updated 2/25/16

First Mate's Journal

Chuck retired from his job of 26 years on April 31, 2007 and we had Lealea hauled out on May 1st to begin her re-fit.  We had steadily been working on the boat for the last several months in preparation for our departure but there were things that could only be done with the boat out of the water.  The haul out brought about a decided ramp up to our preparations and the realization that after all these years, Chuck’s dream of “When I retire,  I’m going Cruising” was here.


We spent the next 25 days from sunup to sundown installing stuff and downsizing our belongings.  Towards the end we sat down every night to determine how much more needed doing and to decide if tomorrow was “the day”.       





We left Ala Wai harbor on May 26th, 2007.  Friends showed up early that morning and we shared a cup of coffee before making the last trash run and starting the motor. Our dear friend, Jesse, insisted I step aboard Lealea as we were backing out so he could hand me the last line.


We motored out the channel with only one small alarm, passed the channel markers and set sail heading North toward Kauai.  Brisk winds had Chuck and Bree seasick within 20 minutes of leaving the harbor and Chuck remained seasick for a total of 23 days.


The following are the logs of Lealea’s first voyage Across the Pacific as written by the First Mate.

 Across the Pacific
Days 1-20

May 26, 2007 Day 1


1:00 pm

Chuck took a GPS reading at noon.  We are currently running an average speed of 4 knots on a compass heading of 330-340 degrees with just the working jib.  Winds are 10-15 and it is an absolutely gorgeous day.  I’ve rigged a sunshade and am comfortably braced in the cockpit on watch while Chuck and Bree both sleep below. I haven’t touched the tiller for several hours.  The tiller pilot is a wonderful piece of magic and keeps a perfect heading taking the roll of the sea into account as well as changes in wind direction and adjusts itself accordingly.  Makes being on watch an afternoon of bliss.  We should lose sight of Kauai by later this evening and be well on our way by tomorrow.  Both Chuck and I agree it would be wiser to wait until he is over his seasickness before putting up the main, four knots isn’t optimum speed but it isn’t horrible either and Chuck will be more comfortable.  We have officially named the tiller pilot “Mr. Scott”.   Somehow it just seems appropriate.


A few things I didn’t take into consideration when provisioning.  First, we left 3 days later than planned and now “fresh” is not as fresh as it should be.  Second, I’m the only one eating anything and we are going to have a lot of very ripe vegetables soon.


On today’s list of “To Do’s”; clean the cockpit, our dock lines and some misc. junk are still lying about.  I love the spray skirts Janice made for us, they were probably not intended to help with storage but they do.  I need to change the old HA number on our “go” bucket to our document numbers and I need to take down the Vega burgee before it gets ripped to shreds.  But first, we need to run the water maker and be certain it works before it’s too late to turn back.  I can already see the v-berth needs to be reorganized.  The netting I put up helped and I’m glad I took the time to install it but there was only enough for the port side.  I’m still hoping it’s possible to clear enough space for us to  sleep forward.  Once the cooler is empty it will go aft and we can rearrange more stuff.  I stowed everything so it’s frustrating for Chuck always having to ask where something is but I figure it will be better by next week.  The main thing both of us need to remember is  we are no longer at the dock and ALWAYS have to put things back where they belong; a hard habit for both of us to break.  I’ve already misplaced Bree’s water dropper.  I know it will turn up sooner or later.  Time for lunch.


3:00

Found Bree’s dropper, gave her some lovin’ and then a dropper of water down the throat.  PB sandwiches for lunch, I got Chuck to eat a few bites but he is feeling pretty sick.


May 27, 2007  Day 2

 

Noon Position

22:22

159:16

 

Opened a can of tuna and gave Bree only a small amount of juice to make sure she wouldn’t be sick.  She has been sleeping on Chuck’s briefcase and I don’t need that mess to clean up.  I went to such pains to make a permanent spot for her and she has completely avoided it even though it was her hiding place on all our previous trips.  The first serving of juice did not come back up so I gave her more an hour later.  Chuck ate a banana and the rest of his P.B. sandwich and that has not come back up either.  Both are laying down looking pathetic and exhausted.  Chuck has been sleeping most of the afternoon.

 

We ran the water maker and everything checks out O.K.  Cool!  I think I’m going to wash my hair with seawater and use a fresh water rinse.  Tempted to wait until tomorrow when  Chuck might be able to help but best do it today while the weather holds.

 

Its Memorial Day weekend so you would think there would be a few boats around but besides a few birds zipping around near Kauai we’ve seen nothing else, no boats, no planes, nothing.

 


May 28, 2007 Day 3


10:30 am

Another beautiful morning!  Currently on watch in the cockpit sipping on one of our last cold ginger ales, Chuck is resting below.  He thinks he is done throwing up but still feels uncomfortable sitting up for more than five minutes at a time.  He had the 4-7am watch, I woke up at 6:30 and watched him for a while humped over in the cockpit.  We had both opted to spend our watches wearing foul weather gear.  I heard a pathetic “meow” come from Bree’s latest hidey hole.  I called to her a few times but she wouldn’t answer back.  Chuck poked his head around after hearing I was up, “Morning Honey”.  Well, he sounds like he is feeling better. 


I relieved Chuck at 7 and he went below to start the long process of getting his foul weather gear off,  battling with the bouts of nausea between each layer he peeled off.  I gave him a full hour of sleep but couldn’t wait any longer for breakfast.  I was famished and desperately wanted a cup of coffee.  “Hey Hon, how hungry are you, Oatmeal hungry or French toast hungry”?  He thought about it a moment and came back with French toast hungry.  This is going to be a good day!  Made two and a half pots of coffee, Chuck and I split a cup and the rest went into the thermos for later.


11:15am

Wind is light and variable.  We put the main up after breakfast and galley duty was done.  Decided we may as well take the reefs out of the main if we wanted to pick up some speed.  Only took 20 minutes this time, at least I remembered the wrench this time while I was putting on my harness.


While making lunch I made another discovery.  I needed another set of pot holders for the stove, without the second set I couldn’t use both burners at the same time, funny this had never come up before.  One of the collapsible 5g water jugs has developed a leak.  Luckily I caught it early and it didn’t make too much of a mess.  We’ll use that jug first.


11:40

Mr. Scott or Scotty has been relieved and Chuck is at the tiller.  Winds are light and hard to catch for more than a few minutes at a time.  We’ve rigged the awning for shade and put on some Jimmy Buffet.


Noon Position

23:34

159:48

Running along with a northerly current and averaging a speed of 2 knots.


Bree is still being heard but not seen hiding deep in her hole de jour.  I’ll have to coax or drag her out soon to give her more water.

We ate noodles and tuna with fresh grated parmesan cheese last night for dinner.  One mango is getting pretty ripe and will need to be eaten tonight.  We’ve 4 bananas left and they will have to be used in the next few days.  Weather permitting I’ll try to make banana/oatmeal pancakes tomorrow.  Next off watch I have to inventory and turn vegetables, check forward storage and water jugs and clean the boat.


Currently on the 1-4 watch, winds are almost non existent.  I have such a hard time steering in light winds.

2pm

Winds have picked back up.  Fresh breeze has put us on a course of 330.  Scotty is on again and performing like a trooper out in the hot sun.  Display was acting up earlier but working again now so we’ve decided to keep it covered when ever we’re not adjusting it.  Chuck is below getting some sleep.  The sunshade I’ve rigged is not as effective now that the main is up but I’m handily tucked in the corner offering the most shade.  Two float cushions and a pillow later and I’m comfortably settled in for watch.

