All Posts by Jeff

AROUND ALONE DAYS 199-200-201

LOOKING OUT TOWARDS THE WATER FROM ON TOP OF FRIENDS HOME WHERE JEFF WILL BE COMING FROM

LOOKING OUT TOWARDS THE WATER FROM ON TOP OF FRIENDS HOME WHERE JEFF WILL BE COMING FROM

Total Miles sailed so far=24,921nm.

Miles sailed last three days =422nm.

Distance left to go to finish line off Bahia Caraquez,Ecuador=187nm.

Top Speed so far =4.1kts.

DAY-199.
24hr.Run=137nm. Pos. Lat.07*00’S. Long.82*09′ W. Weather=Bar=1006mb. Wind=SE 12-15kts. Seas= SE 6-8ft. Cabin Temp=78*-83*

Today we find ourselves sailing along in slightly lighter winds that are forecast  to drop even a little more in two days.
At last today I caught a small 24-inch Dorado weighing approximately 4 lbs and cooked it up. It will be enough for two dinners. Yea! fresh food from the sea!!
It was later in the afternoon, as the winds were moderating, that I went forward to slide the block aft on “Patches” so I could let her all the way out to gain speed. I grabbed hold of my forward lower shroud on the lee-side of the mizzen mast as a hand hold and felt it start popping strands as it became very loose.
I scrambled back to the cockpit dropping the mizzen sail to unload the mast and took the halyard forward to the hawser hole amidships on the leeward side where I attached it and tensed it up to help stabilize the mast.
It was then that the I thought about had the forward lower shroud on the windward side had let go, that it would have popped right off and most likely the deck mounted mizzen mast would have toppled into the sea.
I made up a monkeys fist of sorts and tossed a string over both spreaders on the mizzen mast, so I could pull in a line up over them and around the mast and tie a long bowline knot into it enabling the mast to be supported enabling me to retrieve my one and only halyard on that mast. Now I could pull my set of blocks aloft for hoisting me up the mast to replace the unraveling shroud with a piece of 5/16′ line. This project would have to wait until day light as now it was already getting dark.
I saw a small fishing boat pass within 1-2 nm. of us during the night, on one of my looks up top side

DAY-200.
24hr.Run=144nm. Pos. Lat.04*58’S. Long.83*27’W. Weather =Bar=1004mb. Wind=SE 10-15kts. Seas=SE 6-8ft. Cabin Temp=76*-83*

I began my day at 5 am anxious to make the Mizzen operational once again. The breeze was up and we were close reaching at 7 kts in 6-8 ft seas.
I hoisted the blocks aloft on the halyard and attached the bosun chair to the end of them.

As I was climbing into that chair many things were running through my mind, like we are going pretty fast already, maybe this could wait, and if one of those shrouds that are only 5-years old failed what about the other five that now my life is going to have to depend on. I wondered what it might be like to ride the mizzen mast into the sea, and I was unable to visualize a good way to do it. Oh well, at least I had my inflatable life jacket on as a safety harness.
I began pulling myself aloft with my go-pro camera strapped on my head to record the event .It was fortunate I didn’t have to go up over 25 ft but even at that, there were a couple of times that I came loose from the mast flying out and slamming into the shrouds that were trying to “slice and dice” me and then back into the mast where I hit the camera into the mast and the camera in turn took a bite out of my skin at the bridge of my nose.
Once I was at the spreaders I could see that only three of the 19-strands were still holding the shroud aloft. I quickly inspected the other three terminations at the spreaders and they seemed to be “golden” and I hope they will stay that way for the remainder of this voyage.
It was easy to pop off those final 3-strands and I tossed the shroud clear of the boat and into the sea where it streamed alongside the boat as it was still attached to the chain plate below.

Now I pushed the “stem-ball” fitting up out of the spreader position and replaced it with the 7/16″ line that I tied a figure eight “jam-knot” into and sucked it down onto the cup of the hole it passed through.
Once on deck I rigged up a small set of blocks and tensed up the line so that I could remove the long bowline knot and clear the sail track for the mizzen sail. Soon the sail was up and we were all powered up once again.
I believe the rigging on the mizzen is a substandard wire at least not 3/16 stainless as it shows signs of some rusting and I will replace all the shrouds on this mast before putting to sea again.

DAY-201.
24hr.Run=141nm. Pos. Lat.03*16’S. Long.82*09″W. Weather=Bar=1004mb. Wind=SE 10-15kts. Seas=4-6ft. SE. Cabin Temp.72*78*

Still sailing along nicely and just received an email from a friend that Ecuador just had another 6.8 earth quake in the early morning hours. I was anxious to hear if Debbie was all right and I got an email from her letting me know she was.
The earth quake occurred as she was sleeping in her tent under the eaves of the house and she awoke to the screams of a neighbor as the quake began. Debbie bolted from her tent getting clear of the house and ran down into the garden area where our friends were getting out of their tent.  Debbie said that nothing too much really happened right there around them as the earthquake was deep in the ground and no tsunami warning was issued, also the military started immediate patrols of the area to check things out and keep the peace.
It was later in the day when Debbie was at Puerto Amistad and the marina office that another tremor was felt and they all rushed out of there to the middle of the street and she said the girls from Amistad were all frightened and crying as they hugged each other. Pilar, the office head received a phone call that her father had fallen and hit his head and wasn’t breathing, so Debbie and Pillar went with the new owner of Puerto Amistad whom is also a doctor and raced out about 30-minutes to where her father lived. When they arrived other family members were there but Pilar’s father lay dead upon his bed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pillar and her family. Sometimes we fail to remember just how fragile life is.
I’m hoping to arrive at the finish line on Friday and must get there by 2:30pm to be taken in across the bar, and it’s going to be very close as to whether I make it in time or not.
I received more information on salty water yesterday from a friend and sailor,a former California water district employee, and he said that one of their wells was putting out water at 1100 parts per-million salt and they considered that potable although their customers complained about the salty taste and he says that they believe that you can drink water up to 2000 parts per million without harming your body, of course it would taste salty.
My current water supply is down to three quarts and I’m good through Sunday and I better “damn” well be there by then; the “Lord” willing.
Last night I seen eight-ships pass during the night, the closes one came was within 3-miles.

