Sailing Around The World

Archive for April, 2013

Day 7 Passage to Galapagos Island 4/17/13

Today was another exciting day of sailing with wind in the 10 to 20 knot range. We all spent most of the day doing house keeping thing on Dragonsbane. Washing cloths by hand and watching some of the cloths get blown off the life. I guess I won’t have to do so much laundry next time. Adam made spaghetti with red sauce but never put any SPAM into the sauce which made me sad. It was at least fun to watch a person without his sea legs make a meal well Dragonsbane jumping all over at a 20 degree slant for the first time. He is learning that when you set something down it fly’s across the cabin and that more of the lands on the floor then in the pot. He found this out last night when he set his coffee mug in what he thought was a secure location. As Dragonsbane jump across waves his mug jumped up, then shifted to the right, then down, and back up. I watched his mug go up, over, and then down on the floor and coffee everywhere. He gave up on coffee and went on watch pissed off enough to keep him up for 4 hours. An hour or two before his watch my dad was sleeping in the forward cabin and I hit a big wave that came over the top deck. My dad had not closed his hatch all the way and was waken up with a shower of cold salt water. He had fun cleaning that up today. But don’t think I am left out in all the fun of my two comrades I too have hit my head so many time from Dragonsbane shifting quickly and I have lots of cuts in my shins from kicking winches in the cockpit. My bed has been soaked at least 3 times sense we have left Panama. Yes the fun is just beginning and we are all in good spirits.

Keep trying, you will get there someday!

Jacques


Day 6 Passage to Galapagos Island 4-16-13

Today we finally had 10 plus knots of wind and knocked our distance down to 356 nautical miles. The weather was overcast but warm. We have not seen anything or anybody until about noon today when we were about 400 nautical miles from the closest part of land. We saw a boat that was only 20 feet long and had two of the craziest men I have ever seen. They had missing teeth and where sun backed dark brown almost black and covered in fish guts. They motored up next to us and asked if we would like some fish to buy or at least that’s what I thought they said in Spanish. I said no thanks, but I wish I had because I suck at fishing in the wide open ocean, yes I will admit that I have only caught 4 fish sense Panama. Anyway these two guys where in a 20 foot bass boat more or less and were riding the swells like it was a walk in the park, no VHF radio, no Radar, no running light, and no life raft. Just two guys sitting in boat fishing in the middle of the ocean. My hat is off to them because that is ether one of the stupidest thing I have ever seen or the bravest. God be with them!

Tonight Adam made at lovely meal of meatballs and rice with a cream of mushroom. It all tasted good and now he can cook supper too. The night has now approached and the wind is kicking up to 20 knots so I will have to end this blog and go reef the sails soon if it gets any worse.

Just remember even in the middle of an ocean you can be surprised by other humans! Our world has no boundaries anymore; they only do when you say I can’t!

Take care everybody, Night!

Jacques


Day 5 Passage to Galapagos Island 4/15/13

We have not seen a ship for two days now and we have not seen land for almost five days. We are very close to being halfway with 446 nautical miles to go. The sailing has been very slow, but interesting way out here in the middle of this liquid dessert. All around you can see the horizon that looks like it just falls off into nothingness. The water is a dark blue that changes from bright blue close up to almost dark black as your eyes look out into the open. Its strange not even to hear a jet flying overhead or a engine rumbling off in the distance. When everybody goes to sleep and I am on watch I can hear Dragonsbane slowly cutting its way through the ocean and the only thing that keeps me company is the compass and wind instrument as I study how the boat is moving along the 5 knot breeze. The sounds of water slapping the haul and the sails sheets being stretched as the wind fills them is the only sound left to hear. Every once in awhile I hear the faint sound of somebody below deck sounding off with a fart which makes me laugh, and I think it is to quiet out here. Then as I begin to think of friends and girls I wish I was home to say hi, but I get side track by some object flying right next to me in the cockpit. My heart speeds up and I can see just a bright green glowing light that follows me. Then it just shot straight ahead of the boat and is gone. I wonder if I am losing it, but then it is right back again and I think of hitting it with something. Then it gets so close to me and I hear a loud squawk and it is a bird, stupid bird thought you were some UFO or something. I settle back down and think of home again until something else happens.

Loving Life, but Missing you All!

