Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Marty's hunny-do-list




A couple weeks ago we had fierce winds blow through Wasilla. Very abnormally fierce winds. It was a good excuse for me to lock the doors, start a fire, and be cozy in my little house.

The small shed in the picture had its lid ripped off and peeled back like a tin can. In order to get into the shed you can either get into it from the small door, or by lifting up that big heavy lid (which WAS on hinges). It takes most of my strength and momentum just to prop it open. Thats how I know it weighs between 60 and 70 pounds (obviously, my arms aren't buff or built).

It WAS closed tight and secure. I can't believe the wind got under it and ripped it back and off it's hinges like that.

I know this wasn't your idea of a Christmas gift Marty, haha - sorry I can't move it or fix it for you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Runaway


Meet Jenny.

A sweet lab mix kinda gal who doesn't know how to stay home.

I almost hit her last night when she ran in front of my car. I was taking a friend home at 10pm, the weather was frigid and blowing and I felt awful when I couldn't figure out where she lived. So after knocking on a couple of doors I packed her up and took her home for the night.

She didn't have anything but her rabies tag on so I called her vet this morning and had her owners call me. They had her micro-chipped and the rabies tag on her but of course you can't figure anything out with those at 10pm at night. I suggested an ID TAG. After all, they never run away during business hours.

Pete was ecstatic to have someone fun spend the night (don't worry, they slept in separate beds). Even though it was a pain talking her into my car and worrying about her peeing on my floors (she didn't thank heavens) Pete thought it was all very worth it and thinks we should really do it more often.

This message has been sponsored by the idea of getting ID Tags for your beloved pets.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Our Nations Drunkest Cities...

I saw this in the paper and had to post it. How very sad Anchorage made 2nd drunkest city...

"The Drunkest Cities"
Published in Mens Health Magazine
December 2008

New Year's Day 1916 was rough for Colorado residents looking for a little hair of the dog. On that Saturday, the state stopped all liquor sales, predating Prohibition by 4 years. Today, Colo-rado once again leads the nation in its attitude toward alcohol -- but now, the mandate seems to be "drink till you drop." In our second ranking of urban inebriation, Aurora comes in 82nd, Colorado Springs finishes 98th, and, once again, Denver is Most Dangerously Drunk.

We looked at annual death rates due to alcoholic liver disease, as well as who's headed there by regularly downing five or more drinks in a sitting (CDC). Next, we factored in drunk-driving arrests (FBI) and the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists (U.S. Department of Transportation). Then, after tallying the MADD report card of state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking, we had our ranking and, for the state of Colorado, an invitation to AA.

Most Dangerously Drunk:

100 Denver, CO F

99 Anchorage, AK F

98 Colorado Springs, CO F

97 Omaha, NE F

96 Fargo, ND F

95 San Antonio, TX F

94 Austin, TX F

93 Fresno, CA F

92 Lubbock, TX F

91 Milwaukee, WI F

90 El Paso, TX F

89 Spokane, WA F

88 Washington, DC F

87 Columbia, SC F

86 St. Louis, MO D-

85 Bakersfield, CA D-

84 San Diego, CA D

83 Cheyenne, WY D

82 Aurora, CO D

81 Houston, TX D

80 Portland, OR D

79 Seattle, WA D

78 Boise, ID D

77 Tucson, AZ D+

76 Dallas, TX D+

75 Jacksonville, FL D+

74 Toledo, OH D+

73 Madison, WI D+

72 Oakland, CA D+

71 Modesto, CA D+

70 Billings, MT D+

69 Fremont, CA D+

68 Oklahoma City, OK D+

67 San Francisco, CA D+

66 Sacramento, CA D+

65 Los Angeles, CA D+

64 Phoenix, AZ D+

63 Albuquerque, NM D+

62 Chicago, IL D+

61 Providence, RI D+

60 Fort Wayne, IN C-

59 Manchester, NH C-

58 Charleston, WV C-

57 Burlington, VT C-

56 Lincoln, NE C-

55 Corpus Christi, TX C-

54 Des Moines, IA C-

53 Indianapolis, IN C-

52 Pittsburgh, PA C-

51 Honolulu, HI C-


50 St. Paul, MN C

49 Tampa, FL C

48 Greensboro, NC C

47 Las Vegas, NV C

46 Baltimore, MD C

45 Riverside, CA C

44 Norfolk, VA C

43 Detroit, MI C+

42 Arlington, TX C+

41 Grand Rapids, MI C+

40 San Jose, CA C+

39 St. Petersburg, FL C+

38 Nashville, TN C+

37 Charlotte, NC C+

36 Wilmington, DE C+

35 Orlando, FL C+

34 Minneapolis, MN C+

33 Kansas City, MO C+

32 Fort Worth, TX C+

31 Tulsa, OK C+

30 Anaheim, CA B-

29 Wichita, KS B-

28 Lexington, KY B-

27 Philadelphia, PA B-

26 Montgomery, AL B-

25 Rochester, NY B-

24 Raleigh, NC B

23 Cincinnati, OH B

22 Louisville, KY B

21 Bangor, ME B

20 Memphis, TN B

19 Boston, MA B

18 Hartford, CT B+

17 Sioux Falls, SD B+

16 Birmingham, AL B+

15 Baton Rouge, LA B+

14 Columbus, OH B+

13 Cleveland, OH B+

12 Atlanta, GA B+

11 Newark, NJ B+

Least Dangerously Drunk:

10 Jersey City, NJ B+

9 Richmond, VA B+

8 New York, NY B+

7 Little Rock, AK A-

6 Salt lake City, UT A-

5 Yonkers, NY A-

4 Jackson, MS A

3 Buffalo, NY A

2 Miami, FL A

1 Durham, NC A+

Last Call
Studies show that state laws that put strict limits on where and when alcohol can be sold help cut the number of booze-induced trips to the E.R. -- and the morgue. That's because self-destructive drinkers tend to buy alcohol impulsively and at late hours. Go to alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov to see if your state could use a stronger stance.

Deputize Yourself
Roughly 1.4 million people are arrested for DUIs each year, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that for every driver cuffed, another 88 are never pulled over. Use your cellphone to lower that number. Besides the obvious indicators of intoxication, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also cites subtler signs, such as someone making extra-wide turns, going straight through a turn-only lane, or driving with his or her face close to the windshield. If the clues accumulate, make the call. (In many states, 311 is nonemergency dispatch.)


I only have one thing to add from the Bible...

Galatians 5:19-26
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Secrets and Gossip?

"If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. ~ Khalil Gibran

I just love this quote. It's a great reminder for my big mouth.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dreaming

A few nights ago I dreamt Marty and I saw an old friend of ours. During the the whole visit with this friend I was really bothered because he looked so different, yet I couldn't figure what was different about him.

A few hours after I woke up it finally struck me like a cooking pan to the head.

He had hair.

In real life our friend has been almost completely bald on top, the whole time we've known him.

I find it so odd that my subconscious decided to put hair on his head. Until that dream, I had never thought of him with hair in the entire 10 years we've known him.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Snow

It's snowing..

