Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Most of this week Eugene has been hit by three days of snowstorm, it dominates the news out here, trains and traffic stuck, businesses closed, electric down,  but, out here on the coast, mid 40's sun in and out, spotty rain, and pretty nice!  In the email exchanges, my old stomping grounds back on the North Coast are getting hit hard as well, there are two videos loaded here sent in about a phenomenon called "Ice Surge", or nowadays "ice Tsunami".
                                        Click here to watch the Newscast 

I grew up on the Southern lake (Erie) shore, and worked the above and below Niagra waterways from Duluth to Quebec, especially in the Buffalo-Cleveland corridor.  The local news talks about "Ice Tsunami"! 75 MPH winds and sub-zero temperatures all along the Southern Lake Erie coast. While Eugene digs out, we sit here. . . remembering.

Living on a river and on the Oregon coast we hear constantly about the fear of river debris (logs) coming at us, and the danger of Earthquake Tsunami, all at our 40-50 degree winter temperatures . . . take a tour with us as we look back at water living on the Great Lakes.

The use of the word "TSUNAMI"  in English is somewhat new, it actually means "Harbor Wave" in Japanese, almost all Asian Seaports are fully open to the sea, and therefore a huge tidal wave or storm surge wave can "push-in" and do immense damage, the term has now become English-generic (almost slang) for "BIG WAVE" or storm.

Hurricanes/Typhoons/Cyclones/Tornados yield huge storm surges (especially when accompanied with regular lunar tides), and can be devastating but, there are other dynamics of water that many are unaware of . . . that all involve "fresh" water, not salt water.

Inland American freshwater lakes have many rarely experienced unique events, Lake-effect snow, ice tsunamis, Huge ice floes, Seiche, water spouts, the Michigan triangle, November Witches, Alberta Clippers and Polar Vortexes, ThunderSnow, Lake Boils that make even the saltiest of Sea Captains and ocean-going Sailors feel like beginners.

On earlier Deck Logs we have talked about boats and "winter", but, "Ice Tsunami" or "ice shove"  brings up some phenomena many may never have even heard of out West . . . so, I am going to address "Fresh Water Boating" a little deeper.

After exposure to both Sea and Lake waters, my opinion is nature is simply in control, so if you venture out onto either do your homework. Ice on water is rarely addressed, ice onshore even less so, In 2001, ice shoves on the coast of Alaska's Chukchi Sea reached up to 16 feet high, ice shoves on Lake Erie can be just as high, we called them "ice Lava" as kids.

  Click here to watch: 

People love living on the coast -as close to the water as they can-, usually these properties are for the very wealthy, and they never expect the water to come into their house... last summer we watched the Hawaii Lava flows, somehow this is the same, imagine coming home at night to this . . . 


In Page two we will look more at boating in the ice, and what the offshore life is like in winter on Great Lakes, I will dig ut some old pictures and build an album!

Saturday, February 23, 2019


WEATHER>>>>We have none, only rain and 45 degrees day/night

The autonomous robot trimaran named Sea Hunter, a Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vessel (MDUSV) is a 132′ long unmanned vessel that was originally designed to track enemy submarines all by itself (autonomously), and to be used for coastal security patrols and rescue by the USCG.

She just sailed from San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and back without a crew !  An escort vessel followed Sea Hunter along, but only boarded to be sure things were in calibration and going as planned for this “first-time” round trip of 7,000 miles. The super-fast (cruise at 28-30 Knot, sprint to 45-50 Knot) fuel economizer Trimarans and Catamarans have taken over the mono-hull ship design base now, and almost everything built is either a Tri or Cat.

