SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip

Vessel Name: Panta Rhei
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Larry and Karen
Social:
24 September 2013 | Somosomo bay on Naviti Island in the Yasawa group of islands, Fiji
15 September 2013
12 September 2013 | Malolo Lailai
07 September 2013 | Nadi Fii
06 September 2013 | Denerau Marina, Fiji
03 September 2013 | Denerau Fiji
30 August 2013 | Vuda Point marina, Fiji
25 August 2013 | Bend Oregon
24 July 2013 | Crater Lake Oregon
16 July 2013 | Bend Oregon
28 June 2013 | Vuda Point, Fiji (near Lautoka Fiji)
27 June 2013 | North End of Viti Levu
25 June 2013
22 June 2013 | Koro Island, Fiji
19 June 2013 | Viani Bay on Vanu Levu Island
13 June 2013 | Taveuni Island, Fiji
11 June 2013 | Viani Bay on Vanu Levu Island
10 June 2013 | Viani Bay on Vanu Levu Island
07 June 2013 | Fawn Harbor
Recent Blog Posts
23 March 2017 | Seward, AK

I did it!

Remember that our adventure is "mission driven". This winter we are in Alaska, where it turns out to be dark and cold and snowy and windy. What's the mission?

11 March 2017 | Seward, AK

Winter is still "full on" in AK

We came here for the Alaska Experience. We wanted the old, pre global warming, experience that we grew up dreaming about. Alaska with adventure! Alaska with bear attacks. Alaska with snow. Alaska with sea otters on the finger piers of the marina. Alaska with cold snowy roads and avalanches off the mountains. Be [...]

23 January 2017 | Seward AK

Finally a Moose

We are living in a winter wonderland with daily snowfall. The snow is waist deep. It turns out that travel isn't so easy unless you are on a plowed road. Moose know this. So they walk on plowed roads preferentially to off road routes. We saw this moose just north of Seward.

06 December 2016 | Seward AK

Experiencing COLD in Alaska

I'm reading the weather reports from the lower 48. People are complaining of snow and ice on the roads. But how many boats in the marina are acquiring "ice beards" on the bow and stern of their boats while moored at the dock? We've got them and they are a sure sign of a miserable night on the boat. Outside [...]

12 November 2016 | Seward Alaska

It is almost ski season. How to entertain yourself?

In Alaska the answer to what to do always lies outdoors. Today on the way home from Anchorage we watched surfers ride the tidal bore down Turnagin Arm. It gets up to 10 feet high and its front moves about 15 mph. You can drive down the road that runs along the shoreline and therefore stay ahead of it. [...]

14 October 2016 | Valdez, AK

Road Trips

It is the middle of October. Temperatures are dropping like we are in Alaska. Even so it's not Halloween and the locals have already hibernated. The tourists have all fled south. At 8am it is still dark. Snow has fallen on top of our surrounding mountains. So what do we decide to do? Road trips. We need [...]

I did it!

23 March 2017 | Seward, AK
Larry Nelson
Remember that our adventure is "mission driven". This winter we are in Alaska, where it turns out to be dark and cold and snowy and windy. What's the mission?

We decided to see if we were too old to ski. Considering that last year Karen broke her hip and that I had "hurting" knees, it was a real question. We deployed all our forces on this mission. We started eating carefully. We went to the gym every day. We bought a AWD car and a roof rack to take the skis. We bought skis and (the first wonder) Larry found ski boots that fit. It wasn't cheap. We bought season passes at Alyeska.

Then we started to ski. At first it was only a few runs per day. In spite of the gym, our legs were noodles. We got cold. It was only twilight between 10:30 am and 3 pm. We persevered through the winter: 26 days of skiing. By spring I found that we could now ski all day consecutive runs and that we could ski everywhere on the mountain, Karen a little less so than Larry but still doing it. Then March came to Alaska.

