I began typing at the end of last post, “see Harmon’s blog for pictures”, when I heard a groan from below. “My laptop just died,” Harmon announced. His completed post, finger hovering above the “publish” key, vanished as the screen turned to snow. Confoundingly, he doesn’t blame the water, of which there is a quantity just beyond the gunwale and plenty sloshing about below. “It was just old.”

My strategy for a night of moderate winds from every direction–another low was to pass over our heads between midnight and 4am– was to put out a single headsail, set Mo on an autopilot course straight for the Kodiak entrance, and adjust sail as the wind clocked. It would be a slow but easy night for two tired crew.

We took in the main; I set the genoa; Harmon switched on the autopilot; I pressed the red button. Alarm. “Rudder sensor failure” flashed on the screen. Thrice more we tried. Same result.

So add laptop and autopilot to the butcher’s bill. In the case of the latter, we had taken pains to cap the dorade vents over the main deck, but I had simply forgotten to cap the two aft dorades over the aft deck. The rudder sensor is right below the port of these.

Monte (Monitor windvane) performed admirably as we made a wobbly bee line for Kodiak. Winds did not clock but backed and veered in a way that kept the sail full, and at dawn, when it died away, a dark mass of island lay before us floating over fog.

We motored the last twenty miles, making St Paul’s dock at about noon.

Twenty-one days; 2400 miles by a novel and sure to be much copied route to the north.

11 Comments on “Kodiak

  1. You two sure got your share of wind and water on that passage!!! Congrats on another successful crossing. Hope it’s the first of many in your journey together.

    • Hey Pam!

      Mo has a “bus heater”–a radiator that circulates engine coolant water and then blows the hot air into the dog house. Obvy this only works when the engine is running. She also has a large Refleks gravity fed diesel heater in the main cabin. This can only be used in flat conditions, so is rarely on at sea.

      The Refleks does wonderfully. I’m writing this note from on the hard in Homer, AK on Oc t 4. This morning it was 24 degrees F outside and 37 in the cabin when I crawled out of the sleeping bag. By 10 am it was 35 out and (nearly) 60 in the cabin. That’s toasty. 🙂

      Hope all’ well. Nice to see you on the blog.



  2. I imagine Harmon is the eternal optimist. Always smiling. Very contagious. I was worried during the storm, there was a tracker update that read 13 kts. I thought the drogue line had parted and Moli was out of control going down the face of monster waves.

    • Greetings Jorge,

      I am using the Iridium GO! in the pilot house as Mo’s position tracker. The GO! has an externally mounted antenna, but for reasons confounding that antenna is not used for position tracking; tracking can only come from the unit itself. I’ve placed the GO! under a window so that it can have a *usually* clear shot of the sky (satellite signals need an unobstructed line of sight from base to transmitter) but the window is small and the sails often get in the way. That explains the sometimes odd positions and unrealistic speeds seen on Mo’s PredictWind page.



  3. Wow, what a trip! I dare say the inside passage would have been easier on all concerned.

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