Ketchikan averages 165 inches of rain each year. Is that a lot? Seattle averages 32 inches. Yesterday someone told us one of his first years here they had 10 days of sunshine. 9 of the days were strung together, leaving one day of sunshine out of the remaining 356 days. We have been in Ketchikan for a week, and we haven’t seen a cloud in the sky. It has been sunny and 70 or 80 degrees for 8 days in a row here. That is why we wake up each day believing the sun and blue skies have to be replaced with rain and low clouds.
It’s not that we don’t like sun, it’s that the sun comes with a high pressure system, and around here that seems to mean a northwest wind blowing 20 knots. 20 knots of wind isn’t necessarily bad, but right now we need to travel northwest for about 33 miles, and in a headwind like that we would probably average 1 knot, depending on the current. That means we would spend 30 or so hours tearing at our shoulders and grumbling about the wind.
Up to this point, when we have a persistent northwest headwind, we get up ridiculously early and get some miles before the wind builds in the late morning or early afternoon. For the last four days we have gotten up before dawn to get an early start, and each time we have ended up back at the hotel. We either load the boats and start paddling, only to find out the wind is already blowing 15 or more knots in our face, or we don’t even make it into the boats before we see waves marching past the marina.
It seems crazy to be stuck here in such beautiful weather, but someone is probably trying to teach us something. Patience is a virtue. Accept the things you cannot change. Sharks eat people (it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel). Blah, blah, blah.
The weather is finally supposed to change tomorrow. The forecast is for rain and southeast winds, the perfect conditions for two pasty kayakers trying to get to Haines.