Martin Myers 2002 Trip to Alaska

As reported by Sue Myers


June 2, 2002 - Day One

Martin, Brent, and John Myers along with James Young left Anacortes, WA on June 2, 2002 bound for Ketchikan, Alaska at 4:30 P.M. The launching site was Washington Park. They plan to do the trip in 6 weeks. The scheduled route is the Inside Passage. The largest kayak is a triple built by Martin. He and his brother John from Grandview, WA are paddling that one. Another brother Brent Myers built his single kayak and nephew James is using a fiberglass single kayak.

On Day 1 they reached James Island about 6:00 PM after an hour and a half of paddling and set up camp. The crossing was beautiful and easily done. No blisters! Martin called home using his cell phone about 7 PM. They plan to call every night as far as the cell service will reach and the batteries hold out!! Then the satellite phone will come into use.

More pictures of the start are available at http://communities.msn.com/MelissaMyers/alaskatriplaunch.msnw
 

June 3, 2002 - Day Two

Day 2 they stopped at Shaw Island for lunch and landed on Stewart Island for the night. In the afternoon they sailed for a while and that was great! They camped tonight on Stewart – got there about 7. A full day of paddling and sailing! Tomorrow they go through customs at S. Pender Island. The phone tonight was full of static so it was hard to hear.
 

June 4, 2002 - Day Three

Marty called about 8 tonight and they are on Galiano Island – the south end west side across from Parker Island. They are at Montague Harbor in a camp site. All is well; they covered about 20 miles today. This morning just before noon they went through customs at S. Pender Island. The customs people wanted to know if they had done this before! No!!! I hope they put our guys on their “WATCH OUT FOR” list. They wanted the details of what their boats looked like! They sailed some more today, but the wind was light so they paddled at the same time. Brent can’t paddle and sail at the same time so they will fix that (his sail, I imagine) when they get father north. Marty says John is really hot in his dry suit. Marty isn’t wearing his and Brent and James are fine in their gortex dry suits, so now Marty wants one too! I see another purchase coming in the next town. They are now expecting rain.
 

June 5, 2002 - Day Four

Well, the group reached De Courcy Island tonight at 6:00PM after a rougher day of sailing and paddling. They had some strong winds and a rough crossing to make from Valdes Island to De Courcy. I can’t find it on my map, it is too small. The wind was coming from the wrong direction. Last night it rained while they were sleeping. Marty had a hammock with a rain fly and he said he was dry in it. No paddling time rain yet. They expect a storm to come tonight so tomorrow is a question mark as to travel. The phone was perfectly clear tonight. No static at all. Marty says it is $.75 a minute to call from there. So, we don’t talk very long. So far everyone is just fine and they are having a good time. Tonight they were tired.

Brent is doing the cooking and they have plenty to eat. Marty says they aren’t making the kayaks much lighter, tho.
 

James Island, Martin & Brent James Island S. Pender Island

June 6, 2002 - Day Five

Marty called early tonight. They are staying at the Buccaneer Inn in Nanaimo tonight and having dinner out! (I guess they have dinner “out” every night!) So maybe I should say dinner in! They are ahead of where they thought they would be by this time. Today was a rough one. Lots of wind the wrong direction for sailing and some rain. Sun too because James and John have sunburned hands. It was a hard paddle. Our nephew Jerry Young will take John Myers’ place in the triple on Saturday. The other three guys hope to move on north from Nanaimo tomorrow. John will stay there and fly back to Kenmore on Kenmore Air on Saturday. When Jerry arrives, he will need to catch up with them somehow. Greyhound bus?

Marty gave me a long list of things they need – mostly breakfast food. They are eating a lot of snack bars, it seems. Marty has definitely decided he needs a dry suit and since they can’t find one up there, I have to go shopping before Sat. morning!

They are in good spirits and so far think it is a worthwhile trip. I just had to ask that!
 

June 7-8, 2002 - Days Six and Seven

The guys stayed in Nanaimo for all of Friday and part of Saturday. They took a day of rest and wandered about the town. Jerry Young (our nephew and brother of James) is flying in on Sat. at 10:30 in the morning and John Myers is flying out at 5:30 Sat. night for Kenmore. After Jerry arrives and stows his gear, they will be off once more. Marty called Sat. morning to see if Jerry had left (he had) and to say it was sunny and very windy (from the North) up there. It is a typical rainy Sat. morning here. Feels like February instead of June. Marty really wants a dry suit, so I guess I have to find him one.

Days Six and Seven Continued...

The paddling group took a little break in Nanaimo and stayed a couple days waiting for Jerry Young to arrive. Jerry got in around 10:30 AM on Sat. and John Myers flew out on Kenmore Air about 4:30. John stayed here for a while telling us about the trip and answering our questions. There was only one time that the water was sort of hairy – lots of chop, but John said he felt safe – it was just exhilarating!

Marty called Saturday night about 7:30 saying they had paddled only one hour. The wind was very strong – 20 – 30 mph gusts were hitting them. The swells were 3 ft. So they decided to hit the beach instead. After landing Brent was talking to a local and he invited them to stay on his lawn so that’s where they were. Some very nice person’s yard! The sun was shining and the sky was clear.

John will be sending some photos he took of the first week and I will post them to you all. Or give you link to go to. Should be fun! John looked weathered about the hands and face. Obviously they hadn’t had a lot of rain. Mostly sun!
 

June 9, 2002 - Day Eight

Marty called me tonight at 8 from Tyee Spit and said they had made the best time yet of the trip. They had made it to Campbell River. Since I didn’t have a map in front of me and I was at Melissa’s (our daughter) for my birthday party and so a map wasn’t close by, I had to rely on my memory and that told me that they were WAY ahead of where they should be after a day’s paddling! It turns out that the winds were too strong for paddling and were likely to stay that way for another day and a half. This nice man in Nanaimo named John had a friend with a “dually” pick up truck and they hitched a ride to Campbell River with him! So, now they are back on schedule. Tomorrow they leave at 3:30 PM (they have to wait for the bus to bring the tent poles they left behind in Nanaimo) and plan to cross Seymour Strait with the slack tide. This is a place you don’t buck the current, I guess. Then they will be on the mainland side, I think.

Tonight Brent didn’t cook. They ordered in pizza! That’s my kind of campin’.
 

