The Logbook

MREs from The Ready Store
Back Aboard

By the First Mate


Spring is here and we spent the weekend getting the boat cleaned up.  House sitting kept us off the boat through most of the winter and we just got back aboard on Friday.

Queen Annie

The last house we were watching came with two old but very active dogs. There were many trails nearby and we had fun taking them for walks...frequently.  The house itself was located on the water and literally every room had a view which we thoroughly enjoyed. Between the tides and currents and the assortment of water birds, passing boat traffic and small icebergs, the view literally changed every minute.  While there neither of us felt much inclined to use the internet much.

But, it is nice to be home again.  We have spent the last few days discussing the merits of living in a home and while debating cost verses comfort, hands down we are much more comfortable on our boat.

So, now that we are back aboard, spring cleaning has commenced.  There are lockers that need to be emptied, cleaned and re-organized and ground tackle that needs to be replaced.  Thanks to a friend we now have some rigging tape and our To-Do list is relatively short.

We will continue to edit video and upload as often as we can until we depart for the summer.  Q&A's will continue for a short time longer and we are beginning a new project about Petersburg. 

Apologies since we have not posted the last four links to videos on the Logbook

El Capitan to Sea Otter Sound

Sea otter Sound

Q&A - Twelve -  About anchors and Anchoring

Hecata Island

We don't expect to leave Petersburg until after the Little Norway Festival in May but at this time we have no idea which direction we will be headed.

For now, we enjoy the sunshine.

Harbor Life During Construction

By The Skipper

The demolition and reconstruction of the North Harbor began just after we departed at the end of May 2013. It is scheduled to be completed about that same time this year.  The project proceeds apace and we have a ringside seat from our slip on the Northernmost finger of the Middle Harbor.  The current stage of construction involves driving the pilings that will secure the finger piers which is why, when asked to host the Tuesday afternoon “Street Beat” program on KFSK last week, I opted for Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar music over the 80’s rock that is usual in that time slot.  Mercifully, the construction crew is not pile driving constantly, due perhaps to the weather, and they don’t usually begin until 8AM or so.  The library opens at 11:30, a quiet haven of which we take full advantage. 


The construction does not seem to have diminished participation in the morning coffee gathering in the Harbor Office; mostly older men, fishing boat captains checking the latest weather or, having decided not to go out today, are dropping in to socialize. The collective experience in that group runs to several hundred years in the SE Alaska fisheries.  Time spent having a cup of the Harbormaster’s coffee can be very worthwhile if only for the entertaining yarns. I dropped off a dozen cupcakes with green and white icing for the group. 


In the afternoon, skippers and crews can be found at the Harbor Bar or Kito’s Kave.  I have spent a fair bit of time going over charts in Kito’s with fishermen.  I have found them always eager to share favorite anchorages and routes through tricky passages. We also spend a lot of time talking about new DVD’s at the library and, occasionally, books.  WARNING: Like seafarers everywhere, fishing boat crews with money in their pockets have been known to ring the bell frequently.  If you don’t know what that means, you have not spent enough time in waterfront bars.


Latest video: Q&A No.11 - What sailing books do you recommend?

Q&A and the Blues

Chuck is outside filling the water tank.  The sun continues to shine with no clouds in the sky.  Temperature this morning a toasty 16 degrees.

Q&A-Ten has been uploaded where we answer a question about heaving to.

Chuck subbed for another D.J on Tuesday night's Ebb Tide on KFSK.  The link to his show will work until next Tuesday.  Hope you like the Blues. 

Sorry to have neglected the blog.

by the First Mate

We have been very busy the last few weeks and needed to catch up on a few things.

We are back aboard the boat after spending six weeks in a house.  It took a full day to clean the house and move our stuff back on the boat.  Chuck went for a long walk while I unpacked and got everything stowed back in it's place.  We slept very well our first night back. 

We enjoyed taking advantage of the light and space of a house combined with unlimited bandwidth and electrical outlets.  During our stay we managed to edit 17 new videos plus add new content to the website. Our next house sitting job is in another month and will only be for a few weeks.

We had only been on the boat for a few minutes and KFSK broadcasted a call that a pod of Killer Whales had just been spotted making it's way up the narrows and had just passed Hungry Point.  The house we had been sitting was on Hungry Point.  I grabbed my camera and Chuck and I walked out to the end of our dock.  Fifteen minutes later a pod of 5 or 6 whales went cruising by at a business like pace.  Yep, I got it.  Will post it soon.

I also notice we have not posted links to our last four videos.
Sorry Mom.

Q&A - Seven

Q&A - Eight
Q&A - Nine
Cruising-Port Protection to El Capitan

It is March already and time we start thinking about making plans.  We have a list of things to be done but it is remarkably short. One of our solar fans died at the end of last summer and needs to be replaced.  Not a big deal during the winter when it would not have worked anyway but once the summer is here we will need the ventilation.  Along with the fan we also need to order a roll of rigging tape.

The weather has been fantastic and so sunny and bright we had to dig our sunglasses out.  It feels like spring already.

Gee, it is good to be back home. 


by the First Mate

I found a couple of articles from some early sailing trips that had been posted to The American Vega Association and have just finished moving them to The First Mate's Journal.

Sailing Honolulu to Nawiliwili was our first overnight trip sailing Lealea to Kauai to participate in a Nawiliwili YC event.  I went looking for it because of the last Q&A where we talked about the picture of the cooler handle dangling after we had been knocked down.  Look closely and you can see the complete mess of stuff dumped on the floor in the back ground.  My first valuable lesson about everything having a place and securely stowed. 

The second article appeared in the NYC newsletter in 2004 and is about my trip aboard the 70' wooden schooner "Spike Africa" which I helped deliver from San Diego to Nawiliwili in 2004.

