keskiviikko 9. lokakuuta 2013

October 7th 2013

Dutch Harbor, Unalaska
53° 54,355' N, 166° 30,657' W

One of the reasons why we felt so at home in Dutch Harbor was that, unlike in Russia, we could actually understand what people were saying. And what was most peculiar, almost every other person we met in town spoke Finnish! This invasion by Finns was due to the Fennica, a Finnish icebreaker that was staying in Unalaska for a few days. Pekka naturally took advantage of the situation and got himself invited to a genuine Finnish sauna aboard the Fennica.

Which brings to mind your homework! The Finnish word best known in the world is, of course, SAUNA. For Finns, sauna is not merely a place for bathing, it is a place where we socialize when in company or meditate when we are on our own. It is a place where we cleanse not only our body but also our soul and, therefore, for us the sauna is (almost) a sacred place.

The other thing that made us feel so very welcome to Alaska was the lovely harbour employee who, upon our arrival, showed us the most protected place along the dock and the following day, had left in our cockpit a box containing smoked salmon, salmon fillets, king crab, and two bags of dog biscuits for Latte. If that's not hospitality, I don't know what is!

We stayed in Dutch Harbor for four days waiting for a weather window to open up that would allow us to continue our voyage towards Kodiak, and when we finally left, the day could hardly have been any better. Although there was about a three metre swell left behind by a previous gale which didn't make sailing very comfortable, the sun was shining, the temperature was +11 degrees Celsius, and there were hundreds of seabirds flying around our boat, amongst them both Laysan Albatrosses and Black-footed Albatrosses. What a way to leave the Aleutian Islands!

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