Saturday, July 31, 2010
SHIP TIME TO PST. HATES 3AM SUNRISE...JUST ISN'T RIGHT HE SAYS. HAD TO FLOG HIM
FOR INSUBORDINATION...STILL BLEEDING...THEY NEVER LEARN!!!]
POSITION: 40-47N, 136-05W, CSE: 100DEG T, SPD: 6KNOTS, DISTANCE TO GO: 656NM.
WE ARE DEFINITELY IN THE SHIPPING LANES. IN TOTAL WE HAVE SEEN ABOUT 10
CONTAINER SHIPS WITHIN A FEW MILES. THIS CAN BE A LITTLE NERVE RACKING WHEN
THEY COME THIS CLOSE. RADAR IS OUR FRIEND INDEED. YOU SEE, YOU DON'T KNOW IF
THEY CAN SEE YOU OR NOT. THEY NEVER SEEM TO ANSWER THEIR VHF RADIO WHEN
HAILED...LANGUAGE CAN ALSO BE A PROBLEM. ANYWAY, IT'S PART OF THE WATCH DUTIES.
WE'VE BEEN DOING MORE SAILING THAN EXPECTED CONSIDERING OUR PROXIMITY TO THE
PACIFIC HIGH. WE FLEW THE SPINNAKER TODAY, UNFORTUNATELY ON OUR LAST DOWSE
[TAKING HER DOWN] A SMALL RIP OCCURRED IN A HIGH LOAD AREA, SO NO MORE
SPINNAKER FOR THE REST OF THE PASSAGE. WE COULD HAVE USED IT ANOTHER DAY OR
TWO, BUT NOT MUCH MORE. OH WELL!!!
HEY, ANY LIGHT SLEEPERS OUT THERE??? IMAGINE THIS...
-6 LINES INSIDE THE MAST BANGIN' AROUND...SLAPITY SLAP SLAP DOINGGG
-WATER SPLASHING AGAINST THE HULL...SWISHITY SWOOSH SPLAT
-NOISE EMANATING FROM YOUR WET LOCKER...K K KLUNK
-AUTOPILOT AUTOPILOTING...ZIT ZIT ZIT WHHRRRR ZIT WHHRRRRRRR ZIT
-LIGHT WINDS: SAILS SLAPPING....THHHWACK THWWWWACK
-STRONG WINDS: WHAT I CAN'T HEAR YOU
-KETTLE BOILING...MAKE YOUR OWN NOISE HERE...OURS IS HIGH PITCHED WHISTLE
-PLASTIC BOTTLES BEING CRUSHED...CRAKLE CRAKLE CRAKLE [THEY DO THIS ON
AT ANY ONE TIME, YOU CAN HEAR AT LEAST 4 OF THESE SOUNDS. WHEN I HIT THE BUNK,
IT'S ALWAYS AT LEAST 6. AMAZINGLY YOU DO EVENTUALLY FALL ASLEEP.
OK, SO THAT'S MY OFFERING FOR THE DAY.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Only 677 nm to San Francisco 1608 nm from Oahu
So, after a bit over 2 weeks on starboard tack, today we finally switched over to port. Last night and this morning the water was as smooth as glass with no wind at all, but sometime in the morning it filled in from the north and we brought the jib out, and then later on, the spinnaker. Finally we thought we were done with the Pacific High and on our way for a good run directly to the Golden Gate.
But as the day progressed it was not to be. The wind gradually shifter more and more to the northeast. We were pushed further and further south from our course to San Francisco. Eventually we decided it was time to take down the spinnaker so we could sail closer into the wind, and in the process we managed to rip it. So we are most likely done with spinnaker sailing for this trip. Too bad because if the weather forecast is correct it would have been ideal sailing.
Also discovered that out supply of toilet paper got wet. This could have been a catastrophe, but luckily Adrien had a separate stash in his cabin and we will likely make it the rest of the trip without need to resort to other materials.
Lots of ships around today. Sometimes we had 3 on the radar screen at a time. Gladly they all gave us lots of room, never coming closer than 3-4 miles.
Dinner is done, Lance is on watch, Pink Floyd is on the stereo, and I'm going to try to get a bit of sleep before my watch.
Position Report 31-JUL-2010 0637Z
40 deg 52.9 N Lat
136 deg 30.09 W Long
Course 109T speed 6.7 knots
Wind 8.5 knots from NE
Seas about 1-2 feet from N. Sea temp 58.3F
Air 70F 64% humidity 1032 mb pressure
The big difference is that when we get rolling the boat will heel to the other side. Everything that's been stacked to the left will fall over, and the hand and foot holds we've gotten used to will be subtly different. I've been sleeping against a lee cloth and Steve has been rolled against a wall, but now the shoe will be on the other foot
Now it's more motor sailing on port until the wind picks up, maybe staying on this tack all the way to the Golden Gate. 782nm to get there.
Today we answered the question, "Can there be too much Tijuana Brass?" The answer seems to be "16 greatest hits in a row is maybe 8 too many." Steve couldn't take the theme songs to both The Dating and Newlywed Games, even if it meant a new washer/dryer after a romantic chaperoned weekend in Mazatlan.
POSITION: 41-47N, 139-42W, CSE: 110DEG T, SPEED: 6.5 KNOTS...MOTORSAILING!
WELL, THE BAROMETER IS 1032, WHICH MEANS WE ARE DEAD CENTER OF THE HIGH
PRESSURE SYSTEM AND MAYBE A BIT BEYOND IT SINCE THE WIND HAS SHIFTED TO THE
PORT SIDE OF THE BOAT. THE CREW HAS BEEN BUSY GETTING THE DECK AND COCKPIT
READY FOR THE UPCOMING PORT TACK. NOW ALL WE NEED IS WIND. THERE IS A SLIGHT
BREATH OF IT FROM THE NORTH, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO FILL THE SAILS...MAYBE TOMORROW
OR THE NEXT DAY.
ONLY ABOUT 820NM FROM THE GOLDEN GATE NOW. WE'RE LIKE LITTLE KIDS IN
ANTICIPATION OF ARRIVAL. THE CREW'S MIND'S ARE BEGINNING TO DRIFT A LITTLE
THOUGH. STEVE HAS LEFT THE HEAD FLUSH KNOB IN THE WRONG POSITION...TWICE, THUS
ALLOWING THE BOWEL TO FILL TO THE BRIM WITH SEA WATER. LANCE FORGOT TO SHUT THE
WATER VALVE COMPLETELY OFF IN THE SHOWER, THUS LOOSING SOME FRESH WATER. SO
ONE'S LETTIN' SEAWATER IN THE OTHER FRESH WATER OUT...A TERRIBLE COMBO ON A
BOAT. THE PUNISHMENTS HOWEVER MUST BE HARSH BUT WELL THOUGHT OUT. IF I FORBID
STEVE FROM GOING ALTOGETHER, WE RUN THE RISK OF GASEOUS LEAKAGE WHICH WOULD
PUNISH US ALL...SO...I'M GIVING HIM A BUCKET TO GO IN. FOR LANCE, NO MORE
SHOWERS WOULD MEAN US SUFFERING WITH THE RIPE ODOR HE MAY EXUDE...SO...HE WILL
HAVE TO HAND WASH WITH SEA WATER FROM THE HEAD AND SUFFER WITH SALT WATER
SORES. ALL OF ITS A SMELLY AFFAIR INDEED. AS FOR ME, I HAVE DONE NO WRONG AND
AM NOT SUBJECT TO PUNISHMENT ANYWAY. PAULA'S NOT ON BOARD.
BACK TO MY WATCH,
Thursday, July 29, 2010
878 nm to San Francisco 1519 nm from Oahu
Wednesday was another lazy day headed across the really wide part of the Pacific High. Wind was mixed. Light much of the time, sometimes we motored, sometimes we had a good breeze pushing us along at 7 knots. Some of everything. Still warm weather during the days and cool enough for a jacket at night.
Hamburgers for dinner. Yum.
Thursday is more of the same. Right now we are motoring along at about 6 knots with almost no wind. Weather forecast maps from yesterday says we should find the northerly winds that will blow us to San Francisco in about 18 more hours. Have to still get another update today to see if that still holds. Forecasts are pretty flaky.
Ramen noodles for lunch. Very salty, but good. Surprised this is the first time we are having them.
Position report 29-JUL-2010 2221Z
41 deg 59.591 N
140 deg 43.801 W
speed 6 knots course 102 deg true
wind SSW at 5 knots seas 2 feet from N water temp 63.5F
Air 80F 52% humidity 1032 mb pressure
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
POSITION: 41-56'N, 142-56'W, CSE:082, SPD: 6.4KNOTS MOTOR SAILING.
MAJOR MILESTONE: LESS THAN 1000 MILES TO GO. YUP WE JUST DROPPED A WHOLE DIGIT
OFF THE DISTANCE TO GO. THINKING OF GOLF AND TENNIS NOW...WHICH IS PROBABLY A
WE ARE HEADING STRAIGHT FOR THE CENTER OF THE HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM. WE ARE
SURROUNDED BY CLOUDS, THE NIGHTS ARE GETTING COOLER, AND WE HAVE A SEVERE LACK
OF WIND. WE TURN THE MOTOR OFF AND ON AS THE WIND PICKS UP THEN DROPS OFF. IT
WILL BE THIS WAY FOR THE NEXT 2-3 DAYS, THEN WE WILL HAVE TO TACK, WHICH WILL
BE THE FIRST TIME IN THE ENTIRE PASSAGE SO FAR. YUP, AMAZINGLY, THE SAILS HAVE
BEEN OUT TO PORT [WHICH MEANS A STARBOARD TACK] THE WHOLE TIME. THIS MEANS
L'EAU LIFE HAS BEEN TILTING TO THE LEFT THAT WHOLE TIME AS WELL. OUR BEDS ARE
SETUP WITH LEE CLOTHES TO KEEP US FROM FALLING OUT AND WE STORE THINGS IN SUCH
A MANNER AS THEY WILL STAY PUT, SUCH AS COMPUTERS BOOKS, DRYING DISHES. WELL,
WHEN WE TACK, LOOK OUT. THERE WILL BE STUFF WE FORGOT TO RELOCATE THAT WILL GO
FLYING, WE WILL RISK FALLING OUT OF BED, ETC. CAN'T WAIT!!!
WHISPERED BOAT CONVERSATIONS: MAINSAIL [MS] TO NEW JIB [NJ]
NJ: HEY, WHAT'S HAPPENING OLD TIMER, THINGS FEEL DIFFERENT.
MS: NUMB NUTS JUST TURNED ON THE MOTOR
NJ: NUMB NUTS ???
MS: THE CAPTAIN AKA SKIPPER, OR NUMB NUTS
NJ: WHY'D HE TURN THE MOTOR ON FOR?
MS: WE'RE NOT MOVING THE BOAT FAST ENOUGH
NJ: IS HE IN A RUSH? IF HE FELL OFF COURSE A LITTLE WE COULD GO FASTER.