Both articles are in PDF format but we will  convert them to HTML shortly....I just have to find all the pictures again. 

Snow and Rain

by the First Mate

Snowed lightly for most of yesterday with temperatures in the mid teens.  This morning finds the temperatures back up to nearly 40 degrees and it has started raining.  Seas 15 feet, S. winds 15-20 knots.  Expecting 45-50 knots tomorrow.  YUK!

Newest video, Port Protection was posted last night.  I just love the shot of the fishing boat we see entering the cove.

Chuck recently finished an article about keeping a logbook.  It can be found a few posts back and we would love some feedback so we can polish the article and post to The Captain's Notebook.  Laura is also working on an article temporarily titled "Only One Captain Aboard" which should be complete in another week.  Q&A's will continue as long as we are house sitting and we should be able to get another 6-8 done over the next two weeks so keep sending questions. 



Q&A Six

by the First Mate

We got a light dusting of snow last night and it is lazily drifting down this morning. Temperature is a mild 16 degrees.

Q&A Six was uploaded last night.  We will continue the Q&A series as long as we are in the house and have questions to answer.  We are certainly having fun with it. 

Uploaded new pictures from this summer's cruising to Fine Art America and have several hundred more to sort through.  If you are interested in buying any photographs use discount code BAYHBL to get 20 % off any purchase.

Southeast Crab season opened today after several delays due to weather.  We can see boats coming and going through the entrance to Wrangell Narrows from the window. Boats have been arriving over the last few weeks to prepare for the opening and the grocery store shelves are empty of essentials until the next barge arrives. We have the utmost restpect for the crews who go out and get the job done.  Simply saying "it's hard work" doesn't begin to cover what these guys go through to get the crab to market. 

A Ship's Logbook?

By The Skipper:

Should cruisers keep a formal logbook?  If so, what form should it take?

While a there is no legal requirement for a small yacht to keep a log of any kind, our experience has led us to think that good case can be made for all boaters to keep an organized logbook.  

Since there is no legal requirement, your boat’s log can take any form you like.   Historically, the log was a legal record of everything that occurred “Officially” aboard the vessel. Frankly, I do not know very many sailors who keep a formal ship’s log.  More commonly, a notebook of some sort may be kept with navigation notes and possibly records of past passages.  There may be a maintenance log for the engine, recording oil changes etc. and the cook will usually keep a grocery list of some sort.  Many cruisers keep a scrapbook of souvenirs, mementos and notes. Many of us keep personal journals, or some sort of electronic record but a formal log is rare.  I think it is a good idea to combine most of these into one ship’s logbook.

Our logbook is kept in a loose leaf day planner binder with tabs and pockets to organize the contents. The book is in a in a zippered cover to give it some protection from the elements. Inside the front cover, pockets hold our passports, vessel document, FCC radio license, insurance policy, health certificate for the cat and any other pieces of paper that government officials may want to see.  Next is a plastic card holder with yacht club membership cards, business cards of important contacts - doctor, attorney, vessel assist towboat etc.  Tabs separate inventory, stowage plan, chart list, meal plans, recipes and our record of expenses with a plastic zip-lock envelope to hold important receipts. Other tabs organize engine hours and maintenance logs and, of course, the daily record of events and ship’s position.  In the back of the logbook another tab set organizes our address book and important dates. We also keep a couple of credit cards and a small amount of cash in the logbook while at sea.

When boarded by the US Coast Guard or checking in with customs we can instantly produce any documents they may want to see.  They seem to like that.  It is also convenient when checking in at a new marina where a credit card and copy of the insurance policy may be required; or just buying fuel at the end of a long voyage when our shore clothes and wallets may be put away.  In the event we have to leave the boat suddenly we will not have to fumble around or search frantically for important papers, ID or cash and credit cards to get us through an emergency.  It is all in the logbook.

Aboard Lealea, we think that keeping all essential information and important papers is just good seamanship.

Q&A Five

by the First Mate

Q&A - Five was uploaded this morning.

Off to work at Helse for the afternoon.  The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day!


by the First Mate

After days of searching Chuck finally gave up looking for video shot between July 26 - July 30th. We hope it turns up eventually since we had some amazing footage of a close encounter with a whale while we were at anchor in Farragut Bay.  

So we carry on... the next video, Wrangell Narrows was uploaded last night.  Q&A Five is nearly finished and will be uploaded on Saturday. 

I spent most of yesterday sorting and editing pictures which I have not had a chance to do for a while.  Uploaded a few new photos to Fine Art last night and plan to put a few more up this evening.

Wrangell, AK.  Looking at Zimovia Strait     

Q&A 4 and a link to...garbage?

by the First Mate

Crisp, clean and beautiful.  Forecasts for the next week call for sunny skies, with a high of 34 and lows in the mid teens. The frost is so thick in the shady spots it has the appearance of snow. 

We had the opportunity to listen to a local radio program this morning which addressed the topic of garbage being washed up in local Alaskan waters from the Japan Tsunami. The Anchorage Museum is sponsoring an exhibit called "Gyre" to help raise the public's awareness to the amount of trash being washed up on beaches, not just here in Alaska, but worldwide.  Artists partnered with scientists and local beachcombers to put together unique displays made from trash that washed ashore. There is talk of moving the exhibit to other museums around the State.  I hope so as I would love to see it. 

Q&A - Four is finished and Five is almost done. We lost several days of video somehow but while Chuck was searching he discovered long forgotten video taken during preparation for our first voyage.  It will take time but we plan on doing something with it. 


by the First Mate

The frost is thick and the skies are clear.  Temperatures have dropped to 16 degrees this morning but we are still not expecting snow.

