After being weather-bound for two weeks in Yakutat, we were finally able to set sail on September 1st. The forecast was for 30 hours of light westerly breeze before the next southeasterly gale arrived. It was 140 nautical miles to the shelter of the Inside Passage, so we would have to average 4.67 knots to make it in time. Normally (but what’s normal in Alaska? okay, so, in a decent breeze) we average 5 to 6 knots under sail, but this forecast was for very light winds – the calm before the next storm – which meant we’d have to motor at least part of the time. But after thinking we’d be in Yakutat all winter… motoring seemed a small price to pay.
At the end of July (2017 – I’m less behind on the blog this year!), we returned to the town of Kodiak after a great cruise. We had chores and work to do – articles for me and statistical programming for Seth – but we also had some fun, mostly because we met a really great sailing family on their capable and beautifully maintained steel boat Galactic. Continue reading
Kodiak Island was our aim for this summer’s Alaskan voyage, so we’ve spent pretty much all of July here. About half that time has been spent in town for Seth to do his consulting work and for me to do my writing, and the other half we’ve spent sailing. It’s been great to have a chance to explore more of this beautiful place, especially as we only got a tiny taste of it (just 4 days) last year. Continue reading
When we dropped anchor off Point Hope following our passage north from Nome, our first thought (after seeing the boat secured) was that there was a ton more to the place than our chart had shown. The chart had the word “Ruins” written across the whole peninsula, and while there were ruins, there was also a small but thriving village, populated – it turned out – by Inupiat.
Although the wind was already strengthening significantly, we got together our water bottles, life jackets, and windbreakers and launched the dinghy to row ashore.
In my last post, I introduced Pat and Sue, a wonderful couple who take Arctic sailors under their wing. Seth and I had talked (with each other) about rowing our dinghy up the Snake River that empties into Nome’s harbor, but on our very first full day, Pat and Sue took us up it in their motorboat for a fishing expedition!
Our propeller zincs arrived the day after our off-trail hike, so then it was back to work, specifically to scuba diving in the Bering Sea. . . . Normally, we haul Celeste out of the water before the start of the season to pressure wash the hull of any growth and to put on the new propeller zincs and propeller shaft zincs (which protect each item from corrosion). But there’s no way to do that on Unalaska, so instead we had to do it all underwater. Continue reading
Our passage to King Cove had seen fog, strong winds, light winds, sun, a big volcano, islands, birds, and whales—a wonderful 75 miles! The sea and air were pretty calm as we watched the whales breach in Deer Passage, but then as we turned the corner into King Cove itself the wind began to strengthen, and right from the direction in which we were headed. Continue reading