S/V Hello World's Travel Log

Winter decommissioning

I know you all have been wondering "well jeez Christy, if we leave our boat in Alaska, what would we have to do to get it ready for that cold, hard winter?"

Don't despair, Christy and Jason are here with our winter decommissioning list! Special thanks to Wayne and Betty for forwarding on their list, without which we might have forgotten a lot of stuff.

You can breathe a big, giant sigh of relief now...here you go :)

  • Pull off running rigging
  • Sign up for boat watching service
    • Interview candidates
    • Decide on checklist
  • Remove stern anchor and rode - store in anchor locker
  • Move chain to top of anchor locker
  • Grease windlass
  • Look into shrinkwrap options
  • Get insurance approval
  • Clean deck
  • Chafe gear on all dock lines
  • Gardenhose flush the scuppers
  • Clean canvas
  • Washdown anchor/chain with fresh water
  • Clean anchor locker out
  • Stow dinghy on deck
  • Remove all misc items from deck (jerry cans, crab traps, etc)
  • Fill fuel tank
    • Add biocide
  • Winterize inboard engine
    • change engine oil and transmission oil
    • blow out raw water
    • close through-hull
  • Turn on utilities
  • Stow all sails
    • Main - tie down
    • Jib and Staysail - remove and stow
  • Winterize outboard engine
    • drain gas
    • blow out raw water
    • tef-gel on handles
    • stow down below
  • Empty holding tank
  • Put plastic bags on winches and windlass
  • Winterize bilge
    • clean out bilge
    • put a layer of RV antifreeze in the bilge
    • turn the bilge pump on to draw in the antifreeze
  • Remove dodger and bimini canvas
  • Add helm cover
  • Remove portable GPS
  • Book flight out!
  • Stow dinghy gas can and oars
  • Stow canned food below waterline, in plastic
  • Clean diesel heater and replace chimney with cap
  • Set up utilities on autopay
  • Hardware store:
    • RV antifreeze
    • sandbags for companionway
    • tarps
  • Clean the boat
  • Drain both water tanks
  • Winterize:
    • washdown pump
    • fwd head sink drain
    • fwd head inlet
    • fwd shower drain
    • aft head inlet
    • aft head outlet
    • aft shower drain
    • galley sink drain
    • freshwater pump
    • hot/cold faucets in galley, aft head, fwd head
    • hot water heater
    • freshwater foot pump
  • Winterize watermaker
    • through-hull to boost pump
    • boost pump to membrane
    • membrane to watertank
    • hot water heater to carbon filter
  • Clean out and turn off fridge (pull fuse and leave open)
  • Clean the finger pier
  • Hang cockpit enclosure/dodger/bimini panels in salon
  • Move sails into salon
  • Move cockpit seat pads into salon
  • Open all doors/cabinets
    • Pull off doors in starboard side hanging locker
    • Open vanity locker door
    • Pull off hatches from settee lockers
  • Close propane canisters
  • Lock cockpit locker
  • Remove cushions from side of hull and cover with tarp
    • master bed
    • quarterberth bed
    • settees
    • nav desk
  • Take out garbage
  • Install wood hatchboards
  • Put all remaining clothes in a garbage bag
  • Put sheets, pillows and linens in garbage bag
  • Batteries
    • Check water
    • Double check that both switches are open on the batteries
    • Check starting battery voltage
  • Verify electrical
    • DC panel is off
    • only outlets and charger are on on 120V AC panel
    • fridge fuse is pulled
    • bilge pump is working
  • Close all through-hulls
  • Take photos of winterization
  • Run oil radiator heater, dehumidifier and fans
  • Leave extra antifreeze for boatwatcher to add to bilge if necessary


There we were, winterizing the boat in Wrangell and Jason basically gets a job offer (and not any job offer - the PERFECT job offer), just dumped in his lap.

(Jason as a happily unemployed cruiser)

Did he send out one resume?

Did he even need to interview for said perfect job?

He just needed to get his butt to this job, and get there fast. They wanted him to start about 4 days after the "offer".

This was a perfect storm of a job: his exact skills, a greenfield project (meaning he doesn't have to fix other people's mistakes), a contract for 6 months, starting exactly when we wanted to start work. The only catch, you ask? It was in Charlotte.

(Sad, employed Jason)

So we found a furnished apartment on Craigslist (it turns out to be lovely, which was a relief since we saw it for the first time when we moved in), and off we moved to a town to which neither of us had ever been. Adventure!

