Start Chapter 8.
June 25, 1983 - Saturday
1200 - The exhaust valves arrived while we were gone so I ground them to seat them and had dinner with Dave Walton.
1700 - A fellow by the name of Dick entered Elfin Cove in a '24 Reinell sail boat, the "Goody". He was elated to be there having
crossed the Gulf from Anchoage. It was his birthday so we drank some wine with him and by midnight I finished the engine and it runs.
June 26, 1983 - Sunday
Refined the engine tuning and started the cleanup.
1430 - Set sail for Fern Harbor. We set the crabpot in Fern harbor and returned to Elfin Cove. Also saw a Black
bear in Fern Harbor.
June 27, 1983 - Monday
1000 - Wrote some letters and did the laundry.
1330 - Dick of the "Goody" is wanderlust and departs southbound.
June 28, 1983 - Tuesday
1030 - Departed for the Hobbitt Hole for 4th of July celebration via Fern Harbor to collect up the crab pot.
1140 - Fern Harbor - No crabs. No wonder, it has been there for 2 days. Plenty of time for the critters to figure out how to get back out I guess. Suddenly the the rear shaft busining is shaking violently to the point I had to shut down the engine. There is no wind so we called Dave to tow us into the Hole.
1330 - Finally under good sail as Dave approached but we still need him to get us through the "Laundry". Not sure what the" Laundry" is. Thrash your boat around on the changing tides ? At home as I write this I see on the google maps, the way the islands are situated it is possible the currents get real squirrely as the vast amount of Gulf of Alaska waters rush in and out as the tide changes. The final entrance to the Hobbitt Hole is very narrow adding to my speculation that it could be called the"Laundry".
1430 - Tied to a scow in the Hobitt Hole and joined the party. Sarah and I relaxed in a hot tub made with a large animal watering trough heated with copper tubing and a fire. It worked really good. Reminisce of the hot water and shower system I had back in the late 70's in my cabin.
AJune 29, 1983 - Wed.
0900 - Prepare for a tow back to Elfin Cove.
1030 - Dockside, Elfin Cove, breakfast and prepare for the grid in the inner harbor to investigate the out of balance drive shaft.
No one had any SCUBA gear and the the water was to cold for me to go under the boat.
1800 - The tide lacks a few inches so we wait for the next high tide tomorrow and even if we get on the grid the next high tide will not be enough to refloat us so we will wait until Monday.
2000 - Called my Mom to wish her a happy birthday.
June 30, 1983 - Thursday
1000 - Installed a new VHF antenna for a better reach on the radio. Sarah and I both read most of the day with overcast skies and rain. Oh that rain.
2200 - Went to Dennis's, the local salmon fishing outfitter, for drinks, and review of a pilot for a TV program about Alaska
The whiskey flowed pretty freely and not having had any for some time I over
indulged and spent the last half of the night nursing that feeling one gets when he
drinks way to much.
July 1, 1983 - Friday
1030 - Fair skies with patchy blue skies. We are dockside at the Inner Harbor, Elfin Cove, AK.
1400 - We went for a hike off into the surrounding hills above the harbor for
sunbathing and exploring.
1830 - Back Aboard. Went for a shower and use the hot tub.
July 2, 1983 - Saturday
0930 - Dockside, Inner Harbor, Elfin Cove, AK. Fair skies and warm temperatures
1030 - Installed a new VHF cable to go with the new antenna. The radio seems to work much better and with better range.
13330 - Ready the grid for the 2000 high tide.
2000 - The tide still isn't high enough to get on the grid. Tomorrows tide won't be as high as today so I'll have to skip a day.
July 3, 1983 - Sunday
1000 - Overcast skies with a promise of rain. Spent the day cleaning the boat and trying to figure out why the ships batteries
2000 - I installed a new voltage regulator and it seems to be charging.
July 4, 1983 - Monday
1000 - Motor start to charge the batteries a little. The saltwater pump's main
bearing burns out.
1600 - Saltwater pump back in stuffed with grease. It won't last to long but l
ong enough until I can get a new one.