When there are many 100 foot plus autonomous ships (sea drones) plying the seas, for the US Coast Guard and US Navy, who has the right of way out in a seaway? How will they communicate with cargo and fishing vessels?  (with all of the recent US Navy collisions while manned (with dozens of people on the bridge), is this even possible? This certainly is a new class of electric propulsion vessel, with huge prospects for use in foul seas and dangerous situations, good “eyes-on” spy and communication bases, recon, and even as an armament launch base.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


WEATHER:  Yesterday:SUN SUN SUN...30 degree freezing overnights, 55 degree sunny days, clear/dry/nice.  Today: Grey-cold 35 degree windy nasty day of overcast.

The oldest rate still used in the Navy is the Boatswains Mate (BM), the original Sailing Ship Deck Seaman billet, they are in charge of all activities relating to marlinspike, deck, boat seamanship, painting, upkeep of the ship's external structure, rigging, deck equipment, and boats, work parties, performing all  seamanship tasks; act as petty officer-in-charge of all the ships boats, self-propelled barges, tugs, and other yard and district craft. On commercial fishing and cargo ships their seamanship carries the day with net mending, and fabricating the many rigging and lifting devices aboard.

Their tools, and the types of traditional ropes used, are as rare as the Bosun himself in 2019, the examples of these workings used to be found aplenty aboard almost anything that floated, today, almost no one has ever heard of or seen this work, and synthetic line (rope) has taken over.. Here are some examples of both . . .  the workings and tools:

Traditionally, most sailors and boat people carry a  (sharp) knife in a belt scabbard, the Bosun is easy to spot, as he has two . . . one is a marlinspike.

Netting shuttles (needles),
 sail palms,


 splicing needles

 come in all sizes for working hawser and line (ropes) from  twine-size up to 6 inches in diameter, plus for the many fancy knot workings of  ropes (MacNamara's lace) used as embellishment.

All part of a Boatswains Mates job onboard ship....  most people have never seen a Ships Quarterdeck or the Captains or Admirals Quarters, office or barge that they go ashore in, this is where the Bosun shows off his art, Slungshots and "eyes" are only the practical side of marlinspike-ship.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


WEATHER: 40's day-night, sleet-rain-sleet-rain, repeat often non stop, no wind, just sleet-rain.

No, that is not a typo . . . I said "Slugshot" not Slingshot. (This is part one of two)

I was fortunate to be in the Navy and later around the shipyards and quays while the Boatswains Mates, Net tenders and marlinspike seamen were still an alive and working craft here in the Americas, sadly most are gone now, ending a centuries-old tradition of seamanship.

In this 21st Century, there has been a homogenizing of the world's sailors, craftsmen, and traditions, it is another epochal event like when the masted sailing ships gave way to steam and diesel-powered boats, and like wood boats yielding to steel boats (and later, the onset of Fiberglass), now, old skills are replaced with new technology.

In my lifetime alone, I watched heaving lines transform from hand thrown monkey fists to crossbow, then to shotgun propelled, now with bow thrusters and drones, even the shotgun is obsolete.

A monkey fist knot could be tied around a lead ball weight and woven into a light-weight heaving line, or, a monkey fist knot could be made into a lanyard (like the image above, as a lanyard it would be tied to any heaving line and also be used as a slungshot when going ashore to a rough tavern or into a hostile situation.

Sailors, going on liberty, usually just got paid, on their way to the bars and brothels of a seaport, were
natural targets for street thugs interested in relieving them of their hard-earned, if meager wages.
Some sailors carried brass knuckles to defend themselves. Others could carry a monkey’s fist.

Rather than having a heaving line attached, a sailor could slip his hand through the eye splice and use

the monkey’s fist as an effective and dangerous club, capable of knocking out an attacker or even
opening his skull, if wielded with enough force. The money’s fist as a weapon became known as a

The slungshot was easy to make, easy to conceal, silent to use, and was lethal . . . while still an Attorney Abraham Lincoln defended “Duff” Armstrong, charged with murdering a man with a slungshot in 1858.
In the late 19th Century up many states prohibited even carrying them, it was a felony in the states of California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Michigan. And Nevada, Washington and Minnesota consider it either a misdemeanor or a felony to possess a Slungshot.

