Fri 02/08-2019 Day 434

Pos: 63.6259,-162.5164
Loc: Stuart Island North Bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent

no paddling today

Fri 02/08-2019 Day 434

Pos: 63.6259,-162.5164
Loc: Stuart Island North Bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent

no paddling today

I should have known I should add some rocks on my usually solid-looking and holding sand pegs, but winds up to 40 knots loosen even those in the actually very soft and coarse sand here.
At 5.30 am, the wind and rain finally got very strong as forecasted, maybe 40 knots, and I noticed one corner of my tent I lost the peg. Hmmm, shall I get soaked (rain-)clothing allover, or rather just go out naked to fix the corner? I opted for the latter, just slipped in socks and gumboots, stripped my t-shirt and bike shorts and found it refreshing wet but not really chilly outside. I fixed the tent line in the windy corner but decided I better add heavy rocks on all pegs not to have to go out again very soon. Thank goodness, heavy rocks were just close by in perfect size.

I worked hard in the gray early morning dawn to find and carry sixteen heavy rocks to weight down really every peg, butt naked plus boots. Once I slipped and fell with my bare knee on the coarse sand, but besides getting some sand into the boots, I got thank goodness no injury. It must have been an interesting view anyway to any onlooker of my strange work costume in heavy rain and strong wind, but I had kind of fun to secure my Hilleberg Hotel better which I should have done already yesterday evening. It felt like cooling down after sauna, and I was already looking forward to getting back inside, to dry off and to get warm again in my cozy sleeping bad with my fluffy fleece inlet inside. It finally took me a while to warm up fully, and I think I fell back asleep already earlier.

I woke again at 8 am, looked outside, and guessed the water is already quite high and close to my tent? High tide would be only at 11.30 am…? I should have known that the last tide mark might be topped on strong winds, although according to the tables, it should be the same height and less the next days. But well, I have nothing else to do, and it was just NOT raining…I dress warmly this time, and decided to move my tent better on top of the grassy dunes – where I should have put up already initially…

But usually I prefer flat sand over high grass which is never fully even flat, but now, it was high time to move! No rain, but still 30-35 knots wind made this job not really easy for a single person. I put all heavy dry bags in my gear bags but left the pad inflated and the sleeping bags and clothing spread out. I had a few spare pegs plus the minor holding ones I plugged out first which I spread around the area I chose as a new spot. I liked to have them as quickly handy as possible once I loosened the tent in the strong wind and had to march with the flattering cloth with poles still in up the flat grassy dune without it got ripped out of my hands. At least now, I could turn the front and not half the side as it has been before straight into the howling wind which gave even better stability. I carefully pressed in one peg after the other, starting with the ones holding most into the wind. It worked all right, my tent did not fly away or broke the poles. A tunnel tent does actually pretty well in strong winds when putting up carefully and correctly, and a “Hilleberg” anyway! And the wide sand pegs held much much better here in the sandy but grassy underground. I put rocks on top of the pegs anyway to be on the 100% safe side and got my gear bags back in before it started to rain.

I could harvest out of my front and back kayak hatches four liters of rainwater, and despite some maybe epoxy smell or salty-dusty taste, it would be good enough for cooking as a backup. See how much more I can catch today and tomorrow, but I am still hoping I can cross on Sunday over to the northern side of Norton Sound! But who knows…I was not short of water before, but I like to look ahead and to be prepared! So far, on none of my trips I was neither out of water nor out of food…

………….

I just had made my evening walk, despite it was still raining and stormy. But I didn’t mind to get soaked rain clothing. Sure I was curious about the hut at the channel entrance, it was pretty new and through a window in the door, I could see everything was in shape. Sure it was locked. In some sheds, I saw a smokehouse, fishing gear, an old tent fly over a frame was flattering in the wind, a brand new outhouse, clothing lines and a two-year-old grave of likely the wife or grandmother of the owner. Life comes and goes. An old plastic boat was full of fresh rainwater, just in case…But even if I’d have planned to camp close to the hut for shelter, there would be nothing to find. My tent holds up perfectly now up in the still 30+ knots winds and rain in the grassy dunes, with the head into the wind, all pegs rock-solid. It is just a bit boring overtimes to have now even two days in a row off alone…