Being on the water is in Anne Alberg’s DNA. Her great-great-grandfather Anders Persson’s boat is displayed in the harbor in Boren, Sweden. Beginning with several boating vacations to Desolation Sound in British Columbia around the age of 10, Anne has dreamed of sailing to faraway places like the South Pacific, Croatia, Myanmar and Belize. Sailing to Captain Anne has always been about freedom, adventure, exploration and discovery. In addition, it is a captivating and magical feeling being at the helm connecting as one with yourself, the boat and the wind. Anne also loves the social side of spending time with like-minded people sharing stories, learning from their experiences and connecting over their mutual love of sailing.
These are her latest updates from the last leg of the journey
We are at Minerva Reef waiting for the “weather window” to make the final 7-day passage. Maybe a story could describe this final segment before we arrive in New Zealand after our 14 months on Arctic Loon. It is the scary leg of the journey where they say don’t get stopped by analysis paralysis or you will never leave.
However, a very seasoned and well-loved NZ cruising couple went in heavy seas last week… portholes got blown out which sank the boat only 25 miles from their arrival in Opua. Husband died; wife is in critical condition. This is weighing heavy on our minds as we try to make the “best decision” for Arctic Loon and her crew!
The Ghosts and Goblins came early and gave us more tricks than treats….
And here we thought we had skirted the West side of the Trough at 2 am yesterday 10/30 when the winds had turned South and were calm with the lightning and rain off to the East. We heard the Sirens of the Sea say come this way! When in fact we were suckered into Alice’s Rabbit Hole for an adventure none of us will soon forget….
We discovered the big winds and big waves that follow a Trough in the South Pacific! Over the last 35 hours Arctic Loon has had sustained winds 25-30 kts with gusts to 33 kts if we trust our instruments, gnarley, gargantuan one after another 12-15’ waves – some had to be close to 20’, the rest were just big, choppy and relentless, no squalls/rain and some amazing blue sky and a few rainbows…
It was a long night, we ended up surfing huge waves to the West and NW on bare poles hoping not to be pushed too far back North. A couple of rough waves hit our stern and a huge rush of water drenched the helmsman and sleeping crew.
Diana just said our boat is trashed, wet clothes drying everywhere, lentils in the bilge, stuff tossed all over our cabins and even our ceiling panels came down.
Now today at 2 pm local time the winds have dropped to 16 kts with gusts to 20, waves are starting to calm down to 6’ with some still 8-10’. We are currently sailing @ 268T @ 5kts.
Miles to Go: 389 NM to Opua and yesterday morning we were 408 NM. It was a waste of 24 hours but we all survived and have the stories to prove it. We have absolutely earned our Minerva Yacht Club T-shirts!
During the night we picked up a boat on AIS, this morning we discovered it was 3 French Sailors on Catamaran Largo that we had met at the Minerva Yacht Club. They sailed right next to us, so bizarre and also fun to have another boat out here with us!
Good luck to all who are on this New Zealand to Opua Journey with us! Looking forward to swapping stories over a glass of wine in Opua.
WE SURVIVED!!!! All of us, even our crewmate Kristie who has been deathly seasick since Minerva Reef.
The trauma of the latest Trough (also called a Low) which was much stronger than predicted by both Predict Wind models and the professional weather routers is a perfect way to experience the final 7 days of Arctic Loon’s 14-month journey…
Today it is sunny, gorgeous with 15 kts tacking close hauled upwind with 1-2’ waves which seem quite calm compared to what we experienced for the last 48 hours. Every sailor’s dream!!!!! And we are listening to our favorite sailing songs like Sail Away by David Grey, Southern Cross by CSN&Y, and Sailing by Rod Stewart. We have 357 NM left to go in picture perfect conditions!!!!
Here is the Update we posted on the Following Sea Net to the boats sitting at Minerva Reef waiting for their next weather window. Some are jealous they did not come out with us. We feel lucky to have successfully managed our rough South Pacific Ocean conditions; it will never be perfect on this crossing except once in a Blue Moon!
