I’ll try to explain my original problem I had with this resupply, although I might come across sounding completely crazy. The heroes in my life are men like Shackleton, Amundsen, and Tom Crean. When I left on this trip I wanted to feel what they felt, I wanted to suffer like they suffered. I felt that the resupply was infringing on my suffering. But the reality is, I’ll never be Ernest Shackleton, I’ll never be Tom Crean, I can only be Matt Rutherford. Anyway, there is no reason to make this trip harder then it already is. Right now I’m the happiest man on the planet. That resupply was like the greatest birthday mixed with the greatest Christmas times ten. I won’t lie, I was sad to leave the Arctic. Ever since, I felt like my inner-Shackleton was wrapped in cryptonite – I’m sure you could tell by my writing and I apologize for that. The best way I could describe ones inner-Shackleton would be, unwavering optimism in the face of mental and physical hardship.
Let me take a few steps back. So I was in the mix-master sailing along. At the time I’d never heard of the mix-master. I was confused because it was only blowing 35kts with higher gusts but the seas were breaking as if it was blowing much harder. Waves kept crashing in my cockpit, I must of been pooped 20 times in 24 hours. I reduced sail to just a scrap of jib, but like I said it was only blowing 35kts. I have a translucent slide for my companionway hatch so it makes for a good back window. I remember looking back behind my boat just by chance and seeing this monster wave towering above my stern. I said Oh Cra….but I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth before I was flying threw the air. Next thing I know I’m rolling around on my port side window, half pressed up against my cabin top. St Brendan bounced back on her feet quickly, the Vega is a good boat, owners have good reason to be proud. It was a rouge wave, not some 80 footer or something crazy like that, but it was much larger then the waves around it. I just happened to be right under it when it decided to break. About 5 hours later at 3am I was trying to dodge a fishing vessel in the rain and fog and I noticed a sickly sweet smell. I knew right away it was the smell of wires burning. I ripped open my access point for the new wiring I added before I left and all looked fine. Then I ripped open the access to the old wiring and found that for some reason, some of the old wiring picked that moment to burn. I took a knife and cut the wires and like that it was over. It was quite a day! The only real damage I had from the knockdown was my poor old dodger. Its frame is bent, its glass is blown out in several places and it looks like it lost a fight with Freddy Crouger.
I never knew the Aleutian Islands were so beautiful, I’d never seen a picture of them before and I’d never thought much about them. They’re one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever sailed. It would be highly worthwhile to spend a summer (July and August) sailing the island chain. Ya theres bad weather sometimes, but there is good shelter all over the place. The storm I was worried about turned out to be a typhoon. Luckily the typhoon turned direction and fizzled out in the Pacific. The last thing I need is another typhoon. The resupply happened in a well protected part of Unalaska Bay (I love the name Unalaska). Jeff, Lauren, and Alexandra came out and tied off to my boat and we shared my para-anchor. They brought pizza and beer and they hung out for two hours. I took the chance to ask them about Libya, Syria and other news as I’ve been in the dark for over 100 days. I asked them how the economy was doing and they said I was better off at sea. Thats depressing, when I finally get back to Annapolis I would rather have a good economy then a cold beer and hot shower. I was able to pass off a thumb drive with a bunch of pictures on it so there should be new pics on the site. Alexandra is a reporter for NPR so we did an interview but it was difficult as I couldn’t leave my boat and no one could come aboard St Brendan, it was also blowing hard and raining. Originally I had emailed Simon telling him that 3 out of 4 inverters had broke due to excessive moisture. My plan was to try to bum an inverter of a passing fishing boat – I admit it was a bad plan. Simon said I’ll mail you one when you get down by Dutch Harbor – thats how the resupply started. It wasn’t planned but was spontaneous and grew and grew. I received more stuff then I can list but a few items… new tiller pilot, back up water maker, 25 gal diesel, 5 gal stove fuel, BOOZE!, fresh veggies, a Virgina ham, ect. I would like to thank all of you involved in the resupply. You have made my life soooooo much better and things will be a bit easier down the road thanks! I stayed in Unalaska bay for 48 hours drifting around the west side of the bay getting sleep and repacking the boat. The bay is amazing. I could see a volcano, a waterfall and some whales without even turning my head. The whales got so close I was afraid they would get caught in my para-anchor and take me on an Alaska sleigh ride. There were also williwaws, one of which I clocked blowing 60kts.
Well I’m through the islands and in the open water, what a great feeling. Due to your generosity I have fresh supplies and feel fully refreshed and revitalized. I feel like a new man. The plan is the same and now I can make up for lost time. I’m coming Cape Horn, I’m coming.