PDA

View Full Version : So who's been to Ketchikan?



Michael Beckman
02-12-2010, 12:49 AM
I've got a job offer as a deckhand/engineer with a tour boat company out of Ketchikan. I'd be there 5 months. I'm sure a few people here have lived there. Hows the town there? Cost of food and such? The boats look pretty fun. Fast jet powered catamarans.

http://www.coolworks.com/images/cw3/amcatmaran%20.jpg

BrianW
02-12-2010, 02:01 AM
I have been there, but never overnight. A few times to the airport, which is across the way on another island (remember the Bridge to Nowhere? :)) Only once to the town side to catch the Inter-Island ferry to Prince of Wales Island (deer and black bear hunting.)

Since that's an Allen Marine boat you posted, I assume you'll work for them. Good company. They build them in Sitka. They also run a them out of Juneau. An Allen Marine built boat was one of the first to respond to the recent Hudson River jet ditching. They sold a few to the New York ferry people too. Big arse diesels directly connected to the jets. No transmission, no neutral position except the buckets.

I think you'll really like it there. Not much different from coastal Washington. Ride the Alaska Marine Ferry, bring a kayak or a small boat.

I've considered working for them, but the seasonal part just doesn't work out.

PAlien
02-12-2010, 03:18 AM
You'll be there during the tourist season I assume. The waterfront there is dedicated to the cruise ships now, the logging show and the jewelry shops with locations in Puerto Vallarta and Ketchikan, Far East Rugs with locations in the same cruise ship ports, etc. It's a lot of fun if you take it for what it is, and you'll enjoy meeting lots of new people from all over the world every day. I can't remember the numbers, but during the height of the season there's like 4 or more cruise ships there daily, so thousands and thousands of people who are there for a few hours and then they're gone and the next boat shows up. I expect you'll have a great summer, and there's tons to do on your time off. Especially for someone who loves boating.

Phillip Allen
02-12-2010, 09:53 AM
my bro says there are lots of abandoned sail boats there

Bill Thompson
02-12-2010, 12:29 PM
Away from the cruise ship shops/bars etc. there are some regular neighborhoods -
As noted earlier - lotsa rain.
Housing for seasonal workers during the summer used to be pretty dear - it seems like Ketchikan had a max number of unrelated people to an apartment / house ordinance - any idea what housing going to go for this year?

chasbartlett
02-12-2010, 03:11 PM
Relatively expensive......the cheapest way some make it is with a small camp trailer and vehicle and drive up.

Bobcat
02-12-2010, 03:26 PM
Relatively expensive......the cheapest way some make it is with a small camp trailer and vehicle and drive up.

Except of course, you can't drive to Ketchikan; it's on an island.

Ketchikan is okay, but expect rain.

Michael Beckman
02-12-2010, 03:38 PM
Away from the cruise ship shops/bars etc. there are some regular neighborhoods -
As noted earlier - lotsa rain.
Housing for seasonal workers during the summer used to be pretty dear - it seems like Ketchikan had a max number of unrelated people to an apartment / house ordinance - any idea what housing going to go for this year?

Employee housing in a 3 bedroom apartment. $16/day. Short walk from where the boats are docked.

Bobcat
02-12-2010, 03:40 PM
If it was me, I would take the job :D

I, Rowboat
02-12-2010, 03:53 PM
Except of course, you can't drive to Ketchikan; it's on an island.

Ketchikan is okay, but expect rain.

Not entirely true. 12 years ago I drove to Prince Rupert and then took the Alaska Marine Highway to Petersburg, which is a few hours by ferry farther north. I lived there in a tent city for three months and had an absolute blast! Great people, great landscape. I avoided the canneries, working for a residential contractor instead (from what I could tell the canneries are brutal). Most of the cannery folks would bring home surplus salmon that boats would bring in but the canneries couldn't legally process (quotas?). The fish were still dead and perfectly edible - there for the taking.

I visited Ketchikan for a few hours during a layover on the return trip. I remember three things: walking through a tunnel to get to town from the ferry wharf, a stripper bar where a, uh, "healthfully proportioned" stripper was yelliing verbal abuses at the clientele (hilarious!), and a fantastic lanscape.

Do it! And if you want to save a bunch of money, bring an old bicycle and stay in the tent city - it seems like every town in SE Alaska had one, and you'll meet a truly rich (occasionally bizarre) tapestry of humanity.

And you'll never eat so much free salmon!

Tealsmith
02-13-2010, 09:56 AM
It's beautiful country. Lots of tourists.

BrianW
02-13-2010, 09:58 AM
Some of the cruise ship lines are pulling out. I did hear that Disney is coming this season.

If you get assigned to Sitka, let me know.

BrianW
02-13-2010, 10:17 AM
I was surprised too, when I heard about that feature. I've ridden on the Allen Marine boats like the one pictured above, and didn't realize they didn't have neutral. Having run a couple landing craft with twin diesel jets, I know I like the ability to hit neutral when docking, if for no other reason than to take a second to decide on my next control input. But truth be told, if you're in neutral, you're drifting, and that's usually not good either. It's certainly a situation where a good deckhand is a lifesaver. Reminds me of my favorite docking mantra... "I'm only as good as my worst deckhand." ;)