Thursday, November 5, 2015

Why Alaska??

Jim just returned from his 50th class reunion. He had a wonderful time catching up with old friends. Since his return many have asked about our life here in Alaska and how we ended up here. Jim's answer to Elma was great so I asked if I could post it here as well. 
Cheers to all of you!!


Glad you're enjoying Frannie's blog.  Our daughter, Jennifer and her husband Tim  lived in Minnesota for several years where Jen was doing research as a veterinarian at the University there. She, Tim and our grandson Sam now live in Blaine, Washington where Jen is working as a dog and cat vet.  Frannie and Ido both love the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, and funny that you focused on fishing, because it is because of a fish that we ended up staying here so long.  When we sailed around the world in 1997 to 1999 we went via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa and the Panama Canal, we missed going around the Horn at the southern tip of South America because we had to be back in Seattle to go back to work.  So when we left Seattle after retiring nine years later we were headed to Chile to explore the southern canals and sail around the Horn.  But, I had worked my way through college as a diver in Alaska and wanted to spend a year there without freezing in a diving suit before we headed back to the Southern Hemisphere, so I asked Frannie if we could spend a winter up here.  She agreed and soon after we arrived here I took her fishing in the dinghy.  She was getting her rod ready and I dropped my lure over the side and a big Coho Salmon hit it within about three seconds.  She was impressed!  I told her that that was the way it was here in Alaska (This,  of course, was a little bit of a stretch in the truth, but I wanted her to like Alaska.) We went back to the our sailboat which we'd left anchored in a spectacularly beautiful little cove, and had fresh salmon for lunch and a great salmon dinner and the next day went to the same fishing spot.  When I shut the dinghy outboard off she announced, "Wait!  You don't get to fish for two minutes!  I want to catch one."  So I'm thinking: Two minutes?  We'll never get another fish in only two minutes.  But, she dropped her lure in the water and just like the day before she hooked one in about three seconds! She was jumping up and down and all excited, but I staid cool acting like this was no big deal even though I had never seen fishing this good in my entire life, and said "Frannie, this is Alaska, that's the way it is here."  She didn't say anything for a minute and then she said:  "So why are we going to Chile?"  And we're still here.

The "M" word (Mexico) does come up in conversation occasionally, usually in about March after several months of rain, so who knows how long we'll end up staying in Alaska, but so far we haven't talked seriously about leaving.  Frannie calls this "Big Boys Disneyland."  She says it has all the rides for Jim.  (And for Frannie too I think.)

As far as your question about where we live in the winter.  We live on the boat just like in the summer, but here in Alaska we stay in a harbor tied to a dock more of the time. Alaskan coastal towns become pretty quiet in winter after the cruise ships leave.  From about the first of May until the first of September we look for remote anchorages without other boats or people.  Next year will be 40 years of living aboard.  


1 comment:

Adam said...

Great story, mates!!! Looking forward to our next opportunity to share an anchorage, wherever and whenever it will be!!! Cheers from the Bravo's in NZ.