Friday, May 20, 2011

Cinnamon Girl's trip to Alaska

Wow!  I am going to Alaska aboard an American Tug!!   I am excited.  The reality of the trip is just hitting me.  Cinnamon Girl, an American Tug 41, is needed in Alaska and my wife Cindy & I are going to take her up for the owner.  The American Tugs are the ideal yacht for this trip.

I have posted our intended route and trip plan here on the   You can subscribe (that is over on the right column) and follow along .  As we head north we will post photos and write articles about our experiences.  This is the trip I have wanted to take for 20-years and it will be fun to keep a journal.  The journal is of course dependant on our finding internet access, we will cover that story as well.

Charts courtesy of Fine Edge Publications.  Thank you Mark!

The American Tugs are great boats for the inside passage, I plan to cruise at approximately 8-knots and take advantage of positive current whenever possible.  Cinnamon Girl has a Volvo D9-500 engine and is fully capable of cruising faster, but I like to use that reserve power to "control my own destiny".  That means when it is rough I will go faster as a little speed gives a semi-displacement planing hull tons of stability, plus it gets you across faster.  I use the reserve power to get thru adverse current and get "around the corner" to areas where I will find the positive water.  In other words I use the 13-knot fast cruise to make my life easy when needed.  It is the very thing that I always wanted to do when cruising my sailboat at 8-knots, but couldn't.  The semi-displacement planing hull is the perfect boat for inside passage cruising!

In reading the Exploring Southeast Alaska book I found some great route plans.  The Appendices in the back have several plans with different time frames.  The "Highlights Itinerary" on page 511 really fit my schedule well with a pace of 50-70 miles per day. we go!

The Inside Passage Planning Maps have also been a HUGE help in getting a good grasp on the trip. Mark publishes a North & South version of these charts and in total they cover Olympia to Glacier Bay, when folded out each is about 6-feet long and shows the normal routes, fjords, anchorages, and their surrounds like no other resource.  Be sure to get both.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Steve Scruggs   Cell 206-930-6139 or   If you have done this trip and have recommendations or advice...Please pass it on!