SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip

Vessel Name: Panta Rhei
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Larry and Karen
Social:
05 August 2014 | enroute to Brisbane AU from Noumea, New Caledonia, 250 nm to go
03 August 2014 | enroute to Brisbane AU from Noumea, New Caledonia
31 July 2014 | Noumea, New Caledonia
23 July 2014 | Noumea, New Caledonia
21 July 2014 | 58 miles from New Caledonia
17 July 2014 | 200 miles from New Caledonia
12 July 2014 | Opua, NZ
08 July 2014 | Opua, NZ
07 July 2014 | Opua, NZ
25 June 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
24 June 2014 | Whangarei NZ
07 June 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
27 May 2014 | Lake Taupo New Zealand
02 May 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
23 April 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
22 April 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
09 April 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
29 March 2014 | Tutukaka NZ
17 March 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
11 March 2014 | Whangarei, NZ
Recent Blog Posts
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 [...]

21 September 2016

The First Winter Storm Arrived

We've read about this. They say, "Summer ends quickly in Alaska". I'm thinking it is true. But how it arrives,...that is the lesson.

31 August 2016

Checking out Alyeska Ski Resort

Winter is coming. Each day is 5 minutes shorter than the last. Tourists are thinning out in downtown Seward. It's time to think about how we are going to spend the long winter nights. Worry abounds.

05 August 2016 | Seward, AK

We are becoming residents of Seward, AK

It is common in the sailing community to "dis" cold climates. This is also a common occurance in the retirement community. But there are times when the road less traveled looks pretty good. We just spent the better part of a year in an oppressively hot environment just north of the equator where to live [...]

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.

The First Winter Storm Arrived

21 September 2016
Larry Nelson
We've read about this. They say, "Summer ends quickly in Alaska". I'm thinking it is true. But how it arrives,...that is the lesson.

It blows in. Last night the wind reached 60 knots with heavy accompanying rain. Fortunately we were facing into the wind and behind a very excellent breakwater. Even so, 60 knots gets your attention.

WE bounced a little. Fortunately "bounce" didn't develop into "heave". Heave breaks lines and bashes boats to bits against the dock. So, we worried but all was well. I'm told that we have this rather excellent marina because of the 1964 earthquake which included almost total devastation of Seward with an accompanying (really really big) tidal wave!

The photo shows 8 lines holding Panta Rhei to the dock. Also the dock has a metal rail to tie to and steel pilings on both sides of the dock. You might ask, "So why do you worry?" You have to feel 60 knots of wind in a moving 44,000 pound boat before you can understand. It's a lesson that will leave you, "sucking air".

Checking out Alyeska Ski Resort

31 August 2016
Larry Nelson
Winter is coming. Each day is 5 minutes shorter than the last. Tourists are thinning out in downtown Seward. It's time to think about how we are going to spend the long winter nights. Worry abounds.

But wait! We can buy ski passes at Alyeska Ski Resort. And when the light wanes, they turn on artificial light and we can night ski. Now there is an idea! So how can we check this out?

It turns out that the resort is open year round and in the summer it is busy with hikers and mountain bikers. That turns out to be a community that is much younger than we are. We rode the tram to the top of the mountain and walked down. Sounds like a good plan, right? The scenery was utterly breathtaking, majestic. The air was cool and crisp and invigorating. And we were with our friends Paul and Louise Albert. We hadn't planned on the walk down being so STEEP. Before too long our quadriceps began to loose strength. We rested, and then moved on. Each time we moved we went a shorter distance. Before long we were near to our limits but still there was more down to go.

Fast forward to the restaurant; we all were laughing hysterically at the memory of Paul trying to keep walking but without working quadriceps and eventually falling over. But we learned that after a while we could get up again. And so it shall be when we ski.

WE also found out the resort has a salt water swimming pool and a hot tub. This is sounding like a very good plan!

We are becoming residents of Seward, AK

05 August 2016 | Seward, AK
Larry Nelson
It is common in the sailing community to "dis" cold climates. This is also a common occurance in the retirement community. But there are times when the road less traveled looks pretty good. We just spent the better part of a year in an oppressively hot environment just north of the equator where to live you needed to be pretty much naked. Shorts and T shirts, the retirement uniform, were soaked in sweat.

But then we took a really big trip and ohhhhh what a change. In the middle of summer everyone was wearing coats. Rain felt like liquid ice cubes. And everything was green. The weather is good now, but winter is coming. We have time to go south and in fact most our friends that traveled here are going on to Seattle. But not us. Not yet. We are going to see this place including in winter.

To winter here you need a safe place. The weather isn't just cold, it gets stormy too. So we have found a dock behind a breakwater with power and water. And we are in a town with a good library, pool, restaurants, acquarium, grocery store .. We are enjoying being fully back in the USA. What we needed was a car, so we bought a new one!

Its a Chevrolet Equinox and it is a marvel. We are so loving it even as we struggle to learn how to operate it. This isn't your 1950's chevy. All new cars have improved and we are totally enjoying the improvements.

Before the snow comes we will take a road trip to Denali and Fairbanks where there are hot springs and vistas. The picture shows our new silver ice metallic car.
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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