Monday, March 23, 2009

A volcano erupts, signalling the start of the race

Today, well actually this morning, in the wee hours, Mount Redoubt erupted 5 times.

It makes sense. We needed a starting gun anyway. Several false starts, then the big one. The FOR REAL one this time, finally.

This is what a volcano eruption looks like. Note the red lines. That's where the poor little seismometer thingy loses its lunch. Poor thing. They lost a couple of these gadgets, I read. Probably a million each. Money well spent, actually. As a neighbor of volcanoes, I like to know when they are having a party.

Auspiciously, this marks the beginning of the race to Seattle, than back again for Blain (human), Monique (human) and Chance - the poor dog.

The course might be surprising, may not even go in one direction, and we hope to get lost, though we do hope to know where we are at all times. That little characteristic often is the difference between a good voyage and a disaster.

It is also unlike anything we've ever undertaken. In January, we looked at boats to transport us safely (we hope) and in comfort (Monique hopes) through the waters of Vancouver, of Cook, and of Stikine, the little dog of John Muir's Travels in Alaska. We bought a salty-looking little pilothouse and decided to name her Oystercatcher. Forget the name on the boat. We can edit that out. Forget you ever saw it.

Our timer has started. We began by packing up the books we will need, and the first-aid kit (for Blain).