By S/V Lealea | November 15, 2015 at 09:19 PM EST | No Comments
By the Skipper:
Now that we have sharpened the pencil and begun the process, the plan is coming together nicely.
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.
By S/V Lealea | November 11, 2015 at 04:17 PM EST | 4 comments
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.
CruisingLealea.com 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.
By S/V Lealea | October 30, 2015 at 02:42 PM EDT | No Comments
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: https://youtu.be/apJJbUNWZuQ
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!
By S/V Lealea | October 24, 2015 at 03:34 PM EDT | 2 comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | October 07, 2015 at 02:17 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | August 27, 2015 at 09:33 PM EDT | 4 comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | August 08, 2015 at 04:37 PM EDT | 1 comment
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 (Alaskafloatsmyboat.com) 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.
By S/V Lealea | July 22, 2015 at 11:53 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | July 09, 2015 at 06:16 PM EDT | No Comments
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 www.Alaskafloatsmyboat.com 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
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.
By S/V Lealea | July 04, 2015 at 02:21 PM EDT | No Comments
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 S/V Lealea | June 27, 2015 at 06:21 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | June 22, 2015 at 02:58 PM EDT | No Comments
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 Alaskafloatsmyboat.com 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.
By S/V Lealea | June 09, 2015 at 03:26 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | June 05, 2015 at 02:30 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | June 01, 2015 at 02:54 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
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.
By S/V Lealea | May 25, 2015 at 03:26 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | May 21, 2015 at 04:15 PM EDT | No Comments
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 - https://youtu.be/WFH1yfhuSyc
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.
By S/V Lealea | May 17, 2015 at 10:10 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | May 15, 2015 at 02:06 PM EDT | 1 comment
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 S/V Lealea | May 10, 2015 at 11:35 AM EDT | 2 comments
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.
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".
By S/V Lealea | May 02, 2015 at 03:11 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | April 26, 2015 at 04:35 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | April 25, 2015 at 01:32 PM EDT | No Comments
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?
By S/V Lealea | April 19, 2015 at 10:07 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
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 S/V Lealea | April 15, 2015 at 07:18 PM EDT | 1 comment
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 cruise...it 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.)
By S/V Lealea | April 11, 2015 at 03:03 PM EDT | 6 comments
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.
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.
By S/V Lealea | April 03, 2015 at 07:29 PM EDT | No Comments
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.
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.
By S/V Lealea | March 31, 2015 at 01:56 AM EDT | No Comments
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.
By S/V Lealea | March 21, 2015 at 01:47 PM EDT | No Comments
by the First Mate
Blueberry pancakes and a cuppa jo got our morning off the ground.
It took Chuck longer than anticipated to get the first chapter of Williwa down the Inside Passage edited and uploaded. It seems our computer can't cope with a video longer than 10 minutes and during the editing process it continued locking up until Chuck had to give up and start from scratch so we will be uploading this series in chapters and then hope to combine them all into one longer video later.
It is nearly the end of March, the weather has been fine and dry and we find ourselves eagerly looking to the horizon. We have gotten many questions lately about our summer plans and to be honest we don't know what we are going to be doing yet. It seems we have tons of options and all of them lead in a positive direction, we are cruising after all and the best part of that is not being tied to any particular time, place or heading.
Chuck has a trip planned to Vermont in May and I will be visiting my best friend in Victoria, B.C. while he is gone. When we arrive back in Petersburg we will determine our next course.
By S/V Lealea | March 17, 2015 at 11:33 PM EDT | No Comments
by the First Mate
I know we have a ton of friends who are pilots and I am willing to bet we have a ton of friends who are also into motorcycles. Most of you know Chuck worked in the motorcycle industry before he retired but not many know I did as well. Chuck and I met because I sent him my resume...but that is another story. I worked with him at Harley Davidson for a short time but my calling was the sport bikes so I went to work for Suzuki instead. I raced 600 class for six seasons in Hawaii and it was Ed who convinced me to try.
Memories...good ones....fun ones. If you are interested in motorcycles (fast ones) or love hanging out in a garage listening to awesome racing stories then tune in to this new podcast with racers Ed Sorbo and Michael Gougis. I worked with Ed and raced with him and he is a very funny and knowledgeable guy, so, if you have any interest in racing or working on your own bike then tune in and I guarantee you will learn a few things and hear some awesome racing stories at the same time.
