Follow Our Journey

Keeping up with the Joneses just got a little easier. As we radio our stories, coordinates and photos, you can join us steaming through the icy Arctic Sea to Alaska. To receive automatic updates, click the Subscribe button to the right and paste the url into your favorite RSS reader.

Departing from Yakutat

September 23rd, 2008 by Kip "Galley Master" Jones

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.  🙂

1,302 meals and counting

September 23rd, 2008 by Kip "Galley Master" Jones

(59º55.76’N, 141º22.54’W — Icy Bay) We have had a long day today which began with a 7:00am departure and a 10:15pm arrival to Icy Bay, about 50 miles from Yukatat Bay, where Scott and Raime will depart for home tomorrow evening. The seas were rough and choppy all day long and we were entertained by Scott reading from Raime’s book, “11,000 Years Lost” and are all hoping to finish it tomorrow! We saw ice again as we came into our anchorage as we are near another calving glacier. Scott has been helping Raime keep up with her math by making up thought problems. She figured out all the days and number of people and came up with the fact that I’d prepared 1,302 meals on this journey since leaving Southwest Harbor, Maine. Wow!

We did cut a corner early this morning which saved us three hours and are so grateful we did not repeat running aground like we did in Tuk. The depth got as low as 5’7″ but we slid through this time. Raime has been a delight and she has done really well in such a small space. We will really miss them as they head for home.

Nap, talk, oooh & ahhh

September 21st, 2008 by Scott Jones

(59º58.5′ N, 144º22.8′ W — Kayak Entrance, Kayak Island) Today was a big travel day — we went 108 nautical miles starting early this morning (before sunrise) and finishing after sundown. Most of the day, we were a ways away from shore (about 25 miles), but we got distant views of a number of additional glaciers. For those of you that are salmon connoisseurs, we are slightly south of Copper River, which is a gigantic mud flat that is bracketed by a few glaciers including Miles and Childs Glaciers.

We had some company along the way today when two pods of Dahl porpoises played around the boat. They stayed with us for a very long time, at least half an hour. On their second visit, there were so many of them that it seemed that we could see several of them surfacing everywhere we looked! It was as if the original few we saw had gone and gathered all of their friends and family to have fun around the Geraldine!

We saw two rainstorms on the radar today, and ended up having hail as we went through them. We also saw a complete rainbow that ended directly in front of the boat. We kept heading that way, but the gold was elusive. We had fun reading, napping, talking, and ooohing and ahhhing with the porpoises. It was a great day here on the Geraldine.

Time of their (wild)life

September 20th, 2008 by Randy Jones

(60º14.7′ N, 147º42.6′ W — Snug Harbor, Prince William Sound) I got a call from the crew today giving an update since leaving Seward. A few interesting notes on Seward, it is the first place they’ve been to since Labrador that you could drive to directly in your car. It is at the end of a fjord with beautiful mountains all around. Also, the harbor was full of mostly private sailboats which was a stark contrast to the oil and fishing boats that have dominated so far. There was a Safeway! They felt like for the first time they were actually back in America.

Today they traveled about 75 nautical miles in perfectly calm seas. Forecast for the next few days is similar, which has them excited. They’ve been seeing the first signs of fall—the scrub & moss above tree line on the mountains is changing to gold and red. Meanwhile they saw a handful of glaciers and were visited by Dahl Porpoises again. Scott and Raime were able to get to the nose of the boat and look down into the crystal clear water and see them swimming under the boat and playing in the bow wave! They also reported seeing a whale fin of unidentified variety and several black and white-footed albatross. In further wildlife sightings, they added mountain goats to the growing list. Eagle-eye Raime spotted them on a two foot wide ledge above a 500 foot cliff. As I was talking to them they saw a bald eagle nest and ran outside to get a better look.

They’ve been trying to eat up all the left-over provisions from the adventure. Tonight they had mini-thanksgiving dinner with a stuffed chicken (purchased and frozen since Halifax). In spite of being well traveled, the crew reports that the chicken was tasty. The apple pie came out of the oven and they promptly hung up on me!

I did get a tentative itinerary from them. Tonight they are at Snug Harbor on Knight Island in Prince William Sound (site of the Exxon Valdez leak). Next stops are Copper River tomorrow, Icy Bay on Monday, and Yakutat on Tuesday. Scott & Raime fly home from Yakutat on Wednesday. Then it is up to Kipper and ye Salty Dog Walter to bring the Geraldine the rest of the way down to Sitka. They should be there by the weekend and fly home. And none to soon, all this apple pie talk has me hungry!

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