Saturday, July 26, 2014

Underway Day 31 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

July 26, 2014 @ Noon boat time GMT -8 (UTC July 23 @ 2000)

Day 31 LightSpeed Sailing from Marshall Islands to North America

Day 18 at sea since our last anchorage at Bikar atoll, Marshall Islands.

Underway position: 46 36 N 174 45W

177nm day/2899nm trip total

Course 350T
Speed 7.4

Wind 17 @ 120T
100 % Cloud cover
1021 mbar
Air temp 57F
Sea temp 55F

Fog, fog and more fog at least until this morning when we finally had a short break with a few moments of sunshine breaking through. We're stoked to make our landfall in the mid-Aleutians and see it as a rare opportunity to explore some extremely remote islands abundant with wildlife and striking natural beauty. Our original goal was Dutch Harbor or maybe even Kodiak, but the winds conspired against that plan repeatedly.

We've been sailing a bit more conservatively than I would have liked since the rigging terminal broke mid-ocean, some ~1500 miles ago and we've been running with a compromised stay. By my calculations we should have been there already, now within motoring distance of land we're more comfortable letting LightSpeed stretch her legs a bit. Boat speeds have been averaging in the 8.3 knot range and we've been regularly surfing into the teens with following seas. The ride has been a bit more bumpy, but no complaints with 325nm to Adak Island.

Ship traffic has increased significantly since 44N as we cross the great circle routes from Asia to North America and the Panama canal. We passed within 1.25 miles of one ship and with the sun low behind the ship I could just make out a shadow of the 600 foot behemoth. Today visibility is a few miles and far less stressful than charging through a veil of thick fog.

That's it for now.

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