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September 1, 2011
Dirona adventures to Prince William Sound, Alaska
James and Jennifer Hamilton love exploring and they like to get as many miles in as they can in a compressed number of days - one of the restrictions of still being gainfully employed and needing to schedule their adventures during vacation time.
Last summer they took off for SE Alaska on their first extended passage in their fairly new Nordhavn 52, Dirona, that they had only recently moved aboard.
Now, a year later and completely dialed in they took a longer leap – up to Prince William Sound, Alaska. Look it up on a chart or map - it is at the top of the Gulf of Alaska, in the middle area between SE Alaska and the Aleutian Islands; a far stretch from their home port in Seattle.
I just received an email sent from aboard Dirona with a quick underway summary that I wanted to share with the Nordhavn website readers:
“We’re currently just north of Vancouver Island heading south in fairly flat water and generally enjoying the trip. We left Prince William Sound Friday morning. We got a bit beat up in the Gulf of Alaska on the way up and positively hammered on the way down with 2 days over 30 kts and portions of one day over 40 kts with gusts into the high 50s. The north Pacific can pack a punch in a storm. At times we were creeping along at under 4 kts. Since that time, the trip south has been excellent.
It’s been a trip of a lifetime. Prince William Sound is incredible. It has everything that South East Alaska has but more of it and on a grander scale. We kept super busy hiking, exploring, and having great meals and enjoying what has to be some of the best scenery on the planet. Some examples attached.
The boat is performing very well and we’re testing it in pretty much every condition possible from gently pushing bergy bits out of our way, anchoring in front of 300' glaciers, anchoring at the foot of massive waterfalls, running offshore in wonderful sunny conditions, running offshore where (the) laz is awash with 6" of water and we’re climbing 15 to 20' waves only 5 seconds apart. It has been doing great and I wanted to pass on our thanks to Larry (Shildwacther) and Paul (Williams) for helping us be ready to leave for the trip on time and to the PAE team for building a good boat. Thanks, James Hamilton”
This is a trip that’s best told directly by James and Jennifer (too bad their cat, Spitfire, can’t tell his side of the story, must have been some good smells in such a sea-rich high latitude environment). So I’d like to direct you to their impressive blog which will also be getting some new updates as soon as they return (by Labor Day weekend) and have a chance to catch their breaths.