RUDDER FIXED

It’s been a full-on sort of day and I feel tired at the end of it – but importantly ‘we got the job done’.  The rudder is good.

Bushing fresh from Machine Shop
Bushing fresh from Machine Shop

At midday Truce was lifted out the water and half an hour later I had the rudder unshipped and hung off.  The bottom bushing was worn and causing the play in the rudder.  Thankfully everything was intact and no damage or wear on the metal parts at all.  I decided to have a new bush machined up and installed.  By four thirty in the afternoon the new bushing had arrived from the machine shop and was fitted.  Shortly after the rudder was back in place.  The bushing is tight and the rudder hard to turn – I expect as the miles go by it will free up a bit.

Rudder Unshipped and Hung Off
Rudder Unshipped and Hung Off

By five in the afternoon I was back in the water and tied up alongside the dock.  I really admire the can-do attitude of the American guys when it comes to engineering solutions.  I had the same experience in Wrangell last year when the shaft strut was cracked.  Within a few hours, a great engineered solution found and executed.  Thank you, Toledo boatyard, especially Asia and Ted for a great job.

In the early evening I took a walk into town.  Toledo is quite a small place, it looks like everybody knows everybody.  Tuesday evening and not much going on.  The main street is an attractive historic place that would be good to visit in warmer weather.

City Hall Toledo. Photo Ray Penson jpg
City Hall Toledo. Photo Ray Penson jpg

This evening I will have a good feed on board and get some rest ready for tomorrow.  In the morning I will take the tide down the Yaquina River to Newport and hopefully be able to head out over the Bar towards San Francisco.  I have a special date in San Francisco so need to get moving south.

Main Street Toledo. Photo Ray Penson jpg
Main Street Toledo. Photo Ray Penson jpg

LINGERING IN WRANGELL

This morning I decided to stay a couple of extra days in Wrangell.  It’s a friendly little place so it’s no chore to linger a while longer.  I also want to get a couple of stainless bits made up for the boat for an autopilot modification I want to try out.  The handy engineer guy here is very good, I don’t expect to get better elsewhere so it makes sense to get the job done here.

Wrangell Harbour at low water. Photo Ray Penson
Wrangell Harbour at low water. Photo Ray Penson

Today in have been trying my hand at fairing in the shaft strut using epoxy filler.  I am not the most skilful in this sector, the result so far looks very amateurish.  I am hoping that by tomorrow the filler will have set rock hard to allow me to sand it into a fairer hydrodynamic shape.

This afternoon I managed to get some fresh lemon from a lady selling organic produce.  Part of it is now floating around in a rum and coke – got to get vitamins somehow.

I went for a walk around town, literally around the outside of the town.  People kept stopping their trucks asking if I wanted a lift.  I have noticed that people don’t tend to walk to places in Alaska.  Some of the houses here have well-kept gardens, you don’t see much of that in Alaska, at least not the parts I have been to.

I am scheduling to launch Truce back into the water on Wednesday morning.  The plan is then to resume the voyage southward down the inside passage and stop off at Anan Creak to see bears catching and feeding on Salmon.  One of the guys here told me there are so many salmon running up the stream that both Brown and Black bears come to fish at the same place.

Anan Bears here I come.

PETROGLYPH HUNTING

I had an easy day today and went exploring.  It was pretty quiet, its Sunday after all.  There are a lot of churches here, ten in total I think.
This morning I had planned to stock up on some provisions and fresh food.  However, the grocery stores are shut on Sunday in Wrangell.  Never mind I will do it tomorrow.

Petroglyph Beach Wrangell
Petroglyph Beach Wrangell
In the afternoon I walked to a place called Petroglyph Beach.  Where I found Petroglyphs on the beach, surprise!  At first I couldn’t see any but after seeing the first one others became apparent.  Some, or perhaps most of the better ones have been removed by treasure hunters.

Most of the petroglyphs on the beach are quite eroded by the tidal action of the sea.  It seems no one really knows who carved the shapes in the stones or why they did it.  Some are thought to date back as far as 10,000 years ago.  It must have been quite an effort to carve shapes into stone without proper tools.  The question is why are Petroglyph’s found all around the world with similar designs and patterns.

Tonight I will retire to Rayme’s bar.  There is a big game on at Wriggley field, Cubs vs Mariners.  One of the locals was impressed that I knew about Wriggley field.  I didn’t tell him the knowledge was gained from watching the film Blues Brothers.