Heaving Line Arms

This post could also be called:  What I currently suck at (i.e. what I'm determined to ace)

Time for a little real talk around here, yes? Yes. I'm struggling hard with one thing at work. Throwing lines. Nailing it I am not.


Sports? Could care less. Throwing a ball? Meh, I think I'll watch. Catch something? MmmKkkkk...if you're lucky.

I was totally the kid at the neighborhood Easter baseball game who was allowed unlimited pitches. I remember one year being mortified and just wishing they'd strike me out....see ya later I'm outta here. Except no, I had to try again and again until I finally hit it and made it to first.

Needless to say, throwing mooring lines (which are a decent amount of heavy) and snagging a bitt on the dock is not coming easy. Throwing a heaving line that actually makes it up the the barge? Also not coming easy.

I'm determined that by the end of the summer (preferably way freaking sooner than the end of summer) I start acing it.

I work on it every day...and my arms are killing me...hahahaha!!!

Here's the training program:

I currently have a 'heaving line arms' exercise routine because truth, my arm muscles are almost non existent.

I also throw the line every time even though someone is standing behind me because the odds are good I won't make it. I have made it. For the record, when I made it the whole crew cheered :). Since I made it once we know it's possible and now I'm working on refining my technique.


I have a practice line on the stern. Sometimes I go back there and just wing it around a bit to build strength and see if I can figure out what's going to work for me.

The struggle is real friends, the struggle is real.

It's also invigorating to have a challenge.

Here's to making the toss more often then not!!!!

Currently :: The Getting Underway Edition

We've been sitting idle for a week while we waited out some nasty weather in the Gulf of Alaska.

Hoonah, Alaska

Hoonah, Alaska


It's hard to describe how sitting and taking it easy on a boat is much harder than being underway.  

Here's what I've been up to currently... 

 I've been coloring. I'm so glad I brought my 'adult coloring book' with me. I know it's a fad. I know it screams look at me I'm a yuppy hipster but, I've been grateful for it. I even walked to the hardware store and bought a 64 pack crayola crayon box (because how can you turn down the built in sharpener?!). Apparently, the hardware store is where you go for everything in remote Alaskan villages. 

I've been binge watching Game of Thrones. I was on season 1.5 and now I'm on season 4. Need I say more?  Maybe I need to say that the Red Wedding did shock me, I was sad, I now understand why my FB feed was flooded with Red Wedding gasps about two years ago... 

I've been Instagramming.  I find it perks me up a bit. Makes me look for the good and beautiful in my day. It allows me to share that with friends. Sure, sure we all pretty up our lives for the insta-love but, I know for myself it's not always a bad thing. 

I've been sitting here thinking about what else I'm up to currently and am having a hard time. How's that for mopey boat syndrome?

The bottom line is I'll be headed into the Gulf of Alaska on the final leg of this '8 day trip' *ahem* 'one month trip' and I'll be without Internet. I figured I'd stop by and let you know I'd be away! 

Here's to Fair Winds and Following Seas! 

Magical Rainbow Porpoises

There are these moments on the water where you look around and think, 'is anyone seeing what I'm seeing?!' and then you realize, 'nope...this is for me'.  These moments are pure magic.

On our way up the inside pass I had one of these moments.


It was drizzling and the sun was shining.  I was hunting for rainbows.  One cropped up and I immediately starting taking photos.  It stuck around a bit - so I started to try to get artsy.  Pictures of the wheelhouse combined with rainbow-y goodness outside.

Wheelhouse and Rainbow

We were in a fairly narrow waterway and the rainbow spanned the whole channel from Port to Starboard.

All of a sudden I noticed some splashes at the base of the rainbow on my Starboard side.  I start taking photos there.


Then I realize it’s a pod of porpoises!  

I’m going crazy.  I’m snapping as many pictures as I can.  I know you can imagine this.

They zoomed over to the front of the tug and rode the bow wake for a few minutes and then zoomed off.

Dall's Porpoises in Bow Wake

I was on cloud nine.  

A pod of porpoises - came out of a rainbow - and rode my bow wake.


They looked like baby Orca’s.  After doing a bit of research I learned they are called Dall’s Porpoise - and their behaviour was spot on.  

I took a video right before they dug out.


Please, flip through the gallery to enjoy some Magical Rainbow-y Porpoise Goodness.

One side note:  the photos and video were taken with my iPhone.  Please excuse some of the slightly pixelated images!


I think this is my favorite photo of the ice-capades.  I think I probably have about 100 variations of this exact shot.  Not too many at all.

This series was labeled 'artistic browns'.  Pretty self explanatory.

An Instagram RoundUp

This post also could have been titled: An Alaskan LoveFest. 

I have quite a few readers who aren't social media addicts like myself so, I decided to do a little roundup of what's been recently posted to Instagram (and therefore Twitter). 

I was most recently in Dutch Harbor and then went through the Shumagin Islands - the weather was gorgeous -and my iPhone camera got a workout.  

Dutch Harbor

Dutch Harbor

Dutch Harbor can be stunning...it can also be miserable. We were lucky and got stunning.  

Fishing Gear Galore

Fishing Gear Galore

Dutch Harbor is a fishing vessel Mecca. I mean, you've seen deadliest catch right?  The show is obviously dramatized for television but it's got some reality in there too. Everywhere you go in town you'll see that fishing is king. Take this pile of fishing nets....located in front of the Safeway parking lot....

Dutch Harbor

Dutch Harbor

Just another example of stunning.  

Boat Sports

Boat Sports

While in Dutch we had a little downtime. The Captain used that time for training exercises so we got a fair amount of 'stick time'. Doing touch and go's off the barge, simulating breaking tow, twisting and, walking.  It was a total blast. 

Shumagin Islands

Shumagin Islands

Leaving Dutch we were into the Shumagin Islands in about two days. We got a mixture of weather but even the drizzle was great because we had endless rainbows. The valleys had rainbows that just sat there and at sea we had a couple full arcs. Nothing beats a rainbow. 

Iliasik Pass

Iliasik Pass

Iliasik Pass is one of the tighter places through the Shumagins. By the time we got here it was sunny with a fresh breeze. It was whale watching time. Spout after spout. Tail after Tail.  

Bathed In Sun. 

Bathed In Sun. 

The sun just makes everything better. Even just a photo of a barge.  

Alaska Love Forever.


arctic ice

In 'Ice.  Volume One.' I gave an generalized overview of what we were looking for when we transited through the ice.  In Volumes Two & Three my plan is to just show you some pictures I thought were pretty...mmmmkay?

If you're a sailor and you've never been in the ice you still know one main thing:  Watch Out For The Blue Ice.  It's traditionally more 'solid' and will pack more of a punch when you hit it.  

Volume Two is labeled on my desktop as 'Artisan Blues'.  I think you'll see why.