March is an awesome month. The sun came out and the snow covered the mountains in abundance. They were everywhere. Gleaming. One morning I noticed that some soul had climbed Mt Marathon (behind Seward AK) and skied down. I didn't think I could climb that mountain, but there was another alternative: Chugach Powder Guides. That is a helicopter skiing outfit operating out of Alyeska. I signed up. Karen stayed home to manage evacuating the body should things not work as planned.

Now I had imagined a pretty fantastic ski day. All I had to do was survive the whole day. That turns out to be truly difficult. I'm still exhausted 3 days later! It was more difficult than I imagined. The powder fields were there, but not continuously. We had to work our way across the glacier between powder fields. In between there was wind packed ridges, steep icy side hills, sun crusted deep powder, ice, rocks, gullies, DEEP holes into the crevasse fields to circumvent and winds. There was also sun, deep powder, shallow powder, under snow "features" to destabilize you.

Note, I haven't even mentioned the helicopter which is an awesome machine flown by true experts. We landed on postage stamps, flew mountain valleys in gusting winds, navigated around clouds, climbed like an elevator and spun like a raven in a thermal.

Our guide was fantastic. His first advice was "There are rocks here just under the snow. Follow me closely". I followed within 4 inches of his track. 50 feet later I hit a rock that he missed. OK I thought. I understand now. Do EXACTLY as I say. He kept apologizing for constantly talking, but to me every word was gold. And as the day progressed the reality of the mountain world revealed itself. It wasn't simple or easy but it was an ADVENTURE and it was REAL. Real is 100 times more interesting than imagined.

This day is the high end of my bucket list. My only regret is that I didn't do it when I was much younger.

Mission Accomplished!

Winter is still "full on" in AK

11 March 2017 | Seward, AK
Larry Nelson
We came here for the Alaska Experience. We wanted the old, pre global warming, experience that we grew up dreaming about. Alaska with adventure! Alaska with bear attacks. Alaska with snow. Alaska with sea otters on the finger piers of the marina. Alaska with cold snowy roads and avalanches off the mountains.

Be careful what you wish for. When it comes, you can't get rid of it! And so we are waiting for spring but wondering how many boats will sink if it snows yet again? Note in this picture that the finger pier is sinking at the end. The marina here is excellent and that is the only reason it is still working. Winter has made itself known with snow and ice and high wind and COLD ... all at once sometimes. There is about a foot of pure ice on streets in places. The big road maintenance machines are grooving it! Wow. I call it "farmed ice".

Do not think this isn't wonderful. It is exactly what we wished for. And we are skiing until our bodies sag weakly then slinking back to the boat for rest. You people that are "springing" are missing out!

Finally a Moose

23 January 2017 | Seward AK
Larry Nelson
We are living in a winter wonderland with daily snowfall. The snow is waist deep. It turns out that travel isn't so easy unless you are on a plowed road. Moose know this. So they walk on plowed roads preferentially to off road routes. We saw this moose just north of Seward.

This is a REALLY beautiful place. But, the first boat has sunk. More sinkings are forecast by local residents. We are shoveling and heating. Even the big fishing boats are shoveling. But there are a lot of unattended boats.

We are getting the full Alaska treatment this year

Experiencing COLD in Alaska

06 December 2016 | Seward AK
Larry Nelson
I'm reading the weather reports from the lower 48. People are complaining of snow and ice on the roads. But how many boats in the marina are acquiring "ice beards" on the bow and stern of their boats while moored at the dock? We've got them and they are a sure sign of a miserable night on the boat. Outside air temperatures reached 10F and winds gusted to 45 knots. It was dangerous to walk the dock. Ice cleats were needed on Xtra Tuff boots (insulated and knee high). A hat and hood on a coat and gloves on the hands are necessary.

Electric heat is terribly insufficient. With 10kW we got the boat up to 51F. Fortunately the Webasto hot water diesel heater is working. You should know here that our boat is insulated (but it has single pane glass windows, which ice over, of course). People tell me that the houses in Seward also cool off when these winds blow. But the winds blow much harder in the marina and that is common knowledge too. So now we know why there are so few livaboards!

