s/v Proximity

The Voyages and Adventures of "Your Rock and Roll Argonauts".

22 April 2017 | Seward, Alaska
22 April 2017 | Passage to Kodiak
22 April 2017 | Chignik,, Alaska
22 April 2017 | Sand Point, Alaska
12 July 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska
11 July 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska
05 July 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska
22 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska
21 June 2016 | Tied to Municipal Dock, Dutch Harbor
19 June 2016 | 64 Miles From Initial Approach Fix
19 June 2016 | 188 Miles From Initial Approach Fix
17 June 2016 | 274 Miles From Initial Approach Fix
17 June 2016 | 313 Miles From Initial Approach Fix
16 June 2016 | 392 miles from Initial Approach Fix
15 June 2016 | 499 miles from Initial Approach Fix
14 June 2016 | 607 miles from Initial Approach Fix
13 June 2016 | 732 miles from Initial Approach Fix
12 June 2016 | 873 miles from Initial Approach Fix
11 June 2016 | Almost Exactly the Latitude of our Calif. House.
10 June 2016 | Free Beer Tomorrow.

Kodiak and passage to Seward

22 April 2017 | Seward, Alaska
Kodiak was fun. It's a beautiful little city with a nice harbor, and was a good place to stay for a few days and rest up. Had some nice restaurants, a nice micro brewery - in fact, I picked up a hoodie sweatshirt there with the logo of one of their beers featured on the back. I wanted the one with the airplane on it, but since it was sold out, I proudly bought one featuring: Sarah Pale Ale
Was it good? You Betcha!
At the brewery we met some very cool young people who worked as crew on a local fishing boat. As it turned out, we were neighbors and we visited each other's boats. They were crewing for a guy named Barry. Since they fished for salmon, Barry had named his boat...........yes, you guessed it! Salmon Barry! Good name, and it, once again, reminded us of those wonderful berries.
After a few days off in Kodiak, we were rested and ready to head out to Seward, so on Monday, August 8, we set out. Our conditions had been forecast to be light, and they were, but things did pick up during the night and allowed us to make speed enough to reach Seward well before dark the second day. It was a good thing too, because as we were motoring up the very spectacular Resurrection Bay, we detected a vibration in the drive train. It turned out to be the dripless prop-shaft seal leaking. Truly an attention-getting event. This seal is what keeps the ocean out of our boat where the prop shaft exits the hull. So, we requested an emergency haul out with the marina for the next morning. No worries, and they set it up. Once we were in, we found that with the engine not actually running, we could put it off and haul when the boat yard could easily take us. So then, our voyage to Seward was now complete. We are very impressed with Alaska and are really to have come. The people are fantastic, and the place itself is beyond belief beautiful. As we motored up Resurrection Bay, we spotted what looked like big white buildings on the shore. These turned out to be giant icebergs breaking off one of the many glaciers here. Stunning. And it goes on and on. The beauty and majesty of nature never quits here. The car license plate reads: Alaska, The Last Frontier. There is truth in that, and we intend to see much more of it. For now, our goal of reaching Seward before the weather turned has been met, and with the development of the drive shaft seal, we are glad we didn't take any longer.
....Be excellent to each other!

