Ell Cove, AK - And along came dinner

First fish caught in AK!
When we were in Sitka, I broke down and finally bought some fish.  Dougal was exacerbated.  “You are really going to buy fish?”  “Trust me,” I told him, “as soon as I do, you will catch one.”  I’ll get back to this.  First, let’s talk about our experience in Ell Cove.   We made our way from Sitka to Ell Cove over three days.  The trip could be done in a day, but we took our time waiting out the rapids at Sergius Narrows and ducking for shelter from the 40 knot winds in Chatham Strait.  After al...
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Tenakee Springs - Independence Day in Alaska

Seastar found on the beach!
I don’t know if it was the perfect 75 degree weather....or the upcoming 4th of July holiday....or the wonderful welcome by Cassidy’s friend Ila and her family (who we had met in Juneau a few weeks ago)....but Tenakee is the type of town that you want to bottle up and take with you.  I fantasized about staying for the entire summer.  It is difficult to capture the charm of this little spot with words. We arrived on July 3rd, just in time to watch another boat take the last spot on the transient ...
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Juneau - summer camps and side trips

The trip from San Francisco to Juneau was a whirlwind.  In many ways, it felt like we were moving in slow motion.  But it was somehow exhausting at the same time.  When the SlowBoat Flotilla ended in Juneau, I was more than happy to stay put for awhile.  For 2 weeks as it turned out!  The Juneau harbor allowed us to pay the low monthly rate of $175, rather than the daily rate, so there was no rush to leave.   When we arrived, I searched for a camp or class for Cassidy.  She longed for some kid ...
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Dodging Bergie Bits

This blog is short...because really there are no words that adequately describe the beauty and scale of Fords Terror, the highlight of our week.  Check out the video that we just posted:  Video 4 - Icebergs & Glaciers in Southeast Alaska We left Meyers Chuck, headed for the glaciers.  We made stops at Wrangell and Petersburg along the way.  Both are quaint fishing towns, with all the necessary services for cruisers (fuel, groceries, restaurants - all conveniently located near the marinas).   F...
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Finding Natures Playground - Ketchikan to Meyers Chuck

SlowBoat Flotilla tied up at Meyers Chuck
We were musing about the juxtaposition between the isolated Foggy Bay anchorage we woke up in and the in the morning and the frenzied Tongass Narrows as we approached Ketchikan in the early afternoon.  Almost as soon as we approached the narrows, seaplanes came into sight and we were dodging fishing boats and cruise ships.  After several long, quiet days at anchor, I enjoyed taking in the busy scene. Most of our time in Ketchikan was spent catching up on errands and completing projects.  We doc...
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Bear Sighting!

Did that get your attention? I am filled with a sense of pride as the Alaska coast becomes visible and we cross the Canadian border back into the United States.  Before we left on this trip, my longest trip on the boat was to Santa Cruz from San Francisco.  I had never experienced an overnight passage, nor had I crossed over into another country by boat.  Since leaving San Francisco, we have travelled well over 1,500 nautical miles. The trip from Anacortes to Ketchican took us more than 600 na...
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really enjoy your videos. Great job! Quick question: IN some of the videos when you are at anchor, there are two additional lines coming off the bow on either side, going down into the water. Or maybe it is one line going down one side and up the other? What are those for?  Thanks!

 Russ  6/29/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 6/30/2018
The two additional lines are an anchor bridle. It’s basically two lengths of 3 strand nylon line attached to a stainless hook that grabs our anchor chain and then run through the forward hawse holes to strong cleats on the deck. It removes the load of the anchor from the windless and also makes it a little quieter when we are swinging on the anchor. The one we use comes from Mantus: https://www.mantusmarine.com/mantus-bridle/

Video 4 was super.  It was National Geographic material.  Very well done, great narration, video clips, aerial photography and the last song was spot on!  Said it all!

Great job Dougal.  I see a new career blossoming. 

 Karin Weishaup  6/10/2018


just curious - what’s your plan after Alaska ? Going around the world ? 

 Frank OHara  7/12/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 7/12/2018
That is the loose plan. After Alaska we don’t have super firm plans but leaning toward heading into Mexico and then across to the Marquesas and on from there.