New Hampshire says possession of a slungshot carries a misdemeanor in a 2010 law, and in 2016, Florida repealed its severe 1868 law to a misdemeanor, and Tennessee’s "going armed" statute includes the slungshot as a prohibited weapon.

Tomorrow in Part two, we will look at the Bosun's Mates that make these knots (along with Macnamaras Lace).

Monday, February 18, 2019

18 FEBRUARY, 2019 - M/V So...fea DECK LOG - Moon parked "on" the Wharf !

Due  WNW setting moon .... OTTER-KATHLEEN-OCEANS RISING and the ICM wharf, a very poor quality photo, but surreal view over the Port Quarter of So...fea at 0530 18 February 2019, vanished by 0545 completely.

Today has clean blue skies going to 55 degrees, zero wind, and lazy, a frozen slippery dock this AM at 30 degrees, and a dry cold clear overnight with no wind or rain, very light fog.  The USN PACFLT says to expect four more days of this in a row !

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Seems very different here one year later . . . the entire atmosphere of this Harbor has changed (for the better), the weather . . . not so much, here is last years Deck Log Weather:

"More misty rain, light SW winds with 15 MPH gusts, mid 40's, absolutely nutso' day of sleet, rain, snow, ice sun, hot cold, wind, no wind, dark, sunny (repeat often) ... nice Oregon spring day, Oregon has a "NO LICENSE REQUIRED" free crabbing 3-day event going on.... it has started !"

Today (like yesterday), promises sleet, sun, no wind, gusts, rain, and mid 40 degrees . . . a nice Oregon Spring day !! During the past 12 months, the privacy and security atmosphere here on the docks is so different, we almost cannot believe it (yet),  this Harbor has been repurposed, from a "let the public run rampant 24/7" into a "Let us respect our paying moorage customers" philosophy of mentality and mission. 

15 April 2019 will be our two year Anniversary of arriving here in Florence, it was a wise choice for a Home Port.

Goodbye Winchester


Friday, February 15, 2019

15 February, 2019 - M/V So...fea DECK LOG - (SPRING)

A Full-blooming Camelia bush and a singing Red-breasted Robin today, 40 +/- degrees day/night overcast and raining, after the blooming  Daffodils and Cherry trees (see 12 FEBRUARY entry), this is an omen of Spring.

Thursday, February 14, 2019


Wisdom, a female Gooney Bird (Albatross) is the world’s oldest known banded bird in the wild . . .  at 68 years of age, and she just hatched another chick.
This winter, she again returned to her home at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, along with her mate, Akeakamai.
46131640712_8ac42bc73f_zWisdom incubating her egg. Credit: Madalyn Riley/USFWS
She’s now believed to be at least 68-years-old, and has far surpassed the average lifespan of Laysan albatross, which is estimated to be between 12 and 40 years old. Not only that, but she’s believed to have successfully raised between 31 and 36 chicks in her lifetime, and she’s still going strong.
46967531982_c6cce3a9b9_zAkeakamai watching their newest chick. Credit: Bob Peyton/USFW 
It is unusual for albatross to return home and lay and hatch an egg every year, but Wisdom and her mate have been reappearing annually without fail since 2006.
“Wisdom is rewriting our understanding of survivorship, how long birds live, and how often they breed.”
The Laysan albatross spend 90 percent of their lives at sea, they return every year to the place they were born, making Midway Atoll hugely important habitat for them.
Midway is now home to almost 70 percent of the world’s Laysan albatross and 40 percent of the Black-footed albatross, and 20 other different bird species, because Laysan albatross don’t lay eggs every year and when they do, they raise only one chick at a time, the contribution of even one bird to the population makes a difference,” said Bob Peyton, FWS Project Leader for Midway Atoll Refuge and Memorial.
Unfortunately, these seabirds continue to face a major threat from being caught in fishing gear and drowning, which is killing an estimated 100,000 albatross every year, along with the growing problem of plastic in our oceans, while the atoll itself is threatened by rising sea levels.
This article was re-written in part from an article By Alicia Graef  at Care2  click here to see this and other articles by Alicia.

