About Me

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Singapore
I am owned by Pauline and Mark Blasky. My hull was built at the Duncan Marine Yard in Taiwan and launched in Dec of 1980. It is a William Garden design based on the Pixie Design and called by Duncan Marine a Freedom 45. They are the fourth owners and have owned me the longest. They have done extensive refitting to me including replacing my entire deck structure and rig. My masts are roughly 10% taller than original and now are made of aluminium as opposed to the original wood ones, which, though pretty, were always problematic. You can read more about me under "MORE ABOUT SARI TIMUR"

October 19, 2019

Alaska Day

Yesterday was Alaska Day.  This is the day that commemorates the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the USA.  This is an especially big event in Sitka as this was the transfer site and the capital at the time.

Our morning started off by delivering a pot of chili for the chili cook off that the local Knights of Columbus was running.  We arrived to find that though the chilies were showing up there was a lack of volunteers to help get it all started.  So we pushed up our sleeves and set about helping to get things ready.  We then volunteered on the serving line until just before the parade started.

Our friends from Ruby Slippers and us quickly ran off to catch the start of the parade.  It is always fun to watch a small town parade as everyone seems to get into it.  On our particular corner there was only one kid and as the processions past and the candy was flying we all jumped in to help fill his bag.  He was so excited by how much candy he got that he gave Pauline a great big hug at the end of the parade.

After the parade we went up to castle hill to watch the reenactment of the transfer ceremony.  About halfway through it started to rain but soon the sun popped out and there was a beautiful rainbow over the town.

From Castle Hill we had a good view of the Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue exhibition taking place in the harbor.  Once again the rain started but we figured we were better off than the victim and rescue swimmer who had to jump out of the helicopter into the water.

Afterward we went back to the church to help with the clean up and found out that Mark had won honorable mention  in the chili cook off which is the same thing as fourth place and so he got a ribbon.  Not bad as there was 15 types of chili in the cook off and all of them were good!




October 14, 2019

Sitka

We are settling into Sitka life nicely.  We joined a water aerobics class three times a week.  And a local gym.  The gym used to be part of the college here before it closed down.  So has a nice basketball court.  Mark figures it has been about thirty years since he shot baskets but had fun trying to make it through the hoop.

There always seems to be something happening.  Even walking to our boat we have to pass the fishing fleet and they are often selling shrimps or crabs.  We got these two tasty ones for ten bucks a piece.  They are Dungeness Crab which are some of the smaller crabs in Alaska but they sure dwarf the Sri Lankan crabs we used to get in Singapore and have a lot of meat on them.  It is hard to tell the size from the picture but remember how large Mark's hands are when you try to get some kind of scale.  The big thing is we could only fit one at a time into our huge wok.



October 7, 2019

We Are Back In Sitka

We made it back to Sitka.  We traveled the same distance in 10 days that took us three months with Sari Timur.  We had a great trip, both times.  Our only regret is we couldn't take longer on each trip!

October 2, 2019

We are in Haines

We made it to Haines.  The visit in Seward was too short and we didn't see everyone but it was great to catch up with those we did.

The car battery was dead when we went to pick up the car but Glen and Sandy had a charger and while we ate fresh baked cookies, we let it charge.  On Monday we had the car serviced and we also asked for a battery check,  The check came back good so we figure something just drained it in the 3 over months it lay dormant.

Our trip reminded us why we have fallen in love with Alaska.  Not only was the scenery fantastic but we got to see a young moose, a black bear sow and her cub as well.  Not bad for two days of driving!

September 25, 2019

On Our Way To Pick Up Our Car

We fly to Anchorage in the morning.  Pauline has an appointment on Friday and Mark probably has one too with the customs lady to hand her some money.  Father Tero left yesterday on the Alaskan Ferry Service first to Petersburg, then to Wrangell before heading to Santa Rosa California and the rest of his vacation.  We plan to head to Seward for the weekend and then make our way back to Haines to catch the ferry back to Sitka via Juneau.  Should be an interesting trip, especially travelling faster than six knots!