We continue to take advantage of the superior internet service and multitude of electrical sockets and have been busy.  For some time I have been working on an article "The Cruising Budget" which is a big subject and many versions of the article were scrapped for being too specific or vague or preachy. A big "Thank You" to Glenn DeAtley for his editing skills and assistance in getting this article done.
Q&A-#3 was uploaded to YT last night.  Pavel's question about how we keep the boat clean was a good one and we had some fun with it.     

Frederick Sound Photography by Laura Wong-Rose

Picture Purrfect

by the First Mate

Artwork by School Children, Petersburg, Alaska

It is a beautiful dry, clear day out.  The days are getting longer with sunrise at 7:53 this morning and sunset tonight at 4:18.  From the window we can see several small bergs dotting the opposite shore of Frederick Sound.   These bergs come out of Thomas Bay and flow by continually.  Highs expected today of 43 and lows to 23 degrees. No snow in the forecast.

The last few days have flown by.  I have been getting up early and heading to the vet clinic for morning surgery, heading back home for lunch and then back again to the clinic for afternoon appointments.  Kennel Cough has recently made it's way into Alaska and we are busy with vaccinations.

Chuck finished his article, Internet Income for Cruisers, you can find it in The Captain's Notebook.  We hope it answers some of the questions we have gotten about income potential from the internet while cruising. I hope to have my article about our cruising budget finished and posted in a few days. 

Our latest video, Tracy Arm Ice, went live on YT this morning.  It took Chuck more time than usual to put this one together because we had so much great footage. Enjoy!

We will both spend the afternoon editing.  Chuck is working on a new trailer for our channel and I will be working on the next Q&A which will be uploaded on Saturday.  We are getting a 19.8' tide today so I want to get out later and take some shots. Cat artwork done by school children in Petersburg and hung for viewing in the local coffee shop, Java Hus.


The Skipper is frantic. 

I cannot find any video files for the period 26 to 31 July 2013.  Everything we shot between Tracy Arm and our departure from Peterburg heading South appears to be lost.  We have a lot of still shots and a few minutes of video from the GoPro but the primary video, the logs etc., from that period are nowhere to be found. Searching through our backup hard drives has been fruitless so we shall just have to punt.

Don't worry, though.  We still have a lot more great video of cruising down Wrangell Narrows, Port Protection, El Capitan, Sea Otter Sound and more.

Q&A Two

by the First Mate

Busy last few days.  I have been filling in at the vet clinic so I did not get the chance yesterday to post our new Q&A video.  David plans on bringing his boat up the inside passage and asked what cruising guides we would recommend.

Off tomorrow so I will have time to post some pics.  

Rolly Polly Sunday

by The First Mate

Bright clear skies this morning with temperatures around 36 degrees.  This beautiful flower bloomed this morning and made a pretty shot.

Blooming Flower Photography by Laura Wong-Rose

We were sluggish getting out of bed as we are recovering from dinner last night which was cooked for us by Petersburg's own Gourmet Club.  When we came back to Petersburg last October it was for KFSK's annual fundraiser event.  Chuck and I won a drawing for the much coveted Dinner for Four prepared by the Gourmet Club. The table was set for 8 and we were served a spectacular six course meal with each chef bringing out his or her contribution and explaining it's ingredients.

Hors D'oeuvres
Crab Cakes and Gin Fizzes 

Soup Course
Cajun Jambalaya

Mint Julip Sorbet

Pecan Bourban Pork

Salad Course
Shrimp Salad

Homemade Pecan Ice Cream
Bananas Foster
Chocolate Pralines

The meal was accompanied with many groans of appreciation as we delicately devoured each course. Combined with many bottles of wine and excellent company we had a wonderful evening and as a result are rolling a little slow.

Sorry, no pics....we were too busy eating the food to take any pictures of it. 

Thanks KFSK!


We uploaded our first Q&A video today.  Laura will be doing the bulk of the editing on this project to give Chuck time to work on the Cruising Alaska series.

So far it has gone pretty quick and we already have several episodes in the queue but we are still experimenting with camera angles and format so bear with us.

Keep the questions and feedback coming.

Foggy Morning

by the First Mate

We continue to be blessed with mild temperatures.  The fog has been rolling in and out all day and when it does the sun breaks out and shines through the trees in the backyard.  Sunshine is expected through the weekend and there is still no snow in forecast. 
Through the Trees Photography by Laura Wong-Rose

I will be working at the vet clinic regularly for the next few weeks. Yesterday morning was busy with owners flying their three dogs in from Wrangell who all needed exams  followed by the always varied assortment of afternoon appointments. Although I don't wish anyone a slow recovery from getting their wisdom teeth removed, I surely do enjoy filling in and meeting new faces
Friendly Faces Photography by Laura Wong-Rose

Dr. Ken Hill examines Jax's feet which have become deformed from the effects of malnutrition. Jax was rescued off the streets of Juneau seven weeks ago and still needs to gain about 15 lbs. I am always amazed at how thankful rescue dogs are.  Jax has been in his new home for only a week now and he seems very grateful.  What a sweet dog.
Jax Photography by Laura Wong-Rose

Our latest video, Taku Harbor to Tracey Armwas uploaded this morning and to give everyone a heads up, we plan on posting our first Q&A video on YT Sat night.  Having workspace for both our computers plus all our notes have allowed us to get quite a bit done. We received so many great questions from our last video and we are having a fun time answering them. 

Another beautiful morning...

by the First Mate

Yet more advantages to house sitting: The availability of light and space and multiple electrical outlets.  Chuck and I spent yesterday shooting and editing a video to kick off a new series which will be titled, "Cruising Lealea, Q & A".  We will be in this house for several more weeks and the set up is perfect in that we have a small, well lit "sound stage" and a perfect work space.  Unfortunately, this is not something we can do on the boat so while we are here we will shoot a series of video responses to many commonly asked questions.

So, if you have a question be sure to leave it in the comments and we will do our best to answer it and, judging by the first video posted last night, we will have a few laughs while we are doing it.   

