Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Overwhelmed since we arrived, I could not find the time to update this blog. Between the paperwork and registration of the boat, the cleaning and securing the mooring - far from done yet - and the pleasure to be together again. I don't talk about entertaining the ex-crew on land :)

Smaller boat, and no sail.
 Since then, we fixed the outboard.
Long story short, all is fine and we are super happy to be home and on Maui.
After all those weeks of slow pace and disconnected from the Internet, I am still a little bit off. Hard return to the reality. And soon, time to go back to work and normal life.
Normal life ? not so sure.
Life is not be the same after the crossing. Something has changed.
Maybe the understanding there is a different way of life out there.
Not yet "pinned it".
But there is "Traces" of it.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mexico-Hawaii Log7

  • Day 18
We still have wind at 3am. I hope to reach Lahaina fr lunch .
The plan: we are gonna take a mooring, pump the dinghy, row, try the harbor, go for lunch.
04:00 wind died. We motor.  40 miles to go at 5knt. Eta 12:00.
06:00 Haleakala ! land !
Still motoring at 6knots. 24 miles to go. Eta : Before noon.

Sunday April 26 2015, 8:30am HST

Mexico-Hawaii Log6

  • Day 15

Morning update: now, at least we have the sun and stars at night. But at what cost ? Those last few days the seas have been really annoying. Quite big, with at least two competing swells directions, short period and ill formed. It wear me down. Every move on the boat is costly, tiring and usually is paid in bruises and slides. Cooking is an experience by itself, a shower is a dangerous adventure. We crawl from one sitting position to another lying one. Reading inside the cabin feels like reading in a car : not for me. It has been a while I am not sea sick bit there are things that are forbidden to me. Daydreaming, napping and listening to music are my main activities. Taking the wheel is rewarding as usually we can ease the motion compared to the autopilot But it get old pretty fast and tiring in those seas. I always said it was not vacations but a boat delivery, now, I know why I was right. Once in a while it would be nice to prove me wrong :(
The good news : 420 miles   And less than 4 days to go. Closing in !

Realize it has been two weeks already. I am glad it will be over soon but I am gonna miss it too. Weird :) doing nothing is enticing somehow - lol.

  • Day 16

This morning, sun is shining and wind is blowing perfectly. This is ideal conditions and my moral is up. We are getting closer, I am not tired anymore and the sailing is great. What can we ask more ?

Today: it was a great sailing day with almost perfect conditions. I even took the helm just for fun a couple of hours. No kidding. We are trying to get a landfall before sunset Sunday. Based on the previsional course, it should fit - always weather depending. We took a little harder aim and push the boat a bit. Almost feel we are racing - indeed, if we arrive too late, likely we are gonna spend the night at sea waiting for sunrise to drop anchor in Lahaina. Then now we are on a beam, our fastest point of sail, but the motion of the boat is a little harder to handle. At that point, we accepted the fact that there is a lot of swell in the North Pacific. This is a big ocean and we understand better why Hawaii are the islands of surfing. We have been at the source of it...

In the boat, nothing broke recently and the routine is really in place by now. Conditions have been steady along the trip, and overall very few real actions were needed. We reefed and unreefed a lot, though,  and we are quite good at it now. Today is our 15th day at sea, and weirdly enough, does not seem to be that long and boring. Days fly by, you just have to let go your old habits if trying to do something. You handle the boat demands, and the basics body needs, and after, just let it be. It might be what real vacations are. Unplugging from reality. Some kind of cryogenisation of the mind.  A frozen stasis. Miles after miles. Hours after hours. Dots on a map figuring an improbable but real progress.

  • Day 17

Day-1: seems your (Christelle) previsional were good : we are on track to arrive tomorrow before sunset in Lahaina. We had a good 134nm yesterday, which makes us at 140nm Of the north tip of Maui. We are officially "safe" because under the range of a Coast Guard helicopter :) - we are likely to see some fisherman boat now We need to be a little more vigilante. We did not see any boat at all the last 3 or 4 days. Overall we crossed maybe 4 cargo path.

