04/10/2011, Out on the ocean
We left yesterday afternoon about 1300 and have gone 150 nautical mile in the last 24 hours. The first day was tough. Lots of wind--25 knots and rolly seas that made for a VERY uncomfortable passage so far. We're currently at 19 11.101N 107 17.184W for those of you with google earth. I had to take my first sea sickness meds this morning. We've talked to several boats since we left out here on our radio and all are experiencing the same rough conditions. We took two reefs in the main sail and rolled up all but 30% of the Genoa sail at the bow. We did hoist the small forestaysail witch helped keep our speeds up in the mid 7 knot range so we're making good time. We may be able to talk to the other boats but haven't seen a single one since we took off.
Here's Tracy's post: Okay, I didn't take my super duper seasick meds, I took Gravol that I'd purchased in Canada. They had been working, BUT in the rough seas they pooped out and left me nauseous, really nauseous. I was praying the sea gods would come and shoot me. Both cats were sick and had thrown up. We were just such a happy group yesterday.
The sun poked it's head out and turned the ocean into the most gorgeous color of Colbalt blue. The clouds are low and look wet, but I don't think we'll get any rain out of them.
So far food has been a huge challenge. I feel as though I'm in an earthquake simulator. Nothing stay still.. I put a cup down and away it goes. Unfortunately, the cup had boiling water in it for my morning tea. I did manage to step aside just in time, but the little carpet in galley is soaked. Everything takes twice as long to do. Breakfast should be such an easy task, but making instant oatmeal is a huge production. Lunch was cheese and crackers, Bill is still queasy and I'm borderline.
The winds are great in the 15 to 20 range, just what Zephyr loves. We've been flying low. We hired a weather router at the last minutes because this years weather is so flakey, but so far we have had no problem following his waypoints. We are on a beam reach, that's with the wind on our direct side, but the waves are also on our beam. With 10 foot roller and windwaves on our beam, we are not very comfortable yet. Hopefully, this will change when we reach the Trade Winds in a few day.
So far, so good for us. Buena Vista has water in their oil in their engine, so they have to change out their oil cooler. That's a hard job in bumpy seas. More tomorrow. Fish report: not fishing yet, you think we're nauseous now, the though of cleaning a fish right now is too much to bear. Squid/flying fish report:0 Times soaked by a rogue wave:1 for Tracy and 1 for Snowshoe (he was in my lap)
04/10/2011, Out on the ocean
We finally left yesterday just after 1300 hours. Motored a few miles and then up with the sails. The winds grew--18 to 25 knots as did the waves--10 feet high and very rolly which made for a faster than average journey so far but VERY uncomfortable. For the first time, i took sea sickness meds. Maybe sea sick or just nerves. Better this afternoon. We're at 19 11.101N 107 17.184W heading 252 True and have gone 150 nautical miles in the first 24 hours. Our max speed was 10 knots. We spent most of the night with two reefs in the main plus the Genoa was furled so only about 30% was showing. We had the forestaysail up witch added a good knot of speed to our progress. Every one says the first few days are the roughest and we both agree. The kids are not happy in the least but they will just have to adjust. So, all is well--sort of and the winds are still running about 15 knots. If you will recall, I mentioned in an earlier post about starting out on Friday. Well, three boats did just that. Two returned to the marina later in the day and the third just radioed us that they have engine problems--water in their oil. We had the same thing last year when we were at Catalina Island. Don off Buena Vista radioed me for advise(go figure). I told him to look at his oil cooler unit as there are very few ways to get water in the oil and that's normally the cause. It was with us. I now carry two backups. Sorry this is so short but I have to get back on deck. More tomorrow. By the way, I'm posting this via our SSB radio so there will be no pictures(not much to see out here other than ocean any way)until we get to the Marquesas.
04/08/2011, La Cruz Marina
Well, another day gone with lots of things done to get us ready for tomorrows send off.
We got an email from our friends on Gigi that they needed some help. They left here almost two weeks ago(when we were supposed to go) and need a bit of help. During one particular rolly session, the little propane lighter stick they use to light their stove went flying across the galley and it broke when it hit the floor. They asked us to pick up some more before we left if we could. They had purchased a special one that takes replacement cartridges instead of use it till it doesn't work and throw it away. They have lots of the refill, but only one lighter stick. I took a trip to Walmart in Puerto Vallarta and got them two more that we will pass along when we meet up in Tahiti.
I fired up the water maker again today and found a small leak at one of the connections. I took it apart twice and added several wraps of teflon tape to try and seal it up--all of course to no good. So, since I was already going to Walmart, I just had to make a second stop at Zaragosa Marine store where everything is normally about 70% higher than it would be in the US but when you are just about the only place in town for marine parts, you can get away with it(and they do). Lucky for me, they had the parts I needed so it made for a worthwhile trip(what a surprise).
Back to Zephyr just after 1400 and back to getting the water maker fixed. A few more wraps of teflon tape and just for fun, a small smearing of some silicone caulk and I screwed on the fitting. On with the hoses and the clamps and they job is done. Now I just have to wait till tomorrow to fire it up again and make sure it doesn't leak.
Once that was done, we fired up the engine just so I could inspect all the lines and fittings. Hey, guess what I found? A new leak at the new fuel pump!!!! Now to get at the fuel pump, I have to take off the oil filter assembly. While I have an engine room that most sailer would kill for, there are still some size restrictions. Off came the filter and in with the 1/2" wrench(done it so many times I know the wrench sizes by heart). A quick 1/4 turn and a start of the engine and no more leak. Back on with the oil filter assembly and the job was done. I'll start the engine again tomorrow morning just to double check it one last time. It's better to find it now while it's easy to fix than after we set off. I'm becoming one with my engine.