Sunscreen Time! James and Jerry Brent

June 10-11, 2002 - Days Nine and Ten

Last night Marty called at 8:45 PM and said they had come through the Seymour Strait fine and were on the beach. Then the phone cut out and there was no more sound. His lips sounded like they could not move and he had had a stroke. I was SO worried. I waited for over an hour. Then I sent an email to the satellite phone and left a message this morning on Jerry’s cell phone. Melissa and I worried all day. I figured that since I hadn’t heard anything from official sources– no news is good news- that everything must be ok and it is. Marty called about 8:10 and they are just fine. He wasn’t fine last night, however. The tides in the Strait didn’t give them trouble, but the wind did. He was frozen when he got to the beach. His dry suit kept him cold and I wasn’t imagining the numb lips…. They were using the satellite phone and it cut out. Then they couldn’t get reception again. I sure don’t think much of that phone! They stayed at Deep Water Bay last night and today paddled several miles through Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait. They are now on Walkem Island. I can’t find it on my map. Must be a small place! Everyone is fine.

John Myers took pictures of his week with the group and here is the link to his site. Enjoy!
 

June 12, 2002 - Day Eleven

These guys were really cruising today. They did 23 miles and are camped on Yorke Island. Again it is a little place. It is north of Kelsey Bay or Salmon Bay. W. of Harwicke Island, I think he said. They caught a current and paddling along for 18 miles before they had to really work at it. For lunch they found a great sandy beach. Temperature was about 88° and they sunbathed for awhile. They thought they’d taken a wrong turn and were in the South Pacific! This was on Hardwicke Island near Helmcheck Island, I think. Today was sunny but the wind was blowing in their faces. It is coming from the West most of the time, I think. They haven’t seen too much wildlife. I was hoping they’d see orcas in Johnstone Strait today, but none were visible. They did see a deer, several eagles, and some seals. There have been some pleasure craft but no other kayaks yet. Everyone is fine. Jerry has a blister on his thumb. No other complaints.

They guys want to send along thanks to Bob Blad of Spirit Sales in Campbell River. They bought extra spars for the sails there and he helped them with tools and advice as they mounted them. So, Thanks Bob!

Again I have a list of things to send up. I did find a dry suit for Marty so he will be happier. He says the nights are getting colder so he wants a heat reflector for under his hammock. Always something more!
 

June 13, 2002 - Day Twelve

What a day they had today! They are on Minstrel Island at a marina (hot showers!) and they sailed over 17 miles in 3 ˝ hours. Then they made a detour for another 4 miles and they are not sure how many miles they really covered. Everyone is fine. The weather is still sunny and they are tan and weather-beaten. Those hot showers are probably a good thing!
 

June 14, 2002 - Day Thirteen

Yesterday they paddled 29 1/2 miles plus another 4-5 miles on a detour. They saw a brown bear and 2 black bears from the water. I was glad this wasn’t from their camp site. That night they had dinner at the resort and again ate breakfast cooked by someone else. They finally left the comforts of civilization about 11:00 AM and resumed their trip north. They sailed and paddled all day. It was really windy. They were moving into the wind and the current so it was rough. So far the weather is still dry though Marty saw rain clouds coming in from the south. He was cold tonight and is looking forward to the dry suit. He has a long list of things for Maggie (our niece and James’ sister) to take up with her. I am not sure there will be room for Maggie on the plane! We still haven’t figured out why they aren’t buying more food up there instead of having us send it up. Hm-m-m-m! Maybe I’ll ask him tonight when he calls. The phone is getting expensive $2.00 a minute. Needless to say our conversations are very short.
 

June 15, 2002 - Day Fourteen

“We paddled.” That was the message I got about their day. Marty did say they had checked out Sullivan Bay which is where Maggie Young will be landing. So, that’s all the news for Sat. He was more worried about what Maggie was bringing up with her in the way of food and sundry items that were on the list. His dry suit was on its way up this morning so I hope he will be warmer. Maggie is James Young’s sister and Jerry Young’s twin (who is on his way back down today). They were going on Kenmore Air. Maggie isn’t sure yet how she will be returning after her week or so paddle. Plans are still open on that one as there doesn’t seem to be a great variety of transportation options that far north.
 

June 16, 2002 - Day Fifteen

The new location tonight is Boyles Pt. – due east of Port Hardy. They have made about 320 miles so far. Today was a 10 miles day through hard rain, but when Marty called they were camped and it was dry. Maggie flew out of Kenmore about 9 this morning and Jerry came back around 5:30. Maggie had a couple of really full bags with her and had to pay $30 for being overweight. You are allowed only 24# on the plane. It is $1 a lb. over that. She was taking up a lot of food as no one will be going in for the next three weeks. If anyone wants to join them, Marty would be glad to have a paddling partner in another two weeks.

As they may not be getting enough sun to keep the phone batteries charged and it is getting expensive, he will not be calling every night anymore. Just every other night. So, the next entry into this journal won’t be until Tuesday night.

Jerry had more information for us tonight. He had a good time – was a little sore through the shoulders and a wrist. Said James was sore also. I know Marty has been too. After they beach the boats and unpack at night, they fix dinner. Brent has been doing most of the cooking and Jerry thought it was quite good. Of course, they also had a couple dinners out and they bought prawns right off the boat yesterday. 3# for $10. Very fresh! Mostly they eat granola bars for breakfast and lunch and then cook dinner. Once camp is set up and dinner eaten and cleaned up, they are ready for bed. No card playing or sitting around the fire. In the morning they leave around 8:30, stop an hour for lunch and then camp all over again.

Sullivan Bay where Maggie landed today is a floating resort that might be also condos, etc. They weren’t very happy to have these kayaks land. The plane regularly stops there, but it lets off paying passengers for the resorts around there. Jerry said that was the only place that wasn’t hospitable or friendly to them. Some guy even brought them water and fresh fruit someplace this last week.

The bears they saw were fun – right on the beach as they paddled by. Mama Bear didn’t pay them any attention, but the teenage cub wasn’t so sure about them! Also they have seen lots of eagles and some otter.

That’s all the news for now.
 

James, Brent, and Jerry John leading the way Scenery from week 2

Trip notes from Jerry Young

I've just returned from week of paddling on the great Alaska kayak expedition. I had a wonderful time.

We went from Nanaimo to Sullivan Bay while I was there. The paddling was mostly difficult, some rough water, lots of tide rips, usually against the current, and almost always against a head wind. The tide rips were fun when going our direction, very difficult going against us. We avoided the real big ones regardless of which way they were moving. The winds seemed to be more of an obstacle than the currents. Our goal was around 20 miles a day and we met that. The long day was over 30. We had tail winds that morning and so were able to sail some. That was fun, but a bit stressful, as the boats handle a little differently with the sail up. Marty's boat is very stable, I felt quite comfortable in it through the rough water. When the water got too rough we found a beach and stopped. Safety was first on everyone's mind.

