Wild Alaska Video Production

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This video film production is the culmination of six months work onboard Sänna whilst exploring Glacier Bay National Park and the St Elias Mountain Range in Southeast Alaska during 2016.

Our objective was to test film grizzly bears in their natural habitat prior to a more detailed wildlife filming expedition planned for the summer of 2017 using more specialist equipment. We were fortunate enough to also locate and film wolves, humpback whales, seals, otters and bald eagles set against stunning background landscapes.

Please take time to view this production and let us know your feedback.

For best viewing please enable sound and HD resolution if your device allows. Follow the Read link to view.

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THE WILDERNESS THAT IS CHICHAGOF

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Chichagof Island

 

“Get this… Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska is officially the most unbelievable place on earth. In a recent poll conducted by myself I unequivocally decided there’s not even a close comparison with any other location… and when the poll was taken there was no one around to argue with me anyway. We were all alone, not anyone, nobody even remotely close-by for nearly fifty miles…” Dave

Also consider this… Chichagof Island is nearly the size of Wales back in the UK. There are only four human settlements of any size… Hoonah, Elfin Cove, Pelican and Tenakee Springs of which Hoonah, by far the largest, has only eight hundred and eighty inhabitants. There is also the mysterious Chichagof Gold Mine which no one is sure still exists or not… it’s a ghostly place that only sometimes appears out of the grey mists. These small townships are foremost Tlingit First Nation settlements although those Americans down in the lower forty-eight states who decide enough is enough head this way too. You know the type, pony-tailed with platted silver beards, red-necks toting firearms with enough firepower to take down encircling siege law-enforcement forces dedicated to protecting wider society… they all head for Alaska at some point. So let me tell you just a little more about this wild part of the world that is Chichagof…

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Is This Sailing Race The Toughest In The World?

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Do you know of any other sailboat race where $10,000 in prize money is nailed to a tree on the finish line? Or an endurance race that can take anything from three days to two months to finish, with the boat coming second being awarded a consolation set of ten dollar steak knives?

All the intrepid sailor needs to do to claim their ten grand is race their sailboat seven hundred and fifty miles into the wilds of Alaska, through some of the world’s most treacherous seas and inland passages that are prone to whatever the weather rolling in from the Gulf of Alaska can throw at them. And, just as an aside, twelve knot riptide currents, complete with whirlpools and standing waves bar the way through narrow rapids and misty mountain channels. What’s more, the greatest concentration of hostile grizzly bears and hungry wolves prowl the shorelines, killer whales and ‘dead-head’ trees lurk all of the time in the exceptionally cold waters to remind intrepid racers that catastrophe is only ever moments away. Welcome to the Race to Alaska…

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New Website Launch

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Marie and I have just published our new website for our ongoing sailing circumnavigation. We’d like to keep those of you who wish to follow our round-the-world adventure more regularly updated.

There is lots more information and photo images but the prime reason for the change is to allow us easier access to amend and update our site from more remote locations when internet access isn’t so good.

We’re sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy our site and recommend that you check it out at…

http://www.sanna-uk.com

For your interest Sänna is now located in the centre of Vancouver at Bayshore West Harbour, having sailed south from Alaska throughout this incredibly warm summer stacked with tons of sunshine… an unusual occurrence in this part of the world. We will soon depart British Columbia because of Customs time limits in Canada to find someplace south of the US border in Puget Sound to spend the winter. US Customs & Immigration are far more forgiving than their Canadian counterparts when it comes to foreign flagged vessels…

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Sailing on Thin Ice

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Ice flows from the John Hokins Glacier

Ice from John Hopkins Glacier blocking Tarr Inlet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little did we think we’d see anything like this. From Hoonah, where we’d overwintered, it’s a mere twenty eight sea miles across Alaska’s Icy Straights to the entrance of Glacier Bay.

For those of you who don’t know Alaska well, Glacier Bay is a hefty fifty mile inlet with deep jagged fjords, where remote high mountains meet a shoreline carved out by numerous tidal glaciers. Tidal glaciers are ones that come right down to the sea to calve off huge slabs of towering ice and, incredibly, no less than eleven enormous glaciers grind their way southwards within Glacier Bay. They are spectacular and exciting to see… but the floating bergs and ice fields can be hazardous to a sailboat such as Sänna

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Fisherman’s Friend

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imageHoonah, Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

Moored right next to Sänna here in Hoonah is Icy Queen, a wily forty five year old Seine fishing trawler. At first call I could see the roughneck crew weren’t much interested in the likes of us… sort of retired, snobby English who’d sailed their fancy sailing boat all the way. But we and them would sometimes nod our good mornings whenever our eyes met… these no nonsense, hard working, proud men who grind their lives from the sea.

We ourselves have always admired hardsalt fishermen everywhere and anywhere we’ve been, for their toughness and extreme demeanour. And Icy Queen is a typical battered and bruised working boat built not for luxury but for making a living when the sea does not want to give it up. She is wonderful to behold in my eyes…

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On Matters of Laundry

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Getting your whites whiter than white is no mean feat when living onboard a sailing boat and crossing oceans. It’s not just a question of your favourite wash powder brand…

 

Let’s face it, we stink! Well, no, not really, but most people assume we do and that we disguise our rancid body smells by using exotic lotions, just like the olden days during the Middle Ages. You see, we don’t have the modern day laundry appliances onboard Sänna that are found in even the most humblest of homes nowadays.

Whenever we get into any landlubber conversation with anyone remotely interested in how we manage our lives onboard a sailing boat, the first question we are asked in almost every instance is “How do you do your laundry?”…

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