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Old 01-08-2013, 11:05 AM   #61
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I used to do relief work on the AMHS and one of the best trips is on the "Tusty" (Tustumena) the ferry that runs from PWS to Kodiak and once a month goes out to Dutch Harbor and Akutan and False Pass, along with a few smaller villages on the "Chain Trip."

That run is not made in the Winter so the first one in the Spring is a big thing for the villages and is what I call a "real National Geographic experience." The village kids and women spend the Winter making crafts, berry jam, and beachcombing for Japanese glass fishing floats, I bought a milk crate full once to give as gifts to friends in the "lower 48." A lot of foreign visitors made that trip just for the experience and I can promise that there is not a mass market cruise ship in existence that can come anywhere close to what the Tusty offers.

The SE runs are pretty much bus routes but still a quantum measure above the floating hotels with regard to seeing the country and meeting people who are not employed by the cruise company to sell you the same stuff they sell in the Caribbean.
I have always wanted to take the ferry out to the Aleutians. Been in Alaska for 23 years and havn't made it, but would like to!

The Ferrys (If you get the local village one) will allow you to see allot of villages, but the problem is that if you get off, the ferry leaves, and another one might not be by for a week or more so youre stuck.

Having made the inside passage in my own boat twice I can tell folks that the way to really see southeast Alaska is to have your own boat, hop from place to place with no real schedule.

For the non boatable areas the concept is the same. Rent a motorhome and cruise the road system. Take your time and go where ever you get interested in going.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:43 AM   #62
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Obviously you missed the point!

The point is/was that cruising Alaska in a small boat exposes you to things not normally encountered on a cruise ship. Sure, Holland America is quite an experience but to my way of thinking it doesn't even come close to experiencing Alaska, up close and personal.
Where is your rifle?? Bear rug....
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:43 AM   #63
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A big kiss?
No, a Mission Leather bound "thesaurus!"
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:45 AM   #64
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Where is your rifle?? Bear rug....
No rifle....just a video cam & a Cannon Digital SLR. (We've decided that we will not do that again.) We do have a Black Bear rug in our Sedona, AZ house!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:49 AM   #65
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Having a drink in the Red Dog Saloon isn't much different than having a drink anywhere but during the day you can take a bus out to the Mendenhall Glacier. The only tidewater glacier you can drive to.
Something like this???
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:51 AM   #66
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I'm guessing that Salmon at about 40 lbs?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:55 AM   #67
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No rifle....just a video cam & a Cannon Digital SLR. (We've decided that we will not do that again.) We do have a Black Bear rug in our Sedona, AZ house!
Very nice Walt!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #68
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I'm guessing that Salmon at about 40 lbs?
about that. A friend of mine who discovered trolling in Cook inlet with me. Avctually his wife caught it and the guys were skunked....but we don't speak of that....much
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #69
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Re post # 65

You've not been there?

No the Mendenhall isn't exactly a grand glacier but it's very accessible.

When I was in my early 30s I saw a beautiful girl wandering about in Juneau so I wandered a bit w her. Seemed her mother had gone on to the Mendenhall by herself (on the bus) as the daughter was tired of all the people on their cruise ship. It was the Fairseas. A beautiful white ship w heavy teal decks everywhere. I took the girl (I should stop right there) to the glacier as she was sorry she had opted to stay in town. When we got back she wanted to treart me to dinner on the Fairseas but I had to pose as a tourist. I did and was amazed at the beautiful ship. It seemed all the crew was Indian and we had curry something for dinner. The ship looked more like the Titanic than the "cattle cars" (Marin's words) you see today.

Part of the experience was probably related to my early days in life when my mother and I would make the trip to Seattle to see my grandmother. Mom gave me the run of the ship which horrified all the other mothers on board. So I got my wanderlust and perhaps sea legs probably before I was 6.

When I look at a modern cruise ship I wonder why they need to be SO UGLY. I'm sure there are very good reasons.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:29 PM   #70
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When I look at a modern cruise ship I wonder why they need to be SO UGLY. I'm sure there are very good reasons.
They are designed to make money, then provide a resort style experience for the cattle ... er, "guests" who only see the inside. The outside is just an artifact of that process with a bit of marketing thrown in to make them look different enough from the other boats that the herd can recognize "their ship" when they get off the tour bus.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:55 PM   #71
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Tell me about the engine in your avatar.

In power Systems perhaps.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #72
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I found the boat interesting from a systems perspective. They're butt ugly - there's no other word for it. And demonstrably unsafe in an emergency as the Costa Concordia illustrated. But they are mechanical marvels designed to insulate the cattle from the reality of travelling by sea. The stabililzation was impressive. I spent hours staring down into the bridge from the observation deck. Their use of thrusters in lieu of anchoring was equally impressive.

Nobody pointed out Cuba to us but I was running a backup navigation system with my Garmin eTrex, just in case the captain needed help. So I was able to point out the forbidden island to our group as we passed it in the night.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:47 PM   #73
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I'm jealous of ships' navigational displays:



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Old 01-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #74
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Tell me about the engine in your avatar.
Since we have nav displays filling the gaps it doesn't matter much ...

Gardner 8L3B one of a pair powering an Australian built 112 footer. Look carefully in the background and you might see part of one of the pair of 4 cylinder Gardners driving 45kW gensets.

We (my chief mate - who is charged with maintaining the boat - and I) fire them all up regularly just to listen to them run ... well, not so much the gennies because at 1500 rpm they seem to scream in comparison to the much more gentlemenly mains.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:00 PM   #75
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Yes I suspected as much. Do you know of the Radiant Star? A converted fish boat from Scotland that is now in Anacortes for sale. She has a 8 cyl Gardner. I recognized it form the pics. Thanks Rick.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #76
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No, not familiar with that boat though I do recall seeing a similar trawler in the Gulf Islands about 10 years ago that raised the pulse rate a bit. That boat would be near the top of my list after a gigbucks lottery win but not otherwise ... my 1944 tug pretty much satisfied my wooden boat cravings.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:40 PM   #77
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' my 1944 tug"

THAT sounds VERY interesting.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:03 AM   #78
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I had a very thorough tour of the Radiant Star a few months ago. It is a rescued fishing boat from Scotland. After conversion to a "pleasure" craft it did an 18,000 mile trip to the PNW via Cape Horn. PMM had a nice write up on it a few years ago. It is for sale with Chuck Hovey Yacht Sales in Seattle brokering it. "Stout" does not do it justice.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:05 AM   #79
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... my 1944 tug pretty much satisfied my wooden boat cravings.
Not yours?

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:27 AM   #80
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I had a very thorough tour of the Radiant Star a few months ago. .
I just took a look at Radiant Star on the Yachtworld site. My totally subjective take on it is, great hull, cool engine, really ugly house, way too busy and cluttered interior, wouldn't want it.
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