Monday, May 28, 2012

Hawaiian hazard

A sign in the local park.  We think at the end it should say, "and fronds."

Thais and family in May

Sophia and Avery (about 7 months old):
 Memorial Day weekend at Bodega Bay:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dinghy-ology: lessons 1 and 2

I've used these pictures before but they will help to illustrate these two incidents.

24 May:  We stayed downtown too long and got back to where the dinghy was tied up.  The tide had come in and the surf was bigger than usual.  The dinghy had been pulled back toward the water, the bow line was stretched tight.  Someone had rescued the oars and set them in the grassy area.  The back 1/3 was filled (as in FILLED!) with black sand and sea water.  Dick used an oar to dig out the sand but it was a losing battle.  The sun was going down.  Thank goodness, three local outrigger club members came over and the five of us managed to turn the dinghy over on its side.  Most, but not all of the water and sand fell out.  We had to get back to the boat as quickly as possible.  As Dick rowed, I knelt in the stern and bailed and bailed, water was seeping in.  The dinghy was bent a bit out of shape and Dick had to make additional repairs to keep it from leaking.  Since then we pull the dinghy up as far as possible.        
 26 May:  Rowing to shore, the waves were much bigger than what's seen here and we weren't tuned in to watching for a big wave coming up on the stern AND we got a little crooked to the wave.  This resulted in the dinghy going sideways and rolling over.  We were both thrown out, I landed on my back, the edge of the dinghy landed on my left cheek and ear leaving a scrape and bruise.  Dick was under the dinghy but scrambled out quickly.  We were soaked and covered in sand from head to toe. 
We managed to get most of the sand off at the county park outdoor shower, then limped to a nearby restaurant for breakfast - a restaurant with vinyl (not cloth) cushions on the chairs, we left puddles behind when we left, still very wet.  People have given us some funny looks since and Dick has imagined they are thinking, "He leads with a right hook."   We are now serious wave-watchers whether we are coming or going and getting better at our timing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 2 on land

The heck with the rules, I went to shore. It’s about ¼ mile to the black sand beach.

Dinghy tied to railing along Bayfront Highway.

Yippee! Terra firma.

First stop: we bought two used bicycles.

First restaurant meal. Delicious!

We were soon legally back in the USA.

Going back to the boat was a bit of an adventure. With the bikes heavy in the bow, waves lapping bigger than what’s seen in this picture, and climbing in from knee-depth, it was hard and took more than one attempt.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Aloha from Hilo Hawaii

Views from our anchorage (moving from ENE to WNW). Coconut Island:

County park, row upon row of outriggers belonging to local clubs, a kite-surfer about to take off:

Downtown Hilo:

Bridge over Wailuku River:
 Overhead, many airplanes flying in, especially between 4-10 pm but who cares? We’re here.

Time for officialdom. The rules say only the skipper goes ashore and straight to customs to check into the country within 24 hours of arrival. But first, a little repair to the stern of the dinghy was needed.

Although Dick was at the Customs office during official hours, the door was locked, and stayed that way. After an hour, he gave up and went in search of a grocery store and fresh food.

Blog updated 11 April-20 May

I’ve gone back to 11 May, reread my journal, chosen the best pictures and added details to what has already been posted to the blog regarding our first blue water passage.

It took 45 days leaving from Guaymas, 33 days leaving from Cabo San Lucas - our last sight of land. It was a passage with many ups and downs. Things seemed to break far too often, although we were once told that for each day on passage one thing can be expected to break. Dick did quite well although fatigue was a big factor. He said it was much more difficult to do a passage with just two people compared to his passage to the Marquesas last year with Darren and Haruka on Cool Cat. To be honest, emotionally I had more downs than ups, although (Dick said) I stepped up when help was needed. A quote from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle! by Barbara Kingsolver: “It’s commonly said that humans remember pleasure but forget pain, and that is the only reason women ever have more than one child.” So my hope is I will remember the good parts, and in time, be able to try another blue water passage.

Big thanks to Phyllis who received a satellite phone text message everyday and posted our progress to the blog.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


8:29pm  - Arlete sent a message - "Anchored in Hilo Harbor.  Hooray!"

I'm sure she will be posting something soon. 

Day 39

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  195 miles
Distance to destination:  20 miles

Arlete said:  "GPS says just 30 nautical miles to go, hope wind holds out to arrive before nightfall."

Land ho? We were 6 nm out and we still weren’t sure.

Where, oh where?
Yes! The excitement began to build. And then … the outboard would NOT start.   
We sailed to anchor and breathed a big sigh of “we did it!” It was 8 pm, time for a good night’s sleep.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 38

Todays readings:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  144 miles
Distance to destination:  179 miles

Arlete said:  "Arrive tomorrow?  Yee-haw!"