September 20, 2019

Winds, Rain and Currents ( The trip to Sitka)

We left Baranof at six am trying to catch the last of a north bound current.  Shortly after leaving the dock, the rain started but we did catch the current and we decided to pass our planned anchorage for the night and keep on trucking to get closer to Sergius Narrows.  Sergius Narrows is a dredged pass at the bottom of Peril Strait.  One has to time the tides just right as currents can be over 6.5 knots and it is a narrow pass.  We made it all the way to Annie's Pocket, which is a small bight about three and a half miles up from the Narrows.  Just after we anchored for the night we heard a tug boat calling securite warnings.  We also knew the Alaskan Ferries use this pass so we had to time ourselves plus watch for traffic.  We knew high water slack was about 1400 the next day.  But after looking at the chart we decided the currents would be  slow enough and with us that if we left an hour before morning slack we could make it all the way to Sitka in one shot.  So this became the new plan!  Of course mother nature decided to give us the heaviest rain of the year and some wind opposing us to make the ride a bit miserable but the currents were as calculated and we made it through before any opposing traffic.

At Salisbury Sound we were exposed to the system out at sea and we caught the waves broadside.  After spending a few weeks in the inside passage we had become a bit slack and several items below started to shift but no catastrophes to report and we soon slipped back into cover and the narrow passes that lead us to Sitka.

We are currently tied up in Sitka but are in a bit of a bind.  Sitka received a bunch of money to rebuild one of its harbors.  This means they are discouraging boats from staying this winter.  Apparently we may be shifted to somewhere without power on short notice.  Of course we have two trips planned, one next week to go pick up the car and one in early November back to Singapore.  Not sure how it will play out but we will see.

Baranof Hot Springs


We had been told by many people that this is a must stop.  And having spent time in Japan we are always up for a hot spring adventure.  This place is no secret, even Michener wrote about it in his book ALASKA.  Even though it is popular, we found it to be one of the highlights of our summer.  We got there late enough in the year that the dock fees stopped on the second day.  There are semi natural pools right next to the falls.  A set of three free private bath tubs with windows that look out over harbor and if you situate yourself just right you can view the falls.  However, the hot springs are only part of the picture.

Obviously we mentioned the falls are pretty nice, even though they add a tricky current to the docking equation.  There is a nature trail that leads up through the woods to the natural pools and also the lake that feeds the falls.  The lake is supposedly full of trout.  We didn’t bring our poles so we are not sure but the views of the lake were pretty spectacular.


The bird life in the harbor was pretty spectacular and the sea lions were busy feeding on Dolly Varden.  One day we had three very big ones fishing right next to us while we were in the cockpit.
As we said in the last post we arrived late and after our baths, kind of vegged out for the night.  The next day was rainy but we donned our foul weather gear and went up to check out the trails.  There is a small community of cabins around the harbor and a privately run fishing lodge as well so lots of boardwalk to stretch the legs after a few days of confinement on the boat.  Despite the rain we enjoyed ourselves so much that we opted for one more day.  This day the sun was out and Mark headed out for the natural springs. 
There is a salt marsh just across the harbor from the dock which we also wanted to check out but it can only be accessed by dinghy near high tide.  We left a little too early and had a white water rafting experience as we went in.  We were so early that when we went to leave we got swept backward.  So we waited 15 minutes and tried again.  We made it further than the first time but still got swept backwards and flushed back into the marsh.  After another 20 minutes we tried again and we managed to keep crawling through back to the main harbor.  What a day in our own water park!
While in the dinghy we decided to drive over and see what the commercial lodge looked like.  They closed that day so we didn’t go ashore but from the water the lodge looked nice.  We had met the last tenants of the year from Texas the day before and they seemed pretty happy with it.

Pictures to be posted later

September 18, 2019

Juneau to Taku Bay to Gambier Bay to Warm Springs Bay

Taku Bay Anchor   N 58 d 03.82  W 134 d 00.99
Gambier Bay Anchor N 57 d 25.34 W 133 d 58.12  (Snug Harbor)
Warm Spring Bay Dock  

We Left Auke Bay at first light for two reasons.  First it was a long haul for the day and the second was the weather was supposed to turn foul soon.  The breeze was non-existent, which considering 40 knot gusts were forecast for the next day, was a blessing backing out of the marina.

