November 30, 2018

Friday Funny 11-30 (Redundant Safety and Then More Safety)

Coffee first, that's a given!

We've always had safety in mind, in our home, kayaks, boat, and outdoor activities. It's just routine for us, we have the appropriate equipment, and we use it.

For example, when we went ATVing on our 4-wheelers, we hardly ever saw anyone wearing a helmet. We always wore ours, had a handheld GPS, bear spray, PLB's, Sat phone, FS Radios, and firearms. We carried two backpacker stoves, fuel, food, sleeping bags, tent, tools, medical kit, and extra warm wear. We took all of this with us whether it was an outing for an hour or for a week, when you need it, you need it.

Wrangell- St Elias National Park and Preserve

I was looking at photos of our previous adventures, and couldn't help but post a few of my favorite ones.

Wrangell-St Elias Park and Preserve

Denali Highway

A cow and calf moose came out of the brush, when I thought I was being followed by a bear. 

Prince Willam Sound, Harriman Fjord
We have an extra paddle, paddle float, and pump attached to the kayak. We're wearing our Kokotat drysuits, paddle gloves, paddle leash, and PFDs. In a pocket on the PFD we have flares, signal mirror, flashlight, and PLB,. Mounted on the PFD, we have a knife, a VHF radio, a combination strobe/flash light, and a storm whistle. Tucked into the kayak is the same camping gear we carry on the ATVs [tents, sleeping bags, food, stove, cookware, 1st aid, etc.] a Storm Cag, etc.

Fireweed at sunset.

Sorry, I digress... sure was fun to look through older photo albums. Oh, okay, one more.

White Mountains National Recreation Site

Bill has been outfitting Denali Rose, with safety above coffee. 😁Our redundant chart systems, six anchors onboard, food to last us through the apocalypse, a medical kit worthy of a paramedic, radios, flashlights, signaling flares, ditch bags, EPIRBs, PLBs, PFDs, networked, talking, smart phone programmable and controllable, combination smoke/CO alarms, and fire extinguishers. Lots of fire extinguishers... [9 not including the one in the dinghy— or the automatic engine room system...]

And speaking of smoke/CO alarms... ours talk to us— and each other. [But they don't gossip...] The ones we replaced also talked [letting us know if it was fire or CO alarm.] The Nest alarms take it to the next level. They are networked and announce on all units throughout the boat. They are far more sensitive, do better at avoiding false alarms [steam or burnt toast] and show you the levels of smoke/CO on your smart phone so you can determine if things are getting worse. [They also tell you if it is getting better or worse...]

Compare this to having a piercing alarm somewhere in the boat wake you. Where is that coming from and what is the issue? 

Imagine sleeping in our aft cabin and having the smoke alarm gong like an intercom and clearly, calmly announce, Heads-up; There is smoke in the Galley. The alarm may sound.  You sit up and mute it from your smartphone [or from any of the other networked smoke alarms] and investigate. Bill is up early cooking a French omlette, and the cheese crust is smoking a bit more than usual... All is well... [Where's my coffee?...]

Then five minutes later it announces; There is still smoke in the Galley. It is getting worse. The alarm may sound. The alarm is loud...  [The omlette must almost be ready...] A faint 'Sorry' is heard coming from the Galley...  The next announcement you hear is: The smoke alarm is over... [Breakfast is ready...]

You get the idea...  And, if you have their cameras, they start sending images from the affected area which you can view on your smart phone. [Think engine room...] Oh, and they send you emails and text messages about everything— including self test and battery status. [No more waking up to a chirping low battery alarm somewhere in the boat... We think Nest smoke/CO detectors are a great safety enhancement well worth the $...

Galley (kitchen)

This photo is a good example of redundant safety. On top is the new Maus Fire Extinguisher, made in Sweden. It's lightweight, leaves no residue [no clean-up after use...] and requires no maintenance. Next is the conventional marine extinguisher, attached to it is a glow-in-the-dark 1200 lumen diver's flashlight, and another underneath. Next to that, is the general use flashlight [waterproof 900+ lumens. We have 10 all the same...] All flashlights have lithium bateries; rechargable in the general use flashlights.

Did you notice the bottle opener next to the black flashlight, and the backup bottle opener next to it, as well as at least 4 [different] pepper grinders? 😀(Priorities)

No glass door to break in an emergency!

There's more!

Attached to a lower side wall in forward V-berth.

Companionway stairs

Top stair, emergency glow-in-the-dark flashlight, and EPIRB. [1 of 2] (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) It's located conveniently in case you have to grab it on the way out of a sinking boat, and need to alert the Coast Guard to come to your rescue. It's not to be used lightly, it's for abandon ship, or life and death emergency. [Likewise for the PLBs on our PFDs, and in our liferaft... Yes; 5 satellite emergency beacons...] The red handle is the manual activation for the automatic engine room fire suppression system, once activated, it'll kill the engine, and fuel pump. The black circle is the override to allow us to restart the engine after activation [once we have confirmed it is safe to do so...] That top step is loaded with good stuff.

