Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 30 (Saturday, July 12, 2008) by Mike

Sailing with Dummies (Hawaii to Alaska Edition)

Today’s island was Kiska. There were two things notable about Kiska. One, there are lots of WWII leftovers lying all around. Bob scavenged some bullets and a big shell casing. I mean a BIG shell casing. Nearly three feet long. Or tall. Two, was the absence of the stench of bird manure that has been ever-present at all the other islands. I suspect this is due to the presence of mammals (foxes and/or rats) which keeps the bird populations in better balance.

We spent several hours kayaking and hiking around Kiska. I think this was mainly the result of the sun coming out. It’s amazing how little sun there is in the Aleutians, so far.

We saw our first bald eagles. They always look majestic to me. I saw one grab a fish out of the water. It was neat. The bay, or harbor, has lots of sunken boats in it. Some stick out above the water, some are up on land, and some are submerged.

Temperature report:

Looks like the temperature has pretty much settled down to about the same every day. I’m starting to get accustomed to the cold. Now when I go to bed under a few inches of covers I’m merely “extremely chilled and slightly shivering” where before I was “severely hypothermic and toying with death” on a daily basis. I suspect that if I were to spend several months here I would get to the point that I was only “uncomfortably chilly.” Of course, if I stayed here a few months it would not be July, the hottest month of the year, anymore. Hmm.

Daily Cuisine:

With folks off of the boat much of the day, it was a perfect day for junk food. Junk food is easy-to-prepare, and it tastes good, too.

Fishing Report:

Fishing on this trip has been a challenge. The fish not biting is always the biggest challenge. And we had to deal with hundreds of miles of a no-fishing-zone, due to some bureaucrat’s idea of saving nature. And there’s the Nature Zealots onboard the Minnow. For four weeks they have been vigilantly reeling in the lines when there are birds around, afraid to possibly disturb any of the millions and millions of birds along the islands (of course, fishermen typically go where the birds are since that’s where the fish are). It’s not a surprise that most of our fish were caught before noon, while the Nature Zealots were still in bed. Fishing has become NWE (not worth the effort). Today’s score: Nature Zealots 1, Fishermen 0.

Arts and Entertainment:

Most of us viewed parts or most of “Run Silent, Run Deep,” a pretty good submarine movie. Even though it’s in black and white. I think if it was in color it would be a really good submarine movie.

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