Sailing to Alaska from Oahu May 30th until June 15, 2016
18 June 2016 | From Pokai Bay, Hawaii to Sitka, Alaska
In the past I paid to have our daily reports sent over Winlink onto our blog but we let the deluxe program expired so here’s a summary.
Overall progress: Slow days of 111 – 120 miles in a 24 hr period then fast days of 188 to 191 and 210 one day. We used the engine for 70 hours – a shocker for us who WANT to sail but it isn’t our choice usually.
It started out very choppy with confused seas and that feeling like I never want to come off the couch but thankfully it got better.
6/2/16 We had the jib halyard come loose 8pm at complete darkness, 20 knots of wind. Tried to hook it back up quickly (at least he was wearing a harness) but later just lashed it down until the morning. Scott had troubles getting the roller furling drum to go up past a place that has screws that had come loose. We were able to bypass the roller furling and PTL, didn’t have to roll up the jib for the 16 days out.
Did find that to be a problem when we wanted to get the spinnaker pole back in after wing on wing. Normally we would have rolled up the jib, gone forward and disconnected it but Scott had to jury rig another line to maneuver it instead.
Had maybe 4 days of nice weather to sit outside and look for garbage for Janneke off s/v Anna Caroline. We had been asked to record any debris we saw. It wasn’t much which is what we expected but I was faithful to record it!
I call those my cruise ship days, sitting in a regular chair and not on cushions on our bench seats. Sometimes it has to be tied on to not fall over but it sure feels better than sitting in the cockpit.
6/3/16 Celeste was out on night watch and heard a bird fluttering in the cockpit. She couldn't see it at first but it was a fork- tailed storm petrel, small as a parakeet who had tried to land and got his webbed feet caught in our plastic deck flooring. We were amazed he totally let us pick him up, cover him with a towel or hold him inside Celeste’s sweatshirt front pocket without ever making a peep. Celeste made a bed for Stuart (she loves to name things) and later while I was on watch, he flew out of her berth into the main salon. I turned on the overhead light and watched Stuart fly out into the darkness and figured that was the end of it.
The next day I was sitting in my chair and looked down into the steering wheel well and there was Stuart (or another one who looked just like him, hard to tell). There would have been no way he could have gotten out on his own. But the question was, is that the farthest Stuart got last night or was it another incident? We nursed him/her again to make sure he warmed up again without him once trying to get away . After a few hours we began to worry if he had gone without food all that time so all three of us took him outside, placed him into the wind on top of the solar panel and encouraged him to fly away. He took off, caught the wind currents and never looked back. We felt like we were ‘freeing Willy’ to see him return to his world. No other bird landings to report, though for the rest of the trip.
6/5/16 Celeste photographed dolphins playing in our bow wake as we motored with no wind. We also had velellas for days floating on the water. Mostly individuals sailing along but some were in clumps of 50-100. They are a free-floating type of jellyfish with a clear sail on top to keep them moving while stinging plankton below the surface with polyps handing down about a centimeter. We know of a couple of boats who took the name Velella which seems so appropriate when you see them sailing along.
6/7/16 I had changed to capris and a regular sleeved shirt but got to sit outside in the warm sun. Wind had a chill to it though and from then on I sat behind the dodger on the bench instead. Later I had to change to long pants, long underwear, socks and fingerless gloves to survive. We do have a heater but we would have to move water jugs and misc. stored right in front of it in order to use it. Blankets and extra clothes would suffice for now.
Victoria, our tortoise was a frozen mass for days. We left her outside for half the trip than had to bring her downstairs but she still didn’t warm up for days until the sun shone on Tuesday, June 14th and she could bask in the sun then had a desire to eat. She even slept in her hay but didn’t care about eating it.
We started out with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. We are down to potatoes, onions and some cabbage. Still have our homemade sauerkraut to eat. Made sure I bought some bratwurst that were made by a yachties, right there in Ala Wai!
We had replaced our tired main with a used but not so tired main and we were happy with the reefs we had made for it. It was a little awkward to fit new lines to the reefs, etc but it powered through all 16 days. No other events to report, no one was seasick, some usual bruising from being pushed around but not serious. Still had some cockroaches appear along the way but we’re hoping the cold of Alaska will kill them all off. The total was 2617 miles, 6.5 knot avg, 16 days 18 hrs, 156 miles a day.