Sunday, December 23, 2012

The stockings are hung friends are on their way oh what a wonderful day.

The stockings are hung , friends are on their way, oh what a wonderful day.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

                           (Sorry the photo did not turn out- my finger was in the way)

 I just came back from the airport.  When I was taxing over to the revetment where I tie down the wind was blowing about 20 and gusting 30.  There was a lot of snow blowing around and on the ground and not much traffic today so the tower had to send a front end loader over to shovel a path for me and dig out the revetment a little.  I got a gust that shoved the tail around and was already steering pretty much with the brakes (this is what you need to do in a tail dragger when the rudder gets overpowered) so I had to really stand on the right brake to straighten the plane out and I blew the "O" ring out of the puck in the caliper. At least I hope that is what the problem is.  It was blowing and snowing enough that all I could tell for sure is that there was hydraulic fluid spewed all over the snow.  With no brake to steer with and all the snow and wind the tower had to send some crew out and  it took five guys to back the little plane into the revetment.  By the time I was done I was pretty disgusted, although grateful this didn't happen on some remote strip or beach where I'd have to fly back and land without that brake.  Back on the boat now with the heaters going and life seems a little better again.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving everyone with and without snow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone with and without snow.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I am NOT ready!!!

Sept. 29th and the snow although lightly, fell yesterday for the first time. This morning we woke up to 28 degrees F. Snow predicted for this afternoon and tomorrow. The mountain tops around us are filling with snow.  I am just not ready to settle in and hibernate yet. ugh!!! I think it's going to be another long, cold winter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Geographic Harbor

  We have been anchored in one of the most stunningly beautiful places on planet earth for the last 3 weeks. It is surrounded by mountains with snow in spots and a lot of ash areas very visible.The ash is from the 1912 eruption of Mt. Katmai. The natural beauty of this location is a draw for people from all over the world, but the real attraction are the Coastal Grizzly bears.

Every morning and many nights we can hear them roar as they defend their fishing catch from another bear. It was not unusual for us to see up to 17 bears on the beach at any time of the day.
We  had some unexpected treats in this anchorage, sea plane pilots from two different agencies  came to visit, dinner  with a tour group from Coastal Explorer and land excursions with groups -safer to view up close bears with large groups.

We had several close encounters with bears, in fact so close that both the guide and Jim took out bear spray, fire arms and I had flares ready to go. Both times it was the cubs that became too inquisitive and decided to investigate our groups, both times just standing was enough to sent them on their way and back to mom. This location is so well visited by bear viewers that the bears just go about their business of catching fish and do they ever catch fish. Every method used from pouncing to stepping  on, to viewing underwater then grabbing was used. What ever gets the job done.

Jim went halibut fishing and came back with dinner for a few days of feasting.

Alaska holds so much for anyone interested in wildlife, fishing, hunting or general beauty.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fun times ahead in Kodiak.

Fun times ahead in Kodiak.

Quick Update

Summer sailing at last.

 I have just returned from Washington where I spent  close to two months with  my mom who had a heart attack. I am happy to report she is on the road to full recovery and doing well.

 Jim on the other hand has been back in Kodiak with his plane and has had the opportunity to visit some remote villages by air. He has also done some fishing. Yum!!

We hope to set sail  to the Katmai  National Park soon. Bear viewing top of the things to do list.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Stuck in a Rut!

      I've been very bad about keeping up to date with our news. Most of you already know Jim bought a new toy to play with in Alaska. Jim is presently in Denver getting ready to fly the plane back to Kodiak and then we plan to set sail after a long winters nap.
      In the mean time I've been holding down the boat. Crab Fest has come and gone here in town. It seems it is a ritual that marks the beginning of summer. I do have to say summer doesn't know it is suppose to be here. While it has warmed up I'm still in long underwear to keep warm. The rain has increased or at least it seems so.
     We have moved the boat to accommodate the fishing fleet, which are all in a hurry to get on with salmon fishing. CSJ is now in St. Herman Harbor which is on Near Island, it makes the walk to town a bit longer by 1.5 miles.
     The bears are out and folks are now spotting them, the salmon are starting to run the rivers and folks are out catching them.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Scuttlebutt: A sailing story in beads

Charms represent events such as landings, dolphin sightings and paying taxes. (Suzanna Bobo photo)

Scuttlebutt: A sailing story in beads
by Suzanna Bobo Kodiak Daily Mirror
Mar 30, 2012

How do you tell the story of a life? Or a culture? Or even a journey? Do you write a memoir or sew a quilt? Do you make a movie?

Washington teacher Fran O’Rourke-Hartman didn’t choose her medium: her students did. Mrs. O’Rourke-Hartman would tell her story with beads.

Their teacher now carries the story in a drawstring bag. It’s one of a few items she keeps onboard her sailing vessel moored temporarily (perhaps) at St. Paul Harbor in Kodiak.

Fran is one of those people you can know for a week and swear she’s been there all your life.

I met her at The Rookery, where I was trying to find the perfect fiber for a sweater and she was teaching a novice knitter how to cast on. She seemed so much a fixture at the store that I thought owner Chris Lynch had hired her. Truth is, by then Fran had been in town about five minutes.

She lives with her husband Jim on the Cape St. James, a 48-foot sloop-rigged sailboat. Fran and Jim have sailed that vessel all over the world. This winter, they tied up in Kodiak.

Fran joined a knitting group that meets Saturdays at Monk’s Rock. One day she told the rest of us knitters the story of the beads. A few days later I visited Fran and Jim at their boat and saw the story myself..

Fran keeps the story on a sinewy string that is so long she has to fold it in sections divided by tissue paper so it won’t tangle.

