Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 2 LightSpeed sailing from Alaska to San Francisco

July 29, 2014

Day 2 LightSpeed sailing from Alaska to San Francisco

Andrew Bay, Adak Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Anchorage Position: 51 57.76N 176 38.02W

When the sun breaks through the fog and a warm breeze blows off land, Adak Island is pure magic. When the fog filters the sun to a dull grey and freezing artic winds blow unabated from the north pole you begin to understand why there are no trees on Adak. Heading around Cape Kiguga we encountered gale force head winds and as luck would have it our port engine ingested some sea weed and started to run hot, so we shut it down and labored into the gale winds with just one engine. We pulled into the lee of Andrew Bay to clean out the water intake and decided to stay for the night as it has a nice long beach for a walk and where we gathered some mussels for dinner, returning to the boat around 8PM! The long days are incredible, with sunset near midnight you can get a lot done in one day. Andrew bay would be a great beach for a bonfire as it's the first we've seen with lots of driftwood on this treeless island.

We've been harbor hopping the last few days, visiting two new harbors each day around the Bay of Islands. Since our last report we've anchored at:

Gannet Cove
51 47.27N 176 42.58W
Low detail charts of the area paired with quickly shoaling depth at the head of the bay made anchoring a bit more of a challenge as our depth sounder is still not working. We think the sounder died from cold water exposure in the mid-40 degree waters. Our first try we were too deep and the anchor didn't set to our satisfaction, the second try we moved in closer with Kathy watching for the bottom and we dropped the hook in about 16' and found good holding. We walked up the river estuary at low tide marveling at the prolific number of eagles and incredible wild flowers. A few salmon splashed around in the river, but evaded Dave's attempts to set a hook, mostly as a result of not having a casting setup to deliver the lures to the right location.
Gannet was foggy and cool as the wind seemed to channel down the valley, we never saw the sun here and it was gusty at times.

Beverly Cove
51 47.74N 176 43.58W
Our second stop for the day was sunny despite being only a few miles from Gannet Cove. The stream feeding out of lake Constant looked like a promising place to catch a salmon for dinner, so we took the dinghy over and climbed up the rocks near the waterfall and walked to the lake. We're starting to think we missed the salmon season as not a single fish was spotted in the river or at the falls. A beautiful spot though and worth a visit. Beverly Cove was gusty, but the holding was superb in dense mud.

Shagak Bay (ocean side off the spit)
51 51.54N 176 46.19W
We couldn't resist beach combing this multi-mile long spit and anchored offshore in 20' with excellent holding in sand. Landing on the beach was easy as the Bering seas had exactly zero ground swell. We scored some nice 24" round buoys, picking the best from a large selection, these are Bering Sea Crab pot floats, like those you'd see on Deadliest Catch

That's it for now.

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