Sunday, June 3, 2007

News from the south.

Some news came from Matt detailing his progress on Friday morning. It was good to hear that things are well. The email is copied below. The pictures are from the first day of meetings before camp starts on Monday. It seems there are many things to do before everything is set in motion. On Saturday I puppy sat for T and Leeann. Nina was a joy to have around and hang around with on campus as the kayakers came back from their six week expedition.


Hey People,
My trip down from Sitka to Puget Sound has been highly successful so far. I am sitting in Prince Rupert at the Golden Waffel Internet Cafe after leaving Sitka just six days ago. Though it has only been six days of travel it feels like it has been a year or more. Leaving Sitka was a difficult thing to do as most of you know. However immediatly following that painful departure I was eating root beer float while sitting in the idyllic hot springs of Baranof Island. Sweet. The next day of the trip we ran a little further than the 15 or so miles it is from Sitka to goddard. We took the boat about 70 miles. Down the outside of Baranof and across the way to Cornation Island. The weather cooperated beautifully as did the whales. Just after sticking our heads outside we were surronded by at least 100 whales some within 50ft of the Nomad. I kid you not. Following what Rob
has termed "Whale Day" was Spinaker Day". We put the Spinaker up for the first time and flew on a reach in a 20 knot breeze at roughly 6 knots without the assistance of the engine. Sweet. Three days out from Sitka we reached the small town of Craig, Ak a distance of about 170 miles. A gale was in the forecast so I was happy to have reached the town so that we could
hide in the local harbor. Gale it did, hide we did not. The next day we left the harbor in about 30 knots. Rob and I both thought this was managable due to the fact that we were running through the inside of islands and were not to see to much swell action. About three or four hours of blood pumping wave pounding we began to see the ocean spray being lifted off the surface of the water and spun around in small water spouts. Rob and I estimated that the puffs pushing the boat over were probally around 50 knots. After another couple of hours of white knuckle sailing we reached Tlevak Narrows and unfortunatly an hour to late. For those of you on the Yukon trip it reminded me of that. We were un-able to power through the salty current so we anchored and waited until the next slack tide. To add to the excitement the following morning we touched ground while at anchor. Sweetness. It was just a little love tap to make sure I was paying attention. We really lucked out on the weather after that day of inside travel. The next leg of the trip was to be the biggest outside stretch of the entire tirp. We were to cross Dixon Entrance about a 45 mile crossing putting ourselves about 20 miles from the nearest land. So the day we are to do the crossing a smaller but definatly appreciated high presure system comes in from the North. The seas lied down and we had a great North wind of about 15 to 20 knots to push us into Canada. So about 300 miles down and about 700 or so to go. Hope all is well.
Cheers,
Matt