home…for the holidays?!???
29 November 2023 | Back at Das Boat!
Brian Wade | Lovely!!!!!
I know, I know…click bait! OMG! what a whirlwind of get together, meetings, health care and 2 repaired teeth in my head….bring on open water! Yes, I understand my dates are off, returned late to the boat, but here I am, enjoying a crisp cold IPA and devouring an albacore melt at the local dock pub….life is good! Just arrived today, back to the boat, took 5 days and a ton of visits with friends and the Broski to get here….let me enlighten you :)
Pic is of my fave niece and new hubby….of course…a few adult wobbly pops were consumed at a Mexican joint in Mill Creek, then moved venue to “the wood shop” for drinks and pool…SO fun, I will miss them :(
sometimes the nomad lifestyle has it’s pitfalls.
it was a month + of catching up, working around the shop & rentals…organizing and purging thousands of pounds of crap in the shop and deciding what was imperative to cram into my poor little Subaru for the trip south.
fast forward…to keep it real, tearful goodbye’s to my parents…(never been gone 7 months before!) and head south, meet my friend Gail for breakfast, gifts of incredible chocolate zucchini bread and other gifts for the boat, (more tearful goodbyes) and hammer down to Klammath Falls for nice posh hotel. Next day, hang with my good friend Dave in Sacramento, drinks & dinner & future plans to connect…(you better freaking come to New Zealand dude!) Next connection was with the Beta Marine West peeps in Sausalito (my engine for the boat people) for a tour of the shop and to finally meet John, my brother in arms, helped me for 3 years sorting out the engine, installation, tuning and extra spare parts…so fun connecting a face to the voice, thanks John!!!
From there hammer down again, hooking up with Da Broski & his posse in SLO (san luis obispo) for a ruckus night in town….(had to leave to get sober) always a good time with plenty of laughs with my Bro….(more hard goodbyes….he can’t make it to Mexico this winter).
Peddle to the metal, last leg to SD AND THE BOAT!!!
Now, I will tell you, I love the trip down the 101, but as soon as I got to LA county…..I had to embrace the suck for HOURS!….It’s beyond me how traffic can be so horrific early in the afternoon…but that’s the price I was ready to pay. I’m glad it’s over, boat is fine, I have no visible scars, or so my therapist says, internalizing is bad….LOL!
KIDDING!!! I don’t have one of those :)
all for now, I think the gal running the bar wants to go home and I need a to go box!!
More to come ya’ all!!!!!
Land locked! Dental woes….
05 November 2023 | Back at the shop!
Capt Lawnboy! | no comment :(
Hello All!! I am back home, in Lake Stevens…a short 10 day trip back is turning into a month away from my boat in warmer, drier San Diego…here is what happened.
Firstly, I had an amazing day of the “Champagne Sailing” I was dreaming about the day I left Avalon. It was sunny & warm, full suit of sails flying in sexy conditions..rolling along at 5-6 knots for about 5 hours, then wind shifted, let up to 8 knots so the dreaded diesel came back to life…my pristine world with sounds of water rushing my the hull, birds & waves…transcended to the drone of 1650 RPM of engine noise. Trading glorious sailing for “just wanting to get there” is a price all us mariners have to pay from time to time.
I was however slowing down the boat speed as I did not want to arrive at the entrance to San Diego Bay in the morning darkness….alas, it was barely daybreak when I had Point Loma in my sights…and thank god as there were lobster pots EVERYWHERE of which I could have never run that gauntlet in the dark without inheriting a pot or two in my prop…no bueno!
My AIS was going berserk with targets. Fishing boats, pleasure craft, navy boats and the like…there were warnings of Navy traffic which just increased my anxiety of what the rules of the road were in this case. SO, because I do not have mic fright…I just pick up the trusty VHF and call the damn ships! OH…and a massive mega cruise ship was coming in same as me…yes, I yielded…of course :)
It went something like this: “Navy warship 54, this is sailing vessel Wades Aweigh 1-6?”. They come back, “ Wades Aweigh go to 7-3. then the conversation was brief and all professional…they versed me of distance to stay back…and forced me outside of the channel markers to give way…ok, who am I to argue with that kind of firepower? Scary shit man, I’d never want to be fired upon by one of those massive guns!
I then enter a turn around area, never heard the “Pan Pan” call out and walked right into an aircraft carrier being turned around in the channel….OOPS! I wasn’t any less than a mile away from it when two all black go fast RIB’s with lights a blaring came straight for me….good thing I had on my depends….they came up one on each side of my vessel and schooled me on etiquette of not being a dumbass and staying clear of their maneuver…then the dudes became super cool and joked around a bit once they realized I was only partially a dumbass and didn’t hear the call out…
Finally found my marina and slip…(about 3” to spare on each side of the dock) snaked her into safety, tied up and had a stiff Pendleton on the rocks! Only took a few minutes for 3 of my neighboring boats to come over and introduce themselves; already felt like home!
