Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Mauna Loa Hike – corrected link

Hi everyone,

So I gave you the wrong link to the full story of our hike of Mauna Loa! Very sorry about that! Katadyn has moved their blog to a new site. My story of our summiting of Mauna Loa can actually be found here at this link. Hope you enjoy it!

Mauna Loa lava flows


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Hiking Mauna Loa

 

Mauna Loa lava flows

Mauna Loa’s lava flows clearly visible

Mauna Loa, one of the two 4000-meter peaks on the island of Hawai’i, is the largest volcano on earth, as measured by volume. It’s still active: the last flow, in 1984, came within 4 miles of the town of Hilo. Raw black lava flows mark its flanks, and sometimes you can see it smoking.

Up in the thin, dry air on Mauna Loa is a wilderness of brittle lava rock, an immense caldera, and harsh tropical sun. The temperatures are cold – it snows – and the wind howls, but the sun remains at its brutal tropical angle. Sounds like a fantastic hike, right?

Hiking up Mauna Loa

Can you find me amidst all the lava? Hiking up the first section of the trail, Maui in the far background.

You can’t not do it, though: a 4000-meter peak that’s not a technical climb is pretty much impossible for hikers like us to pass up. So Seth and I summited Mauna Loa last September. After many months aboard CELESTE at sea level, it was quite the challenge….

I wrote up the story of our hike for our sponsor Katadyn on their blog. You can read it here.

Mauna Loa at sunset

Mauna Loa seen at sunset from Mauna Kea (yes, that’s snow in the foreground. Aloha!)


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Home Ashore

Ohia Blossom

Hawai’i, 2018.

Many of you know that Seth and I are living in Hawai’i. As a good friend of mine put it after our housewarming party, we finally set our “land anchor” after many years afloat. Of course, that isn’t the whole picture, because we haven’t really been sailing full time since our circumnavigation on our previous floating home HERETIC. We undertook our Alaskan adventures in the summers between academic years working and studying in Switzerland. But after leaving Switzerland in 2016, we did live aboard CELESTE for almost two years. Unlike our voyage around the world, however, when we only took on seasonal work during the hurricane months, aboard CELESTE we were also trying to work (career-type work, not seasonal jobs) at the same time. Continue reading


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Happy Earth Day!

In a change of pace from our usual ocean/sailing theme, we wanted to celebrate our beautiful planet with some mountain shots. Here are a few of our favorite springtime photographs from when we used to live in Switzerland.

Taken on this day, exactly 5 years ago:

Beautiful spring flowers on a couple of different hikes:

And the cows out of the barns in May:

Alpage fountain

Hope everyone gets a little taste of the outdoors this Earth Day!

 

 

 


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Arctic Voyage Video 7: Repairs in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Here (finally!) is the next episode in our video series:

Our last video episode covered our passages south from the “top of America” at Point Barrow in the Arctic back to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, once again to be CELESTE’s winter home. So this episode is the beginning of the following season.

Winter 2015/16 was not nearly so kind to CELESTE as the previous winter – a typhoon from Japan hit the Aleutian Islands that year, causing severe damage throughout the town and harbor. So we return in June 2016 to find some major repairs to do. But between installing a new chain plate and readying CELESTE for sea, we also find time to observe the incredible wildlife of the area – humpback whales, sea otters, Arctic ground squirrels, and bald eagles.

Hope you enjoy this episode!

P.S. I’m taking a break from catching up on our Pacific voyage this year to catch up on these videos from a couple of years ago. So stay tuned for the next Arctic Voyage (really just Alaska from now on) video!


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Scenes of Alaska 2019 Calendar

With the holidays approaching, we decided to put together a calendar of some of our favorite photographs of Alaska. We’ve put it up for sale on Lulu here. We hope it’ll make a good holiday gift! 2019 Calendar Cover

In choosing the images, we focused on the wild beauty of Alaska, so you’ll find mountains, waterfalls, dramatic coastline, and even polar sea ice! We also wanted to showcase the natural variety of this vast state, and so picked photographs from places as diverse as Denali National Park, Prince William Sound, the Aleutian Islands, the Arctic North Slope, Kodiak Island, the St Elias Range, and the islands and coast of Southeast Alaska. Finally, we tried to include shots that captured life in Alaska, from fishing to float planes to wildlife sightings. You can see the calendar here. We hope you like it!

Full URL for the calendar: http://www.lulu.com/shop/seth-and-ellen-leonard/scenes-of-alaska-2019/calendar/product-23874253.html


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Work and Play in Marina del Rey (January 2018)

That title rhymes… sorry… couldn’t help myself 🙂

Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey seen from northern promenade

In our last post about our current sailing voyage, we’d reached Marina del Rey, a huge marina complex just north of Los Angeles, CA, on December 12, 2017. (Sorry for being so behind on the blog, everyone!) We settled in at the California Yacht Club, thanks to very generous friends of friends, fellow Cruising Club of America members Steve and Stephanie Hathaway. The California YC members and staff made us feel very welcome and we were extremely grateful to be able to berth CELESTE there for a full six weeks.

At CYC

Settled into our slip at CYC. Photo thanks to Stephanie Hathaway.

We soon had the boat all put away for our absence over the holidays – less of a process than when we’d left her for months in the storm-tossed Aleutians, but still a bit of work. When we returned in mid-January 2018, she was just as we’d left her, always a relief!  Continue reading