SUMMER, SAILING + PORT TOWNSEND
There's the summer Olympics just around the corner and then there's KARL KRÜGER - the West Coast Endurance King, who became the 1st and only paddleboarder to complete the Race to Alaska 2017 (also known as the 'Oceanic Iditarod') in under 15 days for a total of 750 miles (non-motorized) from Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK. In 2022, he will attempt to become the first human to paddle 1,900 miles of the Northwest Passage on a standup paddleboard. We caught up with him on his way out of Ketchikan after placing 1st as the 2021 SUP World Champion of SEVENTY48 and then within hours going right into the Washington360 Race to finish 6th place with his daughter & sailing team onboard the 'Millennial Falcon'. Maritime life is central to the Victorian Seaport of Port Townsend with regattas and races weekly. Race to Alaska (R2AK) became the WA360 Race due to COVID-19 2020/21 limitations of marine traffic in the Arctic coastal waters. Race teams like 'Sail Like A Girl', 'Team Fressure' and the winning Olson 30 monohull sailboat 'High Seas Drifters' completed 360 miles of engineless, unsupported boat racing circling Puget Sound. Read the full interview with KARL KRÜGER below... Let us take you on a proper Victorian tour out + about Port Townsend and go from sails to stripes in classic Breton style Chanel to Victorian bathing machines
SCENE + SEEN
Stripes have long been associated with mariners often wearing the cliché striped jersey shirt. In the middle of the 1600s, sailors would appear in Dutch and English paintings wearing red and white, or blue and white horizontally striped shirts. Perhaps this came from early European machine-made stockings, caps and breeches worn by crewmen due to the technical structure of knitting that happened to be striped. Or perhaps it's easier to spot someone up on a ship's rigging if they're wearing stripes... But eventually fishermen off the coasts of Normandy as well as the French Navy adopted the sailor stripe and by the mid-19th century stripes infiltrated the seashore. As Europeans discovered the pleasures of the beach, the Victorian seaside was awash in stripes. Sea bathers sported nautical stripes not only in their daring bathing suits but also in ladies dresses, parasols, canvas tents and chairs. In 1917 Coco Chanel channeled it into the fashion world with her nautical collection, breaking away from the heavily corseted fashion of the time & forever changing the face of casual womenswear. As far as basics go - the classic Breton striped shirt still remains a popular statement piece today.
images from stylecaster.com
SCENT OF A SAILOR
Sailing Ship Kite
Classic galleon kite offers a physics lesson with every flight: Ships' sails work on the same principle as airplanes' wings, propelling both along on the wind. Handmade by Balinese artisans from nylon and locally sourced bamboo - created by Emily Fischer.
PORT TOWNSEND, Washington
"Victorian Seaport and Arts Community"
Originally named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 "Port Townshend" after the Marquis of Townshend - Port Townsend was to become the largest harbor on the west coast of the United States, guarding the gate of Puget Sound. It would become known by its nick name, the "Key City" - a title that remains to this day. By 1888, Port Townsend was a well known seaport with many homes and buildings being built in ornate Victorian architecture. Today, the city holds annual international film festivals and many other cultural events such as - Wooden Boat Festival, writers' conference, playwrighting festival, blues & jazz fests, as well as art, dance & live theater.
OUR TOP PICKS
out + about Port Townsend
BEST Coffee Caffè Arancia (organic cocoa, orange peel, vanilla) with a cozy cove view on the water at Better Living Through Coffee Co., Sauna Suite + Salt Therapy Nook at Soak On The Sound, famous home- made cinnamon roll French Toast from The Courtyard Cafe, hotel room snacks to-go from The Food Co-op, four-legged friendly cottages with canine companion welcome basket at The Swan Hotel, fresh & locally sourced bistro voted Port Townsend's best restaurant multiple years Fountain Cafe, fresh popcorn, real butter & a flick in the Starlight Room at The Rose Theatre opened back in 1907 as a vaudeville house, bites and eclectic 250+ bottle wine list & patio seating at Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar, best sunset view from Fort Warden State Park, & Japanese fusion at Hanazono Asian Noodle fresh gingered potstickers!
MEET CAPTAIN KARL
photo by beyond negative
Captain KARL KRÜGER has been on the water for over 35 years. He taught himself to windsurf at 12 years old and worked his way up to 420s, Lasers, Hobies and a variety of Keelboats. He began teaching sailing when he was 17, and now holds a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton Master’s License with Sail and Tow endorsements. For the last 20 years, he has cruised extensively in the San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, the Canadian Coast, and Alaska. Karl holds a B.S. in Environmental Science/ Toxicology and an A.A.S. in Ecology and Environmental Technology. In 2017 Race to Alaska, he became the 1st person to paddle the 750 mile course on a Stand Up Paddleboard. In 2022 he will paddle non-assisted 2,000 miles of the Northwest Passage & has just celebrated 1st place win as World Champion 2021 SEVENTY48 Race (70 miles by 48hrs) from Tacoma, WA to Port Townsend.
