Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Work and Play in Port Angeles, WA (September 2017)

Seth hiking in the Olympics

Seth hiking in the Olympic Mountains

After a speedy Inside Passage transit coming south this year, we returned to our old haunts in Port Angeles, Washington. We’ve spent quite a bit of time there now, between outfitting CELESTE prior to our first departure for Alaska back in 2014 and then last winter living aboard and giving our floating home the TLC she needed after her journey to the far north. So it felt a little like coming home again. Seth and I caught up with some good friends and had a great party on CELESTE with them. We restocked our provisions, had dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, and replayed two major parts of our previous Port Angeles lives: boat work and hiking. Continue reading


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Inside Passage, express style. (September 2017)

Fishing boat in Cross Sound

Fishing boat in Cross Sound, the evening we reached the Inside Passage again

After a couple days of rest upon reaching the sheltered waters of Southeast Alaska, we set off for a nearly non-stop trip south down the rest of the Inside Passage. We started on this marathon on September 9 and our goal was to be back in Port Angeles, Washington in two weeks.  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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Kodiak to Seward, Alaska

Glacier, islands, fog

At the end of July (2017 – I’m less behind on the blog this year!), we returned to the town of Kodiak after a great cruise. We had chores and work to do – articles for me and statistical programming for Seth – but we also had some fun, mostly because we met a really great sailing family on their capable and beautifully maintained steel boat Galactic. Continue reading


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Kodiak, Alaska, July 2017

Successful salmon fishingKodiak Island was our aim for this summer’s Alaskan voyage, so we’ve spent pretty much all of July here. About half that time has been spent in town for Seth to do his consulting work and for me to do my writing, and the other half we’ve spent sailing. It’s been great to have a chance to explore more of this beautiful place, especially as we only got a tiny taste of it (just 4 days) last year. Continue reading


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Articles in Cruising World and Classic Boat

Celeste among growlersSome publication news for the summer! In the June/July issue, Cruising World magazine came out with my feature article about our 2015 voyage to the Alaskan Arctic. As usual, it was good fun to see it in print, and now it’s online on Cruising World‘s site. Our partner ZEAL Optics is also sharing a taste of it on their blog here. Hope you enjoy!

Also this summer, Classic Boat magazine in the UK ran a piece I wrote about the historic steamboats of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The article is also now online, here. These 100-year-old (and older) paddle-wheel boats still ply the lake throughout summer and fall, taking passengers from one city to another, or on dinner or lunch cruises. The boats have a long, varied history, including the assassination of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and use by spies in World War I. If any of my readers plan to visit Geneva, a ticket on one of these gems is only a few francs and well worth it!

00 Savoie in Geneva - small

SS Savoie coming into Geneva

 

 

19 The author with Simplon's steam engine - small

Me on assignment for Classic Boat – in SS Simplon’s engine room

 

 

18 Telegraph in the engine room of Simplon - small

Simplon’s telegraph