Thursday, March 31, 2016

//WL2K A lony, wet, frustrating day

This is the rainy season in the Marquesas so it is to be expected that we will get rain on and off. Last night we got quite the downpour and today we had a couple of interludes of heavy rain. But most of the time we get a light drizzle.

We did some boat projects today. Then we headed up to town to deal with the immigration bond. No joy! We will go again tomorrow armed with credit cards, satellite phone, and a winning attitude.

We got back to Reboot and went for a swim. We took some of the time in the water to do a light scrub. The area above the anti-fouling has gotten a little bit of green even the couple of days we have been here.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

//WL2K Amazon Fire - NOT

When my :ASUS eeePc died I purchased an Amazon Fire. I needed something light weight that I could carry easily to WiFi hot spots and do my mail, banking, etc. The Fire seemed the perfect device. And it was....

UNTIL>>>

As happened with my Kindle on my Atlantic passage about 3 days out of Panama the Fire told me I had a rights management issue. It would not let me read any of the books I had loaded up for the trip. More importantly it would not let me read the cruising guides I needed to make good decisions and safe landfalls.

When we arrived in Hiva-Oa and I could make an Internet connection the Fire continued to give me fits. Among other things I could not contact Amazon tech support. I finally asked Paul to contact them, their answer "they all do that." Great! The answer was simple. De-register the Fire, then re-register it. So I de-registered it. It refused to re-register. It also turned off my access to my email, the web browser, and anything else I might have found useful in debugging the problem.

I finally called Amazon tech support on the satellite phone (at $2.50 per minute.) Nice person on the other end. He said, not sure what is going on, can I put you on hold? Sure, why not, only $2.50 per minute. He came back rather quickly and told me that the Fire was registered and that it needed a good Internet connection. So the plan is to fly to Tahiti, stay in a hotel, download the registration, fly back to Hiva-Oa. I am sure Amazon will be glad to pay for the trip. NOT!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

//WL2K Scared Sh&*(less

Current Position: Hiva-Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean

I always thought the subject and interesting expression. Not my problem in times of high stress.

We transited the Panama Canal on the 14th and 15th of February. We arrived at the Balboa Yacht Club for fuel. We had intended to spend the night but were totally put off by the facilities. At 0000z (midnight UTC on 16 February) we headed out into the Pacific Ocean - destination Hiva-Oa, French Polynesia. This is a 4,100 nautical mile passage and we expected it to take about 41 days. The first 2,900 nm were normal for a passage: boredom, frustration, boredom, exhaustion, boredom. Wash, rinse, repeat.

On the morning of March 12th I noticed that the port lower shroud was loose. I went to tightened it and discovered that it was almost completely tight. Going over to its partner, the lower starboard shroud I discovered that several of the strands of the 1x19 wire had snapped. I tightened things up. About 3 hours later (March 13 UTC) there was a large pop and the shroud separated, not from the bottom where I had been working but up on the mast. This was, needless to say, an "issue."

We were 1200 nm from the nearest land. The nearest ship that could help us was 5 days away. We have a motoring range of about 150 nm. As the Captain it was my job to stay calm and focused. Difficult when your bowels are suggesting something else. We dropped the sails, bobbed around, and had a "what do we do now" conference. First step was to send a text to Paul (KM4MA) advising him of our situation and asking him to relay a "Pan-Pan" to the US Coast Guard. The idea was that,, just as the first step in fighting a fire is call the fire department our first step was to notify the Coast Guard that we were in trouble.

At that point we decided that we could wrap a high strength low stretch rope around the mast to stabilize it. Now this sounded like a good idea and had we been in port it would not have been much of a problem On the other hand climbing a mast in 20 knot winds and 8 foot seas is not anyone's idea of a good time. Davyd (Cohen) volunteered and we cranked (as he climbed) up the mast. Even in the harness and with safety lines it was a hell of a climb. He did get the line around the mast and we were able to secure the bottom with a loop of rope and a come along.

