Arts and Entertainment

Traveler's Journal: From polar bears to penguins

— image credit:


 by Mark Roye and Nancy Krill

 For the Sequim Gazette

Most of us who cruise under sail do so, in part, in search of adventure. But adventure is a very personal matter and each of us defines it in terms truly meaningful only to ourselves. For both Nancy and me, adventure must include a challenge that poses a significant risk of failure. Not necessarily a physical risk, but difficult, distant or complex enough that success is never assured.


Probably most sailors that consider a cruising adventure plan to sail to tropical destinations. This was not the case for me or for Nancy. During a long career skippering fishing vessels from the Gulf of Alaska to the Bering Sea, my dreams were of the aurora borealis, massive icebergs and majestic fjords. Nancy also wanted the more dramatic, the more difficult to achieve.


Each of us arrived at this common definition from different ports of embarkation.


My heroes, of course, were the well-known explorers, but also the lesser-known Yankee maritime fur traders, sealers and whalers. Particularly those venturing around Cape Horn to the Pacific Northwest — those who, in Melville’s words had, “Penetrated the secret drawers and lockers of the world.” I wanted to sail in their track, to experience what they had experienced, to anchor in the same harbors, see the same peoples and places, and solve the same problems that had confronted them.


Nancy shared the dream as well. She’s trained as a geologist and she’s also widely traveled throughout the more exotic parts of the world. She too was eager to sail to more challenging destinations and to find that kind of adventure.


Our slide show and lecture combines Nancy’s fine photography with my passion for story telling and maritime history. The presentation chronicles our voyages aboard our steel ketch Tamara from Hudson Strait in the Eastern Canadian Arctic to Alaska, by way of Newfoundland, the Azores, Cape Verde, Brazil, Argentina, the Falklands, Cape Horn, Antarctica, Chile and the Galapagos — the route of mariners who, bound for the Pacific Northwest, opened those secret drawers and lockers of our world and ushered our young nation to the forefront of world trade.


Along the way we experienced the same places, peoples and cultures, geography, geology, and wildlife as those who pioneered this route. We came to revere their seamanship. Whatever else we might think about the activities of those earlier generations of sailors, their accomplishments as mariners are unrivaled.


After we were awarded the Cruising Club of America’s Charles H. Vilas Prize for 2011 and the Royal Cruising Club Trophy for 2012, we began to be asked to present our slide lecture at places like the Mystic Seaport Museum and other venues that are the true repositories of the maritime traditions we value so highly. This, to us, was an even higher honor. But we’re even happier to bring this same passion to presentations right here at home, and honored to present our show at the 2014 Traveler’s Journal Series in Sequim.



About the presenters:
For more then 20 seasons Mark Roye owned and skippered fishing vessels throughout Alaska. From the Gulf of Alaska to the Bering Sea, his career not only earned him a living, but also brought a wealth of experience for what he schemed and planned for all along — to cruise under sail. Cruise not just anywhere, but sail the higher latitudes. The Arctic and Antarctic always consumed him and he pursued his fishing career with that ultimate goal in mind, logging more than 200,000 miles during these years.
Mark’s partner, first mate of their 44-foot steel ketch Tamara, Nancy Krill had spent time aboard their 91-foot fishing vessel and gained experience as well. But she brought a different set of skills just as valuable to the couple’s future cruising plans. Having traveled extensively to many of the exotic and less frequented parts of the world, she rounded out Mark’s technical background with the ease of travel attained only by years of just going and figuring things out along the way.

The couple’s cruising plans would combine these interests. Their voyages would take them several times to Labrador, Hudson’s Strait and the eastern Canadian Arctic, then finally home to the Pacific Northwest via the Alaska Peninsula and Prince William Sound. Along the way they would follow the route of those earlier Yankee sailors bound to the Northwest, calling in at Newfoundland, the Azores, Madeira, the Canaries, Cape Verde, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, the Falklands, Antarctica, Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Patagonia, the Galapagos, Mexico and Hawaii. In all they have logged nearly 50,000 miles aboard Tamara and still are cruising Alaskan waters.


About the presentations:
Traveler’s Journal is a presentation of the Peninsula Trails Coalition. All of the money raised is used to buy project supplies and food for volunteers working on Olympic Discovery Trail projects.
Shows are each Thursday in February and March and start at 7 p.m. in the Sequim High School cafeteria at 601 N. Sequim Ave. The cafeteria benches are hard and people should bring their own cushions.
Suggested donation is $5 for adults. Youths 18 and under are welcome for free.
Rainshadow Coffee Company is providing free coffee.
One selected photo enlargement will be given away each week as a door prize. Creative Framing is donating the matting and shrink-wrapping of the door prize.
Call Dave Shreffler at 683-1734 for more information.

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