Q&A with Karl
Congratulations on becoming the SEVENTY48 World Champion 2021 taking first place in Standing Up Paddleboard and completing this race in 15 hours straight. You've raced this 3 times since its beginning in 2018, 2019 (with a 2020 pause) and you stated that this 2021 race was an exceptionally challenging one?
KK- this is a hard race to finish no matter how you do it because you start out just before dark - gun goes off at 7PM and teams have 30 minutes to cross the start line, so you essentially pull an all-nighter going out. This year a storm blew in from SW and at night it was hard to see the waves coming which went all the way up from nipple to shoulder height. You have to spend a lot of time on your knees. As soon as I was able I would jump up on my feet. There is an advantage to a kayak and surfski - that you are sitting down. It was a long time on my knees this time around.
How did you come to design and name your paddleboard RAVEN?
KK- In 2018, I had RAVEN shaped for this race. After my Race to Alaska in 2017, I had ideas to go to a 17&1/2 feet, 4 inch stand up board which is a big jump from 14 feet - I contacted Joe Bark (Bark Paddleboards)in California and had to push him out of thinking of his usual mantra that stability over time = speed. If it was built wide it would be more stable but would also be slow. I wanted it as narrow as possible which demands more of the paddler. I would have to work harder to stay on it but gain more speed and glide. RAVEN is rounded from tip to tail and super fast, but in rough conditions extra challenging as she slices through the water. I'd hug the shore to get out of big swells and then I would just rip. I named her RAVEN when we got to where the design developed into Flow State. RAVEN is a board that demands you to stop & think. Part of the name is from The Raven seen as a trickster, but also Ravens are coastal and Salish - known to travel between worlds and I am definitely in a different place and that's what I sense when I lock into Flow State.
You describe the fluidity of movement (of paddle boarding on water) as your HEAVEN. Finding your rhythm and your mantra "all I have to do is keep paddling" taking you into a meditative Flow State...
How do you maintain keeping that rhythm?
KK- The most difficult part is getting on and off the water. I don't like leaving it! After 50 miles - I'm tired and trying to get on shore, to shake out and make my Miso soup - that's where the potential to get hurt is - slipping, loading etc. I can't wait to get back into the zone - into Flow State. I am normally in the zone or the borderlands for the entire trip. After I return home from being out in the water it is hard for me to to re-adjust. I am not stoked to be done. I want to be out again in the wilderness.
You are preparing to be the first human to Stand Up Paddle the Northwest Passage in the summer of 2022. A 1900 nautical mile solo paddleboard expedition through Canadian Arctic that you have been training for over 2 years. In making arrangements to stash your food caches along the way to keep travel light - you want to be able to take your time... Besides completion, what is your guiding desire?
KK- I want to take time to meet with the locals. To truly learn about the place. My desire is to connect with the Inuit people in as real of a way and organic relationship on their land. Coming from native blood - the conversations around a relationship with place is different within Indigenous culture. This is a way - a vehicle to meet people - I had an amazing conversation during Race to Alaska in Bella Bella about the "suffer fest" part of the challenge, on being alone and grinding through the hardships. And for me, afterwards, I always feel more centered coming out of my comfort zone. I feel better and aligned with Flow State - connected to my environment.
You can learn more about KARL KRÜGER here
Paddling the Arctic 2022 GOFUNDME link
Follow Karl on Instagram here
Thank you Karl!
photo by Liv von Oelreich
VICTORIAN HOMES OF PORT TOWNSEND
Victorian Bathing Machine
The 18th & 19th century bathing machine upheld the rules of bathing etiquette which kept women out of sight from the men whom frolicked freely on the beach. The wooden cart bathing machines had two doors on either side, which allowed bathers to change out of their clothes and into their bathing suits with privacy. The 4 wheeled box would be rolled out to sea usually by horse (or by human) and then hauled back in when signaled by raising a small flag attached to its roof.
Throwback 2019 - we created a memorable experience of taking a European-style day cruise on a ferry boat for brand Stella Artois' SUMMER LIKE YOU'RE ON VACATION campaign.
Please share with your sailors + scallywags
Up next A DEEPER DIVE into Life Aquatic and in-depth
conversation with Film Director & Writer Sebastian Jobst
about his award winning new film AMA’ARA – The SONG of the WHALES
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