The weather was beautiful, sunny until my last day. (This is the reason for the headwinds). Everyone we met (except at Sullivan Bay) was very nice, very supportive, and very helpful. Along the way we saw lots of eagles and seals, also bears (2 black and 1 brown), porpoises (sp?) and a deer.

We ate very well. prime rib at the pub in Nanaimo for $9, pizza at the camp ground in Campbell River, prawns at Minstrel Island Resort, and prawns again bought fresh from a fishing boat outside of Sullivan Bay (3# for $10) they were the best. We broke out the wine glasses that night. Otherwise breakfast and lunch consisted mainly of instant oatmeal, snack/power bars, and a simple meal for dinner. Brent did all the cooking and it was quite good.

I finished the trip with very sore arms and shoulders. Marty, James and Brent are also sore, but less so. They are on the get in shape as you go plan. Spirits are very high. Everyone is having fun and getting along quite well still. Maggie was very excited to be joining the trip for this week. She will be with them for the Sullivan Bay to Bella Bella stage. (east coast of the Queen Charlotte Strait)
 

June 17-18, 2002 - Days Sixteen and Seventeen

On the 17th of June they were at Shelter Bay for the night. They paddled and sailed 24 miles. Wow! It was raining all afternoon and evening but they were comfortable. Marty really likes his new dry suit. Since Marty is only calling every other night now, the messages will be strung out further. You won’t be getting one every day. On Tuesday they did 17 miles against the wind and current. They stopped at Burnett Bay for a very late lunch and a man came down on the beach to meet them. He is Randy Washburn from Seattle. He’s a kayak book author and was staying in a little cabin by the woods that kayakers over the years have built. It is very little so there wasn’t room for our group to be inside too. Randy showed them campsites further north as he knows the area. They decided to camp there for the night. John – Marty says the red vines are finely gone. (I can’t imagine how they lasted that long! )

The guys want to say a big thank you to John McMillan in Nanaimo who let them camp on his lawn and to Roy Spender who drove them to Campbell River so they wouldn’t have to wait out the wind. They really appreciated your kindness and helpfulness.
 

Brent cruising James and Brent sailing James on the move

June 19-20, 2002 - Days Eighteen and Nineteen

Marty forgot to call. I knew it would be bad to call every other night! They are having just too much fun. (He finally called about 9:15). Yesterday they paddled and sailed 30 miles to Pemrose Island. It is NW a bit of Dawson’s Landing. They stopped somewhere in there for 1 ˝ hours for lunch. Today they rested and played and sunbathed on a white clamshell beach. Said it is beautiful. Marty and James fished awhile and caught 3 fish – plenty for dinner. He didn’t say what kind they were. Not sure if he knew! The winds were southerly which is what they wanted but they turned northerly which they don’t want. They are going to try to paddle hard the next 2 days and get within a few miles of Bella Bella before Sunday. Maggie is getting out there as there is no other spot for quite awhile with direct transportation to anywhere!

More on Saturday if Marty remembers to call. It is still light up there at this time of night.
 

June 20-21, 2002 - Days Nineteen and Twenty

They are half way through the adventure and are now at Shearwater. Friday they paddled 27 1/2 miles and stayed the night on the east coast of Calvert Island. Saturday they went another 35 miles and didn't stop until after 10 PM. That day it rained too. They tried calling that night but couldn't get through. Marty's cell phone is now out of range and the satellite phone didn't reach us. They had made it to Shearwater and stayed in a not too cool motel. Sunday morning Marty couldn't get through to us so he called Melissa. I had been on the Internet and didn't log off, I guess. (I thought I had! ) Then he called again and left a message while Doug and I were at church. Finally I got to talk to him tonight. He was using a pay phone at the restaurant. James and Brent were doing laundry. They had spent today in Shearwater resting and catching up on groceries, laundry, etc. Maggie left on a 3:00 flight to Vancouver B.C. and then wanted to take the train to Portland. I don't know what the connections were to be. She had a good week.

These next 2 weeks Marty plans on paddling the triple by himself. He'll put gear in the front and not on top of the kayak like it has been. He figures he can do it. If it becomes too difficult due to winds, currents, etc. James may paddle with him and they will tow James' kayak.

Melissa plans on joining them on July 6th for the last week. :) Brent figures they have done 440 miles so far.
 

Trip notes from Maggie Young

I made it!!! A few pointers:

  1. take 3 bags of fresh chocolate chip cookies
  2. meet gang in Sullivan Bay as rain begins falling
  3. drop off 2 bags of chocolate chip cookies
  4. hop back on the plane and share the 3rd bag of cookies with the cute pilot on the scenic flight back to seattle.

I had a wonderful time. Unfortunately Jerry seemed to use up most of the sunshine. We paddled for 10 miles that first day. Not too bad. They were kind. We found an ok camp site. No white sandy beach but a great place for a campfire and canned veggies for dinner.

We left the next morning (not too early) as the tide was coming in. That seemed to be the story of our trip. They were very good checking tide charts and finding that we would be going against it. But we did have a tail wind. I loved the sailing. We paddled for about 20 miles the 2nd day in a strong downpour (even by the standards of Patrick Young it was raining!)We almost didn't want to get out of the boats. We did find a nice sheltered cove and camped in the trees. It took about an hour to get a fire going as everything was so wet. Including me. However those with dry suits were extremely happy. We had soup for dinner (added a little ramen to "beef it up".

The next day was clear and warm. A nice tail wind and we only paddled for about 15 miles (I think). We found an amazing 3 mile sandy beach with a nice man re-roofing a small kayaker cabin. We ate dinner, Marty and James bathed and did a little laundry in the creek. We saw a bear, eagles and a whale (minke we think). The next day was the great Cape Caution passage. I have yet to figure out why the call it Cape Caution. We left around 9:30 that morning. Between the chatty neighbor and the 2 mile hike down to the water it took a while to get things together. The crossing was smooth.