On “watch” preparing for “shoring-up” the J

AROUND ALONE DAYS 196-197-198

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Total Miles sailed so far=24,499 nm.

Miles sailed last 3-Days=412 nm.

Miles left to go to finish off Bahia=581 nm.

THE REST OF THE STORY:

DAY-196 24hr.Run=103nm. Pos. Lat.13*28’S. Long.87*44’W.Weather:Wind =ENE-ESE 10-6-12kts. Seas=SW 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=76*-80*.Bar=1010mb

The SE- trade winds have begun to fill in at last. Now I must pray “Patches” will hold together for this final dash to the finish, in the building trade -winds.
Last evening I was once again treated to an amazing “green flash”, and if it is possible to record one in a video, I surely have it!
It was during one of my late night watch inspection, while panning the horizon that I spotted a huge bright glow coming from over the NW horizon. This glow was surely coming from a large fishing vessel that was all lit up harvesting the sea. We are now just 600 nm off the South American coast and converging with it. As always when a vessel nears land the hazards increase, and vigilance must also increase to stay clear of “harm’s way”.
The large fishing vessel over the horizon did not appear on my A.I.S. a bit concerning and I can only hope he has an A.I.S. receiver on board, receiving my signal as the receiver is much cheaper to purchase than the transmitter.

DAY-197.
24hr.Run=148nm. Pos. Lat.11*21’S. Long.86*34’W. Weather=Bar=1008mb. Wind=E-SE12-18kts. Seas=SE-6-8ft. Cabin Temp=78*-80*.

Sailors Run is now “hauling ass” in the SE Trades! Yahoo!!

Debbie is waiting for me in Bahia and has fresh salt free water that she will bring out to me once across the finish line should I need it. It is possible when I arrive that I might miss the high tide to get across the bar and might have to anchor in the “open road-stead” anchorage off shore overnight.
I would like to share with you one of the hardest things about a voyage solo around the world unassisted south of the 5-great capes.
In my mind it has to be remaining “confident” of your abilities to pull it “all off”.

I must admit that this is very difficult when you and your small vessel are thousands of miles from the nearest help in perilous seas and winds caused by numerous gales and storms over a duration of 4.5 months. This scenario is a huge grinder chafing away at your “personal metal”; something far greater than one can even imagine.
The “Confidence” that is required comes from your knowledge and experience that you bring along about sailing in heavy weather conditions on a well-designed boat. That confidence is shored up and supported by the beliefs of friends and family, that you can do it.

Let me give you a couple of examples: Debbie is my greatest supporter and continually tells me and others I’m the best sailor she knows and I can do this voyage.

Another example is like when I was completing my first rounding of “Cape Horn” back in 2009 and was sailing up the Rio De Plata river a shallow 200-nm body of water approaching Buenos Aires Argentina. I was exhausted and wanted to make the marina at Yacht Club Argentino before dark.

I started up my Perkins diesel and motor sailed a knot faster than I could go without the motor. It was after only two minutes the engine sized and was a total loss. I hadn’t checked the oil as I knew it was full, but because of a knock down in a storm and a broken dip stick tube all the oil was outside the engine in the drip pan.
I’m not a wealthy person by any stretch of the imagination, and this engine scenario was going to cost me 13,000 dollars and Debbie was all excited to celebrate with me in Buenos Aires the successful Cape Horn Trip.

Now all of these events had shattered my confidence and I was seriously thinking about running the boat up on the beach and walking away. I ended up pulling my emails and there was this one brief email from my friend “Willy” and he seemed to know right where I was at in my mind and he wrote this “Jeff you have successfully rounded the greatest cape of all, Cape Horn and you are nearly there, now just “kick its Fnn ass and sail that boat right into Yacht Club Argentino and grab onto something”.  You cannot imagine how that shored up my confidence and suddenly everything became perfectly clear, and simple what I had to do.
So I just want to say ,Thanks to all of you out there that have encouraged me and shored up my confidence helping to make this voyage a success. I do believe we all get by with a little help from our friends.

DAY-198.
24hr.Run=161nm. Pos.08*59’S. Long.85*26’W. Weather=Bar=1007mb.Wind=E SE 15-20kts. Seas=ESE 6-10ft. Cabin Temp=78*-80*.

Trade winds continue to build and we find ourselves close reaching on course with good speed.

Today I became alarmed when suddenly 22 targets appeared on the A.I.S. Once I started pulling the target list up I seen that they were all over 600 miles away. It seems that there was some sort of atmospheric conduit that had opened up the propagation for me to be able to receive these signals, and after about 15 minutes they disappeared off the A.I.S.
Still no rain and I’m still making coffee with the much too salty water, just trying to weather through this drought for a few more days.
I have not yet resorted to drinking my “urine” My daughter “Ginger” thoughtful like she is, suggested that I serve it up in a nice tea cup and add some “herbs” and sip it like an exotic tea. Now I’m sure most “exotic teas” have a name and possibly this one should be called “Me-Tea”; what do think “mates”.
Slipping along thinking about “sipping it up” the Jefe’.

 

AROUND ALONE DAYS 193-194-195

YAHOO,YIPPEE!! SAILORS RUN AND JEFF GETTING CLOSER TO BAHIA CARAQUEZ, ECUADOR

YAHOO,YIPPEE!!
SAILORS RUN AND JEFF GETTING CLOSER TO BAHIA CARAQUEZ, ECUADOR

Total Miles sailed so far=24,069nm.

Miles sailed last three days=200nm.

Distance left to go to finish off Bahia=975nm.

Top Speed so far= 14.1kts.

The rest of the Story.

Day-193  24hr.Run=58nm. Pos. Lat.16*56′. Long.87*58’W. Weather=Wind=W 4-8kts. Seas=W. 4-8ft. Cabin Temp=75*-80* Bar=1010mb

Sailing once again is slow as we try to get clear of the center of the high.
We had a close encounter with a 120-ft. Ecuadorian fishing vessel “Bandana” that set off the A.I.S.-Alarm. I tried contacting the vessel on VHF-radio, as it appeared the 120 ft. fishing vessel was bearing down on me.

After several attempts the skipper came back to me in Broken English, assuring me that there was no problem and he was altering course. I used my best broken Spanish to let him know all was “muy bueno” with that he chuckled into the microphone and passed ½ mile off my stern.

What seemed pretty funny is that as he passed behind me there was a large school of tuna jumping out of the water off my port bow happily frolicking about, swimming clear of both vessels.

Day-194 24hr.Run=63nm. Pos. Lat.16*08’S. Long.88*09′ W. Weather=Bar=1010mb. Wind=NE-SE. 0-12kts. Seas= S. 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=75*-81*.

In the early morning hour’s, the winds remained light as I slowly moved forward hoping to find the SE-Trades.
Today was the day I had hoped to avoid, as both water tanks were exhausted of all water and only a fine “fog” ushered forth from the spigot in the galley sink.
My next attempt at water recovery was to retrieve the water from the hot water tank. I pulled the high pressure blow off valve off of an upper portion of the tank, and water began to bubble forth. I was using a funnel and a two litter bottle to collect the water, and after a while I had used many old 2-liter pop bottles from my recycled plastic waste department.
Once the water was below the level of the whole created by removing the blow off valve I resorted to using the 06-Pur water-maker as a pump to get at the remaining water down in the tank. Towards the bottom the water appeared rusty and I left that in the tank.
The 6-gallon water tank gave me 5-gallons of salt tainted water with readings of 1480 ppm to 1800 ppm. readings on the salinity tester.
It was pointed out by friends of mine in the medical field that the law in the US requires drinking water to be less than 500 ppm and in Mexico it is required to be less than 750 ppm possibly because of all the Tequila they drink their kidneys can handle more salt.

They also “recommended” that I drink my “urine” rather than the salty water, as it would be safer. I just have to say if I was worried about safety I would “never” circumnavigate via the “5-great capes”.

So after not too much deliberating about this I have come to the conclusion that since I have drunk no “Rum” for over two months my kidneys need a little adventure and I hope for a week or so they will see me through “urine free”.
As dinner time rolled around I figured I would combine one of the water recovery ideas with cooking. When I steamed the whole grained brown rice I had a cup placed in the center of the 4-quart pan and the lid turned upside down on the top so the steam would be diverted into the cup off the knob on the pot lid. After 40-minutes of steaming the 1-cup of rice in 2.5 cups of water my yield in the cup was 1.5 ounces of salt free water. That was not much but I dumped it into the coffee pot to reduce the salinity on my next batch of coffee.

Day-195.
24hr.Run=79nm.Pos. Lat.15*00’S. Long.88*18’W. Weather=Bar=1010mb.NE-SE. 4-12kts. Seas=4-6ft. S. Cabin Temp=75*-80*.

Still no trades even though for about 4-hrs the winds were up a little and we were moving pretty well.
Last night some showers came our way and I set about trapping water on deck, but by the time I was set up the rains stopped. At least now I have clean decks and sails for the next shower if it comes.
The past two mornings I have found flying fish on deck, usually a good sign for improved fishing. I have had little luck fishing I believe mainly because the boat is seldom moving fast enough to cause the lures to be effective.
I saw another Cargo Ship on the A.I.S. last evening but it never came any closer than 25-miles and appeared to be headed in the direction of Callao,Peru the largest port on the west side of South America.
This evening I watched as the sun dipped below the horizon, and was treated to the most magnificent “green flash” I have yet to see. I believe because I stepped up on to the coming around the cockpit just as it started to happen and then the boat rose up on a wave that caused the green flash to last for a full 3-seconds and it was a real “ooh-ahhh-ooh” event, followed by a beautiful sunset.

I guess there are still more wonderful things for me to experience on this voyage and possibly “King Neptune” and the Mayan Wind God “Quetzalcoatl” [most likely misspelled] have teamed up to keep Sailors Run and crew out here just a little longer.
Still “ghosting along” in the Pacific the Jefe’.