Jacques


Day 4 Passage to Galapagos Island 4/14/13

We have found the wind for now and enjoyed 20 knots of wind for the last 14 hours and I hope it keeps up, but as I am writing the wind is dropping off. As for the rest of the day it was very eventful! To start we were sailing into a big squall and the wind was rising up to 24 knots so my dad and Adam started the task of reefing in the sail. I was trying to sleep but my bunk is right below the wench they where using. I may as well have stuck my head in a engine compartment because the winch is loud. So not being able to sleep I crawled out of my bunk and stood in the companion way and watch them work. Adam was at the helm and my dad was working at the wench trying crank in the sail. The wind kept changing so Adam was struggling with keep the sail full of wind. I was impressed by there team effort and decided not to get involved because our cockpit does not have the room for us all to complete the above task. As soon as my dad finished cranking in the sail the winch hand popped out of the drum and went over board, he tried to grab it but only lost his hate too. My dad was very pissed about losing his favorite winch handle and hat, I thought he was going to jump in for them but the wind changed so they had to tack the sail again instead. This time my dad took the helm and Adam began cranking in the sail. As they worked I tried saying thing like “Shit Happens” to improve there mood. As soon as Adam finished cranking the sail in he let his hand off the second best winch and it went right into the ocean and sank. Adam said SHIT HAPPENS!)@&(*&@ yeah right! So now we are out 2 good wench handles and still need to reef in the main so I get my gear on and start dropping the main sail. I get our old heavy iron wench handles out that look like something from the mid evil days and try to crank in the mainsail reef line but the winch is jammed. So I tap the button to engage the electric motor but the winch hand spins really fast and punches me right in the face but misses my front teeth. After a short string of profanity I finished reefing the main with a nice swollen face. Now the there is lots of rain and the inside of my cabin/bunk is wet with rain water, so now I have a water bed too. We are all wet in one way or another and the boat interior has some water in it as well. But the good news is we only have 498 nautical miles to go at 3 knots per hour. O yeah and I fixed the ripped sail too.

Enjoy Life Now because SHIT HAPPENS!

Jacques
current location: 4deg 8.4min north, 82deg 7min west


Day 3 Passage to Galapagos Island 4/13/13

Last night around 8pm we finally turned off the engine and started sailing. From 8 pm to about noon today we sailed about 70 miles. The wind is blowing from 3 to 9 knots but we are able to average 3 knots. The going is slow but we are going in the right direction. I figure it will know take us 10 days more to get to the Galapagos Islands. I fished all day and only caught a Jelly Fish, so I made fried rice and brownies.

This evening we ripped our light wind drifter jib which I am sad about and now have to repair. The good news is that as soon as we took down the ripped drifter and put up our heavy jib a big Thunder Storm approached us. It is a slow moving squall and is bowing about 10 to 14 knots of wind. Its very dark now and the lightening is so intense that I thought about putting my sunglasses on. We are all a little worried about the lightening hitting our 52 foot mast because we are the tallest point in the Pacific ocean for about 200 miles now. I fell like I am running around in a field with a metal rode in my hand! I do love the show it is putting on and love the thrill of the stress that comes with this storm. I will not lie, once again I have white knuckles on the helm and a big smile watching the ocean light up like 4th July.

Current location: 5deg 1.73min North, 82deg 8.76min West

Enjoy your evening,

Jacques


Day 2 Passage to Galapagos Island 4-12-13

Need a little wind here! As predicted we have not seen more then 5 knots of wind all day. As far as the eye can see is nothing but ocean polished glass. It is so perfectly smooth it reflects the few clouds in the sky, so you get dizzy looking at the two spaces of heaven and earth. We tried to sail a bit but the wind speed was only 3 knots and Dragonsbane with full sail only crawled forward at 1.2 knots. I tried fishing and caught nothing today but all around use is fish jumping in schools of thousands. The schools of fish are so big that it makes ripples on the flat surface of ocean which make me think there is wind approaching, but nothing. Adam made a great observation about the fish and said it was like looking out on a prairie and seeing all the Prairie Dogs popping there heads up. We also motored through a group of 50 or more Dolphins that were jumping and playing. The rest of our day included reading books and wondering if we should turn more south or keep heading in a south west direction straight for the Galapagos Islands. The decision is very difficult to make because we only have about 3 days of fuel left, which will leave us 200 nautical miles short of the Galapagos Islands which we must sail. If we head south we have a better chance at finding wind but we will add mileage to our trip. But a good note is we have lots of water, food, and we can be out at sea for many weeks, I just don’t want to! So if you can send us some wind!

Current Location: 6 degrees 1.44 mins North, 81 degrees 10.43mins West

Take it Easy!

Jacques


Day 1 Golapagos Island Passage

Well after spending a few weeks in Panama we have left it behind us only to find a very calm sea. We reviewed the forecasted wind and location and hope that the reports are right. Our plan is to motor about 300 nautical miles south west were there is a belt of east trade winds that blows about 10 to 18 knots. If we can manage to make 3 to knots we should make Galapagos Island in 8 days. But right now the waves out here in the Pacific is coming from Dragonsbane. It really is interesting to see the ocean surface like glass as far as you can look. But seeing such a flat surface you can see a ocean of plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, and other odd trash floating along. I can see the big peace’s of trash because the sea birds are standing on it and taking a brake from flying. I also have seen lots of schools of fish and I have caught 3 tuna so far but they are very small. With no wind it is very hot out here and so we are all melting into our seats and reading books. I hope for wind and look forward to sailing.

Thanks,

Jacques