A Boat Too Far

05 December 2018
04 December 2018
03 December 2018
02 December 2018
01 December 2018
30 November 2018
27 November 2018
25 November 2018
23 November 2018
16 November 2018
12 November 2018
03 November 2018
26 October 2018
30 March 2018 | Puerto Madera, Chiapas Mexico
21 March 2018
21 February 2018
21 February 2018 | La Cuz
21 January 2018
07 December 2017 | Santa Rosalia, BCS

Day 8, Land Ho!

05 December 2018
Day 8: For the last 6 days the ocean has been our own. Not a single freighter, fishing boat, cruise ship or sailing vessel in sight. While on watch, poking our heads out at night was more of a ritual than necessity. But not last night. As we approached the Ecuadorian coast 50 miles off shore, first the AIS freighter targets appeared on our our charts, then after dinner when the lights in the cabin were shut off and we were settling in for another evening as usual little panga fishing lights seems to appear out of no where, surrounding us on all sides. They would only reveal themselves to us with tiny lights when we were within striking distance. Upon closer look with a spot light they were actually small sailing pangas. Like Wack a Mole, we'd barely clear one and another would pop up on the other side of the boat. All the while freighters the size of 4 football fields would come barreling down through the game. This all began on Mike’s first watch so when I arose to start my watch Mike told me of his experience, and wished me good luck. What, I exclaimed, your not leaving me alone up here?! You'll do fine, wake me up if you need me he said and with that he went to bed. As instructed every few minutes I would go out on deck and flash our big spot light so the pangas would see us coming. That seemed to do the trick, shortly after they would turn on their light and move off our course. Needless to say, last night there were no cat naps. Welcome to Ecuador! We should be arriving late tonight into Salinas, where we will be staying at the Puerto Lucia Yacht Club.


Day 7, Crossing the Line

04 December 2018
We should be crossing the equator this afternoon, at which time Annette will be officially transformed from a "pollywog" to a "shellback". Having undergone the same transformation some 20 years ago on a previous sailing trip in the Galapagos, I will remain unchanged.

There is some debate on board as to how to properly mark the occasion. The crew of the tour boat upon which I crossed the equator celebrated by making us all a special drink. This task fell to the newest member of the crew, Jorge, who wanted to practice his bar tending skills. The resulting drink was not particularly good, but, since it was a special occasion and not to offend Jorge, who was very proud of his concoction, I cowboyed up and sucked it down. The onboard naturalist had his suspicions, though, and asked Jorge what was in the drink. "Rum and mixer" says Jorge, beaming. "What mixer" asks the still dubious naturalist. Jorge reached under the sink and pulled out a plastic jug marked "Floor Polish". "This mixer", he says, still beaming. It was hard to be angry with him, as he meant well, and, to be fair, the bottle was labeled in English, but this did not spare him a lip whipping from the entire crew and relief of his bar tending duties. A few of us had the squirts for a day or so, but, as far as I can tell, there was no pernamint damidge.

Annette, has chosen to buck tradition and have a dram of Old Rum instead, which is just as well as we don't carry floor polish on board.

Costa Rica to Equador, day 6

03 December 2018
Day 6:
Today appears to be just like yesterday, the day before and the day before that. The days begin with the sunshine, blue skies, white puffy clouds and sparkling blue water, wind from the same direction (straight on the nose)a and more or less the same speed 10-15 knots, with choppy seas and swells from every direction. Around midday the sky turns gray and cloudy and remains that way until sunset when the clouds break up just enough to light up the west painting the sky vibrant shades of orange, pink,dark purple then complete blackness.
Because of the 360* visibility from the main cabin we don't have to assign watches 24 hours a day which is awesome because it gives us a lot of freedom to do whatever we want or do nothing at all, as long as we don't nap at the same time. Day light hours seem to fly by bringing the darkness way too soon. After dinner we begin our watches, around 7:30-8:00pm. We have a timer/alarm that we set to beep every 18 minutes. The watch person must press a button when the beeper goes off with in a minute otherwise a loud nasty siren goes off alarming the sleeping crew. This beeping also marks the time the watch person checks outside to make sure .we don't hit anything, that we're still on our course, that the sails are trimmed, and that the engine isn't over heating. When it's not cloudy it’s also a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the unobstructed night sky. Mike takes the first shift from 7:30 to 11:30 pm. I watch from 11:30-4:30am, then Mike does the 4:30 till I wake up. So far that's working pretty well but always subject to change. Watches are usually not that difficult, it's amazing how easily it is to cat nap every 18 minutes when your sleep deprived kinda like falling a sleep at the wheel and waking up with a jolt when you hit the grated shoulder.

