A Bering Sea Blow

19 Sep

September 17, 2019

Days at Sea: 286
Days Since Departure: 352

Noon Position: 62 16N  167 36W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): SxW 7
Wind(t/tws): ENE 30
Sea(t/ft): ENE 10

Sail: Working jib rolled up by half; broad reach.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 146
Miles since departure: 36,342

I rode the twin headsails all night and Mo burned up the road. But by dawn, wind had veered too far into the E to hold them longer. I doused the poles before coffee and while the sky was still red at the margins and only then noticed wind was already well over 20 knots. Even with half a jib, we were fast.

That’s been the configuration all day–a double rolled jib pulling at the bow and Monte holding sway over the tiller at the stern.

With the masthead anemometer out of commission, I can’t tell you exactly the day’s wind speeds. From experience, I can say that 30 – 35 knots with higher gusts would fit the seas and the sail configuration.

The seas, however, are of the stocky, stand-up variety (except when I try to get them on camera), and there is the feeling of randomness about them. Working through is more like shooting rapids than maneuvering in a gale at sea. Not too surprising as the seas haven’t really room to move, room to mature. The water hasn’t been any more than 80 feet deep all day.

Mo is doing well. Monte is pulling with heart. But the skipper is uneasy. The barometer just goes down and down…

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


  1. Greg M.

    I was wondering why your waypoints were all over the place, although the gales were probably not the reason. (?) Did things seem to settle down when nearing Unalaska?
    Fair winds, Sir Randall.

    Did you autograph the Jerry cans you gave away? Their gonna be worth a lot of money some day!

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