We have set foot on the North American continent here in Neah Bay - not exactly where we had hoped or intended, but it is all good, in any event! With gale force winds forecast for the Straits tonight, a downwind run to Port Townsend in those conditions was not how we wanted to end this epic voyage home from New Zealand. Besides, there is something almost poetic about having to stop here "on the way home" because when we left Port Townsend in late August 2010 to begin our "grand adventure" we had to stop in here to wait out bad weather before going on down the coast to California! Our last night out at sea was something of a challenge - "pea soup" fog (with smoke from the Canadian and Eastern Washington fires thrown in for good measure), with visibility less than 1/4 mile from about 100 nm out! Besides being wet and cold, those conditions made for some tense moments; there were some small fishing boats out as far as 65 nm, with no AIS and very hard to discern radar signatures, whose lights were barely visible at a quarter mile! And to top it all off, our "Land Ho!" was not Cape Flattery, but Bahokus Peak and Waadah Island as we neared the entrance to Neah Bay! But with the boat snuggled up next to the dock, with no motion whatsoever (the sound of the wind in the rigging be damned!), plugged into shore power with the electric heater on (it is cold outside - low 50's!), Linda with her glass of wine, and me with my second two finger pour of the good stuff (yes Patricia, Balvenie!), Life is Good and "All is Well on Board" the good ship Bright Angel tonight! It is great to be back in the Pacific Northwest (our only landfall in the past eight years without a palm tree!). Thanks for following us on YIT!
This will be our last report from the open ocean - we should be at Cape Flattery and entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca around noon tomorrow - PDT! (This horse smells the hay in the barn!). And with breakfast tomorrow we will also be serving "local time" - we have been on HST since leaving Oahu; we stayed on HST all this way because - as we got closer to the continent - Linda, who has the midnight watch, enjoys having sunrise at 3 or 4 in the morning, so the last couple hours of her watch are in daylight! We are now 95 nm from Cape Flattery; from there it is another 85 nm to Port Townsend, where we will be pulling a slip at Port Hudson Marina in the early am Thursday - 28 days out of Hawaii; a bit longer than we had planned or hoped, but all in all a good passage, with only a couple days of nasty stuff! Without a doubt, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Two words - Very Rough! Awful conditions last night and most of today; starting to ease up a bit now. Looks like we will enter the Strait on Wednesday. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
"Thar she blows!" Whales, whales everywhere! Last night we had some surface fairly close to the boat - about 50-60 feet away (a little too close for comfort!), but just a short while ago one surfaced about 30 feet off our starboard beam - headed right for us! It dove and went under the boat, while I dove for the liquor cabinet to get a stiff shot to steady our nerves! We also had more dolphins this morning, and - of all things - a seal! here was also a sizeable deadhead floating by this morning; never a dull moment! We motored in light winds thru the night, but set sails when the NW winds filled this morning. The waves are nasty already, and forecast to increase, so our final stretch will be the roughest yet. We are sailing now under reefed main and staysail. Aside from the uncomfortable conditions, and being a target for the whales, "All is well on board!" as we close in on Cape Flattery - only 360 nm away! Thanks for following us on YIT!
"Pardon me, Captain, but would you happen to have any Grey Poupon?" After being in what seemed like the middle of the tanker and cargo ship cross roads between CA and Asia a while ago, and then not seeing another ship for the past several days, today finds us right back in the thick of the traffic - as many as 5 AIS targets to watch at a time! Two have passed with 5 nm - about as close as we are comfortable with - but neither of them had any Grey Poupon to spare! And while we like to sing the praises of AIS, one must not get too reliant on the electronics - a short while ago a tanker appeared crossing our bow about 5-6 nm off, with no AIS signal! We hailed him by his lat/lon, and he answered, to inform him he was not transmitting; he assured us he would check his equipment - that was half an hour ago, and we still do not see him on AIS. Keeping our eyes peeled, and waiting for the wind to die off a bit more before we start the engine, our status remains "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The winds backed to the S last evening, and we continue to make good progress toward Cape Flattery - now only 640 nm away (then another 90 to PT). We expect to do some motoring over the weekend, before NW winds fill in to "take us home." We are starting to play the "this is the last ____day at sea, or next week at this time we will be doing ____" game - it's the little things that amuse! As usual, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The SW winds are still with us, and we continue to make decent progress toward Cape Flattery! Nothing too exciting to report - no dolphins, no sharks, and not much shipping traffic, either - that's a good thing, as is the fact we have not seen floating garbage for days now! As usual, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We found some wind, and are finally making some decent forward progress! (There was a time last night that thought was given to staring the engine!) If the forecast holds, we should have this wind until Friday. We are now, after 21 days at sea, a mere 975 nm from Port Townsend! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Winds are so far behind us now that we are sailing on a deep reach (AWA 120-130) to even point reasonably well toward Cape Flattery; hard to maintain decent boat speed as the apparent wind is down to 9-11 kts. Very frustrating, and this now looks like it will be our lot until Friday, when the winds are forecast to go westerly and lighter - 0-10 kts, which means more motoring! On the bright side, its very comfortable and the sun is out! No more meteor showers last night, but we did have a great dolphins show right as it was getting dark! And, yesterday afternoon, we saw what was most likely a shark - a fairly large dorsal fin, sticking out of the water, that just stayed that way as we sailed past; I guess that rules out swimming! This slow pace has taken all the fun out calculating possible ETAs in WA, but tomorrow we will drop into the triple digits for distance to go to Port Townsend! So, other than the lack of wind, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Winds are behind us for a while now, so our boat speed is down a bit; broad reach, not our best point of sail. It sure was "empowering" though, on a close reach, when we had to reef just to slow the boat down to 6.5 kts (to avoid bashing into the waves)! We hope to have those conditions again a couple of days. Had a great Perseid meteor shower display last night; saw some really spectacular meteors, including one that was a bright orange streak that seemed close enough to reach out and touch, and another that was much higher up and white that left a very visible trail a long way behind it! Fantastic. Today, the sun is out, things are relatively calm, so once again "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Two nice dolphin shows this morning, and I was fortunate enough to be on watch for the encore performance! The rhumb line distance from our current position to Cape Flattery is 1260 nm, plus another 90 nm to Port Townsend; its tempting to start calculating an ETA, but we know better than that just yet! Sail on! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We set sails yesterday afternoon at 1430 local time (HI), with SE winds that filled in earlier and more strongly than expected; Cape Flattery, dead ahead! We are flying a staysail, reefed genoa and reefed main, and we are charging along at rodeo speed; we could and were going faster before we rolled in the genoa, but the ride was a bit rough! With this sail combination, we should be able to shorten further to deal with any adverse weather up ahead. Great to be sailing again, and for the time being, in the right direction! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We should be sailing again by late afternoon or this evening, with SE winds that are starting to fill in now. There will be some snarly weather over the weekend and into early next week, but nothing we can't deal with. We should be able to continue heading toward Cape Flattery, although there is a possibility of more weather system dodging down the pike. The fog this morning was another reminder of what awaits us in WA; after all, it is "Fogust!" "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Premiere dolphin show this morning at sunrise - mamas, papas, babies, all frolicking around the boat doing synchronized swim routines, back flips and tail wags - and I missed it (asleep); but, the joyful expression on Linda's face when she described it for me - priceless! Don't know if it had anything to do with the dolphins, but I did get pancakes and bacon for breakfast today! We are on flat calm waters this morning, motoring toward the winds (we hope) on the north/west side of the high, and hopefully before the next low coming in from the NW clobbers us! And, the sun is trying to come out today! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
"Ready about?" "Are you kidding? Of course we're ready!" "Helm's alee!" And with that, at 0730 local (Hawaii) time this morning, we tacked back eastward. We were then at 39 54N 166 32W. We are "motor sailing" now - well, we are under way using the engine, but with such light and variable winds, there isn't a lot of sailing going on right now - genoa is furled but main is up - hopefully soon, within a day or so, we will find some southerly wind to resume sailing. And, in the meantime, since we are finally heading in the right direction again, we can find something else to carp about - like, when will we ever see the sun again? Its been days! Our friends at Gulf Harbor Radio called this cloudiness associated with high pressure cells "anti-cyclonic gloom" - and it is gloomy! On the bright side, we will be ready for fall and winter in the northwest, after spending lo these many past years in almost perpetual sunshine - gotta get over that! And one final thought for today - with all of this heavy weather avoidance we have doing as of late, we added over 500 nm to our projected route home - from 2700 nm and change to 3200 nm and change; we should still get home in August, barring any further major delays! Today, indeed, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
In short order we should be tacking back eastward, either later today, or (weather router's recommendation) tomorrow morning; either choice okay as far as positioning ourselves with favorable winds on the west/north side of the high as it moves first SSE (towards us) and then NNE. Couldn't tack right now, in any event, as we have a cargo ship about 35 nm behind us, and heading our way; if we tack now, we will be heading toward his track, and if we keep going WNW we are moving away from it. Seems we are playing on the freeway here, for ships going between San Francisco and Asia - there have been quite a few in the past several days, but none approaching as close as the Andromeda Leader is now. Thank heaven for AIS! Anxious to be heading back in the direction of Washington, attitudes about this routing debacle notwithstanding "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