Monday, February 11, 2019


This mornings coffee had the Dafs at the Florence Mc Donald's and the Cherry trees alongside 21st Street both blooming today, rainy and blustery, grey and 40's for highs and lows, South winds at a sustained-constant 10 MPH with 35-40 MPH hammers all day-night, a wild dockside loose tie ride aboard So...fea that "ate" our flag pole and flag.

That is all for today . . . more to be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Dangerous, costly, and life-threatening.
   I could spend an hour adding more adjectives, but they simply are not worth it.

Around noon-time and again at 1400, NOAA National Weather Service sent out a  cell phone and Internet "WEATHER EMERGENCY ALERT" twice, the three online weather URL's I look at and compare, and the NOAA Marine weather all agree... Florence, Oregon will see a 22 degree overnight temperature with a 1600 snow accumulation of 1", followed by thunderstorms, heavy rain, and plummeting temperatures, midnight will embrace 4 inches of snow before 0700 (added to the 1" already on the ground).

RESULT: a 32 degree low, NO snow, a few brief sleet/hail episodes, and a couple of well spaced short/light showers, a gorgeous sunrise on blue warm skies..

Which take me back to sleeping bag nights  on concrete floors in restrooms and basements awaiting the "Tornado", the frantic panicked "can we outrun it" return to port, the nail plywood over the windows and doors, travel inland, leave your home to vandalism and looters,  Hurricane warnings, life-long canceled picnics and outings trusting the weather report, the nigh-time rooftop hours shoveling off the existing snow to prep for the 2 to 4" coming by morning, the frantic late-night  antifreeze checks and addition after the 2300 weatherman says 20  below tonight, the ski trip into a rainy week-end rather than the 20 inches of fresh powder, the gazillion times in life that the absolute opposite from predictions occurred, the seed plantings washed away, the motorhome stuck axle deep in mud, the painting (planned or canceled) , the day at the beach, it just goes on and on ad nauseum.

Never talked about, and always quashed, are the impacts of incomptent weather prediction on military tactics, operations and the loss of life. Needed cloud cover, or the absence of it, wind dynamics, snow-rain storm arrival and ending times, whether it is NavalAir or ground, many lives can be lost, and entire operations failed with poor weather information.

Those who are at sea, or tied/anchored in Port have financial and life issues that rely on early warning, when major action is taken-but unneeded, or when no action is taken -but should have been, is both, dangerous and costly.

So...fea disconnected and drained dock water connections, covered all exposed connections (on-boat and dock), and added in additional heat to the engine room and compartments in preparation for snow and 22 degrees.

We awakened to no snow, rain and a clear sky with full sunrise, blue skies, and 34 degrees at 0630, after undoing all the preparations by 0900 we have blindingly sun heated the entire boat, closed blinds and opened hatches.  Had we been 150 miles out at noon yesterday, received the warning-left station and ran back to home . . .  these are court-martial level offenses.

No wonder so many do not leave hearing warnings about arriving hurricanes or supposed Polar Vortex, and killer snow arrivals. Calling out road crews on overtime, power company stand by call-outs, extra police, and ambulance, all sitting for a storm that will never arrive should be back-billed to NOAA. All the greenhouse and fish hatchery panic modes, crop coverings and smudge pots, early fruit harvests, are labor- monies- and emotions- spent for no reason.

Time after time, after time, so, which is better? running for your life or living in fear?  How about having your "own" weather tation aboard, and doing a better job yourself than the "experts".
Check these out:


Friday, February 8, 2019


Part Two (of two)

The two biggest misconceptions people have about boats (all boats-modern or ancient)  are their “Size” and “Speed”.

