Sunday, July 13, 2008

7/11/08, by Josh

Fog Bound

fog 1 |fôg; fäg|


a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface that obscures or restricts visibility (to a greater extent than mist; strictly, reducing visibility to below 1 km) : the collision occurred in thick fog.

ORIGIN late Middle English : origin uncertain; perhaps related to Norwegian fogg.

fogbound |ˈfôgˌbound; ˈfäg-|


unable to travel or function normally because of thick fog.

• enveloped or obscured by fog : a fogbound forest.

For eleven days we pushed north west from Midway. Each day requiring more clothing than the last. Gone was the azure blue of the tropics, replaced with a monotonous fog soup. Several times the Minnow broke under the strain and several times she was repaired. Eventually the routine was shattered when big Mike stopped complaining about the cold to point to land ahead. Curiosity lifted the fog, revealing mountains, lush green tundra and the debris of civilization but, alas, not salvation.

That's the story of how we came to be in the Aleutians but our purpose here is still no clearer. For several days now we have explored, landing among kelp forests, walking the tundra and watching the wildlife. On Attu we had our first experience with the natives. We found them to be friendly and were welcomed ashore with a sample of their food. All declared it warm and nutritious and a welcome change from ship rations.

This morning we anchored under Buldir to avoid fierce winds and although we chose not to land, communication was made with another group of natives. They also appeared to be friendly.

Now we push East and it would seem along the island chain towards mainland Alaska. I can think of little motivation for this circuitous route but my hopes of freedom grow with every day we approach Unalaska. I even harbour the faint hope that I may find passage to France to see my sister marry.

For no other reason than to keep my mind from wandering I have begun to keep a list of the marvelous creatures found around the boat. To date it is as follows.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
Laysan Albatross
Black Footed Albatross
White Tern
Laysan Duck
Bonin Petrel
Red footed Booby
Brown Booby
Brown Noddy
Sooty Tern
Great Frigate Bird
Red Tailed Tropic Bird
White Tailed Tropic Bird
Rudy Turnstone
Tiger Shark
Galapagos Shark
Pacific Green Sea turtle
Trevallie Jack
Short Beaked Common Dolphins
Dall's Porpoise
Glaucous Winged Gull
Northern Fulmar
Aleutian Canadian Goose
Storm Petrel (species ?)
Tufted Puffin
Harbour Seal
Sea Otter
Red throated Loon
Pelagic Cormorant
Lapland Longspur
Snow bunting
Pigeon Guillemot
Black Legged Kittiwake
Arctic Skua
Common Murre
Thick Billed Murre
Rock Sandpiper
Common Eider

Please Inform my family of my situation, sound mind and sore gums.


Joshua.J Newman

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