Thursday, April 28, 2016

Captain Roger's Rules of Sailing

(Collected during my 38 day passage from the Panama Canal to Hiva-Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia - Society Islands with Mike Keohane and Davyd Cohen)

1. Reboot (my sailboat, insert you boat name here) is always trying to kill us.

2. Every line, sheet, halyard and hose will snag at every opportunity.

3. The wind is always too much, too little, or from the wrong direction.

4. Never try to improve anything you need to get to your destination. You may break it instead.

5. The waves will always be highest and on the beam when you are trying to cook.

6. Things will stop working for no apparent reason. They will start working again for no apparent reason. These failures are impossible to debug.

7. Things break. The broken component will be inaccessible without dismantling most of the boat.

7a. (corollary) The tools you need will be equally inaccessible without emptying all the lockers.

8. The worst day sailing is better than the best day in the dirt world.

Fair winds and following seas (especially when cooking)  :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pacific Puddle Jump

Boats have started to arrive here that are participating in the Pacific Puddle Jump. Started 21 years ago by Latitude 38 Magazine this annual rally brings together boats that are crossing the Pacific Ocean.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Cruise Ship Day

Today Nuku-Hiva was visited by the Holland American Lines cruise ship Westerdam. It was, with a potential for 1900 visitors, a big day. Since early in the morning everyone has been preparing for the visitors. Since there is not cruise ship dock the ships  have to anchor out. They use their life boat to ferry people into the dock. Each life boat carries 150 people. Apparently there were 1900 guests on board. It was quite the day on shore. The lifeboats bring about 130 people at a time. They all get off, are greeted by drums and ladies singing welcome songs. Then they come out on the landing looking confused. Mike had a great time speaking English with a French accent when they asked him questions. People complimented him on his command of English!

There are about15 cruise ships that make the trip each year. They represent an important opportunity for the local people to earn revenue. Everyone was out showing their products and the restaurants were doing a booming business. Nice day for the friends we have made here.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Last night we (Mike, David and I) went to the cruisers Friday night gathering. Some nights it is sparsely attended, last night we were a big group. As we were heading home the heavens opened and it began to rain. After about a half hour there was a break on the rain and we headed back to Reboot. About 1 AM I was awakened by the sound of canvas slapping. The sun cover for the cockpit had ripped loose and was banging. I went out to fix it, within 2 minutes I was drenched. In the dawn light we saw that the harbor water was brown and full of grass and tree branches. The dinghy had a foot of water!

I went in to shore in the morning. I met Kevin Ellis at Yacht Services Nuku-Hiva. Kevin has been kind enough to let me hook up my gaming computer and do the large game update downloads. Since Huku-Hiva is a small island there is not a heck if a lot to do. I have compensated by helping Kevin with various small projects. Today we went up to the wood shop he used to own and built bookshelves and a new counter for his shop.

At sunset, after the necessary beer Kevin dropped me off at Moana Nui - my favorite place for a pizza. The oven is burning but it is still a little early for dinner. I am passing the time by writing my blog.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Rigging on the way!

Joy of joys. Reboot's new rigging has shipped. As of this morning it was in Los Angeles. Quick across the US. We will see how well we do across the Pacific.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Pacific Cruising Information

The New Soggy Paws
One great thing about world cruising is that we all support each other. One of the most critical kinds of support is "local knowledge." If you are planning on spending any time in the Pacific Ocean I strongly suggest you click on this link to Soggy Paws. Dave and Sherry have amassed a great deal of information about the various cruising locations and its all Free!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Internet connectivity

When one makes multi-day or multi-week passages over time access to the Internet is one of those things that one craves Early on when making landfall the question arises: Where can I get on the Internet? After a couple of days -when one has dealt with the banks, ,equipment suppliers, family and close friends one (or at least I) start to wonder why I cared. In truth once the business is done of me the Internet just becomes another way to pass the time.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

French Patrol

We were visited by the French Gendarmerie as were all the boats in the harbor. Very professional.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Falling into old habits

When my ASUS eeePC died I needed something to replace it. I ended up purchasing a Kindle Fire 8 HD. It didn't take long once I got internet access again to see how one programs these new phone and tablet devices. I downloaded Android Studio.

Of course it turns out that the Fire is an android device. I have learned a number of computer languages over time. I have also learned various ways that they are  stitched together to make applications. So.....

Of course this is an entirely new paradigm. The good news is that I have lots of time. The bad news is that most of the tutorials are on line. Without Internet access my learning curve will be  very steep.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rain, rain

A long night of light rain.

As long as the wind is very light we are reasonably comfortable. The cockpit has a sun cover when we are in port and two of the hatches also have covers that permit them to stay open. When the wind comes up we have to batten down the inside of Reboot gets very humid and uncomfortable quite quickly.

I have started my research on taking Reboot to China. It is somewhat depressing. A round trip flight from the Philippines is about $425. To take Reboot in (as opposed to parking Reboot in the Philippines) looks like a minimum of $5,000 US. I am trying to get more current information. Very few boats have gone to China, mostly apparently as part of an international event. In the meantime I will continue to target reaching the Philippines in November when the cyclone risk moves from the Northern to Southern hemisphere.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016


No, not Reboot! The dinghy outboard engine. I went in for a quiet Sunday morning on shore. At about noon it was getting quite hot. I decided it was. Time to go back to Reboot for a swim.