 

We had a Booby land on the bow just before dark.  Amazing how they can look perfectly comfortable sleeping with their head under their wing until you focus only on the movement of their tails.  Only then do you wonder how they make it look so easy.  How such a big bird can clutch onto a one inch stainless rail and get any rest is beyond me.  Mr. Booby kept Chuck company through the night, slept in late and was gone by 7:30.

 

Full moon in a few days, the next few evenings should be spectacular if the weather holds.

 

2:30pm

Winds picking up again, adjusted course to 333.  Swells picking up from our starboard quarter, average speed 4 knots.  Lealea’s interior is making her rhythmical sounds letting you know she is on course and happily moving with the wind.  H.M. Bark Endeavour had her own sound underway and Spike Africa had hers but Lealea‘s pleasant-sounding creaks are my favorite melody.

 

We still have a few cold drinks left in the cooler and the cold ginger ale tastes pretty good right now.

5:00pm

Around 3:00 winds died completely and Lealea was in irons.  We decided to leave her that way so Chuck could have a shave and a hotpot shower while I made dinner, our first real meal in days.

 

Bree came out of her hole around supper time and tried hard to look pathetic but couldn’t quite pull it off.   She really does look much better.  She sat in front of her bowl which is sitting on the floor, not its normal place, and started meowing.  I gave her a dollop of plain yogurt, one of her favorite “people” treats, served on the lid.  She dug in and cleaned it up.  It seems that her and Chuck are on the same seasick schedule.

 

Evening is my favorite time of day.  Winds are freshening from the South with a hint of chill but thankfully no rain.  The ocean stretches from horizon to horizon with no sign of birds or boats.  At The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas they have a ceiling painted to resemble the sky.  It has special lighting which adjusts for morning, afternoon and evening.  Its funny, the painting is so obviously a fake when you are standing under it but somehow the painter managed to capture the subtle changes of blue in the sky perfectly.  We are surrounded by cumulous clouds in all directions, perfect weather and, funny enough, tonight the sky looks exactly like that painting. 

 

This afternoon Chuck took a reading of our speed with a manual knot meter he had purchased years ago and never used.  It gave us a reading of 5 knots.  We are certainly not setting any speed records but have been very comfortable so far.  Besides being physically away from the dock and a few other lifestyle changes, most notably my not exercising 4 hours a day, we are living on the boat as we usually do.  Chuck is not fully recovered and still has grumpy “just leave me alone” moments but at this rate I’m hoping he’ll be back to normal tomorrow.  We are still receiving the weather station on VHF.  Mr. Scott, now shortened to Scotty, is amazing.  He keeps the boat on a perfect heading with few hiccups and is definitely the best helmsman on board since he can hold his concentration for hours at a time.  Chuck is a close second and I am a distant third.  It is difficult not to let my mind drift and lose the best point of sail and it takes me a while to find it again.  Scotty never has to correct himself which helps our overall speed and distance covered.

 

Got the cockpit cleaned up and cut more non-skid for the galley.  Bilge is dry but needs to be cleaned.  We ran with the forward hatch open for a few hours to circulate some air.  We’re both having a hard time getting in the habit of always putting things back in their place.  The only way to find the item you need is to make sure it always gets put back in its place; sounds simple enough but a hard habit to establish.  I’m hoping Chuck will be feeling well enough tomorrow to start on the new lifelines.  Engine temperature alarm solved.  When Chuck installed the new thu hull for the engine saltwater intake he left it closed. Our motor from the work dock back to our slip was too short for it to be an issue but leaving the harbor set off the alarm.  Well, that’s a new item to add to our checklist. Before starting the motor: Check the seacock.  Hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t turn back or pull into Kauai for something so simple.

 

6:30pm

Getting buzzed by two Boobies looking for potential roost, maybe we’ll have more guests tonight.

 

May 29, 2007   Day 4

 

Last night was beautiful and just cool enough to be enjoyable.  Nearly a full moon which set completely by 4:15am and the first light of the morning started promptly at 5.

 

I wiped down the cockpit with a wet rag just after sunrise.  How Bree got so much cat hair in the cockpit without stepping a paw outside I will never know.  Our stern dock lines were still attached to the cleats so I removed them and got them stowed.  Bree came out of her hole and ate from her bowl which I had moved back to its regular place on the top step.  She sat looking straight up at the sky for quite a while then hopped tentatively into the cockpit for about 20 seconds then jumped back inside again.  She is acting normal and is back to her “regular” sleep pattern during the day.

 

Made French toast for breakfast and Chuck ate all but the last two bites.  I figure we may as well enjoy a good breakfast while the weather holds and the fresh supplies last.

 

Noon Position

24:13

160:13

Winds light and variable

 

 

 

3:00pm

Had a snack of dried nut and fruit mix bought from Costco then made some mango salsa to go with pita chips for lunch.  We’ve been lazing along at 1-2 knots for most of the day.   Scotty is on duty again.

 

7:00pm

Winds have been light and variable all day but picked up again around 5pm as it has for the last three evenings.  We were prepared tonight and had just finished reefing the main.  If the winds hold to this timetable we will have a regular routine soon.  We are currently sailing 270 degrees with winds from the South.  Moon is already up for the evening but still 2-3 days away from being full.  Puffy cumulus clouds in all directions as far as you can see.

 

Made Chicken burritos for dinner.  Pre-cooked chicken we brought is still cold.  Chuck is still not feeling quite right.  I think the long hours of work every day during the last few weeks of prep before our trip are adding to the seasickness.  I’ll try and give him a few extra hours of sleep tonight.  The most annoying and unexpected problem we are dealing with are sore butts.  The red throw cushions are nowhere near comfortable enough for the long hours we’ve been sitting in the cockpit.  Chuck actually has large, visible bruising on his buns.  A shopping trip at West Marine or a camping store is in order when we get in.  I’ve been using a small fender in the cockpit as a foot rest/brace as the balls of my feet are sore as well from bracing against the hard surface hours on end.  Dug our Goat Roper hats out of the storage locker tonight, yep, the weather is definitely getting cooler.  Tonight’s waves are choppy and swells are increasing but I expect in another few hours it will be glassy calm with light variable winds.  We’ve s till have seen no marine life.

 

We ran into a squall this afternoon.  Chuck was wearing his new long sleeve Columbia shirt I bought him for Christmas.  The rain was hard enough that I was able to take a shower but his shirt did not soak through and his capilene shirt underneath was completely dry. 

 

Sewed Chuck’s safety harness today and will do mine tomorrow.  The pocket that holds the CO2 cartridge does not have enough Velcro to hold the weight of the cartridge and both of our harnesses keep popping open.  I also added a stop to the end of our crotch straps so the end isn’t able to slip through the buckle under weight.

 

There was enough of a lull in the wind this afternoon we actually toyed with the idea of breaking out the computer and watching a movie but decided it was more trouble than it was worth.  We stowed the anchor on the floor in front of the door to the head and would have to move it over 3 inches before we can dig out the movies. 

 

Reefed the main again around 5pm, only took about 20 minutes.

 

 

May 30th, 2007  Day 5

 

Chuck still sick and frankly I am really sick of him being sick.  Both of us are shorter in temper than usual.  I just want my husband back.  Tiller pilot (not Scotty anymore) cut out just after dark last night.  There goes our cushy trip as one of us must now be at the tiller at all times.  No more meals where both of us can go below and enjoy.  Well, it was sweet while it lasted.  To bad Chuck didn’t have a chance to enjoy it.  West Marine shopping trip now expanded to returning the leaky water jug and Tiller Pilot and buying new cushions.  Sigh, new cushions….oh, my buns are so sore!  Bree has also not had a good morning.  No tiller pilot means the ride is not as smooth and she has started feeling ill again.

 

Made 3 burritos last night for supper and had one for a breakfast after Chuck finished his 7 am watch.  I was starving and knew Chuck would want to just go below and sleep.  We finished the last papaya later in the morning but that was all I could get Chuck to eat.


