SV Kobuk; Alaska and BC inside passage

23 August 2014 | Homer, Alaska
22 August 2014 | Homer, Alaska
18 August 2014 | Chenega Bay, Alaska
18 August 2014 | Chenega, Alaska
15 August 2014 | Chenega Village, Alaska
14 August 2014 | Chenega, Alaska
13 August 2014 | Chenega, Alaska
12 August 2014 | New Chenega, Alaska
12 August 2014 | New Chenega
21 June 2013 | Valdez, Ak
13 June 2013 | Yakutat Alaska
11 June 2013 | Yakutat, Alaska
10 June 2013 | Elfin Cove, Ak
10 June 2013 | Elfin Cove
09 June 2013 | Elfin Cove Alaska
07 June 2013 | Funter Bay
07 June 2013 | Hoonah, AK
07 June 2013 | Hoonah, AK
07 June 2013 | Hoonah, AK
07 June 2013 | Hoonah, AK

Birdies on board

23 August 2014 | Homer, Alaska
Mike / Sunshine
In Alaska the long Summer daylight hours begin to shorten as August comes. After leaving Rugged Island, Mary's bay, it started to get dark. By 11 pm it is dark. We were running the engine so we had our white steaming light on, along with our running lights. Our mainsail was full out as we planned on motor sailing all night. About midnight we could see birds passing through the steaming light beam, about half way up the mast. Soon there were a dozen or more and they were swarming the light and circling the mast. As they say; "like moths to a flame". Inevitably one would fly into the mainsail and with wings beating hard, they would start a long slide down to the coach top, onto the side decks, and sometimes into the cockpit. The cockpit of a Saturna is designed as small and deep, If a bird ended up in the cockpit there was no room for a take off and I would have to go out, pick it up, and release it. They were pretty cooperative. Of the fifteen or so I released throughout the night, only one even took a peck at me. I once made the mistake of wearing a headlight outside and in a few minutes two flying birds had headed for the light, only to give me a face full of beak, feathers, and beating wings Thankfully these were small birds, about the size of a Robin, and very soft, like their bodies were pure goose down. At first it was entertaining to see them side down the sail and eventually either fly off or be released. But once, I waited to long to check the cockpit and there were four birds in there all together. It was the only time I saw any panic in them as usually they would be sitting calmly until I gathered them and helped them launch. I suppose the four in close quarters caused them to panic and feed the panic off of each other. The result was quite a mess in the cockpit, as there was regurgitated small fish all over the cockpit floor, and smeared up the walls. It was no longer entertaining as the cockpit smelled so bad, like week old herring oil splashed all over the place. That's was it! The steaming light went off and even the running lights were turned off for a short time. Thank goodness it worked, and the birds found elsewhere to go. Eventually we turned the running lights back on but no more steaming light. Picture is of a bird on the coach house roof. Can anyone ID what bird it is? I have no idea.

Plan A to Plan B

22 August 2014 | Homer, Alaska
Mike / sunny
My how Weather can change ones plans. With our route planned, out we headed, out of the relative safety of Prince William Sound and into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The GOA had been under small craft warnings for several days previous. Our crossing was to the outside of Resurrection bay, Rugged Island, Mary's bay. The seas were 5 feet, sometimes constant rollers coming on our port beam, and sometimes, near the points, mixing with confused seas. We had variable winds from 0 to about 12 knots. We motor sailed with just the mainsail out fully. With a sail full of wind the boat steadied nicely and the ride was fairly comfortable. But when the wind could not fill the mainsail, the boat wallowed in the broadside rollers. One of the poodles got seasick and Donna was nauseous but held it together. Our first Anchorage, Mary's bay on Rugged island was a welcome break after 8 straight hours. We anchored next to WWII Army dock ruins. This high rock island was an US Army outpost for any Japanese marine activity. It is truly amazing to imagine how they built an outpost in such a steep, inhospitable terrain and environment. The ruins of old dock posts and a pile of rails from a steep tram system is all that remains at sea level. I'm sure it would be interesting to see what's on top, but it would take a younger man than me to go up the steep, seemed nearly vertical, switchback trail, to go check it out. We did go to shore in the dingy to let the poodles relieve themselves. But, without a patch of grass, or anything but boulders, they were to outside their comfort zone and didn't do a thing. So back to the boat.
At the boat we updated ourselves with the latest weather radio report and things were changing. The generous weather window was shrinking, from good weather into Saturday to Gale winds and high seas as early as Thursday night. So our plan A of a leisurely 4 nights at various bays changed to a new plan B of "let's get going, run all night and get to Homer".

More to come tomorrow...
Picture is Bear glacier, outside Resurrection bay taken as we approached Rugged island.

So long Chenega

18 August 2014 | Chenega Bay, Alaska
Before we leave in the morning, one last picture of the small boat docks after the fishing fleet left. We're feeling lonely :)
Vessel Name: Kobuk
Vessel Make/Model: 1988 33' Saturna Pilothouse Sloop
Hailing Port: Homer, Alaska
Crew: Mike, Donna, Scooter & Peanut
About: loving our retirement in Homer
In May 2012 We traveled to Orcas Island Washington to purchase our Sailboat. To bring her to her new home port, we traveled the inside passage, then across the gulf of Alaska to the port of Valdez Alaska. We soon decided Homer Ak will be our boating port and in the summer of 2014 we moved our boat [...]
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Kobuk's Photos -

SV Kobuk; Alaska

Who: Mike, Donna, Scooter & Peanut
Port: Homer, Alaska