SV STX
HI to the Aleutian's

6/9/2008 UTC date 4:29 PM UTC time 6/9/2008 Pacific Time date 9:29 AM Pacific Time 23°57.09'N Latitude 159°36.46'W Longitude 352TCourse 6.0 Speed

Since we left Kauai 9 hrs. ago we have traveled 112 nm. We started with winds of 15 - 20 knots and a nice cruising speed of 7 kts. By nightfall winds increased to 22 - 27 knots, wind and waves changed direction so we put up the storm sail and settled down to a crawl of 5 kts. We also altered our course a bit to accommodate the waves which were being a bit roley and not fun to sleep in. This has found us this morning tacking back rather than making a straight shot at this point. So far weather has been nice though. It is currently 77 degrees outside at 6 a.m. our time and it was pleasant all evening, although we did have to wear our light rain jackets due to incoming waves over the bow and sides! As of late yesterday flying fish were still being sighted, in fact we saw the biggest one yet and we believe he flew further than any of the others we've seen. Love, JoLe and KC/Mom and Dad

6/10/2008 UTC date 4:25 PM UTC time 6/10/2008 Pacific Time date 9:25 AM Pacific Time 26°42.62'N Latitude 160°00.64'W Longitude 338T Course 4.0 Speed

We've traveled 164.8 nm since yesterdays log (279 total). We were able to straighten our course out yesterday and maintain it during the night without having to do a lot of tacking. The day was beautiful, reaching into the 80's. Last night was much easier than the first night so we were able to maintain our course and speed throughout the night although we hit a few squalls. Just coming off of watch and our first bird landed on the bow (supposed to bring good luck). Not sure that worked as the wind died thereafter. Love, JoLe and KC/Mom and Dad

6/11/2008 UTC date 4:41 PM UTC time 6/11/2008 Pacific Time date 9:41 AM Pacific Time 29°19.96'N Latitude 160°28.98'W Longitude 356T Course 4.4 Speed

We traveled 158.2 nm since yesterday, 435 nm total so far. Although the winds died yesterday morning they picked back up the rest of the day and evening so we made good time again; really nice sailing weather. Again in mid-80's during the day and mid-70's at night. Taking advantage of it as much as possible! Saw a fishing boat yesterday about 2 miles off just before the sun went down, kind of surprised us. We expected to see fishing boats but not for a while yet. One large squall this a.m. just before sunrise, which made the sunrise beautiful. Again no wind now, hopefully it will come up again in an hour or two although the weather reports are a little dicey about this at this point. Flying fish still being sighted.

6/12/2008 UTC date 3:47 PM UTC time 6/12/2008 Pacific Time date 8:47 AM Pacific Time 31°26.60'N Latitude 160°07.16'W Longitude 008T Course 3.2 Speed

We traveled 132 nm since yesterday, 567 nm total so far. Weather and winds have stayed much the same and the new item last night was the addition of lightning, something we want to avoid. Looking at picking our path out along the high pressure system and how best to make landfall. We have ruled Adak out due to timing as it saves us five days that we lost by waiting for the sail. Will decide between Unalaska and Kodiak or both in the next seven days.  Love, JoLe and KC/Mom and Dad

6/13/2008 UTC date 3:18 PM UTC time 6/13/2008 Pacific Time date 8:18 AM Pacific Time 33°37.42'N Latitude 159°52.78'W Longitude 003T Course 6.4 Speed

Finishing Day 5 and we're over 700 nm north of Hawaii. Covered 134 nm yesterday. Strange feeling being at the same latitude as San Diego but 2100 nm off the coast of California, about the same to Japan and 1300 nm from Unalaska or Sitka. Really out in the middle of the ocean. Spent 1 1/2 hrs repairing a jib shackle at the top of the mast first thing in the morning and the rest of the day trying to find enough wind for the jib. Around 4pm the wind picked up to a steady 10-17 kts and the rain squalls stopped. Had a great sunset and nice sailing all night. Good news for those dear children that have doubted JoLe's flying fish, found one on deck this morning and it is now bagged and ready to send. Guess who will receive that special package at our next stop. Will post a photo for the rest of you.

