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La Palapa sails on
another perfect sunset (no green flash)
roger
02/20/2011, some where in the arabian sea, day 5is, 6ish more to go to the security zone

well getting back together prior to happy hour turned out to be quite the challenge. the wind and swell had come up and i decided without drastic action on my part eagle 9 was not going to catch up in time for happy hour (or ever). after 1.5 hour of bobbing eagle 9 seemed to have stagnated off my stern and i was getting sea sick and a bit grumpy. we had a few words back and forth and decided in spite of everything everyone really did want to stay together. eagle 9 bet a case of tiger beer they could catch us in 45 minutes with us both just sailing (we where doing 6.5 kts at this point). it looked like they where close to winning but confessed they had had to fire up the motor. who needs the americas cup when you can race for something far more valuable in the middle of the arabian sea!

at 1700 we broadcast the happy hour bell over vhf and got down to business. we where all basically in information, what a concept! it did take through sunset to get us all at a similar speed with us reefed pretty far down. for a while it looked like eagle 9 was going to take off with their new genoa they where doing 7+ kts surfing down waves. in the end we settled in at around 6.5. by this point we had 20kts of wind and it was too rough for taco night so we had to revert to frozen pasta back, yum yum!

and we did make ssb contact with another group of boats close to our position, they had been overflown by the P3 and helo's so things are definatly going on out here. they also mentioned they had lost sight and vhf contact with one of their boats. guess we are better than we think!

its 2am here, need to poke my head up and see if everyone is still in position, almost afraid to look .... we are just passing a north south shipping lane and have a long range contact 22nm north of us.

oh and the pirate situation, still no pirates on board!

cheers, roger

02/21/2011 | slap-eagle 69
Code blue chicken hawk!! I'm out of formation captain Hayward, being blown ashore!!
still going .... P3 overfly
roger
02/20/2011, some where in the arabian sea, day 4is, 6ish more to go to the security zone

so here is the latest, i have received one request for less quality more frequent updates. here goes at least with the less quality. i will start by saying that keeping this group in any sort of formation remains much higher stress than any sort of pirate issues!

this am after checking in on a couple of SSB nets (during which eagle 9 tried to board me again) we heard some vhf chatter on 16. as i listened it turned out to be a "coalition aircraft" asking some ship if everything was ok as they where not transmitting ais. shortly after this i saw a plane on the horizon and as it overflew us i got a nice shot of what turned out to be an ausi P3. shortly after the overfly the called us and asked for our info which i was more than happy to provide. i am hoping that all this pirate stuff stirs the US to do something other than just implying it is the ships fault for sailing through this "danger zone" . who was the us president who stopped paying tribute to the barberiy pirates back in the 1800s. its not rocket science guys!

the real drama today was karli waking me up from my nap to tell me we had lost contact and sight with eagle 9 (how hard can this stuff be). i stumbled onto deck took the main down and asked here very nicely why she did not wake me when they broke formation (here version is a bit difference). apparently eagle 9 had said "i am just going to swap out my jib i will catch up in a few minutes". there is no catching up when you are in a 36 ft boat sailing with palapa doing 6.5kts in a nice breeze!!! several hours later we are back in vhf contact still waiting for the formation to get back together. it should be all set by my next nap :)

2 more hours to happy hour and then sunset, tonight is taco night but we are out of cheese!

cheers, roger

02/20/2011 | Norman
The Pres was T Jefferson. That's where the "to the shores of Tripoli" comes from in the Marine hymn- a successful USMC land assault on Tripoli city. The pirates got the message 4X4. Hope you have good sailing the rest of the way.
pirate hunting!
roger
02/19/2011, some where in the arabian sea, day 3, 7 more to go to the security zone

so i am sure by now everyone has heard of the 54 ft sailboat quest taken by pirates in the arabian sea (apparently they had been delivering bibles around the world). i believe this is the first yacht taken the route from india to the red sea. in any case we got several emails on this and i called ukmto and the confirmed the vessel had been pirated and was on its was to Somalia.

the good news is it was attacked more than 700nm from us. the bad news is someone (i am pretty sure it was the B team) did want a yacht. we are sticking with our lottery approach to this. what would we pay for a chance to find a pirate and win a million dollars. i would not pay more than $100, what does that work into for odds from a market perspective, i think 100/110^6 = 10^-4 = .01%?? (the odds of the tanker finding a pirate are about 1 %). our backup plan is the book deal. frank if we do get lucky enough to find some of these guys please negotiate a book deal for us and us the retainer to pay of the pirates. our angle is we plan to ram the pirates against the cement hulled eagle 7 while naked, should be the first for this.

