As many of you know, the wildlife we see on our voyages is one the big highlights of sailing for us. So I’ve decided to try out a few posts exclusively about critters. This is mostly inspired by fellow birder, sailor, and blogger Chris of s/v Take It Easy, who writes informative posts about bird species that she sees, accompanied by her excellent photos. After spending a recent afternoon watching sea lions on a navigation marker outside Petersburg, Alaska (see photo above), I’ve decided to make the subject of my first Critter Post the Steller Sea Lion.
Sailors in the Pacific Northwest often say that you can cruise this region your whole life and never see it all. It seems like we’ve caught the bug because we’re on our way north again with the return of spring and sailing season.
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:
Here’s another post that I wrote months ago (literally) and never got around to posting…. my apologies, dear Readers!
Celeste received a lot of TLC this winter, both at the boatyard and once we got back in the water.
Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the sale of Alaska from Russia to the United States – the famous “Seward’s Folly” of purchasing Alaska for 7.2 million dollars, about 15 billion today. There have been lots of articles out there on this event, so those of you who’d like to know more here are some interesting links:
- For the history of Alaska, Wikipedia is a good start
- Sitka’s home page on the sesquicentennial
- New York Times article on how “Russians have second thoughts”…
- NPR interview
And, to mark the occasion, here are 49 photos of the 49th State:
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 🙂
Seth got his PhD! As many of you know, Seth has been working hard at this for the last few years. We moved to Switzerland in 2010 for him to start the Masters in Economics program at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. In 2012 he got his masters and started on the PhD program. The PhD included original research (3 papers total), classes both at the Graduate Institute and at Gerzensee Study Center (a foundation of the Swiss National Bank), and also a job as a teaching assistant for the Masters courses. The grand finale was his thesis defense with a panel of three economists (two professors from the Graduate Institute – Cedric Tille and Rahul Mukherjee – and an external reader – Michele Lenza from the European Central Bank). We were just back in Switzerland for this, which was a big success! So now Seth is officially Dr Leonard!