Spirit of place! It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name.
- Alice Meynell
Where We Been
Well, life has been a whirlwind but is now settling down to another winter caretaking at Baranof Warmsprings Bay. And that means some steady signal (barring the technological demise of our iPhone 4).
Last winter (2018-19) we spent in Sitka, AK, touching bases with old friends and making new ones. Among other things, we installed a new, full-sized foremast. Our original was undersized and therefore temporary, but come spring, we were poised for full strength sea trials. This summer, we sailed roughly 500nm as the crow flies.
In short, WAYWARD sailed well on and off the wind over a wide range of conditions. We were able to sail, short tack to windward, luff up and 'tread water', sail backwards, on and off the anchor... in short all we asked of her.
Our route took us from Sitka Sound to WarmSprings Bay, Tenakee, Haines, Juneau, Hoonah and WarmSprings Bay again. But ah! The reaches between!!
So here's a few images from along the way:
|We helped an injured juvenile sealion aboard for the night...|
It was spooked, injured, and we think avoiding orcas.
This little guy woke us by ramming his head against the hull as he tried to climb onto our narrow board guards. He was obviously panicked, but not by us. He tried and failed to get in the dory, so we tipped one edge up (to lower the other) and he flopped in. Stayed with us for about 16 hours. Turns out he had a lacerated flipper, which was badly swollen the next morning. Finally, the horseflies drove him back into the water, and he swam off with some other sealions.
|Sari weather, or less!|
|New sculling oar blade|
Rocket Stove (EcoZoom) on bench to my right
These were inspired by Douglas Martin's sculling oar for MOCKINGGULL.
|Rocket Stove deck fire|
Our little rocket stove let us cook outside on hot mornings, using just a handful of kindling sized sticks for a meal or popcorn. Afterwards, sunset and stars with a blaze and sumpin' sippy!
The islands with the fireweed had big stretches of thimbleberry, blue berry and blue- and red huckleberry. A little further on, we found great patches of skunkberry and rowanberry (mountain ash). Each made gallons of fine boat wine!
|EcoTourism in action|
Note trail of smog...
Starting to look like I-5 North along Lynn Canal / Chatham
|Up a creek, got a paddle|
Here we're in a tidal stretch about a mile and a half up from the river mouth. Salmon are running, but severely reduced in number due to drought. We're about a half mile downstream from where they pool to ascend the river.
Top o' the reef at about 18ft above low tide.
Thereby hangs a tale for another post. Suffice it to say I could'a used a more generous margin of safety!
Anke and I met over 30 years ago at the Pioneer Bar, whose walls are adorned with pics of boats in similar situations. We've now joined that wall of infamy.
|The Queen o' King Boletes|
|Hiding from the wind|
|Averaged 2kts in not much wind!|
So there's a quick tour.
Hopefully the winter will be mild and uneventful and I can get back to writing!
Dave and Anke