The next day we paddled over 20 miles. They had been paddling for 10 days straight now and were a bit tired so were hoping to take a day off (and who am I to complain). We found again a great sandy beach (with a few mosquitos). We arrived early enough to get the camp set up and decided this would be the perfect spot for a day of rest. I woke the next morning with a very fat lip. We think was due to sunburn. That of course didn't keep me from exploring the beach and finding skeletons and shipwrecks (seal skeletons). James fished that day for about 15 minutes before he came back in and asked what kind and how many. Needless to say we had a fresh dinner. Marty also caught a fish from shore. Some would say it was a great dinner. I did eat the fish but don't get too excited Mom, it was only out of necessity.

We left early the next day (well 8ish) and paddled 27 1/2 miles. Tried to make it to Spider Island (I wasn't too sure I really wanted to stay on spider island it sounds a bit creepy crawly). It was a nice day again but against currents and no wind. A long day. We didn't get to camp until close to 9pm. Not on Spider Island whewww... We did however arrive as the tide was coming up and up and up and up. I think that was a first. It was a short camp fire as the tide wiped it out. Took some quick manuavering to bring the boats up a little farther and move everything back to the next log. I beleive James stayed up for quite awhile to watch the tide. We couln't tell by the looks of things how high it would come. Of course by morning (9am departure) the tide was way out. We did a 37 mile day, again against currents and wind pretty much the whole way. We seemd to have taken the scenic route. Their chart forgot to mention a few islands. But what's a little backtracking against currents and winds... It was pretty. No wildlife. Well, we did hear a whale but never saw it. Don't ask. I realize they are big...

We hit a very strong tail wind at some point that day and hoisted sails. I think we ended up at about 10 knots. It was hard to keep up with the paddle and James was more concerned about keeping his boat up right. Marty and I left them far behind. What a great day. Then it just ended and started to rain. We made it all the way to Shearwater by 10 that night. Got a room and didn't eat since everything (the one bar/restaurant/store) was closed. James ate some dry ramen. Had showers and collasped. The nice man on the dock let us keep the kayaks there and use the drying room to store our stuff. The tradeoff was talking for the next 45 minutes as the rain poured. Nice guy! Made sure we were set for the night and told us about the flights out and ferry schedules.

I had planned on staying an extra week, however Bella Bella/Shearwater was the last airport stop and ferry stop until Prince Rupert and that is another 2 weeks. Sue talked to a charter service and the wanted $4000 to fly me out. Decided to go with the flight out of Bella Bella for $250 Canadian. We all took the seabus over to Bella Bella Sunday morning to drop me off at the airport and pick up supplies. We hopped the 11:30 ferry and after about 1/2 hour someone went and tracked down a captain. The usual guy slept in. We then had to wait while the "temp" hammered on the boat to get it started. We eventually made it across and it had stopped raining. The grocery store was closed as was the only restuarant. So we found a pub that gave us french fries and cold smoked salmon. I ate a lot of french fries...

We than asked to have a cab and of course it was Sunday and they weren't driving. It was 2pm and my flight left at 3. I/we had about 45 minutes to walk 2 miles with a sleeping bag, small dry bag and and 28 lb duffle bag. No problem. About 3/4 of the way a nice man picked me up and took me the rest of the way. People were very nice and helpful in Bella Bella. I made my flight but missed to 6pm train in Vancouver so hopped the 8:15 bus to Portland that left at 9pm. Arrived at 4:45 am in Portland where Jerry picked me up and then I was off to Salem. Got home around 6am took a shower, unpacked the car, went to Starbucks got a LARGE latte, and went to my orientation for summer work. Put in a few hours and then came home to sleep in the sun.

And here I am ready for dinner and a relaxing evening. It was a great trip and the guys are still having a ball. Marty said he "wouldn't do it any other way!" Well he will get a crab pot. We tried to track down the shrimp boat but they ran when they saw us coming. (I think they got my telepathic messages, fish you can mash in with rice, peas and soy sauce, shrimp doesn't really mash and blend.)

It was a great trip! Wish I could have stayed on longer. See you all soon. Peace and Love Maggie
 

June 22-23, 2002 - Days Twenty One and Twenty Two

Webmaster note: I was missing days 21 and 22, got the following from Sue: They stayed Saturday and Sunday in Shearwater and I think those were days 21 and 22. That should get them back on schedule, I think.
 

June 24-25, 2002 - Days Twenty Three and Twenty Four

On Monday the 24th they spent the night on Ivory Island. They had paddled 17 ˝ miles that day and crossed the Seaforth Channel. Tuesday when Marty called they were on Arthur Island (I think). Doug and I were at the Mariners’ game and he left a message. It was a little hard to understand at times. That island is near Dowager Island. It was raining hard and they were staying at a fish farm. The fellow offered them his warehouse which was warmer and dry. They had paddled 15 miles that day.
 

June 26-27, 2002 - Days Twenty Five and Twenty Six

Wednesday night was spent on Cougar Bay – north of Klemtu. They paddled around 30 miles. Thursday morning Marty and Brent called their mom on the phone to wish her a happy birthday. Then they set out again and paddled about 17miles. They are on Princess Royal Island. It is very big. Since we were at Myrta’s birthday party at Susan and Lee’s, we were not home when Marty called so I don’t get any details when he just leaves a message. He should call Saturday night again and we’ll catch up on what’s really going on. I think Brent was going to paddle with Marty for a couple days. Marty’s back was getting sore from managing the large kayak by himself. They have had rain.
 

June 28-29, 2002 - Days Twenty Seven and Twenty Eight

Marty called tonight at 10. I was expecting him to call between 8:00 and 8:30 PM so I made sure I was home from helping Melissa move into her new condo and not on the computer. Since the days are so long up there now, I figured when he didn’t call they were paddling longer and they were. Last night they stayed in Butedale after doing 18 miles. There is an abandoned fish processing plant is being renovated for boaters, etc. They stayed in an old house. Even had a hot shower under a 5 gallon bucket!

Tonight they are on the NW pt. of Princess Island. They sailed about 3-4 hours with a good tail wind and Marty wasn’t sure how far they had gone today. Marty’s right leg is really painful. He said he was sitting in a funny position. I didn’t get a chance to ask him if Brent was in his own boat or helping Marty. The batteries on the phone gave out. I assume it is the satellite phone as his cell phone isn’t supposed to reach that far. I am sure there was no pay phone on this beach. They are camped in a bay and there is another boat there moored for the night. These people gave them baked potatoes and crab so the guys were anxious to get unpacked and have dinner. Maybe that’s why the batteries “gave” out!

Melissa has flight reservations to go to Prince Rupert on the 5th of July. Marty thinks they will be there about then so she doesn’t have to try for another flight. They want to paddle hard and then rest there for a day.
 

