It’s been nearly three weeks since we stopped at Sitka and we’re definitely ready to head out. This is a wonderful town with marvelous people, but it’s time to start making our way south. We’ve been at the dock working hard on the boat finishing up the projects that weren’t done in Port Townsend. I can happily say that we have a new high capacity automatic bilge pump, the solar panels are wired up and pumping in 14 amps on a cloudy Sitka day, the SSB works and we can receive weather faxes and onboard email, the jacklines are hooked up so we can’t fall off the boat, and the lee cloth is done so we don’t fall out of bed on passage. And tomorrow morning we’ll fire up the watermaker and should have fresh water on demand now whenever we want.
We’ll rendezvous with Tim & Cindy late next week in the town of Craig on Prince of Wales Island. From there we’ll head to the south end of the island where we’ll wait for a weather window to make a passage offshore to Barkley Sound. We’ll be about 470 miles from Barkley Sound, so we expect 4-5 days depending on the weather. The summer northwesterlies have settled in, so we’re hoping for a nice calm downhill ride. We’ve hired a weather routing service to help us out on these first two passages so we can learn more about the weather faxes we’re reading. He’ll tell us when it’s a good time to go and what kind of weather we can expect. We’re ready and the boat’s ready, but this is still our first time for overnight sailing so we’re (mostly me) plenty nervous.
Alaska has been amazing, and it’s going to be hard to leave it again. We met some wonderful folks from Miami and South Africa who have been here three years, and the conversation did come up about wintering over. But, I’ve spent plenty enough winters in Alaska, and it’s definitely time for Mexico.
Today on Yohelah we’re finally ready to make our first offshore passage……