Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

Anchoring Out the Skiff

One day I was reading an account of someone's hike in the woods in Southeast Alaska. When I came to the words "bushwhacking through the wilderness" I had to stop and think about it. I know where they were, know it like my front yard, but yes, I suppose it is wilderness.  I try to keep that in mind when we take off in the skiff or for a hike.

The skiff gets us from the boat to the beach regularly so that we can explore around. With the ever-changing tide we have to anchor the skiff out. Once we are ashore with all of our gear then my guy carefully places the anchor setup on the bow of the skiff. Then he shoves the skiff off so that it drifts out to deep enough water while I play out the shore line. When the skiff is far enough out then I give the line a jerk, pulling the anchor off of the bow. If everything goes right then the skiff looks like this when we come back from our hike.

The skiff anchored out in a bay with a skim of ice in the middle.

Then he grabs the shore line that is attached to the anchor and the boat, and pulls it in. It usually works just fine. Occasionally the wind switches direction and kicks up. Then when we come back it looks like this...

High and dry with the tide going out.

Um, yeah, it had started raining, too. This was a few weeks ago. We were glad that it was upright! The wind only blew it over against the beach. The tide had been up in the grass, and when the tide started to go out it left the skiff perched on the rocks. The tide can be up to 21 vertical  feet between high and low.

The skiff is too heavy to move with the outboards on and the gear in it, so...

Lightening the skiff.

...everything is quickly removed from the skiff so that we can lift it off of the rocks and get it back in the water. Then the outboards are put back on and the gear is put in.There is no way I could do this alone - that outboard is heavy.

What you can't see is that there is more gear that was stashed ashore when we arrived. Theoretically the line tied to shore will hang onto the skiff in case it pulls anchor and the wind is blowing away from shore. Just in case, though, we have some basic survival gear that we pull out of the skiff and schlep up the beach into the tree line every time. Most importantly: The Go Box.  See that orange box on the beach?

Layers of trees through misty rain.

That's the Go Box. I'll post about the contents of the Go Box in a few days. It is a waterproof box that could save our lives in an unplanned situation. Even when we are within a stone's throw of the boat, and there is a rustic cabin on the island, the Go Box comes with us. We also have warm clothing in a big dry bag, two days food, and a small tarp for emergency shelter. Yep, it is raining again in the photo above, with the temperature at slightly above freezing. We are having a good time, though! We walked and enjoyed looking at our surroundings.

There is a special beauty on rainy days.

I never tire of seeing scenes like this, that show the layers and depth of the forest rolling over hills and mountains.

The rain is falling and the mist is rising out of the trees at the same time.

In the afternoon of this short day the rain stops and a hint of blue sky graces us. Mist softens this rugged place.

As you are watchful of your safety, be ever so watchful of the loveliness in your surroundings.

Alaska Beachcomber

Related posts: Go Box, Barging Freight in Southeast Alaska, Tying Up a 4200 Ton Ship, Quickly 

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