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Alaska Has No Clue How to Edit

Airship Goes to Alaska


One of the most important things I learned in art school was how to edit. So many students try to cram every idea they have and every technique they know into each piece they make, and one of the biggest challenges for professors is to get students to see that “less is more” and that too much stuff can overwhelm the audience.  There’s an elegance in the simplicity of a piece of art that’s been pared down to its bare essence. Some of the most difficult things to design are the pieces that seem the most minimal, and most artists and designers struggle with this throughout their careers.


We woke up this Sunday morning in Flynn Cove with eagles flying overhead, otters swimming nearby, and salmon jumping out of the water all around the boat. While I was making breakfast (salmon cakes using the Coho we’d caught on our way into Flynn Cove last night, topped with an over easy egg and hollandaise sauce) Kevin grabbed the crappy little telescoping fishing rod that we used to throw in the kayak bag, and put a spoon on it and went out and reeled in a 5 pound pink salmon. Before breakfast. How ’bout that?


While we were heading out of the cove (past the humpback whale near the shore), we hooked another big Coho.


After a bit more trolling for salmon, we dropped the anchor in 120 feet of water to fish for halibut in a spot not too far from Flynn Cove (where we planned to spend another night). While that was going on and we were sipping a beer on the upper deck, across Icy Strait from the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, two humpbacks were basically circling our boat, grazing at the surface the entire time we were fishing.

We came back into Flynn Cove to anchor for the evening and to cook up some fish tacos for dinner with the rockfish and salmon we caught today… (oh, did I forget to mention the rockfish? we also caught rockfish) …anyway, while we were heating the tortillas on the grill, some harbor porpoises came into the cove and swam around our boat for 45 minutes or so (of course, because, you know, that whole editing issue).

One of the many salmon jumping around the cove:


We ate our fish tacos (delicious) and then noticed that the sky was turning a beautiful blend of pastel pinks and blues, so we went out on the bow to watch the sunset.


Pretty, isn’t it? But no, Alaska can’t stop at a beautiful sunset, a tiny wooded island in the foreground, and the mountains of Glacier Bay behind. Alaska needs to add some humpbacks, tail- and fin-slapping, right there along with the F you sunset:


(You can click to see these two a little bigger if you want.)



(The only way I even got these shots is because I was ALREADY looking through my lens taking photos of the sunset.)

Here are the rest of the photos. I don’t even know what to say about them. “Ooooooh. Aaaaaaah. So pretty. Sunset. Barf. Whatever.” 🙂



And there’s no audio with these photos, but I’ll also tell you that there were wolves howling occasionally as we sat there on the bow of the boat, wondering where the hell we were where this was normal.






Oh, and then the moon rose, and I went up to the pilot house of the rocking boat with my zoom lens and managed to get this shot:


Let’s do this again tomorrow, Alaska!


  1. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    Wow! Having a shaft seal overheat in those conditions! Looking at the cutlass bearing photo, it is not clear how water could flow into the shaftseal bellows readily. Is there a separate water passge? On my sailboat the shaft tube is open to cooling water, as the cutlass bearing is strut mounted further aft.

    • I know!! 🙂
      Yeah, on the photo of the shaft seal, at the top middle of that photo you’ll see a black water line — that where water comes in (plumbed from the main raw water intake).

  2. eheffa eheffa

    Glad to hear you’re back in action.

    ⅜” strikes me as more than a minor bit of wobble in your shaft. Fixing that sounds like it should remedy the problem. Fingers crossed here. …

    Good luck & have a good voyage South.


    • Thanks Evan!

      There is actually a bit of play in the whole system. The engine is mounted on rubber, cushioned mounts, and the end of the shaft can be pulled around pretty significantly when it’s disconnected from the coupler. Combine that with the fact that the whole thing torques to probably a different position under load, and it’s just not such an exact science. Also, the system tends to be self-centering as it spins. The actual misalignment was about 16 thousandths of an inch (still more than you’d want) and that’s now all fixed! Glad not to find any weirdness underneath the boat!

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