We had scattered showers and between them some wind, so we hoisted the main to give us a power sailing boost.  Between one set we had enough wind to put up the two headsails and turn off the engine.  Father Tero was impressed we were doing six and a half knots under just three sails for a little over an hour before the next set of rain came and we were becalmed.

We tucked into Taku Bay before dinner and took the dinghy ashore.  Taku Bay is famous for three things; the scenery, the bears, and the ruins of a cannery.  We didn't see any bears but we did see a pretty fresh salmon carcass by one of the streams.  A twelve year old girl had been coming to Auke Bay every summer and she decided to do a project and researched all the ruins.  She posted pictures of the ruins in their original state and described what life in the old Libby's Cannery was like.  An organization has restored two of the bunk houses for guest cabins and the Forest Service built a cabin for people to stay free of charge as a refuge next to the old caretaker's house and named it after him.

Taku Harbor

 We knew we were going to layover the next day because the forecast was for gust up to 35 knots from the wrong direction so we hunkered down, read books, watched movies, and monitored the wind gauge.  We saw gusts of up to 38 in our very protected anchorage so we were very happy to be there instead of out trying to beat against it.  Just before dinner the weather cleared and we took another trip ashore to finish our sightseeing.  We had dressed in rain gear but quickly overheated plus the winds had knocked off all the loose water so we shed our jackets and continued.

The following day was scheduled to be over 9 hours and we hoped to sail part of it when the wind was scheduled to come up sometime late morning early afternoon.  So we got an early start for Gambier Bay.  The scenery in Stevens Passage is pretty but we hadn't seen whales since we left Auke Bay.  Just after noon the breeze filled in and we were sailing for nearly three hours before it dropped so much that we were going too slowly to get to our anchorage before dark.  So we fired up the engine and started motor sailing.  We had barely started the engine when we saw our first whale spout.  At first Father said they are pretty far away and he was talking about his exploits with them very close.  As if on cue, a pod of five popped up about 50 metres on our starboard side just silently cruising on their way past us.  The whales just kept increasing to the densest concentration any of us had ever witnessed.  We had over twenty spouts in the water at the same time off the starboard bow with additional spouts everywhere we looked.  We know that all of the whales don't spout at the same time so we must have had an enormous amount of whales in the vicinity.  We were a bit concerned as we had to travel through the area with the highest concentration.  But as we got closer they stayed away from us and we made a conscience effort to not crowd them into any dead ends as we turned for our bay.  We arrived just before 17:30 and we opted to have Saturday Night Mass rather than Sunday as that would be another long day.  So Father prepped the foredeck for mass and we had the every first mass on board Sari Timur.  Pretty nifty knowing we couldn't be late for church!

Snug Cove, Gambier Bay

another view of Snug Cove, Gambier Bay

Sunday Morning was another early start as we wanted to make Warm Springs Bay in one shot and sit out the next system passing us with access to the famous Baronof Hot Springs.  We had to motor sail the whole way as the winds were contrary and we had too much ground to travel.  We did get rather too close to a sleeping whale before she surfaced and we were able to do a quick turn to starboard in order to not hit her.  But she didn't seem too disturbed and just cruised alongside as we passed her.  We arrived in Warm Springs Bay and tied up to the dock.  A word to those sailors who follow, the dock is about 250 feet long.  If any weather can come in, it will be from the east so you want to turn around before docking.  There is a large waterfall at the head of the bay.  For us this meant we needed to be making nearly two knots to maintain steerage.  Luckily the dock was empty and we made it in the first pass.  If there would have been others on the dock it probably would have meant a second shot at it.  After a dinner of burritos made by Mark, we headed up to the bath houses at the top of the ramp for a nice relaxing soak before bed.  We will add more on Baronof Hot Springs later as we have to sit out today with foul weather.  We will take the time to explore this place later.