 

AROUND ALONE DAYS 190-191-192

Total Miles sailed so far=23,801nm.

Miles sailed the last 3-days=301nm.

Distance left to go to finish=1124nm.

Top speed so far = 14.1kts.

THE REST OF THE STORY:

Day-190.
24hr.Run=66nm. Pos. Lat.20*54’S. Long.90*29’W. Weather:Wind-NNW 4-10kts. Seas:4-6ft.W. Cabin Temp=72*-80*Bar=1010mb

Wind is up a little today, yet still very light.The good thing is I can almost steer the desired course, a big improvement.

I have received many great ideas from many of you out there, on how to help elevate my water shortage problem. I will name a few just for every body’s benefit.
1-A quick and easy one is a 4-quart sauce pan on your stove with a cup secured in the middle of it and salt water poured in around the cup[not over the cup], then place the pot lid upside down on the pan and boil salt water, and then the steam condensing on the lid will run down to the knob and drip into the cup.
2-Another great idea is take your pressure cooker and either by removing a pop up or drilling a hole in the top attach a copper tube and coil it as a condenser so that steam is cooled and converted to fresh water that runs out the end of the tube. Plastic tube could be substituted for copper as long as it didn’t taint the taste of the water.
3-A solar still comprised of a pop or beer can with top cut off filled with sea water than take a 2-liter plastic pop bottle with top on cut hole in bottom for can and roll bottom of pop bottle up inside creating trough around the inside of the bottle and set in the sun, its suppose to work.
4-Use hand operated water-maker to pump salty tainted water in tank through water maker to yield more fresh water quicker and save discharge water for other cleaning uses on boat.
Of course the first two ideas require that you have enough propane to boil the water, I’m not sure I do, but as a last resort I will give it a go.
The water maker one is a good idea but my water-maker refuses to produce any product water from any source at this time.
John from the yacht Nakia reminded me that the hot water tank has a back flow preventer on the bottom of it, and the only real way to get the water out of the tank is to remove that back flow device at the bottom of the tank. So I logged that good info.
I’m going to make it in ok and I checked the specifications on my life raft and there is 3-liters of 17-year old water inside of it that could be used if need be.

Day-191.
24hr.Run=104nm. Pos. Lat.19*31’S. Long.89*30’W. Weather: Wind=NNW4-12kts. Seas =SW 6-8ft. Cabin Temp=75*-79*Bar=1010mb.

Today winds are up just a little and sailing on course.
I decided to build a 6-volt battery for my water salinity tester, as the factory battery had died and I didn’t have a replacement. I taped 4-AA-batteries into a bundle, placing every other one + end up. On the bottom of the battery pack I soldered two separate parallel bare copper wires connecting the negative ends of two batteries to the positive ends of the other two batteries creating two 3-volt batteries. On top of the battery bundle I connected the negative of one three volt battery to the positive of the other one, and that gave me 6-volts at the two remaining terminals where I soldered Two wires and connected them in the meter where the normal 6-volt battery would hook up, and of course the meter turned on.

This enabled me to fill a cup with the salty water from my tank and read the salinity. According to my “Pur” water-maker manual any product water over 1500 parts per million should be discarded. My meter read 1480 parts per million making the water just barely yet still drinkable.

So for now I’m still drinking coffee with extra sugar as long as water lasts in tank???? I feel much relieved to have this additional water, and we will see how long it lasts.
Day-192.
24hr.Run=131nm. Pos. Lat.17*43′ S. Long.88*23’W. Weather:Wind NW 8-12 kts Seas=W. 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=75*-78*Bar=1010mb

Sailing along nicely picking up favorable current, and it is most likely the outer edge of the Humboldt Current.
I can see the trade-winds getting closer and should start to get into them within 24 hrs. Once I pass through the transitional area where I will be slowed for at least 12-hrs. I can get moving again.
Debbie is reporting in from Bahia Caraqez, Ecuador where she is sleeping out in the yard of our friend’s house in a 3-man tent. She says there are people sleeping in tents on the streets of Bahia. She also mentioned that they tried opening the Tia store in the down town section and the people all went in and looted it. So now it is closed until security is beefed up enough to reopen. Debbie says there are lots of soldiers on the streets making things pretty safe and a few stores are open with lots of security.
There were deaths in Bahia when some large buildings collapsed.
Tripp has sold the marina and it is open under new owner and management with most of all the old employees still there. The Puerto Amistad restaurant should be open by the time I get there.
This is a pretty good example of what I eluded to several months before the earth quake ever happened, how hunger is our strongest driving force and very few people are provisioned to last more than a few days before they become desperate and will take what they need at what ever risk
We should all learn from this example as this was an unpredictable natural disaster, and they do happen in most places. I know its hard when you know there is a store two blocks away stuffed full of what ever you might want on a normal day, it’s those other days when that store becomes an ” illusion”, I’m talking about.
I had provisioned Sailors Run for approximately 7-months, and when all those lockers were jammed to the tops with goods it seemed almost ridicules that I should take so much stuff, but now I’m down to just about the same place in provisions as many people in Ecuador and from this perspective it causes you to think “sobering thoughts”.
Fortunate for me I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Watching the light grow larger and brighter as the Jefe’ gets “saltier” day by day.

 

AROUND ALONE DAYS-187-188-189

 

When we were in New Zealand at a going away party

When we were in New Zealand at a going away party

Total miles sailed so far=23,500nm.

