SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip

Vessel Name: Panta Rhei
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Larry and Karen
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13 April 2015 | Port Stevens, NSW, AU
08 April 2015 | Hole in the Wall anchorage, Jervis Bay AU
05 April 2015 | Callala, New South Wales, AU
04 April 2015 | Jervis Bay Australia
02 April 2015 | Enroute to Jervis
31 March 2015 | Eden, New South Wales, Australia
23 March 2015 | Hobart Tasmania
11 March 2015 | Tasmania, AU
08 March 2015 | Beauty Point Tasmania
07 March 2015 | Burnie, Tasmania
03 March 2015 | Hobart, Tasmania
11 February 2015 | Hobart, Tasmania
22 January 2015 | Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
21 January 2015 | Bryan's Beach
17 January 2015 | Eden, Australia
12 January 2015 | Eden, Australia
08 January 2015 | Eden, Australia
01 January 2015 | Sydney Australia
26 December 2014 | North Head, Sydney AU
22 December 2014 | Cammeray Marina, Sydney Australia
Recent Blog Posts
26 July 2016 | Whittier, AK

What is Panta Rhei going to do next?

John and Marcy and the grandkids have completed their vacation and are headed back to work. It was a grand vacation for us all. And it all happened at a pace of a young working couple. Now we go back to a retirement pace. We started that process with a nap.

19 July 2016 | Valdez, Alaska

Prince William Sound with John and his family

Our son John and his wife Marcy and their two children, Zee and Olyn have visited us. Yay! We are trying to show them all of Alaska in only a few days. So far we've been to two tidewater glaciers and a waterfall anchorage and a grassy meadow anchorage. All beautiful, including sun, calm wind, and warm [...]

05 July 2016 | Seward, Alaska

Panta Rhei Arrived in Seward, Alaska

We left Dutch Harbor on June 19 and arrived Seward on July 4. That is 15 days to make the trip. Pretty fast, we think. We got lucky on weather and we kept moving most days.

04 July 2016 | Nuka Island, Home Cove, Alaska

Almost Home in Home Cove

We are anchor down at 9 pm. It has been a long day. We left Red Fox Bay and journeyed about 90 nm to Nuka Island, Home Cove (59d23.740mN 150d41.994mW). We are looking at the Kenai Pennisula and it has an abundance of trees and glaciers that flow down near to the sea.

02 July 2016 | Red Fox Bay on Afognak Island, Alaska

How will this story end?

We left beautiful Geographic Harbor at 6:20 am and arrived Red Fox Bay (58d27.041mN 152d36.238mW) on Afognak Island (Island north of Kodiak) at 5:00 pm.

01 July 2016 | Geographic Harbor

Bear on the beach

It is a big brown one with a hump on its back. Watching it move slowly is a study in grace. It came down a small stream and browsed the beach (it is low tide) and then headed back up the stream. There is brush on the hillside so he disappeared.

What is Panta Rhei going to do next?

26 July 2016 | Whittier, AK
Larry Nelson
John and Marcy and the grandkids have completed their vacation and are headed back to work. It was a grand vacation for us all. And it all happened at a pace of a young working couple. Now we go back to a retirement pace. We started that process with a nap.

This retirement is a strange thing. There are so many choices. It isn't really clear which is best. We are headed into fall in Alaska. Already we have rain and more wind. Do we stay in Seward or Cordova or Valdez or Sitka? We have friends coming to Seward (Rod and Elizabeth) and friends who live in Seward (Paul and Louise and Samantha and Jesse). We know very old friends (Fran and Jim) who are living in Sitka. We don't have friends in Cordova or Valdez yet. They appeared to be friendly cities. There is a decrease in the infrastructure in the smaller cities and the water at the docks gets turned off during winter. We can get water, but it may be an effort. Probably in Sitka it would not be quite as difficult due to their more southerly and maritime weather. We are studying this situation and trying to make a decision. If it is Sitka, there appears to be a weather window developing about the end of this week. Hmmmm? Big decisions.

I posted a picture that explains some of the inputs we are getting. (note, I couldn't actually post the picture due to website difficulties. The picture reads: For your safety because of Whittiers severe winter conditions, please wear ice cleats when walking outside)

Prince William Sound with John and his family

19 July 2016 | Valdez, Alaska
Larry Nelson
Our son John and his wife Marcy and their two children, Zee and Olyn have visited us. Yay! We are trying to show them all of Alaska in only a few days. So far we've been to two tidewater glaciers and a waterfall anchorage and a grassy meadow anchorage. All beautiful, including sun, calm wind, and warm weather. So what was their reaction? John wants to sail more! I keep telling him the wind will come. And in the meantime, we have glacier ice for our drinks.

John wants to see Cordova where we are considering spending the winter. They have a ski area that is basically in town! It is a small town, but it has a swimming pool across from the marina and the marina has full hook ups. Today we are in Valdez (also a nice town that is a possibility). Tomorrow we will go to Cordova (Its a two day trip).

The picture shows John on the bow where he was scouting for ice on the trip to the face of the Columbia glacier.

Panta Rhei Arrived in Seward, Alaska

05 July 2016 | Seward, Alaska
Larry
We left Dutch Harbor on June 19 and arrived Seward on July 4. That is 15 days to make the trip. Pretty fast, we think. We got lucky on weather and we kept moving most days.