The view from the window, Devil's Thumb is roughly 30 miles away.

Devil's Thumb

Mild Temperatures

by the First Mate

Chuck put the finishing touches on the latest video, Taku Harbor, and it was uploaded late yesterday.

We have been blessed with extremely mild temperatures that have ranged from the low 30's in the evenings to a balmy 48 degrees yesterday afternoon.  Any snow on the ground melted ages ago and is seen only in stubborn, little dirty piles here and there. We have been able to walk to the market for exercise and are always treated to a view. 

I've started working at Helse again waiting tables every Saturday. What a great place to meet the locals..... and it's fun. 

Chuck is still waiting to get called off the bench for a radio program.  I know he was hoping to keep the Friday spot longer but the fellow he was filling in for came back sooner than expected.  I will be sure to post when he has another show. 

Saw these guys (gals) in the yard this morning, sigh, couldn't resist throwing them a carrot. They were both healthy looking and very plump.  

Baby had the nerve to give me stink eye when I wouldn't cough up any more.

Seems to me that (in a pinch) hunting around here wouldn't take much more than an apple and a baseball bat.

Interview with The Sailing Podcast

You can now download our phone interview with David Anderson at The Sailing Podcast

The one hour interview covers a little bit of everything from our cruising philosophy to the versitility and sea worthiness of the Vega, so pour yourself cup of coffee and enjoy.  

Back to Work

By The Skipper

Frederick Sound and Wrangell Narrows from Mitcof Island. Petersburg, Alaska

It is time to stop reading and web surfing and do some writing and editing.

New House.  New view.  We are sitting another place at the Northwest corner of Mitcof Island with a view looking out over Frederick Sound and across the Northern mouth of Wrangell Narrows at Kupreanof Island. After checking on Lealea, snug in her berth in the Middle Harbor, we enjoyed watching the gale sweep across the sound and the tide rip running against the wind in the Narrows from the comfort of the living room.  The house has a great sound system and internet access but no TV; and no pets but otherwise very comfortable. Laura tried talking the owners into adopting a pet before they left but, sadly, they did not go for it.

We had a nice chat with David from The Sailing Podcast last week, during which we recommended David Mercy's "Berserk" (Available in Lealea's Book Locker).  David says he can't put it down and that is why the podcast has been delayed. We understand.  We couldn't put it down either; except to catch our breath from laughing so much.  We will let everyone know when the interview is released.

Now I need to get started on the next video.  Laura got some great shots of the ruins at Taku Harbor and we had some fun on the swing.

By the way, The fellow I was replacing at KFSK for two months on the regular Friday afternoon show has returned so there will be no more "Aloha Friday" programs for a while as I go back on the bench. I am sure "Coach Tom" will put me in from time to time though.  Meanwhile, for a short time yet you can still get my last program, broadcast December 27th, at the link in the previous log post.

A Brand New Year!

By The Skipper:

New video up today - Funter Bay to Auke Bay.  This one is bit different. Hope you like it.

Aloha Hawaiian music fans! The radio station has fixed the problem with the web site so my last two Aloha Friday radio programs are now available for download from the archives.

Christmas Program, Dec. 20th
Aloha Friday Program, Dec 27th

Listen to the live stream Fridays 12:45 to 14:30 Alaska Time at

Ah hui ho!

Phones down, Video up.

by the First Mate

If you have not yet had a chance to listen in on Chuck's "Aloha Friday" Street Beat radio program today is the day!  Live stream on today at 12:50 (AST).

New video is up Hoonah to Funter Bay.  Only in Alaska can you see folks rowing with snow shovels, LOL!

Tried making a few phone calls yesterday but two APT phone towers are down in Petersburg allowing for Emergency Calls only.  We usually talk to family on Christmas day and friends on Boxing Day.
Maybe tomorrow....

Temperatures are in the very mild 40's, it's starting to feel downright tropical.
Twilight over the Harbor, Petersburg, AK>   

Happy Boxing Day

by the First Mate

Having grown up in Canada Laura likes to celebrate Boxing Day too. 

There is certainly something to be said about the perks of house sitting.  The modern kitchen here is beautiful and also came stocked with an abundant supply of great cook books.  With an oven and four burners we had an enjoyable Christmas Day. The house is so large as to be almost overwhelming but we can't complain,  there is a 72" TV which offers over a hundred channels (of mostly nothing in our opinion) and a small home gym.  It is the perfect place to avoid the dreaded cabin fever.

Supper last night of cornish hens w/roasted vegetables (onion, carrots and sweet potato) and, yes, Chuck got his pumpkin pie.

This morning I started a soup from the leftovers which we will probably be eating for the next few days.  It sure was easy to get off track our eating healthy habits while we house sit. It seems having an oven and two extra burners enourages one to cook more....hmmm.  I love playing in the kitchen.  Sigh, it will be good to get back on the boat.

Will wait until the soup is done and then take Macgregor out for a walk...both of us need it.  Chuck has finished another video and expects to have it uploaded this evening.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Chuck and Laura

Sons of Norway Hall Christmas 2013

Another house...Another Dog...Another Video

By the First Mate

We are done with sitting one house and in another.  This time we are looking after an older West Highland Terrier named MacGregor who is addicted to hot dogs and ice cream.  We will be staying at this house until mid Jan which means another Christmas with an oven.  Chuck is very excited at the prospect of Pumpkin Pie. 

Have not had much opportunity to post to the Logbook (Sorry!)  Internet connection in the last place was a little slow.  

Chuck uploaded a new video last night, On to Hoonah.  I did not get a chance to post a link of the video previous to this one (uploaded Dec. 12th) because of the poor connection, Tenakee Springs to Whitestone.  