in any case we had a great day one of the best passages ever so far. right after breakfast karli commented she was "so done" with the passage (on day 3) shortly after this we had a huge pod of dolphins surround the boat. karli got some great photos and video. after that and a nap or two we cut the engine slowed to 3 kts and took a swim holding onto a line (while waiting on the other boats to catch up). we did a bit better on the formation today but i did come up after talking to the ukmto guy to discover both boats on my starboard (we are going for one on each side of us, start simple). i got this organized in time for happy hour followed by a great dinner of sausage pasta and frozen pees (prepaed by yours truly).

i am currently waiting on eagle 9 to get back in position so i can unreef the main and get back up to the 6 knot speed we are shooting for!

cheers, roger

02/19/2011 | Bill Wickman
So, Eagle 2. what's with the formation discipline problems on this trip? Flight leadership an issue? And insubordination from critical crew? Say it ain't so? Buck up Roger, put a little iron in those spines.....or maybe not....looks like the weather is good and you're having fun. The pirates are busy elsewhere and hopefully will find themselves very busy indeed. Fair winds!
02/19/2011 | Frank
I'm happy to negotiate a book deal, but with the likely title "How I Safely Outmaneuvered Pirates Using Probability" you'll only get a handful of royalties from some math majors. I tell you what I'll gladly double those royalties once you're in the Med. Have fun!
02/19/2011 | Gary Hayward
Was reading your current blog in liabray just now when librarian came over and asked "did you hear about the 54 ft sailboat?". Then asked me - they have seen some of your plots when I needed help to print them out earlier - "can't they go someplace else?" My own thoughts exactly!! Love, Dad
redsky at night ..
roger
02/18/2011, some where in the arabian sea, day 2

so our second day at sea brought very light winds with us motor sailing trying to make 5kts against a 1/2 to 3/4 knot current while keeping enough desil to make it at least to the entrance of the security zone. its definatly a challenge to deal with dissimilar boat speeds and keep everyone together. we finally came up with a plan for vagabond to motor at 2200 rpm and scott free and i follow his lead. this worked for most of the day. we had happy hour followed by spagetti Bolognese and garlic bread. mmm.

shortly after dinner the wind finally filled in from the NE at 10 to 15 kts and we where finally sailing! i went to bed at 8pm with us in the lead only to wake up a couple hours later to the sails flapping a bit. when i got up on deck i noticed we where all back in a random formation again (i dont think any of these guys have ever done any formation anything). i got things sorted and went back to bed. will see if it gets a bit easier tomorrow. at least we have wind and someone to talk to on the radio not a boring passage at all so far, and yes still not pirates :)

oh yes and we had a gorgeous sunset, no green flash yet this trip!

cheers, roger

underway again into the pirate zone!
roger
02/17/2011, Some where in the arabian sea...

so i am a bit behind on the blog but wanted to get an underway one out. the photo is me leaving hidaway marine (our most favorate place so far) for the last time. you can see the excitement in my eyes as i an looking forward to 2k nm passage across the arabian sea into the red sea! so after a few false starts we got our little palapa convoy together and left uligam this am at around 9am. we have two other boats with us scott free and vagabond. i think we are too organized for vagabond and too unprofessional for scott free. i did put together a palapa convoy plan and covered all the things i could think of; lost comm lost sight, collision, pirartes, out of fuel, motor died etc.

in any case after much angst over the route we did what we always do, let the wind decide. commanders said basicaly you are stuck on a startbord tack what every you do so that meant we are heading west first (the southern route) a bit closer to somolia than i would desire but should be fine. below is the route, (please do not hand out too any pirates you know)

Route B - southern A 09 00n 061 00e no later than north point B. 14 24n 056 30e 200nm E of security zone D. 14 24n 053 00e entrance to security zone (1335nm to here)) G. 11 54n 045 00e exit security zone (1910nm to here) H. 11 36.1n 43 8.1e Djibouti yacht club (2010nm to here)

we are checking in daily with marlo and ukmto for whatever this is worth. we have had one radar contact so far and we gave him a 5 mile berth. of course he showed up just as we where talking on the vhf deciding on our military call signs. we decided us warship was too hard so we are eagle task force on operation cobra with our individual call signs of eagle 2, eagle 7 and eagle 9. we are all feeling very military now!

so far was have managed to stay together and not hit each other (i need to go check on eagle 7, he seems to like to be within boarding distance at any time, while eagle 7 seems to like to be outside of visual range.

