Raven in the Sea of Cortez and British Columbia

17 October 2013
16 October 2013
16 October 2013
16 October 2013
16 October 2013
16 July 2013
16 July 2013
15 July 2013
15 July 2013
15 July 2013
10 July 2013
10 July 2013
10 July 2013
10 July 2013

Fog Bow near Bartlet Cove.

17 October 2013
We left Gustavus in heavy fog on the day we were scheduled to enter the Park. You have to be in by 10:00 AM and you must check in by VHF radio when you are crossing the border of the Park on your way to Bartlet Cove where all private and tour vessels must check in in person. The big cruise ships have a different procedure, but only two of those are allowed in each day, in the summer only. The fog did not let up until we were well into the Park and in sight of Bartlet Cove. Raven is now equipped with radar, and AIS (Automatic Identification System) for other vessels that carry the transponder, and both of these are displayed on the GPS based chart plotter. This is a mariner's miracle if there ever was one. You can "see" other vessels and even see their name, course, and speed if they have AIS, and position your boat in safe water on a chart. You must be very careful in fog, but it's not the nightmare it used to be. Just before we broke out of the thick fog in the Park we were greeted by something I have never seen before, a fog bow. It looks white but has very faint rainbow colors .

Solstice Party

16 October 2013
A summer solstice party in Gustavus is a must, I am sure. If you don't have to live here, and can be way south in the winter, you really should see the endless golden light of early and late daylight in the sub-arctic summer. It is incredibly sweet and magical.

Gustavus, AK

16 October 2013
Gustavus is a funny little village without a village core. The homesteads are scattered along a crossroads but there is no commercial core beyond a sometimes store, a gas station that is really a museum, and a public school. In summer there are berries along the roads and fire weed blooming everywhere. The sun hardly sets and it looks like a charmed existence. I'm sure that winter with three or four hours of light would not be as much fun. It sits on Icy Strait if that helps you get the picture. The harbor is rather exposed and can only handle a few boats beyond the locals. But there is a jet airport and regular service to Juneau, when it isn't fogged in that is. An old grizzled Steller Sea Lion patrols the harbor begging for fish scraps.

Point Retreat Light.

16 October 2013
It is a two day run from Juneau to Gustavus, the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. You have to go south, back north, south again, and finally west. Here is a view of the Point Retreat Light at the end most northern point in that passage. The structure gives you a heads up that tides up here are prodigious to put it mildly. Besides providing an ocean that refuses to stay the same depth, they mean that water is flowing back and forth with great force making currents the master of the place when you have a six knot boat. Backwards anyone?

Back from a break in CA.

16 October 2013
Shana and I left Raven in Juneau and flew back to Reno where Nancy picked us up. Shana is on to working on her new restaurant project and Nancy and I focused on home and the Story Telling Festival for a while. Then we flew back to Juneau in July to continue the adventure. Here is a pic of Port San Juan on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Note the fog flooding the inlet and up and down the coast. At water level that would be pea soup. From 30,000' it looks so minor. It's not minor when you need to leave port and go somewhere, and when you're in it you can't tell how far it goes. That is Cape Flattery beyond, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Boy was it ever worth it!

16 July 2013
The fabulous blue of the deeper ice will haunt me. Photos capture little of it. That ice is not in fact blue, but rather crystal clear. It is very ancient compressed ice from deep layers, and the sunlight from above lights it up, and I assume refracts to generate this stunning color. I'll hazard a wild guess that it is similar to why the sky appears blue, rather than the blackness of deep space, as the light refracts through layers of atmospheric gasses. A giant chunk calved off while we watched, probably several stories high and of unknown mass. The resulting wave rocked us gently, perhaps a half mile away? I couldn't tell the distance. The water temperature around the boat was 42 F. The icebergs and currents were constantly moving. It was surreal and challenging and we had a long way to go back to the anchorage, so after a half an hour we withdrew.
Vessel Name: RAVEN
Vessel Make/Model: Fairweather Mariner 39, AKA Westsail 39
Hailing Port: North Columbia, CA
Crew: Kurt and Nancy Lorenz, and guests.
About: Rich Mead, our friend and neighbor has worked with us on Raven for two years, and has provided invaluable help. Many other friends have shared the black bird with us and we look forward to more.
RAVEN's Photos - Main
In the yard and thereabouts.
5 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 28 November 2009