S/V Hello World's Travel Log

I heart big johnsons

Get your mind out of the gutter. This is a post about outboards.

June 21st, Foggy Bay

In round 1 of cruising, we went out with a Yamaha 6hp 2 stroke as our outboard. It's the motor that came with the boat and really worked well (for the most part). It could plane our dinghy with one of us in it, but not both. And that's just not terribly fun. So we upgraded to a 15hp Johnson. We stuck with a 2 stroke because they are so much lighter. And now? Our dinghy is much...more...fun. We take can take off from the boat and explore places we don't dare take Hello World, like Very Inlet. We anchored at the outer-most bay (Foggy Bay) and then dinghy explored into all of these inner lagoons and channels. At least until we ran into some rapids.

The dinghy actually goes fast now. So fast that it scared the crap out of me the first time we took it around the breakwater in Seattle. And I don't scare easily. I live on a boat for god sakes. I like to climb the mast. This dinghy scared me. But now? Oh how I love it.

For those of you who haven't read the Log of the Sea of Cortez (Steinback), I'd highly recommend it - one of my favorite passages concerns their not-so-reliable outboard that they dubbed the Sea-Cow:

We observed the following traits in it and we were able to check them again and again:

1. Incredibly lazy, the Sea-Cow loved to ride on the back of a boat, trailing its propeller daintily in the water while we rowed.

2. It required the same amount of gasoline whether it ran or not, apparently being able to absorb this fluid through its body walls without recourse to explosion. It had always to be filled at the beginning of every trip.

3. It had apparently some clairvoyant powers, and was able to read our mind, particularly when they were inflamed with emotion. Thus, on every occasion when we were driven to the point of destroying it, it started and ran with a great noise and excitement. This served the double purpose of saving its life and of resurrecting in our minds a false confidence in it.

4. It had many cleavage points, and when attached with a screwdriver, fell apart in simulated death, a trait it had in common with opossums, armadillos, and several members of the sloth family, which also fall apart in simulated death when attached with a screwdriver.

5. It hated Tex, sensing perhaps that his knowledge of mechanics was capable of diagnosing its shortcomings.

6. It completely refused to run: (a) when the waves were high, (b) when the wind blew, (c) at night, early morning, and evening, (d) in rain, dew, or fog, (e) when the distance to be covered was more than two hundred yards. But on warm, sunny days when the weather was calm and the white beach close by—in a word, on days when it would have been a pleasure to row—the Sea-Cow started at a touch and would not stop.

7. It loved no one, trusted no one. It had no friends.

We didn't do a whole lot in Foggy Bay besides dinghy exploring. We were relieved that our crossing of Dixon Entrance was ridiculously calm:

and excited that we were back in the US! (mostly because liquor and cheese are normally priced again). We had to get special permission to anchor in Foggy Bay before clearing customs in Ketchikan, but apparently they give the OK to anyone that calls. Maybe we're not as special as we thought.

One more indication that we're back in Alaska - beware of trap lines!

At the end of one of the lagoons. Sadly, no bears.

54° 57.051'N 130° 56.385'W


McKenzie said...

Uh oh - if you were scared by the dinghy motor I might be terrified!

S/V Veranda said...

Its great to finally see that someone will admit that size does matter....