Our "plan" is to head out in the spring and move back on the boat and take her back south...but as always, our plans are written in the sand, below the high tide line.

And here we are, just like regular ol' working stiffs. It is nice to see the bank account numbers go up every month. Oh, and did I mention we have a washer, dryer and full size fridge freezer? And if any of it breaks, we don't have to fix it!!

This apartment living thing is pretty cushy. :)

Final stats from this summer

Seattle to Wrangell (with a lot of messing around in between):

4.5 months
1827 total miles
Average 5.1 knots
357 total moving hours
325 engine hrs
32 hours sailing
So that's a whopping 8.9% of our moving time spent sailing
272.1 gallons diesel
Average usage .84gallons/hr (this includes the diesel heater usage)
Total spend on diesel $1428 (average cost $5.25/gallon)

Oh hi.

We're alive - although our blog might indicate otherwise. Sorry we've been so remiss in posting - it's been a crazy few months. But more on that later. First I have to update you on the fabulous time we had with Matt and McKenzie - our only visitors this summer to actually stay on the boat (except the many crab and prawn - but M&M walked away alive and healthy from their stay).

We got to know Juneau fairly well since we always seemed to be flying or sailing in or out of that place. We docked in Auke Bay, just north of town, for an easy pick up of our Maryland visitors. They thought we had upgraded when they arrived at the dock, but sadly, upon finding out that this lovely 178ft boat cost $230,000/wk to rent, we decided to stick with Hello World.

We got started the very morning after their late night arrival and had amazing weather...for THREE DAYS IN A ROW. We still don't know what to think of that. That was better weather than we had for the previous 4 months combined. These guys were good luck charms for sure. Which is why, of course, we spotted a pod of 10-15 orcas on our very first day out (had we seen orcas in the past 4 months before this, you ask? Ha! No!)

We watched these guys for at least an hour. And a random humpback joined in on the other side - it was hard to know where to look. Another orca picture for you:

We anchored in Taku Harbor that afternoon, giving M&M some time to try SUPing for the first time. We've decided Alaska is the perfect place to learn to SUP (or surf or kayak for that matter) since you really don't want to fall into that water.

We threw out a crab trap, but alas, no crab. Instead we got a hermit crab and a few sea urchins - a first on HW!

We let the hermit crab go on his merry way, but kept the big sea urchin for a Fear-Factor-appetizer later on (sea urchin and salmon roe on crackers with goat cheese - rather delicious believe it or not!):

From Taku we headed to Tracy Arm - recommended by just about everyone for a great place to take visitors and holy crap, were they right. We pulled into the Arm just as a giant iceberg was rolling over (note to self, don't climb on those guys).

More paddleboarding ensued, but we also perfected our glacier collection techniques. That's right, we have more than one, and they both work. You can collect them with a boring old bucket:

Or you can lasso them (and apparently we didn't get any pictures of this, but I swear it works!). As you might know, glacier ice lasts a REALLY long time since it is so dense. This rather large growler (small iceberg) lasted us about a day of heavy drinking.

It turns out Jason likes to over-ice his drinks, so he was in heaven.

The following day we headed up into Tracy Arm to see how close we could get to the tidewater glaciers. The scenery was beyond spectacular.

We hit a fork in the arm and decided to try for North Sawyer Glacier first. We didn't know if we'd even get a look at either one of them because sometimes the bergs are so big you can't get too close. North Sawyer had a pretty clear path, so we got fairly close. Close enough that the chartplotter had us on land (ala Mexico!) since it has receded so much since the chart was drawn.

We managed to see it calve twice. McKenzie was overly impressed.

Then we headed back to try to see the South Sawyer Glacier. This one had much more ice on the way up to the head, which Jason expertly navigated around.

After that most phenomenal day, we certainly couldn't beat it. We headed back to Taku again and this time went onshore for the first time in a few days. M&M managed to get their landlegs back, but only after doing a few Monster Mash moves

We also managed to find the most awesome swing ever.

We made it back to Juneau and had a few days to explore the area a bit more. We went to Mendenhall Glacier with all of the other tourists in town

Fortunately we realized if you got off the beaten path a little and were willing to risk your life crossing a raging river, you really had the place to yourself.

We also hiked to the top of the hill in town

And if you have plenty of time, it's definitely the way to go. Plus you get a discounted tram ride down - how can you beat that?

And for our last event in town, we (unintentionally) crashed a private bowling party. Matt thought Alaskans were quite friendly when they started introducing themselves to him at the bowling alley - but it turns out they were just trying to figure out who the crashers were.

