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The Logbook


By The Skipper:

From the start we knew that the not always perfect Southeast Alaska weather would be a major factor.  We have not been disappointed.

Although we had a very mild Winter, it has still been wet. Very wet.  We have been teased by some fifty degree afternoons recently but for the most part temperatures remain between the high thirties and the mid forties on the Fahrenheit scale.  Rain has been near constant.

Now that we have reached the point of transporting pieces between the boat and the workshop locations for fitting adjustments we need a few hours without rain.

We made it down to the boat for the first fitting of the main bulkhead on Thursday but it has been raining heavily since that afternoon.  The forecast is for dry weather (By Petersburg standards)  for the next few days. A flurry of activity is in our forecast. We will be scrambling to get the bulkheads fitted so we can turn them over to Chris for glassing.  There is still a lot of cleaning and preparation for the interior painting of the hull and reinstallation of the new bulkheads forward as well as the ceiling anchor strips.  

Meanwhile, back at the workshop, we have a lot of painting and varnishing to do on all the furniture pieces Andy has manufactured for us.

Very soon now we will begin putting it all back together.  It is taking longer to complete than we anticipated but, in terms of man/hours, we are still right on schedule.

Daily grind.

By The Skipper:

ers on the beach working on putting the boat back together.

Not looking forward to the next task at hand - crawling into the lazarette with a bucket of noxious liquid and a brush to scrub away 43 years accumulation of grunge and crud. I am waiting for a reasonably dry day, fortunately in the forecast for tomorrow, so I can throw open the hatches and work in fresh air and light, if not actual sun light.

There are still a few more coats of paint and varnish to be applied to pieces we have already cut, some epoxy and glass work on the hull and two coats of paint over the interior fiberglass surfaces before we can begin putting things back to gether.

While it is raining, we will get Laura set up to continue varnishing. The pieces I painted this morning should be dry enough to move to the other table this afternoon.

Progress is slow but it is all coming together. 

No Excuses

By The Skipper:

We have been very busy lately but that is no excuse for neglecting our blog.  

The past week there just has not been much going on.  It has been much too wet for painting and varnishing. Even indoors in our workshop the humidity is too high to get a good finish on the more visible parts.  Our carpenter is sick with something his kids brought home from school so we have no new pieces to finish anyway.  We could shoot hours of video of scraping and sanding the inside of the boat but watching it is even more boring than doing it even with the comical music and fast forwarding the video.

Friend and shipmate Tom is arriving tomorrow to help with the project for a week or so. We hope he will bring some dry weather with him from San Diego.  With Andy sick, we will have to work around the carpentry by removing the fuel tank and water maker so we can access the after bulkheads and get them out.  It should not take any great level of skill to cut out the simple rectangles of the cockpit locker bulkheads and get them glassed, painted and reinstalled but we will be working without shelter on the boat.  Hope it stops raining long enough to get that part of the job done.

Meanwhile, Laura is going to Cordova, AK to work at the veterinary clinic there for a week.  We could use the money to help with the cost of the project and she can't really help at this stage anyway until we have more of the furniture pieces and interior bulkheads cut.

In terms of man hours and expenditures, we are right on track but the calendar is relentless as the unproductive days slip by.  We allowed for weather delays but maybe not quite enough.

Latest videos:

Epoxy Fail

By The Skipper:

By now we have the straightforward process of staining and sealing the plywood pieces that will replace the old furniture in Lealea pretty well mastered.  Unfortunately, our first attempt at a perfect finish with fiberglass cloth and resin turned out less than satisfactory.

Epoxy Fail

We are not sure exactly what we did wrong, but the piece turned out something of a mess.  No doubt, this is the fault of our application technique.  I learned fiberglass basics while helping out Bob Twogood in Hawaii.  Bob built fiberglass and composite kayaks, actually surf skis, in Kailua on the windward side of Oahu.  From Bob, I learned to thoroughly wet out the cloth, then remove as
much resin as possible, leaving no air bubbles trapped in the cloth.  In that application, a smooth, shiny pooled resin finish just means too much resin and weight.  Bob used vacuum bagging to get 
the maximum strength with the least resin and lowest possible weight.  

We aren't vacuum bagging but, for the first layer of cloth at least, I figured the same principle should apply.  We wetted out the cloth, spread the resin with a roller and removed the excess with a squeegee for a nice, even finish with the weave of the 6 ounce cloth clearly visible. For the second layer of cloth we used lighter, closer weave 4 ounce cloth and poured a generous amount of resin.  Again, spreading with a roller and squeegee, this time tipping and smooth- ing the resin with a piece of roller sleeve.

We think we went wrong two ways.

First, it is possible we just didn't use enough resin on the second layer of cloth; or maybe we used too much in one coat.

Second, we may have had the work area too warm.  Using System Three Silvertip resin with the fast-cure hardener was intended to allow us to work at temperatures down to 35f.  What we did not anticipate and forgot to allow for, was that our work table was set up for the S1 penetrating epoxy which requires a higher temperature.  The table was at 70f. The relative humidity was also at 70.  The Silver Tip resin started to kick off while we were still working it. We felt the resin turning tacky while still rolling it on and got our hands out of it quickly but the resin does not completely hide the weave in places and the surface is somewhat lumpy.

As a structural bulkhead, it is plenty strong enough but heavier than it needs to be due to the excess resin.  As a major visual element of the main cabin it would be a dismal failure which is why we picked this particular piece to practice on. Clearly, before we proceed with the main bulkhead we need to figure out what we did wrong. 

Meanwhile there is removal of the galley, a lot of cleaning of the inside of the hull, fabricating and finishing of the interior furniture pieces and the ceiling.  The anchor strips for the ceiling have to be 
glassed to the hull and the interior of the hull must be painted before we can start putting it all back together.

Drawings and Drying Time

by the First Mate 

The weather has been rainy and cooperative.  We seem to be living in cycles of mixing expoxy, painting epoxy and waiting for epoxy to dry. This is just the beginning.  In a few days we get the next wave of furniture pieces from Andy's shop that will need the same treatment. Every time we mix, every time we, paint we learn a little more and get a little better.

While waiting for paint to dry we continue playing with sketches of the main cabin and galley.  There are no plans to change the interior layout but we will be improving the usability of the hanging and head lockers. 

All our awnings are back from "Sew What" with the necessary repairs and we expect they should last several more years before needing any more work. I made a few additions to further reinforce the large, main awning with Annie's help. 

Spring is rapidly approaching and we look forward to finishing this big job and living on our boat again.

Building Momentum

by the First Mate

Got a lot done yesterday and today.  Andy, our carpenter, called first thing Monday morning and said he was sound again and ready to work.    He dropped by later in the morning and picked up patterns removed from the v-berth and by mid afternoon several were already cut. 

While Andy worked in his shop I worked on the deck outside which has been drenched in sunshine both days.  The temperature this afternoon reached 46 degrees, a bit less with the wind blowing gently along the creek. I've spent the last two days mindlessly sanding cedar strips and enjoying the view, very pleasant but still chilly.  

Tomorrow's highs are expected to be around 46 degrees again with no rain or clouds in the forecast.  By tomorrow, all the v-berth pieces will be ready for staining, we've decided on #215 Red Oak, and 35 cedar strips will be sanded and ready for their first coat of penetrating epoxy. 

If the mild weather continues Chuck and I will spend the next four days mindlessly painting, staining and applying coats of epoxy. 

More Details - Raising and Lowering the Mast

With a Tabernacle Mast Step

lowering the mast

By Chuck Rose

Last week we uploaded a video to YouTube showing us lowering and stowing Lealea’s mast.  That video generated a lot of comments and questions so I thought I would take a little time to show more details.


There are two keys to the process.  First is the tabernacle itself.  In this case, it is a simple stainless steel hinge with a flange to secure the base of the mast in place.  It is made of what appears to be 3/16 inch or 4mm flat stock with a heavy bolt for a pin.  Second is the stabilizing harness.  The harness is in three parts.  Two of these attach to the lower shroud chainplates and to the upper shroud clevis.  The third part attaches to the after end of the boom and runs to the harness fitting at the upper shroud clevis on either side.  The purpose is to keep the mast from swinging side to side as it is being lowered by keeping tension on the upper shrouds and to keep the boom from flopping over to one side.  These guys need not be as tight as the rigging but must be snug enough to limit movement of the spars side to side.

 boom harness


The procedure is to attach the main halyard or topping lift to the boom holding it at 90 degrees to the mast.  Then attach an extra-long four-part tackle to the boom and traveler or other convenient fitting on the vessel centerline (We shackle two mainsheet tackles together).  Next we set up the harness, nice and snug, keeping everything square and the boom on the centerline.  Now we can disconnect the backstay.  With a hand on the mainsheet tackle, give the headstay a tug to get the mast started moving forward. Control the descent from the cockpit with the tackle.

