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Old 06-01-2017, 12:45 AM   #1
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Crossing the Gulf of Alaska

We are about 12 hrs into a 48hr crossing of the Gulf of Alaska. We left Glacier bay this morning and are roughly 30 miles off shore from dry bay.

Even at 30 miles distance, the mountains are still completely visible. I can see one off in the distance that is probably Mt St Elias which is 18,000 feet.

Conditions are amazingly calm with a 1-2m swell on our port quarter. And less than 10 kts of wind. Because the conditions are so good, we are making a bee line (actually a great circle arc) across to the Hinchinbrook entrance. But depending on conditions when we reach Cape St Elias, we might run direct to Seward. Otherwise we will take a slower inside route.

About 20 miles towards shore is the Oosterdam cruise ship, poking along at 16 kts heading south. My guess is that tomorrow is their day in Glacier Bay and he is timing his arrival for tomorrow AM
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:07 AM   #2
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We are about 12 hrs into a 48hr crossing of the Gulf of Alaska. We left Glacier bay this morning and are roughly 30 miles off shore from dry bay.

Even at 30 miles distance, the mountains are still completely visible. I can see one off in the distance that is probably Mt St Elias which is 18,000 feet.

Conditions are amazingly calm with a 1-2m swell on our port quarter. And less than 10 kts of wind. Because the conditions are so good, we are making a bee line (actually a great circle arc) across to the Hinchinbrook entrance. But depending on conditions when we reach Cape St Elias, we might run direct to Seward. Otherwise we will take a slower inside route.

About 20 miles towards shore is the Oosterdam cruise ship, poking along at 16 kts heading south. My guess is that tomorrow is their day in Glacier Bay and he is timing his arrival for tomorrow AM


Hi Twistedtree- Ironic, You in a 60 footer out on the wide open ocean with 10 kt wind and mild seas, I on the other hand, on a 28 footer, sitting in Wrangell due to weather in Clarence Straits, of 25-30 kts, and 5-6 foot seas.
Wishing you a continued smooth voyage across. When are you tentitive coming back this way?

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Old 06-01-2017, 01:19 AM   #3
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Enjoy it while you can, it won't last! But then, with no fixed itinerary or deadlines its surprising how often you can find yourself having a few great days on the water in remote places.

I'd say get to Seward ASAP and assist Kevin demolish some single malts!
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:35 AM   #4
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Enjoy it while you can, it won't last! But then, with no fixed itinerary or deadlines its surprising how often you can find yourself having a few great days on the water in remote places.

I'd say get to Seward ASAP and assist Kevin demolish some single malts!

We saw the conditions and decided we should just get moving to take advantage of it. At the moment it seems like it was a smart idea. We'll see if that lasts.....

Demolishing single malts sounds like a great plan :-)
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:31 AM   #5
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What a great trip! Three years ago when crossing the Gulf on an Alaskan ferry I spent considerable time on the bridge talking with the Captain.

One subject was weather windows. She (yes she) said the Gulf and Alaskan weather down to the Bering Sea were very difficult for their experts to predict, in particular formation of highs and lows. I've heard the same from the commercial guys and aviators. Kevin has some great GoA stories.

The St Elias National Park is spectacular. Catch a charter to McCarthy and overnight at the Kennicott Lodge if you have the time. For us, a true bucket list endeavor. I've personal interest and history with that area now included in the 6 million acre Park.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:21 AM   #6
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Glad to see you making the treck up here.

Are you heading for Hinchinbrook entrance, or making landfall in Seward??

We are right now crossing from Prince William Sound to Seward, having spent the last week shrimping and halibut fishing.

you picked a nice sea state. we are in about 3' 9 second swells, about as good as it gets.

If you come into Seward first, try to moor on the long dock perpendicular to your route through the harbor. Thats F float. You will have Much better access to all that Seward offers.

We dock on F float, and ill be in the harbor through tomorrow, and will hope to see you there.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:01 PM   #7
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Thanks Kevin. I see F dock on the harbor map and will request it.

Right now the plan is to turn when we reach Cape St Elias, and head straight to Seward, arriving around 15:00 tomorrow (Friday). Plan B is to enter PWS at the Hinchinbrook entrance and take a slower, indirect route to Seward.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:34 PM   #8
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As Kevin can tell you, the weather south winds and swells may dictate going the long way around. Good luck! Looking at the same trip in a few years...


