Friday 18 July: Dutch Harbor

Noon position: 53 52.61 N 166 33.13 W
Alongside Dutch Harbor
Weather: overcast, cool

The wind held steady for the remainder of the afternoon and evening and
carried us around Cape Cheerful and into Constantine Bay where, as one
would expect, we fell into the wind shadow of the Cape. With less than ten
miles to go and seeing little point in drifting around in a shipping channel
for several hours I handed sail and started the engine. For the most part
the remaining distance proved an interesting motor, especially as we got
closer into the harbour proper. I had to manoeuvre through a small inner
fishing boat harbour and then finally into a narrow inlet into the small
boat harbour. I had spoken with the harbour master via VHF on my approach
and on our arrival alongside at 4.55 an officer was waiting for me to fill
in some initial paperwork. He directed me to berth outboard of a dark blue
hulled boat and as I was making the final approach I realised it was the New
Zealand boat "Larissa" that I had made acquaintance with back in Japan in
Fukuoka and again in Hakodate. It would seem that we have caught her up
and also overtaken Nomzamo, and that with only about a total of four hours
of motoring. Mark, the skipper of Larissa, told me that they have motored
for about sixty per cent of their voyage so far. Good old Sylph.

Once the harbour master was satisfied I turned in for a few hours until the
customs officer arrived to clear us in to the United States. That has been
completed in a refreshingly simple process, I have my visa and Sylph has her
cruising permit allowing us to remain in US waters for twelve months. Now
that we are all legal and above board I can relax and enjoy our remaining
time in Alaska before the winter forces us into lower latitudes, which
unfortunately won't be long.

I have completed a bit of a reconnoitre, in particular the supermarket –
everything is written in English and many items marked 'gluten free', so
that simplifies my life quite a bit. Tomorrow my number one priority is to
let everyone know that we have arrived safely, then to try and sort out our
communications problems, and then . . . the Laundry.

All is well.