Tag Archives: trawler

HOW CLEAN ARE WE? A TOUR OF HOT SPRINGS

How far behind are we in blogging??!! Oh, like two months….ack!

When last we blogged we were leaving Hartley Bay for Weewanie Hot Springs by way of Verney Passage to Devastation Channel. Follow?

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Devastation Channel – not a bad view.

Our first attempt at Weewanie Hot Springs was unsuccessful. Contrary to the Douglas book there is only one mooring buoy rather than the reported two. One small boat was on the only buoy and a second larger boat anchored where the other buoy should have been. Captain Rusty circled the small bay looking for a suitable alternative anchorage but there just wasn’t room for a third boat. We  made our way across Devastation Channel to Loretta Island Anchorage with plans to try it again the next day. It wasn’t a beautiful anchorage but served the purpose. The next day we headed back to Weewanie Hot Springs, this time with better luck.

WEEWANIE HOT SPRINGS. About 10-15 minutes out from Weewanie Hot Springs we watched a cruising boat go in and tie to the only mooring buoy. We were sooooo close….however, we were able to anchor in the spot where the second buoy should have been. Success! After the folks on the cruiser finished with the tub at the hot springs we made our way to shore in the kayak and headed to the tub.

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See the bathhouse in the lower right?

Weewanie Hot Springs runs about 102º. It has a smaller “tub” for bathing that can be drained afterwards and a larger tub for soaking. And, soak we did. Perfect.

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After our soak we watched four whales travel down Devastation Channel while we spent a quiet night anchored in the small bay.

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All tucked in for the night.

KITIMAT. Isn’t that a nice name. Pronounced just like it’s spelled. Kitimat. I really really wanted to like a town with such a nice name. But….there are a few issues with Kitimat and MK Marina.

Kitimat does have in interesting history. It came into existence in the 1950s when Alcan developed a hydroelectric facility to support the aluminum smelting industry. The company built a dam, a 10 mile tunnel, powerhouse, 51 mile transmission line, a deep sea terminal and smelter. Additionally, the company also designed, laid out and assisted with the initial construction of the city. At the time, the combined development was considered the most expensive project ever attempted by private industry. All of this was accomplished in a span of a four years and is well documented in the museum.

The marina itself isn’t bad. But there is nothing near the marina. Seriously nothing. No parks, no trails to hike, and town is roughly 10 miles from the marina. A taxi runs $60 roundtrip, WHOA! We utilized the bus to get to the grocery and museum (a fine museum), working around the very limited bus schedule. The second issue with the marina is the breakwater…or lack thereof. It has breakwaters, we know this because we could see them, but they are truly ineffective. Between the wind channelling down Kitimat Arm and the small fishing boats going in and out at fast speeds it made for a bumpy stay. Would we go back to Kitimat? Probably not. Note I haven’t any pictures because, well there wasn’t much to take pics of.

KITSAWAY ANCHORAGE. The forecast was for a windy couple of days. This is were we chose to wait out the wind and a good choice it was. It was a pretty anchorage and the crabbing was the best we’ve ever had. A very worthwhile stop. p.s. I STILL have crab in my freezer. 

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Crab cakes and crab quesadillas!

OWYACUMISH BAY. This is one of the most beautiful bays we have seen. Absolutely spectacular. Gardner Cannel has been one of the more scenic channels we’ve been in and Owyacumish Bay made the trip down this channel worth while.

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Just one of the many beautiful views in Gardner Channel

That said, Captain Rusty made several valiant attempts to find Sweet T a suitable anchorage but eventually conceded that there was not a decent place to drop anchor with sufficient swing room. It’s a small deep bay then all of a sudden it’s shallow. He would not have been able to let out any scope whatsoever. The Douglas book we use rarely fails us, but it is 20 years old and over the years the recommended spot was no longer the depth they reported. Oh how we wanted to stay here. For days….

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It’s good to have a Plan B though so we headed back to Europa Hot Springs (aka Shearwater Hot Springs) to spend a night or two.

