55° North Latitude

(Monday, October 31, 2011)

Happy Halloween! This is day 3 on the Barbara Foss… I may not feel this way in a few weeks, but I have to say that right now, I’m very happy to be on this boat. I think it’s because finally I’m not in a time crunch to get somewhere. We’ve been turning circles in Icy Strait all day, and there are supposed to be 26-foot seas between Cape Edgecumbe and Cape Fairweather tomorrow, so we won’t be crossing the gulf until at least Wednesday.

The trip to get here from Napa was insane. The night before I left I went to bed around midnight and got up the next morning at a quarter to five. I threw everything in my car and left at six, drove like a zombie for ten hours and arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house in Portland right on schedule at 1600. I left my car there and from Portland I took the train to Seattle and when we pulled into King Street Station I went up to Yesler and 3rd Street and I caught a bus to the office. I lugged my bags from the bus stop to the office and went straight inside for a shower. Being clean has never felt so amazing. I took my things out to the Justine Foss which was moored in the shipyard right next to the dispatch office and made my bed on there for the night.

The next morning I got up at 4 for the shuttle to take us to the airport. I traveled that day with the second mate who was also joining the boat. By the time we made it through security and to the gate, our flight had been canceled because of weather in Ketchikan. We waited all day and finally flew out of Seattle at 3 pm; the flight took about 2 hours. From the airport you have to take a little ferry across Tongass Narrows to the town of Ketchikan and once across, we were picked up and taken to a hotel for the night. I took the hottest bath I could stand, ate dinner, and passed out at 10. I woke up without even an alarm at 0330 and ten minutes later we were picked up by Rex the stevedore who took us down to the water where we boarded his skiff and motored out into the dark. We saw the lights of the Barbara as she came around the corner, and we pulled up alongside and tied off a line to her port quarter bitt so we could throw our bags onto the tug and climb across.

After two full days of travel it took me very little time to set up my room just the way I like it and I slept like a rock that first night.

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