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A Balmy Day in December
Sun Dec 11 20:45:54 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

It was a beautiful day in Sitka yesterday, and we took advantage of the opportunity to go out for a pleasant daysail and to test the autopilot (which is finally working).

We motored out of the harbor, then sailed to windward in a very light breeze. After a while, we turned back.

(scroll down to next entry)

A Balmy Day in December
Sun Dec 11 20:44:06 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

(continued from above)

We set the spinnaker to sail back with, and to dry it out. By the time we had it set, though, the wind had lightened to almost nothing and we were making less than a knot thru the water. The current was in our favor, but carrying us too close to Old Sitka Rocks for comfort, so we dropped sails and motored back to harbor for sunset.

Fri Dec 9 21:56:05 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Sat Dec 10 16:36:32 EST 2011 | Terry
i think "sea king" needs a gallon of TrimClad
Sat Dec 10 22:51:25 EST 2011 | Victor
I was just about to add something similar like this must be The King. Otherwise I see no winds, no inclement weather which usually is
a Talked of the Town.
Sun Dec 11 10:32:07 EST 2011 | Ron Ouwehand
Hello, the place you are staying in now certainly has a much nicer view I'm sure than the Scarborough Bluffs! Good luck with your heating systems.
Sun Dec 11 20:11:57 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
The boat does look like it could use some paint.

The weather has been warmer lately--all the snow has gone and it was a calm day.

Yes, the view is much nicer here than where I wintered last year.
Mon Jan 9 10:32:33 EST 2012 | bowsprite
i love it! I wish I could paint this boat before it gets painted! Lovely noble vessel. Hail, Sea King!
Thu Dec 8 23:13:02 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Issuma's masts are just visible above the M in Masonic. Sitka harbor mostly has fishing boats in it. The boats closest to Issuma are all higher, so provide a nice windbreak.

Sat Dec 10 22:53:44 EST 2011 | Victor
Those must be a Tall Ships with a little draft.
Sun Dec 11 20:05:00 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Victor, yes, they are pretty high out of the water. Many of the fishing boats have a big enclosed area at the stern (what looks like stainless steel sheet metal on the aft deck of Hukilau in this picture) that stops a lot of wind.
Mon Dec 19 1:00:59 EST 2011 | Pete Elwell
Masonic ! I can't remember the owner's name at the moment, but know him from kodiak ! Love your stories . Pete Elwell S/V Mariah , Ny, NY
Mon Dec 19 1:03:16 EST 2011 | Pete Elwell
You were speaking of the shelter decks on longliners they put on in the winter ... Or the wave wall ? part time commercial fisherman / part time sailor here
Mon Dec 19 11:59:30 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Pete, thank you. I was speaking of the shelter decks on the longliners nearby providing a windbreak for Issuma. I did not know what they were called before.

Tue Dec 20 23:11:45 EST 2011 | Pete Elwell
Darius ( ! ) is the skipper of the Masonic . He is a really nice guy . Fished near him on the F/V Pacific Cloud in Kodiak .
The stories from the Orbit II are amazing . Issuma seems unique . Who/where was her builder ?
Wed Dec 21 1:07:47 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Pete, thanks. glad to hear you've enjoyed my website.

Thanks for Darius's name. If I see him I will tell him you said hello.

Thu Dec 8 0:32:57 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

I'm not used to driftwood that's bigger around than I am tall. I got quite used to no driftwood at all this summer in the Arctic. I guess I'm going to get used to driftwood like this and larger as I go south.

Speaking of going south, I'm delaying that for a while. While the weather hasn't made sailing impossible, it has made it difficult enough that I'd rather delay for a while. It was getting to be a week or so of gales, storms or strong headwinds, followed by 1-2 days of reasonable traveling weather, which made for slow progress. Also, there are some things on the boat that I want fixed (like the cabin heater that works off the engine cooling system) before continuing in cold, windy conditions, and fixing stuff is much easier when one is not traveling.

Maggie had to go back to work, so she is back in New York now. She took this picture last week.

Thu Dec 8 8:19:30 EST 2011 | Amos
Times of change, always interesting. Sorry to see Maggie go. I think fixing the cabin heater is wise. Keep up the great pictures.
Thu Dec 8 23:15:23 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Amos. Heaters are wonderful things when they are working.
Sat Dec 17 21:08:34 EST 2011 | Jesse
Ahoy Richard,
Sitka sounds like a great place to spend some time. A fine place to hole up for the winter. Glad you made it there. Interested in any tales you may come up with while exploring the area, meeting the people and experiences the place and its unique character. Get that heater working!

Sun Dec 18 11:32:46 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Jesse, thanks. Sitka does seem to be a nice place in winter. I'll see what I can do with the local tales.

