Holidays in a Small Alaskan Fishing Town

20141225 4049 boat xmas tree rI’ll continue to share a few photos from our holidays in Petersburg as we wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

People often ask us if we have a Christmas tree on the boat, and of course we do – it’s a boat-sized tree made for us many years ago by my old Sea Scout friend.  We enjoyed a quiet Christmas morning together, then joined a gathering of about 15 people for a pot-luck Christmas dinner – it was a perfect day, though the promise of snow turned into rain with warmer than expected temperatures.

Jim was busy baking his famous monster cookies, but I had to keep reminding him that Christmas is all about sharing them.20141221 3983 monster cookies rWe finally had a day without some rain so I could photograph the Sons of Norway hall – first at low tide on the slough…20141224 4004 son hall and low tide slough rAnd then at high tide.20141224 4009 sons of norway christmas high tide rOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe haven’t had many decent weather days in a while, though Saturday and Sunday were clear and cold with bright sunshine – finally!  We loaded up the cameras and decided to head “out the road” to see some birds, but lots of other people were out enjoying the good weather with their dogs, so the birds were pretty scarce.  We enjoyed hiking and exploring new parts of the island, and with the crisp temperatures the fallen leaves and the swimming hole were kissed by frost and ice.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe muskeg meadows were misty and frosty, and it was great to take the time to notice nature’s little details like this Spanish moss on the evergreens.20141227 4028 spanish moss macro rWe made it all the way to the end of the road on the island, making lots of stops to explore along the way.  The sun was getting ready to dip below the mountain but it still cast a nice light on the snow-capped mountains across the strait.  We loved the views with every twist and turn of the road.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next day was clear and cold again, but we had a bit of fog in the early morning which froze into a very thick frost that covered the dock and everything.  I’ve never seen frost that thick, and it was very tough stuff since it remained intact even after two days of people walking on it.  The frost made everything sparkle like diamonds – so pretty.20141229 4045 thick frost rAnd from the beauty of nature, we turn to the insanity and/or hardiness of the people of Petersburg as the New Year is celebrated with a Polar Plunge.  Let me note that it’s a miserable rainy day – about 44 degrees which, coincidentally is the same as the water temperature!  Despite the weather, quite a number of people came out to take the plunge.  A safety swimmer was geared up and ready in his dry suit and the Volunteer Ambulance Corps was present… just in case.  The brave souls lined up on the launch ramp dock…20150101 4075 polar plunge brave souls rAnd someone counted down to the moment of truth!20150101 4077 polar plunge jump 1 r20150101 4078 polar plunge jump 2 r20150101 4080 jump 3 rMost people couldn’t get out of the water fast enough…20150101 4085 polar plunge get me outta here rBut a few folks paddled around for a little bit, enjoying a little harbor swim.20150101 4092 polar plunge swimmers r

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