Steve Plantz returns to Aurora a quarter century later.

Jack and I were having a latish supper after an evening out at Sitka’s new  Preforming Arts Center, when there was a knock on the deck.  “I was on an Aurora in the Sea of Cortez years ago and I wondered if this was the same boat,” asked a polite young man.  “If you mean Al and Barbara’s boat this is the one.   Come on board.”
Steve Plantz was four or five when his family was moored near the Reichelts in Mexico.  His parents were year round cruisers living with their two sons – both homeschooled –  on a 32 foot Westsail.  That would have been 25 years ago!
Jack and I had just been saying that we needed to find Al and Barb to hear the story of their 14 year circumnavigation.  Steve didn’t have much more recent news than us except that they are living on the hard somewhere near Port Hadlock. We’d heard they were always pleased to see Aurora so often away on weekends before disappearing altogether.  There most be nothing sadder for cruisers than to sell their boat – their home – and then see it languish at the dock, unoccupied and unused.
Steve had just pulled into Sitka on the Island Spirit, a 30 passenger cruise ship that we were astounded to see tuck into a cove in an otherwise half empty Princess Louisa Inlet. He’s continued his nautical career, passing his 100 T Captain’s exam and serving as Mate on the Island Spirit.  It continues to visit out of the way places where larger boats cannot go and smaller dare not. On this trip they take people right up Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier, entering and leaving at high slack and watching the glacier calve through the turn of the tides.
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1 Response to “Steve Plantz returns to Aurora a quarter century later.”


  1. 1 Brenda Blyth July 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I just came across this blog and thought I would send you a note. Steve Plantz is my son, I am Brenda Blyth and was aboard the Westsail “Willow” in Mexico with Al and Barb. The last time I saw them was in Port Hadlock, WA. Al was working at the boat yard and Barb at the West Marine store, both in Port Townsend. That was about 5 years ago, but I think they are still there. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying the Aurora, I remember many good times aboard her down in Mexico. I also worked aboard the Island Spirit in Alaska, also as a First Mate. My ex husband still owns the Willow, but unfortunately she is dockside due to an engine repower. Hopefully, I will get a chance to bring her back up to Alaska or down to Mexico again someday. Have fun sailing !


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