Florida, Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama, Mexico, US Pacific Coast, British Columbia, Alaska.
I was asked to deliver a single engine (230 HP) 1985 steel hull,55 ton trawler style, 60′ motor vessel from Florida to Alaska. My first thoughts were that this is a very long trip for an older boat that has not been used in many years. Fortunately, the owner agreed to have it checked out and repaired very thoroughly before we left Florida and we had only a limited number of mechanical issues.
My second thought was that I really want to go to Alaska, especially since I go through British Columbia to get there! We left the West Palm Beach area in June and arrived in Homer, Alaska in September. We averaged 6.5 knots, survived some heavy weather, one free tow, and made it to Alaska. We began in hot, humid weather through the Panama Canal, enjoyed the Mexican Pacific Coast with absolutely no tourists anywhere, pounded our way against wind and current up the US Pacific coast and were thrilled every day throughout Canada and Alaska. We saw more wildlife, whales, seals, otters, dolphins, porpoise, eagles, marlin, mahi-mahi, tuna, etc than I have ever seen and caught on any previous trip.
We experienced currents of 12 knots, 20′ tides, opposing wind and currents and numerous other navigational challenges. We spent a few fun evenings in some small fishing camps eating fresh salmon, halibut and other local delicacies. However, the really fun part was the scenery and the many wonderful people we met. I cannot tell you how many times we were told that we would never make it to Alaska due to weather, etc. but in spite of all the naysayers we made it. I want to especially thank Joanne, my First Mate who went the entire trip with me from Florida to Alaska. I simply could not have made it without her daily help and encouragement. We ate well, laughed a lot, listened to some great music on our ipods and had a wonderful time for 3 months, 7200 nm.When we arriived in Alaska the tourists had left and the weather was still pretty good. We took about two weeks driving through Anchorage, Fairbanks, Arctic Circle, Seward, Denali National Park and many other scenic spots.