Ahhhh, it’s good to be back in the Great State I was born in. Even though it’s 40 degrees colder than the place we just left and we had to dig out an alarm clock because apparently when you are Employed they expect you to show up on time, sometimes as early as 8 am! Soon to be earlier. Wow, we took to the semi-retired life a little too well I guess. But a paycheck sure is great! We’re saving every cent we can for sailing next season. I don’t really like the expression “filling the cruising kitty” I guess because it makes me think of a cat stuffed with money. I think I prefer “loading the piggybank” or “pinching our pennies to convert them to pesos.” Anyway, you get the picture.
It does feel great to be in Sitka and working on boats again. So far we’ve been training and helping de-winterize the fleet of day boats. Cleaning mold, painting, stocking the galleys. After caring for Velella velella the past 8 months it feels quite natural to care for another boat, in this case mainly a 65′ quad jet power catamaran we’ll be running called the St. Eugene. She’s no pretty sailboat but she does 30 knots and only draws 3 feet of water. Perfect for searching out whales and sea otters in small coves and bays. Our first trip will be next week, when the cruise ships start arriving. Rob will be captain, I will be deckhand/engineer. There also will be a naturalist and 1-2 pursers in the galley. I wasn’t so sure about being engineer but I’ve already learned how to start the genset when it’s finicky (by manually activating the solenoid) and how to clear kelp and debris out of the jet impellers. Hint: very carefully and with no chance anyone can start up the engine because your arm is completely submerged in freezing water up to your shoulder, and all up in the prop. If it started spinning, it would not end well. But that won’t happen! Because you turn off the starter batteries and take the key with you. Safety First!
Besides our jobs, other things we like about Sitka are the gorgeous snowcapped mountains, the tiny islands that fill the Sound, the sleepy gray whales, the eagle and raven calls, hiking in our xtratufs (adios flipflops), not running into hungry bears, making new friends on the ferry and at yoga and reuniting with old ones! We had a great time visiting with Pete and Kelsey, friends from PT who run charters on their sailboat Privateer. Northwest Expeditions, look them up. They had a much snowier winter than we did but love their boat just as much. It’s so fun and novel to row out to an Alaskan liveaboard on anchor and see their pile of firewood. Thanks guys for a wonderfully fun weekend! Hope you have a great season.
Enjoy the first round of photos, starting with our lovely PT stay at my Mom’s (we got to see three beautiful friends who were 9 months pregnant!), my lightening fast trip to Portland, then our inside passage ferry ride up, our great time in Juneau with my Dad and Laurie, and finally, arriving in Sitka, the land of Tlingits and Russians and Environmentalists. We will keep the stories coming!
Vaya con los angelitos,
Kai and Rob