By S/V Lealea | March 16, 2015 at 03:11 PM EDT | 5 comments
by the First Mate
Recently we have been getting a lot more comments from women asking some great questions and I have been considering the best way to answer them. To date I have been responding to individual emails but have wondered how many would benefit from the sharing of more in depth answers. We now have two computers that are able to edit video (Thanks Tim!) and I'm wondering how much interest there would be in a new series aimed at women who just aren't sure if this life is for them.
As I see it there are a couple of options. You can send me your questions, if you send a video question it will be used in the response, and I will answer them in a similar format to our Q & A Series or we can arrange a YT Live Program if there is enough interest. This could be fun so share this with your first mate or potential partner and get them involved! Based on response and feedback I will make a decision which route to take.
Meanwhile, Chuck continues editing our next series -Williwa down the Inside Passage and we should have it uploaded in the next few days, sorry, it is taking more time than he had hoped to complete but it is longer in length than previous uploads.
For any music fans out there, Chuck will be on the air today playing his favorite Island Music on KFSK around 1:00 (AST) or after the City Council Meeting. Live stream available on KFSK or check back for the download link after the show.
Looking forward to replies and comments.
Now, off to the dentist to get a crown replaced.......
By S/V Lealea | March 06, 2015 at 05:20 PM EST | 7 comments
By The Skipper:
In a recent thread on Sailnet, a poster opined:
The DVD is dead.
In some ways this is a good thing but for those who are trying to make buck through photography, writing or producing videos it is unfortunate. We were all used to paying for a thing we could hold in our hands like a DVD, a magazine or a book. We understood that the thing has a cost and that the people who make it, pack it, transport it and put it into your hands need to be paid.
Magazines, DVDs and, to a lesser degree, books are rapidly going the way of the dinosaur however. Now all that content is available digitally on the internet with no physical thing to hold in your hands. Without a physical object to hold, people are reluctant to fork over hard earned cash when it seems that the content they watch or read is free. They complain about ads and ppv schemes yet, as all Heinlein fans know TANSTAAFL. Cameras, computers, talent and time all have value and all are expended in the creation of "Free" content.
As creators we have a problem. We want as many people as possible to see and enjoy our work yet, in order to continue, we have to come up with the money to sustain ourselves somehow. We are still using the "Magazine" model. Content is supported by the advertising that surrounds it. We are paid by the advertisers. There are flaws in this model. For one thing it is too easy for well intentioned friends or malicious trolls to cost you your ad server account by over clicking the ads. Too many ad clicks unsupported by traffic numbers gets you suspended. Asking for clicks is a violation of the TOS and Adsense will yank your account if they catch you.
So please, do not clickety-click the ads in an effort to "Help us out"
Notwithstanding, the magazine ad model does work and has yielded enough"Golden crumbs" to encourage us to continue.
Other content creators are experimenting with soliciting donations, selling subscriptions and pay per view.
The subscription model is out for us. I think people who subscribe have a right to expect regular, frequent content uploads. Creating our content requires us to be away from reliable internet connections and unable to upload, sometimes, for months at a time while we are out taking photographs and shooting video.
As for soliciting donations, the jury is out. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it because of my upbringing. While I can accept a gift, I have a real problem asking for donations. Still, the culture is changing and I am not so obtuse I don't realize it. We may yet experiment with the idea.
We have been talking about producing longer videos and uploading them on a ppv basis in addition to the shorts we have been doing. We will see how that works out.
In my view it takes quality content, effectively marketed to generate income worth the effort. The only question in my mind is which revenue model or combination is optimum. Fear not, however. We have no intention of turning this into a business with the goal of maximum revenue. We really do not want to work that hard.
By S/V Lealea | February 21, 2015 at 04:30 PM EST | 5 comments
By the First Mate
Chuck finished the 7th and final video of our Honolulu "Prequel" series - Sailing Away. We have had many laughs looking back at our earlier archived stuff. We've learned an awful lot since then.
It has taken Chuck longer to view and edit this series than any of our previous ones, even taking into account how much he has learned and efficient he has become. We shoot roughly one hour of video for every minute of video used and it can take an hour to edit every minute of finished video. We will watch 11 - 15 hours of video two or three times first to determine what we can use, then Chuck's first hurdle is to get everything organized and figure out how best to put it together, then we sit together and watch the editors cut and I get some input on the finished video.
During this series we made many jokes of "trademark" violations because we lost a lot of good material due to a radio or some sort of music running in the background. We also lost a lot of good material because we were just learning how to use the video camera, bad angles, bad lighting, background noise and so on. Everything we show is us being ourselves but the hardest part is capturing that moment and having everything aligned so it is watchable later. We've learned a lot.
