Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's ~ Once In A Blue Moon

Not only is the eve of a new year a new decade there will be a full moon, a lunar eclipse and a blue moon. When a month is graced with two full moons the second one is called a blue moon. The blue moon cycle is 2.72 years, making it a special if not rare or unexpected occasion. The last blue moon month was May 2007 and the next will occur in August 2012.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bottom Of the World calls....

Technology how could we live without it???
Image our surprise to get a Skype call from S/V Marcy calling from Ushuaia. It is so nice to reconnect with friends who are also sitting in the snow. Check out their sailing adventures at

Monday, November 30, 2009

Capital City Weekly......Juneau

Photo By Sam Harrel/Associated Press
Santa Claus, also known as Patrick Farmer, is seen at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska on Nov. 18, holding letters from children sent this year that the U.S. Postal Service says they will no longer deliver. Citing privacy concerns, postal officials say that generically addressed letters to "Santa Claus, North Pole" will no longer be forwarded to volunteers in the Alaska town as has been done for years.

Volunteers strive to save Santa letter service
By Rachel D'oro Associated Press Writer
Anchorage - Santa's "elves" at the North Pole have been given their walking papers-but they're not going quietly.
The volunteer "elves" are trying to counter a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to discontinue a program begun in 1954 in the small Alaskan town of North Pole, where they open and respond to thousands of letters addressed to "Santa Claus, North Pole" each year.
"The city was founded on the Christmas theme," Gabby Gaborik, chief elf among several dozen volunteers, said Thursday. "This is our identity. This is North Pole, Alaska."
Gaborik said he met with Postal Service officials this week to come up with an alternative. He's now working with local government officials to get "101 Santa Claus Lane" as an address for his group, Santa's Mailbag. That way children will have a specific destination for their letters, allowing volunteers to run their own program and bypass stringent new rules implemented by the Postal Service after security issues arose in a similar program in Maryland last year.
Gaborik believes his town's name gives the local effort more cachet than other destinations.
People in North Pole are incensed by the changes. The letter program is a revered holiday tradition in North Pole, where light posts are curved and striped like candy canes and streets have names like Kris Kringle Drive. Volunteers in the letter program even sign the response letters as Santa's elves and helpers.
The North Pole program was stymied by a tighter process put in place nationwide by the Postal Service after a postal worker in Maryland recognized a volunteer with the agency's Operation Santa program as a registered sex offender. The worker intervened before the individual could answer a child's letter, but the agency viewed the scare as a reason to tighten security.
The Postal Service had already restricted its policies in such programs in 2006, including requiring volunteers to show identification. But the Maryland episode prompted more changes, such as barring volunteers from having access to children's last names and addresses. The Postal Service instead redacts that information from each letter and replaces the addresses with codes that match computerized addresses known only to the post office.
It's up to local managers to determine whether to go through the time-consuming effort, but the new restrictions must be applied if letter programs are continued. The restrictions don't affect privately run letter efforts.
The Postal Service decided this month to end the North Pole letter program, saying dealing with the tighter restrictions isn't feasible in Alaska. The agency considers the North Pole effort part of its giant Operation Santa program, although locals like to think of their program as unique.
"It's always been a good program, but we're in different times and concerned for the privacy of the information," said Anchorage-based agency spokeswoman Pamela Moody.
Another issue raising the hackles in the community of 2,100 is a second, separate change. Anchorage-260 miles to the south-is processing mass quantities of out-of-state requests for North Pole postal cancellation marks on Christmas cards and packages. That work used to be done in Fairbanks, just 15 miles away.
Moody said as many as 800,000 items were processed last year, an overload Fairbanks is not equipped to handle. Anchorage is the only city in Alaska with the high-speed equipment necessary to do the job. Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan said the move is a matter of resources and finances for the agency, which lost billions of dollars in the last fiscal year.
Santa Claus House, a North Pole store built like a Swiss chalet and chock full of all items Christmas, sells more than 100,000 letters from Santa, and one of the lures is the postmark.
Store operations manager Paul Brown also believes his business will be affected under changes to the volunteer Santa letter program because tens of thousands of letters are addressed to Santa Claus House, North Pole, Alaska. Those letters will still be forwarded to volunteers. Those intercepted by the Postal Service will probably eventually be shredded.
Alaska's congressional delegation has stepped in to find a solution. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Republican Rep. Don Young have sent letters to Postmaster General John Potter expressing their concerns over the changes.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Humpback whale responsible for sinking

