We had a nice 3 hour walk along the river mudflats, complete with eagles and a big cuddly Kodiak bear, which ran like a deer, when he spotted us.
Today we moved to Kukak Bay for some more scenery.
The wind is blowing much harder than predicted, but is very well sailable - so no complaints. The sun took all morning to make an appearance, but is up and about since noon.
All well aboard.
And so it was and it was perfect. The sun came out and stayed with us the whole day. The wind turned to the west and picked up, so we could aim toward our new goal and full speed and we just wore our smiles and thoroughly enjoyed it all.
On a downside: I tried to revive my starter batteries with the help of the sun and the paneles, but even after a good absorption charge they stay in a coma at 10.6V. I guess after nearly 50.000 miles they decided they did enough traveling and want to rest in peace now. can't blame them. I hope I can get decent replacements in the Shumigans...
I guess there is no need to say it, but I will stick to the tradition: All well aboard... despite the dead batteries!
We have also crossed our beloved rhump line sometime early this morning at an angle of 50° at 1700 nautical miles of the full 2000. It has been an narrow miss, but still a miss. Looking at yesterdays forecast, I am sad to say, it doesn't seem likely we'll meet up again. You have been such a lovely rhump line and it really wasn't your fault, but nature decided we will have to part.
As I said early on this trip, in this kind of latitudes we are most likely in for a humbling. It is these times, when the sea restricts your possible goals to a narrow window and tells you in no uncertain way, that you are here on her mercy and this is the direction you will be going for some time to come. You can still act tough and unconcerned if you wanted to go that way anyways, but if not - well, there is your humbling. Thanks for that as well, dear fourties. And if you are still miffed about my snotty comment earlier, then let me say you successfully restored your ill reputation.
We will be leaving the fourties tonight and are awaiting a calmer welcome from the fifties. However the wind direction will make us bear away even more to the east for a while, before we can aim again at our new destination: The Shumigan Islands. Here we come! All well aboard. We had a sunny, warm spell (13° inside the boat) around noon today, some fun in the gallay and yummy warm pankakes. Highlight of the day!
At first we tried slow down and keep our westerly course as much as we could, to avoid the worst of it, but at some point the waves got to high to keep pushing into it, so we turned away from them. The time had come that have to use up the west we banked earlier. We had 100 nautical miles on our account this morning and it might not be enough to reach Dutch Harbor. We might have to settle for Kings Cove instead.
25 knot winds with gusts to 41 are just like gale force winds with storm force gusts. There is really not that much difference. Only occasionaly you get this lulls for a few minutes, which are not really a relief, because the lower wind pressure in the sail, the more you get shaken around.
At the moment we are running a towel (small sail9) at 120° apparent wind angle before the mountains, that roll toward us. It's all quite cosy, but we would still prefer 10 knots beam reach. Just letting the universe know my wishes, so they can come true later on.
As it looks in the forecast however, the winds will be slowly diminishing throughout the night, but still blow rather stiff from ENE tomorrow and we'll have to keep digging into our west account.
All good aboard. Still ready to get there :) PS for worried family mambers: As I send this (4 hours afer I wrote above) it has calmed down a bit already. No worries.
But on the bright side: At least the wind direction was forecast correctly. And even better: The sun was out in force, shining bright and warm. It surely was a welcomed sight to see that ball of fire rise this morning, after few days of absence and especially after last night, when that foggy drizzly wet thing moved in with sunset, almost like a physical presence, and restricted our world to a few feet around the cockpit. You weren't even able to see the full genoa, even though we were sure it was there.
It now pays off to have one of those modern radar domes, which only draw 2amps on transmit. We were basically running that thing for the last two days continuously! Also another heads up for everyone who is following behind. Make sure your batteries are fresh and keep them charged every day when it is getting cold. We had to jump the engine and the generator battery yesterday. I hope we don't have to buy new ones in Dutch Harbor.
Despite the minor issues, we are all fine aboard. Still happy and well fed, but slowly ready to get there.
The sea has become very cold. The last two days it went from 15°C to 9°C. Inside the boat is is still around 15°C, so we are quite comfortable with some layers of cloths on and of course even more cosy under the blanket during off watch! All good aboard. Michaela is taking excellent care of us and constantly supplying us with healthy food. And of course Alita is taking very good care of all of us.
Tomorrow we are expecting the tail end of a small front with southerly gusts and afterwards a stiff westerly breeze, which will bring us toward our destination and back to our beloved rhump line.
We have all seen seals today! So it is official: They do swim more than 700 miles offshore.
All good aboard, well fed (with yummy fresh home made bretzels), happy (to be on the way to Alaska) and just a little bit chilly.
Despite the widespread lack of wind it has been a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and scenic clouds. It also is quite warm, due to the southerly air flow, I guess.
The weather forecast for the second part of our trip looked good yesterday and I hope it still does tonight... it seems to change daily. The only thing that doesn't seem to change, is the variable winds in our vicinity for the next two days to come. But we are not complaining at all. The lack of weather is always preferable to nasty weather! We haven't had any action on the fishing lures for a few days and I am struggling to figure out a way to get them to stay deep under water. So far the set ups produced way too much resistance and ended up being like drogues. I guess I have to have a chat with the fishermen in Dutch Harbor! We had fresh baked bread for brunch and everything is A-okay aboard.
The sun also didn't make an appearance today. There is a heavy cloud cover, but the visibility is good. We could easily see a tanker passing by in 10 miles distance. There is now literally no wind at all. The water surface is glassy, except a minor swell from NE. The alternators are doing their job and we are using all the excess power to fill up the water tanks.
We are still meeting a few floating objects. Mostly fishing buoys with loads and loads of small mussels attached. Water temperature is down to 16°C but it still is T-shirt weather during day time.
All good with crew and boat.
At the moment we are considering to ride the front ahead of us to get to the north of the following low, or to reduce speed drastically to let the front and the low pass north. The final decision will be made with the newest weather forecasts the day after tomorrow. Until then we are enjoying some champagne sailing in the middle of a boisterous 1030hpa high pressure system while we can. We had some dense humidity this morning, but the sun quickly ate away all fog and clouds and we are now back to steel blue skies. Winds are slowly decreasing and we expect to be running on Spinacker tomorrow, before we finally have to give up and start the engine. We have encountered a bit more flotsam, but it also seems to be decreasing. Instead we had a very brief visit by a small pod of spinner dolphins, who didn't have the time for a small show or even a short chat.
It is getting cooler. No more T-Shirt and shorts on night watch! Also there is more and more trash floating around in the water - only plastic so far, no containers yet :) Greetings from Severin to Lea, his family, his friends and the whole world. Oh, no worries, he is alright and so are all of. Just a bit silly.
The only small excitements provided were by a small fishing vessel, we had to evade with a 10° course change at 3 o'clock in the morning and a small Mahimahi, which sacrificed itself on our fishing lures and will be our highly anticipated dinner tonight. All is well aboard... but how could it not be! PS: As we are moving further away from our radio link, we will also be broadcasting the daily updates later in the day toward sunset, when the connection is better. Just so you know. Do not torture the refresh button!
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