After our cruise from Kodiak, we’d intended Seward to be a work stop, and while we did manage to squeeze our work in somehow, Seward ended up being an insanely social stop. It started on the evening of our arrival when we rafted to a French motor yacht with whom we’d crossed paths – but not yet met – in Kodiak, the Katmai, and Kenai Fjords.
While there might be sufficient transient moorage in Seward on normal days, we managed to time our arrival (obviously unwittingly) with the Salmon Derby and the resulting massive influx of non-resident boats. The transient slips are first-come-first-served, which, when there are more boats than slips, generates an atmosphere that isn’t exactly warm and fuzzy. Somehow we found a spot that had eluded the hordes before us, but when the French motor boat arrived, every slip was taken. Recognizing the boat from Kodiak, etc., we signaled to her that she could take our spot and we’d raft to her. The maneuver done, they invited us for drinks that lasted till midnight – they were all sailors before this voyage on the motor yacht, and we had friends in common.
Across the harbor from us was s/v Yahtzee, owned and sailed by Andy Cross, his wife Jill, and their two not-quite-school-age boys. Andy used to be one of the editors at Blue Water Sailing magazine, so I knew him by correspondence. It was great to finally meet in person, and to swap tips on respective favorite spots in Alaska and BC.
A couple of days later, the digital marketing guru from our partner ZEAL Optics met up with us for a sail. Mike and his wife were on a work (and play) trip to Alaska and our day out sailing Celeste with them was a pretty authentic Alaska experience – rainy, cold, and windy. The wind was great, though – a strong northerly to set us tearing down the bay and give us an exhilarating beat back to the harbor (where fortunately our friends on the motor boat were holding our rafting space!).
While that sail was a huge highlight, an equally big highlight was the gorgeous sunny day we had for hiking to Harding Icefield with Seth’s cousins Ian and Jen and their son Springer, who live in Anchorage. Harding Icefield feeds something like 40 glaciers, including the tidewater ones we’ve seen while sailing in Kenai Fjords. Pretty cool to sail to the terminal face of a glacier and then stand on the ice the feeds it a couple of months later. The pictures pretty much say it all: