Susan C. Anthony

Dennis and Susan on their BaylinerBoating in Alaska

A dream both Dennis and I had long before we met was to spend time on the sea. Once we got out of debt, it was time to make that dream a reality.

In 1994, we traveled to Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Oregon with our Dodge pickup and trailer, visiting relatives and schools. In Oregon, we bought a 21' Bayliner Trophy and towed it to Prince Rupert in British Columbia to get set up for a trip up the Inside Passage in May. Although we'd originally planned to sell the boat when we reached Alaska, we were in love with it after three weeks in the Inside Passage. We kept it until 2002, and it gave us some of the best memories of our lives.

When our next-door neighbor put his 25' Erickson sailboat on the market 2001, I voted no. Trouble to tow, trouble to erect the mast, trouble to launch, nowhere for the dog to get in out of the rain, too slow. The Bayliner was simple, perfect! Four times a day while walking the dog, though, Dennis passed the sparkling sailboat. He couldn't resist just looking. You can guess the result.

We sold the Bayliner and fell in love with the sailboat. It sips gasoline, allowing us to explore remote reaches of the Sound. The dog was too old to accompany us, so stayed dry by staying home.

When the grandkids moved to an apartment in Juneau just across from the boat harbor, I wanted to take our boat there and explore Southeast Alaska. The kids were 6 and 8 years old, close to the perfect age to join us on trips. Dennis didn't want to trailer the sailboat through Canada or take it across the Gulf of Alaska, so we decided to shop for a boat in Juneau when we visited at Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately (in retrospect), we walked the docks in Seward that October and found a 1968 Classic Grand Banks 32' diesel trawler that the owner had spent a lot of time and money to restore. Dennis thought it was a very good buy. When asked why he was selling, the man told us if he kept the boat, he'd lose his wife. I was opposed to buying a wooden boat but Dennis promised he'd have it seaworthy and ready to cross the Gulf of Alaska the following summer. For the first time, we bought a boat that was "a hole in the water into which you throw all your money." It never made it across the Gulf. Dennis sold it at a substantial loss to a young friend in 2011.

Since 2006, the sailboat has sat desolately on its trailer in our yard. The winds were so bad in the winter of 2011 that the mast blew off! Summer weather since 2006 hasn't been the best, so I won't complain too much. Before then, there wasn't enough rain and the state was burning.

The boating stories below are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent ones at the top of the list. To read them in order, click the last link on the list and links at the bottom will guide you through the stories one by one in order. I'll add more stories to the top of the list when (if) we have more boating adventures.

Go on to read Flying in Alaska
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony