Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sailors Run’s Passage from Kauai to San Francisco 6-30-2013

The Stats: Day-1 24hr. Run= 171NM. Pos.=Lat. 24*49’N. Long.159*04’W.  A sunny day with wind from ENE at 25kts. Seas 10-12ft. from  the east. Course sailed 005*-045*T Day-2 24hr.Run=142NM. Pos.=Lat. 26*44’N.  Long. 157*43’W. Sunny day wind from east 10-15kts. Seas from east at 6ft. Course sailed 010*-050*T Day-3 24hr.Run=129NM. Pos.=Lat.28*40’N. Long.156*57’W. Sunny Day wind from ESE at 8-12kts. Seas from east at 5ft. Course sailed 015*-043*T The rest of the story. Debbie and I survived our 8-mile race here on Kauai and the celebration that followed, neither of which was easy. The anchorage here at Hanalei had been unusually flat for the past week and only just recently had the trade winds intensified. The morning of our first day Debbie and I waved goodbye to our friends Thor and Tanya,Tristan & Sienna who were staying aboard their trimaran and our friends Alvin and Sally aboard their 27′ Vancouver sailboat. Saying goodbye, is very difficult for Debbie as she just doesn’t want to do it. Now me on the other hand  I had an ocean passage to look forward to something I truly enjoy. Debbie steered Sailors Run into the wind under reefed mizzen as I stowed the 60lb. CQR anchor aft taking some weight off the bow knowing that most of this trip was going to be against the wind. We pulled up the main sail with one reef in it and hoisted the staysail forward and rolled out the Genoa and slowly sailed clear of the serene anchorage. Wow!!  I must admit Debbie and I were both shocked at just how rough and close together the seas were just outside the bay. The 12ft. seas were so close together that we no more come off one wave and crashed square into the nearly vertical face of the next. Each time that occurred our deck submerged and rose heaving all that rushing sea water on deck all the way over the entire rest of Sailors Run dousing all out in the cock pit. It was at this point Debbie became very animated and started yelling take me back I have the money for the flight to the mainland!!  Its times just like this that every good skipper’s metal is tested. Yes, steep waves and mutinous crew is never taken lightly. Things continued to evolve and now I was stupid for having so much sail up. I explained that it was just quite possible she was right and would she mind releasing the Genoa sheet ever so gently that I might begin to roll the “Fucking” thing in, and oh! by the way 25kts and 12 ft seas don’t turn this crew “Back”. I also assured her that things would soon improve and when she arrived at the main land she will still have her air fare in her possession a way better thing. Once the Genoa was trimmed in and only half the size, catching wind the ride started to improve and just 30-minutes later as we sailed clear of the island the seas rounded off and we were off on an exhilarating sail over the next 24hrs Days 2-3- After day 1 we saw a large buoy 4 foot by 3 foot diameter , upside down gallon bucket,& soccer ball thinking it is part of the Japanese Tsunami that happened 2 yrs ago. Also we had our radio on & heard the broadcast warning about the earthquake off of the Big Island of Hawaii, but no tsunami. These 2 days were a pleasant sail in much diminished winds and lots of sun. Our Monitor wind vane is doing all the steering as we are sailing on a close reach and going where the wind takes us. The high is small and NE of us and were sailing in its exterior wind attempting to cross north of it, so far so good Your Amigos, Sailing the “Rum” line.   Sailors Run’s Hanalei,Kauai to San Francisco Days 4-5-6.   “Quick note” We love hearing from you all but please don’t hit the reply button on your computer when responding as it sends the entire adventure back to us through a slow long range radio communication. “Thank You”.   The stats: Day-4- 24hr.Run=127NM. Pos. Lat.30*30’N  Long. 155*40’W  Course 015*-060* Winds east to ESE 10-15kts. Partly cloudy with some small squalls. Day-5-24hr. Run=125NM. Pos. Lat 32*21’N  Long. 15*48’W  Course 010*-030* Winds east-ENE. 5-15kts. Partly cloudy with a few squalls about. Day-6-24hr. Run=112NM. Pos.34*19’N Long.154*35’W. Course 005*-025*True.Winds East to ENE. 5-15kts. Partly Cloudy with a few squalls.   