MS: HE DOESN'T WANT TO GO THAT WAY. HE'S VERY PICKY
NJ: NUMB NUTS
MS: NOW YA KNOW WHAT I PUT UP WITH ALL THESE YEARS!!!
SEE WHAT DIESEL FUMES DO TO YA,
1110 nm to San Francisco, 1379 nm from Oahu
Another lazy day. Slept a lot since dinner last night. Good to catch up as for a few nights I was really getting behind in the sleep department. But now I feel all caught up.
It seems we played the game with the Pacific High the best we could and still we are ending up sailing right through the middle of it. It has parked itself firmly, directly between us and the northerly winds we hope to find closer to the coast. We expect to have another few days of light winds before we get there. Today we had to do a few hours of motoring, but most of the day we have been sailing close hauled (as close to sailing into the wind as you can go) at between 5 and 6 knots. Luckily the sea is pretty smooth so we aren't pounding into big waves. A bit more wind would be nice, but we have what we have.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
OLD GREENWICH MEAN TIME. ALL OUR RADIO SCHEDULES AND WEATHER INFO IS IN ZULU
TIME. SHIP TIME IS HAWAII TIME, THEN THERE'S PST, ALL OF WHICH WE ATTEMPT TO
KEEP STRAIGHT...SOMETIMES EVEN SUCCESSFULLY]
POSITION:41-54N, 146-08W, CSE:082T, SPD:6.1KNOTS
OK, A LITTLE CLARIFICATION ON OUR "HALF WAY PARTY". FIRST OF ALL, YOU ALWAYS
HAVE TO HAVE A HALFWAY PARTY ON A PASSAGE...IT'S THE LAW. COMPUTING THIS BY
MILES TRAVELED IS IMPOSSIBLE SINCE WE ONLY KNOW HOW MANY MILES WE'VE TRAVELLED,
AND NO IDEA HOW MANY MILES ARE LEFT TO SAIL WITH WIND CHANGES AND ALL. SO,
USING THE GPS METHOD WE CAN DETERMINE THAT WE ARE AS FAR AWAY FROM HAWAII AS WE
ARE FROM SAN FRANCISCO...OR HALF WAY. IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING US ON THE MAP,
YOU WILL HAVE NOTICED THAT WE SAILED NORTH AND EVEN A LITTLE BIT WEST AT THE
START...NOT POINTING AT ALL IN THE DIRECTION OF HOME. SO, IT TOOK US 12 DAYS TO
GET WHERE WE ARE, BUT ONLY HAVE 7 OR 8 DAYS TO GO.
RIGHT NOW WE ARE SAILING WITH AN EVENING BREEZE, BUT EARLIER HAD TO HAVE THE
MAIN ENGINE ON FOR ALMOST 22 HOURS. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, THE CREW GETS GOOFY,
SLEEPS A LOT AND WHEN NOT SLEEPING, STUFFING OUR FACES WITH NUTS, CHOCOLATE,
ORANGES AND VARIOUS OTHER SNACKS. IT'S BEEN VERY NICE WEATHER SO WE CAN FIND
OURSELVES ALL IN THE COCKPIT IN VARIOUS LOUNGY POSITIONS SAYING 'WHO'S ON
WATCH?' ME? OK...ZZZZZZZZ! THEN WE GET MORE SNACKS, CHANGE LOUNGY POSITIONS,
AND START OVER AGAIN.
WE WILL DEFINITELY BE MOTORING A LOT IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS WE PASS STRAIGHT
THROUGH THE PACIFIC HIGH WHICH HAS NO WIND. ONCE WE PUNCH THROUGH THE OTHER
SIDE, WE ARE EXPECTING A FAST APPROACH TO THE GOLDEN GATE. ZZZOOOOOOOOMMMMM!
OTHERWISE, AN UNEVENTFUL DAY...NOW THE LAST TIME I SAID THAT ALL HELL BROKE
POSITION: 41-54N, 149-04W, CSE: 090T, SPEED: 7KNOTS MOTOR SAILING
WELL WE RAN INTO THE HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM TODAY...DECREASING WINDS...MOTORING
WITH SAILS UP. WE HAD OUR HALF WAY CELEBRATION PARTY TODAY. THE BOYS HAD A
BEER, I HAD A COKE, TOOK A GROUP PICTURE, HUGGED, CRIED, LAUGHED. IT WAS ALL
OVER IN 5 MINUTES...BACK TO WHATEVER WE WERE DOING. STEVE WAS BUSY DRYING THE
CUSHIONS IN THE COCKPIT [NOT SURE WHY, THEY WEREN'T WET], LANCE WENT BACK TO
WHISPERING TO THE RADAR AND HIMSELF, AND ME BACK TO THE ENGINE ROOM TO DEAL
WITH YESTERDAY'S EXPLOSION. AS YOU MAY REMEMBER FROM YESTERDAY'S REPORT, I WAS
OFF TO CHARGE BATTERIES AND MAKE WATER. I BEGAN THE WATER MAKING PROCESS WHICH
INCLUDES 7 STEPS. 1-DC CONTROL POWER ON. 2-TURN AC BREAKERS ON FOR PRE-FILTER
PUMP AND HIGH PRESSURE PUMP. 3-START PUMPS, 4-INCREASE PRESSURE TO
650PSI...SLOWLY. 5-DIVERT TO TEST VALVE. 6-TEST PRODUCT [THAT WOULD BE THE
WATER AND WE'RE LOOKING FOR SALINITY THAT IS AROUND 400PPM OR LESS] 7-DIVERT TO
TANK...THEN BANG AND I MEAN BANG [AND YES I ALMOST RELIEVED MYSELF ONCE AGAIN],
I THOUGHT IT WAS GUNFIRE [THERE ARE NO GUNS ON BOARD...TO MY KNOWLEDGE] I FELT
BLOOD SPLATTER, BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE WATER SPLATTER. UNFORTUNATELY [WRONG
WORD] THE ENTIRE TOP OF THE PRE-FILTER CANISTER BLEW UP...BANG. CRAP. I SHUT
EVERYTHING DOWN, CLOSED THE INTAKE THRU HULL, CUSSED A TAD, THEN WENT TO BED
AND HAD NIGHTMARES ABOUT THIS TIME I WAS IN ...OH NEVER MIND! WHEN I AWOKE I
HAD FIGURED OUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED. I HAD ACCIDENTALY THROWN THE HIGH PRESSURE
PUMP BREAKER OFF WHEN DIVERTING TO TANK. [MORE SIMPLY SAID I HALF UN-2'D THE
BITCH WHEN ATTEMPTING TO 7...ARE YA WITH ME HERE???] OF COURSE THE PRE-FILTER
PUMP KEPT PUMPING WITH NOWHERE FOR THE WATER TO GO...KA-FRIGGIN-BOOM. THE FIX
WAS TO COMPLETELY BYPASS THE PRE-FILTER [WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' FILTER...THE
WATER'S RATHER CLEAN IN THE OCEAN HERE],GANG THE 2 BREAKERS TOGETHER SO IF ONE
GOES OFF THEY BOTH GO OFF AND VOILA...WE NOW HAVE A FULL TANK OF WATER AND I
TOOK A SHOWER TO BOOT AND NOW I AM SHINY AND PRETTY...PRETTY TIRED
ACTUALLY...SEE YA TOMORROW..HOPEFULLY!!!
Just a reminder, here's the link to see L'eau Life & crew's position
http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=KF6YNW. If you hit the minus
sign about 4 times you can see their whole coarse in relation to the coast. It's
Also, here's another site you can check out for some of the crew's points of
view about the trip. http://leau-life.blogspot.com/, You can skip through
Adrien's log and check out what Steve & Lance have to say and compare stories.
Have a great day.
Monday, July 26, 2010
1261 nm from San Francisco
1311 nm from Oahu
So we finally passed the half way point. We are now closer to San Francisco than we are to Hawaii. Celebrated by drinking the last 2 beers on the boat.
Sailed with the jib in the morning, the spinnaker in the afternoon, and then finally, the wind died and we had to start the engine and begin to motor across the Pacific High. Should only take a day, maybe 2 before the wind fills in again on the other side. It will be good when the noise of the engine goes away.
Adrien fixed the water maker. Seems a filter exploded, so he needed to do a bit of plumbing to bypass it. But the tanks are full again, so showers are on again!
Finished the last of our fresh lettuce at dinner tonight so no more green salads until we get to SF. Got to think of more interesting things to do with what ingredients we have left. I'm starting to get bored with the food. We will see what we can come up with.
Beautiful sunset and moonrise.
Position Report 27-JUL-2010 0630Z
41 deg 54.317 N 149 deg 20.708 W
Course 91 deg speed 6.3 knots
Wind 5 knots from the SE
Seas 2 feet sea water temp 64.2F
Air 76F 65% hunmidity 1025 mb
There's an old puzzler for kids that goes, "How far can a dog run into the woods?" The pat answer is "Halfway, after that it's running out of the woods." Today we met Steve's definition of halfway, where the distance from Hawaii equals the distance to San Francisco - about 1320nm to either. (A piece of the Alaska peninsula is only 900nm distant, but Kodiak isn't on the cruise itinerary according to the director.)
It was a huge celebration for the Three Quarks (for Muster Mark). Party hats, a live band, several kegs, the works. Hula girls did the limbo. The police broke it up about 2am 'cause the neighbors complained about the noise. Then Steve and I finished the two beers we had on board (Adrien shot-gunned a Coca Cola) and went back to the important tasks of the day, like drying the cushions. Steve did a great job and they're really, really dry, especially the ones he put in the sun. Adrien performed additional water maker surgery removing its appendix and bypassing the spleen. He just took a shower (thank god) so it must have been successful. The patient is still producing half a gallon a minute with salt at only 300ppm; very drinkable.
Distance is measured out here in Nautical Miles which are defined more-or-less as follows - at the equator there are 360 degrees around the earth. You start at Greenwich, England (five or six stops on the DLR from Canary Wharf) and can go 180 degrees of "longitude" east or west. Each degree is split up into 60 "minutes", each is a nautical mile. Same thing north and south of the equator, except north and south are "latitude". Lines of latitude are parallel so each degree is always 60nm apart, but longitude gets closer as one approaches the poles, so there's a correction factor depending on how far you are from the equator - here it's about .75. So we're at 150W and need to get to 140W before there's good sailing wind. This is 10 degrees, or .75x600 = 450nm. I'm spending a lot of time multiplying by 60 and .75 in my head right now. Stretching muscles I haven't used since Mitch Kapor came up with VisiCalc (precursor to Excel for you youngsters). (Seventeen years of math and I can still add - boy, they try to beat that out of you once you're in college.) On a related note, time is measured in Zulu, which is also known as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) which is darn close to Greenwich time (GMT) except for some leap seconds. I have lots of time to think about things like this. And we're only half way.
Steve worked out this analogy: Hawaii to San Francisco is similar in distance and direction to Los Angeles to Chicago. So imagine that trip, but because of construction you go via Portland or Seattle - and never exceed 10mph. Cyclists competing in RAAM make better progress.