please dont give me crap about op sec and posting things on the web, if the pirates are out crawling the web for sailboat routes they are in trouble. like we could even stick to this route if we wanted :)

cheers, roger

02/17/2011 | Bill Wickman
Go gettem Eagle 2! Have fun and a great passage.
02/17/2011 | Frank
I was looking forward to Coalition Task Force wondering why CVN70 was so far south of station ;-) Funny that Eagle 7 is "too close for a maneuvering board solution." I guess you better set a more vigilant visual watch this time round. Anyway, I look forward to pictures of you sailing up the Canal. Take it easy.
02/17/2011 | caston
Remember to have a few flare guns ready to go, have Karli reload while you shoot at approaching pirates...... we actually prepped to do this off Baja but the ponga speeding towards us, in the middle of no-where, were just fisherman wanting to trade lobsters for t-shirts.....
Vagabond arrival party!
roger
02/13/2011, Uligam

ever since our impromptu party with vagabond in kata beach we had been eagerly awaiting their arrival in the maldives as we had promised them another margarita event and our limes where going off. as the days counted up we where starting to think perhaps they had stopped in shri lanka and we would not see them. i had started calling on the net to see if anyone had heard or seen them. finally on what was day 14 of their passage ian on scott free heard a vhf transmission from them and lo and behold they arrived in uligam. as it turned out they has stopped in the nicobars for a couple of days to wait out some headwinds. of course this was another place supposed to put you in jail or where you would be attached by savages with spears if you stopped, more great cruiser bs rumors.

when we heard of vagabonds arrival we where down at hideaway marine having a swim in the pool and lunch so when we got the news we headed north the 15nm to uligam. we arrived at 430 and by 530 we had vagabond scott free and heartsong on palapa having margaritas and grilling burgers on the gallymate 2000. dinner was great and it was fun to catch up with everyone after our 2 week tour of the maldives.

we finished the evening off with a game of butt darts led by stu! he and alisa tied for first and i came in second. we followed this with a skinny dipping race around palapa. just alisa and i this time karli and crisa where too responsible :)

vagabond had only been there a few hours but was happy to sign up for our mini convey scheduled to depart in a couple of days. alas heartsong had talked them selves out of the passage having hung around all the nervous nellies and naysayers in uligam for two weeks and are now planning to spend 35k to ship their boat to turkey. yikes! we will miss them at our future parties but hope to link up with them in turkey. fortunately my job loss has ended the shipping possibility for us!

cheers, roger

back to our favorite spot!
roger
02/12/2011, Hide-away resort and marina

so thanks to the rolly night we got of to an early start and thanks to the wind from the south we made much better time then anticipated so we where able to stop in kudafushi for a brief provisioning stop and still make it up to hide away marine for happy hour!

i must say we where not very excited about kuldafushi, the customers guys where not super nice, made us pay 12$ to anchor for 2 hours to get food. on the way back they wanted us to have our groceries inspected?? i called bs after waiting for the boss for 5 minutes and we left and headed back. we could not get the anchor up fast enough and get headed for hideaway. this was the stop rene had planned for the ttt rally, i dont know what he was thinking there was only room for about 3 or 4 boats (they made us move and there was only one other boat in there). in any case we heard rene is being towed and the ralley is no longer going to pakistan as it cost 450$ to check in. not sure why he does not check into these things before he makes these plans. the same thing happened when the first baots arrived in kulifushi, they where charged 650$ to do anything other than leave the malidives in 3 days. in anycase we are glad to not be part of that event any more.

we pulled into hideaway at 530, just in time for half price happy hour at the palapa bar (see picture). we followed this up with a great buffet overlooking the water only to discover it was 97$ per person, yikes. we need to get out of here :) tomorrow it will be back to our discount 30$ each meals!

cheers, roger

dive day 3
roger
02/11/2011, Kuredu Resort

i hate to stay on the diving theme so much but it keeps getting better. we got up and made it to the dive no problem today and before we even got to the dive sight we ran into a heard of mantas. they stopped the dive boat and we jumped into swim with them. i was fumbeling around with the camara trying to get it set up and karli was gestering wildly, when i funally looked up this huge manta was coming right at me with his mouth wide open! glad they only eat plankton.

we followed this with a decent dive. we went down to 60ft and i was concerned i had blown the camara as i could not get it to work (its rated to 10 meters). we basically drifted down this very cool reef and finally at the end saw this cool turtle. karli and i both think these 1 hour dives are way too long. we need to go back to smaller tanks or dive deeper by the end we are cold and tiered and bored!

after the dive we had a final lunch at the resort and got under way heading back north. we hope to hook up with our friends on vagabond if they ever arrive and perhaps have valantines with stu and sandy from heartsong at the hidaway marina resort if we can talk them into leaving uligam!\

we got back to the sight of the unfinished hilton just before sunset and picked up a mooring. it will be a rolly night as winds are coming out of the south.

cheers, roger

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