02.06.2018

Day 8 of passage to Alaska

Yesterday started calm and then became very foggy and a bit rough over night. It started in my 6pm shift and calmed down at the end of my 3-6am night shift. After some calm sailing the "roaring fourties" showed us their best and let the engine roar which we had to start at 3pm and has been running ever since. We're again in a high pressure system and will hit a front soon bringing us stronger southerly winds which will then turn into very strong westerlies and then northerly winds ahead of the next low shooting us up to the Aleutians. Not sure yet we make it directly to Dutch Harbor. The northerlies towards the end of the passage might force us to first stop somewhere else. We'll see.
We enjoyed the relaxing day. I was in good mood and made a nice lunch and then baked Brezls that turned out to be my best ever. I habe also already prepared everything for dinner but we're still stuffed up so I haven't cooked it yet. Fresh veggies (yes, I still have some) that will end up as Asian sweet&sour with coconut cream. I will probably cook them around midnight at the end of my shift.
We're almost 2/3rds there!
Current position is 42deg13.75N and 165deg 12.8W

31.05.2018

Excited

Oh I am so excited it'll make it hard for me to write "interesting".

I just took fresh Dark Rye Sourdough bread out of the oven which had been in making process for 35 hours. I so love it when it smells like in a bakery here. So in my midnight nightshift a day ago I started growing the sourdough from my starter that lives in the fridge. One cup of rye and one cup of warm water added to the existing sourdough will produce more of it as long as you let it sit outside for a day. So this night I put some starter aside into the fridge and used the rest to make dough and two smaller loafs of bread from it. I let those two sit and wait for 6 hrs and now in this shift I put them in the oven and just took that yummy fresh bread out. That's what quiet sailing days are for. I am definitely not going to bake bread when it's blowing 30-40 knots.

We're finally back to sailing. Only about 8 knots of wind but enough to keep us going since the waves are not bad. So peaceful and quiet, we all love it a lot. While I was sitting here looking out as I do in my watch I noticed something black in the water. I thought "oh some more trash or a branch" as we're in that area of the ocean where all of that collects. Yes, we do see more here than we did anywhere else. Lots of fishing buoys. So I watched this thing and saw it was kind of lengthy yet it looked rubbery and shiny. Hm, I thought, a bit weird but could only be a small branch. As we passed by in about 50m distance I saw it move. Puzzled I kept on watching it. It couldn't possibly be a snake? Then it turned to the side and I saw a little wing/paw, then its back and finally the little head. It was the first seal for this season! Tiny little seal! Oh my god it made me so happy. There is so much life here, that's so cute. That's why we're always drawn to the cooler waters, the
re's just more going on. Crossing the south pacific there was nothing, not even a bird. Up here, we see dolphins, whales, seals, birds...And whoever passes underneath our boat once in a while as we can dee from the depth sounder who tells us the last measured depth was 7m. Yesterday it was 5.1m. In an ocean 5000m deep. The sounder can only measure up to about 60m. So if a dolphin or seals or whoever passes underneath Alita it will measure that and remember this as it can't measure the 5000m around it. Sweet aye?

Last night was a calm and beautiful night where Marcus and I both said "the ocean smells so nice, so fresh, like cool ocean". That is amazing as usually you don't smell that when you're on the boat, but only if you're in a calm bay. But we were sailing. 1000nm (1852km) away from land. So exciting. I so love days like these. It'll be all calm today, possibly back to motoring, then still calm tomorrow and I guess the last 4-5 days will be the strong wind ones for the final run. So we get to fill up with some energy...

current position

Bord time (UTC+10): 02:09, 31.5.2018
36deg 52N and 163deg 26W

Day 7

Last morning at 4.30 we started motoring because the wind was gone. Later that morning we finally took even the main sail down as it was only flapping and that's bad for the sail and the rigging. The sea calmed down more and more to an almost flat sea this afternoon. It was a hazy cloud covered day, very mystical and I n its way beautiful. At around 4.30 Severin and I went for a short swim- where the water was 5000m deep and 15 degrees celcius cold (59F). The water was the clearest and most amazing blue we have ever seen. You could see the real color just when you're in the water. The color was like a bright shining and clear sapphire, just an amazing blue that's hard to describe. I will never forget that. And it was cold, very cold. Funny though I had no problems going in. I just got down the ladder and in. Brr. It felt like going into the ice box after the sauna. Needless to say we did not stay in it very long, maybe 3 minutes. Just enough that Marcus could capture it on vi
deo.
Just before that adventure we saw a pot of dolphins, but they never came up to us. And afterwards I saw a whale in the distant - first the back, then a huge blow, then the tail and the blow and back again. Wonder what kind it was. The blow was higher than the one from our Tonga humpback whales.
Also we still see birds every day. It is kind of nice to not be alone here and yet enjoy the peace and quietness before the storm.
Looks like we will ride out the front and then shoot up with the strong winds from the low pressure system. It's gonna be cold with all this wind from behind :-)
Ever day we're already putting on more clothes. We're all to long pants, warmer shirts and fleece sweater, at night even a jacket. Just for that swimming moment in the afternoon it was ok because there was no wind.
So, one more day of "relaxing" motoring and then the ride begins. We're half way up by now and all well up and positive.

30.05.2018

Day 5

So far so good. We've got 1/3rd of the trip to Alaska behind us.We're in the high pressure system with 1031hPa, the wind is about to die on us. The tough part is lying ahead of us. There seems to be a bad cold front coming in in 2-3 days and we need to decide pretty soon now if we ride it and then ride ahead of the low that's behind it or sit and wait for 2 days trying to stay away from the front and the low but then we'd have northerlies behind it which is against our direction and we don't know what's coming behind. In that area up there there's a low passing through about every 3 days. It's a matter of luck how bad it hits you, depending on where you are and how low (in terms of latitude) the low comes. Let's just hope for the best. What's coming up is not really dangerous, but possibly very uncomfortable.
If you have more information about the front and the low pls send via E-Mail. Out current position is 35deg29,5N and 163deg14,8W

29.05.2018

Day 4

After a very quiet afternoon yesterday, night and morning the wind and sea picked up again boosting us additional 3 knots in speed.
This is probably the last passage we do with Alita as she is for sale and we already have possible customers who want her earlier than we wanted to give her away. We just put a sale note on the website and haven't publicly put her on sale yet as we knew she'd sell rather quick. Our plan was to at least sail her to my second home, LA, but that might not happen. Alita is just too perfect a boat - especially with all the additions and changes we made- to let her slip through your fingers once you found her. It will be hard for us to let her go. But, we need to go earn money and then look for the next project that is suitable for us to do the north west passage and sail in Europe.

So Alita and the weather joined their forces to at least give us the best possible ride to Alaska, where we're gonna spend the next 4 months and then head over to Canada.

We're all well up, the sun's out again since we're in the next high and we were very lucl so far to not have had to motor yet.

27.05.2018

Day 3 of passage to Alaska

We're enjoying a quite calm and peaceful sail so far. Not much sun these days, but at least enough to fill up the batteries. That's rather perfect I have to say, so it does not get too hot under deck. WE're all well up and slowly using up our fresh produce. THe most amusing part is that we're sailing through the Musicians seamounts. We already passed Sibelius, Mozart, Liszt, Tschaikowsky to name a few. Debussy, Brahms, Wagner, Puccini and some more are ahead of us, and my favorite, Rachmaninoff. Sadly the ocean does not reveal their music, but I can put it on on my music player. Mostly we're listening to the sound of the water rushing against and along Alita and imagine it's a symphony. Happy sunday.

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