Well, it has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks for us!
We reached Squalicum Harbor and the Lady of the Sea in the early afternoon of the 2nd and I immediately began the process of de-winterizing her and familiarizing myself with the unique quirks that makes each vessel different. Lauren and Nora got settled in and enjoyed finding places for all her books and toys. After getting the fresh water system going and putting Nora to bed, Lauren and I shared a toast to the first step of our journey and then snuggled into the captain's quarters.
The next day my folks arrived and my dad started helping with getting systems going. Over the next couple of days we worked on figuring out the fuel, black water, electrical, and steering systems. We replaced the autopilot with a new Garmin, installed the VHF and radar, and got starlink set up to provide internet access while cruising. The Lady of the Sea was hauled out at SeaView boatyard there in Bellingham for a fresh coat of paint, new zincs, and a prop polishing.
The rest of the crew arrived while work was underway; Lauren's mom and brother along with his wife and 7 month old son. Everyone pitched in to get the Lady of the Sea ready for our trip up, but when we looked at the weather forecast there were repeated 50+ mph storms hitting along the Alaska and Canadian coasts. Our day of departure passed as we waited for a break in the storms, but this April has been unusually bad, and even in the protection of the inside passage, high winds can make for a uncomfortable and dangerous trip.
Eventually we came to the decision to postpone our journey, and instead decided to take a 3-day shakedown trip into the San Juan Islands. It was wonderful to be able to have her out on the water and we all enjoyed our little adventure. The San Juan's are beautiful. Not as spectacular as Kachemak Bay in my opinion, although I might be a little biased, but definitely a wonderful place to spend a few days. A lot of the docks and shops were still closed, but we did some fishing and managed to find a few great spots, especially Little Soucia Island and the James Island Marine Park. We also didn't see much wildlife or any whales, but did spot some sea lions hauled out on the rocks.
In the end the trip was wonderful, if a little bittersweet. I am planning on heading down again next month when the weather will hopefully cooperate a bit more. I'll try to share some of the trip planning and stopping points we plan to make in a post before then.
My name is Rand Seaton and I am the owner and operator of the Lady of the Sea. I wanted to start a blog to let everyone know about all the amazing things Kachemak Bay has to offer. In addition I want to share some of my stories of growing up in Alaska, and share the adventures we experience with our trip up the inside passage as we cruise with the Lady of the Sea from Bellingham, WA up to Homer, AK.
A little backstory on me, my family, and why we decided to start Lady of the Sea Adventures. I grew up in Homer and on the coastal waters of Alaska. My first crib was a drawer on a tender called the Georgia Straits. A commercial fishing tender is basically a fish transporter. We take the fish from the fishermen at the fishing grounds, freeze or chill them to keep them fresh, and deliver them back to the processing plant on shore.
My mother is a super sweet lady, but also a certified badass. After my dad broke his back she took me, at less than 6 months old, to go run the Georgia Straits for the summer on her own. That was my life growing up, on boats with my family fishing and tendering. At 7 years old I was allowed to run my first boat, a 6 foot zodiac, until my mom looked out one time to see me surrounded by a pod of beluga whales.
On the water is where most of the defining moments of my life have been. During and after college I worked on and later ran the Georgia Straits on my own. I went back to get my masters degree in teaching in part because I would be able to continue to run a tender during the summer.
Starting this business is a continuation of my passion for being on the water, adventuring in Alaska, and teaching others. I want to show everyone how magical this place is, the water, the land, and the wildlife.
I began thinking about starting an overnight cruise company in Kachemak Bay after running a water taxi in the summer of 2022. Being on the water and also being able to go to all the amazing places in Kachemak Bay that I remembered going to as I was growing up lit a passion in me for introducing others to all the fantastic adventures Kachemak Bay has to offer.
In the fall I started looking at boats. My initial plan was to get an old seiner and spend some time fixing it up, but when I saw the Lady of the Sea I knew she was the one. Recently refit, but with classic lines and old school touches, the Lady of the Sea is built for adventuring in comfort. With most vessels space is at a premium and you either have enough room for a couple of people to be comfortable, or you have to squeeze people in like sardines. The Lady of the Sea, however, manages to be spacious and luxurious even for 6 passengers and 3 crew.
She is virtually perfect for small ship cruises and my family and I can't wait to get started.
Stay tuned for more posts highlighting our trip up the inside passage coming next week!