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To: SmoothSail who wrote (23867)12/30/2018 5:54:39 PM
From: Alan Smithee
1 Recommendation   of 23934
 
Most of the time a chart and keeping the shoreline in sight worked fine for me.

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To: Neeka who wrote (23858)12/30/2018 7:30:24 PM
From: Joe Btfsplk
   of 23934
 
The ice fields just behind Juneau generate some incredible breezes in winter. They’re the Taku Winds. The Taku River comes off the ice fields just south of Juneau. When the breeze is up and it's 0 +/- the wind from the river inlet tears the tops off any waves, so the surface is near flat. The torn off wave tops are in the air, scooting along at 90 knots or more.

Once, returning from a hunt further south in late November we laid over in a great little harbor just south to wait out a Taku. After a day or two with no let up we decided to hell with it and headed for home.

The straight course across the channel is a long haul with the wind hitting starboard broadside, so we went directly into the wind up the channel, turned and came down the opposite shore with the wind driving on our port quarter aft. It was maybe five or ten above zero and wasn't only the hull icing.

In to the wind wasn’t too bad, then having it coming from behind was sort of OK. The turn in that wind was probably the scariest thing I’ve done, was damned lucky we didn’t turn turtle.

There was a mail boat that regularly crossed that water on the way to Juneau, and out. They’d often radio in and have a crew waiting at the harbor to chop the ice so they could get off the boat. That boat kept on schedule no matter what, and the Taku wasn’t the only hazard on their route.

Funny how serious frights become fond memories.

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To: Joe Btfsplk who wrote (23869)12/30/2018 9:46:45 PM
From: Alan Smithee
   of 23934
 
Great story.

I know guys who ran crab boats in the Bering Sea. Sent crew out with baseball bats to break the ice off the rigging. Scary stuff.

Alaska is not a place for wimps.

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To: Joe Btfsplk who wrote (23869)12/30/2018 10:41:25 PM
From: Neeka
1 Recommendation   of 23934
 
What fun it would be to sit and listen to you and my husband exchange boat stories out of Alaska.

I love the stories we find here on SI. A person has to be willing to share their life's experience, and when they decide to to so, it's always memorable, and almost epic.

;) M

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To: SmoothSail who wrote (23865)12/30/2018 11:52:13 PM
From: Neeka
   of 23934
 
Dad would take readings every day at noon with the sextant, but he never taught me how to use it. LORAN came later and we all thought it was just the cat's meow. Better than anything else we had going in those days. From all the cursing I used to hear, I think he preferred the sextant.

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To: Neeka who wrote (23872)12/31/2018 12:08:55 AM
From: SmoothSail
   of 23934
 
Depending where you were the LORAN could be off by a mile. That could cause a few problems. I once heard that the government deliberately made the LORAN inaccurate so it couldn’t be used by enemies to zero in on a target. Don’t know how true that is.

Besides the sextant was more fun. Brings back so many memories.

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To: Alan Smithee who wrote (23870)12/31/2018 1:21:04 PM
From: Joe Btfsplk
   of 23934
 
Lost a picture I once had of the mail boat coming in to the boat harbor in Juneau. Listing 8 or 10 degrees from the ice load on the starboard side with he crew thoroughly iced in.

****************************

Buddy had a bro-in-law that used to run the cannery at Dutch Harbor. His daughter now hangs with the crew that makes Deadliest Catch. Would like to have a few beers with that bunch.

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To: Joe Btfsplk who wrote (23874)12/31/2018 1:44:35 PM
From: Alan Smithee
   of 23934
 
I was aboard this vessel for a quick trip from Sitka to Seward in 1999

They later built the shelter deck on it and then someone put it on the rocks on Adak Island.


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From: SmoothSail12/31/2018 2:23:57 PM
6 Recommendations   of 23934
 
Happy Birthday to Marie (mph). We really miss you and your wit.

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From: SmoothSail1/2/2019 4:16:39 PM
   of 23934
 
Catalina is taking a beating with the Nor’Easter.


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