There is still plenty of wind for now and we are doing a good 6 knots at least. The cockpit is unfortunately a bad place to be except in swim shorts. The occasional wave can hit us hard on the beam and the spray would cover you - head to toe. Well, it is already sunny outside, it might be refreshing. We discovered 2 or 3 new leaks on the boat. Funny, leaks appears depending on your point of sail, that will be fun to track them down ! Last but not least, We switch the paper map from Pacific North West to Hawaiian Islands one. symbolic : we are very close now.It will have to be from the North. The wind is now pretty much SE and I don't think we could reach the South Tip anymore FW: But the wind is still very strong and we are doing good speed. At this pace, we could be in Lahaina for lunch :) let s see why happen tonight though.

Last update: we are very close now. Less than 12 hours from the channel between Maui and Molokai. I am feeling impatient. Now I feel the pressure of time again. We are greeted by a small low system on Maui that bring light SE winds, rain and clouds. We might have to motor for the last night. As we did not run the engine the last 10 days or so, we verified it was starting properly. I don't like last minutes surprises. No worries from this side, it purred first try as old as this boat, but solid quality - as the boat. So close from the finish line. I will spread my emotional jam in the next blog posts, for now, I ll stick to the facts. We covered more than 2200 miles in 18 days, across half of the pacific, literally in the middle of nowhere. I believe it is - if not news - a great personal accomplishment.
I want to thanks Gilles to have brought a dose of safety and sanity in this enterprise by accepting to crew for me and trusted the boat to be well prepared enough to reach the other end. Even if we did not encounter anything crazy along the way, knowing I count on on his experience was reassuring enough.
We are gonna celebrate this with French Champagne for sure ! Alright ! Almost there !

Saturday April 25th

Wind map April 25 9pm HST

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mexico-Hawaii Log5

  • Day 12

Not much going on a that point. Days start to repeat themselves. Wind did not shift yet and sky is still overcast. We have been 10 days at sea now and likely, the biggest part of the journey is behind us. We are making steady progress to the West at 6knots, 140 nm/day. The pace is around 7mph - I go  faster when I run :) - but the boat  goes on and on for hours. This keep astonish me. Only notable fact today was that I felt very tired, light headache and in a gloomy mood. Maybe the fallback of the stress if last week or the down of the energy level. Or just a small cold. It is still chilly on deck all day, with all those clouds. And the wind from the NE is cold as well. Hopefully the clouds will disappear as the wind shift, and it might even be tomorrow. But I have been saying that for days now. Anyway, white man problems at that point. The important is that we are on course, the weather is fine and the boat continues to sail herself. I am pretty sure she could reach Japan by herself no problem. She was made for this and she is doing it quite well, no doubts.

  • Day 13

Today: around 5am we had the good news if the wind shift to the East, meaning we could head toward Maui and South. Around 6am the wind picked up and then the bad news : on this tack, the windvane could not handle it. After investigation, there is too much play in some parts of the mechanism for such strain. We were ready to take he helm for the next 7 days which would have been serious strain. After 2 hours of tweaking, we found a balance between heading, sails and the windvane that seems to be working. Joining the party, the sun showed up later on. We are back on track, at a pace down a notch. That should not delay our arrival to the islands more than one day overall. With the slow pace, the downwinder and the sun, this really start to look like lazy vacation. Only the swell shake the boat every now and then to remind us we are still pretty far out in the middle of nowhere.

Felt better today. Not sure what was on me yesterday. Maybe just tiredness. We just passed the 3/4 longitude marker of the journey. I am still amazed how we are just cruising along in the middle of nowhere. Did  I mention we saw some dolphins here and there? There is life under our keel. To finally feel some sun on deck was relaxing. And I can tell already the night will be a little warmer too. It feels we are back on tracks.