Prior to using steel for boat construction (which evolved in around 1850), for the first  5-10,000 years of boat building "only" wood was used,  and, 200 foot long 10 MPH boats  were the  maximum length and speed of almost anything ever built for 5,000 years, only in the 1800's did the (over) 200 foot long ship size become standard, (the largest  wooden ship ever built was the 20th Century 1908 building of the Wyoming  (USA), at 449 foot X 60 foot wide), the fastest sailing ship was the 212-foot British tea  clipper Cutty Sark, famous for attaining and sustaining a speed of 20 MPH in 1870, both  of these were the last gasp of the wooden sailing vessel.

The invention of the steam turbine in 1884, and the use of riveted steel finally ended the 5000+ year domination of wood, the sail, and the 200-foot boat, after 1920 (or so) welding made ships and boats evolve into what we have today, while Fiberglass has dominated the under 100 foot boat.

But, that is not how we perceive the Pirate ships and Spanish Galleons or British Man-of-War sailing ships we see in movies (which we envision as much bigger).

Keeping things in historical truths, the largest Galleon ever built by Spain was a 1200 ton 210-foot long monster ship in 1780 . . .  All of the 1700-1800 era British, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese sailing ships that we see portrayed in “Pirate” movies plying the oceans, and fighting storms were only around 150-180 foot in length.

The image atop  yesterday’s (7 February, 2019) Deck Log was what the very first Egyptian sailing boast evolved into back in 3,000 BC, made from bundles of dried reeds tied together and around 40 foot long, with a  simple junk-type sail of made of papyrus (similar to a grocery bag paper).

Around 350 BC the 90-foot long Athenian trireme was a fearsome war machine propelled by. propelled by. 170 oarsmen who could propel the boat at a sustained speed of 6.9 MPH. later, around 100 BC  the Roman sailing ships were about 130 feet long with an estimated capacity of 440 tons and were the largest ships afloat and traveled at 5 MPH.

In around 900 AD the 75 foot long 15 foot wide Viking sailing ships (which used Oars or sail) could cruise in the 10 MPH range in a good seas.

All through history, up until the late 1800’s (when steel and Diesel power entered), wooden sailing ships and boats never became bigger, the SS Constitution, built in 1797 was 204 foot, and is the oldest wooden sailing ship still afloat. Bigger still, was the 226 foot HMS Victory, built in 1765, which is today the oldest Naval ship still in commission, she sits proudly docked in Portsmouth, England.

Most people we talk with here at So...fea are shocked to learn that boats generally “only” travel at 10 MPH , (whether sail or diesel), and “10 MPH” has been the maximum average boat speed for the past  5,000 years (and still is). Only in the past100 years (1920 or so), could most luxury Cruise ships and Naval vessels travel at a 20 MPH cruising speed, in the past 15 years, that speed  has risen to around 25-30 MPH for Cruise ships Container/Cargo and Naval ships, but not for Fishing, sail or pleasure cruising boats, who all still “cruise” in the 10-15 MPH range of speed.

Today, one of the world’s fastest ocean liners is the Queen Mary 2, launched in 2004, the USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier, both cruise at 25 MPH and can sprint up to around 40+ MPH, but, the fastest passenger ship anywhere today is the 58 knot cruising speed of Francisco, (named after Pope Francis), which was built to carry 1,000 passengers and 150 cars the 140 miles across the river between Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

