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Raymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - Leaderboard

After circling the Pacific, the Youngbloods on Mystic Moon are back in Alaska, counting the bears

by Peter A. Janssen 18 Aug 06:22 UTC
Mystic Moon in Kiska Island, at the very tip of the Aleutians © Peter A. Janssen

John and Kathy Youngblood are closing in on the finish line of their six-year circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean on their 2004 Selene 53 Mystic Moon. When we first wrote about them in April, they were in Japan; now they've made it up to the Aleutian Islands and on to Katmai National Park, just across from Kodiak Island. They hope to complete their circle around the Pacific in September when they reach Sitka.

The Youngbloods have been cruising since they moved aboard Mystic Moon in 2007, first in their native Pacific Northwest (circumnavigating Vancouver Island, then heading up to Alaska) and then down the west coast to the Panama Canal, the Caribbean and finally back to the Canal in 2012. In the South Pacific they started in the Galapagos, then cruised to 22-plus islands before ending one season in New Zealand, starting again in Fiji, Australia, Indonesia Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan (and that's the abbreviated version).

They've been cruising since January, going 6,600 nm and putting on 900 engine hours. "It takes a lot of work/energy to cruise full time but you get into a routine and it all gets done," John wrote on their blog, mysticmoonvoyages.com.

And they're more than happy to be back in Alaska. John wrote that Geographic Harbor in Katmai is "another drop-dead gorgeous bay, surrounded by mountains, everything green, then at the head of the bay a beautiful salmon stream just made for bears." In fact, they could see 10 to 20 bears gathered in pools along the stream, hunting for salmon.

So far they've seen 139 bears, and counting; they've seen more bears than whales (86 whales since leaving Japan). He wrote that it's "not as many bears as the 400 kangaroos we saw in Australia, but still, that's a lot of bear sightings."

The days are still long this time of year in Alaska, with daylight from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. That gives the Youngbloods plenty of time to get underway again. In a day or so they'll cruise 100 nm to the Kenai Peninsula and will spend some time in Homer, before settling in Sitka for the winter. At that point, they will have cruised far more than 50,000 nm on Mystic Moon.

Read more: mysticmoonvoyages.com

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the Cruising Odyssey.

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