Right now

Really hard.

I'm not quite ready for this yet.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What stage are you?

We went to a marriage seminar last week. The Anchorage Church of Christ had 2 guest speakers that led the seminar. A really good team, who happened to be husband and wife.

Things are great with Marty and I, but I figured there's always room for improvement - mainly where I'm concerned. In case your wondering why we went.

I learned a lot, now the trick is putting what I learned into practice. And with my stubborn will, it'll only happen by the grace of GOD. Thankfully God likes to lend a hand in areas like these.

Anyway, this chart below was something that was touched on during the weekend. I love it and had to share it. I know you married people out there can appreciate it.



His point was that every marriage goes through these stages. He pointed out that divorce only happens in stage 2, so a struggling couple just has to focus on getting through to stage three.

This was not the "solve-all" to a good marriage but again, just a small thing he showed that I thought was neat. And very true.

Oh, by the way...

No fighting with your spouse about which stage your in.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Vrrrrooomm

I couldn't help but notice the Finley's new hot rod last week when I stopped by for a quick visit.


There's nothing like showcasing your sports car on a nice and green lawn while the suns out.



What's even funnier is that little Caleb has already figured this out, and he's not even 5 years old yet.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Prudhoe Bay Flight Problems

North Slope workers' close call
KTVA, Channel 2 News
by Bianca Slota

Thursday, August 2, 2007
View Video - (internet explorer only)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A Shared Services Flight shuttling North Slope workers from Deadhorse to Anchorage had to be turned back Tuesday after an engine on the plane failed.

The flight operators said it was a minor incident with no cause for alarm, but employees on the slope describe it as just the latest in a string of problems that has made them afraid of flying with their employers.

ConocoPhillips operates Shared Services Aviation as a free flight service for North Slope employees. The flights used to be operated by Alaska Airlines but are now operated by Northern Air Cargo.

On Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., Flight 151-152 from Deadhorse to Anchorage experienced engine failure. Pilots turned the plane around and landed back at Deadhorse.

SSA sent a message to all North Slope workers which said:
"From the initial inspection, it appears that the mounting for the right engine nose cone, a small protective cover on the center of the engine inlet, broke, causing the nose cone to damage the compressor. This disrupted the airflow and caused the engine to backfire. The same part on the other SSA engines was inspected to ensure that there are no issues."

Passengers on board the plane say it seemed much more serious to them. One man sent an e-mail to Channel 2 News, stating,
"It was a very troubling situation in which the flight attendants were yelling to the passengers to grab our ankles and put our heads down for what seemed to be several minutes. I thought I was going to die. The pilot managed to get us turned around and we landed on one engine."
As word about the incident spreads, so does fear among slope workers. One man, who asked not to be identified, said there were many concerns.
"The concerns are that we're afraid that they're gonna wait until a major catastrophe happens before they address the issues completely, before they get new aircraft. That's what our concerns are. We're very much concerned for our safety," he said.
The plane that experienced the engine failure is now out of service and another from the fleet is out for routine maintenance, so SSA is operating five flights with just one plane.

BP Exploration sent a message to its employees and contractors saying that flights are now limited to essential employees only.

SSA said the FAA has been alerted about the incident. The failed engine will be shipped to an overhaul for complete analysis, and, in the meantime, another engine has been sent to Deadhorse and will be mounted on the plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was contacted about an incident earlier this year in which the flight crew thought it had an engine stall on approach.

But a spokesperson for the NTSB said the board couldn't find evidence of the stall.

It has looked into other reports of engine problems and said it has found nothing out of the ordinary and nothing to be concerned about.

Contact Bianca Slota at bslota@ktuu.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Baby Fun

It's been a while again. Time seems to be getting away from me a lot lately.

I've been watching the cutest little 9 month old little girl for the last few days. She belongs to a foster family from our church. They have one other foster child who had to see a medical specialist in Seattle so I was the lucky gal who got to babysit the sweet girl for 3 days. They get back from Seattle tonight, so other than nap times, I'm sucking up as much baby fun as I can.

It's funny, we've been thinking for a while now about becoming a foster family. When I told our friend she asked if we'd like to have a test run. haha I'm so glad I did it!!

The only thing I really need to work on is keeping up with the messes I'VE created while she's been here. There mostly cleaned up now but let me just say.... YIKES! Instead of traveling with one set, I've had toys, blankets, binkies, and burp-up-rags scattered between 3 rooms since Monday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

April stuff

I took a trip to Homer back in April and mom and I spent a day driving around and seeing old places we haven't seen in a while. I got some interesting pictures, but since that was the busiest month I've had in a few years I never found time to post them before forgetting about them all together.






Funky pyramid house down by the bluffs.

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This house isn't anything special, but their fence is.



If you click on this picture, you can see it larger in another window. The driftwood top looks so neat. I would love to do something like this at my house after seeing this.



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Mom kept telling me I had to see the new winery out at Bear Creek. I wasn't super excited because I've never liked the taste of wine. She insisted the place had neat stuff though so off we went.


On the way there we passed this wine bottle garden. If you click on the picture to see it enlarged it looks a little neater. I thought it was surely created by the winery but they new nothing about it. Which was strange because it was two driveways away. Must be a happy customer?




I wasn't as excited about their shop but I loved their carved bears.

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Scary looking monster boat we found in the back of the Homer Boat Yard.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ice Road Truckers

Just saw this article in the Anchorage Daily News this morning, sounded pretty appealing...

Ice road truckers: Tougher than crab fishermen? You can practically hear the pitch: “Hey, people loved ‘The Deadliest Catch.’ What other dangerous, scary, freezing jobs can we point a camera at?’”

The Canadian Press reports that the History Channel will debut a 10-part series Sunday called “Ice Road Truckers.” The action takes place in Canada.


Look for the shot of a sinking 18-wheeler. Is it staged?



Says producer Dawn Fitzgerald: “Not everybody's fit for the Iditarod, but they can envision themselves behind the wheel of a truck. … It's this blue-collar job that takes people out there and really pushes the limits of the average guy.”

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Pictures

While Marty was in class I decided to tour the area. I've lived on the Kenai peninsula almost my whole life but never really spent much time checking out Kenai or Soldotna. While we were down there I also went to Nikiski, Sterling, & Kasilof. I had a great time just driving around taking pictures of neat and meaningless things. And since we were broke it was a good thing I enjoyed doing just that.

Nikiski was by far my favorite. Each town had a lot more abandon businesses and buildings that I ever expected to find, but Nikiski topped all of them. It was like going 50 years into the past. I didn't get even close to photographing all of them.

I loaded all the pictures into my flickr account if you wanna see.

We're Back

We just got back from 4 days in Kenai. The class was really hard for Marty. It's actually a class that is usually done over the course of a semester but this one was crammed into 4 days. He didn't know that until he got down there. He kept saying he felt way in over his head but persistently prayed for God to help him through and what do ya know - he got an 84% on his final test. I'm so proud of him sticking with God and trudging through instead of giving up.