June 30 - July 1, 2002 - Days Twenty Nine and Thirty

That satellite phone is not my best friend. It took Marty calling three times tonight before we could hear each other and then it cut out again before we really finished the messages. First of all, they rested today in Lowe Inlet on the mainland. They are staying in a fisheries service cabin – about 12’ x 16’. Yesterday they paddled 30 miles up Grinville Channel. Today some nice people in another boat moored nearby gave them a bag of prawns so they ate pasta salad, chocolate cake, and biscuits with those prawns. Better then Doug and I are doing here!

Marty again gave me a list of food (mostly granola and power bars!) and other items for Melissa (our daughter) to take when she heads up there this week. She leaves Thursday night, spend the night in Vancouver, B.C. and then flies into Prince Rupert on Friday morning. The guys expect to be in Prince Rupert either Thursday night or Friday. They are meeting at the Moby Dick. Sounds like fun!

Marty may not call on Wed. as the batteries are giving out on the phone. So there might be no more entries until they hit the big city and can use the pay phone.
 

July 2-4, 2002 - Days Thirty One to Thirty Three

I am not keeping track of the number of days very well. I hope this is right. The night of July 3rd they stayed on Smith Island at Osland – the NE. corner. It was very buggy and swampy – they were using their mosquito netting. Thursday they paddled 16 ˝ miles into Prince Rupert and were happily staying at the Moby Dick. The last several days (12?) they have had rain – not too cold, just wet. Melissa was to meet up with them Friday morning at The Moby Dick and they would stay there until Saturday morning when they are scheduled to start off again – this time on the last leg of the trip to Ketchikan. When they began this adventure on June 2nd, they all said they just wanted to go as far as they could in 6 weeks and it would be nice if the final destination would be Ketchikan. I think they will make it. What a thrill! Marty says all of them are just fine and having a good time.

Of course, Doug and I are packing everything up here in Redmond as I signed the final papers on the new house in Duvall today and we will move before Marty returns. His timing is truly remarkable. Hope he remembers the new address! . I will add some pictures that Marty took and sent back a couple weeks ago. I am rather slow when it comes to getting things developed.
 

July 5, 2002 - Day Thirty Four

Melissa, Marty, James, and Brent were in an internet café tonight around 6:00 PM in Prince Rupert. Melissa met them this morning with no hitches. They bought a crab pot, and some salmon lures today. I think the idea for the next week is to catch fish! They will leave tomorrow morning and plan to be in Ketchikan by Friday. Marty has a friend, George Miller from Redmond, in with a place in Ketchikan with whom they are hoping to stay. It was very fun to talk with Melissa and Marty via instant messenger. Much faster than email even, and CERTAINLY better than the satellite phone. Marty, Brent, and James plan on coming back to Bellingham on the ferry on the 16th. Melissa will be home on the 14th.

Melissa said their clothes smelled really awful! So, she found a washing machine and did a load for her dad. I don’t know about the other guys. I think they are used to doing their own laundry anyway! She also commented that their hands have gotten very weathered looking – said they don’t look the same at all. Marty and Brent have lost weight. James seems to be about the same. That’s youth for you! He was in “kayaking” weight all along! It was much more fun to hear details this time about the trip instead of the 2 second location report that I usually get. Too bad there aren’t internet cafes all along the coast. But, then Marty would have to learn to use the computer!!
 

July 6-7, 2002 - Day Thirty Five and Thirty Six

They are into the last week. The time has gone relatively quickly now that it is almost over! Marty called about 8:15 tonight on his cell phone. He didn’t know he had service that far up. It was as if he was right next door. (I wish!) It has been dry for 2 days now. Every time a new paddler comes in they get good weather. Tonight they are on a beautiful white sandy gently sloping beach with clear bright green water. It’s warm there – in the 70’s and the sun didn’t set until 10:45 last night. (Can you tell I talked to Melissa too? Women do much better with descriptions.) The tide was coming in and they had to rescue the boats. They weren’t beached far enough up yet. Marty had to go into knee deep water to get Brent’s boat and his was floating quickly out as we were speaking so the phone was handed to Melissa.

Yesterday (Sat.) they left Prince Rupert about 1:30 after having lunch first and paddled 14 miles. They stayed S. of Big Bay. Today they are on Boston Island which is small. It is south of Wales Island. They crossed the Portland Straits this afternoon going against the tides, wind, and currents. It was a tough haul and it took them 3 hours. Melissa said she felt at times like they were standing still or going backwards. The rip tides were something else.... She thought it was really hard. (and doubly so when you have to go to the bathroom and you are out in the middle and can’t get to shore.) I am not sure she was expecting so much work. She has paddled a bit but on smooth water mostly. Never was she nervous or afraid as Marty’s boat is extremely stable and cuts nicely through the water. James’ boat does well too, but Brent’s is the tipsiest. One day during the previous 2 weeks Brent rowed in Marty’s boat as they towed Brent’s, but that didn’t work. Brent’s boat has no rudder and it was all over the place pulling against them, etc. So Marty has been rowing the triple by himself. Melissa said he was not looking good when she arrived as he hadn’t been snacking during the day or eating enough at night. After 2 days of rest and regular meals he is doing much better. Today was probably the worst day they will have this week as they were on open water. It is easier near the shore.

A friend of Brent’s said he is known at REI as Chef Ptomaine – Marty says they call him “Chef- Scorched- Another- One”.

Our son Christopher called today to tell us that he is now officially engaged to Roshal. He gave her a ring on July 4th! They were vacationing on Catalina Island and just returned. Hurray! We are very happy for them and us too. We really have to celebrate when they come back – a successful trip, a new house, a new townhouse for Melissa, and a future daughter – in- law. Wow!!
 

July 8-9, 2002 - Day Thirty Seven and Thirty Eight

On Monday night the group spent the night on Tree Point – north of Cape Fox. It was a hard paddle around Cape Fox but they did 23 miles. Sailed for about 2 hours. That night they slept in what Melissa called “an old haunted house”. It was an abandoned residence at the Coast Guard lighthouse. The door was missing, windows broken – rather derelict looking I gather. It was raining so they wanted to be dry. That day they saw a 32’ Rawson gill-netter. Marty used to build them. This one was built in 1965 before he worked for Rawson here in Redmond. The fisherman gave them a Coho salmon so they had a great dinner. Salmon, stuffing, wine and corn. Yum! Today they talked to another fisherman who didn’t want to be outdone by a Coho – so he gave them a sockeye! Oh dear! Fresh salmon again!

