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Pandion
Our family adventures on the sailing vessel Pandion cruising the Pacific.
Home!
Lorca
11/20/2012, Golden Gate Bridge

At 5pm sharp yesterday Pandion sailed under the Golden Gate, wrapping up our 13-day passage from Hawaii and our 13,000 mile voyage. Karen, Lola and Sage were atop the bridge waving a welcome and in a couple hours we were enjoying a traditional post-sailing dinner at Brennan's.

How can one sum up the year we had; can't really. Wonderful, hard, exciting, tedious; life really, perhaps turned up a touch by more newness than usual. Mainly, for me, about the time together, the hard stuff and the exciting. Lying seasick in the pilothouse staring across at also-sick Sage, giving each other encouraging grim grins. Sitting in a cave 100 feet underwater with Sage and Lola, watching the current rip by and hundreds of silver-gray sharks swim feet from our faces. Guzzling coconuts with Lola as Sage tosses more down from the tree above. Lola and I becoming a competent, capable sailing team. Getting our minds blown by the fireworks of Namena coral.

It'll be interesting to see how re-entry feels and how our lives change for the voyage we've shared. Simplicity and time with friends certainly feel like top priorities at this point.

We're sure grateful to have had such an experience. And more so, to have such a home and community to return to.

Underway!
11/20/2012 | Bee
Welcome home, Lorca! So glad you made it home safely. Your woman was missing you like crazy! Love love love that photo of Lola and Sage. What a couple of beautiful ladies!
11/21/2012 | Amy Dennis
Congratulations! It's been so fun to follow along on your journey. Glad everyone is home safe.
11/24/2012 | Karen Valentine
WOW! What an intense amazing journey! Welcome home, Lorca, safe and sound.
11/25/2012 | Howard
How wonderful to have the three of you back safe and none the worse for your year long adventure.

Disapointing to so many of us though will be missing the wonderful descriptions of your adventures.

Luv ya three/Howard
11/26/2012 | Laurie Monserrat
Hey! That WAS you! I said to my Aunt "That looked like Sage and her Mom" and rushed home to check. Welcome back!!
11/26/2012 | Tasha
You don't know me, but I'm a chick from Kansas City, Missouri who has been following your blog since day 1. I found your blog while browsing through Sailblogs to find my friend who sails on a ship named "Norma Fay."

I read your blog while sitting in a tiny 6x6 cubicle. I'm surrounded by beige walls and really boring people. Your blogs take me away from this concrete hell and brings me to a place where I can use my imagination and realize that there is so much more to life. Your family is an inspiration. My husband and I plan a move to the Florida Keys in 10 years once our son turns 18. We would like to purchase a boat someday, but we'll need lessons and we have not one clue about sailing. Most people don't believe us, but who cares what others think. We have the power to make our dreams a reality. It sounds like your journey was truly an experience of a lifetime.

My husband and I visited Bora Bora nearly 10 years ago. The resort we stayed at is no longer there due to a cyclone that hit the area a few years ago. We didn't really have much time to mingle with the locals, but I was excited to read that you made it there.

Some of our other travels include: Poland, Spain, Slovakia and Mexico. Experiencing other cultures is a must!

Happy to read everyone is safe. Did you ever see any whales? I read Steven Callahan's book "Adrift," and thought of you guys out there in the middle of nowhere. The ocean is a powerful thing. You all must be some brave people.

My question is, when are you going to do it again?

Cheers.
11/27/2012 | Eric, Lara & Ari
Welcome home! Congratulations on a successful and safe journey! Though, we are a little bummed that the Puget Sound didn't end up on your itinerary. Quite inspiring to see you all pry yourselves from careers and life for an adventure such as this. We're hoping we can take you all out to dinner sometime to learn a thing or two!
11/28/2012 | George
A great achievement for all of you. Hope you can adjust to a more mundane rhythms. Welcome home and much love.
12/01/2012 | Lorca Rossman
THANK YOU everyone for the wonderful comments and support, both now and throughout the trip! It's been fantastic feeling you along for the voyage!
12/02/2012 | Livia & Carol
Congratulations!
closing!
Lorca
11/19/2012, enroute

ETA GGB 5-6pm local. :)

