North to Alaska 2022

Fully vaccinated, we look forward to getting back into cruising through Canada up to SE Alaska!

07 March 2019 | Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
01 March 2019 | Ponce, Puerto Rico
28 February 2019 | Ponce, Puerto Rico
25 February 2019 | Fajardo, Puerto Rico
23 February 2019 | Fajardo, Puerto Rico
18 February 2019 | Spanish Virgin Islands
16 February 2019 | US Virgin Islands
15 February 2019 | US Virgin Islands
09 February 2019 | British Virgin Islands
09 February 2019 | British Virgin Islands
06 February 2019 | British Virgin Islands
01 February 2019 | US Virgin Islands
27 January 2019 | St. Martin
25 January 2019 | St. Kitts
23 January 2019 | St. Kitts
21 January 2019 | Antigua to St. Kitts
19 January 2019 | Antigua
17 January 2019 | Antigua
13 January 2019 | Guadalupe
11 January 2019 | Guadalupe

July 4th in Ketchikan

05 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
George Stonecliffe | Sunny morning; lowering clouds and rain at end of day
July 4th started with the City of Ketchikan Parade. Decibels above 90 thanks to loud fire trucks and 18 wheelers carrying high school graduation classes from 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2023. There was a running club, political candidates, military members from the Coast Guard, lots of Boy Scouts, but no marching bands :( Most every parade participant scattered hard candies to the street sides where young, cutie urchins swept up the bootie! It was great to be at the beginning of the parade where the crowd was overwhelmingly local. Food vendors did a brisk business. But no ice cream was available :( We couldn't find the reindeer hot dog vendor either!
Our new friends from Sweet Thursday and Tenacious came to 'Julia Max' for dinner and dessert. Sue's strawberry shortcake was el primo, a favorite for everyone. The weather clouded over and threatened rain by fireworks time so we dispersed at end of day.

Still Work to Do

02 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
George Stonecliffe | Sunny, partly cloudy and 75F
After replacing the fuel injection pump, the injectors, and the turbo, we still have an engine knock which seems to be a timing issue. Our mechanic will open the front of the engine to ensure the engine and the new fuel injection pump are in sync. Weekends and holidays always seem to get in the way of solutions, that is, engine parts and mechanic's work schedule. Hopefully the work to be done will be completed by the end of next week. At least, we are approaching the time when we will be rewarded with the Key to the City of Ketchikan for patience, persistence and success.

Hiking Deer Mountain

26 June 2022 | Ketchican, Alaska
George Stonecliffe
The Canadians have an expression we enjoy using when describing the effort or difficulty of anything. So I have to say, "it was a bit of a hike," meaning it was definitely not easy. In this case, it was really tough, unlike the strenuous hike George and I experienced years ago. While sitting
here at the marina in Ketchikan, I look up at Deer Mountain with the snow ever so slowly melting from the scree slopes at the top, a green forest blanketing its western slope. I finally got my courage up and started asking around other cruisers about it. Ralph on motor vessel Sweet Thursday
said he had nothing else to do and would love to go with me. Knowing there are black bears present in these woods, I wanted to start out mid-morning hoping there would be a number of other people on the trail. Ralph and I got on the bus which let us off about a half mile from the trailhead.
I had been warned that that walk would be very steep, and it was. 7.1 miles in all, 2800' elevation gain.
The trail took us through a lovely old growth forest filled with big Sitka spruce and hemlock the forest floor choked with salmonberry, huckleberry, salmonberry, foam flower, and all sorts of other ground covers. Blowdowns also covered the forest floor at times. The trail had been well
maintained, but endured much erosion from rainfall, water rushing down the trail and washing away soil. Many, many waterbreak logs had been placed across the trail to control erosion, but I found myself stepping up knee-high steps over them most of the way . Sometimes I found a way to
walk around these steep steps, sometimes tramping over slippery basalt embedded in the soil or stones used as helpful intermediate steps. Ralph ended up being a easy companion, cheerfully hiking along at the same speed. Openings in the forest afforded occasional views over the water
and islands below. When we finally reached our lunch stop, we had hiked up 2700' in just 3 miles. The city and harbor of Ketchikan stretched out far below us. Other hikers proceeded further into the snow up to the summit at 3,000'. Bugs quickly found us and forced a quick retreat.
Going back down turned out to be much easier than we had anticipated although we remained vigilant, not wanting to slip or fall on the sharp rocks. We stopped along the way to admire different features we had missed along the way up: a huge tree root system belonging to a fallen old
tree, a single (single delight waxflower Moneses uniflora), marsh marigolds, deer cabbage (Fauria crista-galli), a little stream having dug a deep v-shaped cut just off the trail, and bird calls: hermit thrush, Townsend warbler, winter wren, Swainson's thrush among the crow and raven calls.
Yes, we were tired and glad for the bus ride back. I will remember this beautiful day in spite of aching muscles the following day reminding me, yes, it was "a bit of a hike".