  • Day 14

Interesting night so far. Of course, as soon as we realized our windvane was giving up, the wind decided to blow seriously. We had gust over 30 knots and the sea is still big, at least 3 meters waves. Gilles took the helm eventually as we were getting totally overpowered. Our limping autopilot couldn't handle this anymore. Now, for my watch the situation is under control but we are keeping close surveillance at the wheel. I don't think I have been at sea on those conditions yet. I am adjusting my references about what the boat can handle , the rig can yell, and the wind scream. Of course, no breaking waves at that point, it was always safe, still impressive. A boat is so noisy ... I read story of boat diving under waves, cockpit full of grey water, hard to imagine. Anyway, the good news is the heading is actually pretty good, and we are screaming our way in direct line. We will see what the remaining of the night got for us. In daylight, everything seems always more manageable. No wonder haunted houses are always pitch black. We like to scare ourselves here as well.

As for today, not much going on. Weather is quite similar than yesterday and we are making good progress. Seas are still very disturbed and quite big. That begin to wear on the crew. I don't think we had one day in calm seas since the beginning. I am glad it is coming to an end soon, I feel a bit tired. It will be good to be home, on a flat surface :)

Wednesday, April 23

Wind map April 23 2am HST

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mexico-Hawaii Log4

  • Day 9

Grrrr. Wind is perfect, waves are ... Well ... As usual ... Quite big ... But the sky is overcast!
The good news is myrrh was right and we are gonna cross the mid point of our journey today. Yeah! No return point.

We just crossed the half way mark. From now on it is easier to continue than to go back (from a sailing standpoint that was already true because of the prevailing winds east ), but still this is quite an achievement. Who knew.
The boat is behaving perfectly. We eventually bypassed the hot water tank - we are not taking showers anyway - and managed to bleed this damn engine fresh water circuit : we can even use the engine if we had too now. Between engine repairs and philosophical discussions - let a call them arguments - do not put two French in the same cockpit and expect to come to a consensus, the boat continue to sail herself in light winds and moderate seas, imperturbable. Except the glover at sun - we are still waiting for the sun - it would be perfect. My sixth sense tell me we should clear of clouds in one day. Add some playful dolphins and you have the perfect sailing postcard. We are so lucky to have been able to make this dream to come to a reality. Half of it, at least. For now.

  • Day 10

Today: back to the future. We decided to start to catch back on the HST as our clocks were still on Mexico time. We have 3 hours to catch in one week. Little bit like having the Daylight Saving time 3 times in a row the same week. But one hour at a time, we change our watches. The highlight of the day was the return of the sun, late afternoon. Still too cloudy  for a real sunset, but at least it was warmer on deck.
Surprise of the day was the first real gear failure with the windvane losing control after a line shafted and broke. Boat got weather helm, she just rounded up and wait for us to realize no one was at the helm. Fix was easy, but we will have to be more careful and look for shaffing there now. We replaced a halyard for re spinnaker, I.e. we are ready if the wind goes down, to try  that old asymmetric we found.
Last but not at least, we avoided a close encounter with another cargo ship. AIS warned us one half hour before predicted collision path, then we safely derouted a bit and slide 2 miles from it. Even at that distance, by night, those are really big and impressive. As for the sailing, it looks now we has the same sea and winds conditions for days. We are still reaching to much West, but we cannot go deeper than that with seas tormented like ours. Wind supposed to shift soon and will allow us to veer South. But overall, we are making good progress and will be back home soon.

  • Day 11

Today : French haute couture. We brought down the genoa today, leveraging a below of average wind. This genoa is really big, 140%, and even in only 10 knots of wind, it was challenging for the two of us. After that, we started sewing the leech. Sewing sail cloth - Dacron - by hand,  is not an easy task, ask our poor fingers. We made slower progress than expected, and ended sewing all day, both of us. Just as the sun was going down,we managed the put the sail up. Broken back, crying eyes, bloody fingers, but it worked. Let s hope it hold until Hawaii now. Except that ? Not much. The boat continues to sail herself, The sun continues to hide behind the clouds, and the waves actually receded a bit, which makes the ride more comfortable. For sure, we are gonna sleep well tonight... Between two watches :(

