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Thursday, 17 October 2013

One more day at sea

It is always gratifying when a passage works out roughly as you had planned it. As gales continue to pummel the Alaska peninsula every couple of days, far to the east we sit on the edge of a receding high in a perfect sailing breeze.

The winds behind us are more than we need and ahead are light and variable. We sit between in the gentlest winds able to move our boat at a good speed - 160 miles a day. As we sail east at 6 to 7 knots, the high pressure area recedes at the same speed leaving us in the same position relative to the weather system. It is true that for a couple of days, the circulation around the west of the high was inconveniently from a southeast direction. It can be seen from our track that we were unable to maintain our course and were forced up toward Sitka. But we knew from the forecasts that the wind would shift to south-southwest and again allow a course towards Dixon Entrance.

Sailing directly toward Victoria might have been convenient but I didn't feel we could count on that long a storm-free period in the autumn and, at any rate, the winds have had too much of a southerly component in them to easily allow such a course.

Absent any calms [they seem unlikely] our current plan is to sail to an anchorage on the lee [east] size of Langara Island, the south headland of Dixon Entrance. There, once again, we will sort out another fishing gear entanglement. A short SCUBA dive should serve to remove whatever is causing the odd tapping on the hull before it can mess up our propeller. We will then resume our course toward Prince Rupert, customs clearance and the onward voyage to Victoria.

So why not wait until Prince Rupert to render the motor useable again? Sailing into a wilderness anchorage presents far less opportunity for error and damage than trying to sail into a harbor and dock.

You definitely want a working motor if at all possible when arriving in the big city!

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At 18/10/2013 01:50 (utc) our position was 54°40.13'N 137°44.44'W

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