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Old 05-09-2022, 09:54 AM   #1
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Retired and cruising alone

A bit of a personal update is in order I suppose. Perhaps a bit of an explanation as to my TF silence on the subject is in order as well.

I am retired and started the cruise of a lifetime last Thursday from Seward Alaska to La Paz Baja Sur.

I have thus far completed crossing the Gulf of Alaska safely, and luck was no part of it. I am a capable mariner with two decades of open ocean experience. I choose my weather window properly, and used my boats capability for speed to shorten the longest portions to manageable timeframes, given a human needs to sleep.

Right now I am south of Juneau Alaska enjoying the inside passage.

Here is a link to my location. https://maps.findmespot.com/s/2R02#history/assets

Now to the reason for my silence.

I love the TF community. I have been here for around a decade and have had many wonderful discussions.

I recently presented a logical problem to the community here. That problem was to look at the distances I needed to cover to cross the Gulf of Alaska alone, and figure out a plan to accomplish my goal.

Some of the responses were fantastic. Frankly some were not so wonderful. My question was clear. How do I, alone solve this problem of the long hops necessary to cross the Gulf of Alaska.

It was not me asking if I should bring on crew. It was not me asking if I was stupid for cruising alone. I was asking how best accomplish my goal given my solo cruising status.

So... I chose to remain silent, and it was only with some urging from my friend Doug, who is also a solo cruiser that I am sharing my journey today.

I understand that TF is a public forum. I also understand that the TF community ranges from folks with zillion year old boats and a dream, to folks that have paid crew onboard at all times. I understand that.

But guys, cruising has been MY dream. Thats why I came here in the first place.
I'm gonna do it, and I'm gonna do it alone, and safely.

I really respect the opinions of the seasoned cruisers, especially the solo, and couple cruisers. But if i listened to the Nay Sayers around here I would still be in Seward Alaska, reading about others adventures instead of living my own.
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:10 AM   #2
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Thanks for the post Kevin. Yep. I happen to have a copy of Joe Upton's Alaska Blues on the coffee table at home and your trip crosses my mind every time I glance at that book. On nights when Midwest thunderstorms are blasting rain against the windows I wonder how you're doing out there. My initials are carved into the wall of the Red Dog Saloon somewhere, if you found it let me know, KT (being facetious of course for anyone who hasn't been there). Safe travels. I imagine you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a tourist in Juneau even this early. Write a book when you're done, I'll buy it.
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:18 AM   #3
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Really nice note Kevin. Cool link on your location (shows you doing 8.8 kts right now ).

I look forward to updates along the way.

Peter
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:43 AM   #4
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Kevin, look forward to following along on your venture. Any plans to post pictures or stories so we can come along vicariously. Oh and can you change the clock to daylight savings when you enter Canada.
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:47 AM   #5
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Looks like the hard part is done. Congratulations. Stay in touch.


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Old 05-09-2022, 10:51 AM   #6
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Good for you and thanks for letting us ride along with you. Have a great cruise down to MX!
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:52 AM   #7
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The only time I feel people shouldn't directly answer the question is if the OP is a out to do something unsafe or they have an outside the box solution that might be handy.

My problem too is when people cry safety when they really don't apply their expertise to the question or even tailor the answer to the OP as an individual.

I can sympathize Kevin, I find most answers these days pretty lame.

Fair winds and following seas on your voyages!
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:56 AM   #8
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Here are some photos of Juneau
Attached Thumbnails
35B4B807-2CA7-4B00-BAC1-9B45E89D9C3F.jpg   A05DEBE6-4731-4B05-8B97-6BD30991CFAF.jpg   B614CE0A-72E8-4339-87E6-FBF1EFF8B5BE.jpg   CFBA1293-8BF1-4C06-90D7-4B5AAE980E8B.jpg   63CC3E86-DE89-4CB5-B248-640106D451DC.jpg  

A5411CE7-E8E2-44B1-8C38-6575FA642FCA.jpg  
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:58 AM   #9
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Awesome Kevin! I was wondering how your trip was going. I knew you were planning for early May and was wondering why we haven't heard from you. I understand your explanation 100%. Have a great trip!

BTW: we are one of the ones that boat a zillion year old boat and have a dream!!
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Old 05-09-2022, 11:01 AM   #10
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Glad you are off, and off to a good start! Chances are good we will cross wakes in the next couple of days.
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Old 05-09-2022, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Glad you are off, and off to a good start! Chances are good we will cross wakes in the next couple of days.
I'll be in Petersburg tonight, and Ketchikan tomorrow night.

