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Blog & Articles

Traveling with Bill and Tracie Through the Start of a Pandemic

For some years now my husband Brian and I have explored remote places in Alaska and Baja on board Bill’s wonderful vintage ships – the Catalyst and the Westward. Brian is gone now, but I have continued to travel with Bill and Tracie both with my daughter-in-law (a previously confirmed big boat enthusiast) and solo….

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April 24, 2020

Discovering the Cave Paintings and Petroglyphs of Baja

I was fortunate to visit some of the cave paintings in Baja on the extension of one of Bill’s Baja tours shortly before the Corona Virus exploded in our lives, changing what we could and wanted to do. And further fortunate to have Don Chicho as one of my guides. Don Chicho was one of…

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April 13, 2020

Morning Observations in the Sea of Cortez

I was lying in my bunk with my head next to an open porthole, listening to the dawn. I had yet to open my eyes. The quiet darkness had been filled with the tiny murmurs of a large school of sardines sheltering beneath Westward’s wooden hull. The wet scurrying sounds of the fish had been…

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March 27, 2020

Was that a Dream?

    Whale sharks can be 40 feet long!  Do you ever see them that big?  As long as the ever-cheerful, multi-tasking naturalist and photographer Carlos is there to propel me, I want to do that again — with a bigger one! I confess to the fans here that I had a death grip on…

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February 21, 2020

Reflections of an Alaska Summer Cruise on Catalyst

  Lisa and I looked at many Alaskan trips over a four year period, but the strong recommendation from our friend Suzie made the Catalyst a clear YES. We roped in some friends and kept our fingers crossed. From the first cheerful confirmation text from Hans until the teary goodbye with bags in hand, the…

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January 30, 2020

Alaska Small Ship Cruise

Surpassed Expectations: Sitka to Petersburg on M/V Westward A Guest’s Review on TripAdvisor I’m chuckling as I write this. I just took a look at a mailing from one of those mega cruise lines in which they describe their Alaska and Inside Passage cruise for 930 people. No, thank you. I grew up in a…

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September 7, 2019

Humpback Whales feeding near MV Westward

The advantage of choosing a small ship cruise to explore the Inside Passage of Alaska is that you can reach places the big cruise ships can not get to. To boot, the captain is always willing, tides permitting, to alter course, allowing guests to observe whales and bears or other wildlife, as in this shot…

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August 11, 2019

The Best of Alaska – From a Guest’s Perspective

One of our guests was so kind to share his blog posts from his Photo Tour with us. Check out the links below to read about his adventures and to see some amazing photos: Alaska at a Civilized Pace Whales! So Many Bears… There are still some open cabins this season, don’t miss out on…

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June 7, 2019

A Quick Update

I finally have a few minutes to post a status report. Catalyst finishes her first trip of her Alaska season tomorrow. She had a well deserved spa retreat for most of the winter. She was massaged and manicured, made over and polished until she gleamed. In the course of her treatments she has had two…

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May 20, 2019

Snorkeling Adventure in Baja

We rolled backwards off the skiff and into the cool waters of the Sea of Cortez. The winter plankton bloom had yet to begin, so the visibility was over fifty feet, good enough for us to clearly see the bottom twenty feet below us. We had chosen to snorkel here, now, because a feeding squadron…

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March 10, 2019

Both Vessels Underway to Alaska

As of yesterday both Catalyst and Westward are underway toward Alaska. Catalyst is about half way along the length of Vancouver Island, and Westward is passing Prince Rupert and will stop in Ketchikan tomorrow to clear customs. All is well aboard both boats, and we are all pleased to be out of our respective boat…

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May 14, 2018

Spring 2018 Newsletter

 It must be spring. Both Catalyst and Westward are in the boatyard, and are both are kicking hard in the final lap sprint that seems to accompany every boat project I have ever been involved in. Catalyst has been in the yard in Port Townsend since last fall, with several major projects being undertaken. Chief among them was the replacement…

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May 10, 2018