Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Wind, Foxes, and Birds on St Paul Island, July 5-6, 2015

A huge thank-you to all of you who donated to Seth’s cancer fund-raising campaign at http://mobro.co/sethleonard!  We really appreciate your support!

Back to catching up on the blog!

Cross-swell

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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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All kinds of weather on the Alaska Peninsula

Making dinner: spaghetti and homemade meatballs!

Making dinner: spaghetti and homemade meatballs!

The hours seemed to fly by as we talked with John (the captain of Kittiwake—see last post) and we only realized the time when it got dark and a light rain started to fall.  John had to get going.  He wanted to get Kittiwake to her next anchorage before the SE winds and waves came: he didn’t want to waste fuel by bucking into headwinds and headseas if he didn’t have to.  The southeasterly would come early in the morning and would be favorable for us, so after dinner we made everything shipshape on Celeste and then lingered in the cockpit, watching the bears once more. We’d seen all sorts of behavior by the bears during our time in the little bay: cubs playing, mothers corralling cubs, bears fishing, the bear that bluff-charged us, young bears play-fighting and flirting. But that night we saw one more and it seemed so sweet: a mother-daughter clamming expedition! A mother and her yearling cub – who was almost as big as she was – were on the beach nearest Celeste digging in the mud, swiping up clams in their claws, and eating them. We watched them until it got too dark to see (it was already too dark for photos) and then finally went to bed. Continue reading


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New friends, a decision, and a compliment

Brown Bear-2Leaving behind the delta full of all the fishing bears, Seth and I rowed over to the two rafted tourist boats.  Someone was on the deck of the closest one, so we hailed him and said that Eric (the guide on the beach) had said they might have a good weather forecast and could we look at it?  Of course, came the answer, and would we like some lunch and a cup of coffee?  They were just finishing. Continue reading


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Articles and photos update

HeritageIn a change of pace from blogs about Alaska, we have some recent articles and a photo gallery to share!  The April issue of Classic Boat magazine (just out!) has an article about cruising the Maine coast aboard a beautiful Herreshoff ketch we briefly owned called Nahma.  Sailing in Maine will have any classic boat lover salivating: on almost every tack you’ll see yet another historic wooden beauty.  To accompany the article Classic Boat has just uploaded a large photo gallery!  Check it out here!

Schooners under Nahma's lee Continue reading


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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


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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