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.

1 comment:

tj4nier said...

I must know immediately at which islands you have anchored The Minnow! It seems that cursed boat has sent out beautiful islands up in smoke. First it was Cleveland, then Okmok now our beloved Kasatochi. Where will it end? We have been considering demanding compensation for the ruin your boat has caused. From some unexplained generosity on my part, I have succeeded in convincing the majority that it would be sufficient if you just sailed that wicked craft back form where it came. I do recommend for your own safety though that you set that ship alight as soon as possible.