The sailing this morning was glorious. Light favorable breeze, calm seas, and wonderful sunshine. Then we got close enough to the center of Pacific High to lose useful wind. In the old days this meant throwing the livestock overboard, but in this modern age of steam (or diesel) you turn the key and just thrum along. The noise should last for three days when we'll pick up favorable northerlies and sail home. We're now following the great circle route, the shortest path to our next beer. That's a GREAT circle worth following.
Good thing we've discussed the weather 'cause it's too loud for anything deep or meaningful unless you like conversations that go mostly, Steve: "Huh? (he's slightly deaf), Adrien: "What?" Steve: "What?", Adrien: "Eh?" I miss most of the scintillating debate because I'm asleep all the time, usually with headphones on. Or so I'm told.
I really miss the spinnaker.
1323 nm to SF 1292 from Oahu
Sunday was a pretty quiet day. I slept soundly through a spinnaker dowse early in the morning. Had a show in the late afternoon, and finished off reading Catch-22. Just a nice day of sailing straight east, still on the great circle route to San Francisco. Watching to see where the wind shifts as the highs and lows move around in the next day or so.
Weather has gotten a bit cooler. Night watch now means long pants, long sleeve shirt, and a windbreaker jacket. My feet got a bit cold last night so I think it is time to break out my dinghy boots (neoprene boots sort of like for a wet suit). Got to keep those toes warm.
We've finally seen another boat. Last boat we saw was about half hour after we left. But on Saturday night we one ship headed west (not clear what kind it was as it was dark and far away), and then yesterday we saw a big car carrier headed west (Adrien almost let it sneak by). We must be near the shipping lanes between Asia and the West coast of North America. Will probably see more, and need to keep a careful watch out.
As you can see from the distances up at the top of this post we are very close to the "halfway point", where we are the same distance from Hawaii and SF. Not that this has anything to do with how far we have come and how far/long we have to go, but it is a good excuse for a party. Lance and I plan to finish off the last 2 beers onboard as part of the celebration.
Today looks like it will be more of the same kind of sailing. Just chugging along at between 6 and 7 knots headed due east.
Position Report 26-JUL-2010 1845Z
41 deg 58.493 N
150 deg 43.162 W
course 88 deg speed 5.6 knots
Seas 2 feet sea water temo 64.2 deg F
Wind SSW at 12 knots
Air 72 deg F 70% humidity 1026 mb
With just the jib up there's less active sailing; we still have to adjust it and the main to stay at peak efficiency, but not as often as with the spinnaker. Even so we made good time, keeping the speed in the 7.5+kt range much of the afternoon. Above 6kts is faster than we can motor, and above 7kts is "moving right along."
We chased the same line of dark clouds all day. When we took the kite down it was about two miles ahead and a bit ominous. It receded to maybe 15-20 miles out midday, but we finally caught it around dusk. The other side has been lighter wind but from the same direction. Meanwhile a wall of big, dark, scary looking weather has been looming up behind us as a low pressure system scrunches into the Pacific High. If we're lucky we'll stay just ahead of it, using its winds but avoiding anything nasty. Around here the weather often dominates discussion.
Tried some new beans with dinner this evening. So far nothing has come close to the lentils for volcanic activity, but it's good to know we have pinto and kidney beans, also. Really should have tracked down some lima and garbanzos and maybe plain canned string beans. Can't have too many beans. Didn't need the fire extinguisher.
Saw a ship on radar yesterday that passed a few miles off to port. Saw a ship about two miles off to port today then realized it had been on radar. We've made a mental note for whomever is on watch to look around a bit more often.
The water temperature is below 65 degrees; starting to add layers for night watches. The full moon is bright and beautiful.
POSITION: 42-00, 152-31, CSE: 090T [HOMEWARD BOUND] SPD: 6KNOTS
WE'VE HAD A GOOD DAY OF SAILING WITH GOOD SPEED AND SMOOTHISH SEAS, GOING
STRAIGHT AS AN ARROW. RATHER UNEVENTFUL, EXCEPT FOR THE SHIP THAT IS!!! WE HAVE
RADAR ON BOARD THAT CAN SEE SHIPS AND RAIN SQUALLS WHICH WE ARE SUPPOSED TO
KEEP AN EYE ON. WE ALSO HAD SETUP GUARD RINGS WHICH SOUND AN ALARM WHEN
SOMETHING CROSSES THAT PREDEFINED ZONE. OUR GUARD ZONE HAD A HOLE IN IT SO THE
SHIP GOT THROUGH UNDETECTED. AWHILE AGO WHILE I WAS ON WATCH I GLANCED AROUND
TO SEE THIS RATHER LARGE CAR CONTAINER SHIP GO BY IN PLAIN VIEW. I ABOUT
RELIEVED [THAT WORD AGAIN] MYSELF RIGHT THEN AND THERE. I QUICKLY FIXED THE
HOLE IN THE GUARD ZONE AND CREATED A BACKUP ONE AS WELL. WE SHOULD BE COVERED
WELL, IT'S DAY 10 AND WE ARE STILL HAVING SALADS WITH DINNER. THE LETTUCE IS
STILL REASONABLE ALTHOUGH TIRED LOOKING. PROBABLY ANOTHER 2 DAYS WORTH THEN
OVER THE SIDE IT GOES. A LOT OF STUFF CAN GO OVER THE SIDE, BUT NEVER ANY FORM
OF PLASTIC, OILS, OR CAPTAIN OR CREW! WE ARE ALL GETTING ALONG FINE, AND THE
SCURVY BASTARDS AREN'T GETTING TO ME TOO BAD JUST YET.
WE HAD TO TAKE THE SPINNAKER DOWN JUST BEFORE SUNUP THIS MORNING. A WEE BIT TOO
MUCH BREEZE. LANCE [FOREDECK ARTISTE EXTRAORDINAIRE] AND I SNUFFED AND STUFFED
IT WHILE STEVE SNORED LIKE A TRACTOR. WENT PRETTY WELL ACTUALLY. THE TEMPORARY
BOW SPRIT EXTENSION IS BENT HOWEVER, THAT BIG KITE EXERTS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT
OF FORCE. WE'LL AVE TO INSPECT FURTHER TO SEE IF WE STILL USE IT.
THE BOYS HAD SHOWERS THIS EVENING AND ARE ALL POWDERED UP AND SHINY AND PRETTY.
ME...AH...I'LL LET HER GO ANOTHER DAY.
RIGHT NOW CHARGING BATTERIES AND AFTER THAT WILL BE MAKING WATER TO FILL THE
FRESH WATER TANK. THE GENSET IS WORKING OVERTIME TONIGHT. I'LL BE SIGNING OFF
Sunday, July 25, 2010
1218 nautical miles from Oahu
1551 nautical miles to the Golden Gate
Yesterday afternoon spinniker run took us NE, and finally making it up to 41 deg N. But when we go there this morning, the wind died, and we thought it was the end of sailing for a while. Time to start the engine and motor across the center of the Pacific High, which would mean about 3 days of listening to the engine. Not my favorite part of the trip. But, after only a few hours of motoring, the wind filled in from the South. We reset the spinnacker and turned off the engine. We now sailing almost straight east. Almost on the great circle route (the shortest path on the surface of a sphere) to San Francisco. We won't be able to sail directly there though. The plan is to continue east until the wind changes again and starts to come from the NW. Things are looking pretty good weather and wind wise at the moment. Everyone is happy about that.
Other than that it was a pretty regular day of standing watches, napping, eating, reading, etc.
The cooking part of the day has been a bit interesting. When we loaded up the boat with food, Adrien put the 5 pound package of ground beef from Costco in the freezer. Now we have a solid 5 pound block of ground beef, and want to use a bit of it for tonight's dinner. So into the tool box goes Adrien and he sets up a little butch shop on the aft deck. He has a vise to hold the meat, and is alternating between his hacksaw, and a Japanese double sided pull saw to cut the 5 pound lump into 5 one pound lumps. Bits of beef shavings/sawdust are flying all over. But the job gets done, and we have an excellent beef, beans, corn, and rice "chili" dinner. Nice work. Hope he cleaned the saws both before and after cutting the meat or the engine room may develop a bit of a funky smell in the next few days.
That's about all for now. Lance is on watch, Leo Kottke is on the stereo, and I'm going to get a bit of sleep before my 1am-4am watch.
25-JUL-2010 07:13 GMT
41 deg 34.362 N
155 deg 46.830 W
course 77 deg T speed 6.1 knots
Wind 11 knots from the South
Seas about 2 feet, water temp 66.6 deg F
Air temp 76 deg F 61% humidity 1025 mb pressure
POSITION: 41-32N, 155-47W, CSE: 082T, SPEED: 5.5KNOTS UNDER FULL MAINSAIL AND
"I'M DREAMING OF A WHITE XMAS"...WELL THAT'S WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE AFTER I LEANED
ON THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDLE [WITHOUT THE FRIGGIN' PIN IN IT] TO GET TO THE
RADIO YESTERDAY. THIS WAS THE EXTINGUISHER I RELOCATED FOR EXTRA PRECAUTION
FOR THE GENSET FUSE WORK AROUND. LUCKILY THE MESS WAS CONFINED TO THE NAV
STATION AREA. I WAS A LITTLE WHITE MYSELF, LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE DUMPED A BAG OF
FLOUR IN THE AREA. CRAP...NOW I KNOW WHAT THAT PROJECTILE WAS THAT FLEW BY HEAD
IN THE DARK AND HIT A BULKHEAD WITH A LOUD PING THE OTHER NIGHT...THE DAMN PIN.
GOOD DAY TODAY ALTHOUGH WE LOST ENOUGH WIND TO HAVE TO RUN THE MAIN ENGINE FOR
A FEW HOURS...BUT THEN THE WIND RETURNED SO WE UNFURLED THE JIB...GOT ONLY 5
KNOTS, SO OUT CAM THE SPINNAKER AGAIN. IT'S STILL UP AS I WRITE BUT DESPERATELY
STARVED FOR AIR. BEAUTIFUL SUNSET JUST HAPPENED SO MAYBE A LITTLE MORE BREEZE
WILL FILL IN SOON. THE BOAT IS DEFINITELY POINTING HOME THOUGH. REALITY CHECK
THOUGH...WE ARE 1550 NAUTICAL MILES AWAY...MORE THAN 10 DAYS AWAY.
PREPARATION FOR DINNER TONIGHT WAS INTERESTING AND CONSIDERED VIDEO WORTHY.
PICTURE A COSTCO 6 POUND HUNK OF FROZEN SOLID HAMBURGER OF WHICH WE WOULD LIKE
A POUND OF, USING AVAILABLE TOOLS ON BOARD. AFTER FIRST CONSIDERING AND
SUBSEQUENTLY ELIMINATING ALL POWER TOOLS, I DECIDED UPON A HACK SAW WITH A
FRESH BLADE. LOCATION BEING THE NEXT HURDLE AS WELL AS METHOD OF HOLDING DOWN
SAID HUNK OF BEEF RESULTED IN INSTALLING THE SHIP'S VICE ON THE REAR DECK AND
WELL...HACKING AWAY. MANAGED TWO ONE POUND PORTIONS AND BEING WORN OUT DECIDED
ON PARTIALLY THAWING THE REMAINING PORTION OF GROUND UP COW. THERE ARE PIECES
OF RAW MEAT EVERYWHERE AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT...THE BIRDS ARE A CIRCLIN' WHICH
IS RATHER INTERESTING. WE DO HAVE A PACK OF SMALL BIRDS THAT HAVE BEEN
FOLLOWING US FOR A FEW DAYS WAY OUT HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. MY GUESS IS
THAT THERE HOME IS PROBABLY THE HUGE GARBAGE DUMP THAT EXISTS EAST OF US.