We've hired a weather router since the weather out there is behaving strangely and we would feel better getting advise from a professional while in transit. We will receive out first report early tomorrow morning before we set off. Hopefully he will give us the green light that it's a good time to take off and not have to stop again for a better window. Tomorrow will tell the tale. I'm not sure we'd stop leaving even if he said we should stay. It may be a bit rolly and windier that we would have liked but we have to get out of here.
Several boats took off today. Now sailor any good sailor knows that you just don't leave on any trip on a Friday. It just isn't done( I have no idea why, but it just isn't done--I should Google it I guess). So far two of the boats that took off have returned. One with engine trouble(gee we know how they feel and the other we have no idea.
We've worked just about every system on Zephyr since we got here. She's as ready as she will ever be.
Tomorrow is the day--almost two years since we set out for Alaska from Port Townsend.
04/08/2011, La Cruz Marina
Hi all...just an update. All systems are go on the weather front. The big storm that is hitting California is pushing the Pacific High farther south and that means wind for us....finally.
The remainder of boats doing the Puddle Jump, us included, with be leaving tomorrow. We plan to cast off the dock lines around 1100 when the thermal winds in Bandaras Bay start and not stop anywhere until the Marquesas. The wind forecast is 15-20kts tomorrow and 20-25kts on Sunday. We'll be flying. Zephyr loves those wind ranges, we will even have to reef the main when it gets over 20-25kts. After waiting for two weeks for any wind, this is a great gift.
The boat is ready. We are at waterline,fuel, water, enough food to eat for months and months without seeing a grocery. I did three loads of wash this morning and it is all over the rigging. We look like a Chinese laundry. I'm sure the mega yachts around us are groaning and rolling their eyes, but I don't care. I wanted fresh, clean sheets on the bed. If it is calm enough on the voyage, I could do laundry underway, heaven knows I've done it in the past when Shadow, our now deceased puss, had an accident while taking a nap or whenever, but doing large items like sheets, blankets or mattress pads while you are rolling 30 degrees from one side to 30 degrees on the other really isn't my idea of a fun time. Okay, enough.
Last night, we went to a party on Endorfin. What a blast. It really took me back thirty years to some humdinger parties we have been to in our younger years. When the backlands tequila came out and a shot glass kept getting passed around and the beer and wine were flowing liberally...things got silly and political conversations were bandied around. It was very interesting as half of us were US citizens and half were Canadian. It was a great time and I'd repeat it in a heartbeat. It was a nice for us, it let me know how serious we'd become over the last month or so. Work, work, work.
Yesterday, we made one last trip to Costco for paper towels and tortilla chips. Today, Bill went into town to get a fitting for the watermaker that was dripping ever so slightly, enough that it bothered him, so the forward head is totally ripped up right now.
We will be blogging from sea everyday so you can join us on this journey. We will be both writing, so you will get both our perspectives.
So until tomorrow...remember we leave at 1100, don't be late. More later.
04/07/2011, La Cruz Marina
OK, here is the latest departure time table. The weather has shaped up for us getting out of here on Saturday. Yes, that's right--in under 48 hours we will have the sails up and the wind in our hair.
We're trying to set ourselves up with a weather router since the conditions are so strange out there for this time of year. Storms or calm are not the normal for where we are going. It's supposed to be nice winds out of the northeast and wave of the same but no, not for us. Instead it's winds out of the Northwest and waves out of the Southwest--right at the head of the boat. Not necessarily a fun ride, but at least we will be on our way.
Our friends on Gigi that left almost two weeks ago(when we were supposed to go) have had winds so light that they think it will be a total voyage of 30 days instead of the normal 25 to get to the Marquesas. We expect winds up to 25 knots and a faster trip(if we are lucky). Guess tie will tell.
So fixes are getting done and one last round of a trip to Costco to replace what we have eaten in the last two weeks and we should be all ready to get out of here.
I'll let you know tomorrow if anything changes.
04/03/2011, La Cruz Marina
Well, we made it to Punta de Mita, about 8 miles west of here yesterday afternoon and dropped the anchor in a bit of wind. All was well though a bit rollie as Zephyr rolled from side to side in the swell. The wind was 90 degrees off the swell so what was to be was to be. Rolling rolling and more rolling through the night.
For the last few days, I've smell a faint whiff of diesel when I go below decks. I pulled up the floor boards and the top of the tanks were covered in fuel!!! Yuck!! I'd installed new seals when we were in Paradise Village but the tanks were only about half full. Now, with them full, the sloshing did it's job and the new seals were not going to keep the fuel where it belonged--in the tank. With that being said, we had little choice other than to up the anchor and head back to the marina since we needed a calm environment to take the lids off and redo the seals. With the tanks full, opening the tops could have made the mess even bigger.
The first time I installed the seals, I used a new neoprene gasket and added some liquid gasket material from Permatex. I guess I didn't use enough since they leaked. Once off, I scraped off the old material and added a new, bigger layer of the stuff from Permatex and reinstalled the inspection plates. Now we will have to see what happens. I think we will try and rock Zephyr back and forth so see if we can make her leak tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm off the the new Auto Zone to see if I can find more liquid seal stuff to keep on board as I used everything I had here. Gee, boating sure is fun......
I think we may set a new record for most times leaving the dock to do the Puddle Jump. This next time, we will not be stopping at Punta de Mita. We will set the sails in what ever wind there is available(no wind is in the forecast for as far out as the weather folks are forecasting) and go. I don't really want to use the engine unless there is no choice.
Stay tuned for more of our odyssey. We'll get out of here yet!!!!