Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Because I have been semi-civilized

 and have a permanent address I have not seen this in decades. My mail comes to my house. It's as simple as that.

Back in the day, though it was interesting how my mail would eventually catch up with me.

For a while I would use my parents address and they would forward stuff to me in care of 'General delivery, Kodiak AK 99615'. I'd pick it up at the post office.

A friend of mine eventually gave me a key to his post office box and I started using that. 

However, when I left Kodiak and started sailing I wrote the Kodiak post office and gave them a forwarding address. 

My first stop was Sitka and I sent Kodiak my address as Sitka General delivery.

From there I would check into the post offices in the Alaskan towns I arrived in and leave the General delivery address of the next town I was headed to so they could forward things there.

When I stopped in Wrangell for a few days a couple of things caught up with me which was surprising. 

On it went until I got to Ketchikan and spent enough time there for another couple of things to catch up to me. I remember one thing was a reciept of clearance from the Kodiak harbormaster. I actually had the harbormaster write a note that I had officially 'cleared the harbor' and had no incurred debts left behind. I left with a handwritten note from the harbormaster's office to serve until something more official arrived.

One of the woman harbor cops commented she had never seen anyone request such a thing but I explained that it was 'cruiser protocol' of sorts. It in effect gave me a clean bill of health and a sort of proof I paid my bills. More on this later.

When I left Ketchikan I knew that I was going to be in Canada and away from the USPS for a while so I wrote the Friday Harbor, WA post office and told them when I was likely to arrive and to please hold anything they got for me. I also left Friday Harbor as my forwarding address to the Ketchikan PO.

One of the first things I did when I got to Friday Harbor was to call at the post office and there were several things waiting for me there, including a check from the Kodiak Electrical Association refunding my deposit for electricity in Kodiak. It came at the right time. I was short on funds.

The envelope the KPU check came in was plastered with stickers to forward it on to the next place. It was somewhat of a log of my entire voyage save the part through Canada. I wish I had kept it. It must have had a dozen stickers on it.

Oh, yeah. Back to the certificate of clearance. 

Every time I tied up in a town pier I'd be charged a couple bucks dockage. I would pay, of course, and when I was ready to leave I would get a reciept to prove I had paid along with a note saying I didn't owe anything.

When I got to Friday Harbor the harbormaster looked at me somewhat suspiciously and asked me for a deposit to insure I would not skip out. 

Looking back in it I suppose it was a reasonable request but I really wasshort on cash. I went back to my boat and brought my stack of reciepts and the logbook.

He looked at the reciepts and immediately agreed to permit me to pay as I went so to speak and only asked me for a couple of days worth in advance. Fair enough.

Then out of curiosity more than anything else he started looking at the reciepts and comparing them to the logbook entries. He just wanted to see where I had been and seemed pretty impressed.

"Hey, why no reciept from Wrangell?" he asked.

"They didn't charge me anything because I got in a brawl in Petersburg and Wrangell and Petersburg don't get along."

"Yeah, I know about that," he grinned.

"And Petersburg? No reciept?" he asked.

"We were in Petersburg only long enough to get into a brawl and had to skip fast," I replied. "No charge for under 12 hours."

He laughed at that one. "I fished Southeast years ago. I understand completely," he said. "I'll bet when you got to Wrangell there was a brass band waiting for you on the docks."

"I didn't have to sleep on the boat the whole time I was there," I grinned. He laughed outright.

"I'll bet you didn't," he replied. "OK, here's the deal. I presume you're staying here for about a week. Pay it now and if you leave early I'll refund that is left over. If you are staying longer the monthly rate is three times the weekly rate. Pay for three and I'll let you stay the fourth week for free, even if you pay weekly. I'll fix it for you."

I was glad I had kept the port clearance papers. They saved me some grief and s little money when I had little money.

An hour later I landed a construction job and drank a few beers that night and went to work the following morning. Life was good in Friday Harbor.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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