Prince William Sound #2

We departed the bay with no name around 11:00am, which I must add, was stunning (there’s that word again!) for our 44nm leisurely trip to Perry Island and to West Twin Bay. Our journey, as is becoming the norm, was without incident and just as we all like it, mundane!

Our anchorage at unknown bay

Getting to West Twin Bay would situate us perfectly for Barry Arm/College Fjord and the land of the giant glaciers being Harriman, Baker, Cataract, Coxe, Harvard, Yale and Williams to name but a few!

Heading towards West Twin Bay

We arrived in West Twin Bay bang on schedule and to yet another beautiful anchorage although this time we weren’t alone. This time we were joined, as previously planned, with MV Scolamanzi II, a beautiful Nordhavn 60 with the very amusing and charming owners Johann and Henriette and their friends Laura and Ryanie from Australia.

Scolamanzi II at anchor just behind Pendana

I distinctly remember a few conversations via email with Johann around two years ago who was commissioning a Nordhavn 60 and suggested that as fellow ‘Aussies’, we should meet up when in Prince William Sound. Nothing like a well laid plan! Aussies like planning ahead, well Johann and I do that’s for sure! The fact that it actually worked out was pleasing to all!

Johann on deck to welcome us aboard

Johann and Henriette plan to make their way slowly to Seward, Kodiak and then back to Seattle while for us, it is now all about the glaciers, glaciers, glaciers before we too need to make our way slowly south towards Yacutat, Sitka, Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

Farewell guys, safe travels!

Routes through the glacial fiords.  The black and yellow dots are simply pre-planning locations for further investigation

”Y-E-E-S-S!”, followed by a shriek of, ”WE HAVE INTERNET” was all I could hear from downstairs. Abi and Bianca without delay then promptly went into internet mode. Poor babies have been denied access for around 9 days which, as I was reminded, by Abi the other day, was cruel and very unkind. Abi, God bless her, actually said, “Hey Dad, you know I am the only fifteen year old in the world without the internet and this is just not acceptable!”

As we make our way further north we are now back in range of the cell towers which means, for the girls, they have access to their friends and social media. In some respect I do feel a little sorry for them when we are in a black spot, then again, not that sorry as time away from it all is equally important. The reality is, the girls rely on and use the internet in different ways than most as it is a portal for them to their relationships with friends around the world. Anyway, pleased to report it’s smiles all round on Pendana at the moment.

Now, I must apologise I promised this blog would turn into yet another travel blog but I must confess it is starting to head that way. Please understand that it is very difficult to ignore the scenery around us and, as such, all previously given promises are hereby withdrawn.

Before I wax lyrical about the glaciers, let me recap how life on the boat is going. We have currently been away for fourteen months and other than a few side trips, Australia (Family), Seattle (Claire & Bianca), London (Claire) and San Francisco (Claire & Abi) we have been pretty much full time live-a-boards as we travel this magnificent planet of ours. Luckily we’ve had amazing friends come and stay on board over this time which is always greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all.

Pendana from above

Life on a boat – Bianca

Bianca is doing really well adjusting to life at sea and spends much of her time in the salon reading, playing computer games with the Sims and Minecraft taking top billing, communicating with friends she now has all over the world and helping out taking photos and doing most of the camera work when we fly the drone. She still to this day gets a little nervous when we head out to sea and without fail always takes a special interest in the weather and obtaining a promise from me that the seas will be A-OK! Bianca is happy to continue voyaging and is currently looking forward to seeing Sitka, Seattle again, San Fran and Los Angeles including Disneyland and Hollywood.

Most amazing thing I’ve seen so far?

Well that’s a very hard question as I have seen so many different things and wonderful places in both hot and cold climates but I think the most amazing thing I have seen on this trip was the first time I saw a glacier.

I am looking forward to seeing…..

Many different things, such as, the Bahamas and the swimming pigs, Disneyland and also New York. New York is an extremely big city and to see it person would be absolutely incredible.

I do not like…

Long ocean voyages and I do not like that sometimes living on the boat can feel a bit cramped.

What I like about living on the boat the most is…..

Knowing that we can go anywhere and when we are bored with where we are we can simply move.

Abi and Bianca out on the tender

Life on a boat – Abi

Abi, is also doing well but does feel the weight of not having physical relationships with her friends on occasion. There is no doubt that she has friends whom she stays in touch with all over the world also which is great and which she enjoys. Her school programme is somewhat intense and requires her to attend live classes four days per week. Then there is the pre-reading, endless homework etc etc. My opinion is that seems a bit too much sometimes, however, she seems to enjoy the challenge and continues to do well.

