Monday, January 13, 2014

Year In Review
By Michael

Windy and Eleanor leap off the dunes
in Mag Bay.
We started 2013 in a slip, tied up in front of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. We didn’t move at all until May, when we explored the nearby San Juan Islands. The first week of June we left Victoria for good and headed north in earnest, on our way to Glacier Bay, at the top of Southeast Alaska. Mid-August, we began our southerly return from Sitka, Alaska, heading down the outside coast from there. After re-entering Canada, we continued down the outside of Vancouver Island before re-entering the U.S. in Port Angeles at the end of September. We again stopped to see family and friends all down the U.S. west coast, but our visits were shorter and our stops fewer than in 2012 because of the advancing season. Finally, the first week of December, we re-entered Mexico, checked in at Ensenada, stopped at Islas San Benitos, and spent the final weeks of the year anchored off a small, isolated fishing village called Puerto Magdelena, on a remote stretch of the Baja California coastline, about 160 miles northwest of Cabo San Lucas.

I’ve shared our past year throughout, in pictures and words, but following is a digest of stats and impressions.

Favorite Memory/Place:

Frances: I liked all of it. The orcas and the calving glaciers were amazing. I liked all the animals we met on the way like bears and dogs and the sea stars in the tide pools. I enjoyed spending time with my cousins and grandparents. I liked to meet other boats.

Frances with the dolphin skull the girls
found in Mag Bay.
Eleanor: Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm was the most beautiful place. My top animal experiences were the bald eagle encounter on the docks in Bella Bella, BC and the bear cubs we saw on the beach in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The most shocking experience was the glaciers, how huge they were, very cool.

Windy: Wildlife highlight was having an enormous orca as traveling companion in Endicott Arm and later identifying him by his flopped over fin as “Jack,” one of the oldest orcas in the region. Having my bro and nephew aboard for an incredible, sunny week in Glacier Bay. The sound of the glaciers calving was unforgettable. Negotiating the many narrows and rapids and bars was satisfying as well as a learning experience.

Michael: Discovering Tenakee Springs was a highlight, it’s such a unique, delightful place that really beckons—gave me reason to consider where and how our lives might be post-cruising. I really enjoyed learning about the history of Sitka, Alaska the Russian turnover that occurred there. Goddard Hot Springs just south of Sitka was a gem, so pretty a setting. I’m pleased to have gotten so closely acquainted with Victoria, BC and happy to have spent more time with family and friends moving down the coast.

Nights spent in slip: 197 (146 for the first half of the year in Victoria, 51 for the second half of the year)

Nights at anchor (or underway): 168 (only 20 nights underway because the logs in BC and Alaska don’t make for safe night passages)

Average monthly fuel cost: about $425 (we didn’t burn anything the first half of the year in our Victoria slip, but made lots of miles throughout BC and Alaska, and almost none of them under sail)

Average monthly food cost: $1,108

Total miles traveled: 4,800 nautical miles/more than 5,500 statute miles (zero from January through May)

Changes in latitude: 34 degrees, 28 minutes (from our northernmost point in Glacier Bay at 59 degrees 6 minutes to Bahia Magdalena, Mexico at 24 degrees, 38 minutes)

Change in water temperature: 30 degrees (from 40 degrees in Tracy Arm, Alaska to 70 degrees in Bahia Magdalena, Mexico)

Exploring Mag Bay.
The populated ports we visited:

--Victoria, BC
--Port Angeles, WA
--Friday Harbor, WA
--Roach Harbor, WA
--Bellingham, WA
--Lund, BC
--Pender Bay, BC
--Ganges, BC
--Nanaimo, BC
--Lasqueti, BC
--Bella Bella, BC
--Prince Rupert, BC
--Ketchikan, AK
--Thorne Bay, AK
--Petersburg, AK,
--Juneau, AK
--Auke Bay, AK
--Hoonah, AK
--Tenakee Springs, AK
--Sitka, AK
--Craig, AK
--Winter Harbour, BC
--Tofino, BC
--Astoria, OR
--Eureka, CA
--Bodega Bay, CA
--Tomales Bay, CA
--Half Moon Bay, CA
--Morro Bay, CA
--Oxnard, CA
--San Diego, CA
--Ensenada, Mexico
--Islas San Benitos, Mexico
--San Carlos, Mexico
--Puerto Magdalena, Mexico


Sunset at sea, second night out, en route to Bahia Frailes
San Carlos teeter-totter--Mexican playgrounds are not
for the faint of heart.
Girls with a whale skull on a deserted Mag Bay beach.
Eleanor and I just before midnight at the Puerto
Magdalena New Year's Eve party.


  1. Loved reading the girls favorites! It sounds as if they are truly appreciating all the wonder that is around them. You can chalk that gratitude up to great parenting!

  2. great post. the last picture suggests that you need more sunscreen, though. Keep the writing coming!

  3. Love the shot of Windy and Eleanor - so free!


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