Passage to Kodiak August 1, 2, 3,4, 2016

22 April 2017 | Passage to Kodiak
Passage to Kodiak
After four days in Chignik, it was again time to go. Our next goal was Kodiak. We had stayed so long in Dutch Harbor that we were wanting to reach Seward before the weather turned. The sailing season is short here in Alaska, and the fishermen were advising us that we wanted to be off the water by the end of August. We also had boat work to do, and wanted to get that done before winter. Thus, we were bypassing a good number of really beautiful places to see. Can't have it all.
So, the weather forecast looked good, and we said good-bye to our friend Gary and his shipmate, Stewart. Kodiak is an island, and to get to Kodiak City, we had the option of approaching from the south, as our friends Bjorn and Annika of s/v Moon had advised, or we could have approached from the north, passing through a narrow pass, called Whale Pass. We chose, again, to "go our own way" (thank you Fleetwood Mac!) This pass had strong current and had to be taken when the water was slack, but we figured we could plan it right. It was simply a matter of timing.
So, for three days, we made our way up the coast taking note of the wind and our time. All was on track...until our last night. The wind was forecast to be on our nose and we would motor. When motoring, we are slow and easy to time accurately. With the forecast conditions we would arrive at the narrows in the pass right about 0600 am, at slack water. Perfect. But, now the conditions broke with the forecast, the wind went behind us and blew in the mid 20s. Nice and fast. Bummer. This calculated to our reaching the narrows much earlier, in the dark, and with a very high speed current. (This translates to not good, bad, and bad.) So, we slow the boat down, sails reefed to nearly nothing. Oh yay, now we will reach the pass a little later, but just a little. We were just moving too fast, and the only way we would slow enough to make the pass as planned would be to turn around and simply loiter in the rough water for a number of hours. It was not an attractive option, so I considered what it would be like to do the pass in the dark. We did have a clear sky, so we would have star light. The channel was well marked, and well charted. Ok, let's have a go. So, we proceeded and reached the north part of the channel about midnight. It was nearing the end of slack. The Current would start carrying us with it soon, building to a near river's pace before dawn when we would reach the end of it. As the night wore on we were passed by many big fishing boats, all, no doubt, wanting to beat the current before it picked up. We had our speed, and that was that. At one point, the sky light up. Well, well, well. That would be the Northern Lights! It was beautiful. The sky was fairly light, and although dark, we could see the shore and the edge of the water. Not too bad.
Did our speed pick up? You better believe it. We had been motoring as slow as we could and still maintain steering. So, we had a boat speed of about 2 knots and eventually an over the ground speed of 10 knots. An amazing sensation. It was a narrow channel, so we paid close attention to leading the turns knowing that if we miss-judged, we could easily be on the bank. But, it all went well and made for a very interesting night. As a final interest, the large pool where the channel opened up was marked with lots of little whirlpools on the chart. They meant it. As big as our boat is, when we passed through this area, we found ourselves facing one way, then turned a full 180 degrees the other way almost instantly. The water was deep, so nothing to worry about hitting, but eerie.
Making the final miles into Kodiak City was easy and beautiful. We passed an area where many otters were living. And, actually while we were coming up from Chignik, we saw a number of Orcas. Now, we were approaching a city. What would that be like?
.....to be continued. Be excellent to each other!


22 April 2017 | Chignik,, Alaska
Chignik was fun. Since there was no room to tie in the harbor, one of the big fishing boats called us on the radio and offered that we could side tie to them. This made for a great time. Our host was a boat named "Lucrative", captained by a young man named Gary. Gary was an excellent host and offered that we could use his hot shower and bathroom facilities on board his big boat. We took him up on it at least once. Gary told us of a local lady who baked doughnuts fresh on (I think) Tuesdays. He said that she also makes some filled with the delicious Salmon Berries that we had found in Dutch Harbor. We had heard of these doughnuts, out in here in the wilderness, from our friends Gaby and Lutz from SuAn. They had tried to get some, but found that the fishermen had bought them all up before they got to the shop. Ok then, Gary was going to make the run in the morning, and I offered that we would buy as a way to say thank you for the hospitality. Good trade! So in the morning, Gary disappeared and returned a while later with TWO boxes of fresh, hot (including Salmon Berry stuffed) doughnuts. He presented us with a whole box, and I asked "What's up with this?" He said that the lady had talked him into buying two boxes, that he thought we would like them, and he made a command decision. Thank you, Gary. That was a great decision. Maybe it was because we were so far out in the wild, or that since it was a bit chilly, I don't know, but your Rock and Roll Argonauts were in doughnut heaven. They really were yummy!
One day, as we sat in our boat talking with Gary on his boat, I heard behind me what sounded like a high-pressure hose come loose. It was, in fact, a whale. In the harbor, a whale. It had surfaced after swimming under Lucrative. I could have reached out and touched it. Elisabeth did manage to get a photo of it. Amazing. Alaska. We are having a great time.

It continues....

22 April 2017 | Sand Point, Alaska
It continues. We never did find that broken bolt in Dutch Harbor. We searched for it for days. Then, we had three different people up the mast, each having a look. Nothing. It was evident from the weathering on the break that this bolt had not held anything for years, so we decided to continue traveling. When the weather was right, we set out for Seward, stopping at Sand Point, Chignik, and Kodiak.

