Return to Alaska

Two longtime Alaskans delivering new boat home to Seward, Alaska

01 July 2012 | Elifin Cove to Seward Alaska
25 June 2012
14 June 2012 | Wrangell, Alaska
10 June 2012 | Ketchikan, Alaska
30 May 2012 | Ketchikan, Alaska
13 May 2012 | Nanaimo, BC
09 May 2012 | Anacortes Marina

Gulf of Alaska Crossing

01 July 2012 | Elifin Cove to Seward Alaska
We are back home in Anchorage, arrived in Seward last Saturday June 30 at 6 am after a 3 days crossing of the Gulf of Alaska.

The numbers for our trip, 1851 nautical miles (NM), 52 days, average speed of 6.8 kts / hr. To put it in prospective, we traveled more than the distance from Mane to the Florida Keys.

Gary joined us in Juneau to help with the Gulf Crossing. We spent a week in Glacier Bay, had 5 days of sun and saw more whales that I could count. The rain did finally come and so did our weather window to make the 430 NM Gulf of Alaska crossing to bring us home.

We waited in Elifin Cove near the entrance to the Pacific Ocean watching the numbers on an offshore buoy waiting for the seas to lay down a bit from 9 ft to 6 ft We took off escorted by a pair of orca's with a multi day window of calm weather. We still ended up bucking confused seas caused by the left over storm waves and the relentless southwesterly ocean swell. It was a difficult 12 hrs with washing machine like 6 ft seas.

Things did settle down finally and we made excellent time, covering 170 NM towards Seward in one 24 hr period. We were all thinking we be in Seward in time for dinner Friday. Then the winds kicked up a bit more than forecasted veering to the west, directly from the direction we need to be going. The uncomfortable chop cut our progress significantly as the boat pounded thru the seas. Things settled down and our speed picked back up with the calm seas and we had a nice end to the crossing

The boat is cleaned up, in its slip and we are enjoying being back home on firm ground.

Glacier Bay

25 June 2012
Debra / Cloudy and light wind
We are in Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park. We have had a wonderful 5 days of weather here. Saw many, many whales. Have not posted since Wrangell but will have to catch up on that part of trip on a later post. We are sitting in the park lodge with the only internet access we have had since leaving Juneau.
Looks like weather will be good later Tuesday to make the final push to Seward where we should arrive by Friday the 29th. We are happy to have Gary on board to be with us to Seward.


14 June 2012 | Wrangell, Alaska
Debra/ Cloudy and calm
We have been in Wrangell since Tuesday night. We were going to try and leave this morning at 6 a.m. to catch the favorable currents in Wrangell Narrows to get to Petersburg but Marty's cold is still bad so staying here another day. We are in the new Heritage Harbor in Wrangell which is very nice. The grocery checker at IGA was complaining though that the city spent a bunch of money on Heritage while neglecting the main harbor "that the rest of us have to live in".
It is a mile walk to downtown, and the main street in downtown is torn up for reconstruction. I took a trip yesterday and bought some garnets from the kids selling them on the city dock. The Wilderness Explorer was in town so the tourist shops were open. I bought two watercolor sketches that were painted on Marine Charts of Behm Canal and Resurrection Bay.
We did stay in Meyers Chuck on our way here, the State float had room so we tied up there, anchoring would have been easy though if not. Guy across from us ran his generator all night so maybe we should have anchored!

Heading North Again

10 June 2012 | Ketchikan, Alaska
Debra/ rain
Had a great week in Misty Fiords with Kurt and Alison. We had a couple of sunny days that were just outstanding, and the not sunny days were not that bad. Thanks to the US Forest Service for the mooring bouys that are placed throughout the area. We used the bouys in Punchbowl, Walker, and Klu Coves. The boat is very comfortable for 4 people.
Arrived back in Ketchikan to drop K&A off for their plane yesterday, it was sunny. Everyone on the dock was greeting each other with "isn't this a beautiful day!" This morning it was back to the rain. Made the trip to Safeway in the rain for food and wine and hauled it all to the boat in the rain. Hoping the weather improves this week.
We found out we just missed Mark and Laurence Ward on their way south. They left Ketchikan the day before we got here.
Tomorrow will take off north for Wrangell, Petersburg and Juneau.

Rainy and windy Ketchikan

30 May 2012 | Ketchikan, Alaska
Debra / rain and wind
We have had more changes to our plans due to weather than anticipated. First was a small delay due to winds in Johnstone Strait. But we made it up to Port McNeill after some nice stops in Desolation Sound. We had a weather window to get around Cape Caution but missed it. So we spent two days in Allison Harbour. Finally made it around Cape Caution and had a 12 hour day getting to Shearwater.
After leaving Shearwater we went to Fiordland and had a beautiful day in Bolin Bay, then on to another beautiful day in Khutze Inlet. But that has been the last of the good weather. Rain since then. From Prince Rupert we had another 12-hour day to get to Ketchikan due to gale warnings. And boy has it been windy in Ketchikan, 25 to 26 knots here in the harbour. Several other cruisers we've met along the way are all hunkered down here now. Looks like wind dies down tomorrow. Ketchikan Bar Harbour is convenient to many things, shopping and laundry, but no power at most transient slips. And they don't have internet access, so we finally had the idea to add wifi hot spot service to our ACS data plan.
We will be in Ketchikan until Saturday when friends Kurt and Alison arrive to begin our trip to Misty Fjords. Looking for some sun, or just less rain!

May the current be with you...

13 May 2012 | Nanaimo, BC
Debra/ Sunny and breezy
We started on our way with a current out of Anacortes that had us going almost 11 knots! Since then it seems we've had more against us than with us, we have been traveling during the middle of the day on the ebb current (which heads south) when we are headed north. But we are traveling short days and enjoying the towns we stay in. Stopped in Sidney, Ganges, and Ladysmith Harbour. In Sidney we cleared customs and stocked up on wine and food. In Ganges we went to the Farmer's Market, where there were more crafts than produce, very artsy town. Tonight we are staying in Nanaimo Harbour, no wireless but we found a coffee shop with wifi so I am able to update blog. (you would think for a $60 marina fee you would get wifi!). It has been very sunny and we did not think we'd be using this much suntan lotion. Not too much wind so far, but next few days we will be in the Straights of Georgia with northwest winds forecast.
Vessel Name: Nomad
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 409
Hailing Port: Seward, Alaska
Crew: Marty and Debra
About: Longtime Alaskans who have returned from living overseas for last 7 years. First saw Jeanneau 409 at boat show in Genoa, Italy. Purchased 409 from Marine Servicenter in Seattle, will be sailing boat from Anacortes, WA. to Seward, AK.
Nomad's Photos - Main
Trip to Seward
16 Photos
Created 30 May 2012

About Us

Who: Marty and Debra
Port: Seward, Alaska