12:00

Noon Position

25:03

161:55

Average speed of 5 knots.  Weather is gorgeous with fluffy white cumulus as far as the eye can see.  Swells 5-7 feet

 

Ate P.B and honey on a tortilla for lunch, unable to cook in these swells.

 

Currently have the tiller lashed, not as efficient as the tiller pilot but it works, however the ride is not as smooth.  Brought the main down last night around 5pm and are sailing on the jib only.  Buns are still extremely sore.

 

Ran the water maker for 45 minutes yesterday and will run again tomorrow to top off our 2 gallon day tank.  We have 6 gallons in the blue water jug stored in an aft locker,  three 5 gallon water jugs stored in the v-berth, plus the 14 gallon water tank.

 

 

May 31, 2007  Day 6

 

Chuck still feeling queasy.  I’ve decided the 4-7 watch is my favorite since I get to watch the moon go down and then the sun come up.  Wiped down the cockpit and got Chuck up at 7am so I could go below and get breakfast started.  We had oatmeal with blueberries and the last banana.  After breakfast I tidied up the galley and cleaned the cabin then ran the water maker for an hour to top off the day tank. 

 

We had a good run last night with an average speed of 4.5 knots and we were able to maintain a compass heading of between 330-340 degrees for most of the night.  Barometer has held the same since we left and temperature in the cabin is 82 degrees.

 

I’m still rigging the sunshade every morning by 9am to keep out of the sun.  We’re wearing shorts during the day and foul weather gear at night.  It’s been cool but not uncomfortable and we are still both going barefoot.

 

I made a dinner out of canned chicken with instant noodles last night for supper. Nothing to complicated because of the motion of the boat.

 

12:00

Noon Position

26.12

162.21

 

3:30pm

Chuck decided to take down the working jib and put up the larger Genoa.  Motion of the boat is much smoother now than with the working jib.  We’re holding the same course but with a 2 knot advantage.

 

I finished off the leftover salsa dip from yesterdays lunch along with more pita chips.  A great snack!  Had ½ an apple before we did the sail handling and a P.B. sandwich after.  Chuck is still ill and only ate ½ his sandwich.

 

We lost our white bucket this morning.  The knot came undone and poof it was gone.  We used the opportunity to practice a man overboard/bucket drill.   Notice the bucket is still gone.  Great practice which we both needed and I’m sure if it happened again we would have gotten it.  We actually got turned around and passed it by within 5 feet but it was partially submerged and by the time I spotted it, it was too late.  Note to self, make sure the boat hook is handy next time (DUH!).

June 1, 2007  Day 7

 

I think my honey is back, he hasn’t been queasy all day.

 

Tiller remained lashed all last night until around 8am this morning.  Another beautiful night.  Chuck took first evening watch which means I got the 4-7pm again.  We both seem to like our watches and are falling into a regular pattern.  This way gives me time to put away the evening dishes, get coffee made for the night, make the bed and then fall into it.  Being sick Chuck was sleeping on the floor the first few days but now that he is feeling better he is able to sleep on the bunk so I can go in and get anything I need without stepping over and disturbing him.

 

Had oatmeal with walnuts and raisins for breakfast and by the time we finished the wind had completely died.  We decided it was a good time to pull some line out of the locker and make reefs for our main.  Before we left Chuck took the main to a sail maker and had some extra reef points added just in case we needed to take in a deeper reef than we can get with the roller furling.  So far we haven’t needed to but who knows and we don’t have any lines made up for the job.  This was also a good time to break out boat soap and give the boat a good scrubbing as we only had time to give the boat a quick hose off before we left.  Afterwards we decided it was time for a bath ourselves.  There was still not a breath of wind after we got cleaned up so we dug out a larger awning and rigged it for shade.  It was so big it was hard to find any good tie points and would be no good at all with any amount of wind.  We must have looked like a Winnebago at sea!  At least we were shady and cool.

 

 

12:00

Noon Position

27.05

162.41

 

3:00pm

Winds have just picked up a bit and we are possibly making 2 knots.  Very light winds but tiller is lashed and sailing comfortable so we decided to both go below and rest our buns on nice soft cushions inside for a while.

 

4:00pm

Winds have died completely again and jib is backed. Nap time! 

 

Bree is nearly at that “old hat” stage and now boldly walks about the cabin instead of skulking.  She has come out into the cockpit for a look around and a quick peek over the side during both Chuck’s watch and mine for the last two nights.  She tends to meow a lot when I’m in the cockpit and Chuck is trying to get some sleep.  As soon as I come below she climbs into my lap or into bed with me and snuggles.

 

 

7:30pm

We tacked at 5:30 and are on a new heading of 20 degrees reaching with the Genoa.   I made Chicken Burritos for lunch using the last of the cooked chicken followed later by a snack of granny smith apple with Vermont cheddar cheese, dried apricots and walnuts.  Chuck has the7-10pm watch but it is such a beautiful night I sent him below for a quick snooze.  Red sky at night, Sailor’s delight.  Breeze is soft and consistent and I’m wearing shorts with a fleece jacket.  Perfect!

June 2, 2007    Day 8

 

11:00 am

Last night ended “normal” enough but this morning started out completely different.  Currently heading North at 5 knots and this will not be a lazy day.  If this is the way the sailing will be the rest of the way it will be fine with me.  We’ve had a whole week of easy sailing and lazy days which gave Chuck a good chance to recuperate.  We’ve done more sail handling in the last week than in our last couple years of sailing together.  Cocky, no, but definitely more comfortable.  I think Chuck is over the worst of his seasickness and we can finally put in some good distance and have some fun.

 

Bree ate from her bowl on the top step this morning even with the increase in lean angle and speed, did her morning duty then found a cozy spot up forward among the sail bags for a cat nap.  Yep, back to normal.

Noon Position

27:19

162:15

Course 330 degrees average speed 4.6 knots.

 

2:30pm

We’ve been beating into the wind all afternoon on the jib alone.  We changed from the Genoa to the working jib just after breakfast.  Working on deck while beating upwind at 5-6 knots…ya baby!!!  Had the Genoa down and working jib up in just under 40 minutes.  The first week was cruising, now THIS is sailing!

 

Still haven’t seen anything at all except the occasional bird.  Found a tiny flying fish on deck this morning which I tried giving to Bree.  She seemed very interested but wouldn’t go so far as to take a bite.  A cat who won’t take advantage of a morsel of fresh fish, where did we go wrong?


4:45pm

We are here.    

27.25

162.15

 

Hove to, it’s just not worth the effort.  We’re hanging out waiting for the either the winds or waves to change direction.  One or the other has to before we go any further.

 

 

7:00pm

27.22:320

162.41:246

UGH!

 

 

 

June 3, 2007    Day 9

 

Lealea is rolling along, literally.

Last night we thought it might be smoother with the jib down so I went forward and dropped it but the roll was noticeably worse so back up it went.  We went below, put on the anchor light and I made a 1 pot supper of Chicken Corn Chowder and added an extra can of corn.  We sat together on the bunk and ate out of the same pot sharing the spoon and a tortilla.  The boat was very cozy while we were bundled under a blanket with the lamps lit.  After supper we snuggled on the couch for a while with the cat snoozing comfortably in our laps then we both fell asleep.

 

We’ll have breakfast and hot tea (hot cocoa for me) before we get started.  By getting started I mean going forward and hauling down the #3 jib and putting up the working jib.  Hopefully we can make some distance in the right direction today.