Now you can work on that mast head tricolor from the dock instead of 35 feet in the air.

 mast down

To raise the mast simply reverse the process.

Mast down

by the First Mate

Slow progress on the boat this week-end.  We got the mast down on Thursday with only one small hiccup.  Refit Video #11-Dropping the Mast.   

Chuck had caught a cold a few days before and I started getting sick the next day. Frustrating since the days have been surprisingly warm and clear.  

We've had fog most mornings but can usually see clear blue skies by 11.  Both of us spent all weekend at our computers, recovering, rather than out in the garage sanding.

Chuck has his weekly radio program this afternoon at 1:00pm (Listen Live) on KFSK, after the City Council meeting, and I need to spend time at the clinic later this afternoon.  One more day of recovery. 

We spoke with our lead carpenter this morning and he is still recovering from a back injury and needs one more week's rest himself.  One side of my brain is screamin' "Move, move, move" but the other is saying "Patience grasshopper". We are progressing at a steady pace and don't see any problems with time as yet.

Awnings are clean and dry and will be delivered to Sew What for minor repairs.  Good news, curtains are done.   

Sourdough and Spring

by the First Mate

Pancakes for breakfast but these ones were extra special.  At a dinner we attended last week we sat next to a lady named Marietta and during the course of our conversation the topic moved to Sourdough. Turns out she has a 100 yr old starter that came from a family living on the Wrangell Narrows which she said she would be happy to share.  I have been reluctant to take on a starter prior to this, especially one of this heritage, because of the care and feeding instructions.  Marietta brushed off my concern, "There is always another starter out there if you kill this one."  I see lots of Sourdough pancakes and rolls in the near future.

It feels like Spring in Petersburg at the moment.  We have had three very warm, dry days with temperatures in the high 40's.  Perfect weather for getting things done.

The dodger is off and the mast is ready to come down.  We had the weather yesterday but Chuck managed to catch a bit of a cold and did not feel up to the task.  While Chuck was working at the house I was able to remove the fore and aft seats and the starboard side settee. All that remains of the interior are the galley area, the faces of the lockers against the hull and the main bulkhead. Awnings will be washed by this afternoon and after they are dry they'll go to "Sew What" for repairs.  Refit Video No. 10 uploaded last night.

Made a run to the Salvation Army to drop off "stuff". As I handed over the bag to the volunteer I wasn't thinking about any of the items in the bag but rather the weight, thirty pounds of unnecessary weight gone. Woohoo!

Moving Forward

by the First Mate

Our refit is gaining momentum.  We are pleased with the progress so far and can only hope the rest of the project goes as smoothly. 

Refit video #9 - uploaded last night.  

Temperatures expected to be near 50 degrees today which will make our work much more pleasant.  We removed the  forward awning which is now hanging out of the way in the garage. The other two larger pieces will come down this afternoon and then all three sections will go to the laundromat for a thorough wash. The forward piece is in remarkably good shape and with the exception of a few small patches little will need to be done before it can be put into service again. The other two pieces will need a bit more attention but we cannot be certain of how much until they are down, cleaned and thoroughly inspected. Thankfully we've kept an extra few yards of Sunbrella material on hand to use for patches and repairs. 

Chuck's plan today includes grinding out the two old bulkheads in the v-berth that secure the water tank and completely emptying out the aft cockpit lockers. Amazing how much higher the boat is riding in the water!  

The next step will be removing the dodger and dropping the mast which means waiting patiently for the perfect day. 

We were approached a few weeks ago and asked for an interview by Captain Sailnator which can be found here and if you know anyone who reads German the translated version can be found here. Thank you Alexander for taking an interest and sharing our story.    

Rain and Wood.

by the First Mate

Progress continues.  We got the call this morning our hardwood arrived by barge from Ketchikan which means we can get started cutting our patterns. I'll be giving Andy, our carpenter,  a call later this morning and arranging our first day in the shop sometime in the next few days.  Heavy rain expected all this week. 

Chuck will be at KFSK playing Island Music for part of the afternoon before we head down to the boat and get a few more hours of work in.  Street Beat program begins today at 12:35, after the Fish Report. Listen Live!  (21:35 GMT) 

Refit video #8 uploaded last night. 

We've been getting a tremendous amount of comments and advice from the boating and YouTube community.  Thanks to everyone for your your advice and support during this project.

Stuff you want but don't need.

by the First Mate

The weather the last few days has not allowed any varnish work to be done but at least we can still sand.  Snow expected on Friday but Saturday and Sunday are expected to be clear which would give us some good working conditions.  Not a good day to be on the water anyway, South winds 15-25 gusting to 35. Rain. 

Chuck is down at the boat now making a few final sketches before we begin stripping the interior furniture out of Lealea tomorrow.  We've gotten all the ceiling strips off, the plywood for the v-berth is out and the water tank should be out by this afternoon.  The meeting with our carpenter, Andy, went very well Monday morning. He looked at Chuck's sketches, seemed to liked the changes we have in mind and had a few suggestions of his own. Video #7 - Teaser.

Phone calls have been made to price out new foam for the v-berth and settee cushions. This will be the third set of cushions since Chuck bought the boat. Foam material has always been fairly expensive but if we've learned anything over the years it is to not be cheap when buying it.  It is our bed, our couch and our home and we want to be comfortable.  The foam will probably ship out of Seattle which makes my eyes weep dollar signs at the thought of freight. It turns out there is someone in town with a good reputation for canvas work and it just so happened I had enough Sunbrella material on board to get her started on the new curtains. We will need to order more Sunbrella for the rest of the project but at least things are getting started.  The cushion covers in the v-berth are still good and won't need replacing but since we are re-designing the starboard settee a new cushion and cover will need to be made.      

Finished inventorying all of our food stores yesterday.  Besides a few canned goods that need to be eaten immediately because of a few rust spots our supply is almost exactly what I expected to be on board. And better yet, everything was in good shape, clean, dry and mildew free. 

Finished going through our other "Stuff" yesterday too. Clothes, hats, books...just stuff and managed to cull out a big bag of clothes and 2 plastic bins of items not important enough to be loaded back aboard. Next dry day everything we plan on keeping will get tossed into the back of the pick up and temporarily put into storage.  

I've taken a step back from Waterways Veterinary Clinic for the next few months which will give me more time work on the boat with Chuck and keep up with our daily blog.  Chuck has been putting out video's on YouTube and I've not had a chance to post them here....sorry Mom.  

Links to catch up.

So far we are on track with our time but it is early yet.  A few good days are needed to strip the interior and then one warm, dry day is required for us to drop the mast and then we can get started on removing the main bulkhead.


When is high tide?

by the First Mate

Got a lot done yesterday but we've even more to do today.  Trying to remove everything in an organized fashion so it will be easier to put back on board when the time comes. 

Chuck got a video uploaded of our progress last night.

As several folks have noticed we have to do our moving at the right time of day or the ramp can be a bit of a workout. 

Books, why is it so easy to collect them and so hard to pass them on? 

We pick up our material order from AML this afternoon and expect to be removing furniture by the weekend.

Clear skies and nearly empty boat.

by the First Mate

More of our belongings came off the boat today. Luckily we have had clear, bright skies and little rain to contend with while chucking our worldly belongings into the back of a pickup truck.  

Today I picked up the rest of the food stores that I was unable to remove yesterday plus our dishes, pots and pans and the first wave of boat gear; foul weather gear, boots, harnesses.  Tomorrow I will be picking up the first tool in this project and begin removing the lamps, clinometer, barometer, thermometer and anything else mounted to the inside of the hull.

We will be washing, sorting and closely examining the value of each and every item before it is loaded back aboard.  As always, books will be the hardest to cull.  

There are only a few beloved items on board that will always make the cut.  Poor Teddy has seen some better days.

