Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Leave, Return, Repeat | Issuma

Will Issuma have to winter in Yakutat, Alaska?
Ivumbu hit the road earlier and is now in the Inside passage. But Richard has now made three attempts to make the 140 mile run to the beginning of the Inside Passage. Will they be wintering in Yakutat, Alaska? - GWC
p.s. notes on weather sources for the Northwest Passage are HERE.
"The critical thing to keep in mind about travelling in high latitudes is how easy it is to get into a survival situation. The Gulf of Alaska (and anywhere that far north) is a really unforgiving place in November. We weren't in any danger, but, if we wore ourselves out by getting cold hand-steering outside for hours in freezing spray, the danger was that if anything went wrong (like an engine problem, or taking on water), we would be exhausted, and not necessarily capable of quick, rational thinking and action."
We had tried for several weeks to leave Yakutat, and knew this break in the weather might be the last one until spring.It is really hard to turn back, when you know you are likely to make it if you just persevere and tough it out. But while the risk of something going wrong was small, it was still there, and I decided it was better to return to Yakutat.We turned around. Before easing off the throttle and setting sails (as the wind was now with us), we were making 8.7 knots. We had spent all day coming less than 30 miles, and we were soon back at the dock in Yakutat,Was Issuma going to spend the winter in Yakutat?

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