Underway!
11/19/2012 | Emily Reinys
Wow, wow, wow! What a thrill to see this great adventure come full circle today. Welcome back Lorca, John and Pandion and a belated welcome back to Sage and Lola. I'm sure it'll be amazing to sail beneath the GG this evening. What a homecoming.
11/19/2012 | Mark
Well done and welcome home captain. Sorry I missed the arrival under the GG!
11/19/2012 | Oscar Gray
Hooray!! Well done!
11/20/2012 | ma
He's home, he's tan, he's strong, he's sleepy, and he's still amazingly Lorca!
11/20/2012 | Lee Tempkin
Welcome back, Rossman clan. It's been amazing to follow your journey this past year. I'm sure you're glad to be back in California with family and friends nearby.
Much love,
Lee and family
coming home update
Lola
11/16/2012

Hey all,

I know you've been waiting and waiting for BLOG updates. This is a quickie from me, Lola.

Pandion is bouncing and flying along heading home. No updates from Lorca because they've been getting hammered by a series of lows that have passed close by (one they went right on through as it was dissipating) and the passage the last several days has been difficult at best. But, they're safe and Pandion, per usual, is a beast of a machine and is taking good care of them in the dreadful conditions. The worst was sustained 40 knot winds for many hours with gusts into the 50s,, rain and lightning close to the boat. (again...ugh) They fore-reached through the night, remarkably, continuing to make 5 knots all night long. Next morning things moderated slightly and they were on there way again absolutely flying. They're making good time but they're pretty uncomfortable. I am in twice daily contact with them and am helping them with weather twice a day but I look at weather obsessively all day long searching for little changes that can mean the low is turning into a big nasty. So far, so good.

I've been slowly readjusting to life on land which has been a very mixed bag. Happy to see my peeps, really happy to see Sage back at the Dojo and back with her friends. Very, very sweet, indeed. Can I just say again how much we love LOVE LOVE Practical Martial Arts? It's the best dojo EVER. I'm really enjoying all this time I get with Karen, my mother-in-law - we rarely get big chunks of time like this. It's really nice. Sage will go upstairs sometimes and I hear them chittering and tittering (because I'm downstairs looking obsessively at the weather) and it's a sweet sound. I'm so SO happy to get to see my DAWG, the best puppy on the planet ever. He gave me the cold shoulder when we first got back - but after a few hours forgave me for leaving him.

If I haven't seen you, it's not because I don't want to - I've been running around like a lunatic getting Sage to all her places and, I've also been hiding a little bit because I'm feeling really, REALLY overwhelmed. And, I've never been so cold in all my life. I packed really poorly for our return and had almost NO cold-weather clothing. But I did have a nice big stack of tank tops. (??? WTF???) And some Sandals. Silly. For the first few days, the temperature had dropped madly and the only time I was warm was when I was driving Karen's car around with the heater full blast and every scrap of clothing on. Ahhhh.... I've been sleeping with an electric blanket on high, two sythetic comforters, a down comforter, a bed spread and a thick sheet. Ridiculous!

Lorca will be home soon, but not sure when it's all weather dependent. They're safe and getting closer every day so keep putting that good weather juju out there for them! If you comment on the BLOG here, I can forward them comments which often cheers them up. More later...

Underway!
11/17/2012 | Todd
Happy and sad... Since your voyage started I have spent every night reading myself to sleep on your blog. Every post was a glimps into the voyage I dream of with my family. I am happy you all made it safe and wrote this blog so people like me can dream. Sad that it has come to and end as I feel I know you all so well from these stories. Good luck at home and I hope you get to return to the sea again some day!
11/18/2012 | Lola
Hi Todd, Wow! Thank you so much for you kind words. I hope when you take off you and your family will BLOG as well. Before we left, we would read sailblogs just like you and it really helped to fuel our dreams and keep us working toward them too! And, when we started blogging ourselves, well, it helped us to feel like we had our community along with us on this great, great adventure. Good luck in all our preparations. It's a wonderful way to live life and see the world.
11/18/2012 | GB
I don't know what I am going to do when you get back to terra firma and your blog ceases to be. I have loved reading it and following you along your passage to there and back again. You don't even know me. I am a friend of uncle Jared's. and want you to know how thoroughly I have enjoyed your blog!
11/19/2012 | Lorca Rossman
Thanks GB! I'm so glad you've enjoyed it. It's been an amazing ride - the ride of my life, really. I'm start another BLOG - not nearly as exciting but I like to write and I like adventure so...stay tuned for the next installment of the Rossman Adventure Life. :) Lola
driving hard
Lorca
11/16/2012, enroute

Dawn found us 600miles WSW of the Golden Gate, close-reaching at 9 kts in 30 kts wind. We've been pushing hard in the biggest sustained winds of the trip for what seems like forever. Winds in the 30s for days, a few hours in the high 40s to 50. Big seas. A lot of water under our keel and a fair amount over the deck, sometimes the pilothouse. Pandion sailing like she's on a rail, albeit sometimes the rail of a rollercoaster. And sometimes slamming an odd wall of water so hard it seems of cement, the whole boat shuddering and whoever is napping tossed awake, whitewater exploding through the air.

