Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Kenai Peninsula Redux

Kenai ZEAL blogCheck out the best snippets of our Kenai adventures shared on the blog of our sponsor ZEAL Optics!¬† There’s also a couple more photos we haven’t posted to Gone Floatabout ūüôā Enjoy!


Back to the story of the Alaska Peninsula next post!


More Kenai Peninsula shenanigans

Happy 2015 to the Gone Floatabout subscribers!¬† Sorry (again) that we’re so behind on our posts about our Alaskan adventure this past¬†summer, but we hope you’ll enjoy this next installment about our last bit of exploring on the Kenai Peninsula!Coyote, Kenai Peninsula Continue reading


Fun and Bears on the Kenai Peninsula

Clearing skies in Tonsina BayFor the first time in 10 days we saw the sun on the evening of August 16th.  Anchored in our sheltered inlet at the southern end of the Kenai Peninsula, we watched the rain ease, then cease.  The clouds rose higher, then started to break up, and by late evening we were treated to a glorious sunset.  The next day would be perfect. Continue reading


Passage to Kenai Peninsula: August 14-15, 2014

Dock full of fishing boats hiding from the gale

Dock full of fishing boats hiding from the gale

After a rainy day anchored in Chenega Bay near the mouth of Prince William Sound while a gale raged outside, we made a break for the open sea.  As the National Weather Service had predicted, the wind moderated in the early hours of August 14, so we set off after breakfast.  It was still pouring rain, but we were pretty used to that by this point.  Continue reading


Escape from Whittier: August 11, 2014

Rain was still pouring in Whittier when we returned through the tunnel from sunny Turnagain Arm where we’d seen the belugas.¬† Wind was still whipping through the marina, pushing Celeste against her fenders.¬† The storm showed no signs of abating: if we were ever going to leave Whittier, we would just have to grin, raise sail, and bear it. Continue reading


Critter encounters on our temporary release from Whittier


Whittier seen through a rare break in the rain…

We had arrived in Whittier, one of the strangest and wettest places I’ve ever been, on August 7 meaning to wait out a storm and do chores.¬† Among those chores was renewing our Swiss residency permits pending our return to work in the fall.¬† It’s not an involved process, but we had to mail some forms to our cantonal (state) office.¬† So we swung by the Whittier post office.¬† They don’t sell stamps.¬† But you’re a post office!¬† How can you not sell stamps!¬†¬†The paid employee, who¬†for no¬†apparent expense to the US Government could have sold us postage if she’d had any, informed us that the¬†Postal Service¬†was cutting down on expenses by no longer selling stamps at marginal offices like Whittier. (?!?)¬† We could buy¬†a stamp online.¬† Predictably, the US Postal Service website didn’t function—all 20 different times we tried.¬† So we had to rent a car and drive to Anchorage. Continue reading


Wetter in Whittier: Where’s my upside-down snorkel??

PWS map

Our route around Prince William Sound – coming in from the SE up to Snug Corner Cove, north to Columbia Glacier and Glacier Island, west to Papoose Cove, and further west to Whittier before coming south out to the Kenai Peninsula

In my last post about Prince William Sound, I wrote about the benefits of sailing without cruising guides: wonderful unexpected places and experiences.  But you also run the risk that the unexpected might turn out badly, as I hinted was the case for us in Whittier.  We found out later that the locals call it Shittier. . . . Continue reading


Stunning Anchorages in Prince William Sound

Glacier Island anchorageIt was mid-afternoon when we left Columbia Glacier, so instead of trying to make any progress westward we decided to anchor in a cove on nearby Glacier Island.¬† The island had been recommended by Arctic voyager and fellow Blue Water Sailing contributor Claudia (s/y Belle Epoque) though she hadn’t given any details about why it was one of her favorites.¬† That was just fine, since it makes everything more of a discovery and more unexpected—the same reason we don’t always carry cruising guides. Continue reading


Prince William Sound: Columbia Glacier

Columbia icebergsSwinging to our anchor in calm and wooded Snug Corner Cove, we didn’t have much desire to move on the morning after our arrival (August 3).¬† Rain was still pelting the decks, though with less force than before, so we settled down to a day of chores: cleaning the boat, refilling our kerosene heater’s tank, transferring diesel from jerry jugs to main tank, and changing the engine oil.¬† By the time we’d finished all this in the early afternoon, however, the rain had ceased and the sky was brightening.¬† Why not¬†head over to Columbia Glacier now? we thought.¬† We’d get there by dinner time with the strong easterly wind.

Continue reading


Crossing the Gulf of Alaska, July 30 – August 3, 2014

Do your GRIBs do this??

Do your GRIBs do this?? ūüôā

In a highly unusual turn of events, the weather gods were smiling on the Gulf of Alaska from July 30th¬†to August 2nd.¬† According to our GRIB files from OCENS,¬†a high pressure of 1025 millibars was moving up the coast and would be positioned over Cape Spencer just as we’d be exiting the Inside Passage on the evening of the 30th.¬† If all went well, we’d move with it along the northern Gulf as it strengthened to 1026, 1027, and 1028 millibars.¬† Our precipitation GRIBs were showing no rain whatsoever (amazing occurrence in this part of the world!); waves were forecast to be practically nonexistent (see image left); and OCENS’ wind predictions showed 5-10 knots, at first favorable and then shifting onto the nose.¬† If we were really picky people¬†(or if we were sailing in places with more consistent wind like Maine or the trade wind latitudes), those extremely light breezes could have bothered us.¬† But this is Alaska, where everyone you meet rightly cautions you to ‘be careful out there.’¬† We were thrilled! Continue reading