Well worth the time to read.
Boats don't just suddenly sink in a space of two or three hours. What could it be? Maybe a seacock failed. Usually he closes the seacocks when leaving the boat, but he didn't bother this time , we were only going to be gone a couple of hours. Maybe I didn't close the valve on the propane tank for the stove, another standard safety precaution. But we would have heard an explosion, and there would be debris. No, it must have been a through-hull fitting....
We are 35 miles south of our hometown of Sitka, Alaska, with a long stretch of open ocean between. There is not a boat in sight, although we do know there is one lone fishing boat at the head of the bay. Ward calls the Coast Guard on his handheld VHF to report the sinking. The fishing boat helps relay the call and invites us aboard. There will be a fish packer coming through in a few hours, he says, who will probably be able to carry us back to Sitka.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


No matter the country, where there are cruisers there are pot lucks. Thanksgiving in Alaska is no different than other parts of the world when it comes to putting together a group of cruisers for food and stories. Tonight was no different. Among the group there were sailors from Germany, England, New Zealand, Canada, France and of course Alaska. There were those who have single handed, crewed, and captained around the world. There were stories of boats owned and sunk by whales. Boats that have sailed to the Arctic and Russia several times and many more interesting stories. --

Read more about SV Merlin and the whale

Sitka Turkey Trot

It turned out to be a perfect day for the 2.5 mile Turkey Trot in Sitka. 11:00 Am. many locals plus the high school wrestling, and track teams turned out for the annual event. It was a last minute decision for the crew of Cape St James to join in. Meeting at Centennial Hall and heading toward Totem Park, making a loop, then back to Centennial Hall. The perfect way to begin an eating frenzy.
Happy Thanksgiving Day Everyone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What A Day!!!!

Jim and a friend Lance took off for a day of hunting while Ann, Max, Cappi and I went on a hike. There just are no words.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Boat Gear

Every boat has a plastic shovel here. We'll let you know if it's needed. They say the last couple of years the snow has been 8 feet deep.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Elaison Harbor ~ Rock and Roll!!

I was to lazy to get out side and take photos of the first snow yesterday. It was a perfect day to sit by the fire and knit, which I did, Jim read and watched the snow fall.

Today however the wind is blowing, gusts to 45mph- take a look at the docks and the boats around us. Interesting.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snow At Last!

There have been snow flurries all day long. Lots of fun for now. Hope the enthusiasm keeps up.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bear Strands Bear Hunters

November 6, 2009
Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear ----shreds your raft.

Alaska State Troopers say several members of a bear-hunting party found themselves stranded early Wednesday near Klukwan in Southeast Alaska after a sow bear with two cubs shredded their Zodiac inflatable raft.
None of the hunters was injured.
Troopers say the hunters walked upriver toward klukwan and fired rifle shots to attract attention. A Klukwan resident took a canoe across the Chilkat River after hearing the shots and yells from the other side. The hunters were given a ride back across the river in the canoe and returned to their vehicles.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Artist Evon Zerbetz holding a copy of Whalemail

Artist Evon Zerbetz did this years Whalefest sweatshirt design, in addition she designed the label for a local winery here in Sitka.
Whalemail Author: Ron Hirschi Illustrator: Evon Zerbetz- 32 pages in full color with a hard wraparound cover, velcro closure and 12 pull out postcards.

Whalemail follows the group of humpback whales that travel between Alaska and Hawaii. A research crew follows the whales’ path sending news of their fictional journey on picture postcards. The postcards pull out of whale tail envelopes. The pages of the book follow the whales in nonfiction text. It’s a fun blend of fact, fiction and fishin’ in full color!
I could not resist Whalemail and was lucky enough to get Evon to autograph a copy for our families "expected" arrival in April. This is a must have book for every child. The art work is fabulous.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This Weekend!!

