SailBlogs
Bookmark and Share
Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Day 4 at Sea
Bruce
07/28/2011, South Pacific

Noon marks the end of our 4th day at sea; we are 594 miles north of Tahiti, and have sailed 158 miles in the last 24 hours. The winds are 16 knots at 70 degrees off the bow; we are doing about 7.5 knots. The seas have gotten bigger, with swells around 3m in height.

The crew is getting used to being at sea, we are feeling better, eating better and sleeping better. We are all in good spirits.

It helps to have good food to keep the crew happy. Last night we had thick filet mignon steaks grilled on the barbeque, served with peppercorn sauce, tiny purple potatoes, corn, and a glass of excellent quality Chateau Lamothe Bordeaux red wine.

Breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs with bacon and onions wrapped in a tortilla, and grapefruit.

We're listening to Firesign Theater's "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye" on the stereo.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
Day 3 on the Ocean
Bruce
07/27/2011, South Pacific

The last 24 hours we made 147 nautical miles; we had pleasant sailing with winds in the 12 to 15 knot range and moderate swell. For a while during the night the winds were less than 8 knots so we motor-sailed. We are getting our sea legs and settling into the rhythm of life at sea.

Last night I made three pizzas for dinner. Breakfast was scrambled eggs and onions wrapped in a tortilla (practical because you can eat with one hand). The photo is of us enjoying lunch today while heeled over at the usual 20 degree angle. Pascale made a delicious cole slaw with cabbage, apples, grated carrots, apple vinegar, mayonnaise, and sesame oil. Pictured (L to R) Bruce, crew member Daniel, Francois, Antoine, Pascale.

The Yamaha generator died and refused to run last night, so we had to run the engine periodically to keep the batteries charged. This afternoon I got out the manual for the generator and the tools to look it over. After cleaning the spark plug and re-gapping it I confirmed that we were getting a healthy spark. But the engine was so flooded from repeated starting attempts that the crankcase oil was mixed with gasoline. After changing the crankcase oil our generator was back up and running again.

That Yamaha portable generator has been an excellent purchase. We use less than a gallon a day of gasoline running it at night to keep the batteries charged. If we were using the diesel engine for this purpose we'd be using about 5 times as much.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
Day 2 at Sea
Bruce
07/26/2011, 289 nautical miles north of Tahiti

Noon today marks our second 24 hour period at sea; we made only 135 miles this last day, due to the waves which have been slowing us down and keeping our sails reefed at night. Last night was rough, but this afternoon the seas are getting flatter. We still have about 2 meter swells with a short 5 second period, and we are sailing upwind on a close reach with 60 degrees apparent wind angle.

It's a nice sunny day today with clear skies, and winds around 18 knots. Antoine plays his ukulele in the cockpit.

We did a noon sight with the sextant again today; our calculated latitude and longitude (12 deg 44' S, 148 deg 24' W) was with 12 miles of the position reported by the GPS. I am learning the finer points of sextant technique and hope to keep improving on that.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
Outrigger Escort
Bruce
07/26/2011, Cook's Bay, Moorea

As we were leaving Moorea, an outrigger canoe gave us an escort, riding our wake as we head out to sea. It was a fitting farewell to Polynesia. Photo taken July 24.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
Exuma's Toy
Bruce
07/26/2011

Here's an amphibious vehicle, from the megayacht "Exuma", which was anchored in Cook's Bay. Photo taken July 21 before we left Moorea. Exuma is a cool looking motor yacht which we first observed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
Day 1 on the Ocean
Bruce
07/25/2011, South Pacific

We have completed the first 24 hours at sea since we left Moorea, covering 154 nautical miles in that time period. The seas are not too bad, with 1 meter wind waves and 1.5 meter swell every 9 seconds. The winds are averaging around 15 knots from the ESE.

The first night at sea is always the hardest. It takes a while to get used to the boat's motion and the sound of the waves and wind and creaks and groans and halyards slapping against the mast. After dinner I tried to get some sleep before my midnight to 3 am watch, but found it difficult. Instead, I read a few more chapters of "The Thin Man". Pascale, likewise, had a hard time sleeping. Sleeping on a boat that's heeled over at an angle takes getting used to.

My midnight shift started with light winds and the boat doing a mere 4.5 knots. I reduced the reef in the mainsail and jib and got the speed back up to the 6.5 to 7 knot range, where we need to be. The occasional wave crashes over the bow and blue water sweeps across the deck giving everything a good rinse.

The moon came up shortly thereafter giving the seas a silvery glow. I watched "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest" on my laptop PC in the cockpit while keeping an eye on our course and the sail trim. Nurse Ratched seemed as mean as ever.

Daniel, our new crew member, took over at 0300 and kept watch until Pascale's shift at 0600.

I awoke shortly before 9:00 this morning and made breakfast for the crew.

Shortly before noon I got out the sextant and started taking noon sights. This consists of making a series of measurements of the height of the sun to find out the exact angle and time of the sun's zenith. My noon sight angle was pretty good but the estimated time of the sun's zenith was very approximate since I only had time to take 3 sights (normally you would want a dozen or so). Nevertheless, I calculated, using the sight reduction tables and our sextant readings, latitude 15 deg 15' South and longitude 149 deg 50' West ... only about 35 miles from our GPS position!

I hope to try to take a more careful and accurate noon sight again tomorrow.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
First Night At Sea
Bruce
07/24/2011, North of Tahiti

This is the first night on our 2000+ mile passage northward from Tahiti to Hawaii. We left Moorea at noon and have been sailing due north with winds coming from the east. The seas are relatively flat - 1 meter wind waves and a 2 meter swell. Our boat is heeling about 20 degrees because the apparent wind is about 60 degrees off the bow. The ride is comfortable but the heeling takes getting used to, it makes moving around in the cabin, and especially, cooking and dishwashing, difficult. Still, we are in good spirits and had a hearty dinner of chicken and vegetables with rice.

We have reefed the sails and yet we are doing 7 knots which, if we can maintain this speed, means we will arrive at Hawaii in about 14 days.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
Dinner at Robert's
07/22/2011, Moorea, French Polynesia



We enjoyed dinner at the house of Antoine's ukulele instructor, Robert. This was a farewell dinner since we will be leaving Polynesia Sunday, sailing northwards to Hawaii.

Robert prepared the best meal we've had in Polynesia, a delicious smoked chicken, poisson cru, and coconut bread. In addition to the great food, we were showered with gifts and affection. Each of us was given a shell necklace personally by each member of his family, and we came back to the boat that evening with large quantities of smoked chicken, poisson cru, barbeque sauce and pineapple. Robert and his family played Tahitian songs on various instruments: ukulele, guitar, drum and percussion instruments, while Antoine played along on his ukulele.

It will be sad for us to leave Polynesia and the many warm, kind hearted Polynesians we have encountered along the way. We hope to be able to return some day.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
| | More
07/23/2011 | Judy Armstrong
Bon Voyage! Looking forward to your posts from the next leg.

Newer posts ]  |  [ Older posts ]

 

 
Powered by SailBlogs