Margie, an accomplished single-handed sailor, photographer, and a niece, boards Jupiter in Ketchikan. The float plan for her cruise describes a 180nm widdershins circumnavigation of the island of Revillagigedo – pronounced Revillagigedo.

Along the Behm

The Behm Canal, named by George Vancouver in 1787 for Major Magnus von Behm, a Latvian in Russian Kamchatka service, is a deep natural channel circumscribing the southern, eastern and northern shores of the island. Explorers, ancient and modern, have ventured into a wilderness of steep fjords, fecund forests and sublime anchorages.

Along the west coast of Revillagigedo, the Tongass Narrows belongs to Ketchikan which occupies, thickly or thinly, its entire shoreline.

During the seven days of Jupiter’s voyage no one sets foot ashore. Life aboard looks out and lives in.

Sailing into Misty Fjords feels as if Jupiter is traveling upwards, but sea-level being what it is, the escarpments are doing all of the ascending.

Avocado Anchorages

Securing a boat within great rock halls is a dilemma to be solved if a mariner wishes to remain overnight. Depths within these channels are such that Jupiter can nose in close to vertical walls and waterfalls with two hundred feet of water yet beneath the keel.

Anchorage must be found where a stream discharges from a valley, depositing her sediments to generate an alluvium. In much of southeastern Alaska charting is old and often so inaccurate that you wonder if the marine surveyor was employing imagination or artistic license.

Approaching a desired locale to anchor, we routinely sonar the seabed: “Too deep, too deep, too deep, too deep, TOO SHALLOW – Back down!”

This effort reminds salad eaters aboard of ripening avocados.

Eventually holding might be had in twenty fathoms and we pay out Jupiter’s heavy chain in a 2.5: 1 ratio of rode to depth at high water.



Cameras and binoculars in constant use to observe vistas of the Misty Fjords National Monument. An additional photographer aboard results in a wealth of images. Credit for many goes to Margie Woods. To view any individual photo click on image.


Daily local investigations disembogue from Jupiter in small craft







Farewell Southeastern Alaska


  1. Laura Gunderson says:

    Looks like a wonderful adventure. Thanks for sharing the photos and reflections. Sending love from Boulder, Colorado xoxo Laura Woods Gunderson

  2. Didi Johnson says:

    I love reading your blog….especially this post! Thank you for the focalisation of this celebration by the one and only Woods Nation

  3. Nun Cook says:

    With appreciation and without trepidation, I attempted immortalization of your observations and innovations. What an education! Here’s a quotation worthy of globalization:

    “Unless we practice conservation, those who come after us will have to pay the price of misery, degradation, and failure for the progress and prosperity of our day.”
    – Gifford Pinchot

    How’s that for participation!

  4. TheoAugusta says:

    Absolutely stunning!
    Thank you for letting us see and experience a little bit of what you are enjoying. Loving every bit of it.
    Thinking of you always.
    Much love

  5. David Condra says:

    Wow! What a way to conclude your amazing SE Alaska cruise. The wannabe sailor in me especially appreciated the anchoring and operation challenges and the wannabe cook in me appreciated the ripening avocado metaphor. The wannabe photographer in me was particularly grateful and impressed for the quantity and quality of the images captured. Safe travels on your return voyage.

  6. Betsy Biggs says:

    Randy and Fiona,
    Jack and I are vicariously joining and enjoying your fabulous adventures. Life is definitely good! Thanks so much for sharing your blog!

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