Got a phone call this morning (on MLK Day) that our materials shipment arrived on the barge, five days earlier than anticipated. We should have everything off the boat by Wednesday.

It only gets busier from here.

If you missed Chuck's radio program today, here is the link.

And today it begins....

by the First Mate

We've been taking a break from writing and posting since Christmas knowing full well once our re-build project begins our days will be non-stop until it's completion.     

Yesterday I rented a storage locker and today we begin removing our belongings off Lealea.  First off will be clothes and food which will be thoroughly inspected and sorted. Clothes we have held onto for sentiment rather than practicality will be given away and it looks as if we will be eating a lot of beans and rice over the next few months but it will be nice to get the boat cleaned out. 

I will be stepping back from the veterinary clinic for the next few months while we are working on the boat and am looking forward to my time in Andy's shop helping with the interior woodwork.   

Chuck placed our Fisheries order last Tuesday and we should see the materials arriving by barge next Wednesday.  The hard lumber from Edensaw Woods will be on the same barge and then we only need the balance of the lumber to arrive from Ketchikan.

The sun is shining, temperatures are in the 30's and it is a beautiful day to get this project started.

One last thing, sorry.....
Forgot to post the link to our Christmas Out Takes video for my mom.   

Here's What We Have in Mind...

By The Skipper:

Lealea was already a well worn sixteen years old when I bought her from Rick Monteverde in Honolulu in 1990.  Since then she has been lived aboard and used constantly and has received careful, if not lavish, regular maintenance and attention: a new engine in 1993, a cabin redesign, new standing rigging and Awlgrip paint in 1996;  new rigging again in 2007 plus replacement of half of the interior furniture; an engine rebuild and new fuel tank and filter system in 2010. Along the way there were several changes of running rigging, new lifelines and new sails and awnings. Now it is time for some serious work. 

Lealea interior sketch

We like the basic design and layout of the Vega just fine.  Having said that, we have developed certain preferences over the years and have some ideas we think will make Lealea even better.  After unstepping the mast and inspecting the rigging, we will make decisions on how to proceed with that.  While I think we can probably get by with just replaciing the halyards and topping lifts, I won't know  for sure until we have the mast down where I can get a good look at the wire and end fittings.  The mast and rig are first only because they have to come down before we can proceed on the interior of the boat.

Several people have said that our timetable is 'Optimistic'.  Maybe.  Of the things that can, and certainly will, delay the work, the weather will be the most significant.  Weather could affect the delivery of materials from Seattle. Will it be warm enough for varnish and epoxy to cure? Too wet to apply a good finish?  With us, life is always about the weather, so the timetable is "Weather permitting".  We begin now, hoping to be finished by the second week in April. We estimate 500 man hours, not counting set up and cleanup time.  We will be keeping track and will publish what we learn.  If everything goes according to plan...

Dismantling the interior will go fairly quickly.  The original furniture and bulkheads come out with a screwdriver.  Removing our personal belongings and gear to a storage locker will be more work.  Cleaning the stripped interior and prepping it for paint is the part to which I am not looking forward.  I expect that will be the most time consuming, labor intensive and unpleasant part of the project.  On the plus side, while that is going on, Laura and Andy will be making patterns and fabricating the pieces that will become the new bulkheads, ceiling and furniture.  We are hoping that my old shipmate, Tom from Williwa, can join us for the final fit and finish work.

We won't be making any major changes to the current layout with the dinette on the port side and the settee/bunk to starboard.  However, we will be putting in a full ceiling of Alaskan Yellow Cedar and making some changes to the lockers to improve ventilation.  In the Galley, Laura wants lexan cupboard and pantry doors and a larger sink.  Some other small changes are planned for the furniture, generally, more solid lumber and less plywood, more curves and fewer corners.  The major departure from the original design is that we will be glassing in the athwartships structural bulkheads and the fore and aft bulkheads that support the cockpit well, replacing the original construction of bare plywood secured to fiberglass tabs with machine screws.  Before the new furniture goes in, we will be painting the interior of the hull with paint containing a product called Insuladd.  Insuladd is a paint additive with insulating properties.  We will let you know in a few months how it works.

In a  nutshell: We intend to take out the old bulkheads furniture and ceiling, use them to make patterns then fabricate the new pieces.  Meanwhile clean the old space, repair as needed and paint. Rewire. Fit, finish and install new bulkheads, ceiling and furniture.

The timetable is entirely dependent on the weather but we think we have allowed enough leeway to account for likely delays.

Once the interior refit is accomplished we will turn to the rig and the exterior finish and skin fittings.

Happy Holidays; meaning - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By the Crew 

Mele Kalikimake e' Hauoli Maka Iki Hou!
We are truly blessed to be part of such an amazing community. Merry Christmas to all our boating friends and family.

We did something new with our Christmas video this year.  Drake and Monique, of Drake Paragon's Real Cruising Life, organized this amazing collaboration.  We were delighted to participate.

Here is our 2015 Christmas card.

Timing is Everything. Timing and Weather.

By the Skipper:

What a spectacular day this is turning into! I just got back from my morning walk with the pups regretting that I forgot to slip a camera into my pocket.
  We set out in thick fog at about 0945 and headed for one of the trails around town.  At 10:00 the sun just began to peek over the mountain to the East and the light gradually shifted from grey to gold.  I turned around to look back along the trail to the NW and was startled to see the snow capped mountains across the Narrows towering above in full sunlight reflecting a golden glow back toward still misty Mitcof Island.  The reflections off the ice crystals in the muskeg began to sparkle and catch my eye as I turned back toward the rising sun, now clear of the mountain but still with a halo of mist. Just then (I am not exaggerating) a flight of Canadian Geese, noisily honking to announce their passage, flew out of the fog not twenty feet over my head and disappeared into the glare of the sun.
  I really need to remember to bring a camera along.

I got a stock check and quote from Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend, WA for the forest products we will not be sourcing locally. I just have to determine the exact quantities required, add a margin for error and place the order.    Similarly, the resin, cloth, solvents, tools etc. we will be getting from Fisheries Supply in Seattle.  Everything is readily available so there will be no backorder problems. We know that the barge runs twice a week and takes ten days to get here from Seattle so we can order after the first of January and expect everything to be here in two weeks.  With luck we will avoid any materials delays as the job progresses.
  Before the materials arrive, we have to shift all our belongings from the boat into storage ashore until the interior is finished. Like everything else in our life, "Weather permitting" actual work will begin with removing the interior furniture during the first half of January.   
  The part I am dreading is cleaning the stripped interior and preparing it for painting.  But good preparation is the key to good results and the best way to deal with an unpleasant task is to plow through and do it so well you won't have to do it again any time soon.  I have allocated 80 man hours to bare hull cleaning and fiberglass repair on the interior of the boat.  If I have to do it by myself I will have to bust my but to finish that part of the job in two weeks.
  While the time consuming task of preparing the hull for painting and receiving the new bulkheads and furniture is ongoing, the new wood will be in process of being turned into our vision of the ideal Vega accommodations.  We think the pieces can be fabricated in  a 40 hour week. Finishing will take another ten days. Making the boat habitable will take another week.
  Eliminate the overlap of tasks and double that timeline and we are in the first week of March.  I hope I have allowed enough time for this part of the refit. We will need to move back onto the boat the second week of April.


By the Skipper:

The Big Job progresses apace.  After several days of measuring, multiplying, researching, asking and listening, imagining, sketching and compromising, I paid a visit to Andy and took the first concrete step: I paid him a retainer.

Andy Cowan is a local artisan carpenter known for his high level of craftsmanship.  He will be helping us with cutting the plywood and with the milling and fitting of the solid wood pieces.  I met him at his workshop at the mouth of Falls Creek on Mitcof Island to talk about ordering materials.  

Carpenter Shop

After going over my sketches with him and incorporating Andy's suggestions I will take more careful measurements, do the math and place the order for several different dimensional sizes of quarter-sawn sapele from Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend, WA.  along with a dozen sheets of Okoume marine plywood and half a dozen sheets of doorskin for patterns. 

We will be ordering our paint, varnish, fiberglass, epoxy and related supplies from Fisheries Supply in Seattle.

We intend to source the Alaskan Yellow Cedar locally.

Spending the first dollar starts the clock.  Monday I will be making phone calls and timing the delivery of materials.

