Just a couple more photos from Hawaii before I get back to working on JUNESSA. I ended up climbing up the mast to remove some noisy lazy-jack parts, that drove us crazy all the way across the Pacific!!! It's a long way down from the top of the mast! Great Views!!! :) Aloha!!!
04/26/2013, Halfway to Hawaii
Notes from our Pacific Crossing....
IT'S FRIG'N COLD AND WET OUT HERE!!! We freeze every night and wake up to soggy everything... what gives????
(note to self... BRING BETTER FOUL WEATHER GEAR AND COLD WEATHER GEAR NEXT TIME!!!!)
We've had some really beautiful sunsets and sunrises out here, but the coolest has been the MOON RISES a couple hundred miles off Mexico!!! HUGE ORANGE MOONS!!!! CRAZY!!! At first I thought we were heading the wrong direction but sure enough it was the MOON rising in the East!!!!
I thought the stars would be alot brighter than they are... not sure why they were dim... maybe the humidity in the air???? any ideas out there???
The photoluminescence was really fun to watch... especially with a catamaran! We get the two hulls slicing thru the water and lighting up the water behind us! I wish I could photograph it to share. I guess you'll just have to get out there and experience it yourselves! :)
More to follow.... Time to get back to the "W" word... here in Fairbanks, Alaska (work... spit on the ground!)
Well, it took us 28 days to cross the Pacific from Mexico to Honolulu! We didn't break any records, but we sure did have a grand adventure!!! My Dad and I set sail from Barra De Navidad, on board his 36' Catamaran SUNJET.
We ended up motor-sailing a few days to find some wind... which eventually turned into a downwind sail. The trip would have been very enjoyable, but our Autopilot belt broke and we had cross-seas most of the trip. The large cross-seas were really hard on the ol' boat... it sounded like a war zone with all the pounding on the hulls and center cabin section.
We saw whales breaching, porpoise, dolphins and boobies. We didn't see much of anything else... no boats, no ships, no planes, no trash and very little flying fish. We did have a large squid jump onboard, but not much else.
Once the autopilot was out of commission, things got really tiring... 2 hours on and 2 hours off, steering, sleeping and eating... that was about it!!! oh! and fixing equipment that would die at the worst times!
We are happy we got to share in such a cool adventure together!
I'll be posting photos and a video soon! Stay Tuned! (I'm working in Alaska again... brrrr... it's cold up here!)
03/14/2013, Puget Sound
I've had some up and downs the past 5 or 6 months.... but the good news is, my medical issue has been improving enough to make plans for my next adventure!
Stay tuned for a Pacific Crossing aboard my Dad's 36' Cat SUNJET. We are planning to make the 15-20 day crossing sometime in the next week or so!!! Departing out of Mexico and heading DOWNWIND toward Hawaii!
I have a grand plan, after the Hawaii trip, that will last 7-8 months... more to follow!!!
I have been working on JUNESSA the past couple weeks... the LIST was supposed to get shorter, but every time I cross one project off, two more are added!
I've installed the Head and CapeHorn Windvane, fixed the freshwater system and about to install the wind generator and solar panels.... I'm pooped just typing about it. haha
I'll update this update tomorrow... to tired to continue.
12/28/2012, Puget Sound
Just a quick update....
JUNESSA has been tied to the dock because I have now have a medical issue, probably picked up from Afghanistan... My doctors are still trying to figure out why my liver is malfunctioning. It really sucks walking around with my 'check-engine-light' ON and no idea why.
So, in the meantime... I'm trying to cross off projects from THE LIST!
I'm currently working on installing the Nature's Head Composting Toilet.
I measured the forepeak area and thought the Head would fit... guess what? No such thing as a simple install!!!!!!! I had to do some cutting and more cutting. (lucky I didn't put a hole in the hull!!! that would be embarrassing!!!)
I'll post a video in a week or so...
I want to wish everyone A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! I hope 2013 will be YOUR year to cast off the dock lines and point to a horizon!
REMEMBER... WORK TO LIVE, DON'T LIVE TO WORK
12/14/2012, Puget Sound
JUNESSA SPORTING NEWLY VARNISHED BOWSPRIT!
Well, you might be wondering about this blog update.... "Go before you CAN'T Go!"... I've run into a medical issue that has JUNESSA tied to the dock for awhile... It's amazing how something unplanned for, can change your life long dreams!
I've cut back on BUYING stuff for JUNESSA and concentrating on staying busy installing all the stuff still in the boxes, i.e. Solar Panels, Wind Generator, Wind Vane, Composting Head and TLC.
