Friday, January 14, 2011

A day of many accomplishments.

Today was a very busy day in the land of inside passage prep. It started with a solve to the parking problem. We have three options. A location that will store the vehicles for approximately $50 for the month. A place where we could park the cars with the only risk being a possible ticket - not towing, as I have it on good authority that Skagway doesn't own a tow truck. But finally, and I think this is what we will do, we can park at the ferry terminal for free. So I will consider that problem solved.

I did the math on the drive, and it looks like it will cost around $650 per car to drive round trip. That is assuming 35 miles per gallon, at $3.00 a gallon - both of those numbers will fluctuate - based on 3700 miles to Skagway from North Carolina.

Finally, I had another round of emails with a very nice woman, Claudia Pearson, from the NOLS Rocky Mountain Branch. She was assisting me with the ration plan. NOLS doesn't plan food around individual meals, it plans them around the concept of having a pantry of food, and creating meals as you go. This system works very well for big groups, or long trips. With her help, and the help of the NOLS cookery I figured that we should plan on 1.75 pounds of food per person, per day for 30 days. Further I decided that it should be 3 rations of ten days each, for five people. We will be broken into two 'cook groups', one of 2 and one of 3. This actually works out well, as 2 of us are vegetarians, and 3 of us are not.

Claudia was nice enough to plug our information into her computer and generate a list of foods, and I can see how they break out per cook group, and for each ration. At the end I can see totals in terms of weight for the shopping.

In total the plan calls for carrying 262 pounds of food. This will probably not be exact because we have the opportunity to resupply en-route 3 or 4 times. We will also probably carry more fresh food than NOLS normally does. There was one line on the ration sheet that grabbed my attention. It calls for 32 pounds of cheese. That is a lot of cheese. This food will be packed in dry bags, 3 per kayak weighing 17 pounds each. We will also have a gallon of fuel in each kayak.

Add on top of that, personal gear, tents, a cook tarp, etc, etc. and you have 5 very heavy kayaks. While I am not too worried about my kayak, as it is a load monster of a boat, I am concerned about some of the smaller boats with smaller hatches. There is always that fear, 'will it all fit'. The only thing I am sure of is every day we will get stronger, and every day the kayaks will be lighter. That is assuming we get all of this gear, and the paddlers, to Ketchikan to get into the water.


  1. I gotta tell ya, I love all this shit.

  2. so jealous, but what about the alcohol weight?