 

11:00am

Both of us benefited from a good rest last night but unfortunately Chuck is still suffering from frequent bouts of nausea.  It has turned out to be a beautiful day and I’m currently on watch snacking on my favorite dried fruit and nut mix.  Chuck’s clothes are laid out in the cockpit attempting to dry.  He got hit with a full body soaker a little while ago.  The tiller is lashed and we are sailing comfortably at 5 knots, our heading between 300-330.  Waves are subdued compared to yesterday and Lealea is moving along smoothly.  My fluffy cumulus clouds are back and a welcome sight.  Does it get any better?

 

We are still wearing our capilene shirts and shorts during the day.  It was pretty chilly last night but I’m not sure if that was simply because of the crappy weather or a permanent change.  Our routine has pretty much come together and by choice we keep the same watch every day.  After my 4-7am I come below and make breakfast after which I tidy the galley, stow our night clothes, put away the bedding, clean the cabin and run the water maker .  Usually I have about 20 minutes to relax before I’m on watch again.  Since I didn’t finish all my chores yesterday Chuck is running the water maker this morning. 

 

Chuck and I are getting much more efficient sail handling as a team.  We set 3 jibs yesterday and another this morning.  Getting the routine down so both of us know the order of things and who is responsible without a bunch of hollering back and forth is NICE.  I love my Henri Lloyd jacket I bought at West Marine just before we left.  It got soaked going forward this morning and was completely dry before I got back into the cockpit.

 

Bree takes turns sleeping with Chuck and I during the night.  Cozy!  She is acting about 85% normal but still not eating her normal amount of food and has noticeably lost weight.  I spent some extra time with her this morning generally giving her some extra lovin and trimming her nails.  10 years old and just now she is becoming a spoiled lap cat.

 

 

12:00

Noon Position

27.18

162.58

906 miles to our first waypoint which is where Chuck approximates our turn East will be.

 

 

6:30pm

A perfect day of sailing.  We are currently running at 6 knots on the working jib alone and running perfectly with the waves with only the occasional roll or jump.  Again, the sky is full of cumulus clouds as far as the eye can see and still we have not spotted any other ships.   I saw a dolphin for a moment but he was obviously on a mission and didn’t hesitate as he passed by.  P.B sandwiches for early dinner along with leftover soup from last night.  Chuck is still not eating much.

 

7:45pm

Ship spotted bearing 330 about 5-6 miles away, turned on the tri-lights.

 

Thought Chuck might be hungry so I heated a can of beans.  He had a few bites then needed to lie down again.  O.K. maybe the beans weren’t such a good idea.

 

June 4,  2007    Day 10


4:30am

Chuck is sick again.  He didn’t get any sleep before his last watch and that was just enough to push him over again.  We’ve been running an average of 5 knots all day and so far this evening the winds are still holding.  Our heading of 0-30 degrees puts us on a direct heading toward our first waypoint and “The Turn”.  It is another beautiful night but one spent huddled in the companionway.  Enough waves are coming over the bow you need to keep your head down.  The moon is still full but there are many clouds this evening so we’re not getting much benefit from the light.  Tiller is lashed and only needs a gentle push or pull once in a while.  We passed thru a fishing fleet and have seen three fishing boats tonight.  We used the VHF to contact the long liner “Maluhea” based out of Hawaii to find out if they had fishing gear in the water.  Originally we had planned on passing in front of them but it turned out they had their gear off the bow, good thing we called!  We passed close enough by her stern to wave at the people on her deck.  Aloha “Maluhea”.  The other two vessels were distant enough that we didn’t need to contact them.

 

6:30am

Another great sunrise.  We’re still on a heading of 0-30 degrees.  Swells are 3-5 feet coming on the front quarter.  Generally Lealea is riding well with only an occasional lurch or roll.  Bree sat on my lap this morning on the top step of the companionway and watched the sun come up.  She is now curled up in her new favorite spot on the spare mainsail up forward.

 

8:00am

I’ve just finished a solitary breakfast of cold leftover beans.  Still on watch as Chuck is again lying prone on the floor.  Man this is getting old.  At least he is letting me talk to him, things are looking up.

 

Captain Chuck’s quote of the day

“Beans not good”

 

Put the video camera in its waterproof case today.  Spray is constantly in the air now and everything is starting to feel damp, tolerable only if it continues to be nice during the day so we can dry things out.  So far it’s been a beautiful morning.  The temperature in the cabin is 75 degrees.  There is a brisk slap in the air and the barometer is rising.

 

I heard Chuck groan from below and poked my head in.  “Doing O.K.?

 

“I’m ruining your trip”, Chuck says.

I love him so much, he isn’t ruining my trip, I’m having a blast but I’m sorry he isn’t having the fantastic time I am.  This trip was, after all, HIS dream many years before I ever came along.  The bummer was I had spent most of my watch dreaming up something great for breakfast and ended up with cold beans.  “You aren’t ruining my trip; I’m having a great time.  I just wish you could come out and play”.

  

 

Captain Chuck’s Description of Seasickness.

 

Drowsiness

Dizziness

Nausea

Vomiting

Vomiting some more

Dry heaves

Just kill me

(Not always felt in that order)

 

Chuck usually gets sick when we go out to do any sail handling.  I usually bring enough ginger ale and ginger cookies to get him through it but I never planned on his being sick for 10 days and didn’t bring enough food that, as Chuck says,”are good both ways”.  Scrambled eggs, mac ‘n cheese, ginger ale and soda crackers.

 

Well at least we aren’t at work!

 

11:00am

Ran the water maker for an hour and a half today same as yesterday.

 

 

12:00

Noon Position

28.57

163.08

Average speed 4 knots heading due North.  793 miles to first our waypoint.

 

2:30pm

Course change to 010, winds are light.  Spotted a tanker headed 325 degrees but it was easily 12-15 miles away.  Bound for Hawaii?

 

9:00pm

We had a nice casual afternoon.  Chuck got the tiller lashed again around 2:30 and we both went below.  Lealea has been steering herself all day and so far through the night.  I’m sitting in the companionway writing and Chuck is crashed on the couch.  A mellow night with light winds and the tiller is steady so we decided to cancel formal night watch and get some rest.  I made freeze dried Beef Stroganoff with noodles which we shared out of the pot along with a little red wine.  Hot cocoa and Hawaiian cream cookies for dessert.  We snuggled under the blankets on the couch and took turns every 10-15 minutes getting up to check outside for traffic.  Yep, this is a hard life.

June 5, 2007  Day 11

 

11:00 am

The sun is out and it is another beautiful day.

 

We had a bit of a shocker this afternoon.  Chuck noticed some large rust stains on the aft deck which weren’t there when we left.  The deck plug for the solar panels has completely rusted away in 11 days causing the wiring for the panels to short.  We installed the plug new just before we left.  Chuck pulled the plug out and the wires were melted and had a distinctive burnt smell.  Great!  However, Chuck is determined to repair the wiring rather than use the engine to charge the panels especially this early in the trip.

 

We ran the engine for an hour so we could run the water maker and Chuck took an inventory of the items we had on board to make repairs.  I took advantage of the smoother ride while we were motoring to pull out the alcohol and refill the stove.  The pans for the stove were mostly full when we left but not completely so we’ve gotten 11 days of regular cooking for approximately 1 pint of alcohol per burner.  Not bad.  Bree was, of course, very unhappy when we started the engine.  She is still buried in the bottom of the hanging locker.  Sigh, I hope she didn’t pee on anything.

 

12:00

Noon sighting

29:57

162:19

Average speed 4 knots.  Consistent N.E winds of 10-15 and clear skies.

Running on a heading of 30 degrees at an average of 4 knots, we’re rolling around a bit but not bad.  705 miles to our first waypoint.

 

2:00pm

Ahhh, sunshine!  We got to dry out our foul weather gear which we’ve not really needed for the last few nights.  Hoping this dry weather holds as there is nothing like a lot of rain to ruin your day.

