June 27 Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca Day 7 Noon position: 49.51.54N by 129.31.53W Miles since last noon: 128 Total miles of passage: 980 (200 miles to Cape Flattery) Avg. Miles per Day: 140 Course: ESE (Changing this to cardinal points going forward) Speed: 4 – 6.5 knots Wind: 0 to NW, Read More

June 26 Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca Day 6 Noon position: 51.02.15N by 132.02.83W Miles since last noon: 146 (Under power last hour of day) Total miles of passage: 825 Avg. Miles per Day: 138 Course: 120t Speed: A steady 7+ knots to 1 knot in the wrong direction Wind: S 10, Read More

June 25 Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca Day 5 Noon position: 52.03.89N by 135.21.85W Miles since last noon: 148 Total miles of passage: 706 Avg. Miles per Day: 141 Course: 120t Speed: 5 – 7 knots Wind: SW and W 5 – 15 to S and SSW 20+ The wind vane and, Read More

June 24 Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca Day 4 Noon position: 53.23.92N by 138.36.82W Miles since last noon: 157 (same as yesterday, pooh!) Total miles of passage: 558 Avg. Miles per Day: 139.5 Course: 120t Speed: 5.5 – 6.5 knots Wind: SW 10-20 Woke to dense fog which has lifted only to, Read More

June 23 Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca Day 3 Noon position: 54.57.17N by 142.03.39W Miles since last noon: 157 Total miles of passage: 401 Avg. Miles per Day: 133 Course: 120t Speed: 6.5 – 7.5 knots Wind: SW 10 – 20 Right after sending last night’s missive, summer ended. All day I’d, Read More

…of sweet sailing makes. June 22 Kodiak to Straits of Juan de Fuca Day 2 Noon position: 55.53.94N by 146.04.96W Miles since last noon: 136 Total miles of passage: 244 Avg. Miles per Day: 122 Course: 110t Speed: 5.5 – 7 knots Wind: NW to WNW 10 – 15 I’m measuring days noon to, Read More

June 21 Noon Position: 56.52.48N by 149.28.15W Miles since departure: 107 Course 110t Speed: 6-7 knots Wind: NW15-20 Departed Kodiak for the SE at 9:30am on Monday into a clear sky and the promise of a brisk westerly. All morning the windmills above the town had been spinning powerfully and pointing west, but in, Read More

  My small cove within this bay (58.26.47N by 152.42.33W) is like a room within a room. Almost entirely surrounded by fir trees and rock, it has two windows. One is a low cut to the north that is mud and boulders at low water, but at the high it fills in and gives, Read More

Port Graham has been all southwest wind and rain since this morning, confirming the decision to stay. After breakfast I got the dinghy over the side for an extended row and a few short walks, and out of those activities came two lessons. Lesson One: Bear Spray works, even on humans. I’m carrying bear, Read More

We departed at low slack, 10 o’clock on the morning of June 5th, and just moments before a turn of tide that would have held us pressed to the dock another six hours. Wind, calm. Sky, partly cloudy. In some ways it had been a near miss. The gods, in their wisdom, conspire to, Read More

Just back from another four-day test sail on Gjoa, all within the beautiful and beautifully protected Kachemak Bay. On Thursday last we made the few, short tacks to Halibut Cove to escape what has become non-stop bustle in Homer Boat Harbor. The crack of welders, the bang of chipping hammers and rattle guns, big-boat generators in chorus;, Read More

How easily I forget that not talking, a favorite activity, fails to communicate what I am thinking. Example: I was surprised when, last week, my wife asked if she could be informed of my intention for the coming months of passage-making. How could she not know? Are we not married? Gently she reminded me, Read More

Sea trials kept me out four days. The plan (I had a plan) was to motor a bit past the breakwater, to give the engine a good run under load (she’s been idling on the hard this last month and can’t have been happy with the low rpms), and then head back in to, Read More

… Finally arrived. I’d been both desiring and dreading it, dreading because it seemed the opportunities for error were great while no single error would be of small consequence. And because a friend of mine sent, the night before, a video demonstrating the results of one specific error. Here. I shared the video with, Read More

The only kindness this day extended, I reflect, was to announce early its intention to be disagreable.  I’m seated at a bar in Anchorage. It’s nearly midnight. A two week repat to California, just time enough to be remined of home’s attractions (wife, friends, garden, a heater that lights itself and access to a, Read More

…or, Why I like to Fly Alaska Airlines. Today I am returning to Homer after a two week repat to the San Francisco Bay Area, and unfortunately I am not, as has become my habit, flying on Alaska Airlines.  On my first trip to Homer as Gjoa’s new master, this back in March, I, Read More

Homer is the hailing port of the Kilchers, the family whose adventures in homesteading are featured on the long-running TV show, Alaska: The Last Frontier. You’d never know it from the show, of course, where story lines and careful editing leave one with the impression that the Kilchers live moose-miles from the nearest telephone pole, but, Read More

I find admirable Alaskan willingness to tackle the unknown. One could argue that this “last frontier” requires it of them or that the requirement draws those so inclined, but whatever the reason, Alaska is a land of generalists, generalists with heavy equipment and a will to get stuff done. Need a new barn on your property, or driveway, Read More

Surely there was more imminence in the second coming of Christ than in the acquisition of new Selden spreaders from the lower forty-eight. So, on Thursday morning I began shopping around town for a mend-and-make-do solution, opinions on which, I found, were as easy to come by as a cup of coffee in Seattle. Mike Stockburger in the Homer, Read More

Even tasks that take twice their anticipated time do eventually complete, and so Gjoa emerged from Homer Boat Yard’s Bay Five thirteen days after Mike Stockburger and team initiated their “four or five day job.” The delay had been inevitable; the quality of workmanship, high. I was pleased. Already I had decided to leave, Read More

I once read that the best way to budget for a boat project is to a) plan meticulously, and then, when all items are accounted for and you have your grand total, b) double it. This technique applies equally to budgets of time and expense. With that in mind, I dropped my jaw when, Read More

“Sure thing,” says Carol, “we don’t have tides this week anyway.” Carol is the office manager at Northern Enterprises Boatyard, my home on the hard. I have just inquired if her crew would be available in the next few days to assist with pulling Gjoa’s mast. Her response is jargon and translates as follows: Tides in Homer’s, Read More