On passage to Hawaii
25 April 2011 | North Pacific
We departed Cabo San Lucas Saturday, midday. It already seems like a century ago. We are now 174 miles out into the ocean, toward Hawaii. We've had wind from zero to 30 knots, and lots of niggling little problems. Nobody's seasick, so that's good.
The first problem was a lot of water in the bilge. Whether you're a sailor or not, you KNOW that can't be good. We determined it was coming from the anchor locker, and Craig took a trip forward with considerable trepidation. Turns out we forgot to latch the foredeck locker. Whew! Problem solved. Boat's in fine shape, it's just an operator error.
Next problem, possibly more serious, is that the pump which powers the refrigerator and freezer seems to have decided that now's a good time to quit. Now is NOT a good time to quit. I have the refrigerator and freezer stuffed to the gills, and would hate to throw out all that food. On the other hand, we have plenty of canned and dry goods to get us to Hawaii, it just wouldn't be a gourmet experience. Craig has now had two cracks at trying to fix the problem. It involves putting his head down into a small, dark, airless space, amidst the fairly lively motion of the boat. So far no success. But if it's the pump, we have two spare pumps (intended for the watermaker) and Craig seems to think he can make that work. In the meantime, we have a jury-rigged arrangement, through a long hose, to bring water from the washdown pump (on the bow of the boat) to the refrigeration compressor. As long as the washdown pump doesn't give up the ghost, we should be in good shape.
The sailing has been good - the first leg involved wind from the west or northwest, so we were close hauled (heeled over a fair bit). It's always a bit more uncomfortable when we're heeled over - especially the cooking and sleeping parts. Today the wind is starting to move around -- now more from the north, so we're on a beam reach -- a fast point of sail, but subject to a lot of rolling from the beam-on waves. The prediction is that the wind will move around until it's more nearly behind us - that will be a much more comfortable point of sail, and I'm looking forward to it.
We're enjoying having our crew, Jamie Simpson, aboard. He pitches right in with the nastier jobs, including getting up to help in the middle of the night, when it's not his watch (that was the much-feared water-in-the-bilge episode.) And not only that, he's interesting to talk to.
We've had several groups of dolphins near the boat, including twenty or thirty just before sunset Saturday night. They seem to view a passing boat as a big, inviting game, and they're anxious to get in on it. They leap out of the water and criss-cross in front of the boat - seems almost like a game of chicken.
Cabo San Lucas, the town from which we departed, is an unbelievable tourist scene. Lots of souvenir vendors, and touts encouraging us to visit their restaurant, club or topless bar. All the boats in the marina - seemingly except us - are either personal sports fishing boats, party boats, or tourist conveyances. Lots of scantily clad tourists showing signs of sunburn. Lots of partying, including loud music all night long on adjacent boats. We did our grocery shopping, our fuelling, and we got OUT OF THERE!
I'll try to send out an email every few days, to let you know how we're doing. In the meantime for those who may be interested in following our path, starting in a few days we'll be reporting (probably daily) to the Pacific Seafarer's net, and to "Yotreps." Navigate first to the Yotreps page: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/reporter_list.php
Look for us in the alphabetical list, under K7CEJ. To the right, you'll see a link to our "track." That will come up in map form, and show you where we are, and where we have been on previous days. This track is created automatically, every time we successfully access email via our ham radio.
You can also check out this page: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/pacseanet.php That will show what our daily oral radio report was, including wind speed, direction, weather, sea state, etc. In addition, each time we send out a trip report via email, our sailblogs page should have a copy of the email and will show our latitude and longitude on a little chart. See http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svsequoia/