March 23, 2018

Friday Funny 3-23/18 (Ted Talks, and Fishes)

TED Talks

TED Talks. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a media organization which posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan "ideas worth spreading". (Wikipedia)

We have our own version of Ted talks. Ted is the owner of a commercial fishing trawler that shares our dock finger, and we met him the first year we purchased a slip for Denali Rose in Heritage Harbor. He's in his 90s, and is what we call a colorful, Alaskan Sourdough. 

Sourdough: The name originally came from the Gold Rush of 1898 era when prospectors and other wanderers carried a lump of fermented starter dough for making bread in a pouch around their neck. The fermented dough was kept close the body to stay warm. A sourdough pouch hanging around a miner’s neck was a clear sign of experience in survival. The term came to be associated with an old timer or someone who has been in the north country a long time. (Learn to Speak Alaskan)

A sourdough is someone who has weathered some time in Alaska.  For example, one’s sourdough status might be 1 year, which means they have survived a single year.  The length of time one must live in Alaska to actually be considered a sourdough is debatable.  Some argue that becoming a sourdough is more of an existential transformation, waking up one day to the epiphany that you no longer look at the state as a wide eyed tourist but rather as a piece of the landscape, though with no less enthusiasm. (Alaskan Vernacular)

 And the response to the above definition on that same page: As someone who has lived in Alaska for almost 15 years now whose married to a lifelong Alaskan, and seen a lot of people come and go, I would have to say that it is more of an attitude than time lived up here. Your sourdough status is the length of time in Alaska which is different from being a sourdough. If all you do is gripe about how much you hate it here or wish life here was different all the time, then you’ll never be a sourdough no matter how long you’re here. On the other hand, if you have a generally positive attitude and adapt to our way of life (as opposed to trying to change it to fit the standard of where you moved here from) you’re well on your way to becoming a sourdough.

I guess I consider myself an Alaskan Sourdough, though nowhere near as colorful a character as Ted.

Ted on the deck of Rebel.

Ted tells us how his boat got it's name. "I called my (then), wife, on the phone, and told her, I've named the boat after you, I named it in honor of you being from the South. The name is Rebel, (a pause, and a grin), because I didn't know how to spell Barracuda!" Ted says his phone receiver turned red hot from the expletives that came from the other end. 

Ted doesn't commercial fish anymore, but he still takes Rebel out and fishes with a pole. I always say, "if Ted isn't catching fish, then NO ONE is catching fish!" I have never seen someone catch as many king salmon as he does. 

A couple of years ago, he introduced us to white winter king salmon, I had always thought that halibut was my favorite fish, but I have changed my mind. The white king doesn't have an enzyme that allows for the pink color, and it's a highly prized and very tasty fish. 

A bit of Johnny's salmon seasoning on top, and BBQ-d to perfection.

Ted had Rebel built for his commercial fishing business, and tells a story about how it sunk underneath him one night. Ted, and his two crewmembers woke up to knee high water in their cabin, and prepared to abandon ship, they jumped out, and swam to nearby land. After being rescued, (another story), and hauling up the boat, Ted sent it to a shipyard in Anacortes, WA for repairs. A couple of people were walking nearby the boat while it was being worked on, and not knowing the owner was within earshot, were trash-talking about him. "Can you believe it? The owner of this brand-new trawler, sunk it in Alaskan waters!" Ted turned around and replied, "yup, we were out deer hunting, and had got our limit. After it sunk, we hauled the boat out of the water,  she had 25,000 pounds of King Crab in her, so we baited her back up, and sunk her again!" Ted grinned, and walked off. That's the way to stop those trash-talkers in their tracks.

Lately, Ted has been coming down to the boat on his ATV. Since I'm on crutches, I know how difficult the ramp down to the docks can be, and his knees aren't the best anymore. 

The tide is going out, and the ramp gets steeper yet.

Bill said we should get mine out of storage, and give it a try. If I wasn't working so hard to get rid of crutches, I would be all for it. I think it would be a really great way to haul stuff to and from the boat, much better than a dock cart, however, it would also be a great way to be lazy, and not keep working on putting weight on my leg. 

Ted on his ATV at our dock finger.

Don't pay any attention to how dirty Denali Rose is, with the water shortage in Wrangell, we aren't allowed to do our spring wash down, and clean her up.

Ted talking fishing with Bill.

Bill, and I are not the only ones who like to visit with Ted, Elsie jumped onboard, got her chin scratched, and decided to check out all of the good smells.

Elsie is on super secret cat business.

Ted says that he's heard fish is good brain food, "and if that's the case, I'vs eaten so much that I should be Einstein by now!"

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

March 16, 2018

Friday Funny 3-16/18 (Rehab and Rain)

It's me.

Coffee to inspire some "get - up - and - go" in the morning is a must.

I'm getting physical therapy several different ways this month. The goal is to ditch at least one crutch, if not both by the end of it. It's good to be optimistic, but it's difficult. I'm attending a water aerobics class called "the arthritis class" in the Wrangell pool. The goal is to exercise all of your joints, and use movement that is supported by being in the water. I was surprised at how wonderful the water felt, and how much movement I could accomplish without my crutches. I can do the exercises, and walk using a small floatation board for stability. I also have a Physical Therapist at the Wrangell Medical Center who has given me knee, ankle, and foot exercises that need to be done every 2 hours. All this activity is keeping me busy!