Anyone have a Turbo

23 June 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
George Stonecliffe | Sunny and 70F
After replacing our fuel injector pump, we also replaced our four fuel injectors. The engine seemed back to normal as we could reach 3300rpm in neutral, no smoke, and she sounded great!! But when we put the engine into forward gear, she labored, up to 1500rpm, and started black smoke which told us she was overloaded.
Our mechanic and other boaters suggested that the turbo was not spooling up, that is as the rpm advanced, the air/fuel mixture was not adequate. Air from our turbo was not meeting the demand. The turbo (and engine) has 5900 hours, which is probably at its useful end. So our next step is replacing the turbo.
Meanwhile, here we sit in Ketchikan!
The photo is of Creek Street in old town Ketchikan.


20 June 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
George Stonecliffe
No, we didn't hit any rocks. We're still at the dock in Ketchikan, waiting for 2 new fuel injectors to arrive from Seattle. George also sent 5 to Seattle Injectors, Inc. to be refurbished. With the 3-day week-end, it is taking FOREVER to get our engine parts back. Today we used our time cleaning up the interior, scrubbing the dinghy inside and out, and mending exterior dodger curtains where the zipper stitching had rotted. Without Sue's sewing machine she accomplished this with needle and thread, the old fashioned way.
Sue has been reading an oceanography textbook given to us by Gary. Geologists and astronomers have discovered a lot that she never knew before about the earth and its origins. The attached photo depicts a thin layer of earth crust peeled off during the Pacific plate subduction, rocks staying on the surface and squished together, hence the striped and undulating formations. Reading about this phenomenon she remembered seeing pillow basalt stones piled up along the shore in Foggy Bay. It's so interesting to learn about the places we visit, gazing at the natural wonders surrounding us.
Do take a look at the photo album associated with this blog to see totem poles, long houses, and beautiful scenery surrounding Ketchikan.

Minus Tide

16 June 2022 | Ketchican, Alaska
George Stonecliffe
Sue returned to Kechikan yesterday as the weather turned sunny and warm. Jerry, our engine mechanic finished installing the new pump and the engine runs and sounds great once again. Along with a full moon came a minus tide visible at the dock along with numerous sea creatures that
love the brackish water, clear and clean fresh water from a nearby stream. Sue enjoyed photographing starfish, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and Dungeness Crabs scurrying along the bottom, hiding in the shadows of the boats and docks while the starfish clung to the pilings hoping to stay in
the water, sometimes unsuccessfully. Bald Eagles defended their territory within the marina while sitting atop a light pole, crying and swooping after intruding Bald Eagle adults and juveniles. Meanwhile, George, ever attentive to the working of the engine pulled out the fuel injectors and
installed three reconditioned ones Sue brought back from Portland. The fourth one will be sent from Seattle and should arrive in a few days. Meanwhile, we're enjoying lovely weather, walking to the grocery, and eating out for dinner at a nearby hotel.
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Fully vaccinated, we are positioning ourselves to head north through Canada to Alaska's amazing Glacier Bay NP and back. Have a wonderful summer. Cheers to all!
Julia Max's Photos - Main
Cruising through BC , Alaska, and home
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Created 16 June 2022
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