Heading back to Teleport! [17th Jun 14] See below for comments (24)
It's beginning to feel a lot like winter here in Sydney, Australia, which is a sure sign that it must be beginning to look a lot like summer in Alaska - time for some more sailing! Chris and I departed for Alaska on Monday 16th of June, surviving a 14hr flight to Los Angeles, a 6hr layover there, and we're currently in the air between L.A. and Anchorage (5.hrs), where we'll spend a night homeless at the airport from about midnight until our 6AM flight on a much smaller plane to Homer, where a friendly website follower 'Jim' has kindly offered to drive us down to the wharf, where we then catch a ferry across to the sleepy fishing village of Seldovia on 17th, where we left Teleport high and dry for the winter.
Hopefully she wintered gracefully, and all we need to do is to fill with epoxy putty the drainage holes we drilled in the keel, and re-launch Teleport on the 18th, check she's still floating, enjoy catching up with our local friends during the Seldovia Summer Solace music festival, which coincidentally is also Chris's Birthday (the 21st of June - longest day of the year up North), and then head on our merry way. I'm sure it'll unfold quite differently, but that's the plan anyway.
Our plan this summer is to basically explore Prince WIlliam Sound in Alaska - as we only have about 5 weeks spare to go sailing this year, it's not really long enough for a major A to B adventure (not that we even know where this next adventure will be yet), and to be honest, we're really looking forward to finally taking things a little easy for a season, and spending some quality time in semi protected waters, surrounded by orcas, puffins, humpback whales, glaciers and more. No hectic schedule, no dreaded Bearing Sea oppression, just enjoying the many quiet coves, finding new exciting ways to get you some great photos of the wildlife and landscapes, catching prawns/shrimps etc. It'll also be nice to spend some relaxing time with each other, after what has been a crazy busy 10 months since leaving Teleport, and is set to only get busier once we're back in Australia at the end of this season.
Since leaving Teleport last year, we've run photography safaris to Patagonia, Galapagos, Kenya (4 trips!), Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and we have only just got back from running one to Christmas Island (a tropical paradise owned by Australia, in the Indian Ocean). We're running our first photography Safari in Alaska this year (at the end of our sailing season), taking 8 guests aboard a luxury mini cruise ship to the amazing Geographic Harbour (where we stumbled across all those amazing grizzly bears last season!) and around Prince William Sound, and a week after Chris and I get back home from Alaska, we are literally walking down the 'isle' and saying "I do" in a secret snowy location that even the wedding guests haven't been told where it is! Exciting!
In between organising and running all these safaris, while Chris has been busy finishing a fancy new website for our business 'Chris Bray Photography' (which only went live online last night after 9 months in the making - check it out www.ChrisBray.net), and starting up his not-for profit organisation 'Conservation United' with some dedicated friends, I have just finished all the Teleport Videos Updates from #16 when we last emailed you, now all the way to update #20, the end of last season! It's been great re-living some of the most amazing experiences and even more wonderful to receive so many lovely positive feedback messages from people all around the world who've been enjoying following our adventures. It makes all the time and effort we put into filming and editing worth it, so thank you very much!
In other news, we have just been sent our Solara Field tracker, so as soon as we have it set-up and linked into the Google Earth map on our website, you'll once again be able to sit back in your comfortable chair and watch our little line inch onwards on the 'position page' as we explore Prince William Sound. Some of you may remember that one of the blades broke last season on our Air Breeze wind turbine - weakened from where some bored kids in Cambridge Bay had thrown rocks into them, and then we managed to catch the sheet rope in it snapping the last couple of inches off one blade, so we had to shorten the other two blades to keep everything in balance. Well, we've been kindly sent a new set of wind turbine blades from Primus Windpower (thanks guys!), so that'll help keep our boat batteries charged, which in turn means laptop and camera batteries charged, which means more photos, videos and updates for you guys!! Everyone's a winner! We've got various other goodies waiting for us too: Earlier this year in Kenya, Chris got some incredible footage of some curious lion cubs coming up, pawing at, even roaring in front of his GoPro camera that he'd stuck on top of a radio controlled car, and GoPro themselves bought the footage and made a great 30-sec TV add out of it which they've been playing across America and overseas - you have to take a look at it below - adorable!! In return, GoPro not only paid us, but sent some incredible new GoPro gear, including the new Hero 3+ edition and a whole swag of different mounts! We've even got a toy speedboat this time, to mount a GoPro on (above and below the water mounts), and we're going to lift it up high of course the our quadrocopter drone, and put it down deep underwater with waterproof dive torches from LED Lenser, even tow it behind (or in front?) of Teleport testing out the latest tow-housing from TrollPro! Chris is even scheming a way to perpetually power a GoPro camera on he masthead so we never miss a moment... Stay tuned.
