arrived in Sitka (right) after an incredible two week sail from Honolulu,
Hawaii. The trip north of Hawaii around the Pacific High was our best
leg ever! An amazing sail, wind in the "right" direction, 200+mile days.
It could not have been better. And Sitka was the frosting on the cake.
What a great little town. Filled with amazing history of clashing
cultures: the First Nations People, the Russians, Europeans and
Americans - he exploiters and the exploited! A read of Michener's
"Alaska" is a must.
government buildings overlook an historic park. Artifacts tell stories
of native people (left), whalers and other settlers.
Peril Strait we encountered many whales - seem mostly by their plume
the way to Juneau we observed humpback whales (left) "bubblenetting."
Bubblenetting is the most amazing cooperative behavior of a pod of
whales. They get together and blow bubbles around a school of fish and
bring the fish into a column like a net. Then one of the whales is
chosen to swim up the middle of the fish with their mouth open. The
others follow suit and there's a lot of eating and frolicking! When
that's over they all dive down and net in the fish with another bubble
net and another whale comes up through the middle, etc. It's awesome to
actually see this behavior. We must have seen this pod do this about
carving represents an octopus (right). Once you start looking at these First
Nations' depictions you become intrigued and fascinated at the
interpretations of people who have lived intimately with their natural
surroundings. Their representations can be amusing and enlightening -
seeing something more than what meets the eye.
looks like we never go ashore, but you see, we occasionally do! One of
the most remarkable things about visiting Alaska (in the summer time!)
is the long days and the lush vegetation. People and plants know that
the winter is very long, so when summer comes it comes in a big way. The
flower gardens and planters are gorgeous in this area.
around these glaciers and icebergs was an adventure! (right) Imagine this:
Scott's in the dinghy taking the photos and he's directing me to "get a
little closer to this big iceberg so I can get a better picture."
Fortunately we didn't actually hit the berg as I do know that ice is as
hard as a rock!
job (left) was to procure ice every evening for our evening's enjoyment. One of
the few amenities Quest does not have is an ice maker. However, we have
often said that we have friends that have an ice maker! In this case, we
have friends who are very resourceful! Seeing as how glacier ice is very
dense freshwater, it's perfect for our needs. By the way, as long as
Harmon was on board we didn't miss an evening without ice.
has prepared a feast for us this evening! (right) I love to have friends on
board who "love to cook on boats." I, too, love to cook on my boat.
Visitors notice that my galley is the heart and soul of the Quest!
of the great things about Alaska is that you can actually live off the
sea without too much skill (a fishing license is, however, recommended).
Many evenings we were able to deploy our crab pot right off our stern.
You must be anchored in the correct depth and location for this to be a
successful strategy! We also found that crabs aren't too picky about
their diet, but chicken wings seemed to work great!
after removing females and undersized crabs we were happy with our
catch! (right) Perhaps you're thinking that food, libations and scenery are the
main focus of cruisers. You're not far from right!
off a glacier (left) is like putting your boat in an ice box. Visiting Glacier
Bay and Alaska is well worth the trip. Much of it is indescribable!
intrepid captain dodges the ice bergs!
there's salmon running, there's bound to be bears! This is Alaska: lush
vegetation, salmon running up stream, bears getting ready for their
winter hibernation (that means eating salmon!), and mama bear showing
baby bear the ropes (left).
It's probably not a good idea to get between a bear and his salmon.
We walked from Anan Bay and through the woods to get to where these bears were feeding. It
was truly a feeding frenzy. They were to the point where they were
getting picky about their diet! They would scoop up a salmon and eat
only the brains and the eggs leaving the rest for an eager flock of
is intent on bringing fresh fish to our dinner table!
abandoned cannery (right) makes a intriguing setting for our evening meal. Guess
what we were having? Salmon on the grill!