Speaking of captured moments. I am working on a new series which will share a few moments in time during our cruise. This first one was an experiment and I wonder if it was too short. The first cut ran around 2:30 and I was worried it might be too long. Any thoughts?
If you missed Chuck's Feb. 16th Street Beat radio program you can grab the download link here until Monday.
Today the sun is shining and it feels like spring. With temperatures in the mid forties the last few days we have been taking frequent walks along the trails to the grocery store and Post Office. It is warm enough now to think about getting some chores done on the boat.
By S/V Lealea | February 13, 2015 at 07:05 PM EST | No Comments
By the First Mate
Most of the snow is gone. The rain began yesterday and our temperatures are back into the 40's. If you missed Chuck's Monday Street Beat radio program be sure download the link here before next Monday's program. Is it just me or is he getting better every time? If you love Island Music be sure to tune in.
By S/V Lealea | February 09, 2015 at 12:31 AM EST | No Comments
By the First Mate
We've both been busy this weekend. With the snowfall the last few days Chuck has been hiking down to the boat twice a day to shake off the snow.
Chuck getting ready for a duel.
For the first time in quite a while I actually felt like sitting in front of the computer and doing some editing of my own. For some time now I've been in the habit of shooting a few moments of video before taking any stills. As a result we have many hours of spectacular footage but not all of it can be used in our videos. I've been trying to figure out a way to share those moments and came up with this - Captured Moments. Chuck rendered this one using five channel surround sound and we would love to know how it turned out.
By S/V Lealea | February 07, 2015 at 05:52 PM EST | No Comments
by The Skipper:
After all the dire warnings from the weather service, the "Severe Winter Storm" turned out to be not so bad after all; at least not in the snug harbor of Petersburg. Although the blustery winds, gusting at times up to forty knots, kept the snow thick in the air, the borough easily handled keeping the streets navigable and the schools open.
The snow plow woke me up at 0530 as it came down 8th Avenue, then backed and filled, alternately scraping and beeping as it cleared the four-way-stop intersection. After a pot of coffee, I sent Laura off to the clinic and went out to clear the driveway. Then I walked the 8 blocks down the hill to the harbor to clear the snow off the boat.
Back to the house for lunch, I shoveled the driveway again, grabbed a camera and headed back down the harbor to check the snow accumulation on the boat. After checking in with the harbor master, I walked over to Kito's Kave and had a beer with a few old fishermen hanging out at the bar telling tall tales about the weather.
By S/V Lealea | January 29, 2015 at 04:32 PM EST | No Comments
by the First Mate
We have had a very wet January, which is fine since it means we've not had to visit the boat daily to shovel snow. There are rumors of snow headed our way but so far it remains to be seen.
Chuck finished The Ala Wai #4 and uploaded it last night. Time frame for this video is only seven days after Chuck's last day of work. Both of us were working hard to get the boat ready and we were on the go from sun up to sundown to make it happen....and sometimes even in the middle of the night.
Watching the videos has given me a jump start to get back in shape. It takes lots of time to edit video and publish and all of it is spent sitting in front of a computer. There is a small gym only five minutes from where we are staying and I have started using it. Feels good!
If you missed your chance to catch Chuck's last Street Beat radio program on Mon. 26th download link Here.
By S/V Lealea | January 22, 2015 at 12:12 AM EST | No Comments
by the First Mate
The weather has been rather awful the last few days and the heavy winds and rains have taken their toll. We just heard the tender Eyak, which has been seen in several of our videos, sank a few days ago just outside of Sitka after running aground. Article here. Her loss is a big hit to the local fishing fleet and remote S.E communities.
Chuck has been busy this week. His Monday Street Beat radio show featured a different type of island music. KFSK only links the volunteer shows for one week so the download is only available until next Monday.
Since we have rain there is no snow and we've been getting accustomed to looking outside and saying "it's not raining that hard" and gearing up to take a stroll. The two dogs we sit for during the day have us both out walking the scenic trails which criss cross and conveniently connect the town. The house we are sitting is perfectly positioned for us to take a pleasant hike while visiting the Post Office and grocery store.
Annie and Hagar on the docks (before the rain)
It's hard for Chuck to sit and edit video when there is so much cool stuff to do outside. Even so, he finished The Ala Wai #3 and just got it uploaded. A walk down memory lane now that the boatyard and fuel dock are both gone.