 

I’m very lucky to be able to sleep anytime, anywhere, with any amount of noise and in any position.  Chuck didn’t sleep well again last night and is down below sleeping now.  He got queasy again while diagnosing the problem with the solar panels.

 

5:30pm

Freighter spotted heading 270 degrees.  Not quite close enough to make out the name but it looked like “Morning Star”.

 

6:30pm

We had an early supper of tuna melt sandwiches then went on deck for our nightly deck check.  Chuck made some adjustments to the jib and we were able to point more North.  I heated some hot water so we could freshen up then we settled down with a cup of hot cocoa and cookies.  The tiller, which had been lashed all day, took this opportunity to start acting temperamental so Chuck had to gear up again and go out to reset the tiller which generally takes 20-30 minutes.  He had just gotten it reset and the winds died completely.  Chuck says it seems the winds stop to watch the sun go down.

 

8:00pm

Winds have picked up again

 

10:40pm

Winds have completely died, again.

June 6,  2007    Day 12

 

4:10am

Yuk, strange weather, looks like we’ve gotten into some kind of front.  I had the 10:00 watch and the skies were clear but by 11:00 both the wind and waves had completely died.  Ocean is glassy calm and a misty cloud has moved in which completely obscures all light from the stars and most of the moon.  The jib was banging around so badly I knew Chuck couldn’t be getting any sleep so I called him on deck and we pulled it down.  It’s much quieter but now we are just bobbing around waiting for wind.  I figure Chuck will just barely get to sleep and the wind will pick up again.  Put on my wool socks for the first time tonight, not so much because my feet were cold but they were feeling damp and I slept much better for it.

 

We had a visitor early last night.  I saw a small bird literally tumble onto the deck with no grace at all.  He was gone when I went forward to take down the jib.  I hope he flew away but it had looked so exhausted when it landed I’m pretty sure he fell into the water.

 

Bree came out into the cockpit tonight.  I was tidying the jib sheet and caught movement out of the corner of my eye.  She stayed out for a minute sniffing the lines and taking a quick peek over the side then hopped back inside.  Hopefully in another week I can use her for a lap warmer while on watch.

 

6:30am

The winds picked up again around 5:30 shortly after I took over the watch.  I got Chuck up again so we could reset the jib.  Tiller is lashed once more and it looks to be another beautiful day.  A welcome sight after the eerie night we had last night.

 

12:00

Noon sighting

30:40

161:43

Heading between 30 to zero degrees at an average speed of 4 knots.  Skies are clear with no change to the barometer.  Cabin temperature is 72 degrees.  Waves are 2-3 feet and we have mild sea conditions.  650 miles to first waypoint.

 

Chuck was in excellent spirits this morning even with his lack of sleep last night.  I gave him an extra hour to sleep in this morning and then crashed for an hour myself.  Oatmeal definitely wouldn’t cut it this morning so I made Chili and Eggs for breakfast.

 

Bree is back to normal and starting to lounge around lying on her back.  I gave her a good brushing this morning and seeing all the hair have decided it will be a part of our regular routine.  Cleaning up cat litter is bad enough.

 

Chuck has figured out how to fix the plug for the solar panels using the cigarette lighter plug that came with the panels.  Funny, we almost threw it away before we left.  He has made another wire harness with what spare wire we had available in our electrical box which was just long enough to do the job.  Thanks to our electrician friend Strider who gave us bag of assorted connectors for a going away present Chuck had what he needed.  After Chuck finishes his repair we’ll put up the main and see if we can make up some lost time from last night.  We’ll run the water maker again for an hour.  Our water consumption has settled into a pattern and running the maker every other day seems to work fine.  Most of the water is seems to go into the thermos every night so we have hot water for tea or cocoa.

4:00pm

Num, just finished a lunch of green apple, dried apricots, cheese and tortilla.   House batteries ran down to 12.5 after running the water maker for an hour and 45 minutes.  We just tested the batteries again and they show back up to 14.5 so Chuck’s repair worked.

My Captain ROCKS!!

 

8:45pm

Hove to at 30:56 and 161:34.  Another night identical to last.  The night is clear with not a cloud in the sky and a deep blue in all directions.  As soon as the sun went below the horizon the mist moved in and instantly there was not a breath of wind.  The mist completely soaks everything and the towel hanging over the door is dripping wet.  We lit the lanterns in the cabin to try and keep the moisture down but it’s not helping much, just making it warm and wet.

 

June 7, 2007    Day 13

 

We had oatmeal with raisins and walnuts around 9am for breakfast. 

 

Hove to all night and now we are just waiting for the winds to pick up again.  Chuck has had to sleep with the sound of flogging sails again since 4am.  Had a great evening though, after we hove to I made some hot chocolate and we buttoned up against the “Mist of Doom” as we are now calling it and shared a small bag of Famous Amos cookies.  We’re currently crawling along in extremely light and variable winds making barely 1 knot but at least it’s in the right direction.  We finished the last of the fresh bread with our supper last night.  I made grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.  We have 1 ½ packages of tortillas left, I wish I had bought more.

 

Chuck decided to put up the whisker pole around noon.  We had been making 1 knot and have now doubled our speed.  The wind had better start cooperating soon or we will end up taking 45 days.  No deadline at all would be better.  I’m really enjoying the time alone with Chuck, about as sweet as life gets, absolute privacy and nothing but time.  Now, if we just had a bit of wind and my butt would stop hurting.  After we poled out the jib Chuck was ready for lunch.  There was a breakfast feel in the air so I decided to make corn beef hash and eggs.

 

Chuck slept better last night.  I have a hard time waking him for his watch he is so exhausted.  It’s been fairly relaxing the last few days so hopefully he is fully rested.  I think the slower trip has been better for me.  I’ve gotten way more hours at the tiller and had an easy learning curve.  I think once we reach Seattle the sailing will become, not harder, but more complex.  We will be a good team by the time we arrive.  We ran the water maker for an hour and 15 minutes today.

 

June 8, 2007    Day 14


Kept the jib poled out last night and got some speed and distance but the tiller was very finicky and left no time for rest on either watch.  After a quick breakfast of oatmeal we decided to put up the main and run wing on wing and this brought our average speed up to 4.6 knots.  We ran the water maker again for an hour and 10 minutes.

 

12:00

Noon Sighting

31.44

160.59

 

Our dinner last night was canned beef soup with crackers.  I added some walnuts and dill for extra flavor.  We ate supper sitting in the cockpit watching the sun go down.  Sweet!

 

Chuck is re-rigging the downhaul as the line is starting to fray.  Plan to use our new inverter to charge the camera batteries for the first time so well have to see how long it takes and how much juice it will use.  Clouds are big and fluffy today and are the most we’ve seen the whole trip.  Barometer is holding steady so we’re not expecting any major changes in weather.  I wish my butt would stop hurting, this is getting really old.

 

Bree has my watch schedule down and is awake to greet me when I come in and it doesn’t take her long to settle into my lap as soon as I lie down.  It’s been so dark the last couple of nights I have to get my clothes organized and at hand in the order they are put on.  I can’t waste time looking around for misplaced items when Chuck is waiting to be relieved.

 

I finally got Chuck into the “inside” and “outside” clothes routine.  I have one set of on deck clothes and one set of cockpit clothes and another set for inside and sleeping clothes.  Keeping everything separate makes all the difference for sleeping comfortably and ensures no salty clothes ever get into bed.  The whole key to staying comfortable is to keep the inside of the boat dry.  Saltwater never dries out and once an item is wet it’s always wet or damp feeling until it is laundered.

 

I think I’ll make pancakes for lunch today, because I can!

