August 3, 2005

Second layover day in Sitka. Wind blew all night, still breeze in the morning. We went on another sightseeing walk into town, visiting the reconstructed octagonal Russian blockhouse, the Bishop’s house and St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. The Bishop’s house is managed by the National Park Service, and the tour is outstanding. The house is original to the Russian period, and built between 1841 – 1843 by Finnish shipwrights. It contains many original furnishings. St. Michael’s sadly burned to the ground in 1967, but has been reconstructed according to the original plans. About 90 % of the original icons and liturgical decorations were saved by the citizens of Sitka, who formed a human chain while the building burned. It’s a very beautiful church, still in use. The congregation is about 3/4’s Tlingit.

I spoke by cell phone with Todd at Bluewater Yachts about my starting problems. I was able to eliminate, to both his and my minds, the ignition battery as the culprit. That leaves electrical connections between battery and motor. I will try to isolate the bad connection tomorrow, but in the event that it eludes me, I bought a pair of #4 guage wires, 10 feet long, and made up with copper ring connectors which I can use to jump from the battery directly to the motor. Hopefully, that will give me an additional starting option, and I can also use them to jump from another boat.

Right now we have the whole boat torn up, with food storage tubs all over the place. We’re shifting food stuffs forward, into our small working tubs, and getting at things which have been stowed out of reach. We will try to empty a few tubs and place them in the very back of the king berth stowage area.

For dinner we finally attacked those MRE’s which Dave gave us. It took us a half hour to figure out how to set them up to heat. I don’t know how our soldiers can manage them, the first time. Mine heated up ok (I added too much water), but Sandy followed the directions more precisely and hers barely warmed up. Her tabasco sauce container was all dried up, and my chewing gum was hard as a rock. I’m not rushing out to volunteer on account of the quality of the new chow. Actually didn’t taste too bad. I found it interesting that the military found it necessary to include a warning to not eat the heating element package. Those troops must really get hungry.

I’ve been trying to arrange to get out on a charter fishing trip, but it’s been frustrating. The weather is not good, and with high winds and rough seas out there, the boats are going to inside locations, where they’re just catching small silvers. They can’t get out to the halibut grounds. I don’t know that we’ll hang around here long enough for the weather to settle. Just have to see.

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