Wed Nov 30 23:21:41 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

We hadn't done a thorough enough job of tying the sheets (ropes that control the sails) up off the deck before the last snowfall, so they were full of snow and ice, and quite difficult to move thru the blocks. The winch sockets (where the winch handles fit in) were also full of ice (I'll have to make some covers for these), so the winching was done without the winch handle and we didn't put up a lot of sails. Still, it was an enjoyable sail.

Wed Dec 7 11:54:38 EST 2011 | Amos
Man, the details you need to remember when sailing in frozen climates. It's a specialty in itself!
Wed Dec 7 15:02:24 EST 2011 | michael
Let me congratulate you on your magnificent achievement this last year. I follow your account often and find it fascinating, so I've added Issuma blog to the "live feed" on DoryMan.
I've been puzzling for a few weeks why your posts reside so low on the list ("live-feed" means that a new post moves to the top of the blog list). I believe it's because of the dates on your posts. Perhaps you could list the log date in the body of the post and leave the current date as a posting date? Then we'd have a better idea of when you've put up another great photo!

michael bogoger
Thu Dec 8 0:31:02 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Amos, yes, sailing in below-freezing conditions is quite different and there's not a lot of information around about techniques and what works/what doesn't.

Michael, thank you very much. I had a look at your picturesque DoryMan blog, it's nice to see people making good use of deadeyes and lanyards.

I hadn't thought about the post date being used by the live-feed on other blogs. The post date is also used by the dreaded map, and of late I've been trying to keep the post dates close to those of the pictures and text they are about. The next several posts are all going to be in Sitka, so I'll use the posting date instead of the picture date.
Wed Nov 30 23:04:54 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

To check some systems out (and for fun), we went for a daysail one pleasant afternoon just outside Sitka harbor.

Tue Nov 29 9:52:47 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Coast Guard helicopter over Japonski Island (Sitka harbor). Coast Guard Air Station Sitka has three of these helicopters, used primarily for Search and Rescue.

Mon Dec 5 13:10:49 EST 2011 | Doug
How 'cozy' is steel hull IZZUMA in frozen Alaska? I know you have several diesel-drip cabin stoves - what inside cabin temperature do you maintain for how much daily diesel consumption? Is ISSUMA's hull insulated with 4 inches of urethane foam? Inquiring minds want to know how it is in the real (northern) world.
NW Passage in 2012 - looking for a few good crew members
Tue Dec 6 8:17:15 EST 2011 | Steve
Hi Richard and Maggie,
It's great to follow your journey on the blog.
Best wishes and warmth (hope you make it south sooner than later).
Steve & Sini
Tue Dec 6 14:08:54 EST 2011 | Doug
Richard - here is an interesting reference - - take a look, would you run a test on ISSUMA for a day and advise the outside and inside temperatures F and quantity of diesel used.
Tue Dec 6 22:53:15 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Steve and Sini, thanks. I think getting south will be more later than sooner.

Doug, Issuma's insulation is fitted extruded polystyrene (Styrofoam Blue), two layers, each 3/4" (2cm) thick.

I followed your link, and it is a good test if one can easily monitor fuel consumption. The way I have the fuel system setup on Issuma is that fuel is pumped from storage tanks thru a Racor filter/water separator, to a day tank. From the day tank, it goes thru filters/water separators to the engine and the heaters.

The day tank is about 80 litres, and the gauge on it is not very accurate. The heaters gravity feed from the day tank when the day tank level is high enough. So I can't run the day tank down very far before the heaters shut off due to lack of fuel. So it isn't easy to get fuel consumption measurements.

I can say that last winter, in Toronto, Issuma used 1000 litres of fuel for heating, as well as having 2kW of electric heaters. The heating system is capable of making the inside of the boat about 25 degrees C (45F) higher than the outside temperature if it is not very windy (20C/36F higher if it is windy).
Mon Nov 28 11:59:29 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

This totem pole, along with many others, commemorates native Tlingit and Haida cultures at the Sitka National Historic Park. The forest touches the beach at Sitka Sound, and trails take you wandering through to enjoy the natural beauty and native monuments.

Centuries ago, the Tlingit had located a fort on this site, which was attacked by the Russians in 1804. The fort, made of local spruce, was so strong that it withstood heavy bombardment from Russian ships. A bloody battle happened ashore, and the Tlingit repulsed the Russians under the leadership of War Chief K'alyaan, who fought hand to hand wielding a blacksmith's hammer. The Tlingit were never defeated in battle, but abandoned the fort after the siege wore on and their gunpowder ran low. You can see K'alyaan's Raven war helmet preserved at a local museum, and imagine his fierce defense of this beautiful homeland.

Sun Dec 4 13:35:22 EST 2011 | Amos
Beautiful, Maggie; thanks so much for the history, too. I am glad you are safe in harbor, and hope you are staying warm.
Sun Nov 27 19:49:38 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Sometimes even the best sailor needs wheels, and Richard used a cart to haul a just-purchased battery back to the boat.

Sun Dec 4 20:38:36 EST 2011 | Victor
The best picture of the Year

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