The 2012 Southeast Alaska Un-Cruise Adventures have nearly come to a close. Our fleet is returning home, and while some boats will spend the winter parked, other boats in the fleet are being readied for other adventures. We asked our crew for their perspective on what happens to pack up a boat after a season of adventure:
Shutting down an expedition is kind of like putting all the toys away. Everything gets cleaned, repaired and inventoried, then tucked away in guest cabins to sleep well for the winter. In the spring we hope to open the doors and have everything ready for another great summer in Alaska.
–Kristin Roth, Fleet Expedition Leader
Life jackets and boots are cleaned and hung or set out to dry
It’s like organizing chaos. You strip everything down to the core, secure everything, boats sometimes undergo refurbishment during this time. There’s a lot of paperwork. All of the officers have massive amounts of evaluations to complete, and if crew plan to stay on with us in the next season, there’s paperwork to do to transition them to their new positions. Shut down is not as fun as start up. With startup, things get prettier and come to life. With shut down, it’s like that feeling you get when you’re about to move out of an apartment and everything is packed away.
–Terry Rice, Fleet Hotel Manager
Dining room items are packed away and secured
This time is spent inventorying all expedition equipment. It includes cleaning all kayaks, strapping them down, covering them up with tarps, and taking count of all books and other equipment.
--Laurie Cooper, Expedition Guide
Kayaks are cleaned and packed away with tarps to protect them
The end-of-season shutdown process is a busy several days where we clean, sort, count, stow and secure literally everything onboard, from dinner forks to kayak paddles, and also prep the vessel for the yard period ahead. The vessel gets locked up and shut down for a few months until the crew joins again to begin the necessary work to improve the ship for the coming season. The crew is trying to do all of this tremendous amount of work while their minds inevitably wander to the far-off places they will soon go to rest and play and enjoy their vacations. And then, all of a sudden, it's over!
–Captain Marce Branniff