Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Wednesday-Tuesday, August 7- September 2, 2008

by Mike

Wednesday I got up early and took off in the rain, motoring toward Canada. Prince Rupert Canada. It was fairly rough during the morning, with 15-foot waves from the side. These got smaller as the wind decreased. By mid-afternoon the wind picked up and was coming almost directly from Price Rupert. That was a condition I was getting familiar with. Eventually, I docked at a fishing dock in Prince Rupert and slept peacefully that night.

The next day Bob showed up with Cathy, Melinda, Josh, and Patty. I invited them all to go with me. Patty was the only taker. Apparently not enough time had passed since Bob, Cathy, Melinda, and Josh had spent time with me on a boat. It takes time for a person’s memory to fade a proper amount. Just ask Serge.

Friday morning we woke up to sunshine! Patty informed me that she was Ta’Veran, and thereby responsible for the good weather. Very similar to Fullerton claiming to be Methodist, if you asked me. In any case, I rejoiced at the good weather and we took off headed south.

For the next 36 hours we sailed (actually we primarily motored, although a sail was up most of the time) south through Hecate Strait, through Queen Charlotte Sound, and into Queen Charlotte Strait, where we anchored for the night. It a nice trip. We saw whales several times and could see the shorelines and mountains. Very nice. But it was not to be completed without a sizeable disaster.

After lunch on Friday we were still zigzagging through a bunch of islands south of Prince Rupert. I decided to get the Scrabble game out and prepare to administer a sound thrashing to my wife. Naturally she was scared. And I, while confident, behaved very humbly. We got the board out on the table. We settled a slight disagreement over who would keep score (I always have to keep score – it’s not fair!). Then we discovered that the tiles had mold on them. Blah!

Patty put the tiles in some soap and water to soak them. In order to make sure the mold died, I added some bleach. A couple of hours later Patty started to rinse off the tiles so we could play. But we couldn’t play. The letters had come off the tiles. Double blah! And to top it all off, Patty blamed me for adding bleach (of course, it’s obvious to everyone else that she left them in the soap too long). Women!

We anchored Saturday evening in a Mitchell Bay on Malcolm Island in Queen Charlotte Strait in British Columbia in Canada and dined on grilled steak and lots of trimmings. We also slept well that night since the previous night we were on the water using the tag-team watch system.

Sunday took us through Johnstone Strait and down the Campbell River. The Campbell River has some impressive currents. Sometimes they were with us. Sometimes not. The most impressive currents we encountered were rounding a corner to the left, just north of the town, Campbell River. We had more 7-8 knots of current pushing us along. Up ahead we could see rough water, even though there was little wind. The current was changing.

As we got closer to the rough water we could see large, flat calm places, maybe 100-200 yards in diameter. And next to them would be larger areas whipped into a frenzy with whitecaps. Along the borders of these calm and rough areas were occasional waves of pretty good size. The areas were constantly moving and changing from calm to rough and so forth. These conditions were visible for nearly a mile. There were some jet-skis and small boats that came out at high speed and jumped the waves that were created by the conditions.

Entering these waters was kind of unsettling. Our speed over ground was 16-18 knots. Our speed through the water was 9-10 knots. We got even more unsettled when we started noticed huge whirlpools here and there. By now I was hand-steering the boat, trying to avoid anything that looked unfriendly. I definitely wanted to avoid the whirlpools. I estimated the diameter of several of them at 3-4 times the boat length. The center of them might have gone 10-15 feet down. They sure materialized quickly, but they didn’t last long. And yes, one materialized right in front of us.

Going into the whirlpool was uneventful. Just a strong turning sensation. Going out of the whirlpool was not as ordinary. The momentum of the turning boat came to an abrupt halt as we exited the rotating water. This was translated into a huge jolt on the boat which knocked several things on the floor. Things that had stayed in place in rough 15-foot seas. The small boats and jet-skis were still zipping around like mosquitos, darting back and forth and jumping every wave they could find.

A few minutes later we were back to normal water. Soon, our speed over ground was down to 14 knots. And within four hours we had a head current and were traveling along below 8 knots. We made it to False Bay on Lasqueti Island that night.

Monday morning we headed home to the US of  A. Early in the afternoon we arrived at Point Roberts to check in with US Customs and Border Homeland Security Patrol (or whatever their name is this week). They have a special customs dock to tie up to. It was kind of windy, blowing 45 degrees off the dock at 15-20 knots. There were some boats already tied up and in the way. It was Labor Day (or Memorial Day, I get them mixed up) and there were lots of boats going in and out of the bottleneck by the customs dock. I thought to myself, “this is going to take some work to get parked there without some property damage.”

Somehow I got the boat backed in and over to the open spot at the same time a guy was walking by with a sandwich in his hand. He slowed and made eye contact, which meant to me that he was offering to help. So I tossed him the rope from the back of the boat and he responded by wrapping it around the cleat, one-handed. I got the front rope ashore and the boat was somewhat secure. What a relief. Parked within two minutes, and no damage. Until this lady came to the side of the boat and begged “can you move your boat back, my husband needs more room to park there.”

Twenty minutes and lots of rope wrestling later I had the boat tied up a few feet further back. Being a holiday the Customs people were thick. There were several on the dock, with dogs, and more up on shore. They sent Patty and I up to a building to “check in” while they searched our boat with dogs. Thirty minutes later we were untying ropes, headed south again. We cleaned up the dog prints on the kitchen counter later.

We spent our last night at anchor in an inlet on the south end of Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington.

Tuesday morning we motored in calm waters to Everett, a suburb of Seattle. We parked the Minnow there for awhile.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Thursday-Tuesday, August 21-26, 2008

by Mike

There’s a good reason sailors recommend ending their Alaskan sailing in July. It’s shown up over the last few days. We had great weather for Glacier Bay – light winds and sun – and before that good a day here and there. But since then we have had rain, fog, and wind every day. Fall is coming in Alaska.

Since we left Gustavus we stopped in Hoonah for a night and did laundry and waited for the weather to clear. It rained all day and all night while we were there. We left the next morning, heading south down Chatham Strait. Motoring. Most of the time we couldn’t see any shore due to the fog and rain. We anchored the first night a Chaik Bay and the second night at Noyes Island.

Sunday we motored into Craig. Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island. Fullerton packed his stuff and took off on a float plane for Ketchikan and on to Oklahoma from there. I filled up the boat with diesel and parked at the local dock.

Monday I made a quick dash south to Security Cove. It was intended to be a quick dash, but head winds of 25-35 knots and waves that got as high as 10-12 feet made my average speed little more than 4 knots. So I anchored in Security Cove and checked the weather forecast. The gap in the weather that I was hoping for didn’t materialize. In fact, the forecast had worsened.

So I stayed at anchor all day Tuesday, waiting to leave on Wednesday. It rained heavily all day. The wind came up around noon and ranged from 30-45 knots. I was concerned about the anchor dragging and stayed in foul-weather gear all afternoon. The rain was still cold.

At one point the harness holding the anchor chain broke. This caused the boat to yaw back and forth, putting a lot more strain on the anchor and the chain. It took me about 20 minutes to get another harness on. Even at anchor, it’s challenging to work outside in 40+ knots of wind and rain.

I sure was relieved to see the wind decline to 20-30 knots in the evening. Good thing I didn’t venture outside the cove today. Fall might already be here in Alaska.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

by Mike

Another sunny day greeted us as we headed up Muir Inlet. It is a several hour trip each way up and back the inlet. There were patches of floating ice here and there that we had to avoid. We saw several glaciers along the way. None of them were remarkable, but the mountains surrounding them were remarkable.

On the way out we anchored near McBride Glacier and took the dinghy ashore. We walked around on the wet much below the glacier. It’s not sand, it’s more like a fine grey powder. Dirty. Lightweight kind of like talcum powder.

We anchored near the dock at Gustavus. We didn’t know what was there so we took the dinghy to the dock and walked toward town. And walked. And walked some more. Finally someone picked us up and drove us into “town.” It was about 8:15 and everything closed at 8:00. So we walked and walked and walked back to the docks.

Daily Cuisine:

Fullerton cooked ham and eggs and biscuits for breakfast. We had major-big chef salads for a late lunch. Supper was uneventful.

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

by Mike

No rain today! The sun started teasing us early in the day and came out for good in the afternoon. We could see the Fairweather Mountains about 50 miles away.

We weaved our way through miles and miles of ice on the way to Johns Hopkins inlet. Along the way we saw Reid Glacier, Lamplugh Glacier, Toyatte Glacier, Hoonah Glacier, Gilman Glacier, and finally Johns Hopkins Glacier. None were spectacular but all were interesting to see. Some of them were putting ice into the sea and some of them ended pretty far above the water and the ice melted before it hit the sea.

Next we headed up Tarr Inlet. There wasn’t as much ice to dodge, and weren’t as many glaciers along the way. At the end of the inlet were Pacific Glacier (dirty and ugly) and Margerie Glacier (pretty and blue).  A 966-foot Holland America cruise boat got there about the same time we did. They hovered next to the bigger ugly glacier while we hovered next to the pretty one.

There were lots of cracking noises while we waited for ice to break off. Lots of huge chunks of ice broke off. They were spectacular as they cracked and fell away into the water, splashing and making big waves. One especially big chunk came off. It was maybe 60 feet high and 20-30 feet wide. Fullerton got some good pictures of it. It’s hard to tell from the pictures how big it actually was. It was enormous.

