July 29, 2015

4th of July

Wrangell is known in Southeast Alaska for it's all out 4th of July, and it didn't disappoint this year. We started with pre-events like the soap-box derby, logging competitions, and the greased-pole climb.

They pulled the vehicles back up the hill with a 4-wheeler.

Then down the hill they came.... not always successfully finishing.... In this short video the driver actually crashed into his mother sitting on the sidelines...

The greased pole.

They took a pole, angled it out from the dock, put a $50.00 bill on the end, and had all the kids in town trying to reach it. Only one person did, and took home the prize.

On the 4th, we went downtown for the parade, the two main roads were closed to traffic the entire day, and everyone roamed the town freely.
Old-fashioned fire engine

The Queen of the 4th. 

Honoring our soldiers, this tank fired bubbles.

The Wrangell Wolves, High School

The Cab company, only one in town.

Smokey the Bear

The theme this year: Hometown Heroes

Patriotic Horse
The usual candy-throwing ensued during the parade. Then it was time to hit the various food booths scattered throughout the town. We had halibut chunks, (absolutely delicious), homemade root beer, (again, absolutely delicious), homemade pies, (totally yum), Thai chicken sticks, ice cream, and many more that we couldn't find stomach room for. Other events for the day were, egg toss, 3-legged race, 3 wheeled race (both kids and adults), log-roll, and the Lumber-Jack competition.

Kid's water "bounce house", there is a kid inside each balloon on the water.

Individual chain saw competition
Axe throw, if they can cleave the $100.00 bill in the center, they win.

Individual challenges, and team challenges: 

Using a swede saw
Notice most of the logger guys wearing pink t-shirts, it was part of the entrance fee. I was a bit dismayed at the women's competition, it was throw the rolling pin.....really?

Throw the rolling pin into the center of the target.
To be fair though, some women did enter some of the logging challenges.
After spending the day down-town, it was time to return to the boat, and wait for dark to see the fireworks display.
Bill enjoying a beer downtown

Denali Rose flying her ensign.
All during the day, kids were everywhere setting off small fireworks, people were enjoying adult beverages, and food, and most everyone dressed in red/white/blue, it was a great experience in a small town. They name the Queen, by who sells the most "Queen raffle tickets", the winner sold 58,000, and the runner up sold 32,000, that's a lot of tickets for a town that only has 2200 residents

I didn't take any photos of the fireworks display, but I must say, it was one of the best displays I have ever seen. Denali Rose Sailboat has an open Facebook page, and we subscribe to Wrangell events and news there. If you would like to see professional photos of the 4th celebration and fireworks, you can see them there.

July 3, 2015

Back Aboard

We have finally made it back aboard Denali Rose. Bill loaded up my car with as many rubbermaid tubs as would fit, the last kayak, and our bicycles, drove to Haines, and rode the Alaska Ferry to Wrangell. We will now have a car here, which will help with getting around.
Ready to go. BTW, that is not clouds, that is smoke from the various forest fires surrounding Fairbanks. Won't miss that.

Lining up to be ready to load onboard the Alaska Ferry.
I waited a couple of days, and then I flew with the cats on Alaska Airlines. Even with the best of connections, the animals were in their kennels from 6:30am to 5:00pm. Neither one of them liked the experience very much. Elsie, our black cat, was unhappy, but settled down to watch the proceedings. Gus, our little tabby, who had decided this was not for him, tried digging his way out, shredded all of his bedding, and knocked the water dish off. They are wondering what they did that warranted being put in the "witness protection program", since they are confined to the boat so they can adjust.
Bill lifting the kennels onboard with their reluctant occupants.

Gus gets up the nerve to look out the window at his new neighborhood. WHAT!!! WATER?????

Elsie is content to stay on the bed.
We are turning on systems a little at a time, so that the new sounds and smells become familiar gradually.

Tidbit: Sea anchor deployment perspective...

This is one of a series of brief, no nonsense posts that we call aTidbit: 
noun; small and [possibly] particularly interesting item of gossip or information...
The purpose is to share succinct posts about lessons learned, or things we use or do that work [or don't...] that are common to most of us boaters. 

The goal is to garner feedback from those of you having first-hand experience with a different approach/ solution/ product/ or additional useful information to share...  
We never assume what we are sharing is the ideal or only; it just seems to best suit our needs [and/or habits and/or budget] from our experiences thus far...
Sometimes these Tidbits originate from a topic of discussion on one of the forums we participate in, and this happens to be one: Link to original forum post [03-Jul-2015]
Note: The original blog post [below] has been inducted into Tidbits since it qualifies, but was published 3 1/2 years before we initiated the Tidbit series...

                               ➛ ➛ Peruse the right-hand sidebar for the up-to-date list of Tidbits ➛ ➛                               

Original Question from Cruiser's Forum:

Re: Pictures of sea anchor attachments?

Originally Posted by Franziska View Post

as I have just got the line for my seaanchor I start thinking about how to attach it in the best way and most chafeproof.

Chafeprotection seems more vital than on a normal anchor.
Old firehose is a great protector but how do I then use a cleat or eyepad?

Better wrap around the beams?

Or through two biiiiiig padeye just above the waterline (essentially lifting the bows to some degree rather than pulling them under)?

How about a few feet of highly chafe resistant Dyneema before the loooong Nylon bridle starts?
Dyneema with eyespliced loops on both ends.
One side overlapped on cleat other side joining into an eyesplice loop on the Nylon bridle.
Any thoughts?

Those of you who have done it, how do you do it?
Pictures please.

Looking forward to the crowds thoughts, thanks,


I have no experience deploying a sea anchor from a catamaran, but can share my experiences deploying from fiberglass monohulls in case some of it may also apply to multihulls...

I have yet to deploy a sea anchor in storm conditions as I have been lucky enough to achieve the desired balanced hove-to state on both occasions... 

However, practicing sea anchor deployment and retrieval on 2 different boats over the years I came to the conclusion that it made the most sense for me to attach the sea anchor rode swivel to my anchor chain about 3+ meters above the main bower. I then deploy the sea anchor and let out ~15 meters of chain as though I was preparing to anchor. Next I set up my usual anchor bridle (which is very chafe resistant and easily replaceable) on the anchor chain rode.

The net result is the sea anchor rode swivel [600 ft of 1 1/8" 12 plait nylon with a 24ft Paratech sea anchor on my current boat] is connected to the main anchor chain for chafe resistance (among other things.) 
For reference here is our Anchoring and Storm Tackle Inventory page with much more detail about our Sea Anchor and related ground and storm tackle.
The deployed main bower and chain act like a kellet to further dampen the sea anchor loads, along with the double anchor chain snubber [i.e., no loads on the windlass as long as the snubber is intact...]

This also allows for minor length/ sea anchor depth adjustments using the anchor windlass. Of course, this is all assuming deep water...

If you are worried about the main bower fouling the sea anchor rode/swivel, you could always detach the chain from the anchor and then attach the sea anchor swivel to the end of the anchor chain... but I like the kellet weight of the anchor in my set-up...

This all sounds fiddly, but really isn't [at least in practice in force 8 conditions...] However, as I mentioned above, I have been lucky enough to never have deployed my sea anchor in anger.
Note: As discussed on our Storm Tackle page,  in the future I am considering replacing our sea anchor with a Jordan Series Drogue [JSD] once I install adequate attachment points for a JSD. [e.g., horizontal chainplates on each hull side of the transom.]