Total hours of motoring so far=10hrs.   Top speed of trip so far happened on day-1 of 8.9knots.   Total miles sailed so far=806NM.   Estimated total miles to be sailed aprox.-2500NM.????   Estimated duration of passage=19+days??? It took 23 days last time we did it in 2006. Debris spotted the last 3-days. One 5-gallon Propane tank,  one thirty gallon plastic water tank, one 3’x4′ wooden crate, and various other small floats and debris.   The rest of the story. Debbie and I have pretty well settled into the passage making routine. Things are comfortable aboard as the winds have been light and the seas about 5 ft. after the first two days. Our watches are of no specific hourly pattern other than someone is always on watch. I tend to do more watches and Debbie spends more time in the Galley something that I enjoy “Very much” as esposa  is un Buena  cook. Hows that for Spanglish!! We both love playing BA HA Rummy so most afternoons we have a game lasting one to three hours. It was on day five during our game that I went on deck to scan the horizon for ship traffic something we do every twenty minutes. I was a little startled by what I seen. There on our starboard beam was a large ship bearing down on us. Now the first thing that rushed through my mind is that a small ship very close or a large one much further away. Debbie fired up the radar and I put out a security call on the VHF radio on channel 16. I stated my position and asked that the ship bearing down on me from the east come back to sailors Run. It was but a few long seconds and the radio crackled to life and the captain of the New Hampton ship reassured me that he had us in sight and would alter course to pass astern of us not to come any closer than two miles and bid us smooth sailing. I thanked him and Debbie reported that she had the ship on radar at a distance of 6-miles away. It was just a few seconds after clearing off the radio we got a call back from the ship inquiring about our destination. I explained even though it might not look like it we were headed for san Francisco and then I mentioned that my wife and I had been out cruising for the past 14-years and had covered some 74,000 NM. The skipper seemed truly amazed and wished all the best for the future and once again we cleared off. Ya, know you just don’t know when or where you might find “New Friends”. We also encountered three long line fishing boats on the night of our third day and seem to see at least one or two ships per day that appear either headed for California or away from there. The sail from the Hawaiian Islands to San Francisco is kind of a crap shoot as you can not just point the boat that way and go. The main reason being is the trade winds and current are dead against you. So our plan is sail north on starboard tack until we can lay San Francisco on any tack. Generally this happens up around 40*North Latitude, were hoping!!! Sailing the “Rum” line Your Amigos, Jeff& Debbie     Sailors Run’s Passage Kauai to San Francisco.    Days-7-8-9 June 2013.   The Stats:   Day-7-24hr. Run=126NM.- Pos. Lat 36*27’N. Long.  153*50’W. Wind ENE at 5-15kts. Skys partly cloudy. Waves 6-8ft. from ENE.   Day-8-24hr. Run=146NM.- Pos. Lat38* 18’N.Long.  152*41’W. Wind ESE 12-17 kts. Skys  partly cloudy during the day and some light drizzle at night. Waves 4-8ft. from east.   Day-9-24hr.Run=158NM. Pos. Lat.39*15’N. Long. 149*51’W. Wind ESE 15-17kts. Skys gray overcast 50% of the time, clearing at night. Waves from south at 3ft.   Total miles sailed so far=1166NM.   Fastest speed so far=8.9   Total engine hrs.  for passage=10.5 hrs.   Cabin temp on departure- June-3rd=84*F & Water temp. = 73*   Cabin Temp at 38*N-66*F. Water temp .  58*F.   No ship traffic nor debris  spotted the past 3-days     The rest of the story. All is well on board the Sailors Run. In some cases, maybe to good, especially when it comes to food. Lots of cruisers lose weight when on passage, unfortunately, we don’t suffer from that problem. We can’t figure out who to blame on this one!!  