Breaking the Ice
Breaking the Ice
Truthfully, none of this deterred me in the slightest. I did worry, however, about meeting kindred spirit, you know, the brotherhood of the sea.
I need not have worried because Seward is a surprisingly busy yachting center. In fact, for as small as the town is, it supports two yacht clubs.
The William H. Seward Yacht Club is an active organization with competitive racing and youth training programs. It boasts a large membership of boat owners, the vast majority of whom live in Anchorage, a two-hour drive away. I wondered why the club was not situated in Anchorage itself, until I saw the tidal rips in the Cook Inlet. We saw 10 beluga whales stranded in a quagmire of mud where hours before 30 feet of water swirled. The WHSYC operates out of a modern three-story condominium perched on the harbor's edge.
The Kenai Fjords Yacht Club operates perched on, well, their bar stools at the Sea Breeze Inn, where they hold regular meetings--very regular. This is a small club of fulltime Seward residents whose only physical asset is a dock cart at the head of J-dock. But they do posses a mountain of good will resulting from their community service projects such as installing safety ladders along the marina jetties for those unstudded but booted unfortunates blown into the freezing water.
Sailing Inc., owned and operated by Deborah and Randy Altermatt, is the only yacht brokerage north of Juneau, and so serves a large area with new and used boat sales, charters, instruction, workshops, and social events. Randy offers one more service: He is a gifted singer/songwriter, and his sailing ballads will stir the saltwater in your veins.
Diana thought the town totally charming until she learned there is no coin-laundry. Not to worry. Paul Rupple, who sails his Island Packet 38 ALL year long, gave her the key to his house.
"I fly for FedEx' he said. "So I'm gone a lot. "The washer and dryer are new. Just make yourself at home."