Sitka WhaleFest is a celebration of the diverse and abundant marine mammals’ population. From mid-September until mid-January, the pristine waters of Sitka Sound are home to many humpback whales. Biologists believe the whales are building up food reserves prior to their migration to tropical waters.
Whalefest is the place to learn about the most recent studies on humpback whales and other Alaskan marine wildlife by attending slide shows, workshops and discussions. Open forum question and answer sessions follow all presentations.
Come experience the pleasures of living in an area where your neighbors are magnificent humpback whales, harbor seals, Steller sea lions and flourishing sea otters.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

View From Cape St James

Another stunningly beautiful day here. This was taken from our dock looking east.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mt. Edgecumbe

Beautiful crisp day here. You can feel the change in weather, seems snow could arrive at sea level any day now. It's fun watching the level of snow creep down the mountains surrounding us. Mt. Edgecumbe in the background has been bare until about a week ago.

Monday, October 26, 2009

All good things must come to an end, or must they??

It has been a non stop, fun filled two weeks. I left Sitka for a quick visit to Everett, Cedar Wood my old school and many friends around the area, then on to San Francisco for the Nike Women's ½ (13.1 miles) Marathon. Back to Seattle for a short time to visit friends then participate in the Thrill the World event and dance to Thriller; this year there were approximately 250 zombies. We don't know if we broke the world record yet. Tomorrow I head home to Sitka where the weather has been beautiful.
It's been good seeing everyone, I had a great time but am ready to go home to Cape St. James and the Captain.

Many thanks to those of you who let me call your home my home. Jan and the girls, what a treat to see how they have grown. Patty who has my room waiting for me at all times. Toads who have a bunk at the ready and Denise and Grant who gave and gave and gave.
Thank you dear friends all of you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Girls Night Out!

The Shilshole girls spend the night in a hotel to enjoy good snacks, girl talk and the hot tub.

The fun continues!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rain, rain go away! Perfect weather for race day, today was a down pour!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Day of Fun

Fun, fun, fun! Tourist all of us.

2 team memebers missing from the photo.


Sight seeing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can you believe it???

A group of crazy friends decided to try and get into the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. We put together a team called The PEARLS entered the drawing (there are so many applications they now do a random drawing to see who can be in the marathon) and waited to hear. It’s been a long process, we are in, and as you can see we are now in the countdown mode.

One team member is actually flying to Italy from Minnesota first, where she will be a presenter at an international conference on genetics. Other members are from Seattle, Oregon, Wenatchee and of course me from Sitka!!! We girls are all going to “Run Like a Girl!!!”

Oh the real reason we did this….. at the end of the race we each get a Tiffany’s necklace designed specifically for the race.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You think you have worries!!

Police Blotter

The following calls were logged by Sitka police:

At 1:48 p.m. a woman reported her wedding ring she had left on her sink was now missing.

At 7:29 p.m. a vehicle ran a red light and nearly caused an accident.

At 1:22 a.m. a bear reportedly knocked over trash containers on Georgeson Loop and headed back into the woods.

At 2:25 a.m. a bear reportedly was getting into trash containers on Remington Drive, then went back into the woods.

At 10:47 a.m. a driver reported a man with sunglasses and a gun case was hitchhiking, and pointed the case at her as she pulled over to offer a ride. The driver was frightened and pulled away. Police talked to the hitchhiker, who showed police that he was actually carrying a mandolin in the instrument's case. He agreed not to point it at people anymore.

At 11:05 a.m. a black cat was reportedly running at large in Bahovec Court.

At 11:57 a.m. a resident called 911 to talk to police because he had forgotten the business line phone number. He then refused to call back on the business line, or give police his number to call.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sunny Days ~ Cold Nights

October 3, 2009-Beautiful day, out for a dinghy ride.

October 2, 2009 6:30 P.M .--Moon Rise

The cruise ships are gone and so are the people. Down Town Sitka in the middle of the week.