Airship Goes to Alaska
Getting ready to get off the blocks and into the lift:
Our new shaft seal arrived mid-day yesterday. Note: if you want to send something to Alaska and have it get there the soonest, do not use FedEx or UPS. Send it expedited vis USPS. The cutless bearing sent from WA late Tuesday vis USPS Expedited got to us on Thursday morning at 9am. The shaft seal sent to us from WA on Wednesday via UPS got to us on Monday afternoon, after going from Redmond WA to Portland OR, then to Louisville KY — because THAT’S on the way! — then to Anchorage AK, and finally to Juneau.
Anyway, we installed the new PYI PSS dripless shaft seal, Dean and Curtis reattached the propeller and after thorough inspection we concluded we were indeed ready to get back in the water.
As we get settled in the lift, Curtis removes the blocks:
Dean, making sure we’re all clear:
Rollin’ through the parking lot:
Here we go!
Dean backs the lift out over the slot between these two piers, then lowers the boat down so the deck is even with the pier, and then there’s a little ramp that gets put across from the pier to the pilot house door so we can get in before being lowered the rest of the way down to the water. We start the engine Dean releases the slings and moves the lift back to the yard as we go on our way. Pretty neat!
The wind and rain scheduled for last night hadn’t gotten underway yet (just light rain and a bit of fog when we launched at around 4pm) so we were able to spend an hour out in Gastineau Channel making sure everything was running as it should be. All was nice and smooth!
So, now we are back in the water just in time for this forecast for Stephens Passage:
This is where we’re watching if you want to follow along: NOAA Coastal Waters Forecast for Alaska and Surface Analysis from the NOAA NWS Ocean Prediction Center. Wish we had the 10 days back that we just spent diagnosing and figuring out (and fixing) this dang mechanical issue!
Kind of reminds me of this Far Side cartoon:
Wednesday looks like the only calm day, and I suppose we could go over to Taku Harbor tomorrow and hang there and do some crabbing, but then we have no internet in Taku, so if the weather doesn’t improve until after Saturday it makes working difficult. We could…well, stay here in Juneau and continue working and waiting for the weather. We’ll just watch the weather and see how things progress. For now, we’re tucked nicely in at Harris Harbor while the wind blows and the rain pelts sideways against the windows.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention…the other night we went out to dinner with some new and newer friends, and after dinner we stopped at The Alaskan Hotel and Bar for a drink. This place is 100 years old, and was built the year after Alaska became a territory.
No sooner had we gathered around a couple of tables with our drinks, a punk rock band took over the stage (well, the whole place really). I didn’t get the name of the band (and my Google search was unfruitful) but they were pretty entertaining.
Not everyone was as entertained as we were, but I totally dig happening onto a scene like this one…seeing a band you normally wouldn’t see, in a place you normally wouldn’t be, with some people you just met. It was pretty fantastic. 🙂
And here’s a clip of the band’s cover of Iggy Pop/The Stooges “I Wanna be Your Dog” (1969!!) to go with the photos:
Fun times in Juneau!