Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Critter Post 3: Caribou

 

Denali - Caribou in snow

Caribou in the snow, Denali National Park

 

Despite a paucity of images, I’ve decided to write about the caribou for Critter Post 3. Caribou are an integral part of life in the Arctic and we were lucky enough to see one on the shore of the Beaufort Sea on Alaska’s North Slope – quite the sight, the lone antlered creature on the vast tundra. He was too far away to photograph, so for Critter Post 3 we’ll have to content ourselves with a couple of images taken on our trip to Denali National Park in 2015. Continue reading


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Avian winter visitors

The last few (belated) posts have been about work on Celeste over the 2016/17 winter. It was a bit of a tough winter for living aboard – the harbor froze over, it was unusually cold and snowy for the Pacific NW, and the short days were a bit depressing at times – but we made some great friends and, being amateur bird nerds, we really enjoyed all the wintering avian visitors – harlequin ducks, long-tailed ducks (“oldsquaws”) in their winter plumage, American widgeons, buffleheads, common goldeneyes, and hooded mergansers. Here are a few pictures we took on one glorious sunny day in January:

American Widgeons:

Widgeons and Rainer

American widgeons with Mt Rainer in the distance

Continue reading


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A Photo Award! (and some more articles)

In December I was really flattered to have my photo “Alone at the Ice Edge” be nominated by Cruising World magazine for the annual Boating Writers International writing and photography contest. And I recently learned that the image earned a Certificate of Merit for the Boating Photography category! Here is a link to an announcement about the awards, with lots of other great stories and images. Congratulations to all the other winners! And here’s the photo:

Also, for those of you who are members of Off Center Harbor.com, I have a new “Guide Post” up about our 2015 voyage to Point Barrow and back. Here’s the link.

Last but not least, Ocean Navigator has posted my most recent article “Sail Fast” online.

That’s all the publication news for now 🙂


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Interviewed by Psychology of Sailing Website

A few weeks ago, we were honored to be asked for an interview by Fabio at the Psychology of Sailing website, whose focus is how sailing and psychology can influence each other and promote mental health and well being, as well as a sense of purpose in life.  Our interview just got posted yesterday, and you can read it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed answering Fabio’s thoughtful questions! http://www.psychologyofsailing.com/outdoor_life_interview/

katmai

Celeste on the Alaska Peninsula, 2016


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Arctic Voyage VIDEOS!

We’ve made the foray into videos! And Cruising World magazine has picked them up for their website! They’ve posted the first two Arctic Voyage videos so far here, and they’ll roll out one episode per month hereafter.

A big thank-you goes out to our amazing friends Chris and Jess Bray for persuading us to start taking footage in 2015 (you guys are right – it’s super fun!) and to our awesome friend Jeff for getting me into editing!

So here’s our first attempt – a short “trailer” that gives some context to our Arctic Voyage episodes:

Hope you enjoy! And feel free to sign up for our Gone Floatabout YouTube channel where we’ll post the episodes after they’re live on Cruising World‘s site!

Cheers,

Ellen & Seth

 


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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

Continue reading


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VIDEO! Rowdy Arctic weather!

In previous posts we’ve mentioned some of the rough conditions we had to contend with in the Arctic last summer, both at sea and at anchor. Now we’ve got a video out on Ocean Navigator magazine’s YouTube channel that shows what this was like at anchor. Check it out!

Thanks very much to Mantus Anchors for holding Celeste in place this summer, and to Ocean Navigator and Mantus Anchors for making this video possible! (Please note that although Ocean Navigator approached Mantus to sponsor the video (and they agreed), all this footage was taken well before we had any thought of licensing it.) 

Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoy!


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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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1300 miles in 19 days: Passage from Point Barrow to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, August 13-31, 2015

Celeste at Point BarrowAfter a great visit to scientist George Divoky and his seabirds, we headed back to Barrow to say goodbye to Craig and Cyd before beginning the return passage to Dutch Harbor. While much of the reason why we’d spent so much time around Barrow was because we’d been having so much fun, another factor was the weather. There simply hadn’t been a favorable window long enough to permit us to head south without getting a complete thrashing. Low pressure system after low pressure system kept sweeping across the Arctic Ocean from Wrangel Island north of Siberia and hammering the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

Wrangel Island screenshot

Google map screenshot of Wrangel Island (red pin) across the Chukchi Sea from Barrow

There’d been 24-hour windows between lows, of which we’d taken advantage to visit George and to explore the edge of the polar pack ice. But there’d never been a window long enough to make tracks south. Not only had the systems been frequent, but one thing about very cold air is that it actually makes bigger waves than warmer air. It’s denser and thus exerts more force on the water, so that 20 knots in the Arctic feels a lot worse than 20 knots in the Caribbean. We didn’t realize this on our own – Craig the bowhead whale biologist pointed it out to us. However, as autumn – a notoriously bad season in the Chukchi and Bering Seas – approached, our standards for what constituted ‘good’ weather got lower and lower. Continue reading


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Seabirds and sea ice on Alaska’s Arctic coast: August 10, 2015

Black guillemot in flight

Black guillemots, Alaska’s Arctic coast

As you can probably tell if you’ve been reading Gone Floatabout, the two of us are amateur birders. And the Arctic – particularly Barrow (see last post) – is a wonderful place for spotting lots of unique species. So when Craig and Cyd told us about Cooper Island, we had to go!

Route Map_2015 to Barrow

Our route to Point Barrow and the Beaufort Sea, June – August 2015

Continue reading