the waterfalls at Baranof Warmsprings Bay

Baranof Lake

the rapids flowing from the lake to the waterfalls

one of the outdoor hot spring pools

September 10, 2019

Juneau

Juneau is the state capital of Alaska and as the local radio station advertises, the prettiest state capital.  It also advertises itself as the second largest city in the USA.  This made us check this fact via Google and sure enough Juneau is second with a land area of just over 2700 square miles.  Interestingly enough the top 4 cities are all Alaskan.  In order, they are Sitka, Juneau, Wrangell, and Anchorage.  Anchorage is just over 1700 square miles.  Number five is Jacksonville at less than 750 square miles or well less than half of Anchorage.  The thing that surprised us was how small the population of Juneau is at roughly 30,000.  But we packed our stay here with activities.  We rented a car Saturday so we could start provisioning and checked out the local Costco and Fred Meyers, had a great lunch at the Sand Bar and then headed to the downtown area.  After walking around down town we visited the local Tlingit Museum.  Sunday we did some more provisioning and then went to Kate and Rob's house for dinner.  We met Kate and Rob when they sailed through Guam.  They were also trying to go to Kamchatka so we had kept in touch (neither of us were successful but we stayed in touch anyway).  We had to leave their house early as Kate had to get up early for a flight to Arizona for a conference for her job that she would be starting soon.  We also had to pick up our guest who was arriving from Seward via Anchorage.

Our guest is our local priest, Dick Tero, whom we have said in previous posts, is a sailor.  He was able to take a couple of weeks off and join us on this leg to Sitka.  But first he wanted to take us to do some more sightseeing.  So Monday morning after pancakes we were off downtown again to ride the tram up Mount Roberts.  After seeing some of the sights on Mt Roberts and walk some trails we headed back down, had a great Mexican lunch, then we walked up to the Russian Orthodox Church.  When we got there we were invited in.  A pilgrimage was happening that day and was being lead by a Russian Orthodox priest whom Father Tero knows.  We got to talking and were invited for the whole ceremony which included a very interesting talk on the church, the native Alaskans and the history of Alaska.

cruise ship docks in downtown Juneau

Mt. Roberts Tramway

there were 3 cruise ships tied up with another coming in to dock

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

inside the church

After that we went and visited the smallest Roman Catholic Cathedral in the US if not the world.  Then we walked back down the hill to the State Museum, armed with the information we had learned from the talk by Fr Michael, the exhibits were a lot more interesting.

On the way back from town it was one more stop at Costco to get the perishables and the frozen foods.  After storing them and making a quick picnic we headed out to the shrine of St Therese and have a picnic under the setting sun.  We were so tired after our day of running around we decided to delay our departure by one day.  This way we could do our last provisioning in the morning then lounge around as it will be a long day tomorrow heading for Taku Bay.

the shrine of St. Therese

the Chapel

inside the Chapel

September 7, 2019

We Arrived in Auke Bay

We are in the marina in Auke Bay, which is a northern bay for Juneau.  Our first day out of Haines the winds were very light until about 1100 hours when we killed the engine and could work on sail alone.  We were sailing wonderfully as well on a nice broad reach only about 20 degress off our heading and making 5 plus knots.  So wonderful in fact that we zoomed past our planned anchorage for the night and decided to keep going.  But alas all good things have to come to an end.  After a few hours the wind dropped our speed to under two knots and with our new anchorage planned for Eagle Bay we had to fire up the engine and motor for the last few hours.  But we got the chance to let Sari Timur strut her stuff.

Eldred Rock Lighthouse, constructed in 1905

Sari Timur with all her sails up

Eagle Bay was a beautiful little stop for the night with some sort of establishment on the south side of the bay, which looked like it must be connected to Juneau by the road system as we saw a number of cars.  We were in fact only 12 miles from Auke Bay but we had been warned the anchorage outside of the marina was very rolly and the marina itself  was usually full after 1700.  So Eagle Bay was our alternate, with a good night's sleep and a late lie in, we could get to Auke Bay for lunch.  Our first run through the marina found no slips in the marina but we got a spot tied up on the outside of the floating breakwater.  As we were on the outside it meant we were open to swell and wake, not ideal.  But it was a good launching off spot if something did become available.  Mark set off toward the office to check in and as he did so he saw a fishing boat leaving.  The slips here are real long and there were two small boats on the slip already but Mark felt there was enough room and so we fired up the motor, untied the lines and raced everyone in.  There was one smaller boat who got ahead of us but luckily he took a smaller spot not as far in as our planned target.  As we approached the spot Pauline had her doubts if we would fit.  We carried on and tied up with a whole foot and a half between us and the boat in front.  Success! we were in the marina behind the breakwater.

