Archive for September, 2008

Mission accomplished!

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

We awoke to misty overcast weather and headed out from Kalinin Bay and after two hours saw Sitka looming on the horizon!!! We contacted the harbor master, were assigned a slip and docked the Geraldine between two big fishing boats; 7,666.4 nautical miles covered through the water on this amazing trip.  I was explaining to Raime it is as if we drove to New York, back to San Jose again and then back to New York, all at 7.5 miles an hour!  She looked at us like we are crazy and she may have a point!

There was a man pressure washing the dock who helped us tie up and then swished off the starboard side and stern swim step as he worked.  The step had been wet for so long these three and a half months it was bright green and is now looking much better.  We met the couple across the dock and they quickly offered to get us to the airport Saturday morning and let us use their car to go buy anti-freeze to winterize Geraldine.  All the way we have been blessed by such nice people willing to stop and lend us a hand over and over again. It was time for more Peet’s awards!

There was much to be done to get packed up, cleaned up, winterized and thrown out.  We worked until after midnight and slept our last night aboard for a while.  What a deep sense of joy and satisfaction we have for having had such an adventure. Thirty four vessels under sixty feet have done this trip in history and we know of five more, including us,  that made it through the Northwest Passage this summer.  We want to thank our crew; Pat, Shane, Skip, Ed, Randy, Jenny, Quinlan, and finally Scott and Raime.  Without them we could not have done it.  We also want to thank all of you who followed along, encouraging us and praying for us so faithfully.  God has been faithful to see us through and watch over us wherever we went, just as He promised.  We also want to thank all the people who have been so generous to help us along the way in so many ways.  You all gave us the trip of a lifetime and you were able to come along with us through this web site Scott and Randy created and maintained so faithfully.

I am writing this from Los Gatos after having flown home on Saturday.  We will be posting the final pictures and there may be some other updates of pictures here and there to complete this record of our journey through the Northwest Passage in the summer of 2008.

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One More Day!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

(57 deg 19.3 N 135 deg 47.2 W – Kalinin Bay, Kruzof Island) What a great day! We were up with the stars at 3:30 am so that we could get out of Latuya Bay at slack water. There were two flashing lights we needed to have lined up to make sure our course was right for a safe exit through the narrow opening; all this in the dark but we made it just fine. The sky was crystal clear and beautiful as we watched the sun rise passing La Perouse Glacier which came right to water’s edge.

We went by Boussole Head where we saw a huge arch worn through the rocks. Further along the way we saw whales spouting and two tail shots with more beautiful mountain vistas. We traversed Cross Sound into fog momentarily, then came out and motored down Lisianski Straight, spotting a pair of bald eagles watching us from the tree tops!  We then went back out into the Gulf of Alaska to later come inland to Kalinin Bay where we are now at anchor.

The forecast is for rain tomorrow and we expect to reach Sitka by noon with no outside passages required! For a moment we had cell coverage and called Visa to pay the bill and the marina to confirm our reservation for a slip.

One more day left of this amazing adventure. We are so grateful for the privilege to do something so extraordinary and the safety afforded us and our wonderful crew. Praise the Lord!

Today I wrote out the recipes needed to write a journal cookbook, “Cooking your way through the Northwest Passage.” Maybe it can help offset the fuel bill!!!

Fairweather

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

(58º39.1′ N, 137º33.7 W — Lituya Bay, Glacier Bay National Park) We awoke at 3:00 AM at the Yakutat Roads Marina and departed at 3:30 in the dark. We navigated by radar & chart plotter through the maze to open water and headed south (actually more east.) We did this to time an entrance into Lituya Bay at near slack water. As the sun rose we could see Hubbard Glacier at the head of Yakutat Bay. Hubbard is the largest tidal glacier in Alaska with an ice wall that is 6 miles long. We saw a 992 foot long Celebrity Cruise ship (BIG) on its way in to take a peak. All day we have had calm water, light wind & brilliant sunshine. The Fairweather (mountain) Range including the “queen” herself at 15,320 feet were in dazzling view all day long. They are solidly snow covered from about 5000 feet up. Of course glacier after glacier comes down to near sea level. Stunning is an understatement. Kip saw a whale breach and then we saw two tail shots. The weather has been nice enough to break out the flybridge cushions and sit up top. I drove using the remote for the autopilot.

We entered Lituya Bay with the aid of range markers. The usable entrance is about 50 yards wide and can be entered at near slack water only. Our timing was off by 1/2 hour and breakers were occurring on either side of the entrance. This bay was made famous by the tsunami in July, 1958 which induced an avalanche stripping the bay of all trees up to 1720 feet. You still can see evidence of the destruction but there are thankfully many new trees. Kip spotted a bull moose among them. Three glaciers feed the bay; all three are moving a lot of dirt. My chart is outdated as the side bays no longer exist.

Tomorrow we enter familiar territory for the first time since June.

Editor’s Note: We have included pictures all the way back to Seward, where Shane and Rebecca departed.  There are also a few videos of the Kodiak Bears we saw.  Enjoy!

Departing from Yakutat

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

We awoke to a glorious full view of Mt. St. Elias; 18,006 feet right out of the water!  We had arrived at 10:15 the night before and had no idea how beautiful the spot was where we’d landed.  The seas were calm and the wind was gone so it was a perfect last day for Scott and Raime.  We saw many geese in V formations heading south and that was a message for us too.  We saw more glaciers and the beauty of the mountains continued all day long.  We arrived at the fuel dock in Yakutat at 4:00 pm so Scott and Raime had plenty of time to make their 6:45 departure.  It was sad to see them go back home.  We are now tied to the dock at Yakutat Roads, one of the prettiest spots we have seen on this trip.  We hope to be in Sitka Friday and now it is just the two of us.  :-)


I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go — Genesis 28:15