November 25th, 2012

In mid September Martina and I decide to revisit Bavaria and to partake in the local customs there–namely Octoberfest.  If you haven’t been to Octoberfest in Munich, you haven’t enjoyed beer.  Off we go via Iceland–pictured here is Reykjavik’s huge church built in the center of the city on the highest hill–very unique architecture and with a huge pipe organ in place.

This is a great way to visit Europe.  We flew from Toronto to Reykjavik and spend three days getting rid of jet lag and checking out the local customs.  Reykjavik is a beautiful town with friendly people–we’ll go back.  Icelandic Air offers non-penalty airfare stops for up to a week’s stay, and cuts the airtime in two shorter flights.  You can’t lose.

Octoberfest is simply two weeks of madness.  Grab your lederhosen and let’s go!

People from all over the world congregate in ten huge tents.  Each tent is about the size of two football fields and houses about 7000 beer drinkers with outdoor seating for another 2500.

Believe it or not, we run into people we know–and the beer isn’t bad either.  Wow!  I want to come back the next night and we do.  I haven’t seen this much cleavage since I studied the San Andreas Fault as a geology student 40 years ago!

Oh boy–time to work off all that beer drinking so off we go on a hike in the very south of Bavaria on the Austrian border near the town of Brannenburg.  I expect to see Julie Andrews waltz out behind the next tree with her kids in tow.  Beautiful countryside–the clouds clear from the valleys below about the time our heads clear from Octoberfest.

We work up an appetite and stop at the Viktualienmarkt right next to Marienplatz in downtown Munich.  Every grape here has it’s place at this display.  In fact, everything has it’s place here; every lawn is mowed, every house painted–not a gutter or shingle out of place.  This is Bavaria.

After 10 days in Munich, it’s off to Paris via the ICE high speed trains!  Stay tuned….


South Kupreanof Yacht Club

November 15th, 2012

Guests drop in for dinner at the South Kupreanof Yacht Club–of which I’m Commodore so I must make a good impression.  Yet our headquarters is a bit shabby.  Time to rebuild!

First is the weathered front of the net shed.  This building is perhaps 100 years old and falling apart.  Fortunately, the pilings have been sistered and the building is stable to a point–only about 1-2 degrees out of whack.  I can deal with this.

First order of business is to order lumber and haul it to the construction site. We get our yellow cedar from Prince of Wales Island and barge it over to Petersburg, dump it in the saltchuck and haul it two miles down the Narrows to the yacht club.  Landed here, it costs less than $2 a board foot.  Here we are on the beach ready to start construction…..

Look at the Yacht Club interior!   Full of everything including boats.  Imagine!  The lumber on the right has been stickered all winter and is dry and ready for nailing up.  Just add a fire in the barrel stove, a cold beer and a good cigar and life is near perfect!

Time to knock off walls and get down to business…..  Great job on a rainy day.

Here I am half done with a new window even!

Tibo, aka Thibauld, from Provence France, a couch surfer, now our ‘nephew,’ aids me in removing panels.  Tibo is 6′ 6″ and strong as an ox and loves to work!  We replace a few beams below him–got to have good fung shui here.

Nearly done!  on the left is a new 6″ X 6″ beam for the kitty-corner (last year we replaced another beam).

Oh boy–nearly done and here I’ve also repositioned the horizontal beams and eliminated a lot of old repairs.  Battens will cover these gaps.

And this is the finished product–new doors and a ‘broken oar’ flagpole for the burgee which hangs in the window.  Time  for some pickled herring, a swig of beer and a dip of snoose.

The doors lock in the open position with the same locking brace–now that’s clever!

Now I fill the shed with boats–there are six in this photo.  Can you spot them?  The Yacht Club now boasts four canoes, one kayak, three wooden rowboats, two Norwegian faerings, three aluminum skiffs and the 73′ tug Katahdin.  Can’t have too many boats.

The next phase will be to build a stairs down to the beach at left–the beams stored on the grid await this purpose.  Behind, our Lund is up for the winter.  The trouble with fixing up the front of the shed, is that the rest of the shed looks terrible now so I’ve got to replace the whole perimeter…..then the floors…..then the roof.  It never ends!  Stay tuned.

Thomas Bay

August 12th, 2012

It’s time to get the Katahdin away from the dock–it’s been about 5 years since we have taken her out for a cruise.  Last summer we buffed her out and polished up the engine so let’s go!  There are three large bays on the mainland across Frederick Sound:  Farragut Bay, Thomas Bay (featuring the Baird Glacier and Swan Lake) and Le Conte Bay and Glacier.  We visited Le Conte last year so this time we pick Thomas Bay….   Juneau is up to the left and the Stikine River North Arm is on the right here.  The city of Kake is bottom left with Duncan Canal below Kupreanof/Petersburg.

Look at this–with Devils Thumb peaking out under the clouds.  Let’s go!

First we park in front of the house and load up with all kinds of goodies.  Note the new paint–four coats last summer on the house and this year, I splurged and put her in the Photoshop for a week.

It’s a crowded harbor this time of year with lots of current and high tides.  All kinds of fish are moving through and fishermen are anxious to get them.  We are too.

First order of business is to stop at the corner store for some LeConte ice….

Then we pull into Thomas Bay and drop the hook.   Ahhhhh!….this is the life!

Then we dip into the fridge for a nice piece of fresh fish.  Here George is getting ready to convince this halibut that it ought to join us for dinner.

Next morn, we drive around a bit and enter Scenery Cove–aptly named, I might add.  Devils Thumb is right around the corner to the right.

We have a few electrical snafus but most everything runs just fine.  It’s nice to have George on board;  he’s the chief engineer for the Fairweather and knows his stuff.

No, not this one.  This is an old passenger freighter moored in Thomas Bay and part of one man’s ‘waterworld.’

This is George’s boat.  One of two fast ferries serving Petersburg in the summer once a week.  It’s only four hours from Juneau on this one.

What a weekend.  We pick up four fish on the way home and coast right into our slip without so much as a bump.   Here is a nice photo of a typical Alaskan outhouse–“where a straight flush beats a full house.”   Stay tuned….