We're in a bit of a conundrum regarding the future of Teleport actually. We don't know what to do next year and onwards. Any ideas? We've decided we probably don't want to sail her home to Australia, because, a) from here on, we're worried we may not enjoy the Pacific so much because we've been so spoilt by - and fallen in love with - the more remote, wilderness, rarely visited places, and b) thinking ahead a little, when/if we finally did get her home, what's the point in having a holiday boat at home? It'd cost a fortune to keep her in Sydney, and when we go sailing each year, it's far more exciting to sail around amazing places like Alaska or the arctic than the busy East Coast of Australia! So could we just leave Teleport in Northern Alaska forever? No, leave a boat much longer than we already have and we'll get slapped with import taxes etc, or be forced to sail out of the country for a few weeks and re-enter. The closest border being Canada, a long way down the cruise ship filled coast, only to then spend even more $ to store her there, now too far from the arctic to sail back in a season when we did want to. Across to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula would have been cool, but it's an awful lot of expensive paperwork and permits to access a relatively short section before soon ending up in Japan and on to Australia... We really want to go on another big adventure, some place challenging and amazing... We've been secretly entertaining wild ideas of sailing across the top of Russia, through The Northeast Passage (then we'd have gone around the world, around the North Pole, which would be incredible) but it seems permit-wise, your 'ship' needs to be ice-class to even legally attempt it without following an Icebreaker. One day, but sadly not in Teleport it seems. =( So then do we turn and sail back up into the amazing arctic again, do the Northwest Passage again? Tempting, but we've just done that, were quite lucky, and it's never quite as rewarding when you try to repeat a success - much of the joy came because it was new. We'd love to be over above Norway, explore Spitsbergen or Iceland, even some more of Greenland, but then, that's on the other side of the world to us now, and we'd sooner do the NWP again than go all the way down and through Panama etc. So what to do? Sell Teleport, and buy a bigger, aluminium junk-rig perhaps, suitable one day for a family even? Maybe even make it Ice class, and do the Northeast Passage? But then, we love Teleport... and part of the joy has been doing our voyaging on such a cute little toy boat that makes friends wherever she goes - it wouldn't be the same if we turned up in a more responsible sized, gleaming metal beast, not to mention what that would cost, and the fact that selling Teleport, we'd never get anything remotely close to the amount of money we've put into her... Anyone? We'll do you a good deal! Haha. So these are the problems we're going to ponder this season, and would love to hear your thoughts. Who knows, maybe we'll become fair-weather sailors after the next 6 weeks of lolling around in Prince William Sound anyway.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been following our blog and, G'day to any new subscribers! We cant wait to begin another amazing sailing season in only a couple of days time!
Jess & Chris
17th Jun 14 - Tull - commented:
I'm yet to watch the videos but keep the updates coming! I can't wait to hear what u guys decide to do with teleport! :) I hope she's well when u reach her!! xxxx
17th Jun 14 - Len Microlight Adventures - commented:
Hi Chris and Jess,
Looking forward to following your next episode.
17th Jun 14 - Ron in Vancouver - commented:
Well kids, there are many fantastic inlets, coves, passages and islands in British Columbia that Cruise lines miss but are ideal for small craft to sail in, around and through. Kissing Alaska you have Portland Inlet for starters.
Another one close by, Haida Gwaii, previously called Queen Charlotte Islands, is a lifetime adventure in itself. More on this later.
Happy to have you back, up and running. :-)
17th Jun 14 - Poldy - commented:
Hello you two! I wish I would be twice as old as her. And I had a sail so enthusiastic wife like you Chris. My girlfriend does not like to come with me on board for 30 years.
I'll follow you again until you leave the boat again.
Take care of yourself
17th Jun 14 - Your Name Jim Webster - commented:
I agree with Ron in Vancouver--B.C. is an amazing warren of coves and inlets I don't think you would be disappointed.
