Friday 30 May 2008

4939.31 17832.19 @ 2245 ADT (Z - 8) Fri 30/05/2008 07:48

We're about 140 miles south of my waypoint in the shallowest part of Amchitka Pass. AGW, we should get there on Saturday around midday local, on a flooding tide so - again AGW - we might just have a go at it. But in this little gig, that's far too far ahead and extra tempting for Herself in the patents with stockwhip. Just idle speculation! Between here and there lies the Aleutian Trench, 7000+ metres deep and only 40 miles or so across - presumably where the two plates are interacting. The shallowest sounding I can find in the pass is 88 metres over a spike in the middle. We'll see. Would be a fascinating place to cruise in the right boat - insulated, heated, big engine, space for wet gear - a proper Boot Room in fact. We're a bit exposed in Berri.

Not much else to report - I wonder at the fortitude of Cook, his crew and all the other early explorers who sailed so far into this and beyond. Without a satphone or polar fleece or 'technical' yachtie kit. What does technical actually mean?

We should cross the international date line about half way to the waypoint on present progress, but that will change. Unless the wind changes, we will probably have to tack to get there.

Will keep this open...4 hours later...Somehow I've deleted the exciting bit so here goes again - where complacency took over and I sat down here writing this and looked up through the window and saw a huge container ship heading towards us. Grabbed vhf command mike, set it up, raced on deck, decided he was actually coming to investigate dayglo orange trisail, still in track tho not set, below main, thinking it might be a distress signal. Tried calling him - no answer, so rolled out the headsail to indicate business as usual and started to bring in the trisail. He turned away and was gone over the horizon in about 20 minutes. Grateful he bothered, but slightly unnerved that I didn't see him first. He was heading along the line of the outside of the islands, so great circling from China to Vancouver or Seattle perhaps.

We have about 60 litres of diesel in the tank and 60 in jerries - decision time very soon. Not enough wind to sail, doing 5 kts almost all vmg motor sailing so very efficient use if the stuff but...125 nm to go to Amchitka - should bo ok to use 60 getting there and through if necessary, but will need careful judgement.