Along the way we had a few surprises. Noises always surprise us. We hit a log, many clumps of kelp (it aggregates into a truly imposing clump), and changes of current. How do you hit changes of current? I really don't know, but I can hear them when the propellor experiences them, same as I can hear changes of pitch in the boat caused by swell. And it worries me because it is hard to identify positively. This is the land of currents though. They are everywhere and they are sometimes rapidly changing. And if the boat goes fast enough during a current change, it interferes with the propellor loading enough to shake the boat, like a wet dog at the beach. Arggggh. That worries me.

We survived "wind amplifiers", too. That is where the weather predicted is easy (say 15 knots) but the actual weather is much worse (say 45 knots). Did I say MUCH worse. That is the weather amplifier affect and weather amplifiers are all along the Alaska Pennisula. The locals know where, but newbies have to learn from scratch. You can avoid weather amplifiers by having no weather to amplify. Wait for calm. That's our strategy. It works, but you might wait quite a while!

Somehow, our boat survives all this. Actually, as we came to the dock in Seward, it seemed to still be running fine. That after a very very long trip with lots of motoring.

And Seward is a tourist town. Lots of good restaurants, stores, laundromats, an RV park. We are liking it. But so far it is a little thin on internet. We will see if we can get cellular internet service possibly through AT&T. That's a tomorrow task. For today, I got enough internet to get my Apple devices working again. All I had to do was log in to my Apple account. I think this was to force me to accept new changes to terms and conditions. Anyway, it is completely unacceptable to lock me out of my applications without warning me. I will write an email to Apple.

Its not dark yet, but it is late. So we will go to bed. Tomorrow is a busy day.

Almost Home in Home Cove

04 July 2016 | Nuka Island, Home Cove, Alaska
Larry
We are anchor down at 9 pm. It has been a long day. We left Red Fox Bay and journeyed about 90 nm to Nuka Island, Home Cove (59d23.740mN 150d41.994mW). We are looking at the Kenai Pennisula and it has an abundance of trees and glaciers that flow down near to the sea.

Our anchorage has no swell, little wind, no current, no bears. It was easy to get into and the anchor set and held well. We did see a sea otter! And a whale spouting. And there is low low clouds everywhere and of course a generally low (but not as low) overcast. It's not raining yet, but there are signs of rain all around us.

So, we started the heater. We haven't needed it all day, but I wanted to "get cozy" before bed. Speaking of bed, it's time! But it is bright as day and will stay bright until at least 11:30 pm. We are learning to go to sleep anyway.

Karen already fixed us dinner, Sockeye salmon fillet (the last of it), beets, beans, Waldorf salad. Tasty!

Tomorrow is July 4. We should be in Seward and be able to see the fireworks (if they have them). Yay. And we can get our Apple devices fixed, we hope. We still don't know why they did this.

We'll post our arrival in Seward tomorrow. It's a red letter day for us. We can hear the Coast Guard on the radio (more importantly, they could hear us if we needed them!) and we know we are back in civilization and home again. Wilderness means you are all alone and that sometimes isn't good!

How will this story end?

02 July 2016 | Red Fox Bay on Afognak Island, Alaska
Larry
We left beautiful Geographic Harbor at 6:20 am and arrived Red Fox Bay (58d27.041mN 152d36.238mW) on Afognak Island (Island north of Kodiak) at 5:00 pm.

We had way too strong tail winds more than half the way. We were making over 8.5 knots most of the time and we really don't like that. The seas became large and steep since it was wind against current (remember yesterday's current? Still there!) But, we were taking those seas running downwind. There is no way we could have turned around and made any headway. We could have turned off the engine but when the wind went over 40 knots we just decided to ride it out.

Trouble is the boat speeds up on steep swells and overruns the propellor, making it shake like a wet dog on a beach. And we are living inside that "wet dog". What to do? That is always the question. This time we had the staysail ready. We probably should have raised it, slowed down and stood a patient watch. But we just kept motoring along thinking, this will end soon. We hope it ends well.

We are all alone here. We saw no other boats on the entire trip. It was overcast and misty with light rain from time to time. It's the kind of day they set the stage with in horror movies just before the music goes suddenly loud and you jump out of your seat.

The Captain's guide says Red Fox is an all weather anchorage. We sure hope that is true because coming up on the turn into the bay it is blowing 40 knots apparent and we are running downwind at 11 knots. You can add those two together to get the true wind. How is this story going to end???? Credit here, the seas had subsided. That was a good sign.

Well, you may have guessed, it ends in an email and a post to the blog. We found what the book promised. We were plenty worried that it couldn't deliver but here we sit with 12 knots of wind in the middle of a tiny little bay at the end of the inlet that appears made for us. A perfect fit. There are a few differences: Kodiak Island has pine trees! Geographic Harbor had scrub alder brush. You could think you were in the Pacific Northwest
here.

Karen is cooking the salmon fillet with carrots and broccoli. The engine is off. Quiet. The heater is running. We will take hot showers tonight. Nirvana.

I hope tomorrow is a little easier. If it is not, we will be here a little longer!

--

Bear on the beach

01 July 2016 | Geographic Harbor
Larry
It is a big brown one with a hump on its back. Watching it move slowly is a study in grace. It came down a small stream and browsed the beach (it is low tide) and then headed back up the stream. There is brush on the hillside so he disappeared.

There will be more, we are told.

Now for breakfast.

Where is that fishing pole?

Larry
Panta Rhei's Photos - Fords Terror and Tracy Arm
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Karen and Bob inside helm station of superyacht
helm of superyacht that we rraced
main salon (starboard side) of superyacht
 
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