"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A brief pause in the Africa Journals

I am currently in Halibut Cove, house-sitting for friends while they travel the western U.S., though my most important responsibity is opening the door for Gerri the cat.

My arrival was timed for Saturday, Feb. 22, four days after I returned home from Africa.   That morning I drove 130 miles to Homer, at the highway end of the Kenai Peninsula.

At 2 P.M., I boarded the venerable Stormbird, a WWII veteran, which sails twice weekly from the cove to Homer, picks up the mail, and returns to the cove in the afternoon.  It is THE form of transport for the folks who call the cove their place of residence, and frequently hauls groceries, lumber, and appliances for them.  It is known informally as the boat that built the cove.

That evening, I spent a wonderful few hours with my host Jim and two Austrians, Jurgen and Claudia, who are wintering in the Cove.  They had spent five years in their native Austria rebuilding a 40 foot sailboat, which they motored down the Rhine into the North Sea.

They explored the fjords of western and northern Norway, then sailed across to Iceland and Greenland.   From there, they sailed the Northwest Passage, around Alaska and came to the Cove where, as I mentioned, they are spending the winter before going down the west coast of the U.S. to Mexico.

They prepared a program of still shots and videos with commentary, which they showed that night.  Claudia wrote and published a book about their journey, which, unfortunately for us, is only in German.

A series of minus tides in the cove resulted in them moving their sailboat, La Belle Epoque, to the deepest water around the public dock in the cove, and I was able to get some photos.

La Belle Epoque

Some photos from the Cove:

And now back to the Africa Journals...


  1. Fun to read of the adventures of Jurgen and Claudia from Austria. WOW! Five years re-building their sailing boat La Belle Epoque and then a monumental sailing journey. I will have to ask Clement from France about that 'Austrian' name of La Belle Epoque! I also enjoyed the photos of Halibut Cove as well. In your last photo on your desk is a book titled .. THE SYNONYM FINDER. Where are you getting the wonderful quotes about travel and life that you begin many of you posts with? Smiles from You-KNOW-Who !

  2. SHADY? OH SHADDY? .. Will Patti and I get to meet you and your husband when you are up here in June? Joy from Cap and from Patti ..

  3. Great to see the Cove and Gerri again! Your Africa posts are incredible with the closeness to the animals most of us will never see. Thanks for taking us on your journey!! Hugs. Patti (and Cap who is at the library)

  4. Cap and Patti: It's so sweet of you to mention meeting my husband and I when we're up your way. We've never been on a cruise and so I don't know what to expect. We're going with my cousin and her friend. We haven't planned our day excursions yet so I don't know if we could coordinate a meeting or not. We've been doing some remodeling and are planning our Siesta Key trip for later this month. Alaska has been shuffled to the back of our minds. We'll be spending most of April and May finalizing things so at that time I may be able to respond more accurately to your idea. Thanks again.

    Gully: Sorry that I'm behind on reading your blog. Everyday stuff has a tendency to clog up my plans. I think it's perfect that you have this time in Halibut Cove. What better place could there be for documenting your Africa trip!!! It's a writer's dream house.