Most amazing thing I’ve seen so far?

I would have to say the glaciers.

I am looking forward to seeing…..

Vancouver, I am looking forward to Seattle and San Francisco. I am also looking forward to seeing the west coast of America and going to college in a few years.

I do not like…

Not having WiFi sometimes.

What I like about living on the boat the most is…..

Travelling and the opportunity to see different places.


Life on a boat – Commander Claire

Commander and Chief Claire, loves seeing the sights but hates going to sea and long passages. Don’t we all! She, like Abi, misses the physical relationships she has with her friends but loves the sights and sounds of travelling. Claire is still completely committed to cruising although there are those times when a nice house back in Sydney seems all too appealing. Like most mothers of teenage girls and pre-teens, the lack of being able to get away is occasionally taxing – for both parties I’m sure!

Most amazing thing I’ve seen so far?

I was in awe of the volcanoes and the tremendous mountains in Hawaii as well as the incredibly magical snow- capped vistas in Alaska. The sheer size and volume of the glaciers, and mountain ranges was absolutely breathtaking.

[pic: 26: Pendana]

I am looking forward to seeing…..

As much as we can see of Alaska before we have to move on.

I do not like…

Rough seas and long passages!

What I like about living on the boat the most is…..

There is always another beautiful view just around the corner.

Pendana from high above!

Life on a boat – James

…and now onto me. I, well I am loving it! Well, I am loving it when everything is working on the boat, which it has been in the main. I do find the pressure (which I put myself) to fix anything and everything that could go wrong especially when on open water crossings. Most would know that a typical garden snail has more electronics skills than I, and most domestic dogs are more mechanically switched on. That being said, however, I am learning and who would have thought I can now confidently service a pretty decent sized Cummins engine on my own! For me I guess, the fun comes when I see the girls jump with joy at a sight or a sound they have not seen or heard before, or when they say to me “Cabo San Lucas is in Mexico, right?” or when they identify wildlife that most people have never seen. There is a real sense of adventure and discovery going on aboard Pendana and while it is true we have our ups and downs, I am happy to report the ledger is in favour of the ups!

Most amazing thing I’ve seen so far?

Well that’s easy, or is it? It’s a real toss-up between the American Bald Eagle which is such a symbol of the United States of America and embodies all the clichés and cruising up Barry and Harriman Fjord to be rewarded with Harriman Glacier which was truly spectacular.

I am looking forward to seeing…..

The underside of the Golden Gate Bridge! I have been over it many times, seen it from the air a thousand times but to see is the underside of this bridge will mean we have made it safely to San Francisco and that the fog isn’t too thick when we do!

I do not like…

Heads (Toilets) on the boat. Actually I hate them. I am now a head expert and can fix most things that go wrong but whoever designed the Sealand 4800 series should be shot. They are hard to work on, use cheap and crappy plastic parts and the seals last a year at best. In fact, I hate them so much I am looking at changing them to either Tecma’s or Headhunters in Seattle! That being said, however, maybe I am being a bit too critical as three of our four heads work perfectly!

What I like about living on the boat the most is…..

Well, it’s like the boyhood dream isn’t it? I remember being a child, when I would go to sleep I would pretended that my bed was floating on the ocean in the middle of nowhere and that all I had to protect me from the elements were the bed covers that kept me warm. Being on a boat is a lot like that dream, plus a few more luxuries. Here we all are, living, sleeping and travelling the world in our little boat on the water, surviving and thriving against all odds.

Pendana motoring her way up College Fjord

Now back to the blog…….

So this week was visiting the land of the giants. The glaciers! There are simply no words to describe the sheer size and magnificence of these glaciers and try as I might to photograph them, it is of no use as either the lighting is wrong or my skills not up to the job. Either way the images below combined with my writing skills, fail to do this place justice.

Can you spot Pendana?

How about now, without zoom?

In the picture above you can start to get some idea of the size of the glaciers. In this shot, Abi and I had tendered away from Pendana (about one mile) and when we looked back we could not see Pendana at all against the ice wall that lay behind. The insert picture is simply a zoom and crop of the main photo so that you can see that Pendana is in fact actually there.

Abi holding a chunk of ice from the glacier – G&T anyone?

Abi and I enjoying a refreshing glacial infused drink!

During the last five years I have seen lots of pictures of boats in front of glaciers and thought to myself how incredibly cool (no pun intended) that would be.

Now we have our very own photo in front of Harriman Glacier!

I would note that the Harriman Glacier is in fact expanding in size i.e. it is a growing glacier and not retreating as others we hear so often about.

