This week’s cruise aboard the MV Catalyst was from Juneau to Petersburg, stopping at Wood Spit, Fords Terror, Last Chance Harbor, Sheldon Cove, West Brother, and Scenery Cove along the way.
In Juneau, we had another mad scramble to connect with the world during our limited wifi coverage: I spent my phone time taking care of bills and emails and making progress on the Lightship management proposal (more on that later).
Once we got underway again, we had another great Alaska trip. We had an amazing glacier show many giant pieces fell off the face of the glacier with a splash.
Then in the middle of Frederick Sound, we had a whale come up and rub on the boat. It was crazy! – I have never seen a humpback whale hang out near the boat like this, ever! The whale went back and forth, turning around and circling us for almost an hour. Everyone on the boat ran side to side fore and aft to watch as it went round and round. Unbelievable.
We also had some young people on this trip, which means prank time! This trip called for the bear poo prank. We mix up some tasty goo that looks like bear poo, then while we’re out hiking, I piled it up on the trail without anyone knowing. On the way back, the naturalist stopped everyone and says “Look – fresh bear poo. That means they’re really close.” Then the naturalist got a stick and sifted through the goop and goes “Let’s see what they’re eating. Looks like berries…”
She kept the show going and smelled the poo and kept talking: “Wow this is really fresh. Hmm… it might even be a brown bear.” Then she took a bite of the poo on the stick and said “Yup – its a brown bear.” At this point, everyone was doubled over ether laughing or being sick. The bear poo stick got passed around and some had a taste and everyone had another good laugh.
The rest of the trip went fine, but when we got to Petersburg, we had to fuel up and fix the skiff – on top of our usual turnaround chores. Argh!
Horsepower isn’t horsepower any more
The other day, my girlfriend asked (rhetorically) “If I wear a size four, than what do all the little Japanese girls wear? A triple zero?” This is just another example of how the commercial world is constantly redefining numbers to make another sale.
I think a similar thing is going on in the engine world. When I hear that a Cat 3406 will put out 800 horsepower, my first thought is “How long is that going to last towing logs?”
De-rating is the only way to get more life out of your little engine. De-rating means taking the 800 horsepower engine the salesman just sold you and only pulling 500 horsepower out of it so that it might last more than half an hour. De-rating is a great way to preserve your engine, but on the other hand, it’s sort of emasculating
Here’s a better solution: think about running a heavy duty-diesel instead! They’ve got more torque, a longer life, no wasted power (new “high horsepower” engines use another emasculating device, the “the reduction gear”). Think about it – if you want the prop to turn at 300 revolutions per minute, than run the engine at 300 rpm. Once you hear the thud thud thud of real power, you won’t ever want to run more than 500 rpm again.
So in conclusion, if you need power, don’t get 800 horsepower in a size four; call OTM Inc and install a heavy-duty.
Here’s the numbers for the 15th trip of the 2009 season:
hours underway: 40
hours on main: 42
hours on the generator: 43:25
hours on the water maker: 17:25
miles traveled: 235
gallons of fuel used: 179
gallons of water made: 1045
gallons of gas used: 4
gallons of propane: about 4 gallons
gallons of lube oil: 2
And here’s a fun recipe – for the kids especially:
½ cup granola
¼ cup dried cranberry
¼ cup raisins
1/8 cup peanuts
1/8 cup sliced almonds
½ cup Alaskan blueberries crushed
½ cup Alaskan salmon berries crushed
½ cup Alaskan thimble berries crushed
1 cup chunked chocolate
1 cup melted chocolate
12 mint leaves
Combine above ingredients
Barely fold in 2/3 cup peanut butter (leaving streaks)
Spoon in to bag , cut out corner and pipe onto serving area or skunk cabbage
Lightship #83 Meeting
On Thursday, OTM Inc’s Seattle representatives met with Northwest Seaport to discuss the firm’s project management proposal for the Lightship No. 83 Rehabilitation Project. I checked in via phone before and after, and it sounds like the meeting went well. We’re going to revise our proposal and hopefully have it all submitted by the end of the week. This project is going to be great once it finally gets rolling.