1900 - Elfin Cove July 4th celebration. About a dozen people not living in Elfin
Cove showed up on a 55' crabber, some pleasure
boats and a float plane making a crowd of about 30. There is Volley ball and a BBQ, bake out of every concievable seafood one might think of plus a few pieces of meat that, I am told, is Moose, Deer and Bear.
I had a small amount of each. They are, of course, gamier in taste but the bear meat seemed greasier.
2100 - I left the party for while to see if I could get "Sweet Thursday" on the grid. It still lacked about an inch.
July 5, 1983 - Tuesday
1130 - Inner Harbor, Elfin Cove, AK. under overcast but dry skies. Image of boat on the grid here
2210 - On the grid ! Now waiting for the tide to fall and adjust the boat to sit firmly in the grid being sure it would lean slightly toward the pilings. I didn't want her to fall over.
2400 - Solid on the grid.
July 6, 1983 - Wednesday
0015 - As the tide falls and exposes the the screw and drive shaft I fine a large plastic bag wrapped around the shaft between the screw and strut. Someone's garbage, thrown overboard into the Gulf of Alaska waters. Sarah and I slept onboard but did not move around very much so as not upset the balance.
0730 - On the grid, Inner Harbor. I scrubbed the bottom carefully so not to remove the anti fouling paint that is still looking good.
1750 - Work on the grid is done .. Skeg bushing bolts are replaced and caulked. The rudder post is caulked and tightened .. Patches of paint all around with a new water line.
2145 - Ready "Sweet Thursday" for removal from the grid.
2200 - We are off and dockside.
July 7, 1983 - Thursday
1000 - The batteries are dead. I left the key on all night.I borrowed a battery and the motor started up right away.
120 - Off for an afternoon of sailing with Kathy and Herb, the managers of the general store that includes the showers and hot tub.
1510 - Dockside, State float , Elfin Cove, Ak.
This was Kathyand Herb's first sailing experience. With a 20 kt. wind in the strait it was pretty exciting and they they enjoyed it enough to give us an hour in the hot tub. ( it is usually rented by the hour)1600 - Sarah, Willie and I are off for cams in Port Althorp.
1730 - Anchored at the head of Port Althorp. We launch the dingy and head to shore right away, bucket in hand.
1830 - We are back aboard and underway for Elfin Cove.
2000 - Dockside, Inner Harbor, Elfin Cove for the night.
July 7, 1983 - Friday
0200 - Received a call from Toni. We agee to meet her in Sitka Saturday evening.
0730 - Up and about under partly cloudy skies.
0900 - After a pretty lengthy stay in Elfin Cove we are underway south with our first planned stop at White Sulphur Springs, out on the coast. We could have cut down past Pelican but did not for some reason. I think I thought we could get better wind on the outside and would not have to motor so much.
1800 - Anchored, Mirror harbor, inside White Sulphur Springs. I initially tried to anchor behind a small island I thought would protect us from the building winds coming off the Gulf but before I even tried to anchor it became obvious with the wind and waves coming off the we would not be protected enough so we moved just a little south where we met some kayakers surfing the breaking waves. They pointed to a nearly invisible slot in the shoreline that would give us entrance to Mirror Harbor. The channel into the Harbor looks like a dead end and with a strong following sea driving us onto a rocky beach and at the moment of panic it opens up to the right. that opening revealsed a narrow channel with large rocks just below the surface but in calm water. I climbed to the spreaders and directed Sarah thru the channel dodging the rocks. That gave way to a bay of about 20 acres in size. There was one other boat there already but they left soon after we arrived. I anchored in about the middle of the bay. Now we ate dinner, launched the dingy and rowed to the trail head that took us to the Springs 1 mile away. We arrived to a Forest Service Pan Abode structure with a rope swing inside and Japanese style sliding doors that opened up for a great view of the pounding surf. Hot tub with a fantastic view of the surf that was building by the minute, very satisfying.
We soon headed back. As mentioned, I anchored in the middle of the bay. As I rowed to a point where I thought I should see the boat, it was not there. I rowed faster in a mild panic and finally saw Sweet Thursday edging up on the smooth rock shore. I am unable to tell just what she is stuck on under the boat.