I went out to the dinghy. The fuel tank was bloated as I had closed the air vent on the fuel tank. I opened it, let the excess air out and tried to start the engine. After about 50 pulls I decided the engine was flooded. (I was both relieved and distressed when two cruisers were also unable to start their engines.) I returned to shore for about 15 minutes. When I returned I once again tried to start the engine again. No luck. Then I remembered from the carburetor days of my youth! I cranked the throttle fully open and pulled. A cough. Pulled a second time - zoom zoom! The magic solution from my youth.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Touring Nuka-Hiva

Yesterday we rented a car and toured Nuka-Hiva. I will leave it to the tour books to describe our experience but will only say it was terrific. We had lunch of curry goat at Chez Evan, drove down to a deserted beach near the airport, and toured a number of archaeological sites. We returned home after a 165 km journal exhausted (at least I was, I did the driving) and quite pleased. Kevin at Yacht Services Nuku Hiva rented us the car and set up our itinerary. Great stuff.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Early evening thoughts

It is about 5:30 pm as I sit on Reboot. Today was a long but very productive day. After what seems like an eternity I finally managed to get to the point where I could reach a decision about the new rigging.

Much to my surprise there was an almost $2,000 difference between the highest and lowest quotes. There was also a significant difference in lead times : 3 to 5 days at the short end and 7 to 10 days at the long end. The shipping times were all the same: 10 to 15 days via FedEx. The nice thing, of there is a nice thing, is that I now feel free to do some exploration rather than spending each day working on rigging quotes.

We have reserved a car for tomorrow and if the weather is nice will explore Nuku-Hiva. At $130 US per day it is a far cry from the Enterprise Rent a Car $19.95 weekend special! When in paradise accept the costs of paradise.

Our days here have become routine. We usually go into shore in mid-morning to check email and for me to work on the rigging quotes. Some shopping, usually for food and smokes, and as it gets very hot in the afternoon sun we head back to Reboot for a swim. Early evening is quiet time. After dinner and sunset we usually read.

There is a joke that "cruisers midnight" is 1/2 hour after sunset. On Reboot of we are not having a game night (dice or dominoes) that is pretty close to the truth. We tend to settle down quickly once the sun goes down.

Today was cargo ship day. I went with Kevin (Yacht Services) to pick up a new dinghy for another boat. Everything comes off the ship on a pallet or container and is staged in a large dirt field. You drive or walk down, the dock guys point you to your stuff, and away you go. No TWIC's here.

Fair winds and following seas :)

New Rigging

Finally. Emptied my wallet but the new rigging is ordered. Now the wait for it to arrive begins!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, April 8, 2016

An open letter to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Papeete ( Very large thank you

When Reboot's lower starboard shroud shattered 1200 nautical miles from the nearest shore we were (with English understatement) "a bit concerned." We contacted our shore support who contacted the United States Coast Guard. Given our geographic location we were handed off to MRCC Papeete. From that time until we dropped anchor they maintained an
"Overwatch" of our position and progress. This included manning the signal station at Hiva-Oa to assure our funal approach was monitored and we anchored safely.

From the Captain and crew of Reboot our sincere thanks for your professionalism and support.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Commuter Parking

Only about 1/3 of the dinghy fleet in port at the moment.

Fair winds and following seas :)
The broken block!
This block held the port shroud for our trip from Hiva-Oa to Nuka-Hiva. Amazing as it seems it did not come apart during the trip even though it had failed. The snap pin was imbedded in the catch hole and it stayed together. Once we were anchored we checked the rig. As soon as we slacked the line the whole thing came apart! We were very lucky. It also proved that I was right to fret the entire 90 nm trip!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New rigging

We motored last night from Hiva-Oa to Nuku-Hiva. It was a crummy trip. Rain on and off. Beam seas all the way. With the broken rig the constant noise of the guy ropes stretching and slacking had my nerves on edge. We expected 24 hours but with slightly following seas we made it in 19. That was a great relief. We did diacover that one of the blocks had shattered but held together until we made it in. We areived in a blinding rainstorm just to add a little extra drama.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

//WL2K Hiva-Oa

At long last checked into French Polynesia! French Polynesia requires either an agent's guarantee, a bond, or an airplane ticket to check a boat in. Short story, agent didn't like our health insurance, bank could not process two of our credit cards, and we arrived on Good Friday. This morning with a combination of bonds and airplane tickets we finally received our visas.

We planned to leave for Nuka-Hiva as the repair facilities here in Hiva-Oa are just about non-existent. Our only requirement (since we intend to motor so as to not put stress on the rig) was to purchase diesel fuel. They are out! They expect to get some Monday but are not sure what time. It appears we will leave Tuesday as we need a morning departure to arrive in Nuka-Hiva during daylight.

This morning after getting our visas we went to Chez Elaine to celebrate. It is Saturday here - that is the day everything is closed. Alex took us in and fed us breakfast even though he was closed! What a great guy and a great place. It should be #1 on your itinerary if you get to Hiva-Oa.

We spent the early evening last night at Make-Make. There are several local musicians who like to jam and last night Make-Make was the place. Later in the evening Alex stopped over to invite everyone back for the after birthday party for his wife at Chez Elaine. I had already departed for the boat but Mike and Davyd went over and partied well into the night.

Fair winds and following seas :)