Jan 5, 2012 St. John Harbor to Point Baker

The morning brought calm seas, and by afternoon the wind had kicked up and we were nose into the wind.  We knew Sumner would not be entirely kind, but she was tolerable today, sending a little salt spray our way every now and then to remind us who was boss.  Privateer performed beautifully, slicing through the waves.  We arrived at the Point Baker dock just shy of dark, glad to be safe in harbor.  To our surprise, there was someone on the dock and it happened to be one of the only people we’d met in Point Baker on our previous visit.  Jim isn’t even from Point Baker, which made the sighting even stranger.  He lives eight miles up the channel in Port Protection, but had come by boat to collect his mail from the post office.  The locals had been anxiously awaiting the mail plane, which had finally come after 17 days.  The recently announced free shipping to Alaska by Amazon.com, covering foodstuffs and dog food, among other things, has generated a lot of excitement amongst the locals.  Jim was reeling from the delivery, telling us about all the fantastic deals he’d found and showing off the loot which included flashlights and bricks of German style rye bread that he claims keep for eons.  He wished us a Happy New Year and kindly handed us a loaf, continuing to chat about this and that.  Jim didn’t remember us from the previous visit, but we sure remembered him.  Once Jim headed off into the dark channel, we tidied up the deck in the chilly nighttime air.  The moon could not be ignored, with an intense hazy, glowing ring of light around it.  Pete informed me that this was the result of refracted moonlight off ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.  Cirrus clouds, containing these ice crystals, usually indicate an approaching warm front and low pressure system.  The old sailors knew how to read the weather; lore had it that the ring was a sign of bad weather to come!

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