The Big Job: Refining the Plan

By the Skipper:


Now that we have sharpened the pencil and begun the process, the plan is coming together nicely.

chuck Rose with Franklin Planner

If you saw our latest video, you know that after defining the desired outcome in detail, we have broken The Big Job into smaller chunks:

The mast, rig and lifelines

The exterior finish and fittings

The interior wiring and joinery

Hull inspection and repair 

We will be addressing each of these in detail in future blogs and videos.

Before we can do anything else we have to be sure that we have an adequate place to work and access to the necessary materials and supplies.

Laura spoke with the Boatyard owner and learned that the space we need is available at a very reasonable price here on Mitcof Island just South of Petersburg at Scow Bay.  I researched, or rather confirmed, the price and availability of the materials we will need from Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend and Fisheries Supply in Seattle.  

We met with Andy Cowan, a local artisan boat builder, aboard Lealea to discuss what will be the most challenging part of the project – the interior joinery.  Andy understood immediately what we are hoping to accomplish and had several suggestions with which we enthusiastically agreed.  He recommended the suppliers we had already chosen but informed us that the Alaskan Yellow Cedar we would need for the ceiling is better obtained locally than ordered from Seattle. He suggested that Sapele would be a good choice for the solid hardwood pieces we would need.  It is available, relatively inexpensive and easy to work with.  Since Lealea came from the factory with Sapele veneer plywood and solid trim furniture we had already planned on using it.  We discussed stains, finishes and construction details as well as the overall plan. 

14' Maine Peapod built by Andy Cowan 

Andy explained the way he would like to work on the project.  As we had worked in Port Townsend with the Shipwright’s Co-Op, he would do the more advanced work such as milling the hard wood pieces while we did the less demanding but more time consuming tasks like disassembly, sanding and varnishing.  He offered the use of his shop for storing materials and said he would give us any help we needed with the carpentry, including the use of his shop tools.

One suggestion we are resisting, for now, is to take the rig down now and begin by removing the main bulkhead. This would be followed by the removal of all the rest of the interior.  Over the Winter we would be able to fabricate the new furniture and have it ready when the boat comes out of the water in the Spring.  On it’s face, this seems like a good idea but there are a couple of hurdles to overcome.  First, the mast.  It has to come down to relieve the stress on the main bulkhead.  The mast is longer than the boat and we are already in a short slip so the Harbor Master may not like us storing it on the boat. Then too, we would have to find a place to store everything we own, including full fuel cans, galley supplies including the cook stove and sink, non-perishable food stores and tools, until we relaunch.  Possibly not until August.  We like the idea of getting ahead of the game but I do not like the idea of having the mast down for 6 months or more.  Working on a compromise.

The four major chunks of the job can be placed in any order except that the mast must be down, and the structural bulkheads must be in place before any deck work can be done and the hull inspection and any fiberglass repairs accomplished while the interior is stripped.  The reason I originally listed the rig first is that I don’t want to order new rigging before a thorough inspection of what we have. New wire and terminal fittings can be shipped up in a week or ten days.  Since raising the mast will be the last thing done prior to re-launching anyway, if we have to order materials we would have time to do so without delaying The Big Job.

The plan for the rig then is simple, for now.  We will remove the mast and put on saw horses at waist level for disassembly, cleaning and inspection. Then decide whether replacement of the standing rigging is warranted. As of right now, we can’t do that until we haul the boat in the spring.

The exterior finish and fittings part of the job is simple and straightforward.  It cannot be addressed until spring but preparations are already being made. 

Interior wiring and joinery. That is where we can get ahead of the curve.  We just have to figure out a way to work around the main bulkhead.

Then there is the budget.  Andy estimated $2K to $2500 for materials to complete the interior.  His labor/shop rate is $65 per hour but of course we have no idea yet how many hours he may put in.  We are hoping not more than about fifty. The yard bill, including haul out, is expected to run $2000; if we can stay on schedule. As for the exterior refinishing, we know the labor involved in preparation, having done the job once before. We think we can do it with four helpers for the prep work and two for the actual painting for $4000 in materials and supplies.  Add another $600 for bottom paint if we stay with our usual Pettit Trinidad Blue.  Total it up.  Add 20% and we come up with $15600 or there about.  Might as well round up to $16K.

It could easily run more but by starting now we can identify problem areas before they get too expensive and, by planning carefully well in advance, find areas in which to economize.  

We will also be doing more to raise funds for the project with more new content on the web site and more videos.  Also, our YouTube videos now feature a Fan Funding button in the upper right corner of the video playback screen and there is a “Tip Jar” link in the left sidebar of this page if you would like to help out but cannot make it to Petersburg to get some bottom paint on your shoes.

Winter is here.

By the First Mate

Although temperatures are still in the 40's Winter has certainly arrived.  First snowfall is expected in a few days and we now find ourselves with more time to spend in front of a computer.

The last of the snow free hikes for a while.

I have been very busy this summer working at Waterways Veterinary Clinic. The town used to have a second vet who visited town 3 days a month but he recently closed shop leaving Petersburg's pets with only one option.  Bummer.  Just finished a video for the clinic website Waterways Veterinary Clinic - Veterinary Vessel Hallie.  Secondary title, The cool stuff I got to do this summer!

Chuck and I have been hinting at a new project for quite a while now and have just, in the last few days, solidified our plans.  Our original thought was to take Lealea to Port Townsend for her haul out and re-fit but after spending more time here and getting to know the area we have decided Petersburg will do just fine for Lealea's much needed face lift. 

Last night Chuck posted the first of what will be an ongoing series detailing the initial planning stages through to the final steps of the complete re-fit of our old, beloved, fiberglass boat. Stay tuned. will also be seeing a major re-fit.  Over the next few months we will be converting the website to a Word Press format which should allow for mobile friendly viewing and easier conversation through the Logbook.  This will be a Winter long project which we hope to have finished by April.  Thank you Tom P. for your generous gift of server space and support. 

If you are looking for an old fiberglass boat to refurbish yourself we recently heard of an Albin Vega in Seattle that needs to be rescued or she will be demolished. Time is urgent which means a good deal to be had. 

Mainly About Cornbread

By The Skipper:

Laura reminded me that we had not mentioned our latest video here in the Logbook.  In case you missed it, we uploaded a new Real Time Update earlier in the week.  Here is the link:

In other news:  I made a batch of cornbread. 

Henry David Thoreau was a connosieur of cornbread and mentioned that he preferred his made with rye flour.  I thought I would try it.  An inspired experiment that turned out GREAT!

Henry David's Cornbread

1 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 + 1/4 cups fine ground cornmeal
1 cup rye flour
1/4 cup maple syrup* 
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

* When ever I mention "Maple syrup" I mean the real thing, preferably from Vermont and ideally from the Isham Family Farm in Williston Vt.

Preheat oven to 400f

Grease bottom and sides of baking pan

Beat milk, butter and egg in large bowl with hand beater or whisk, then stir in the maple syrup.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly together then stir into the liquid all together and mix well.

Pour and spoon the dough/thick batter into the baking pan and spread evenly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

It was all I could do not to eat it all before Laura got home.

The Big Job

By The Skipper:

We have been trying to get started on refitting Lealea since September 2012 when we waited in vain for a weather window to allow us to sail South from Craig, AK to Port Townsend, WA after our first season exploring Southeast Alaska.  Haven't accomplished much though beyond really, really enjoying life.

I have been in the - thinking about assembling my ideas into a general mental picture of the beginnings of a plan - stage all summer.  Now, as we settle in for the winter (House sitting and pet care for the Harbor Master's mother), I am ready to sit down with a sharp pencil and begin.

Since we know what we want to do, the first decision is where to do the work.  

An interesting possibility is Wrangell, AK, forty miles South of Petersburg. With a new boatyard facility, Wrangell, being farther South of LeConte Glacier and the much larger Stikine Ice Field is slightly warmer and drier.  Waterways Veterinary clinic has their 50 foot aluminum trawler, M/V Hallie, set up as a floating clinic, and Laura thinks Dr. Hill could be persuaded to let us take her down there to live aboard while we do the work.  Laura could operate the Vet clinic out of Hallie in Wrangell while we are there and that would save us the cost of lodging while bringing much needed services to the town.  This looks like an ideal solution if we can put it all together.  We will have to be very careful when it comes to ordering materials and supplies from Seattle.  There can be no last minute changes or exchanges. Extra materials will have to be purchased, "Just in case". Work stopped for lack of some small item could be stopped for weeks, not just an hour or two as it might be in Port Townsend. 