Miles sailed last 3-days=171nm.

Miles left to go to finish off Bahia=1,404nm.

Top speed so far=14.1kts.

THE REST OF THE STORY:

Day-187.
24.hr Run=88 nm. Pos. Lat.21*52’S. Long.92*03’W. Weather=Wind=N 5-12 kts. Seas=N 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=73*80*Bar=1010 mb

Today the winds diminished through out the day and we sail through the night at 2-knots, under the star filled heavens above.
We are now so close to the SE-Trade Winds that I can almost taste them. They are about 100 nm. to the North of us.
It’s amazing to me how much I dwell on my water situation now that it is in short supply, water is something we take for granted normally. Tomorrow I will start pumping that water-maker for two hours instead of only one.
It has been suggested by Debbie and Al formerly from the yacht “Different Worlds” that I should pass on the coffee as it is a diuretic and just drink the water, and I just might have to do that.
Can you believe it? First I had to give up the alcohol, then variety in the foods I get to eat, and now give up “Coffee”; pretty soon there will be no difference between being “alive” and “dead”.

Day-188.
24hr Run=41 nm. Pos. Lat.21*46’S. Long.91*13’W. Weather=Wind=N 4-7 kts.Seas=SW 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=73*-80*Bar=1012mb.

Today my water-making came to a screeching halt! as the Pur-06 hand operated water-maker quit putting out product water.
I dug around and found my chemicals for cleaning the membrane of the water-maker, using the alkaline treatment and hopefully tomorrow we will be back in business.
Today we are ghosting along in very light airs and thankfully we are getting 110% out of “Patches” or we would not be moving at all.
Taking full advantage of the calm conditions I hoisted myself up the main mast in the bosun chair and replaced the flag halyard at the starboard spreader that had parted early on during the voyage. I also drug the 60 lb. CQR Anchor out of the aft locker and secured it on the bow roller where it normally rides, under more normal sailing conditions.
The anchor chain I will leave stowed below amid ships until we get a little closer to our destination, keeping that weight out of the forward chain locker.
I should mention Debbie is in Bahia and they are ready for me to get there. Hmmmmm!!!

Day-189.
24hr Run=42 nm. Pos.Lat.21*39′ S. Long.91*18’W. Weather= Wind=NE 0-7kts. Seas 4-6ft. SW. Cabin Temp=74*-79*.Bar=1011mb

Today I start out becalmed after a miserable sailing performance yesterday.
I pull my weather information via the single side band radio and feel disheartened as it appears the center of the high is moving to the north with us, keeping the trade-winds just out of reach of Sailors Run and crew. This pattern seems to continue over the next three days.
By mid-morning things have deteriorated even further aboard Sailors Run as the alkaline treatment has yielded no results on the water-maker, and it appears to be useless.
I now take inventory of my situation.
I have:
1-1/2 liters of good fresh water left.
3-1/4 liters of fruit juice.
20-cans of various vegetables/containing water.
10-large cans of a variety of fruits,peaches,fruit cocktail and pineapple.
28-cans of tuna.
The rest of the provisions are rice, flour and pasta most of which require water to make things with.
I plan to just eat the tuna, vegetables and fruit, plus pancakes for breakfast everyday.
I still have 1400 miles to go and once in the trades I will move fast, but for now just praying for wind as rain in this area is pretty unlikely.
I can not accept any help or take on any water or provisions before crossing the finish line at Bahia; “those are the rules”
“Rain dancing” in “prayer”, the Jefe’.

Puerto Amistad Yacht Club where jeff hopes to be sitting drinking a beer &  looking out at his boat

Puerto Amistad Yacht Club where jeff hopes to be sitting drinking a beer & looking out at his boat

AROUND ALONE DAYS 184-185-186

Around Alone Days-184-185-186.

Day-184.
24hr.Run=136nm. Pos. Lat.24*43’S. Long.97*41’W. Weather=Bar=1002mb.Wind=N 10-25kts. Seas=N 6-10ft. Cabin  Temp=75*-77*.

Day-185.
24hr.Run=147nm. Pos. Lat.23*19’S. Long.95*32’W. Weather=Bar=1006mb. Wind=N 10-22kts. Seas6-10ft.N. Cabin Temp=74*-76*

Day186.
24hr.Run=129nm. Pos. Lat.22*16 S. Long.93*37’W. WeatherBar=1009mb.Winds=10-15kts N. Seas=6-8ft.N. Cabin Temp=75*-78*.

Total miles sailed so far=23,329nm.

Miles sailed last 3-days=418nm.

Distance left to go to Finish off Bahia=1501nm.

Top speed so far=14.1kts.

