Thursday 17 July: Steady Breeze

Noon position: 53 49.9 N 167 44.4 W
Course: East nor' east. Speed: 4.5 knots
Wind: North nor' west, F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: negligible
Weather: overcast, cool

At last we have managed to make some ground in the right direction. For the
remainder of yesterday we continued on close hauled under reduced sail on
the starboard tack. At midnight we had made sufficient ground to the north
to be able to tack and make more directly for our destination, Dutch Harbor
on Unalaska Island. By this time the wind had eased sufficiently that we
were back under full sail, sailing steady and comfortably, but my instincts
told me we would soon be drifting again, and sure enough a couple of hours
later I had to hand all sail as Sylph rolled in the short residual sea. I
returned to my bunk cold and grumpy.

The calm did not last long however, and at 4.45 the wind was filling in
again and I promptly had all sail back up and Sylph doing five knots, once
again close hauled on the starboard tack. I returned to my bunk cold and
happy.

The breeze has continued steady for the rest of the forenoon and even backed
into the west a little, allowing me to ease sheets. Currently we are doing
a steady four knots and if the wind holds we will arrive at Dutch Harbor
sometime early tomorrow. Now I will try to clean up the boat a little.
There is a month's worth of laundry piled up in the V-berth that needs to be
bagged. I deliberately left it out in the air so that it would not get too
smelly and mildew in the cold damp conditions. I have no idea what it
smells like down below after such a long period in these damp conditions. I
shall watch with interest the expression on the customs officers' faces when
they come aboard on our arrival. I hope it will not be a polite grimace.

All is well.