Life Adrift

Friends, you may or may not have noticed that I’ve been absent from my blog for quite some time. Don’t worry- I’m still afloat. I’ve had a series of adventures on land (I went to visit my family in Indiana!) and sea that haven’t left me with much time to write, but alas, I’m here to tell you about my mot recent adventure afloat.

The adventure technically began in February when my handsome boatmate made an exciting purchase…a fishing boat! He’s going to live his dream of being a commercial fisherman!

My handsome boatmate's new boat, Fool's Gold, and our home for the journey from Juneau.

The new boat, Fool’s Gold. Rob’s new toy and our home for the journey from Juneau.

When he bought the boat, it was in Juneau, Alaska, so this recent adventure afloat involved flying there and bringing it home. The trip was amazing. It was my first time in Juneau and my first glacier encounter. By the way, taking an Australian person who has never really been around a lot of ice to a glacier is a pretty comedic experience. I always thought he was fearless- then I saw him standing by a giant mass of solid ice and I now know otherwise.

If you ever get a chance to hike to the ice caves under the Mendenhall Glacier, you will not regret it. Unless you are Australian in which case you might be very scared of all the ice.

If you ever get a chance to hike to the ice caves under the Mendenhall Glacier, I promise you will not regret it….even if you’re Australian and scared of ice.

My time in Juneau confirmed that there is, in fact, no good Mexican food in Alaska. This is difficult for me to accept, but I think I have to give up trying Alaskan Mexican food after all. Listening the radio in Juneau also confirmed what I suspected to be true from listening to the radio in Ketchikan…if you are literally the most socially awkward person ever, you can get a job as a radio DJ in Alaska. I also had my first northern lights sighting, my first iceberg sighting, and my first time being adrift in the ocean.

Oh, that last one? Yeah, that was no big deal. There was just a slight little incident with the boat that left us adrift for a couple hours in the dark. But after a little panic and a quick chat on the radio with the Coast Guard, a friendly fishing boat in the area came and towed us to Petersburg, AK, which was the nearest town. Some amazing things came of this little mishap though because Petersburg ended up being the coolest little town i.e. this is where I saw the northern lights! And icebergs! Plus there were huge sea lions all over the harbor.

Iceberg! Dead ahead! errr...a little ways off to the left actually.

Iceberg! Dead ahead! Errr…a little ways out to the left actually.


Huge sea lion

Huge sea lion in Petersburg


Signs all over the harbor warning about not feeding the sea lions

There were signs all over the harbor warning about not feeding the sea lions.

See? No big deal at all. I could go into more detail about the mechanics of it, but I promise it’s not that exciting. All you need to know is that my handsome boatmate is super handy and fixed the problem all by himself once he figured out what was wrong. And voila! We were back on track and out on the water for our amazing adventure.

The journey really was unforgettable. The scenery was breathtaking. We got unbelievably lucky with the beautiful weather and of course I couldn’t have asked for better company.

Oh you thought I was talking about my handsome boatmate, didn’t you? I see him all the time. But the WHALES. The whales were everywhere. Whale city. It seemed like every time you looked outside, which was most of the time, because it’s a boat,  there was another spout. Whales on whales on whales. I couldn’t even complain about having to pee into a bucket since I could whale watch while peeing into a bucket. Oh yeah, did I mention that the new boat doesn’t have a toilet?

Best toilet ever.

Most scenic/least comfortable toilet ever.

Disclaimer: this video was not taken while sitting on the bucket. This is merely an example of what sitting on the bucket could entail on any given day.

And that was just one video of many. That whale in particular kept getting closer and closer to the boat and showing off its tail. It was amazing. Ok enough about whales…don’t want to make anyone too jealous! (looking at my sister on that one…she is still bitter about not seeing any whales when she came to visit me.)

This trip also made our humble 120 something square feet feel like Buckingham Palace. Keep in mind that it’s a fishing boat and purely meant for functionality but not at all made to live on for more than a few days at a time. Hence the no toilet situation.

Just when you thought we couldn't possibly coexist in a smaller space...

Just when you thought we couldn’t possibly coexist in a smaller space. I slept on the “bed” and Rob slept on the floor underneath.


Bucket peeing and all, the journey was a dream come true. I doubt I’ve ever actually dreamed of peeing in a bucket, but regardless, this place I now call home is truly an amazing one. Now that we’re back in Ketchikan, Rob gets to try out this whole fishing thing and I couldn’t be more excited for him. Meanwhile, I’m back to work at this crazy place I told you about called Snorkel Alaska where I get paid to go swimming everyday. Paid to go fishing and paid to go swimming…I guess you could say life is good.

Until next time, float (or drift) on friends.