On we go NWly, and into the High - should be in the calmer stuff by Wednesday, which will be a welcome relief from the bashing into bumpy seas that has been our lot for several days now, even if it does mean having to listen to the engine! But the sun did come out for a brief showing this afternoon, and when it did a huge herd of dolphins (they do swim in herds, don't they?) swam by about 100 yards off our stern (thank you, Ann!), although they did not stop by the boat for a visit. Oh well, maybe next time! The exasperation continues with this prolonged passage and having to do the weather systems dance, but still "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Plans do change - sometimes they are written in the sand on the beach, but out here they are written in the foam of the last wave! We did not tack yesterday, but instead continued on our WNW course, after looking at the latest 72 hour Pacific surface analysis and seeing that monster low that is between us and Cape Flattery is actually forecast to not further south than originally forecast, but now looks to be headed back west - which would have been directly toward us had we tacked. As it is, we now are moving north and away from it and enjoying (?) an extended tour of the central north Pacific; wouldn't recommend it - looks just about like everywhere else, except even the garbage and the birds (and until Linda came on watch - even the sun) seem to have abandoned this patch of the Pacific! Oh well, we will get home eventually, and in the meantime we enjoy each other's company, we have plenty of food and water, and so far - as of our tenth day out - we only burned about 6 of our 190 gallons of fuel! The continuing exasperation with this prolonged passage notwithstanding, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
There is a maxim in sailing that says, whichever direction you want to go, the winds will always be "noserly." Well, maybe not always, but lately that has certainly been the case for us. In any event, we plan to tack later today and make an effort to head toward home! With the winds the way they are right now, we will be lucky to make any appreciable headway to the north, but at least will be heading back east! The exasperation notwithstanding, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are sailing on a WNW away from America! All part of a grand plan to avoid heavy weather; later today, or tomorrow, when the winds are expected to go to the NW, we will tack back onto a NE heading, and eventually aim for Washington. Nothing like zig-zagging around in the North Pacific! Still seeing alot of garbage float by - yesterday there was a doll's head (at least we hope it was a doll!) - rather weird! Linda reported seeing a whale blowing today, and for the past several days we have seen Albatross - beautiful, graceful birds that dip and soar on slender wings with a huge wingspan (almost as good as seeing dolphins, Ann!). The Albatross used to be what welcomed us back to New Zealand; these birds (we believe) are from a colony that breeds somewhere in the Midway Islands. TTFN! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We were headed last night about 0300 when the wind went light and backed to the north. So, rather than sail off to the west, we tacked and are now sailing off in an easterly direction - sometimes north of east by a few degrees, sometimes south of east by a few degrees, all depending on the wind strength and the ability of our wind vane to steer the boat (it really doesn't work well in anything less than 9 knots of apparent wind). So, we are basically just waiting for the latest update from our weather router to tell us where we should be heading; it will almost certainly involve some motoring, but in which direction we are not sure, given what we can see in the weather forecasts for what lies ahead. Until then, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are still slowed down to better position ourselves to deal with some adverse weather up ahead; it's such a beautiful day, and the seas are quite calm, so it is hard to be going so slow - the temptation is to "let her rip!" Ah, but knowing what the conditions might be if we charged ahead is enough to keep us content with the peaceful, slow ride now. So, back to the reading room (cockpit)! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We will not be talking about out daily run totals for a while now, as we have deliberately slowed down to better position ourselves to deal with some adverse weather that is brewing up ahead of us. On another somewhat unpleasant note, we are starting to see a lot of garbage floating by - really depressing; not what you want to see our here on the ocean! We were warned to expect this - all part of the North Pacific garbage "gyre" which is probably much further to the west of us. On the brighter side of things for today, we are a mere 60 nm south of the latitude of the US/Mexican border! And, most importantly, on this day (not that many years ago) a very special person was born - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We had another 135 nm run for the fourth day out; we don't expect those kind of numbers to hold for much longer, though, as the winds are forecast to go lighter in a day or so. On the bright side, that will bring calmer seas, which will be a welcome relief from the rough ride we are experiencing today! But, aside from being a bit uncomfortable, and cranky because rest is hard to come by in these conditions, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We had a 135 nm run the third day out - the decrease from the day before in part being due to having reefed down considerably almost all morning after sunup as we seemed to be in one continuous "rodeo squall". Those of you who have ridden out squalls at sea know what I am talking about; we all deserve a big silver buckle! Reminds me of a boat some friends of ours once owned named "Blue Rodeo" - seemed like a brilliantly appropriate name for an ocean going sailboat! (But, interestingly, that was not the inspiration for the name!) After yesterday's post, I was reminded by some other friends of ours (who have made this run from Hawaii to the mainland a couple of times) that it is too early for us to worry making easting; just concentrate for the time being on not going too far west. So be it; time to head back out to the cockpit with no worries and concentrate! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We had a great run the second day out - 145 nm! But, we are starting to get a bit concerned about not being able to make much easting. We have been sailing at an AWA (apparent wind angle) of 60 - fairly comfortable given the conditions - and today, with the seas down a bit more, we brought the AWA up to 55, only to get headed, which means we are now sailing more NNW than the NNE we had been sailing at an AWA of 60! Hopefully this is just a brief wind shift, and we will get back to heading toward the mainland again soon; we really don't want to go to Alaska! And last night there were no more warships about, but there was a war of sorts - between us and the boobies, which are big sea birds, about the size of a large sea gull, that just won't take "No!" for answer when you try to convince them not to land on your bow pulpit or, worse yet, solar panels! Not much we could do about those that wanted to land on on the bow - we had three up there that stayed through the night! - but we could bang a small pike on the solar panel arch and get them to leave or abort a landing attempt on the panels - so, guess what we did most of the night! Not that we are unsympathetic to their desire for a free ride, we just don't like the mess they leave behind, which can seriously degrade the ability of solar panel panels to do their job! But the boobies have all gone (for now), so it's back to the normal routine! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We have now officially left Hawaii - "Aloha" to the Aloha State! Our first 24 hour run was a decent 115 nm, especially considering the several hours of "slow go" as we made our way west along the lee of Oahu in a gentle sea breeze from Ko'Olina to Kaena Point - where everything changed! What a rough and rowdy ride it was getting clear of the channel and island effects and out into the trades again! Seas were 10-12 feet, and the wind was a steady 23-25 kts, with gusts to 30! Throughout our first night at sea the wind and seas were up, so were reefed down considerably to get a semi-comfortable ride. And then to make matters even more lively, it seems we were sailing right through a Navy war game - several warships passed close by in the night (with no AIS on!), with helicopters flying back and forth; hopefully we are now clear of their maneuver area (we haven't seen a Navy vessel for over 4 hours now). After a few morning squalls, the sun came out and is now pampering our solar panels, and the wind and seas have moderated to give a comfortable ride with decent boat speed. One day down, and only ___ to go (if only we knew!); maybe 20, if we are lucky! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We did get away from Honolulu yesterday, but we did not make it very far! We were tied to the dock overnight at Ko'Olina Marina, near Barber's Point, about 20 nm west of Waikiki. We came here for fuel and that was a goat rope - with high winds pinning us and charter boats boxing us in; took us over three hours to fuel and get away from the dock! We decided to take a slip for the night (by the time we we got away from the fuel dock it was almost 4:30 pm), primarily to have the chance to check on some possible wiring issues related to the GPS feed to our chart plotter. We will sort that out this morning, and should be back underway before noon. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Today will be our last full day here in Honolulu, where we have been guest since our arrival on June 6 of the very gracious Waikiki Yacht Club! We plan to head out tomorrow early am for Ko'Olina for fuel, then out the Kauai Channel for Washington. We have really enjoyed our stay here at WYC - wonderful restaurant and bar, lots of sailing and paddling programs for young and old, wonderful view of the Waikiki skyline (where there is a grand fireworks show every Friday night), and in the past week or so, lots of visiting yachts from both the Vic-Maui Race, and now the Pacific Cup - including Roy Disney's famed Pyewacket (he is a member of this Yacht Club). We have also done some of the tourist things here, like visiting the USS Arizona Memorial - very sobering! But, we are anxious to get sailing again, and to get back into our "home waters" of Puget Sound once again! Lots to do today, so we had better "turn to." All is busy and well aboard the SV Bright Angel today! Thanks for following us on YIT!
We tied up to the guest dock at Waikiki Yacht Club at 1115 today, a mere 25 days and 2900 +/- nm (who's really counting?) from Papeete, Tahiti - we were all cleared in by 2 pm! Then we had to sample the drinks and comestibles at the Yacht Club bar - not bad (I figure it will take us the whole two weeks we will be allowed to stay here to work our way through the bar menu, at a minimum!). As an added bonus, when we tied up, we looked across the pier and a saw a boat belonging to some friends we met in Mexico in 2010! We have since hard drinks and done some "catching up" with Mark & Dot, who have taken us under their wing and become our unofficial sponsors at the Yacht Club! And, to top off the evening, we just saw one of the nightly fireworks shows on Waikiki - spectacular! Tonight, certainly "All is well on board!" - but just don't wake us for our night watches! Thanks for following us on YIT!