Sunday, April 19

Wind map April 19 11pm HST

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mexico-Hawaii Log3

  • Day 6

Finally some action. Note that I would prefer skip it :) we have been struggling all night and morning with light wind aft and some sea, which makes sailing tricky and usually is synonym of noise and flapping in the rigging and sails. Dodging a couple of storm clouds, we have been surprised with too much sail out by one cloud that was hiding the tail of a small system, it seems. We were off for half a day of running in 30knots and rain with a reef jib only. We had some serious effort to reduce sails and during the action we lost some seams on the jib sail that would need some fixing later on, when the wind and sea calm down a bit - likely tomorrow.
Not much breakages so far except a closet door that Gilles broke through after losing balance. Wind stepped down to something more manageable but seas are still heavy, I would say around 4m crest for the big ones. Sky turned blue again and it looks we are getting closer to those elusive steady trades winds.
Almost forgot, we passed 660 miles today, pretty close of  one third of the 2200 we have to travel We can still hope to reach Maui in 12 days from now. Getting Closer ! Right now, the wind is still strong - like 20-25 knots - but nothing insane. Waves are still really big though. They are not breaking, then it is quite safe. One or two crashed on the boat, this is still impressive, even if this is only the white mush. I suppose they came from this low up North. The boat is behaving well this is reassuring in big sea. We practiced the Storm jib install, was not really needed yet, but it was tricky because of we could use one day of easy sailing and sun though. Gilles could not even do his nap after lunch because the boat was rocking too much :)
The way we reset the lines last time. Another thing to revisit when the weather will step down. Steep learning curve, but this is part of the adventure...

7th night at sea and again this damn watch of 2-5am. Wind and seas at still strong, but as you cannot see a thing in the moonless night, this is up to your imagination to decide to be scared or not. Comparing to my previous similar experience solo in November, I am far less tired, an waaaaay more confident in the boat. Sounds almost like commute. This is still pretty hard on nerves, don't get me wrong. Gilles comments at the watch swap: "I feel broken , like inside a Washing machine". He has seen way worst but this kind of weather doesn't seem to get old. Anyway, I am tired enough I could sleep inside a roller coaster. In any case, there is no danger at all. This is just the Pacific reminding us of its roaring splendor when unleashed. It could be fun with a Kite though :)

  • Day 7

Wind stepped down a bit and waves too. It looks more supportable. We are now comfortably settled in the trades. I should not say comfortably  because the sea are still quite big, but at this point we have to accept the fact that it might be like that all the way down. It is early in the season, and there is still surf in Hawaii as we speak. Today was all about little fixes. We had more issues with the Genoa yesterday and we reset it again when we took the storm jib out. We broke the small sea water pump of the sink, and did some fixes right away. After I cleaned the engine water pump filter, this super cheap filter started to leak too. Now, after checking the engine it seems we have a coolant leak. We will keep that for tomorrow. Same with sewing the Genoa, there is way too much wind to take it down now, and we can still use it  as a #1 reefed jib which is perfect for now. Except those small troubles, We are still flying at 7 or 8 knots toward Hawaii.

Certainly our best day since the start with 150nm covered in the perfect direction. Sign that the sea sickness is long gone, I took the time to make some previsional arrival. We should reach the half point in one day and half, this Friday 8 days after departure. I estimated 9 more days to reach Hawaii. Even if we go way faster with the Trades, they will shift East soon, and we cannot sail straight downwind. We will  then do 25% more way than needed in theory. In any case t we should make land around the 26th. All this assuming we don't have any major breakage, of course. But overall, I realized the boat was quite ready to go and behave really good. I am amazed of the performance of our never tired mechanical skipper. If something was to happen to put windvane we would be in an ocean of trouble to be forced to take the wheel for hours straight.

  • Day 8

Right now, we cannot go lower than W. as we expect the wind to shift E in one day or two, we would aim South at that time with, maybe with a cap at SWS. Other option would be to go South now ( as we are higher than our best straight line) with a Cap S. only interest is if the wind are better few degrees South than few degrees north in a couple of days. (If there is a no wind zone ahead).