Auke Bay Harbor
 Power was an issue.  Because of the long fingers our hundred plus foot power cord was about a foot short.  Unfortunately the two tiny boats in front of us had about 7 feet of wasted dock.  We asked the marina if we could shift them forward a couple of feet but they said that due to liability issues no ones lines could be touched.  This is a reasonable rule so we hopped on the bus to the marine store to see if we could find a small 30 amp jumper cable.  The smallest the marine store had was 50 foot and at a cost of over a hundred dollars we decided that we could run the generator for that.  We are hoping the boat in front of us leaves sometime in the near future and we can slip forward a bit.  But if not we will run the generator when we need power and hot water.

Our crew arrives late Sunday night.  There is a couple here that we met in Guam and we have contacted them by email.  We hope to catch up with them and see more of Juneau.  Right now we plan to be here at least until Tuesday.  wWe hope to post more on our exploits in Juneau later.

September 4, 2019

Haines and Skagway

Well we leave Haines in the morning.  We have been enjoying a couple of extra days in the marina here as the weather has been from the south since we arrived.  Tonight it turns from the north again.  Not sure if it will be strong enough to sail but at least it won't be 30 knots on the nose.  We are very happy we stopped here.  Haines might be the friendliest town in Alaska.  Hard to beat Hoonah but we think Haines might have pulled it off.  The harbor staff are incredibly friendly, which is great, considering it might be the busiest we have been to.  We had to wait in line for more than an hour to get to the fuel dock and boats were jogging all over in and out and rafting up to each other as we came in.  We actually were worried at one point if we could get through and make the turn to the fuel dock or would have to go beyond and do some fancy maneuvering.  Boats were rafted three wide on one side and two on the other on the first pontoons past the breakwater, but as we came in they all broke ties and left as we coming at them.  We still had some fancy maneuvering to do to get to the fuel dock but as the wind had finally dropped to near zero we took our time and snuck in and did a 180 to make it easy to get out before tying up to the fuel dock.  190 gallons later they found a nice spot for us to sneak into.

We did a quick trip around town and a quick run through the Sheldon Jackson museum before hitting the grocery store and the local brewery.  While there we had heard of a nice restaurant to have dinner in.  As we had pretty much been tied to the boat for nearly two weeks, we treated ourselves to a night out on the town.


totem pole in front of the Sheldon Jackson Museum

beer garden at the Haines Brewing Co

Welcome to Haines

Haines Harbor

The next morning it was an early start to catch the first fast ferry over to Skagway for the day.  Mark had spent some time there when he was working on the Reese Eagle and insisted Pauline come for a visit.  Skagway is a tourist town.  Practically the whole town is set up for tourist and the fact they average four cruise ships a day plus all of the drive in tourists, they have to be.  Skagway was the starting point for most of the gold rush people and so has a pretty colorful history.  The town has done its best to keep up the image of the old town and has restored several of the old buildings and made all of the new keep to a code so as not to distract from the theme.  Most of the sidewalks are boardwalks and some establishments have that wild west atmosphere.  We made sure we had lunch at the Red Onion Saloon which was a house famous for its working girls.  The girls are still working but  as described, their duties have changed.  The staff still dress and play the part and of course offer tours of the upstairs.

We were going to ride the train up the pass.  Mark had brought one of the locomotives up from Bellingham on the  barge.  The cost was a little out of our price range so we found a place that sold more beer instead.  We had a great day out but our feet were happy when we returned to Haines and Sari Timur for the night.

approaching Skagway Harbor, with those big cruise ships

the railroad in Skagway

a very interesting frontage of the visitors center

That night there were supposedly very good northern lights and a big earthquake (5.2) but we slept right through it all.

The rest of our time here we have been doing chores and trying to reorganize a little so we can free up the V-birth for our guest when he arrives Sunday.