EUROPA HOT SPRINGS. What a great stay we had here! The scenery was lovely, the bath house was nice, and with warm days and brilliant blue skies it was perfect. The temp in this tub runs about 107º; the warmest of the hot springs we visited. This was my favorite hot springs because it was off the beaten path with beautiful views no matter which way we were facing and since we were off the “popular” route we had the bay and hot springs all to ourselves. We made our way to the tub a couple of times for a good soak.

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The outside tub for bathing. (and my dry bag)

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The “inside” tub for soaking and if you look closely you can see the steam coming off the water.

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A view in one direction.

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A view in the other direction.

BISHOP BAY HOT SPRINGS. Continuing on with our hot springs tour our next stop was Bishop Bay Hot Springs. We headed out on yet another warm sunny day. We left Gardner Channel for Ursula Channel for Bishop Bay Hot Springs. This is the most “popular” hot springs we visited. The small dock was super crowded with small boats when we first arrived so we waited until early the next morning to visit the tubs. We did luck out and were able to grab an empty mooring  buoy when we arrived. A nice boardwalk that led to a nice tub with an outdoor tub for bathing, inside tub for soaking. This tub ran around 104º.

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A good boardwalk all the way from the dinghy dock to the bathhouse.

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A nice little bath house.

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Yes, we left our name at each tub we visited.

With all these bath houses I’m not sure we’ve ever been this clean while cruising. I’m also not sure what that says about us, but don’t judge us.

All is well.

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DIXON ENTRANCE, PRINCE RUPERT AND MAKING OUR WAY SOUTH

We have cell service so let’s get caught up.

After sitting in Craig for a WEEK (sigh) we were finally able to shove off to make our way to Dixon Entrance. Craig was a great stop but a week was about 5 days more than we needed to be there.

First stop after leaving Craig, a one nighter in Hydaburg. This is a small Indian Village where we were able to tour a carving house.

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Russell getting tips on how to carve a totem pole just in case he plans to one day carve a totem pole.

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Bentwood Boxes in progress and to the left one nearly finished.

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Bentwood coffin with the tribal symbol.

An early morning departure from Hydaburg, we had hoped to make it to Nichols Bay but after poking our nose out in Dixon Entrance the crew voted to abort and return to Narrows Cove to spend the night. There was a slight swell from the west off Dixon Entrance but mostly we had a calm night.

We left early the next morning with, again, hopes of crossing Dixon Entrance but it was too rough for our liking.  Instead of heading across we made our way up the coast eventually taking a break from the rough seas in Nichols Bay.  After lunch and a brief nap the seas were slightly calmer so we set out for Judd Bay where we would spend the night and attempt to cross Dixon Entrance the following day.

Judd Harbor was a calm and welcome relief. Also in this bay were the folks from the SV Bannister that we met in Craig. They too were staging in Judd Harbor to cross Dixon Entrance.

No pics were taken in Narrows Cove, Nichols Bay, and Judd Harbor. These were VERY early starts to unpleasant days. Taking pics were not first on my mind.

Bannister left about 30 minutes before we did and reported back that they had calm seas.  Finally we were crossing Dixon Entrance to Prince Rupert, BC.

PRINCE RUPERT. Once again with the weather determining our schedule we spent a week in Prince Rupert, BC. If you’re going to be stuck somewhere waiting out weather Prince Rupert is a pretty good place to be.

Seafest was going on when we arrived in Prince Rupert. One of the activities was a boat parade which we watched from our front row seat on Sweet T.

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Any day is a good day for a parade, even a rainy day.

While in Prince Rupert we hooked up with new friends from Bannister for various activities such as Thai Food for lunch, a night at the movies (Wonder Woman), a most excellent dinner out, and one evening we even worked (really, we did) at a local Wheelhouse Brewery sticking roughly 1200 labels on bottles in a span of three hours. We were paid for our work in “free” beer

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Russell and Hendrik

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The labels we used.