This will be our final report underway on this passage; we should be at the dock in Honolulu shortly after noon tomorrow! The weather, as expected, is really nasty - too much wind from almost dead behind, big seas, and mixed swell; not too swell (pun in tended!). Looking forward to a tiring final night at sea! Nevertheless, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are now just off the SE coast of the Big Island of Hawaii - can't see it yet, as we are still too far offshore (about 45 nm). And we are just under 275 nm from our guest berth at the Waikiki Yacht Club, where we hope to tie up on Friday afternoon! We plan to stay in Honolulu until early next week, when we will head up to Barber's Point and the Ko "Olina Marina to finish our preparations for the finally leg of our voyage home. Happy Fourth Of July to all of American friends and family! Have a burger and a cold one for us, please! (And be careful with the fireworks!) "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
No change in course; still going in on the windward side. Making a concerted effort to get in on am or early pm Friday to avoid the heavier winds Friday evening - could still see 25 kts on Friday morning, with bigger seas than we have now, but nothing we shouldn't be able to handle. We have just over 400 nm to Honolulu! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Another nice day of sailing with blue skies, white cotton ball clouds, and fresh winds all day. Looks like the weather up ahead, on Friday or Saturday, could get a bit nasty - NE 30 kt winds and 3.5 m NE swell, 10 sec period - we will be watching that and possibly change our approach from windward of the islands to leeward (although that would leave us subject to funneling of strong winds through the channels). Also watching closely Hurricane Fabio off the coast of Mexico, currently heading W but forecast to turn WNW and then start to die out on Friday several hundred miles to the east. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Good sailing today! Winds and seas are down a bit from late last night and early this morning, when we had 20-23 kts, and were making 7 kts of boat speed with a reefed genoa and de-powered main! Much more comfortable now - lots of reading and catching up on rest! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Good day's run yesterday - 146 nm; but, not so good today. Wind started out okay, but then died down to the point it was hard to sail without dumping the wind out of the sails in the swell, so the "three knot rule" was invoked. Hopefully we will be able to set sails again before sunset. Just over 800 nm miles to go to Hawaii. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are definitely through the ITCZ now - and have been sailing with blue skies, white cotton ball clouds, and fresh winds all day. The seas were a bit lumpy early on, when the winds were up around 20 kts, but things have calmed down considerably and the ride is now quite comfortable. We have just under 1000 nm to go to Hawaii. "All is very well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Forget what we said yesterday about being through the worst of the ITCZ - the high seas forecast we downloaded after posting yesterday's update indicated we weren't even to the ITCZ yet! Today's forecast indicates we might be in the middle of it right now - which would seem to match the fluky winds and squalls we have been experiencing most of the day. We did set sails this morning, turning off the engine at long last, with what looked like promising easterly winds at 11-13 kts, but as the morning wore on, the winds wore out; now we are slatting along at a breakneck 3.5-4 kts in anything from 7-9 kts of wind, from variable directions, and up to 21 kts in the fairly frequent squalls. It may be time to burn a few more fossils and get out of this soup! The frustration mounts as the fuel supply dwindles, but "All is (still) well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We may be through the worst of the ITCZ (at lest we hope so) - not too bad of a day today! But we are still burning fossils waiting for sailing winds to fill back in. The boat got a shower last night, and today we topped up the water tanks and the crew all got showers! And Linda made pancakes and bacon for breakfast. All we need now is wind, but in any event "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are in the thick of ITCZ "junk" - clouds, rain, squalls, light & variable winds (except in th squalls!), so we are burning fossils as we motor north to cleared skies and better sailing winds. The bad news is the actual ITCZ is a long way up in front of us. Other than that, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
After a day of motoring, last night started out with a pleasant sail in light winds, but it only lasted four hours before the winds went so light we had to resort to motoring again. This morning dawned mostly sunny - a welcome change from yesterday's doom & gloom - and the wind seems to be filling back in. As soon as we hit send on this post, we will roll the sails back out and try sailing again! Yahoo! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
For our first night north of the equator, the winds went from zippy to zip, and we had to start the engine last night around 2:30 am. Still motoring this morning, and dodging squalls. Last evening, we had to change out the chart plotter at the nav station; the old one finally froze up and died. We had been having trouble with it since we were in New Zealand, so I bought a spare off e-Bay, and had it shipped to Riverside before we left. We also have a chart plotter at the helm, which is fine, but the one at the nav station feeds AIS data to the network, so we had to get that sorted before we start running into shipping "traffic" as we get further north; we have not seen another vessel since the Tuamotous, but that will change soon. TTFN! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
At 1336 hrs (1:36 pm) local time today (2336 UTC), at longitude 144 00.585W the good ship Bright Angel left the Southern Hemisphere! She has not been north of the Equator since May 2012. And our crew Tom is now a Shellback! Sure hope Neptune appreciated the single malt! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are making good progress towards the equator; should be there late tomorrow! A little shy on easting, but should cross at around 143.5W, which will be just fine. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are making some easting again! The winds are fresh, and for now the seas are moderate, so we are making good time and keeping the breakfast down! Today we will tick over our first 1000 nm since leaving Tahiti; only . . . . oh, too early for that! "All is well!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The ENE winds are back, making us give up some of our hard earned easting; and we are beating to weather in lumpy seas - who wrote this script, anyway? We had a couple of strange AIS encounters last night and this morning to keep us on our toes! Last night, around 2 am, two "buoy" targets appeared - "CC326Bouy-1" and "CC326Bouy-7." They were about 4 miles apart. Not sure if they were weather buoys, or buoys that marked the end of drift nets (there were no lights, and no other AIS or radar targets around) we steered to clear the closest one and avoid going between them. When we had done so, another one popped up on AIS - aft of us, but in line with the other two; so, if they marked a net, we had gone over it! This morning, two more appeared several miles off - one labeled "SHO11" and the other unlabeled - both with very peculiar MMSIs. Our best guess is they were all weather buoys. So today we are watching for buoys and hoping for the return of E or SE winds! "All is well!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The ESE winds are still with us, and we are making decent progress again today, as we did last night! On our present course, our crew Tom only has 525 nm left as a "Pollywog!" Today, Linda was inspired to make Swedish pancakes for breakfast! Life is good and "All is well" aboard the SV Bright Angel today! Thanks for following us on YIT!
