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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Coq Au Vin
Bruce
09/03/2011

The crew of CALOU enjoys dinner at sunset, this evening it's Coq Au Vin with new potatoes.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Day 3 at sea
Bruce
09/03/2011, Pacific Ocean

Last night for dinner we had Cuban Farm Style Chicken (chicken cooked with onions, vegetables, orange juice, garlic and cumin) served over couscous.

The winds were in the 14 knot range all evening, giving us some very good speeds, mostly 8 to 9 knots, and a maximum speed of 10.4 knots. This morning the winds lightened a bit to the 12 knot range, and we are still managing 7 knot boat speed. Over the last 24 hours, we have covered a total of 174 nautical miles.

We're sailing upwind, or close-hauled, so we are heeled over, but the ride is smooth and comfortable.

We had a bit of trouble last night with the gasoline-powered Yamaha generator. It isn't working right, it speeds up and slows down continuously and only puts out a small amount of power. Maybe the sea water spray has gotten to the control electronics inside it. If the generator is not working it means we have to run the engine periodically at night to keep the batteries charged. We can live without it, but it would be nice to get the generator going again. Fortunately in the daytime we get a lot of power from the solar panels, and the wind generator provides power day and night.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Stow-Away
Bruce
09/02/2011

We found a stow-away on the bow today, a booby. I wonder how long he'll stay with us!

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Day 2 at Sea
Bruce
09/02/2011, North of the Hawaiian Islands

We had our last sight of land as we exited the channel west of Maui (see photo). As the land faded into the distance, so did the 25 knot channel winds.

I made a stew of chicken, onions, leeks, and spices, served over pasta for dinner. This is our second day at sea; as of noon we covered 167 nautical miles in the last 24 hours. We have fine sailing conditions, with 14 knots of wind coming from the East. We have a reefed mail and jib and our boat speed ranges between 7.5 and 8.5 knots. The skies are sunny and the breeze is warm.

Follow our blog at http://www.calou.com/blog.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Unscheduled Stop In Maui
Bruce
09/01/2011, Maui

Our trip across the channel between the Big Island and Maui was windy, about 25 to 30 knots, but uneventful except that when we tried to unfurl the mainsail it would not come out of the mast. We had removed the mainsail last week to have it refurbished and apparently when we refurled the mainsail there wasn't enough halyard tension and/or sheet tension, so the rolled up sail was too big to be able to exit smoothly. Rather than deal with this on a moonless night, we sailed with the jib only and planned to make landfall at a harbor in Maui and get it fixed in the morning.

On arrival at the harbor this morning at around 730 a.m., we got the mainsail tensioned properly and it is now working smoothly. After resting a bit we'll head back out to sea later this morning.

Some of the overhead hatches were leaking; I took the opportunity in port to apply a liberal bead of silicone sealant to them. It will be some work to get them open again when we get to San Francisco, but at least we'll stay dry, hopefully.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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09/02/2011 | Larry Anderson
It IS always something on a boat but the rewards so out weigh the troubles! No one can understand that unless they've lived it! Fair winds and following seas my friend!
09/04/2011 | Doug & Andrea Owen
Safe passage home, Bruce, Antoine & Crew! Reading your blog brings back so many memories from my years of cruising; give us an ETA when you're getting close, as we would love to be at CYC to welcome you home!
(We'll even make sure the water gets changed in your slip for your homecoming!!
-Doug & Andrea
Departure Time
Bruce
08/31/2011, Hawaii

After days of preparations, we finally departed today at 5:20 PM. Here's a photo of us at the dock: (L to R, crew member Pete, Pascale, Bruce with Antoine in front, crew member Jay, and Francois. Of these, only Bruce, Antoine, Pete and Jay will be on board. It was an emotional time saying goodbye to Pascale and Francois. We won't see them for another 2 to 3 weeks.

Our passage to San Francisco will probably be about 2400 to 2500 miles.

Right now we are heading north along the west coast of the Big Island, later we will cross the strait to Maui and head north along the west side of Maui. From there we'll head to the northern latitudes until we start to see winds coming from the West that can carry us to San Francisco.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Getting ready to set sail again
Bruce
08/31/2011, Kona, Hawaii

We are ready to set sail tomorrow, from Hawaii to San Francisco. Pascale and Francois are going to fly home, while Antoine and I will be sailing our boat back. We have two new crew members: Pete and Jay. Both have plenty of blue water experience. Pete is from the Bay Area and Jay is from Austin Texas.

We have been extremely busy the last 4 days, provisioning for the trip and packing things away in every nook and cranny on the boat. It's incredible how much stuff you can carry. We have about a thousand dollars worth of groceries stowed away in various places or in the refrigerator or freezer. And that doesn't include the wine cellar!

Also, we have done a huge amount of maintenance and upgrades to the boat while in Hawaii: we removed both sails and have them reinforced and restitched by a sailmaker; we replaced two halyards; we had a rigger inspect the rigging and adjust it; we placed a new LED red/green/white tricolor LED navigation light at the masthead because the red/green lights on the bow pulpit that work fine in coastal waters cannot take the punishment of an ocean crossing; we replaced a seacock and put new bottom paint on the hull. The last few weeks has given new meaning to the acronym BOAT: Break Out Another Thousand.

Tonight is our last night together as a family until we get to San Francisco... we're going out to a restaurant to ... celebrate?? ... not quite a celebration ... we're not looking forward to being apart for nearly three weeks. Let's just say we're cherishing our moments together now.

I am realizing that this kind of trip/adventure is very valuable, in that it teaches all of us how important we are to each other and how much we will be missing each other when we're apart. That will make our reunion in Tiburon all the more sweet.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Preparations for the passage to San Francisco
Bruce
08/27/2011, Kona, Hawaii

The survey was completed yesterday and I got the report today (passed with flying colors).

Bottom paint was completed and the boat put back in the water today.

I have secured the other crew member and he is arriving Aug 29 at 8:05 PM. He's a retired aviation inspector with 30,000 sea miles.

I got the refurbished mainsail and jib back from the sailmaker today. Mainsail has been raised and furled in the mast.

Rigger is coming Sunday morning to complete rigging tasks (new masthead navigation light; new tack pennant for the genoa; new genoa halyard.

I brought the two spare sails out for inspection and to see if anything needed to be done to them. It turns out both spare sails are mainsails however either sail could serve as a jib as well. Both sails are in serviceable condition.

Looks like everything is a "go". I am very excited and can't wait to get going.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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08/30/2011 | Bob Haley
Aloha;
Have a great crossing. We would love to greet you outside the Gate on the Answer!

Bob& Debbie
08/30/2011 | Marj Bundschuh
Here's wishing you a safe trip back on your last leg to SF. Your trip to Marquesas, Tuomotus, Tahiti, Moorea sounds amazing! See you in a couple weeks. Marj

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