Sunday, May 29, 2011

Haul Out

My apologies to any readers of this fine blog. I know that I've been remiss in posting in a timely fashion. As I mentioned before in a previous post, the fishing season is upon us and I only have so much time and energy to accomplish all that needs done. It's pretty much the same with anyone in Southeast Alaska. Boat owners are busy prepping for the season, gardeners are weeding and planting, home owners are working on all the projects that require a little warmer temperatures outside. There is always a flurry of activity in the spring here- more so than any other place I've ever lived. The season is short, so as the saying goes, you make hay when the sun shines.
 As you can see from the pictures, I hauled out the Bonnie J and got her all spiffed up. Like anyone, I wanted to present her in her best light. No one that I know would keep a picture in his wallet  of his wife or girlfriend when she first woke up in the morning with her hair all askance and holes in her PJ's. To begin with, you'd probably get punched if you tried to get a picture like that, and besides who wants to see it? Sooo... I didn't bother to get pictures of the boat before she was all painted up. Suffice it to say, it looked a lot different when I first hauled out.
 Unfortunately I discovered that I need a new bow stem as well as quite a number of planks. I had to affix a patch on both sides of the bow and my good friend Bob Pinard came down and took on the task of putting Bondo on some major holes in several planks. He's kind of like the Bondo King- I think he's worked with it on cars in the past. Anyway, he was a major help. I'm also happy to report that the bugs hadn't hatched yet so I was actually able to concentrate on the work at hand. When I worked on the haulout landing several years ago, the project lasted into June and the no-see-ums were vicious. I'm quite certain that they could drive a man mad. I brought my box fan down while we were pouring concrete and had it blowing on me full bore. Those other poor saps pushing the wheelbarrows had to leave the breeze and were mauled by those blood thirsty suckers. It was awful. I tried to get the project manager to send over some giant fans like you would use to dry out a building after a flood, but he was merciless. Anyway, I was nervous as a cat when it came time to haul out, but it went quite well. In fact, I think that from here on out, I'll utilize the travel lift- I think it was less stressful on the boat. The new harbormaster, Arlen Skaflestad, handled the lift like a pro and put my mind at ease. There is some kind of scale on the machine that weighs the boats as it lifts them up. I found out that the net tonnage is seven tons, not six as the documentation papers say. Somewhere along the line I picked up an extra two thousand pounds of weight- kind of like my gut over the past ten or fifteen years.
  I've got a few more projects to finish on the boat before I get out fishing. I usually like to be out on the water more by now, but the with the boat work, the high cost of fuel and few reports of good fishing around here, I'm getting a late start. Hopefully I can make up for lost time once I get out. I don't know when I will be able to post here again, but I'd like to do it at least once a week, I'll just have to see how it goes. Until then, Ta Ta!


  1. Hey dad, I was showing my boss the pictures of you boat in this blog and he wants to know how long the boat is? Also why is it people name they're boats and if you can change the name? I told him I would ask you about it.

  2. The ol Bonnie J is lookin quite nice!!!

  3. It sure was a "Botts" family effort in preparing good ol' Bonnie J. It looks nice Tom, I would also question where the extra weight comes from... perhaps one too many cans of Spam?

  4. Ok Camille- I tried to answer this before but it wouldn't let me, so we'll try this again. You have to name the boat something- just like you need a name. It's an identifyer. If you just said " uh, calling the white boat in Icy Straits, about three dozen boats would answer. You can change the name, but I would imagine it would be a lengthy process. I think you'd have to go through the Coast Guard and do a lot of paper work. The Bonnie J is thirty one feet seven inches according to the documentation papers.
    Ah Miss Renee- very funny! I'll have you know I seldom eat Spam, although if I do eat it, it's almost always on the boat. I'm afraid the extra weight gain is a combination of things- poor diet and not enough exercize. I need to catch more fish so I have to walk back to the cockpit more often.

  5. lol...that damn spam...