We went to North Sandy Cove to anchor for the night in preparation for our last day in Glacier Bay. Although we have seen a total of only three other private boats so far, we are required to leave tomorrow to make room for more boats to come here (the guy pressured us to minimize our days – the girl told us they were not busy at all, with only maybe ten private boats expected (25 maximum private boats per day)).

Daily Cuisine:

Cinnamon rolls, sloppy joes, and fried rockfish got us through the day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Monday, August 18, 2008

by Mike

The rain had stopped by the time we raised the anchor and took off for Glacier Bay, but it was still cloudy and foggy. The good news was that we could clean off the windows and look out for ice from the inside.

Once we got outside the cove we encountered a 5-knot current. Against us. That sure slowed us down. Luckily it only lasted a short time. Within a half hour it was down to two knots against us. By the time we got near Bartlett Cove, there was no notice able current.

The Ranger Station at Bartlett Cove is the place to check in to enter Glacier Bay. We called them on the radio and they said to come to the office to do the paperwork. Another boat called and had their permit onboard, and they told them to come to the office to do paperwork. A third boat showed up at the office without calling on the radio. All three boats got in “trouble” for not following proper procedures. The guy must have said “federal regulation” at least 20 times. He advised me that the latest published Coast Pilot is out of date. Hmm.

After nearly an hour in his office we started to leave and I asked for a copy of our permit. He said I didn’t need one. I politely advised him that it was a “federal regulation” that we have a copy of the permit onboard at all times while in glacier bay. He mumbled something about “processing” and told us to go on without it. This guy was a joke.

Needless to say, Fullerton and I were not impressed with our welcome to Glacier Bay. But once we got done with the guy trying to act tough, everyone else was really nice. We met Will Smith (a white guy from Fayetteville, not the actor) and Amanda, who both wanted to know where Melinda was. They came on board to look around and told us lots of helpful information about Glacier Bay (although they were not helpful with any fishing tips).  Will Smith even went with us to the fuel dock and personally witnessed some of my boat-docking prowess.

We ate lunch in the lodge restaurant and met some more people, all very nice. We even stumbled onto some good local fishing information. (Not from any park workers – they all seemed to frown on fishing. They all acknowledged that fishing was permitted, but they looked down their nose at us as they condescended that information.)

We pulled out of Bartlett Cove and headed deeper into Glacier Bay. We saw lots of whales, but mainly off in the distance. We explored a place called Tidal Inlet.

The second time we anchored, the shore looked awfully close. Fullerton said he wanted to do the “orange test.” I had no idea what he was talking about. As it turns out, the Minnow has dozens of oranges and he’s the only one that eats an occasional orange. They are sitting in a laundry basket outside in the cockpit. Fullerton walked back and grabbed an orange from the basket. Then he studied the orange and polished it in his hands. Finally he threw the orange toward the shore as far as he could. It floated in the water a lot closer to the boat than to the shore. He was satisfied. Turns out we were about 200 yards from shore. Things are larger than they appear in Alaska.

In the middle of Tidal Inlet we turned off the engines and floated for a few minutes. There was no wind. We looked at the shore and both guessed how far away it was. It looked close. It looked about 30-40 yards away. Being veterans of Alaska distance-guessing, we guessed 200 yards. Then we looked on the chartplotter and found out it was 600 yards away. That’s six football fields. Things are larger than they appear in Alaska.

We left Tidal Inlet and went to anchor at Blue Mouse Cove. I have no idea how it got the name. But it was sure cold enough to turn a mouse blue.

Daily Cuisine:

Breakfast was bacon, eggs, and grits. The lodge served Fullerton steak and served me deluxe nachos.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

by Mike

The day started with a beautiful sunrise. This, plus Fullerton’s heater, plus using the oven to cook croissants, brought the indoor temperature up to the mid 60s by 8:00am. What a glorious Sunday morning. Fullerton took full credit for it. He said he has a “temple” set up in his bedroom that he uses to bring good weather. After days of almost constant rain I asked him “what happened for the last four days?” He told me it was a Methodist temple.

Around 10:00am the clouds removed the sunlight. Around 10:15am the rain started. It rained all day and all night. I asked Fullerton about his temple again.

We were getting close to land again, after spending two nights at sea. We headed to Inian Cove to anchor for the night. Once we got the anchor set we fished. Because of the cold wind, the rain, and the darkness (and no bites) the fishing lasted only a few minutes. Then we ate and movie-watched.

Daily Cuisine:

Grilled halibut made a good lunch. By supper we were feeling Mexican-food-deprived, so we had burritos.

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

by Mike

Saturday began with rain. It was light rain, but steady rain. The wind was light and the waves were small. We motored with the solent up occasionally. But often we had a light wind directly against us.

Fullerton started cleaning metal parts in the bathrooms, showers, and kitchen last night. He took them off and spent solo time one each of them. When he was done, they were shiny. Just like when they were new! Maybe he’ll teach Bob how to do that.

Mid-afternoon the rain stopped. In late afternoon, the sun poked through the clouds a bit. And by early evening it was sunny. It got up to 75 degrees inside with the sun shining through the windows. It was nice. Fullerton thought he was going to have a heat stroke.

We ended the day watching a 007 movie.

Daily Cuisine:

Bacon, eggs, biscuits. That’s a good way to start any day. After that we ate leftovers and junk food throughout the day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Photos from the Minnow, in living color.

An alleged halibut -- 46 lbs!

Friday was Fullerton's Birthday!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Friday, August 15, 2008

by Mike

The rain continued all night. We took off mid-morning after checking the weather. The rain gets tiresome after a few days. But the part of the weather we cared about was the wind, and therefore the waves.

A storm just passed south of the area a day ago, bringing gale-force winds to the area, which cause uncomfortably big waves. By Sunday night another storm should be coming through, doing the same thing. We took off this morning (in the rain). We’re headed across the Gulf of Alaska to Glacier Bay. It’s a 380-mile trip that should get us there in two days on Sunday afternoon.

Much more important than that was the fact that Fullerton turned 64 today! It rained his entire birthday. But that didn’t stop him from getting a happy-birthday cake.

We did all the birthday celebrating early in the day since it was going to get bumpy when we got to the Gulf of Alaska. To top off the festivities, we enjoyed cigars outside (in the rain) as we rounded the corner directly into 25-knot winds (and rain) directly against us and waves crashing into the bow.

It was rough. Welcome to the Gulf of Alaska!

Daily Cuisine:

Along with his strawberry happy-birthday cake we had chef salad, chicken, rice, and banana bread (yes, Serge, we have too many bananas again).

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

by Mike

We spent the night anchored near Bligh Island. That’s near where the Exxon Valdez crashed. Everything seems normal there now. Lots of sea otters, birds, fish, etc. seem to be doing fine. The wind and waves outside Prince William Sound were big and rough so we decided to head generally toward Cordova to have a look. Everyone says Cordova is a nice place to see.

We stopped to fish along the way. We anchored the boat in 110 feet of water. It was raining so we fished mainly from inside – we dropped our halibut lines to the bottom, and went inside the boat to stay dry. Halibut fishing is like catfishing. Drop a line and wait. Commercial halibut fishermen drop a long, 1500-foot line with hooks and bait every 18 feet. Then they leave it on a buoy and come back later to bring the fish in.

After a couple of hours one of the poles was bent a little bit. Figuring it to be hung up on bottom I started pulling on it. I decided to reel it in to check the bait. To get the dead fish heads to the bottom we use a 3-pound weight. Reeling in that the bait plus the weight bends the pole a lot anyway. It seemed a little heavier than normal so I was hopeful we might have something.

It takes awhile to reel in 110 feet of line with weight on it. Eventually we noticed a big fish coming up through the water. It looked like it might be dead, until it hit the surface. I remembered reading that halibut start thrashing when they hit the surface and that was certainly the case here.

When we finally got the thing on the boat (tied around a tail with a sailing rope and winched up the stairs) we let it die for a long time. Then we weighed it and cleaned it. It weighed 47 pounds and the filets from it weighed 15 pounds.

We fished a couple of more hours with no more bites and then motored to Simpson Bay for the night. It rained all the way there. It rained more when we got there.

Fishing Report:

See above.


Daily Cuisine:

We ate halibut!

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

by Mike

It was raining this morning when we pulled in the anchor and headed to Cordova.

It rained all the way to Cordova.

When we got to Cordova it was still raining.

We docked at the Cordova marina in the rain. After we docked and got the boat tied up good, we went inside and dried off.

The rain continued.

By early afternoon the rain had picked up a bit. Fullerton and I gathered and bagged dirty laundry, put on wet rain gear, and hiked (in the rain) in search of a laundr-o-mat. We ate out, watched an NFL preseason game, did the laundry, and stopped by the library for internet and email.

It was still raining at midnight.

Fishing Report:

Are you serious? It rained too much to be outside fishing!


Daily Cuisine:

We ate at a local Japanese restaurant. I ate a halibut sandwich and Fullerton had Chinese cashew chicken.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sailing with Dummies (Alaska to Seattle Edition)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

by Mike

The weather was perfect when I got to the Prince William Sound area yesterday. It was sunny and clear and I could see mountains, glaciers, islands, icebergs, boats, and other airplanes. I flew around the area awhile, sightseeing before I landed in Valdez. Fullerton and Bob showed up at the marina a few hours later.

This morning the clouds were forming. A low passing south of the area is bringing a few days of rain and high winds. Bob took off this morning in the plane, before the bad weather set in. Fullerton and I took off this morning in the boat, in search of shelter and fish.