A glass of wine to console me when my goals for the day haven't lived up to my large expectations. As I told my PT worker, "I'm very competitive, but only with myself." I usually push myself, and then in the evening I'm swollen, and have some discomfort.

- I wrote the previous paragraphs on Tuesday, and today is Friday. The good news is that I didn't need the floatation board in the pool this morning. YAY! I also walked, (outside the pool), all morning with just one crutch. This afternoon, I went back to both crutches, because I was getting sore, and stiff. It's probably good to not overdue it, and then end up with too much pain, and soreness.

The bad news is that Wrangell, in the nation's largest rain forest, is experiencing a water shortage. It's a possibility they may close down the pool to conserve water. It's not all about how much rain they have had, though that plays into it, it's also about the water filtration system that can't keep up. I won't go into local politics here, but I would be unhappy if I couldn't use the pool. I believe it's been a major factor in my positive rehabilitation.

Who knows..... we may end up back in Petersburg!

It's kind of hard to wish for rain when the day is as beautiful as this.

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

March 9, 2018

Friday Funny 3-9/18 (Respect)

Thursday, the 8th of March, was International Women's Day. I'm not sure what that means internationally, but there were quite a few uplifting sayings, quotes, and photos posted in the news, and Facebook. 

No, this is not a man-bashing column. It's a reminder to treat everyone with courtesy, and respect.

Just recently in a women's sailing forum I belong to, someone asked, "if your significant other stepped on your foot, would they apologize?" I was stunned by the answers. About half of the respondents said "yes", and the other half was split between an absolute "no", and an, "I don't know". There is something seriously wrong with that. If you stepped on anyone, including, or especially  your partner, wouldn't you say you were sorry?

Notice both Eleanor, and Malala talk in terms of anyone, not excluding race, nationality, or gender. 

I tried to find some good humor online, but only came up with man-hating, or sexist cartoons. So I'll tip my wine glass to all the remarkable, intelligent, capable women everywhere. Cheers!  🍷

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

March 2, 2018

Friday Funny 03-02/18 (One Step at a Time)


I'm back onboard Denali Rose, and learning how to maneuver with crutches, from the front to the back of the boat. We have a boarding ladder with two steps, and a companionway with steps to get into the boat. We have stair steps leading forward from the pilothouse to the galley, forward dinette, forward head, and v-berth. We have stair steps leading aft from the pilothouse to the rear head, the shop room, and the master cabin. I know this is not a handicap accessible boat, but I would have appreciated some standardizations.

Many useful items stored under the stairs.

I'll start with the companionway steps. There are four steps, each one progressively narrower than the last from the bottom up. The bottom step is 12 1/2 inches from the floor, the next three steps are 10 1/2 inches from each other, the top step is only 6 1/2 inches wide, and the top board to hop over to get into the cockpit is 10 1/2 inches from the top step. I appreciate these are mostly the same, but still quite a hop for someone on crutches. There are good handholds on both sides. Bill gets to boost me up... don't ask how.

Forward steps down to galley, lower dinette, forward head, and v-berth.

It's two steps down to the forward part of the boat. The first step down is 11 inches, and the second one is 10 1/2 inches. It's only 1/2 an inch, but deciding where to hold on, and where to step, it makes a difference. You can see the step is on hinges, and lifts up, and the floor (sole), has a recessed ring to pull out the floorboard. There are good handholds on both sides of the steps

Entrance to forward head (bathroom)

The threshold to the forward head doesn't have a step. I have no issues getting in and out, also the entrance to the v-berth is just flat floor, no threshold, step, or anything to hop over.

Aft stairs down to the aft head, shop/laundry room, and master stateroom.

Three steps down to the aft part of the boat. You can see two of them have hinges and lift up for access to storage. The top step is 9 1/2 inches, the middle is 9 1/2 inches, and the bottom step is 9 inches. There is only one handhold on one side of the steps. If I'm not careful, I catch my crutch on the hinged step and it slams back creating quite a racket. The cats jump every time I do it.

Threshold to aft head, also the threshold into the shower.

This one is difficult for me, I put my bum leg, and the crutch in, and then lean on the toilet lid to hop my good leg over the 6 inch high threshold. I'm not sure why this bathroom has such a high threshold, and the other one doesn't have one at all. There must be a nautical reason that I don't know about.

Master stateroom

The master stateroom, (our bedroom), is the hardest of all. There aren't any handholds on either side of the door, and I have identified where I would like to have some mounted. The step up is 8 inches. I use both crutches, put my good leg up into the room, lean forward on the crutches, and hop my other leg in, while I pull the crutches in at the same time. I nearly fell backwards one time, so now I am more careful to lean into the room.

It takes practice, and awareness of how to treat each step situation. I don't want to get complacent, and think that they are all the same. The thing is though, I've always been careful on the boat, ie, one hand for the boat, one hand for you, even inside, even at the dock. It was when I was on land, that I didn't use my common sense to keep myself upright. Everyone has heard my new rule, "I don't carry anything down stairs anymore. I will throw it to the bottom, and pick it up when I get there."

This is the best of all steps, 12 steps to chocolate.

Should I write Nauticat in Finland, and advise them how they could standardize steps onboard? Do you have standardized steps where you live? 

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