Opening Up the Pilothouse

The biggest project we’ll be working on this winter is building a new fridge and freezer for the boat. After thinking about this project for several years, we decided that the space between trunk cabin and the front of the pilothouse is the perfect spot since it’s a space that doesn’t get much use. We also need to remove some of the original wood from the front of the pilothouse that has started rotting. Most of the rot has come from rainwater that settles in under the pockets where the windows drop down.

This week was devoted to removing the old wood and assessing what needs to be replaced. Click on the pictures to see them as larger images.

David B | Winter Outfitting 2012 | Pilothouse Before Work Begins
Jeffrey stands by the pilothouse of the David B before starting to remove the wood below the windows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B | 2012 Winter Outfitting | Removing Wood
After cutting a guide line, Jeffrey starts demolition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B | Winter Outfitting | Inside of Window Pockets
After opening up the front of the pilothouse, we exposed the inside of the window pockets. The small knee-like object is the stop for the window when it’s lowered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B | Winter Outfitting 2012 | Jeffrey Working on the Pilothouse
Jeffrey removing parts of the sill that the pilothouse sits on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B | Winter Outfitting | Removing the front of the pilothouse
The end of the first day of demolition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B | Winter Outfitting | Found Items
We found some interesting objects in the window pockets. Here are two wedges that are used to slid in between a window and the window pocket frame. Jeffrey made a set of these in our second year of operation. We used them to lower the windows a little way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B | Winter Outfitting 2012 | Window Pockets
Inside of the window pockets. To keep the rain out and prevent rot, the original shipwrights put painted canvas against the back of the inside tongue and groove. The wood was painted with white lead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David B |  Winter Outfitting |  Found Items | Tool
We found this tool in one of the window pockets. Neither one of us know what it was used for, but someone was probably bummed when they lost it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Stroll on Jones Island

David B | Jones Island Anchorage | San Juan Islands Cruise[pix_dropcap]W[/pix_dropcap]ashington State is lucky to have an incredible system of marine parks. Several in the San Juan Islands. One that I particularly enjoy is Jones Island, a hundred and eighty-eight acre park that has a network of trails running along it’s perimeter and across the island. One of the many things that’s attractive about Jones Island is that it is only accessible by boat.

Once ashore, I always savor the walk through the forest to the other side of the island. Occasionally I’ve spotted a pileated woodpecker flying from tree to tree. Douglas Fir, Western red cedar, hemlock and big leaf maple make up most of the forest. There are also many mosses, lichens and fungi and I sometimes get to spend a half hour or longer with my guide books as we wander the paths. The walk opens up to a grassy area where black-tailed deer graze. They are quite friendly and will often let us come close enough to get a good picture. My favorite part of the walk is where the trail begins to skirt the edge of the island. Here, I’ve learned where to find a native prickly pear cactus. Yes, it’s true wet western Washington does have native cactus growing thanks to the rain shadow from the Olympic mountains.  Another interesting native plant is the Garry Oak. There aren’t too many of these left in the San Juan Islands and the ones on Jones Islands are fenced off to encourage their renewal.

River Otter | Jones Island | San Juan Islands | David B CruiseRiver otters and harbor seals are also regular visitors to Jones Island. Those of us who live and work near the saltwater can easily forget how interesting and fun these regularly seen animals are to watch. When we spot one it’s the highlight of the day. This summer we had a private charter with three generations of women who walked Jones Island with me. We were sitting on some rocks along the trail watching two deer, when two hikers came by and told us about four river otters who were feeding just around the corner. I got up and walked ahead of the group until I noticed a small boil in the water just below a rocky outcrop. The sun made the dried grass atop the outcrop warm and welcoming. I sat down to take some photos. A couple seconds later an otter popped up with crab in it’s mouth. The three other otters soon followed. My group caught up to me, and it was heartwarming to watch the excitement about the river otters. We talked for a while about the difference between river otters and sea otters, which we don’t see in the San Juan Islands.

I kept up with the otters until they came to a low spot. Cautiously they came onto the island. They stayed close to each other, rubbing their bodies together in braid-like motion. They made warning chirps as they tested the side of the trail. With trepidation they attempted to cross, but a bird flew past them and they retreated. I stood still with my camera. Again they emerged. They wanted to get to the forest and the underbrush of thick-leaved salal. I waited for the otters to make their move. It took several more tries. There was lots of head bobbing and back-leg kicking before they made their break. They scurried across the dirt and root trail; their forepaws low, and their hips high reminded me vaguely of an inchworm. They soon disappeared into the forest. I stood up to listen to them before turning around.

River Otters | Jones Island | Hike | San Juan Islands CruiseBack at the boat, Jeffrey was almost finished with lunch preparations. I took out my journal and quickly noted all the things we had seen. I’ve been to Jones Island many times and what I like about it is that there are many things that seem to remain the same, but with each stroll, there’s always something new. I’m looking forward to our next walk on Jones.