Today is pretty much a copy of yesterday, except the cloud cover is a little more sparse, and sometime we can get a ray of sun warm the boat. This morning was all about some maintenance fixes. Coolant leak, drain cockpit leak, water filter leak. They  all look good now. I might have screw the oil engine top off , and now we have an alarm when we run the engine. Great. Another trouble check and project for this afternoon or tomorrow. Not that we need the engine anytime soon anyway, still we need to fix that ASAP. Meaning after Gilles's nap. There are priorities and priorities :)

Going into the night, with the engine fixed, but we still have the coolant leak. We will assess tomorrow morning how much we are losing. You can replace coolant with fresh water, of which we still have plenty -we did not start on the second tank yet. Then this is more an annoyance than anything else. The other fixes look string for now. This is all temporary, the list of immediate fixes once in Maui is growing at light speed. We did not start working in the jib, there is still plenty of wind. We found what might be a cruising spinnaker which will be fun to try if we stop breaking everything. Sky has been cloudy and overcast all day. Still very chilly at night. Wind is relatively steady from the N-NE at 15 knots. Glad we are almost at half of the passage. 2 days we did not see a single cargo ship around. We are actually totally alone in the middle of the Pacific on a nutshell. Astonishing.

Thursday April 16

Wind map April 16 11pm HST, April 17 1am PST

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mexico-Hawaii Log2

  • Day 3 - night

Getting ready for the 3nd night at sea. Moon still come really late then the first watches are in deep dark with only the stars to guide us. And 5 GPS devices. We split the night in 4 3 hours shift. 8-11,11-2,2-5,5-8. It feels alright but with the cold and the tiredness, it is still challenging. Seas and wind built during the day, with  the ground swell reaching few meters and time to time wetting the cockpit. We are reefed on the main and the jib and still flying at 6 To 7 knots. Anemometer is not working but it is clearly windy. Still forreaching, after 3 days it is a little tiresome. We pray for the wind to shift East which would mean we will on the trade route and in a straight downwind to Hawaii. But this is unlikely to happen before next week. But overall, moral is up and we are happy to make such good progress. We are on track for a short passage.

  • Day 4

 Last night we double reefed the main in the dark and rough conditions at 5am. Went well; I suppose I am getting Xp acceleration... Gilles is very experienced and easy to go with From this perspective, this is a good start. Sailing is fast, we did 140nm yesterday on a  reach... Which is good but tiring. Looks now the wind are easing a bit, we might let out some sail again. At least something to do:) the boat is sailing by herself so well, it become a bit repetitive.. Sky is cloudy now which is not that good for our solar panel and batteries - so far we did not run the engine at all - we are on a self sufficient boat - I love that !

Incredible. In a few hours weather changed drastically and now it is almost perfect sailing conditions and sun is up, drying the boat and the crew. Now it feels like a Sunday and vacations :) you could even believe you are on your way to Hawaii... Afternoon was a hot am sunny, an easy sailing for a change. Perfect timing to reload our batteries, literally as well. We are still  cruising at 6 knots on an easy reach. Wind is mellow at 10-15knots. Would be cosy if it wasn't for the chill of the falling night and the dark clouds ahead symbol of rain. It might rinse the boat, which is always nice, but we might find new leaks as well. In any case, that will be something new. An new is good. As always.

  • Day 5

Fighting now with lighter winds. Direction is acceptable for now, we have a light 5 to 10 knot aft the beam. We won't break a record tonight... In the middle of the 4th night (already!). With less winds in deck, it is warmer and the watch is easier. The 2-5 am is still a pain and I am using The single handed technique of sliced naps of 30 minutes, even if we are 2 on the boat. Traffic is slow, only cargo ships so far, and they hall have Radar and Ais. The night is pith black and we would not see an island in front of us anyway. But there are no islands in the middle of the pacific before Hawaii it would be known by now - except the elusive trash island. Few dolphins crossed our way but looked too busy to play with our bow. Maybe next time.

At 0400 we lost our tiny wind and started the engine. To avoid the fumes to go back into the cockpit we had to deroute 20d South. We still cruising at 5kts Under the rain and black clouds now. I suppose the wind might come back once we clear this perturbation. The only positive point is the engine is strong as always and hold the pace for hours without complains. There was not much to do before, now the options are even more limited, we are stuck inside. We had a small fear during the night, we heard a stump noise on the hull. Not very strong, but still. Likely we hurt a wood piece or something. Obviously, we did not sink and did not see any damage or water entry, still, it remind you why there is no place for lack of luck in the middle of the pacific.