Nothing is close here but one place to get fish & chips within walking distance…which I needed to stretch my legs…the following week consisted of daily long walks to get my bearings.
Why am I home?..well I was always planning of flying back to get my car so I had wheels for the 6 weeks I was planning on being in SD. The plot took a serious turn when i clamped down on a gold crown while eating that had come off…tooth fractured….and I immediately booked the first flight home. So here I am, one root canal has been re done, and two more appointments for fractured tooth and 2 new crowns….such an in-fun thing to spend money on, but beats the infection (which I didn’t even know I had) getting worse while offshore…silver linings.
I will be heading back south around 11/18 with a full car of stuff to pretend I know where it’s gonna go onboard, and head south to Mexico hopefully 12/12 if the moons align. Hoping I have some more interesting stuff to write about then!
Speaking of Pendleton…..its time! Thank you all so much for reading and following my adventure!!
Capt Frady Cat!
09 October 2023
OK, let's see, where did I leave you?...oh, yeah...the egg calamity...nuf said.
The last 24 hours was motorsailing...cold-ish & dark....but alas, 4 days & nights & 453 nm I arrive at Avalon, Catalina Island. The process is you lay off the harbor until a small red boat that says Harbor Patrol or something like that comes out and asks for documentation info and your credit card...you tell them how many days you want and like magic get a your tab and a "slip assignment" which means mooring ball. Of course I say, "never been here but watched a few youtube vids on how to do this deal...but I'm solo, can you give me a hand?" He's like, "nope, i can just show you where the ball is and hang back and give you tips if you need them" , cool dude, no problemo...!...One tip he did say was, "come up directly behind the BIG mooring and come to a FULL STOP!, otherwise you could run over the mooring line...and that would be bad for you." I'm thinking silently, Jesus man..u think I'm an idiot? well, thankfully it went smooth as silk, you grab a float with a mast on it, lay it on the bow, grab the line attached and pull like a mother until a loop comes up..drop that loop on your mooring cleat then pull like a mother for a second time on the attached line called a "sand line", seems easy, yes? Well, boats never stay still...but thankfully it was calm and relatively no wind.....pull on said line as you walk aft..then another loop comes up and that one you drop around your stern cleat...easy peasy!...but can you imagine the gross gooeyness on that line because it lives below the surface....no amount of simple green took that smell off my hands.
Decided since it was late in the afternoon, I just would take in the surroundings and cook a steak, drink some wine & finish myself off with a Pendleton or 2 on the rocks! I slept like a seal on a hot rock....
Day 2! Time to launch the dingy, put on the outboard & go explore. This place literally look like the Med, very Greek. Found the dingy dock, had some fish tacos, (thanks Deb for the tip!) then went for a long walk (oh, did I say with 2 crisp cold IPA's?!?? about half an hour later I stumble upon an obscure little Mexican joint...totally empty and decide, ah, what the hell...one beer couldn't hurt! Sit at bar, meet Raphael the bartender, learn about island life & costs thereof...oops...beer #2 (or 4 if you are counting) and then after careful deliberation and texting a pic of the tequila bottle to my friend Howard and say, do or dont do? Well, u can guess his answer because I had 2 shots, one for me and one for him!....Me & Raph stood outside and watched in awe as this dude flying a jet helicopter like one you would see in a James Bond movie, maneuver around all the buildings and land...He says, "Good meeting you Pelon!! send friends!" I stumbled back to the boat, messing with all the golf cart rentals...lots of laughs and one guy yelled at me to get back on the path! Party Pooper.
Back at boat, just chillaxed that night!
Next night met up with a cousin of my friends from Anacortes, Mark & Jackie, a studly surfer looking dude named "Koa" yes, like the wood. He was super fun to hang with, took me to the hip venues, more alcohol consumed...met tons of super cool people including a pro football player who I did not ever hear of, a model, some ex hollywood producers, a worldsailor and on and on it went....stumbled back to my dingy in the dark...see a pattern here?!??...
Next day rented a golf cart for 3 hours and met some cool ladies from Lake Havasu at lunch. Saw the island from the inside out...and came home to the boat to drink as it is harshly frowned on if you get caught drink and driving electric vehicles on the island...yeah, serious!!!
