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Neighbors, Invincible
Thu Apr 12 23:46:40 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Sailing/Fishing Boat Dryas
Sun Apr 8 11:40:50 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

It was nice to watch this fishing boat, Dryas, sail onto the dock. I didn't get a chance to talk with them. The sailing-fishing boats that I have talked to say they don't really fish under sail, but use sails if the wind is in the right direction, or to reduce rolling, or to go pleasure sailing with.

Wed Apr 11 14:01:16 EDT 2012 | John H
More importantly, to save on fuel and reduce air pollution!
And what better way to appreciate the sea when it's quiet?
Thu Apr 12 23:57:48 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
I think the cost of fuel is not high enough to make fishing under sail productive at present. Pleasure sailing, when not in a hurry to arrive, that is really nice...
Chain Stripper
Wed Apr 4 22:37:32 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

My old anchor chain was showing signs of wear (mostly in the first 10m which gets the most use), so I decided to replace it. This sounds simple, but really isn't :).

I wanted to keep most of the old chain as a spare chain, so I built a new chain locker in the bilge to hold it (can't just put the old chain in the bilge--if the boat ever rolled over, it could come out, so it needs to be held in place securely).

The old anchor chain is 12mm, which I could not find in the USA. So I went with 7/16" chain, which is almost the same size. That meant that the 7/16" chain wouldn't fit the 12mm chain wheel. So I bought both a new chain wheel and a barrel (300'/90m) of 7/16" chain (Grade 43, which means the steel is better quality than "proof coil").

The new chain wheel, shown in the picture, was a different diameter than the old one, so the old chain stripper did not fit. The chain stripper is necessary to strip the chain off the chain wheel, so that it will fall down the hawsepipe. The old chain stripper was cut off the deck (it had been welded in place), and a new one made that would bolt on.

It took a few tries of cutting, then welding back up the chain stripper to get it functioning correctly (the part that strips the chain off the wheel is inside the chain wheel, so not visible in the picture), but it is now working.

Fri Apr 6 16:54:04 EDT 2012 | Victor
Once you started another part didn't fit and had to be replaced. So it was Chain Reaction. Good its fixed now. You should test it now somewhere at where there are no abandoned fish nets at the bottom of sea. Alaska has that problem and every year Coast Guard drags out many tons of nets and those nylon and poly are bad.
Sun Apr 8 0:45:27 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
Victor, thanks, yes, it was Chain Reaction. I still have more testing to do, and hope there wont be any abandoned nets on the bottom where I do.
Mon Apr 2 11:04:32 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

While spring has arrived in Sitka and all the snow has melted, as you can see from the clothes being worn, it is really not all that warm yet.

Mon Apr 2 11:04:31 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

I've been busy with projects on the boat (more about that later), so its been a while since I've been out sailing. Sunday was a nice day for a sail, so we went for a pleasant daysail around Sitka.

They're Off!
Sun Apr 1 10:36:02 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

The fishing boats rush out of the harbor and get to where the herring are spawning.

They're Off!
Sun Apr 1 10:26:23 EDT 2012, Sitka, AK

Mon Apr 2 10:26:56 EDT 2012 | Richard Hudson
A fan of the TV show Deadliest Catch has informed me that Maverick was featured on that show in seasons 1,2 & 3.
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.

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