Researching Alaska's maritime history
Researching Alaska maritime history

About SeaCat Explorations

"Alaskan author J. Pennelope Goforth has traveled the Alaskan coast from Adak in the Aleutian Islands, the Pribilof Islands, to Nome and Kotzebue in the Far North. She has been a crabber on the Bering Sea and been around Admiralty Island in a sailboat race. She lived aboard her own vessel in Juneau and Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska. the daughter of a merchant marine, granddaughter of an Alaskan halibut fisherman she counts among her ancestors many shipmasters and captains.

"A graduate of The Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington Goforth studied photography and began a writing career that would span the coastal regions of Pacific Northwest. As a photojournalist she worked in Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Sailing in the wake of her father who worked for the Alaska Steamship Company, she adventured to the alluring fisheries of the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Following a decade photographing and writing in the Aleutian Islands, she moved to Juneau, Alaska.

"Here she served in several state government positions as an aide to Senator Fred Zharoff (D, Kodiak, Alaska) in the early 1990s. She then returned to publishing and accepted a position as the editor in chief of the Alaska Department of Laborís 20+ demographic and economic publications. Living aboard her 28 foot vessel, FIRST WISH, in Harris Harbor she also conducted research in the state Historical Library on Alaska's maritime photographer, John E. Thwaites.

"As the World Wide Web engulfed communications at every level, Goforth leapt whole heartedly into the digital age. Putting her career on hold, she lived in 'Silicon Alley' in New York city where she earned a masters degree in electronic publishing from New York University. Now proficient in HTML, PhotoShop and online data mining she returned to Alaska. She motored down the Inside Passage and tied up in Ketchikan she started up a successful online business, CybrrCat Productions. Here she rescued the feral dock cat SeaLegs, who came to live aboard the boat in Thomas Basin.

"She returned to state service as a program coordinator for the fishing industry traveling to the ports of Kodiak, Valdez, Seward, Nome, Dillingham, Naknek, and Sitka. In Anchorage, Alaska's biggest city with a fast growing inter-modal port, Goforth worked as editor and marketing representative for several workforce development government-industry initiatives. Researching and writing on Alaska maritime themes, Goforth entertained historical society audiences with presentations and articles from Bristol Bay to Prince William Sound. In 2003 she published the book Sailing the Mail in Alaska which has become an Alaskana classic.

"A full time publishing position with a major Buddhist publishing house beckoned to her from one of the oldest ports in the Canadian Maritimes. Goforth, SeaLegs and MidshipCat Hornblower in tow, made for Halifax, Nova Scotia where she edited, wrote, and wandered the stacks of several universities and maritime museums for a year.

The cat SeaLegs resting from her research efforts in Alaska maritime history

"Back in the Pacific Northwest she continued to research and write on Alaska maritime history topics. She has presented papers at the Washington State Historical Society, the Olympia Historical Society, the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, and the Alaska Historical Society. She has been a guest speaker at the Kodiak Maritime and the Baranov Museum, Sam Fox Museum in Dillingham, the Valdez Museum, and the Resurrection Bay Historical Society in Seward. Her book, Sailing the Mail in Alaska, the Maritime Years of Alaska Photographer John E. Thwaites has become an Alaskana classic.

"Photographer, journalist, writer and editor, Goforth's photographs and writing have been published in many books, journals, newspapers, and magazines. She is a member of the Alaska Maritime Historical Society, Cook Inlet Historical Society, Alaska Historical Society, Kodiak Maritime History Museum, Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, Oregon Historical Society, Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, and the National Maritime Historical Society. She now resides on the shores of Cook Inlet with the cats Seitsëman and Zoë in Anchorage, Alaska."

SeaCat Explorations is a curious division of  CybrrCat Productions.
POB 240165  Anchorage, Alaska 99524-0165 Tel: 907.227.7837    Email
©MMXIX Last Modified: 12.21.19