Hurrah - winds from a respectably favorable direction, at last! Just not very much wind - yet? And the sun is out, and the seas are calm - it's one of those "reward" days! Linda says if it stays like this all the way to Hawaii she'll be happy! (Boy, am I going to be in trouble!) And "Just Ann" you were right - last night, as the sun was going down and we were enjoying our Creole style beans & rice with chicken for dinner in the cockpit, the dolphins came to play. Lots of them! And they stayed for a long time, with the little ones doing back-flips out of the water! A spectacular dinner time show, and us with front row seats! Very cool! All is well aboard the SV Bright Angel again today!
Still waiting - for E or SE winds! The winds are now NNE, so easting is all but impossible without motoring. We did have to motor some yesterday in very light winds, and we did try sailing east on a port tack with the NNE winds, but we ended up going ESE-SE, so we tacked back and settled for west of north - in the general direction of Hawaii, at least! These winds are very frustrating, to say the least; still hoping for better wind direction soon. At least the ride is comfortable today - lots of reading getting done! And the sun is out! Life is good aboard the SV Bright Angel today!
Nice night last night, and nice day today! A few brief squalls this morning, but nothing to write home about - so, I won't. Crew is catching up on rest, which is a good thing! Our only complaint today is the northerly component in the wind - having to sail close hauled and makes it tough to get our easting in as we approach the Equator; fingers crossed for E, or better yet SE winds soon. All is well on board!
After a day of gloomy skies and moderate winds (22-24 kts), it turned into a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good night! As we entered the channel between Mataiva and Tikehau Islands last night, we took started hand steering to better negotiate manage the somewhat narrow distance between the islands, and to stay clear of a small cargo ship that was transiting between Mataiva and Rangiroa, just to the east of Tikehau. Then the squalls came - one right after the other; five or six in all (but who's counting?) lasting 30-45 minutes each, with winds over 30 kts; still hand steering! When the squalls died out, we went to reset the Monitor self steering, only to discover the actuator shaft for the wind vane had come undone - and there was no way to fix it at night, in rough seas! So, we all three of us took turns hand steering the rest of the night, through occasional squalls and high winds. We hove-to at 0600 for some much need rest and repairs. We were back underway again at 1400, with much improved weather conditions, and renewed positive outlook! All is well on board Bright Angel again tonight - let's just hope it stays that way through the night!
Our first night at sea was, as usual, a matter of readjustment, but went very well. We were cleared out by noon, at the fuel dock at 1300 (after their lunch time closure!), away from the fuel dock at 1400 with 430 liters bunkered, and out Passe Papette by 1530. We had to motor until almost 1800 to clear the lee of Tahiti, but then a brisk 18-20 ESE wind filled in, and we sailed for the better part of the night with just a staysail and reefed main doing 6.2 kts in relatively comfortable conditions; waves were about 2-2.5m just forward of the beam. this morning we are close reaching, but still enjoying a mostly comfortable ride! Tonight, about 2100 local, we should pass between the Tuamotus atolls of Mataiva and Tikehau, the last islands we should see until the Big Island of Hawaii - a mere 2800 nm or so down the track! For those of you drawing a straight line to Hawaii and saying "its not that far," bear in mind that we need to go a considerable distance east before we cross the Equator and then head back NW to Hawaii - our aim is to make that turn at around 05N 140W - so as to be able to sail the E-SE trade winds south of the Equator, and then the E-NE trade winds north of the equator! Well, that's the plan anyway; we'll see how it all turns out! For now, "All is well on board!" Cheers!
After a month and a day at the the dock in Tahiti, with the extensive repair list completed, tomorrow morning after our agent clears us out and a trip to the fuel dock, we will be on our way to Hawaii! Depending on which route, or variation thereof we follow, the distance will be anywhere from 2900 to 3200 nm (ugh!). All is very well on board the good ship Bright Angel tonight, and we are all looking forward to our last night full night of stable, peaceful sleep!
Well, that was certainly one for the books! A total of 23 days at sea, covering 2397 nautical miles, on basically a rhumb line from New Zealand to Tahiti, hand steering the last 450 nm, and motoring the last 305 nm (made hand steering easier, especially in the wide variety of fluky wind conditions and sea states we encountered)! We were tied to the dock by 100 hrs, local Tahiti time yesterday (Friday, 11 May), all clearance procedures completed by 1500, and in the bar at the head of the dock for Happy Hour (two for one beers!) by 1700. We will probably spend about two weeks or so here on R&R ("Rest and Repair") and doing some of the touristy things, before we head up to Rangiroa for a brief stop over before we leave for Hawaii. LIFE IS GOOD again, and "All is well on and off board." TTFN (Ta Ta For Now!)
