Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Happy 2017!

Happy New Year to the Gone Floatabout subscribers! And welcome to our new subscribers – so glad you’re enjoying our blog!

To welcome in the new year, we thought it would be fun to look back on some of the highlights of a hectic but good 2016. Here’s one for each season: Continue reading


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Dutch Harbor to Kodiak: Great sailing and great wildlife!

Sea Otter, Unalaska Island

Sea otter, Unalaska Island

With repairs complete, we departed Dutch Harbor/Unalaska on June 26 for the big, beautiful Alaska Peninsula. The first challenge was to sail between the Aleutians out from the Bering Sea and back into the Pacific. The passes between the islands are notoriously rough, with tidal currents running strong. On our way into the Bering in 2014 we had used Akutan Pass and had encountered a 3-knot favorable current at the supposed slack tide. We’d had bumpy conditions (contrary wind – wind against current) but nothing bad, and the 3-knot boost made it fast. This time things went even better! We chose the smaller Unalga Pass and had glassy calm seas despite a 2-knot current with us. There was thick fog, but otherwise it was very pleasant.

Continue reading


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New articles and an award from the Cruising Club of America!

I’m excited to share a bunch more articles that have come out this winter and spring! For those of you who like pretty pictures, out right now in Cruising World‘s June/July issue is a double-page spread of Celeste in the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean – it’s an ‘under-over’ shot (half underwater) but no, we didn’t go swimming to take it – just leaned over the gunwale of the dinghy! Rowing in Ice

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New pages on Gone Floatabout

Hi everyone,

Bear and sprayWe’ve been doing a little renovation to Gone Floatabout and added some new pages. Finally the Arctic Voyage tab now has a full account of the voyage, from our first shakedown cruise in British Columbia in 2013 to our rounding of Point Barrow and return to the Aleutians this past summer. If you’re really ambitious and or really bored, all the posts are in order now on the 2014: Alaska page and the 2015: Arctic page 🙂

Much more exciting is that we finally did something about the Photography page! It’s now under the new Media tab and has three extensive galleries: Wildlife, Nature, and Adventure & People. We had a lot of fun putting that together, so hope you enjoy it!

Finally, sorry for the last post that got sent out – it was a snafu that happened when we were editing our home page.

Hope everyone enjoys floating about the revamped site 🙂

Cheers,

Ellen & Seth

 


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2014 Alaska Voyage Recap

We’re back on Celeste in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, so stay tuned for updates! We’ve been pretty busy so haven’t prioritized the blog but we’ll try and catch up a bit before we set sail. In the meantime, here’s a good recap of our 2014 voyage on ZEAL Optic’s blog! They’ve chosen some of our favorite photographs, too 🙂

As the editors on OCH say, masthead spinnakers aren't often seen on the Alaska Peninsula!!

As the editors on OCH say, masthead spinnakers aren’t often seen on the Alaska Peninsula!!

A similar recap for Off Center Harbor.com members is up now too! Again, we love the photos they chose! Continue reading


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Passage to the Aleutians

First view of the Bering SeaBefore we went hiking above King Cove, we had talked to the harbor master and he’d confirmed our supposition that the “light and variable” forecast was unusual for that time of year.  None of us thought an opportunity like that would come again that summer/fall, so we planned a direct passage to Unalaska Island, heading out early the next morning (September 2, 2014) in order to catch the tides through Akutan Pass by mid-morning on September 3. Continue reading


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King Cove, Part 2: Sighting the Aleutians

Amazingly enough, the forecast for the next few days following our arrival in King Cove and late night with our new friends on the fishing boat was for clear skies and “light and variable” winds.  We could even take a day to explore the place before sailing the following morning (September 2) around 4AM.  That would time us perfectly for the tidal current in Akutan Pass, the pass into the Bering Sea which Francisco had recommended.

Walking around King Cove

Walking around King Cove

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King Cove, Part 1: New Friends

Humpback whale breaching, Deer PassageOur passage to King Cove had seen fog, strong winds, light winds, sun, a big volcano, islands, birds, and whales—a wonderful 75 miles!  The sea and air were pretty calm as we watched the whales breach in Deer Passage, but then as we turned the corner into King Cove itself the wind began to strengthen, and right from the direction in which we were headed. Continue reading


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Puffins and Whales en route to King Cove

Leaving Sand PointAlthough gales were still raging to the east when we left Sand Point at 04:30 on August 31, 2014 we encountered only moderate wind in our area.  We picked our way out of the boat basin in the fog and pitch dark and hoisted sail once clear of the entrance.  Celeste sailed along happily on a beam reach.  The brisk north wind coming over the Peninsula from the Bering Sea was cold and raw but not more than about 20-25 knots, great conditions to fly along at about 8-9 knots. Continue reading


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Sand Point, Shumagin Islands

Beautiful calm, Alaska PeninsulaThe gorgeous calm sunrise that ended two days of strong winds heralded a perfect day’s sail to Sand Point.  Listening to the VHF National Weather Service forecast, we learned that those high winds had not abated in the more eastern zones we had just come through.  Nor did it sound like they were ever likely to.  But in our zone and further west, both wind and sea state were much calmer.  A breeze filled in enough for us to sail and soon we were in the bare and beautiful Shumagin Islands. Continue reading