Been Too Long…………..

Ketchikan, surprise rainbow

It has definitely been too long since my last web site post. I could say I’ve been too busy, but the real truth is I’ve been too lazy to deal with the really slow internet in Ketchikan and not being able to seamlessly write and post. While in Ketchikan I have done a lot of work on Caroline, including another new charging system and Alternator, some needed varnish work, even though there is always more to be done and engine /fuel system maintenance. I have gone through four more potential crew members. I’m hoping to eventually come up with one crew member who is honest about his or her motives and is open to the overall cruising agenda that I have loosely planned.

We left Ketchikan headed for Wrangell on July 28th arriving in the evening at 6:30pm. it was a beautiful flat calm trip.

 

Unfortunately, about two hours out of Ketchikan I went below to take a visual on the engine room, which is something I always do, and smelling something off kilter, I looked into the engine room and saw hydraulic oil dripping from everything and everywhere.  A brand new hydraulic hose that I had just installed the week before had blown apart at the swaged fitting. The only hydraulic system turned on at the time was the lower pressure stabilizer system. but it still emptied the entire twelve gallons of hydraulic fluid into the engine space and bilge spraying every component in the engine room. what a mess. No hydraulics, no windless, no thrusters and no stabilizers.

I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday just cleaning up the mess in the engine compartment. It took two bales of Oil-Sorb diapers. Sunday I installed another new hose, this time properly sized to the swage fitting and correctly swaged, added twelve gallons of fluid plus a couple of spare gallons and spent 3  hours bleeding the four hydraulic systems aboard.

Got a bit of rest Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednsday, Aug. 4th we hauled the boat out for an inspection haul. Power washed the bottom and put her back in the water. Two hours total time, but we got the critical measurements for the bulbous bow addition to the forward under-water profile of Caroline. It’s all designed and the 34 inch diameter thick walled fiberglass pipe (1 3/4″ thick, solid glass) being used for the section is ordered and should be ready in 6 weeks. We should be able to start in early October.

 

We left Wrangell for Petersburg on August 7th. Nice short trip, just under 6 hours burning under 2.0 Gal. per hour. Petersburg is a nice little fishing town full of Norwegians and Natives. Very friendly, very cost effective moorage fees compared with Ketchikan.

We stayed in Petersburg for 5 nights, sat through some rain waiting for a widow which never came. Left Petersburg for Juneau Aug. 12th and chose to stop for the night in Hobart Bay and anchor behind entrance Island.

I knew it was not great anchoring there, alternating between too deep to drop a hook and too shallow for us with no swinging room and very steep drop-offs. I tucked into a little spot that was very pretty and flat calm.

 

We grilled Hamburgers for dinner an went to bed at 10. By eleven the wind came up, the tide dropped and we swung to within about 15 feet of a now exposed group of rock with a couple of feet showing on the fathometer. We had to leave. we cautiously pulled the hook in pitch black, clouds, no light whatsoever and carefully exited Hobart Bay. as we got out into Stephens Passage and headed toward Juneau, it started to howl. We had 25 to 30 knots  from the Southeast across the deck and we were making 7 over the bottom bucking chop and incoming tide. At three am it was blowing 30 to 40 and pouring rain. I stayed on watch all night and steered for the last two hours in Stephens Passage, surfing down the growing seas at 8 to 9 knots.

 We made it to Juneau at about 8AM blowing and still raining hard, with gusts to 40 knots. We spent two hours before finally being assigned and getting into a slip. We were able to get below, fire up the Webasto furnace, change into dry clothing and get warmed up.

I haven’t taken any pics yet in Juneau, and I was too busy and it was dark most of the way here from Hobart bay, so no pictures of that trip either.