I'll start making short YouTube videos of the installs between doc visits. So stay tuned! I really hope to get a cruise outta JUNESSA before I HAVE TO SELL HER...
10/21/2012, Puget Sound
Ahoy! It was a wonderful, cold and rainy day but the dock lines were cast off and JUNESSA was pointed out of Point Hudson Marina! Terri and I were in full rain gear and life vests ready for a 8 hour motor-sail South towards the Gig Harbor area!!!
Eight hours turned into longer than expected, with strong headwinds, strong tide and cold rains. We ended up at Kingston Marina for the night to check all the boat systems, get something hot to eat and bed down for the night.
We were both cold, wet and tired from the short trip south... but we both enjoyed the time on the water! I had a lot of catching up to do on systems, sailing and standing! :) It's amazing how little things turn into larger issues on a boat... take for instance- I need to get organized and have a "home" for everything on the boat, otherwise, it ends up in a huge pile in the center of the boat!!! WHAT A MESS!! haha
I wasn't sure Terri was going to enjoy the cold, wet, bumpy ride but she pulled thru with a huge smile on her face! She's a keeper! :)
We have A LOT OF WORK to do before I can point her out into the "Deep End"...
Newest Plan is to keep working on the few major issues and then do some test runs up in the San Juans and Desolation Sound then decide if a winter escape to Mexico is in the cards for us.
You never know when a health issue takes your dream away... don't delay!
10/11/2012, Port Townsend, WA
FINALLY, FINALLY FINALLY!!! JUNESSA is back in the water!!!! YEAH!!!
I'm sitting in the cockpit typing this with the motor purring away! She started on the second try! My rebuild went better than expected! No leaks! No smoke! :)
More to follow!!!
Cheers from dockside!
Okay... okay... I know this is supposed to be a sailing/cruising blog and it's turned into a dual-sport motorcycle and "work related" (cough cough) blog... that's all about to change next month! :) FINALLY... I KNOW!
PLAN A: (subject to change on a daily basis...)
I've given my notice at work... so, I'll be packing up and leaving the sands of Afghanistan! yeah! :) (I know my family will be happy to hear that!)
I'll be heading back to JUNESSA to give her the much needed attention she deserves!!! (I still can't believe she's been out of the water for two years...)
Options: 1) Sail North to the San Juans for a shake down cruise 2) Circumnavigate Vancouver Island for a shake down cruise 3) Sail South to Mexico for a shake down cruise..... hummmm
Then it's time to step up to the plate and flip the coin... HEADS-West-a-bout or TAILS-Around the Americas.... I have such a scientific way of making decisions... haha
It's time to cruise in the DEEP END of the pool, and I want to document it as best I can... I have two GoPro cameras, my good Nikon D300s and a HD video camera with underwater housing! So, now all i need is someone to take all those megabits of photos and videos and produce a DVD movie.....
Stay tuned.... I'll figure out how to post a map with my route "plans"....
Hi from the Sandbox in Afghanistan... It's been awhile since my last blog... sorry! I forgot my username/password!!!
I had very busy time off during July/Aug!!! I decided that I was going to cross off another bucket-list item by riding my BMW1200GS to the TOP OF ALASKA! I didn't waste anytime and packed up the bike and headed North to Port Angeles,Wa to beautiful Victoria, BC. I met up with a Harley rider (Ralph) and one of the Racing Green riders (Greg) and we headed North towards the top of Vancouver Island. The ferry ride from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert was stunning! Always one of my favorites!!! Next leg was Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Juneau to spend some time with Terri and her Alaska Family. Then ferry to Skagway, AK!!! The ride to Fairbanks on the Top of The World Highway. I had a nice visit with Terry in Fairbanks before heading North to the Arctic Circle and Deadhorse at the top of Alaska.... after being woken up by a Mamma Brown Bear and her cub, I did a 180 and headed back to Fairbanks then South along the World Famous Alaska Highway to Port Townsend.
Somewhere during all that riding, I found the time to fly to Texas to see my Son graduate from the Air Force Boot Camp!!! Go Air Force!! haha
Then over to Mississippi for a Family Reunion at my Mother's new home!
What a wonderful vacation! I only wish my Daughter and Grandson could've made it down too. Maybe next time! :)
04/30/2012, Kandahar, Afganistan
Toby Keith performing "AMERICAN SOLDIER" for the men and women serving proudly in Afghanistan! Toby is an outstanding live performer and the sound of jets and helicopters taking off really added to the experience!
THANK YOU USO AND TOBY KEITH!!!
Hi from Kandahar, Afghanistan again..... My break was cut short by work requirements... boooo hisses.... I Know!!! I said the "W" word... work! Looks like I'll be over here awhile.
