Thursday, August 4, 2016

July 28 2016: Matt leaves in the morning, Austin and Inku in the afternoon

We are getting down to the wire with still a full page of the checklist to address. Some of this had already been done. The buoys and running line were all in. The signs came in today. Jeff had already brought in much of the wash-down system. The Honda hadn't been winterized (though it definitely had been flushed with fresh water). But there was still a lot to do. We wouldn't have Matt for long - he wanted to get an early start off the beach. I know he had plans of taking a shower, but I don't remember if he actually had the time to follow through (his family could probably advise on that one!)

Austin, Inku, Jeff, Oksanna, and I worked hard on the remaining tasks while Austin and Inku were still here. There was still a lot of raingear to put away and inventory (it's important for figuring out what we need for next year), the path to clear before the stairs could come up (and look! bringing up the stairs isn't even on the list. Sigh) and the Space Hut and Bunkhouse to clean up, mouse-proof, and close up.

Finally, the time came to get Austin and Inku to town and to the plane. Then we loaded up all the fish remaining in the AGS freezer, plus the food remaining in our net locker freezer (except for the ham. Jeff really wanted to take that ham on the plane as his "personal item") and got the boxes to Amanda's plant. Sarah N had arranged with her that she would send some of my fish boxes air freight with David's and Sarah's salmon, and the rest - the fish I would eat and share throughout the year - she would put in her refer van to ship south by barge, scheduled to arrive September 1.

I had marked the skiffs themselves with the repairs needed, but still needed to document them so I could make sure that the person doing the repair understands what is needed. I figured if I took photos, at least that would help me remember. Thing 1 to remember: all the skiffs need a long chain and a long anchor line. The ratio is 7:1 so that if the water is 10' deep, we need 70' of anchor line. That should help reduce the swamping. I think all our anchor lines are too short.
This is the stern of the New Kid. I think this step started to tear loose during the season, but it needs to be repaired. If you look up toward the top right of the photo, you can see what's left of the broken steering wheel. That will need to be replaced. The crew spent many hours and many gallons of water getting the sand out of everywhere inside that console. I forgot to note that those holes in the console should probably be patched. They used to have gauges in them, but that's not how we roll.

This view is from above the stern of the New Kid. There are two "dry" bins. This was the one that actually used to stay dry. The cover was torn off the hinges. I was so excited when I saw a bit of it sticking out of the sand where the New Kid came to rest the day it capsized. We recovered it and left it with the skiff. The bin cover on the starboard side also needs repair. It seems to be jammed partially opened.

The hinges tore off the roller and it looks like we lost a pin. I figure this will be as good an opportunity as any to finally move the roller to the other side. That will achieve two outcomes: 1) it's the side we usually need the roller on, given our prevailing winds and 2) it'll even out the weight in the boat, so the starboard side won't ride so low.

It means the clips will need to be moved too. These are what holds the roller in place.

And the hydraulic controls. I don't think any of these rusty fittings will need to be disconnected. I think (hope!) the whole plate will be able to be moved.

Moving to the Bathtub. The stern post used to be here. It was torn off... and we found it! But that air pocket is no longer full of air. In happy news, we ran into Dave Carlson while we were at Katmai. He is the designer and maybe the builder of these Bathtubs. I couldn't think of anyone better to do the repairs. He currently teaches shop in Naknek during the winter. I asked if he would be available and he told me that his brother usually has enough reason to come up to do some welding on Dave's Jade boat. He said that if we can get the Tub(s) up to Ralph's boat yard where the Jades winter, his brother might be able to do it. Yippee!! And he might be able to work on all the boats that need work. I have been concerned about the Cockroach too. It seems heavier than it should. When it was being moved by truck, I noticed water draining out of the upper air pocket. Something is wrong. I asked Dave about that in Katmai and he explained that the way to look for leaks is to pressurize the container a little bit and then walk around with a squirt bottle of soapy water, spraying and looking for bubbles. Sort of the same way we test our propane connection. It will no doubt cost something, but it will be a lovely feeling to be able to count on all our skiffs.

And finally, as I inspected the skiffs, it looked like this "handle" on the Bathtub was beginning to crack. Visions flashed through my mind of pulling a heavy load of fish in from the mud flats, only to have this towing point pull free. Groan. Maybe prevention is the key here.

We still needed to clean the trucks, reunite the anchors with their lines (to reduce confusion next season). And it looks like we may have lost two anchors - two that Roy had straightened were leaning against the cliff the day of our multiple swamps. I pulled one down to give to the New Kid (since she lost hers, along with the extra long chain, out on the mud flats early in the rescue process)... but the other disappeared. I saw one up on the back of the crane truck (which may have been the one that was leaning against the cliff), but it too disappeared before we were able to safely get it into the net locker. I may need to buy an extra anchor for next season. And keep organizing and cleaning up the cabins, and of course, get the stair up - something that Bray will help us with. Still so much to do and we're running out of people and time.

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