Getting ready for the 5th night at sea. Looks we already done 1/4th of the journey and time flies by. Weird considering we aren't doing much during the day. Chit chat, reading, boat handling, naps, as everything is difficult in a always balancing boat, always takes time.
Weather is nicer and warmer, and we mostly have the wind on the beam, which is more comfortable than close reaching like before. Only issue is the size an direction of the swell. Cross between aft and beam, and quite big, up to 3m, it swings the boat quite hard and unbalance the sails. Nothing scary, the period is really big, it is more like riding hills than surfing a breaking wave :) but the wave energy is there and pushes the boat at 7knots and more. And we are not even surfing them yet, our course is more side to side. Anyhow, this is refreshing after the 6 hours motoring of today. Again, it is pitch black, few stars, no moon and lots of clouds. It is always amazing to feel   The boat sailing herself blindly through the sea. With a six sense you start to guess the waves and motion of the boat. Sea sickness is long gone now, but it is still hard for me to read down below for a long time. Then I spend most of my watch time in the cockpit, daydreaming.

Monday, April 13
Wind map April 13 11pm HST, April 14 1am PST

FYI. They don't have access to any file or weather forcast so unfortunately they cannot see this wind map. I am doing the weather report via text!!! - Christelle

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mexico-Hawaii Log1

  • Day1: Thursday April 9th 2015

Left 6:30 in a chilly morning. Slowly motoring our way out of mexico. Autopilot handling well the well sized north swell. No wind yet. Feeling a little sea sick as usual when leaving port. Just have to stay on deck for now. Except that feeling great and excited!

Wind picked up at 11:00am from the west at 10knots. We are now sailing full sails out a little more south. Doing an easy 4 to 5 knots. Finally, it feels like the journey really started. Sun is high, it is hot and beautiful out there. The windvane is piloting and we are chilling.

Have been close hauled all day and looks the night will be like this too. Not really what you wish for a first day.

  • Day2

Second official day. @ 2am starting my watch. Moon is up. Waves and wind are a bit down. Ride is way nicer and still sailing @5knts. If it wasn't for the cold, it would be a perfect night.
All sail out, good NW wind is pushing up a 6knt. Feeling better today, sun is up, heating people and hearts :) seas are becalmed and only ground swell remains.

Getting ready for the second night at sea.
We are alternating 3 hours watches. Not that we saw a lot of traffic, yesterday we only saw one container ship in a 10 miles radius; which we picked with the AIS alarm anyway. But watches are part of the game. Wind still holding up so far and we are still making good progress at 5knots on a close reach. Not the most comfortable point of sail but at least there is wind.

Feeling way better than yesterday, and I can stay down below way longer, doing the nav and other small stuff to kill time, mostly. The boat is sailing herself. Still flirting with a tiny low south of us, which making the winds variable and kind of weak around us. We hope to catch the trades tomorrow or Sunday and that will be another pace and some wave surfing. And hopefully warmer winds. It is still damn cold on deck at night.

  • Day3

We had again a jammed furler this morning. While sailing under main alone, we decided to unroll and reroll it entirely. It gave us some work and kept us busy for a while. Now the sea is building a bit, the long period swell reach maybe a couple of meters. The boat is rocking a bit and we are still reaching Upwind. Tricky to leave always inside a heeled boat. Weather is nicer though and we are leaving the small perturbation behind. Wind is still cold, but during the day the sun warms the boat quite well. Between naps, books and magazines, slow life is organizing itself inside the boat. So far, it has been quite an easy ride. Let s hope it continues, the goal was not to challenge ourselves on a mean sea :) this ocean is already big enough to cross, no need to be mad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Share... Follow ... Text .... No excuses !

As usual you can follow the trip 10 minutes by 10 minutes.

First you can check the weather for us :


you can see the track and now, send small text !!!!!! 137 characters only.
Make sure to use an email instead of a phone number if you are out if the US.

