A Boat Too Far

In 2005 we bought a 46' catamaran in Thailand as a wreck. We removed the cabin, bridgedeck, main crossbeam and all the bulkheads then completely redisigned and rebuilt her in Phuket over the course of 5 years. It seemed like a good idea at the time..

26 March 2020
15 March 2020
07 March 2020
01 March 2020
29 February 2020
27 February 2020
19 February 2020
14 February 2020
09 February 2020
19 January 2020
16 December 2019
05 December 2019
24 November 2019
19 November 2019
16 November 2019
10 November 2019
07 November 2019

A Boat Too Far

26 March 2020
Annette
Last night we were swallowed up in a galaxy of stars like a ship in space. Twinkling constellations above us and reflected on the still water below us. Standing on the stern steps felt like floating in space, inducing vertigo that had us grabbing for the railings. This morning we woke up to perfect calm, the shoreline lit up by the morning sun reflecting on the mirrored water like a kaleidoscope. Rum Doxy feels like an island removed from the world, at least for now.
We are about a week out of Valdivia, one of the few open ports that will let us in. That is all we really know for sure. Once we get to dock we'll have a better idea of what our options are and how we will be dealt with. As far as we know we will undergo a health inspection, after that all is speculation. The one rumor that keeps repeating itself is that the Santiago airport will be closing soon, which gives us concern. We may be calling on some of you with contacts higher up who can bring us home, preferably on Air Force One!
For now we try to stay present in the moment and be fully here in this serene and beautiful place. It takes an effort though, not knowing and knowing, many people are suffering. Being so far away from all of you our family and friends is really hard and we hope we can make it home soon.

Seno Iceberg

15 March 2020
Mike
We missed this glacier due to weather on the way down, so we resolved to see it on the way up, and glad we did. This glacier is different from the others we have seen in the Cobalt blue of it's ice. We speculate that the ice cap is particularly thick in this area which compresses the air out of the ice. The result is ice with the clarity of crystal that reflects only the deepest blue that we have not seen until now. We were able to anchor nearby and approach the glacier closely in the dinghy and spent the afternoon messing around the ice floes and climbing on the nearby rocks.

We left before the next front could catch us and anchored the next day in a nice cove where otters played around the boat and biting flies feasted on our flesh. We are now anchored at the entrance to the Golfo de Penas awaiting a weather window tomorrow that should allow us to scoot across without too much punishment.

Bugs and Wind

07 March 2020
Annette and Mike
The longer we're here the more I appreciate and respect the delicate balance of the environment we are living in. For the last few days the temperature was unusually warm, high 60's ,low 70's, and very little wind. Great days for traveling north. But, with the balmy weather came the hoards of biting gnats, making it impossible to be outside except for anchoring. We cover ourselves from head to toe including head nets and still they bite. Every time a door is opened hundreds swarm in providing the next hour of entertainment swatting and vacuuming the pesky buggers up. It's very frustrating to be cooped up inside because of little critters. But today we're back to normal Patagonia weather, cold temperatures, wind and lots and lots of rain. The gnats are lying low, waterfalls are over flowing and rainbows fill the air. Time to put on our red survival suits and go outside to play.
Thursday evening, after a long, 57 mile travel day we chose an anchorage that was easy and didn't require us to tie to trees. The guide book described it as a secure anchorage, protected from wind in all directions, which was important because a strong front was forecast to come through the next day. Once through the narrow entrance, that we slipped through with the rocks just feet on either side, it looked safe enough, but we were a little skeptical as it seemed that the wind was free to blow down its length. Sure enough, when the front passed the next day we were treated to 50+ knot williwaws that would form at the head of the estero and barrel down on us as walls of wind that whipped the water into white froth and filled the air with clouds of spindrift. The anchor held fast, but it was not a relaxing afternoon. Another front was due the next morning so, as soon as the wind died down, we slipped out through the opening and moved to better spot. We went 3 miles up a fiord between steep granite walls and waterfalls to a tight little nook where we could back in and tie to the trees. Along the way we passed right through a pod of orcas, the first we have seen this year. When the front arrived this morning we sat in calm water, watching the whitecaps in the fiord. Much better.
As the front passed the temperature dropped, the rain poured down and the bugs have lost their nerve. It feels like we are in Patagonia again.

We broke free!