We made the most of Prince Rupert going through the museum, several trips to the local bakery, numerous trips to Safeway, the yarn store, and a couple trips to Walmart. (The second trip to Walmart was unplanned, but a certain crew member broke the zipper beyond repair on her soft crate with one too many escapes. She now has a brand new hard crate which she is NOT happy about.)

The best part of Prince Rupert was spending time with and getting to know new friends Hanna and Hendrik from Holland, SV Bannister. We so enjoyed spending time with them and thanks so much for sharing your movies!!!

Our original plan was to then cross Hecate Strait over to the Queen Charlotte Islands but after sitting out a week in Prince Rupert and with all the unsettled weather we keep having we decided to abort our plan to visit the Queen Charlotte Islands and start heading south taking our time to explore the Northern portion of BC. (head south to explore north – whahhh?  If you look at a map it makes sense)

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The screen shot is north of Cape Caution which is northern BC. We will be exploring the southern part of northern BC. Makes perfect sense.  p.s. The push pins are places we have stopped. 

Our first stop when we finally left Prince Rupert was Kelp Bay which was just an overnight stop. We didn’t see tons of kelp but in the entrance there were roughly 50 bald eagles on shore watching us.

WATTS NARROWS AND BAKER INLET. Watts Narrows is the entrance to Baker Inlet which is a deep, but narrow, and beautiful entrance. And we mean very narrow; definitely have to wait for slack water to go through.  But worth it. This made our top favorite anchorage list. It’s not a well kept secret so there were 4-5 other boats with us, which we’re still trying to get used to. In Alaska we got used to being the only boat in most of our anchorages.

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Watts Narrows – See how pretty?

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Beautiful backdrop in Bakers Inlet

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Taken from the bow before anchor up.

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A tranquil evening

EAST INLET IN KLEWNUGGIT. This inlet should be RE-named Jellyfish Inlet. Everywhere you looked – jellyfish. While not a spectacular anchorage Russell did catch a halibut and a rockfish, or as I like to think of it, dinner for two night!

LOWE INLET, VERNEY FALLS. On our way in we made a stop to drop our shrimp pot in.

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Ready to put the shrimp pot out!

We arrived early but the “spot” Russell had picked out was taken with two other boats. (I hate when that happens.) He surveyed another spot nearby but wasn’t especially comfortable with the depth so decided to explore near the shore on the opposite side of the bay. Nope…but he found a spot slightly off to the side of the falls he liked. We don’t normally anchor in front of falls but when you do anchor in front of falls the water coming from the falls creates kind of “current” which holds your bow into the falls so you don’t move…..in theory. That is unless you have a STRONG wind come through in which case it can (and did) turn us around. Our well set anchor held but we did do a 360° swing. When the wind laid we were back where we were supposed to be; bow into the falls.

We did enjoy our view of the falls.

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The falls at low tide

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The same falls at high tide (and a sunnier day)

On our way out we stopped to pick up our shrimp pot. We have been putting our pot out with minimal success so far, but we finally got a decent haul…decent enough for us anyway. Fresh shrimp and pasta for dinner!

HARTLEY BAY IN DOUGLAS CHANNEL. This is a small Indian Village with boardwalks running throughout the entire village. No vehicles, only ATV’s.

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Can emergency vehicles be cute?

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YES. THEY. CAN!!  Village Fire Trucks.  I guess that’s the fire Chiefs ATV.

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Very small harbor in Hartley Bay.

After we fill up with water tomorrow we’ll make our way up Douglas Channel, Devastation Channel (hoping it doesn’t live up to it’s name), Gardner Canal, Ursula Channel…eventually working our way to Shearwater, our next BIG town. But we have a lot of ground to cover before then (and several hot springs to soak in).. We’ve updated our page with our cruising plan with all of our “planned” stops.

All is well.

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THORNE BAY, THOMS PLACE, LITTLE NORWAY FESTIVAL

We had a few stops on our way back to Petersburg for the Little Norway Festival.

First, Thorne Bay with a nice transient dock. This stop, to me, will always be the friendly little town on Prince of Wales Island that has a little grocery with great meat and reasonable prices!