While we were down there I called the pound to check on the little dog we found before we left town. The bad news was that her owners still hadn't claimed her but the good news was that some other family had left a deposit on her. The owners have until today, the 9th to claim her - tomorrow she is available for adoption. I guess the fact that we left a paper with anything we could tell about her really helped. We just said she was house trained, great with other animals, and very well mannered - I'll have to remember to do that if the situation ever comes up again.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Traveling...

Marty and I leave tomorrow morning at around 3 am to drive to Soldotna for a few days. He has to take a certified welding inspection class down there. So it won't be tons of fun for him but we rented a small apartment and Pete and I plan on turning into tourist and painting the town pink while he's in class.

Pete needs a little brushing up with dog obedience so with a leash and treats in tow, hopefuly we can polish him up quite nicely.

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Meanwhile, we found another dog out on Schrock road yesterday. I hit 5 different neighborhoods looking for someone who recognized her to no avail. We've immediately left her description with the pound and put up signs today but unfortunately we will have to drop her off at the pound in an hour or so. We can't have 2 dogs with us at the place we'll be staying so hopefully her owners will find her and take her home. I'll let the pound know not to euthanize her with out calling me first. I'm sure I could find a good home for her if her owners don't claim her.

She's a sweet little thing. I think she's a Jack Russell mix. House trained, gets along great with our dog and cat and is well mannered. I'm sure she's loved, she came with a collar and an expectation to sleep up on our bed (which didn't happen).

Anyway, the frustrating part is her owners haven't posted their own signs, haven't called the pound, haven't taken measures to make sure she remains safely at home, haven't put ID tags on her pretty little collar, and have not fixed her. Yes I believe she is currently in heat on top of it all.

If you'd like to take her home she'd love to have you!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Pet Stories..

Marty and I went camping this last weekend in Ninilchik with Autumn, Stacie, Jarrett, Amber and their boys. We dug up razor clams on Saturday which was so much fun. Except poor Stacie overdosing on marshmallows Saturday night the entire weekend was a blast. I'm so glad they invited us along.

On Sunday we stopped in Soldotna and went to church. Tony Cloud had a great lesson reminding us how important it is to read Gods word.

Not long after we got on the road we came upon a sheep dog mix running down one of the busiest highways in Alaska. It crossed the road a few times so we immediately tried to call it over to us. The dog wanted nothing to do with us and kept running doing anything to avoid us. After several attempts at calling it and trying to deter it from the road it finally darted off into a swamp and we lost site of it. We even had a trooper join in and try to help out. I really wanted to follow it home and speak with the owner but at least it got away from the highway.

So we get back on the road and not 15 miles down the road in Sterling on the 5 lane highway yet another dog comes darting out into the road. Not only did we nearly hit it but 2 other cars as well. We stopped just before we hit it and the dog stayed in front of our car. I got out and tried to call it over but the little dog just ran under our car to the other side. I continued in trying to call it but it just ran. I followed the dog determined to find it's owner, over to a church. It ran right up to the front door and looking inside as if it knew it's owner was inside. So instead of trying to get the dog I figured I'd go inside and see who I could find. The dog went under a ford truck parked near the door and stayed put. The church was still in session, the person I spoke with wouldn't make an announcement but instead came outside to help. I wish he would have just made a quick announcement. He decided his dog would be helpful in getting this little dog to come, I knew it wasn't gonna work. I went back to the dog with treats Marty found and was trying when something spooked the dog from behind it (I think the other guy with his dog). Yet again this little dog tore past me, across the parking lot and into the middle of the 5 lane hwy yet again. It just stood out in the center lane, so I ran after it shooing it out of the road. Thankfully nobody was driving by at that moment. We followed it home. I'm sure it was home because the dog once in the driveway had enough courage to stand it's ground instead of running. Nobody was home so I let the dog into the pet door, jammed it closed and left a note asking them to be more responsible in the future.

So you'd think this would be it wouldn't you? 3 Dog stories in a month! I usually end up finding 2 or 3 in a year!

This is not the end though. On Tuesday Marty and I were driving up Lucille when I see a horse a mile up the road. It's coming straight towards us and had a line of traffic behind it. A vehicle was driving along next to it, trying to get it to stop. I am sure it was doing around 25-30 miles an hour in speed down the pavement totally freaked out. So I holler at Marty to stop and I jumped out ran out in front of the horse and started waving my arms frantically saying Whoa! It actually worked, I got the horse to stop and Marty brought me a dog leash. The horse had NO halter on so this was all we had to hold it. I then hear the person who had been driving next to it and see it's our neighbor. She has 4 horses and her and her daughter are very experienced with them. They rescue animals a lot so I assumed this was maybe a new rescue of theirs. I gave the horse lead over to the daughter and she began trying to make the leash into a halter but something spooked the horse, it reared and the girl was almost hit in the head with a hoof. She let go of the leash, it fell off the horse, and the horse took off again. It turns out this was not our neighbors horse, like us she was just out on an errand and came upon a loose horse.

So we turned around and followed it hoping to get another shot at catching it. I called 911 and reported it as it was headed for the 5 lane parks hwy and was sure to be hit. Just before the hwy it turned off onto a dead end so I let dispatch know and got off the phone and followed the horse on foot through someones front and back yard and into a graveyard. It was going to fast to keep up on foot. We saw a police officer and started talking to him when he got another call, the horse was 5 miles down the road already!! We all drove over and another police officer had caught it. The owner was contacted because a neighbor had seen the horse get out and followed it the whole way. The poor horse was a beautiful Tennessee Walking horse, had gotten a minor cut on its back leg and had gone lame from an over 6 mile dead run on pavement. It was heart breaking. When the owner finally got there 5 of us and the officer were still there. Everyone was very nice to the owner, we were all just so glad the horse was not hit and was going home to recover. The officer pointed out the cut and she was glad he did. I then told her just before the horse was caught he looked like he had gone lame with such a bad limp. I said it in a very friendly way and all she did was glare, turn her back and ignore me. Nobody was within 10 feet of the horse so we wouldn't spook it more but she took the horse and walked even further away to make calls for someone to come help her with a trailer or a saddle to ride it all the way home. She never said thank you to one person except the police officer. If it wasn't for all the people standing there she wouldn't have an alive horse. She had no idea what had taken place and never asked. She didn't even thank her neighbor.

It turned out to be the second time that day the horse had gotten out. And strange enough the second time that particular police officer had caught it.

FRUSTRATING

Yet Another reminder to take good care of your pets.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Camping

With summer finally getting here Marty and I are starting to think about good camp spots we can hit during his off time.

I just called the Kenia Peninsula Borough office in Soldotna (714-2200) and found out they have maps that have a couple trecherous 4x4 trails we use to go out on in high school and one other in Ninilchik I've never been too. Anyone can stop by their office on Binkley street and pick up a map for $3.

"The Watermelon Trail" just off of Ohlson Mountain Road
"The North Fork Trail" aka "North Fork Hills Trail" out of Anchor Point
And "The Ninilchik Dome Trail" out of Ninilchik I guess.

