Former Gov. Frank Murkowski and his wife Nancy Murkowski were in Wrangell to christen a boat Sunday. Wrangell resident Frank Roppel went
to Ketchikan high school with the Murkowskis and wanted Nancy to break the bottle on his brand new 25-foot Svendsen fishing boat.
“Nancy Murkowski who has christened many other boats, including many state ferries, we’re very pleased to have here to christen this boat. It gives it a good start,” said Roppel.
Roppel says the boat replaces an earlier 47-foot boat which he used to travel Southeast with his late wife Patricia Roppel who was a writer.
“She did history and writing around Southeast Alaska. We’d use the boat for that, among other things. I don’t need that big boat by myself anymore. It’s down in Anacortes Washington being sold right now,” said Roppel.
Patricia passed away in January of 2015. Roppel says the new boat’s name is Rainbow.
“There’s some sentimental reason for the name. All the other boats had a different name. All the other boats were named Twinkle,” he said. “My wife had named all those other boats. It wasn’t appropriate to use that name on this boat. I selected Rainbow and it seems to work ok.”
Rainbow already seems to be doing well when it comes to salmon fishing.
“The builder and I went out yesterday. We caught two king Salmon. They weren’t very big, but it was a good start. So we think it’s going to catch fish,” said Roppel.
Roppel says he will use the boat to spread his wife’s ashes on Etolin Island with his children in August.
“Here’s wishing you fair seas and plentiful harvest. I christen you the
Rainbow. May god bless everyone who sails upon it,” said Nancy as she christened Rainbow.