“About five years ago our fall weather started getting worse and worse.” –Adam, Professional fisherman friend of mine from Homer.
So then it seems only right that we would see at least one good blow.
Busy days of late. I am focused on sailing, weather, navigation (and sleep) and so will need to keep this short. Harmon reports he’s able to keep up his side of the story telling, so I’ll rely on his blog to keep you going for a few days.
We are preparing and positioning for a strong low due to arrive our position 36 hours hence. You have likely seen this coming if you have been scrolling forward in Windy, for example. We’ve been watching its approach for the last several days and so are doing our best to work into its northerly quadrant.
For this, winds have been favorable. Strong SW winds yesterday and overnight gave us a run of 164 very wet, very rough but very happily accepted miles. We took this wind on port quarter with triple reefs in the genoa and main. It took some time to get the boat, sails, Monte balance, but once found, we flew. The day before, 150 fast, close reaching miles. Today I’ve budgeted for 140 miles but am betting on 150+, close hauled due N in 25 – 30 knots WNW. This will put us within about 140 rhumb line miles of Kodiak by the time the low arrives. That may be the closest we get.
Winds in this system are forecast to be 40+ from the NW for about 12 hours. In our favor, a) the shortness of duration of the blow in our area; b) we are somewhat in the “lee” of Kodiak Island; the fetch is not of great distance and c) the steady wind direction means we won’t have to contend with multiple wave trains.
The plan is to run off to the E for the duration of high winds and then bend as best we can to the NE, a sad prospect as it will likely put Kodiak (an unofficial, much coveted first stop) out of reach.
Such is sailing, especially sailing in the Gulf of Alaska in the fall.