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Eagles perched on a bergy bit at entrance to Tracy Arm.


step up from Vancouver Island as far as the sailing; it’s the scale of things and the distances involved that are the big things. If anything, sailing Vancouver Island is more challenging than Alaska.


Besides distance and the time


frame involved, what are the biggest differences you see between cruising Vancouver Island and cruising Alaska? Rain! Expect it in Alaska. It rains


the same number of inches per year there that it does on Vancouver Island, but in Alaska it’s rainier in the summer. Also, the mosquitoes can be bad. Provisioning isn’t a problem in Alaska, but a lot of the produce is on its last legs. You learn what keeps.


What inspired you to start writing


adventure cruising guidebooks and sailing articles? It was kind of a quirk. I was


working on a photo book on the west coast of Vancouver Island for a class that I was taking in photography and writing. [The writing] was difficult for me, but I had a really good professor, and I learned that I could write… I can even write fiction! This project led me to write Voyages to Windward. What started out as a photography book with some writing, became a writing book with some photography. It was


48° NORTH, JANUARY 2011 PAGE 68


an enjoyable process, so I decided to do Alaska as well.


What do you consider to be your most ambitious voyage? Sailing from Boston to Seattle was


my biggest adventure. Since then, it’s been the Alaska trips. There’s a lot of planning that goes into an Alaska trip. The boats needs to be prepared and you need to be ready.


Any close calls? Sailing back across the Dickenson


Entrance one time… we listened to the U.S. weather report, which was calling for small-craft conditions. We should have listened to the Canadian forecast instead! We got caught in 40-45 knots and short, steep waves. Our dinghy got flipped and the pad-eyes tore off. Gone! We knew that Osprey could handle it, it was just uncomfortable and wet and cold. And, of course it was pouring rain.


Can you tell me about some of


your most beautiful moments of cruising up north? Anytime I’m up close to a glacier!


Haida totem in Kasaan Totem Park.


Glacier Bay and the Tracy Arm Fjord in Holkham Bay are both spectacular. Also, Fords Terror—there’s no glacier there now, but it’s beautiful to see glaciation and how the glaciers have carved into rock.


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