There use to be a privately owned cabin way out on the north fork trail I'd love to find again. The lady who owned it was never there but welcomed anyone the use of it, as long as they left it in good condition and respected the place. The area was referred to as "Blueberry Hill" It was really a neat cabin and a great spot to spend a few days. There were several other old homestead cabins out there that hadn't been lived in, in decades too. I'm hoping the map will give me a better idea how to find the place again so we can go out there sometime this summer. The only thing I remember was that the trail (over 14 miles long) started in the village of Nikolaevsk went for miles, passing the Christian Community Church kids camp, at which point the trail got much worse for miles and miles until we finally arrived. I'm not sure I could find it again.

Another place I want to go is Valdez. Fishtaxi has been gracious enough to offer advise on places to see and after reading her blog for the last few years I really want to see a few things she's posted about.

Old Richardson Hwy - She first did this post back in July, then this one in September of 2006. It's an old Highway built back in 1957 no longer used or maintained. Seems like a super fun place to camp, or at least explore. These are her pictures from those posts...






I'd also love to see the town of Valdez, have lunch with Fishtaxi, check out the harbor, boatyard, and old town. This place, this place, and this place all look like good spots to go see too. Any other idea's?

Oh while I was looking to find the pictures above I ran across this post I haven't heard anything about in ages, how do those willows look now Fishtaxi? I keep meaning to do that with some of my trees but keep forgetting.

Anyway, Valdez and Blueberry Hill, those are the places I'd love to go so far. I'm thinking a trip across the bay would be fun too. Do any of you have some great places you suggest?

Responsible Pet Ownership...




Meet "Bear", a loving and attentive Weimaraner/lab mix. Bear spent the weekend with us after we found him out on the highway. I really want to tell you the story but it's really long and not nice of me to publicly slam his owner, soooo....

Let me just take this opportunity to remind everyone of an ideal setup in kind and responsible pet ownership...
  • Microchips are fantastic and inexpensive - I think around $25 nowdays
  • A Collar that they can't get out of...
  • Some people worry that if the dog chain or cable gets bound up the pet could be strangled wearing a choke chain or a collar that isn't loose enough to get out of, but leaving them unattended on a chain while your not home is just not the safest of options. Leave them in the house, garage, kennel, or in a fenced in yard which are all safer options. They could still get out but not strangled, and they are protected from other stray/wild animals this way too. - and just to clarify I don't have anything against using a chain from time to time while pet owners are home because if a dog is in trouble they'll make enough noise for you to come to their aid.
  • Dog tags - with the dogs name and owners contact numbers should be on every dog, even with microchips, and even if they don't run away. It's better to be over cautious and they only cost around $5.00. You can get them made instantly at Walmart, Petzoo, Fred Meyers, or plenty of other stores selling pet supplies. (Bear was found after hours with only a license tag on. My only option was let him go, and possibly be hit - or bring him home for the night. Not everyone would have had the option to bring him home.)
  • Licensing tags - Required in the Mat-su Valley but not required in all boroughs or towns. Should be on their collar if ya have one.
  • Rabies tags - again, should be on the collar, not in the file box.
  • Dog Obedience classes - Your pet does NOT own you, YOU OWN IT! If your not able to control your animal don't give in. EVERY animal can be trained in the time you should already be spending with it. If you can't afford training, let me know and I'll send you some great stuff so you can get started at home.
  • Spay/Neuter your pets!!! I know it's expensive but if you can't afford it your not ready to own a pet yet.
We think of our pets as part of the family. We just don't think a dog should be allowed to roam as it pleases, ESPECIALLY one than isn't fixed; and life tied to a chain can be a lonely life.

Now go give your pet some luv...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More spring cleaning.

I spent a few more hours this afternoon out in the yard. There are too many leaves to mix into the compost pile so I just decided to burn some. Wood ash is great for a compost pile anyway. It was a little windy so I kept the fire smothered and the hose near by and it went fine.

I still have a really long way to go though haha..

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These picture are from Seattle. There are so many great old buildings everywhere. The crazy part is you don't even have to be in a rich neighborhood to find an old treasure.


This house was next to a Fred Meyers grocery.


The brick building on the right is the Fred Meyers building.



This was at the back of Freddys parking lot.


I've never been anywhere with cable cars - or in Seattle's case, cable buses. Theres just a mosh of wire mess everywhere to get those things around. Rocky kept joking about earthquakes bringing those things down and shocking the life out of us. haha

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yard Work

I started to rake my yard yesterday. Man I have sooooo far to go still.

I worked for about an hour more after I took this shot yesterday. It took me longer that it takes most people because I'm mixing all these leaves into my compost pile as I go. The compost pile rocks for filling in dips in the yard (which are everywhere), dirt for planting, and things like that. Much cheaper than buying dirt for the same purposes.

As much work as it is, I am super jazzed to be able to hang out side after the long winter. I love working in the yard too, so this IS a blessing! Now if only the brown and dead grass would turn green a little quicker!

Anyway, I still have to rake every inch of the rest of it. I feel like it's gonna take forever! haha








Pete is ecstatic about all this work.

Monday, April 30, 2007

More Halibut Endeavor Pictures

All of these photo's were taken in 2002 of the Halibut Endeavor. I took all of them except this top one. A photography company took it from their helicopter and sold it to us that year. This was back when "Capitan Jim" ran her. He was and still is one of the best, it's hard to picture anyone else at the Endeavors wheel.

Unfortunately I never kept the originals of these pictures. The company only had these, which were sized down for some reason. Johnny, the previous owners son was kind enough to send them to me today. If you click on the pictures it will open into another window with a larger size.

She sure isn't the prettiest of boats but you'd never know it from this picture.


Coming around the end of the spit after a long day of fishing.









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I took this photo April 20th or 21st 2007 on my last trip to Homer. This is the only picture that is just about full size. Blogger sizes them down just a tad. If you would like the original copy, leave your email in the comments, I'll send it right away.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Halibut Endeavor Sinks...

Update: I added more pictures to the following post.

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Wow.

As I've mentioned before, I use to work for Halibut King Charters. I started in high school and worked off and on through the summer seasons from cleaning the boats to office manager in 2002. The owner was much like a surrogate dad and the crew of Halibut King was just awesome, we were all pretty close. In fact after all this time I still keep in touch with several of them. It's rare to find such a great dynamic in a work environment. I think the first time I started going out fishing with them was my freshmen year of high school although it's hard to remember exactly.

Anyway, the secondary charter boat the 36 ft. "Halibut Endeavor" (a Modutech built in 1973) sank on Wednesday the 25th of April. The Company was just sold sometime this winter and the new owner, Weldon took her out for what turned out to be her last charter. Sooo many memories on that boat, I feel like I've kinda lost a family member! And the weird part was I saw the boats just this week for the first time in 2 years.

Thank the Good Lord nobody was hurt.

I remember Weldon from back in 2002. He ran and owned the "Tacklebuster" which he has now merged with the Halibut King Fleet. He was one of the nicest and most seasoned captains in Homer. He knows boats and he knows fishing so I think the passengers were very lucky it was him as captain and not someone less experienced.