Since we are “marking time” in Prince William Sound for a couple days to avoid the rougher weather outside the sound (winds up to 40 knots and 13-foot waves) we decided to go fishing. It rained most of the afternoon and evening. Visibility was limited and being outside was wet.

Fishing Report:

We caught lots of cod, rockfish and other oddballs by jigging on the bottom. We cleaned the good ones and used their remains for bait and chum. We had halibut rigs on the bottom most of the time, but caught no halibut.

Daily Cuisine:

After a local breakfast (including reindeer sausage, which was horrible) we were relegated to “boat food.” Lunch was a pretty darned good salad, if I do say so myself. For supper we had grilled rockfish, bell peppers, and onions along with baked potatoes. “Boat food” is tough.

Herring Bay, Columbia Glacier, Valdez, Spokane, 8/11/08, by Bob

In Herring Bay we took the dinghy over to something that looked like a ladder going up a creek. It turned out to be a metal fish tunnel that looked like a ladder from a distance. The salmon can swim up the tunnel to spawn in the Solf Lake above.

We took of toward Columbia Glacier. There were icebergs! We managed to miss the big ones and got as close as I was willing to go. Then we went to Valdez where we found a wayward but inept fisherman, Mike.

The next morning, I took the plane and headed nonstop to Spokane. It was warm there. Mike Webster and Mike Fullerton headed out to the deep blue sea, or at least to Prince William Sound, where they allegedly caught a big halibut.

Mike, Cathy, Melinda, Josh, and I took off from Oahu on June 12. Cathy bailed out at Midway. Mike left at Adak. Mike Fullerton hopped on at Dutch Harbor. Melinda and Josh took off at Cold Bay. Mike returned at Valdez, where I finally left the Minnow. For a while.

From Hawaii to Midway to Attu to Valdez, I covered about 6,084 statute miles, 5,287 nautical miles, 48,670 furlongs, or 97,920,000,000,000,000 angstroms. I have spent two nights on dry land after 60 days on the boat, and have come to realize that an airplane goes faster than a sailboat.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Auk Bay, Bainbridge Glacier, Ice Bay, Herring Bay, August 10, 2008, by Bob

This morning I kayaked and Fullerton took out the dinghy. He spotted a black bear and her cub on the beach. I spotted a sea gull.

We took off and found Bainbridge Glacier. It looked like it was just behind a small sand dune, so we anchored and took the dinghy to shore to see the glacier.

We started to anchor near the river that runs into the ocean, but the depth finder kept jumping from 150 to 30 to 139 to 27, etc. I think the real depth was over 100 feet, but the depth finder was picking up a layer between the fresh glacier water with lots of silt and the cleaner ocean water of a different temperature. But if it was rocks, it might not be a good place to anchor. So we moved up the shoreline a bit.

The glacier turned out to be a few hundred yards back from the shoreline, not a few dozen feet like I expected. Things are larger than they appear. We went to the ice and looked around a bit. There's a pretty strong river coming out from underneath the glacier.
Glaciers are fun.

We decided that someone should be able to find gold or emeralds or diamonds in the newly unearthed earth of receding glaciers. After all, this land is newly exposed. Nobody has even picked up the multitude of large gold nuggets laying around.

After Bainbridge Glacier we went through the narrow, scenic Bainbridge Passage and headed for Icy Bay and a couple of glaciers there that calve icebergs into the ocean. There was a lot of ice in the bay. Maybe that's why it has its name. We threaded our way through big chunks of ice until we could see some glaciers, but I chickened out 2 or 3 miles short of the glaciers when the ice got thicker. There were a few icebergs larger than the boat. A lot of the ice chunks were not really icebergs, but were big enough to do some damage if we hit them very fast.

I hand-steered, zig-zagging through the ice for about an hour in and an hour out. I was pretty cold going in, and toasty warm by the time we left Icy Bay. It was well worth it.

We are now anchored in the back of Herring Bay. It's a really pretty place. I had planned to dive here, but there are tons of unfriendly jellyfish. I took out the kayak this evening.

It is 11:25 pm. Water temperature is 55 degrees (we're near a waterfall). Air temperature is 52. Indoors it's 62. Wind is light and variable. Water is calm with occasional ripples. Sky is dark.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Northwestern Fiord, Auk Bay, Saturday, August 10, 2008, by Bob

We got up bright and early this morning after a GPS alarm went off about 6:00 am. We took off for Northwestern Fiord.

In Harris Bay, the entrance, there were several fishing boats, probably out of Seward. We used the binoculars to watch someone catch
a fish, and it was a salmon. So we stopped and Fullerton caught a couple of big salmon. We let them go because we were too lazy to
clean them. I caught none.

We went through a gap in a glacial moraine to enter Northwestern Fiord. There were scattered small pieces of ice. For about six
miles, there were more and more ice pieces until we came to a mass of ice packed in front of a couple of glaciers. I don't know what
these are named, but they're on the way to Northwestern Glacier.

We motored very slowly in the ice, because I get nervous when hard things bang against the hull of the boat. Most of the ice was 3
feet in diameter or smaller. We got close to the packed ice, but stopped because I was chicken. We probably could have motored on
through it, but I was worried about propeller damage and blocked engine cooling and sea monsters.

There was a current flowing downstream. The packed is was not moving with the current, which explains how it got packed.

So I broke out a kayak and headed across the ice. It was thin enough that it would sink under the kayak when I went across it. There
was a trail through the ice behind the kayak, just like an icebreaker. It was pretty hard to turn to avoid the big pieces, and
occasionally I'd run into a piece of ice that didn't budge under the mass of me and a kayak.

As I approached the glaciers, I realized something that Chrysler has been telling for years: "Things are larger then they appear."
Those two smaller glaciers are huge! They're pretty noisy, too. I really enjoyed watching pieces of ice fall off, some larger than
the Minnow.

When I got close to the glacier, I remember the rule Doug Fesler mentioned, to keep a distance of three times the height of the
glacier. I was doing some mental ciphering trying to figure out what angle has a tangent of 3 or 1/3 so I could tell when to stop. I
guessed 20 degrees (it's really 18.5), when a piece of ice broke off the glacier and sent a small wave my direction. Actually, the
wave went every direction, but my direction was the one I was concerned with. I took it as a hint and didn't get any closer.

We probably could have continued three miles to Northwestern Glacier, but I was chicken because of all the ice. So we turned around.
There had been no other boats inside Northwestern Fiord, which was really cool. On our way out we met three boats coming in, a
fishing boat, a pleasure boat, and possibly a small tour boat.

We came to Beehive Island. We took a slow drift around the island. Fullerton fished (caught a cod) and I looked at the island. There
were a lot of seagulls and a few other birds. We accumulated a lot of flies. I mentioned that we should try to keep them outside.

Next, we had several-hour trip to the mouth of Prince William Sound. At least I think it's the mouth. I'm not sure where the sound
starts. While Fullerton slept, I mounted a tactical offensive on the flies. When Fullerton regained consciousness, he was astounded
at the carnage -- dozens of fly carcasses and pieces of fly swatter scattered all over the cockpit. I thought I showed considerable
restraint by not using the shotgun.

We pulled into the back of Auk Bay to anchor. I went kayaking and followed a black bear strolling around the bay.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Shuyak, Kenai Peninsula, 8/8/2008 10:30 PM, by Bob

I went kayaking this morning in Big Bay and wandered around on an island. Surprisingly, Fullerton didn't take off in the boat and
dump me. I must have returned sooner than he expected.

We threaded our way out of Big Bay, headed northeast, passed the Barren Islands to the Kenai Peninsula. We sailed until the wind

On the way to the Barren Islands we started seeing some humpback whales. Then, in the distance, there were a whole bunch of whale
spouts. We eventually caught up with them. About 15 or 20 humpack whales were just goofing off, barely moving. When we got close, I
slowed down. Then I put the engines in idle. Then I put the engines in reverse. The whales weren't moving -- they were just floating
around, probably sunbathing. We were right there with them for quite a while, close enough that their spouting put some spray on my
camera lens.

Fullerton, the world renown technological genius, videoed the whales. But it was only later that he figured out that the red light
meant it was recording, not stopped. So we got some cool video of the boat deck. I took some whale pictures. Fullerton vowed to
enter the 21st century.

On the Kenai Peninsula there are glaciers, mountains, a lot of birds (including some new ones for the trip), and a couple of really
cool narrow passes.

We are now anchored off Ragged Island in Morning Cove, Kenai Fjords National Park. There are lots of birds here in the back of the
cove -- sea gulls, puffins, and some small diving birds of some sort. We're anchored deeper and closer to shore than I'd prefer, but
there's not supposed to be any wind.

I got an email today from Cheryl from the Alaska Volcano Observatory about using some of our photos. She mentioned that Kasatochi
erupted yesterday, complete with a 40,000' ash plume. Melinda, Josh, and I climbed to the rim of that volcano three weeks ago.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Raspberry, Afognak, Shuyak, 8-7-08, by Bob

This morning about 20 sea otters same to see us off. We came around to Foul Bay where I dived and Fullerton took the Dinghy out for
a ride. I went down to about 90 feet. There were plants, starfish, jellyfish (friendly), and various other forms of life from the
outer solar system. A sea otter came up to about 10 feet from Fullerton in the dinghy. They had a long discussion on the state of
the world and the proper colors of socks.