The second step is obviously another fire extinguisher. The third step has another new addition, it' a Respiratory Protective Device. Once you put it on, and tighten the mask, it will filter chemical substances, carbon monoxide, and toxic gases for up to sixty minutes. Inside the case is the hood, and a pair of fire gloves to protect your hands. We have these masks in the forward V-berth, within easy reach of the galley, under the companionway steps, and in our back cabin. [Yup; 4 of those puppies...] Did you notice the black cord next to the mask? It's the back-up VHF radio and mic, [with a remote mike on the cockpit steering station and a separate antenna and power supply...] It's..... what? Say it with me, REDUNDANCY.

And more.

Mounted right outside of engine room door.

Flashlight within easy reach in main salon.
Note how they either face the exit direction or the headliner— so if turned on and left in their holders they light the way...

Flashlight mounted on washing machine, next to tool storage.

And more.

Right outside mid cabin doorway, leading aft

Back cabin, where we sleep.

Holy Smokes! (not punny 😉) Can you see that? (I know photo is kind of dark.)  No glow-in-the-dark flashlight in our cabin! What's with that? Maybe it's made okay by the redundant VHF DSC handheld radio next to the fire extinguisher, or maybe he hasn't installed it yet, Bill is still adding flashlights to handy places. [ed: It is stowed in a locker at present...]   Oh, I forgot to mention, there is another of the large fire extinguishers in the aft hanging locker in our cabin. [Yup. We sleep with two fire extinguishers and two of the fire hoods... Can you tell Bill has had some experiences having to deal with serious fires in the past...? We practice having 60 seconds to put it out- or bail out...]

Attached to the binnacle in the cockpit.

Bill attached a fire extinguisher in the outside cockpit, and I made a cover to protect it from the sun. Just one quick yank on the cover, and off it comes. A volunteer fireman gave me a patch from the Wrangell Fire Department to sew on. Local color. [The idea being always have extinguishers where you can fight your way into— or out of— a fire...]

Lets review the US Coast Guard Requirements for a boat our size:

I think we've nailed it with nine on the boat and one in the dinghy [not to mention the engine room system...] Why so many? We have extras because we live aboard full time and travel to remote areas. If we had to extinguish a fire, we better have additional usable extinguishers in case of another fire because, lets face it; we are all our own first responders...

No water to waste, water is for drinking, or making coffee.

Forget water, I want to try out the new MAUS extinguishers!

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

November 23, 2018

Friday Funny 11-23/18 (Doin' My Civic Duty)

Free cookies are usually good.

Yep, I got a card in the mail last week, it said I'd been selected for jury duty for the YEAR of 2019. What the heck... a whole year? I was advised to go online, and fill out my juror questionnaire, and it was there, I found out I could request which three month term to serve. Whew, I requested January/February/March, which means I'll be tied to the dock for the whole time, so I can do the "call-in" thing. I haven't heard back yet whether it's been approved. I can't imagine how torturous it would be to have to serve anytime April through September, prime cruising months here in Southeast Alaska.

Wrangell Island, Alaska

Downtown City dock.

According to the last census, Wrangell has about 2300 people living on the island, and there's only about 14 miles of paved road, so we're  concentrated on the northeast corner. It might be hard to get a jury of twelve unbiased people who are not your friends or family. I was curious about who was our local judge, and according to the Alaska Court System website, we share one with Petersburg, and Kake. 

Before we moved to Wrangell, we subscribed to the local newspaper, The Wrangell Sentinel,  to get a feel for the town. We chuckled when the police report described a dead seagull in someone's yard, someone fell in an alley behind a bar, and couldn't remember how he got there, and the usual routine traffic stops. After we moved Denali Rose here, we've learned about some of the more serious crimes, not all of them get published, and you know, small town, word gets around.

I won't mind serving, it's another chance to be productive, and get some more projects completed on Denali Rose, while at the dock. The State notifies the dates of service by postal mail, which doesn't make sense to me, since we had an online survey, I don't get why they can't email me. I'll be anxiously awaiting the results of my request.

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

November 16, 2018

Friday Funny 11-16/18 (No Baking Allowed)


Here we are again, Thanksgiving. There are many things I'm thankful for this year, the simple act of walking on two legs is one of them, Denali Rose's oven isn't.

When the previous owners wanted to replace the original range, they purchased this particular European model because of it's size. It's the only one that they could fit into the boat without major renovation. The mast, and the post have 18 inches of clearance, and if we want a larger model, we will have to saw into the woodwork, or we have  to pull the mast out.