Note to self: when keeping watch from cockpit, at the first hint of rain, get moving!, take electronics first. The briefest heaviest downpour I’ve ever witnessed, like pouring a bucket of water over one’s head. The Kindle was saved, BTW. We should arrive in Hilo tomorrow. Dick successfully test-fired the outboard. Hurray!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 37

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  188 miles
Distance to destination:  322 miles

Arlete says:  "Raining last 12 hours, now stopped, but still cloudy."
12 hours of light rain from 2 am-2 pm. Water dripped through one cabin-top hatch. Again, the nagging problem with me saying, “No, Dick, please don’t go up the mast to solve the genoa problem.”  Below, tied tightly at lower end, unraveling and catching wind in the middle, torn section at top; sailing with staysail and main.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 36

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  150 miles
Distance to destination:  509 miles

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 35

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  139 miles
Distance to destination:  659 miles

A quote from The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: “The color of monotony is blue.” I agree. Misty rain during the night, autopilot doing fine, watch-keeping from inside the cabin.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 34

Today's reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  171 miles
Distance to destination:  796 miles
Three weeks since we left Cabo, we’re both anxious to get to Hilo. We sailed with staysail only, putting up the main didn’t seem to increase our speed at all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 33

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  135 miles
Distance to destination:   967 miles
Arlete said:  "Yay!  We're making progress."

With increased wind, the genoa came partially undone. Dick talked about going UP the mast then DOWN the forestay to un-hockle it. I talked him out of it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 32

Today's reading:

Distance traveled:  47 miles (from 2 days ago)
Distance to destination:  1,100 miles

Arlete said:  "Sails went up at 0830.  Thx for all the windy thoughts."

By 8:30 am, the sails were up and we were moving. With the rolling of the boat, the boom bounces around a lot. Another “high-level Macgyver” technique: attach a bag with weights to the end. It worked.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 31

I am assuming that the reading that Arlete sent today is wrong.  She said "No wind - think windy thoughts".  She has been sending the reading manually for the last week or so, as her sat phone is not sending it automatically as it was doing earlier in the trip.

Todays reading was:

IF that were correct, they would have traveled 518 miles northward, so I suspect an error in the message today.

NO wind all day. We tried to take down the genoa again. Dick even went up the mast, nothing worked.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 30

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  51 miles
Arlete said:  "No wind.  Drats!"
Distance to destination:  1,114 miles
No wind! Dick read the autopilot manual and checked out the workings in the helm pedestal. That’s when he saw the drive chain for the steering had come apart. This explained why tying the wheel and holding a course was impossible.

 The repair was later explained to me as a “high-level Macgyvering” followed by “Don’t put that in the blog, people might think I was being serious.”
We called this a "Napolean's Hat Sunset."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 29

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  130 miles
Distance to destination:  1,164 miles
Today was a huge turning point. We were sailing downwind, going slowly, with an almost-flat sea, blue skies, and sunshine. I asked Dick, “In these benign conditions, could we try the autopilot again?” OMG, it worked! It didn’t use too many volts of our solar-panel-generated electricity. We would use it day and night for the rest of the passage.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 28

Todays reading:

Distrance traveled since yesterday:  207 miles
Distance to destination:  1,290 miles

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 27

Didn't get a reading today. 

8:30 pm:  Arlete just manually sent their reading as of 12:30 today.  She did say all is well.  Usually, I get an automatic reading from their sat phone.

Todays reading: 

Distance traveled since yesterday:  205 miles
Distance to destination:  1,478 miles

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 26

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  129 miles
Distance to destination:  1,674 miles
The genoa unfurled itself partway so it had to come down. Dick went out onto the cross-tube to pull it down while I was at the mast with the halyard and winch. But, it wouldn’t come down. Perhaps there was a hockle (a kink in the luff inside the extrusion - aren’t boat words amazing?). So Dick had to tie it off as best he could.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 25

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  112 miles
Distance to destination:  1,803
The clew tore off the genoa, the sail now ruined. We hove-to for about 1½ hours to get the genoa rolled up and tied off and hoist the main.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 24

Todays reading:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  217 miles (Yeah, finally a day where they made their goal of 200 miles for a day)

Distance to destination:  1,915 miles
A cloudy, cold day with occasional rain. The sea was rough and the boat hard to steer.  **NOTE:  Cool, I didn't know we had a 200+ mile day until I read the above (on 24 May). 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 23

Todays readings:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  121 miles
Distance to destination:  2,132 miles

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 22

Today's readings:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  131 miles
Distance to destination:    2,247 miles
Hand steering still required but the sea state has moderated a bit so it’s not quite as exhausting.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 21

Today's readings:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  65 miles
Distance to destination:  2,379 miles
A better day until dinnertime when Dick looked out and saw the staysail had come out of its tied-up bundle and had partially fallen into the water. Out onto the cross tube again for the rescue.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 20

Today's readings:

Distance traveled since yesterday:  13 miles
Distance to destination:  2,443 miles

Dick went up the mast to rethread the halyard for the roller furler. Then the genoa had to be fed into the slot (called the extrusion) and pulled upward. Dick was perched on the cross-tube doing the feeding, I was at the mast on the winch. The first week since Cabo has been slow-going to say the least.