After leaving Foul Bay we got to sail for the first time in days. We ended up in Big Bay at Shuyak Island. It's a good place to
kayak -- nice calm water and lots of islands. But it's a little hard to get into the bay. There was a lot of kelp across the mouth,
which is generally attached to rocks at some depth. Near the kelp it got shallower. We got into the bay along the north edge, then
followed the chart.

There was a lodge with a boat near where we anchored, but we didn't see any people running around. I kayaked and Fullerton took out
the dinghy.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Kodiak, Stripe Rock, Afognak Island, August 6, by Bob

This morning we ran some more errands, and took off for parts unknown. We went under a bridge, which is unusual in the Minnow. Our
mast is about 79 feet above the water, and the interstate bridge standard clearance is 65 feet or so. This bridge had 110 foot
clearance, but from underneath it looked like we would never make it. But there weren't any loud noises as we went through, other
than a couple of people on shore also amazed that we made it under.

We headed to Stripe Rock, a couple of rocks off Afognak Island where I scuba dived. On the way, Fullerton fished. I made fun of him
for not catching any. We slowed down the boat to do some proper trolling with a plate-type downrigger, but no luck.

There are a lot of boats in Kodiak. There weren't many southwest of town, but we saw 15 or 20 boats today when we left to the
northeast. For several days before we got to Old Harbor, we didn't see any other boats, didn't see them on radar, and didn't even
hear any on the radio.

When I dived at Stripe Rock, As soon as I went in the water, besides noticing how cold it was, I saw small minnows everywhere. They
were maybe 1/4 inch long. Maybe only 5 mm. But there must have been at least 546,261 in my immediate vicinity.

The bottom had huge rocks and canyons and cliffs underwater. I followed the anchor chain to the anchor. Just before I got to the
anchor, the chain went up about 20 feet on a big rock and then down again. I think the charts call this a foul bottom. My kids had
those when they were babies.

Along the deep side of Stripe Rock there was a vertical wall from 70 feet deep to about 30 feet. It had all kinds of things growing
on its side -- lots of strange plants, white cauliflower, several kinds of starfish, and regular fish were swimming around. I took a
lot of photos, but then I noticed the camera case was fogged over and everything was blurry. So I just looked around.

When I came up, I stopped at different levels for safety stops, and swam toward the boat. The safety stops aren't really required at
those depths, but they make me feel better. I had swam toward the Stripe Rock on the bottom. During the time I was down, a tidal
current had developed on the surface. Pushing me away from the boat. It was just enough to get me some more exercise on the way
back. This was the best place I've dived in Alaska. A guy at the dive shop in Kodiak recommended it.

After Stripe Rock we took Afognak Strait during the height of the current against us. That's the way real sailors do it -- with both
engines. For a while we had 5.4 knots against us. We eventually came out of the strait and anchored between Whale and Raspberry
Islands. There were four sea otters around the boat, offering advice, while we anchored.

Fullerton broke out some fishing lures I was making fun of earlier because they claim to have an electronic device that emits
signals at the brain frequency of a fish. I said that was designed to catch fishermen, not fish. Then he caught about 20 cod on one
of them. I caught none.

In case you missed it, you can track the progress (or lack thereof) of The Minnow at:


We are making a little progess. We are now closer to Washington (state) than Attu Island.

Kodiak, August 5, 2008, by Bob

We got an early start out of Old Harbor, because there is a narrow pass that is pretty shallow (~7 feet) and we wanted to make it at
high tide, or close to it. The tide there changes 8 or 9 feet, mostly up. From there we motored kind of fast to the town of Kodiak,
because of a direct headwind and because we wanted to do some important sailor stuff in town -- fuel, laundry, groceries, trash,

We got there, filled up with diesel, tied up to the dock, rented a car, filled scuba tanks and had one repaired, dumped our trash,
did laundry, picked up our glasses at Fedex, and most importantly, we hit the McDonalds drive thru. For some reason, Fullerton still
wanted to eat dinner at a restaurant after McDonalds.

Kodiak was kind of a culture shock for me. I had not seen a town big enough for Walmart of McDonalds since Honolulu almost two
months ago.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Three Saints Bay, Puffin Island, Old Harbor, 8/4/2008, by Bob

This morning we woke up to rain, fog, and a direct headwind. We departed Kaguyak Bay for a bumpy ride to Puffin Island, which had
more sea gulls than puffins. There were hundreds of seals on the rocks. We followed the coast for a while, then went into Three
Saints Bay. Three Saints Bay is a very pretty place.

There used to be a town in Three Saints Bay called Nunamiut. I walked around the site for a while, but the only thing I could see
were some depressions where the buildings probably were, and some posts on the beach that used to hold a dock or a pier.

Then I scuba dived. There were lots of jellyfish, star fish, some sea cucumbers with spikes, a few fish, and lots of seaweed. When I
got out of the water, my lips were burning. One of those impudent jellyfish stung me! I doused my mouth with vinegar and got a
little vinegar in my eye which burned worse than the jellyfish. My lips didn't swell or turn red, they just burned. My forehead was
affected a little bit. these were the only parts of my body not covered by rubber. But I did get some decent jellyfish photos.

We headed to the head of the bay and Fullerton made a valiant yet unfruitful attempt at outwitting scaled aquatic animals. Satisfied
that the salmon population was safe secure,

After Three Saints Bay we tooled into Old Harbor, a booming city of about 200 people. After we anchored, we walked around town, took
photos of the Russian style church, and met a couple of other boaters, Jill and Doug. They had some long rowboats instead of kayaks.
I mentioned that I had read a book about a couple of people who rowed those. Jill asked if it was "Rowing to Latitudes." It was. She
wrote it!

It was Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler. She also wrote a couple of books on snow and avalanches. They are also two of the country's
top avalanche experts. I'm not sure what the odds are of meeting them in Old Harbor, Alaska, but it must be something slightly less
than 50-50. We checked out each others' boats and swapped books. They also showed us some good places to visit on our trip east.
They're really nice people.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Some Aleutian pictures! In fact, there are a lot. I haven't had a chance for captions, but they're organized by island. The date and
latitude / longitude are inside the .jpg files. If you need to know how to access that, please contact the computer guru, Jerry
Webster, at 918 373 0777.


Whether, 8/4/2008 9:49 am, by Bob

We are near Kodiak, 56°34'N, 53°37'W
Outside temperature: a balmy 52 degrees
Inside temperature: 62
Water temperature: 52.5
Light rain
Visibility 1/2 mile, fog
Wind out of the northeast at 15 knots

Yesterday we saw three boats, the first in three days.

Tugidak, Sitkinak, Kodiak, August 3, 2008, by Bob

We got to Tugidak in the morning and anchored. I slept. There is a large beach (on the east side, anyway), and a shallow slope. We
were over a half mile from land anchored in 13 feet of water. And there is a large tide there. Even though the swells weren't that
big, there was a pretty good surf on the beach. Around noon we headed out toward the other trinity island, Sitkinak. We drove around
it to Kaguyak Bay on Kodak.

Kaduyak was a small village first reported in 1868. In 1964 it was wiped out by a tsunami generated by the big earthquake and has
not been rebuilt.

I scuba dived near the mouth of the bay. When I jumped in the water, I was fiddling around with the camera and then I noticed that
the knife in my hand was not in my hand any longer. So I went down to the bottom and looked around until I found it. Visibility was
only 10 or 15 feet. I was thinking that I should have dived in one of the many places we had anchored with crystal clear water.

There were lots of big starfish with lots of legs. There were a lot of jellyfish, too, but they were friendly. I saw a big (about 4
feet) skate on the bottom. It looked like a boxy stingray. A couple of starfish got on top of the anchor chain, and one even came up
with the chain when we left. We let it go.

We went a couple of miles to the head of the bay. There were a lot of crab pots. Fullerton decided we should get a crab out and
leave some cash inside, but it was too heavy to pull up. We went to shore and saw some bear manure but no village.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

August 2, 2008, Lighthouse Rocks, Aghiyuk, Kateekuk, Chowiet, Suklik, Chirikof, by Bob

Just about sunup we came to Lighthouse Rocks. Lighthouse Rocks are about 45 miles southeast of the Alaska Peninsula and more than 25
miles from the the nearest island. The main rock is 500 feet long and 90 feet high. The Navtech Eletronic charts show Lighthouse
Rocks about 0.3 miles north of where they really are. The paper charts are correct. In case you find youreslf in the area,
Lighthouse Rocks are at 55°46.6N, 157°24.5W.

Lighthouse Rocks had hundreds of thousands of common murres, a black and white seabird. There were also a bunch of Steller sea
lions. We didn't see a lighhouse. The big rock is spectacular, coming out of the ocean with vertical (almost) cliffs on three sides,
a hole through the center, and a huge cloud of birds flying around it.

I was pretty nervous about getting too close, because the charts were a little flaky, and even on the paper chart there was almost
no depth information. But we got within a few hundred feet and the depth was more than 100 feet except for the east side.

Some of the sea lions were high up on the rock, maybe 30 feet, in places that looked impossible for them to climb. Birds covered
almost every flat surface. Other than birds, sea lions, and moss, the Lighthouse Rock is bare. If there ever was a light house
there, I didn't see a trace.

From Lighthouse Rocks we headed northeast to the Semidi Islands. These are a group of small islands about 30 miles from the Alaska
Peninsula. We met a fog bank on the way, and by the time we got to Aghiyuk Island we had less than 1/4 mile visibility. The chart on
our chart plotter was about 1/3 mile off for the Semidi Islands, too. I think they were trying to trick us into ramming a rock.