This picture was taken in the Homer Boat Yard back in 2005 when we went down for Thanksgiving.


I took this picture in 2005 of the Halibut Endeavor. The irony is she seems to be sailing off for good -and- one of the rescue boats that came during the sinking; Coast Guard Cutter "Roanoke Island" is in the back ground.

I'm saving all the news articles I could find on this here on the blog below, sorry it's kinda long...


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Homer News:
Rescue saves 13 fishermen before plunge into Kachemak Bay
By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

What began as a day of smooth sailing and relaxed halibut fishing ended with a dramatic rescue of 13 fishermen on Kachemak Bay Wednesday. Fast response by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary pulled the fishermen off the 36-foot Halibut Endeavor after it began taking on water about five miles off Seldovia. The Halibut Endeavor was one of eight vessels participating in an annual halibut-tagging event sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce.



Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News
George Meeker, 85, of Homer, thanks the crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island for safe passage back to the Homer harbor after the 36-foot Meeker was fishing on capsized and sunk on Kachemak Bay. Assisting Meeker off the ship are emergency responders of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, while members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary prepare to help Meeker ashore.

"That's one of the worse times I've had," said 85-year-old George Meeker of Homer, one of the passengers aboard the Halibut Endeavor.

Passenger Ed Stading, a Homer police officer, and his wife, Robanne, praised those involved in the rescue effort.

"If you were going to write a list of all the heroes today, it would be huge," Stading said. Weldon Chivers, captain of the Halibut Endeavor, which is owned and operated by Halibut King Charters of Homer, radioed the call for help. The first to respond to his "mayday" was a 27-foot SAFE Boat owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and dedicated for use by the auxiliary in Homer.

"I briefed my crew and we headed in that direction, making about 40 knots," said Coxswain Shane Taylor of Anchorage, instructor in an auxiliary training academy currently being held in Homer.

With the boat at full throttle, Taylor and his crew - Richard Liebe of Anchorage, Ray Miller of Fairbanks and Mike Cupit, an academy exchange student from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary - plotted a course that took them to the Halibut Endeavor's location. Chivers continued to give updates on the situation via radio during the 20 minutes it took Taylor to arrive on scene.

"He was very, very calm and gave all the right information," Taylor said. "He kept that boat floating until we arrived."

By the time the SAFE Boat reached the Halibut Endeavor, Chivers had the 11 adult passengers, all wearing life jackets, on the bow of the boat.

"They were trying to balance it," Taylor said. "It would start listing one way, and he'd shift the people to the other side of the boat to balance out the load."

Staying away from the side of the boat that would go under first concerned Meeker, who has experience on the water. He has fished locally and in Prince William Sound, and served in the U.S. Navy aboard an aircraft carrier during World War II.

"If you're on the side that goes in first, you're in pretty deep trouble. I thought about the possibility of the boat sucking us under," Meeker said.

Taylor's first plan had been to help dewater the vessel, but he quickly switched his course of action after witnessing the severity of the situation.

"When I saw the stern awash, I opened the door and screamed at the top of my lungs, "Everybody's coming off now,'" he said.

With the Halibut Endeavor listing to the port, left, side, Taylor nosed the SAFE Boat up to the charter boat's bow and held it steady while his crew assisted in the transfer of passengers. All the while, Taylor kept a hand on the Endeavor so he could detect the slightest shift in its position and pull away if necessary.

"I felt it make a move just as we had the 11th person on board so I pulled away and slowed down to a stop," Taylor said.

Within moments, the Halibut Endeavor rolled onto its starboard, right, side, with Chivers and his deckhand climbing onto the port side.

Two Good Samaritan vessels had arrived on scene by then, ready to assist. One of them was the "Winter King," under the command of Capt. Rex Murphy.

"The rescue boat did a marvelous job getting all the passengers off the boat," Murphy said. "It was amazing to see how well the SAFE Boat handled it."

Taylor quickly pulled back alongside the capsized vessel.

"We grabbed the first mate, but his pant leg or hip wader was stuck on something and he got hung up. Our crew finally had to rip him free of whatever it was he was hung up on. Afterwards we assisted (Chivers) on board," Taylor said.

Within moments, the Halibut Endeavor was gone, descending through the cold, dark depths of Kachemak Bay.

"If we hadn't arrived when we did, those 13 people would have gone for a swim," Taylor said.

Also responding was the USCG Cutter Roanoke Island, a 120-foot patrol boat stationed in Homer and under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin F. Strickland. The crew and passengers of the Halibut Endeavor were transferred to the cutter, which transported them back to the Homer harbor.

By Thursday, the cause of the vessel's sinking was still unknown, according to Rick Zielinski, one of the owners of Halibut King Charters.

"But everybody's safe," he said.

The sight of a sinking vessel was sobering for Murphy.

"It's sad to see a boat go down," he said. "It makes you think real hard about things. But it worked out real well. Thank goodness the Coast Guard was there. They just did a super job."

Taylor had high praise for the trainees aboard the SAFE Boat.

"My crew did a great job," he said.

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Homer Tribune:
Halibut Endeavor gone forever
• Thirteen rescued from sinking boat in Kachemak Bay
April 26, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Standing on the bow of the sinking Halibut Endeavor with 10 other shivering passengers and no ships in sight Wednesday afternoon, Matt North turned his shoulder to the wind and started dialing for help.
When the stern of the Endeavor started to disappear under the surface of Kachemak Bay, all the passengers moved to the bow. Some of the people took each other's hands and began to pray. Many were wet and shivering.
"I was thinking, what are we going to do when we're all huddled together in the water? And how are we going to get them in the life raft?" North said.
After a day of tagging halibut for the annual Homer Halibut Derby, boat captain Welden Chivers turned back toward the Homer Spit around 3:30 p.m. from the boat's fishing spot about five miles from Seldovia. As the 38-foot charter pressed forward through the calm, rolling waves of Kachemak Bay, the stern of the ship started taking on more water.
"We saw there was much bigger problem than that, and we started moving to the front," North said.
Through several calls North made, he finally reached Winter King Captain Rex Murphy, one of several boats that had been fishing near the Endeavor earlier in the afternoon.
"So Rex calls me and said he just couldn't see anything," North said. "So I just said, 'Follow the black smoke bellowing out the back of the boat.'"
Homer Police Officer Ed Stading, who had been fishing aboard the boat, also made some calls for help.
He reached his co-workers at the police station who then called the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Juneau at 4 p.m.
Forty-four minutes later, the Winter King and the Coast Guard Auxiliary arrived on scene — and not a minute too late.
While the coast guard Auxiliary rescued the passengers, the captain kept the boat from flipping.
Minutes later, the boat rolled to its side. A passenger as well as the boat's captain and deckhand took a dip in the chilly water before being lifted into the auxiliary boat.
Three minutes after rolling, the customers and crew watched the red tip of the ship disappear into the ocean.
The rescued were then transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter, Roanoke Island. Several were treated and released by emergency medical personnel. North said everyone remained calm, though concerned, during the incident.
"I don't know why we started taking on water, but the whole thing was just nuts," North said. "They arrived right on time. I really, really need a beer."
The cause of the sinking is not known. Boat owner Rick Zielenski had purchased the Endeavor this year, a longtime vessel of the Homer Harbor.

