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Thread: Anyone seen any boat items off Hichinbrook?

  1. #1
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default Anyone seen any boat items off Hichinbrook?

    Better yet, have you spent a few days sitting through a Gale storm in PWS? Started out a week ago for a bear hunt, halibut trip off Hinchinbrook with 3 of my friends. Friday through Monday all was picture perfect, then BAM-BAM, Mother Nature had some other plans for us. She kicked it up a few notches higher than I thought she would.

    One-by-one, I lost;

    3 = coolers, white 7 day 160 qrt, blue 10 day 160 qrt, and a regular blue 100 qrt cooler.

    1= blue Rubbermaid 18 gal tub full of nice camo hunting closes, most all was new.
    2 = boxes of 416 Ruger ammo

    1= 1978 14' Zodiac MK-II with 4 horse Johnson - paddles, life jackets, pump, 3 gal gas can. New bottom sealer just put on this winter.

    1 = 2009 11' Zodiac Zoom 310 with a 15 horse Johnson - paddles, life jackets, pump, 3 gal gas can.

    2= 30 gal fuel drums - w/ about 3 to 5 gal of diesel in each.

    1 = Penn 113H w/ Penn halibut 5' rode - chum bag still attached.

    300' of marine grade rope. In various cut lengths but the Zodiac's were tied up with them, as were the coolers, fuel, drums, and tub.

    3 = ratchet straps - also used to tie the above items down.

    So, in all seriousness, I did lose all these items throughout the day Tuesday on the south side of Hinchinbrook (Port Etches). If you’re traveling in and or around these parts (north end of Montague as well) and see any of these things - let me know - I think I am someplace at around $9k to $12k in replacement costs for new items.

    Now it’s off to speak to my lovely insurance company.
    Lessons learned - don’t skimp on boating items at all, down to the rope you use. I use better than average stuff and it still wasn't enough. It was like a vacuum huddled over my boat and literally sucked anything off that was not bolted down - literally.
    Here are also some before and during shots. Also, if you ever wondered if Zodiac's can fly - they do, I have it on video.

    Be safe folks and enjoy.
    Tony

  2. #2
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default One more thing...

    With regards to your anchoring , read all the threads on this and what ever you do, spend the money for good, good, good, rope. I am very confident we sat through 65+ mph winds for the better part of 26 hours and while I slipped some, I thank the big man and mother, that this held on for me and my friends...
    Tony

  3. #3
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    I am glad you made it through the bad stuff but I have a question.

    Did you check the weather? It may have been in your best interest to have retreated to a better anchorage...........

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  4. #4
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default weather... Yes

    Checked it daily, got the 10 day forecast and all. Even during the storm they went from nothing really but ran and 15mph winds, but come Tuesday, to late and they changed the forecast some but still didn't match what we went through.
    Tony

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Goodness man. Did the Zod's sink or was it just unsafe to go back for them once you cut them off? I take it you had them loaded down with the lost gear? Did you guys notify the coasties of the lost boats? Hopefully so, otherwise they may be flying around for a while looking for the "bodies" that are missing from the boats.

  6. #6

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    Good God. When I look at those pictures and see what you lost, it makes me glad I wasn't there. Main thing is you're ok.

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    when it started getting sh*tty quick, why didn't you haul ass for a cove or something?

  8. #8
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Default Monday Morning Quarterbacks

    Generally when it "get's sh*tty quick" on the ocean the time for running has passed and the time for surviving has arrived.


    Good luck to the OP. Losing all that stuff sucks. Fortunately all the important stuff survived.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  9. #9
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Were you in Port Etches when it started to blow?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  10. #10
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Took a look at where you where at, and I am curious about Constatine Harbor, which looks like it is more protected and close by. Was it not possible to get in there? What kind of boat was your main boat? I take it your anchor held. What kind of wave height did you see, and what direction were the winds out of? Port Etches is pretty exposed, depending on what direction the winds are out of. Thanks for sharing this experience, and I hope your gear shows back up. It seems like there is a good chance since I bet it got blown up into the sound.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    you can't always trust the local observation weather reports, we were holed up in culross passage for 3 days, woke up and the weather report said winds in passage canal were 10-12 mph, when we got in the canal, it was gusting to 45mph, and the worse part was we didn't have enough fuel to turn around and hide out, we did fine, but the weather was snotty, and had I run out of fuel I would have lost my boat on the rocks, lesson learned for me.

  12. #12
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default To answer most of the questions...

    I was in Port Etches when it hit on the west side right in front of Constantine Harbor. One option I thought about was if I had to (anchor line broke or something like that) would have been to try and go over the a tug that stay's in there, but with 6' - 8' chop, I was happy watching the waves crash over my bow. The winds came in from the north and we started 2/3 the way into Port Etches (pointing North) and on the west side.

    Trying to find new cover during a storm or once in it has its own sets of challenges. Had I really known this was on its way, I would left Monday and stayed in Cordova for a few days, but that was my only other best option.

    Constantine Harbor is more protected if you (or I) can get in there. It is only recommended to do so on high tide. If one has outboards, yes - you can get in there. My boat is a 31' Uniflite and I wasn't picking anchor up once this storm started.

    It is of my opinion I did all that I could, given how it came up unannounced. Before bed Monday night I put out about another 50' - 75' of anchor rope, which I am very thankful for.
    Tony

  13. #13
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that all are safe. I also seen Jesus on a bear hunt to Hitchenbrook. The storms blew in one after another for a week. Without question the worst weather and winds I have ever endured. Drove my boat onto shore and filled it with water. When I unloaded the boat and saw all the steel cables holding down the cabin, that was my first clue that we could get some incredible winds. The terrain in that area channels the winds into hurricane like force.
    Made for some of the longest nights I have ever lived through.

    Steve

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    One thing for sure, your life was worth much more than anything you lost!

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    I would love to see the vid of the flying Zodiacs, you should post it on Youtube. This story gives me the chills, glad you made it through. What kind of anchor setup did you have?

  16. #16
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default Update...

    Well,
    Good news, I was contacted last night from the tug folks and they informed me that they found one of my rafts adrift in the Valdez straights and picked it up.

    I was contacted later again and informed that many of the items I identified at first are located back in or around Constantine Harbor, i.e. the coolers and other items. Not sure of the condition but it's awesome to be contacted.

    My hat goes off to the Crowley tug folks.

    So, unless I can get back to Port Etches, if anyone is heading out there and will be returning to Valdez, Wittier, or Seward, I would offer a reward if you picked any/most of my items.

    I'll also see if I can post my video on youtube once I have things settle a bit.
    Tony

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    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    Thats great I am glad to hear you are getting some of your stuff back.

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    did you loose a kayak paddle? found one of those this w/e
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
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  20. #20

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Glad to hear that all are safe. I also seen Jesus on a bear hunt to Hitchenbrook. The storms blew in one after another for a week. Without question the worst weather and winds I have ever endured. Drove my boat onto shore and filled it with water. When I unloaded the boat and saw all the steel cables holding down the cabin, that was my first clue that we could get some incredible winds. The terrain in that area channels the winds into hurricane like force.
    Made for some of the longest nights I have ever lived through.

    Steve
    During one such Willawaw, I witnessed a full sized Spruce Tree Flying through the air and landing out in front of Hook Point. It then made about three laps around the bay, sorta like watching an Indy Car at Daytona. Last time I saw it, it was stripped to a log and headed out to sea.

    Good to hear of some of the gear being salvaged.
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