17th Jun 14 - Douglas Pohl - commented:
Sounds like some remorse now that you have completed the holy grail of navigation... a NWP... I vote you consider the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to complete an Arctic circumnavigation. S/V LENA and S/V ESHAMY in recent memory completed the NSR (without the red tape you mention - like ESHAMY they just sailed outside... I imagine S/V ARKTIKA is doing just that this 2014 season attempting a multiyear Transarctic crossing to Svalbard with a dog sled attempt to the North Pole... there is an Expedition! What every you decide to do we say THANK YOU for sharing it with skilled wordsmithing and vibrant images... Be Safe!
17th Jun 14 - Gord N - commented:
First off, WooHoo! and....
I second Ron in Vancouver, it would take years to explore your way down the Pacific coast.
17th Jun 14 - Ted Sherrin - commented:
Fantastic guys. I'm away visiting Vietnam and 3am could sleep, then spotted your email updated. I couldn't watch one so just spent the past hour and bit watching the updates. It was great to watch. Ted
17th Jun 14 - Peter and Caroline - commented:
Enjoy... safe trip
17th Jun 14 - Liz Baseley - commented:
Hi Jess & Chris wishing you a wonderful summer in Alaska. Chris they are putting another party on for you this year. good luck with your launching today and have a very Happy birthday on 21st. Lots of Love Aunty Liz x
18th Jun 14 - Josh Barrak - commented:
I am always enamoured of your adventures! Enjoy your Summer in Alaska. Had I known you were in Los Angeles I would have picked you up and drove you. I was camping with my dog.
19th Jun 14 - Vicky Bray - commented:
Read your update with great interest. I'm sure you will find just the right solution. The videos are wonderful and the new Chris Bray Photography website is fabulous. HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow Chris - enjoy the Festival,and hope everything goes smoothly with your Alaskan cruising and your Safari Group. Love to you both. xxx
20th Jun 14 - Max & Sandy - commented:
We thoroughly enjoyed your videos and were touched by your concern during the rip tide scene. Best wishes for a great birthday and a more relaxed summer cruise.
20th Jun 14 - Todd Parsons - commented:
Just found you guys yesterday and have proceeded to gobble up your youtube videos. Reason being, when I was 22, I bought a 26' Pearson Ariel on the coast of CA - Morro Bay - and fitted her out over the year. Sailed down to Puerto Vallarta and back solo. Very tired after that, but was the adventure of a lifetime. Storm, surreal sunsets, great waves, lobster, and even collided with a whale :0 Anyway, it was an amazing adventure, and it's so great to see the tradition continue. Plus, the northwest and colder climates have always intrigued me. Next time I am going north - which could be in the not too distant future. I am a photographer as well + a beekeeper. Send me your address and I'll mail off a sweet treat to you guys! Best,
20th Jun 14 - Todd Parsons - commented:
.... or which port you'll be at in a month's time :) Address...hehe... I've been a landlubber far too long!
20th Jun 14 - James Scott - commented:
To see the west coast (BC) and further south would be incredible. I think the contrasts as you head toward Washington, Oregon, etc., would be of great interest.
Now I'm not sure why but there seems to be some apprehension with doing the Panama Canal and heading to the Atlantic. Too boring maybe?! I don't think so, and I'd love to see Teleport finish the continental tour, back up to Halifax that is. Now that to me would be a celebration. And what a great starting point to head off to Iceland...
Regardless, thanks for the adventures and I look forward to seeing the next segment of your videos.
23rd Jun 14 - Donald Hall - commented:
I also agree with Ron in Vancouver. Sail south and explore Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. The communities get larger as you sail south but there are still plenty of wild places to explore and friendly people to meet. You could spend several seasons just exploring British Columbia. There is the inside passage and there is also the west coast of Vancouver Island to explore. I would also suggest continuing south and exploring Puget Sound. It's not as wild as Alaska anymore but still worth visiting.
23rd Jun 14 - Kolby and Kristine - commented:
Jess and Chris-
Do not miss SE Alaska and BC. You will regret it, we promise! Most of this coast line is still completely wild- maybe not Northern Alaska wild, don't think you will see one cruise ship after another. Instead you will have pristine anchorages, fresh water swim holes and sunnier weather. You could spend forever in this coast line and not visit the same place twice. I have a few dodgy videos of sailing Desolation Sound- quite close to Vancouver, and it is amazing. Haida Gwaii is a whole other experience. Here is our website if your interested www.svasunto.com. Otherwise, we love your adventure and would love to meet you if you cruise south!