Turning East after leaving the trades we motored across the foot of a high, then came upon the edge of a big low we've been chasing now for days. The gribs keep saying it will move East and dissipate soon, the winds decline. Well, maybe tomorrow. Well, maybe the next day. Each time we come on watch it's the same; still windy, still rough.

In our slack days we crossed what must be the fabled Pacific Gyre; instead of plastic trash once a week we'd see a half-dozen pieces at any one time; buckets, styrofoam, shopping bags. We stopped one day in investigate a new vibration and I dove on the prop, pulling off a helmet-sized piece of fishnet. Around me in the water column were countless tiny flecks of plastic, little inanimate jellies in a post-apocalyptic sea.

The skies have been gorgeous, big billowy clouds and rainbows at funny angles. We've had a few squalls reminiscent of the SPCZ at night; big, black, 50-kt winds and lightning 3 seconds away. Mostly the squalls are OK though; we avoid them when we can and muscle through the rest, sometimes leaping up to free the mainsheet and depower until things calm down.

For the last few days we've been graced with an albatross. I've always admired the flying of boobies but the albatross takes things up a notch. Wingspan greater than my reach. Watched it soar for a quarter hour, inches to feet off the waves, never flapping once.

Bittersweet. Great giving Pandion her legs, letting her run for days. Home getting palpably closer now, five days, then four, maybe three soon. If conditions hold. Glad to have John along, pleasant company, a capable sailor now familiar enough with Pandion's peculiarities to do most things singlehanded on watch. Sick of feeling always about to puke, forcing food down when I can. Sick of being always drugged, mind-numbing doses of phenergan on board, the foul taste of dilantin in my spit. Missing family a lot.

If the winds are kind and the predicted giant swell is from the NW or below there is a good chance we'll be home on the 20th, though those are big IFs, nothing certain out here. Lola's been busy starting up our shore-life; marina slip, insurance, cars, cell phones. She's been watching the weather closely and giving us more detailed predictions than we have radio-access to, a huge help.

Back topsides, to watch the big ocean go endlessly by. Sea, wind, clouds, sky.

Underway!
11/16/2012 | Lorca Rossman
Sweet Husband, I miss you so much! Reading your words I miss you more and cannot wait to see you. xoxoxox Lola-Wife-Thing
11/17/2012 | David Doostan
Awed by your journey. Delighted by your expression. Wishing you a safe and beautiful final push to home. Much love awaits you here, brother!
11/17/2012 | ma
I reckon I'll see you before you see this, but I do want to say how much moved I am by what you said and how, leaving me swelling with love as high as those seas you're traversing. So soon now!, that I can offer Poseidon that whole bottle of promised grade A rum!
11/17/2012 | Mother Outlaw
Hi Lorca,

Home soon! good to read your post. I think your wife misses you so much she can't think straight!

Very soon :+)

Much love,

MOL
11/19/2012 | Nyla
I've lurked. And visited BOO--was there for the skunk spray. So glad all are safe and at 1409 in the lovely berkeley home. Each word about your voyage and photos..so lovely. Sad its over.
nyla
Upwind
Lorca
11/08/2012, enroute

Bashing upwind today. This morning we furled the jib and fore-reached for a while so I could check the sail locker (happily dry). Amazing contrast in motion; from bronco to towncar. Underway again we tucked in double-reefs and furled the genoa to 100%, just in time for the wind to pick up. Was feeling better this AM but pounding into disturbed 3m seas with 30-35kts apparent fixed that. We were rail-down despite water ballast, doing a sustained 10kts upwind, sailing hard like we used to in Argo before we knew how to reef. We have an old picture of Pandion ocean- racing with a giant spinnaker, launching her front 1/3 off a wave. A few times today we had the same thing, a good quarter airborn. Pandion felt young again but I felt older each time we landed so we finally bore off and depowered the main a bit. When I designed her rigging I sized the shrouds to handle 3x a knockdown load under ballast so we have a huge safety margin, but still. Upwind in these seas you can have great speed, good pointing or something like comfort. Not all three.
Reading, when I can, William Gibson, a new author to me. Just finished Pattern Recognition. Makes me think of the semiotics majors at Brown, all in black and pale and always smoking and using big words no one else understood. But any book with important places for Curta calculators and apophenia has my approval. Now reading another of his; good but not as. A couple days more North and then we'll probably try and slip between Highs and head East. Unless the gribs change, which they do.

