Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


Alaska articles

ON Cover, May 2015I’m always so honored to be able to share my experiences and photography in print.  Recently I’ve had a lot come out and it’s all been super exciting!  First off, my photo of Seth is on the cover of the May/June Ocean Navigator!  He’s flaking our staysail after it had finally dried out following the gale we weathered entering Prince William Sound. (Post about that here.) Continue reading


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to the Gone Floatabout subscribers!  A couple of the blogs I read have been posting 50 things they’re thankful for, and I liked the idea so thought I’d put up mine!  (They’re listed in the order in which they came to my head.) Continue reading

Welcome diversions on the Olympic Peninsula

A street in Port Angeles

A street in Port Angeles

Since our projects on Celeste took so much longer than Seth and I had expected (we often have this problem, we should change our expectations!), we ended up working pretty much every day for a month from 7am to 7pm and often more hours. We both actually enjoy doing boat work: it often means a puzzle that needs a creative solution; it’s a great feeling to know your boat inside and out; and it’s always satisfying to fix up your home and make it the best you can. What we don’t much enjoy is the stress of having to do all the projects within a certain time frame, exactly what we’d inadvertently done to ourselves in Port Angeles. Fortunately for our sanity, we had a couple of welcome diversions from work.

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Happy Earth Day!

Ellen in the British Columbia rainforest, 2013

Ellen in the British Columbia rainforest, 2013

Remember back when you (or your kids) were in elementary school?  We celebrated Earth Day when we learned about this amazingly complex and beautiful planet we all live on.  I remember going on field trips—to the San Francisco recycling depot or to a beach with tide pools.  But for me Earth Day really came when my family would go to British Columbia and instead of being in school I could be out playing in tide pools all day long, or in the giant trees of a temperate rain forest, or in the windswept grasses of a meadow.  I loved being outside, surrounded by the beauties of nature, and constantly stumbling upon new experiences.  Anemones curled up to my touch; sand dollars were covered in soft, black fur when alive; minnows hid from my shadow in the seaweed.

Of course all these things are new and thus endlessly fascinating to a child.  Adults tend to forget them, or at least not be enthralled in the way a child is.  So it’s good to have Earth Day to remind us to look around and appreciate them once more.  I try to make time for this in my daily life, and also for decisions that will help maintain these wonders for generations to come, but I can’t say I’m always successful.  Everyone gets swallowed up in routine and today for me was no exception.  I went to the grocery store and the pharmacy and took my recycling to the depot (they don’t come get it from your doorstep here in Switzerland); I went upstairs to my home office to work; and I wrote e-mails.  But I remembered it was Earth Day when I was walking past a stretch of Lake Geneva on the way to my Pilates class. Continue reading