 

4:20pm

Tiller lashed and we are running 340-350 at 6 knots.  Sweet!  Adjustments have to be made every minute or so but its not continual hand steering which is a major break.  It’s  hard to keep on the same compass heading for hours at a time.

 

Decided against pancakes.  I had laid down to rest and ended up nodding off for over an hour.  By the time Chuck woke me up with “Honey, I’m starving” it was 3:00.  Lunch took an hour to make from start to finish.

 

Almost sunset, I love this time of day best.  Hot water is already in the pot for tonight.  Just finished supper of cheese quesadilla with sweet hot chili sauce followed by coffee and 2 squares each of a Ritter chocolate almond bar.

 

We both are wishing we had a working tiller pilot.  That would make things go much easier.  But I think the experience we’ve gained by not having it running during this leg has been invaluable.  We now know what the best conditions for the tiller pilot are and when it’s best to just lash the tiller.  We’ll visit West Marine when we get in to exchange the unit and be smarter for its having died.

 

7:15pm

The sun is going down later now.  We’ve got the tiller lashed and are running well enough at 3.2–4.8 knots on a compass heading of 340 degrees.  Temperature is 75 degrees inside the cabin.  There are a few clouds this evening unlike previous two nights and we don’t expect “mist of doom” to descend this evening which is a relief, wet sheets suck!

June 9, 2007    Day 15

 

9:30am

I had to wake Chuck up at 6:30 and get a Captain’s decision.  The winds had changed direction and I wanted to know if he wanted to sheet in the main.  The decision was to alter course from 0 degrees to 330.  Since he was up and the weather was cooperative I decided it was time for the pancake breakfast I’ve been teasing him with for so long. 

 

Nice night before bed last night.  Cozied up and lit the lanterns to help with the moisture.  Turns out it was even wetter last night.  Had a nice cup of cocoa and read for a while before going to sleep.

 

Current heading 345 degrees.  We are still running wing on wing at 5 knots.  Making good time, hopefully today’s noon position will show a 100 mile day.  We’ve only been averaging 50 – 60 miles per day so far.  I’ll put lack of progress down more to Chuck’s seasickness.  With him being sick 2–3 knots was progress enough and kept the boat to a comfortable speed.  Currently 78 degrees in the cabin.  We’ve been able to open the forward hatch for the last three days which has helped dry the boat out some.  The moisture at night is amazing.  Used a fair amount of water yesterday, made a pot of hot water for the evening then decided on coffee as well.  Will probably have to run the water maker for an a few hours today.  Such an easy routine we’ve fallen into, sad, this is one of the longest legs we will be making and it is so nice out here.  Everything will change once we start to approach land.  I think boats are more content in the open water away from land.

 

I’m finally getting better with my knots.  I try to fiddle with a piece of line if I can every evening during watch.  Figure 8, bowline, buntline hitch, sheet bend.  Chuck started making the reef ties yesterday and got two of the four done.  I have somehow managed to lose 4 or 5 sail ties somewhere along the way.  Didn’t secure them on deck and they are gone.

 

Bree is eating better but still not up to her usual appetite.  She has lost weight but really nothing she couldn’t afford with her lazy cat belly.  She is again becoming talkative and wanting to play.

 

Noon Position

32’58

161’09

No change in barometer

Temp in cabin 76 degrees

2-3’ swells from S.E

Compass heading 320 – 330 degrees 

 

5:00pm

I feel like a new person and I’m sure Chuck does too.  Had a cockpit bath with all fresh water (decadent) with 6 cups to wash hair and another 3 to soap up and rinse. We will have to run the water maker for two hours tomorrow.  Generally a nice clear day.  We’ve been sailing downwind all afternoon and it has made for perfect conditions.  We had quesadilla’s again for lunch.  I added beans this time along with the cheese and sweet chili pepper sauce served on the cutting board and eaten in the cockpit.  Right now I’m nibbling on walnuts and apricots trying to decide what to make for supper.

 

8:15pm

Snuggled in the bunk drinking a hot cocoa and writing by lantern light.  The wet evening mist is back and once again we’ve covered the companion way with a towel to keep the damp out.  Winds are blowing us directly North.  Heading tonight the same as the last three nights now.  Winds shift from 330 early morning until five(ish) when they change to North.  This afternoon was great fun running straight down wind with the swells, gliding and sliding.  It seems we are going faster but the GPS only shows us moving along at 3.5 – 4.5 knots.  Dinner of Chunky Chicken Gumbo soup with a small can of corn added plus fresh parmesan cheese, pepper and crackers.  Bree has been very playful today, jumping around from place to place.  She was playing with her pillow this afternoon and has made it part of her routine to help me make the bed in the evening.  We went through our whole day tank of water today.  No regrets since I can touch my hair again and not have the picture of dreadlocks pop into my head.  Note for tomorrow, need to check stores for more hot cocoa.  Opened the package of bulk coffee we bought from Costco before we left and it is so bad it is practically undrinkable so we have been making cocoa instead.   I hope I brought enough.   


          

 

June 10, 2007    Day 16

 

5:00am

34.10

160.53

 

The sheet on the Genoa came free shortly after 4am.  We took down the pole, secured the Genoa and are going below until sun-up.  Looks like we hit some West winds..

 

11:00am

What a start to the day.  Chuck and I had discussed taking in the pole last night and decided since the wind had been consistent in dying down each night we would leave it up.  Bad choice.  Wind picked up as the evening turned into morning and around 4:30 we had a wind shift.  The sheet came off and the pole was swinging free.  I tried to steer so the wind was coming from behind and would blow the jib forward.  By the time we secured the pole and brought in the jib it was close to 5:30 and the Captain made the call to leave all sail down and just go below and ride out the weather.  I got some sleep but because of the rolling Chuck did not.  We got up around 7:30, had a cup of tea and half a tortilla with peanut butter before we went out to put up the storm jib.  Weather is grey and overcast, waves are running from the south and swells are ranging 4-6 feet with an odd one now and then that slaps the side and drenches the cockpit.  Making freeze dried breakfast of scrambled eggs served on a tortilla.  I should have brought more tortillas.

  

Noon sight

34.16

160. 

Heading 0 degrees

Speed 4 knots

Barometer dropped two points

Cabin temp 72 degrees

Skies overcast and grey

 

Finished breakfast at noon.  Chuck feeling queasy again, oh well, that just means two cups of coffee for me.  Steering is not bad as I can manage the tiller with a foot and write at the same time while checking the compass every other word.  The song “Grey Skies from now on” is playing over and over in my head.  This is actually a nice morning.  A little wet but not cold, if only my butt wasn’t so sore!  Every shift or roll is bruising.

 

Rogue wave.  Drenched.  With every motion of the boat I feel the grinding of bone.  Two seat cushions and a chunk of temperpedic foam stuffed in a garbage bag helps but is still a long ways from being comfortable.  Mmmmm, a new coffee drink for sailors with salt on the rim.  Bree took in all the drama this morning like a pro.  I can’t imagine how loud the free flogging jib must have sounded to her below.  When we came down she was mildly curious as to the morning activities but not noticeably upset.  As soon as Chuck and I sat down she was on the couch with us.  Even with the sails down and us rolling heavily she was walking around the cabin and using her litter box.  She is still only eating roughly a quarter of her normal amount of food but is no longer noticeably losing weight.  Chuck on the other hand will be positively buff by the time we get in, even with the chow he is getting. 