Underway!
11/09/2012 | tonia
Glad you are homeward bound! I'm sending my best equilibrium mojo your way. Hang in there! It sounds tough.
I second Jen Bodnick - I would like to be part of your welcoming committee on the GG Bridge. Keep us posted!
11/12/2012 | Eric
Welcome almost home! We'll try to keep the pacific storms up in Washington for your journey to CA. Smooth(ish) sailing!
11/16/2012 | Marielle
Wonderful reading about your adventures and seeing pics now and then. Kim wanted to know how to follow you, so hopefully he found your sailblog. giggling at the reference to semiotics majors. Safe sailing, matey!
Heading home
Lorca
11/07/2012, enroute

We're about 190 miles North of Hilo, making good way under a sky alternating with puffy tradewind clouds and rainbow-bottomed squalls. Left Hilo 25 hours ago. Hard departure. Day started at 03:45 when port security advised us the fuel truck from Hawaii Petroleum had arrived (having clearly taken my request for 'first thing in the morning' seriously). Driver would not bring truck along strip near where boats moor so Lola, John and I spend 45 minutes hauling anchor and lining her over parallel to the quay to where the hose would reach. Only to be told that HP had not obtained permission to fuel that night and, per the at-home nightshift harbor supervisor, would have to come back after 8am. Unable to get back to sleep, I got the calls from security and HP at 7:45, saying I had to talk to the harbormaster. Who, it turned out, would not be in because election day is a holiday. Finally getting permission from the day supervisor, the day driver for HP happily pulled right up to dockside and fuelled us up. I was surprised at how little diesel we'd used; about 1 gal/hr at a mix of 2000 and 2500rpm, about half what I'd expected. I think if the wind dies and the seas flattened we could probably motor 100 miles/day from Hawaii to California and nearly back. After fueling and packing we loaded Lola, Sage and their bags into the rowing dink and I ferried them ashore. Hard to say goodbye; longest we'll all have ever been apart. And doesn't feel right, breaking up the team on the eve of the big game. But it may be a tough passage, and I wouldn't wish what we may encounter on anyone, particularly them. And Sage is VERY excited to see all her friends again. So now we're underway and making good progress. It's the first time we've really used Pandion's water ballast and it seems to really help her performance. I'd only half-filled the tanks (500 gal), wanting to save weight, but of course this is the perfect amount to shift all into the windward tank. We get about 6-8 degrees of righting moment and are probably sailing close to a knot faster upwind. Which means, of course, a less comfortable motion. My dilantin isn't doing it's miracle-drug thing so even with phenergan on top I'm sick. Thankfully John is doing fine, and although he's a lot to learn about Pandion's systems before being able to really sail her he has a good set of eyes for watch and can prepare meals and dodge squalls. Lola has always over-provisioned for any trip we take (daysails included) but I think this time she also channeled her worry for us and angst at not coming along into her shopping. We briefly debated turning right for the South Pacific rather than Left towards home on exiting Radio Bay, as we've food aboard for another 6 months at least. Couple more days of Northing before we turn East. Gribs have been changing daily; yesterday looked perfect all the way home, today shows a big low pressure system scouring down 10 days from now. Too far out to worry but we'll keep an eye on it. Hoping for sea legs, -Lorca

Underway!
11/07/2012 | Paul
Hard to imagine what kind of seas it takes to make you seasick despite Dilantin + Phenergan... And what kind of resolve it took to allow you not to turn back south out of Radio Bay!
Cheering you on for the last big stretch!
11/08/2012 | Jennifer Bodnick
When do you plan to land home? Would love to rally a welcome home group as you sail through the GG bridge
.

Xoxo jenn
11/08/2012 | Oscar gray
Good luck on your voyage ! Tell John I said Hi. Wish I could be there with you guys

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