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Anchorage Daily News:

13 saved as charter boat sinks after roll

The halibut fishing season in Homer started off with a bang Wednesday, when a charter boat tagging fish for the annual halibut derby capsized and sank in calm seas near Seldovia.

All 13 people on the Halibut Endeavor for the day's Chamber of Commerce outing were rescued, though several had to be pulled from the water after the boat turned over.

The 38-foot vessel was headed for the Homer harbor at 4 p.m. when it started taking on water and made a call for help to Homer police, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

A 25-foot Coast Guard Auxiliary boat was nearby on a training mission at the time and lifted 11 passengers from the wallowing boat.

"The captain did a fantastic job with his passengers. It was lightning fast," said Rex Murphy, the skipper of the boat Winter King, who was tagging halibut nearby. "We got to watch the Coast Guard do a super rescue."

After the 11 were safely aboard the Coast Guard vessel, the Halibut Endeavor's captain started toward Seldovia.

Murphy was following alongside when, after about a quarter mile, the boat "turned turtle." Murphy said a deckhand clung to the side of the Endeavor while the captain had to struggle out of the boat cabin.

The Auxiliary boat reached the Endeavor and grabbed the two wet fishermen before the boat went down, Murphy said. He said the boat sank in less than five minutes.

Passengers were picked up by the Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island and taken to the Homer Spit. Several were examined by emergency medical personnel before heading home, said Coast Guard spokesman Ray Dwyer.

Kachemak Bay was calm Wednesday afternoon as several boats in addition to the Endeavor were catching, tagging and releasing halibut for the annual chamber derby.

The cause of the sinking was unknown Wednesday night, the Coast Guard said.

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Story last updated at 8:45 PM on Thursday, May 3, 2007
Rescue saves 13 fishermen from sinking

Investigation into cause continues

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer

Why the 39-foot Halibut Endeavor sank five miles off Seldovia April 25 is still unknown, but an investigation of the incident is under way, according to Michael Watson, chief warrant officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Kenai.



PHoto courtesy of the U.S. Coast
Passenges from the ill-fated Halibut Endeavor are transferred from the Coast Guard Auxliary's SAFE Boat to the USCGC Roanoke Island Wednesday for transport back to the Homer harbor. The 36-foot Halibut Endeavor sank about five miles off Seldovia. All 13 people on board were removed from the vessel shortly before it went under.
"Anytime a vessel carries even one passenger for hire and has an accident, the Coast Guard investigates," Watson said.

The Halibut Endeavor, owned and operated by Halibut King Charters of Homer, was one of eight vessels participating in the Homer Chamber of Commerce's annual one-day halibut-tagging event. Vessel captains are given business-sponsored tags that are attached to halibut caught during the day. The halibut are then released and, if recaught during the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby that began Tuesday, the tags can be redeemed for prizes.

The vessel was carrying 11 passengers, plus a captain and deckhand. All 13 people were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary only minutes before the Halibut Endeavor sank.

"Nothing like this has happened before and hopefully it never will happen again," said Linda Winters, event organizer for the chamber.

Alcohol and drug tests of the Halibut Endeavor's captain and crew have been completed as required. Those results, along with interviews of everyone aboard the vessel, will be forwarded to the Coast Guard's investigating office in Anchorage, Watson said.

George Meeker, 85, of Homer was one of the passengers aboard the Halibut Endeavor.

"That's one of the worst times I've had," Meeker said.

Ed Stading, a Homer police officer, and his wife, Robanne, praised those involved in the rescue effort.

"If you were going to write a list of all the heroes today, it would be huge," Stading said after being transported to Homer harbor by the USCG Cutter Roanoke Island, a 110-foot patrol book stationed in Homer.

A cell call from Stading to the Homer Police Department resulted in the Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau being alerted that the Halibut Endeavor was taking on water, according to Lt. Heather Neely.

"We got a call from the Homer Police Department at 4:09 p.m.," Neely said. "We issued a marine broadcast to any vessels in the area to assist if possible. We also got a cell phone number of the police officer who was actually on the boat and called him, but his cell phone was dying."

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak also was in radio communication with Weldon Chivers, captain of the Halibut Endeavor, Neely said.

The first to respond to the radio request for help was a 27-foot SAFE Boat owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and dedicated for use by the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Homer.

"I briefed my crew and we headed in that direction, making about 40 knots," said Coxswain Shane Taylor of Anchorage, instructor in an auxiliary training academy that was being held in Homer.

With the SAFE Boat at full throttle, Taylor and his crew Richard Liebe of Anchorage, Ray Miller of Fairbanks and Mike Cupit, an academy exchange student from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary plotted a course that took them to the Halibut Endeavor's location. Chivers, with the help of Stading, continued to give updates on the situation via radio during the 20 minutes it took Taylor to arrive on scene. Chivers also maintained a course for Seldovia at a speed Taylor estimated as six knots.

"He was very, very calm and gave all the right information," Taylor said. "He kept that boat floating until we arrived."

By the time the SAFE Boat reached the Halibut Endeavor, Chivers had the 11 adult passengers, all wearing life jackets, on the bow of the vessel.

"They were trying to balance it," Taylor said. "It would start listing one way, and he'd shift the people to the other side of the boat to balance out the load."

Keeping his distance from the side that would go under first if the vessel capsized concerned Meeker, who has experience on the water. He has fished locally and in Prince William Sound, and served in the U.S. Navy aboard an aircraft carrier during World War II.



Photo by McKibben Jackinsky
"At the right place at the right time," is how Coast Guard Auxiliarists Ray MIller of of Fairbanks; Shane Taylor of Anchorage; MIke Cupit, a Canadian Auxiliarist from Vancouver, B.C.; and Rich Liebe of Anchorage describe their timely response to the sinking of the Halibut Endeavor on Kachemak Bay Wednesday. The 13 people aboard the Halibut Endeavor were transferred to the Auxiliary's SAFEBoat shortly before the Endeavor sank.
"If you're on the side that goes in first, you're in pretty deep trouble. I thought about the possibility of the boat sucking us under," said Meeker, who, like Stading, used his cell phone to alert others about the situation. The message he left for his son was, "We're in deep trouble off Seldovia."

Crowded on the bow, the passengers turned to prayer.

"Ed and I prayed that people would stay calm and that the systems there for rescue would work the way they should, that no one would go into the water," Robanne Stading said.

Feeling the unsteady boat change position, Dave Durham also began to pray.

"It seemed like a couple moments after that, the boat righted itself and I was thanking the Lord. After that, we saw the (rescue) boats on the horizon and everybody felt pretty comfortable," he said.

Taylor's first plan had been to dewater the Halibut Endeavor, but he quickly switched his course of action after witnessing the severity of the situation.

"When I saw the stern awash, I opened the door and screamed at the top of my lungs, 'Everybody's coming off now,'" he said.

