Thursday, August 9, 2018

Northwest weather

Sure sign that this is a work trip. Our willingness to anchor, for two nights no less, in a 20-knot northwest wind, in Fox Bay, which is open to the northwest with fifteen miles of fetch.

That's not anything that we would ever choose to do on a recreational trip. But we stayed here two nights with the barky bucking and snorting against the waves. All praise to our chips-down anchoring setup. Forty kilo Rocna and 80m of 3/8" G40 chain in 15m of water, good mud bottom, and we can put up with a lot.

We are watching the weather forecasts minutely on this trip. Especially now that we are retracing our steps from the outbound leg when we were choosing anchorages in consistent southeast weather. The weather has swung persistently into the west, which is a godsend for our progress back up the Peninsula, especially considering the knot and a half westward setting Alaska Coastal Current. But that switch in the wind will also change some of our anchorages into less sure bets. We were aware of the need to select sites that would be good in a variety of weather, of course, but there are precious few all-weather anchorages along this part of the coast.

The wildlife sightings continued yesterday. A peregrine, presumably the same one we saw when first entering the anchorage, came down and buzzed us yesterday morning, swooping back and forth around the stern of the Mothership. A very dark individual, and I've never in my days been buzzed by a peregrine before, that unreapproachably standoffish bird. And a porcupine on the beach when the family was dinghying in to sample, which for a wild moment was rumored to be a wolverine, the Alaskan mammal that is so famously difficult to spot and which I have never seen. There was quite a moment of fumbling with the binoculars before it was confirmed as a porkie. Lots of bear sign on the beach, including tracks of a sow with young of the year cubs, but no sightings. But, to everyone's delight, we deployed our baited underwater camera for counting age-1 cod, and came up with video of a salmon shark cruising the anchorage.

Now that was cool.

The northwest weather also gave us sunshine, which has been as rare as fresh laundry on this trip. We managed a walk. I got partway up one of the hills separating us from the open Gulf of Alaska, and the ship's people meandered on the foreshore. The glory of stretching our legs!

So sunny that Elias repeated his birthday trick of jumping in the water, twice. Eric was not to be outdone and jumped in, then scampered out and curled up in a ball on the back deck, waiting for a parent to pour warm water over him.

OK. Time to make tracks.
This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!

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1 comment:

  1. How cold was the water when the boys took their quick dip?