August 30, 2019

Glacier Bay to Haines (Up the Lynn Canal)

We left Glacier Bay in heavy fog.  Basically we were relying heavily on the radar until about noon, that was when the sun finally burned the fog off and we had a beautiful afternoon.  It was a long day and zero wind so we stopped in Funter Bay which is at the base of the southern end of the Lynn Canal.  As the crow flies, it is just outside of Juneau but to get there it is probably an entire day so rather than head to Juneau now we decided to head up the Lynn Canal and visit Haines and Skagway.  Some of you may remember, Mark spent some time in Skagway last spring and early summer.  He convinced Pauline that she needed to see it.  This was important as it is a long trek up the Lynn Canal and the weather forecast said wind from guess where?  The North.  Anyway Funter Bay was beautiful but after a short night's sleep we were underway heading north before 0600 hours.

And as forecast the wind piped up from the north and we were fighting 22 knots of wind.  We were also facing current and so rather than tack all the way up we motored very slowly north.  Anyway after ten and a half hours we tucked in behind Sullivan Island into a small bight for a very quiet night.  The second day was more of the same for the first couple of hours but finally the wind relented and by the time we hit Haines there wasn't a ripple on the water.  Good thing too as it was probably the busiest and tightest marina we have ever been to., but it is also one of the friendliest.  We had heard this about Haines so were eager to go there.  We will do a seperate post regarding Haines and hopefully our side trip to Skagway.  But right now we are snugly tied up for guess what?  a long period of winds from the south!!!!!

August 27, 2019

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve


Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is the National Park Service’s largest marine park and part of the world’s largest world heritage site.
Since time immemorial, the Tlingit people lived in the area that is now Glacier Bay and sustained themselves on the abundant resources found throughout the Bay.  They were driven out of the Bay during the Little Ice Age when glacial advances overran the villages inside the bay in the 1700s.  In 1794, George Vancouver described Glacier Bay as a compact sheet of ice as far as the eye could see.  However, when John Muir came to Glacier Bay, he found that the glacial ice had retreated 40 miles into the bay.
All boats entering Glacier Bay need to apply for a permit from June 1 to August 31, plus they only issue about 25 permits per day.  We applied for a 7-day permit and were approved, so we left Hoonah on August 22 and headed to Bartlett Cove, where Glacier Bay park’s headquarters are located.  We also had to attend a mandatory orientation to familiarize ourselves on the regulations and restrictions.
So armed with all this new information and enthusiasm, we headed out the next day (August 23) to spend the night in Shag Cove.  We saw lots of whales, one even breeched in front of us.  As we were approaching the spot we were going to anchor, we saw a bear walking the beach in front of us but it disappeared into the bush as we got closer.

entrance to Shag Cove

beach in Shag Cove

 On August 24, we left Shag Cove and headed for Johns Hopkins Inlet, where we viewed Lamplaugh Glacier, which is one of the bluest in the Bay and Johns Hopkins Glacier.  We anchored in Reid Inlet, right in front of Reid Glacier.  On the way to Johns Hopkins Inlet we were hailed by another sailboat, who told us that they had seen 4 bears on the beach in Tidal Inlet.  We deviated over and on our way we could see the mother and two cubs leave the beach.  We followed the remaining bear along the beach to the stream where it caught a fish.


close up of Lamplaugh Glacier

Johns Hopkins Glacier with the mountains in the back

Lamplaugh Glacier


we anchored in front of Reid Glacier

The next day (August 25), we left Reid Inlet and headed to Tarr Inlet to view Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers.  The weather the previous days had been cloudy but as we were headed out, the sun came out.  The ice was not too bad and we did not have to dodge many of them.  It helped that a cruise ship went ahead of us and cleared a path for us.  Margerie Glacier is awesome, towering pinnacles and flows directly out of the Fairweather Mountains.  We waited but did not catch any major calving.  The Grand Pacific Glacier was not so grand but it was the primary glacier that carved Glacier Bay.  We saw lots of seals in Tarr Inlet.  After that we headed over to Blue Mouse Cove and anchored for the night.

