Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 1 LightSpeed sailing from Alaska to San Francisco

July 29, 2014

Day 1 LightSpeed sailing from Alaska to San Francisco

Adak Island, Alaska
Trappers Cove anchorage 51°47.52'N 176°49.08'W

We never got that nap yesterday. Williwaws screamed through our anchorage with increasing frequency. Enough was enough, so we upped anchor and headed for Trappers Cove in the Bay of Islands. Gale force winds escorted us out of Three Arms Bay and then once in Adak strait all was still. Only a few knots of wind and sun. I shut down the engines and we drifted on the current while breaking out the fishing poles. It wasn't really fishing it was pure catching, drop a jig in the water and start a free fall toward the bottom and bam fish on. As the fish approached the surface you'd often see another 10 fish in pursuit. We were drifting through an area about 40 feet deep and it was one fish after another, it was too easy, so I caught and released, caught and released, it was mostly the same species until I changed lures and pulled up a few grey cod around 30" long. Beautiful fish, but I only kept one fish as it was mortally hooked and bleeding, the others went free with just a pierced lip and an exciting story to tell their fishy friends. Clouds would mostly obscure the nearby volcanic mountains, but occasional we'd get a glimpse of some snow on the mountain flanks, but never a peek at a cloud ensconced peaks.

It's about 15 miles from Three Arms Bay to Trappers cove in the Bay of Islands and as we approached the Bay the winds filled to a steady 22 knots and remained steady all the way to Trappers Cove. I was ready to keep looking for a better anchorage, but Kathy was super tired and made the call that we were done exploring for the day. Once the anchor was down I headed out in the dinghy to do some beach combing and explore some ruins near Trappers Cove. The ruins were I'm guessing a WWII radio base station, a few generators and this huge double wide refrigerator sized radio with all sorts of dials and knobs. All the buildings were gone less a few posts here and there, just these rusting relics. I picked a big bouquet of wild flowers for Kathy and headed back to the boat for dinner.

Over late evening the wind went dead calm and it was absolutely totally 100% quiet, not a rustle of grass nor the call of a bird, it may have been the quietest moment I've experienced in quite while. I was up until the light began to fade at midnight. In the dark hours of the night the wind came back with a vengeance gusting 40 knots and more. The gusts were unnerving as a dragging anchor in the confines of Trappers Cove would have us hard aground in seconds. The anchor held, but it was a fitful night of sleep with the howling gusts.

More strong winds today with a base of 23 knots with gusts to 40 as the clouds stream by with remarkable velocity overhead. Kathy broiled our freshly caught fish for breakfast and it was moist and most delicious with a delicate flavor. I'm not really rigged up for salmon fishing yet, but have rigged up an army truck colored lure Jensen spoon and a 6oz banana weight for some ad-hoc trolling. I'm eager to explore other possible anchorages in the Bay of Islands as there must be something somewhere with better wind protection. If the wind abates tomorrow we'll head over to the settlement in Sweeper Cove to fuel and hopefully do a little shopping and then get moving as we have about 45 days of reasonable weather before we need to be to at least Sitka with access to the protected waters of the inside passage.

That's it for now.

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