The Rest of the Story:

Day-184.
Today sailing close to the wind pounding into 20-25kts of breeze, pretty much on course.
Later in the morning I found my self digging down into the “get out quick bag”, looking for the hand operated water maker. Once I had found it I turned over the sealed plastic it was wrapped in and read a warning on the wrapper that said this Pur-06 water maker must be serviced annually by an authorized dealer, Hmmmmmmm! Lets see I put it in the bag 17+ years ago and now I need it to make water today, Hmmmmmm!
Conditions are pretty rough to make almost anything but I decide the galley sink is the best place to set up this operation. I use a 2-gallon bucket to fetch salt water from over the side of the boat, then place it in the sink and drop the pick up line from the water maker in the bucket and place the waste water lie in the sink where it can drain out. The Product water goes into a 1-quart gator aid bottle.
Now you must purge the unit getting rid of the biocide preservative and that takes 80 strokes once you have water coming out of the product water tube.
My friend Eric warned me about this amazing piece of equipment and how much work they are, but until you actually experience it, it’s hard to imagine.
I pumped on the thing for an hour and had gone through at least 10gallons of salt water and felt for sure I should have a quart of drinking water. That however was not the case, what I did have was more like 5-6-ounces of drinkable water. Now this equates to 7-hrs of pumping just for the water to make a pot of coffee, Hmmmm! That salty water in the tank is starting to taste not so bad after all; you know just add more sugar.
I have decided I will make maybe half the coffee water with the water maker and get the rest from the salty stuff in the tank.

Day-185.
Once again great sailing today and seen the first cargo ship since New Zealand, as it showed up on the A.I.S. crossing our bow some 17nm. ahead of us. The ship appeared to be coming from Chili headed west.
Faced with a water shortage onboard you start thinking about things differently, such as now when I heat up vegetables for dinner I no longer drain the vegetables but instead drink that extra liquid that comes in each can, and any other liquid or juice like with the canned fruit. I also have 5-liters of apple and peach juice that I have held back on drinking for just such an occasion that I will be ration out over the remainder of the voyage.
I have 3-quarts of water in the get out quick bag that I can also use to help with the fresh water for coffee.
My friends Brent & Susan also reminded me that there should be several gallons of water in my hot water tank. I can get at that by using my Hooka compressor to blow all the water out of the lines as well as the tank
Well today Debbie flys out headed for Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador. I know she has a sleeping bag, but I don’t believe she has a tent. I can only hope if it rains she has enough “sense” to sleep under the bridge by a support column, “just kidding” I hope.

Day-186.
Great sailing today under trade wind clouds in blue skies and about 15-knots of breeze.
I have not yet reached the SE trades. The  high that helps fuel the trades is just NE of me and it looks like I will have to sail through a portion of the center to get into those winds that I will use to drive me to Bahia.
Since I have been dealing with this water shortage and pumping my arms off with this water maker, my thoughts have drifted all over this salt water thing, and something doesn’t seem to make sense. So here we go, as I deplete the water in my tank it becomes more and more salty. Now the pump sucks off the bottom of the tank, and that makes me think the salt water must be on top of the fresh water. The problem with that is I always believed that fresh water floats on top of the saltwater. Now if the salt water is actually floating on top of the fresh water does that mean that if you have enough hose out on the ocean you could weight it down and lower it to where you would be sucking up nearly fresh water????Hmmmm????
Getting saltier by the day the Jefe’.

AROUND ALONE DAYS 181-182-183

J & ME IN KAUIA

Missing info from Days 178-179-180.
Miles left to go to finish off Bahia=1976nm.

Total miles sailed so far=22,911nm.

Miles sailed last 3-days=129nm.

Miles left to go to finish off Bahia Caraquez=1883nm.

Top speed so far = 14.1kts.

DAY-181. 24hr.Run=50nm. Pos.Lat.26*41’S Long.100*16’W.

Weather=Bar=1007mb. Wind=W-N8-10kts. Seas=W-N 6-8ft. Cabin Temp=71*-74*.

Today I find myself staring at my “weather” information, “rubbing” my head trying to figure out how to keep Sailors Run moving.

It seems the highs and lows are forming right where I am, and the pressures in the lows are the same as the pressure in the highs. I honestly don’t “know” how they know whether they are to be a high or a low. I can only guess it just depends upon which way they spin first as here highs rotate counter clockwise and lows rotate clockwise.

The thing I do know for sure is there is very little wind from any direction, making progress for Sailors Run nearly impossible.
My concerns are that when Debbie gets to Bahia Caraquez she will be sleeping outside as many of our friends cannot enter their homes until they are inspected and determined to be safe.

Now with the many aftershocks they are having 4-6 magnitude most people are content to be outside. Fortunately, the temperature is normally in the 80s both day and night and very little rain.
Debbie has purchased a sleeping bag and is gearing up for the conditions that await her. I on the other hand feel pressed to get there and provide shelter for her.

DAY-182. 24hr. Run=35nm. Pos. Lat.26*34’S Long.99*51’W.

Weather=Bar=1008mb.Wind= N-NW.0-6kts.Seas=6-8ft.SW. Cabin Temp=73*-76*.

Today spent 75% of the time “becalmed”.

Feeling frustrated and needing to get moving, it is once again time for “Patches to come down, for what else “more patches”.

Soon I find myself aloft in the boson chair, swinging around on the end of the stay sail halyard. It wasn’t easy but finally managed to separate the outer jacket on the halyard that had been hanging up where it enters the mast, so that it could be pulled off the core exposing 60-feet of core.

I then sewed the new replacement halyard to the core and pulled it in to the mast and reattached it to the Genoa.
Of course “Patches was now down on deck and I began the patching process, and only managed to get one 18-inch double patch completed before it got too late.

DAY-183. 24hr.Run=44nm. Pos.Lat.26*05’S. Long.99*38’W.

Weather=Bar=1005mb Wind=SW-N -10kts. Seas= SW 6-8ft.Cabin Temp=74*-75*.

Once again I find myself with my “butt” planted on the fore deck sewing away on “Patches”. I install a second double patch some 25-inches long and glued two more small double patches on with “dinghy hypalon glue”.
Soon the sail is back up on the furler and now we must wait for some breeze to sail by.