We couldn't have had a more amazing week - thanks Matt and McKenzie!!!

Family, family and more family!

Sometimes we complain about cruise ship ports - there are always lots of shops that cater to the passengers and it often changes the feel of a town. For a town like Juneau that can have up to 5 (yes 5!) cruise ships in town simultaneously, with an average of 2500 people aboard each, that's a whopping 12,500 people that may descend onto this town. So yeah, sometimes we complain.

But then again, sometimes those cruise ships bring people that we wouldn't see otherwise. Jason's mom, Flory, along with a ton of other family (Nikki, Tammy, Dan, Marsha, Barb, Wayne and Evie) arrived in Juneau for a lovely 8 hour stopover and we had a grand time with them. Here's Jason with his mom outside of the Red Dog Saloon (did she love the beard? Not so much)

This group has the best time ever together - I think they laughed every minute of the week they were on the boat.

We drank, we shared 7" pizzas (well one 7" pizza, for all 10 of us), we visited the state capitol and we walked up and down the hills of Juneau...quite a feat for 2 of Jason's sisters that are terrified of heights.

Then, exactly a week later, on exactly the same boat, were some other friends of ours that we had met in BC: Ed and Myrna off of M/V Important Business. More Red Dog Saloon-ing ensued and we got to meet a few of the 55 (yes 55!) people that they were with on the ship.

Two days later? More family showed up! But we'll save that for another post. :)

058° 17.3362'N 134° 23.8562'W

vacation from our vacation

Sometimes our vacation becomes so darned taxing, we just need a vacation from all this vacationing (to my employed friends who are itching to slap the molars right out of my head - I'm just kidding, I swear).

We decided on this trip we'd budget money to do some side trips off the boat and experience more of the areas we were traveling in. Christy's parents also wanted to see some of Alaska so we decided to meet them in Anchorage and spend some time exploring the Kenai peninsula.

July 29th - Homer, AK

Our first destination was the little hamlet of Homer. I'd been here a few years back on my motorcycle. I was pretty taken with it at the time so we put this high on the to-do list.

The Clements ready to do some whale watching.

Our tour boat took us over to Seldovia, a small town across Kachemak Bay from Homer. Much of the town lives in these cool, stilted houses along the shore of salt water inlet.

Our tour boat took us by some of the locals. Turns out, these guys are actually snowbirds - they all head to Hawaii for the winter.

A few places around Homer are pockets of traditional Russians living in small villages. They all seem to speak Russian as a first language and dress in traditional Russian clothes. And what self-respecting Russian enclave wouldn't have an onion-domed orthodox church?

Christy's folks - Anne and Carl. We had a great time hanging out with them. Something hysterical is never far away when you're with the Clements.

We took hundreds of pictures trying to capture the grandiosity of the mountains and glaciers across Kachemak Bay from us. All the pictures seemed to turn out like this, never really came close.

Christy and Anne walking the beach.

No visit to Homer would be complete without stopping in at the Salty Dawg. If you do, I highly recommend a Broken Birch Bitter from Homer Brewing Company.

August 4th - Whittier, AK

After a few days in Homer, we headed over to the other side of the Kenai Peninsula. I remarked that Whittier was a wierd little town worth a visit. No one understood what I meant by "wierd" until we actually got there.

Whittier is a deep-water ice-free harbor that was important to supplying Alaska with troops and goods during World War II. The problem is that a big ol' mountain range lies between Whittier and ... well, everything else. A single-track train tunnel was blasted through the mountains. Now, in order to drive to Whittier you have to drive through the train tunnel. But you can't go when trains are scheduled. And you also can't go when cars are coming the other direction.

Heading into the tunnel.

Driving through the Whittier tunnel. We just made the opening on our side.

The port of Whittier. This is about all there is to Whittier.

August 4th - Seward, AK

After an hour of experiencing Whittier, we were pretty well done. We went on to Seward for a few days.

Checking out Exit Glacier.

Crossing the braided river that comes out of the bottom of Exit Glacier. We were determined to get to the toe of the glacier. That was clearly a mistake. That water is about 32.1°F.

Carl could have sat and watched the puffins all day long.

We ate lunch in a school bus. One of the better hamburgers we've had.

August 7th - train ride to Anchorage

We had to get back to Anchorage to fly back to Juneau. Rather than ride with Anne and Carl, we decided we'd take the train. Brilliant idea - the train ride was really fun. It also passes through some scenery that the road doesn't. We really like the Alaska Railroad.

Christy approves of rail travel.

59° 36.113'N 151° 25.274'W