We put out a little sail and continued to the Marquesas. .As the days passed we felt more confident that we could make it to the Marquesas. On March 20th with 452 nm to go we decided that we would rig a second line. Since we did not want to go up on the mast we rigged a rubber bucket with 10 lbs of sugar, hoisted it up with a halyard, and swung it over the spreader. It was a comedy but it did finally work. We had disconnected the spreader from the deck plate so we were able to use the hook on the come along to hold the bottom of the line

We continued sailing along until the morning of March 24th. Loud bang. We were all in the cockpit and thought we had hit something. No, the port lower spreader had just died from fatigue. At least we knew what to do. With 155 nm to go we rigged a line on the other side and continued on. At this point we where 86 nm from Hiva-Oa. We decided to abandon our attempt to go to Nuka-Hiva and motor direct to Hiva-Oa. Our fixes failed two more times - the hook on one come along shattered and the second come alone worked its way loose. These were minor annoyances by this point.Twenty three hours later we were anchored. And were greatly relieved.

Fair winds and following seas ;0

//WL2K Safe in Hiva-Oa

More to follow tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

With 180 nm to go (about 2 more days) we experienced the strmgest winds
this trip: 25 G 30. This has kicked up the waves. We are really rocking!

We got pooped today. One minute I was dry, next wet from head to toe! Ha

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Finished long tack NW takingadvantage of unusual NNE winds. Now North in
latitude of Hiva-Oa again. New tack giving more West than South improving
VMG Waypoint. Now 280 nm to go.

Have run into the World ARC rally of 33 boats. Not happy since Hiva-Oa is
asmall harbor and small island. Know they are north of us from shore side
trackers but have had no AIS or visual contact.

Fair winds and following seas.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Rigged a second stbd lower emergency shroud this am. Getting line over
spreader involved a bucket, 10 lbs of sugar, a boathook, and 3 hours. With
Reboot rocking 30* side to side this avoided climbing the mast. You had to
be there. Not!

We just encountered "Overseas Express". She is a World ARC boat also headed
for Hiva-Oa. We expect to see the rest of the ARC there.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Bill (KI4MMZ) is home. The operation removed 5+ lbs. of metal from his
body. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

The wind has shifted NNE (Rule 3.) We gybed to the weak side and ran for
several hours wijhout incident. We gybed back at dusk so we would not be
running on the weak side in the dark. We are still making progress but not
as much.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Finally a beantiful night after a nice day. 10% cloud and an almost full
moon! We are still rocking as the sustained 20+ winds have built up quite a
wave surge.

We have about 530 nm to go and are in Neverland"; south of our destination
of Hiva-Oa. We are hoping for a day of South wind so we can move North
without gybing.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Another day. Wind has been about 20 kt all day so waves 8 - 10 ft. Lots of
rolling.

Just passed m/v Myna Voyager (like ships in the night ha ha) Shared a quick
hi by vhf.

Changed time zones to Alaska time. Another indicator of progress.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Rain again tonight. Cockpit wet, makes standing watch unpleant. 754 nm to
go. We had favorable winds amd seas tnday and made over 100 nm.

My close friend Bill (KI4MMZ) is having very high risk surgery today. Bill
has been Reboot's and my shore side safety net and very close friend for
over 7 years. Please keep him in your thoughts today.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Another crummy night of rain showers. Wind is 25+, strongest we have seen
in the Pacific.

Since we have a minor issue with the rig we have been tracked by the USCG.
We crossed over some line. The French out of Tahati now have our back.

Sailing along. Fair winds and following seas :)

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Apparently it made it to Facebook tkat things aren't exactly as planned. We
appreciate your support even though we can't read your posts as we have no
Internet.

We continue as before with less sail to put less strain on the rig. We have
broken the 1000 nm to go line (940 as of now) and continue on. Things are
much the same with a higher pucker factor.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Quiet day of steady progress. Winds at 20 - 24 knots have meant a rolling
boat.

Fair winds and following seas ;)

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

After 23+ days of sailing we are finally west of LA (and 2510 nn south.)
Just as how many new Caribbean sailors are surprised to find the Islands
well East of the U.S. mainland we did not appreciate how far east is the
exit from the Panama Canal.

it is actually raining rather than the normal light drizzle. This is the
first time in months that I have put on foulies. They are quite warm in
this climate.