ANYWAY, THE DINNER THAT IS ON THE COOKER HAS THAT POUND OF BEEF WITH DECK
SPICES ON IT AND EVERYONE GOT TO CHOOSE A CAN OF STUFF TO ADD. SO WE GOT BEEF,
RICE, ONIONS, CORN, BAKED BEANS AND COKE. CAN'T WAIT. LAST NIGHT WE HAD LENTIL
FRIGGIN' BEANS, AND HAVE BEEN CONSEQUENTLY OVERUSING OUR ONLY OPERATING HEAD
WITH NO RELIEF [NOW THERE'S A WORD] IN SIGHT.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
CURRENT POSITION 39-31N, 158-24W, CSE: 031T [EDUCATION POINT HERE...THE "T"
AFTER THE 3 DIGIT NUMBER STANDS FOR "TRUE" AS OPPOSED TO "MAGNETIC" OR
"COMPASS"], SPEED 7 KNOTS [IN ONLY 12KNOTS OF WIND...THAT'S AWESOME DUDES AND
DUDETTES...THIS IS A 32 TON BOAT]
EEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAA!!!! Y'ALL MUST KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS IN SAILING TERMS, NOW
YES INDEEDY, WE ARE FLYING THE SPINNAKER, WITH A FULL MAIN. CONDITIONS ARE
VERY NICE WITH CLEAR SKIES, SMOOTH SEAS AND A GENTLE BREEZE...AND HEADING THE
WE GOT SOME VIDEO OF THE SPINNAKER RAISING ANTICS WITH LARRY MOE AND CURLY...WE
PROUDLY LIVED UP TO THE 3 STOOGES' MONIKER.
OK, ENOUGH ABOOT [I AM CANADIAN YA KNOW] SAILING STUFF. IT WAS LAUNDRY DAY
ABOARD TODAY. UNDERWEAR AND STUFF THAT TOUCHES YOUR SKIN ONLY. [STEVE TRIED TO
SNEAK IN HIS DIESEL SOAKED SHORTS...GLAD I CAUGHT THAT] SO, 2 BUCKETS, ONE WITH
THE SOAP AND FRESH WATER, THE OTHER FRESH WATER RINSE, THEN HANG CLOTHES ON
LIFE LINES [YES WE HAVE CLOTHES PEGS...NO CAN OPENERS, BUT CLOTHES PEGS YES].
HOLY MOLLY, YA SHOULDA SEEN THE WATER IN THE WASHING UP BUCKET. I SWEAR IT HAD
LIVING STUFF SWIMMING AROUND IN THERE. SHADES OF GRAY AND BROWN SWIRLY BITS...I
THOUGHT I WAS HALLUCINATIN'. MAN !!!
OK, MOVING ON, WE THEN TRIED TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THE WATER WAS GETTING IN
AROUND THE MAST TO DECK JOINT [CALLED THE PARTNERS] AND LOW AND BEHOLD, I SAW
THE PARTNERS RING MOVE. IT IS HELD DOWN AT THE DECK WITH SEVERAL SCREWS AND
THESE WERE COVERED WITH SILICONE AS WAS THE JOINT TO THE DECK. ALL THE SCREWS
WERE LOOSE, SO I TIGHTENED EVERYTHING DOWN, REMOVED OLD CAULKING THEN
RE-CAULKED. WHEN I RETURNED TO THE COCKPIT I NOTICED THE SAILS FLAPPING AND
THAT THE CREW WAS ABSENT...BOTH GONE TO BED....HHHMMMM! I FIRED UP THE MAIN
ENGINE WHICH GOT THEM UP. THAT'S WHEN WE PUT THE SPINNAKER UP.
HEY...BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE VILLAGES AMATEUR RADIO CLUB. [VARC] I WAS ABLE TO
COMMUNICATE WITH CLUB PRESIDENT KEN WRATTEN UP AT THE SHACK. THE BOYS HAVE ALSO
BEEN LISTENING IN TO MY CHECK-INS. VERY COOL!!!
I'M GOING TO TAKE A NAP BEFORE RADIO CHECKINS SO I'LL SIGN OFF NOW AND SEE YA
POST NAP, POST ONE RADIO CHECK-IN QUOTE OF THE DAY "WHO THE HELL LEFT THE PIN
OUT OF THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER...WHAT A MESS...MORE TOMORROW!!!
Last summer while sailing around Corsica our hosts noticed that there's no faster way to get me from a bunk than to announce that it's time for the spinnaker - it worked just as well today when the breeze finally got behind us. With a light wind it was just right to set L'Eau Life's beautiful green, yellow, and pink asymmetric kite. Adrien thinks it's the first time it's been out since the three of us used it to sail into Noumea when we visited New Caledonia six years ago!
It took maybe half an hour to get the lines set and make sure they weren't tangled with anything else, then another five minutes to hoist it to the top of the mast and tease it from its sock. "Whoosh!" - it filled and our speed went from 5.5kts to 7kts. We've had it up all afternoon, and it's glorious.
On this point of sail not only are we faster than with a genoa, the motion of the boat is much gentler. It's calmed down since the afternoon but we're still slipping along silently at five or six knots. I'll sleep very well tonight knowing a kite's over my head and all is well with the world.
Unless we need the fire extinguisher again for Steve's lentil dinner.
Friday, July 23, 2010
1102 nautical miles due north of Oahu, 1672 nautical miles west of the Golden Gate.
Since yesterdays report a lot has happened. Happily, Adrien was able to fix the problem with the water maker so fresh water for washing and cooking will not be a problem. Yes, I will not need to make 2 pair of underwear last for 10 more days!
Spent most of yesterday just sailing along, headed NE, with gentle winds, making slow and steady progress towards what we hope will be the western side of the Pacific High were we will make our right turn and head for San Francisco. Still watching those weather fax reports regularly and getting some weather advice from Clark via email.
Excellent dinner of leftover pasta and chicken pesto. Adrien cooked it up crispy in the frying pan. Something that folks who grew up with microwave ovens just can't appreciate.
Evening was uneventful. Fiddled with the radio looking for some news on the shortwaves. Didn't come up with much. Anyone can send me an email with the times and frequencies for some good shortwave radio services like BBC, VOA, Armed Forces Radio, or other English language services, send it in an email to Anita (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will forward it on to me.
Today, Friday was excellent. Started with nice sunrise during my 4-7am watch. Then the weather just got perfect. 10-13 knots of wind from the southeast allows us to sail in incredibly smooth seas to the NE at a nice smooth and steady 6 knots. The sun was out, the air was warm.
Time to get some things done. Adrien fixed (we hope) the leak around the mast where it passes through the deck. We did a load of laundry (just in time for me). Then put the wet cushions out to dry in the sun. Then it was time for some fun as it was perfect spinnaker flying weather. Took us a little while to get it all set up (there's some video too), eventually we got it up and flying. Added another knot or so to our speed. Took some pictures, and just generally enjoying the day.
We passed 2 important (eh?) milestones today. We are now north of the latitude of San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, and East of where originally started in Oahu. The second part is particularly exciting as we had earlier been pushed over 100 miles to the west by the prevailing winds and now we have made that distance back.
While I'm writing this Adrien leans over at the navigators table and accidentally sets off a dry chemical fire extinguisher. White powder fills the air, and covers everything in that corner of the cabin. "Where's the pin?" is his only comment. Guess it's time to open some hatches and get some fresh air in here.
Position Report 24-JUL-2010 02:52 GMT
39 deg 46.055 N
158 deg 13.333 W
Heading 47 deg True speed 7 knots
Wind 10 knots from SE
Seas 2 feet sea water temp 69.4
Air 80 deg F 61% humidity 1024 mb
CURRENT POSITION: 38-36N, 159-23W, COURSE: 35DEG T, SPEED 6KNOTS
WOW!!! ONE WHOLE WEEK ALREADY AND WE'VE DONE ABOUT 1100 NAUTICAL MILES. THE
LAST TWO DAYS RUNS HAVE BEEN 135NM, AND 140NM RESPECTIVELY, SHORT OF OTHER DAYS
TOTALS, BUT GOOD IN TERMS OF NOT HAVING TO TURN ON THE MAIN ENGINE [THE IRON
GENNY AS SAILORS REFER TO IT...GENNY IS SHORT FOR GENOA WHICH IS A LARGE
FORESAIL...GEE, THE THINGS YOU LEARN SAILING WITH ME VIRTUALLY] I DIGRESS!!! WE
ARE AT THE SAME LATITUDE AS SAN FRANCISCO AND ARE GRACEFULLY TURNING WITH THE
WIND IN THAT GENERAL DIRECTION ALTHOUGH A LITTLE NORTH OF THERE. WEATHER AND
WINDS COOPERATING BEYOND ALL WISHES.
YESTERDAY'S REPORT ENDED WITH ME GOING OFF TO MAKE WATER. WELL, I DID...FOR
ABOUT 45 MINUTES, THEN ZINGO...WATER MAKER [WM] STOPS. THE WM REQUIRES THE
GENERATOR TO POWER IT AND NEEDS ALL THE POWER OF THE GENERATOR TO DO SO. I KNEW
SOMETHING WAS AMISS WHEN THE SOUND OF THE GENERATOR CHANGED SLIGHTLY. MY MIND
GOES...CRAP, THE WATER MAKER QUIT...WATER RATIONING MUST BEGIN IMMEDIATELY, NO
MORE SHOWERS...SMELLY CREW...DISHES TO BE WASHED WITH SEA WATER...GLAD I DIDN'T
TAKE MY SHOWER YET...AGAIN CRAP. ALL OF THESE THOUGHTS IN A SPLIT SECOND. SO
AFTER MY WATCH IT WAS ME BURYING MYSELF IN THE ENGINE ROOM AT AN UNCOMFORTABLE
ANGLE DIAGNOSING THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION. TURNS OUT THE GENERATOR HAD
BLOWN 2 FUSES [25 AMPERS] OF WHICH I HAD SPARES, WHICH WERE NO GOOD. SO, I HAD
TO DANGEROUSLY BYPASS THE FUSES WITH SOME WIRE KNOWING THAT I STILL HAD A
25AMP BREAKER IN THE CIRCUIT. I RELOCATED AN EXTRA FIRE EXTINGUISHER NEXT TO
THE GENERATOR AS AN ADDED PRECAUTION. THE NET RESULT IS THAT I GOT THE WATER
MAKING WORKING, FILLED THE TANKS, HAD A SHOWER, SOME LUNCH AND WENT TO BED.