There were a lot of murres on Aghiyuk, and some cliffs a few hundred feet tall. We went to the next island south, Kateekuk, and went
out in the dinghy. There were puffins, murres, ducks, guillemots, auklets, seagulls, harbor seals, and lots of strange rock

We went out into the thick fog again and found our way to Chowiet Island. We went into a couple of coves to anchor, but the water
was too deep too close to shore. We did see a tree, though. Only one on all the islands.

Next, when we were motoring along near Suklik Island, I saw some birds off to the right, standing up in the water. I turned left a
little and was taking their picture when Fullerton said there was something up ahead in the water and told me to turn right. I
figured out that those birds and what he saw must have been a shallow rock, and put the engines in reverse and stopped real quick.
Then I saw that my rock was really a couple of logs in the water -- one for the birds, and one for Fullerton.

Some really cool rocks were sticking up out of the water at Suklik. There were a lot of birds there murres, fulmars, and some etc.

The fog was burning off when we headed for Chirikof Island a few hours away. I slept and Fullerton fished unsuccessfully. We got to
the island about 30 minutes before sunset. We planned to go to shore and check it out.

When I reversed the motors while lowering the anchor (is weighing anchor coming in or going out?), a fish hit on the fishing pole. I
grabbed the pole. It was a big fish. It swam under the boat. The fishing like was wrapped around the prop. We're using the other
engine now. It was too dark by the time we finished the fun-filled anchoring activities, so we headed out to Tugidak Island, just
southwest of Kodiak.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bird Island, Simeonof, August 1, 2008, by Bob

This morning I woke up to Stars and Stripes. I cannot believe that Fullerton is capable of operating an iPod. We took off in the
dinghy for a motor tour of the area. Across Otter Strait we could see some whale spouts.

The wind had changed directions overnight, and it was not possible to land and stay dry on our side of the island. So we took off in
the boat for the whales. Humpbacks were feeding. Whales are big.

Then we headed to Simeonof Island. We tooled into Simeonof Harbor. The Coast Pilot calls the entrance into Simeonof Harbor
"tortuous." It was shallow with some kelp, but wasn't too bad. We anchored in 14 feet of water and kayaked around. There were sea
otters and lots of jellyfish. Some birds, too. One duck had about 15 ducklings following it.

There is an old house there, half collapsed. Someone used to raise cattle there. There were corrals and some fence remains.

We passed by Koniuji Island, and are now headed on an overnight trip to the Semidi Islands. Last night when I downloaded the
weather, it showed some wind suitable for sailing. Instead, the wind is blowing directly from the Semidi Islands. I downloaded the
weather tonight, and the forecast now matches the wind. And we are motoring.

At 12:36 pm, we are at 55 27N 158 21W. It is 65F inside and 53F outside. Water temperature is 54.1F -- the highest since we hit
Alaska! Wind is 12 knots from the northeast.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bird Island, Thursday, July 31, 2008, by Bob

We are at Bird Island in the Shumagin Islands, more specifically 54°48.9N 159°44.2W next to Otter Strait. It is 10:35 pm, the Big
Lebowski is on, the temperature outside is 55, inside 69, water temperature 48, wind 9 knots out of the northwest, and we are out of
brownies. Melinda has shirked her responsibilities and took off for Seattle, France, and parts unknown.

I was a little nervous coming into this island. On the charts for this location there is a single sounding of 240 feet for an area
of about 25 square miles. There are no depths shown near shore. The Coast Pilot has this warning: "Many areas adjacent to the
Shumagin Islands are unsurveyed and may present unknown hazards to navigation."

So we came in slowly. We didn't sink, although there is a wrecked schooner in the cove next door. We ended up in a great anchorage,
complete with rocky islands, birds, and alien spacecraft.

There is a bug in the Raymarine chart plotter and the tide prediction for Nagai Island is all messed up. Either that or there is a
daily tsunami here. The tide does change 11 feet here, according to my computer.

This morning we took off and had some weather suitable for sailing -- wind and sunshine both! We made over 10 knots for a couple
hours. Then the wind changed directions, died, came up, died, etc. I put the gennaker in and out 5 times today.

Some humpback whales were jumping out of the water when we go close to Bird Island. One of them breached close to the boat, but he
missed us. Whales are big.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

King Cove, Cold Bay, Iliasik, 7/30/08, by Bob

We took off early, got fuel at the Peter Pan cannery in King Cove, and headed for Cold Bay so Josh and Melinda could rejoin the real

Cold Bay has a nice airport with a 10,000 paved runway, but no boat dock or harbor. There is only a large pier with puffins that the
ferry uses, and a hovercraft landing with an old school bus. Around 80 people live there.

We anchored near the pier. Fullerton took a bicycle and me to shore in the dinghy. As I was taking off, a guy drove up and asked
what planet we came from. I had to think. I asked if they got a lot of sailboats in there. He said we were the first he'd seen in 18
years. I followed him to a guy with with pickups for rent and rented one.

I got some photos ready to upload to the web while Josh and Melinda packed and transported their bags to shore. It was a wet, wavy
ride. They used a lot of trash bags. Then we drove around a while. We saw a brown bear with a limp. Their flight was late. Fullerton
and I took off. I'm not sure whether they made it out of Cold Bay. But it's a nice town, so it should be OK if they're trapped.

Fullerton and I motor-sailed to Inner Iliasik Island and anchored for the night. In the process of anchoring, my glassed jumped off
my face and into the deep blue sea. Fullerton already had lost a pair of his glasses. Since he is an optometrist, he called his
office and ordered up a pair apiece to be delivered somewhere to our east such as Kodiak.

We watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High tonight, a how-brow art film. A boat, the Notorious, was passing behind us and called up on
the radio to talk for a bit. He had heard about our trip. Another boat, the Rainier, is anchored not far from us. They are headed
for the Pavlof Islands according to the AIS.

The weather was nice today! It was clear and 58 degrees, and the water temperature is a balmy 50. It's 2:00 am and the outside
temperature is 52.

Amagat, King Cove, 7/29/08 by Bob

In the morning we headed landed at Amagat Island for frolicking, fun, and games. I kayaked in, and the other three took the dinghy.
They wisely left the dinghy where I suggested.

Melinda and I climbed up the hill and sat on the ridge. Puffins flew over us almost constantly. Some of the puffins would go really
fast, and some would come over slow with feet down, kind of like landing gear.

Then I went up and Melinda went down. On the top of the island some gulls had nests and chicks. They got excited and flew over and
yelled at me. They were not nearly as nice as the puffins, particularly when they deficated on my head.

Melinda lost a contact, so I was going to go get one on the boat for her. We got to the dinghy and noticed that (a) the tide came
in, and (b) the waves had gotten big enough to swamp the boat. It was completely full of water. Melinda and I managed to get ride of
3/4 of the water from the dinghy, and took an interesting ride to the boat where we hoisted it and drained the rest of the water. In
the process of all this, Melinda got my feet wet.

The night before, the plastic piece that holds the dinghy drain plug broke and we (the Kiwi) lost the plug. Fullerton built another
one. It worked very well in keeping the water inside the dinghy.

Melinda and I went back to the island and took more puffin pictures. We may even have one or two that look decent. Josh got some
good video. Fullerton did some serious beachcombing.

We headed for King Cove. Wind is weird around these islands. We took off with 25-30 knot winds. By the time the sails were up, the
wind was 15-18. So I took down the solent and put up the gennaker. A while later, the wind was around 5 knots. So we dropped the
sails and motored. I took a nap for a few minutes. When I woke up, the wind was around 30 knots again. Within a few minutes, it was
25 knots but had shifted 90 degrees. It's hard to sail with changes like that.

We got to King Cove around 10:00. I thought it would be too late to park at the dock, and planned to go back out to anchor
somewhere. But they called on the radio and directed us to their new floating dock. We eventually tied up after some excellent boat
driving in a 20+ knot wind. I took an evening bicycle tour through King Cove and its suburbs (population 800+).

Unimak, Amagat, 7/28/08, by Bob

We took off for Morzhovoi Bay. We went to some big lagoons at the back of the bay. We wandered around in the kayaks and dinghy.
There were some otters, seals, eagles, acrobatic salmon, and an old cabin. I had to do some portaging in the kayak.

Then we headed back out to Littlejohn Lagoon. It was really pretty, and had some bear tracks on the beach. No bears, though.

The water was a nice warm 48 degrees, so I went scuba diving. I checked the bottom of the boat, and saw a bunch of halibut on the
bottom of the ocean. It wasn't too bad with the wet suit, gloves, hood, and boots.

We went to Amagat Island to anchor for the night. There were thousands of puffins flying around, sitting in the water, and sitting
on the shore. There are two types of puffins -- white-bellied and black-bellied puffins. Some people use the coloquial terms horned
and tufted tuffins. We took out the dinghy in the middle of the birds. I think they liked it.

Unimak, 7/27/08, by Bob

We woke up to a view of Shishaldin Volcano and Isanotski Peaks. Shishaldin is a 9,372 feet high volcano. It's shaped like Mount
Fuji, and had a little steam coming out the top. Isanotski looks like the "after" photo of Shishaldin. It's a similar volcano with
its top blown off, and a really rough north side similar to Mount St. Helens. It's got some impressive icefalls down the side that
blew out.

