Sunday, August 10, 2014

Underway from Atka to Unalaska

August 10, 2014

Underway from Atka to Unalaska (Dutch Harbor)

Underway at 1000 AST: 52 35 N 171 51 W

Course 070T
Speed 7.7 knots

Visibility is less than 1/4 mile as we slice through the chilly Bering Sea waters en route to Dutch Harbor. Great sailing if you don't mind drizzle, fog and water/air temps at 45F. I just double reefed the main and my fingers numbed up pretty fast when handling the lines. Another low pressure system on the heels of the last is bringing southerly winds this morning, but no complaints as we're making good time and the forecast shift to SW works to our plan. Getting away from Atka was a bit rough yesterday in the vicinity of Cape Korovin with large 3+ meter confused seas. We passed within 3.5 miles of the 4852 foot summit, but unfortunately didn't catch even a glimpse of the shore. Apparently, we need to visit during the cold season if we want to see the big majestic volcanic peaks.

Before upping anchor yesterday I was tasked with catching dinner, so I headed for ashore and cast off the beach. I caught a nice bright pink and after landing the fish, I turned around to find the most curious little fox not 6 feet away. He didn't know what to make of me, but was interested in my catch. So, I caught another fish for the little fox and offered it up. It turns out that this fox was a dainty eater, I'd expected he'd tear in wolfing down the flesh in haste. He nibbled here and there, not evening breaking the skin, so I chopped the fish in half and cut off some fillets and smaller bits. The fox ate slowly and in a very dignified manner and I was thinking he would have preferred I cut the fish into bit size pieces. Eventually his little belly began to noticeably bulge and the fox began what would be a half a dozen trips dutifully carrying the fish back to his den. I'm pretty sure I ate my salmon dinner faster.

Currents between the Pacific and Bering sea are considerable, yesterday we were 20 miles from Seguam Island and being set 10 degrees to the south as we traveled due west. Near the islands and passes currents run 3-6 knots with up to 12 in the extreme according to the Coast Pilot volume 9.

With more southerly winds in the forecast we'll remain on the Bering sea side of the Aleuteians for the 215 nm remaining to Dutch Harbor.

That's it for now.

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