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Day of the Dalls Porpoise
JoLe & KC Wilson
05/19/2012, The Cove @ Tracy Arm, AK

Today has been the day of the Dalls Porpoise, the big black and white porpoises they have here. We saw numerous pods, a couple of which came and played with the boat. Amazing to stand on the bow of the boat watching them speed across the bow so close that you're sure they're going to be hurt but they leap across or under just in time! I thought we were going to get splashed by one pod of about 5 who played with the boat (bow area mostly) for about 30 minutes as they were cutting in so close!

We are currently on our way into the cove in the mouth of Tracy Arm and there's a black bear on the beach. If the weather continues tomorrow like it is today (clouds with sunshine and not a breath of wind, it's like motoring on a millpond, amazing!) we're thinking of heading up Tracy Arm to see the glaciers. This is the first time that we've been here and not seen any icebergs, very strange. It will be interesting to see if there any icebergs further up the Arm.

Dick and KC out on deck having a glass of wine prior to dinner.

Weather: 45 degrees this morning at 6:00 a.m., 58 degrees this p.m.

Petersburg/Biard Glacier
JoLe & KC Wilson
05/18/2012, Porter Cove, Thomas Bay, AK

Went through the Wrangell Narrows this morning. For the first time we met not only one ferry, but two, coming through the Narrows! We met the Matanuska about half way through the Narrows and the Fairweather at the Northern end. Arrived in Petersburg and our friend, Dick, met us on the dock, took our lines for us and off we went for lunch. Interesting time to be in Petersburg as they are celebrating Norwegian Independence Day (5/17) all week with the Little Norway Festival. Main street was blocked off, the Pickled Herring Band was playing, and there were all sorts of interesting folk walking around town in pelts; only a photo can explain it. We enjoyed the uniqueness of the celebration for a bit and then jumped on the boat and headed to Thomas Bay and the Kustika (Spirit), also to see Baird Glacier. The Glacier has receded greatly over the years and doesn't calve into the bay like the Tracy Arm Glaciers so there are no icebergs to dodge around. It's pretty, but not as striking as Tracy Arm as there aren't the continuous waterfalls. Glad we came in though, something different. We're currently anchored in Porter Cove just below the glacier. KC and Dick are standing outside visiting while cooking tonights dinner on the grill, in sunshine! Weather: Started out @ 48 degrees at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 56 degrees @ 7 p.m., rain showers off and on, some brightness also.

Uneventful Day
JoLe & KC Wilson
05/17/2012, Cove on SW side of Wrangell Narrows

Nothing very eventful today. Zimovia Strait was as beautiful as ever. Winona, our cat, was our entertainment for the day. She came out this morning and went to her spot under the dodger, the corner right up next to the windshield. There had just been a quick rain shower so droplets were rolling down the windshield in front of her and it was funny to watch her try to catch them with her paws, and when she couldn't how perplexed she was! Stopped in Wrangell to fuel (put in 130 gallons, won't tell you the cost!) and watched a charter boat at the mouth of the harbor catch a salmon. Fishing at the harbor is an easy way to save on fuel costs.

Weather: 46 degrees this morning @ 6:30 a.m., 55 degrees this evening. Showers intermittently all day although it cleared up over Wrangell. Had some wind in Sumner Strait, 15 - 20+ knots on the way to the Wrangell Narrows anchorage but as it was all on our nose couldn't even motor sail.

Work, work, work...
JoLe & KC Wilson
05/15/2012, Ketchikan, AK

We decided to stay in Ketchikan another day to finish taking care of unfinished business. The unfinished business included actual/real work, taking care of emails that had backed up, final troubleshooting of the generator, mailing a part that's not working on the generator to be looked at by the technicians, and last, but definately not least, purchasing a transom mounted depth finder that KC plans on using by attaching it to our boat hook and lowering it into the water, should be interesting, but at least we'll have some idea of the depth and not feel so blind.

Weather today was once again sunshine and blue skies, although cold.

