Welcome to Ocean Vagabonds! We are a family of nine who became disillusioned with the “American Dream”, sold everything, bought a sailboat and sailed her to Alaska. We are now working to outfit our boat Nadejda so that we can see where the wind leads us. We hope you enjoy our story as it unfolds.
As the spring turned to summer and the yachts from down south began their yearly migration from Washington State up the inside passage to Ketchikan and beyond I daily walked past this menagerie of vessels on my way to Nadejda. Some vessels were power some sail, some small and meager others obscenely large and obtrusive but all seemed to have one common denominator; a shiny barbecue was conspicuously hung from their rails. Walking on and pondering these meat charring wonders I realized that maybe this was the year to break our tradition of buying a thirty dollar Wal-Mart special that we had to sit on the dock to use and replace our now rusted out model from last year with a more permanent solution. I started to look at all of the usual suspects online and not really wanting to look like every other boat in the marina decided maybe I should build one; but building one had it’s issues. I wanted a stainless barbecue (preferably out of 316L stainless so it would last) but stainless is a pain to work with and welding up thin gauge sheet is problematic, but still I knew there had to be a solution. One day as I was passing by the local liqueur store I looked in the window and there sitting by a shelf containing various bottles of brandy sat the solution, a thing of true beauty…. a empty beer keg. I walk in and asked, “How much for the empty beer keg?” and sixty dollars later walk out the door with my new beer-b-cue in the making.
A few grinding disks and burned fingers later I had Nadejda’s new barbe-keg done and ready to use. I temporarily attached a section of pipe to one of the stanchions outside the galley hatch for a mount , put in some briquettes and lit her off. As the meat sizzled and the smoke wafted off across the marina making those down wind from me look longingly my direction I knew we had a winner for many years to come.
Following is a pictorial journal of the construction of Nadejda’s Beer-b-cue or is it a Barbe-keg….. I can’t remember. Read More
A few days ago we were a bit stir crazy from staying in the boat all day, so when Dad came home after work he said we were going on a hike! We all rushed around grabbing shoes and sweaters while Dad grabbed a snack, we put the dog on his leash and when everybody was ready, we started out. We headed north not having a destination in mind, Dad drove down a road that led inland and followed it until it came to an end and we saw a trail that led up Dude Mountain. We decided to hike it and we started climbing, we stopped every once in a while to enjoy the flowers, trees, and eat some blue berries along the path; they were really good! After a little bit the trail became a wood walk, we followed it until we came upon a little shelter, some of us needed to rest so we sat down and enjoyed the view! Read More
The summer has reached it’s apex and soon the air will cool with the shortening days, my job will end and we will be left with a decision, which way do we wander?
In the years past we have always planned on heading south in search of warmer weather but those plans were always met with a difficulty of varying design that kept us in Alaska. First year was money, the second mechanical issues with the engine, the third was weather and the forth…… might just be the fact we don’t want to leave Alaska just yet.
This year has seen many changes for us that were unexpected and now have changed our out look on what may be best for us in the near future. This winter we actually untied and went cruising and discovered something; Southeast Alaska is even more beautiful in the winter than it is in the summer. Sure it is colder and wetter and the days are short limiting your cruising range during daylight hours, but the solitude and wonder of the winter time can not be fully understood until one experiences it and now we want more. The second development was my photography, I had never considered selling my photography until several of my friends encouraged me to do so and now I have several galleries selling my work about town and money is starting to flow in from a source we never imagined and it seems that leaving just when something is getting started may not be the best for the long term. Then there is my idea for a photo book that would require us spending a good amount of time traveling the Alaskan coast to gather the photography and stories to make that happen. If I was able to produce this book it has the potential to be another small income stream for the future which might help us to wander less inhibited by the restraints of money. Read More