Kinai Peninsular

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 2 Sep 2014 00:35
Noon Position: 59 29.8 N 149 49.9 W
Course: East Nor' East Speed: 3 knots
Wind: South West F2 light air
Sea: slight Swell: South West, 1/2 meter
Weather: sunny, cool
Day's run: 89 nm

We still have the snow capped peaks of Kinai Peninsular in plain view, though a bit closer than where we left them yesterday. And now that they are closer I realise that to call the peaks snow capped is not quite accurate, for most of them poke black and jagged into the sky. Rather, it would be more accurate to say that the Kinai Peninsular is glacier encased, its valleys and slopes smoothed out with the white and pale blue of thick and no doubt ancient ice.

Last night, with the sky again promising to be clear and visibility excellent, I watched out for another view of the “Northern Lights”, still sceptical that this is what I actually saw. I did not see the same display as I saw the previous night, but I did see the same shadow, a large dark arc just above the northern horizon, with a diffused white glow above it. I hypothesised that what I was seeing was the shadow of the earth cast by the shallow angle of the sun's rays behind it onto the atmosphere somehow, probably a refractive effect, which was also focusing the sun's light into a narrow band above the shadow, then, above that, the normal night sky, the big dipper clearly recognisable amongst the constellations over the white glow. No doubt someone with access to the internet will be able to enlighten me.

By now I had hoped to have been well inside Resurrection Bay and getting close to Seward. Such was not to be however. After midnight the wind slowly faded away. By 0300 we were down to three knots with full sail up, and by 0500 were drifting in the current, which the pilot tells me sets continuously to the west, contrary to the direction in which we wanted to head, a claim that was borne out by the GPS. At 0850 this morning the sails were slatting uselessly against the rigging in the small but confused sea so, casting a somewhat contemptuous glance at the weather forecast log and its recording of north west winds at twenty knots, I handed all sail and used the calm to catch up on some sleep.

We have continued to drift for all the forenoon and only now, at a quarter to three in the afternoon has what looks to be something more than a tantalising teasing puff filled in. It is from the south west, from right astern, so I have poled the jib to port and we are running wing on wing before it. As we sail along in the clear blue sky, the sun shining, Kinai Peninsular dominates the scene. Resurrection Bay is but one of the many deep indentations in this jagged promontory.

My ETA at Seward has been delayed to, hopefully, sometime tomorrow.

All is well.