We are stuck in Ketch troubleshooting Pairadice windlass. Hope to get it resolved soon.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:39 PM   #9
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Glad to see you making the treck up here.

Are you heading for Hinchinbrook entrance, or making landfall in Seward??

We are right now crossing from Prince William Sound to Seward, having spent the last week shrimping and halibut fishing.

you picked a nice sea state. we are in about 3' 9 second swells, about as good as it gets.

If you come into Seward first, try to moor on the long dock perpendicular to your route through the harbor. Thats F float. You will have Much better access to all that Seward offers.

We dock on F float, and ill be in the harbor through tomorrow, and will hope to see you there.
Working from memory here so may not be correct. Am I correct that the transient side tie area of F Float does not have electricity?

Just from memory I thought for electric you either needed an end tie on one of the docks or to be in a slip (which I don't think he'll fit in any of the slips) or Z dock, which is somewhat inconvenient.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:14 PM   #10
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Working from memory here so may not be correct. Am I correct that the transient side tie area of F Float does not have electricity?

Just from memory I thought for electric you either needed an end tie on one of the docks or to be in a slip (which I don't think he'll fit in any of the slips) or Z dock, which is somewhat inconvenient.
That is correct.

Most Transient areas do not have power.
I would not want to moor at Z float because you have to walk around the entire harbor to get to anything.

Depending on the length of stay, I seem to prefer to use the generator than hooking up to shore power. If I'm going to be on the boat or in town then the generator is fine. If we are planning on leaving the boat for more than a day, power is preferable.

We just spent an overnight and part of two days in Valdez and were able to get a good moorage as long as we didnt need power.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:27 PM   #11
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That is correct.

Most Transient areas do not have power.
I would not want to moor at Z float because you have to walk around the entire harbor to get to anything.

Depending on the length of stay, I seem to prefer to use the generator than hooking up to shore power. If I'm going to be on the boat or in town then the generator is fine. If we are planning on leaving the boat for more than a day, power is preferable.

We just spent an overnight and part of two days in Valdez and were able to get a good moorage as long as we didnt need power.
I noticed that in that part of Alaska and we have no problem running generator. In other areas of the country, they won't allow them to be run, at least not at night. I didn't know if Twisted was aware or not.

Definitely a long walk around from Z and not the most beautiful route to walk past the pump out and the oil dump and the seafood. Z is definitely in a different zone.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:41 PM   #12
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I noticed that in that part of Alaska and we have no problem running generator. In other areas of the country, they won't allow them to be run, at least not at night. I didn't know if Twisted was aware or not.

Definitely a long walk around from Z and not the most beautiful route to walk past the pump out and the oil dump and the seafood. Z is definitely in a different zone.
Yes Z float is the scenic route.

We are right on F float. Easy Peasy access at the top of the ramp to two good restaurants, and the boardwalk.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:21 PM   #13
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Hum, we will need power because we are planning a multi-day inland excursion. I guess I'll work it out with the Harbor master on arrival. Thanks everyone for the pointers.

Re generators, it's no problem in more commercially oriented ports, which most all of AK is. We have been around a bunch of boats where they run 24x7 while at dock. Generator blackout periods seems to be a white-boat thing.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:25 PM   #14
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I see there are a bunch of bigger stalls on float E. Maybe I can get into one of those. Fingers crossed.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:45 PM   #15
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I see there are a bunch of bigger stalls on float E. Maybe I can get into one of those. Fingers crossed.
E would be good. And, if it comes to it, Z isn't really a bad place to be if you're use to commercial docks. You'll be enjoying Seward, not just the dock.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:21 PM   #16
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mmmm satellite communications/internet on TT?
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:21 PM   #17
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I see there are a bunch of bigger stalls on float E. Maybe I can get into one of those. Fingers crossed.
If you can get right across from me on F float I have an extra 30 amp power outlet available that you are welcome to use. I can let the harbor know it's OK.
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:26 PM   #18
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If you can get right across from me on F float I have an extra 30 amp power outlet available that you are welcome to use. I can let the harbor know it's OK.

That would be awesome. When do you expect to be back? 30A would be plenty. i just need to keep the refer going. Where along F are you?
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:27 PM   #19
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mmmm satellite communications/internet on TT?

Yes, I broke down this trip and am paying through the nose for Sat coms.
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:53 PM   #20
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Yes, I broke down this trip and am paying through the nose for Sat coms.
So get your money worth and post pics on TF!!!!!
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