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They're Off!
Sun Apr 1 10:24:14 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Yesterday was the start of herring season in Sitka, and all the fishing boats that had recently come in and filled up the harbor suddenly left.

Wed Mar 28 11:17:02 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

The ice usually melts during the day. This part of the harbor is close to a stream of fresh water, making it freeze easier than the rest of the harbor.

Fri Mar 30 6:47:37 EDT 2012 | Jesse
So Rich, has this historic winter passed now in Sitka and spring has come even to Alaska? Wondering what the overnight temps are even now. Have you decided where and when you're heading from here on this adventure?
Sat Mar 31 11:47:16 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
Hello Jesse, winter in Sitka is pretty much over now. Nighttime temperatures are around 30-35F (-1 to +2C). I'm expecting to be around here for a few more weeks.
Mon Mar 26 12:05:17 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

The harbor is filling up with fishing boats getting ready for the herring season. This is looking across part of Eliason harbor from Japonski Island.

Mon Mar 26 19:08:08 EDT 2012 | Ron Ouwehand
Wow! Beautiful! Thanks for the postcard Richard.
Mon Mar 19 0:29:41 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

After almost a week of very pleasant weather, where I unwisely tempted fate by painting outside, we got some snow.

Sitka's harbors are filling up now that herring season is close. My new next-door neighbor in the wooden boat is Ocean Gem, which was bought in Prince Rupert and brought to Sitka.

Thu Mar 22 19:31:55 EDT 2012 | Ron Ouwehand
Hi Richard, can you show us some more shots of the surrounding harbour and buildings in that area? Will you be heading out soon again? It's been great weather in this area.

Regards, Ron O.
Fri Mar 23 15:26:35 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
Ron, thanks, I've been at the dock with a project that has dragged on for quite a while...hope to get out for a daysail in the next week or so. Snow seems to mostly be melting here, but the days are as long as the nights now, so that is very nice. I'll see about some harbor and building pictures...I haven't been taking many of them :).
Sat Mar 17 12:00:00 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

While its been relatively warm all week, the nights still get chilly at times, as you can see from the little bit of ice in the water. There is also a stream that comes into the harbor nearby, which means the water is less salty and therefore freezes at a higher temperature than it otherwise would.

New Battery Box
Fri Mar 16 20:06:47 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

One of the projects I've been working on was to replace the battery box for the starting batteries. The old one was plastic and had broken, and only held one battery (not enough for starting reliably in cold weather), so I built a new one of 1/2" (12mm) marine plywood. Not much of the box is visible in the picture, just the plywood edges, which have not been completely painted yet.

Tue Mar 20 7:59:15 EDT 2012 | yann
nice work; I think the old one was good enough, but it was ten years old!! very old for a battery! (except if it had been changed)
Wed Mar 21 22:54:22 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
I replaced the old battery a while back, and was running with two starting batteries since 2010--the second battery was in a box on the other side of the engine. After the battery box broke this year, I built one big enough for both batteries. Much better to have both batteries in the same box :).
Fri Mar 16 12:00:00 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Wed Mar 14 17:13:09 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Changing Zincs
Mon Mar 12 13:52:58 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

As the tide went down, so did the sun, so I got the zincs on the propellers and propeller shafts changed before low tide arrived. Wading in the water wasn't warm, but let me get most of the work done before nightfall.

On the Grid
Sun Mar 11 12:34:39 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

I put Issuma on the tidal grid yesterday to replace the prop zincs. The tidal grid is a pier that comes out from a sloping shore, with beams laid across the bottom beside the pier.

The boat is brought to the dock at high tide, positioned so it sits correctly between the beams (ie, best not to have the rudder on a beam, taking the weight of the boat), then one waits until the tide goes out to work on the boat. In the picture, the tide is part-way out--Issuma is sitting on the beams, but the propellers are still underwater. The tidal range in Sitka is about 3m/10'.

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