Next day harbor patrol came by to extract more of my hard earned cash, so I paid for half a day and left at noon for San Diego....enough was enough. here's a couple pics of the place....pretty cool :)
Eggs Anyone? & Confessions
08 October 2023 | Chula Vista Marina
Hello All!! I have landed in San Diego, furthest marina down in the bay...next stop Tijuana, Mx! I literally can see it from here (almost). It is warm, sunny & calm. Boat is still at night, an almost coma induced sleep has rejuvenated my mind & body...so time to catch you all up on the happenings of the trip so far....may take more than one post!
Fri 9/29: depart Bodega Bay...0630...nobody up, just me & first light...slipped the lines & navigated the long channel out....easy breezy...should be smooth sexy run south...BUT...windy.ca app LIES!!!! I get just outside of the breakwater...and west wind, west swell...I'm going south...you guessed it...rolling seas...I should be used to it by now, RIGHT? Well, 30 min into it I realize I should have rigged up sails & lines while at the dock because now it's life vest & tether (form over function) to keep my ass on board & not in the water!....As I'm kind of laughing at myself about being overprotective of my life (promised Mommy I would always be clipped in on deck) a big squisher comes bounding over deck, feels like someone pulls the rug out from under me...and thank god for the handrails I so strategically placed all over this boat...I was safe, barely! next 12 hours sucked ass! Confession #1: not a big fan of crappy weather :(
Sat 9/30 101 nm (nautical miles) made good, not bad considering the conditions! winds finally back to the NW and I'm dialed in....still about 6-8' seas and the irritating roller coaster of foamy waves continue to challenge the autopilot and captain. I finally succumb to it, embrace the suck, and just become one with the movement. no, there are no nice big meals made...no coffee...it's snacks and water....tried making a sandwich...during which half the contents of my fridge ended up on the cabin sole...back to cheetos & one Modelo for the day...I can live with that. Oh, fishing boats, long lines, trawlers....all kept me on my toes; getting better at avoiding that confrontation and asking for grey poupon like last week :)
Sun 10/1: 152 nm made good...motor sailing....no wind...40 mn out from San Miguel isl, first of the channel island group where my destination lies, Avalon Harbor on Catalina! SO, about those eggs? Last night in the binge swearing worthy shitty seas I decide I'm hungry for something other than freakin cheetos or crackers...so I decide to delve into the dry storage locker to see what's what in my provisions...Hmmmm...something easy....uh...OH! SNAP (as the trendy millennial's would say)..CHUNKY SOUP?..YES! IT'S EVEN CLAM CHOWDER!! perfectly fitting for my briny baptism....and easy to heat up on a gimbaled stove!....I can't get to it...everything is packed in there so tight (thanks Gail) I have to move a container of 18 farm fresh free range eggs (because why not?) aren't those chickens happier? I put them on the counter, on no skid, behind the teak rail....go to grab the soup, big wave hits me broadside, both me & the eggs go flying towards my brand new, sexy, clean, beautiful carpeted deck....SPLAT!...my hand never made it to the can of soup, but did manage to get in the way of the cabinet top crashing down on top of it....Confession #2...I'm not big on pain...or messes. As I learned some really cool new swear words looking at this holy grail of egg shells, yolks & whites rolling back and forth on my floor I kneel down with paper towels to start mopping up the mess....S*&@t forgot the garbage can!....(remember the shit seas I'm complaining about?) I stand up, another roller hits me, lose balance because it's like two bullies in grade school...forcing you to play dodge ball with them, but they give you no ball...and say..."RUN!"...getting hit right and left then pulled to the ground and rolled around...get the picture?...so back to eggs....I lose balance and one foot goes into the egg disaster....down I go...now I'm wearing this shit...face, arms, legs...and begin to laugh out loud at the calamity....and why not....my own stupid fault for not finding a better place to store eggs!
Fast forward an hour of so...mess cleaned up, paper towels gone, shop vac contaminated with eggs...and no, I did not make the soup....I had another beer and called it a night!!!! Even though I cleaned out the vac, every time I turn it on it smells like, well, I will save you from that visual.
Well that's probably enough blither for now, don't want to lose my audience of 4 over sensory overload!!!
live! from bodega bay cali!
25 September 2023 | Bodega Bay
Brian Wade | cloudy but sultry 65 degrees
Hello all! so sorry no updates while at sea, sailblogs are not responding to my several requests for some stupid key code I need to access my account when at sea, so for now you will have to wait with baited breath in between when I can get wifi. it had been an incredible 6 days at sea! here is the 411 of trip so far.
