We are on our way into Dutch Harbor. The winds have been blowing consistently out of the north for the duration of our trip. This creates the polynya (area of open water and thin ice) in the leeward sides of the islands and peninsula. The ice is dynamic - it flows with the wind direction much like a glacier or river flows with gravity. The ice flowing southward stacks up on the northside of the island and flows to the outside edges. At the outside edges of the islands, the ice forms ridges. The ridges are formed when two ice floes are pushed together, pushed upward and downward forming a ridge. As we left St Matthew, we stayed in the polynya for as long as possible. Then the ridges appeared. The USCG skilled tacked around them, but still at one point we going northward to go south. Sometimes the quickest route is not simply point A to point B.

    It was with good fortune that we maneuvered; we saw a Minke whale, ringed seals, ribbon seals, and a Steller Sea Lion. A Steller Sea Lion on the ice more than 200 miles north of their expected range! Tuesday was a glorious day, 20F and calm, nary a cloud in the sky. We are expected to reach Dutch Harbor by nightfall on Weds. It will be a weird sensation standing on land once again...
    Stay tuned for more journals and photos. I will update my photo gallery once I reach a fast and consistent Internet connection!
    Bering Sea