GOING TO BED HAPPENS A LOT SINCE THE SHIFTS ARE 3 HOURS ON 6 HOURS OFF...SO 3
TIMES A DAY...I THINK!!!
OH!!! THE CAN OPENER...THERE ARE 2 SWISS ARMY KNIVES ABOARD SO WE'RE GOOD, AND
APPARENTLY WHEN WE PULL INTO SAN FRAN, PAULA WILL FIND A CAN OPENER ON BOARD
FIRST THEN GIVE ME MY WELCOME HOME HUG AND KISS.
OK, I'M ON WATCH NOW...GOTTA GO!!!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
But back to yesterday, Wednesday, day 5. We had an interesting day wind and sailing-wise. In the night before the wind had gradually been dropping, and the seas getting smaller and smoother. The wind had also been shifting more and more toward the North instead of the Northeast so that instead of us being able to sail almost directly North from Hawaii our track was gradually curving off to the left taking use further and further to the West of were we wanted to go. We were pointed toward Russia instead of San Francisco. We were actually over 100 miles west of where we started.
And during this last night not only was it blowing the wrong way, it was getting weaker. The boat was going slower and slower. So when morning came it was time to put up more sail. L'eau life has roller furling on both the main and the jib. The jib (the sail in front of the mast) is easy, just let out the line and the sail unrolls like a big window shade along its front edge. The main is another story. This particular version of a roller furling main has the roller inside of the boom. The front edge of the sail feeds into a track on the back edge of the mast, and a halyard (line from the top of the sail, over a pulley at the top of the mast, and back down to the deck) is used to pull it up into the track, and unwinds it from around the boom. There's a separate line that you pull to turn the roller inside the boom to wind the sail back in. Sounds simple enough. But us is a little finicky because the front edge of the sail has to wind up on the boom really, really straight or else the edge creeps forward as you wind and then jams against the mast, or starts pulling away from the mast at a weird angle.
But this shouldn't be our problem because we are going to unwind the sail and hoist it higher. Unfortunately we had made a mistake when we originally hoisted the sail up when we left the dock. The main halyard was twisted around another line called a running backstay. This line runs from the deck to part way up the mast. So the main was able to go up and down, but only as far as the place where the running backstay attached to the mast about 40 feet up (the mast is a bit over 50 feet tall). Anyway the end result was that we needed to bring the main all the way down, untangle things, check for any damage caused by the twisted lines rubbing each other for almost a week, and then raise the sail again. What should have been a 5 minute job turned into an hour. The nature of boats...
The end result of all this is that we did get both sails all the way out and we started moving again. And bonus! The wind started to pick up strength a bit, and then changed directions. It suddenly was blowing from the ENE, and we could actually start sailing NNE. We were actually making some progress in the direction we actually want to go. Yeah.
The rest of the day was some fine sailing with 17-20 knot winds, smooth seas, sunny skies. This is the day that should be on the travel poster, if there were ever a travel poster for a trip like this.
To make things even better we got to take showers! Hot fresh water showers! It feels really good to get that salty crust off, put on some clean clothes, and because of the weather the cockpit seat cushions were dried out and you could sit down without getting your own seat all wet again. Mac and cheese and salad for dinner with Toblerone for desert topped off an excellent day.
But was not to be perfect. As I said before we need to run the generator almost every night to keep the batteries charged. But up until now we had been using the water from the tanks we brought with us from Hawaii. But after those showers, washing, cooking, etc it was time to refill so Adrien turns on the watermaker for the first time since we left. It runs for about 45 minutes, but then suddenly cuts out. Not sure what happened just yet. Adrien is planning to investigate when his watch ends in about half an hour from now. If it doesn't work, it will mean an end to our hot showers for the rest of the trip, as well as careful conservation of all the water we use to wash, and cook, and do laundry (I only have 2 pairs of clean underwear left. The horror!) There's no issue with drinking water as we have a separate supply of bottled water for that, but I am going to miss that underwear if we don't have enough water to do laundry :-(
That about brings us up to date. Time to receive some weather faxes and see where the Pacific High is headed. All you folks who have been trying to move it down and to the right have got the to the right part working pretty well, but it is still higher than we would like, but that may end up working in our favor. The current plan is to get up to about 40 deg N lat to the west of the high and then start chasing it as it goes to the east. When we get too close to the high the wind will die on us and we start to motor until we find winds from the northeast and then we sail straight to SF from there. We will see if that works or not. We are currently at 37N lat and we cover about 1 degree every 10 hours so will get to 40N sometime tomorrow.
Position report 22-JUL-2010 19:31 GMT
37 deg 8.274' N Lat
160 deg 6.828 W Long
speed 7.2 knots course 008 true
Wind 17 knots from ENE seas about 4 feet from the ENE
Sea temp 70.8 F (getting cooler)
Air 77F 68% humidity 1028mb pressure
AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! FINALLY MAKING OUR MOVE NORTH EAST. EARLIER TODAY AS I WAS
BASKING OFF WATCH IN MY QUARTERS WITH A GOOD BOOK AND OCCASIONALLY DOZING, THE
TELL TALE SIGNS OF DIMINISHING WINDS BEGAN TO CREEP IN. STUFF SLAPPIN' AROUND
DIFFERENTLY, LESS NOISE, LESS HEELING ETC. THIS MEANS HAVING TO TURN ON THE
MAIN ENGINE AND MOTOR SAILING...A LITTLE EARLIER THAN EXPECTED. I WAS GREETED
IN THE COMPANIONWAY WITH A CHANT OF "MORE SAILS, MORE SAILS". SO WE PROCEEDED
TO PUT MORE MAINSAIL UP [IT'S BEEN TWO THIRDS THE WAY UP THE ENTIRE TIME] AND
SOMETHING JAMMED...CRAPOLA TIME!!! ALWAYS LOOK UP WHEN RUNNING LINES. THE
UNUSED [LEEWARD] RUNNING BACKSTAY WHICH IS ATTACHED TO THE MAST WAS ON THE
WRONG SIDE OF THE MAIN HALYARD. WE BROUGHT THE MAINSAIL DOWN AND CORRECTED THE
PROBLEM, AND THEN ALL THE WAY UP SHE WENT...HOORAH!!! THEN WE UNFURLED ALL THE
JIB AND WE WERE ON OR WAY IN ABOUT 10-13 KNOTS OF WIND AND GOOD SPEED...AND
THEN...AND THEN THE WIND PICKED UP SLIGHTLY AND SHIFTED TO ENE WHICH MEANT WE
COULD NOW GO NORTH EAST...DOUBLE HOORAH. SO, A GOOD DAY SAILING TODAY WITH CREW
ZIPPING AROUND THE DECK [HARNESSED IN OF COURSE] DOING WORK AND ENJOYING THE
DIMINISHED SEAS AND FULL SAILS. AS I WRITE WE JUST FINISHED FURLING SOME SAIL
IN FOR THE NIGHT AND STILL HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. WEATHER WILL BE
TRICKY OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS SO WE MUST PLAY OUR CARDS RIGHT. MUCH
DISCUSSION ON THIS TOPIC IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW.
CREW JUST HAS SHOWERS, WAS GETTING VERY SMELLY AROUND HERE...TIME FOR ME TO
HAVE ONE THEN WE MAKE WATER TONIGHT.
Just a little note: Adrien is reporting his log as days at sea when he actually
left Hawaii. I've been changing the days to actual days he's written since he
started on Wed., the 14th. So today is their 6th day at sea but the 7th day of
writing. Confused? I feel like I'm on the passage and a little sleep deprived
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
POSITION: 33-31.9N, 160-27.4W, CSE:352 T, SPEED 7.2KNOTS
TOPIC ONE: THE MASTER HEAD AKA: SKIPPER'S TOILET. [WHAT A WAY TO START] WE ONCE
HAD 2 NOW WE HAVE ONE. I FOUND A CRACK IN THE VENTED LOOP WHICH STOPPED ANY
FURTHER ATTEMPT TO UNCLOG. I HAVE A SPARE THAT IS THE WRONG SIZE...IT'S FOR
SOMETHING ELSE. IF THIS WERE THE ONLY HEAD ON BOARD I WOULD MAKE IT WORK,
SEEING AS WE HAVE 2, I'M NOT BOTHERING. I'M FINDING THAT THE MAJOR CLEANOUT OF
THE BOAT PAULA AND I DID LAST YEAR HAS LEFT ME WITH MUCH LESS RAW MATERIALS FOR
ME TO WORK WITH. I KNEW I NEEDED ALL THAT CRAP FOR A REASON.
TOPIC TWO: WET AREAS. THE FORWARD BERTH [LANCE'S] IS SLIGHTLY MORE THAN DAMP.
THE LEAK IS [WAS I HOPE]COMING FROM THE OUTSIDE VENTS CALLED DORADES. I WENT UP
ON THE FOREDECK TODAY AND SEALED THE VENTS AND THE DRAIN HOLE WHERE THE WATER
JETS IN WHEN THE BOW GOES INTO THE WATER. THAT SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THAT. I ALSO
ADDED SOME TAPE TO THE MAST PARTNERS AND DID AN INSPECTION OF ALL THE DECK
LEVEL RIGGING. ALL LOOKS GOOD.
TOPIC 3: FOOD. I MADE BAKED CHICKEN THIGHS, CORN AND RICE, WITH A LETTUCE AND
APPLE SALAD LAST NIGHT. AWESOME. CREW HAPPY.
TOPIC 5: INJURIES: I STUBBED A TOE, STEVE STUBBED A TOE, LANCE SCALDED HIS HAND
WITH BOILING WATER THAT WILL BE A LITTLE SORE FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. WE WILL ALL
LIVE BECAUSE WE ARE [IN A MELODIOUS SEA SHANTY] MEN MEN MEN MEN, MEN MEN MEN
OK, I'M ON WATCH IN 5 MINUTES, GOTTA GET MY WATER AND MY BOOK AND HOPE SOMEONE
Another lazy day. Slept, stood my watches, read some more of Catch-22, listened to some music, and after I finish this I am going to cook some dinner for the crew.
Wind and sea was a bit calmer today. No squalls. Everything has a bit of a chance to dry out. It gets kind of old when every time you sit down, your butt is wet for the next few hours.
Today we passed through a school (is that the right word?) of little man-o-war style jelly fish. They were everywhere. Mixed in with these were lots of those small flying fish, and I'm pretty sure I saw something a lot bigger swim by just under the surface. So there is life out here.
We have a few little leaks and Adrien spent some time taping things up in hope of stopping or slowing them. Not sure yet if it worked. Adrien also spent some time working on unclogging his broken head (his toilet, not his actual head). Haven't really heard yet how that went, but we will see if we all end up sharing the forward head or not.
Weather further North is still not ideal. The Pacific High is still North and West of where we would like it to be. Where it ends up in the next 4-5 days will determine where and when we make our big right turn and head towards San Francisco. It will also determine when the wind dies, and how much motoring we do or don't need to do. We keep getting the weather fax and hoping for things to get better. As I told my Facebook friends a week or so back, it would be good if everyone could really concentrate and think aboot (oops, on a boat with a Canadian) pushing that high down and to the right (to the Southwest for you Aussies who have the globe upside down).
