The days have been counting down QUICKLY! There was a time, here in Hawaii, where I felt like time was hardly moving. The days of June have spilled away. Our departure date has been screaming towards me. Lately every day starts early and ends late. Nearly every moment that I am not working in the boat, I have been filming. Of course, I have managed to make some time to enjoy the waves just a bit more before I leave. While surfing, I have been contemplating the cold waters we are sailing for. I don’t foresee any recreational swimming in the next few months as we pass through Alaska and Canada.
I have been preparing J. Henry for this trip since we arrived, but these last few weeks have been huge. I’d like to depart prepared for our crossing to Alaska and for the next six months of sailing that follows. Among the many projects, the most notable include the installation of a diesel heater for the cold and wet climates, new standing rigging, 7 rebuilt winches, new anchor chain with just a bit more length than we had before and an entirely revarnished interior. J. Henry will be prepared to sail on proudly.
Our departure date is tentatively set for June 20th, six days from now. I am planning to have two other crew members aboard: one friend and fellow sailor from Charleston and another friend and sailor from Hawaii. This is an ideal crew. We will have plenty of help aboard and with a 3hr on /6hr off watch schedule, we should have plenty of time to rest. The winds heading North look fairly variable, but we should be able expect Easterlies to begin with and Westerlies as we finish the crossing. I am hoping we luck out with a whole lot of broad reach sailing in between.
My imagination has been racing with ideas of the new world we are sailing into. Cold water, Rocky shores, fog, volcanoes, glaciers, bears and salmon. It’s time to break out my dusty warm weather clothing that has been tucked away since Bermuda. Our destination, Dutch Harbor, is known to be rough. It gained fame most recently as the home port of the TV series, “Deadliest Catch”. I have been asked several times, “why do you want to go to Dutch Harbor?” and I have been told several times, “you don’t want to go to Dutch Harbor”. I want to go because the Aleutians are known to be absolutely beautiful and one of the furthest places from the developed world that we can sail to. Dutch harbor seems to be a good place to reprovision and I’m interested in seeing the largest fishery in the United States. It’s one thing to hear about a place, it’s a far different thing to see it for yourself. I figure at worst I will join the folks that tell others, “you don’t want to go there”.
I’m looking forward to getting back out to sea. It’s been a while. My goal is to keep an average of at least 5kts. At that speed and with decent headings, I am hoping to make landfall by July 7th. Please keep up with our progress. You can see where we are via our YB Tracker. We’ll keep our progress updated every 6 – 12 hours.
Please wish us luck, fair winds, following seas, and an all-around good time.