BEAUTIFUL PASSAGE TO GET BACK TO THORNE BAY

On our way to Thoms Place we found this floating.

Russell called the Coast Guard and let them know about the little blue skiff.

No bears or waterfowl at Thoms Place but loads of songbirds and a peaceful beautiful setting. We liked this spot so much we stayed two nights.

Sam and Dad on a field trip to a little island.

IS MY MAMA OUT THERE?

DINNER? YES PLEASE!!!

After Thoms Place we headed to Wrangell which we bypassed on the way to Alaska last year. We stayed in Heritage Harbor, a very nice harbor with friendly folks. However, it is 1.5 miles to town…yes, that is taking the shortcut.

In Wrangell we had a great burger, good pizza, went through their most excellent museum, and we had rain…lots of rain. Because of the rain I opted to not carry my camera.

Somewhere along the way I finished these.

LETS CALL THEM HALLOWEEN SOCKS.

Next stop is Petersburg. Every May Petersburg has their Little Norway Festival. It’s a big deal here and we wanted to experience it.

Before the festivities started we were invited to tour Kestrel, a dive ship for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This ship isn’t far off our starboard side and we looked at it all winter so it was nice to see the inside!

ONE OF TWO DIVE SKIFFS

THE DIVE ROOM

CREW OF THREE, CAPTAIN, COOK, AND ENGINEER…PLUS ROUGHLY SIX DIVERS

ENGINE ON THE LEFT, GEN ON THE RIGHT….ANOTHER ENGINE AND GEN ON THE OTHER SIDE

We sampled Norwegian desserts, we went to the Mitkof Mummers play, the roller derby, the museum, watched the herring toss, watched the parade, and marveled at the Norwegian costumes everywhere.  We’ll let the pics tell the story of this small town festival.

FANS OF THE ROLLER DERBY – CRUISERS FROM OUR DOCK

GILL WRECKHER SCORING FOR PETERSBURG. IT WAS A BLOW OUT FOR PETERSBURG AND A MUCH MORE PHYSICAL BOUT THIS TIME.

HALF TIME ENTERTAINMENT!

Let the parade begin!

HOW CUTE ARE THESE TWO!!!

CAST OF THE PLAY

LET THE HERRING TOSS BEGIN

The herring toss draws a huge crowd!

WE’RE ROOTING FOR JENNY AND KELLY!!

OOPS! THEY’RE SLIPPERY!!

DAD IS JUST GOING TO HOLD MANDY IN CASE ONE OF THOSE SLIPPERY HERRINGS GETS LOOSE!

We had three beautiful sunny days when we arrived.

I FINISHED THIS ALONG THE WAY TOO…AND AFTER A GOOD SOAK IT DRIED IN NO TIME ON THE BOW.

SOME SAY THEY’RE WEEDS, I SAY THEY ADD BEAUTIFUL COLOR!

We had nice weather for the festival but the rained started last night,has continued today, and will continue tomorrow. But the winds will be light so we will head south tomorrow around the west side of Prince of Wales Island. The rain doesn’t bother us, we’re inside, although it’s always nice if the rain stops while we anchor.

With a little luck there’s a slim chance we may catch up with some friends in Prince Rupert and swap stories. Wouldn’t that be nice!

All is well.

 

 

 

 

 

PICTORIAL – JAN/FEB

We’ve been hibernating. Occasionally we do get out and about.

Despite the cold I like to walk on sunny days.

I find there is so much beauty in winter and things are more interesting.

Love waking up to see a new dusting of snow or is that heavy frost on the mountains across from us?

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All was quiet when this was taken, not anymore now that it’s crab season it’s busy.

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One of my walks – rain? snow? fog? Who knows, but it was beautiful.

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All frozen in the muskeg field.

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This pretty bell is located at the elementary school. Wonder if they ever ring it?

On a pretty day we headed to the south end of the island.

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Swan observatory. Beautiful but no swans were spotted.