Grand Pacific Glacier, not so grand looking

Margerie Glacier

close up shows the pinnacles of Margerie Glacier

sharing Tarr Inlet with a cruise ship

another view of Margerie Glacier

We have heard that there was going to be some weather on Monday, August 26 so we headed for one of the better coves mentioned in the guidebook.  North Sandy Cove is one of the prettiest we have been to in Glacier Bay.  There were whales all over just at the entrance and a couple of seals greeted us as we approach our anchoring spot.
We are back in Bartlett Cove for the night and we will head out of Glacier Bay National Park tomorrow.

a baby grouse came to visit us at the Park headquarters!

All in all, Glacier Bay is a nice place and we are glad we spent time here.  We do however feel that it is a let down compared to the majesty that Prince William Sound presents.

August 20, 2019

Still In Hoonah

We are still in Hoonah but we got notice today that we have permission to cruise in Glacier Bay National Park.  We are so excited we had to post it.  If you are interested in why we are so excited, you can go to the Glacier Bay website and watch the 15 minute boater's orientation video.  Most people only get a glimpse of the bay as they do it in a a few hours but we have a whole week to check it out.  Hope the weather holds!  Right now it is looking a little lumpy for our arrival on Thursday and a little wind on Sunday but otherwise pretty good.  Our friends had some issues with fog and we can't forecast that too easy, so hopefully it will stay clear.  One of the problems with Glacier Bay is there are so many glaciers it does generate its own weather.  Of course with all the glacier exploring we have been doing, we are kind of used to that but this is even more concentrated than anything we have yet been to.

Angie arrives in the morning so we will be doing a lot of touristy things with her tomorrow and then depart Thursday at about 05:00.  Mark is taking his growler up to the local brewery which has one of his favorite beers on tap, Freeride APA,

August 17, 2019

Hoonah, Hiding From Weather

Position  N   58 d 06.41
               W 135 d 26.75

We have heard from several cruisers that Hoonah is a must see stop.  We were originally stopping here to hide out from a blow that is heading through before trying to race up to Skagway in order to catch up to the Norwegian Jewel and meet up with Angie.  The weather is supposed to be quite stiff, 60 knots are forecast in the Lynn Canal.  For those who are not in the know, 64 is a hurricane force.  So we definitely don't want to be there then.

Hoonah (Xunaa in Tlingit means "protected from the North Wind") boasts the largest Tlingit population in S.E. Alaska and also the world's largest Ziprider line.  The Tlingits are known for their totem poles and Hoonah has a few!  We got to see and talk with one of the carvers putting the finishing touches on one and the first bit of paint before they raised it on Friday.  He and another carver had been working steadily for six months to carve this ornate sculpture out of a tree trunk.

We found out that Hoonah also calls the cruise ship terminal here Icy Straight Point.  Hey guess what, that is a stop for the Norwegian Jewel.  We no longer have to be a racer cruiser.  So we can stay here and let the weather settle.

Hoonah is also the favorite stop for boats as they wait to go up to Glacier Bay National Park, which is probably how we will change our schedule before heading further.

The people here are extremely friendly and go out of their way to say hello and welcome you to their town.  We have had several people walk with us and pick up a conversation as we walk to or from some place. One of our neighbors even gave us a couple of big dungeness crabs a couple of minutes after we tied up to our berth!

a colorful totem pole

the Hoonah Indian Association

another beautiful totem pole

August 14, 2019

Elfin Cove


Position   N  58 d  11.73
                  W 136 d  20.82

Not sure if this village reminds us more of Rivendell or Lothlorien, maybe it is the land beyond the sea?  Who knows but it sure does seem like a magical place out of Lord of the Rings.  There is an outer cove and an inner harbor.  Most of the houses and buildings are built around the boardwalk, either on stilts on the water side or into the forest on the side of the hill that seems to rise straight up out of the water.  Several hundred people are here in the summer, either commercial fishing or chartering but the population drops to 6 last winter.  It is a bit remote!  Chances are, if you have bought salmon from Costco, it has a high probability of coming through this port.

As we were walking around we stopped to help a lady hang her specials sign over the top of her flower garden.  This turned out to be the local pub/restaurant, so after our walk we stopped in for a beer.  The conversation was so good we decided to come back for dinner and have a slice of that homemade and home grown rhubarb pie.