I think Port Townsend, WA may be the best place on the West  Coast  to get boat work done the Boat Haven boat yard has everything in triplicate and Edensaw Woods is just down the road; plus easy access to all the big city conveniences and civilization of the lower forty eight.  Of course we have to get there, seven or eight hundred sea miles...

...but that has been our plan all along, every September since 2012.  Going to Port Townsend will cost more but will be less risky and will give us more choices and flexibility once the project is underway. If I get in trouble with the job There are plenty of experts just a few steps away to whom I can turn.

All things considered I am leaning toward Wrangell.  I still have to check on some things at the boatyard there but taking to my neighbors in the harbor it sounds like thee will be no insurmountable problems.

If we are going to do this in Wrangell, we need to figure out everything we need for the whole job and order it all at once in a single shipment if possible.  

Once I figure out what I am going to need in materials I can develop a budget and start arranging for yard space, tools, shipping, lodging etc.

Might as well make a video or two of the planning and preparation process.

"Fair winds"


Time again for a Hangout.

By the First Mate


Back aboard our boat. Back in action.

The website and blog have taken a back seat for both Captain and First Mate as we soak up the last few days of sunshine before Winter sets in.  The last couple mornings have had a snappy tone to them.  Our Assistant Harbormaster was  kind enough to find the very first ice patch of the season before any other harbor tenants could.  

Things are hopping at Waterways Veterinary Clinic.  The veterinary vessel Hallie returned to last Sunday to Petersburg after 8 days of rounds between Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove.  Dr. Hill had hoped to stay longer in Coffman Cove but we had to leave after only 27 hours in port.  A front was expected the following night which might have held us in for another week and we couldn't spare the time. This week has been spent transferring medical equipment and supplies off Hallie and back to the clinic until her next trip out which will probably be next spring. I wonder where we will be.

This week will be spent volunteering our time to help our good friend, KFSK, with it's yearly fundraising efforts.

Wednesday, October 7th Chuck and I will have our 5th Google Hangout live from Studio 2 at KFSK. Pop in and live chat, we would love to hear how your summer went and introduce you to some of our friends in Petersburg.  Mindy Anderson,"What's for Dinner", plans to stop in and share a few of her favorite boat friendy recipes.  Tom Abbot will talk story about the history of the KFSK mug and Petersburg's own Harbor Master, Glo Wollen says she might stop by.  

We are going to be up front. KFSK is special to us and we have offered to help any way we can. There will be a toll free line for brief chats and we will be giving away two super cool, boater friendly, FSK mugs. We would love to see a few small donations trickle through.

Join our Google Hangout #5 on Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 12 - 2ish.  Use the Time Zone Calculator if you need. 

See you there!

Temporarily filling in volunteer host...

By The Skipper:

Just got off the phone with Tom, the station manager at KFSK Petersburg.  I regretted doing it but I had to decline filling in for the regular host on the "Its Classic" program tonight.  I did "High Country" on Tuesday afternoon as well as my regular Wednesday Street Beat "Island Music Program" this week.  I have done the evening Classical Music program before but it takes a lot of time to put together a decent radio show and I was tired and was looking forward to going to bed early.

Gradually making progress on the boat.  I had a diver clean the bottom and replace the zinc. Finally got the batteries replaced, with help from friend Eric.  When it come to things like batteries, I like to get someone younger to do the heavy lifting. There is not much more I can do until we get down to Port Townsend Next summer.  Major work on the rig, painting and interior joinery will have to wait. 

Still, Lealea is not in such bad shape that we cannot take her out for a few days or even an offshore voyage.  We are hoping to get away for a few days in September to shake the cobwebs out before the Winter sets in.  In the Spring, we will begin preparing for the offshore trip to Port Townsend.

Time and Sunshine

by the First Mate

Saturday morning.  We are working on our second cup of coffee while Chuck responds to emails.  Work on converting our website to WordPress has gone slower than anticipated with both of us having other things to do. 

Our new batteries have arrived by barge from Seattle so Chuck will be installing three new Group 31s in Lealea sometime this week.  We bought the last batteries in 2007 just before we left Honolulu on our first passage and they've just begun to show subtle signs they need to be replaced.  Shocking how much the prices have gone up since our last purchase.

Chuck was finally able to track down a supplier for our v-belts, which arrived last week while I was away on the Hallie.  (Thank you Ward for the offer to bring up them with you!)


My trip on the veterinary vessel Hallie last week was a busy one.  The weather was fine with mill pond conditions for most of the trip to Thorne Bay, Coffman Cove and back. We had just arrived in Thorne Bay and had clients  knocking on the boat within minutes. The constant parade of cats and dogs aboard Hallie kept us on our toes and we got to visit with many two and four-legged friends.  I had the opportunity to visit with Jo ( who has offered to take me mushroom hunting during our next visit if there is time. Looking forward to it.  The Hallie is expected to depart again in 5-6 weeks.

Chuck has been working with KFSK on the launch of their YouTube Channel in an effort to help with fundraising efforts.  Chuck's Wednesday 8/5 Street Beat program link available here.

We are losing 4 minutes a day and the sunshine beckons us outside.


Blueberry Ketchup

by the First Mate

Sitting here enjoying a piece of fish out of the oven smothered in blueberry ketchup.  My lunch is accompanied by the the start of Chuck's Street Beat radio program on KFSK. Heading in shortly to the clinic for my Wed. afternoon shift.

Chuck spent the morning on the phone trying to find some replacement Yanmar belts for our engine.  Have you ever heard that saying "you can't get there from here"?  Finding the belts themselves, although a bit more difficult than we would have thought, isn't the issue.  Having lived in Hawaii for many years we are familiar with the challenges of shipping from the mainland (or lower 48) to Hawaii and Alaska.  One web site we checked quoted $127.00 shipping for $47.00 worth of belts.  Most sites won't even ship to Alaska.  Still working on it.

Chuck is finished with the Williwa series and will spend his summer converting our website over to WordPress thus making our site mobile friendly.  It seems we must, somewhat, keep up with technology. (Thank you Tom for all your help and support.) At this point we have so much video "in the can" it is hard to know where to start.  Since we are committed to stay in Petersburg until next spring we must use our time wisely.  Things need to be done on the boat but most of them need the facilities of a boatyard and we won't be seeing one of those until we hit Port Townsend. 

House sitting again in the same home as last Summer.  Chuck and I have been out berry picking and I already have a dozen jars or jam made with at least that many more to make.  Rhubarb, salmonberries and Blueberries out of the garden supplemented with purchases of peaches and apricots at Chelan weekly market. I will be busy for the next few days.  Made another batch of Blueberry Ketchup which is already half gone, plan to make alot of that this year.  Lily the Cat is just as personable as last year although a bit slimmer.  She has managed to lose nearly 4lbs and is feeling much friskier these days. 

We have been very busy at Waterways and Dr. Hill and I start gearing up the veterinary vessel Hallie tomorrow for another trip to Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove this weekend. Summer is in full swing.    

Beach Asparagus and Berries

by the First Mate

After a brief but hard rain last night the sunshine returned this morning making it perfect berry picking weather which means I'll be spending some serious time in the kitchen this weekend. 

Last week we were pleasantly surprised to get an email from Drake Paragon saying he would be mentioning Cruising Lealea in his next episode.  We have been following Drake and Mo for some time and enjoy watching their travels.  If you've not had a chance to check out their YouTube Channel be sure to do so, we hope you enjoy watching their journey as much as we do.

And finally we finished off the bag of Beach Asparagus that Jo of gave me while the Hallie was visiting Thorne Bay. This is my new favorite vegetable, added bonus that a little bit of it goes a long way.  I sauteed it with garlic and onion and a TBSP of maple syrup to give it a sweet/salty flavor.  Yum! Now I'll have to go exploring and find where it grows on Mitkof Island.

It has been a busy week at Waterways Vet Clinic and word is the next trip aboard the Veterinary Vessel Hallie is expected to be at the end of the month. 

If you missed Chuck's last radio program on Wednesday and enjoy Cuban music 

Slow but sure progress on moving our website over to WordPress but the sun is shining and it is very difficult to stay inside for any length of time.    

