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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Trade Winds... Hooray!!!!
Bruce
08/07/2011

With just 50 liters of diesel fuel left in our main tank, we finally found the northern trade winds which will carry us to Hawaii. The coordinates for the turning point were 10 N 142 W. We probably won't need the engine much until we get to our destination. It is wonderful to be again propelled by the wind, rather than a noisy diesel engine.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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08/07/2011 | Larry Anderson
Glad to hear your main is fixed and you still have a little fuel left. We are thinking of you and your family!!!! We are in the bay area returning to Costa Rica on the 21st of August.
Calou is in Lectronic Latitude
08/07/2011

There's an article and a couple photos of us in the Aug. 3 edition of 'Lectronic Latitude, the online version of the West Coast sailing magazine Latitude 38. Here's the link:
Your text to link...

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Day 13 at Sea
Bruce
08/06/2011, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone

We are still in the ITCZ, where we have very light winds, less than 10 knots, interspersed with squalls with 20 knots of wind and rain. We are sailing to the north-east in order to get the best sailing angle for our final leg to Hawaii. We should finally get to the northern Trade Winds sometime tomorrow. When that happens, we'll make a 90 degree left turn to the north west, destination Hawaii.

The repaired mainsail is working great, and it is helping us with our speed in these light winds.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Sail Repair At Sea
Bruce
08/04/2011

Winds were light enough for us to take the ripped mainsail down today and begin repairs. Getting the sail down was no small task; it required Daniel going aloft in the bosun's chair to pull the shreds of torn sail out of top of the mast so that it would unfurl. Daniel stalwartly hung on as the mast swung back and forth with the ocean swells.

Once we got the mainsail down to the deck we began the task of repairing the 2 foot long horizontal rip in the sail. The leech (trailing edge) of the sail was completely severed, and as this part of the sail carries the entire load, it was necessary to reinforce it. To do this we sewed 2 feet of nylon webbing along the leech on both sides of the fabric, one foot of nylon webbing above and below the tear.

Next came the repair of the tear itself, which actually was along a seam, so the seam merely had to be restitched. We got about 75 percent of that done, when a squall arrived with high winds so we had to tie the sail to the boom and wait until sometime tomorrow to finish the job.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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08/05/2011 | Judy Armstrong
Thank goodness it's down!
Day 11 Update
Bruce
08/04/2011

Today marks our 11th day, we have sailed 1505 nautical miles since Moorea. We are still in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, a.k.a. the Doldrums, which has been marked by flat calm interspersed with frequent squalls and rain showers. We are sailing north eastward as much as the wind and current will allow in order to have the best possible sailing angle across the north-east trades to Hawaii.

We are still sailing with the jib only. The mainsail needs to be removed to repair it, but to do so requires a crew member to go up the mast in a bosun's chair to help unfurl it. We are waiting for one of those Doldrum flat calm seas before undertaking that task. Nevertheless, the boat sails very well with only the jib. At the moment we have 17 knots of wind and the boat is sailing at 6.5 knots. With the mainsail we might gain another knot of boat speed, but that's not critical.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Day 9 on the Ocean
Bruce
08/02/2011

This is the 9th day since we left Moorea; we are north of the equator and approaching the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ, or "Doldrums"). The conditions are nice with light 12 knot winds and fairly flat seas.

Crew member Daniel and Antoine play poker in the cockpit. They've got the cards on the floor to shield them from the wind.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Equator Crossing
Bruce
08/01/2011, On the Equator, Pacific Ocean

We crossed the Equator this morning under bright blue skies and 15 knot winds - perfect sailing weather! To celebrate, we passed out chocolates and offered a beer to the Sea Gods. The position of our crossing was Latitude 0 degrees 00.000'N (of course), Longitude 145 degrees 50.442'W.

We are nearly exactly at the halfway point between Tahiti and Hawaii, which means we should have another 7 or 8 days to go. On a map, our position is about a thousand miles to the nearest land in any direction, which makes this spot one of the loneliest places on earth. Since we left Moorea 8 days and 1135 nautical miles back, we have not seen a single boat, ship, or airplane.

The last time we crossed the Equator was April 11, going in the opposite direction. So this crossing brings to a close our 3-1/2 month visit to the South Pacific. Next stop, Hawaii!

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Day 7 - Laundry Day
Bruce
07/31/2011, Pacific Ocean, near the Equator

Today marks 7 days at sea as we approach the Equator. We covered 150 nautical miles in the last 24 hours, sailing without the ripped mainsail. Conditions have improved considerably; we have blue skies and the winds have moderated to 16 knots. We still have a huge swell, though, mountainous waves 7 meters high, sometimes with breaking waves. Amazingly just when you think an especially big wave is going to flood the cockpit or knock us over, the wave just passes under our keel harmlessly.

In the recent days, we were constantly being sprayed with or sitting in sea water, so our clothes needed a good cleaning and drying, but it wasn't possible to hang the clothes to dry on the lifelines because of the waves that would spray anything hanging there. While Pascale was resting this afternoon I surprised her by washing the clothes and hanging them to dry. I had the idea to attach a clothes line to the topping lift and hoist the drying clothes up the mast, well away from the salty spray.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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08/13/2011 | Liz Wilder
Way to go Bruce! go where the wind blows, especially where to hang those clothes!!

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