We had a wonderful visit with our good friend, David Spencer. Since fishing has been slow, David took our greenhouse to the next level. The entire greenhouse is made of salvaged materials, and it's turning into a thing of real beauty.
This past weekend, some good friends had a full-day stop in Ketchikan during a five-week cruise they are taking from the West Coast of the US to Japan. The weather conditions on Clarence Strait looked unusually favorable, so we decide to take our C-Dory over to Ketchikan to meet them. It was a wonderful mini-vacation! I forgot just how comfortable the V-berth in the C-Dory is. I slept better than I have in many moons. And the C-Dory is the boat in which we first came to Alaska. Lots of great nostalgia for us as we sat in Bar Harbor, watching the sunset.
The Fourth of July celebrations here on P.O.W lasted over several days. We started with a nice fireworks show in Craig on the evening of July 3. The fireworks show in Klawock moved to the evening of July 5, due to fog on the night of the 4th. So on the evening of July 5, I rode my bicycle down to Klawock Harbor to enjoy the fireworks show about our C-Dory, Sisu. Shawn and are friend Dave Spencer were already asleep. I laid my bicycle down on the dock, with my little backpack in my bicycle pannier. I had reached inside of pannier to get my cell phone out of backpack, and I took a few photos of the beautiful display. At about 11:30 pm, a boat sped by and rocked the dock. I heard a little "sploosh," but I didn't think much about it, and I continued to watch the fireworks show. When the show ended, I got off the boat, and I lifted up my bicycle and noticed that it felt considerably lighter. I then noticed that my bicycle pannier was empty. Apparently my little backpack had rolled out of the pannier, off the dock, and into 30 feet of water below the dock. In that backpack were my wallet, my bullet journal, my very special pen, my good knife, and my hair fork. All are hard-to-replace items. But there wasn't much I could about the situation at that point. So I rode my bike home, and went to bed. I did not wake Shawn or Dave up, since they were going fishing the following morning. Instead I laid awake, formulating some kind of plan to try to retrieve the backpack during low tide.
The next morning, I tried to call my "go-to" friends to see if I could borrow some kind of grappling hook, or other device to try to drag the bottom below the dock. No one was answering the phone, so I looked around our construction pile to see what I could come up with. I found a good length of line and a heavy-duty milk crate, and I made a sort of basket dredge that looked like this:
I also put the word out about my predicament on Facebook. Sure enough, my fellow fishermen rallied to my aid in a big way! First, Dave Ryno tried retrieving the pack with his Klawock spinner. He might have even hooked it up on his last attempt, but the line snapped. He also gave my milk crate dredge a try. That might be a good device for bringing up seaweed, but we were not successful in bringing up a backpack. So Dave told me about another fisherman who happens to be a really good free-diver. "This guy is an animal with the that kind of thing," he said. I figured it was worth a try. Next thing I know, I'm on the phone with with Marvin and Wendi, and their son Gabe, who were aboard their boat, Kismet in Craig. I race over to Craig, to pick them all up, before the tide would start coming in too strong. These wonderful folks seemed to think it was no big deal to help me out in this way. Marvin made several dives in the murky, chilly water, 25-30 feet down. He saw a lot of stuff down there. The current is strong, so the backpack could have drifted a bit. Marvin was very persistent. Right when I was ready to give up on the whole thing, he found it! The color of the backpack was the same color as the water, so it was a real challenge. Fortunately, everything was still in there and intact! Even the postage stamps that I kept in my journal still stick to envelopes, once I dried them. And my pen still writes. All the cards in my wallet still works. Best of all, I made some really cool new friends in this whole process!
This mercury retrograde has been a bit of a doozy, but in a yin/yang sort of a way. Crazy stuff happens, leading to more good stuff happening. What a ride!
Shawn has done an excellent job of getting Itsuro ready to fish this season. Everything on the boat is running great, after a lot of effort on Shawn's part. And his hands aren't killing him yet. We were finally able to do a test run with all our gear for one of the recent 2-day openers in our area. We also now have permanent moorage in Craig. So we spent our first night on Itsuro in South Cove, right after attending the final regular season little game at the nearby ball park. I was so excited about finally getting out on the water again, that I was up by 3:45 the next morning. hoping to get Shawn going, despite the murky, windy-ish weather. We were on the drag by about 4:45. We only had one bite, but it was really gratifying to have the boat running so well.
