When Dr. Alan McPherson became the new owner of a 39-foot steel-hulled sailboat he named the Amica II, he put together a mostly novice crew to help him sail it from Seattle, Washington, to his home in Juneau, Alaska. The month-long voyage in the spring of 1996 travelled the famous Inside Passage, a mostly protected route north along the coast of British Columbia to Alaska.
Not all was smooth sailing. A snow squall caught us in Milbanke Sound and forced us to turn and run for the nearest safe anchorage. A week later, another lightning-quick storm blew a hole in the spinnaker and temporarily pulled the boat onto its side. These anxious moments were more than balanced by the wildlife encounters and exploration of wilderness. The trip brought the crew a new perspective and appreciation to the place where we live.