Yes,I must admit I go crazy shopping at Costco, it’s like there’s someone telling me to keep the boat totally provisioned, for at least 6-months. Not sure what that is all about? Now on the other hand Debbie loves to prepare great meals and these meals would stuff a ravenous “Viking in heat”. We also hate having left over’s as that just means more dishes and room taken up in the fridge. Yes ,we have a small freezer and an ice machine made by “KoldFront”. For now we are not fishing as we have no place to put the fish until we eat down into the freezer a bit. Just a quick explanation on how we meet our electrical needs while on passage. Now the equation to figure this out depends upon how much electricity you use. We have the fridge/freezer. several radios, two GPS units, computer, running lights at night, cabin lights at night,  radar, and a electric auto pilot that we seldom use except in light winds when we are motoring. The rest of the time the boat is steered by a Monitor wind vane that requires only wind to make it work. Now, that’s our needs and our sources of energy are two 55-watt solar panels, one 400 watt Air X wind generator, one 2000 watt Honda generator, and a 65 amp alternator on the main engine. So far on this passage the wind generator has been supplying about 70% of our needs as it produces day and night as long as you have ten knots of apparent wind or more. The solar adds to our power grid except at night or during cloudy weather or when shaded by the sails. Over the past nine days We have only ran the Honda generator for two hours and the engine for 10.5 hours  when the winds had dropped too low to maintain 2-3 kts. of boat speed. We are now playing the “Barometer Soup game” trying to achieve our destination, San Francisco. Day- 7, found us pretty much just going North and we are 1500+ miles off shore due east from San Francisco. On day 8 the winds strengthened as a low pressure system moved in just NW of us and started turning the trade winds so they had a southerly component to them and low and behold the escalator is fired up. Yes! we are turning to the east still on the same starboard  tack and it just gets better as the adverse current of about  1/2knot has gone away at 36*N and is actually with us now coming in from the west at nearly 1/2kt. We may just luck out as it appears we are going to have those winds going to the SW at 15+kts and they will be with us for several more days and were hoping they get us to the 140 degree latitude, where we can pick up the northerly gale normally found along that part of the California coast. “Knock on Wood”. Cruising the “Rum” line”: Your Amigos Jeff & Debbie   Sailors Run’s passage from Hanalai to San Francisco days 10-11-12. June 2013.   The Stats: Day-10- 24hr. Run=126NM. Pos. Lat. 39*39’N  Long. 147* 02’W. Weather- sunny wind SSW. 10-14kts. Seas from the south 3-4ft.   Day-11.-24hr. Run=159NM. Pos. Lat. 39*31’N. Long.143*52’W. Weather- cold front approaches from west. 90* wind shift SW to NW. 10-15+knots. Seas-4-5ft. SW to NW.     Day-12-24hr. Run =146 NM.  Pos . Lat.39*43’N. Long. 139*59’W Weather lots of squalls but not much water in them all from the NW.The winds are NW 10-15+ skys are 100% cloud cover and it seems cold. Swell is NW about 5ft.   Miles sailed so far=1667 NM.   Total engine hours= 11.5hrs.   Top speed so far= 9.4kts.   Miles left to go=Aprox. 880 NM.   The Rest of the Story: The sailing on Day-10 was some of the nicest of the trip so far. We had clear blue sky’s all day and a night time sky that was chucked full of “Diamonds”. Now, if we could just get the temperature back up into the 80’s it would be perfect . We are knocking on wood as I write this but nothing has broken so far with the exception of the flush control knob on the head(toilet) and that was easily permanently fixed with a longer bolt and some epoxy glue. Day-11 became more interesting as a cold front that we had seen coming on our weather fax approached. I explained to Debbie that we would most likely get hit with a sudden wind shift when the front hit us and to be sure and have everything secured as we could possibly take a sudden Jibe and be knocked over a bit!!  