The picture was taken about 1500 feet above the dessert. We have this HUGE RED DESSERT just South of Kandahar and it's the most beautiful and strange thing i've seen over here!!!
I was able to unload the boat and put most of it into storage. I got a quote to modify the interior... $10K!!! Ouch! So, looks like I'll be keeping the interior the same for a bit longer!!!
Cheers to all!!!
03/30/2012, Port Townsend, WA USA
Ahoy! I'm back on JUNESSA!!! YEA! She is sitting pretty, just waiting to get wet!:)
I've been cleaning things out and fixing small projects to get her back in the water.
The PROJECT LIST has grown longer than my arm now.... :( Break out some more "BOAT bucks!!!"
It's been cold, rainy and windy here in Port Townsend, so I've been down below working in the engine room, cooking and napping! I know.... "get your arssss in gear and get her in the water!!!" I can hear everyone yelling! haha
stay tuned! :P
HELLO! From Afghanistan!
I'm having my "lunch" at the "office"... Bunny Grahms! No wonder why I'm loosing weight... haha
All is well here in the Sandbox! I've been flying a lot and staying busy working-out and walking. I can't wait to get back to COLORS... blues, greens, reds, yellows... anything other than tan and brown!!!!
Hopefully I'll be back in the USA next month to work on JUNESSA and maybe even get her wet again! :)
Plans??? Well, they seem to change by the week, so I'll just say... I PLAN TO GO SAILING. Not sure where or for how long, but I've been off my boat for way too long. I was thinking of Alaska again, but we'll see.
Cheers from the Sandbox!
02/17/2012, Kandahar Province
PHOTO CURTESY OF CAPEHORN.COM
I finally ordered the CapeHorn self-steering Windvane for JUNESSA! I can't wait to install the CapeHorn and put it thru it's paces! It will be soooo nice to sail SILENTLY with NO ENERGY REQUIRED... 24/7!
The wind vane is a way to sail a 'course' by setting the wind vane to an apparent wind angle... say you want to sail 270 degrees or WEST, you point the boat to WEST, engage the wind vane and as long as the wind stays the same, you will sail effortlessly in a WESTERLY direction.
The big difference between this wind vane and an autopilot is, the autopilot will try its best to keep the boat on a set magnetic heading or course, so if the wind changes, the sails will need constant adjustment... with the wind vane, if the wind changes, the boat will change heading with the change in the wind direction because the vane keeps the same apparent wind (not really a good thing if you are near land!!!) The autopilot also needs a lot of electrical power to run 24/7 on a a ocean passage and they are NOISY and can burn out during heavy use. And in a pinch, some vanes can be used as emergency rudders.... So, I think I made a good decision for my offshore cruising plans! :)
I've been in contact with the inventor, Yves Gélinas, who sailed 28,000 miles without hand steering his boat JEAN-DU-SUD. I've been very impressed with his customer service so far! I'm expecting to have the CapeHorn ready for installation sometime in April! I look forward to posting pics of the install and the shake-down with it. Stay Tuned!
01/27/2012, Kandahar Province
Snow on the Desert!
January is coming to a close... Amazing how time seems to just pick up pace as we get older... Have you checked your 'Bucket-List' lately?
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!
I'm back in the Sandbox of Afghanistan trying to stock up the cruising kitty.
This country is really spectacular from the air!!! It reminds me of America's Southwestern desert!
I received a photo of JUNESSA sitting high and dry with a blanket of new snow on her... she should really be sitting in a warm wet place like MEXICO or THE SOUTH PACIFIC!! Hopefully this will be the year of the Big Cruise! :)
12/15/2011, Kandahar Province
My newest job location.... Kandahar Province, Afghanistan... It's ALMOST like flying in Hawaii... except no palm trees, no water, very little green... and people want to shoot you down here!!! In all honesty, it's very beautiful from the air! I would love to fly around with the doors off and a good camera in my hands!!! The light here can be so dramatic!
It's winter here, so it gets below freezing at night and warms up during the day.
12/14/2011, Alaska Inside Passage
11/27/2011, PORT TOWNSEND, WA
Art Work at Port Townsend, Washington... Winter is on it's way!
I'm starting to settle down in my new job in Afghanistan... The sand and dust was really kicking my butt at first, but i'm starting to get used to it. The country has a beauty unlike the desert southwest of the US... huge spires and mountains with beautiful patterns and colors- when the light is right. (I can't post any pictures yet, sorry!!!)
Have a great WINTER where every you are!!!
Please leave comments... they make my day! :)
Cheers from the sand box!