Saturday 9 August – High Living in Humboldt

Alongside Humboldt Harbor, Sand Point, Popof Island
Weather: overcast, showers, mild

Over the last two days progress in repairing the anchor windlass has been slower than I had hoped, but today, despite the rain, I have managed to unbolt it from the deck and completely dismantle it. I have worked out what was wrong with it, namely two springs, one which was broken and the other was distorted. I was delighted to find replacement springs at the nearby multi-purpose store Trident, which sells a bit of everything; hardware, boat parts (I bought a new stern light from them yesterday to replace the emergency jam jar stern light I had made up), groceries, clothing, and of course fishing gear.

One reason why progress on maintenance has been slow is that Nomzamo was here on my arrival and consequently I have enjoyed some socialising with my fellow Australians, Howard and Lorraine. They have again been great company, the sort of people I had always imagined cruising folk to be, but in practice have found to be as rare as every where else, namely unpretentious, intelligent, honest, practical, friendly, helpful, generous, open and tolerant. I had dinner with them on board the comparative luxury of Nomzamo on Friday night, the fare fresh cod courtesy of one of the local fishermen. Afterwards Howard and I went for an Alaskan pub crawl to the two bars here in Sand Point, both very American, shot some pool, a close match which Howard won. I even managed to get into a nice conversation with a local lady, Loretta. She helps run the local FM radio station and is a diversely talented and interesting person. The conversation made for a nice change from the rather one sided dialogue I usually obtain from RC.

I have also been spending time on finding solutions to my communication problems and I am pleased to say that it looks like I am making progress with this as well. An old Navy colleague and sailing friend has agreed to lend me his satellite phone which he is not currently using. There was a minor setback in that Australia Post would not ship the battery but I will be sourcing a new battery online and have it shipped separately to Kodiak. So, with a little luck, I am hopeful that I will have access to regular emails and have my blog back up and running while at sea within a couple of weeks.

I was hoping to be under way again on Monday, but given the delays in fixing the anchor windlass (a rather handy apparatus to have) I reckon I will be lucky to get away on Tuesday. Nomzamo sailed this morning, so I will not have them as an excuse for being distracted from getting on with my boat chores.

All is well.