Light snow and relatively mild conditions, certainly compared to other states that are getting slammed by severe Winter conditions.  Temperature is currently 25 degrees and there is a hint of Christmas in the air.

Good Dog

By the First Mate

Off the boat again.  This time we have charge of a 12 year old black lab named Casey. 

Chuck was at last able to edit his way through all of the great video we took during our stay at Tenakee Springs.  July 4th was so much fun and we hope this video shows what a special place it is.

Chuck's radio program last Friday went very well, unfortunately the link page to the archived show seems not to be working.  Bummer!

Now that we are back in a house both Chuck and I can be online at the same time so look for added content to the website coming over the next several weeks.

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all.

By the First Mate

We had a very quiet day yesterday.  After a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes we spent the afternoon watching rented movies and relaxing.  

Chuck was able to finish a new video, not about our cruising but of a simple chore. Yep, it is cold but the background is stunning and the wildlife is ever present.

The Town's tree lighting ceremony begins in half an hour, afterwards most businesses will stay open late (8pm) serving refreshments and acting as heated meeting spots. Need to get moving so we don't miss out on the fun.

We sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day.  


Life and Google+

By the First Mate

Chuck has taken a walk up to the library.  Temperatures are back to a reasonable 42 degrees, rain expected until Thanksgiving and then we should expect to see more snow. Sunset tonight at 3:23pm. 

With the extreme cold temperatures last week we stuck pretty close to the boat. Although Chuck completed a new video "daily life" has been pretty slow...... 

Would love some opinions on YouTube's recent cross over with Google+. In our Sept 28th Post "A Little help from our friends" we asked how important social media was to you and the responding comments made for some good reading.  We had learned about the upcoming change and knew it would force our hand to get more involved.  Our YT Channel was assigned a G+ page and we were told all comments would pass through that page going forward. Not entirely sure how we feel about the change but we had no choice but to move forward.  It has certainly increased traffic to our site so we are grateful but at the same time we are concerned at how much attention it desires.

Thanksgiving rapidly approaches. Will pick up a few cornish hens to toss in the presssure cooker and maybe caramalize a few red pears to drizzle over ice cream. 

Just in Time , Too.

By The Skipper:

Second cup of coffee.  Listening to the weather report and reading blogs.  The voice on the radio informs us that snow accumulation is expected to be up to 24 inches between now and Friday.  Currently there is about 4 inches on the dock from last nights snowfall.  We have fired up the second heater as the temperature has dropped below 20f.  It got down into single digits last night but we are cozy in the cabin.

I am going to have to walk over the the hardware store to pick up a snow shovel so I can clear the finger next to the boat.  The harbor staff will plow the main float with the ATV they keep for the purpose but they cannot get to the fingers with the plow.

Today is grocery day.  Fortunately, Hammer and Wikan provides a free shuttle for shoppers and the Trading Union is less than a quarter of a mile from the harbor.  I am thinking I will make a hearty stew in the pressure cooker.  That should last for a few days.  I will leave thanksgiving dinner to Laura.

After the shopping and chores are done, We will probably go to the library and sit in front of the fireplace with a good book.

Snow on the docks

Winter Weather Preparations.

By The Skipper:

Laura kicked me off the boat so she could re-arrange the furniture or something.  That is one drawback to living on a small boat like Lealea in cold weather like this.  When there is a major project in the cabin it has to be a one person job so one of us has to get out of the way.  Normally, I would work on some other project outside but, at 24f, it is just too cold.

Fortunately, I got about all of the exterior stuff done while the temperature was still in the forties.  Last winter we learned that our awnings, designed to protect the boat from tropical sun and rain while allowing the cooling trade winds through, needed some help dealing with winter in Alaska.  It is OK if a little rain gets in and runs out the scuppers.  It is not OK if the rain gets in and freezes or if snow is allowed to accumulate in the cockpit. The gaps that effectively allowed the cooling trade winds access let in surprising amounts of snow that needed to be cleared out frequently.

I went to the Hammer and Wikan hardware store across the street from the harbor and bought a 6'X 8' tarp and six spring clamps. I rigged the tarp so that it covered the gaps in the awnings at the stern. The spring clamps hold the tarp's narrow edge to the edges of the gable shaped opening at the top of the after awning. The center grommet of the tarp is lashed to the back stay.  The bottom and sides are secured over the stern rail with bunji cords (As is the entire awning set) so it will give and remain tight in gusty winds.  Even though we have had five days of continuous rain and one day with winds gusting over thirty knots, the cockpit stayed dry and the awnings and tarp remained tight.  Although one of the spring clamps did pop off during the windiest period, I am encouraged.

Laura had all our wool sweaters dry cleaned and bought a new pair of flannel lined jeans.  I picked up a new pair of waterproof, insulated gloves - an absolute necessity for filling the water tank in winter.  I think that is just about all we can do to prepare for winter except sign up for a community center membership so we can access the gym.

There is still plenty to do though.  I now have a weekly radio program that I am calling "Aloha Friday", Fridays (Duh) 12:45 to 2:30 AKDT on KFSK Petersburg so there is a thirty track play list to put together.  The video of last summer is taking longer than anticipated to edit into bite-sized chunks for YouTube (Reminder: get started on the next one today) and I have several unfinished articles and outlines for articles pending.

Back to work! d;^)

Back Aboard

By the First Mate

We have finished house sitting for now and are back aboard.  It is good to be home. Most of yesterday was spent straightening up and re-organizing our things on the boat. It is way too easy to spread stuff around a house. 

The first Christmas lights went up in town yesterday.  The North Harbor begins to take shape with a handfull of new docks being delivered and installed.  Lows expected tonight of 25 degrees with snow in the forecast but it is not expected to stick. Winter has arrived in Petersburg. 