I experienced the joy of coming home to a hot shower and laundry, without having to haul about 100 pounds of quarters to get it all done. I don't even really miss jockeying with my seiner crew friends for a dryer at that laundromat, duirng the height of the season. It feels really luxurious to return to the comforts of home, within 24 hours of leaving. That's a big "first" for us since we started coming up here, some 17 years ago. I am grateful that we're finally at this point. We're so much closer to being done with our home construction now. In fact I'd say we're about 95% done, unless we start thinking about adding onto our pole barn. The last 5% might require almost as much patience as the previous 95%, as we are so close. We're so much more comfortable this year than we were this time last year. We now have room for our more adventurous guests who like to get outside for hiking, fishing, etc.,and who don't mind Southeast Alaska weather. I was hoping to be 100% done by this summer, but I'm starting to let go of that notion now.
In the mean time, we're also really looking forward to having our good friend David Spencer show up here at the end of this month. He finally gets to do what I used to do before moving up here. Over the years David has always been the one to help Shawn get Itsuro ready for the July king season, while I contemplated life from our lanai at our Hawaii house. But Dave would usually have to leave, just as I'm flying in right before the opener. This time, he gets to come for the opener, since Shawn has everything ready before his arrival. It's also really fitting that Dave gets to be the first guest in our nearly complete home. David was key in encouraging us to have a real home built here. Before Dave and Shawn's arrival at this place, I was really just thinking using the property as sort of a fish camp, with a couple of sheds or a shop with a shower and laundry.That idea morphed into a beautiful home, thanks to David, Ray J, Josh, and Shawn's ever-evolving ideas. We've had other guests here since starting all this, but this will be the first time, with having the loft and upstairs bathroom complete. What's left to do on the house? Mostly minor stuff, like:
It's now the end of the regular Little League baseball season here on POW. We're still awaiting the schedule for the playoffs. I am in real awe of the coaches, umpires, volunteers and kids who participate in all this. It's amazing to see the kids' developmentover the course of the season. I know very little about baseball, but through watching these games, I learn more each time. Mahalo for all that these folks do!
This week was a big week of progress here at our Alaska home. The lot expansion has resulted in much more room for parking and moving stuff around. Shawn has also set up a rudimentary greenhouse. The framework for the greenhouse came from a find during spring "clean-up" week. Our whole place is looking less like a construction zone, and is now much more inviting. The enclosed porch is also almost complete, and just awaiting some finishing touches.
I ended the week by harping at our last Island Grind until next October. I really love our community of music folks here on POW.
We now have a beautiful front porch, and it is almost fully enclosed from weather. Today was also a big day of lot expansion to make room for our greenhouse and for boat/truck parking. Josh and Sawyer were "on it" with the Mustang today. Shawn gets to end the day with watching the A's game on the TV that Patrick gave us (streamed off our satellite internet connection). We even have couches now.
Dear Dad (or Papa, as I often called you),
Thank you for all that you gave me in our very short time together. I caught my first fish with you. I also still have some of those well-composed memos you wrote while navigating our U.S. Army bureaucracy ;). Your service paid for my education. Now I'm living your dream. I think you would like how it's all turning out. Those who knew you still speak fondly of you. I'm lucky to have good memories of you too. Wherever you are in the heavens or cosmos, I hope we meet again someday. I love you.
I really can't remember a better start to Memorial Day weekend. Yesterday started with a spectacular bike ride (thank you again, Patrick!) to greet some POW Marathon participants. I started today with another beautiful ride, followed by taking Itsuro out for the Blessing of the Fleet. We try to do this event every year. This year was even more special, as we had the Anderson Ohana on board with us, and our friends, Ray J and Jo-Anne above us on the dock. Tomorrow, I will honor my Dad. I think it's going to be a good summer season. Hopefully some salmon will show up, too.
Yesterday we finally launched Itsuro. Shawn diligently worked with the cooling system, and it seems to now be working better than ever. We're keeping our fingers crossed.
A smooth launch...
Our Bukh engine is working well.
A few things I'm passionate about:
- Tonie Ogimachi
- Just another rock in the Pacific blog
- Allweather Wiki
- Harping from Klawock to Kea'au
- Eliane LeBeck Tribute Page
Spanish Class Resources
- Spanish 1 Assignment Blog >
- Spanish 2 Assignment Blog >
- Spanish-speaking media links for weekly listening assignments
- Grammar and Vocabulary Videos organized by topic
- Video Links, organized by chapters
- Powerpoints: Grammar and Vocabulary Powerpoints organized by chapter >
- Class Documents: Syllabi/VocabLists/Etc
- Assessments: Speaking and Writing
- Cultural Resources
- Examples of Student Videos, organized by topic
- Professional Development Blog
- Old SCCS Spanish Class Website
- New Page
- Addiction-Recovery Resources
Just another rock in the Pacific