September 9, 2019
Days at Sea:280
Days Since Departure: 345
Noon Position: 71 28N 154 46W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): W 6
Wind(t/tws): S <15
Sea(t/ft): SW 3
Sky/10ths Cover: Clear, a hing of cloud landward 3
On-deck Temp(f): 53
Cabin Temp(f): 68
Water Temp(f): 45
Relative Humidity(%): 55
Magnetic Variation: 14.5
Sail: Main and working jib; close reach
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 158 (Today was a 26 hour day, as I set the clock back two hours so as to get into local time.)
Miles since departure: 35,611
At 2am, I switched off the engine, and we sailed on a close reach for a solid twelve hours before calling it back into action. Not since Halifax have we sailed so long. The boat felt suddenly such sweet quietness and full of a gentle, animated motion, as if she were a great gray beast galloping over the waves.
In the morning, I was greeted by a coppery sun and a flock of Kittiwakes above the mast. They hung by for several hours, apparently inspecting Mo for defects from height. None found, they departed at noon.
All day the wind slowly eased. When our speed dipped below 3 knots, I switched on Big Red.
Now we have turned south for the final rounding of Point Barrow. Wind is very light, but a SW chop remains and stops Mo in her tracks every few minutes.
South. I repeat. At 71 28N and 155 58W, we have turned south. From now on, every mile will bring us closer to home.
Months ago, a comment on the Figure 8 site read something to the effect of, “if you stop at Point Barrow, we would be happy to have you as our guest. The food will be hearty, though the conversation may be less than scintillating.”
I have thought of that kind offer many times on this leg. A home-cooked meal would be most welcome, and I’m sure the conversation would be more than satisfactory.
All day I’ve been nursing the fantasy of receiving an urgent call on the VHF. As I pass by town, the radio would sing out, “Moli Moli Moli…dinner is on the table!” To which I would turn to, after a shower, of course and prior to which no amount of scintillating conversation could cover up the fact that I am well past my sell by date.
Thank you to my unknown friend in Barrow for the invitation, and I wish that it were possible. But we yet have “miles to go before we sleep.” Miles and miles.