My random list of important or interesting details

Baggywrinkles Blog tends to go on about things that anyone can find on the internet.  Offline sailors need to make do with paper or pdfs for details they cannot pack away in their heads.
Here is a fairly random list; some things visitors to Alaska should remember and others that are simply nice to know.  The first four here are verbatim footnotes from Lynn Schooler’s (unfortunately unindexed) Blue Bear.
There are five species of Salmon in the North Pacific:  pink, red, silver, chum and king (also known as humpies, sockeye, coho, dog and spring, respectively).  In general (but varying significantly by area) the order in which different species return to their natal streams to spawn is king (in early spring), sockeye (early summer), pink and chum (midsummer) and silver (which run well into fall.)
Low pressure systems rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and high pressure systems move in the opposite direction.  Thus the leading edge of high pressure system spinning from west to east across the gulf is usually heralded by the arrival of a north wind, and on a low-pressure system the wind will be from the south or south-west.  There are many exceptions to this, of course, but it is a useful rule of thumb.
The rise and fall of the tide can be plotted as a bell curve, with the greatest amount of change occurring during the middle.  To calculate the speed with which the water level is changing during a given period, divide the distance from high tide to low tide by twelve.  During the six hours of a diurnal change, 1/12 will occur during the first hour, 2/12 during the second, 3/12 during the third and fourth, 2/12 during the fifth, and the last 1/12 during the sixth.  Thus on a moderately high tide, say eighteen feet, the water level will rise or fall by four and a half feet per hour during the middle of the tide, which also makes the current during that period the strongest.  
Half of all bear cubs die during their first year, and the primary cause of this mortality is male bears.  Biologists surmose that this urge to infanticide is nature’s way of increasing the chances that the genes of the largest, strongest boars will be passed on, since a sow that loses her offspring will enter estrus, or a period of fertility, sooner than one raising cubs, and choose to mate with one of the more dominant males in her area-a system that seems rather clumsy at first consideration, since a boar had not way of knowing whether or not he’s killing one of his own cubs, but which in the long run gives preference to the fittest line of genes among the species.  
According to the Alaska State Museum, nineteen native languages are spoken in Alaska today.  The main coastal tribes are the Haida, Tsimshian, and Tlingit.  There are the tribes of inland peoples known collectively as the Athabascans.  Then there are Eskimos, peoples who live on the coasts from the Gulf of Alaska to Greenland.  Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Natives also lists are two other coastal groups, the Alutiiq of the coast southeast of the Aleutians and the Eyaks, whose language loss and merger with the Tlingits is of interest to linguists.   Aleut (in their own language they refer to themselves as Unangan), Alutiiq, Athabascan (including Ahtna, Deg Hit’an, Dena’ina, Gwich’in, Hän, Holikachuk, Kolchan, Koyukon, Lower Tanana,, Tanacross, Upper Tanana), Eyak, Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian and Eskimo (including Inupiat, Yupik, Siberian Yupik, Yup’ik, Cup’ik, Sugpiaq, Chugach, Koniag).

 

Baggywrinkles Blog tends to go on about things that anyone can find on the internet.  This is because offline sailors need to make do with paper or pdfs for details they cannot pack away in their heads.

Here is a fairly random list; some things visitors to Alaska should remember and others that are simply nice to know.  The first four here are verbatim footnotes from Lynn Schooler’s (unfortunately unindexed) Blue Bear.

  • Spawning Coho

    Spawning Coho

    There are five species of Salmon in the North Pacific:  pink, red, silver, chum and king (also known as humpies, sockeye, coho, dog and spring, respectively).  In general (but varying significantly by area) the order in which different species return to their natal streams to spawn is king (in early spring), sockeye (early summer), pink and chum (midsummer) and silver (which run well into fall.)

  • Low pressure systems rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and high pressure systems move in the opposite direction.  Thus the leading edge of high pressure system spinning from west to east across the gulf is usually heralded by the arrival of a north wind, and on a low-pressure system the wind will be from the south or south-west.  There are many exceptions to this, of course, but it is a useful rule of thumb.
  • The rise and fall of the tide can be plotted as a bell curve, with the greatest amount of change occurring during the middle.  To calculate the speed with which the water level is changing during a given period, divide the distance from high tide to low tide by twelve.  During the six hours of a diurnal change, 1/12 will occur during the first hour, 2/12 during the second, 3/12 during the third and fourth, 2/12 during the fifth, and the last 1/12 during the sixth.  Thus on a moderately high tide, say eighteen feet, the water level will rise or fall by four and a half feet per hour during the middle of the tide, which also makes the current during that period the strongest.  
  • Half of all bear cubs die during their first year, and the primary cause of this mortality is male bears.  Biologists surmise that this urge to infanticide is nature’s way of increasing the chances that the genes of the largest, strongest boars will be passed on, since a sow that loses her offspring will enter estrus, or a period of fertility, sooner than one raising cubs, and choose to mate with one of the more dominant males in her area-a system that seems rather clumsy at first consideration, since a boar had not way of knowing whether or not he’s killing one of his own cubs, but which in the long run gives preference to the fittest line of genes among the species.  
  • According to the Alaska State Museum, nineteen native languages are spoken in Alaska today.  The main coastal tribes are the Haida, Tsimshian, and Tlingit.  There are the tribes of inland peoples known collectively as the Athabascans.  Then there are Eskimos, peoples who live on the coasts from the Gulf of Alaska to Greenland.  Wikipedia  also lists are two other coastal groups, the Alutiiq of the coast southeast of the Aleutians and the Eyaks, whose language loss and merger with the Tlingits is of interest to linguists.   Aleut (in their own language they refer to themselves as Unangan), Alutiiq, Athabascan (including Ahtna, Deg Hit’an, Dena’ina, Gwich’in, Hän, Holikachuk, Kolchan, Koyukon, Lower Tanana,, Tanacross, Upper Tanana), Eyak, Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian and Eskimo (including Inupiat, Yupik, Siberian Yupik, Yup’ik, Cup’ik, Sugpiaq, Chugach, Koniag).
  • Phone Service:     North of Campbell River there’s almost no cell phone service except in cities.   In Alaska  there was no G3 service for our iPhones but slower, E service, was available in towns. 
  • Internet service along the coast is problematic.   Libraries have free wifi and some access to computers. However, many libraries have very limited hours and Juneau’s otherwise lovely library simply didn’t have enough band width.   Our northernmost recreational marina – Sullivan Bay – had free wifi on the docks.   Alaska tended to have wifi in bars but you have to be 21, so this slowed down Piers.  Very few coffee shops have wifi.   In Juneau, Heritage Coffee is an exception and the Silver Bow Hotel and Deli is simply a great place to hang out. Some libraries –  Hoonah, Prince Rupert, etc – leave their wifi on so you can access it anytime outside on the steps.
  • In terms of overall communications Prince Rupert was the best:    It just got cell phone service (Canadian providers) and it still has lots of phone booths.  And right on the waterfront is Cow Bay Coffee, PR’s community gather place, with great free wifi.    The tourist information center and the library also have good wifi. 
  • The Alaska Department of Labor has excellent information on Seafood and Fishing Jobs in Alaska:   job descriptions for fisherman and seafood processors, conditions, pay, crew costs, accommodations, and safety.  There are orientation videos and a list of community seafood employment specialists.   
  • Next year I’ll make a number of pdf files of the following since I usually can’t check facts or get info by Internet while cruising.  For example, this blog.   Alaskan and BC Fishing Regulations.  Selected pages from the National Parks Service Glacier Bay site.  
Advertisements

0 Responses to “My random list of important or interesting details”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Archives


%d bloggers like this: