Monday, October 1, 2007

Completion in Kodiak, Alaska

Cloud Nine sails with a crew of six. From front left to right: Roger Swanson, Gaynelle Templin, and Douglas Finley. Back, left to right: Chris Parkman, Matthew Drillio and David Thoreson.

Monday, October 1, 2007 Kodiak, Alaska

After 73 amazing days and 6640 miles, Cloud Nine and crew pulled alongside the dock in Kodiak and an astounding adventure through the Northwest Passage came to a close.

The Gulf of Alaska passage from Dutch Harbor to Kodiak was a lumpy one to say the least. We had a gale it seemed the whole time and one nasty storm with 70 knots of wind and 20-30 foot seas. At one point in the evening, at the helm, I surfed down the backside of a huge sea at 14 knots with Cloud Nine on a full plane. 26 tons of vessel with the bow beginning to bite. Pitch-pole conditions. I shook from adrenaline for about 30 minutes. But we made it in with everyone doing a great job, as usual.

It is going to take a little time for all of this to sink in, but we are all proud of the achievement, the teamwork, camaraderie, and the performance of the battle-tested sailboat, Cloud Nine. Also, Roger Swanson deserves whatever recognition he receives for being one of the finest captains and mentors in the profession. He’s the best, and never stops, even at 76 years young.

Now is time to re-enter the world again and try to put the travel through the Northwest Passage, climate and cultural issues, and all the images, video and writing to good use. Quite a challenge, but I look forward to sharing thoughts with everyone and the ensuing conversations.

Awesome times ahead and new adventures await. Thanks again to all of you who have followed and encouraged us along the way, and especially those of you who have helped me personally with maintaining while I have been away. Look forward to seeing you soon. For now, this is a weary, but happy sailor signing out from Kodiak.