We rounded Cape Pankof headed for False Pass and found a big shipwreck on the shore. It was steel, but pretty old. Big sections of
the hull were rusted clear through. It's name "Oduna" was next to the anchor chains.

Just around the cape there were mobs of dozens seagulls packed in tight bunches, apparently on top of schools of fish.

In the evening we made it to the thriving metropolis of False Pass. It's village at a narrow pass that separates Unimak Island from
the Alaska Peninsula. They call it False Pass because the north side is too shallow for a lot of ships. But there were quite a few
boats/ships coming through the pass. I wasn't sure whether we could have made it when I was thinking about coming in from the north,
but apparently we would have had no trouble.

We anchored along the shoreline near Kenmore Head. A couple of fishing boats were anchored not too far away. I think they had a
better spot, but we didn't blow away.

7/30/2008 by Melinda the Captain

Final Update!!

We're on our merry way to Cold Bay where Josh and I will frightfully leave the Minnow in Bob's and Mike's hands.

We had an excellent couple of days full of sunshine, volcanoes, and puffins. We saw a steaming unknown volcano and an old, blasted
volcano. They were very pretty.

Yesterday was the ultimate adventure. We stopped at Amagat Island where we were bombarded by puffins in a foggy, windy madness. Bob
and I climbed to the top of a ridge and hid in the grass. Puffins barely missed our heads, zooming around at hypersonic speeds in
hypersonic winds. We spent 1+ hour trying to take a decent photo of a puffin. All of us have spent countless hours trying to take a
decent photograph of the quick little buggers since we arrived to Alaska. They're really shy.

The fog eventually blew off and we continued playing around on the little island in the sun.

But then tragedy struck and the wind blew out one of my contacts, which isn't all that big of a deal except it was my dominant eye
for taking any sort of photographs. Tragedy! So I asked my father for the kayak or a dinghy ride and we walked back to our landing
pad (which I'll point out here, was my father's choice of landing where he also warned about 8 foot tides).

What we found was a dinghy with seawater filled to the brim. We didn't have any buckets for bailing but we did have one kayak pump
and some waterproof gloves that I later found out weren't so waterproof.

We continued bailing as waves washed over us and back into the dinghy. Bob used the kayak pump, pumping water "accidentally" back
into the dinghy and in my face. We hurriedly pushed off once we had the water level low enough (it was too heavy to lift to empty,
plus too much swell) and set out with the paddles. The largest set of the waves washed over us as we frantically paddled around
rocks. I think we could've flipped if we really wanted to. Maybe I would've earned the $100 to push Bob into the water.

We finally started the motor and got back to the boat. I was drenched in my last pair of dry (not clean) clothes, which isn't a bad
way to end a trip.

I baked a lemon cake with chocolate pudding as a treat. The treat disappeared in less than 12 hours so I baked brownies a couple of
hours ago. Less than half the pan is left.

Everyone had a night of "Animal House" watching and computer geeking. Josh and I packed. Then something strange happened... Josh
went into the shower and 15 minutes later, a completely different person appeared. Josh was no where to be seen, which is pretty
impressive seeing how most people don't last even as long as he did around Bob. Now there's this clean-shaven guy running around in
bright yellow pants with long hair who speaks with a funny accent.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

7/26/2008 by Melinda the Captain

We're motor-sailing! We're on our way to Unimak Island, our very, very last big island of the Aleutian Chain…

We've had oodles and noodles of fun during the past few days. It all started at Fort Glenn where we tried to go through a pass
leading to Dutch Harbor. For once we timed the tides correctly and had no trouble going through. It was really neat coming in since
the Okmok volcano had turned the sky entirely black. The seas were calm. We took lots of photos. There were cows grazing – covered
in ash of course.

The ash started falling on us even though we were a good distance away. We accumulated enough ash in 30 minutes that it took over
five hours to wash it off.

It's day five since Okmok and I've finally stopped finding any in my eyes and ears.

We turned around after our dousing and tried Plan B: rip tides and passes at wrong tides.

So we retraced our sailtracks and motored through some really fun rip tides. They were much bigger than any other riptides I'd seen.
It reminded me much of Bob's bass boat driving on Grand Lake during the Fourth of July, but more acrobatic.

We survived.

The passes were no trouble at all as long as we paid attention.

We arrived at Dutch Harbor and found gazillions of fishing vessels and bald eagles. The sun broke out and we gained a new deckhand,
Mike (not the previous Mike, but a new one). He came bearing gifts of 2,000 metric tons of fruit and a heater. As expected, he was
readily accepted aboard.

We did a full day's worth of sight-seeing and grocery shopping and were soon back on the sea again.

The next day proved to be pretty spectacular once again. We found a cave!

But not just any cave… it had a huge opening towards the sea, two separate openings inside, and a skylight of an opening in the
middle. There were many, many common murres nesting on the cave walls, along with a random puffin or two. The two separate openings
cut through the rock to the other side of the hillside/mountain. Birds flew in, played in the water above the skylight, and then
flew over our heads to the sea. Meanwhile, waves crashed against the walls as Mike, Josh, Bob, and I thrashed around in the dinghy,
taking photos and holding on for dear life in case of a cave implosion.

It was really, really fun. We finally came out of the cave and went around the corner of the hillside/mountain. We found a new
opening to the cave, sped up, ducked our heads, and actually made it through to the other side! I think it was some sort of worm

We got back to the boat and continued motoring along just in time to spot 10-15 humpback whales feeding by Jackass Point (don't
worry, I got Bob's photo next to it).

We anchored at Tigalda Island last night, surrounded by rocks and seaweed teeming with wildlife. We ate fruit.

This morning everyone went for a kayak and saw countless sea otters, harbor seals, tufted puffins, glaucous-winged gulls, rock
sandpipers, red foxes, and cormorants. We ate fruit.

Now, we're watching "Battle of Britain" and eating fruit.

The end.

Tagalda, Aiktak, Ugamak, Unimak, 7/26/08, by Bob

This morning we all kayaked. There were seals, sea otters, tons of puffins and other birds, foxes, and a few rhinocerus. I walked up
a hill. The place we anchored looked surreal with the rocks sticking up and masses of birds flying around.

Fullerton fished for crabs with panty hose and some meat, but he didn't catch any. I'm not going into details.

When we left we took the boat out to the sea lions and took pictures of them. Then we headed to Unimak Island via Aiktak and Ugamak.

Unimak Island is 58 miles long. It's separated from the Alaska Peninsula by less than a half mile of water. We plan to go through
that half mile in a day or two. It's got one town (False Pass, 54 people) and a half dozen or so volcanos. None are erupting, so
far. Shishaldin Volcano is over 9000 feet high.

We are anchored at Promontory Cove in 16 feet of water, the shallowest we've been since we got to the Aleutians. The wind is 6 knots
from the northeast. The outside air temparture is 51. The inside air temperature is 62. It's cloudy, but no rain or fog.

The water temperature is a balmy 50! That's the warmest we've seen for weeks. Yesterday and most of today the water temperature was
43 and 44. Maybe it's because we're in a relatively shallow bay with the rivers running into it. Or maybe we're past all the large
openings to the Bering Sea, and we're getting some warm water from down south as it runs west between Kodiak Island and the Alaska
Peninsula. Or maybe our thermometer broke.

The outdoor sensor started reading over 100 degrees after we hosed down the boat. Then it fixed itself tonight. It must have gotten
a little damp.

Unalaska, Unalga, Baby Islands, Akutan, Akun, Avatanak, Tigalda, 7/25/08, by Bob

We headed out of Dutch Harbor with Josh at the top of the mast taking videos. He talked his way down after we hit a couple of small
waves. Our mast is 79 feet high, so it moves a bit with the waves. We were docked near a NOAA ship that was taller than our mast.

We had great weather, except for a little fog here and there. We left Unalaska Island to the east and passed Unalga Island on the
north. There were a lot of birds there. But when we got to Baby Islands just east of Unalga, there were several times as many birds.
There were thousands of puffins and other birds. The Baby Islands is a group of 5 islands, none longer than a mile.

From there we headed along the south side of Akutan Island. At Battery Point we found some big sea caves. We anchored and took the
dinghy into some caves, tunnels, etc. One of the tunnels we went through in the dinghy was over 100 yards long. One of the caves had
a collapsed roof, so it was actually a big hole in the mountain.

We found some humpback whales feeding near the east end of Akutan. They would splash the water sideways with their tails. They can
sure make a big splash!

We passed the south end of Akun Island with a lot of puffins, other birds, and rock formations. From there we went to Basalt Rock.
It's a really cool rock made out of basalt columns, except the columns are at all different angles.

Then we followed the north side of Avatanak Island to Tigalda Island and anchored near the northeast end of Tigalda. We anchored
close to a lot of big rocks or small islets. We could hear Sea Lions hollering on a rock about a mile away.

Dutch Harbor, July 24, 2008, by Bob

I radioed Dutch Harbor when we were about an hour out, and they said that we could not only get fuel, but they had a place for us on
a dock. So we got some diesel and tied up to the dock with no major damage. They have a nice floating dock. We tracked down Mike
Fullerton at the hotel and suckered him into getting on the boat.

We drove around, bought some groceries, downloaded some email, dumped some trash, ate some food -- did everything but laundry. They
don't have a laundromat in Dutch Harbor.

Since we had access to water taps, we decided to hose the ash off the boat before we left. But it took about three times longer than
I expected, even with two hoses in operation. So we delayed leaving until the next morning.