7 February, 2019 - M/V So...fea DECK LOG - PART ONE: BOATS

Grey skies, 40 degrees (still no rain/snow), overnight was 32 degrees,

This (excerpted) article appeared moving through my LinkedIn site: “A Mesolithic (10,000-5,000 BC) boatyard was recently discovered on the Isle of Wight along with wheat DNA indicating “Hunter-gatherers” in Britain were importing wheat long before ever farming it themselves. Confirming (that) maritime (boat) trade has been active as far back as at least 7,000 years ago. The Egyptian’s, Phoenician’s, Persian’s, Greeks, Chinese, all developed extensive sea-trade routes throughout the ancient world. By the time Jesus was walking the hills of Galilee, sea trade was already ancient. Ancient sea trade did not, however, translate to “safe” sea trade. Although transport by sea was cheaper than by land there was far greater risk in it.” Capt. George H Livingstone 2017. ————— Here on the dock along-side So...fea, we constantly engage tourists inquiries, their misconceptions are plentiful and we consistently hear the same questions, I do not know exactly what the 2019 U.S. per capita ratio of marine savvy vs. landlubber population “is”, but back around Y2K, we estimated it at 25 million vs. 285 million… so, it must be around 1 to 10, in other words, 90 percent know zip about boats, harbors or the water. Being around, and familiar with boats and ships, we all can (and usually do) forget the importance of (and, the legacy of) our own maritime culture, our marine experiences, and what we know (that the other 90% does “not” know). Hence, the questions. Man-Boats & Water (Cargo, Fishing or Naval . . . Lake, River or Ocean) have been around awhile, but, 5,000+ years of Technology or Manufacturing have really not changed the Marine world very much from its origins, we only have learned to go bigger, faster, safer, and easier . . . Mother Sea still rules, as untameable, erratic and scary, we still lose men and ships to her daily. Although Captain Livingstone is addressing ocean Trading and cargo, ocean Fishing is the equally important dynamic, both have influenced boat designs and building methods equally. Captain Livingstone’s remarks about historical beginnings inspired me to post today’s and tomorrows blog entries as a Part One and Part Two; ---------- In Part Two we will share the answers we give to the most-asked simple questions that we receive:

Sunday, February 3, 2019


WEATHER: Tuesday, day two of our supposed "deep freeze" weather cycle . . .  our overnight low was supposed to be 26, it was 33.... it was supposed to snow 1+ inches ...we got rain,  at 0600 it is 34 on deck S0...fea.

In an earlier blog on 24 JANUARY, 2019 we talked about the US Coast Guard not getting paid during the government shutdown. While that was going on, an ongoing duty assignment in process was the resupply of our US McMurdo ICE Station in Antarctica.  The USCG POLAR Star WAGB-10 a heavy 399-foot icebreaker was in the middle of 21-foot thick ice trying to lead in a resupply ship full of supplies for McMurdo.

This is the sixth year for "operation Deep freeze" that the Polar Star has headed into the mid-winter ice down South.

The Polar Star is now 43 years old (1976) . . . (most bluewater ships have a life-span of around 30 years), and in this harsh service, it is unbelievable she is still in commission!  especially in the dangerous service of possibly being frozen in, hull crushed and losing the 141 man crew stranded in sub-zero conditions. 

She is continually into failure modes, having a crew of well trained and versatile (experienced technicians aboard is all that keeps her afloat the ingenuity of the 141 officers and crew have weathered some gigantic failures.  On this current voyage an electrical system overheat damaged a switchboard, an evaporator failed, then a shaft leak stopped the ship dead, requiring divers to perform emergency underwater (ice) repairs, later, another power outage stopped e ship again, requiring a nine-hour reboot of all systems to get back underway.

This year's cruise might sound ugly, but it is actually somewhat better than last year when, in addition to another shaft seal failure, one of the  gas turbines failed, the previous year (2017), as the Polar Star completed Operation Deep Freeze, it was another mechanical fiasco when again an evaporator failed.

The Polar Star is the only operational US heavy icebreaker, her sister-ship, the Polar Sea has been out of service since 2010 due to the failure of five of her six Alco 3,000 HP V-16 diesel engines. (I hold a lengthy involvement with now-defunct GE/ALCO Diesel, too lengthy for here), I would presume the POLAR SEA is a donor for obsolete parts ship keeping the POLAR STAR in service and is used as a training-at-the-dock vessel as well. 