Left Neah Bay at the butt crack of dawn on 9/19 for tattoos island & cape flattery….out into the big blue rolling heap of the Pacific Ocean! Now, it’s been 12 years since this boat and captain have been in deep water. Was I nervous? Kinda. Was I confident? for sure….Did I get seasick? not even a little! Crazy, I and my mighty ship took to it like white on rice. Albeit the first day was a miserable slog into lumpy seas and shit wind….I found out quickly just how poorly I stowed some items! I will say that even with the best of instruments and weather routing info via my Iridium GO! sat phone, it was good having Howard by my side multiple times a day (thru texting on the sat phone) comparing weather notes and more importantly watching a NASTY low generating potential brutal winds in excess of 50 mph farther south.
First day may I say, sucked ass. But as I was once told by a good friend of mine…”Lawnboy, sometimes you just have to embrace the suck?” which I did. After the baptism by fire part 2 was over, winds backed to N NW and the sleigh ride began. I tried every sail combination I could come up with and finally give in to a single reef in the main, let all the way out with a preventer (line tied to boom to keep sail from slamming about) and we were off! buy the 3rd day the winds built to 25-30 knots and i was FLYING!!! green water over the bow, frothy sea foam moving down the sides of the boat and a nice dessert of massive 12-15’ rolling waves from behind to finish off my 5 star pacific ocean meal. I was in my element…until….
It’s 0300 (3am), I’m taking a 20 min power nap and my AIS goes nuts…I wake from the deepest of sleeps, delirious from any good REM sleep for days….and see 6…yes SIX fishing boats all around me! It happens fast at sea, which is why when you are a solo sailor, you cannot sleep for more than 20 min at a time…so I shake off the eye boogers and get my poop in a group to decide which one of these fisher people to take on first. Of course…the one closest to me gets my undivided attention! Raise him on the radio, he says, “ yeah man, we been watching you on radar, you are hauling ass!” we agreed to give each other 10 degrees lee and pass with room to spare…wash, rinse, set, repeat. until the last boat….he was just sitting there….no response, no AIS position, nothing….now, understand, when sailing down wind…you do not have much leeway to adjust course without creating big problems with the sails. after my 4th try on the radio (and a few not so nice words) he finally responded, “Wades Aweigh, we are not required to have AIS and we are drifting down to our set, engines off, so NO, WE WILL NOT ADJUST COURSE and you are about to run straight into our bow!”. So, its pouring rain, blowing like stink, late, I’m tired as S*#@ and dont have much of a sense of humor….
As I put autopilot on standby, tried to adjust course, in perfect synchronization of “what if’s” it all came crashing down at once, I came side to wind, the main backfilled, I had no steerage and of course…as my luck would have it…the biggest wave I had seen yet….careened over my stern shoved me sideways…and there I sat, hove to in front of the massive fishing vessel, stopped! literally not moving…no helm, no steerage…just sitting there….so, instead of freaking out, I eased the sail, let go of the helm (clearly i wasn’t going anywhere) and got on the radio….”Raven, Raven, Raven…this is sailing vessel Wades Aweigh on 16”. they come back, yes Wades Aweigh? then in my best British accent and a big shit eating grin…I come back with….”DO YOU HAVE ANY GREY POUPON?’
it was a moment.
I gained my little yar ship back on course and careened down the waves at 8 knots for the rest of the night….one for the record books for the heavy pig of a boat!
Next 2 days after that, you would have thought I was on Lake Stevens….glassy seas, motoring along at 5 knots, reading books, cooking great meals and just taking in this new life of mine….the world was right. oh, and thanks to Howard’s keen routing and urging to ramp up the RPM’s, I missed the low that fizzled out and made it safely to Bodega Bay where I will do small projects and be lazy till Fridays departure….
Did I tell you I hooked up 4 nice albacore and lost all said fish in the same day? back to hamburger helper i guess.
thanks for tuning in, and hope to get the tech issues resolved before too long!!!
Dock Life & remote test HF radio
23 September 2023 | Bodega Bay, CA
Hello All! This entry primarily is to see if remote codes and radio link now work for blog updates while offshore! Past couple days have
been consumed with servicing engine & systems, meeting crusty salty fisherman (super cool people!) chasing off harbor seals who think
THEY are the ones paying for moorage, sampling local chowder houses, walks along the bay for groceries (town is 45 min walk) taking
$2.00 barely tepid showers at the marina, reading, planning and watching weather.
It's amazing to me how fast a day storms by doing small projects combined with breaks visiting with passers by always lending free advice
on how to do something better or differently than how I'm doing it :)
Well, if weather predictions hold true, I will be leaving Saturday morning...next stop Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island! Super stoked to
finally be able to experience this place.
All for now, and back to problem solving on my electrical system for the fuel polishing system :(