Costa Rica to Equador, day 5

02 December 2018
Day 5, spirits are brighter and more optimistic. We have blue skies, white puffy clouds, and we're still making progress towards Ecuador. Also, after getting some quality sleep which didn’t happen the night before, we have the energy to resume chores and projects. As I write this Mike is out bouncing around on the trampoline with his mop shooing the boobies way from the boat. What started off as cute and entertaining quickly turned into a messy intrusion when 5 became 20 with bird shit and feathers flying everywhere.
Sunshine means laundry day(as you'll remember Danny), with the hope that things will dry before the next squall. Also I'm trolling a fishing line maybe we'll have a "delish fish dish" for dinner.
What makes this day special is the magic of the water, sparkling, deep, cerulean blue. As far as you can see to where it contrasts with the pale blue horizon. Perfection.

Day 4

01 December 2018
Still raining. We remain lodged in the ITCZ with large, confused seas and wind from 13 to 18 knots out of the south southwest. Our current is now running east at 2 knots, so our speed is up but we are being pushed far more to the east than we would like.
Yesterday evening we were joined by a flock of 20 brown boobies who perched on our lifelines and rigging. While the boat's motion is pretty violent in these conditions, the boobies are unfazed. They just hang on tight and fight with their neighbors. They are still there today so I thought I would have a bit of fun with them. During a break in the rain I snuck up under a hatch that sits about 2 feet directly underneath the main bunch on them perched on the lifeline. I threw open the hatch and hollered "booga booga booga" as loud as I could. They just looked at me like I was nuts and went back to fighting amongst themselves. Not to be so easily put off I started poking them with 2x4 but they just moved aside until one of them let go with a squirt of boobie poo. Most of it landed on the hatch, but I took the rest right in the face. Salty and creamy with a hint of anchovy, in case anyone is wondering.. Karma is alive and well on Rum Doxy.