The Russian Navy has over 40 icebreakers and just ordered 8 more, the US has none even on the drawing boards. If the Polar Star should ever break down in the Antarctic, there is no other heavy icebreaker to come to its aid. The US Coast Guard only has the medium icebreaker, the USCGC Healy WAGB 20 (the first  United States vessel to ever reach the North Pole on the water), which is only rated as a  ten feet of ice cutter ship. The Healy is based out of Seattle and stationed in the Arctic while the Polar Star operates in the Antarctic. In case of catastrophic failure to either vessel, neither could any mutual assistance within a reasonable time-fr

In February 2018, the Senate tentatively approved $750 million to build one new heavy icebreaker, but in August 2018 Homeland Security canceled the funds.


Overnight temperatures... last night was 32 . . .       tonight 26, Tuesday 25, Wednesday 30
we are quickly moving into a "FAKE WEATHER" problem, last nights 29 degrees and 1 inch of snow was a nothing burger at noon today it is 55 and full sunny blue skies. I expect  the 25 degree overnight low tonight to be 60 degrees (with sun possible)

One of the less talked about issues of boat living and travel are the many creatures encountered on the dock, or coming on board, and discovered at sea as a stowaway.
Tropical boats around the globe frequently dock under the shade of trees, and or tie up to docks that emerge out of the jungle, snakes that swim (lizards swim too!), frogs and tree snakes and lizards that drop out of trees or swim aboard, and those are just the reptiles . . . the insects are another entire page of discussion.


The rat-guard pictured above is for the little furry creatures that live in the rain forest, palm trees, under docks and in the ground... it works well if you are tied a long way from the dock (beyond jumping distance). or your main deck is 5 feet higher than the dock AND you do not have a gangway.

There are monkeys, wharf rats, palm squirrels, mice, otter, dock cats, and other variables of them all (including the human kind), that come aboard, hideout, and look for food,  in the end, having an "alert"  dog aboard is the only solution.  

I talked back in the 22 November 2016 blog about Otters in Winchester Bay, this morning I pieced together a 2019 dock puzzle with seeing my "second" otter here in Florence. For some time now I have blamed children for undoing my coiled dock lines, 

but, this morning at 0530 when I let Bonnie out on deck, I heard a bird chirping, I looked and looked but could not locate it until it stood up . . . an Otter!
   Standing between the rail and dock-edge 15 feet away, he plopped noisily into the water angry at my presence. they do not like these concrete docks as well as the old wood, so we see far fewer here than in Winchester

Friday, February 1, 2019


Well...back to winter,  it started raining again, blustery, low 40's, dark, and cold.
This AM was a 1/2 and 1/2 sky with almost balmy 45 degrees, they changes the forcast to less rain, but there is still a FREEZE ALERT, we have some prep work to do as "get-ready" tomorrow and Sunday for the three-night arctic blast.

Back in the 28 January 2019 Deck Log we spoke about the rigors of living aboard in cold climates . . . .  now...  that scenario is upon us "here" beginning Sunday evening and lasting through Monday and Tuesday with overnight 25-degree temperatures! (3 days of cold-soak).

Although this upcoming 2018/19 weather is a  quick "spike",  and unusual this far South, we will survive,  live-aboards further up North spend four months a year stuck in this ugly.

Very few boaters have ever seen a pellet or wood stove aboard a boat, ever insulated their hull, wrapped their boat in shrink-wrap plastic, or heated their engine room . . . .  added pipe wrap or heat tape to their dock water hose, used a bubbler around their hull, or had the daily ritual of pipe hammering ice off of lines and deck cables and shoveling the decks for weight removal.

Northern boat dwellers seal themselves off from the wind and snow, into a sort of cocoon and force the occupants to almost hibernate. It is far easier to cruise and navigate in the cold and ice than to sit still at anchorage or dock.

We will post some images here if we get snow, So...fea has no curtains or glass covers at all (we trashed them in favor of a view), so we lose heat rapidly in the wind, check out the "SNOW-FEA" blog from 4 January 2017 at Winchester Bay, Umpqua . . . over there in "History".