ELFIN COVE ARRIVAL

My new friend Red stopped by last night with a beautiful thick piece of King Salmon.  I cooked it for lunch today – I am stuffed.  There is still more to eat, what a chore.

Sea to Plate in an Hour. Photo Ray Penson
Sea to Plate in an Hour. Photo Ray Penson

Last night in Roses Bar I met a lady from Anchorage who has 57 dogs for pulling sledges.  Interesting to hear how they work and travel.  The dogs can cover fifty miles a day easily, camp out at night and do it again the next day.  Its not a good idea to fall off the sledge as the dogs don’t stop.  A bit like falling overboard when the boat is on autopilot I suppose.

I enjoyed my stay in Pelican, described as ‘a drinking village with a fishing problem’.  I have seen other places in Alaska described the same way.  They certainly do catch a lot of fish.

This morning was raining, wet, overcast, misty and generally damp all over.  Gradually it cleared and this afternoon I had a spectacular view of Glacier Bay mountains and the Brady Glacier in the distance across Cross Sound.

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This morning we crossed fifty-eight degrees North.  It sounds a lot but in reality it’s the same as North Scotland, I used to work much higher latitudes in the North Sea.  It’s just the topography here make sit so unique in close proximity to the mighty North Pacific Ocean and its massive weather systems.

On the trip up from Pelican I saw a whale ahead.  I was standing in the cockpit looking ahead for him and he surfaced next to the boat.  The first I knew was when I heard the explosive sound of his exhale, I nearly jumped out my skin.  I saw the first Puffins today, my book tells me they are Horned Puffins and not tufted Puffins.

Yesterday I was doing a bit of cleaning up and contemplating where all the hair and bits come from.  It’s the human body of course, constantly shedding skin and hair.  I then got to thinking that the boat is a bit like a spaceship, self-contained, life support systems on board and you can’t get off once underway.  Now on a boat all the body bits get swept up and dumped overboard, its easy.  But what about in a spaceship or a spacesuit?  Could a stray clump of belly button fluff shut down a spaceship?  I bet NASA know a lot about body bit management and how to stop stray hairs fouling up oxygen generators.  Maybe that was why the first astronauts were all clean shaved before a mission.  The Russians must have cracked the problem early, they sent a hairy monkey on the first flight (Imagine trying to shave a monkey).

Seaplane landing next to boat entering Elfin Cove .Photo Ray Penson
Seaplane landing next to boat entering Elfin Cove .Photo Ray Penson

Anyway, Elfin Cove looks like an interesting place.  Its built on boardwalks around a double cove.  Like Pelican the winter population shrinks to about fifty or sixty hardy souls.  There is a school, post office, store, fuel dock and bar-restaurant.  Holiday homes and fishing lodges are springing up around the cove.  At the moment its buzzing with fishermen.  Tomorrow I may head over to the North side of Cross Sound towards Brady Glacier – weather dependent.  Total voyage distance 1,343.1 miles.

Logged 30th June 2016

HEADING NORTH, AGAIN

This morning we departed Sitka after a good 3 night stay.  The day started overcast, low cloud and wet from overnight rain.  By mid-morning the rain started again and has lasted all day and into the night.  The sun didn’t show up today.

A wet morning in Sitka harbour. Photo Ray Penson
A wet morning in Sitka harbour. Photo Ray Penson

The wind was from the south so we got a bit of sailing but bit was quite a miserable affair in the rain.  The tide pulled us through Neva Strait in the early evening and we anchored in Kalinin Bay on Kruzof Island for the night.

There is a strong wind warning in place for tomorrow.  If it’s still windy in the morning I will stay in the anchorage.  If the weather looks good I will head up the coast a bit further.  Total voyage distance 1,256.1 miles.

Logged 25th June 2016

WET, WINDY AND OVERCAST

A wet windy and overcast day today.

The sort of day when you never can get warm.  I sorted out a number of charts that the previous owner passed on to me, some are very old but interesting.

Also did another rig inspection today as the port spreader is bothering me.  I was considering doing a epoxy wrap but have now decided to replace it.  I don’t want any failures on my trip and it has to be done at some stage so might as well do it now and not worry.  So I am going to take the old spreader off and make a copy replacement.  The mast can remain standing and I have backed off the turnbuckles ready for the old spreader removal tomorrow morning.

The Insurance company came through with the insurance confirmation today, an improvement on the previous quote so I am happy to save a few bucks. Wind has dropped this evening and all is calm again.

Logged 5th April 2016