Island Music from Cuba

By The Skipper:

Just finished my lunch, listening to the replay of today's Island Music program on KFSK Petersburg.  Two hours rich in brass.  Featuring Cuban artists Desi Arnaz, Cubanismo, Lena Ferrer and more. 

Looking for material beyond Hawaiian music I began looking at the Carribean.  Jamaica, Haiti, Dominica and of course, Cuba.  I remembered Desi Arnaz from the I love Lucy show like everyone else of my generation, and knew that he had been a band leader.  Remembering that he had performed Babalu on an episode of the Lucy Show, I started digging.  I was delighted at what I found! Arnaz's Cuban big band sound blew me away! Amanda Lane's vocal performance on Cuban Pete is icing on the cake.

I love the trumpet and there is plenty of brass in both Arnaz and Cubanismo.  Cubanismo makes big sound with a smaller ensemble but does not sacrifice a note.  I am really digging the rich latin sounds and especially trumpeter/band leader Jesús Alemañy

The program finises off with a collection of smaller ensembles and solos from Jose Conde, Lena and Rene' Ferrer (Lena Ferrer's "Ay Mi Vidita" is a catchy, upbeat piece), Ramone Cordero and others from the Cafe Cubano collection.

Time now for a beer and a cigar

A Day to Celebrate

by the First Mate

Returned from Seattle where I was delivering two cats from the Petersburg Humane Association to their new home with my Mother in Gig Harbor.  Don't they have stray cats in Seattle?  Yep, they do, but these two cats had been at the shelter nearly their whole lives (2 and 3 years).  Sweet cats that just needed a loving home and I knew my Mom would give it to them.  Well worth the trip especially when combined with celebrating my Grandma's 90th Birthday.

Chuck and I will be out and about all afternoon with the 4th of July Parade scheduled for 11:00am, Bed Races, Duck Races and a Log Rolling Contest to watch along with food and craft booths scattered along Nordic Drive to explore in between events.  KFSK Fundraiser BBQ in the parking lot at Kito's Kave while we wait for the Blind Rowboat Races and the 2 X 6 Stomp races to begin. (will definitely get pics of this one!) Fireworks are scheduled after dark at 11PM.

We are house sitting again in the same place as last summer watching Lily the Cat.  I've already been out berry and rhubarb picking in anticipation of doing more canning while we have access to a rather fine kitchen.

Chuck finished the 6th and last video in the Williwa series and will be taking a break from editing for a bit to get some actual work done on the boat. Sunshine expected into next week which would provide the dry weather needed to finally get some varnishing and fiberglassing done on Lealea.  

And again, being in a house will allow us to spread out our computer gear and accomplish the arduous task of migrating our website to WordPress and a new server. Our goal is to have everything moved over by the end of July.  

Meanwhile, the dry weather beckons us to come outside and play and celebrate our nations founding.


By the Skipper:

The First Mate has abandoned me again, this time delivering a pair of cats to her mother in GigHarbor (Don't ask) and I have been forced to sit down and prioritize the tasks in front of me; Boat maintenance, video projects, laundry…

By far the biggest rock in my pile, however, is converting this web site to Word Press and moving it to another host.  The combination of dissatisfaction, a change in Google’s search algorithms and a timely offer of help from a friend have prompted us to take action now.  Suffice to say that this move will result in us saving money while providing a more mobile friendly web site that is easier for us to develop and maintain.

What this means to you is that one day in a few weeks the site will look different and be more accessible.  Better, we hope.

Unfortunately this is not the best time of year for this sort of project.  I need to take full advantage of every [relatively] warm, dry day and every available hour of daylight (seventeen hours, fifty one minutes today) to get work done on the exterior of the boat.

I need to get organized and start getting things done.  The good thing is, I have a checklist for boat maintenance at least.


Sunday's rest.

by the First Mate

Yesterday Chuck and I did nothing yesterday except sleep in, have a late breakfast and spend the day together.

Hallie returned to her slip in Petersburg Saturday evening after a successful first 2015 round of veterinary work in Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay. 

The trip over was uneventful.  Sunshine and mill pond conditions made for a quiet trip and we arrived in Coffman Cove at 8:30pm on the 16th.  The next three days were busy with spays, wellness exams and vaccinations.  It is fun to look out at the dock and see dogs and owners visiting in our unofficial waiting room while waiting their turn.  We were in good company as the "Dentist Boat" was moored a few slips behind us and many clients dropped their dogs off for morning surgery then headed to their own appointment a few doors down. 

We stayed in Coffman Cove for 3 days then headed to the larger and communication friendly town of Thorne Bay.  The fishing fleet has just gotten started for the season and the town was not as active as we've seen previously. Although we weren't quite as busy during our time in Thorne Bay we were able to make some great contacts for our next voyage and I managed to take in a short hike along with a a nice bicycle ride.

It is amazing how small the cruising world is.  I ran into the crew of "Rover", a Cape Dory 33' from Coos Bay.  Turns out Jean and Tom are from Ashland, OR and when I inquired "don't suppose you know Jim and Gloria Elder" they laughed and said they were old friends. Yep, small world.

I also had the opportunity to visit with Jo of who introduced me to a little known Alaskan delicacy of Beach Asparagus.  Jo had just gotten back from harvesting this wonderful green and sent me home with a generous bag of the stuff with cooking instructions.  Chuck was a bit skeptical at first but after the first bite was convinced of it's charms.  Sauteed with onion and garlic and a touch of maple syrup to give it a sweet and salty flavor we devoured the stuff quickly and were left wanting more. Be sure to check out Jo's website for more Alaskan edibles to harvest while you are visiting.

While I was away Chuck managed to get some work done on the boat, do some editing on our next videos plus put out two radio programs.  Wednesday's KFSK Street Beat featured Ricki Lee Jones and Aloha Friday once again featured Hawaiian music. 

We expect Hallie to depart again in another 6-7 weeks, possibly visiting Craig next time out. 

The sun is shining, temperatures are expecting to reach into the 70's today and this afternoon I need to finalize the logistics of transporting two Humane Association cats to Seattle where they will be placed in their new forever home with my Mom when I visit later this week.

Working in the sunshine.

by the First Mate

The sun has returned although it brings with it cooler temperatures.

The town is hopping as boats get ready for the upcoming fishing and crabbing season. We've seen several cruising boats come and go in the last week and look forward to our departure as well.

Saturday's Google Hangout went very well.  Once again we were amazed at the number of countries that turned out to chat.  Hangout #4 will be our last until September/October when the cruising season is over, it is once again raining and we have nothing to do outside. By then we hope to invite others to join us via video rather than just the chat function.

Chuck was able to finish and upload Williwa #5 a few days ago and is already working on the 6th (and last) in the series.  

Progress on supplying Hallie for her first summer rounds in Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay although it looks like we will be departing on the 15th now.  



Summer Soon

by the First Mate

The last few days have been full.

Dr. Hill and I put Hallie on the grid and applied a fresh coat of bottom paint then used the new drive down loading dock to get her four batteries unloaded and replaced.  We are expecting to depart for Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay on or around the 12th of June. Regular updates can be found on the Waterways Facebook page.

Chuck and I have scheduled another Google Hangout for this Saturday June 6th at  1PM AKDT, 9 PM UTC, 5 PM ET, 2 PM Pacific.
(Time Zone Converter) This will most likely be our last hangout until September as we need to step away from the computers, get out, have some fun and take some video. We will still be uploading videos from time to time but may not have access to a good enough connection for a hangout.

Williwa #5 is finished and will be uploaded this afternoon.  If you missed Chuck's Wednesday 6/4 Street Beat radio program on KFSK - LINK Here.  Beach Boys Tribute.


Busy Weekend

by the First Mate

Chuck and I have been continuously on the go this weekend.

The sun continues to shine and fair weather is expected through next week with a possibility of rain on Tuesday.

Saturday morning we were up early to go feed the horses I volunteered to sit over the weekend.  We had just managed to grab a bite at Fisherman's Net Cafe before I got a call to come into the clinic for an emergency. I just got finished with that, ran back to feed the horses again at noon then just made it on time into the KFSK studio for our Google Hangout No.3.  We had just finished up, grabbed our lunch and I got called into the clinic again. Whew!

"Big" with a mouthful of quills.

