End of the Rainboat

Jupiter’s return to Bellingham on September 23rd marked the end of her 125 days at sea exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Boat and crew roamed 2,750 nautical miles along the inside and outside passages of wild and settled British Columbia and Alaska, far further, much slower, and less scheduled than imagined, often challenging ship and seamanship.  The boat’s average speed was only 7 knots and the route took unexpected bends and backtracks.

Cruising these cold, restless waters, frequently alone, focused empirical skills in unexpected ways, and altered perspectives of environs, wildlife, and people living remotely at sea and ashore.  Fish and fishing dominated diet and destinations.

Jupiter’s performance as exploration vessel and comfortable home-boat exceeded expectations, and her robust build, dependable systems and endurance, routinely outlasted that of her crew.

What the Pacific Northwest offered in greatest abundance was accessibility to its beauty and resources, and the opportunity for adventures.  We have had a mad amount of fun.  Reflecting on the summer’s escapades, many surprising things are remembered, some forgotten, and others misinterpreted.

Some Bears Resemble Pigs

This wild but friendly guy followed us around Egmont, B.C. for two days often emerging from the undergrowth to walk the narrow roads in our company.


You Can’t Always Catch What You Want

– Mick Jagger

While fishing for halibut on a typically rainy,  blustery day at Blind Channel we caught two dog sharks and bad colds.

Help with Health

While the crew remained in good health for most of the voyage exceptions were occasionally dealt with along the way.


Good Socks are a Seaman’s Friend

Socks, worn warm and washed hot,

Have a wooly charm until they stink a lot.

Stalking the Wild Cell Signal

Cellular service and data was rare or nonexistent, except sometimes in the most remote locations as here at Five Fingers Lighthouse, Alaska where atmospheric transmissions throbbed.

Dangerous Alaskan Haircuts

A knife wielding barber in Sitka used a straight razor but fortunately missed both ears.

The Sun Shines Sometimes

On 75% of days it rained at least part of the time.  Low cloud was the norm. Here at Cascade Waterfall in Thomas Bay the weather was balmy.

Alaska: the Up State

There is a lot of “up” in the Alaskan dialect. When the day’s run is up fishermen stop up, anchor up, grub up, and mug up.  They never dress up.

Canada is the Mustard Motherland

Canada grows 90% of the world’s mustard seed.

Here sulphur from Alberta is being loaded in Vancouver.

What’s next?

Vessel maintenance and modifications.  Planning new passages.  More cruising next month.

in the last of warmth

and the fading of brightness

on the sliding edge of the beating sea

 – Earle Alfred Birney


  1. Katie & Charlie Claggett says:

    We’re going to miss your amazing, entertaining, picturesque, funny, witty, appetizing, inspiring, incredibly well crafted blog posts … until next spring. But looking forward to seeing you LIVE AND UP CLOSE back in St. Louis.

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