6/14/2008 UTC date 4:42 PM UTC time 6/14/2008 Pacific Time date 9:42 AM Pacific Time 36°12.06'N Latitude 160°39.94'W Longitude 342T Course 5.7 Speed

We are currently 858.4 nm north of HI. Covered 150.9 nm yesterday. Great sailing yesterday during the day, then the wind decided to get a bit fluky during the evening and last night. We were running at about 7+ knots all day with great weather, in the low 80's with lots of sun still. A bit cooler at night now (in the 60's, are we spoiled or what?), we're starting to layer our clothes a bit. Saw some dolphins from afar yesterday. Looks a bit cloudy this a.m., we shall see though.  Love KC/JoLe/Dad/Mom

6/15/2008 UTC date 4:36 PM UTC time 6/15/2008 Pacific Time date 9:36 AM Pacific Time 38°11.96'N Latitude 162°46.59'W Longitude 330T Course 6.8 Speed

We have completed our first week of this passage having covered a total of 1021 nm, 162.6 nm since yesterday. Our great sailing weather has now become what we would call Alaskan sailing weather, high clouds and drizzle and the temp has dropped to 58 (we are madly scrambling to find places to hang all our damp clothes). We expected it to drop but more like a degree or two a day, not all in one day! We are past San Francisco's latitude and half way to our first landfall at Unalaska (at least as the crow flies). For anyone who has been actually plotting our course you will notice we haven't been taking the straightest course. We haven't just been weaving around on a whim but have been taking the smoothest path with the best winds based on the highs and the lows. We were worried about the lows that had been coming through but the biggest challenge has been working our way around the high pressure systems that have rapidly changed shape and position. Think we now have a path to Dutch Harbor figured out now t hat we are closer and can get a better read on the weather a few days in advance, we hope. If you see another jog, you'll know it changed again (or we guessed wrong)!

6/16/2008 UTC date 4:29 PM UTC time 6/16/2008 Pacific Time date 9:29 AM Pacific Time 40°07.55'N Latitude 164°29.35'W Longitude 334T Course 5.9 Speed

We covered 145 nm since yesterday. Our weather continues overcast and cool, 53 degrees last night and currently (6 am our time, we're still using HI time) and 57-59 during the day, but not bad sailing as seen by the number of miles we are making per day. We've had two more flying fish land on board, one only an inch long and the other about two inches long, they are beautiful fish, remind us of little fairies. KC scared a sea lion yesterday as we sailed by it, it was lying peacefully sleeping and then our wake hit it. Also saw and spoke with a car carrier yesterday evening. We hadn't seen him on our AIS, it apparently has decided not to work so will look into that today. It was working when we left HI. Also saw something very odd in the water yesterday, some red tendrils, miles of it, about a foot under water. We asked the car carrier what it was, he thought it might be another container ship that had rinsed it's bilges, if so, it was horrible as it covered 6 - 8 miles that we saw.

6/17/2008 UTC date 5:29 PM UTC time 6/17/2008 Pacific Time date 10:29 AM Pacific Time 42°04.45'N Latitude 164°58.48'W Longitude 358T Course 5.6 Speed

Our mileage for yesterday is a bit on the short side, 116 nm as we are becalmed in the middle of the high, it moved. Teach me to talk about how great we're doing mileage wise! We decided to make the most of it though and pretended that we were at anchor and took a day off. Yes sailing is sometimes work and it was nice just to relax on the glassy smooth waters. It's the first time since we left HI that the boat hasn't been heeled to Port at least 5 - 10 degrees and that there hasn't been waves and wind. We were amazed we could walk without tilting and lurching to the left full time! We even, dare we say it, yes, put the spinnaker in it's sock and gave it a whirl. It went up without a hitch after KC retied it all correctly (manufacturers tied it incorrectly), but then what little wind there was died completely, so down it came and we started up the engine around 2:30 pm and have been motoring ever since. Hate it, but glad we have it. This morning the ocean is perfectly glassy, still no wind, the temp is 54 (yesterday it got up to 70, pleasant).  Love KC/JoLe/Dad/Mom 

6/18/2008 UTC date 5:02 PM UTC time 6/18/2008 Pacific Time date 10:02 AM Pacific Time 44°30.83'N Latitude 165°12.67'W Longitude 357T Course 5.9 Speed

We made 150 nm yesterday as we were finally able to put up the sails around 2:30 pm (24 hours of motoring). Another 1st last night, the fog rolled in. JoLe started her shift at 8 pm with 1/4 mi. visibility (there are a lot of radar checks). The fog cleared up somewhat overnight and visibility is much better this a.m., winds running at about 15 - 21 knots so are making good time (have the jib about 1/2 way out). We are now having to learn how to do everything on the boat from a different angle as we are heeled to the starboard side rather than port, so we are getting a workout on a different set of balancing muscles! About 575 miles to Dutch Harbor. Since we initially wrote this over an hour ago, it has started raining and the winds have picked up. It appears, per the barometer, that a low pressure area has decided to form over the top of us (wind and rain/dampness).   Love KC/JoLe/Dad/Mom

