S/Y Nereida sails around the world

Solo RTW Sailor Jeanne Socrates' Adventures On, and Off, Nereida

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25 Aug - Good snorkelling as storm brews behind mountains
Reid Inlet, Alaska05
Tuesday 25th August 2015

This morning I twice heard two short barks followed by a short howl - a coyote? The steep wild mountainsides around this cove are full of all sizes of caves - perfect for wildlife and no wonder I saw a bat last night.

I decided it was time for some house- and boat-work, one urgent job involving the log impellor which had stopped working. I'd been meaning to clean it for a time, and it has clearly been under-reading, but now it was telling me nothing but sea temperature. I protected the bilge area around it with paper towels and old cloths, blocking off the limber hole - I like to stop as much seawater as possible from getting down further into the main bilge - and then pulled out the impellor, blocking up the hole quickly with the blank. That clearly needed more grease around it because a small trickle of seawater refused to stop No worries - I just had to work quickly. It was no wonder the impellor had stopped turning - it had several wormy things together with lots of calcareous tube-like deposits (their 'homes'?) and even the tiniest of shells was beginning to grow in there. It proved impossible to clean in situ so I had to remove the impellor from its housing - nice to be both the chef and bosun - a galley chopping board was useful when banging out the pin!

By 2pm, it was replaced and the area seen to be bone dry - no leaks... so the floor was replaced... job done. Time for a snorkel session on the rocks on the W side of the cove. I saw dark grey clouds and heard frequent rumbling of thunder but we were right on the edge of it. Any rain and worse weather was heading W and keeping out of sight, behind the mountains backing the cove (the Sierras Agua de Soda!!) - out to sea the sky was blue.

Plenty of fish, with several large shoals. Sting rays in the sand on the way. A good-sized vivid all-orange long slim fish - unmissable among the duller fish - a first for me! No Cortez damsels but several large yellow/black/silver banded damsels - seen often before but I've no idea what they're called. The seabed below the rock face was a jumble of large boulders - a wonderful hiding ground for these fish - no wonder they were so varied and plentiful.

I snorkelled eastward out from land to see how far the rocky bottom extended - quite a way...! So then I checked on my anchor - it was safely in nice sand, so no worries there. I continued on towards the E side of the cove - the sandy bottom continued most of the way to an exposed ridge of high, tooth-lke rocks inshore from a small sandy beach and on towards the S shore also, where the sandy seabed was quite steep-to. Clearly, there is quite a large area of safe sandy anchorage at around 20ft/7m well inside the cove - you just have to know it's there, in from the rocks further offshore.

Beautiful starry night ... Bright moon reflected in calm water and lighting up rock faces.. Rays swimming nearby, occasionally jumping... Who would want to be anywhere else??

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