I have a sister who lives in Palmer. Haven't been back to see her (in Alaska) since 1984 when
windsurfing hit me. She keeps telling me to come up. Has even sent me video of you guys sailing
Turnagin. What I can't determine, though, is the wave sailing. Windtracks had a nice article a
year or so ago about some coastal sailing, but the route those guys took to in order to find waves
was a little beyond my means.
Any suggestions? BTW, I bet it rips out towards the Aleutions. Any warmer out there?
Also, does anybody ever sail off the Homer spit?
It's been a long time since I heard (saw) your voice (words)! I am still
amazed at the stories you would recount to us on CompuServe's Windsurfing
Group! Last thing I heard your time was coming up in Alaska, and you were
planning to retire to Maui.
When I say retire, I mean like really retire when you are done with a
career. (Not like Mike F who retired at age 30?? )... (just kidding Mike
We would reading "hanging onto a 3.5 again" story in the Alaskan fiord, it
was inspirational to read that you were still holding onto your 3.5 at 60+
Hope life is treating you right, and that retirement was worth waiting
for... I hope I have your energy when I am your age!
A few years ago Sean Ordeniz and a few other pro sailors came up to Anchorage
to sail Turnagain. It was covered by Windtracks Mag. The only major ridable
surf in Alaska that I know of would be around Yakutak. The only way to get
there is by airline. Turnagain has some great standing waves depending on
conditions. They can reach logo high. The Aleutions is where the wind is
born. Unfortunately, it is a major undertaking to get there - only by air
again. I sailed the lower Alaska Peninsula and ran into some major breezes.
Some Turnagain sailors wear *** packs with some basic survival gear including
waterproof flares. Everyone keeps an eye on everyone else. Folks get pretty
worried if someone takes off on their own and goes out too far. Breaking down
out on the Arm is no joke. The current literally rips and can carry you away
at an amazing pace. ray
At low tide Turnagain is almost completely drained of water. There are broad
tidal flats. Most are fairly firm, but there are areas where the glacial silt
is really mucky and can suck you in. The drowning you mention happened when a
guy and his wife went out on the tidal flats on ATVs. The wife got off and
became stuck. The husband couldn't pull her free, so he went for help. By the
time the emergency crew arrived, the tide was coming in - fast. She was so
firmly stuck that they couldn't pull her free. The tide simply came up and
covered her. Windsurfers know the Arm and stay away from the quicksand areas.
In re: to the Homer Spit, yes, some folks have sailed off of it. The winds are
usually pretty light, so you need big sails. ray
Looong time between messages!! Yep, my wife and I retired in '97 and moved to
Maui. We live in a great place on the slope of Haleakala at about the 3000 ft.
level. Absolutely amazing view and nice climate. I have a spotting scope and
can see both sides of the island and check the sailing conditions. Now I am
totally hooked on wave sailing. I love the winter conditions when the surf can
jack up to mast+ breakers. I celebrate 64 yrs of good living this July. Hope
you are getting good sailing! ray
yer at the bottom of the page
Thanks for the link. I hadn't heard it before. Guess Zac is back. He is a
good guy with lots of energy and a sense of adventure. You did a good thing
helping him out. Barbara and I are heading back to Alaska in August for
several weeks. I'm already looking forward to getting back to Maui for fall
wave sailing!! Later. Ray