Costa Rica to Equador, day 3

30 November 2018
We continue to make slow headway, pushing against a contrary current that runs from 1.3 to 2.5 knots against us. At times we struggle to make 3 knots, even with both motors running. We have only made roughly 80 miles a day for the past 2 days. All is well, though. Annette has the butter out, thawing, which means we will likely get chocolate chip cookies today, so what's the rush? We are still in the ITCZ and getting lots of squalls and rain, but these usually come with favorable wind up to 20 knots, so they are welcome.
Vessel Name: Rum Doxy
Vessel Make/Model: 46' Custom Catamaran
Hailing Port: Santa Barbara, California
Crew: Mike Reed, Annette Reed
Extra: A "rum doxy" is 18th century pirate-speak for a woman of remarkable character and ambiguous virtue
Rum Doxy 's Photos - Main
It seems that our time in Costa Rica has been mostly about the wildlife. We visited the cloud forest, several national parks and some private ones. Here is a rogues gallery of the critters we saw.
27 Photos
Created 25 November 2018
11 Photos
Created 21 March 2018
We spent almost a month in the La Paz area and Isla Espiritu Santos, discovering new little anchorages and enjoying the comforts of old stomping grounds. On February 13, we finally cut the ties with the Sea of Cortz and set off for new adventures, beginning with Isla Isabela.
18 Photos
Created 24 February 2018
Over time we have become insufferable beer snobs. As such we found that we could no longer abide the marginal brews we find when abroad and were compelled to take matters into our own hands. We brought a brew kit and grains back to the boat with us after a Christmas visit home (see the blog post for 1/21/18), tied to a mooring in Puerto Escondido and got busy.
11 Photos
Created 21 January 2018
We left the boat on the hard in Puerto Penasco for the summer while we returned home to Ventura to work. We returned to the boat in early November and, after 2 weeks of work on the boat in the yard, we launched and headed straight for Isla Angel de la Guardia, where we took up where we left off in the spring.
27 Photos
Created 7 December 2017
We got a late start heading south this year, our mainsail warranty replacement having taken much longer than anticipated. Our plan, as we headed south, was to get to Ecuador this season so that we would be poised to head to Patagonia in the fall. Somewhere along the way, though, we realized that this would mean traveling every day; more of a delivery than a cruise, so we decided to spend another season in the Sea of Cortez, store the boat in Puerto Penasco or Guaymas for the summer hurricane season, and head to Ecuador next year.
24 Photos
Created 4 March 2017
39 Photos
Created 30 March 2016
After a quick haul-out in La Paz we headed out to the local area to do some exploring. We spent most of January and february sailing up and down the coast enjoying the Islands of Espiritu Santo, San Francisco and San Jose as well as some of the anchorages on the mainland.
34 Photos
Created 13 February 2016
We left our slip in Channel Islands on November 7th, bound for Mexico with stops at Santa Barbara Island, Catalina Island and San Diego. We arrived in Cabo one month later having harbor-hopped down the coast of Baja.
23 Photos
Created 8 December 2015
30 Photos
Created 19 September 2013
We made an unplanned detour to Alaska when the wind sent us there. Rather than spend time in the Salish Sea as we had planned we have been sailing from Kodiak to Prince William Sound and down to the Inside Passage with stops at icy Bay and Yakutat.
97 Photos
Created 1 September 2013
After leaving Yokohama we headed southeast to get below a series of lows coming off of Japan. This worked to some extent as the wind was always behind us, even if a bit strong at times. As we approached the Pacific High the winds lightened and we were pushed northward which gave us the idea to head for Alaska instead of Canada, a move we have not regretted. The great majority of the trip was spent under cloudy skies, rain or fog so there are regretably not many photos. On the other hand, Kodiak is having their best summer in 75 years with daily temperatures in the 80's.
17 Photos
Created 25 July 2013
43 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
We made our way from Luzon to Okinawa with a detour to Taiwan due to weather. from Okinawa we sailed directly to Shimuzu where we based ourselves for a week while we did maintenance and land travel.
36 Photos
Created 5 June 2013
19 Photos
Created 20 April 2013
We made our way from Miri, Sarawak to Kudat, Sabah where we hauled out for a bottom job and a few odds and ends. Then we headed north up the west coast of Palawan, spending some time in the El Nido area, where we met our friends from Miri, Roger and Jane on "Wings and Strings". We have been buddy-boating with them for the past week as we make our way through the beautifull Busuanga group. We are really enjoyin g the Philippines as the people are very friendly, the beaches clan and the water clear. The scenery is spectacular as is the snorkling.
60 Photos
Created 30 March 2013
Nearby Mulu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for it's caves. It sports the world's largest cave system, largest cave passage and largest chamber (100m x 400m x600m!). The BBC series "Planet Earth" filmed it's "Caves" segment here (think mountain of guano seething with cockroaches). We took a couple of days off from boat work and flew out to have a look.
39 Photos
Created 8 September 2012
We had an uneventfull passage from Singapore to Borneo, though a bit tiring as we had to hand steer for 3 days and 2 nights. We arrived in Borneo just after dark on the 3rd day, anchored and awoke to a scene from a Tarzan novel. Over the next week we made our way to Miri, just short of Brunei, traveling during the day and achoring at night as we didn't want to run afoul of the many floating logs in this area. Typically we would sail all day then drop a couple miles off the coast to (mostly) avoid the bugs. We were lucky with the weather and apart from the hydraulic steering exploding as I tried to avoid a log, we had a good trip.
19 Photos
Created 30 August 2012
After 2 years of working on the boat and migrating back and forth between Phuket and Langkawi, we finally moved. The trip down the Straights of Malacca was uneventfull but at times difficult due to the opposing wind and current. We did not travel at night for fear of fishing nets and buoys and so had long days between anchorages. The sky was a uniform dismal brown due to forest fires in Sumatra and the shoreline was mostly mangrove flats so not much to see.
26 Photos
Created 27 August 2012
With the dinghy done we set sail for Langkawi, leaving Thailand for the last time. We lingered a few days in the Butang group to take advantage of the clear water, then made our way to Langkawi, where we have been working non-stop on the boat ever since.
27 Photos
Created 25 July 2012
We've been knocking around for a couple of years now without a dinghy so we took the time to build one this trip. We got a spot on the "work dock", picked up some plywood in town and got busy. The rowing/sailing boat is from plans but heavily modified. It took 2 weeks all in. It might have been less, but when the wind wasn't blowing a gale, it was raining. Some people do this inside garages or sheds, but they don't know what they're missing.