The mighty Pendana resting some 1nm/1.8klms from the glaciers face which is around 300ft high

Just simply motoring around the sound is enough to satisfy the soul. It’s beauty unmatched.

Pendana underway

Motoring around Prince William Sound

Oh yeah, plenty of seals sunning themselves but still no bears!

This otter has her baby on her tummy as she gently swims away from our approaching boat

Oscar the Brave helping me navigate our way through the ice field

As we navigated through Barry Arm and Harriman Fjord we saw a total of eight glaciers. That’s right eight!

Barry Glacier – note the 200ft tourist boat just off centre of image.  He was 2nms/3.7klms from the face of the glacier when I took the photo – just shows how large these things are!

Surprise Glacier

Serpentine Glacier

After a day of R&R we headed to College Fjord and onto Harvard and Yale Glaciers. This trip was met with perfect weather and water so calm it felt like Pendana was not in moving at all. Other than the odd otter performing perfect backstroke as it moved gracefully get out of our way, we would have sworn that we were stationary.

We decided to leave early 6:00am so as to catch the sun and tide in the perfect position and I am pretty confident we achieved just that. Look, there is really no point in me saying any more about this place as there are no word better I let the following photos say what needs to be said. From a boating perspective this place is PARADISE. Touched by the hand of God! The jewel in earth’s crown! The air in earth’s lungs! Bottom line, plan, plan and take action now to come to PWS as I guarantee, like us, you won’t want to leave this paradise on earth.

NOTE TO ALL BOATERS. Don’t delay planning your trip as this place has everything.

Early departure from Beatles Bay – Looks like the canon 5Dsr is working well!

Heading up College Fjord

Passing yet another glacier

Heading toward the giant that is Harvard Glacier

Passing by another smaller glacier

Harvard and Yale pictured together.  We all think that Yale is the prettier of the two but it was impossible to get really close due to lots of ice in the water.

Yale Glacier

Reflections from perfection

Ditto above comment!

Three Killer Whales escort Pendana out of College Fjord

Lovely Delta Marine vessel passing Pendana on her way to Cascade Bay.  Cliff, the owner of Oasis, pictured above, gave me a few tips on places to go and things to see.  Interestingly Cliff has 125,000nms under his belt on Oasis and confirmed this is the greatest boating spot in the world.  So if you don’t believe me, believe Cliff!

Cascade waterfall in all its magnificence.  For scale look at the huge Sitka Spruce looking very small in front of this waterfall.  Pendana anchored just off waterfall, simply stunning.

I will close by simply saying that the next blog, the last in the series on PWS will include lots more photos as to be perfectly honest any commentary that I have to make is completely void and without substance against this land. The land of giants. This place of perfection and magical wonder and place that the lucky few call home. Prince William Sound is, without any doubt, touched by a rare beauty that delivers everything in spades. Simply put, The Last Frontier.

Stay safe


PS: Still no BEARS!!!!!

We were given this from friends of ours in Hawaii… Still not used…although maybe that’s a good thing in hindsight…..

4 thoughts on “Prince William Sound #2”

  1. michaelrobson

    SUBJECT: Re: Prince William Sound #2

    Hi Pendana:

    I have been following your blog for over a year now. Fantastic!! I live near Vancouver British Columbia and wanted to give you some tips on seeing bears. At my house about an hour east of Vancouver, I have black bears walking through the back yard about once a week. More importantly, I have taken a boat from Vancouver to Juneau Alaska twice with the prime goal of seeing as many bears as possible.

    In south-east Alaska, there are two bear

  2. SUBJECT: Re: Prince William Sound #2

    Hi mate, keep the pics coming they are fantastic, also that shot of you I think there is a bit extra beef, Claire is obviously feeding you well, Tomkat out .

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM
    Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2016 1:42 AM
    To: r.meggitt@[…]
    Subject: Prince William Sound #2

  3. Response to a post by r.meggitt who said:

    SUBJECT: Re: Prince William Sound #2

    Hi mate, keep the pics coming they are fantastic, also that shot of you I think there is a bit extra beef, Claire is obviously feeding you well, Tomkat out .

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM
    Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2…

    Tomcat, what a thing to say, but true all true!!! thanks mate, will keep it going until it no longer fun. How is your search going for your Nordhavn??

  4. Response to a post by michaelrobson who said:

    SUBJECT: Re: Prince William Sound #2

    Hi Pendana:

    I have been following your blog for over a year now. Fantastic!! I live near Vancouver British Columbia and wanted to give you some tips on seeing bears. At my house about an hour east of Vancouver, …

    Ah yes the bear…well you never know we may well have got lucky, more to come in next blog. Glad you are enjoying the content!!


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