Photo: SV Sonamara
of San Francisco sailing in Sumner Strait, Alaska
"Alaska? Why would I want to go there?" a former California boater who recently moved to Seattle told me when I asked him if he had any plans to Cruise to Alaska.. "Cruising is about sun and fun, and swimming from your boat," he said
Alaska cruising is a different kind of cruising than California cruising -- what SAIL Magazine
calls Adventure Cruising -- where the unexpected can happen and the goal is to see new things and experience new cultures. For Californians Southeast Alaska can offer a whole new world: scenic anchorages, protected waters and lots of new things to see and experience.
Photo: No Name Cove, Tracy Arm, SE Alaska
Highlights of cruising in Alaska include calving glaciers; whales, sea lions, brown bears, black bears and sea otters; the fantastic carvings and elaborate costumed dances of Alaska Natives; and eating salmon, halibut and crabs. And although you may not want to swim from your boat in Alaska, nothing beats soaking in an Alaskan hot spring while a waterfall roars a few feet away.
Photo: Boaters relaxing in Baranof Warm Springs
A week after the conversation with that former California boater, Steve and I gave a talk and slide show called "Why We Sailed to Alaska Five Times" at the Puget Sound Cruising Club (see the post below). The California boater was there. Afterwards he came up to me and said, "I'm embarrassed. If I had seen your slide show before we talked, I never would have said what I did. Of course we're going to Alaska. We have to!"
Not all California boaters need as much persuading. Although I never expected to see many California boats in Alaska, last summer there seemed to be one in almost every major anchorage. But none of them had heard of my book, Glaciers, Bears and Totems: Sailing In Search of the Real Southeast Alaska
, which means They lacked easy access to the science, history and unique Alaskan stories that can enrich a trip to SE Alaska. Obviously I needed to remedy that. What better way to spread the word among California boaters than to attend the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show
in Oakland? An email and accompanying resume sent to Sail America
, Strictly Sail's organizers, garnered me an invitation to speak about cruising in SE Alaska and sell my books at the show's author corner.
For more information about Glaciers, Bears and Totems
, go to http://home.earthlink.net/~ejhulsizer/
I'm still putting together my slide show for the seminar. It will be based on the popular seminar that I give at the Seattle Boat Show with some added information for California boaters including a brief discussion of how to get there from California and more importantly, where to get more information on the nuts and bolts of cruising there.
Photo: Cover of Glaciers, Bears and Totems
Strictly Sail Pacific is the West Coast's largest all-sail boat show, set for April 10-13 in Jack London Square, Oakland.
Hours for Strictly Sail Pacific are as follows:
• Thursday, April 10th: 10am-6pm
• Friday, April 11th: 10am-6pm
• Saturday, April 12th: 10am-7pm
• Sunday, April 13th: 10am-5pm
The times and locations of my Cruising Southeast Alaska seminars are:
• April 12 1:00 pm D Exhibit Hall
• April 13 3:30 pm D Exhibit Hall
My seminars are free for all ticket holders at the show.
To learn more about Strictly Sail Pacific or to purchase tickets online, visit strictlysailpacific.com
. Find Strictly Sail Pacific on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StrictlySailPacific and on Twitter @StrictlySailPac.