can be a pretty good climb, though we’re lucky here in the North Harbor since the ramp is new and ADA compliant which means that it’s longer than the ones in South Harbor; the South ramps are scary steep especially at extreme low tides.
Here’s an example of the tide difference:With the longer days and more sunshine lately we’ve been getting out to explore and photograph more – this week we ventured out some of the logging roads and did a little hiking. One local hike is the Raven’s Roost trail across the muskeg (boggy, acidic soil) and up into the forest.The mild winter has kept a lot of the wildlife up in the higher elevations, but the views along the trail and at the overlook were beautiful. We could see the Coastal Mountains on the mainland, as well as bergy bits from the Le Conte glacier nearby.In the sun the temps felt like 55 degrees, but shady areas were kissed by frost and there was ice on some of the kettle ponds.The clear sunny days have been a real delight after an unusually rainy winter, and we caught the late day light as we were heading back towards town one afternoon, painting the town and mountains with gold.I’ve been going out to try and photograph a local mountain peak called the Devil’s Thumb, hoping to catch some fleeting sunset color. Although I haven’t caught the color that I’m looking for yet, it’s still beautiful.I didn’t notice the two bald eagles at the bottom of the photo until I saw the image on my computer screen. The eagles have been very noisy in the harbor the past few weeks – there are several pairs calling out about their territories, and occasionally there’s a kerfuffle over some fish.
Our days here in town are busier as we’re getting to know more people and we’re getting more involved in various activities. Jim was at the community center the other day and he saw one of the school groups in the pool learning about survival suits (aka “gumby suits” for surviving in cold water). We think it’s pretty sensible for a fishing community to get its youngest citizens comfortable with donning and using survival suits at an early age.