Day 25… Neah Bay!!!

Hello from Greg and Camila!

They arrived at Neah Bay (just a few miles up the Straight of Juan de Fuca from Tatoosh Island) this morning and called a little before 10 AM. Greg said cell service is not happening for him right now though. They should be in Bellingham in three days or so, and I imagine his cellphone might start working before then, but who knows.

One final map for y’all, this one shows their position in the straight, and that of Seattle, Bellingham, and all of the San Juan Islands.


They are about 6 miles from Tatoosh. Since they had already gotten supplies from out of town by the time they called at 10 AM, I imagine they crossed Tatoosh Island’s position around 4-5 AM PDT.

Here’s the final plot for their trip:


I broke it into three segments, the top one being just the last six days or so. Using Days 19-25 puts them in at 2:34 AM, using days 9-25 sees them in at 9:06AM (obviously a bit late), and using the whole trip’s average speed, Days 0-25, puts them crossing Tatoosh Island @ 4:39AM. I’ll have to ask Greg or Camila to get a more exact answer.

So, I guess that’s it from me, unless Greg has something really important he needs to say before he gets cell phone contact.

Thanks for listening,

-Jim

Day 24… 57 miles out…

Greg and Camilla and Willow are doing well and are sailing in very light winds 57 miles out from Tatoosh Island. They are taking their time coming in to Neah Bay, since nothing would be open at 2AM anyway. They expect to make it in sometime tomorrow (Monday) morning.

They are at 48°24′N, 126°00′W


As of 17:30 PDT they had just crossed the continental shelf:


-Jim

Day 24… Crossing the shelf…

Here are the Google earth pictures for yesterday’s post:


As you can see they are getting very close. They should be in some time late tonight (Sunday). Maybe tomorrow morning, since the wind had died down when I talked with them yesterday, and it continues to be very inconsistent even now (winds shown for 14:00 PDT 7/17/2011, Willow position marked as of 7/16/2100 1830 PDT):

They may be motoring a bit on this last day.

The closer in picture shows how incredibly straight a line they have been sailing on over the last 5 days. They’ve had consistent 15knts of wind out of the NW, so they have been really moving along well.


They have crossed all the major fracture zones, and by this time they have probably reached the continental shelf, passing over Father Charles Canyon, where the depth changes considerably. From 8500 feet deep to less than 1000 feet deep. Looked at from underwater, say, if you were a whale, that’s a plateau that rises 7,000 feet (or more) in a span of less than 50 miles. Some places very steep, others more worn down like they were eroded by rivers. And it goes on forever, around all the continent(s). And all the good food is up on that shelf.


The next time I will probably hear from Greg will be on a cellphone, hopefully within the next 24 hours. I’ll post again when that happens.

-Jim

Day 23… Closing in…

Here’s another update from S/V Willow.

They are currently (18:30 PDT on 7/16/2011) at 48° 22′ N 128° 46′ W

Winds have died down to about 5 knots, and when they quit Greg said they will be firing up the motor. They had about 160 nm to go to reach land, which is about 184 statute miles. They should be in sometime late tomorrow night or early morning on Monday.

Sorry I don’t have any pictures today, I’ll try to post tomorrow with a more thorough update.

-Jim

Day 22… Juan de Fuca fracture zone…

Nice sailing, 15-20 knot NW wind, steady. Big swells, but not uncomfortable. 40° cold though. They cruised another 158 miles yesterday, and are now only 332 miles from land. Yesterday’s progress was all almost directly at Tatoosh island again, gaining 157.8 miles towards it. They are 87.4% of the way across, and based on the last four days of progress they should be rounding Cape Flattery sometime Sunday Night or Monday early morning.

At 19:00 PDT on 7/15/2011 they are at:

48°09′N, 131°57′W

This close in view shows the cool stuff they are floating over. To the NE about 80 miles is Explorer seamount. They’ve done a lot of submersible studys on the hydrothermal vents down there. Life that thrives on hydrogen sulfide. And they are starting to pass over the fracture zones between all those plates I talked about yesterday. I think they will pass over the Juan de Fuca fracture zone.

Wind has not changed much, and that’s good. This wind will blow them right in to the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

I will try to post an update tomorrow, but I might not have access to a computer.

-Jim