Point Barrow and South

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
Bar(mb): 1010
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.

6 Comments on “Point Barrow and South

  1. Randall, and MO! How I love your wonderful descriptions and your delightful fantasies!!! Truly, you ‘make my day’ every time I see your post!!! Homeward Bound!!! I think MO has the bit in her teeth for the barn!!!

  2. Closer to home but still so far away. Beware of lady Pacific for she blows hard

  3. Yes, be careful, you do have some treacherous seas to go. Be patient. Don’t get insuch a rush that your miss the journey. Realistically, will you ever be here again? I love the photography, the bird watching and your eloquent writing. Be very, very safe. Take your time. You will make it.

  4. This adventure is definitely a treat. Last night I had a dream that I got to ride along on one small segment. Big Red was going at full and I was down below listening to the noisy aluminium hull as the wake passed and the ice alarm buzzer occasionally sounded right before gentle ice collisions. Finally port was made and you ran down a ramp and jumped on to a Catalina 22 that was converted to a jet ski and zipped away bow up to get supplies.

  5. Good blow right now in Nome and our local coast.. your timing may be about right as it should blow itself out tomorrow afternoon.. Sept. 12th.

  6. Enjoy the ride home. Keep posting – there are a lot of us tagging along on your adventure. I was out to dinner last week when a fellow I hadn’t met before mentioned your post. We had a lively discussion about Tuk – each of us had a different image and feel for the town, all from your posts. Of the eight people at the table, 4 of us are following your posts. Everyone commented on your prose and your ability to bring us all along for the ride. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

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