Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Alaska Voyage Video 8: The Alaska Peninsula

Another episode in our video series!

Our last video covered the start to our 2016 sailing season, in Dutch Harbor Alaska, in which we tackled the most necessary repairs to CELESTE following a typhoon. In this episode, with the boat in sailing condition, we set off to retrace our outward (2014) route back to Washington State. Leaving the Bering Sea behind, we sail along the Alaska Peninsula, one of the state’s most primeval-feeling and least known coasts. Volcanoes smoke, brown bears pace the shore, waterfalls tumble down cliffs, tides run strong, and glaciers gleam white in the sun. Hope you enjoy Episode 8!

P.S. I’ve also created a playlist for our Arctic Voyage, including the ‘trailer’ and Episodes 1-6 which cover our 2015 journey from Dutch Harbor to Point Barrow on the North Slope and return.


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12 Tips for Wintering Aboard – feature article in Pacific Yachting Magazine

PY Feature_Dec2018

Tip 1: BEER!

Tip 2: Doughnuts!

In all seriousness, though, two winters ago (2016-17), Seth and I were living aboard CELESTE in Port Angeles, Washington, trying to stay warm and dry through one of the coldest winters to hit the Pacific Northwest in many years (old timers said anywhere between 20 and 30 years). That experience inspired my article that recently came out in Pacific Yachting magazine. Here’s a link to the preview of the December issue.

Since it’s on newsstands right now, I can’t spill the beans on our 12 tips here, but basically it came down to ways to deal with the cold, the dark and cramped space, and the mildew/mold problem. As always, it’s exciting to see my stuff in print!

If that isn’t enough winter for you, my Cruising World magazine article on prepping your boat for winter (while you escape somewhere warm and sunny! or go back to work…) is now online. You can read it here.

 


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Articles in Cruising World

Big Photo in CWExcited to see two of my articles in the current (December) issue of Cruising World magazine! One of our images from our final summer in Alaska is the “big photo” double page spread (see picture above!) at the front of the magazine, and my piece about effective winter lay-up practices leads the Hands on Sailor section of practical articles. This article details what we did to prepare CELESTE for the winters she spent in the Bering Sea during our Arctic Voyage.


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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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Sea of Cortez Part 3: Return Passage to Cabo (May 2018)

Sunset Espiritu Santo

Sunset seen from CELESTE’s deck, Espiritu Santo, Sea of Cortez

It was hard to tear ourselves away from the beautiful bays and empty hills of Espiritu Santo island, but with summer (and hurricane season) approaching, it was time to sail back out of the Sea of Cortez and complete the final preparations for our Pacific Ocean crossing!

Since we’d been back in Mexico on the boat (after being away working for a few months), we had found the wind patterns pretty much the reverse of what they’d been in the winter. Back in February, we had made an upwind passage from San Jose del Cabo up to La Paz, fighting the strong north wind that prevails at that time of year. By May, we encountered frequent dead calms during the day and strong southerlies at night. This meant that we would be fighting headwinds again on our way south to Cabo (at least during the nighttime part of the passage). CELESTE sails pretty well against the wind, but headwinds make a passage longer (literally – you sail twice as many miles over ground to make the same distance good, as opposed to being able to sail straight on course with a favorable wind), so when we got a forecast for a calm day and night, we decided to swallow our sailing pride and make tracks to Cabo – we’d lingered long enough if we were going to the South Pacific that season!

Cabo Passage

Our route down Baja and up the Sea of Cortez (February) and then return to Cabo (May)

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Sea of Cortez, Part 2: Sailing, diving, and hiking (May 2018)

Sea of Cortez anchorageIt’s been a while since I wrote about our first experience sailing in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, when we made the upwind (slog of a) passage from San Jose del Cabo to La Paz back in February of this year. So that was Part 1 and now I’m finally getting to Part 2. In between, we spent a couple of weeks in La Paztouristing and doing boat projects in early March and then provisioning and doing boat projects in early May. (In March and April we were back in the US working ashore.)

Anyhow, that’s some background to catch everyone up since I’m so behind on the blog!

So here goes!  Continue reading


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La Paz, Mexico: Preparations for the Pacific + Fun with Photography (Early May 2018)

I’m finally catching up on the blog! I left off with our time in La Paz, in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, so that’s where I’m starting up again.

La Paz

The required photo op in La Paz

That last post ended with us leaving CELESTE in early March to go back to work for a couple of months. We returned in early May to find her almost as we’d left her, and to find Baja much, much hotter than in the winter! It was very pleasant to be able to stroll around in shirt sleeves at night, but the days were sweltering!  Continue reading