September 1, 2019
Days at Sea: 273
Days Since Departure: 337
Noon Position: 68 48N 114 43W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): N 4
Wind(t/tws): NW 10+
Sea(t/ft): NW 3 – 4
Sky/10ths Cover: Overcast, some light snow. 10.
On-deck Temp(f): 38
Cabin Temp(f): 64
Water Temp(f): 39
Relative Humidity(%): 33
Magnetic Variation: 16.9
Sail: Under power; main 1 reef
Miles since departure: 34,688
Winds are finally diminishing, but out in Dolphin and Union the short, stocky sea is still pushing Mo around. Not going to be fast for a while yet.
I remember the point during the 2014 Northwest Passage when I’d had enough, enough engine racket, enough of being stuck in a cabin that was either too cold or too hot, enough of the what-if-we-dont-make-it-then-what worry. That point was three days after Tuk on the 1000 mile run over the top of Alaska to Nome.
Jump forward to now, a few hours out of Bernard Harbor. Tuk is still 420 miles in front of us, and I’m already at that point. I chafe at the confined waterways and headwinds, the unbearably flat land. Though I’m thrilled that Big Red is doing well, I tire of depending on him. I tire of the noise and the boredom that comes with days and days of motoring. I tire of the constant feeling of exposure and vulnerability; the knowledge that the risks I’m running here are large, the consequences real.
To quote Vonnegut, “So it goes.”
There is a line that’s popular with sailboat cruisers today: “We will do this as long as it’s fun.” It’s why I’m not a cruiser. Fun is a terrible organizing principle.
Many days on Mo are quite dull, a few are downright terrifying, most are made up of chores and the unexciting routine of shipboard life. When all those days are strung together and viewed as a complete voyage–a voyage that one envisioned, prepared for and pursued, largely on ones own–then they become a thing of deep satisfaction. But the fun had along the way is hardly worth noting.
Here is the second video put together at Bernard Harbor. Sailing through ice and fog. One of the strangest days yet.