Author Archives: Mark Stopha

Cat’s away

Scored a 10′ raft for the fall Yukon River moose hunt on Craigslist. It has a fiberglass hull and can haul 1400 lbs. It came with an 8 hp outboard and I need to take it for a spin to see how the motor will push the boat. The guy selling it was a plumber now. When he was a kid, I went with him and his dad their first time gillnetting as a favor to Len so they’d have a third hand to help. He didn’t remember. He’s trolling now when he can, and updated me on his dad.

Sara had warned me not to go spending a bunch of money just now, so it was time to start selling stuff I don’t use that’s in the garage. Sold the hydraulic steering I’d bought for the boat that sunk that I never put in. Sold the seats on pedastals and the magic chair from that boat, too. And the 12 foot skiff that didn’t work well as a punt. And the old 8 hp Evinrude kicker. That got me about to what the raft cost.

Got started on my empty woodshed. First I had to tear down the old one made with pallet walls. Then used the pipe from the net pens as a foundation base under the floor that was still good. I’ve been interested in cordless chain saws ever since we got the electric car. So I rented a Stihl one from Tyler. It came with the charger and 2 batteries. I’d read that the batteries could be charged in 25 minutes, but turns out that was with a quick charger, which the one with the saw wasn’t. It was a couple hours to charge. So, I could cut for about an hour with the two batteries, and then it was a few hours for recharge. The saw worked pretty well. I got about everything bucked up that was 2 feet or smaller diameter. I’m contemplating buying one, but they are spendy to get it with a couple high capacity batteries and a quick charger (close to $600 I think), plus Tyler said they can’t get the batteries right now, either. It was a pretty sweet deal for $50 for the weekend so think I’ll keep renting. Rest of this week I’ll split and haul into the woodshed then be good for the year. Got about 2 to 3 year supply now, with dry wood to burn this year.

Kurt called for help with the hydraulic steering on their new boat. The oil level was down, so we added till full and purged it through the fill hole, then took it out for a spin and it seemed to have worked. No sign of leakage so not sure where the oil had gone. I finished today with the saw so took it to Jeff to try it. I was on my way with Gloria to take her for more driving lessons. He’ll turn it in for me tomorrow cause he’s retired. Gloria is getting better and more confident in her driving, but still makes for a nervous instructor. She is applying to go into the Marine Corps, and we talked a lot about that today. We stopped at the gas station for her first time to fill up, and I showed her how to check the oil and where the other fluids were under the hood.

Got an email from Allieu in Sierra Leone. Solomon’s daughter has epilepsy now like her dad did. He said she’s under treatent, but remembering what a bitch it was for Solomon makes me sad. People believe you are possessed by spirits if you have epilepsy. That’s gonna be tough. For Allieu, he’s in a complicated situation where the site he was building his house on was approved by many different levels of chiefs, only to get the walls up and someone came and said they owned the land. Then, somehow the clinic where he works is on land owned by his family, so he’s trying to get the clinic to help him with his other property while they work out a plan for the clinic being on his family land. Oh Salone. I’m glad we’re here for them when we can.

Message from Paul

Paul left a message today.  His sister had just left Petersburg for home.  He said “She enjoyed just looking out the window.  She saw shrimpers go by, deer, charter boats, orcas, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, and all kinds of waterfowl and sea birds.  Who knew?  I should look out the window more often!”  Continue Reading

Deer Date

Call for deer number 3 came in a little after 3 pm today. The dispatcher said the officer was on his way to put the injured deer down, and could I come salvage it. I said sure. I headed home, put on my coveralls, grabbed my knives, and asked Sara if she wanted to go.… Continue Reading