So what do you do when there is so much winter ahead? Well, I went skiing last week! Yay! And we've made a lot of friends that have warm wood stoves and big TV's for watching the Seahawks. I'd say that we aren't living much different than the rest of America except that the covers on our bed are much thicker.

It is almost ski season. How to entertain yourself?

12 November 2016 | Seward Alaska
Larry Nelsoon
In Alaska the answer to what to do always lies outdoors. Today on the way home from Anchorage we watched surfers ride the tidal bore down Turnagin Arm. It gets up to 10 feet high and its front moves about 15 mph. You can drive down the road that runs along the shoreline and therefore stay ahead of it. Or you can put on a dry suit and ride a paddle board like a surfer continuously surfing for MILES. How cool is that? We watched about ten surfers catch the wave initially. That number soon became 6. Those surfers were pretty good. They have to position themselves in the right place along the wall of the bore in order to stay on the wave, just like ocean surfing. The difference is that you can do it continuously for a very very long distance. See http://www.alaska.org/advice/alaska-bore-tide

And the rest of the story is that we were in Anchorage getting skis, boots, bindings, poles, and clothing to go skiing. We are now all ready. All we need is snow. We have rain now. Too warm. Now we are in Alaska hoping for colder weather! Who would have thought it?

Road Trips

14 October 2016 | Valdez, AK
Larry Nelson
It is the middle of October. Temperatures are dropping like we are in Alaska. Even so it's not Halloween and the locals have already hibernated. The tourists have all fled south. At 8am it is still dark. Snow has fallen on top of our surrounding mountains. So what do we decide to do? Road trips. We need to see the Kenai Pennisula (Homer), the Northern Lights, and Valdez.

It turns out the Kenai pennisula has oil and gas fields, so there are relatively big cities there. And it is flat (except for the mountains that surround Seward). Homer has enormous tides and a sand pennisula that is HUGE. It also has Nothern Lights, but we slept through that opportunity.

Valdez is considerably further away from Seward than Homer and we cross the bottom part of Alaska. What did we see? Well, no cars or trucks except us. That's a little alarming when the temperature drops into single digits and you realize that if something happens you are all alone in a vast wilderness. But, cross fingers, we know that "You gotta get lucky" and we still are.

Turns out the ski areas at Valdez were somewhat exaggerated. They drive to Thompson Pass with the car and ski down to the highway below. Its a majestic run, but there is no ski lift or ski patrol. There is also a rope tow beginner hill near town. This is what a small town can muster for winter entertainment and actually I'm thinking it would be a whole lot of fun, but Alyeska will be better. We are pretty happy that we chose to winter over in Seward. Being close to Anchorage is a giant plus. And it turns out we found "work".

Yup, we are now "house sitters". We have three jobs lined up! The houses are outside of town and actually pretty typical of Alaskan homes. Our big assignment is to feed the dogs and keep the heat going even if the power fails. People don't just leave their houses here. Someone needs to pay attention because of the cold (and the dogs and bears). The jobs are short duration (a week or two at a time). We actually get paid for this! This will broaden our Alaska experience and we are making friends. Friends matter even more during long cold dark winters.

