October 27, 2017

Friday Funny 10/27 (Alaska's Flag)

Big Bang Theory - "Fun With Flags", I think this show is very funny.

We once had a guest onboard Denali Rose who asked the question: "What's with all of the Alaska flags everywhere? I don't even know what my state flag looks like."

Alaska's Flag

That's an easy answer, we have a thing about our flag. We love it.

All Alaskan schoolchildren learn about how we got our flag, and they also learn the "Alaska Flag" song. Even now I could sing it all the way through if you asked, but it would be better if you didn't. I don't sing very well, and it has some very high notes in it. Me singing high notes, or yowling cat, you choose, personally I would choose the yowling cat.

Gus yowling

Eight stars of gold on a field of blue

Geez, I get tears in my eyes just listening to it being sung.

Okay, back to the flag. In 1927, when Alaska was still a territory of the United States, the Territorial Governor asked the Alaska American Legion to host a contest for children in grades 7 thru 12, to create a design for the flag. He wanted to push statehood along, and figured this was a good way to do it. (Note, we didn't actually gain statehood until 1959.)

Benny Benson, a 13 year old boy who lived in a group mission home in Seward was the winner.

Benny explained his design: “The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaska flower. The North Star is for the future of the state of Alaska, the most northerly in the Union. The dipper is for the Great Bear – symbolizing strength.”

You'll find Alaska's flag on houses, boats, both commercial, and private, cars, poles, clothing, artwork, jewelry, and many more places.

Once the previous owners of Denali Rose, were transiting to a foreign country, and they only had the Alaska flag flying, not the US flag. Flag protocol says that you fly your country flag on your stern, and a courtesy flag of the country you are in on your outboard signal halyard of the main starboard spreader, after you check in with customs. (Translation for lubbers, farthest to the right on the main mast - tall thingy holding up main sail, spreader - the horizontal pieces that help support the mast,  signal halyard - flag rope.)  The customs officer inquired about the flag that was flying on the back of their boat, which country was the flag from? Jack replied that it belonged to Alaska, the officer nodded, and they got their stamp of approval. (Whew, crisis averted.)

Of course, the country of Alaska, you've heard of it, haven't you? We have our own currency too!

My Facebook feed.

We don't always put up our flags, but when we do, I always put up my Alaska flag right underneath the US flag. It's important to me.

Proper order with the US flag flying higher than the Alaska flag.

And sometimes I get my Women Who Sail burgee up also. (burgee is a distinguishing flag, regardless of its shape, of a recreational boating organization. In most cases, they have the shape of a pennant. Wikipedia)

If you are a women who sails, you can get yours at Mantus Marine. Don't forget to join the Facebook group.

We have gotten a bit lazy this fall trip, and we haven't put up the flags at all. Proper US flag etiquette says that the US flag should be taken down at sunset, unless you illuminate it all night. Our hoisting halyard is not the easiest for me to manage, so laziness wins out, (unfortunately). We do our best to honor the flag for various reasons, that I won't go into here. Don't argue with us, it's our blog, and not your political forum.

This is my interim compromise, inside the pilothouse.

Getting the flags up somewhere onboard.

It's easy, it's fast, and it (mostly), satisfies my need to have flags up.

Do you have flags up on your boat, house, car? What kind do you like? Do you like Sheldon on "Fun With Flags"? Should I get holiday flags, after all, wouldn't they be great decor that don't take up much storage space? 

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

October 20, 2017

Friday Funny 10/20 (Hot Springs)

Our fall tour of Southeast Alaska has included two stops at natural hot springs, Tenakee Springs, and Baranof Warm Springs. Both of these small communities have public dock space for transient boaters, and public areas for sitting and enjoying the hot springs. Also, for both stops, we came into the dock on delightful sunny days, and stayed till the latest fall storm had blown by.

Arriving Tenakee Springs

Looking back at the dock, where Denali Rose, and Dawn Treader V are secured.

As we expected, in Tenakee, there was plenty of room for us at the docks, and they even had power available. We used it on the last day to help top up our batteries.

Tenakee has some colorful history in it's background. It was once known as Robber's Roost, because outlaws made this their base. Even Soapy Smith's gang once made Tenakee home.

The hot springs themselves were once an open pool, then a log house was built to enclose it. In 1940, the Forest Service poured concrete around the pool, and enlarged the house. This 1940's structure is what exists today. 

Painting on the outside of the building, forest animals enjoying a hot soak.

Spartan inside

The hot springs building has a wonderful aromatic cedar changing room, and then you go into the concrete room to sit in the tub. It's kind of spartan inside, and there's a volunteer group in town who maintain, and clean the area. Even thought there were four of us, with our friends on Dawn Treader V, I'm the only one who went into town for a soak. I only stayed 10 minutes, because it's kind of boring when you're by yourself. I forgot to bring wine......

Fire Department

I loved this sign on a post.

Phone booth.

There isn't any cell connectivity in Tenakee, so this is a bona fide land line. (I think, we didn't use it.)

Good night Tenakee.

Baranof Warm Springs is a smaller community than Tenakee. Warm Springs has a care-taker in the winter, where as Tenakee has about 60 people who live there year round. As you approach the community, the first thing you notice are the spectacular falls. They provide hydro-power to the cabins.

Many cabins are up in the woods, and can't be seen.

Noisy water!

I never did get used to hearing the falls roar, I was constantly questioning, "what's that noise?" Uh, duh, the waterfall......