01 March 2020
Annette
According to the weather forecast there looked to be a small break in the wind this Sunday morning, then filling in later in the afternoon, so we were determined to move even if it was just another 10 miles toward our destination. We got a fairly early start once we cut ourselves free from the huge net we were tangled in with the anchor, no easy task. Once underway there were a list of obstacles we had to overcome one after another to make any real progress of which the weather played a major role but not all of it. So as we checked off one obstacle after another our spirits rose along with our optimism. First, was crossing the gulf which held us back the other day, no problem. Then our genius captain came up with a brilliant strategy in getting through the narrows by taking the high route Angestora White, instead of the popular main thoroughfare Angestora Kirke. There were high winds and strong currents in Kirke (not sure why everyone goes this way)at the time we would have gone through, but by taking the alternative route we passed through with no wind, flat water, and current with us, not to mention it is a way more scenic route. Hurdle 2 conquered. As we reentered the west/east channel we feared the winds blowing through Kirke would prevent us from continuing but with both motors, and no counter current we were able to continue on at a decent speed, 3rd success accomplished. Side note; Just as we were about to reenter the west/east channel with 5 knots of wind, about 2 miles ahead of us we witnessed a bona-fide water tornado swirling water up into the sky right across our path! Our Last obstacle was getting up Seno Union. With no current and both motors we made steady progress toward our optimal destination 47 miles from Puerto Natales! It feels really good to be making northerly progress again.

Caleta Delano

29 February 2020
Mike
We've been here for the past 5 days waiting for the wind to lay down enough for us to make it back to the West side of the Andes and continue North. As we mentioned before, the weather on this side of the mountains is a lot drier and often clear. We have even seen the stars for the first time since we've been down here. The wind, on the other hand, is relentless. We thought we saw a chance yesterday morning and made it almost 3 miles before the wind filled in and we had 30-35 knots right on the nose. The needle on the fun meter was hovering around zero, so we beat a retreat back here and the wind has settled back to the usual 30-40 knots. Even the local swans have been having a rough time of it. They do not appear to be well ballasted and are easily capsized in the gusts, as can be seen in the photo above.

It looks like the wind may finally settle down soon and we should be able to make a move in the next couple of days, leaving the swans to fend for themselves.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.
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<pre class="k9mail">[s]<br />[c1]p:51 48.41's:72 36.21'w<br />[t]Caleta Delano<br />[a]Mike<br />[b]We've been here for the past 5 days waiting for the wind to lay down enough for us to make it back to the West side of the Andes and continue North. As we mentioned before, the weather on this side of the mountains is a lot drier and often clear. We have even seen the stars for the first time since we've been down here. The wind, on the other hand, is relentless. We thought we saw a chance yesterday morning and made it almost 3 miles before the wind filled in and we had 30-35 knots right on the nose. The needle on the fun meter was hovering around zero, so we beat a retreat back here and the wind has settled back to the usual 30-40 knots. Even the local swans have been having a rough time of it. They do not appear to be well ballasted and are easily capsized in the gusts, as can be seen in the photo above. <br /><br />It looks like the wind may finally settle down soon and we s
hould
be able to make a move in the next couple of days, leaving the swans to fend for themselves.<br /><br />Sent from Iridium Mail &amp; Web.</pre>
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Rainbow Anchorage