I lay anchors about 200' out in the bay and Sweet Thursday winches herself easily away from the rocky shoreline. The wind is really blowing now. We are not in the direct wind, being protected from the breakers by a low shoreline and a heavy stand of trees. The wind comes over the bank and through the channel in gusts that hit like a Mack truck. Mostly as an over reaction to Sweet Thursday dragging anchor earlier I set 200' of line with an anchor on all for quarters of the boat.
July 9, 1983 - Saturday
0415 - Up and about. Willie and I walk out to the point where I can see the surf. It has been blowing hard all night and the winds are down to about 15 kts. The surf though, is breaking about 10 feet high. Willie and I walk back to tell Sarah we should wait for awhile. I can spend some time repairing a torn main sail.
0605 - The new main is rigged, reefed and ready. It is overcast with a light drizzle and gusty winds, 15 - 20 knots. The tide is to low to get out of Mirror Harbor so we wait, relax and I go over the charts a couple more times to be sure my strategy will keep us off the seamounts and other under water hazards that dot our course South. We will have to go well off shore before turning South to miss the hazards I speak of and give the quartering seas ride I preferred. Since it had been blowing all night and the winds were diminishing at the tail end of the storm and the wind direction were all consistent with the weather report, I felt it was time to go.
1145 -The new main is rigged, reefed and ready. Underway with the seas as predicted, about 10 - 15 feet. It was the roughest getting through the breaking surf. Once into the open water the ride is much better. Judging by my spreader height, the swell is about 10 - 15 ft with renegade seas to 20 feet.
It will be an "E" ride for sure. We are motor sailing with the reefed main and storm sail.
At times Sweet Thursday almost stalls as she falls off the windward side of each large swell.
We travel all day, about 5 miles off shore with visibility about 1 mile. We lost sight of land about 1300 and didn't see it again until about 1900 when we closed in on the Salisbury light standing on an 80' cliff. It was a very welcome sight.
2000 - Wet and bedraggled, we anchored in mirror smooth St. Johm Baptist Bay. It is very quiet now except for a loon calling in the distance.
What a wet and nasty ride..
I hope you have enjoyed these writings from the log of Sweet Thursday and her crew.
Be sure and check us out Dec 1, 2017 for chapter 9 as we continue on to Sitka AK.
Sitka, AK, my favorite city, anywhere.
End of Chapter 8.
May 25, 1983 - Wednesday
1000 - Tore into the engine, pulled the head and it doesn't look good. The valves are badly pitted.
1300 - Called Parts Northwest in Seattle to order the parts. Roger, my brother, will go get them and get them shipped to me here in Elfin Cove. It will take about a week so we use the time to enjoy the area.
1710 - Roger called, he has the parts and will call tomorrow to let me know they are on the way.
1740 - Sarah called her Grandmother to have her IRS rebate check sent along with a letter from my son she had.
1815 - Showers ashore.
1900 - We got invited to the "Maggy Jo' for dinner. She is a crabber with Len as the skipper. Good sea stories and we call it a night at 2330. It is just getting dark. gotta love these long days.
May 26, 1983 - Friday
1730 - Received a call from Roger, the parts are on the way via USPS, Elfin Cove, AK.
I spent the next 2 days fussing about the boat and on Sunday we will set sail for Fern Harbor, across the sound in Taylor Bay at the foot of Brady Glacier.
May 29, 1983 - Sunday
0945 - On our way across the strait to Fern harbor.
1230 - Anchored Fern Harbor in the first bay (the only one) East side. We set off for some exploring on foot in the nude. The sand was warm and the air was warm. What a marvelous day in Alaska. We found a glass ball and a large fender. The glass ball we will keep, the fender we will trade away since it is to large for our use.
2000 - Returned to the boat with soon after seeing a Black bear. We caught one crab from the pot.
May 30, 1983 - Monday
0845 - Fern Harbor. Gusty winds most of the night. I took Willie to shore but Sarah warned me of a wolf sighting on the beach as I approached the beach so I took Willie back to the boat and grabbed my camera gear and went back, staying in the dingy. The wolf was mostly black with some tan blotches. I hung off shore in the dingy for about an hour trying to get a good shot but it was very leary and I couldn't get a good shot. Note to self, remember to bring some telephoto gear next time.