Waterfalls right behind Denali Rose.

There are two ways to enjoy the hot springs, you can hike up a trail which leads to rock pools next to the falls to sit and soak, or use the bathhouse on the boardwalk.

Boardwalk with bathhouse, and covered bbq/picnic building

Three rooms

Each room has a tub with a hot spigot, and a separate cold spigot, a chair, hooks, and a scrub brush to clean the tub when you are through. If you leave the curtains open, the view from the tub is wonderful. Bill and I didn't hike up to the open rock pools, but John and Artha did, and they dipped in.  We were there a few days, waiting on storms to abate, so hiking, soaking, and socializing were the activities we enjoyed. 

Sightseeing along the boardwalk

Private hot tub.

I love this doormat

Hiking up a trail to a nearby lake.

Artha tried her hand at fishing in the lake, but no joy.

John and Artha

Finally the weather-window day arrived, and we slipped our lines once more. 

We are headed back to Petersburg, with stops on the way, in good weather protected bays, and inlets, that shelter us from the storms.

Fredrick Sound

Have you ever been to a hot springs? Where was it? Did you drink wine while in the pool? Do you enjoy fall storms?

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

October 12, 2017

Denali Rose Position Report- Warm Spring, Baranof Island [Delayed Attachment: P1010065.jpg]

Delayed Attachment: P1010065.jpg

Denali Rose Position Report- Warm Spring, Baranof Island [Delayed Attachment: P1010068.jpg]

Delayed Attachment: P1010068.jpg

Denali Rose Position Report- Warm Spring, Baranof Island [Delayed Attachment: P1010060.jpg]

Delayed Attachment: P1010060.jpg

Denali Rose Position Report- Warm Spring, Baranof Island [Delayed Attachment: P1010057.jpg]

Delayed Attachment: P1010057.jpg

More Glacier Bay Alaska

In lieu of a Friday Funny. We have very spotty, or nonexistent cell signal as we meander around, and I thought I would get something posted while I could.

I find this complaint form humorous.

As Bill posted in "Glacier Bay in October?", we ended up going after the busy tourist season. This means that all of the "rules" for locations, length of stay, and permits are no longer in effect. It also means that most of the whales have already gone south for warmer weather, though we still saw some distant spouts. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves, so we didn't have any competition for anchoring spots.

Elsie gets a nap in the sun while underway.

We decided to go when we saw that we would have a decent weather window for a couple of days, and we were in the neighborhood. Our first stop was the National Park station in Bartlett Cove. Even though they are closed for the season, we overnighted at the dock, wandered down the deserted trails, and disposed of trash. There were still a few staff around, I suppose they were closing up facilities. They made themselves scarce every time we stepped into view. I can imagine them thinking about how they're done, and they don't have to talk to tourists anymore!

Bartlett Cove dock, and breakwater.

Bill, and Gus went out for a walk on the dock.

Park Sign

Ranger Station, lodge, guest accommodations, restaurant, and tourist stuff are all closed, but we wandered down the trails anyway. It's good to get off the boat, and stretch your legs on terra firma once in a while.

A meeting hall

Look closely

Whale skeleton

It was interesting to enjoy the place, and have it all to ourselves.

No competition to reach and read signage.


We did see bear scat on the trail, it was old, but we still kept our awareness up. I joked that the staff probably put it there to scare the tourists. 😁

Beautiful sunset, and alpenglow in this cove.


The next morning we left in some fog, but it burned off in the morning. The day was sunny, and the scenery was spectacular!

Notice the recent rock slide on the right.

Float house

The float house was in South Sandy Cove. It's probably used by research staff judging from the looks of it, and what a great place to have a station. We moved on to North Sandy Cove, because, well, why not. No need to crowd anyone...

Entering North Sandy Cove, anchoring behind the island.

The view from the anchorage.

Our usual procedure is for Bill to go forward and deploy the anchor, and attach the bridle, and I put Denali Rose in reverse to set it.

The new forward looking sonar works great at showing us the underwater topography. After we are secure, then it's time to look around. I heard some splashing off to one side, and went to investigate.

We called them "the hoodlums".

Synchronized swimming.

There were five of them, and they never strayed from each other. They came up together, dived together, and blew air bubbles together. 

Gus cranes his neck, to see 5 sea lions swimming around the boat. "Holy Cow! What's that?"

That was fun! Now to look for the next visitors.

Black bear Mama, and baby.
"Come on Junior, hurry up."

The bears reappeared from time to time. There were otters in the cove as well, but most of them are more skittish, and don't approach for photo ops.

Keeping watch for intruders.

Gus enjoyed his view from the top of the bimini, until it was getting dark, and time to come inside.

The next day brought us wind, fog, and rain. We stayed put for the day in our protected cove, and watched the wildlife come and go. We opted not to move north, seek out another cove, or find the glaciers, as long as everything was socked in with low clouds, nothing can be seen. The second day, it was time to head out, and join up with our friends, John, and Artha on Dawn Treader V. We went back to Bartlett Cove for the night, and then joined up with them the following day.

Photo bombed by a heron.

We gave some locals a tour of Denali Rose.

Kami, and Lorelei.

It's always nice to encounter sweet, polite young ladies, and to have them aboard.


Puzzle: How many herons do you see in that photo? [Hint- more than a baker's dozen...]

All sunny days come to an end.

Elsie and I on watch in the "washing machine" of Icy Strait.