Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘island life’

Islanders are great scavengers and sometimes hoarders. We stayed on an island in Alaska where no object (trash), no matter how big or small, rusted or not, was ever removed.

Yet when you need a specific item, it’s nowhere to be found. Take the sink here for a example. It leaks. We have multiple packages of sink washers and “o” rings in the shop. But the sink is a new-fangled Moen  model that doesn’t use washers! Instead, it uses an easy to replace (only if it’s already on the island) plastic cartridge that is known to wear out every couple of years.

But our water is precious and we can’t bear to see it drip down the drain. We have to pump it up to the house, store it in a cellar cistern, which directs it to a pressurized tank. A drip taxes the whole system.  While we wait for a replacement cartridge, I found that by moving the handle with the defective cartridge just a bit, the leak ceased.  Since we can’t stand there all day, I found a surrogate: Tim’s vitamin bottle. E5D303D5-C1AE-4E10-9D3D-FE7C83AA5455And as for those washers, I am knitting a sweater and needed four stitch markers. “O” rings and flat washers, which I like to call square “o” rings, did the trick nicely.

B63A72F3-C8EE-4AD3-B974-30B90E1C4B11

We bring Kindles to read, usually loaded with books. I also listen to audiobooks. I maintain lists “to read” on my Audible and Goodreads sites but sometimes rely on the “available now” offerings at the New York Public Library.  So this week, I listened to Amy Schumer’s autobiography, probably not something I would have done otherwise. I related to some of what she wrote about herself growing up but perhaps more about her relationship withwhat she had to say about her mother.

Just about dinner time, we lost power as the wind picked up. Since this has happened before, this year we brought our camp stove. We had shrimp pad thai for dinner with sugar snap peas and didn’t miss a beat.

7792E0F0-7857-4389-AE6C-EA77F40494DB

The fog horn went to its default, on  so cozy. We went up the lighthouse and confirmed the coast was without power too, we could only see the adjacent lighthouse on Pnd Island flashing. During dinner, while I was thinking about food management without power, the fog horn stopped and the lights came back on.

While the wind blows outside, I am listening to Annie Proulx’s Bird Cloud – from my list. I can relate.

93175515-E573-4380-A1D2-4637B2BAACAA

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_1463Protection Island is only about 380 acres and the beaches are off limits during the summer due to nesting birds and seals. We try to walk as much as possible but sometimes we have too much to carry.  We mostly use a little S10 pickup truck that gets the job done.

Today we harvested 8 five gallon buckets of daffodil bulbs.  I may be broken but I took an aspirin and can’t tell.

IMG_1536IMG_1539

Yesterday I got to drive the Ranger to meet US Fish and Wildlife visitors at the marina.

IMG_1520

This morning we got to troubleshoot, and looks like we fixed, the 25 hp secondary motor on the boat.  We need it as a backup and it wasn’t running well. We checked and cleaned the spark plugs. A very useful tip I learned a few years ago is a credit card is 0.030 inches, which can be used to roughly check the gap on most spark plugs when you are on an island without an auto parts store nearby.  We checked the compression (look at us!) and tested to see if the motor was getting enough fuel by squeezing the bulb to see if it made a difference. Either the spark plugs were dirty or there was something that had to pass through the carburetor because we ran it at throttle and it purred. We’re back in business.

Rainy weather is coming so we may have to play indoors for a few days.

IMG_1532IMG_1528IMG_1534

 

 

Read Full Post »

I am trying to get better shots of the wildlife. We walked down to the marina and were greeted by this eagle along the cliffs.

IMG_0324

Harlequin ducks took off when we got to the dock.

IMG_0329 - Edited

A lone loon has been hanging out in the harbor. We haven’t heard its call because it probably gets drowned out by all the squawking seagulls.

IMG_0339 - Edited

We’ve seen a couple of tufted puffins on the water. So cute.

IMG_0333

Next week this relic of a truck is going to leave the island along with the van on the hill that serves as a blind for the researchers. They think the van has just enough brake fluid to make it down the hill to the marina one last time.

IMG_0319

IMG_0336

But here’s the real news. I wanted to be able to dock the boat in the slip before the end of the May. I used to be a sailboat snob. Sailors need to know about the wind, currents and of course the rules of the road.  I thought power boaters just had to turn a key and needed no real knowledge of seamanship. But it’s all about the takeoff and landing. Maneuvering in open water is a piece of cake. Docking, not so much.

Last week, I spent a couple of hours practicing docking in our little marina; no other boats, no observers. Today I tried, for the third time, to dock at the marina on the mainland (whose name I will withhold) in a tiny little slip with a narrow approach. The first time, I somehow ended up perpendicular to the dock and had to turn the helm over to Tim. I was disheartened. That prompted me to invest in an online course on docking a single engine outboard. It seems I had it easy with a sailboat. We had a keel, a big rudder and an inboard engine. Make a turn and that’s the way the boat tracks. Powerboats slip sideways along the water and are not as straight forward. And of course neither have brakes.

I would dream about my approach to the slip when I slept. The second time, I allotted myself two tries. I missed the slip both times, but in a more controlled fashion. Today I was ready to give it two tries again. But I did it smoothly the first try!  I let out a whoop as Tim tied us to the dock. Well it must have been heard by our slip neighbor a few boats away because when I took the boat out later in the day, he and a friend applauded my seamanship! I have to remember everyone had to learn sometime.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: