Kodiak to Juneau

Hi all. An update on our travels.  Per our email of Saturday, July 5, our intent was to leave Kodiak on Sunday, July 6, for Juneau. That in fact did occur except we only made it 18 miles offshore when we had a problem with starting our motor. Our backup starter was used prior to arriving in Dutch Harbor and not replaced, so when the motor wouldn't start when we wanted to motor sail we elected to return to Kodiak to replace the starters, since we were still close. To return we sailed back to within approximately 6 miles of the Kodiak Harbor where we were met by a 95' fishing boat who offered to tow us down the 1/4 mi. wide channel into the Harbor. We would have had headwinds in the channel and thought a tow was a better idea than flying the spinnaker in the channel. When we say we "met", we had to find each other in the fog, you could maybe see 1/2 mile and when we did find each other he came up behind us with his outriggers still out because the seas were too rough to bring them in. He paralleled us for a while to get our speed and heading, then crossed in front of us slightly so KC could throw a rope across to them from the bow while JoLe steered. KC's throw was good, thank goodness! KC played out the line, the fishing boat took up the slack, and off we went!

The fishing boat then let us go just off the transient dock which we then coasted into at approx. 3 knots. JoLe leaped to the dock, but there are no cleats in Kodiak to tie to, and tried to stop the boat, her 120 lbs. just didn't make it against the weight and speed of the boat, so she was pulled (skiing) down the wet and slippery dock a ways before KC and the dock master came to the rescue! All was well, no dings and everyone is safe and sound! We will get the picture of us being towed onto the website to Rory soon, it is quite a sight! The captain of the fishing boat did a great job and on top of it wouldn't let us compensate him, just told us to have a good time in Kodiak! You really meet some great people along the way! We have ordered 2 new starters and believe we have figured out what the problem is; water getting into the ignition switch at the helm. The ignition switch was supposed to be water tight but I don't believe it was tested in Alaska! We are currently enjoying a bit more of Kodiak and doing some water proofing around the helm while we wait for the starters, they should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday, so we will most likely be leaving Thursday. The weather is a lot better than it has been, finally gray to blue sky and no rain, plus a high pressure area is supposed to be coming in over the next couple of days which is better for us to make it across the Gulf of Alaska. We will send an email when we leave and hopefully this time we will make it a bit further than we did last time! Love, JoLe and KC/Mom and Dad

7/10/2008 UTC date 7:15 AM UTC time 7/10/2008 Pacific Time date 12:15 AM Pacific Time 57°54.17'N Latitude 149°09.87'W Longitude 089T Course 6.2 Speed

We left Kodiak this morning at 7:15 a.m. under clear blue skies and sun and have traveled 105 nm. All in all it was a much better leave taking than the one on Sunday as we could see all of the channel markers this time as well as the channel too as there was no fog. We started motor sailing once we got past all the buoys that mark the channel as there wasn't enough wind to sail only until further from shore. We're taking advantage of the great weather and have seen whales, lots of birds, puffins and seagulls and had some porpoises also came along side. Wind, weather and seas are good.

7/11/2008 UTC date 7:04 AM UTC time 7/11/2008 Pacific Time date 12:04 AM Pacific Time 58°00.32'N Latitude 144°32.14'W Longitude 084T Course 6.2 Speed

As of 7 a.m. Thursday morning (24 hrs. after leaving Kodiak) we had traveled 156.8 nm; as of the sending of this Sail Mail we have traveled 253 nm w/ approx. 240 nm left to Cross Sound/Cape Spencer and then another 90 nm into Juneau. Today has again been absolutely beautiful and 61 degrees! We were peeling off layers of clothes! There was less wind than yesterday, and it is still from the southwest so we were able to continue to motor sail and are making good time. Not much in the way of animal life today, although we've begun to see frigate birds again.  Love Mom and Dad/JoLe and KC

7/12/2008 UTC date 6:35 AM UTC time 7/11/2008 Pacific Time date 11:35 PM Pacific Time 58°12.00'N Latitude 141°15.08'W Longitude 066T Course 3.3 Speed

As of 7 a.m. Friday morning (48 hrs. after leaving Kodiak) we had traveled 305 nm; as of the sending of this Sail Mail we have traveled 361 nm. Love to tell you how many to Cross Sound/Cape Spencer,144nm, but since this afternoon we have been heading more toward Cape Fairweather due to weather conditions. We had been expecting headwinds and waves but got them sooner and larger than expected. To make it an easier "ride" we decided to head a bit further north. We are motor sailing but are only averaging maybe 3.5 knots/hr. We are hoping this front, low pressure system or whatever we are in will dissipate soon as it is miserable to travel in, plus we can't get to where we want to go! Guess we're paying for the good weather! Lots of rain too.

Our coordinates today are: 7/13/2008 UTC date 7:31 AM UTC time 7/13/2008 Pacific Time date 12:31 AM Pacific Time 58°11.98'N Latitude 138°02.17'W Longitude 093T Course 6.5 Speed

We have now covered 465 nm. Yesterdays travels were abysmal, 82 nm (from 7 a.m. Friday - 7 a.m. Sat.) Many of the 82 miles were not in the direction that we wanted to travel. The weather yesterday was not fun. We found out later that there was a small craft advisory for our area which finally dissipated early afternoon today. At about 4 a.m. we pulled in our main and storm sails and changed course from Cape Fairweather back to Cross Sound as the seas had eased a bit; it was still a bumpy uncomfortable ride but better than it had been before, plus we could go faster and in the direction we wanted than we'd been able the day before. The weather did not behave as the forecasts predicted and we spent a long day and half not making any significant progress, anyway, all is much better now as we are moving. We are about 50 nm from Cross Sound at the moment and it is beautiful coming in. The outside of the area coming in is also part of Glacier Bay National Park and you can see the glaciers and mountains for miles. Tough to get pictures as we are so far out, but will try. At the moment winds are 7 - 10 knots, from the East and the seas are glassy and slightly roley (very nautical!).  Love Mom and Dad/JoLe and KC

Hi everyone!  This is to let you all know that we will be arriving in Auke Bay (Juneau) at about 3:00 pm today, 7/14. We would have arrived yesterday evening except we decided to anchor overnight in one of our favorite harbors outside of Juneau (Funter Bay). We were to have 20 kt winds today so that we could sail but there is 2 kts and the water is glassy calm. We would have arrived about 2 hours earlier today if JoLe would not have coerced KC into salmon fishing while motoring up to Pt. Retreat from Funter Bay. For those that don't know, Pt Retreat has great salmon fishing and JoLe just couldn't resist throwing out a line and trolling. KC, being the great guy he is, humored me and it was worth it as JoLe caught a 12-15 lb. Coho! We were very unprepared, and extremely surprised, to catch anything; we have no net (a barracuda ate through it when we first started fishing in Mexico), no cooler to put catch into (garbage bags are great), and we were fishing with the lures we use in Mexico and only 4 oz. weights as that is all we have! Since we now have salmon slime on the boat, we officially feel we are home in Alaska! Coming through Cross Sound, out of the Gulf of Alaska, and past Glacier Bay over to Icy Strait yesterday was beautiful. We ended up motoring the whole way though as there was no wind to speak of but after the few days spent with an overabundance of wind before that we were just happy to have smooth sailing (so to speak). We will be in Juneau for a couple of weeks or so, so will be available by cell phone or email. Feel free to call or email either one of us.  Love, JoLe and KC/Mom and Dad

Photos to follow soon.
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