Unalaska, 7/23/08, by Bob

We were at the east side of Aiak Point is impressive. Last time I wrote that we were on the west side -- I lied. We anchored on the
east. I'm good with numbers, too. There are some cool cliffs there. Melinda and I kayaked about a mile over to a lava dike that runs
into the ocean. We came back along the shore. I met a seal. Josh caught some black rock fish, and almost landed a rock masquerading
as a halibut.

We motored to and up Udagak Strait, separating Sedanka Island on the ease from Unalaska on the west. It is pretty narrow in places.
As we came out of the strait, we saw a few boats. We passed through some of Akutan Pass and anchored a few miles from Dutch Harbor.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Umnak, Unalaska, 7/22/08, by Bob

This morning we got up and took off toward Unalaska Island. We planned to make Dutch Harbor, the town of Unalaska, tomorrow afternoon and pick up Fullerton, but it didn't quite work out.

What occasional wind there was was light and generally from a bad direction, so we motored. We went by Vsevedof Island, Kigul Island, Lone Rock, The Pillars, and Polivnoi Rock to get to Umnak Pass between Umnak Island and Unalaska Island. The Pillars are not where they are depicted in the electronic charts. I think someone moved them.

The pass has some pretty stiff tidal currents -- about 5 knots. For once I planned ahead and got there on time so we could make it through at slack tide, with no big currents. It worked! We were actually a little early, so we had to fight a 1-2 knot current until we got toward the end (northeast) of the pass when the current slacked.

As we arrived at Shiprock, a 450-foot-high rock not far from the northeast end of the pass, we noticed a dark sky on the horizon. It looked like heavy rain or a thunderstorm. But that doesn't happen much up hear. Then we figured out it must be the shadow under an ash cloud from Okmok, which was only about 10 miles away.

We decided to check out Fort Glenn, the old World War II airfield once occupied by 10,000 people, currently occupied by some cows. It's on Umnak Island at the top of Umnak Pass. As we approached, we realized that ash clouds drop their ashes. In no time, the boat was covered with a thin layer of volcanic ash, getting thicker. We turned around and took some pictures as we left. There was a corral and some cattle there. The cows didn't seem to mind the ash at all. They were just eating the grass.

We drove across the pass to see if we could get around it toward Dutch Harbor without suffocating ourselves, or more importantly, our engines. It looked bad. So we turned around and headed back down the pass with a 3-knot current against us.

As we neared the south end of the pass, we turned between Emerald Island and the mainland of Unalaska Island. That's a narrow section that, according to the Coast Pilot, avoids the heavy tide rips. I think they were talking about ebb tide instead of flood tide, though, because there were big standing waves as we got into the narrow passage, and after it smoothed out there was a 7 knot current running against us. Luckily it only lasted a mile or two.

After some severe boat-sweeping and etc., we got most of the ash off the boat.

We anchored off the west side of Cape Aiak about 11:00 pm. The cape is about 1800 feet high, steep cliffs, very impressive. There is a lot of columnar basalt and a couple of impressive lava dikes, and vertical cliffs all around the area. And now we'll go to Dutch Harbor the long way -- from the East.

Bold Actions, by Josh

volcano |väl?k?n?; vôl-|
noun ( pl. -noes or -nos)
a mountain or hill, typically conical, having a crater or vent through which lava, rock fragments, hot vapor, and gas are or have been erupted from the earth's crust.

eruption |i?r?p sh ?n|
an act or instance of erupting : the eruption of Vesuvius | magma is stored in crustal reservoirs before eruption.
• a sudden outpouring of a particular substance from somewhere : successive eruptions of lava from volcanic cones.

For the three weeks it took us to sail from Midway to the Aleutians we shared a space no bigger than a outdoor privy. Chores were divided, rations dished out and hot water alloted but still tensions grew. Citing Bob's exacting standards of personal hygiene, orderliness and off key baritone Big Mike unexpectedly jumped ship on arrival in Adak. My plan was to disembark here too, with or without my belongings, but Mike's exodus created an unique opportunity. With a little strategy and some good fortune, I could turn the table on this ship of fools and commandeer the Minnow for myself! Only the day before Mike had offered a reward to see Bob walk the plank, pinning a ransom to the chart for all to see. With Mike now conveniently out of the picture I could follow through on his scheme, slipping anchor one morning while Bob explores a distant shore. That would leave only the Captain and I'm confident I could either convince her to turn south with me or trick her into the hold.

Finding Adak as badly provisioned as the Minnow and having resolved for nothing less than complete control of the boat I confidently climbed back aboard, a sack of damp laundry hanging from my arm. For several days I have waited, watching the weather, learning the tides and growing the confidence needed to sail South single handed. Patience proved wise as conditions have deteriorated badly.

Last night found us fog bound, battling enormous currents and surrounded by tens of thousands of screaming seabirds. This morning strange rumblings shook the boat and a large plume of smoke rose above the fog. Closer inspection revealed a volcano marked "Cleveland" erupting, throwing boulders high into the air and boiling the water all along the coast. This spectacle reinforced our vulnerability and my need of assistance for the next few miles. So, for now the crew are my unsuspecting prisoners, blissfully unaware of the fate awaiting them at the next convenient anchorage.

With a little luck my next message will as the captain of the magnificent Minnow.

Please inform my family of stable health and reinvigorated spirits

Joshua J Newman

7/22/2008 by Melinda the Captain

We're motrin! We've had an unbelievable two days.

It was nearing dusk with soft light, calm seas, and Chagulak in view. We had a break in the fog just in time to see the cratery peak. It looked pretty volcanic.

Without realizing, we were slowly being swarmed by birds. Alfred Hitchcock's "Birds" had nothing on what we were about to see. Thousands upon thousands of Northern Fulmars surrounded the boat in rafts. It was pretty neat once we took notice, and then we circled Chagulak's southside where it became overwhelming.

Every inch of the sky was covered by avian invaders. The hills moved and squawked and squeaked. There were strange things happening in the water too; there was a distinct boundary separating upwelling and downwelling currents with birds lined up right down the middle.

It was really neat.

We were exhausted after a few long nights and days and anchored at Herbert Island that evening. We awoke to a distant grumble. I thought it was either Bob fumbling with the water maker or somebody flushing the head. Bob alerted the crew about an eruption in the distance, which we sort of expected from the Okmok Caldera, (it has been erupting for nearly a week now), but it was strange that we could hear it so well. Okmok was still pretty far away.

We motored closer to the ash plume towards Chuginadak and called a landlubber via sat phone to check the latest volcano news. Absolutely nothing except for Okmok.

Gathering from the local marine radio, it was definitely Mount Cleveland erupting, which was only 1.7 miles away from us. Then the fog broke.

It was the most powerful thing I've ever seen in my life. We could see enormous clumps of lava bombs blasted upwards with huge clouds of tan ash blowing northward.

Then the fog rolled back in and we could see nothing. We changed route to the south side upwind of the ash.

It was a little intimidating to hear the eruptions louder and clearer as we motored along in thick fog. We went along the bubbling shoreline where muddy lava flows were pouring into the ocean.

We left in the pouring rain and rough seas with a slightly ashy boat, a little awe-struck from what we'd just experienced.

The end.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Amukta, Chagulak, Herbert, Cleveland, Umnak, 7/21/08, by Bob

Yesterday we made good time toward Amukta Island, so we kept going. When we got to Chagulak Island around dusk, there were thousands and thousands of birds. There were murres, fulmars, gulls, kittiwakes, puffins, auklets, and probably a bunch of others. The kittiwakes were plastered all over the cliffs. Birds of all kinds were flying in the air around the island. Big rafts of the birds were floating around, diving for fish and recreation. It was really amazing. Pictures to come when we find some fast internet.

We planned to go all night, motoring because of no wind, and arrive at the Islands of Four Mountains in the morning. But I'm such a good boat driver that we had a 3+ knot current pushing us along, so we anchored off Herbert Island about 4:00 or 5:00 am for some sleep.

This morning I got up and went outside. I could hear something that sounded like explosions, except a really deep sound. I looked up and saw a huge cloud of ash in the direction of Okmok volcano, which has been erupting lately. But Okmok is 80 miles from where we anchored on Herbert Island. And that ash cloud looked closer that 80 miles. And 80 miles is a long way for sound to travel.

We took off toward Chuginadak Island, home of Cleveland Volcano. On the way we met a fishing boat and talked to them on the radio. I asked if that ash cloud was dangerous. (It was hidden by the clouds at the time.) He said it shouldn't be a problem, that Okmok had been going off for a while now.

As we got to northwest side of Chuginadak Island, we could see that it was Cleveland Volcano erupting, just about 2.5 miles from us and 6 miles from where we anchored. It was loud and pretty scary. A huge ash cloud was going up, and we could see huge chunks of rock flying up incredibly high into the air. We had a pretty good view of the top from a gap in the cloud cover.

I was thinking about Mount St. Helens, and decided that running away at 8 knots wouldn't help much if the whole mountain went up. So we hung around a while and took a lot of pictures. It was cold, windy, rainy, and exciting.

When we left the northwest side headed south, the clouds obscured the peak, but we could still hear the eruption inside the boat, despite two engines running, a 30+ knot wind, and rain.

We did determine that it would be smelly, dirty, and probably a little dangerous to go around the island on the downwind side, so we backtracked to the south side of the island. We found a bunch of steam coming out of the ocean at the shoreline. I'm not sure whether this was caused by hot water running into the ocean, or by hot gas or material coming out of the volcano, or by alien spacecraft. At any rate, it was really cool looking. Or hot, rather. The ocean was boiling in places.

