Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Leaving Cape Town before dawn
I have so so so much more to say about our time in South Africa and Namibia. But all that will have to wait for another venue. The course of events has overtaken my desire to consider the past. We are, in that way that is essential for this particular lifestyle of ours, moving on.

We have left behind the gilded palace of the Waterfront Marina in Cape Town and shifted our program northwards, to Saldanha Bay, one of the few protected anchorages in the whole of South Africa. Here I've given some attention to that blessed science work that keeps us going financially. A front is meant to pass through tonight. And then, tomorrow, the gods and the vicissitudes of the sea assenting, we are setting off for St. Helena and points north.

To be more specific, points far north. All the sailing that took us from French Polynesia to South Africa has been taking us farther and farther from Alaska, even as we've been metaphorically looking over our shoulders at the delights of the North, and resolving that we would soon point the bow in their direction.

Soon is a concept that is lived at the ages-old speed of sail on board Galactic, just as it is on any traveling boat. It's been twenty months since we left the Gambier and soon has arrived. Every mile that we will sail on this coming passage, and every mile on the passage after that, and the passage after that, will bring us closer to Kodiak, Alaska, the home that we left nine years ago. All the uncertainties that pertain to any attempt to cross one ocean and a major chunk of another on a family sailboat aside, we hope to arrive in Alaska in a year or so. We are sailing home.

And, we're not at all sure what we'll find in that strange place that we've been mentioning whenever people ask us about our home for the last nine years. Our old life there is as gone as anything. The house that Alisa and I came home to after we were married, and that we brought Elias home to on the day he was born, that's gone. Our old jobs, they're gone too. We still have good friends in Kodiak, though of course the scene there will have changed in the ten years of our absence, though not nearly so much as we have changed over the same time. We don't know what we'll find, and our plans for re-entry into Alaskan life are so shamefully vague as to not deserve the name. And of course just as we've been deciding that it is at long last time for us to sail back to Alaska, we've been watching the home country teetering on the edge of some dark place.

We're buoyed by the memory of how completely Alisa and I loved Alaska before. Alaska, as a place and as a group of people, is something that we haven't seen surpassed anywhere we have gone. We're eager to rediscover the place, and to share it with our sons. We'll sign up for that, for sure.

And, as for a concrete plan for what we'll do once we're there...Well, there's always Galactic, and the siren song of the sea. We have been lucky beyond measure to get these years afloat as a family, and maybe, just maybe, that luck will go on.


  1. It's NOT Friday and Napoleon's spirit beckons. Safe sailing!

  2. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog over the last couple years! If you ever make it to Cooper Landing, we would love to show your family around. We are a bit biased but we think it is the best place in all of AK. Fair winds!
    The Pearson Family
    Kenai River Float-n-Fish

  3. "we've been watching the home country teetering on the edge of some dark place.
    Big brother. I recommend you watch the Democratic National Convention. It will fill you up with good thoughts and feelings about this complicated country. There is a lot of good here. And hopefully, we will elect the right people to keep course ever moving forward. Can't wait to have you back on this side of the world. Safe travels.

  4. Panama canal will be to easy for you guys surely? Northwest passage would be epic?!