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Blind River Rapids Boardwalk in a muskeg field

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The shady section of the boardwalk with a  beautiful layer of frost.

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Blind River – remember this ice….it reappears later.

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Serious ice

My boat neighbor /friend/knitting buddy/ and I went for a walk on a WINDY & CHILI day. (look way out there in the water and you will see white caps)  We were rewarded with ice bergs on the beach at low tide. We were able to get up close to these bergs. SO. COOL!! No pun intended. 

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Robin giving perspective of how big one of the bergs was. p.s. She knitted that hat. 

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LOVE the texture on ice.

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A beauty!

Some lessons you learn from your mama early on stick with you for life. Like…look both ways before crossing the street. Some mama deer taught her baby this life lesson.

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Look right….

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Look left….

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All clear…

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Hello….what’s your name?

I live in Alaska. I want SNOW.

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Thank you.

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Thank you very much!

Then it warmed up and melted. One night after dinner we heard…uh, noise…something hitting our hull…remember that ice from Blind River? With the warmer temps and rain the ice broke up, met up with the narrows, and the tide/current carried it to the harbor. This 40 ft wide x 50 ft long slip down from us was completely full of ice. Remember we get serious currents here and this slip was so full of ice, and with the current pushing it so hard, it eventually went under the dock and popped out on the other side.

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When the tide turned and ebbed the ice was gone.

Last but not least…look at Sweet T in Nordhavn Ad in Passage Maker!!

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All is well.

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Woof

WEATHER

We have had lots of this…

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Now we have lots of this…

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OUR NEIGHBORS, WHO ARE WINTERING IN CALIFORNIA

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RESTRICTED VISIBILITY IN WRANGELL NARROWS DUE TO SNOW!

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On the way back from Texas Russell flew over a few places we anchored during the summer months. He snapped a few pics through the window of the plane with his phone.

Below is Shag Cove in Glacier Bay where we anchored a night or two in May. This was where the wind came up and another boat dragged its anchor past us and Russell raced to save it in the dinghy. GLACIER BAY III -ANCHORAGES, BERGS, AND A PAY-IT-FORWARD MOMENT

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Remember we anchored at Reid Glacier several nights while we explored the surrounding area.

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REID GLACIER IN MAY – TINY WHITE SPEC IS SWEET T!

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REID GLACIER – DECEMBER COVERED IN SNOW

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BEAUTIFUL VISTA

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ENDICOTT ARM – FOGGED IN.

 

All is well….and a beautiful snowy white!!

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DECEMBER IN PETERSBURG

Hello Winter! Today is a sunny balmy 11º.

Right after Russell left for Texas, winter hit and hasn’t left. Petersburg hasn’t been above freezing temps since Dec 5th.

But before Russell left he took care of the nasty bird issue we were having by installing these nifty little plastic things. They work great! No more birds = no more bird droppings!

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OH. MY. Guess what we’ll be cleaning in the spring?! Yep, we’ll hoist Russell up there to clean under EVERYTHING -gross! Boats turn green SO QUICKLY here. 

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SUCH A SIMPLE DESIGN TO KEEPS THE BIRDS AWAY. ONE WOULD THINK THE MOLD WOULD KEEP THEM AWAY! 

Saying it’s cold would be a slight understatement.

Here’s what happens when it’s 11º?

Remember we have dogs that use the back deck as their potty spot. THANK. GOODNESS. How thankful am I that I don’t have to walk the dogs in these temps?? Pretty darn thankful!

Obviously after they potty I have to rinse. I’ve had to deal with a frozen hose and faucet.  Tepid water to the rescue. Problem solved. Now I remove and drain the hose after I use it then bring it inside and I also cover the faucet. Most of the time that works for the faucet, but not always.

I also have  to break the ice in the dog bowl because we have pampered hot house dogs that haven’t a clue how to break the ice in their water bowl.

The block heater is on keeping the engine room toasty. The two electric heaters are doing a great job keeping the inside of Sweet T warm. The Hurricane Heater kicks on if the electric heaters don’t keep up. Additionally, a spoiled Cavalier on my lap helps keep me warm.

