Mark Checks In from His Voyage

By , September 7, 2010

The Gustavus adventure has been great so far! Time’s far too short to try to wax eloquent about it all, as it deserves. Briefly:

I rendezvoused with Slacktide in Gustavus, reconnected with friends in Gustavus, and made some new ones. We slowly made our way down Icy Strait in low or no winds and contrary currents. After a couple of days we got our wind, zipped out to Chatham, and made it into Juneau. We saw lots of breaching whales, curious sea lions, seals and sea otters in the water around us, and some bears and a deer on the beach. We stared at them, and people in passing boats stared at us–Slacktide, a homebuilt, junk rigged barge is very distinctive! I do miss their old boat, Luna, which was bigger, but this new boat has large portholes–picture windows, really, on each side, so the view from below decks is much better. And, as always, hanging out with Dave and Anke is lots of fun, whether we’re actually going anywhere or not!

One feature of the trip I’m particularly enjoying is the frequent dramatic sunsets. Living on the east side of the ridge, we don’t see a lot of sunsets anymore. I had almost forgotten what we’d been missing.

When we stepped ashore in Juneau, it had been four full days since we’d been on land. We took a bit to get our “land legs” back. It’s very strange to find solid ground disorienting. Particularly, while enjoying my first shower in 9 days, I closed my eyes against the soap, and suddenly found myself compensating for swell again!

We’ll be in Juneau another day or two, provisioning Slacktide for the coming winter. Then we’ll sail north to the homestead. That’s the part of the trip I’m really looking forward to. It’s a voyage I usually enjoy on the state ferry. Going our own way, ducking into anchorages of our choosing will be a new adventure. A lot of the places we’re likely to visit are places I’ve fished near when we lived in Juneau, but never got an opportunity to explore properly. In addition to that, as the trip lengthens, I’m more and more eager to return to Michelle and Aly. I’ve managed to call them just about every day, but talking on the phone holds a faint candle to being together as a family.

Posts may get sketchy from here on out, folks. I love that Aly and Michelle have started contributing to fill the gaps. Wasn’t Aly’s Beowulf photo great?

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