ABOARD THE ALASKA EAGLE, anchored at South Georgia Island — We've spent the last week exploring the southern half of this extraordinary sub-Antarctic island.
Our days have consisted of sailing to a new anchorage in the mornings and going ashore in the afternoons to visit the abundant wildlife and do some incredible hiking.
We have found that sailing 15 or 20 miles to the next cove involves 40 to 50 knots of wind. After three weeks aboard, the Alaska Eagle's crew is now taking heavy-weather sailing in stride. Everyone has the right kit for such work. The normal outfit is layers of thermals, jackets, spray hoods, gloves, foul-weather gear, boots and safety harnesses.
Reefing Alaska Eagle's big mainsail is now second nature, along with changing our array of heavy-weather jibs. No one, however, is getting used to the incredible views or the velocity of the frigid water that flies across the boat. The big breezes are generated off the glaciers along this 100-mile coastline of snow-covered mountain peaks.