By S/V Lealea | January 14, 2015 at 09:09 PM EST | No Comments
By the First Mate
The temperatures have been so mild it is sometimes hard to believe we are in Alaska. Highs this week are expected to be around 46-47 degrees, the rain has been light and has made for some rather pleasant hiking.
It is common to run into friends and neighbors out walking their dogs along the many trails around town. Radar is a fine dog and one of many favorite visitors at the vet clinic who keeps his owner busy playing "find the ball" in the muskeg.
Chuck continues editing archived video and should be ready to upload the next installment in a few days. If you missed his Monday Street Beat radio program on KFSK you can listen or download here until the 18th.
I've deliberately stayed away from the computers during December to give Chuck time to get our systems networked and running smoothly but now it is time for me to knuckle down and start uploading some photos and written material to Ports of Call. Stay tuned.
By S/V Lealea | January 06, 2015 at 07:04 PM EST | No Comments
By The First Mate
The Holidays are over, the New Year is here and a new video is up.
The Ala Wai- Part 2. Chuck takes our new video camera for a tour of the Ala Wai and Leah arrives in town to participate with Laura in the Tinman Triathalon. This series will cover liveaboard life in the Ala Wai and our preparation of Lealea to begin our cruising life. The quality of the video is shaky to start as we learn how to use the camera but be prepared to laugh, we certainly have.
It began snowing last night, just a light dusting but the snow plows were out early this morning. Temperatures have been ranging from the twenties to thirties and it has been cold and dry.
Laura has been busy working at Waterways vet clinic. Puppies, kittens and surgeries have been filling her days while Chuck has been wrestling with the computer gear and editing. It has taken him more than a month to get all the computers backed up, networked, reconfigured and functioning happily together.
There have been some great new forums showing up on Facebook. Sailing and Cruising, Cruising with Pets and Women who Splice are a few, all are by invite only but if you are interested send a PM.
By S/V Lealea | December 30, 2014 at 10:26 PM EST | 4 comments
By the Skipper:
I like cooking with the pressure cooker. The possibilities stagger the mind. Today I am making a simple old family favorite. Uncle Tom's Real Cowboy Beans. They can be served as a soup or a stew as a main course or side. They can be mashed and refried, served with tortillas, chips or corn bread. AT Uncle Tom's ranch we had them with almost every meal; fried up with bacon and eggs and corn cakes for breakfast; in a bowl with a tortilla for lunch; as a side with or instead of potatoes for supper.
Of course, "Uncle Tom" wasn't really my uncle; no relation at all really. He was my Mom's older sister's ex-boyfriend whom my Mom had had a crush on when she was 12; and he wasn't really a cowboy either. He was what Mom would term a "Drugstore Cowboy". He worked in construction. He did have a ranch though, a couple of acres in the San Bernardino Hills where he kept a couple of horses. There was a run down ranch house with a big kitchen, tiny bedrooms, uneven floors and a wide screened in
porch. There was also a bunkhouse attached to the stable where Brother Gary and I got to sleep when we spent the summers there.
Aunt Dora (Tom's wife, same deal. Not really related) actually did the cooking so I'm not sure why we call them "Uncle Tom's" beans. Aunt Dora always kept a pot of pinto beans bubbling on the back of the old kitchen stove. We had them with, or for, almost every meal.
Just to be consistant, this is not really Uncle Tom's and/or Aunt Dora's recipe. It is my recipe so I suppose I could call the dish what I like. I call it "Uncle Tom's Real Cowboy Beans" as an homage to an old family friend because my beans are a fair approximation of the ones Aunt Dora and Uncle Tom served at the ranch and as old Tom liked to say "That's how real cowboys do."
On the boat the pressure cooker is perfect because cooking with it uses much less fuel and takes much less time to cook. The pressure cooker is more economical and, because the lid locks on the pot, safer than a conventional soup or stew pot. Before we got the pressure cooker it took 24 hours to make a pot of beans in a slow cooker or on the stove top, soaking the beans over night and simmering for 10 to 12 hours. I made them in an electric slow cooker (Which we have long since thrown out) because it burns too much fuel to cook them in a regular stew pot on the boat's alcohol cooker. In the pressure cooker I pressure soak the beans for 15 minutes, then rinse and add the onion, garlic, and other ingredients, cover with water and bring to pressure. Reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes then remove from heat and let pressure subside before opening. Great with Laura's Cast Iron Cornbread!