6/19/2008 UTC date 4:19 PM UTC time 6/19/2008 Pacific Time date 9:19 AM Pacific Time 46°28.04'N Latitude 164°36.44'W Longitude 354T Course 4.0 Speed

We made 128 nm yesterday. Per yesterdays report a low has formed over the top of us and we had great wind, the only problem is that it was from the wrong direction so we couldn't take advantage of it, in fact we were fighting it the whole day. We even tried taking down the sails and motoring but again we were up against major head winds so it just wasn't worth it. Instead we took an easterly tack last night and put up the sails but as of early this morning the winds ran out again so have turned on the motor again and headed north. Getting to Dutch Harbor may take some work! From reading the weather reports there is another low coming in right behind this one. FYI: Having some problems connecting with the HI station due to distance and time we usually send our log so if you don't receive one at or around the usual time it's because we can't get transmit at our regular time; we may need to start transmitting during the middle of the night. Love KC/JoLe/Dad/Mom

6/20/2008 UTC date 4:23 PM UTC time 6/20/2008 Pacific Time date 9:23 AM Pacific Time 48°49.65'N Latitude 164°59.90'W Longitude 350T Course 6.8 Speed

We made 142 nm yesterday and have traveled 1702 nm so far and hope to reach Unalaska Sunday (KC) Monday (JoLe). So far the time spent sailing in the Gulf of Alaska has allowed us to use all of our cold weather and rain gear, honed our weather forecasting skills, fine tuned sail handling in changing weather and taught us how to cook at all angles. The fog, rain and cloudy skies with rapidly changing wind and seas all with a balmy temp in the low 50s has been a welcome relief to the warm waters and sunny skies of Hawaii. We are looking at a fast moving low pressure system passing 100 nm in front of us this morning so we think we should be able to sail with fresh winds from every direction in the next 24 hrs. We say "we think" as we have found that every 3 hrs the weather changes here.  Love KC/JoLe/Dad/Mom

6/21/2008 UTC date 2:44 PM UTC time 6/21/2008 Pacific Time date 7:44 AM Pacific Time 50°36.13'N Latitude 165°08.37'W Longitude 008T Course 2.3 Speed We made 116 nm yesterday and have traveled 1818 nm. Still hoping to reach Unalaska maybe Monday. The low pressure system went well until 5pm when we caught the back side with 20-30 kt winds in our face. Made 20nm since then and no let up in sight. Seas to such that tacking back and forth does not gain us anything. Will motor forward until the low moves past and we have some different weather.   KC/JoLe/Dad/Mom

6/23/2008 UTC date 6:51 PM UTC time 6/23/2008 Pacific Time date 11:51 AM Pacific Time 53°54.37'N Latitude 166°30.64'W Longitude 173T Course 0.0 Speed

We made 146 miles yesterday (Sun), for a grand total of 2068 miles as we arrived in Dutch Harbor this morning @ 6:30 AK time (7:30 am PST). It was absolutely beautiful coming in through a couple of different passes and we couldn't believe how calm and easy it was after the last 24 hours of fighting weather (rain/sleet) and the 48 hours of running the boat without the aide of "Ray", our autopilot. On top of all other equipment failures, the cabin and water heater decided to quit working once we were dead tired and cold with nearly every bit of clothing aboard cold and wet. The 30 kt winds and waves were being forced up the heater's exhaust on the transom. We were hand steering 2hrs on, 2hrs off, but you don't get to sleep much on the off time, you end up working on the boat, cleaning up the sea water that somehow leaks in, making food or hot drinks, changing in and out of your wet weather gear, plus no sleep since yesterday evening tracking through the passes!

Anyway the last days have not been pleasant, we both feel that we've been tested and the question begs to be asked, do we still want to sail? Absolutely. You may wonder why you're doing it when you have days like we have in the last 500 miles, but Monday from 1:30 a.m. on made it all worth it! When we entered the last pass the water was glassy smooth, the clouds broke up, the nearly full moon came out and the heater started working, it didn't like the wind and waves plugging its exhaust. The water, sky and snow covered mountains were awesome and is not something that we could have experienced without having put in the effort to get here. On to other items. We can't call or email you and you can't call or email us as we are in the third world of the USA, but the dock facilities are first class and so much better than Ala Wai Harbor, we don't need a 16 foot boarding plank! Interesting note is that there are concrete bunkers everywhere from WWII and Bald Eagles rule here, like the chickens on Kauai.

The place is truly a fishing industry and the people who live here are great, Alaskans! Hopefully we will have the autopilot up on Friday and leave Saturday for a five day trip to Kodiak.

Photo's to follow soon.
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