First sail of 2022
With the final mail picked up from the post office and the boat laden with fuel, water, firewood, and groceries we were able to untied the lines and push off from the Juneau docks – for good. Neither of us share any disdain for Juneau per-se, but both of us do for the sitting in one place for any period of time. Two weeks is usually more than long enough, 2 months is rare, but this Alaskan winter was just over 8 months from engine issue to today. An impossible task for us, and if we knew about it in advance we might have veto’d the whole ordeal.
Nevertheless, and on the brought side, the three ever-squeaking dock lines were finally cast off and we began our big-drift into the greater Alaskan wilderness, right on time at Noon on Saturday. The old Perkin’s puttered away as we motored out of the marina and into Auke Bay proper, where Kerri would take the time to stow all the lines and fenders. Once complete, and with just enough unexpected breeze to pull it off, we raised the sails to start our 2022 sailing season.
Sailing, instead of motoring, our first day was not planned but oh the joy of turning the key on the Perkins and hear it go quiet with only the sound of the wind in the sails and the water rushing past our hull. The smiles couldn’t be wiped off our faces. For the next three hours we would sail in a very kind and gentle breeze towards our destination of Admiralty Island National Monument, all while re-learning how to sail. It seemed that we lost some of the basics to memory, but they were quickly come back with the exercise. It was perfect spinnaker-sail weather but neither of us were in a rush, nor did we want to go through all the effort of raising the big sail just yet. Instead, content to just go slowly towards our anchorage where we eventually dropped our anchor into the water for the first time in those eight long months.
In total we would only move 14.5 nautical miles from Juneau, but it was perfect. Kerri and I spent the evening out in the cockpit enjoying cocktails and tacos (that’s right, we know how to party) with a bald eagle family in the trees above us, and the emptiness of the wild. A grand sleep that night was followed by a windy day the next which coaxed us to change plans (which was to leave the following day) and stay another couple days to ride out even more incoming wind in our protected anchorage. We will see what the future days have for us when we get there.