Wednesday, July 09, 2008


We have found Alaska!

We struck land. Well, we didn't actually strike it, but we anchored off Agattu Island and kayaked and dinghied to shore. The dinghy motor took about 20,306 pulls to start. After 10 days stuck on a boat together, 4 people ended up taking off in 4 different directions for a few hours. I thought that was funny. It was great to hike around.

As we were approaching the island this morning, we had about 1/4 mile visibility in fog. Then the fog lifted a little and we could see the island. By the end of the day, the sky was clear. This was the first sunshiny day we've seen for over a week.

I think Agattu Island has no land mammals. There are quite a few birds, and some marine mammals. It's really pretty. Inland, the grass is short and easy to walk on, except a few places with spongy tundra. There are cliffs, mountains, waterfalls, and no people.

There were some geese, the Aleutian Canadian Goose. They were extinct once, and then they found some alive. Now there are so many they're off the endangered list. There are also birds like puffins, sea gulls, divers (like a loon), and several birds new to me. We saw a sea otter, and Melinda met a harbor seal.

There was an old wrecked boat on the beach. It looks like a World War II landing craft, but it could also be a boat used to land equipment. There is an old dozer, auto, and some equipment here, too, about 60 years old. I am guessing it's military, but it might be for mining.

We took off toward Attu this evening. Around sunset we were surrounded by hundreds of birds and some dolphins. I forgot the variety, but they look like baby orcas.

We are now 24 minutes from Attu Island, the westernmost island in the Aleutians. We are hoping to anchor in the dark without denting any rocks with our newly sealed watertight compartment. There are a lot of rocks around Attu, some of them a few miles from shore.

position: 52 46N, 173 12E
outside air temperature: 43F
water temperature: 42.8F
wind: 4.3 knots from the southwest

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