Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tenakee Springs

Day 65 
Photo: The Capt lays out 250 feet of connected hoses to reach the fresh water outlet             
Water and power management are everyday matters when you’re cruising remote. You quickly learn to monitor consumption and plan ahead. Our Northern Lights 12kw generator provides more power than we need at anchor, power for charging the batteries, heating the water tank, supporting the draw for electric appliances and lights, etc. Today’s price for marine diesel is $4.10 per gallon and the generator burns roughly .75 gallons of fuel for every hour it runs. Doing the math with those numbers has encouraged me to multi-task when the genny is running, for example run a load of laundry while the oven is on. When we’re at a marina or city dock, paying a flat fee for shore power is usually a bargain in comparison.

Rhapsody carries 525 gallons of fresh water in three separate tanks, a huge capacity compared to the single 10-gallon tank installed in our first boat so many years ago. Do you pay attention to your daily water consumption? Cruising boaters do, even though we live in a watery environment, floating in salt water and enjoying the rainfall that keeps SE Alaska so green.  It’s a shame have to run to a town for water when you’d much rather stay out longer, photographing bear or watching whales, or fishing, kayaking, exploring, etc.  The Capt uses freshwater to wash down the anchor chain each time we hoist the anchor. This helps to hold down mud and marine growth in the chain locker, but as I watch gallon after gallon pour out of the water tank I mentally calculate how much that might shorten our time out.

RL called the Tenakee Springs harbormaster ahead of time to inquire about moorage and water availability. Assured of fresh water access and plenty of space on the transient dock, we side-tied on the inside of Pier D and tracked down the aforementioned water. Yah sure, you betcha… available several piers away and accessible if you strung together 4 of your own hoses… and no one else in the marina wanted water to clean fish at the same time. No problem, it was an opportunity to chat with some of the neighbors. Tenakee Springs attracts visitors with its community hot springs bath house which features warm water with a high mineral/sulfur content. The dock water held traces of a sulfur smell and a flavored taste as well. We only topped off one of the water tanks, to hold as a reserve “just in case”, happy that Rhapsody has three separate tanks to draw from. I might not choose Tenakee water to brew tea, but it could come in handy for washing down the anchor chain.

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