"Big" looking pretty sheepish afterward.

Not to be out done, "Taz" was next.

Dr. Hill and I put Hallie on the grid last night with the tide and we'll be busy grinding and painting for the next few days getting her ready for her upcoming rounds to Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay. 

We were, once again, amazed at the number of folks that took the time out of their busy Saturday to hangout with us. We are thinking we can get in one more before Hallie is expected to depart and Summer will be in full swing.  There have been some questions about joining the hangout and being able to participate in the chat.  You must be logged into your YouTube account to participate in the chat but we have been given permission to use the KFSK phone lines  next time so you will also be able to call in toll free.


Everlasting Sunshine.

by the First Mate

Petersburg is breaking records with the number of days we've gone without rain. Temperatures have been in the 70's and we are expecting clear skies through Tuesday.

We have scheduled our third Google Hangout for Saturday, 1PM AKDT, 9 PM UTC, 5 PM ET, 2 PM Pacific.  We hope to see you there!  


Ondine - This will help figure the correct time zone.

Packing began yesterday on the Veterinary Vessel Hallie for her trip to Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove with an anticipated departure somewhere around the 12th of June.  We are waiting for the next good tide to put her up on the grid and paint the bottom. 

I got a call yesterday asking if I was willing to horse sit over the weekend.  LOL! Yep, no problem. Looks like I'll be getting up earlier than usual for the next few days. 

Chuck is working on Williwa #4 and should have it complete withing a few days. 

Link to Chuck's Wednesday Street Beat radio program.  This weeks show was a tribute to BB King. 

Happy Memorial Day

by the First Mate

It has been a busy weekend for Chuck and I.  We volunteered several hours over the last few days at the weigh in station for the 34th Annual Fishing Derby.  The number of fish coming in is slightly lower than some of the previous years yet higher than others.  King Salmon has, most certainly, been the most popular dish served for dinner this weekend.

The leader fish so far.  50.9lbs Derby ends today at 5PM.

Chuck was able to complete Williwa - Down the Inside Passage Part 4 on Friday and on Saturday we had a great time with our second Google Hangout. Once again we are amazed at how many folks took time out of their busy days to join us for a chat and we are having fun answering questions.  

I'll be working at the clinic later today, apparently sick dogs and cats have no idea it is a holiday weekend and also today I begin preparing lists and start packing for our first trip of the season with the veterinary vessel Hallie. 

Google Hangout #2

Join us this Saturday, May 23rd from 1PM to 2PM AK time (Noon in Hawaii, 3PM Pacific Coast, 6 PM Eastern or 10PM UTC)  

Link -

We are shortening the program a bit from last week and trying a slightly different time of day. Saturday's chat is scheduled to last one hour and this week we would love to discuss the challenges of living aboard...or anything else that comes up.       

A reminder will be sent one hour prior to start via Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Subscribers on YouTube should receive notifications as well.

See you there!

Lost Blog and Beautiful Day.

by the First Mate

So I had another blog post written, until Windows decided to do an update.  Sigh.

We fueled up this morning at the Annual Festival Pancake Breakfast at St. Catherine's and then waddled down to the hardware store to pick up a few supplies.

This last week of sunshine lead to an unsightly amount of growth dancing merrily around our hull so today's chore was to mow the lawn.  We warped Lealea into the neighboring slip and were back in ours again in under 20 minutes. 

The rest of the morning we lazed around enjoying both the radio and the sounds of a busy harbor on a summer day. We are expecting a few more days of warm dry weather so it looks like we might be varnishing tomorrow.  

A play by the Mitkof Mummers finished off our afternoon. Shipwreck on Cannery Island was quite memorable with characters named Sister Willa Sayagain and Nikoleta Lotafishgoya.  A short one hour play injected with local humor telling the story of a pair of vikings brothers who lose their ship in a storm after one brother offends a wizard and she curses their ship which is returning home from a raid. Loaded with gold and three nuns the ship is lost and they find themselves stranded on Cannery Island where they are immediately mistaken as seasonal employees looking for work at the Fish Cannery. Very funny. 

Yesterday was busy as well with our first Google Hangout which lasted an hour and a half.  We still have some learning to do but we very much enjoyed answering the questions through the chat function and were amazed at how many countries were joining us. Poland, Sweden, Holland and New Zealand being just a few.  Very Cool!  

Thanks again Jonas for your support.

After the Hangout we grabbed lunch at Kito's Kave, listened to some music in the beer garden then walked a block over to catch the start of the parade.  

It has been a fun week. 
A cousin visiting from Vancouver.

Fun and Festivities

by the First Mate

The sun is out and the Little Norway Festival begins.

The next four days in Petersburg are filled with parades, dining, dancing, pageants and celebrations.  The opening parade starts today at 4pm followed by the town's most anticipated event;The Herring Toss.   

Chuck is home again after his 10 day trip to the East Coast which was very productive.  I wish I could say the same of my time but that cold I caught last weekend had me hiding out in the boat all week.

Disappointed you missed our last Google Hangout - Test?  As promised we are having another.  Join us for a scheduled hour and a half chat tomorrow afternoon in the KFSK studio Saturday, 5/16/2015 12;30 Alaska Daylight Time (20:30 UTC, 16:30 ET, 13:30 Pacific, 10:30 Hawaii)  We do have a few specific topics but depending on who joins us and what questions come up, who knows what direction we'll take.

And now We are off to enjoy the sunshine and festivities.


By The Skipper:

My recon mission to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is nearing it's conclusion. My broken toes have slowed me down a bit but, overall, It has been a very productive and enjoyable trip.

Isham Family Farm

I got to renew old friendships and see how much things have changed in my home town of Williston Vermont and how little things have changed in North Troy where we have long planned to eventually settle and develop our property (Half a mile South of the old covered bridge on River Road).  I opened the motorcycle crate containing those personal possessions we could not bear to part with but have no room for on the boat that our friends, David and Ginger Isham, have generously been storing for us in one of their barns since we left Hawaii in 2007. It looked like a squirrel had gotten into the crate and made a bit of a mess, but no real harm done.  I removed a few items to take back to Alaska, marveled that we had kept some things that have no use or value and took them out to donate to Goodwill. That left the crate about half full of books, personal treasures and some clothes too fancy to wear in our current lifestyle. Then I screwed the top back on.  We are not done cruising yet.

While I was there I picked up two gallons of Mike Isham's maple syrup.  One gallon in quarts for us and one gallon in pints for gifts.  As a native Vermonter I may be biased but real maple syrup from the Isham's in Williston, VT is the best sweetener on earth. In Southeast Alaska they say "Friends don't let friends eat farmed fish".  In Vermont, "Friends don't let friends eat Log Cabin syrup".
But don't take my word for it.  Order your own supply from the Isham Family Farm

I will be heading back to Petersburg just in time for the event of the year, The Little Norway Festival.

Test...Test....this is a test.

by the First Mate

At last we were able to slip into the studio at KFSK and test out the YouTube LIVE - Google Hangout yesterday.  Chuck and I had expected to run the test and experiment with the program between ourselves however, before we knew it, we had 29 other folks hanging out with us. What a surprise considering we did nothing to promote the event.
Thanks to all that joined us impromptu, Portugal, Paris, who knew? As this was simply a test we did not post any advance notice of the Hangout but will absolutely do so in the future, including links and instructions, and by then we (I) should have things figured out enough that we can interact with those who join us. 

We had planned to test yesterday and run our first event today but as you watch the video it is clear my voice is nearly gone and it only got worse afterwards.  No talking for me today.

Obviously we still have a few kinks to work out but when Chuck returns from Vermont we'll schedule another event and maybe even have an actual topic to discuss.

The sun is shining today after a week of rain. Headed up to Kito's to watch the Kentucky Derby this afternoon. 

Pancakes and Rain

by the First Mate

After three glorious days of sunshine the rain has returned to Petersburg which added a dimension of relaxation to our breakfast this morning of banana pancakes and coffee. All of yesterday was spent doing errands and chores. 


Saturday morning Chuck dragged out our cleaning supplies and got busy scrubbing the green decks while I made a minor repair to the awning.  The main zipper we use as a door has been coming apart but since we weren't using it and the opening had been securely lashed we didn't worry about it; but now we are back aboard and using the zipper multiple times a day.  I have to say living aboard here without the full awnings would be very uncomfortable or nearly impossible.  They are nearly twenty years old and holding up remarkably well.  Next sunny day we will pull them down, give them a good wash and inspect all the stitching.  The spray skirts are looking particularly green and need to come off but are time consuming to re-install because of the individual tie points.  

Chuck's trip to Vermont is coming up quickly and I have my own list of chores to accomplish while he is away.  He has a short list of supplies that need to be picked up while travelling and installed when he gets back but for the most part I plan to have the boat ready to cruise on his return.

This week we will be in the studios at KFSK testing systems for our YouTube LIVE - Google+ Hangout. The first time we go Live will only be a test but for those of you on FB and Twitter keep an eye out because, just for fun, we will let you know when we are on. Remember, it is only a test.   Once we get the internet settings, angles, lighting, and controls figured out (LOL!) we will post the time, date and LIVE-Link.  

The Salmon Derby approaches and after that comes the Little Norway Festival.  

The summer is shaping up beautifully.    



by the First Mate

A rare three days of nothing but sunshine.  The harbor is busy with the fishing fleet readying their boats for the upcoming fishing season and it is nearly warm enough to bust out the epoxy and begin a few small repairs.

The 3rd episode of Williwa Down the Inside Passage is complete.  

Planning also continues for the YouTube Live - Google+ Hangout.  The KFSK studios are busy this time of year and we just need to establish a convenient time and day for everyone.  Morning, evening, week-end or week night..any suggestions? 


Saturday Night Ashore.

by the First Mate

The school gym was buzzing with excitement last night as Petersburg's Ragnarok Rollers faced off against Wrangell's Garnet Grit Betties. The best Roller Derby excitement found in SE Alaska on this Saturday Night! We understand this video has nothing to do with sailing but take a moment and watch the hits these ladies are taking! Good fun.
Petersburg's Ragnarok Rollers - Petersburg, Ak Photography by Laura Wong-Rsoe

Work progresses on the boat.  We are hoping for a sunny day day or two so we can open it up and get some deep cleaning done; impossible to do while it's raining as I'll need to pile a bunch of stuff in the cockpit to make room below. 

I had forgotten the abundance of wildlife to be seen in the harbor. Yesterday we were visited by a beautiful juvenile eagle that sat only a few boats away for a good long while and this morning we were visited by a large sea lion making the rounds asking for hand outs.

We need to finalize a few details with KFSK about using their studio for our YouTube Live-Google+ Hangout. We must still pick a time, book a day and test the system but we hope to make an announcement this week.   


by the First Mate

It is good to be home.  After six months of house sitting we spent the last two days packing, cleaning and transporting our belongings back aboard Lealea.  Upon waking this morning we both remarked at how soundly we had slept.  The boat is a mess and will be for the next few days until we get everything tucked into it's place but as overwhelming as it may seem at the moment we both know everything came from the boat therefore it will all fit back in. 

For those of you who listen to Chuck's radio program here is a link to his Monday April 13th edition of Street Beat. This weeks program reflects one of the larger issues looming in the minds of Petersburg residents these days. Enjoy!

Being back on the boat means our internet access is restricted.  The benefit of house sitting was that we had a large kitchen table that held all our computers, associated gear and hard drives and we were both able to work online at the same time. That is no longer the case.  Chuck will continue editing and uploading but it will take a bit more time.  If you have been sailing with us for a while you know we usually take off around the first week of May to begin cruising and are usually out of contact during the summer anyway.  As Lin and Larry Pardey remarked, you can edit and upload or you can is nearly impossible to do both.  

But, we do have some cool things in the works.  We have been granted permission to use the sound studio at KFSK and intend on using the space for a series of YouTube Live-Google Hangouts.  We hope to make a further detailed announcement next week.  (Ondine, I will be calling you again soon.) 

Banana pancakes and reflection.

by the First Mate

This morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of banana pancakes and spent time reflecting on past and future.  We still have our plans and will be pursuing them, however, we are also enjoying our time in Alaska so much that we have decided to stay yet another season before heading to the East Coast. 

We did get some snow this morning but it was light and lasted only a few minutes. This will be our last weekend house and dog sitting.  We move back aboard Lealea on Tuesday.  After spending the winter in someone else's home it will be good to get back to our own.  Packing and cleaning commence this afternoon after the pancakes settle and we take the dogs for a walk.

Chuck shot a real time update on the 9th and because of a particular comment (Aloha Edward Grant!) I decided to pick up the bloggie and shoot one myself.  

I know there is concern Chuck and I have become landlocked but never fear, we may be staying in Alaska but we will be getting out on the water this summer and do some exploring.  

My job at Waterways Veterinary Clinic is about as rewarding as it gets and Dr. Hill is eagerly looking forward to getting M/V Hallie out on rounds again this summer.  The initial plan is for Lealea to work as an advance boat to let folks know Hallie is on her way and help schedule appointments. I know I've said it before but if I can combine boating along with an endless line of dogs and cats it just doesn't get any better.

We understand some of the comments we have been receiving expressing disappointment Lealea will not be blue water sailing this year but we can't let that disappointment change our course.  We are living our dream.

There is still plenty of sailing video in the can and on its way. 

The Work Bench

By The Skipper:

I hate it when I find myself at the end of the day having accomplished nothing more than to learn that what I am trying to do won't work and I will have to start over with a new approach. I have been stuck on the Williwa part 3 video for a week now and Today I decided to start over. Again.  At least there is no wasted materials cost or corrective labor. Just wipe it clean and start over. 

It could be worse.  We once had to sand off a fresh Awlgrip paint job on Lealea's hull when a rain squall blew in over the mountains just as the paint was setting up. The squall blew through.  The sun came out.  The paint set with thousands of quarter inch blisters covering the hull.  It took three of us twelve hours to sand it off and get it ready to paint again.

work bench

But right now I think I need some positive reinforcement.  A simple task that I have been keeping on the back burner until the temperatures warm up a little. Varnishing and painting some teak blocks, the tiller and the boat hook.

I brought the gear up to the house we are minding and made a work space in the garage.  We have an elecric heater but I wanted to wait until the temperatures were consistently above 40f. Stopped by Hammer and Wikan Hardware and picked up sand paper, 3M pads, masking tape, brushes, tack cloth, cap lifter, stir sticks, one quart of Sikkens Cetol Marine and one quart of High Gloss White enamel paint, a quart of denatured alcohol, some rags plus a few old copies of the Petersburg Pilot to cover the workbench.  All set.

Spring is in the air!

by the First Mate

If you love Jimmy Buffet be sure and catch Chuck's Monday Street Beat program. The best tracks from 6 live Jimmy Buffet performances.  Download link here.

View from the window on Sunday.  

Sunday breakfast, blueberry pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup and a rainbow.  Yum! 

Haven't had much time in front of the computer lately as I've been spending more time at Waterways Veterinary Clinic.  Spring is here and the town is becoming quite active. Dogs who have been running and playing around all winter with no mishap are now encountering traffic plus the usual assortment of new puppies and kittens or old friends coming in for their last visit. We are getting busy.

Alyeska was hit by a car. She needed a splint before flying to Juneau for surgery. 

Projects and plans.

By the First Mate

The skies are dark and the rain has returned.

Williwa Down the Inside Passage Pt-2 was uploaded last night.  

If you enjoy Island Music and missed Chuck's Monday Street Beat program on KFSK the download link is available here

Ondine and Rod.  I truly enjoyed our conversation on Sunday. 

Ondine had some great thoughts regarding my blog post "Girl Talk" and we talked for quite some time. Still noodling ideas but will be posting an announcement soon.  Thank you.  


"This Old Boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance aboard, this is the one.

-Chuck Rose

"This old boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance, this is the one.
Chuck and Laura

“The Ashley Book of Knots” by Clifford W. Ashley is, quite simply, the definitive work on knots.  We think if you have more than a passing interest in marlinspike seamanship or decorative knotting this book is pretty much a “Must Have” This book is a high mass volume. 
                       -Chuck and Laura
Looking for a read that will make your stomach hurt from laughing?  This one did it for us!  A definate page turner.
-Chuck and Laura 
The first book I read after moving aboard Lealea.  A wonderful journey.
-Laura Wong-Rose
Food Storage with The Ready Store
MREs from The Ready Store
MREs from The Ready Store