Sunday, August 20, 2017



By now, those of you who look for posts on the blog and facebook, have a pretty good idea of what off the grid means. Once we leave Ketchikan to head south (via a favorable "weather window" we will once again be "off the grid".  Considering where we are traveling here in Alaska and back through Canada there is seldom cell service or wifi!  I have so many wonderfully interesting experiences to share. They continue to mount everyday... it is hard to even keep the ships log current. I have resorted to bullet entries in the log. We stay very busy with all there is to see, do, transit, repair and maintain.

Be assured I will be posting a full account of our voyage to and from Southeast Alaska. It may not start happening until we reach the lower 48... which translates to September. We plan to spend August in Canada, hoping for a leisurely cruise down the Pacific Coast. Lets all hope the weather Gods have the same plan!

Some of the blog entries you can look forward too will include:
   Many new Southeast Alaska anchorages and ports
   Killing and eating fish: halibut, salmon, black bass, crab, shrimp
   Forest hikes and visits to natural hot springs, rivers, lakes, hatcheries
   Multitude of wildlife: Humpback, Orca and Pilot whales, dolphin, eagles, bears, seals,            otters, seagulls, fishes, etc.
   Museums, Historic Sights, National Monuments and parks
        Boat repairs in far away places.... still on going 
        Food and beverage rationing and storage.
   And the list goes on and on!

There will be a trip summary (like last year with all the stats) and a special chapter on boat repairs. There have been many!

We left Ketchikan, Friday August 18th (Day 127) and subsequently off the grid again. We cleared customs in Prince Rupert. Now heading south making several stops at new places and revisiting our favorite ones in Canadian waters, the Broughtons, Desolation Sound and Gulf Islands. Once back in "the lower 48", namely, Washington, we should have service more often. Until then..... here's a few pictures to wet the appetite!  
Cheers, Tracey and John

see older posts... Tracy Arm, gone fishing, etc.

And there is so much more... but losing internet any minute!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Thursday July 6th (day 84) we arrived in Red Bluff Bay and actually enjoyed this anchorage and the fishing and crabbing for six days.
Cascading waterfalls in Red Bluff Bay.
This became one of our favorite anchorages.

Today's catch was 29 spotted prawns from a single over night soak.

Early morning views of the mouth of Red Bluff Bay.

John visiting Alaskan Sea-Duction with his dingy.

View of the fresh water river inlet at the head of Red Bluff Bay.
This is referred to as Bear Mud Flats. 

The mega yachts continued to come and go.
More fishing equaled two more halibut. One each for John and Tom.

Halibut filets ready to be bagged, sealed and frozen.

Returning with more prawns, in the rain of course.

Anchor up. Time to move the boats.

Our "trawler tender" in tow behind the mothership heading to Warm Springs Bay.  

Wednesday, July 12th Day 90   Warm Springs Bay, Barnof Island

Pairadice and Alaskan Sea-Duction on the public dock at Warm Springs Bay.

The BEWARE OF BEARS sign was posted in July 2017. We were careful to carry our bear spray.

View from the bath house. The water run constantly.
 We opted to hike to the natural pools by the waterfall.

The dock is quickly filling up.
S/V Gladiator, Beneteau 46,
crew Kim and Eric from Portland made it in.

Quite the rushing waterfall!

The bath house at Warm Springs Bay.

The trail through the forest to the hot spring pools. 

This is how you dress during July in Alaska.

  Thursday, July 13th  Day 91

...picked salmon berries in the afternoon... 

strolled about the bay in the dingy...

Ended the evening with an impromptu happy hour with other cruisers.
Friday, July 14th  Day 92   Warm Springs Bay to Angoon, AK

Mid morning giant pod of Orca Killer Whales

Killer whale up close and personal.

arrived outside Kootznahoo Inlet only to wait two hours for slack tide to enter. 
Harbor master informed us he only has room for max size of 36’, however we can anchor in deep at the head of Favorite Bay.

Dahl porpoise, very fast and 

....impossible to photograph.

guy on the barge waving like crazy, DO NOT go through there... lots of rock hazards!

Saturday, July 15th  Day 93 Angoon, AK  Favorite Bay

formulated a plan with the charts and guide for a route and timeline back to Ketchikan

dingyed over to ASD to discuss the route

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Thursday, June 29th Day 76  Portage Bay to Wrangell, AK via Wrangell Narrows

We were up early again, lifting the kelp infested anchor at 7:30 as scheduled. It was a nice morning. John plotted the course and he negotiated the shoals with ease, leaving our overnight anchorage of Portage Bay. I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast as we headed toward Wrangell Narrows. 

The Narrows extend in a general north / south direction for 21 miles between Mitkof Island to the east, Lindenberg Peninsula and Woewodski Island to the west. The channel is narrow and intricate, between dangerous ledges and flats, and strong tidal currents. The entire passage is heavily marked with an extensive system of lights, day beacons and buoys to guide you through. I think it should be called the Wrangell Narrow Shallows! It is very slow going and tedious for the skipper.  The velocity of the current can reach 4 to 5 knots. The cruise ships, ferries, barges, fisherman using this channel make it somewhat stressful. 21 nautical miles is a long way to zig zag through shallow narrows. This was our second time through and our skippers did a fine job. 

Heading for Wrangell Narrows at high tide.

Entering the 20 miles of the Narrows. 

