Noon Position: 52 31N 155 58W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): SxW 6 – 7
Wind(t/tws): ESE 25+/Sea(t/ft): SE 8-10
Sail: Three reefs in main and working jib, close reaching on port
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 84
Miles since departure: 37,252
I tacked at 2am when the wind went into the SE so as to grab some southing while I could. Rough night close hauled in winds 25 – 30. Rain, drizzle, fog; spray everywhere. On deck every hour to reef again, adjust Monte, recoil a line pulled down by the constant water ...
Noon Position: 53 19N 157 48W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 6
Wind(t/tws): S 10
Sea(t/ft): S 1
Sail: Main and big genoa, close hauled.
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 120
Miles since departure: 37,168
Light wind day. Both big sails up and close hauled. Slow. Wind can’t make up its mind. Our heading is E but snakes to the N and then S as the breeze meanders about. Mostly we are losing ground to the N. This makes me uncomfortable given the big blow N of us due the first of ...
Noon Position: 53 38N. 164 54W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 5
Wind(t/tws): W 10
Sea(t/ft): S 3
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 60 (since Dutch departure at midnight)
Miles since departure: 36,915
Note: One photo because my main satellite system is down for the moment.
Three gates in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor connect the Bering and the larger Pacific; they are Unimak Pass, Akutan Pass and Unalga Pass, with Unimak being the largest and most distant and Unalga, the closest and smallest. Only Unimak is lit.
One day to sit out the blow, which pushed hard through the Iluilui Harbor cut, turning the water white. Mo was snugged up behind a big crab boat and almost entirely out of the wind. Thus, my two bow lines, two stern lines and four springs were overkill; I spent the day watching the gale from the equivalent of a hotel window. Spume flew two boat lengths out, but Mo never moved.
And one day to get ready. Refresh Monte’s tiller lines; refresh worn sheets, check running and standing rigging, repack ...
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. ...
I was climbing down the pier ladder to the boat when I heard a hail. “You’ve been one-upped,” yelled a man standing over where Tecla had moored the previous night.
“Not likely,” I replied before I could check myself.
Tekla is an unusual vessel, a steel-hulled gaff ketch built in the Netherlands in 1915 and recently restored. Now she’s a sail-training vessel that’s just completed the Northwest Passage. A small crowd had gathered to admire her, and among them, this man; gray-haired; short of stature and wearing a blue jacket and sock cap.
One thing singlehanding teaches is the beauty of uninterrupted sleep. Even if he wakes naturally a time or two on that first night, once in port, the sailor’s shedding of responsibility and an unmoving bed are the sweetest luxury.
Next day to chores. The fuel truck was called and tanks filled but not jerry cans. Their time is past, and I gave half of them away to other boats. From here on extended calm should be the least of our worries. In the afternoon, a complete oil and filter change by way of a thank ...
Randall Reeves grew up reading about and dreaming of the sea. He learned to sail on the rivers of central California and interviewed world-famous solo sailor, Bernard Moitessier, for his college radio station, an event that changed his life. Randall’s blue-water sailing began in 2006 when he crewed on a 40-foot boat for a 26-day, 3,000-mile passage from Hawaii to British Columbia where “everything went gloriously wrong.” He was hooked. In 2010, Randall departed San Francisco for a two-year, 12,000-mile solo-loop of the Pacific in a 30-foot sailboat. Randall crewed the Northwest Passage in 2014, a grueling 65 days over an ice-strewn 5,000-mile course aboard one of only seven boats to complete the Arctic run that year. Randall’s preparations in 2016 have included long passages aboard his new Figure 8 boat from Kodiak, Alaska to Hawaii and back to his home in San Francisco, a total of 7,000 miles. Randall is a licensed Master of vessels to 50 Gross Tons