The sun rose this morning to perfect calm, water like a mirror and the mountains reflecting upside down. I had a leisurely breakfast in the cockpit in glorious warm sunshine.
It was a nice easy couple of hours trip down from the anchorage to Sitka where the harbourmaster allocated me a berth for two days. Once tied up I gave the US Boarder protection guys a call and checked in. Foreign boats have a cruising permit and need to check in at each major port along the way.
First stop ashore was the chandlers to get a few spares for ongoing repair and maintenance. When you have a boat it’s a never ending job keeping everything running smoothly. I am replacing a toilet inlet hose and a non-return valve in the bilge pump system – not very glamorous jobs but its easier to maintain now than fix if it goes wrong.
I also need a new strainer for the engine raw water cooling inlet, the type on board is quite old and I am not hopeful of getting a replacement. Anyway I took the old strainer up to the chandlers as a sample. Ah yes he said, I know it exactly, we had one sitting on the shelf over there for eight years – a guy came in last week and bought it! He didn’t know the manufacturer, part number or model it had been there so long the records had been lost. Almost lucky.
The thing I must do this port call is get USA compatible gas bottles. The guy at the chandlery said he had the same problem as me, he got new bottles as there is nowhere to change out valves in Sitka. I will hunt around tomorrow and find a solution, also do the laundry and get some fresh food.
This evening I had a nice shower and am ready to socialise with people again. Tomorrow after my chores I will have a look around town and do the tourist thing – plenty of tourists here with the cruise ships. Laundry is due again and a bit of shopping for fresh food. So far I am liking Sitka. Total voyage distance 1,229.7 miles.
The forecast for today is North Westerly Gales. We stayed put in the anchorage and had a nice relaxed day doing cleaning, maintenance, cooking and some splicing. There is always something to do on a boat and the time flew by. The sun came out and was nice and warm for a couple of hours but the wind still has a chill in it.
The wind is howling around tonight and squally blasts are spinning us to and fro on the anchor chain. I put out an extra ten meters of chain this evening as the wind seems to be increasing. The bottom here is rocky and I never feel too confident of holding when its rocky.
The forecast for tomorrow is for more of the same, I checked Predict Wind and they are giving strong North Westerly for the next five days. Well there are still options and I am in no great hurry to get to Prince Rupert
Wonderful day, bright sun and no wind. Broke the shorts out today. Another day rummaging around the boat. I have now found everything and been in every space possible. Also set up and tested the autopilot ran OK after I cleaned the contacts. I topped up the fresh water today and found where the overflow pipe is. This boat has an ingenious system of water tanks and pipework, all designed to allow any one tank to be used at a time.
To separate the three water tanks is practical, particularly on a long trip. However, the pipework and valves associated with the system are challenging. Anyway as I was filling the tanks I was puzzled why the tank fill pipe was full but the hose was still running. I reasoned that the water must be going somewhere – and probably not into the tank.
Inspection showed the overflow gushing merrily into the galley. Good to find these things out.I went across into the boat builders shop this morning to see how the spreader replacement is coming along. The new spreader is being fashioned out of a nice piece of spruce and was at the marking out stage.
The packages of AIS and Iridium Go still haven’t arrived, the couriers seems to be taking forever. Still no joy in finding replacement cylinders for my lifejackets. I had to throw out an old sail today, we have a number of old sails on board and the locker is jam packed full. Getting anything in or out is a mission and I had to free up some space.
Out went an old jib that will never be used gain and I still have a spare main, jib, staysail, storm jib and spinnaker. My Swedish neighbor departed north today after finishing his engine repairs. I am eager to get going as well.