 

Chuck had thought last night (this morning) we had found the Westerlies but now he is not sure.  Something sure shifted last night so maybe this is a glimpse.  Sigh…I really don’t expect to see Chuck for the rest of the day.  It’s funny how you can actually not see someone for a while and feel alone on a boat this size.  One person in the cockpit with the boards in or the towel up and the other person inside and you are on your own.  I guess we won’t be working on the lifelines today.  Down to ½ pack of tortillas, should make them last another three days.  We started out with four loaves of bread and three packages of tortillas.  Considering we go through one loaf of bread in one month at “home” it looked like an awful lot in the shopping cart.  I suppose we’re not in Kansas anymore.  I’ll stock more next time.  Bread was about right as it was starting to go moldy but not horribly so.  I guess the last loaf should be Wonder Bread since that stuff takes months to go green.  One item I got a lot of and we haven’t touched yet is crackers.  I should have picked up at least a dozen more apples and gotten no oranges, we’ve not even had one of those yet.  It seems we’ve learned a lot-and it’s all good.

 

8:00pm

Whew, what a day and I’m tired.  First and only time to lay down today and it’s bed time.  I usually have time for a 1 hour nap during the day but not today.  We put up the main around 4 then reefed.  Currently running at 4 – 5 knots.  Because of sea conditions dinner was pretty hurried.  I sent Chuck below to eat and gave him a short break.  Dinner was freeze dried Chicken and mashed potato with a can of corn added.  One pot quick and easy.  Enjoying another quiet moment under the lantern light with a cup of cocoa and Bree tucked in on my lap.  Bree has gotten to know our bedtime ritual of finishing the dishes and then making the bed.  I’m just putting everything away and she is on the bed waiting to play in the sheets and as soon as I lay down she snuggles in my lap.  She has definitely gotten more affectionate (or is that clingy and demanding) on this trip and I’m willing to bet she will have a whole new personality when this is over.  Chuck has been queasy and easily exhausted all day.  I have a bad feeling this is going to last until we reach Port Angeles.  Well, finished with my cocoa and must get some sleep.

June 11, 2007     Day 17

 

10:00am

Started raining, not heavy, but enough that when Chuck was coming in from his 1-4 we decided just to heave to for the night.  No point in getting soaking wet if you don’t have to.  We were up at 9, had half a tortilla with peanut butter and Chuck climbed into his still wet clothes to go outside and get us moving again.  Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the water to heat so we can have a cup of hot coffee and some oatmeal.

 

10:50am

Sailing into fog and seeing fishing floats.

 

Noon Position

35.04

161.07

Heading 30 degrees

Avg speed 3.5 knots

Barometer steady

Cabin temp 70 degrees

Weather conditions –drizzly and foggy

Seas-Calm

 

4:00pm

Water maker run for two hours.  Chuck hoisted the radar reflector this morning and the fog burned off around 3:00.  We shook the reef out of the main.  Winds light with periods of rain and heavy overcast.  Seas are calm.  Lunch of freeze dried Beef Stroganoff.

 

5:00pm

Winds have picked up.

 

8:30pm   

We put the reef back in around 6, good thing.  Winds increased and we were on our ears for about an hour.  It’s still blowing, not badly, but enough for us to be on two hour watches.  What a weird day.  Had a peanut butter tortilla for dinner with a cup of tea and need to get some sleep before my next watch.

10:20pm

35.28

160.34

Hove to.  Rain, rain and more rain.  Chuck’s foul weather gear is soaked through.  The whole cabin is damp but not wet ( Wet Clothes Control).  Hot cocoa, a warm bed and  hopefully  it won’t be raining in the morning when I get up for my watch.  We had to pull the main down in order to heave to as we had too much sail up.  Working jib is doing the job alone and we only get a bit of flogging when the boat takes a heavy roller.

 

June 12,  2007    Day 18

 

7:30am

35.35

160.25

Got a good sleep and we are on our way again. Light winds and drizzling rain.  Barometer is holding steady.  Ugh, the boat is a mess.  Bree is remarkably undisturbed by any of last night’s happenings except she won’t give up her spot on the bed.

 

10:30am

Still raining but fortunately it’s not horribly cold.  Heading 50 degrees at 3–4 knots.  Have both lanterns lit to take the chill out of the cabin.  Not sure how well it is working but still lying here in a tank top with a blanket and a cat on my lap.  Finish my cocoa and then it is my turn to do 4 hours, as Chuck has, in the rain.  Where is the tiller pilot when you need it….    It takes about 15 minutes to get ready to go out.  Layers, some dry and some wet.  They don’t feel great going on but they are warm.  A glimpse of the sun sometime today would be nice.

4:30pm

It rained most of the day with no glimpse of the sun.  Putting a piece of canvas at the bottom of the entryway to stand on when stripping down.  Everything is soaking.  My foul weather gear has developed some leaks.  Chuck has abandoned his and gone back to his old PVC Grundens.  Not as high tech but they are dry.  My gear is eight years old.  I had hoped it would last a bit longer.  Came in from my 11-3 and snacked on some chips and salsa which didn’t nearly fit the bill but it was something.  We had corn beef hash and freeze dried scramble eggs this morning and Chuck made me a cup of noodles for lunch.  Bree has taken to sitting in my lap whenever I sit down.  She wanders around the boat and peeks out the hatch frequently.  If we get some nice weather I think she will be out in the cockpit with us.  Hopefully we won’t have to heave to again tonight.  It has given Chuck a chance to catch up on his sleep but it leaves us very short on our daily miles.  We are at least 3-4 days from our expected turn.  I think our lanterns will be working nearly around the clock until we see some warmer or drier weather.  Not looking forward to taking all this stuff off the boat to dry it out.  Bones not grinding as much today..good news.  No sun today but maybe some stars tonight??  We will have to decide around 6:30 if we will be dropping the main for the night.  We made the decision a bit late last night and it made for a good learning experience.  There was no moon or stars to see by so dropping it in pitch black was challenging for both of us and will not be included on my all time list of fun things to do again.

 

6:00pm

Just pulled down the main for the night and from the sounds of it we made it just in time.  45 Minutes until I take over the watch.  Hygrometer in the cabin shows 95 percent.  The cat remains remarkably dry and warm.  Hmmmm, in my next life….

Peanut butter and tortilla with a cup of hot cocoa for supper.  As many calories as I can get in a quick easy meal.  So tempted to break out the drier clothes but afraid if I do and this continues we won’t have anything left for back-up.  Another item to add to the “should have brought more of” list is hot cocoa.  I had no idea we would be drinking so much of it since we never drink it at “home”.   Of course the really bad coffee has something to do with it.  

June 13, 2007    Day 19

 

8:30am

36.15

160.18

Hove to again this morning at 2am.  No wind.  It is pitch black outside with a cold, fine mist that saturates everything.  When Chuck came off his watch he had to re-fill the lamps which immediately made him start throwing up again. I figured that with the movement and flogging and heaving that heaving to would be the best thing.  We have to run the motor sometime today.   The solar panels haven’t had any sun so the batteries are running low.  We also need to run the water maker.  The barometer is rising so that is a good sign  we might see some sun today or possibly not have rain all day.  Either would be fine.  Bree has flat out become a lap cat.  Every time one of us sits down she is immediately in our lap.  She doesn’t seem upset in any way but is very snuggly.   Temp in cabin is holding steady at 70 degrees but seems much colder.  Hygrometer currently reading 80 percent.  The cabin has moisture on all the walls.  Cabinet doors are not opening or closing properly because of the moisture.  I think we will have chili and freeze dried eggs for breakfast.

