FROM 2-2. Equator-Dutch Harbor

South of Gareloi 5139.09 17858.35 @1215 ADT

Not yet totally committed but seems that way. McQ off watch asleep. Been wanting to write this for the last hour but no chance. Can’t begin to talk you through it – took in trisail, shook out all three reefs, one by one, tidied up lines, freed kevvo of long 10 metre strand of kelp – masses of it around, big matted tangled islands of it, almost solid, very dangerous to get mixed with – up and down looking at chart – initially, sea state big swells as we rounded the ‘bend’ into the channel, with typical gentle tidal race conditions on top – short spiky waves, little steep piles of water – 1.5 kts against us, as water piled uop against rise for Unalga Is. Dense fog, tiny, 30 sec glimpse of pale sun, then small break and wow! Unalga Is right there, a mile to stbd massive, toothed, craggy, rocky, top in cloud, Reminiscent of Tasman Island. Bit of a shock to see it there. Seabirds everywhere from tiny sparrow sized to Albatross, which fly along with us and park and watch us go by. Fun, but hard to photograph – must go on deck -

wind back to 18 – non bloody stop – but at least the right direction. Not quite first reef yet – eased traveller & mainsheet and we’ll watch and wait. Cant see Gareloi; or Unalga any more – thick mist. Damp, dripping and absolutely fascinating. A place not too many people will get to see – hope it lifts enough to see Gareloi sometime. Aiming to miss it by 3 miles, then harden up to get north of Tanaga. Adjusting kevvo major exercise – have to climb over his lines, holding on to weaher side winch, get under checkstay, around Lizzie’s TV tower and lean over the pushpit…often about 10 times every hour as the wind shifts.

Not really cold – I’m sweaty after all that work – hands going white, planning failure, didn’t bring heavy duty gardening gloves which worked so well last time. lanolin now solid and almost rock hard – really difficult to get any off to warm up and spread on hands but must keep doing it. Having said all that, big sneeze.

Dan from Westward, bless him, called in by satphone to check how we are going. And yes, we are east of the IDL – assume everyone will write in and ask whether it was a deliberate mistake (nah! just read the W with brain in neutral).

Anyway, small celebration time again, I think – real progress again. About 300 Consultant Physicians from RANSA will be in attendance. Will keep this open

And there I sat squeezed into the cockpit with my 300 friends and – out of the murk ahead, a tiny sliver of land, sloping into the water from under the overcast. Yeehaa! Gareloi!

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