North Harbor installation

Busy times

By the First Mate

Whew, been busy the last three days. I started working for Dr. Hill at the Vet clinic again.  Amputated toes, dentals, shots ...ahhh, it feels good to get my animal fix.

This litttle guy came in for a spay this morning and is up for adoption. A smile only a mother could love.  He was still knocked out and being fit for his cone of shame and I just couldn't resist getting a pic of his drug induced smile, too funny.

The days are getting cooler and shorter.  We had snow appear a few days ago on some of the nearby mountains but so far nothing lower down...but soon, very soon. 

The boat sits covered, snug and ready for the weather in her slip. We will be back aboard in a few days and are soooo looking forward to sleeping in our own bed.

It has taken several days of editing for our latest video, Baranof to Ell Cove, which was uploaded last night.  Next up, Angoon and shooting the rapids. 

Chuck will be starting his regular Aloha Friday radio program today at 12:45-2:30 Alaskan Standard Time.  You can listen via live stream on 

No ghosts in the dark.

By the First Mate

We had no Trick or Treaters.  The porch lights were on but it was really dark outside. The house we are watching sits just off the main road leaving town and behind the house is probably 20+ acres of muskeg.  There are very few lights.

Chuck bought two small bags of candy just in case. We shared one small piece of Snickers and hastily put it away.  The owners will find some candy in their house when they return.  Trick or Treat.

Editing photos and came across one of Polar Bound, a tank of a boat, owned by David Cowper.  We met David and his companion, Jane, last winter.  They were interviewed on KFSK which was fascinating to listen to.  We met them again in Juneau last July just days before they began their voyage through the Northwest Passage.  I searched the web but could not find any updated information on their voyage or where they are wintering.  Looking forward to hearing details of their trip.

Daylight savings coming up on Sunday night.  Forty five degrees out.  No snow in the forecast yet, we might have a few more weeks.

Polar Bound Petersburg, AK 2013 Photography by Laura Wong-Rose


Rain through tomorrow night..

By the First Mate

Tonight is Halloween.  As we are house sitting I wonder if we might get any Trick or Treaters at the door.  As a city kid there was NO way I would have been going door to door in such a remote area as this but these Alaskan kids are hard core.  I will take a walk into town later today and ask around. 

Newest video went up last night. Baranof Warm Springs, what a place!     

Memory Lane

By the First Mate

Spent an afternoon browsing through the American Vega website since we were thinking of moving a few articles over to Cruising Lealea and I wanted to remind myself of what was there. was our first web site and is dedicated to the Albin Vega and is comprised mostly of reference material for vega owners but it also has some great articles written by Chuck and other vega owners.
I started reading through old Archived Newsletters and got lost. You know that feeling when you find an old shoe box of papers and pictures you haven't looked at in a long time...

Looking back, when Sid Rosen passed away in 2000 it fundamentally changed the direction of our lives. Chuck took over the vega newsletter that year and published a total of 16 before he retired and we began cruising in 2007. Writing is something Chuck has always enjoyed and working on the newsletter only made him enjoy it more.  The amount of information contained in the 16 publications of "Fair Winds" is staggering and I don't think it will be a simple "transfer" of a few articles.

If you are a Vega Association member you already have access to these gems under membership/newsletter archive. If not and you have a few minutes to read some old history I will link to the first issue and the last issue, then try and decide what will happen with the rest.

(note: Addresses and phone numbers are over a decade old and useless)

Heavy rains and dark skies.

By the First Mate

The rains are back. Sunrise this morning at 7:59 and sunset at 5:13.  The days are definately getting shorter, at least there is no snow in the forecast.

Chuck's first day back on the radio went well and the station has offered him a regular Friday spot, 12:45 - 2:30.  Aloha Fridays have reached Petersburg. 

Link to yesterday's program which will only work until next Tuesday.



Radio News

By the First Mate

Chuck will be back on the radio at KFSK today at 12:30 AST (Alaska Standard Time or PST minus one hour.) There is a live stream link on the home page.

Beautiful sunny day yesterday.  A friend and I got together and took a twenty mile drive outside of town to a little spot called Man Made Hole where we did some hiking and took some pictures. What a pretty little spot.  

The rain is back this morning.  Temeratures are in the mid 40's and expected to remain so for the rest of the week.  

Ready for Winter

By the First Mate

We took advantage of the fine weather yesterday to make a quick trip to the fuel dock and top off our fuel tank. We dropped by the community gym to have lunch at Octoberfest but when we arrived there was pretty much nothing left.  Not even any Blueberry Marmalade.

Chuck is at the boat now washing off the incredible amount of debris which has accumulated over the last few days since he rented the power washer.  The awnings will up by later this afternoon and Lealea will be snug for the winter.

As Chuck works on editing video I have begun sorting pictures.  We wanted to experiment and give a different impression of the places we've been through photography.  Should we add this type of video to our regular uploads?  Let us know what you think.  Would appreciate any comments or use the thumbs up/down buttons. 

Octoberfest is here

By the First Mate 

I knew Chuck should have made a batch of his chili!  Devil's Thumb Brewfest and Chili cookoff last night held at the Sons of Norway hall. Seems to have been a good turn out but there was certainly enough chili for all.  We must have wandered around and tried 7 or 8 different chilis, good fun.

Octoberfest is being held today at the Community Gym from 10-4.  Octoberfest here is more about arts and crafts and food rather than beer.  I bought a jar of blueberry marmalade last year that was very good and I hope to find more. 

The rain is back.  We realized yesterday we need to make one last run to the fuel dock before we button up the boat for the winter.  The tank is down 3 gallons and needs to be topped off before we put up the awnings.  Slack tide is at one today and we will try to do it then.

Latest video was posted last night. 
Kake to Honeydew Cove.  Whales....lots of whales.

ooops....and some lost....

