SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip

Vessel Name: Panta Rhei
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Larry and Karen
Social:
21 September 2016
05 August 2016 | Seward, AK
26 July 2016 | Whittier, AK
19 July 2016 | Valdez, Alaska
05 July 2016 | Seward, Alaska
04 July 2016 | Nuka Island, Home Cove, Alaska
02 July 2016 | Red Fox Bay on Afognak Island, Alaska
01 July 2016 | Geographic Harbor
01 July 2016 | Geographic Harbor, Alaska
30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska
30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska (not to be confused with Wrangell, Alaska)
27 June 2016 | Chignik, Alaska, USA
23 June 2016 | Larry Nelson
20 June 2016 | King Cove Alaska
14 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor
10 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska, USA
09 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
09 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
07 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Recent Blog Posts
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 [...]

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.

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.

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.
Panta Rhei's Photos - Paradise Village Marina
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costumes in the procession were sometimes elaborate, and sometimes simple. There were a lot of people participating.
costumes in the procession were sometimes elaborate, and sometimes simple. There were a lot of people participating.
Added 16 December 2010

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