Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1st Sailing Trip - Valdez, Alaska

We launched in Valdez for a week long trip on Prince William Sound. Rainy weather was not atypical and it was calm. Kate and I sculled and cooked ashore the first night then slept on board after realizing that the site we hoped to put our tent on would be perilously close to underwater at 1 a.m. We had timed our trip perfectly to catch spring tides!

We slept cozily aboard while Fantasma floated to her anchor overnight and we woke up on the hard again in the morning. The flood floated us off after a casual breakfast into some nice upwind sailing in about 10 knots. More sculling and some light wind work into Shoup Bay. No camping ashore here due to the spring tides and thick vegetation. We put an anchor over and cooked and slept aboard. A little cozy moving equipment around on board but very do-able.

Did I mention it has been a rainy summer on the Sound and was raining almost the whole time? The forecast for the rest of the week was for rain and light (no) winds. We were learning to scull well enough, but it is slow. 2 knots when you are working at it, a bit less if you are loafing.

OK, that's enough dampness for now. We sculled the 7+ NM back to Valdez and headed for plan B. Kluane Lake in the Yukon. PWS is spectacular but we will be a bit more discriminating about the forecast and the tides when planning our next trip.

We learned how to scull and worked out basic anchor handling. We really loaded her up with weight, heavier than ever before and she loved it. Really, she sailed the best ever, more stable, more weatherly, with just the right amount of weather helm upwind. We knew we could both sleep aboard comfortably, but we that 2 of us anchored out could have a pleasant overnight aboard, even in the rain. One small issue was that in this cool humidity, the windows condensed water and required almost constant wiping to maintain visibility. I haven't installed the forward vent, so that didn't help, but I don't think it would have prevented the degree of condensation that we experienced.


Dave said...

Thanks for the trip report. Too bad about the rain and lack of wind. Good to know that 2 people can sleep aboard. Once you get the vents in, do you think a small 12 volt fan would help to move the air? I think I have seen pictures of small fans inside Paradox.

In the picture of Fantasma on the mudflat, is the gripe that yellowish strip of wood just aft of the stem?

george said...

Yep, I added a gripe to the forefoot. Seems to have helped but I want to enlarge it to see if can be even more effective.

Okie Bob said...

Great work George. Thanks for sharing your build.