Even though we have had frigid temps we have also had beautiful sunny days, albeit short sunny days.

Life goes on. I bundle up in layers, layers, layers to head out to the library, stores, grocery, etc. Fishing boats still go out everyday….man, those guys are TOUGH!

We have clear starry nights.

The temperature difference in the water and air causes a steam to rise from the water in the mornings.

We have a beautiful HEAVY frost in the mornings.

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ONE NIGHT OF FROST. FASCINATING!! 

It’s a stunning winter wonderland here.

And, these guys don’t mind the cold at all!

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A SURF SCOTER – HE DOES KIND OF “SCOTE” ACROSS THE WATER WITH HIS BRIGHT ORANGE LEGS.

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I NEED THESE SHY GUYS TO GET CLOSER. I THINK THEY ARE LONG TAILED DUCKS. THERE IS A LONG TAIL BEHIND HIM, TRUST ME. THE CURRENT WAS MOVING AGAINST THEM AT A PRETTY GOOD CLIP. 

I am keeping an eye on the snow in the mountains north of us. Look at the difference between when we arrived and now.

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OCTOBER

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DECEMBER

Snow has been in and out of our forecast. Fingers crossed we get some actual snow soon….

All is well.

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A WALK IN PETERSBURG

We are getting to know Petersburg, on foot.

We walked to Sandy Beach, a 7 mile round trip. A few sights along the way…

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The view as you top the hill from town. Gorgeous!

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“Mama, that lady is looking at me. It’s alright deer, she won’t hurt you.”

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Whale Observatory and Outlook Point – no whales were observed.

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Our lunch spot at Sandy Beach and it’s not really sand.

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A Troll Booth in keeping with Norwegian lore, no trolls were spotted.

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Nice place to relax, build a fire, roast some marshmallows….

We also walked the Hungry Point Trail. 3.5 miles round trip.  Given the name of this trail I made sure to put snacks in the backpack, just in case. We went through a brief woody area, then the muskeg, then back to a woody area.

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Muskeg, which is a bog or swamp like area.

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Boardwalk on Hungry Point Trail.

October was the last month for the produce market until the spring, a 2 mile round trip. (with my trusty blue wagon)

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The last produce market until spring.

Downtown…It’s not fancy or bustling. But, every time walk downtown I love how there are no stoplights or parking meters. It’s a simple basic downtown.

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Yep, that’s the whole downtown.

We walked to the South Harbor bright and early a few Sunday mornings ago to check out our neighbors “Salty Dawg” (48 KK) on the grid.

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Grid in the South Harbor.

A lovely view from the South Harbor.

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What a pretty day!

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“Town” from the South Harbor, low tide. Sons of Norway Hall is the barn like building on the right with the red roof.

While most of Petersburg is evergreen there are a few trees that turn the beautiful fall colors.

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We had a week of perfect fall weather. We woke to frost on the docks, melting quickly under a beautiful sunny day.

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Beautiful days followed by beautiful nights.

The beautiful days won’t last, so here is what we did to make living with the rain easier.

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No, it’s not pretty and I cringed internally at the thought of putting this plastic stuff on Sweet T. *sniff*

That said, it’s rained the last two days and not having the rain on the cockpit has been SO nice. Additionally, while we would like to have had a bow in starboard tie slip in the North Harbor, it wasn’t available. We had to back in to get a starboard tie (we only have a door on our starboard side). This will keep the wind from coming in when we open the door and we open the door a LOT with the dogs.

So…not pretty, but I already love having the cockpit dry for the dogs, our raincoats, and our boots. Thumbs up on the ugly plastic! And, it’s temporary, just until spring.

p.s. Speaking of boots…my new Xtratuff “girly” boots, which I got on sale and on the no tax Saturday. Win – Win! I can fold the girly part up for the traditional Xtratuff look.

It’s the unofficial boot of Alaska, when in Alaska….

All is well.

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