They are on Slate Island which is off the mainland N of Bocadequadra (sp?) Inlet. They are really due east of Mary Island. I could find that one on my map. Today when they stopped at Foggy Point for lunch or some stop, Melissa found HUGE bear tracks, so they decided not camp there. An island sounded much safer. They are in Alaska and those bears grow big up there! They are about 30 miles from Ketchikan and could reach there tomorrow, but don’t want to. They expect to arrive on Thursday and will stay in George Miller’s place until they catch the ferry for home on Sunday. They arrive in Bellingham on the 10 AM ferry on Tuesday the 16th.

It was sunny today – Marty is sure that’s because they have another paddler. Weather is looking good for the next couple days. His cell phone is working fine and we get to talk much longer. It did cut out in the 9th inning of the All -Star game so I couldn’t tell him of the big controversy over ending in the 11th in a tie. Actually, he probably wouldn’t care! But James would! Sorry, James.
 

July 10-11, 2002 - Day Thirty Nine and Forty

Yesterday they stayed right where they were. Melissa slept 15 hours and feels much better. Today they sailed nearly 23 miles. They are on Annette Island – NE Corner across from Race Point on the Mainland. While I was taking to Marty, James was out in the water thigh high chasing crabs and he caught one! Melissa grabbed the camera so maybe we will see it! It must have been funny as Marty was laughing. So were the others in the background. They have finally seen a pod of orca whales . The group was on the beach and the pod was maybe 20 yards when they first spotted them. A couple breached. What a thrill! Right now they are about 2 miles from Ketchikan – passing some homes already. They can see the city. Sometime between 10 – 11 Friday morning, they will be passing the Ketchikan web cam which looks on the cruise ship docks. They should be coming from the left and paddling to the right, I think. The site is www.earthcam.com/usa/alaska/ketchikan. It might be fun to see if they can be seen. Next message is Saturday night and they are home on Tuesday.
 

July 12, 2002 - Day Forty One

The Anacortes to Alaska trip is over. Martin, Brent, James, and Melissa paddled into Ketchikan, Alaska on July 12, 2002 sometime before noon. They are all having a fabulous time. Last night James let the crab go that he had caught barehanded and then decided to fish. He caught a salmon which they ate for dinner. He also saw an orca about 100 feet away while he was out there in his kayak catching that salmon. I am very glad the whale didn’t decide it should have been the orca’s dinner instead! So, James accomplished his goals – seeing orcas, catching fish, and paddling to Alaska! I know Marty wanted a healthy and safe journey with decent weather and I assume Brent accomplished what he wanted also. I freely admit I thought they were crazy when they started planning this last year and I wanted no part of it (yeah, right!), but I truly admire their spirit of adventure and am so happy they did it very successfully. What a great bunch of people! And what a wonderful set of memories for us all! Thanks to all you who sent me messages that you were reading the log. From a lady named Ruth in Calgary to Chris (our son) and Roshal in Redondo Beach and many points in between, it has been a ride for us all. There will be one more entry when they arrive in Bellingham next Tuesday.

P.S. I hear from John Myers that the Ketchikan web cam couldn’t handle the traffic between 10 – 11 this morning and froze. So, unless you stayed with it longer, no one saw them paddle in!
 

Trip notes from Melissa Myers

Well it's been 3 weeks now since I returned home, so thought it was about time that I add my memories to the trip journal! I kept a journal through part of the trip, so I’ve attached it almost verbatim and then finished off the rest from memory. I also have 12 pages of pictures on my Web site if you want to take a look. They are in chronological order, beginning on July 5th.

July 5, 2002
I left Seattle yesterday at 8 p.m. and flew to Vancouver. The Seattle airport was virtually empty because of the 4th of July holiday. Very eerie. Stayed in Vancouver last night at the Days Inn, which was very nice. Top floor corner room for $69 CAN including free breakfast and shuttle. This morning I took a 7:45 flight to Prince Rupert. The flight was fine – I ended up having the whole row to myself so I stretched out and slept. Prince Rupert airport is on Digby Island and it is very small. Once you get your luggage, which is hand delivered, you hop on a bus that takes you on a small ferry (pretty much only holds the bus) and then to the visitors center at Cow Bay. Cost to get off Digby Island (or on) is $11 CAN. Luckily they took VISA! I had made a reservation at Moby Dick Inn for tonight since that’s where the guys were going to be. Tried walking, but it was too far with both of my bags. I was carrying up 8 can s of food, 3 lbs. of pasta, tortilla shells and granola bars. So I hopped on a bus and rode the next 5 blocks for free. I must have looked pretty desperate! My room is just down the hall from the guys and I got a double room so dad is staying with me and everyone has their own bed tonight. I almost gagged when I walked in their room. They had all of their stuff spread out to dry and boy did it stink! Spent part of the day doing laundry today. I made Papa wash everything, even his dry suit. II could hardly get near it. They couldn’t really smell the stench, but knew they must smell bad. Papa wanted me to bring up some cheap cologne but even that couldn’t mask the smell. So we spent all day today walking around town getting supplies for the rest of the week. I bought a bug shield for my face because the bugs are supposed to be really bad all the rest of the way. Papa’s hands are very weathered and a bit swollen and scabby. They don’t look like his hands at all. It’s weird. He has also lost a lot of weight. James says he isn’t eating enough throughout the day to keep his energy up – it shows. He seems really tired. James has really been watching out for him though. Had a good dinner tonight in Cow Bay and came back to get ready for tomorrow. Did some grocery shopping too. I’ve got all of my stuff in four dry bags and am pretty amazed. I didn’t feel like I was bringing much stuff at all, but it sure looked like a lot in four dry bags! I’m pretty nervous about this week. I’m afraid I’m not in very good shape and am going to tire quickly. Also worried about the food situation and not eating really well. We certainly have enough food. I just become really picky when I’m not cooking. James bought a crab trap and some fishing lures so hopefully we’ll have some fresh seafood. Plan on getting to Ketchikan by Thursday or Friday and then I take the ferry back to PR at 11:55 p.m. on Saturday, arrive at 7 a.m. and then get a 9:20 flight to Vancouver, 6:50 p.m. flight back to Seattle. It’s 12:45 a.m. now and I should get to sleep. Planning an early start tomorrow.

