Saturday, July 22, 2017


It takes a certain type of person to truly enjoy living in Southeast Alaska.  One should enjoy misery to a higher degree than most to relish life in SE AK, that has been my experience and is my opinion anyway.  It's good to keep the population low and the human developments minimal.  If you want to add a higher level of misery to your life in SE AK, a level approaching or attaining sadism, then one should also own at least one boat. More than one boat can get you closer to some sort of lunacy.
There are many sayings regarding boats and boat ownership that have a dark humor element to them to help all of us boat owners and boat dependent people commiserate and feel like we have some sort of support network.
B   break
O  out
A  another
T  thousand

The two best days of a boat owners life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells the boat.
A boat is just a hole in the water that you throw your money into.
A boat is just an aggregation of spare parts waiting to fail.

There are others but those are the only ones I can think of at this moment but they should get the point across!

I decided to do a post about boats after spending 8 hours travelling through Dry Strait on a broken down boat.  Fortunately, the small 9.9 horse power auxillary motor was working fine and I had my camera with me to help pass the time.

Seagulls on ice

Hours trapped on a crippled boat lead to trying to find interesting perspectives.  This is a marine VHF radio (very high frequency) on channel 16 which is the standard hailing frequency for mariners in the U.S.  Once contact is made, mariners then choose a different channel on which to chat and conduct their business.  There are certain channels designated for certain users and/or purposes so a person should know exactly which channels are for what purpose.

Just some things on the control panel.

Navigational electronics are very sophisticated and easy to use in today's world making navigating ocean waters almost too easy sometimes.  Radar, GPS, sonar all can paint you a pretty clear picture of the marine world around you.

A self inflating PFD, personal flotation device.  This particular type has a pressure sensitive release mechanism that punctures a small carbon dioxide canister like the kind in BB guns that rapidly inflates an airbag that then serves as a life jacket.  If you were to fall in the water, it would automatically inflate once you submerged a short distance under the water.  If it does not for some reason, there is a manual way to inflate them as well.  Last summer, I got to unexpectedly experience this while teaching a co-worker how to dock a boat.  When a new boater approaches a dock way too fast, a reflexive reaction seems to be to throw the boat in a full throttle panic reverse which then typically sends a person who may be standing on the bow of the boat at the time forward into the water.  I had just enough time to go completely under the water, come back to the surface, think "Well that didn't inflate" and then, POOF! inflation.

8 hours is a long time on a boat, even a perfectly functioning boat, so a few trips to the beach were made to stretch the legs and get some pictures.  This is a fresh wound on a western hemlock tree made by a hungry porcupine.  Those guys gnaw on the tree bark until they get down to the inner bark where the sugar rich sap is then they feast, many times effectively girdling a tree which will eventually and surely lead to the trees demise.

A mollusk called a limpet exposed at low tide.

The part of a tree you don't normally see.  There is very little soil here in the hidden gem so even the tallest and most massive of the Sitka spruces are very shallow rooted creating these interesting radiating root networks.

This is an ancient mummified tortoise I found on the beach.  Actually it is an interesting part of a tree root that looks either like a turtle or a sloth to my eye.  This interesting oddity brings to my mind several philosophical ideas regarding the mystery of life and existence.  I'll go into depth about that in a future post if anyone is interested in some armchair philosophy.

This is Peltigera, a foliose cyanolichen in its fruiting phase.  What is a foliose cyanolichen?  I've no idea but I showed this photo to a friend who is a literal lichen expert and that is what he told me.  The fruiting bodies are called apothecia. 

Some ferns growing on a spruce branch about 50 feet above the ground.

Some tidal currents that looked kind of cool.

Barefoot bear feet.

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