By the First Mate

Whew!  Started a large project today and after loosing one blog post (the most recent) I figured out how to start moving our older log book posts to an Archive page which has needed to be done for quite a while.
There are seven years of posts on this one page but the posts run off the page and disappear after about 8 months. It will take a few days to complete but we hope this helps with the load time....

The sun was out and we were completely rain free today.  Chuck made it down to the boat and used a rented pressure washer to get the green off the boat.  If it remains dry tomorrow we will put up the awnings and be completely ready for Winter.

The one good thing about house sitting.  We have been able to kick back and enjoy every game of the World Series.  

Before and after



Added Content

by the First Mate

The rain lightened up a bit this afternoon but otherwise it has been raining non-stop. We did not get the power washer totay and the boat gets a bit greener.

Chuck and I are taking advantage of the great wi-fi and extra space at the house.  We have been busy writing, cleaning up the web site and editing pictures and video. Today we added another article to The Captain's Notebook. In "Notes on Condensation" Chuck remembers our steep learning curve when it came to condensation aboard Lealea. We would love some feedback.

Max, the cat, wanders in and out whenever we are nearby to open a door. She is friendly yet aloof at the same time and seems to sleep inside about half the time. It seems we are constantly feeding the outdoor cats who we rarely ever see.  I suspect more than just cats are taking advantage of the regular meal.

Devil's Thumb Brewfest and Chili cook off coming up this Friday.  I'm going to try and get Chuck to enter a batch of his Chili....we'll see.      

Winter Preparation

By the First Mate

The rain has remained steady since last week but the temperature is a comfortable 54 degrees.  

We have started house sitting. The opportunity arose only a few days after we arrived. For the next few weeks we are looking after a very comfortable home that comes with a typical view of an Alaskan backyard, muskeg.  We are also watching over "Max", a rather large tabby who spends about half her time outside plus a handful of other strictly outdoor cats.  

Chuck has made arrangements for tomorrow with the harbor office to rent a pressure washer.  We want to spray the boat down before we put up our awnings for the winter.  We hope the rain will stop long enough tomorrrow for us to work outside in the dry but it is doubtful.  If we have learned one thing living in Petersburg it is this; if you won't do it in the rain, you might never get it done.  

We figure we have a few more weeks before the first snow arrives.  Chuck has a few ideas on improving the ventilation on Lealea even further and I think he is planning on adding one more active vent. The on/off switch on our solar fan failed.  It will need to be repaired or replaced by next spring.  

Inspired by the thought of drilling another hole in the boat Chuck has started an article on ventilation.  Our learning curve was steep when we left Hawaii and began cruising the damp waters of the Pacific Northwest.  Our first year was miserable with water dripping off the ceiling especially after cooking. We still have a few issues but the boat is far more comfortable now.
Max the Cat

Muskeg backyard

Muskek backyard

The rain has arrived.

by the First Mate

Chuck has been under the weather for the last few days but he was still able to put together a video. We spent our Sunday afternoon at Kito's Kave drinking coffee and a pint uploading videos and watching bits of the Seahawks and Titans game. 

Temperatures are in the 50's but there is a perceptable nip in the air.  Moderate rains expected through Thursday.  We are hoping to put up our awnings tomorrow if the rain stops long enough. Because we are moored closer to the cannery this year we are seeing an amazing amount of bird traffic.  Gulls, terns and crows are tapdancing on our topside regularly and they are poor guests.   Various species of sea shells litter our deck along with bits of their insides, plus all other waste associated with a happy, well fed bird. The junk will still drop on the awnings but at least it gets washed down regularly with the rain.

Dredging continues in the North Harbor and other selected areas.  The crew is taking advantage of the remaining daylight to get the job done and they are working hard.  The resulting underwater snaps and cracks that reverberate against our hull feel as if the keel is being smacked with a baseball bat.   
Fortunately they are usually finished before we go to bed or we would not be able to sleep.

We continue to add and update our website.  Small changes coming first with the freshening of stale ads and adding new links.  Chuck has several new articles in the works and has been working on our Google+ page as we have been seeing a large increase of activity from there. We will be sure to post on facebook or Google+ any significant additions to the web site which should be coming soon.  The perfect winter project when on the Winter Solstace the total of daylight in Petersburg is six hours and forty-six minutes.


First Class

by the First Mate

We spent most of yesterday in the new Petersburg Library.  What a treat! It has a beautiful open design with seperate work areas for young children and teens.  The new seating areas make you feel like you are riding in First Class except no warm nuts or bourbon. Having access to a work area like this will make our lives much more pleasant during the winter.

The newest video in our series is up.  It took longer than planned but relocating threw a wrench in things. Our goal is put up two new videos a week. 

Chuck Rose in the Petersburg Public Library


Hustle and Bustle

by the First Mate

The annual Humpey 500 Go Cart Race was a successful event.  The rain stopped shortly before, long enough for the road to dry, and began again after.  Maybe a hundred people turned out to cheer on the five entrants. It was obvious there were some long standing rivalries between the teams. Dads who used to race together were now pit crew for their kids. There were no heart stopping moments but plenty of racing action. 

Yesterday we went to the KFSK Potluck Fundraiser(see more pics on their Facebook page).  It was good to renew so many friendships.  Chuck will be on the radio again soon and it sounds like we might have a housesitting job lined up. 

Wrangell is a nice town but we feel more at home in Petersburg so we have made the decision to stay here again for the Winter. 

The second kettle of water is just starting to boil for breakfast.  We are not hooked up as the power box was locked and the office was closed over the weekend.  We have noticed more condensation in the boat and put it down to the nighty use of our alcohol heater since Wednesday.  The on/off switch on our solar vent broke a few days ago so we are minus one vent.  Makes a big difference.  The one active DC vent is a four incher flowing about 1500 cubic feet per hour.  The solar vent had about the same airflow. But we have a DC fan to install on the remaining passive vent. We should be able to plug into 30amp by this afternoon. Sunshine this morning with some light showers, temperature is 46 degrees.

