Notes From the Dockside Year in Review

Out with the Old, In with the New | Year In Review (Part 2)

Friday, January 01, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

Another year has come and gone which means it’s time to reflect upon the last 365 days. Like the ones that came before it, 2015 ended all too quickly. From start to finish, it was a whirlwind of activity full of highs, lows (mostly highs) and big numbers – including over 3,000 miles sailed and 200 days at anchor. Here's the rest of our look back on the year (if you missed the first part, you can read it here):

We Saw Some Amazing Things
The Inside Passage is like a geographical timeline – the further north you travel, the younger and more beautiful the scenery becomes. 2015 brought us all the way to 59°N and the head of Glacier Bay, and every step along the way had something new and amazing to offer. From Misty Fiords National Monument to Endicott and Tracy Arms to Glacier Bay and Anan Wildlife Observatory, sailing to Southeast Alaska gave us an once-in-a-lifetime experience that we won’t soon forget. 

We Spent Time on the Water with Friends, both Old and New
We first met Paul and Julia 12 years ago while cruising in Tonga and they’ve been stuck with us ever since . . . whether they like it or not. But our lifestyles usually have us on opposite ends of the world: New Zealand. Alaska. The South Pacific. The Pacific Northwest. Occasionally, our paths cross. A few times in Opua and Auckland. Once in Newport Beach. Another time in Las Vegas. And in 2015, Juneau. They were able to fly down from Anchorage and spend an extended weekend with us aboard Cambria. It may have only been four days, but they were among the four best of our year!

This year also brought us new friends in the form of Tom, Gale and Tom’s brother, John. We first met Tom when we were still in British Columbia making our way north and found ourselves anchoring in the same places. We parted ways in Ketchikan and bumped into him and Gale five weeks later in Juneau. We ran across each other a total of ten times during the season and had a lot of fun together. Call it coincidence or call it kismet, either way a friendship was formed, one that will hopefully grow over the winter months . . . we moor our boats within a half hour’s drive from each other.

The coincidences didn’t stop there. We arrived in Petersburg minutes before some friends of ours from Gig Harbor we’re getting ready to leave. They changed their plans, stayed an extra night and we ended up buddy-boating for several days after they picked up a permit for Anan Wildlife Observatory in Wrangell. Watching the bears fish for salmon was an amazing experience and sharing it with friends made it all the more so. 

What’s Next?
Alaska was always meant to be the icing on our PNW cruising cake and now that we’ve gone, we’re face with a very difficult question: What’s next?

Do we make a run out the Strait of Juan de Fuca and turn left, making our way down the coast to Mexico and across the South Pacific back to New Zealand where we have residency? Or do we make our way through the Panama Canal, to the Caribbean, over to Bermuda, the Azores, and on to the Mediterranean? We could truck Cambria to the Great Lakes and do the Great Loop and Intracoastal Waterway before crossing the Atlantic – much like harbor-hopping up the West Coast of the US, it’d be great way to see the country. Or, to make it a little more interesting, we could always approach the Great Loop via the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic, taking the opportunity to see Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama as we do. 

If inland waterways and touring countries from a unique perspective are what we’re looking for, then maybe it’s time to try something completely different and buy a canal boat in England. David’s British and still has family there so it’d be a wonderful opportunity for us to spend time with them and to see his homeland, particularly the historical sites. 

It’s a big question, one we’re not ready to answer anytime soon (not publicly, anyway). All I can really say is that we plan drop our lines again in May and head north for one last hurrah. How far we go will depend on the wind and the weather: Our resolution for 2016 is to sail more . . . I hope we keep it. 

Happy New Year, everyone!

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