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Monday, February 28, 2011

Water, and the Ferry.

As a storm rages outside my window, big logistics, and little details are filling my head today. One of the biggest logistics is getting the team and all of our gear to Skagway Alaska, we then will load all of our stuff onto the ferry and head south to Ketchikan. Where our paddling will begin.

The ferry is a major concern. The logistics of just getting everyone and all of our gear to the ferry - on time - is enough to make someone crazy. But after having just gotten off the phone with the Alaska Marine Highway System I feel slightly better. They recommend making a reservation a month or two prior to our trip, though since we don't have vehicles they aren't very concerned about there being space for us. The cost is $147.00 per person and $47.00 per kayak, and the trip will take about a day and half.

The little details that are filling my brain are still fairly important. Water and maps. We will be bringing along a Sawyer gravity fed water filter. It is a nice system, that uses two bags, one for dirty water, and another for clean water, with a filter in between. Gravity forces the water through the filter delivering filtered water into the clean bag. But, I didn't want to bring the sawyer clean bag since most of us use MSR dromedaries. So I spent a fair amount of the day creating s system to use the sawyer quick connect plugs with the MSR bags, but then I realized that by doing that I would be giving up an additional 4 liter bag - the sawyer clean bag. So I scrapped my ideas and will just transfer water to the Dromedaries from the Sawyer clean bag.

The Topo maps have been scaled and are ready to print - I even did a test print on regular paper - now all I have to do is order the special waterproof paper that the topo maps will be printed on, and have them printed. I will have the large NOAA charts - that currently adorn the office walls, covered with post it notes for campsites - with us, somewhat cut down to size so they are easier to use. But I am also toying with the idea of printing the NOAA booklet charts for the area. I can't decide if they will be helpful, or if the scale is so small that they will be uselessly small sections of water.

I have done trips planned on maps that look completely usable during preparation but when you hit the trail you realize the maps used to plan were the most useless scale to really judge what is happening. I am concerned that something like this will occur with these charts. But when it is all said and done, and we are on the water, little things like water bags and the scale of charts will hopefully be non-issues.

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