We started motoring north in light winds last night just east of Rurutu Island, so as to avoid an encounter with the Lotus Seamount just east of the island (has some fairly shallow rocks), and kept on motoring through the night as the winds stayed light. Now, like a horse to the barn, Bright Angel (or, at least her hand steering weary crew!) prefer to keep on motoring to Tahiti, a trifle sailing wind from whatever contrary direction notwithstanding. We have the fuel, and as a good friend (who shall remain nameless, but he knows who he is!) once told me, "any ocean passage that ends with fuel in the tanks is a bad passage!" So, if all goes well, we will cover the next 240 nm to Papeete on a direct heading under power by mid-day Friday, 11 May. I think I hear that cold draft Hinano calling my name! "All is well on board."
"Land Ho!" Only problem is, it's Rurutu Island in the Australs - not where we are going. We had some great sailing yesterday, even if it was with hand steering! But last night was miserable - high winds and squalls with very rough seas, and some lightening nearby. We will likely make our turn north to Tahiti tomorrow morning, with about 330 nm to go; hoping to get in Friday, if all goes well. In spite of everything, "All is well on board."
Well this weather certainly is a soup sandwich! High winds, rough seas, can't sail the direction we need to go in what seems like perpetual rain and squalls. If we ever get to Tahiti, sure hope the weather isn't like this! The list of boat projects for Tahiti is getting longer, the most recent addition being figuring out why our brand new Balmar alternator is not charging (ugh!). Other than being frustrated with the weather and broken boat stuff (did we mention the autopilot, too?) "All is well board." Thanks for checking our progress on YiT!
via Another Adventure as a bit late to hear them well on 8Megs. GHradio discussed the weather ahead. A front coming but not severe. Just a problem with on the nose winds. Not strong.
Gave up fighting the squirrelly, light winds yesterday afternoon around 1430 and turned on the engine. Around 2100 last night, winds came up enough to motor sail effectively; and then, at 0900 this morning, the engine was turned off and we have been sailing ever since! Fingers crossed for more of the same throughout the day! The big event on board today (besides starting to sail again!) was the inevitable switch over from NZ Standard time to Tahiti Time!. In the process we lost two hours, but gained a day; went from 0900 on Sunday, 6 May, to 1100 on Saturday, 5 May. Let's hope that this new attempt at Saturday is better than yesterday's Saturday! Thanks for checking our progress on YiT! All is well on board.
Is this the same ocean we were sailing yesterday? This morning dawned bright and calm, after a day of wind, waves and rain. Yesterday it rained so hard it flattened the seas, and you could not see past the bow of the boat; we haven"t seen rain like that since we went through the ITCZ on our way to the Marquesas from Mexico! All is well on board.
All is well on board.
Bob had a good radio signal again but GHRadio has a high pitched squeek this morning so he had competition. They have a sea water damaged computer so are using the all important spare and will be back doing their own reports tomorrow. At least the weather has moderated for them although they probably would prefer a different wind direction.
Bob and crew are really not enjoying the frontal system and are looking forward to calmer seas. Keep the faith Linda!
'It was a dark and noisy night.' The TWS hovered around 2-3 knots, clouds covered the otherwise full moon, and the Yanmar sang it's noisy song. The good news is, after listening to the engine for almost 16 hours, late this morning the wind finally filled back in enough to sail. The bad news is, its from the wrong direction, and we're sailing off in the wrong direction. The good news is, we're not going the wrong way very fast, and hopefully things will change before we get to Easter Island! In the meantime, "All is well on board!"
We are certainly on a slow boat to Tahiti - and it's going to get slower before it heats up! Winds are dying off, and forecast to go really light over the next day or so! "Ugh - not the motor, Please!" Today 's 24 hr run was 110 nm; we have covered 1120 nm since we left Whangarei 10 days ago (not all in a straight line, to be sure!). But all in all, it has been a fairly easy passage so far - bright blue skies and calm seas means lots of reading will get done today; my choice from the library today is Woody Guthrie's "House of Earth" - interestingly, albeit a passionate subject matter for him, the book, finished in 1947, was never published in his lifetime. Well, enough of the literature class for today, I'm headed back to the cockpit with my book! "All is well on board!"
Beautiful night (nearly full moon, too!), nice morning, no squalls, winds are behaving, seas aren't too bad, pancakes and hot coffee for breakfast - what is there to complain about?! "All is well on board!"
Wow - what a boisterous night it was last night - no squalls, but fairly high winds (up to 26 knots) and rough seas; trying to sleep off-watch was like trying to get rest in a washing machine! Things have calmed down a bit now, mid morning, so the ride is a bit more comfortable and "All is (still) well on board!"