We are getting an early start today for Hoonah as the tidal currents are brutal.  There is supposed to be a big blow coming down the Lynn Canal in the next few days.  We are supposed to meet Angie, an old family friend, either in Juneau or Skagway as she passes through on a cruise ship.  Both require navigating the Lynn Canal.  Hopefully the blow will be finished and allow us to meet up.  It should, but who knows.

the inner harbor

view of the inner harbor and some of the houses

the boardwalk leading to the outer cove, where Sari Timur is tied up to the transient dock

August 13, 2019

Pelican, Alaska

Position   N 57d 57.50
                W 136d 13.70

A guy and some friends established a cold storage along the Lisianski Inlet and named it after his boat, The Pelican.

As we were coming up to Pelican we could not raise the Harbormaster since it was Sunday and they were not working.  So we came in slowly and found there was an empty end berth.  The wind was 20 knots, only wind we have seen in nearly four days but as we were coming along side a couple of guys jumped out and helped us with our lines.  Just as we were coming alongside we lost our tachometer.  Once we were safely tied up, Mark began investigating to find that the tach wire got snagged by a loose fan belt.  The fan belt had split a layer off and had a flappy piece of cloth, which snagged the tach wire and pulled it into the pulley.  We noticed a couple of missing cable ties on the wire harness so this probably left the tach wire a bit more exposed.  We fixed a new one and then decided we would stay two days in Pelican in order to change the belts the next day.  So off we went for a walk.  Pelican is a boardwalk town, most of the houses and buildings are built on stilts.  They are serviced by lots of floatplanes, so part of the entertainment is watching float planes take off, land and taxi right next to your boat.  The next day we checked in with the harbormaster and purchased a couple of spare Racor filters before taking on the task of changing belts.  Belt changes on this engine are never easy so we decided to do some changes to make it slightly easier.  It is still troublesome but a bit easier.  We then went up to have a late lunch at the cafĂ© we were told about, that is run by Matt and Dana’s friend.  We were too late, she only does breakfast and lunch but we had a brief conversation with her and said we would be back for breakfast the next day before we departed.
Pelican is a really neat experience and well worth our small detour after crossing the Gulf of Alaska.

view from the dock

the main street boardwalk

another view of the main street


Crossing the Gulf of Alaska


This is not the first time we crossed the Gulf of Alaska.  The last time was 4 years ago, when we went from Homer to Seward.  The Gulf is known for nasty weather but if you time it well and find a good weather window, it is a piece of cake crossing.
Well, we found a perfect window!  Very light winds and no opposing seas.  The only problem is that we could not sail very much, even though we had most of our sails up.
Mark remarked once that he had not seen the Gulf so placid but then again, the times he crossed the Gulf were during the winter season.
We left Sheep Bay in the Sound on Thursday and got into Pelican in Lisianski Inlet on Sunday.
The trip over was not too eventful.  We did discover we have bad fuel or bad fuel filters.  We were trying to fill up our day tank when it stopped filling.  We saw that the Racor filter was dirty and changed that and were able to do a couple of fills before the transfer pump shut down again.  We found another dirty filter but unfortunately the spares that we thought we had did not fit.  Long story short, we made do without the filter and were able to fill up the day tank.
We encountered lots of wildlife.  Plenty of sea birds, Dall Porpoises, a pod of Orcas that swam really close to the boat and a couple of sperm whales feeding of a fishing boat’s long line.
We had sunny days and apart from the first night when it got really foggy and wet, the other nights were bearably warm.
So, all in all, we had a good Gulf crossing.

August 8, 2019

Heading Out

We have left Cordova and Sheep Bay.  Expect to enter the Gulf of Alaska by this evening.  Winds don't come from the right direction until Saturday.  But they are supposed to be light and variable until then.  At this time of year we will take it!

Our Spot position on the right side of this blog should keep updating our position about every 10 minutes so you can track us.

August 3, 2019

Arrived Cordova

We have arrived in Cordova.  Have some people coming over for a beer so we will post more later.  Happy birthday Matt!

view of Cordova Harbor from the Reluctant Fisherman (restaurant)