 

10:30am

Beef stew with a can of mushrooms added and a cup of (bad) coffee for breakfast.  We are out of freeze dried eggs.   From the sounds of the occasional groans and burps from outside Chuck is barely maintaining.  We have waves coming head on and several of the larger ones are sweeping over the bow.  Barometer is still rising even from 7 this morning, a good sign that this is almost over.   Clothes hanging or lying everywhere in the boat in an attempt to dry them out.  The canvas piece worked well for the entry way to keep water restricted to one area.  The cooler we brought along has turned out to have many purposes.  A good waterproof seat while removing clothes,  an extension of our bunk which has allowed Chuck and I to sleep together on the settee and it holds the catbox in place under the table.  To think I almost didn’t bring it along.  It seems Bree takes up a lot of real estate on this boat.  We need to find a better place to stow her cat box. The Frogs, brand name for bicycle lights, we bought have turned out to be extremely useful.  (Thank you Wally from the Bike Factory in Honolulu)  We have a total of ten of them, five red and five white.  They wrap around the handrails and provide the perfect amount of lighting at night without draining our main batteries.  I’ve been working on a big list of things to do when we get in and I can say they were things we did not know about before we left.  The mast leak has so far not been a problem at all and we are thinking the awning was a contributing factor.  We need to re-enforce the netting I installed in the forward bunk.  It works O.K. but is not heavy duty enough.  The netting for the fresh goods is working perfectly but we need to re-do the Navigation Station, which we knew alredy knew was temporary.  Several items will need to culled  from the v-berth.  It just looks like a ton of crap from here.  We will most likely end up sorting through everything several more times before we get completely streamlined but, in genera, I have to say we did pretty well.  As far as supplies go I’ve learned a lot.  We are not eating anything like we have been for the last 10 years.  Tortillas and bread have never been a part of our regular diet so I underestimated their value and the quantity needed.  We could have brought more fresh stuff since we are moving into a cooler climate and they will last longer.   We have two tomatoes left, which are holding up well and with the exception of the Cliff Bars and Hot Cocoa I’ve hardly used any of the stores under the dinette.  Yep, learning a lot.

 

4:30pm

Around 2:00 the skies cleared and I got a peek at the sun.  Chuck missed it as he was to nauseous to leave the bunk.  No matter, it was just a tease anyway and only lasted a brief moment.  We do remain hopeful we might see some stars this evening.  Making good way on a heading of 0 degrees for most of the afternoon at 5 – 6 knots.  Seas were large with average swells of 5 – 7 feet with some larger ones thrown in.  They were actually enjoyable to steer through and I had good fun.  Winds changed around slightly around 4:00, just before Chuck came on watch and our new heading is 330 – 340 degrees.  Barometer has not changed from this morning so looks like we will see cold and overcast but no more rain.  We did get a few amps of charge from the brief period of sun but still not enough to run the water maker for any period.  Will break into our extra water supply.  Neither of us have been drinking enough plain water.  We have been drinking mostly hot tea and cocoa which is not the same.  I still have to inventory our remaining cocoa supply and I’m pretty sure we are down to the last few packets but there is plenty of tea left.  Chuck says cocoa comes up again very nicely.  I suppose that’s why we’ve been going through it so fast.

 

5:30pm

Running the water maker for 30 minutes, just enough to keep the algae from growing on the membrane but not enough to drain the battery.  Chuck kept wishing we had Mac N’ Cheese so I gave it a shot for supper using Orzo, parmesan cheese and artichoke hearts.  We had a cup of hot cocoa and a couple of Famous Amos cookies for dessert.  Hot cocoa situation is better than I thought as we have 22 packets left.

  

10:00pm

Hove to.  Waves were erratic and we were not making any progress.  We took several waves in the cockpit and there is no point beating ourselves up going nowhere.  After all, we’re cruising.

37.01

160.33

 

June 14,  2007    Day 20

 

8:00am 

37.02

160.49

Hygrometer 90 percent

 

Woke up to wet, damp, fog again.  Cabin temp 68 degrees. Barometer rising so maybe we will see some sun today.  I know we would not be heaving to in the evening if we could see something but with fog, no moon or stars and waves breaking in the cockpit it is easier to “see ya” and go below.  Who’s idea was it to go North anyway?  Just the exertion of putting on all the layers of clothing starts Chuck getting sick.  Bree is quite comfortably buried in the blankets and will now only be moved by picking her up and moving her along with the blanket.  This of course is followed by a “meow” of protest.  She is at ½ of her normal ration plus she has been getting far more treats than usual.  I can’t say she is sleeping more than usual but she prefers to do it on one of us now.

9:40am

Hove to for 15 minutes so Chuck could eat his breakfast.  Sky is getting brighter but  it’s not getting any warmer.  Breakfast of oatmeal with raisins and walnuts with a teaspoon of maple cream.  I couldn’t reach the maple syrup because the cabinet doors were stuck shut.  I want to install lexan doors so this won’t happen again, another item on the wish list.  The doors have gotten sticky before but never locked up like this.  Makes prepping and cooking a bit more of a chore.  The water is an amazing shade of turquoise grey I’ve never seen before on any of my previous passages.  Moved the last 5gal spare water jug into the cooler so we still have that plus the 6 gal blue jug in the aft locker.  I have no idea how much is left in the holding tank but it usually lasts a month washing dishes at the dock at home and that is not using it as conservatively as we are now.  We plan to run the watermaker for at least 45 minutes today, probably longer since it works slower in the colder water.  Next trip I will put a canvas under everything in the v-berth.  I don’t think a water jug leaked but there was enough condensation to leave a wet spot.

 

5:00pm

Great sailing all afternoon.  Brisk, cool weather but we are making good speed with a heading of due North.  We still have an occasional wave breaking in the cockpit but in a playful way unlike last night.  Barometer has dropped again slightly and there is nothing but dark grey overcast on the horizon.  Looks like more rain.  The sun poked out for a few moments this afternoon but only enough to get your hopes up, sigh, maybe tomorrow.  Even with three good night’s sleep Chuck is still continually exhausted.  Just the effort of putting his foul weather gear on will make him feel sick and again taking it back off.  I’ve hardly seen him this whole trip.  I expect he will sleep for several days when we reach port before he feels human again.

 

8:00pm

Hove to for the night.  Decided to do so early in the hopes Chuck could get a full night’s rest.  Lanterns are lit, bed is made and supper is ready.  Hot and not served through the hatchway to get cold in just a few moments.  Barometer reads true and makes it easy to judge what tonight will bring.  Easier to just call it a night.

 

10:00pm

37.54

160.52

Chuck says we will be getting a dodger before we leave Seattle.  The cat is curled in my lap and Chuck is curled beside me.  Pouring rain outside and we heard some thunder in the distance earlier.  Fixed a freeze dried Chicken w/ mashed potatoes for supper along with a cup of hot coffee.  Chuck wasn’t able to eat much or finish his coffee so I had the second cup along with a few squares of a Ritter Almond bar.  With the exception of the odd roll now and then we could easily be tied up at the dock.  Chuck is convinced he will be sick until the end of the trip and I am tending to agree, unlike my usual optimistic self.  I think this is going on so long because we were working so hard and putting in long hours before we even started and Chuck’s body just hasn’t had a chance to recover. 

Lesson learned.  Before a long voyage leave well rested.  We put in a good run today with an average speed of 5 – 7 knots for most of the day.  Just wish we could have kept it up.  We did not run the watermaker today, with the lack of sunshine the use of power is out.  If we don’t get sunshine tomorrow we will have to run the motor.  Yuk!  Used quite a bit of water today trying to keep the thermos full of hot water so Chuck can have cocoa whenever he likes.  The paint in the main cabin is starting to bubble and will have to be stripped when we get in.  It lasted quite a while considering the paint is nearly 8 years old and applied before I knew anything about boats, moisture or mildew additive and that it was not specifically designed for this application.   Coffee done and I should turn off the lanterns for the evening.  It will be a long night and I pray for some sunshine tomorrow.

Continue Across the Pacific     Days 21-35          
                                                                               Days 36-45         Days 46-55