Another Ignominious Docking in Ketchikan
JoLe & KC Wilson
05/14/2012, Ketchikan, AK

Woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine, 48 degrees outside and 50 degrees inside, brrrr! The blower motor for the Webasto heater which heats the boat and gives us hot water went out again in the night. While trouble shooting the heater on Saturday, KC had talked with the Seattle Webasto people. After we figured out that it was the motor wearing out in one area the Webasto tech rep told us to just give it a bang/hit it and that would probably get it going again (very technical, yes?). As there was nothing to lose, KC went back and banged on it, nothing, banged on it a second time and guess what? It worked but sounded very wounded. Needless to say, KC got on his cell phone (yes, cell phone, we were surprised to find we had cell and internet coverage 35 miles from Ketchikan in a cove where there are no houses, cabins, nor any anywhere around) and immediately called Webasto to see if they could ship the motor we ordered on Saturday to Ketchikan rather than to Juneau, too late, it had already been mailed. So, we moved on to Plan B. KC knew there was a Webasto dealer in Juneau so he called him. The only motor he had was on a Webasto heater that was on display but he told us he would take it out for us. Great! Planned on asking Rob, my brother, to pick it up and put it on the afternoon plane for Ketchikan where we would then pick it up. Didn't have to, the Webasto dealer said he would drop it at the airport on his way to an appointment. The next obstacle to surmount was that the flight landed in Ketchikan at 5 p.m. and the freight office closed at 4:30 p.m., called and they said they'd divert the package to the front airlines counter for pickup. So nice to have such helpful people and KC actually caught the ferry to the airport, picked up the part and caught the same ferry back without having to do any waiting, just a lot of running!

As for the Ignominious Docking Incident. There are two marinas in Ketchikan, Thomas Basin and Bar Harbor. We've been into Thomas Basin once and docked with absolutely no problems; we've been into Bar Harbor now twice and each time we end up over on the other side of the slip than what we're supposed to be on and someone has to help us! This is terribly embarrassing as anyone who owns a boat is aware. It makes it worse that KC and I kind of pride ourselves on our docking ability (I've probably now brought a docking jinx down on us). What was even worse is that the slip we were initially given, 10:3, we decided we didn't want as the winds were running about 20 knots from the N which means we would be coming in with it at our back so our mast would "flute" all night; we called in and requested a different slip which they handily provided, 11:4, so we would come in with the wind on our nose. Great, until as we are pulling into 11:4 whatever it is that causes us to have a problem in this harbor struck, hard! Partially into the slip we saw that there was no way I was going to be able to jump off and secure the boat as we were too far out so KC put her in reverse to straighten her out and try again, luckily the slip behind us was empty so he was able to back most of the way into it, at this point I noticed that the slip KC was backing into was the slip 10:3, the slip originally given to us! Meanwhile STX is slewing to the right as she always does when in reverse so we are getting too close to the boat in 10:1, thankfully a gentleman on the dock saw what was happening and jumped on the swim step of the boat in 10:1 and told us he would keep us off it while I took care of the lines. At that point two of the harbor masters appeared on the slip and I was able to toss them the lines and we were pulled to the side of the dock we were supposed to be on! Don't know what it is about this harbor but believe we'll stay in Thomas Basin next time and avoid the current and wind challenges!

Also spent time on the phone today with the depth finder people. After trouble shooting with KC for probably 1/2 an hour the tech rep asked how long we'd had the depth finder; when KC told him 15 years, he told KC that getting 10 years was golden and guess we've been living on borrowed time the last 5. The rep said he thinks it's the head (not the transducer) so KC took the head off today and we shipped that to them for them to look at. Should have the results by the time we hit Juneau so will continue to be "sightless" while anchoring until then. Hopefully it will be the head as if it's the transducer we will have to have the boat pulled out of the water in Juneau, not fun.

05/15/2012 | Kenneth Gill
Well it sounds like quite the adventure, suppose it could be worse there's a Swedish sailor here at Statter Harbor and they cannot leave until they figure out who will fix their Yanmar.
05/15/2012 | Kenneth Gill
Well it sounds like quite the adventure, suppose it could be worse there's a Swedish sailor here at Statter Harbor and they cannot leave until they figure out who will fix their Yanmar.
Dixon Entrance
JoLe & KC Wilson
05/13/2012, Kah Shakes Cove, USA

Started this morning out in lots of rain, strong winds from the south and 1/4 mile visibility and ended it in sunshine and blue skies for miles around (unfortunately it is only 55 degrees and cold with the wind)! The rain and poor visibility lasted for about 3 hours but as we passed Prince Rupert, BC the sun came out. We've been able to motor sail most of the day with winds between 10 - 15 kts. mostly from the NW.

Still without a depth finder so decided not to anchor in Kah Shakes Cove due to rocks and narrow entrance. Instead anchored in an adjacent cove which didn't have such a tricky entrance.

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