Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Alaska Reel

Here’s a short video I’ve been working on recently, of the beauty of Alaska. I picked some of my favorite footage of wildlife, scenery, and sailing from summers there aboard CELESTE. Hope you enjoy it! (I’ve embedded it from Vimeo because I kind of prefer it, although I’ve also uploaded the video to YouTube. If you’d like to watch it full screen, click the on the four little arrows just to the left of the Vimeo link in the bottom right.)

 


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Alaska Video Episode 9: Kodiak and Kenai Fjords

In our last video episode, we set sail from the Aleutian Islands heading east for the remote Alaska Peninsula. In this next one, we continue our 2016 voyage onward to Kodiak and then north to the stunning scenery of the Kenai Fjords. Sailing from tranquil coves to calving glaciers, we witness breaching humpback whales, sea otters, huge flocks of puffins, high snow-capped peaks, and deep fjord anchorages. Hope you enjoy!

 

P.S. You can see all the previous episodes on our new Videos page.


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2017 in Photos

Happy new year, Gone Floatabout readers!

Like last year, I’ve put together a little “year in review”, with some of the highlights (or not so high lights) of 2017 aboard Celeste: Continue reading


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Return to Alaska’s Inside Passage, September 2017

After being weather-bound for two weeks in Yakutat, we were finally able to set sail on September 1st. The forecast was for 30 hours of light westerly breeze before the next southeasterly gale arrived. It was 140 nautical miles to the shelter of the Inside Passage, so we would have to average 4.67 knots to make it in time. Normally (but what’s normal in Alaska? okay, so, in a decent breeze) we average 5 to 6 knots under sail, but this forecast was for very light winds – the calm before the next storm – which meant we’d have to motor at least part of the time. But after thinking we’d be in Yakutat all winter… motoring seemed a small price to pay.

Yakutat view

A gorgeous view from Yakutat, seen on a very rare rain-less day

Continue reading


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4th time across the Gulf of Alaska, August 2017

 

Yakutat

Entering Yakutat Bay again after a thwarted attempt to leave…

 

If the third time’s the charm, I’m not sure what the fourth is….

After our time in Seward, we got a weather window to cross the Gulf of Alaska back east towards the Inside Passage. Light southerly winds were predicted, and that’s what we got: so light, in fact, that we motored most of the way in order to avoid being caught out there when the next gale arrived. So the crossing itself (our fourth) was fine, and we docked in Yakutat, a big bay and Native village on the outer coast of the Gulf of Alaska, thinking we’d have another decent window to continue the rest of the way to the Inside Passage. Continue reading


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Social Hour in Seward

On Harding IcefieldAfter our cruise from Kodiak, we’d intended Seward to be a work stop, and while we did manage to squeeze our work in somehow, Seward ended up being an insanely social stop. It started on the evening of our arrival when we rafted to a French motor yacht with whom we’d crossed paths – but not yet met – in Kodiak, the Katmai, and Kenai Fjords. Continue reading


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Magazine articles update

I’ve been thrilled to have a lot of articles published in sailing magazines this winter. For those of you who are interested, here’s a quick recap:

  • Out right now in Ocean Navigator March/April 2017 is “Sail Fast! Aleutian Islands to Juan de Fuca Strait in Seven Weeks”, about our summer 2016 voyage. Despite having a schedule to meet and thus having to move faster than we would have liked, it was a great cruise and we managed to pack in the spots we most wished to see. cropped-celeste-and-glacier.jpg
  • For those of you who are Cruising Club of America members, the same piece will be coming out in this year’s Voyages
  • I’m also honored to be the newest member of the editorial team for Voyages – I had a lot of fun creating the maps for each article this year.
  • And I was honored to be one of the judges for this year’s Chuck Husick Technology Award, presented by Ocean Navigator to an innovative technology product in the boating market. It was a hard choice among all the great nominees, but the you can read about the final winner here.
  • Cruising World  just posted Episode 2 of our Arctic Voyage video series! It’ll be up on YouTube soon. 🙂
  • In the January/February issue, Cruising World published my piece “Alaska’s Wild Coast” about our 2014 cruise along the Alaska Peninsula the ‘wrong’ direction – from east to west – and now it’s online hereFirst view of the Bering Sea
  • Sailing magazine published my article “Captain Cook’s Paradise: New Zealand’s Bay of Islands” in the January issue – unfortunately it’s not yet online.

    Dolphin and dinghy

    Dolphin seen from the dinghy in New Zealand

  • Across the Pond, Sailing Today ran my “Introduction to High Latitude Outfitting” in their February issue whose theme was the cold northern climes.
  • Also in Britain, last but not least!, Water Craft ran my story about the Steamboat Liberty Belle as their lead feature, along with a cover shot! watercraft-cover

As always, a big thank-you to all my readers and hope you enjoy these pieces!


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Glaciers, bears, and crossing the Gulf of Alaska: Kodiak to Ketchikan, July 2016

Sunset on Kodiak IslandWe wrote our last post from Kodiak, a wonderful town where we met a lot of very friendly people. As well as completing necessary chores like laundry, internet, fuel, and groceries, we had fun hiking the hill behind town. We really fell in love with the island of Kodiak, though, when we left town to sail to a deserted bay. Deserted, that is, except for humpback whales, sea otters with babies, and hundreds of puffins and auklets! Continue reading


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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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Off to the Pribilof Islands! June 30 – July 2, 2015

Leaving Unalaska under the last of the evening sun

Leaving Unalaska under the last of the evening sun

As promised, the story resumes! After our whirlwind last day on Unalaska, we finally pulled away from the dock at 9:30PM on June 30 with the sun still golden on the green hills.  We were warming up the engine and untying the lines when our friend Josh called across the dock, asking when our departure date would be.  “Now!” we shouted back, and a few moments later Celeste was gliding out of her slip and Josh shouted back to us, “Oh, you mean really, really now!  Good luck! Look me up if you come back to Unalaska!”

Then we were off, puttering past the familiar sights of the crab fishing boats, the pollock plants, the Russian Orthodox church with its onion domes, and the lovely green mountains – so many of which we’d hiked.  We hoisted sail and set Celeste on a course to round the northern headland of Unalaska Bay. It was sad to be leaving behind so many good friends and beautiful familiar places, but new adventures were just over the horizon! Continue reading