The InReach Delormes map

Grib tomorrow

This time, my crew showed up on time.
Thanks, Gilles !
The weather is nice.
The winds are there.
This is a go.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Just add water

And this is ready to go ....
You cannot drink water from the marina hoses in Mexico, then someone came in with a cart full of 5 gallons jars. We topped the tanks, and voila !
The boat is actually officially ready.
Next step, food inventory and groceries shopping.

An Acrobatic view of our sofas

A good thin with boats, is that they are really efficient, in term of space management. Nothing it lost.
Our 90 gallons of water are actually used a sofa bottom.

For those who like technical details, here is the data spreadsheet of our boat:

Sail plan

Inside the boat

"The Tartan 37 is considered one of today’s classic cruising yachts. ...The boat is known for its sound construction quality and smart sailing abilities and moderate pricing. Owners unanimously love their Tartans."

I concur.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Last Try-out

Next time is for real. Today was just for show.
I had to fill the tanks, and the only Marina with pumps is a couple of miles North of mine. It was a good excuse to test all systems before the big jump.

At 6AM, the marina is a lake.
There is something exceptional with the early morning aboard a boat.

Sailing close hauled.
No, there is no autopilot. At this point of sail, the boat could go on alone for ever.

Coming back to Ensenada, with the tanks fulls.
I usually motor at that point, but I want to save mu fuel for the real trip :)

Another big mess. I jammed the furler again.
But this time, the sail dropped easily, thanks to my new halyard.
It is actually way easier to reset with the sail down than up :)

I decided to not install the autopilots, I am convinced they will work, and I wanted to challenge myself to do all without autopilot. Who knows :)
The good news is confirmed, the boat points and sail by itself to the wind. Going downwind is another story, you have to take the wheel. Dropping sail with the furler jammed was kinda fun without the autopilot, but I had to try it :). I did some close quarter maneuvers, I really have some trouble with this boat going backward. It has some much inertia and prop walk, it is really tricky. Leaving the slip, I was close to do my 360 inside the slip as I was failing to go straight back for 30 feet. Unbelievable.

Overall, the boat is in great shape and works as expected.
The last but big cloud on the horizon is the satphone data I cannot get to work on my new Mac OS.
That close from the departure, I begin to think I won't be able t fix it, and we would have to rely on our landcrew to drive us safely. The voice and the Sms works, and that's the most important anyway.
But I spend so much time to figure how to get those gribs files and update for the blog, that this really piss me off.
Damn technology :)
Well, at sea, we can always try the weatherfax through the low band radio waves.
That's old school, but it might work.I am equipped for, anyway :)

In any case, the weather looks really good for next week, and I do not see what could stop us to go.
Fair winds !

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Back on the boat

Today, I meet our boat again. Last time a huge surge blow up a couple of fenders. I tied her from all side now. This time, no surprises, all is in place.

Boat is still there, in the middle of his docklines web

Ran the engine, checked the batteries, the solar panel, the alternator, the toilet, the sink and water tanks, all electronics, the InReach Gps tracker, the Sat phone, the laptop and his Gps, the backup handled radio, recharged everything that could be, we have double batteries for all of those critical instruments. Checked the bilge, the engine, the rudder. 
Only question mark left is the data satphone connection and grib retrieval that failed me.
But it looks like ZyGrib had some server issues, then I might not be the internet connection.
I ll dig into it some more tonight.
Ensenada is waking up on Saturday afternoon

I realized I have plenty of pictures of the boat while sailing, but not so many of the inside.
Then, here is our kingdom for the next 3 weeks.

You can appreciate the full size shower-sink-toilet.
Good luck to take a bath.

Full size kitchen, with camping gaz in place of a normal galley.
I can say you can warm up pastas and make some coffee.
The rest will be trickier.

One of the sea bert is used as emergency gear stowage.
Ditch bag, liferaft, etc...

The salon, which transform itself magically into a diner room as well.

The best for the end. Captain quarters.
This is where the magic happen.

The boat is ready to go.
Just add some water.