And what makes it worse is it was going to happen at night and she might be on watch. You know, sometimes you wish you had said nothing as now Debbie had all her senses on High Alert and was getting “Somewhat” anxious. I ran her through what we would have to do once more but. that only got her a little tenser. It was at about 10PM on my watch when suddenly Sailors run was hit with a blast of wind that pushed her far over and it had come with a roar, yet there was still no wind shift Debbie was up peering out into the obscure darkness saying “IT’S COMING!” I know it, should I get my foul weather gear on? I said I don’t think so as it will not take us long to set the boat right once it hits. It was every few minutes now we were getting these intermittent snorting gusts. Suddenly the gusts turned into one gradual wind increase that layed us over on the port side as the wind vane steered to keep up with the clocking winds. Deb and I both scramble outside into the cockpit and I look at the compass and we are now heading south and we want to go east. The wind is up over 20kts and we have lots of sail up. I start the engine as I have decided a CHICKEN JIBE was in order. I release the preventer on the main boom as Debbie gets ready to let the sail sheet fly. I use the motor just to make sure we get through the eye of the wind with the bow as both main and mizzen are slacked out and won’t have to be pulled in and out again to get on the port tack. In just a few short minutes the genoa moves across the deck and Debbie sheets it home on the new tack. Debbie turns to me, is that “it”. I assure her were good and she scampers below to get out of the wind and rain. I shut down the motor and reset the wind vane on the new tack. Once I’m back below Debbie starts explaining, how she saw it was. She said: it was just like there were these two big Winds snorting and blowing at each other until finally the NW wind defeated the SW wind. Day 12 was to be very different from the past 11-days. I now realize when you say “knock on wood” you best be doing it.” I forgot”. During the day we saw two ships and lots of debris in the water. It was about three in the afternoon that I noticed the servo rudder on the monitor had kicked up and was floating around on the surface rather than down in the set position steering the boat. We surmised something must have hit it causing it to release. Later about 9pm I notice the boat was way off course and a quick check on the monitor and it is apparent what is wrong. The servo rudder has now broken clear off and is being towed by the safety line behind the boat. I drag it aboard and two hours later Debbie and I reinstall it. You do this with a safety harness on dangling over the back of the boat more off the boat then on. Well that was a pretty easy fix as I had spare pipe. At 6-AM I was making some coffee as Debbie was sleeping and suddenly Debbie says “what’s that”?. She is hearing a very strange rubbing noise. Debbie ventures top sides and says you better get up here the main boom is broke and rubbing away on the mast. “Holly shit” what next. I secure the end of the boom by lashing it hard into the track in the mast then step back and study this one. The aluminum fitting on the end of the boom has broken off letting it drop out of the goose neck fitting. Now we still have a ways to go and we desperately need that main and we may very well be in a gale on approach to San Francisco. Suddenly I see the fix all I have to do is drill a new hole below where the other one broke out of and cut a couple of corners off the goose neck fitting that we might get the pin back in. This project took both of us three hours and lots of muscle on a rolling boat to make the repair. Now “Please let that be all”. After all it is Debbie and my 28th year Wedding Anniversary and if that isn’t amazing enough half of those years have been spent on this “Holiday” as we are in our 14th year of cruising. So now the party begins and let’s hope the only thing that pops is the cork out of the “Champagne bottle”. Trying to keepit together along the “Rum” line. You’re Amigos Jeff & Debbie     Sailors run’s Passage from Hanalei to San Francisco. Days 13-14-15. June 2013. The Stats: Day-13-24hr. Run=139 NM. Pos. Lat.39*52’N. Long.138*10’W. Weather-wind 14-15kts NW. Seas 6-10 ft. from the NW. A mostly sunny day. Day-14-24hr.Run= 175 NM. Pos. Lat 40*35’N Long.135*03’W. Weather- wind NW at 18-25kts. Seas 8-10 ft. from NW. Sunny trade wind skys. Day-15-24hr. Run= 168 NM.   