Not sure if any of you are also getting Adrien's daily updates, but hopefully they will be posted here on this blog starting soon. I have asked Paula (Adrien's wife) to post his. We will see if that works.
One important point which he mentioned in his posting is that we seem to have left the dock with lots of canned food, but no can opener. We will see how that works out. Some combo of LEatherman tools, swiss army knives, and whatever we can find in the tool kit should see us through.
Well, time to start cooking. Bye for now
21-JUL-2010 06:14 GMT
33 deg 43.392 N lat 160 deg 30.503 W long
Heading 336 at 7.1 knots
Wind NE at 22 knots
Seas about 6 feet from the NE
Water temp 74.7 deg F
Air 79 deg F 69% humidity 1029 mb pressure
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
DAY 1 REPORT 7/14
LAT 21DEG 19.7 N LONG 158DEG 07.2 W.
IF YOU CHECK THE CHARTS, YOU'LL NOTICE WE'RE STILL AT THE DOCK. WHAT A WAY TO
START, BUT THAT'S SAILING...WELL NOT REALLY...IT'S SITTING AT THE DOCK.
RIGGING PROBLEMS INCLUDING A BARBER POLED INTERMEDIATE SHROUD AND A TOTALLY WORN
OUT TOPPING LIFT PLUS MAINSAIL PROBLEMS AND A MINOR TEAR IN MY BRAND NEW JIB
HAVE PLAGUED THE DEPARTURE DATE. ALL PROBLEMS ARE NOW FIXED AND PROVISIONING AND
STOWAGE TOOK UP MOST OF TODAY. WE STILL HAVE A LIST FOR TOMORROW [THURSDAY] BUT
HOPE TO LEAVE BY LATE AFTERNOON.
YOU MAY ASK WHY ALL OF THIS WAS LEFT TO THE LAST MINUTE, BUT BEING THE CAPTAIN I
CHOOSE TO IGNORE SUCH QUESTIONS...EXCEPT TO THE ADMIRAL OF COURSE. SO IF YOU
REALLY WANT TO KNOW...CALL PAULA!
DAY 2 7/15
21DEG 25N, 158DEG 14S
COURSE: WISH I WOULD'VE TAKEN A REFRESHER COURSE
STATUS: DEPARTED 15JUL10 AT 21:30 [9:30PM...YOU'D BETTER LEARN THE 24HOUR
WAY...I'M NOT GONNA KEEP PROVIDING REDUNDANT INFORMATION LIKE THIS]. SPEAKING OF
REDUNDANCY, WHY OH WHY DID I TAKE HOME ALL THOSE SPARE PARTS AND TOOLS WITH ME?
WHAT A DAY. STEVE AND LANCE DID SOME NECESSARY SHOPPING AND DUMPED THE RENTAL
CAR WHILE I CHANGED OIL AND FUEL FILTERS, STOWED THE DINGHY ON THE DAVITS AND
TOOK CARE NOT TO PUT TOO MUCH IN IT. WE WILL ONLY USE IT TO PUT THE GARBAGE
IN...MOSTLY PLASTICS, STYROFOAM AND THE LIKE, WHILE ALL OTHER TRASH GOES
OVERBOARD. NONE OF US HAD LUNCH. WE DID HAVE A SWIM IN THE LAGOON FOLLOWED BY A
LONG HOT SHOWER, SOMETHING WE WON'T HAVE FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. WE LEFT THE
SLIP LATE AFTERNOON AND WENT TO THE FUEL DOCK WHERE THINGS GOT INTERESTING.
WHILE TOPPING UP THE TANKS WITH DIESEL FUEL, STEVE WAS ON THE NOZZLE AND I WAS
DOING MY CAPTAINY THING OF GIVING ORDERS...'10 GALLONS AND STOP...OK 10 MORE,
ETC. TO MY DISMAY I NOTICED STEVE SITTING IN A PUDDLE OF RED DIESEL FUEL AS HE
HAD PARKED HIS ARSE RIGHT WHERE THE FUEL TANK VENTS WERE. I MADE HIM STAND THERE
ON AN ABSORBENT MAT WHILE I FETCHED A CHANGE OF CLOTHES THEN PROMPTLY DISPATCHED
HIM OFF TO THE SHOWERS WITH A BUCKET FOR HIS SHORTS WHICH HE THINKS HE CAN SAVE.
HE HAS BEEN RENAMED "DIESEL DAN".
THIS EPISODE WAS FORTUNATE AS YOU WILL SEE. BECAUSE THE FUEL OVERFLOWED, I HAD
TO RUN THE ENGINE AND BURN OFF ENOUGH FUEL SO THAT THE PITCHING AND ROLLING WE
WOULD SOON SEE WOULD NOT SPILL FUEL ON DECK. SO IN ADDITION TO THE MAIN ENGINE I
FIRED UP THE GENSET WHICH ENDED UP CONKING OUT...AT THE FUEL DOCK. FOUND A BAD
IMPELLER FOR THE RAW WATER COOLING, REPLACED THAT AND DECIDED WE SHOULD ALL GO
TO DINNER DOWN AT THE BEACH RESTAURANT. IF DIESEL DAN HADN'T SAT IN THE FUEL, WE
WOULD NOT HAVE DISCOVERED THIS TILL WE GOT OUT TO SEA.
ANYWAY, BEAUTIFUL STARS, HEADING DIRECTLY FOR BIG DIPPER NOW, MY WATCH HAS ENDED
AND I HAVE TO GET SOME SHUTEYE
POSITION: 25DEG23MIN N, 158DEG34MIN W
CSE & SPEED: 005 DEG TRUE, 6.5 KNOTS
FIRST 24 HOUR RUN=150NM
A LOT TO REPORT, BUT A SQUALL IS BEARING DOWN ON US SO I'LL KEEP IT SHORT.
FIRST, I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT WE HAD A FRESH WATER PROBLEM THE VERY FIRST
NIGHT. TURNS OUT THE PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE ON HOT WATER TANK WAS CORRODED, AND
WHEN THE MAIN ENGINE IS ON IT HEATS THROUGH HEAT EXCHANGER TO A HIGHER THAN
USUAL TEMP...SHE BLEW... AND DUMPED SOME HOT WATER INTO THE BILGE. THE CREW IS
NOW FAMILIAR WITH THE LOCATION OF THE FRESH WATER SWITCH. ANYWAY, JUST HAPPENED
TO HAVE A SPARE VALVE, SO WE HAVE PRESSURIZED WATER AGAIN. I AM DISCOVERING IN
MY OLD AGE THAT MY TOLERANCE FOR WORKING UPSIDE DOWN IN A ROLLING PITCHING BOAT
IN A SWELTERING HOT ENGINE ROOM CAUSES A SENSE OF QUEZZIENESS. WHICH BRINGS US
TO FOOD. DURING THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF A PASSAGE, APPETITES ARE VIRTUALLY
NON-EXISTENT...BAG A CHIPS...ENERGY BAR...WATER, THAT'S ABOUT IT. I MADE A FEW
SANDWICHES LATE YESTERDAY AND THEN COOKED EGGS, KILBASA, ONION, ROLLS AND
ORANGES FOR BREAKFAST. WE'LL SEE WHO STEPS UP TO THE PLATE NEXT...HMMM! I HAVE
JUST COME OFF WATCH AND THE SQUALL IS UPON US. I AM DOWNSTAIRS TYPING
THIS...OOOPS...A BOOK I HAVEN'T READ YET JUST WENT FLYING BY. BETTER GO HELP
OUT. I'LL BE BACK BEFORE THIS GOES OUT.....
10MINUTES LATER...STEVE HAS IT WELL IN HAND. GUSTS ARE ONLY ABOUT 28KNOTS, WE'VE
HEADED UP A LITTLE AND EASED THE TRAVELLER...NO MORE FLYING BOOKS. OUR WATCHES
ARE GOING FINE, 3 HOURS ON, 6 HOURS OFF. STEVE WAS LATE FOR HIS WATCH AT 4AM, SO
I TRIED TO WAKE HIM...CALLED OUT...NOTHING. SHOOK HIM NOTHING. I HEARD HIM
SNORING SO KNEW HE WAS BREATHING. TOOK HIS TEMPERATURE...NOTHING...WHICH WAS
REMARKLABLE BECAUSE I ONLY HAVE THE ONE THERMOMETER ON BOARD...THE UNDESIRABLE
KIND. LET'S BE CLEAR HERE, I TAKE NO JOY IN PERFORMING SOME OF MY DUTIES.
ANYWAY, HE APPEARED AN HOUR LATER LOOKING WELL RESTED AND SLIGHTLY DAZED, AND
NONE THE WISER. HE ASKED WHY I DIDN'T WAKE HIM.
OK I'M DONE HERE, SLEEP THEN RADIO CHECK IN. NIGHT NIGHT...IT'S 2PM HAWAII TIME.
POSITION:28DEG32M N, 158DEG48M W
AM VERY TIRED, BEEN BUSY. BEEN BLOWING 30 PLUS KNOTS FOR MORE THAN A DAY NOW AND
THAT CAN BE STRESSFUL. CHECK-IN ON THE PACIFIC SEAFARERS NET WAS LONG THIS
EVENING. THEN I MADE DINNER...WITH SOME INGREDIENTS IN CANS, WITH NO !@#$% CAN
OPENER. WE USED TO HAVE 3 ON BOARD. I NOW HAVE A CAN OPENING STATION IN THE
ENGINE ROOM....ARGGGHHH! WAS GOING TO MAKE SPAGHETTI BUT THE FRIGGIN HAMBURGER
IS A SOLID HUNK OF COSTCO MEAT IN THE BACK OF THE FREEZER. SUBSTITUTE KILBASA
SAUSAGE FOR HAMBURGER. ANOTHER PROVISIONING NIGHTMARE UNDERWAY. DON'T WORRY, WE
HAVE LOTS OF FOOD...IT'S JUST IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. ANYWAY, THE SPAGHETTI
DINNER SUCKED BUT THERE WAS APPARENTLY SOME NUTRITION GOING ON...MORE ADVENTURES
TOMORROW. I'M ON WATCH IN LESS THAN 3 HOURS AND WE'RE SURROUNDED BY SQUALLS.
BETTER MOOD MANYANA HOPEFULLY. ADMIRAL...WHERE DID YOU HIDE THE CAN OPENERS???
DAY 5: MONDAY 0719 REPORT AT 10:30PST.
EST. MILEAGE RUN FOR TODAY 155NM.
