Thursday, July 17, 2014

Leaving Dutch and heading home

Sitting in the library at Dutch Harbor, realizing that I haven't been writing much. Here's the Clif notes.

3rd day in Dutch, awaiting for our 2nd barge to take back to Seattle. Weather good. Should be home around the 30th, and the transit should be about 12 days.

Been on this boat for over a month now and ready go home. Great crew, good boat, good food, no complaints whatsoever except anxious to see the family.

I'll write more on our transit back and upload once we arrive. Hoping the my car is back in full operational status and ready for the trip south.



Underway: Polar Viking

It's been a busy few months. After getting back from a Hawaii run in April and 4 weeks of classes to follow, I'm back out to sea and operating in the Western Alaska region. This time, I'm sailing a the AB and I have to admit, I am ecstatic about not having to cook. We have a Maine Maritime cadet onboard who is doing all the cooking, and doing a mighty fine job at that.

We left Seattle on June 13th, after a quick 2-day trip home to see the family and celebrate my daughter's 16th birthday. We headed straight up the inside passage, popped out into the Gulf at Cape Decision and were pier side in Anchorage on following Saturday. The crossing was pretty mild, with only a day or two of being in the trough and getting bounced around. We logged about 21 hours of cargo time and left Anchorage Sunday afternoon, headed southwest to Dutch Harbor. We arrived in Dutch Weds evening, the 25th, offloaded a bunch of cargo on Thursday, backloaded a bunch more cargo and headed north later that evening. Now we are about 240 miles south of Nome, which will be our next port of call. From Nome, well head back south to Dillingham, NakNek and then back to Dutch before making our way back across the gulf.

I'm really hoping to get off the barge in Nome and look around, maybe pick up some souvenirs or something fun for the kids. We are expected to be there a day or two, so it should be possible.

I've been doing a bunch of fun projects around the boat. The last two days have been spent chipping paint off the deck in the fidley with a needle gun. My plan is to get all the paint up, some primer down and a new color (replacing red with grey) onto the deck before we get back home.

After this trip, I should have a full month and then some, home with the family beforem school starts up in September. I am very much looking forward to some downtime.

Tonight's dinner is "B4D", (breakfast for dinner) a mariner's favorite. It's always a hit, mostly because our weird watch typically schedules limits breakfast access for 2/3 of the boat. On the menu, stuffed French toast, which is apparently French toast, stuffed with cream cheese and fresh fruit. Yumm.

That is all for now...


Nome and No-More

We left Anchorage on the 22nd, pulled into Dutch on the 26th, then it was off to Nome. The weather was good, yet windy, so we ended up doing round turns outside of Nome for 3 days before finally landing on the 3rd of July. It was 2 days of cargo work to get everything off and reloaded before pulling lines and heading south towards Dillingham. I did manage to get into town in Nome and help with the grocery shopping and to have a look around. Not much to report except a bunch of bars and a ton of gold hungry folks. They were preparing the Main Street for the 4th of July parade and festivities. The sun goes down around 2am, so I doubt they were planning any fireworks. The gold dredges line the beach and it's a constant flow of dredge traffic pulling in and out of the tiny port in search of their riches.

It's now Sunday the 6th and we are preparing to pull into Dillingham tomorrow morning around 11am on the high tide.

I received a startling email this morning from my wife. She said that my car had apparently been stolen, vandalized and abandoned, and that it now sits in an impound yard somewhere in Washington. I had it parked in the company parking lot behind gates, with the alarm turned on, alongside 20+ other employee vehicles. The car was packed with all my Seattle school stuff, clothes, my custom bike, tools, riding clothes, laptop, books and many other wonderful things. I guess the door handle, the shifter assembly and the steering column were all torn apart and there was some graffiti or something on the car as well. So, I spent my day trying to remember what else I had in there for insurance purposes. Erin is having to juggle all this while I'm gone, and hopefully get it fixed so that I have a way home after this trip.

The past two years have been brutal. One nasty surprise after another...

I'm mostly bummed about my bike. It was hand built by a good friend of mine, and it's very much priceless with quite a bit of sentimental value. All my riding gear and the things that assist me recreationally now possibly lost. My running shoes, my daypack, etc... Ugh. The hassle and the feeling of loss is a bit overwhelming right now and I can't sleep, trying to figure out how everything will play out and what else I has tucked away in my car. Not a great day on the Bering Sea, even though it was sunny and calm...