July 6, 2002 11 p.m.
I’m sitting on the beach just south of Big Bay. It’s 11 p.m. and still light out. No flashlight needed. The sun set around 10:30. Today was our first day on the water. We spent all morning packing the boats. Luckily no rain at all today. Beautiful sun and a light northerly wind, which meant no sailing. The boats were finally packed at noon. We had lunch at Breakers Pub and were on the water by 1:30. It was an absolutely beautiful day and an easy paddle. We saw quite a few heron and seals. The seals all dive in the water as soon as they see us. We paddled 14 miles today in 5 hours. Not too bad for my first day out. I was on rock patrol and dad steers. The boat is very steady. The tide was out for most of the day so there were some pretty shallow places. We laded on a nice beach and had to carry all of the stuff a long ways up to the place we set up camp. Low tide L We’ve been slowly pulling the boats up as the tide comes in. I felt really sick after getting out of the boat and had a very hard time eating dinner – spaghetti. James opened some mandarin oranges and those went down well. Finally finished my pasta about an hour later and I’m feeling pretty good now. Hopefully I won’t feel sick when I lie down for bed. Reverse motion sickness – weird. For a few hours there I was beginning to think I was going to have a really hard time getting through the week. I’m sitting by the fire now ready for hot chocolate. The guys are hanging the food since there are bear prints on the beach. Just moved the boats up above the tide line. It is a gorgeous night. Makes the paddling worth while. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean and a buoy bell ringing off the shore.

July 7, 2002 10:15 p.m.
Still light as day. Today we paddled 20 miles and are on a white sand beach on Boston Island. We stopped at Fort Simpson for lunch on the beach. Just a small native fishing village. Then we crossed Portland Strait. It was about 6 miles across and took over 3 hours. I really had to go to the bathroom for about 2.5 hours. Was even considering using the frying pan on James’ boat. We finally made it to a small rock island where I jumped out. I have never had to go to the bathroom so badly and had to take of my life jacket, spray skirt, paddling jacket, and wet suit to do so. I slipped on the rocks and fell coming back to the boat, but luckily was wearing gloves so didn’t get cut on the barnacles. We had rice and stew for dinner. Now James is out fishing, Uncle Brent is setting up his tent, Papa is looking or a spot for his hammock and I’m ready to fall asleep. Have to wait for James to get back though so we can set up the tent.

July 10, 2002 4 p.m.
I’ve been way too tired to write the past two nights. We paddled 20 miles on the 8th and stayed on Wales Island. We crossed Portland Strait and Uncle Brent wanted to cross at a different point than us so we were separated for a few hours. Papa and I stopped at a fishing boat and the guy have us a Coho salmon. The boat was a 1964 Rawson, so that was cool to see the boats that Papa used to build. He had never seen one in use either. We rounded Cape Fox and got in some really big swells. Papa and I both felt really sick. I had to get out of the boat and go to the bathroom so we stopped at some rocks. From there I spotted a rocky beach so we paddled over to it and stopped for the night. Turned out to be the unloading dock and rail for the old lighthouse and coast guard station. There was fresh bear scat just off of the beach so we decided not to sleep near the beach. We ate salmon in the rain, then packed up our stuff and walked along the old rail board walk to an old abandoned house. I think it was haunted. I was feeling really sick because I was so worried about paddling in the open ocean the next day and sleeping in the old house. There were places along the rail where boards were missing and/or soft, so it was a treacherous walk, especially in the dark and we were elevated 20 feet or so off the ground. The house was a mess, but pretty solid except for 1 floor upstairs. It looked haunted to me. James set up the tent for us inside which made me feel much better. I had a hard time falling asleep that night because I felt so ill. Definitely the lowest point of the trip so far.

We got up around 6:30 on the 9th and hiked back to the beach. I still felt sick because of the pending paddle so didn’t eat much breakfast. We met up with a boat shortly after leaving and he gave us a Sockeye salmon. The paddle turned out to be just fine, no sea sickness. We even got to sail for a bit because we had southerly winds so we traveled 10 miles even before lunch. Stopped in a beautiful white sand bay for lunch and some sunbathing. Even got in a short nap. Another fishing boat stopped us as we headed out again just to see what we were up to. We had the winds and currents against us so it was rough going the rest of the day. I paddled harder than I have all week because Papa was getting very tired and was making me nervous. I wanted to get to the shore as quickly as possible and get him out of the boat. His shoulder was really hurting him and we had run out of granola bars to keep the energy level up during the day. He would stop paddling and I was worried that he had passed out behind me. We landed on a beach in the Shale Islands and went a total of 23 miles yesterday. Had Sockeye Salmon for dinner, which was even better than the Coho, and went to bed just as it started raining about midnight. I was on boat patrol and had to make sure that they weren’t swept out to sea as the tide came out. I slept for 14 hours and got up around 3 p.m. this afternoon. We decided to stay here and rest for a day since the fog was so heavy, winds were strong and seas rough. I am glad! I really needed the sleep. It rained about 2 inches in 12 hours. Now the sun is out and Papa and James are out fishing. Uncle Brent made cake and didn’t burn it! J We ran out of fresh water yesterday so James and Papa found a stream on the mainland and filtered water today too. We are only 31 miles from Ketchikan and plan on arriving around noon on Friday. We’ll put in a little over 20 miles tomorrow and then finish out the trip Friday morning. I am really looking forward to taking a shower. I have many mosquito bites on my face and legs that itch and I just feel really gross. All my things now smell too. I am so glad that we have a place to stay and to store the boats when we get there. Only 1 ˝ more days! This trip has been the most physically and mentally challenging thing I can ever remember doing. Don’t know how the other guys have lasted this long.

This is where my journal ended. I was so exhausted every night that I never wrote again. I’m recounting the rest of the adventure from what I remember now.

The night of July 10th we saw a small pod of Orca whales just off the other side of our island. James spotted them and called to us. They were too far out to get a good picture, but we saw them breeching just like at Sea World. It was amazing. There was also a baby whale in the bunch.

