What happens in Juneau......
We arrived in Juneau on March 14th. The weather was cold and clear. We had that crazy ice buildup on the starboard side of the boat from our travels across the entrance of Taku Inlet on our way to Juneau. Eric, a Venture Club member helped us dock as we arrived. We had communicated via messages previously and by the time he left us, we had a key to his car. How helpful that proved to be for our time here. Many thanks!
We spent the afternoon washing the ice and salt off the boat and getting settled.
We knew winds were coming in the next
morning, so we made sure we had plenty of fenders and lines put out. The next morning, the clear skies were gone, replaced by clouds and snow flurries. By noon, we had lots of wind and drifts of snow on the boat. We did a run to Costco with Melissa and Harrison, to scope it out and get a few necessities. By the time we returned, there was so much snow buildup, we needed to shovel snow off the boat. And this became a familiar theme throughout our stay in Juneau. Snow followed by some snow buildup followed by snow that does not accumulate, followed by more snow buildup.
We did manage to get 2 or 3 sunny clear days in the almost 3 weeks stay. I must say, those days make Juneau come alive. It can be so dreary and grey with all the low
clouds, snow, and rain, and then you get a clear sunny day and the snowy mountain peaks that close in on the town look so beautiful it takes your breath away. If only more of our time could have been like that. But maybe the snowy grey skies make you appreciate the sunny days so much more.
Eric was kind enough to take us to the Thursday dinner at the Juneau Yacht Club. It was an informal affair where members can visit and connect. They were closed for a while due to COVID-19 but have recently restarted their bar and dinner events. It was nice to meet other boaters from the Juneau area and hear some cruising stories. The first night we were there was one of those beautiful clear evenings.
Master Head Remodel Project
We made great progress on a big remodel project on Sea venture during our stay. We wanted to refinish our master head. The tile was in severe disrepair, and the sink and faucet left much to be desired. The fact that you could spill water on the countertop, and it would magically disappear to the nether reaches of the boat was a big driving factor, along with the mushy feeling of the tiles around the sink. We removed all the tiles and replaced the wall tiles with some leftover wallpaper we had from the pilot house wallpaper project. This was our first foray into wallpaper and while it is not perfect, we are happy with how it turned out.
Here are some images of the before......
After the wallpaper, we turned our attention to the countertop tile. We picked some tile out at the local Home Depot, (a big store, I might add), along with some floor tiles. Eric connected us up with a tile saw (thank you Dustin) and we were in business. We put tile down on the countertop and the upper (cat) shelf. It was previously white melamine. Then we tackled the floor and got those tiles down. Surprisingly, remember it is 33 degrees outside, it took quite a bit of additional heat in the bathroom to get the tile to dry on the cold fiberglass surface. Once that was done, we got the grout in and finished that part off.
Jim installed the new sink and reworked the water fittings, so we have on/off valves at the sink. We found the bits and bobs we needed at Home Depot to get the water hooked back up and leak free. The drain followed and we now have an operational sink! Jim got the electrical parts he needed to replace the existing outlet in the bathroom and add a much needed second outlet.
Finally, the additional item we got done in the master head is cut a hole in the cabinet. We have a large cabinet with a drawer on top and nothing, but boat hull open space below. We decided to make it a ‘dirty clothes’ hamper and get the dirty clothes bin out of our stateroom. We cut a 12” hole in the cabinet, insulated the space with some Reflectix insulation, put a stainless ring around the hole, and now you can throw your dirty clothes into the cabinet. Just don’t miss, or they may land in the litter box! We are happy with how it turned out.
Here is the after....
Then we were able to reinstall the wood trim, mirrors, towel bars, paper towel holder etc. We do have some to do items left. I need to prime and paint the toilet platform. That will have to wait until we get back to a dock. We need extra heat in the bathroom for the oil-based primer and paint to dry. (Done, now, since it took me so long to post this!) Then we will reroute (to clean up) the hoses leading to the toilet. Hopefully, that will not be too difficult. At the same time, I will be priming some repairs we made in the shower area and get that primed and painted as well. It will be nice to get that project fully completed, but for now the biggest part is done. But we still just have one working head onboard! Better not clog it up!
Twice, we saw seals hauled out on the dock. The first time there were 5 and the second time there were 9 seals. It was remarkably interesting to see them. The seals really
got Blake and Barkley’s attention. They sat and watched them all morning. We had some sunshine on the 24th and the cats took advantage of it. We got them out on the dock to walk in the leftover snow and enjoy the sun.
We did spend a little time as tourists. We had one afternoon where we went out for drinks with our friends from Everett. We enjoyed some local beer, and the warm fire pit was most necessary during the cold weather. On another day, the sun was shining so we went out to the ‘Brotherhood Bridge’ and on to the Mendenhall Glacier. How beautiful that was, particularly with the lake frozen over. I understand that there are ice caves near the glacier, and people can cross the frozen lake to get to them. We visited the glacier during our 2018 visit during the busy summer season. It is vastly different to see it in the winter, with just a few folks about and lots of ice and snow. The visitors center was closed due to Covid-19, but it was nice to walk around the area.
We reprovisioned. It was nice to have access to Costco in Juneau. We were told it is the smallest Costco in the US! Even so, it was able to meet our needs for the next few months with staples, canned goods, and paper goods. We visited the local Fred Meyer, which was a good-sized store and helped us with other items not carried by Costco, or in quantities more manageable for the boat. The local marine store we found was OK. We had trouble finding everything we needed, but we were able to cobble together stuff that would work. The Home Depot was also a large store and well stocked. We were happy with the selection of items we found there. The tile was the most important and they had a good in stock selection. Finally, the grocery close to the harbor was quite nice and had an Ace Hardware as well, so that could do in a pinch or if you don’t have a car.
We reprovisioned cat stuff. I did not realize how difficult that might be. We use the Breeze Tidy Cats litter system, and the only place I found the pellets and pads was at Petco. They carried a small inventory, so I bought out all the litter and pads they had. I think, with some rationing, we will be fine. The food was also a challenge, but they do eat a couple different brands, so Fred Meyer was able to help there. We did get the cats a new cat tree! They really enjoy being high up, so we now have a high perch in the Salon from which they can survey their kingdom.
We wrapped up our time in Juneau by sharing meals with friends. Of course, the night before we left, we got another 2-3 inches of snow. It is definitely time to move a bit farther away from the ice fields of Juneau. Spring is coming, right?