Please let me know if you are around.
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Old 05-09-2022, 11:39 AM   #12
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Any plans to stop in Seattle? Would love to buy you dinner and a beer.
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:02 PM   #13
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Any plans to stop in Seattle? Would love to buy you dinner and a beer.
Do I hear a plan for a TF gathering in Seattle to meet Kevin?
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:23 PM   #14
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Kevin, you are going to LOVE La Paz and the Sea of Cortez! Hit me up if you are there in June. I'm in Marina De La Paz, slip #229. Cold beverages await...

Cheers, Bill
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:43 PM   #15
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Congratulations on untying the lines and casting off. I feel your pain in regards to the banal, chest beating, Internet experts that strive to impress everyone with their “knowledge”. Good on you for pushing past the naysayers - most of which are keyboard cruisers sitting in their Laz-y-boy recliners!

Safe travels!
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:45 PM   #16
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I'll be in Petersburg tonight, and Ketchikan tomorrow night.

Please let me know if you are around.
We enjoyed both Petersburg and Ketchikan.

I just looked back at your earlier thread. I was ok in that one with one sentence saying it wasn't my first choice but you were clear so I'd make the long passage faster and during the extended daylight. I later commented on beating a dead horse.

Now, I think you should have expected the posts you received and many posted feeling it was a safety issue and if one feels a TF'er is about to do something unsafe, that always merits comment and whether one agrees or disagrees, it is well intended. Others were ignorant about the crossing and about the long daylight hours. Although we're about as far from local as possible, we had local type knowledge from having crossed the Gulf there similarly. We did it using long daylight at 20 knots.

I remain strongly against crossing oceans single handed but that's now what this was.

As you continue to post, you will get both positive and negative posts in your threads. Most will be well intentioned. Most supportive, some annoying. I think most people will enjoy reading about your adventure. I don't think there is anyone here not occasionally tempted to leave or give up and many here who wish others would leave, but ultimately you have to weigh what you gain by sharing against the problems you encounter. I think and hope you'd continue to find the merits outweigh the distractions.

As to the naysayers, I think TF posters have two obligations. One is to post in response to you. However, I do think they always have an obligation to other readers and potential readers. To me, that does mean if they feel a TF'er is about to do something unsafe, to point it out. Now, once their suggestion is soundly rejected, move on. And make sure one understands what is being done and where.

My opinion is that two captains equal to you would always be safer than one. Swimming with a companion safer than alone. Crossing the street safer (yes, I have pulled and been pulled back preventing a pedestrian accident). Living with two instead of one, safer for some, dangerous for others. However, it's all degrees and I do feel you're doing this with a high level of safety even if not the highest. The real challenge is boating as safely as possible given the circumstances we have and that is what you're trying to do. When you hit the Mexican border, I'll likely suggest something you'll immediately reject, but won't be saying you're unsafe, just not as safe perhaps and more likely inconvenienced. I swim less than 20 minutes after eating sometimes. I know I was taught that's unsafe. I feel ok in a pool surrounded by many others in the pool and around it. But maybe safer if I waited. I don't know. But I don't wait.

Love following your trip.
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Old 05-09-2022, 12:59 PM   #17
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Congrats on the retirement, Kevin!
I wish you a fantastic journey...and hope you keep writing about it so we can read it here. I hope to do some of the route you are covering in Alaska someday (probably one of those GB charter groups or something like that), so I find this very interesting for another reason!
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Old 05-09-2022, 01:14 PM   #18
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Awesome trip. Definitely keep us posted.

Risk tolerance of each individual varies greatly. The idea of a potential risk and how it is arrived at varies greatly when broken down. I don't think most people are very good at understanding risk, categorizing risk, or looking at a potential risk overlaid against what any particular person holds as important (to them). Leaning too far towards risk seeking or risk aversion in my opinion is undesirable at the extremes of that continuum. And everyone is at a different point along that scale.

When I judge the risk taking of others I usually just use a simple criteria.
1) are they aware of all the hazards?
2) is it important to them.

Really in our discussion here I think we have an obligation to ensure rule #1. I think that includes ensuring they actually understand that risk, which is different than just know about the risk.

Fascinating subject really. Think about the people who might be willing to risk everything for a mission to Mars. Is there any importance there? To some the importance would be at the top of their scale. Others could care less. You can see that with many big events through out history. But it also applies to our daily lives.
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Old 05-09-2022, 01:41 PM   #19
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I'm withholding my comments until I see the Netflix series.
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Old 05-09-2022, 02:30 PM   #20
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Atta boy Kevin!

Almost blew Dr Pepper outta my nose when I saw the pic with the MX Courtesy flag on the bow. Too Cool, but dont wear it out before you actually get there.

And congrats on your first leg and starting the journey south. I’m a little envious, as your now in very familiar waters. And its only gonna get warmer from here out.

If your schedule allows, and our build is finished, I might ask to ride along south along the Baja to Cabo if your willing. One of my favorite parts of MX.

Congrats and safe travels!

Cheers, John
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