Sand Point and Chignik are small commercial fishing harbors in the wilderness. We enjoyed each, and met some very impressive, hard working people, men and women who provide the country with our fish that so often we take for granted. Give a thought each time you buy some fish from Alaska about the people who work harder than you can imagine to bring it to you. They don't get rich off of it. They just love their work and the area they work in.

In Sand Point, we were tied at the small dock there when the Salmon fishing fleet came in. They are only allowed to fish on certain days when the local authorities have determined that enough Salmon have made it up the river, so they come in, and they go out, sometimes waiting for weeks to be allowed to go back out. While they were in we met a few of the guys and invited them on board, had dinner together in the village, toured their boats. A nice visit.

After two days, we said our good byes as is the way of cruising. Make new friends then say good bye to them. Over and over and over. It probably seems that this ought to be sad, but somehow, it is not. It is just the price of admission to this adventurous life.
When we got to Chignik, the harbor was even smaller than Sand Point, and the fleet was in waiting permission to go back out to work. Thus, no space was available.

...and now we wait.

12 July 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Tuesday, July 12

We are still in Dutch Harbor, and are now waiting for weather. There is a low ahead (counter-clockwise wind circulation)and to the south of us, as well as a high (clockwise circulation) that are bringing wind from the north east, east, and southeast. It is also accelerating the winds. Since this is the direction we are traveling, we will wait until the wind is more favorable. High winds, especially "on the nose" are not good traveling weather. Perhaps later in the week, but perhaps a little longer than that. It is frustrating, but we were always told that this is how one travels in Alaska. You travel when you can, and you wait when you must. We simply missed our window of opportunity.

Meanwhile, we will continue to find the source of the broken bolt. So far, we have no leads. It is a very small one, and we still believe that it had not held any load for years, so it is not a big worry. But, of course, we would prefer to find it, replace it, and remove all doubt. So then, that is our entertainment planned for the week. We will keep you updated, and we have put up a Dutch Harbor photo album. The link is here: https://picasaweb.google.com/114236330440348133854/6305240293790474833 You can also just click the "Photo Album" button on the right side of this blog page.

That's it for now. We will stay in touch.

Be Excellent to Each Other! Rod and Elisabeth,

"Your Rock and Roll Argonauts" "Les Pirates d'Honneur"

We Tried, But Turned Back

11 July 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Sunday, July 10 It has been three weeks since we arrived at Dutch Harbor. It has been wonderful to be here. But, it is time to go. We have miles to go before the short season ends here, and we want to explore a bit. So, our intention was to leave today.

Now, the serious news. We left Dutch Harbor this morning, got into the outer bay, and proceeded to raise the mainsail. Then, Elisabeth saw a piece of hardware fall to the deck. It was the head of a bolt. Sheared off? No, it was corroded, but it got our attention. After all, we know people who, right at this moment, are motoring to Wake island for help because a mast fitting broke and left them dis-masted. If it came from above, is our rig in trouble? So, with a very heavy heart, we returned to our slip, and promptly climbed the mast to check, Annika, the great technician also had a look, even Elisabeth got hauled up for mast duty. Nothing was found, and the consensus is that the bolt had not held a load for years. All rig fittings, sail fittings, and mast fittings are secure. It is a mystery. So, then we studied the weather. Not as good as today, and it even goes northeast when we are traveling northeast, but it should be light, so unless we hear a severe warning on the weather before morning, we shall set off again tomorrow. Otherwise all is well, and we had a nice walk after the climbing followed by a nice dinner at the nearby pub.

Be Excellent to Each Other! Rod and Elisabeth,

"Your Rock and Roll Argonauts" "Les Pirates d'Honneur"
Vessel Name: Proximity
Vessel Make/Model: Swan 41
Hailing Port: San Francisco
Crew: Rod Lambert, Elisabeth Lehmberg
Who Are Rod and Elisabeth? We are Rod Lambert and Elisabeth Lehmberg. Elisabeth is from Bremerhaven, Germany, and Rod is from Monterey, California. In our youth we each had dreams of living on the water and sailing long distance. [...]
Extra: 2017 Update. From 2009 to Summer 2016, we sailed the South Pacific Ocean, visiting many many wonderful places and meeting incredible all along the way. Finally, it was time to do something a little different, so we headed North. North to Alaska. The dream continues. Welcome!
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