SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


In the wake of the Queen
By Bill Meck


May 21, 2009
Thursday PM

I hopped in the trusty 19' Glasply Wednesday to make a run for a friend from city float to the airport as a favor. There was a little chop but overall still a nice day. I pulled out in the channel and saw the usual cruise ships and float planes taking off from their piece of the narrows. Then I took note of the Alaska Queen paddle boat lumbering dead center in the channel heading towards her port. I was able to stay clear as she was in front of Safeway. However after I dropped of my pal she was next to the shipyard. Between her, an incoming Beaver and the airport ferry my options were severely limited.

I was very uneasy at the sight of the six to seven foot wake churning up behind the wheel. Granted her wake travels in a path behind her and not to the side like a V-hull design but a wake "is" a wake and part of the reason the Coast Guard cited the speed limit in 1999.

The design of the wheel she wields at all crafts under 30 feet puts these giants out at two foot intervals for about two hundred yards behind her.

I put in a call to the Coast Guard to question whether or not there had been any regulations set up for this situation but the gentleman on the other side of the phone wasn't sure and I haven't received a return call yet.

I'm not writing to have this vessel shut down but would like to send this out as a warning of what appears to be a new danger in the Tongass Narrows.

Bill Meck
Ketchikan, AK


Received May 20, 2008 - Published May 21, 2009


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