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Faun in hiding
Alaska 2010
  • Territory: Washington State, British Columbia, Alaska
  • Time: April - August, 5300 miles traveled
  • Vessel: "Teacup", Nordic Tug 37
  • Primary Activity: Paddle kayak in the rain.

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Prior years:  Alaska 2002 | Alaska 2003 | Alaska 2004 | Alaska 2005
Alaska 2006 | Alaska 2007 | Alaska 2008 | Alaska 2009
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This was a fun season in Alaska — I responded to an emergency call from, and tried to tow, a disabled 340-foot fish processing boat, I re-explored many of my favorite spots and found some new ones, and I saw a number of scary equipment failures, including a few that caused my engine to quit while underway (always an exciting development).

On the topic of equipment failures, as the years go by I am beginning to realize that one cannot safely operate a boat in Alaska without a lot of tools and mechanical and electrical skill. In the lower 48 states, in most places one can just call Vessel Assist and get towed back to the marina, but in Alaska one is often outside radio range of anyone who might be able to help.

My recent experiences only strengthen the impression I acquired during my around-the-world sail — you can't just sail your boat, you must be able to repair it too. And in Alaska, you can't safely operate a boat without tools, know-how, and the ability to perform a quick repair while being blown toward a rocky shore.

Some season highlights — I explored an archaeological site that had been a human settlement thousands of years ago and figured out why those early people chose that location. After watching a mother deer suddenly run away, I encountered a faun hiding in the nearby high grass. I witnessed another step in the evolution of relations between tourists and bears at Geographic Harbor. And I repaired practically everything at least once.

The weather was very cold and wet this season, such that I had to pass up a number of my favorite hikes because the previous winter's snow hadn't melted by July. But this didn't keep me from exploring some new territories like some pretty, wild terrain between Larsen Bay and the Karluk River, on one of the few sunny days.

I hope you enjoy these articles.


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