Michael Penn photography












Amica II Adventure

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.


David Job steers the Amica II across Lake Union toward the locks leading out to Puget Sound.

The Amica II, pictured from the top of the mast, has her spinnaker filled out as she travels follows the wind north in Johnstone Strait, Britsh Columbia.

Top View

Sailing Trim

David Job, left, and Doug Fesler, right, trim the sails as Alan McPherson mans the tiller during an afternoon sail into Desolation Sound, British Columbia.

Chuck Ellis points out the entrance to a safe anchorage as David Job steers in rough water during a snow squall in Milbanke Sound, Britsh Columbia.



Alan McPherson watches a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins play alongside the boat as it nears Wrangell, Alaska.

Doug Fesler catches up on his sleep next to a few of the 15 extra sails carried onboard.