Recently I had the opportunity to travel aboard the rather new boat MV Kennecott from Wrangell to Juneau Alaska. It was the first time I had anything stolen from the baggage cart, so I have a suggestion to reduce that sort of thing from befalling others.
Wrangell had very few people boarding as passengers as walk-ons. Actually I didn't notice anyone else beside myself. At about 7pm the baggage cart appeared rather secure. There was a ferry worker standing next to it. I walked over and asked him if it was alright to aboard the boat. He replied, 'Yes, put your shit aboard the baggage cart.'
I had already put my two large army duffel bags on the baggage cart before he walked over. Went back to the terminal building to get the last one that I planned to take aboard the boat. It was a hiker's style green rucksack with black adjustable hiking straps. Within it was a g.p.s., marine weather radio, an empty plastic gallon gas can with the lid of, part of a tent, a tarp, waterproof camera and other items I needed to bring a small boat back to Wrangell from Juneau.
Walking over ti the baggage cart to ask the ferry guy if it was o.k. to board, when he suggested I .throw my shit' onto the baggage cart I did, then walked on to the Kennecott.
The next town north of Wrangell is Petersburg. I wanted to get the g.p.s. at Petersburg and mark a way-point so I could measure the distance on my way south. At Petersburg, before the baggage cart left the boat, I asked for permission to get the rucksack and found it missing.
I was rather unhappy with the missing rucksack situation and looked over the cart quite well then went to the purser's office aboard the Kennecott to complain. A nice fellow was the purser who couldn't do anything to find the missing rucksack.
The purser let me fill out a form describing the incident and said he would email Wrangell and ask about it, that maybe the rucksack had fallen off the baggage cart. I never again heard anything from the Alaska Marine Hwy people though I was informed after the loss that they are not responsible for anything on the baggage cart.
That was the point of writing this blog entry. There isn't a camera on the baggage cart at Wrangell to record who is walking away with what. The state apparently doesn't secure the baggage cart and doesn't make police reports even if the value of the items stolen are at or above $200 dollars. After being in business for so long and with electronic security equipment being very cheap these days one expects the state government marine transportation derive to actually keep things secure. They have a Marsec 1 notice up, yet thieves are more likely than terrorists to strike the soft underbelly of the baggage carts.