None of us knew if this was normal, or if it was related to the huge eruption less than two miles to our north, which, incidentally, was very loud at this point. And scary. We still couldn't see the top of the volcano because of the clouds, but it was substantially louder than it had been. We started to go to land so we could feel the earthquakes, but we decided to skip it because of the wind.

Since the ash from the volcano was blowing where we had planned to go in the Islands of Four Mountains, we didn't go there. Instead we moved on to Umnak Island and anchored with 25-30 knots of wind and occasional 5-foot waves. Since then the waves and the wind have subsided, and it looks like we won't be blown to Siberia tonight.

It is now 1:25 am, 7/22. We are anchored off Cape Udak on Umnak Island, 52°55'N 168°48'W. Water temperature is 42.8°, outside air temp is 48, inside is 57. Wind is out of the east at 9 knots. The boat is covered with dark ash, smeared by the rain. Melinda cooked a cake tonight. We watched Tora, Tora, Tora. Melinda and Josh watched The King and I while I slept this afternoon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

whether, by Bob

It is 3:00 am 7/21/08, water temperature 40.4°F, outside air temperature 43°, inside air temperature 55°. Wind is 8 knots from the west. The current is strong from the north. We are at 52°45'N 170°23'W, between Yunaska and Herbert islands.

We are crabbed 30 degrees into the current moving east northeast. In other words, the boat is pointing to 44° and we are traveling at an angle of 74°. The boat is moving at 6.8 knots through the water and a little over 6 knots over the ground. The current was going the opposite direction an hour and a half ago.There is no moon visible. No stars. No sun. Just occasional alien spacecraft.

7/20/2008 by Melinda the Captain

We're mot'rin!

Josh and I did the dawn watch and we watched "Once Upon a time in the West." I made raspberry pancakes, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. After that I woke up a little bit.

Bob, Josh and I pulled an all nighter and ended up on Seguam Island at noon.

Bob went off in the kayak while Josh and I traversed in the dinghy.

I bailed out too early and got my boots completely drenched. Luckily the landing was sandy and black so I went for a barefoot stroll down the beach and stayed surprisingly warm while my socks, boots and trousers layer #1 dried.

There wasn't a whole lot going on where we landed except that we saw a lot of sparrows in Finch Cove.

Bob tugged Josh and me around in the dinghy with his kayak. It took him a while to figure out we were paddling in the opposite direction for part of the time.

Yesterday was an amazing day at Kasatochi and Koniuji Islands.

First, I was very certain that Stellar Sea Lions were going to chomp us when we paddled in the dinghy through rocks and kelp to Kasatochi's shore. All I could see were massive heads and sharp, pointy teeth. Once we landed, we fled the scene up the hill. Bob kept dropping rocks and boulders on Josh and me while we climbed below. We moved quickly.

Kasatochi's summit is a 1000 foot lake-filled caldera with fog ripping through the middle. The lake was aqua marine and had white specks in it. The specks sounded an awful lot like sea gulls.

Everyone broke a sweat through the lupines on the way up. At the top we got moisturized and chilled instantly. The fog poured down the farthest rim shooting right up into our faces. It was pretty neat.

We fluffed our way down, hopped back on the boat and headed for Koniuji Island. We weren't expecting the spectacular scene at the island. We saw distant mushroom clouds of birds twisting, darting, and diving. It looked pretty cool from afar but we got a huge surprise when we got closer.

There were literally hundreds and hundreds of Least, Crested, and Parakeet Auklets diving below the boat at the bow and shooting back up at the stern and flying in erratic, yet uniform motion. We cruised around the island twice (it's tiny) and had the best of luck the second time to get sunshine.

We eventually got back on our way and continued following the line of puffins and sea weed east. We ate pizza for dinner and watched Star Trek… again.

The end.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seguam, 7/20/08, by Bob

Seguam, 7/20/08, by Bob

Last night we motor-sailed to Seguam Island. There wasn't much wind all night. We got to Seguam Island today around 1:00 or 2:00 and wandered around on shore for a while. We are now headed east again, toward Amukta Island. We should get there around midnight.

The temperature outside is a balmy 53 degrees! That's the warmest we've seen for weeks out on the open water. The water temperature is 43.5. Wind is variable at 5 to 10 knots. We ate chicken today. I played the baritone last night. I think Josh and Melinda really appreciated it, but they were too shy to show it.

Great Sitkin, Ulak, Kasatochi, Koniuji 7/19/08, by Bob

You can get some more information on all these places in our travel guide. This is a collection of stuff mostly copied from the web so we could read about the islands on the boat. Here's a copy of the travel guide:

http://xpda.com/travelguide-2.zip (29 megabytes)

From Umak we headed northeast through Yoke Pass southeast of Great Sitkin Island. Yoke Pass has currents of 5 knots, whirlpools, and tide rips if you hit it at the tide change. Being the expert navigator I am, I mixed up the current table with the tide table and we had a 5 knot current against us when we went through. The swirls in the water would turn the boat so our course over ground varied 70 degrees one way or the other sometimes. We used boat engines and ended up making 3-4 knots headway against the current, and eventually got through. It was really pretty fun.

Great Sitkin is a big volcano. The island is 7-8 miles in diameter. To its northeast is Ulak island, less than a mile long and roughly shaped like the roof of a house. It was impressive looking, with lots of birds.

A lady with Fish and Wildlife in Adak suggested we go by Kasatochi Volcano and climb to the rim, so we did. The caldera is about 2/3 mile in diameter. The lake at the bottom is about 1/3 mile in diameter. It was really pretty. Fog was blowing in from the opposite side. There were some seagulls at the bottom. I saw a couple of peregrine falcons at the highest point of the island, 1035 feet up. The volcano did not erupt while we were on top, so we walked back down to the boat and headed east to Koniuji.

Koniuji is less than a mile long, but there were probably hundreds of thousands of birds flying around it. They were mostly fork-tailed storm petrels. Clouds of the birds would fly around, then they would dive into the water. A lot of them came up with red worm-looking things in their beaks. It was all pretty amazing. There were also a lot of other kinds of birds on the island. We made one and a half circles around the island, then took off for and overnight trip to the east.

Umak, 7/18/08, by Bob

We sailed out of Adak harbor to Kagalaska Strait. That's a narrow strait southeast of Adak. If you hit it at the right times, you can enjoy a current of over 5 knots and some whitewater. We timed it for the calm period and went about 3/4 of the way through the strait and back out to the north. Then we headed east to Umak Island and anchored at just about dark.

Adak, 7/17/08, by Bob

Mike got up early the next morning and we headed into the town of Adak. Mike flew out that evening, leaving Josh, Melinda, and me on the boat. We biked and drove around Adak. Adak used be a military base with 5000 people. Now it's a town with 165 people. The old houses and a lot of the old buildings are still there -- even an old (closed) McDonalds.

It rained almost the entire time we were in Adak. The temperature inside the boat never got out of the 50's.

We spent the night, got our laundry done, and took off the next day. A lot of the laundry didn't get very dry, so we have a lot of laundry hanging around the boat.

Bobrof, Kanaga, Bay of Islands, 7/16/08, by Bob

We launched from Tanaga early, around noon. We stopped by

We stopped at Bobrof for a little while for some kayaking and dinghy riding. Bobrof is only 2-3 miles long. There is a big sea cave on the north end I kayaked into. It was pretty weird.

From Bobrof we headed along the north coast of Kanaga Island, then to the Bay of Islands on the west side of Adak. Crossing from Bobrof to Kanaga, we saw a pod of killer whales, or orcas. That was really cool.

Kanaga has a big volcano you can see from Adak on clear days, but our day was pretty cloudy.

We anchored for the night off North Island in the Bay of Islands around 11:00 p.m. Josh and Melinda took the dinghy out, and I went kayaking at midnight and climbed to the top of the island, an amazing feat with an elevation of 322 feet.

Gareloi, Tanaga, 7/15/08, by Bob

We crossed from the Eastern Hemisphere into the West today, to Gareloi Island. It's a volcano with a single peak a little over 5000 feet high. The island is 4 or 5 miles in diameter.

We came around the north side of the island and anchored on the east just offshore from a waterfall. There were thousands of parakeet auklets there.

There wasn't a good place to land at shore. Mike went in, but almost fell it when he was coming back to the boat. There was quite a bit of wind, and the rocks were covered with slippery seaweed. I kayaked around for a little while. It was windy and gusty, but the sun came out so it felt pretty good.

When we pulled up the anchor, we also pulled up a huge amount of kelp. We eventually extracted ourselves and headed out to motor down the coast.

Gareloi has a lot of waterfalls coming off the old lava flows. We saw steam coming out the side of the mountain. It must be either a steam vent, or steam coming off a stream of hot water. The grass is bright green up the mountain a few hundred feet until there is lava that doesn't grow much.

We left Gareloi and headed to Tanaga Island. We started seeing some waterfalls and sea caves along the north shore of Tanaga. One sea cave was a tunnel, probably big and tall enough to fit the Minnow through, but we were chicken to try. The clouds had come in so we couldn't see the high mountains.

We came to a place on the map called Falls Point. There was one giant waterfall there and two other good-sized ones. We stopped and rode the dinghy around to the falls, then walked around a bit. It's really pretty there.

Then we headed on and anchored at Portage Bight. The next morning Mike kayaked 4 or 5 miles before we took off. I slept.