Ins and Outs of Alaska
Transportation: It's a long haul
to reach the huge state of Alaska, and one way to get the most out of
your visit is to combine a bareboat charter with some land travel, as
we did. Both cars and RVs are convenient to rent in Anchorage. We found
that even though we'd be sailing for a week once we drove to Seward, it
made sense to hang on to the car for the duration of our stay. That
way, we'd have it available in case we ended up harborbound by bad
weather and wanted to do some local touring.
Weather: Even when it's
officially summer, expect a changeable, late-fall climate and take a
layered approach to clothing. Bring good foul-weather gear and boots
that will allow you to get in and out of the dinghy without shipping
cold water. The charter boats from Sailing Inc. are well equipped and
set up with heaters, dodgers, and all the navigation equipment and
galley gear it takes to enjoy life afloat. Calms are usual, so cruising
boils down to either slow but delightful sailing or a decision to speed
things up by motorsailing. Watch your fuel, though, and always leave an
adequate supply to sprint to safe shelter if a big low threatens.
Packing: Those familiar with
Caribbean bareboating may be tempted when packing to follow the old
adage, "If you forgot it, you can do without it." But if you're
planning to do some remote travel by car or boat, not having the right
gear is far more serious. Pack efficiently, but keep unpredictable
weather in mind when you consider what clothing and equipment to bring.
We ended up taking four good-sized checked bags and used almost
everything we brought.
Cameras: If you're serious
about the pictures you take, multiple doses of airport X rays can spoil
all your work. I like to mail my film to and from destinations. Better
yet: Go digital, but make sure you back up your flash-card files.