A Day Sail on the MV Princeton Hall

MV Princeton Hall

The famous MV Princeton Hall, Aurora Harbor, Juneau, Alaska – August 2015

This was the sail of my lifetime.  Just a one-day sail.  I grew up seeing this classic wooden boat and had always admired the lines and grace by which it sailed.  50 years later, and with an overnight notice, I had the opportunity to drop all else and jump the sail.  I had also made a decision that when I board this beauty, I would begin my journey into learning how to speak the native tongue of my mother’s:  Tlingit.  Little did I know that almost every adult on board either spoke the language fluently or they were learners and teachers of the language!

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Bessie Coolie, Nora Dauenhauer, her daughter Della Florendo, and Marsha Hotch

It was obvious to me that I am to learn my language as the syncronicity of me being aboard the ship of language instructors cannot be denied.  The women above are keepers and sharers of the language.

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Additional visitors on board this day sail of which I did not catch the names, however, I had to show the galley!

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Norma Shorty (3 young gals I did not catch their names), Kathy Ruddy

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Kathy Ruddy, James Crippen, his boss ?, and Alice Taft

Kathy Ruddy is the owner of this wonderful ship; she invited every person on board for this one-day sail.  She provided a brief history of the making of this boat built in Sitka by a crew of woodworkers under the guidance of Andrew Hope I in 1942 commissioned by the Presbyterian Church as their missionary travel took them to every small community in Southeast Alaska for 20 years (until the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system came into being).

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“The History of Fort Durham in Taku Harbor” by Wallace (Wally) C. Olson

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Sailing south under the Juneau-Douglas bridge

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The southern tip of Douglas Island called “Marmion Island” which as a child in the 60’s my father would take our entire family and camp out just to the right of that tiny peninsula – there was once a small cabin directly at the tree line; instead of camping in a wall tent, we camped in the cabin

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The bow is filled with visitors as we come into Taku Harbor

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Taku Harbor

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Bessie Coolie tells Norma and I that her father was born here in Taku Harbor; she had never been to his birth place until this day

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The bow of the beautifully-crafted MV Princeton Hall docked at Taku Harbor

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Pulling away from Taku Harbor, we sail into the famous mist as we turn into Gastineau Channel

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This is where the sky meets ocean and we are the “in-betweeners”

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James Crippen whittles away at a piece of alder wood

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So above not necessarily so below

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More Alaskan ocean and sky scenery

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More fabulous landscape of sky, mountains, mist and sea…

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Sailing down Gastineau Channel: Douglas Island on the left, and the town of Juneau at the base of Mt. Juneau on the right

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Returning to space A-2 at the Aurora Harbor, Juneau, Alaska

 

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