The string begins with a blue bead that represents water and ends with a green one representing land. Between these anchors the string threads through symbolic representations of 426 days Fran and Jim spent circumnavigating the globe aboard the Cape St. James.

The beads were a bon voyage gift from Fran’s students at Cedar Wood Elementary School in Bothell, Wash. Fran was preparing for her around-the-world tour and had invited skipper Karen Thorndike to give a presentation to her multi-age (third-fifth grades) classroom. Thorndike is the first American woman to sail solo around the five great capes. Thorndike showed the students a good luck necklace someone had given her.

The students liked the idea of the necklace, but they improved it. They wanted their teacher to make her own necklace, one that would be a meaningful record of her odyssey. To help her get started they gave her a box of beads and a map key.

According to the key, small blue beads meant a day spent on water and small green beads meant a day spent ashore. Larger beads denoted the beginning of a new month. There were charms for special events: dolphin charms for dolphin sightings, fork charms to show a meal shared with friends. White beads meant a day with no wind.

The students encouraged their teacher to add her own charms as the journey progressed. Their encouragement gave Fran a focus for her provisioning stops, and the small souvenirs were suitable keepsakes to bring aboard the cramped confines of the boat. “When Jim and I moved aboard I had to get rid of everything I owned,” Fran recalled. “But we were taking off around the world. I needed a hobby, but it had to be a hobby without big souvenirs.”

The Hartmans left Seattle in August 1997 and sailed south along the Pacific Coast of North America, across the equator to French Polynesia, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Trinidad-Tobago (with many stops along the way).

They picked up charms representing important events and added these charms to the necklace. There were charms symbolizing each country and holiday, pieces of lava reminding them of places they hiked onshore, sharks’ teeth, starfish and tiny tubes of sand. As Fran added a charm to the necklace, she would write her students a postcard telling them about the addition.

Most of the charms represented happy memories. Others depicted challenges. Wrenches meant mechanical problems. Looking at the necklace some 14 years later, Jim remembers every wrench.

“That,” he said when I asked him about a specific one, “was from an eagle landing on the masthead. It broke the wind sensors.”

The charm added in Panama was a tiny pistol. “Some of our friends were robbed at gunpoint,” Fran explained.

The white charm with the letters I-R-S represented yet another kind of nautical dilemma.

“You feel so free out there. You’re riding the trade winds. It’s the middle of the night. You’ve never seen so many stars,” Jim said. Then someone back home calls you on your ham radio and tells you the taxman wants to talk to you at once.

Like so many other difficulties at sea, the couple hunkered down and dealt with it.

When Fran returned to Washington in 1999, her story had become too long to wear as a necklace. She is a talented jewelry maker, however, so she made a captivating Reader’s Digest version she can wear around her neck as she helps her audience navigate the longer tale.

Fran has retired from teaching, and Jim has left his career as an architect. Fran still collects beads from around the world and makes and sells jewelry. Jim pilots his own small plane, hunts and occasionally delivers yachts and other vessels for competitive ocean racers.

Jim noted that it was difficult at first to get Fran to agree to sail to Alaska. Now, after wintering two years in Sitka and one year in Kodiak, it may be hard to get her to leave.

“Nowhere in the world has the beauty of this place, and the people.” Fran said. Jim added, “There’s something magic about this place.”

I asked Fran what charm she would choose to represent Kodiak.“A bear, a salmon, a pair of knitting needles, a group of people, a bead made from a snowflake photo by Marion Owen …”

The list went on.

It’s a good thing Fran doesn’t have to express it all with a single bead.Read more: Kodiak Daily Mirror - Scuttlebutt A sailing story in beads

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More snow!!

A new day, a new snow. See what you missed Rick and Jen!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our New Car!!

This little beauty is in Denver, Jim will fly it to Kodiak as soon as the weather gets good. More ways to see Alaska!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

This Stellar Sea Lion looks almost as startled as the photographer. He actually had little to worry about since he probably out weighed me by around 1500 pounds.

It's full flaps and then maximum power as this Bald Eagle grabs a quick lunch in Kodiak's St. Paul Harbor.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Good morning Kodiak another nice snow day:)

Good morning Kodiak, another nice snow day:)

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1, 2012

What a difference one day makes.

Leap Year

Feburary 29, 2012- 14 degrees out, clear, cold beautiful sunny day. Wait until you see today's photo.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Records confirmed: Kodiak's January was snowiest, third-coldest

Records confirmed: Kodiak's January was snowiest, third-coldest: KODIAK — The Alaska Climate Research Center has confirmed what Kodiakans already suspected: January was cold. Figures compiled by the National Weather Service station at Kodiak State Airport and c...

2. 10. 12

Jim took the eagle photo from the hatch of Cape St James on 2.7.12

Out for a walk.

Out for a walk.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

St Paul Harbor

Exciting to see so many eagles this close to Cape St. James.

Jim took these from the companion way of Cape St. James today

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mexico and Beyond??

For the first time since coming to Alaska we are talking about Mexico, the South Pacific and warmer temperatures. It's a daily effort for me to crawl out of a warm bed into the cold, cold world of Kodiak.

The current cold spell is officially a record-setter, 2 below zero on Thursday morning tied a record set in 1944. Temperatures Wednesday just missed setting another record. But I don't need a thermometer to tell me it's cold, My fingers, toes and nose confirm it well enough.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Still snowing

Taking photos of snowflakes with my point and shoot camera, needs some work to get them clear, but I'm amazed the little camera can do this well.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Kodiak Island

Sitka Blacktail

Brash ice and a buck.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012