Pleasant Sailing

Sitka Sound, AK
On Saturday, after setting sail in a near-calm, the wind steadily increased to a pleasant sailing breeze. We dropped the fisherman and sailed along nicely under yankee jib (the forward-most sail) and mainsail (the aft-most sail) alone. Had lots of problems tacking with the yankee jib sheets catching on the forestaysail stay. Normally I have the forestaysail (trinquette) set before the yankee jib (a much larger sail). I wasn’t using the forestaysail that day (for no particular reason), so there was nothing to keep the yankee jib from wrapping around the forestaysail stay each time we tacked. So someone went forward on each tack to help the yankee jib get around the stay. It was a nice sail anyway. For a few minutes there was some hail to remind us it was still February in Alaska, but it never rained, and the wind was good.

Setting the Fisherman

Sitka, AK
Got out for a pleasant daysail on Saturday. It seemed there would be very little wind, and we motored up towards the head of Sitka Sound before we found wind and started sailing. The lower forward corner (tack) of the fisherman sail is just visible in the picture, pointing down. The fisherman is raised by two ropes (halyards), both of which are led to the foremast on Issuma. In the picture, Clayton and Blaine are raising the fisherman, looking aloft to ensure it is not getting tangled as it is raised.

Baking on Issuma

Sitka, AK
In the picture, I am mixing the meringue for a lemon-meringe pie. The lemon pie can be seen in the rectangular pan. The rectangular pan pretty much takes up the entire rack of the oven. I whittled down the end of a wooden spoon so it would fit into the chuck of the cordless drill to mix things like meringue with. The cordless-drill-with-wooden-spoon method worked better than trying to mix meringue by hand, however, when I got to Alaska, I found a hand-powered egg-beater for sale in a store, which does an even better job. Issuma has an old Plastimo gas oven. Surprisingly, both the burner and the chimney are at the back of the oven, so most of the heat produced went straight up the chimney. This meant the back of the oven got hot and burnt stuff and the front of the oven stayed cool and didn’t cook. I made a heat deflector for the oven which greatly improved things. Offshore, I tend to bake bread most days. In warm climates, I make yeast bread, using either regular yeast or sourdough yeast. I have not had much luck with getting yeast breads to rise in cold climates, as yeast is quite picky about temperature, and I don’t yet have a warm and secure place to leave the dough for several hours to rise. In cold climates, I just use baking powder or baking soda (with something acidic to act with the baking soda) for making the dough rise (resulting in much denser breads).