Brendan has been with us since November, but is getting ready to start a new adventure on the other side of the world. He'll be hanging out in Australia for awhile, giving us the motivation to eventually make that long, long trip.
Rebecca left for a gap year adventure that covered 23,000 miles of the mainland US. She is back sailing for the summer, telling stories of life on the road. We're all happy to have her sailing with us again before she starts her college career.
Brendan and Pat have done an incredible amount of routine maintenance on Ondine; she's looking beautiful! We hauled out in May, painted the hull and the bottom. The bright work has been sanded and finished, some of the rigging replaced. Most of that was completed in hot humid weather and would have been a much more difficult task without Brendan.
Lee continues to crew and is now seeing some customers for a second go around. She is a joy to have sailing with us!
Pat & I went to explore the Inside Passage in Alaska in June, with stops to visit family in Portland and Seattle. We traveled via the Alaska Ferry System. What a great trip! The first ferry took us from Bellingham, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. It was a 38 hour ride, with brief stops along the way. We had a cabin, although there were hardier options available for hardier travelers. The ferry had a dining room and a snack bar, a movie theater and both indoor and outdoor options for looking at the awesome landscape.
We stayed in Skagway a couple of days, taking the White Pass and Yukon route train to CarCross, Canada and enjoying a fantastic zipline adventure in Skagway. The Historic District of Skagway is The Klondike National Historical Park; we had the opportunity to learn all about the Gold Rush from enthusiastic Park Rangers.
We boarded a new ferry to Juneau,where we took a tour to Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glacier. Wow! It was just incredible to see, and hear. We had an up close encounter with a humpback whale, who put on quite a show!
We flew to Sitka , the ferry being a 12 hour trip and the flight 1/2 hour. We were running out of time. Sitka is a beautiful little city. We hiked through the Totem Park, watched a native making waterproof cloth from fish skins, went on a Zodiac ride along the volcanic coast to St Lazaria Island (a bird refuge), and visited the Raptor Center.
The trip was an incredible experience! The natural beauty is almost indescribable. We were also really fortunate, weather wise. It was cool and rainy on the first ferry, but we had our foul weather gear and could come in to the nice warm cabin whenever. I laughed, at the end of the 3 days on the ferry, when I saw that I walked an average of 15,000 steps and many flights of stairs each day-on a boat!
We're home in New Smyrna again, where the wind and water are warm. The foul weather gear is put away until September's Tall Ship voyage on the US Brig Niagara.
We're enjoying good sailing and cooler temperatures on the water. Come join us!