Unlike the Atlantic and Caribbean so far the rain has not been accompaned
by strong winds. The waves do increase giving a bumpy ride.

Right now I am dealing with the wind shifts rain always brings.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

XO woke me for watch. Of course 30 min early. We call this watch "dawn
patrol". Up side is you get to watch sunrise. Down side is it has only been
4 hours since your previous watch so sleep is at a premium.

Thanks XO!

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Via Inmarsat:

Lifts and knocks all day. The wind has veered 90* and we have been chasing
it. Wind speed has varied from 8 to 22 knots. Much of the day the wind has
been from unfavorable directions.

Roger's RULE 3: The wind will always be too much, too littld, or directly
from your destination.

It has been overcast or raining all day. We are in power conservation mode
as the solar panels were unable to provide a full charge for the second day
in a row.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

It is 4:30am local time and I am on watch. The ride tonight has been aweful
and my back hurts from trying not to fall out of bed. I feel like I have
not slept but Rookie says I was cutting wood.

A flying fish just landed on deck. XO brought it into the salon to show off
his fishing skills. It went overboard before he could make a mess.

The water temp has been a constant 81.5*F. As the air temperature varies
between 77*F and 88*F we get a lot of light rain at night. Tonight was no
exception.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Winlink...

One of the first upgrades I made to Reboot for crusing was a Ham/Marine
MF/HF (SSB) radio and an STS "Pactor" modem. With this equipment I would be
able to send and receive email and weather information via "winlink.org".
it has worked quite well for many years.

I always assumed global coverage. Imagine my surprise to discover a big
coverage hole here in the Pacific.

We are still communicating with voice and the sat phone. Mike's InReach is
sending and receiving texts. So we don't feel cut off. The benefit of newer
tech.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Via Inmarsat:

Long night of rocking and rolling. Wind shift has wind and waves out of
sync. XO very angry.

We are near 112* 30' S. We will shift to Pacific Standard time today.

Sunrise with 80% cloud. It should burn off in the next few hours.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Dawn after a night off light rain showers. Becalmed for about 2 hours. Wind
filling in and getting back some way. Everything in the cockpit is wet.

1744 nm to go to Nuka-Hiva, Marquesas.

Yesterday we moved Davyd's kiteboard from under the dinghy to inside
Reboot. It was sitting on top of the hatch for the forward stateroom. The
stateroom was very damp and needed more airflow. We picked up the dinghy,
untied the kiteboard bag, moved it, and resecured the dinghy. On the bow in
6 foot seas. Fun!

As I write XO is sunning himself on the Lido deck a.k.a. Davyd's lap.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

We are about 1800 nm from the Marquesas. The enormaty of this venture is
starting to sink in!

We have been focused on crossing the Pacific. Now that we are closing in on
that goal I find us like the dog that chases cars and then catches one!
What do we do next

There are lots of islands between us and Asia not to mention several
thousand more miles (at 100 nm per day). Do we fade South toward New
Zealand or fade North toward Japan, Korea, and China? Or stay neutral and
go direct Singapore? One thing is clear - we don't have a clue! We will be
working hard at making friends with "local knowledge."

Of course the icing on the cake is avoiding typhoon season which is
different North and South of the equator.

If you were in our position you would hop on the Internet and start
learning. Unfortunately WiFi is a little thin out here.

Fair winds and following se <missing part 7 of 7>

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Via Inmarsat:

We are about 1800 nm from the Marquesas. The enormaty of this venture is
starting to sink in!

We have been focused on crossing the Pacific. Now that we are closing in on
that goal I find us like the dog that chases cars and then catches one!
What do we do next

There are lots of islands between us and Asia not to mention several
thousand more miles (at 100 nm per day). Do we fade South toward New
Zealand or fade North toward Japan, Korea, and China? Or stay neutral and
go direct Singapore? One thing is clear - we don't have a clue! We will be
working hard at making friends with "local knowledge."

Of course the icing on the cake is avoiding typhoon season which is
different North and South of the equator.