Can you hear it? - the sound of the wind and the waves as the boat sails along on fairly calm seas, under a bright sunny sky! We sure can, and what a welcome relief after 16 hours of listening to the drone of the motor from yesterday noon until just before sunup today. At times the TSW was less than 3 knots, and never much over 5 or 6; not enough to move this old boat without some fossil power. But the calm winds throughout the night were not enough to dissuade the squalls - of which there plenty (with their own winds, up to 27 knots!); had me humming that old song "Squally, Squally Night"! Today though we are focused on something much more momentous and important: Linda is baking a great big chocolate cake, Tom is digging deep into the freezer for our vat of ice cream, and I'm chilling down a magnum of champagne - all so we celebrate Linda's sister Carole's birthday in style! Okay, may not with such accoutrements, but we do want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLE LOGAN! Carole has done so much over the years to facilitate our being out here cruising, like watching over our mail and keeping us informed of any and everything important, taking care of our car, bikes, and various other belongings, and always providing us a place to stay on our comings and goings from Washington. Thank you Carole, and today especially we want you to know that you are a big part of why "All is well on board!"
Frustratingly light winds last night and today (and probably until much later tonight); in a ridge of high pressure covering a large area. Low we have been watching will pass to the east and south of us; that's the good news! Other than being tired of hearing the engine (and worrying about all those fossils we are burning),"All is well on board!"
Sunny day again today, after morning clouds. Winds were mostly light throughout the night, right on the edge of "motor time," but we hung in with the sails until about 1000 hrs this morning, and then gave up when TWS went down to about 7-8 knots, which makes it hard for the Monitor to steer. Started the engine (noisy beast) for the first time since Bream Head (just leaving NZ); TWS is building back up again, so might be able to turn the engine off again soon! Total run yesterday was only 97 nm (due to light winds); 577 nm since we left NZ. Day six at sea and "All is well on board!"
Beautiful sunny day today. Winds are going lighter and the seas are settling down, so its a comfortable ride. Total run yesterday was 120 nm; 480 nm since we left NZ. Oh Boy! Only 1800 or so to go! Day five at sea and "All is well on board!"
Boat wash day today, compliments of Mother Nature! There was a ?squall in training? last night that barely knew how to rain or blow, but the instructor came by this afternoon with a real downpour and peak gusts of 37. Only about 2 miles wide, though - still nothing to write home about, but look what I'm doing! It was also shower day for the crew - Linda insisted! Day four at sea and "All is well on board!"
Winds have moderated a bit today, but seas (swell and wind waves) are up, making for a rolly ride on a deep reach. Second 24 hour run was 115 nm; total run at 1200 local was 237 nm. We have run with only a reefed main for the past 18 hours; ride is a bit more comfortable, and we are deliberately holding back on boat speed in anticipation of some heavy weather forecast for next week that we would rather have pass in front of us than run right into it. Visited by an albatross today; large, beautiful, grace birds, that will always remind of us of New Zealand! Day three at sea and "All is well on board!"
Heavier winds than expected today; lots of reefing and jibing. First 24 hour run was 122 nm; first night at sea in over one year! All is well on board!
Better late than never! Left the dock today at 1035 hrs, after waiting out some less than pleasant weather, and rebuilding the fresh water pump that packed it in (essential piece of equipment, according to the Galley Chief!). Very nice conditions to set sail, but sad to be leaving New Zealand. Tom, our new crew, is learning the ropes and catching on fast - he says he will be ready for his first solo night watch tonight! Half a day down, and only twenty some to go (oh, its too early for that!). All is well on board! Cheers!
The project list to get the boat ready to go sea is now down to the last few reams of paper! The weather forecast for the next week is a mixed bag, and we have two fairly divergent forecast models to choose from - "pick the one you like best, and that is what it will turn out to be" - NOT! Oh well, nothing really foreboding in either forecast, and nothing more promising on the near term horizon (except the window closing on our VISAs!). So, clearance formalities are scheduled for 9:00 am tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 17 April), and by noon New Zealand should be in our rear view mirror! That will certainly be bitter sweet; we have spent a great deal of time in this beautiful country, and have made some great friends here - we will miss this place deeply! Next (scheduled) stop is Papeete, Tahiti - that should ease the sting of departure a bit! From there on to Hawaii, and then back to the Pacific Northwest - we hope to be home sometime in August. We welcome Tom Wendel aboard as crew for this voyage - something of a novelty for us shorthanded sailors, but his assistance should make those night watches and long days at sea for the next few weeks much more bearable! Cheers, New Zealand - thanks for the memories! We will be back; someday, somehow!
Position update for previous post (dumb guy with a smart phone, trying to navigate the app!)
At Marsden Cove, finishing up boat projects, provisioning, and keeping an eye on the weather, hoping for a good window to leave for Tahiti soon!
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