Our vessel, "Elena" - For the technically inclined, the Elena is a 42-foot Krogen trawler displacing 20 tons, built in 1983 to fairly standard design that has been continued over the years. It is powered by a single 120-hp Ford-Lehman diesel which at cruising power moves it close to 8 knots. Fuel consumption at cruising is about 2.3 gals per hour. With 700 gallons of fuel (which wends its way through six fuel filters), it has a nominal range of more than 2,000 miles. Maneuverability is greatly enhanced by a small bow-thruster. The engine has two alternators which charge the batteries while we travel, and a 12.5 kilowatt diesel generator which is used when in harbor or for the electric stove and oven. The interior includes a double bunk stateroom up forward, a starboard stateroom with two single bunks, a sofa-bed in the main cabin, and a long seat in the pilot house that can be converted into a single bunk. Though the Elena can theoretically accommodate seven, the comfortable capacity is four or five. There is a single fresh water vacuum "head" (or toilet) that operates like those in an airliner, with suction. There are two sinks, a shower (which also serves as an oilskin locker), hot and cold water, and a small clothes washer / dryer. The Elena carries 350 gallons of water which, with care, can last a week or more. The "galley" (kitchen) is fully equipped with frig, freezer, microwave, three-burner stove and oven, and two deep sinks. The spacious main cabin adjoining the galley serves as living and dining room, and includes a TV/ VCR (unused), and AM/FM/tape deck. There is a "flying bridge" above the pilothouse where, in good weather, we can sit up on top out in the open with a 360-degree view and navigate from the lofty height of almost 20 feet. The Elena carries two dinghies, a 9-foot fiberglass catamaran-type dinghy that is carried off the swim-step on the stern, and a 9-foot inflatable carried on the top deck and launched by a crane. The inflatable has a 3 hp outboard. The pilothouse is well equipped with navigation equipment: a good radar, GPS (global positioning system), depth sounder, autopilot to ease the work of the helmsperson, and a C-Map capability which links the GPS position to a digitized map display so we can see at any moment our precise position, speed and course over the ground, and distance and bearing to a user-defined waypoint.

Our boat choice for the trip has been a good one. We all are sailors at heart but this is not a land for a sailboat. Frequent rain showers, light and fickle winds that are usually right "on the nose", it is best to cruise in style inside a trawler rather than spend most of the time under power out in the open in a sailboat. However, the Elena and many other trawlers are not built for rough weather. They roll easily, are rather top heavy, and the interior is not designed to keep things in their place when the weather gets rough. So, best we stay in the Inside Passage and minimize exposure to the ocean.

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