Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Concerns and Timeline

It is one month before we leave New Mexico on a five month trip.  I’m April, my husband Rob, and our infant son Gage, hope to spend the summer on our recently purchased boat in Alaska, floating among wildlife and icebergs and fishing for our meals.  Two rather important facts are neither Rob nor I have been captain of a boat, although we have both been crew, and currently our boat is in Tacoma, Washington, not in Alaska.  I am not a pessimist (otherwise I would not be going on this trip let alone looking forward to it) but I want to explain why this is an epic adventure and not just a summer vacation...
Our Boat the Mia Terra, just before we bought her.

In order to obtain our summer Alaskan dream we first need to learn how to pilot our boat, the Mia Terra, then take her up the coast through Canada to get to Petersburg, Alaska.  At first this sounded easy enough but there is that little voice of reason, in the back of my mind, screaming about all the dangers that could lie ahead.  The boat is old and small, we are inexperienced, the ocean can be rough even if we are always in sight of land and Rob knows he gets horribly seasick in rough water.  

Don't let the hailing port of Petersburg, AK fool you.
The Mia Terra has not been to Petersburg yet.

We chose Petersburg because Rob has friends that live there.  Also he lived there for two years and spent an additional twelve summers there doing various jobs from managing a cold storage facility that processed fish to being a commercial fisherman.  How was Rob a fisherman if he is prone to seasickness?  He said his secret to years of survival on a fishing boat, was to work for captains who were also seasick.  This meant they mostly stayed in calm, inner coastal waters.  I have never been seasick but the last time I went to the local fair, I rode too many midway rides and only felt better after I threw up.  This only compounds my anxiety that if we encounter rough seas Rob expects me to captain the boat and the fate of our adventure lies in my possibly seasick hands.  

The start date for the trip is May but it is flexible and based on the completion of the construction project at the O’Niell’s Pub on Central here in Albuquerque.  It is also based on when we are packed and ready to go.  As adults we are packing cloths and other items that we want to leave in Alaska and not bring home with us at the end of the trip. As far as packing for Gage, who currently is five months old, I will try not to overpack or bring useless things (I don’t think a pack & play, jogging stroller, bumbo, and doorway jumper are overpacking or useless but I may change my mind).  

Here is the quick timeline for our epic adventure:
May-  Pack whatever we can into our RV and leave New Mexico.  Visit friends and family in the RV in the California Bay Area then make our way to Tacoma.  
June-  Stay in Washington waters and explore the San Juan Islands while learning and honing our nautical skills.  Prepare our boat (and ourselves) for the Inside Passage.
July-  Take the Mia Terra into Canadian waters, see the city of Vancouver in British Columbia then begin our northern journey up the Inside Passage to get to Petersburg.
August & September-  Finally live our Alaskan dream!!!  Float beside seals sunning themselves on icebergs, see bald eagles fishing, whales breaching and eat fresh salmon, halibut, crab and shrimp that we caught ourselves.

At the end of our adventure we plan to leave the Mia Terra for the winter in a slip in Petersburg and fly to Seattle/Tacoma to pick up our RV, Big O’, that we left with family in Port Townsend, Washington.  On our way home we hope to again visit friends and family.

Not the best picture of Big O', but it gives you an idea of what she looks like.  
I will write a whole entry about our RV soon...

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