Swimming in Santa Anna (Alaska!)

(August 8th, 2017)

We motored along for a couple hours to Santa Anna Inlet, found our way deep inside and anchored near a little creek outflow with a rusted old machine on shore.  Suddenly over the radio Zephyr asked if anyone had noticed the water temperature…  73.4F!!  What?   Soon after that Morgan and Ellie had their swimsuits on and were in the water, jumping in, climbing out, over and over until they eventually asked for a warm shower.  Joe from Zephyr also swam around his boat, and Steve from Corvidae dove under his to check on things.  It seemed that there was a layer of fresh water, up to 10 feet deep, on the surface, even keeping the jelly fish down below that layer.

We finished up the evening with nice dinner and a quiet evening.  The next day we relaxed in the bay, soaking up the sun, writing, cleaning, and planning for the next few days. I’d also heard Eric on s/v Foxy discussing their battery/genset/alternator issues over the radio again, and decided enough was enough.  I was determined to fix SOMETHING, but I didn’t know what.   So I grabbed my FLIR IR Camera, Fluke clamp multimeter, a VHF radio, some frozen halibut (since Jane was back on Foxy and really wanted some halibut) and took the dinghy over there to offer some help.

Eric and I analyzed the systems for a few hours, primarily focused on two things:  First, making sure that all of the large ground and positive cables had solid connections, and were corrosion free.  We traced wires, discovering more about how the boats power wires were actually configured.

Lastly, we tackled the non-functional regulator (the device that controls the alternator on the engine).  Eric knew that the alternator was putting out power, charging the batteries, but the regulator was not working, it didn’t even power up when the engine was running.

After discussing the history of changes Eric knew of, along with the attempts by two professionals to get the regulator properly configured (both of whom eventually punted) we ran through some tests, fixed a couple wiring issues and bam! Regulator online!  By this time it was hot, we were both tired of working on it, and the regulator was now working, so it was time for me to get back to my family to see what they were doing on the boat.   When I got back, I found that Devon and the girls had prepared and cooked the dogfish we had caught for dinner, which turned out to be quite delicious. 

I put the prawn trap out in a deep hole for the night, hoping for our first big prawn catch ever.

Some of the boats started discussing an early crossing of Dixon Entrance to avoid a low pressure system making it’s way near in a few days.   With no cellular and barely any weather radio reception, I used our Iridium Pilot satellite internet to download 10 days of weather gribs to share with Ruby Slippers and Glendora for passage planning, delivering the grib files to the boats on USB sticks.  Checking to see if Corvidae also wanted the weather files, I stopped there to find three crews playing games, I chatted with them for a few minutes over (liquor) and then moved on to Glendora, and finally Ruby.  On Ruby Slippers they had just about finished making halibut tacos, so of course I was obliged to stay and help them eat a couple while Jim reviewed the weather data.  I borrowed a lifevest from Ruby to go back to the boat around 10, in the calm moonlight, which was super nice!

The next morning the girls pulled the prawn trap to find TWO spot prawns.  So our big catch wasn’t so big, but we did get some prawns finally.  Then it was time to pull anchor and make our way to Meyers Chuck.   We fished on the way and caught two coho at the same time, and then decided to quite while we were ahead and motor on.   We anchored in Meyers Chuck and watched the sun go down, ready to explore a bit in the morning.


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