AK: Float the Boat

This week on AK, we float the boat. We’ll take a ride to Tenakee Springs on the Alaska Marine Highway, and hop on board with the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. We’ll find out why Big Lake is facing such big pollution, and learn about a boat that just might help bring ferry service to the Yukon River. Plus, navigating the tricky waters of the Wrangell Narrows.

Tune in this weekend on most APRN stations statewide (check our usually-accurate listings here), or subscribe to our podcast.

Aboard the Kennicott
Rebecca Sheir, AK
Joins us on the Alaska Marine Highway System’s newest and biggest mainliner, the M/V Kennicott, while it’s tied up in Whittier.

Riding the Stikine, Part 1
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska
Hop on the new Inter-Island Ferry Authority ship from Wrangell to Coffman Cove.

Tenakee Bound, Part 1
Brian Pollack, KCAW
Ride the LeConte from Juneau to Tenakee and meet local resident Linda Buckley and her traveling companions.

Cleaning Up Big Lake
Ellen Lockyer, AK
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is concerned about water quality in Big Lake, says DEC’s Laura Eldred. Lake users like Elaine Hunter and Geoff Wright of the Alaska Sailing Club are joining in efforts to keep it clean.

  • Break: “Beyond the Sea” performed by Ray Conniff, His Orchestra & Chorus from ‘S Continental

Engine Control
Rebecca Sheir, AK
Tour the engine control room on the Kennicott, where we learn about the ferry’s very own “Hal” — the Voyage Data Recorder.

Riding the Stikine, Part 2
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska
The Stikine’s kitchen is a family affair, with meals made from scratch. We rejoin Ed as he sees and tastes what’s cookin’.

Tenakee Bound, Part 2
Brian Pollack, KCAW
Go behind the scenes on the LeConte’s bridge.

  • Button: “On a Slow Boat to China” performed by Peter Ecklund & Scott Foster from The Potted Palm Orchestra

Christmas Tree Lane
John Ryan, KTOO
State ferries making the long run from Bellingham to Skagway must navigate the Wrangell Narrows, a 21-mile slalom course with 46 zig-zagging turns marked by blinking red and green lights. Join the crew of the Matanuska as they make their way through the passage known as Christmas Tree Lane.

Hovercrafting in Alaska
Rebecca Sheir, AK
If you’re tired of Alaska’s traditional ferries, barges and fishing boats, how about a hovercraft? The Alaska Hovercraft has been described as a “big, springy bus” — when you’re riding it, you’re literally supported by a cushion of air. (Music: “Open Sea Theme” by Sven Libaek from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Soundtrack)

E-Craft: More Than Meets the Eye
Scott Burton, AK
Discover a new vessel that might be able to handle Alaska’s unpredictable waters with ease, since it’s as variable as the waters it’s designed to run in. It’s called the E-Craft, and its head designer is Lou Madden.

  • Break: “Come Sail Away” by Dennis DeYoung from Karaoke – Classic Rock, Vol. 13

Riding the Stikine, Part 3
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska
Spend some quality time with the Stikine’s captain and first mate, and watches operations on the bridge.

Tenakee Bound, Part 3
Brian Pollack, KCAW
In the winter, the population of Tenakee holds steady at about 85. But when the LeConte arrives in the summer, its passengers bring a whole new dynamic to the town.

  • Button: “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay” performed by Erich Kunzel from Sailing

Alaska Barges
Scott Burton, AK
Stacked with shipping containers, barges make their way all across Alaska, out the Aleutian chain, up the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, even to Barrow. Scott Burton visited the docks in Juneau to check out the operations, and spoke with barge owner Don Reid of Alaska Marine Lines.

Boating to Kotzebue
Len Anderson, KSKA
Long before there were ferries or barges, Alaska Natives traveled by boat. For hundreds of summers, the Inupiaq of Northwest Alaska have gathered in the Kotzebue Sound area for trade and celebration. This July they continued that tradition, and Len Anderson was there.

  • Button: “Barrow Welcome Dance” by Barrow Dancers
  • Calendar of Events
  • Closing: “The Love Boat (Instrumental Version)” by Charles Fox and Paul Williams from Sing Classic TV Tunes, Vol. 1 (Karaoke)