Total miles sailed so far= Top speed so far= Lowest cabin temp=62*f Approx. miles left to go= The Rest of the story. On Day 13 Our anniversary turned out to be a good day at sea and Debbie cooked up “tender juicy Steaks” with baked potato sour cream and all. She also made cold slaw with mandarins, apples and carrots,Yum! Oh yea,couple of drinks Day -14 started off on the verge of disaster.  Debbie had just bundled up in a bunch of blanket with her hot water bottle  in her sea berth after being on watch for 3 hrs. The  62*f temperature is feeling really cold to us now. As I was taking over the watch I noticed a faint blip on the radar about ten miles out. I said “Debbie did you see this ship” and her reply was” no there was nothing there last time I looked at it”. I went outside into the early morning stiff breeze looking for the ship. I was unable to see it until it was only about 8-miles away passing astern of us. Going back below I turned off the radar as it was daylight now & I must admit I had gotten caught  up in reading my book and missed taking a look outside until I was 5-minutes late on our normal 15-20 minute schedule. As I climbed out into the cockpit I noticed that the ship that was astern of us had already disappeared over the horizon. When I swung around to look forward I was shocked to see a huge car carrying ship just 1.5 miles away and our boat, Sailors Run had just had a small squall passing over it. The wind direction had changed about 30* and we were sailing out directly into the path of the ship. I dove for the wheel fumbling nervously unlocking the wheel to gain control back from the wind vane steering system. Spinning the wheel hard to starboard we bared off to sail clear of the path of the ship. I watched the ship closely in case they had altered course in the direction we had headed. The ship steamed on by at about 16 knots missing us by about ¼ mile. Once the ship was past I went below and fessed up on my screw up to Debbie, all the time having a sick feeling in my stomach as that had been way to close. We have no idea if the ship had seen us as it had not called on radio channel 16 as they should have, nor was there any sign of them altering course; what might have happened is they had seen us and were passing close by when our wind vane was hit by a gust of wind and turned us to go under their bow. In hind sight I should have been up there at least 5-minutes sooner and since the seas were up 8-10ft. making seeing a ship any closer than eight miles most difficult to see and also knowing we are headed for a major shipping port I have decided we must run the radar all day and all night to be safe. WHeeeW!!! Your Amigos Jeff & Debbie     Sailors Run’s Passage from Hanalei to San Francisco days 16-17-18. June 2013.   NOTE: Please don’t hit reply when responding to this email. “Thanks”.   Stats: Day-16-24hr.Run=178 NM. Pos. Lat: 40*33’N  Long. 128*7’W. Weather -squally some sun, wind 15kts.NW,  seas 8-10ft.NW.   Day-17-24hr. Run=149 NM. Lat: 39*47’N. Long. 126*18’W. Weather-sunny with wind from WNW 0-12kts. Seas,4 ft. from the west. Day-18-24hr. Run=   Total miles sailed so far=   Top speed so far =   Distance left to go=   The rest of the story. Day 16-was a squally day that helped us along our way making good speed in the squalls. We are now having some kind radio transmission problem and I ended up sending the adventure twice as the modem didn’t record that it had already been sent.”Sorry about that”. We aren’t at all sure if we can get this one out so we will see what happens. The Faucet in the bathroom [head], is leaking wasting precious water so I’m trying to fix that. Day 17- our winds start going light and it actually warms up enough to hang out outside. Around 9am we put the spinnaker up in dying winds and sailed dead down wind with the Spinnaker and Genoa both poled out giving us a pretty good turn of speed. The center of the high is overtaking us and at 3pm we have to splash up the diesel to maintain steerage and try and get to the wind that is blowing good along the coast.  Debbie likes the “motor boat ride”. As for me “no thank you” as it is slow as we only motor at half throttle doing about 4.5kts. We can almost smell the land as we are truly drawing near and it is at this point that I actually start to look forward to it. Day 18