With the Halibut Endeavor listing to the port, left, side, Taylor nosed the SAFE Boat up to the charter boat's bow and held it steady while his crew assisted in the transfer of passengers. All the while, Taylor kept a hand on the Endeavor so he could detect the slightest shift in its position and pull away if necessary.

"I felt it make a move just as we had the 11th person on board so I pulled away and slowed down to a stop," Taylor said.

Within moments, the Halibut Endeavor rolled onto its starboard, right, side, with Chivers and his deckhand climbing onto the exposed port side.

Two Good Samaritan vessels had arrived on scene by then, ready to assist. One of them was the Winter King, under the command of Capt. Rex Murphy.

"The rescue boat did a marvelous job getting all the passengers off the boat," Murphy said. "It was amazing to see how well the SAFE Boat handled it."

Taylor quickly pulled back alongside the capsized vessel.

"We grabbed the first mate, but his pant leg or hip wader was stuck on something and he got hung up. Our crew finally had to rip him free of whatever it was he was hung up on. Afterwards we assisted (Chivers) on board," Taylor said.

Within moments, the Halibut Endeavor was gone, descending through the cold, dark depths of Kachemak Bay.

"It's sad to see a boat go down," Murphy said. "It makes you think real hard about things. But it worked out real well. Thank goodness the Coast Guard was there. They just did a super job."

For Ed Stading, watching the Halibut Endeavor disappear was "a little surreal." His wife said she was thankful she was inside the SAFE Boat's cabin and unable to witness it slip beneath the bay's surface.

"I count that as yet another blessing from the Lord that I didn't see it go down and won't have that image in my mind for the rest of my life," she said.

Taylor is well aware of the importance timing played in the auxiliary's response.

"If we hadn't arrived when we did, those 13 people would have gone for a swim," he said.

The crew and passengers of the Halibut Endeavor were transferred to the cutter, which transported them back to the Homer harbor aboard the USCG Cutter Roanoke Island, under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin F. Strickland.

An out-of-the-water inspection of the Halibut Endeavor was conducted by Chief Warrant Officer Watson in February. Required every two years, the inspection determines the hull's seaworthiness. The shaft, rudders, propellers and through-hull fittings were examined, and then the vessel was observed after it being put back in the water. Such inspections are done for all vessels carrying six or more passengers and charging a fee, according to Watson.

"We found nothing wrong with the vessel at that time," he said.

An annual, more detailed exam done with the vessel in the water was not scheduled until later this year.

Putting the Halibut Endeavor's sinking in perspective, Durham said, "As long as I get home and kiss my wife and kids, it's a good day."

To that, he added, "I just think the crew of the boat the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Weldon (Chivers) did an awesome job."

Ed Stading also found perspective for the incident.

"I told Robanne, just like there's no atheist in a foxhole, I can attest there's none on a sinking boat. Everybody put their heads down and said a prayer or two," he said. "I know where my faith is and there was a lot of grace out there that day. It was a near tragedy. But again, the right people were in the right place. Definitely it could have gone the other way very easily."

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

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Story last updated at 8:45 PM on Thursday, May 3, 2007
Captain recalls day on the water, sinking

By Weldon Chivers
Special to the Homer News

I woke up with a smile. Today was the halibut derby tagging day. I was going to go fishing.

Everyone met at the Central (Charter Booking Agency) to see who went on which boat. I got 10 passengers plus my office lady and a deckhand making it 13 people in all. We all got aboard the Halibut Endeavor, a 39-foot inspected boat. Everyone was happy to get out fishing. I gave a safety meeting before departure as I routinely do. I told everyone about all of the safety features required on an inspected boat including the location of the life raft and life vests; not knowing or even thinking about even using them.

We left the harbor and headed out to one of my favorite fishing spots. In an hour and a half we were fishing. Everything was normal and no problems except we had only caught one halibut in over an hour. I decided we needed to move. We moved about a mile and a half southwest and anchored up again. Within a half hour we had caught 10 or 15 cod. Everything was still normal and no problems whatsoever. We had finally found some fish. We caught, tagged and turned loose a dozen fish then proceeded to catch a limit for the volunteers. Upon catching our limit we pulled anchor and headed for home. I turned on all three bilge pumps as I always do after fishing and the deckhand verified they were all working. At this time everything was still normal.

I throttled up to 10 knots and remained there while the guys filleted the fish. The seas were two or three feet with an occasional four-footer and a 10-knot wind. Thirty or 40 minutes later Jack gave me the high sign that they were through filleting and I could speed up and go home. About five minutes later Jack said that the rear deck appeared to be quite wet and I should check it out. I opened the cabin door and looked back. There was some water streaking intermittently across the deck. Nothing had changed so I told the deckhand, Jack, that I would slow down if we could open the lazeret to see if it was filling with water. As I slowed down to about five knots the water began running through the scuppers and across the deck and out the back.

At this point I knew I could not open the hatch. With the seas as they were, each time the boat went through a wave the water streaked across the deck. If we opened the hatch it would certainly fill the lazeret. At this point I realized our time was limited. We had two choices. First, we could stop and deploy the life raft that would take several minutes and with the boat being unstable could possibly roll over and put everyone in the water. I elected not to take that chance. There were a couple of passengers that I didn't feel that would survive any time at all in the water.

I throttled up to maintain as much control as I could and had everyone put on lifejackets and move out of the cabin and out on the bow to help me keep the boat level and as much weight as we could off the rear of the boat. I called the Coast Guard and told them our situation, then pointed towards Seldovia on the beach. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and the cutter Roanoke (Island) were in the bay doing training exercises. They both responded and headed to our position. I kept them informed of our condition and position. As soon as the auxiliary boat told me they could see us I turned directly toward them. After everyone except myself and Jack were off the boat it died and rolled over. The auxiliary rescue boat pulled back up to us before we sank and picked up Jack and I.

After the Endeavor sank the life raft opened and the EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) was working. Of course then we were rescued. I was thankful that I had the group of people on board that I did. Everyone was great. They helped a tremendous amount and no one panicked. There were several boats that responded that I want to thank also. The Coast Guard Auxiliary did a fantastic job and (was) very professional. I also appreciate all the calls from everyone that were concerned and supportive.

Weldon Chivers was captain aboard the 39-foot Halibut Endeavor, owned and operated by Halibut King Charters.