After breakfast we are going to spend some time in the newly opened Petersburg Library, even the new library cards are cool; and then I volunteered to man the pledge lines at the radio station for a few hours. 

And I need to call my mother.    

Chuck Rose at 2013 KFSK Fundraiser

Back in Petersburg

by the First Mate

Left Wrangell Wednesday afternoon in fine weather after a few hours delay.  We noticed immediately that water was not flowing from the exhaust pipe and we got an engine alarm shortly after.  After calling a diver to check the intake for obstructions and some basic trouble shooting we determined the water intake strainer was clogged and the drive belt for the water pump was loose.  We easily corrected the problems and were under way at 1:30.

We proceeded across Sumner Strait in flat water with no wind to Woewodski Island at the South end of  Wrangell Narrows where we anchored at Deception Point Cove for the night.  We had heard of a weather front coming in but it was not expected until Friday, however, around 2am the wind began picking up and by Thursday afternoon we were in full gale conditions.  Deception Point is open to the South.  We were getting bounced around but felt secure with our Delta anchor set well in the sticky mud bottom.  The gales finally passed early Friday morning.  We pulled anchor and got underway at 11:30 and reached Green Point, at slack water, riding the current all the way to Petersburg. 

It is Tax Free Day in town and all the stores are having sales so today will be spent doing some shopping.   We need a new heater and some groceries.  Later this afternoon is the annual running of the Humpy 500-Soap box derby. Sounds like fun!        

Going Visiting

By The Skipper:

Tomorrow we are planning to take advantage of a short weather window to motor across Sumner Strait and up the Wrangell Narrows between Kupreanof and Mitkof islands to Petersburg for a visit.  We are still a little unsure whether we will spend the winter in Wrangell or go back to Petersburg.  Both have a lot to offer but have distinctly different personalities.  

While Wrangell is less expensive, Petersburg offers the opportunity of employment for Laura; and she does so love her dog and cat friends. There are also house and pet sitting opportunities there that will make the long winter a bit more enjoyable.

Petersburg's North Harbor, where we moored last winter, is no more.  The floats and pilings were removed at the end of the summer and will be replaced with new facilities in April.  That means limited availability of mooring space in the Middle or South Harbors.  Notwithstanding, Glo, the Harbor Master, has assured us that she will make room. We want to attend the annual KFSK Petersburg Potluck Brunch on Sunday to renew friendships and catch up on local news.  I will certainly have a pint or two at Kito's and there are some favorite grocery items to pick up that are not available in Wrangell.

That is the reason for the visit.  We will be spending five days or a week, probably in the Middle Harbor, to determine just how much the harbor renovations will inconvenience us.  We are quite comfortable in Reliance Harbor at Wrangell and have good internet access on the boat.  The mooring rate is 20% less than at Petersburg.  But we have few friends here in Wrangell as yet and that is an important consideration too.

I expect we will know for sure in a week or so.  Now it is time for me to get on to video editing so there is something to upload this week.

A little help from our friends?

by the First Mate

At last. Resuming our "Cruising in Alaska" video series.  The first upload was finally successful after three aborted tries. Chuck's goal this Winter is to complete two video's a week while we also continue to update and add content to the website.

It takes time to edit video and maintain the website.  We enjoy the challenges of both because it helps keep our minds sharp and the "juices flowing" so to speak. We are not looking to become the next "Lin and Larry Pardey" and have absolutely no desire to do the boat show circuit, however, we do want to add value to the information available over the web regarding cruising full time and we hope folks can learn from our experiences.   

We do not wish to spend eight hours a day in front of the computer (too much like a real job!) posting trivial details or sending out Tweets that we are headed to the market, however, in order to increase traffic to the site in todays "market" it is necessary to become very active in social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.).  For that we need your help. 
How important are these things to you? How often do you check our Facebook page or the website and/or do you wish to know when new content has been added? 

Gone are the times when you write an article or a book then submit it to a publisher for approval.  We are able to freely upload content to our website and it is up to our regular visitors to decide if it is worthwhile or not.  Our traffic does increase when we post every day but it would be helpful to know what are you looking for when you check in. 

Cruising Lealea is at a crossroad and we are unsure which path to take.  We would love to hear your feedback or suggestions.  

This is the Log of the Sailing Vessel Lealea, recounting the sail cruising life; voyaging, sailing and living aboard a small boat in the Pacific Northwest,  the San Juan Islands, the Canadian Gulf Islands, Alaska, British Columbia, Hawaii and the islands of the Pacific. Cat and crew set off in 2007 to voyage and live aboard at sea seeking a simpler life in harmony with nature. We seek to avoid the crowds, complication and stress of life as we have known it in the business world. City society is just not for us. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to sail away from it all, follow us on our journey across the seas. Subscribe to our video logs on YouTube and check back here frequently for the latest updates. 

We will be voyaging to far away destinations that interest us, far from the cities and civilization, as we search for peace, health and the simple joy of living with nature rather than trying to bend her to our will. Our Motto: Quality of Life is inversely proportional to population density. Our operating philosophy is “Go small. Go simple. Go now.” Our vessel is the Albin Vega diesel auxiliary sloop Lealea, 27 feet on deck, 8 feet beam and 4 feet draft. The well seasoned and harmonious crew consists of Captain Chuck, First Mate Laura and Boatswain Bree T. Cat. There will be log entries concerning life at sea and in port; cooking, eating, watch keeping, maintenance and seamanship and how we manage the challenges our chosen life presents. Updates will be frequent when we are in port but we will not update this page when we are at sea.

d1 Month EasyPrep Food Storage
Food Storage with The Ready Store
MREs from The Ready Store