|This photo of the Ursa Major was taken at Gatun Lake, Panama during the passage through the Panama Canal.|
According to Mr. Van Cleve, fourth owner Peter Strong bought the boat in Florida. Peter, his wife Leslie, their four kids and a deckhand, had quite a rough trip westward across the Caribbean at the beginning of the long journey back to the Ursa Major’s new home port, Seattle, Washington. Mr. Van Cleve, (who served as mate/engineer), and a second new crew member, (a cook), met the Strong family in Calon, Panama for the transit through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Following the transit through the Panama Canal aboard the Ursa Major, the Strong family flew back to Seattle, and the three remaining crew members brought the Ursa Major north to Seattle along the Pacific Coast of North America. Mr. Van Cleve recalls the trip to Seattle being beautiful, except for stormy weather off the Oregon coast. And from trips we have done aboard the Ursa Major between Alaska and Mexico, the Oregon coast still continues to be some of the most challenging weather we have encountered anywhere!