Someone recently asked me what I was going to do with “Patches” after the voyage.

My first thought was a huge “bonfire” where me and all my friends wearing voodoo masks danced around “naked” as “Patches” went up in flames.

Now that was my idea, another friend, Patty had a great idea, that when I write the book about this “epic” adventure, I put a small piece of “Patches” in each of the first 10,000 copies sold, and that seems like a better idea. Now I just have to figure out how to get my publisher to do that.

My canned chicken is all gone now and all I have left is canned tuna for the rest of the voyage unless I catch something.
My water supply is less than good, as it seems as I near the bottom of the tank the salinity is going up. It is possible that some salt water was introduced into the tanks either from storm waves breaking on deck and being forced into the tanks by the air vents, or from collecting water on a less than salt free deck.
So now it is time to pull out the hand operated water-maker and pray that it works????
Feeling a little too “salty” the Jefe’.

 

 

 

AROUND ALONE DAYS 178-179-180

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Around Alone Days-178-179-180.

Day-178. 24hr.Run=144nm. Pos. Lat.28*50′ S. Long.102*54’W. Weather=Bar=1005mb Wind=NW 10-25kts. Seas=NW 8-10ft. Cabin Temp71*-74*.

Sailing fast today, dropping down the mizzen when winds exceed 25 kts. to maintain a better course down wind.
Before I left on this voyage my friend John was looking at all the canned goods that I was taking along, and he said you better make sure you have two can openers.
I already had one nice one I had paid like 9-dollars for, so picked up a second cheap one in Ecuador for like $1.50, and figured I was set. Now after nearly 6-months and many cans later neither of those two can openers works. Although the cheap can opener opened twice as many cans as the expensive one. Fortunate for me I have two “leather man”, multipurpose tools; you know the ones with pliers and knife blades, saws, files, etc. Now the can openers on those tools are tough and work perfectly every time with no moving parts except your muscles.

Day-179. 24hr.Run=106nm. Pos. Lat.27*45’S. Long.101*50’W. Weather=Bar=1005mb.Wind=NW 7-10kts. Seas=W 6-10ft. Cabin Temp=73*-76*

Today is a nice sunny day with much lighter winds and the thermometer actually hits 76*. I used to believe that 75* was the perfect temperature but after spending so many years in the little latitudes and out on the water, I now believe 86* is perfect.

Now with approximately 2-weeks left to go I must begin to prepare myself for reentry, back into a more complex life with stimuli coming from many different directions, and watch as the oneness of the “solo sailor”, slowly vanishes, being left out upon the sea.
I must now be especially cautious, and aware, as I’m not yet there, waiting until I’m safely moored up inside, upon the Rio Chone River to finally let down.
This particular voyage is one huge block of consciousness, that I’m sure will linger in my mind forever.

All my previous adventures will pale in comparison to this one, and I doubt I will ever do anything to compare to it in either my future sailing or otherwise.
I’m just truly glad that I have had the opportunity to share this experience with many others, and hope it will possibly in some way help them to step up and take on their next big adventure.

SPINAKER

Day-180.  24hr.Run=75nm. Pos. Lat. 27*12’S. Long.100*51’W. Weather= Bar=1005mb. Wind=W-6-10kts. Seas=W 6-10ft. Temp 73*-75*

The winds just seem to becoming lighter, and I knew this route might not be the fastest but I have opted for the safer route. We have been flying the spinnaker for the past 17 hours and the winds have stayed light.

A very good friend of mine Wayne asked me what food do I miss the most. I started thinking about it and was drooling by the time I was done. One food wasn’t enough at this point, so I decided if I had my choice, my special meal whether it is upon my arrival to Bahia Caraquez or before they hang or shoot me, would go like this.
Nice greasy fried chicken, homemade French fries with tartar sauce, Tossed green salad with blue cheese dressing, A “grape float”[ice cream and grape pop];now that is not desert as desert would be a couple of rum and cokes and “Debbie”, and of course there is nothing wrong with having “Desert First”.
Trying to get there the Jefe’.     DSCN0192

Total miles sailed so far=22,792nm.

Miles sailed last three days=325nm.

Miles left to finish at Bahia=1976nm.

Top speed so far =14.1kts.

AROUND ALONE DAYS 175-176-177

Sailors Run sailing along

Sailors Run sailing along

Day 175. 24hr.Run=139nm. Pos.Lat.33*00S. Long.106*33’W. Weather=Wind=N 20-30+kts. Seas=N 8-15Ft. Cabin Temp=72*-74*. Bar=998mb

Day-176. 24hr.Run=153nm. Pos. Lat.31*32’S. Long.104*53′ Weather=Wind=NW 12-30kts. Seas=NW. 8-12ft. Cabin Temp=71*-75*. Bar=1001mb

Day-177. 24hr.Run=85nm. Pos. Lat.30*45’S. Long.103*54’W. Weather=Wind=5-15kts.NW. Seas =6-10ft. SW-NW. Cabin Temp=71*75*. Bar=1004mb

Total Miles Sailed so Far=22,467nm.

Miles sailed last three days=377nm.

Miles left to go to finish=2,243nm.

Top speed so far=14.1kts.

THE REST OF THE STORY;

Day-175.
Once again “Sailors Run” is put to the test, pounding hard to weather in very rough seas under reefed mizzen, stay sail and tiny bit of “Patches”.