OK, A BIT ABOUT WHY WE ARE WHERE WE ARE. IF YOU ARE CHECKING OUT THE YOTREPS WEB
SIGHT THAT PAULA HAS REFERRED YOU TO, YOU WILL NOTE THAT WE ARE HEADED NORTH AND
A BIT TO THE WEST. WAIT A DOGGONE COTTON PIKIN' MINUTE. LOOKS LIKE WE'RE HEADED
TO RUSSIA. [AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS FROM QUEBEC] NO WE'RE NOT RUSSIAN SLEEPER
SPIES GOING BACK HOME. FIRST OF ALL WE ARE SAILING AND TRYING NOT TO USE THE
ENGINE. SEEING AS WE ONLY HAVE FUEL FOR ABOUT 800NM AND HAVE TO TRAVEL ABOUT
2300NM, SAILNG IS A GOOD THING. OF COURSE WE NEED WIND FOR SAILING SO HERE WE
ARE CHASING THAT WIND. IF WE WENT STRAIGHT NORTH, WE WOULD BE POUNDING AGAINST
THE SEAS GOING SLOW, SO WE FALL OFF THE WIND A BIT, AND GO FASTER, BUT SLIGHTLY
IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. RIGHT NOW WE ARE ABOUT 50NM WEST OF WHERE WE WOULD LIKE
TO BE. IF WE HEADED STRAIGHT FOR SAN FRANCISCO WE'ED BE GOING STRAIGHT INTO THE
WIND...DOESN'T WORK. WE ARE SAILING AROUND A BIG "FAT" [CHILDREN ARE READING]
HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM. IN SUMMARY...GO NORTH TO 40 DEGREES LATITUDE, MOTOR NORTH
EAST FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS TILL WE FIND WIND THEN POINT HOME. SO, WE KEEP TRACK
OF ALL THIS STUFF ON A DAILY BASIS AS DOES SOME SHORE BASED SUPPORT AND WE
ADJUST TO THE FORECASTS.
WE'VE DONE ABOUT 600NM SO FAR, HAVE ABOUT 500 MORE GOING IN A NORTHERLY
DIRECTION THEN ABOUT 1200 TO THE GOLDEN GATE. ETA: WHEN WE GET THERE!
OH! DID I TELL YOU MY 'BAD WORD' TOILET IS CLOGGED. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
DREADED BOATING JOBS THERE IS. I KNOW THERE ARE SOME GOOD PRAYERS OUT
THERE...PLEASE PRAY THAT I AM NOT SLIDING AROUND IN GOOEY STUFF WHEN I ATTACK
THIS PROBLEM TOMORROW.
CLARIFICATION ON A PREVIOUS POSTING. THE THERMOMETER I WAS REFERRING TO THE
OTHER DAY IS THE KIND YOU STICK IN YOUR EAR. APPARENTLY THERE ARE SOME WHO
THOUGHT IT WAS OF YET A DIFFERENT KIND...GEEEZ!!! THERE ARE RULES ON THIS
FOR MORE FUN FACTS, LIES AND TRIVIA, TUNE IN TOMORROW TO THE ADVENTURES OF L'EAU
6106 Montgomery Ct., San Jose, CA 95135
home phone: 408-223-7160
cell phone: 408-250-9588
This is pretty nice.
Monday, July 19, 2010
580 nautical miles from Oahu
Another day of the same sort of trade wind sailing we have been doing since we cleared the North end of Oahu. Wind varies between 22 and 33 knots, waves about 6 feet, squalls come by every once in a while with a few minutes of ran, and we keep headed norther, and norther and norther. Today we passed 30 degrees North latitude, a minor milestone. We think the place we turn right and head for California is somewhere around 38 degrees latitude, which will make it a due west run straight to San Francisco. This would be great as we would avoid sailing more to the north and some potentially stormy weather off the coast of Oregon.
During the watches there isn't that much to do as the boat is pretty much sailing itself. Glance at the wind speed, direction, course, radar screen, then back to reading, or listening to This American Life on my iPod, or just watching the water go by.
While watching the water go by you sometimes see stuff. Occasionally a bird. Some trash. Today I saw a bucket, a fishing float, and a container of liquid dish washing soap go by. Also saw my first flying fish of the trip. One of my favorite animals. It truly doesn't know if it is fish or fowl. It was a small one and didn't get very high out of the water, but it was cool none the less.
Had my first shower of the trip today. It was great as the salt crust was starting to get to me. Everything outside is covered with a crust of salt. Seems 30 knots of wind throws up a lot of spray, all the time, and it lands everything, and the water evaporates leaving behind the crust.
That's it for today.
20-jul-2010 0417 GMT
30 deg 54.335 N 159 deg39.661 W
Air 81 deg F 69% humidity
Sea water 74.7 deg F (getting cooler)
Wind 21 knts from NE
Seas 2.5 meters from the NE
Course 350 deg true 6.2 knts
Saturday, July 17, 2010
There's this bird that has been following us since yesterday afternoon. I think it is a boobie (I can hear all the middle school boys out there snickering. I snickered too). It flies around behind the boat, sometimes looks like it is trying to land on the stern railing, but always waves off at the last second. Then it does some laps around us and tries again. I don't see it right now, but I hope it comes back as it is the only living thing we see around here.
After my watch I pulled up the floorboards and cleaned off the paddlewheel for the knotmeter. The little wheel spins in the water under the boat and tells how fast we are moving through the water (as opposed to the GPS that tells us how fast we are going over the ground). This is useful for the computer as it uses it to calculate true vs apparent wind speed and direction, and how much we are being pushed by the currents.
Later Adrien got psyched for a bit of cooking and we had our first real meal of the trip. Scrambled eggs with sausage, and buttered rolls. Yum.
Seems like we just did it a few hours ago, but it is time to run the generator to charge the batteries. This boat uses a lot of electric power. We unplugged a few things that we don't seem to need, and made sure to turn off all the lights during the day. Hope that will help. We also have a DC/DC converter that can be used to run the computer which should save us a few amps also, but needs a bit of wiring and soldering to get it working. Hopefully will get to that later today or tomorrow.
Adrien also fixed the water leak over Lance's bunk. A dry bunk is a very good thing.
Still headed almost straight North at between 6.5 and 8 knots. Probably continue to do that for 3-5 more days before we start to get to the Westerly winds.
Position Report at 17-Jul-2010 22:51 GMT
Lat 25 deg 20.254 N
Long 158 deg 33.832 W
Rhum line distance to San Francisco 1962 nautical miles
Wind 18 knots from NE
Seas about 6 feet
Sea water tep 76.8
Barometer 1020 mb
air temp 86 deg F 63% humidity
We are now 150 nautical miles due north of where we started.
From the starting point in the marina it was 2075 nautical miles to San Francisco.
We are now 2014 miles from San Francisco, about 60 miles closer.
We are sail straight north at almost 8 knots. At this rate if we keep going straight we will be in the Aleutian Islands in 10 days. But the plan is to turn right and head to San Francisco before that, when the wind changes direction so we can go that way.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday was a busy day of doing the final errands, shopping, and a few last minute repairs.
Started out with finishing up rigging the boat for sea. Getting the dinghy tied down, the new topping life rigged, the bowsprit installed (in case we get to fly the spinnicker). Lance and I went off in the car in search of coffee, UHT milk, a new wireless keyboard and mouse, and a power adapter for the laptop so it could run on DC, instead of converting from DC to AC and back to DC (not as efficient use of our batteries).
After that it was off to return the rental car. Cheryl was nice enough to lend us her car so Lance drove that and I drove the rental, and we were back in about an hour.
We were pretty hot and grubby by then and almost ready to go so we decided to go for a quick swim in the ocean, and take final showers.
Next it was to the fuel doc to top up the fuel and water tanks. In the process I managed to overfill the tank, the fuel flowed out on the deck right where I was siting. It was lovely. Took another shower and washed my clothes in a bucket of laundry detergent, but after lathering up 3 times I am not sure the smell will ever go away. Please no smoking when I am around.
Adrien then decided it was time to run the engine and generator at the dock for a while to burn off a bit of the fuel so it would not continue to overflow onto the deck every time the boat rolled a bit.. But after a few minutes the generator shut itself down, and we needed to figure that out. Turns out the water pump impeller had disintegrated and needed to be changed. By the time that was done, Adrien needed another show, and we were all hungry, so we decided to stay just a little while longer and have dinner at Lolohe's down the beach one more time. When we got there I new we had to leave, because the entertainment had made the full cycle and the same guy was playing guitar and singing as the night I arrived.
Finally at 9:15pm Hawaii time Thursday, we untied from the dock and headed out from Ko'Olina Marina and followed the coast North to start our trip.
The wind was the full range from dead calm to a 30 knot rain and wind squall.
Adrien took the first watch, I relieved him at 1am, then Lance took over at 4am, then Adrien at 7am, and me again at 10am, and this is how it will go, 3 hours on and 6 hours off all the way to California.
Well noon, the traditional time of day for such things has come and gone, so here is all the technical data on where we are, the weather, etc.
Lat 22 deg 17.9557 N
Long 157 deg 53.5106 W
wind 19.1 knots
sea surface temperature 77.5 deg F
air temp 87 deg humidity 61% pressure 1017 mb
That's for now. The radio has not been able to connect to the base station for email yet, so not sure how long before this actually gets delivered and posted on the blog. Hopefully not too long.
Off to get some sleep,
Thursday, July 15, 2010
So much for trying to write this every day.
Last update was Monday night. Tuesday was busy. Picked up the new shroud in Honolulu, had lunch at Sammy Choy's (a Honolulu institution of some kind. Had excellent fried poke), then to the airport to pick up Lance. Found him pretty quickly, then back to the boat where we found the wind was very light and from the front of the boat, so we took advantage of the situation to get the main and installed in their proper places (hard to do if there is too much wind, or if it is blowing from the back of the boat).
After that Lance, who came from London to San Francisco, and then on to Hawaii with only a day break crashed for a while, and I helped Michael from down the doc to upgrade his Mac from Tiger to Leopard so he could use it to sync his new iPad.
Dinner time came around, and we met up with Rani, a friend of Lance's brother who none of us had ever met. She was a pretty cool person, sort of a boat gypsy working on various boats in different parts of the world, travel around from place to place. Seems like it would be a pretty fun lifestyle, at least for a while. Dinner at Keo's a Thai restaurant in downtown Honolulu. After that, it was late, and we were tired, so everyone pretty much went to bed.
Wednesday we got up, and after a bit of a slow start, got the new shroud installed, and headed out on what turned out to be most of the rest of the day shopping for all our provisions for the trip. We were at K-MArt, Safeway, and 2 different Costco stores, as well as West Marine, the riggers, and the Pacific Map Center. When we finally got back, we got all the food stored away, ate a quick dinner, and did a load of laundry. That should be done soon and then we can all collapse and finish up some final items in the morning and hopefully make an afternoon departure.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Just a real quick update as we have to leave soon.
Got the shroud down and to the shop where they are making a new one. Should be ready Tues. morn.
Spent most of the day at Peggy's helping here to restitch some worn spots on the main. Made me pretty sure I don't ever want to work in a sail loft or canvas shop in a hot place.
Patched up the small tears on the jib and dodger.
Dinner at Lolohe's (same as my first night). Live band with 3 generations of family was really good. Sat with Tim and Pam (the folks we sailed with the day before.
Helped Cheryl and Michael to upgrade there Mac from Tiger to Leopard.
Today's (Tuesday)plan is to pick up the shroud, pick up Lance at the airport, put everything back together on the boat. Tomorrow do the big provisioning trip to Costco, etc. Then cast off on Thursday. Let's hope it all comes together.