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Sinking anglers saved
Boat likely to stay on the floor of the Bay
May 2, 2007

Standing on the bow of the sinking Halibut Endeavor with 10 other shivering passengers and no ships in sight Wednesday afternoon, Matt North turned his shoulder to the wind and started dialing for help.
When the stern of the Endeavor started to disappear under the surface of Kachemak Bay, all the passengers moved to the bow. Some of the people took each other’s hands and began to pray. Many were wet and shivering.
“I was thinking, what are we going to do when we’re all huddled together in the water? And how are we going to get them in the life raft?” North said.
After a day of tagging halibut for the annual Homer Halibut Derby, boat captain Welden Chivers turned back toward the Homer Spit around 3:30 p.m. from the boat’s fishing spot about five miles from Seldovia. As the 38-foot charter pressed forward through the calm, rolling waves of Kachemak Bay, the stern of the ship started taking on more water.
“We saw there was a much bigger problem than that, and we started moving to the front,” North said.
While Chivers made emergency radio calls, North finally reached Winter King Captain Rex Murphy, one of several boats that had been fishing near the Endeavor earlier in the afternoon. Murphy’s radio had been swi-tched to a different channel. He did not hear the radio distress call.
“So Rex calls me and said he just couldn’t see anything,” North said. “So I just said, ‘Follow the black smoke bellowing out the back of the boat.’”
Homer Police Officer Ed Stading, who had been fishing aboard the boat, also made some calls for help.
He reached his co-workers at the police station, who then called the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Juneau at 4 p.m.

Help arrives
Forty-four minutes later, the Winter King and the Coast Guard Auxiliary arrived on scene — and not a minute too late.
While the Coast Guard Auxiliary rescued passengers, the captain kept the boat from flipping.
Minutes later, the boat rolled to its side. A passenger, as well as the boat’s captain and deckhand, took a dip in the chilly water before being lifted into the auxiliary boat.
Three minutes after rolling, the passengers and crew watched the red tip of the ship disappear into the ocean.
As the passengers wore their life jackets and waited for the Auxiliary boat, the Endeavor’s life raft automatically deployed — though they simply walked aboard the rescue boat in time.
The Auxiliary SAFE boat responded in 20 minutes, and was the first to the boat to make the rescue.
Passengers were then transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter, Roanoke Island. Several were treated and released by emergency medical personnel. North said everyone remained calm, though concerned, during the incident.
“I don’t know why we started taking on water, but the whole thing was just nuts,” North said. “They arrived right on time.”
The cause of the sinking is not known. Boat owner Rick Zielenski had purchased the Endeavor this year, a longtime vessel of the Homer Harbor.

Sitting on the floor of the Bay
Halibut Endeavor, according to Professional Adjustors of Alaska, just passed rigorous United States Coast Guard tests. The vessel was awarded a Certificate of Inspection. That was this year, after the boat changed hands this winter. Boats undergo dry- and wet-dock inspections in alternating years.
The insurance company said that generally, a boat that sinks in such deep of water would not warrant a dive. Typically, when vessels of this type sink and are on the bottom for more than a day or two, repairing them is generally not feasible, a representative of the company said.
Boat captains and charter owners Chivers and Zielenski were unavailable for comment.
Passengers aboard the boat have said the Halibut Endeavor was sitting low in the water even when it left the Homer Harbor the morning it sank. Passenger George Meeker said as they headed out into the Bay, it was listing to the starboard side. As it sank, it rolled to the starboard side. Others have commented via a Blog that passengers were lucky to have an experienced boat captain.
An investigation into the cause of the sinking is ongoing.

Friday, April 20, 2007

In The Thick of it...



I feel like I haven't blogged in forever!

Our church hosted the 2007 Alaska State Lectureship April 13-15 which I have been working non stop over the last few weeks in preparation for. My desk and room are just destroyed and in need of some serious cleaning. I desperately wanted to stop and clean so badly several times in the weeks prior but stopping meant something else wasn't gonna get done for an event we were expecting around 500 people for.

It was a great lectureship that lasted 3 days. We provided all meals, housing, and classes for kids of all ages while the parents enjoyed some fantastic speakers, singing, and fellowship. This years theme was "Life Changing Faith" and it didn't let me down one bit, even with me running back and forth so much.

The lectureship ended Sunday at 2 and we had everything taken down and cleaned up by 5. Mom drove back to Homer and took Pete with her for a few days and Marty and I went home, packed and flew out of Anchorage at 10:30pm. We arrived in Seattle at 3am and went to friends house and crashed around 4am. Woke up at 6am and went to the Fred Hutch center. My best pal Bonnie has been cancer free for 4 years now but has to have a full check every year because most people with multiple myloma get it back within the first 5 years. She had to spend the first 2 mornings going through test after test. All the results they've gotten back so far are great, still cancer free thank the Lord.

We got back from Seattle Wednesday night around around 10pm.

Thursday we got up, Marty flew to the slope for a month and I drove to Homer to get Pete. Mom and are having a good time.

I leave to go back home tomorrow (Saturday), and on Sunday I move into another church members house for I think 9 days. They have to go to seattle for his back surgery so I'll be watching their 13, 10 and 8 year olds along with a little dog that I'm hoping will get along with Pete. Cooking for that many kids is about the only thing that freaks me out.

I can't wait till I can spend time in my house again! I'm dying to rake the yard and clean my room. The last few weeks have been a blast and I have tons of pictures to post, whenever I get time. Hope you all are having a great spring!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mammoth Rockfish

Ok some of you are just not gonna care about such a fish, I know. After working in the fishing charter business for so many years this fish just amazed me. I think the biggest one of these I've seen was between 10 - 15 pounds. Had to post about it.

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Bering yields centenarian rockfish


Federal scientists are studying this monster rockfish, which a Trident Seafoods Corp. factory trawler caught by accident in the Bering Sea in March.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A commercial fishing boat has pulled up what could have been one of the oldest creatures in Alaska - a giant rockfish estimated to be about a century old.

The 44-inch, 60-pound female shortraker rockfish was caught last month by the catcher-processor Kodiak Enterprise, owned by Trident Seafoods, south of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

The 275-foot, Seattle-based vessel was trawling for pollock at 2,100 feet. On one drag, the ship's big net pulled up an estimated 75 tons of pollock plus 10 bright-orange rockfish.

Crewmen alerted Michael Myers, factory manager of the Kodiak Enterprise. He has fished in the Bering Sea since 1988 but never saw a rockfish that big.

Myers is a regular at show and tell time at his sons' school. He immediately thought that he'd save the fish for federal researchers - after the elementary school children got a look at it.

"I thought, 'They're going to love that,'" he said from his home in Marysville, Wash.

Myers ordered the big rockfish to be frozen whole.

The day after he got back to Washington, he brought the big fish to Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Everett. Other then one preschooler who was frightened by the fish, the reaction ranged from "cool" to "eeew," Myers said.

That was subdued, Myers said, compared to the reaction by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

"They were like 9-year-olds on Christmas morning," Myers said. "They were giddy."

Researchers measured, photographed and documented the fish. They removed an ear bone, the otolith, which contains growth rings similar to rings on the trunks of trees.

They estimate the rockfish was 90 to 115 years old.

That's toward the upper end of the known age limit for shortraker rockfish, said Paul Spencer of the science center. A British Columbia study put the maximum age at 120 years. A Gulf of Alaska study placed the maximum age at 157 years, Spencer said.

The content of the rockfish's stomach was examined and scientists took tissue samples to measure her reproductive potential.

"The belly was large," Spencer said. "The ovaries were full of developing embryos."

Scientists said the specimen is not the biggest on record. The book "Fishes of Alaska" says a 47-inch shortraker rockfish was recorded.