1 lb dried pinto beans
1 fresh Jalapeno pepper
1 yellow onion
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp cumin
NOTE: The original recipe as served at the ranch included a ham hock, soup bone or chunk of bacon or salt pork for flavor.
Adjust to taste of course. This is, more or less, what I use.
Wash and sort the beans and start them soaking.
Chop up the onion and the Jalapeno and crush the garlic cloves.
Drain and rinse the beans. Add the other ingredients, cover with water and give it a stir. Put it on the heat. If you are using a pressure cooker it will be ready to eat in less than an hour. If you planned it right your Cast Iron Cornbread will be ready at the same time.
If you are planning to serve these beans with Chuck's Award Winning Renegade Chili, omit the Jalapeno and cut the cumin to 1 tsp.
By S/V Lealea | December 24, 2014 at 03:46 AM EST | 2 comments
Julebukking at Lee's Clothing this evening. Pickled herring, smoked salmon and eel. The table was loaded with a fabulous assortment of food and the line was out the door. Celebrations in town continue through tomorrow.
Wishing all our friends a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy Captain Chuck playing a few Christmas tunes for you in our
By S/V Lealea | December 22, 2014 at 09:42 PM EST | 1 comment
By the Skipper:
Laura and I took a break from JULEBUKKING to do the Monday Afternoon Street Beat Program on KFSK Petersbug. As usual, we took the opportunity to share Christmas music that is not often heard this far North. The program is about 90 minutes long and features Christmas music by Hawaiian artists the Brothers Cazimero, Melinda Carrol, Willie K, Na Leo and more. DOWNLOAD LINK
By S/V Lealea | December 19, 2014 at 03:14 PM EST | 1 comment
By the Skipper:
We received an email from an internet friend this morning. He was transporting his recently purchased Vega to her new home when a tire on the trailer blew out.
The trailer is wrecked. The boat is repairable but the project is beyond the skills and budget of the current owner. The boat, an Albin Vega 27 same model as Lealea (But newer) and located in Beaufort, SC, is for sale - Best offer. The listing will be on the American Vega Association site soon.
This is really sad. The owner has been looking for a Vega for some time.
By S/V Lealea | December 12, 2014 at 04:28 PM EST | 1 comment
by the First Mate
We are finished sitting two homes and have now moved full time into just the one until April. As it turns out looking after two places is a lot of work and we found ourselves not getting a lot of other things done. Life keeps happening and if you aren't careful time can pass quickly by and one day you look at your blog, which you just posted on yesterday, and suddenly it is ten days later.
Chuck has spent hours editing his next project but we are still having difficulty with our computers. Quite frankly, the sheer volume of video we have stored on various hard drives acquired over the years is astounding. We pride ourselves on living a minimal life. Living on the boat for these many years has given us a pretty carefree life. Being in a house we find ourselves spreading out and, funny enough, we find our computer gear to be the worst offender of our rules about space, electrical consumption and time consumption. Chuck has been taking all our data and moving it to one convenient place (more or less) and backing everything up. All it takes is time.....
Stepping back into real time. Its Aloha Friday on KFSK Petersburg this afternoon Chuck's program today features classic and contemporary Hawaiian Slack Key guitar selections. (12:30 - 2:30 AKST after the Fish Report) Live Stream available on KFSK.org
Work continues on my ditty bag project. I've gotten the body finished and will be starting on the bottom next. The body was the hardest part because of the long strait seams and I wanted the stitches to be presentable looking. It should only take one good evening to stitch on the bottom but it will take a few more to hand make the grommets and get them stitched in. If all goes well I should have it complete by next week.
I am spending more time at the vet clinic and taking on more duties. I learn something new every day and have a hard time calling it "work". Follow Waterways Veterinary Clinic on Facebook.
By S/V Lealea | December 03, 2014 at 07:10 PM EST | No Comments
by the First Mate
Progress on the ditty bag I am making. Completed the first seam last night and will work on the second one this evening. Our copy of Hervey Garrett Smith's - The Arts of the Sailor is getting dog eared and torn from the number of times it has been read and referenced.
Temperatures today have gotten warmer (37 degrees) making the previous days snow terribly slick. Every time one of us leaves for a walk the warning "don't fall and break a hip" makes us both laugh but we do take it to heart. I have a pair of cramp-ons that slip over my boots which have saved my hide several times but then I must remember to take them off before entering into a store or I am guaranteed to take a tumble.
Chuck's Street Beat radio show from Monday is available for download until next Monday, Dec. 8th.
"This Old Boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance aboard, this is the one.
"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.