Monday, July 12, 2010
The rigging inspection went smoothly, but unfortunately Adrien discovered that one of our shrouds (strong stainless steel wires that support the mast side to side) was corroded and cracked. It will need to be replaced before we can go. Hope we can get it done by Wednesday, but if not, we will have to wait. There was also some wear on the topping lift (a rope from the top of the mast that holds up the end of the boom) and that will need to be replaced also.
After all of this we finally went out for a sail. We were joined by Tim and Pam, friends and neighbors from the marina. It was a big help having them on board as they basically drove the boat while Adrien and I wrestled with the new jib. We got it up and sailing, but somehow in the process it must have snagged on something and now has a tear in the suncover (a strip of clothe along the edge of a roller furling sail that protects it from the sun's UV radiation when it isn't being used. This isn't critical for us as we plan to be using the sail just about all the time but it should probably get patched so it doesn't fray and get tattered being out in the wind for 3 weeks.
Then we raised the main and found another problem. There is a tear in the leech (the back edge) of the main, where the leech line is cut. The line will need to be replaced and a patch installed before we can go.
We pulled the sails back down and motored back to the marina after a while. Munched some granola bars for lunch, and both Adrien and I felt just a bit of seasickness, which is odd as neither of us has a history of that. Perhaps it was a bit of nerves as the reality of leaving really set in as we sailed around, or perhaps it was that leftover seafood fried rice we had for breakfast. Either way after eating a little we both felt better.
Back at the dock there was a bit of debate about whether it made more sense to swim first (it got really hot when we got in from sailing) and then nap, or nap first and then swim. We compromised and had a short nap, followed by a short swim, then Adrien went back for a second longer nap, and I walked around with my camera for a while (see the Black Pearl pictures on my facebook page).
Dinner time and we went to the ABC Store (familiar to anyone who has ever been a tourist in Hawaii) and got a roasted chicken and some vegies to make a salad. Ate on the boat and here we are.
Tomorrow we need to get lots done. Adrien's friend Peggy (the same person we picked up the jerry cans from a few days back) does canvas and sail repair and is going to check out those problems. A rigger suggested by Cheryl is also supposed to call to see if he can come down and help deal with the shroud, but he might have jury duty so isn't sure if he can make it or not. Sigh.
Oh and after dinner Adrien notices the pressure water pump was turning on, followed a bit later by the bilge pump. This is likely a leak in the fresh water system of the boat, probably caused by something that happened while we were out sailing as it wasn't happening yesterday. We will need to get to that tomorrow also.
At this point we are adding things to the list of things to do a lot faster than we are crossing them off. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday. Today was supposed to be the day Adrien went up the mast in the morning, and then we would go for a sail in the afternoon to get the new jib installed, and to really get a better idea what works and what needs to still be fixed. But it didn't happen that way.
First thing Adrien realizes we are still missing one of our porthole windows. Not a good idea to go sailing with a window that will let the water pour in if we happened to heal over a little too far. The window glass was being replaced, but hadn't come back from the shop just yet. Oh well no sailing today. But it seems we can get the window today, and install it so we can sail tomorrow. So instead today will be checking things out, lubricating all the blocks as shackles, and checking that the lines are in good shape. I started at the front of the boat doing this, while Adrien started working on getting the dinghy cleaned out, pumped up, and tied down tight for the passage. But it turns out the jib furler line is worn and needs to be replaced (this is used to roll up the big sail at the front of the boat, and if it were to break in strong winds would be a pretty ugly scene).. The dinghy has leaks that need to be patched, and we still need 4 more containers for diesel fuel, so off to West Marine we go.
On the way we stop at this great restaurant for lunch. La Mariana Sailing Club is supposedly one of the last real Tiki bars left in Oahu, and it was pretty cool place. Good food and a delicious, and really strong Mai Tai. Adrien was designated driver. The on to West Marine where we go a few of the things we needed, but had to keep looking for the jerry cans. Finally found them at Home Depot. Guess we should have looked there first.
Then back to the boat, go the new furling line installed, turned some other lines end for end (so that the worn out spots don't rub in the same places where they wearing before). The window arrived, by the caulking was not done correctly, so Adrien had to run back out to the hardware store for some more caulking, but the window is now in and we can sail tomorrow!
Dinner at "Just Tacos", a relatively new, and very mediocre Mexican restaurant pretty close to the hotels. I don't feel any need to go back there again.
The plan is to get going around 9am, send Adrien up the mast to check things out, and then sail in the afternoon. Hope it turns out that way.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, not much actually got done. First things first. Search for coffee. There is tea onboard, but that left me still yearning. Wandered over to the harbor masters office, which as a little store. Coffee, but not particularly good.
Then we went over to get some jerry cans (5 gallon plastic containers for carrying liquids) from a friend of Adrien's. He stored them at her house a year or so ago, and it was time to get them back. We want these yellow containers for carrying extra diesel fuel on the passage. This is important as the weather patterns are not that typical and we might need to motor more than we would prefer. Diesel is also important because it runs the generator, which our only source of electricity for charging batteries, and we need that electric power to run all sorts of things such as the water maker, autopilot, navigation instruments, and lights.
Unfortunately, Adrien thought there were going to be 8 cans, his friend thought that there were 6, and in the end all we could find was 4, so we will probably be off to find some more before we leave.
Afterwards we went in search of some lunch/breakfast and found this very local roadside place that made us some excellent eggs, bacon, sausage, and rice. It tasted OK, but the important part was the atmosphere of the place. In the hotel restaurant the night before I had the feeling that the entire scene could have easily been transplanted to San Diego and nobody would really have noticed the difference. But this place made me feel like I really was someplace different and that is important to me when traveling.
After lunch it was a Starbucks stop where I got some beans for the boat, and Adrien got his frou-frou coffee drink. Then back to the Marine.
The plan was to hoist Adrien up the mast so he could inspect the rigging before the trip. But once we arrived we both agreed that it was actually nap time, and the rigging could wait until a little later. But then later came, and it was kind of hot, and it seemed to make more sense to go for a swim, and then after that Adrien realized he wanted to retape the spreader tips and didn't have the right tape, and as you can imagine, nobody ended up going up the mast this day.
After the regularly scheduled ham radio stuff (again more on that later), it was off to Ace Hardware for the tape, and to K-Mart for some towels (there didn't seem to be enough onboard for beach and shower use), and some new flipflops (called slippas here), a pretty good Chinese restaurant with lots of locals (just say no to Panda Express!), and finally to Safeway for a few groceries for breakfasts and lunches for a few days. The big provisioning trip to Costco will wait a few days.
That's about it. We got back to the boat, a bit of reading, email, web browsing, etc, and eventual called it a day.
Of course mixed in with all of this was meeting some of the neighbors here in the marina, Cheryl who has been looking after L'eau Life will here owners were away, Ted, Steve, and a few others. Lots of discussion about the boat "Irish Lady" which left a few days ago with Barbara and Vin on boat headed to California. This is where we get back to that radio schedule stuff. Seem that lots of offshore sailors are ham operators, and use the ham radio to keep in contact with other sailors, friends and family. There are regularly schedule "nets" where a bunch of boat (maritime mobil) and land based ham operators meet up at a predetermined time and frequency. Everyone checks in with info about where they are and how things are going. If there are any problems people can report them, people report the weather where they are, and just general exchange of news and info. No it turns out that they folks on "Irish Lady" haven't been checking in since they left the marina. There are conflicting stories about how they might have been given the wrong info about the time and frequencies, and about how motivated they might actually be to check in with the group or not (its all totally voluntary). But their lack of contact is definitely the talk of the docks around here, and Adrien has been trying various versions of the wrong time and frequency that they might be using to contact them. So far, no luck.
That's all for today. Saturday we plan to actually go up the mast, and hopefully talk the boat out of the slip and sail a bit. There is a brand new roller furling jib sitting in its bag on the foredeck which we haven't been able to install because the wind in the marine has been too strong and from the wrong direction. It will be good to go out for a little sail and test things out, find out what is working and not, and still have time for getting what we need from the boar supply stores.
We will see.
Friday, July 9, 2010
I flew from San Francisco to Honolulu on Thursday (yesterday). Not much to say about the flight except that the seat in front of me leaned back so far that I couldn't get my book far enough away from my face to be able to focus my eyes easily. I either need new reading glasses, or United Plus for the extra leg room.
Adrien had arrived the day before and had rented a car, so he picked me up at the airport. We needed to head back to the boat right away because Adrien had to keep to a radio schedule (more about that later), but he was kind enough to stop on the way so that we could pick up a 6-pack of cold beer, which tasted extremely good in the hot humid weather which we Bay Area folks are not at all used to.
Coming onboard L'eau Life felt like I was returning home. I have made 3 previous trips on this wonderful boat. A few years ago (maybe 6?) I had visited in Hawaii with my brother and his friend Todd. We stayed about a week, diving, playing, and made a sailing lap around the island of Oahu. Tnen there was the trip from Fiji to Brisbane, Australia, and then a year or so later from Brisbane to New Zealand. She looks mostly the same, except for the noticeable lack of clutter. Seems that Adrien and Paula (Adrien's wife) had cleared out a ton of stuff on their last visit in anticipation of selling the boat in Hawaii. Cabinets that I remembered as overflowing with all sorts of things are now empty. Lots of room to store my stuff, but we will need to be sure to do careful provisioning as there isn't much chance of finding something we might have forgotten hiding the back of a cabinet (remember to buy Tabasco!).
After settling in, and installing the newly refilled propane tanks (we use propane for cooking and Adrien had the tanks filled earlier that day and was carrying them around in the trunk of the car. Glad I didn't know as I would have been worried a bit about tailgaters on the highway), we went off to get some dinner at a restaurant down the beach.
The Ko'Olina Marine is part of a complex of hotels, restaurants, stores, tennis, golf, homes, and timeshares. From the marina it is a short walk to the beach, and then to the restaurants, pools, and other facilities. As we got to one of the restaurants (the name escapes me at the moment) a military jet flew by, and started into a wild aerobatic airshow. I don't know for sure, but some people said this was an F-22, which clearly is capable of amazing things. It did some typical loops and rolls, as you are used to seeing a fixed wing plane do, but then it got more interesting. This plane appears to be able to just about stop in mid air, turn any way it wants and go in a new direction. I did "tail stands", fluttered like a falling leaf, then would suddenly accelerate and fly straight up. It was all very impressive, and loud, and everyone around stopped to watch.
Anyway, dinner of fish tacos (yum), then walked back. I stopped to put my feet in the water (warm!). Then back to the boat. I was feeling pretty jet lagged by then, and Arien got busy fixing the latch on the freezer door, so I called it a night and fell asleep to the sound of sawing, and drilling.
L'eau Life is about to begin the last leg of the journey back to the Bay Area. Our crew of 3 will consist of Adrien, Lance, and Steve (that's me). Today is July 9, and we plan to leave Ko'Olina Marina (on the western end of Oahu) on July 14.
So with 6 days to go we have lots to do in order to get ready. The story begins...