Looking into the galley. The stove has the retractable cover over it, so we can use the induction plate at the dock.

Standing forward, looking aft.

If and when we pull the mast out for maintenance, it will be an expensive event, I want a new range, and a new under counter fridge.

This is the original 1983 Norcold, that was installed, and then Nauticat must have built the boat around it, (as with many things in a sailboat). It still runs well, but it's kind of held together with duct tape, and it isn't energy efficient at all. When we are at anchor, and running on batteries only, it sucks power, like a vacuum cleaner. Bill says he has never had to get on the floor to get things out, but I have, and I don't like it. I'm still campaigning for the spiffy drawer fridge, and they make one with the exact same dimensions to replace this older model.

The oven isn't working in our Force 10 range. We're not super inclined to delve deep into it, perhaps pull it out to replace the thermocouple, because, well, how would we use it anyway.

Range with cutting boards underneath, and our one drawer.

Nice right? So what's the issue, just fix it anywho.

Door open

The light brown slab is a pizza stone we had cut to fit, it's supposed to help provide even heat. The measurement from the rack to the top of the oven is: 3 inches. Those pans stored in there are, on left, RV oven pans, unused, and on right, a stove top toaster. You can see why we're reluctant to mess with it, I couldn't even fit a Cornish game hen, meatloaf, roast, or most cuts of meat. I could do a pie, cookies, or brownies, so sweet baked goods could be accommodated, if we spent the time on it.

[But it does have that nice, infrared broiler which is standard on Force 10 stoves...]

In the meantime, I have found ways around it. For instance, at the latest bazaar I found yummy baked goods, and I didn't have to do the work or cleanup.

Rhubarb/strawberry pie, pumpkin roll, and a new Christmas ornament.

For Thanksgiving day, I found a no-bake pumpkin pie, and when I tested it out, it was pretty good. The pie uses pumpkin, greek yogurt, and instant pudding mix, and I put the mixture in a pre-made pie crust. Voila! We'll cook a turkey breast out on the BBQ, it'll be yummy.

For my next experiment, (trick?), I'm going to try baking cookies in a fry pan.

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

November 9, 2018

Friday Funny 11-9/18 (Plants - Live or Die)

Plant Assassin 

That's me, when it comes to plants, I don't have a green thumb.

At the home we used to live in, I had a small flower garden, mostly perennials, so they would come back every spring on their own. I would also go to Home Depot/Lowes every year, and buy pansies, you can't hardly mess them up, even though they weren't perennial.  The rest of the yard was wild, and free, mostly fireweed, wild sitka roses, daisies, and bluebells. The only yard work I accomplished, was to pull out dandelions when they showed up, and picking rhubarb from a large self sufficient patch. 

That's Gus, hiding in the tall grass.

My Mom was the African Violet Queen, not to be confused with Kathrine Hepburn in the African Queen. 


Katherine Hepburn

She had shelves, and shelves of violets, and they always flourished, bloomed, grew large, and quite obviously loved her, if a plant can love a human. Whenever I see an African Violet, it always brings my Mother to mind.

I've tried over the years to take care of African Violets, and have had no success. The Farmer's Almanac website calls them fusspots, and says they're easy to care for, if you care for them on their terms. That doesn't sound promising. 

This past summer, I managed to acquire two plants. I bought a very tiny African Violet at a community bazaar, and my friend Katherine gave me one. I was admiring the ones she had in her cafe window, and she made a special effort to make sure I got one.

The larger plant has bloomed twice since this summer!

They usually live on the nav table in the basket, lots of good light there.

That last photo is of the smaller plant, which has been growing well, and now has buds on it. I can't wait for it to bloom, and see what color the flowers will be. Maybe I can take care of plants after all?

Just a bit bizarre ....  don't you think it looks a little like Audrey ll from "Little Shop of Horrors"?

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

November 2, 2018

Friday Funny 11-2/18

What!!?? A flu shot isn't served in a small glass, and labeled as an adult beverage?  Yes, I know what it really is, and I usually get one every year, but don't you think that would be a good name for some kind of designer drink?

Please don't debate flu shots, or vaccines here, I believe in them, and I like being protected from any number of ailments. 

The community of Wrangell advertises all sorts of activities on their Facebook page, and I read today that the flu clinic will be held at the same time, and venue as voting on November 6th. I'm not sure what one has to do with the other, but hey, one stop shop works. Maybe we're being inoculated against bad politicians at the same time, one can only hope. I think we may need an adult beverage after voting, and seeing the results. Either way, celebration, or crying, a drink called Flu Shot might be just in order.

As long as I don't watch the nurse giving me the shot, I'll be okay.

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