The SW swell at 10-feet colliding with the wind waves that are up to 15ft. from the N. causes us to “Bang and Crash” forward somehow towards our destination.
I’m hoping to pick up the SE trades in about 3-days and leave the worst weather behind us in our wake.
We are still sailing on into uncertainty as yet there is no word back from Tripp Martin at the Marina, whether or not the channel in to Bahia is open.
Debbie is doing all she can to get this info. She has heard the channel has moved, but not if it is still navigable.

Day-176.
Today the sailing is great, and the winds are down a little, as well as the seas.

I’m down to my last big chocolate bar and they will be greatly missed, however I have a big bag of chocolate chips that will pick up some of the slack in the “sack” department. I believe I only have 5-more “Top Ramon” breakfasts, before I go to pancakes every day. Dinners seem to be holding out for now.

I should mention that Electronic Latitude 38 for April had a nice article on the “Circumnavigation”, check it out on line. www.latitude38.com

I awoke about 5 am to screeching winds as a very powerful squall was upon us in the 50-knot range and the reefed main needed to come down.
I struggled to get clear of my berth on the low side as Sailors Run was pinned down hard on her side.

It seemed like forever to get the foulies and boots on before clamoring on deck. I clipped in and inched forward with spray and waves crashing about.

Once at the mast I grabbed the halyard to the main and let it fly, and hauled the sail down while clinging to the mast, in the wild conditions that were trying to pitch me off the boat.
It wasn’t until early the next morning that I discovered the strap that holds the double main sheet block had popped one of the 5/16″ rivets off, separating it from one of the two 4-wheel slides that run on the main sheet track. I made a temporary fix with a small bolt reattaching the strap. I believe this should hold till I get in.

Day-177.
After that big squall the winds died to where we were eventually becalmed for 4-hours, and we rocked and rolled in the cross swells, forcing me to reduce sail, thereby reducing the flogging. Eventually the winds slowly filled in and we were off once again “homeward bound”.
I got really great news in on the sail mail.

 

The email was from Tripp Martin congratulating me on the circumnavigation, and to let me know that they are waiting for my arrival in Bahia and that “YES” not only is the channel open but appears to be one meter deeper.

Tripp is doing all he can to take care of the cruisers and he expects power to be back on at Puerto Amistad in the next couple of days as well as the internet service.
Now I have to tell you I breathed a “huge sigh” of relief upon hearing that news.
Trying to keep it all together the “Jefe”.

 

AROUND ALONE DAYS 172-173-174

Around Alone Days- 172-173-174.

Day-172.
24hr.Run=81nm. Pos. Lat.34*20’S. Long.112*14’W.
Weather=Bar=1012mb. Wind NNW 4-12kts. Seas NNW 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=71-73*

Day-173.
24hr.Run=49nm. Pos. Lat.34*30 S. Long.111*17’W. Weather=Bar=1016mb. Wind=4-12kts. NNE. Seas= N 4-6ft. Cabin Temp=71*-74*.

Day-174.
24hr.Run=129nm. Pos. Lat.33*53’S. Long. 109*02’W. Weather=Bar=1004mb. Wind=N 10-15kts. Seas= N 6-8ft. Cabin Temp.=71*-73*.

Total Miles sailed so far=22,090nm.

Miles sailed in last 3-days=259nm.

Distance left to finish line off Bahia=2,558nm.

Fastest speed so far =14.1kts.

The Rest of the Story.

Day-172.
Today we sailed on into dying winds that were nearly no existent by the end of the day.

It’s strange how things happen, as today both my Spot locator device and my outside GPS started acting up. The spot no longer has the right light configuration when you turn it on and seems to have failed. The Gps  hot power terminal on the GPS for the external power source has corroded away, and now requires new batteries every 24 hrs. Fortunate for me they are double AA batteries and I have a bunch of them. These two pieces of electronic equipment are the 4th and 5th pieces of electronic equipment to have failed do to the harsh “Southern Ocean” environment.

Day-173.
The winds are staying light as yet another low forms right on top of us. This area seems to be the nurturing source where the warm moist winds coming down from the north tend to start circulating over these cooler waters, and forming into low pressure systems that move off to the SE..
This becomes the challenge to any sailor out on the open ocean, and that is to marry the forces of nature to his sailing vessel into a harmonious relationship that powers them together across vast oceans.
One can only find peace of mind far out on the vast ocean by being confident in the seaworthy ness of his vessel, and the knowledge and experience that he, the skipper always has a plan to deal with whatever nature brings his way.

Day-174.
Today the winds are increasing and from a direction that is propelling us along on a favorable course. We have been pounding to weather for the last week, having to stay close to the winds of varying strengths to gain distance towards our destination.

Debbie just informed me that she read in Latitude 38, that I’m the oldest American to Circumnavigate via the “5-Great Capes”. The oldest person to do it was a Japanese sailor Minoru Saito 71 years old on a 50-footer back in 2004-5, and the oldest women is British Jean Socrates 70 years young on a 38 foot boat just a year or two ago.
Now this is a great honor, but I was kind of hoping to be the “Hottest Guy’ to solo the “5-Great Capes” as Debbie says I am! HA HA!
Well I just hope this feat entitles me to 50% off on everything it’s going to take to put “Humpty Dumpty” [Sailors Run], back together again.
Now come on “Finish Line”.
Anxiously looking for the “end”, the Jefe’