The picture shows the Worthington glacier on the road into Valdez. Note that we are mostly alone where tourists normally swarm during the summer.
Panta Rhei's Photos - Main
22 Photos
Created 1 October 2013
Pictures of South Island NZ and the Milford Track
68 Photos
Created 2 March 2013
Blackwater cave exploring in NZ
18 Photos
Created 20 December 2012
Travel from the Marquesas to Rangiroa to Papette
104 Photos
Created 6 June 2012
Pics from the crossing and after arrival in the marquesas
24 Photos
Created 10 May 2012
Karen and Larry exploring Santa Cruz, Isla Isabella, and San Cristobal Islands
30 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
pictures from a passage aboard SV Talofa as line handlers
80 Photos
Created 17 March 2012
accumulated pictures of the SV Safety Cat rescue and repair
63 Photos
Created 7 July 2011
swimming with a whale shark in clear warm water
9 Photos
Created 12 June 2011
Karen and Larry hike up a desert canyon in Mexico
43 Photos
Created 22 May 2011
pictures of Karen at the doctor, shopping in Mazatlan, and work on the boat in the yard
26 Photos
Created 5 April 2011
Pictures of San Blas and Isla Isabella
41 Photos
Created 30 March 2011
pictures of the trip up a jungle river to a crocodile farm and to a spring which is the source of all San Blas water
72 Photos
Created 28 March 2011
pictures of karen's medical care for her arm injury while in San Blas
16 Photos
Created 27 March 2011
Day trip from La Cruz to Yualapa by bus and panga
44 Photos
Created 25 March 2011
Pictures of our day trip to La Penita
10 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
cleaning boat bottoms and other recent activities
23 Photos
Created 5 March 2011
bob and Larry went looking for a hose from a store next to a "Table Dance" entertainment center
9 Photos
Created 22 February 2011
A day at the beach with exotic drinks and then north to Lazaro Cardenas
6 Photos
Created 11 February 2011
Before and after pictures of a friends boat underbody showing the growth that happens in a short time in Zihuatanejo
12 Photos
Created 8 February 2011
pictures from Bahia Santiago to Ziahuatanejo including Ixtapa
40 Photos
Created 1 February 2011
Sailfest pictures
21 Photos
Created 1 February 2011
A trip with Jake and Sharon up the jungle river in Tenacatita
11 Photos
Created 16 December 2010
Scenes from our stay in Paradise Village in Puerto Vallarta
19 Photos
Created 7 December 2010
Scenes from Paul Nelson's visit in Paradise Village and in Puerto Vallarta including procession for Lady of Guadalupe
21 Photos
Created 7 December 2010
hike up the river and float trip down it
17 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
Arrival in the south part of Mexico and beginning of the cruising lifestyle
21 Photos
Created 23 November 2010
warmer weather experiences
21 Photos
Created 15 November 2010
stop in san francisco at at Sea Ranch CA to visit Grace and Bob Carter
44 Photos
Created 11 October 2010
pictures from preparing and leaving Seattle to Ft Bragg CA
16 Photos
Created 30 September 2010
weather faxes that show the weather in the Pacific Ocean while we are safe in port in Newport Oregon
1 Photo
Created 26 September 2010
A few pics of Panta Rhei out of the water
11 Photos
Created 6 September 2010
Sherry and Bob took a few pictures and shared them with us.
34 Photos
Created 30 July 2010
travel from Petersburg to Thorne Bay with stop at Anan Bear Observatory
56 Photos
Created 19 July 2010
Candidates for most beautiful places in the world
78 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
bob and Sherry took pictures of Panta Rhei and shared them with us.
29 Photos
Created 12 July 2010
great fishing and crabbing with good weather
23 Photos
Created 1 July 2010
65 Photos
Created 25 June 2010
64 Photos
Created 24 June 2010
Pelican scenes then travel up Lisianski Inlet to Elfin Cove, Inian Bay, Dundas Bay
46 Photos
Created 18 June 2010
trip up lisianski inlet to Elfin Cove, Inian Island, and Dundas Bay
14 Photos
Created 18 June 2010
tight passages that kayakers would love and an abandoned town (Chichagof)
47 Photos
Created 12 June 2010
transit of Lisianski Strait enroute to Pelican
10 Photos
Created 11 June 2010
Around the outside of Baranof Island and some caveing in el capitan passage
37 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 2 June 2010
Prince of Wales Island and enroute
13 Photos
Created 21 May 2010
photos of rudder damage from the log we hit
8 Photos
Created 17 May 2010
32 Photos
Created 15 May 2010
50 Photos
Created 10 May 2010
springtime photos of the inside passage
12 Photos
Created 28 April 2010

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