expedition yacht seal
en route to the Aleutians and mainland Alaska
piloting private expeditions in Antarctica & South Georgia
SEAL is committed to environmental best practices
telephone Dan Ford
for more information,
7am-7pm eastern time,
"... a Cape Horner for the 21st century ..." Ocean Navigator
latest news from SEAL:
31 March 2013
We left New Zealand in October, just as the annual flotilla of yachts were beginning to make their way south after a winter in the tropics. We're cold weather people, and we weren't overly anxious to make our way through the tropics, but they were between us and Alaska, so we headed north.
Tonga beckoned again, so we spent a month there before the Southern Hemisphere cyclone season began, and moved our way up through the latitudes to Tuvalu and Kiribati while the last of the cyclones eased away in the Northern Hemisphere. (Hurricanes hardly ever happen right on the equator.)
In both island countries, we were able to get away from the motorcycle-crowded capitals and into more remote atolls for several weeks. Yachts seldom visit either place, and we were able to get more of a taste of remote Pacific Island living. Nanumea, Tuvalu was one of the few places where we've met children out having fun in canoes, and we met lots of local children taking them for sails in our 12-foot sailing dingy, Amazon. In Butaritari, Kiribati, there was little sign of modernization – people fished from sail-powered canoes (the sails were made from plastic tarps and, in one case, Australian mail bags.)
After New Year, we left the timeless regions and sailed into the more modern world of Kosrae. A week's sail took us to Guam, with its bustling Kmart and Home Depot, before we headed north to Osaka, Japan, where we've had a warm welcome and time to explore neon-glittered streets and silent temples among the cypress.
The route over the next few months is Hokkaido, Japan and on to the Aleutians and down the coast of Alaska.
We've updated Facebook more regularly than this website while we've been in the Pacific. You can view our page at Facebook without being a member as long as you are working on a full-sized computer (Facebook mobile requires that you are logged in).
If you're heading towards Antarctica or South Georgia in your own yacht next season, Hamish is again available for piloting.
We've given Seal a hard test in the last eight years and over sixty thousand miles, taking in everything from uncharted Arctic and Antarctic regions to coral atolls and long ocean crossings. There are now several sister-ships to Seal under construction for private owners.
It's not too early to start thinking about sailing with us in Alaska in June-September 2014 – please contact us for more information.
"Both [Kate and Hamish] are first-class seamen.
I quickly develop a great respect for their quiet competence, their
knowledge of the boat, and their love of the area."
-- Peter Nielsen in Sail, November 2007
"It is not hard to
imagine sailing to Antarctica or any other place on earth aboard Seal.
-- Andy O'Grady in Ocean
Navigator, March-April 2007
all pages © Kate & Hamish Laird 1999-2013