We arrived at our transient moorage inside the breakwater finding two other Selenes being moored here, Pat and Rick aboard Jean Marie and Susan and Chris aboard Gypsy Spirit. John got busy socializing right away. Imagine that! I was all about filling the water tanks and taking a hollywood shower. I had stripped the sheets earlier and so looked forward to a great nights sleep. 

Friday, June 30th Day 77  Wrangell, AK

After a fabulous nights sleep and a big breakfast, it was raining again, but that didn’t stop us from going into town. After spending three hours at the library utilizing the wifi, we went to the True Value hardware store, bought a new food saver, as well as other random boat things. We enjoyed a walk about town and lunch at the Queens tent cafe before returning back to the boats.  

U.S. Post Office complete with totem. 

Wrangell public library.

Using wifi at the local library.

Many of the eagles you see travel in pairs, kinda like the cruising community.

Monday, July 3rd Day 80  Wrangell, AK

We got up and about, making another trip to the library for internet and banking. Tom doesn’t really have much patience for the quiet library thing. We finished up our business and made a couple shopping stops before dropping him back off at the boat. John, Kay and I went out to lunch before grocery shopping. We will be leaving Wednesday for approximately two weeks at anchor. John was a doll being very patient  driving us around town one last trip to the gift shop at the museum, drug store and grocery market. 

Another ancient totem.

Ancient dugout canoe made from a single red cedar log.

We ran into Mark Bunzell, the author of the Wagoneers BC cruising guide at the IGA grocery. We had met him at the Seattle boat show in January and had nice chat about our cruising experience farther north here in Alaska.

Transient dock in Wrangell, AK
Upon arriving back at the marina, we got a nice surprise that our friends from California; Larry, Marcia and Sandy (the Wonder Dog) on their Nordhavn, Hale Kai had arrived! Visiting and catching up with them was a special treat! The guys helped land a second Nordhavn in their moorage named Serenity. They were a very nice younger couple traveling with their teenagers. 

Dinner was beer brats on the grill, macaroni salad with red white and blue fruit sponge cake dessert!  We went back to our respective boats for a nap after dinner. We took our seats in the pilot house before 11pm to watch the world famous Wrangell firework show, which took place in the Alaskan evening rain until 12:30 am. The display was very impressive! Special thanks to the Wrangell fire department who have delivered this show for 50 years!

The pictures of the fire works didn't come out, but it was a great show.

Tuesday, July 4th Day 82  Wrangell, AK

Everyone was up visiting one another on the docks with all the boat doggies. I was there with my treats as usual. And those dogs remember which boats to visit for the snacks. It’s pretty cute! I got busy getting my 12 bean soup with ham hocks in the crock pot.

By 10:30 we were making our way downtown to find our spot to watch the parade. The streets were lined with people. We have no idea where everyone came from. 

It started with a group of veterans carrying flags, followed by the Harley riders, the fire department had their trucks loaded with family members and were throwing candy to the kids. Many youngsters participated on quads. Lots of very creative floats made from 
trailers and even boats in tow, docks built on trailers and even a Scottish trio in traditional grab wearing kilts and playing bag pipes. It was very well done. Then it was on to the food vendor chose brats to indorse Barb and Dick’s cause, who are Ketchikan Al’s sister-in-law.

In the afternoon there were logging competitions and boat races down by the pier. We took our seats on the bleachers to watch the logging. First up was the chainsaw disk race. This event was timed and the disk had to be a specific thickness, not to thick or to thin. It was pretty amazing to watch these guys handle those saws. 

Then there was a team event with the double handle long manual saws, again the push / pull rhythm was remarkable. There was even a pair of gils who rocked it. One event was done standing on both ends of a log in a cradle and swinging an axe between your feet until the log split in two! That was frightening to watch, I was amazed no one got hurt!  

Then out to the docks to watch the boats races which really didn’t impress me that much. I walked about checking out the shops and all the people watching. Lots of characters and creative holiday outfits, that’s for sure. 

Back at the boats there was more visiting with the neighboring boats. We spent some time with last minute chores like filling water tanks and the usual. I made corn bread to go with the beans. We all enjoyed the warm supper on our boat this time. We would be leaving in the morning heading back north for a couple weeks of fishing. It was a very enjoyable 4th of July celebration. 

Wednesday, July 5th Day 83  Wrangell Narrows (back north) to Portage Bay

Today was Kay’s Birthday. Tom and I had but together a plan to have a surprise party for her. We all had secretly signed a card a few days ago and he snuck a gift over to our place for safe keeping. 

The cruise up Fredrick Sound was mellow this time. I visited with John most of the morning. By afternoon, I was busy blowing up balloons, hanging banners and baking a birthday cake. She did not know, I knew it was her birthday. I decorated the aft cockpit with the banners and balloons so she would see them when they followed us into Portage Bay. I think I was more excited to give her the surprise than she would be to get it. I made applesauce spice cake with cream cheese frosting and put the candles on it the shape of the big dipper on the Alaskan flag. 

I radioed over to ASD that I was making grilled pork chops for dinner and scalloped potatoes for dinner. She could take the night off from dinner. I think that made her suspicious. We got the anchor set in nice spot and the birthday party followed. A couple of gifts and party favors are rare in these remote locations. Everyone enjoyed!

Sunset in Portage Bay