Pacific Odyssey 2010/2011

Follow the Larsens from Seattle to Australia and back.

14 February 2011
16 November 2010 | Australia
14 November 2010 | Ballina, NSW
10 November 2010 | Scarborough, QLD
02 November 2010
22 October 2010 | Brisbane
16 October 2010
15 October 2010
14 October 2010
08 October 2010 | Vanuatu
01 October 2010 | Noumea, New Caledonia
28 September 2010
28 September 2010
26 September 2010
25 September 2010
23 September 2010
21 September 2010 | Lautoka
19 September 2010
18 September 2010 | Musket Cove, Fiji

Sill in Port Angeles

18 May 2010 | Port Angeles
Who was that guy at the helm in our last posting? My Dad, Dale. He joined us in Port Townsend last Thursday. He'll make the passage to Hilo with us if he doesn't jump ship before we depart. He's very patient and easy going, but the kids have been putting that and all of us to the test. They miss the routine and predictability of school. They miss playing with their friends. However, I think we've found the magic formula for this leg of our journey: Grandpa tells stories. He has a handful of stories about my brother Jon and all his antics when he was little (overflowing toilets, beebee guns, neighborhood ruffians, stolen bikes, a popped water bed, a forgotten bathtub drawing water for hours.) He also tells stories about his grandfathers and his own high school English teaching days (streakers, our house getting teepee'd, senior pranks, administrative officials.) The kids are enthralled. As soon as he finishes one story, they beg to hear it again. Freya is now his sidekick and fills in critical pieces of dialog.

Our most recent lesson (we've known but have had to live it to recall) is that once you consult with the experts -- people who done this before, professional weather routers, authors who've made a living planning routes - ultimately you have to make your own journey. There is no exact way, just as there is no perfect boat. There are trade-offs and unknowns. Our latest news from the weather router is that there continue to be a series of lows offshore and the weather won't be clear for sailing for a few more days. We can wait in Port Angeles another week and maybe sail out and on to Hilo in one shot, or we can leave in a few days and motor sail down the coast until we reach the trades. If we wait, we make no progress at all. If we decide to motor down the coast (300-400miles), we'll have to pull in somewhere and refuel, paying close attention to bar conditions. When the rivers meet the sea there are sand bars that extend well beyond the coast. Seas sometimes break across the bars and the conditions are untenable, even for larger craft. We'll also have to contend with the fishing traffic, freighters, and choppy seas on the continental shelf. None of that sounds good to me and yet it lies directly in the path of my ultimate barefoot, sun-filled idyll.

We have a lifejacket policy on board: below decks no one needs to wear one, above decks everyone wears one. When underway, the kids also wear harnesses, clipped to the boat with a 6 foot tether. When underway at sea, even the adults wear harnesses, and clip in. A couple times they've attempted to go topsides without their lifejackets - just testing to see if our rules still hold. They do! Finn can tell his life jacket from the others once he finds the blood stains. Back in Port Townsend he was jumping in and out of the dinghy and knocked his nose on the oar. We look like a bunch of sea-hardies already. Our personal grooming standards have taken a bit of a turn. So tomorrow our "to do" list looks like this: Take showers, kids have school, make some phone calls that we forgot to make before leaving Seattle, buy detailed charts of the coastal route we hadn't intended to take, walk a mile or so to the grocery store for some bread and lunch meat, get the kids to the park.
Vessel Name: Jenny P
Vessel Make/Model: Hans Christian 33T
Hailing Port: Seattle, Washington
Crew: Eric, Christine and family
About: Sophie 10 Finn 7 Freya 5
Extra: After sailing in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years, we are preparing to sail to the South Pacific
Jenny P's Photos - Main
16 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
43 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
27 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
11 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
40 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 9 October 2010
62 Photos
Created 11 September 2010
94 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 21 August 2010
76 Photos
Created 18 August 2010
1 Photo | 12 Sub-Albums
Created 4 August 2010
6 Photos | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 26 July 2010
21 Photos
Created 24 July 2010
7 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
10 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
Time Ashore
35 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
13 Photos
Created 28 June 2010
Photos of our floating home
9 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
10 Photos
Created 12 May 2010
Pictures as we left Seattle
5 Photos
Created 11 May 2010