Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tlingit Adventure

A few weeks ago Baker (LINK) sent out an email looking to see who might be interested in a guys weekend of sailing on Resurrection Bay.
Say what you will about a bunch of dudes on a boat in the middle of the ocean in Alaska, or the sport of sailing in general, but I'd heard about Baker's adventures on his 44' Jeanneau Sun Odyssey sloop, the Tlingit, and was pretty thrilled to get an invite.
I've never really had a very high opinion of sailing. I grew up on motor boats, and boats were soley for fishing anyhow. I've also been known to dish it out to some of my buddies who do sail, making sure to ask them if they remembered their sweater vests and what type of champagne they'd be sipping at the yacht club.
After a weekend of cruising around the Bay, I guess I had to eat some of that.
I was both surprised at the simplicity of sailing, and yet at the same time the skill and environmental adaptation it demands. The appeal was instantly apparent, and in some ways, at its root, is not a lot different than skiing moguls or trees. One the one hand, to do it right, you have to be thinking a few steps ahead while being very present in the now, and yet on the other hand, it's pretty easy to just cruise on bliss. 
Also, our crew of seven sipped a lot of beverages for sure, but if anyone had champagne aboard it was shelved for IPA and Scotch. Go figure.

We headed out of the harbor around 8 on Friday evening, bound for Thumbs Cove.

Heading out of the slip in the Seward Harbor.

Quarters were close, real close.

A tug heading out of Seward. Mount Alice in the background.

Godwin Peak?

Josh (LINK) keeping us on the right course.

After anchoring in Thumbs cove we loaded into the dinghy, four at a time, and headed to shore for a campfire. 

This would have been a fantastic picture, but it looks like my shutter cover jammed.

Baker had us up and at'm Saturday morning with french toast, complete with thick-cut bacon and real maple syrup.  I especially enjoyed helping to sizzle the bacon on the the grill mounted to the stern of the boat. Nothing like standing around on the back of a boat deck on a beautiful Alaska morning sipping coffee, sizing up lines on distant peaks, and nibbling on fresh-cooked pieces of bacon.
Departing Thumbs cove we headed for Bulldog Cove.

Annie, hater of all marine mammals. We saw tons of seals, a few sea lions, gray whales, had several porpoises follow us, and crossed paths with a pod of orcas. Annie, at all of 25 pounds soaking wet, barked growled and snarled at all of them.

The Captain and his ship.

A commercial boat heads back into port.

Rugged Island.

I really liked this shot a lot, Pulling into Porcupine Cove.
 We headed to Porcupine Cove for lunch, and then headed ashore. After combing the beach for a bit, Dan, Connor, and I scrambled through the woods up a small drainage to the bottom of a melted-out slide path.

Just behind the beach was a large pond that gets dumps of salt water during big storms. The outlet of the lake was a tie-dye swirl of settled sediments and disturbed algae. Pretty trippy.

Bushwhacking a short ways through a creek bed.

A view of the cove. The boat is just out of sight.

Tors near the entrance to Bull Dog Cove.

Baker is not just a skipper, but also a chef. No one complained of being poorly fed on the trip that's for sure. Dinner Saturday night was fresh halibut served to five star specs.

Though we had plans to head to shore in Bull Dog, rain started to fall after dinner, so we resorted to other activities...
 Sunday broke gray and a little bit drizzly, with everyone feeling a little groggy. After a late start, we headed back to port, catching a steady tail wind along the way.

Arriving back in Seward.


Unknown said...

Awesome synopsis of what was one of my favorite weekends in Alaska.

Anonymous said...

After building a bigger harbor, you're now sailing around in it.

Dante said...

Jeff, your metaphor is a little weak...

Andrew J. Bernstein said...

You weren't sailing if you didn't sit around the club in Top Siders and khaki pants puffing cigars.