February 10, 2011 |

Permit sought for boat tour

The Haines Borough Assembly on Tuesday postponed approval of a Chilkat Guides request to add a marine sightseeing tour to depart from Letnikof Cove, Port Chilkoot Dock or the Small Boat Harbor.

"I would like to see a little bit more detail, if you are going to be using the Letnikof – what routes you intend to take, where you intend to go with the boat – and just a little bit more detail so people have the opportunity to see more of what’s entailed with the tour," said member Joanne Waterman.

Chilkat Guides would use a 26-passenger, 40-foot-long Almar Raiv boat, built for whale watching.

"We’ve purchased a new boat and we’re hoping to maximize its use," said Andy Hedden, Chilkat Guides operations manager. "Primarily, its function is to handle overflow traffic from Skagway to Haines and Glacier Point."

Harbormaster Ed Barrett wrote that he had no objections to the tour, "as long as they understand that we are pressed for room."

Assembly member Greg Goodman said he had "gotten a lot of calls" from residents who were concerned about the tour’s use of Letnikof Cove.

The assembly asked for the boat harbor advisory committee to look at the issue prior to the assembly’s next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Hedden said the first year of the tour would be a trial. He said Chilkat Guides was in no rush for approval.

"The tour is really only viable for Haines-based tourists, so at best we’re looking at one or two trips on Wednesdays when there’s a ship in town or a few other days, if other Haines ships decide to pick it up or if there’s charter groups interested," Hedden said. "We haven’t advertised the trip yet, and we don’t have any sales booked."