24 Photos
Created 3 June 2012
After launch we did a "circumnavigation" of Langkawi to put the boat through it's paces and see if all our work was for naught. As it turned out, the leaks are all a thing of the past and the boat now makes a pleasant "squish" instead of "bang" when beating into a sea. After our spin around the archipelago we picked up Annette's parents, Gordon and Grete, in Langkawi and made our way up to Phuket where we met Sabine and her boyfriend Josh. Another spin through Phangnga Bay and it was time to button up the boat and head back to Santa Barbara for another 4 month work stint.
60 Photos
Created 22 January 2012
Annette's plastic cardboard fix allowed us to continue work despite the rain and we were able to launch after 2 months and 3 weeks. It's great to be out of the boatyard but we will miss all of our friends who we left behind, hoping we will see them on the water.
24 Photos
Created 29 December 2011
We discovered on our last trip that the boat pounds quite a bit when going to windward due to the flat bottoms on the hulls. The boat has a unique contruction in that the hull and deck both come from the same mold. The deck is just flipped uside down over the hull and they are joined down the middle. A clever idea, but it turns our what makes a good deck does not necesarily make a good hull. We also found that the Thai workers had sanded the hulls a bit too thin in some areas which allowed water into the core when the boat was working. Ungood. Our solution was to see if we couldn't improve things by adding a bit of "vee" to the forward sections of the hulls to help with the pounding and encase the whole mess in a layer of glass with a proper barrier coat of epoxy for the leaks. A side benefit is that we get a "minikeel" encased in the vee so that we can beach the boat if need be. It also would provide a crash compartment along the length of the bottom. We hauled out in the village of Chebilang outside of Satun in southern Thailand and dug in. The yard is on the rustic side and is used by the local fishing boats and ferry companies, but it is endlessly fascinating and the staff are very accomodating. We will also be doing work to the interior, adding bunks and a head, making spare rudders, working on the mast and fixing up the forward cockpit.
57 Photos
Created 18 September 2011
We came back from Thailand to meet our shipment coming ocean freight from Long Beach. 2 pallets of wire, rope, tools, materials and toys. Once we picked it up I was able to install the 12 volt electrical system which freed us from shore power. Now we are able to work on the boat at anchor and have been taking advantage by exploring the Langkawi Archipelago as we put the boat together.
24 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
A quick root canal and we headed back to Phangnga bay to pick up where we left off.
50 Photos
Created 26 January 2011
Between dentist appointments we took a spin up into Phangnga Bay for a couple of days. We were surprised to find a lot of solitude here as it is high season and a popular destination. There were a lot of tour boats but from 4pm to 10am we had even the most popular anchorages to ourselves.
24 Photos
Created 26 January 2011
As the major construction on the boat progressed, it occurred to me that I could move things along a bit by building some of the smaller bits at home and shipping them to Thailand. Even with shipping costs this saved a lot of time and money. We had rented a small cottage in Carpinteria that had an attached deck. Sabine lived in a tent on the deck and I set up a work area under some tarps supported by bamboo next to the tent. It worked out really well and I was able to build the dagger boards, rudders and rudder drums, hatch bases, stanchion supports, trampoline supports, nav station, galley and steps down into the hulls. After we launched in March, 2010 we had to return to SB to work for 7 months. We were living on our Catalina 30 in SB Harbor to save money but I was able to build a refrigerator/freezer, settee, lavanette, cabin beams, battery box and other small bits right there on the dock. I was not popular with the next door neighbor but again, it worked out well.
45 Photos
Created 9 January 2011
Just after the New Year we went back to phuket to get some dental work done and see Phang Nga Bay, which we had to skip the first time around. We had great sailing, taking 3 days to do the 160 miles to Yacht Haven Marina at the north end of Phuket. We had broad reaching conditions the whole way and got to put the boat through her paces.
11 Photos
Created 7 January 2011
Once launched we had to take the boat out of the country as the visa had expired. We took a week to leisurely sail down to Langkawi, the first stop in Malaysia. The boat was nowhere near ready to sail but you do what you have to do. There was no electrical system, plumbing or furniture. I had pre-fabbed the nav station and galley in SB and shipped it to Thailand, but it was still in the crates. The boat did motor well, though and we got to sail a bit, at one time doing 9.4 knots in about 16 knots of wind. Once in Langkawi we had to haul out again after only 2 weeks as there were some leaks around the daggerboard cases. We were now out of money so we had to return to SB where we got our old jobs back and worked for seven months.
44 Photos
Created 24 December 2010
After over 4 years in the boatyard, countless setbacks, redoes and hand wringing we quit our jobs and flew to Phuket New Years day, 2010 for the final push to get the boat in the water. The date was not arbitrary. The boat's visa ran out March 27, so we had less than 3 months to get the boat in the water and out of Thailand or customs would impound it. The worklist included fabricating and installing fuel tanks, installing the engines and controls, installing the hydraulic steering, glassing in the rudder drums, building a mast step, painting, rigging and stepping the mast, building and hanging doors, making and installing windows and hatches, installing the trampolines and all the deck hardware, scuppers, and prepping and painting the boat. This is just a partial list but gives an idea of what we set ourselves up for. We rented an apartment in the marina and got to work. In the end we were able to slip out of Thailand 2 on March 29, two days late, but who's counting.
37 Photos
Created 24 December 2010
From August 2006 to December 2009 the boat was on the hardstand at The Boat Lagoon in Phuket Thailand for a complete refit. As we had to stay home and work to pay for it we had contractors do the work under the supervision of a Marine Surveyor. I would send plans and money and visit the boat for a week or 2 every 4-6 months.
50 Photos
Created 16 December 2010
We bought this boat "as is" in January 2005. The idea was to replaces some bulkheads, do some hull repairs and sail it back to California to finish. After over 30 years around boats I knew better but what can you do? These are the "before" pictures. As you view the photos try to imagine the sweet tang of mildew and cockroach scat and the delicate sound of millions of tiny termite jaws feasting on the bulkheads.
13 Photos
Created 4 December 2010