We sailed for 23 miles on the 11th and it was the easiest day of the whole trip. Great way to end it. I only had to paddle because I was getting cold. Cruise ships passed by us, as did sightseeing boats who all slowed down to take pictures. We could see Ketchikan by about 4:00, but decided to camp because it would be dark before we got in to town, went through customs and stored the boats. Also didn’t know if George’s friend would be at the ferry terminal to let us in after business hours. And I don’t think dad was ready to end the trip yet. So we floated around just south of Ketchikan where there were a ton of small boats fishing. Salmon were jumping everywhere so of course, James was fishing. It was just a fantastic day. We found a place to camp on Annette Island (I think) and could see Ketchikan. It was very strange to see civilization again. There were a lot of crab in the bay where we camped, so we put the crab trap out and dad and I went out with the crab snare. I hooked one, but lost him just as I brought him to the surface. The water was so clear and shallow – it was amazing. James came back from fishing with a salmon and then constructed a crab net and walked around in the bay in his dry suit catching crab. The crab trap hadn’t produced much yet, so he decided to go crabbing by hand. The funny thing is that he actually got a crab that was worth keeping! He decided to go out fishing again and just as he paddled out of the bay he yelled “whale!” A humpback whale was rolling by just about 20 yards off of James’ bow. We watched the whale round the island in the sunset. First we’d see the spray, then hear a “whoosh”, see the fin, the tail would come up and then we’d hear the slap as it hit the water. An unforgettable event.

Friday morning the tide was out beyond the bay that we had paddled in to – I think it was a minus tide. We carried the boats for a very long way to get to where the water was. There were starfish everywhere. We paddled in to Ketchikan around noon I think and walked up to the Customs office. The women in the office were amazed that the trip started in Anacortes. Got to use a real bathroom for the first time in a week and looked in a mirror for the first time. I was surprised at how tan my face had become and didn’t realize how many mosquito bites I had gotten. Even with the face net and bug juice. After checking in to customs, we still had to paddle another hour or so to the ferry dock where we could store the boats. We found the dock and dad hooked up with George’s friend to told us where to put the boats. Unloaded all the gear and then carried the boats up a rock embankment and stored them next to the ferryman’s office. George’s car had a dead battery so dad had to find someone to jump start it. We made it to George’s trailer and I immediately hopped in the shower while dad and Uncle Brent went back to the ferry terminal to get James and the rest of the gear. I think it was about 4:00 before we got all of the stuff unloaded and settled in to George’s place. It was so nice to have a home base where we could do laundry, cook dinner and sleep in a bed – much better than a hotel. We went out for dinner on Friday night to a Mexican-Italian restaurant (very strange combination). James and I were looking forward to margaritas, but I think we found the only Mexican restaurant on the entire planet that only serves beer and wine. VERY disappointing. Before going to dinner, we went for a drive out of town to recharge the battery and stopped at the grocery store to buy more laundry soap since we were quickly depleting George’s supply. When we went back out to the car to go home, we discovered that Papa left the headlights on so our battery was dead again so the pre-dinner drive was sort of pointless.

Saturday morning we all slept in and did laundry. Finally headed out on the town about noon in the hopes of buying fresh fish to send home and fresh crab for dinner. There wasn’t a single place in the entire town of Ketchikan to buy a fresh fish! The fish market sold filets, but they were just as expensive as buying in the grocery store at home. We had lunch at the Burger Queen (excellent halibut sandwiches and fish & chips – I think that was the first time that I had ever ordered fish & chips!) and then decided to sight-see for the rest of the day. It rained off and on, but was warm. I was surprised at how warm the weather was for the whole trip. I thought I would be cold, wet and miserable for the whole trip but I was only chilly a few nights. Never had to wear a coat though – just put on a wool hat and was nice & warm. James & I bought fresh crab off of a boat on one of the docks so we had crab for dinner. Yum! Papa and Uncle Brent put me on the ferry to Prince Rupert at midnight and I was headed home. Slept in a seat and woke up the next morning with a very stiff neck. Should have slept on the floor in my sleeping bag instead. Took a flight out of Prince Rupert which had a stopover in Terrace. I thought we were going in to a barrel roll landing in Terrace and the whole airplane gasped. Then the pilot came on to tell us that we had to dodge an eagle that was just ahead of us. Said it would have been nasty if we had hit it. Landed in Vancouver and then flew standby on a flight home. I was tired, stiff, and very glad to be back in Seattle. Because I flew standby though, my bag didn’t make it home on the same flight that I did so I had to go back to the airport the next morning to retrieve it. I had all of my stinky clothes in it so figured no one would steal it anyway.

The trip was much more mentally challenging than I was expecting. I also wasn’t prepared for the open ocean paddling – thought it would be more like paddling through the San Juans. Clearly, I didn’t think through what I was getting myself in to – probably better that way though! Papa said that if he had waited another year he probably wouldn’t have done the trip because he would have thought about what he was actually doing and decided not to go. I think they all had a really good trip though and were glad they did it. A once in a lifetime experience, for sure! I am so proud of the three guys for making it six weeks. I had a hard enough time with one week, though am very glad I did it. I learned that I am not as tough as I thought I was. I really love camping, but the mental challenge of knowing that there is no place to stop when you feel sick, no place to go back to if the going gets tough and no one to pull you out of the boat if you feel like you can’t go on was difficult to get out of my mind. All you can do is keep going forward. And such is life…

Postscript

Latest on the “Anacortes to Ketchikan” group or as Sue Gove calls it, “Marty, Brent, and James’ Excellent Adventure” or North to Alaska! Marty, Brent, and James arrived in Bellingham on Tuesday June 16th via the Alaska Ferry about 8:30 AM. They had spent the night on the deck in the solarium in or on their sleeping bags. Their boats were stored on the car deck. After disembarking with the foot passengers they went down below and I drove the van down there to load up. Then we stopped for a bite (my mid-morning coffee in Fairhaven) and arrived home to our old house about noon. Myrta (Brent and Marty’s mom) was there with Kentucky fired chicken for lunch. I don’t think they ate that on the trip! We were very glad to see them. They are very tan about the head and hands – the rest looked a little pasty, but with the sun we’ve had this week they have evened out. All three have slimmed down and look lean. Brent didn’t shave his beard and mustache so he was sporting new facial hair, but James and Marty weren’t. Brent was anxious to get back to his house as he had to work at REI on Wed. morning. The rest of us went to our new house and now James is here for a while as he looks for work or applies for school. Personally I like having him around so I don’t really care if he gets a job! He’s great at lugging boxes up the stairs! Cheerfully too! All too fast the adventure is over and it is back to reality. I hope the gentlemen will write some of their impressions and memoirs. Oh yes, that whale James was so close to in his kayak on the last day was not an orca. It was a humpback! My mistake! No one said any thing more than whale. How was I to know! Keep checking back as Marty is getting his pictures soon on a disc and we can put them on the web – Well, some of them. He has 5 more rolls! Thanks for reading!