26th Jun 14 - Brian Hess - commented:
Hello again. I read that you lead some expeditions to Patagonia. In a few years, I plan to take S/V Triton from Puget Sound to the East Coast of the US via Patagonia, and after watching your Northwest Passage videos, now I want to do the same so I might just wind up back on the Pacific Northwest! Thanks again for sharing and planting the seeds of a complete circumnavigation (solo) of the Americas!(One can dream, right?)
28th Jun 14 - William Fraser - commented:
It would be a real pity to have made it to the Pacific in a boat with Teleport's abilities and then not to push on and explore the thousands of Pacific islands (yes, it is the armchair sailor in me talking). I might as well go on and say that anything less than a circumnavigation - however long it takes - in a boat like the North Atlantic 29 is the equivalent of "just going out to get some milk". Do not underestimate the connecting power your junk rig affords you with the locals at exotic locations. You are immediately more relatable to them than the next gleaming 40' on the horizon. Your own country has a coastline that could keep you busy for a good few seasons at the pace you are going. Selling Teleport should be an absolute last resort. You are guaranteed to regret it either way.
29th Jun 14 - brian strayer - commented:
Its the 29th of June. No updates since the 17th? You 2 ok? Your fans eagerly await news of your latest trip.
30th Jun 14 - Jack Gonzales - commented:
Jess and Chris,
I first have to say that I've loved watching your adventures with Teleport, and they've given me plenty of entertainment and inspiration. I think you would very much enjoy cruising Southeast Alaska and the Canadian west coast, but it's a shame that Kamchatka is so impractical. The salmon runs, and much of the other wildlife there, is all something I've been longing to see for years.
If you do make it to Australia with Teleport, I'd suggest doing a bit of racing with her, possibly even big ones like the Sydney Hobart Race. But maybe after this season or the next exploring the NE Pacific it will be time to part with Teleport? I understand that you've put a lot of time and money into her, but it sounds like another part of the world is beckoning.
Perhaps Patagonia and Antarctica. You two seem well at home in cold places, and I think you'd quite enjoy it. Plus, you'd be able to become Cape Horners, and see all the wonderful penguins, another thing I'd love to do. But then again, you'd have to give up the perpetual Summer you've been enjoying the past few years(you're like a pair of arctic terns, maybe a good boat name). If you do go down south, you may want to get in touch with Skip Novak, if you haven't already; he leads a lot of expeditions in remote (and cold) places from his yachts Pelagic and Pelagic Australis.
I hope have a good, albeit short, season sailing around up North. I'll be looking forward to your coming adventures from the SE US, wondering what in the hell cold feels like from the lovely psuedo-rainforest heat and humidity we have around here.
Fair winds and following seas!
17th Jul 14 - Rebekah - commented:
I just stumbled upon your Teleport updates 2 nights ago during a sleepless night and watched all of your videos (which were awesome).
Where to go next? I second the thoughts about the western coast of Canada. Coastal Washington and Oregon is wild and beautiful as well. After that... why not consider the Chilean coast to Patagonia then on to the French Marquesas via, Juan Fernandez island, Alexander Selkirk island, Sala y Gomz island, Easter Island, and the Pitcairns? Or up the Argentine and Brazilian coasts after stops in the Falklands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands? Into the Amazon river and as far into the interior as you can go?
Whatever you decide, I hope the adventure continues and that you continue to film and share!
Thank you for opening my window to the wonder out there - be safe!
20th Jul 14 - Brian Hess - commented:
You should continue Southward and on down to South America, then sail Patagonia. There are lots of great places to take in. British Columbia is beautiful, and relatively protected and you could come down to Washington State and see some secluded areas of Puget Sound. Then, if you come down the West Coast, there are plenty of places that are challenging. The weather off of the Pacific Northwest can be challenging any time of the year. California has a long coastline with many stops you could make, or you might decide to skip it all together and go to Mexico and Central America. Of course, if you decide to sell Teleport and move onto other things, I'm sure that you will get a great price for her. Would be a shame, but I understand that you two have a life of many other interests. For my own selfish reasons, I would love to see you continue on, as I enjoy watching your videos and see how you provision, prepare the vessel, and execute your plans. Good luck! Perhaps we'll see each other on the Pacific somewhere? Yours, Brian Hess, Skipper of SV Triton--A Nicholson 33
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