Exploring the World by Sail from A to Z

Jeff and Zia's adventures aboard the catamaran Hekla

12 January 2015 | 62 31'S:59 47'W, Antarctic Peninsual
09 January 2015 | 65 54'S:62 52'W, Antarctic Peninsual
07 January 2015 | 65 15'S:64 16'W, Antarctic Peninsual
04 January 2015 | 64 19'S:62 55'W, Antarctic peninsula
31 December 2014 | 54 48'S:68 19'W, Ushuaia
27 December 2014 | It's 6am must be Miami...
26 December 2014 | Guatemala
09 June 2013 | 17 35'N:80 42'W, Caribbean sea
06 June 2013 | Jamaica
04 June 2013 | 18 28'N:77 57'W, Montego Bay
02 June 2013 | 19 20'N:78 49'W, on passage Cayman-Jamaica
23 May 2013 | 19 43'N:82 58'W, south of Cuba, NW of Cayman
19 May 2013 | 24 34'N:81 49'W, Key West, Florida
30 April 2013 | 23 25'N:85 38'W, Gulf of Mexico
27 April 2013 | 21 15'N:86 45'W, Isla Mujeras
19 April 2013 | 18 17'N:87 50'W, Xcalak
17 April 2013 | 15 34'N:89 12'W, Lago Izabal, Guatemala
10 April 2013 | Rio Dulce
10 April 2013 | 15 39'N:88 'W, Rio Dulce
01 April 2013 | 16 05'N:88 32'W, Southern Belize

Galapagos passage day 5

25 March 2012 | 18 22'S:85 16'W, Pacific ocean
by Jeff
Today dawned with a mostly clear sky, the first visible sunrise of this passage. Last night, our first well within the tropic zone, was marked by relentless squalls, a completely moonless night, and the need for the watch captain to actively operate this vessel by instrument. At regular intervals, we would be in mild conditions, then hear the roar of the wind in the sails, the rush of water by the hulls, and the humming of the floorboards as Hekla surged to 13, 14, even 15 knots. The boat motion would change, usually for the better, as we would sail closer to the speed of the waves instead of bumping around as they rolled under us. There are no visual clues to the environment, it is all dark except for the dim glow of the instruments. The watch captain would punch in new parameters to the autopilot, to sail deeper, slower, safer, then stare at the wind speed indicator, 25, 26, 27, 26, whew, the watch instructions say to wake captain if wind speed reaches 28; not this tim e. Then it would be over, eery silence, the boat slowed, and the waves would toss the boat around a bit as the sails began slatting, banging against their control lines, lacking the wind pressure that keeps it all taught and powerful. The watch person would then look at the other end of the watch instructions, where it says "start engine if wind speed drops below 8 knots."

Tropical squalls are like this. Some days nothing, other days we will stay busy. Usually less then 30 knots peak wind speed, nothing that a single reef and deep sailing angles cannot handle safely. For better or worse, the night has most of the squalls and the days are clear and steady. This morning, the wind has backed to a very favorable ENE direction, and Hekla is power reaching in the sweet spot, 9 to 12 knots, eager to make up the miles lost in the night.

In just a few weeks this crew has experienced the relentless rains of Patagonia, the mid-latitude need to wait for a good weather window to set sail then hold on tight for what ever really happens, the race to escape the building high winds of middle eastern south Pacific and head for the tropics, and now finally the relatively smooth, warm, trade wind sailing that has long been enjoyed by sailors. Today will mark our halfway point from Robinson Crusoe Islands to the Galapagos. Onward!
Comments
Vessel Name: Hekla
Vessel Make/Model: Atlantic 57, Chris White Designs
Hailing Port: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Crew: Jeff Lebesch, Zia Zybko
About: Jeff has been sailing for 11 years, and has completed two singlehanded TransPac races on his former trimaran Hecla. Zia is enthusiastic about adventure-exploration by sail
Hekla's Photos - Main
Interior photos of the boat
20 Photos
Created 29 November 2011
Photos of Hekla under construction, Sept 2010 to Nov 2011
30 Photos
Created 4 August 2011

S/V Hekla

Who: Jeff Lebesch, Zia Zybko
Port: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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