1030 - Breakfast - It is to windy to go after the crab pot in the dingy.
1200 - The wind is calm enough to go after the carb pot. The dingy still took on a little water.. We kept one nice male.
I dropped it off and took Willie to shore having not seen the wolf for some time now. After the wolf incident I didn't let Willie out of my sight. I also dropped the excess crab bait ( a halibut head minus the cheeks) on the beach and by the time I got Willie back on board an eagle showed up so I took the camera ashore to get a good shot of him.
1300 - As we are getting ready to set sail for Elfin Cove I heard a very excited Blue Jay in the woods so I told Sarah to wait and see what happens. The same wolf showed up and after several cautious minutes it took the bait off into the woods.
1630 - Arrived dockside Elfin Cove under sail and a very slow final hour with just enough wind to make the dock. I had, now and then, practiced docking and undocking without the engine just for situations as this.
May 31, 1983, Tuesday.
1000 - Painted the boom and secured some stainless steel washers I can work into a useable starter part and did
other odds and ends.
June 1, 1983 - Wednesday
1000 - Waiting for the mail plane. Out of propane and there isn't any for sale here in Elfin Cove.
1500 - the parts arrived. Sarah went to pick them up. I guess the exhaust valves are back ordered because they have not arrived with this order.
June 2, 1983 - Thursday - rain again.
1200 - 1600 - I worked on the starter and finished it. I ground the intake valves and
1700 - Met Augusta and Roy who traded me a two burner coleman stove for a bottle
of Canadian Mist. Now we can cook and have a backup stove if we get into this propane
June 3, 1983 - Friday
0900 - Overcast skies, trying to rain. Installed the intake valves. There is not much room around the engine so I a hard time getting the keepers in. The weather turned nice for the afternoon.
June 4, 1983 - Saturday
0920 - Fair weather ( partly sunny ) We took showers ashore and did some laundry.
It is a very warm day. I rebuilt the saltwater pump-again- and had dinener on the "Flora W" with Dave Walton, the resident electronics expert and with Valerie and Peter from the Tahitian Ketch,"Takaroa 2". Volley ball tonight.
June 5, 1983 - Sunday
0830 - Light rain and no wind. Jim, one of the local fishing guides is in with a 110 lb. Halibut. Last nights dinner was from an 88 lb. Halibut Dave had caught.
1100 - Went visiting and fishing with Dave. We threw back all the days catch except the last 3. Sarah's 20 lb. and my 20 lb. and 67 lb. Halibut.
1900 - There is a community potluck and volleyball game this evening.
June 6. 1983 - Monday
1015 - Light overcast. Sewed sails while Sarah canned 16 pints of Halibut.
2000 - Dave came by tonight to invite us to an evening of fishing. We caught and
released one Halibut of about 100 lbs.
0100 Lights out
June 7, 1983 - Tuesday thru June 23, 1983 No log entries while we are off fishing.
0930 - Bright sunshine and a light wind. Maggy Jo's back in town. I did some work on "Sweet Thursday" and Sarah is canning the last of the 32 pints of Halibut and started some Halibut Jerky. It is a perfect day. Warm, bright sun and slight breeze.
June 8, 1983 - Wednesday
Snagged a job on the "Wanderer", a 42 foot long liner with Dan Goodwin as captain.
Sarah wanted to go along so Dan got two crewmen for the price of one. At the end Dan
admitted she was a real asset.
Having never fished commercially before there was some on the job training to be had.
We learned to bait and set the hooks. Most of the trip was fairly laid back. We worked long hours but Dan was not a yell and scream kind of guy but and he loved Irish music. Since it was such a big deal to get out of our work clothes the tape played over and over for hours on end.
