Today, I realized that a little over six months ago Team Sockeye Voyages crossed the finish line of the 2022 R2AK, the Race to Alaska. For us, for me, the Race really started in autumn 2021. Or 2017, or 2015, watching Team Grin start in the inaugural R2AK. Or perhaps in the beer garden in 2013 when Jake said, “Alaska!”
Since arriving home in late July, it feels like I have been in a different race, a work race, like most people. Except I am a sailor. There was program with Salish Sea Sciences in the San Juan Islands, ASA instruction through San Juan Sailing, the Wooden Boat Festival and R2AK Blazer Party, a ten day trip to Eleuthera to work on the two sharpies of Hurricane Island Outward Bound, to Annapolis to teach at Cruiser’s University, then back to Eleuthera to instruct the sail section of a semester course (with Olivia, Bart, and Morgan), and a visit with my folks at Hatteras. I shoveled some snow at home the week leading up to Christmas. Christmas day, Elizabeth drove me to the airport to fly to where I am, now working on the Corwith Cramer out of St. Croix.
Olivia instructed the course out of Eleuthera, too. Tara went cycling in Vietnam! then went to Florida to instruct.
All the while, I have though of you, our supporters, wondering how to update you, how to thank you, how to thank you enough. So, I am trying to spill the words out and avoid editing, much. It has been too long.
How it wrapped up in Ketchikan,
Many of you wondered what happened after we arrived in Ketchikan. Tara departed first, then Olivia, back to Maine to instruct Outward Bound courses. I, Sockeye, remained in Ketchikan for two weeks waiting for the ferry to Prince Rupert to resume operation, halted with the onset of the pandemic. Liz made that workable by loaning me her car. Cal hosted me for a few nights. Jo and Zoe of Team Kairos hosted me for a few nights. Settlers Cove proved a lovely place to camp.
A plan, which was offered and accepted, developed from the time we were in Bella Bella/Shearwater. Doug, of Team Pocket Rockanauts drove my car and trailer from Port Townsend to Anacortes. Another friend, Kyle, drove my car and trailer to Prince Rupert and onto the returning ferry to Ketchikan. We disassembled and hauled the boat. We saw bears at the southern extreme of town. We camped at the other end of town. Kyle flew home. I drove the car and boat on trailer onto the next ferry to Prince Rupert. I spent one night there with Ian and Jen, then drove the thousand miles to Anacortes and caught ferry home.
While we were working in the Bahamas and dodging tropical storm Nicole, we contemplated, “What is the next thing?” We did not have an answer, but I felt an energy towards something.