There are 4 offshore cruising boats (Tuatara, Largo, Flocerfida and NewNexus) out here with us within 200 NM that also weathered the stormy conditions. At least we did not have the 25’ seas and 50+ kt winds experienced during a trough two weeks ago when a professional well-known New Zealand cruising boat sank 25 NM off Opua and the husband lost his life. This has been in the back of our minds as we embarked on this challenging offshore crossing well-known for its ability to test even the best of sailors.
Meet Jenni from the dock! She used to sail a little, now she sails a lot!
Jenni is the perfect example of anyone who ever had a dream and worked hard to make it come true. She hails from land-locked Wisconsin but now sails on the Caribbean waters of Grenada & the Grenadines with LTD Sailing – “Living The Dream” Sailing School and beyond! She has her USCG Captains License as well as her RYA Yachtmaster certification. She teaches ASA 101 – ASA 114.
Captain Jenni Hellpap is this month’s featured instructor.
If you need a sample of what a resume should look like you would look no further than the background of Captain Lisa Batchelor Frailey. A few highlights includeretired Navy Captain, C-130 Aircraft Navigator, Oceanographer, Meteorologist, ASA Instructor and USCG Master since 2006. She is the co-founder of Sail Solomons and an ASA Oustanding Instructor. More importantly, she loves sharing her love of sailing with everyone. Perhaps the most important thing to know about Captain Lisa Batchelor Frailey is her belief that sailing is for everyone, “ Sailing knows no age, no race or religion, no wealth category. I’ve seen islanders sail (and race) on homemade boats with bamboo masts, and enjoy it just as much as (or maybe more than) their neighbors on a 50’ catamaran.”
The American Sailing Association has launched a new campaign designed to get more women on the water. “Women on the Water” encourages more women to take the helm.
These are nine stories out of many, of women who are sailing. Do you have a great story about a women sailor or a group of women sailing? If so, please share it with us. Maybe a group of women has started sailing together or there is a woman captain that is dominating the Wednesday night racing scene or perhaps you know a group of women who just love being out on the water; we want to hear about them and feature them on the pages of ASA.
“I’ve always looked out over the Pacific and wondered about our ocean neighbors, the cultures, the people, the land that share the Pacific together. What the ocean looks like in the middle, what it feels like. And now I know. I want to continue experiencing more of her secrets.” Roxy Darrow responded to Captain Ann Alberg when asked about her inspiration for being out on the water.
Roxy Darrow found herself while kayaking on the Potomac. Strange to think that a sailor’s soul would be found in the nation’s capital but not strange at all when the water we desire speaks to us. “After graduating from college and working for a time in Washington DC, I found myself dissatisfied, my soul was lost. One early summer evening I went kayaking on the Potomac River, a habit I’d developed to overcome the Monday blues. As I paddled and pondered life, a clear voice, my inner voice, my soul said to me, why don’t you sail to Japan? And I thought that’s a fine idea.” With so much as an idea, Roxy left her job and went back to California where she grew up sailing on her family’s Islander 36. After a couple of years of preparation, she was off to San Diego to join the Baja Ha Ha.
ASA is encouraging women to get out on the water and, with that, we are highlighting the adventures of our women instructors as they lead expeditions around the world and spread the love and joy of sailing to as many people as possible. Captain Anne Alberg is currently sailing from Seattle to New Zealand aboard S/V Arctic Loon and we have profiled her journey in Women on the Water – The Journey of the Arctic Loon.
ASA asked Captain Anne Alberg of San Juan Sailing about sailing and her history with the lifestyle. She is this month’s Featured Instructor.
As the wheels hit the runway in Havana, I gasped with the strong realization that I was finally fulfilling this lifetime dream. After all my years at sea around the Caribbean and the world, deep in my soul, I had always wanted to experience and sail Cuba. The largest island nation in the Caribbean sea, ironically the closest to the US, and yet I had never been there. In fact, a lot of Americans have never been there. All the more reason to go. The controversy, as well as the severe beauty and contradictions, have tugged at my wandering soul for years.