BEAUTIFUL SAILING TODAY

Last night the wind held steady and Truce sailed herself beautifully through the night.  I didn’t touch a thing and we were bang on course this morning.  As often happens the sun came up and the wind died.  I gybed to the east for a couple of hours and picked up some wind before heading south again.

The fishing line went over the side today.  My favourite lure is on the end of it.  The lure has been dragged from Vancouver to China and back and caught zero.  I am determined to catch something on it so it’s being dragged down to Hawaii this time.

I saw another ship today, this time a bulk carrier bound for Mexico.  Other than that, I am all alone out here.  Well there’s some whales and birds as well, plus who knows what sort of monsters swimming around in the deep ocean.  There’s a very elegant bird flying around, looks like a Sheerwater but I don’t know what type.  I should get a book about seabirds – it would make a good Father’s Day present…

This afternoon I got my Bose mini SoundLink working.  What a great little speaker, big enough to fill the boat with sound.  The Bose stuff is expensive but the quality is good and I expect it will last a long time if I can keep the salt air from it.

After my evening beer, I reefed the main sail down for the night.  Now if the wind gets up its easy to reduce sail with the headsails.  We are still doing five knots which will be fine until the morning.  Hope the wind holds for another relaxing night.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

MOVING NORTH AND FIRST DOLPHINS

This morning I did final grocery shopping and got a gallon of engine oil for the next oil change coming up soon.  I tried to get a WiFi connection without success.  The only place is the library and that didn’t open until 12:00.  Must say I was not impressed with Craig, its services or people in general.  Happy to be moving on.

Moving North and first Dolphins. Image Credit Referencedotcom
Moving North and first Dolphins. Image Credit Referencedotcom

On leaving the dock the visibility was poor, not fog just a heavy mist and drizzle.  It cleared up when we got away from land and a good breeze sprang up.  I set all sail only for the wind to die immediately after.  I tried sailing later on but gave up after an hour of getting nowhere.  The whales were around again, I had something to take my mind off the wind frustration.

The forecast for today was for southerly winds of 20 knots.  This gave me hope I could get a good days run north.  Unfortunately the winds didn’t arrive so we had a day of motoring and hand steering as the seas were sloppy and the autopilot didn’t like it.

This evening we are anchored in Warren Cove on a place called Warren island at the bottom of Sumner Strait.  Not the best place to be but its my fault, I wasted too much time trying to sail when I should have just motored like all the other sailors do around here.  Coming into the anchorage this evening we were accompanied by a couple of Dolphins.  These are the first dolphins I have seen this trip, great to have them around.

It’s an angry and squally night.  There is a nasty slop coming into the anchorage and joggling everything around on the boat.  It’s also raining cats and dogs again.  Doesn’t look like I will have a comfortable night, looking forward to moving on tomorrow.  Total voyage distance 985.5 miles.

Logged 11th June 2016

FIRST SUMMER FOG

We departed Winter Harbour this morning in thick fog, visibility less than one cable.  With the radar and Navionics chart backed up with echo sounder, magnetic compass and eyeball it was slow going picking through the islands towards Tonowek Narrows.  As the Sea Otters appeared from the fog they had to be checked as not being logs in disguise.  It was quite amusing watching their old men whiskery faces with enquiring looks as they floated past.  As soon as they saw a human they disappeared in an instant underwater.

Downtown Craig, Alaska.Photo Ray Penson
Downtown Craig, Alaska.Photo Ray Penson

Just before entering the Tonewek Narrows Narrows the fog lifted with the rising sun.  The water was glassy calm all morning.  In the narrows there is an Indian burial site guarded by a large wooden carving of a man standing at the edge of the trees.  Quite eerie, a giant wooden gingerbread man peering out of the woods.

Later on in the day we were slowly catching a group of whales, perhaps the same group as I saw yesterday.  They were about a mile ahead and travelling in the same direction.  Its hard to count whales as they don’t all appear at the same time but it looked like five in the group.  One had a large blow and one quite small, perhaps a mother and calf.  After about an hour they turned around and started coming back towards the boat but spread out.  I noticed they were taking three or four breaths on the surface and then diving down for a long period of around 3 minutes.  As they dive down it’s a tremendous sight to see the tail come out of the water and disappear as if driving the whale down.  There is a great power and weight in that tail.

Eagles on the dock in Craig. Ray Penson
Eagles on the dock in Craig. Ray Penson

Tonight I have taken a berth in Craig.  I need to do a food restock and get some fresh produce plus do the laundry before heading out again.  I am at a crossroads tonight.  I don’t know if I should continue south and complete the circumnavigation of Prince of Wales Island or start heading north again.  The forecast is for Southerly winds, maybe the north option is best.  But the previous forecast southerly winds have not been strong enough for sailing.  The trip across Sumner Strait from Craig is about 60 miles and that requires a good steady consistent wind.  I will sleep on it.  I still have some shopping to compete in the morning anyway.  Total voyage distance 950.3 miles.

Logged 10th June 2016