27 February 2020
Annette
For the last five days we've been waiting......our visit to Puerto Natales was a great little side trip, lots of sunshine, beautiful scenery and nice weather, but time to get a move on and now we are stuck. The wind is relentless from the west 25-35 knots, gusts to 50 day and night.
But it doesn't suck. We were able to move from the deep, unprotected, crowded anchorage full of steel ships just off the town to a well protected, quiet little anchorage 7 miles up around the corner. I actually really love this anchorage. It is small but large enough that we don't have to tie to trees. With the boat always pointing into that nasty wind the aft deck is a pleasant place to hang out. We are in a little bubble of warm sunshine and sprinkles, with Rainbows reflecting off the hills and misty water. It's a cozy feeling as we look out onto the channel with it frothy white peaks and spindrifts.
The problem is once again, water. We watch rain dumping by the buckets across the channel but not a drop in our bucket. We've a quandary; the conditions are perfect for making beer and doing laundry but water is now at a premium. So we make beer. Priorities.
Vessel Name: Rum Doxy
Vessel Make/Model: 46' Custom Catamaran
Hailing Port: Santa Barbara, California
Crew: Mike Reed, Annette Reed
Extra: A "rum doxy" is 18th century pirate-speak for a woman of remarkable character and ambiguous virtue
Rum Doxy 's Photos - Alaska
Photos 1 to 97 of 97 | Main
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We stopped at Afognak Is. on our way to Prince William Sound. There were several grizzlies on the beach eating dead salmon, including this sow and her 2 cubs. We got in the kayak for a closer look and were able to get within 50 feet or so until we remembered that bears are good swimmers.
Tiger glacier in PWS.
And the nearby Chenega Glacier.
Annette enjoying the view from her chair.
The touchscreen on our plotter won
Clearing skies at 7 Fathom Hole in PWS.
Annette empties a clip into an undeserving clump of seaweed.
Annette with her salmon.
Negotiating the entrance to Disk Is. An 80
At anchor at Disk Is.
Disk Is. With the peaks of Knight Is. in the background.
Anywhere, SE Alaska.
The Chugatch Mountains from Heather Bay in PWS.
Annette finds a way to keep her hands warm and dry while pulling anchor.
Heather Bay.
Chugatch mountains from Heather Bay.
Baneberry?
Picking blueberries at Disk Is.
Port Etches, where we sat out a front with 50 knot gusts and rain for 3 days waiting to make a break for Icy bay. We watched a young grizzly fishing in the stream here.
The weather finally clears at Port Etches and we leave PWS for Icy Bay.
A relatively uneventful 2 days to Icy Bay and we find ourselves at anchor with the 18,000 foot Mt. Saint Elias as a backdrop. The whole Saint Elias and Fairweather ranges that line the seacoast between PWS and Southeast Alaska are all the more impressive as they rise to heights of 15,000 to nearly 20,000 feet right off the beach.
Ice in Icy Bay.
The Guyot Glacier and berg in Icy Bay. We were only able to approach within about 6 miles of the glacier due to all the ice in the bay.
Bigger than Yosemite Falls, fed by the giant glacier just peeking over the ridge and it doesn
We left Icy Bay and headed down the coast to Yakutat Bay, home of the Hubbard Glacier. At 6 miles across where it reaches the ocean, the largest tidal glacier in the world.
The left half of the Hubbard Glacier. Once again we were prevented from getting closer by the ice pack in the bay, but still spectacular, even from a distance.
Motoring down the coast from Yakutat towards the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay we were treated to a whale show with the Fairweather Mountains as backdrop.
Heading down the coast from Icy Bay to Yakutat with the Saint Elias Range as a backdrop.
The Fairweathers.
La Perouse Glacier as it comes out the mountains into the ocean.
Just north of Cape Spencer and the Inside Passage.
Graves Cove, just outside Cape Spencer.
A black bear at Graves Cove.
Moonrise at Inian Island, just outside Glacier Bay.
Young bull moose in Glacier Bay. We were in Glacier Bay for a week and it rained every day so we didn
At anchor in Reed
Off to explore the Glacier.
The things you see on the beach when you
Into the belly of the beast.
Annette samples a stranded bergy bit. We brought a couple pieces back to the boat for margaritas.
Annette conquers the glacier.
One way of thawing feet was to roast them on the stove. Not only did it warm your feet but added a delicate scent to the cabin
Red Squirrel ready to pounce.
We kept our eyes peeled on these rocky slopes for mountain goats.
We are never far from a sea otter.
The Lamplugh Glacier.
Like motoring through a "slushie".
Tufted Puffins.
Leaving Glacier Bay we rounded the tip of Point Retreat and it
We stopped in Auke Bay, just North of Juneau, and rode our bikes to the Mendenhall Glacier. Here is the view from the bike path looking at the glacier over a field of fireweed gone to seed.
Mendenhall River.
Falls next to the Glacier.
The view from the visitor center.
And from the beach.
As we were walking on the beach we heard an explosion and looked over in time to watch this iceberg break in half and roll over.
Leaving Auke Bay.
Looking up Taku Arm just south of Juneau.
Taku Harbor, south of Juneau. There was a tree growing from the top of each one of these pilings. Later in the evening we watched a black bear sow and her 3 cubs fishing in the stream.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to Tracy Arm and the North and South Sawyer Glaciers at the head. Here we are heading up the arm.
North Sawyer Glacier. This was the only Glacier we encountered whose ice discharge was such that we could weave our way through it and sneak up next to the glacier.
We got as close as we dared but the ice face was over 100
South Sawyer Glacier. This is a very active galcier with peals of thunder coming from the ice every few minutes.
Icy Falls.
We were constantly surrounded by polished granite domes, waterfalls, hanging glaciers and jagged peaks.
North Sawyer.
 
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