Snow!

It’s snowing – our first snow since a few inches in early December.  Winters in Petersburg are usually pretty mild, but this has been an unusually warm and wet one – we set a record for rain in January with 21.03″, but it looks like we’re going to get more typical weather this month.  We need the snow pack to maintain the salmon streams through the summer months, so some white stuff would be welcome in the higher elevations, at least.

20150206 4146 barometer 970mb low rJust before the snow started on Friday we had both been getting sinus headaches, and we didn’t understand why until we looked at the barometer…

It’s almost pegged at the bottom – around 970 mb, and that’s a very low low – no wonder our sinuses were complaining!  Winds out in Lynn Canal (between Juneau and Haines) were out of the north at 61 knots, gusting to over 90. Fortunately we’re well protected from wind with all the mountains around, and it’s good because we don’t have the kinds of mountains where we have to worry about williwaw winds that can hammer down a steep slope.

Before the snow started I took a photo of another neighbor’s fishing boat with a full load of huge crab pots loaded aboard…20150205 4225 signe lynn ready for crabbing r…and it was interesting to see them covered in snow.  The crab season starts in another week, and I’m sure the fishermen are hoping the weather eases.20150207 4258 signe lynn ready for crabbing with snow r20150206 4227 jim shoveling snow r

 

We’ve had so little snow that it’s still fun to shovel it and to venture out in it.  We have all the right clothing and the town does a good job of clearing the streets.  There are a few spots on the waterfront where the plows can push the snow right into the harbor, so it’s not a big deal.  Keep in mind that our temperatures are far warmer in the winter than what the mid-west and mid-Atlantic states have been experiencing.  Only our Floridian friends have the right to razz us about wintering in Alaska.

The snow has dusted all the trees on the mountains around us with pretty white, and the scenery all around us is so beautiful.  This is Petersburg Mountain in the early morning light…20150207 4239 petersburg mountain snowy early morning r…and here’s looking across Wrangell Narrows to Kupreanof Island.20150207 4241 kupreanof and narrows on snowy early morning rA few fishing boats are moving around the harbor despite the snow, and with three fish processing docks in the harbor the activity is ramping up for the crab season.20150207 4243 fishing boat wooster early on a snowy morning rEarly yesterday morning I poked my head out the back door of the boat and caught the moon setting behind Bear Claw Mountain.20150207 4233 moonset over snowy kupreanof rThe harbor continues to play host to a large population of scoters… (the white specks are snow flakes)20150206 4180 surf scoter in snow vertical r…and long-tailed ducks that are so beautiful.20150206 4153 long tailed ducks rThis male seemed to be the alpha bird for a large flock, and he puffed up his crest and kept kek!-ing to the others when I came out in the cockpit with the camera.  They all hustled out to the Narrows, but not before he gave me a huffy look.20150206 4168 long tailed duck huffy rBefore the snow started and in time for the Super Bowl, Jim moved our satellite TV dish from the boat to the dock’s sturdy piling.  We now have a bigger (30″) dish since it’s difficult to get a reliable signal this far north, especially when there’s heavy rain or snow.  It took some careful planning to mount the dish since he had to wait until we had a very high tide to minimize the height of the ladder.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the photo above he was making some final adjustments and the tide had already started to fall.  This photo shows where the dish sits, relative to the boat, at high tide.20150202 4184 sat dish high tide circled rThis will give you a little idea about how high the dish is when the tide is low, though this photo does not show the lowest tide we can get when the moon is full or new.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJim calculated that the maximum tide change we can get anytime in the year is 22-24′, and he arranged the cable to be able to accommodate anything in between.  I’m very happy to report that the more stable platform for the dish has improved TV reception tremendously, and I’m sure Jim is looking forward to the start of the cruising season when he has to take the dish down and install it back on the boat.

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