Jan 4, 2011 Wrangell to St. John Harbor

We cast the lines and set out into Zimovia Strait, excited for the arctic voyage ahead.  It had only taken four days to get the boat in order and collect the needed provisions, and we were impressed with our timely departure.  The more time we allow ourselves to get to Baranof this time of year, the better.  The sails are tucked away down below, and so we rely on the engine and Privateer’s 10,500 lbs of lead ballast to ply the waters.  Sails are meant to be hoisted on a sailboat, of course, so our current setup is less than ideal.  However, putting the sails up only to take them down, presumably wet, in a week’s time and then storing them on a damp boat for a couple of months is also less than ideal.  We won’t have shore power once we get to the Baranof dock and nothing is likely to dry below.  So, we proceed with faith in the engine’s abilities.  Pete wasted no time in celebrating our departure with a box of assorted chocolates, something that he had stealthily absorbed into his personal gift stash at Christmastime.

The weather was quite strange and variable today, calm and cloudy at the outset, followed by a gusty spell and a bit of rain and ending with an afternoon of sunshine and a massive rainbow spread out before us.  We were grateful for a such a day and clipped along to our destination, St. John Harbor.  It’s the only haven along this stretch of Sumner Strait, a large bay of little note apart from the curious ship wreck on shore.  Anchor set, we struck a match to a pile of kindling we had prepared that morning.  One of the safety measures followed during this arctic sail is to have a fire ready to light at a moment’s notice, particularly in case hypothermia strikes.  No matter the conditions, though, it is January and an insta-fire” is appreciated once we drop the hook.  During this primitive voyage, Privateer is functioning more like a barge than a sailboat, hauling things from one place to the next.  We can hardly move down below, the bed taking up half the salon and our food boxes the other.  Though we may long for fresh food this winter, we won’t starve!

One Response to “Jan 4, 2011 Wrangell to St. John Harbor”

  1. Vicky Says:

    Haha. I recognize that box of chocolates from the neighbors!

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