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A Perfect Day
Alaska 2011
  • Territory: Washington State, British Columbia, Alaska
  • Time: April - August, 4500 miles traveled
  • Vessel: "Teacup", Nordic Tug 37
  • Primary Activity: Wait for a break in the clouds.

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Prior years:  Alaska 2002 | Alaska 2003 | Alaska 2004 | Alaska 2005 | Alaska 2006
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Even for Alaska, 2011 was a wetter season than usual. I think on average the sun came out briefly only once every five or six days. I spent many days fixing things on the boat, or reading, waiting for a break in the weather, or going out in spite of the conditions and getting drenched.

Over the years I've noticed something about the relation between Alaska weather and the associated barometric pressure. When I first noticed this I thought it was an anomaly that wouldn't bear up over time, but since then I have seen it often enough to realize it's real: In Alaska, there is a pretty high likelihood that a sudden drop in barometric pressure will be accompanied by a clearing trend, and conversely, when the pressure rises, it often clouds up and stays that way until the pressure drops again. I know this contradicts both physics and meteorology, as well as those stupid labels they put on barometers, you know — "Fair ... Change ... Storm". I have long since stopped expecting Alaska weather to be correlated with barometric pressure in the classical way.

In this article set I'll be talking about boat equipment and software as well as adventures on the land. For example, in spite of its age my diesel generator began working as intended for the first time in the ten years I've owned it — that's a story that deserves to be told. And I have an interesting story to relate about the difference between free and commercial software.

But I also tell the story of what must be the most perfect kayak outing I've ever experienced. My regular readers may know that I sometimes drag my kayak from salt water to nearby fresh-water lakes, just to expand my horizons. This season I pulled and tugged my kayak farther across the land that usual, to a lake I had never managed to reach before, and it was just as beautiful and rewarding as one could hope to imagine.

I hope you enjoy these articles.


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