A Boat Too Far

In 2005 we bought a 46' catamaran in Thailand as a wreck. We removed the cabin, bridgedeck, main crossbeam and all the bulkheads then completely redisigned and rebuilt her in Phuket over the course of 5 years. It seemed like a good idea at the time..

19 January 2019
18 January 2019
17 January 2019
16 January 2019
15 January 2019
14 January 2019
13 January 2019
12 January 2019
11 January 2019
10 January 2019
09 January 2019
08 January 2019
07 January 2019
06 January 2019
05 January 2019
02 January 2019
17 December 2018
05 December 2018
04 December 2018
03 December 2018

Day 16

19 January 2019
Land Ho! As of 11:45 am we can faintly see the island. The little pseudo RumDoxy icon on our electronic chart is now on the same screen as Easter Island. As of right now we have 42 miles to go. Our exact ETA is hard to say because the wind is so flukey it's hard to maintain a steady speed, but we will be there sometime today. The sun doesn't set on the the island until 9:15 pm so there is a good chance we will make landfall before dark.
Easter Island is a place I never imagined I would get to see, a tiny mythical island out in the middle of Nowhere, Pacific. I'm so excited.

Day 15

18 January 2019
As predicted, the winds are a bit lighter today, about 15 knots, and more from the northeast, which puts it on our port quarter rather than beam. This has slowed us a bit and we have shaken out a reef and unfurled the genoa. This has been the firs time we touched the sails in 4 days, the second reef and jib being good in the brisk trades and squalls.

It looks like we will make landfall sometime late tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about this. It will be nice to stop jiggling and get some real sleep, but the past 2 weeks have been pretty idyllic sailing. Our world has been 46 by 26 feet and we have been moving it across a deep blue plain with nothing to see but horizon in every direction. We spend long periods of time just watching the waves catch us and pass smoothly, mostly, underneath, the waves an impossible blue with translucent turquoise lips underneath pure white caps. I pass the day learning new tunes on my guitar and reading about beer making while Annette paints, bakes and turns out awesome meals. Everything in our world is real and has direct consequences that we alone are responsible for dealing with. We are insulated from the most recent bombing in Iraq, war crime in Syria, refugee crisis or whether 800,000 federal employees are still being held hostage by politics, but that all ends tomorrow when we will be greeted by Chilean officialdom and reacquainted with the outside world. On the other hand, there will be pizza.

Day 14

17 January 2019
314 miles to go, we should arrive Easter Island day after tomorrow. The Weather and sea conditions pretty much the same as the last few days except the seas are now about 3 meters high. When I look off the back deck I see a wall of rolling blue water coming right for us and Rum Doxy just rolls gracefully over the top, most of the time. Seeing the sunshine through the crests of crystal blue waves takes my breath away it is so beautiful. I imagine astronauts have a similar experience in space that's how different it is being out here. The night sky is also amazing. When we first took off there was no moon, the night was black, but the stars popped and twinkled and the Milky Way was so bright it reflected off the water. Where the night sky meets the water the flickering of light continues with the star light reflecting off silvery flying fish and phosphorescent wave caps. Sailing in a pitch black night sometimes makes me dizzy, like I'm sailing in circles. With each night the moon makes an increasing appearance, defining boundaries with the shadows of clouds and a glow on the horizon. The planets stand out even brighter as the stars are muted by the moon, and Rum Doxy lights up bright white in the moon light like a star. In these moments I feel truly alive.
Life is another name for the present, and while it's getting harder to find the present these days, I am happy to report that there's still an abundance of it at sea. A quote from John Kretschmer.

Day 13

16 January 2019
The weather took a shift this morning as a series of squalls passed through bringing up to 30 knot gusts and two meter seas. Rum Doxy handles the bursts well with a double reefed main and the little jib. We also fell off, meaning turned the boat down wind, just a bit for a less bumpy ride. Only 500 more miles to go.
My dad asked what we do for exercise on board if anything? The answer is yes, Mike and I both have our own exercise routines which we do when conditions are not too bumpy. Mike has a series of body weight strength training exercises which he does using different parts of the boat ie pull-ups on hand holds, and table tops, push-ups from cross beams, all done with the added centrifugal force of a boat in motion. I on the other hand put my head phones on with some groovy music and do Zumba type exercises. But on days like today, when the boat is severely gyrating and bouncing up and down the boat itself becomes our gym. We get plenty of exercise with body weight resistance, just standing in the galley, or moving around the boat in a crouching leg bracing stance, and strong upper body death grips. We actually get abdominal exercise sitting in our chairs as the boat rises and falls with the swell. We are constantly in motion on the ocean.

Day 12

15 January 2019
Sailing along under blue skies with the wind and seas on the beam. The weather is following a predictable pattern now. In late morning the wind dies down to about 11 knots and we shake the second reef out of the main. It builds to 15 to 18 knots through the afternoon and the cloudy skies of morning clear, leaving us with puffy trade wind clouds and blue skies. When the sun goes down we put the second reef back in and the wind continues steady as the clouds slowly build up during the night. By 0400 or so we start getting squall with wind up to about 25 knots. This continues until late morning when the process repeats.

We ended up seeing 4 fishing boats on AIS yesterday, from 13 to 85 miles away. All were between 125 and 170 feet, mostly from Spain. We are guessing they are longliners. We could hear them talking to each other on the radio at one point but vents seen or heard anything today.

We see an occasional shearwater or seagull and we're visited by a large pod of common dolphins a couple of days ago, but, other than that, have not seen much wildlife. We miss the albatross that we’re our constant companions across the North Pacific. ETA to Easter Island looking like Saturday.

Day 11

14 January 2019
What time is it? What is the date or day? Where are we? The time is what ever time suits our needs, the date doesn't matter and we are out in the middle of the ocean ,surrounded by infinite blue about as far from land as one can be, according to our electronic charts.
We've covered 1,463 miles so far, our average speed got up to 7.1 knots yesterday bringing us 170 closer to Easter Island. The wind is pretty consistent from the E/ NE but fluctuates from 13-28 in the early morning as the squalls come through. By afternoon it settles in the high teens.
We had a little excitement this morning when a fishing boat hailing from Spain came with in 3 miles, crossing our path. During the day boats are a welcome sight, at night boats become a target to avoid. It's strange to think that, here in one of the emptiest patches of ocean on the planet, we still are not alone.
We've gotten into our groove here on our little floating island, with meals, our TV program and sleep forming the structure of our day.
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
After the 8 day bash down from Costa Rica we arrived in Ecuador and got a slip at the Puerto Lucia Yacht Club. After a few days to regoup, we flew to Cuenca to meet Sabine and Alan, who had been roaming around Ecuador for the past week or so. We spent several days in Cuenca, looking at buildings and taking a trip up to Las Cajas National Park. S and A then left for the Galapagos Islands while we headed north to Otavalo where we hiked the Las Mojandas lakes and visited the market downtown.
63 Photos
Created 17 December 2018
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