We laid three sets ( Long Lines ) of hooks about 4000 feet long each. The initial set "soaked" for about three hours
and then about 1/2 hours to haul it in. The catch rate was about one cod per 3 hooks. That was enough to keep the cod coming as fast as we could clean them. When it came to the Halibut we were awash in fish and there was no way two people could clean them as fast as they came aboard so we had cleaning marathons in some bay til 0200 getting bitten by swarms of mosquito's that were impossible to ward off with cold, rubber and slime rain gear on. Sleeping three hours in bad smelling and crusty clothes next to the diesel engine that ran all night was not the best of time either. Eating lunch, going to the bathroom ( a 5 gallon bucket) was a major undressing because we were not allowed in the cabin with our scale coated rain gear on. One night we even stayed at sea keeping watch in shifts, sleeping a couple of hours next to that running diesel engine all night while the boat rolled and pitched under starry bright skies.
June 24, 1983, Friday.
After an off load at Excursion Inlet we arrived back in Elfin Cove $ 1425 richer. Sarah's halibut Jerky got fly infested while we were gone and became useless.
July 10, 1983, Sunday.
0715 - Up to the sound of rain. There is a very low ceiling, light to moderate wind.
0740 - Underway for Sitka. Received a call from a pilot from BellAir Flyng Service that they are expecting us.
1210 - Dockside, Bellair Flying Service. Met Nick, toni's friend who has been listineing for us since we were to be there yesterday. We moved tot he marinna.
1250 - Underway to tow "Kapduva" out of the channel. She has a dead engine.
1350 - Dockside again in the Sitka Marina.
July 11, 1983, Monday.
0630 - Set sail for Goddard hot springs with Toni, Nick, Sarah, Willie and I aboard.
0930 - Anchored, Goddard hot springs. It is a very nice day with 8 - 10 knots of wind, just right for a nice easy sail. The Springs are maintained by the forest service. It is basically a Pan Abode shed covering a very good sized wooden barrel that would hold about 6 comfortably. The water is maintained by 2 inlets, one a cold spring and the other a very hot spring. It is up to the occupants just how hot they want it.There is a wooden walkway from the beach to the hot spring. It is only about a 5 minute walk. It is warm enough to lay on the walkway for a nice sun bath.
1400 - Time to head back so we set sail into a NW wind for Sitka.
1743 - Dockside, Sika marina.
July 12, 1983, Tuesday.
1000 - Moved to the fuel dock to get ready for Petersburg via Peril Straits with toni aboard as a guest.
1930 - Nick drops in from the sky in his C - 180 on floats. He nosed up to our stern, loaded the ladies on the plane and left for a mountain lake. They wee gone about 45 minutes just before I entered Saook Bay.
2030 - Anchored, Saook Bay, Bow and stern.
50 NM today.
July 13, 1983, Wednesday.
0800 - Under power for Petersburg wia Chatham Straits.
2110 - Ancored, Cannery Cove, Pybus Bay, West Fredrick Sound.
69 NM today
July 14, 1983, Thursday.
0700 - Up and about. Sarah and Toni are being a little lazy while I do some maintenance.
0800 - Under sail for Petersburg, AK.
0830 - Hove to for breakfast. Normally I would continue underway but no one wanted to work the sails so I figured we were not in that big of a hurry.
0830 - Undersail again but after covering only a mile in this pas 1/2 hour I relented and turned on the Iron jybe.
1800 - Dockside, Petersburg.
July 15, 1983, Friday.
0500 - Underpower for Wrangell leaving 1 hour 24 minutes before Juneau High tide. It worked great for the ride through Wringell Narrows.
0800 - Cleared Wringell Narrows and car upon Dick of the "Goody" with an engine temperature problem so we are waiting for him at the south end of the narrows.
0830 - Took "Goody" in tow bound for Wrangell.
0920 - Turned "Goody" loose to sail on his own..
1130 - Took "Goody" in tow again as the wind dies.
1500 - Dockside, Wrangell. Toni departs to stay with friendso f hers in town.
July 16, 1983, Saturday.
0900 - Under power for Ketchikan via Stikine Strait and Meyers Chuck.
1925 - HIT A LOG !No damage but sure gets the adrenaline going.
Me, A Blogger, Contd.
Going commercial fishing for Halibut
Start chapter 9
On to Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell and Ketchikan.
End of Chapter 7
In Chapter 8, we leave Elfin Cove - South Bound along the edge of the Gulf of Alaska and the worst weather of our trip.
Hangin' in Elfin Cove