If you were in our position you would hop on the Internet and start
learning. Unfortunately WiFi is a little thin out here.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Via Inmarsat:

1902 nm tn go. I struggled to wake for my midnight watch. Rookie had a mug
of coffee (the exilar of the Gods) for me. I am life jacketed, PLBed. and
harnessed in the cockpit of Reboot standing watch.

The Japanese fishing boat showed up again. He made a close pass across our
bow and is now a glow on the horizon. He would have rights if he was
showing the "fishing" lights (red over white, fishing at night, green over
white, trauling at night) but he is just showing normal "vessel under
power". Technically we have rights. However as was pointed out by
Thucidies in ancient times "a collision at sea can ruin your entire day".

We have apparently finally escaped the weather patterns of the ITCZ.
Another glorious day of blue skies and puffy clouds. I am looking at a
proment southern cross in a sky alight with stars.

I felt a thump. XO just landed on my lap. Nice to have company but the
arrival was a bit of a surprise!

We did a lot of sail changes today. We are more confident as a crew.
Maintaining higher average speeds on a trip this long can reduce the
transit by days. Quite the motivator! We are currently sailing under a
double reefed main and 80% jib. With only one person on watch we always
reef down at night.

Davyd made shrimp quesadeas for dinner to celebrate our crossing the 2000
nm line. Yum!

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

A Japanese fishing boat!

Finally!

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Via Inmarsat:

One more time!

The mystery ship from last night is

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Via Inmarsat:

Sometimes I hit the wrong button.

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Via Inmarsat:

We found the loose wire so the receive side of our AIS is working again.
(the transmit side worked the entire time.) The

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Via Inmarsat:

After 3 weeks of seeing nothing but sea and sky (and rain) at 1201 utc last
night we saw another ship. Despite many attempts to communicate via radio
they refused to answer even as they cut 1 nm in front of oui bow. Bummer!

1998 nm to the Marquesas. It is just around the corner! OK. Twenty more
days.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Via Inmarsat:

A day of great speed at the cost of comfort. Strong winds let us travel 241
nm in the last 24 hours. Seven foot confused seas had us rocking like a
rodeo cowboy.

Fair winds and follfwing seas :)

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Standing second mid - 2 - 4 am. The sky was clear earlier this evening.
Rookie (so named because he is the "new guy", he is quite an acconplished
sailor) took turns with the binoculars enjoying the stars. Cloud cover was
100% when I came back on watch but it is clearing again.

Davyd did yoeman's service today on the HF/MF (SSB)radio's antenna tuner.
He got into the lazerate (he is the only one that really fits) and cleaned
the connections. He also found a loose feed thru insulator and corrected
it.

Today we checked the battery water. It would not have been a big deal if we
had not had to shift half our provisions to get to the batteries.

Since 2009 I have been checking into the Maritime Mobile Service Net (Ham
radio) on a daily basis when underway. They supported my trips across the
Atlantic, in Europe and the Caribbean. Reboot is finally getting out of
radio range. We now check in daily with the Pacific Seafaires net (Ham.)

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Joy of joys. My Kindle Fire has gone sneakers up. Some problem with the
digital rights management. Can not read anything. Not to worry says Amazon.
Connect to wifi to fix. Sure, in 25 days! Quality!

Another night of rain showers. Then a clear sky and stars for 4 hours. It
is overcast again this morning. Decent wind but wind and waves on the beam
so we are rolling a lot.

Sometime in the night the asym sail fell overboard and we have been
dragging it in the sock. We will not know if it was damaged until we can
put it back up. It looks ok but cost us 1.5 knots while in the water. At
least it is clean!

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Another day of light air. We flew the asymetric all day. Even so at times
we were only making 1.5 knots. Most of that was current.

At sunset the wind picked up a little and we made some progress.
Unfortunately the asym takes a couple of people to hoist and drop. We stand
watch alone at night so we switched to the jib. Since the wind is on our
stern the apparent wind is almost nothing. Ghosting along once again.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Via Inmarsat:

Another niit with lihht wind and rain. It cleared at dawn but the wind has
not filled in. We are ghosting under the asym at 2.5 knots.

Fair winds and follow seas :)

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Irony

In Indonesian"Hati" means "heart." " Hati-Hati" means "caution" or "danger." In English &q...