May 5, 2012
We’re kind of falling into our at-sea routine already. Normally, it takes about three days but I think it’s coming back to use more quickly this time. I take watch from 3PM until 9PM and I check in on the Pacific Seafarers net at about 8PM. Cyndi takes watch from 9PM until 3AM – good thing she’s a night owl. I’m on again from 3AM until 9AM. Cyndi takes 9AM until 3PM and then it starts all over again. We’re doing really well at getting some sleep when we’re off watch. So well that I’m already really missing Cyndi’s company.
It looks like we might get some sun today as the sky is clearing – it’s about sunrise now. It would be nice to have a little warmer day. The swells are supposed to be a little smaller today and that would also be nice. We’re making pretty good time but we’re deliberately going a little slower to make the ride more comfortable. We made about 136 miles in 24 hours yesterday. We’re 75 miles west of Guadalupe Island off of Mexico right now.
This is less than the most creative email I’ve ever written. Sorry. I hope they get more entertaining as we settle in more. -Rich
May 3, 2012
Cold, cold, cold! I should just leave this post at that but I’ll go on. It was a pretty nice night. The winds were steady and from a good direction. The swell is a little too large and not from such a good direction as we’re rolling quite a bit. As I tried to type that sentence, my seat, with me in it, went sliding across the chart table bench. You really can’t ask for better conditions leaving the California coast but wow, is it cold! We’re wearing long underwear, sweatshirts and parkas. If it gets any colder, I’ll have to resort to socks. Oh well. Soon we’ll be complaining about the heat. I can’t wait. -Rich
May 3, 2012
We’re finally getting underway. There are just a few last-minute things to do and we’ll sail away from Catalina Island, California, the United States, North America. Out across a big chunk of the Pacific Ocean and hopefully, end up like one of the boats in this picture. More in a few days.
(By the way, don’t worry about us if these posts stop. You know computers. There are vast complexities between us on the boat and the resulting blog post. If any one piece fails, no posts. We have an emergency signaling device on the boat called an EPIRB and if anything were truly wrong, we’d activate it.)
May 1, 2012
Sorry to say, We won’t be able to post pictures while we’re underway – just text. After all day of messing with this issue, it seems that the system we use for email over HAM radio changes the images in such a way that the posting software doesn’t recognize the image. There are several posts on the internet discussing this issue but no resolution.
So here’s what we’ll do: We’ll save up all the pictures until we find a wifi connection in French Polynesia and post a whole bunch of pictures then. We’ll just have to do our best to describe the trip in words until then. -Rich
May 1, 2012
Here we sit in beautiful Avalon, our first stop. Although only 26 miles from Redondo Beach, it might turn out to be the hardest leg of the trip. So much planning, so much preparation. Was it enough? We’ll find out. Only time will tell if we brought enough Cheeze-Wiz and Oreo’s!
April 29, 2012
We did it! We left the dock! Sunday afternoon about 1:00 we got away. It was quite an event for us. I’ve never seen Cyndi with a bigger smile and mine was ear to ear as well. The harbor patrol and life guards gave us send off at the harbor entrance with the siren blaring and the fire hose streaming water. Then it all fell apart. We got all of our bad luck out of the way in the first 3 minutes of our cruise.
I pushed the throttle levers up to leave the harbor and the engine started to slow down. There we were with the prospect of having no power while heading for the jetty. I’d changed the fuel filters the day before and I guess I didn’t get all the air out of the system. I flicked on the auxiliary fuel pump and the engine powered back up.
Then I went take down the little video camera I’d had set up to record our departure. It was stuck. I got it unstuck just as the boom swung over and hit me in the back of the head. Not too hard. I’m still alive.
OK, now all the problems were behind us. I pointed us to the point and set the electronic autopilot. All appeared to be working. Seconds later, the boat started a big u-turn and an error message came on the chart plotter with words to the effect that some idiot forgot to turn on the autopilot computer. Oops! That was a quick fix and all was really well from that point on.
Six hours later, we were sitting in beautiful Avalon bay on Catalina Island where we will spend the next few days. Depending on weather, and a small remaining to-do list, we should get underway for the next 2850 mile leg on Wednesday or Thursday. -Rich
Among the many last minute things to do is setting up this blog. Done. We are now able to send updates by email and if the computer gremlins are caught unaware, the emails will appear here as blog posts. We send email at sea via the HAM radio. It’s very slow but it works.
The other last minute feature added to the blog is a link to track our progress. See “Track Us” in the menu above. There is a link on that page that will take you to the Yotreps web site and show the position our boat, callsign KF6RIT. (For now, all that’s there is part of our 2002 Hawaii trip.) -Rich
Cyndi and I are almost done with preparations for our trip – First leg: Redondo Beach Catalina to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands. If the weather is good, we’ll leave in the next few days. More soon. -Rich