Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. In 2009 we sailed north from Puget Sound up the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii.) In 2010 we went back to the west coast of Vancouver Island. In July 2011 we left the Northwest, and in March 2012 we crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia, then on to the Cooks, Niue and Tonga. We spent several months in New Zealand, and in May 2013 loaded the boat (and ourselves) on a container ship for San Francisco. In June and July 2013 we sailed north along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, and in August we arrived home. In October 2016 Sockdolager found new owners, and we are now enjoying Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. Plans are to head north. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)



Monday, March 26, 2012

A Torrid Affair

Pacific Crossing, Day 14: Two weeks at sea, and at least two more to go! This is the longest passage either of us has made; my previous longest was 10.5 days from St. Thomas to Belize. We're nearing the halfway mark, and are only 260 miles from our turning point at 5N, where we'll turn straight south for about 300 miles to cross the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) at a right angle somewhere along the 129 degree longitude meridian.

Estrellita cross the Equator yesterday, hooray for Carol and Livia! Inquiring Polliwogs (those who haven't yet crossed) await in hushed tones a description of their ceremony of ascendance to Shellbacks.

We sail on. Last night, torrential, I mean bucketential, cats-and-dogerential, rain fell all night, and in 30+ winds we were surfing at 8 knots. There was a bit of lightning thrown in for nail-biting effect. I mean, we are the tallest thing out here, so avoiding the bigger squalls by not turning south too early is important. I got soaked and chilled trying to stay in the cockpit, so we stood our watches below, peering into the liquid blast every 20 minutes. Not that we could see much. Jim figured out how to use his iPod as a timer (wearing earplugs so the off-watch doesn't get disturbed) and I followed suit. It worked well.

Last night reminded us of being hove-to off the Oregon coast, though we didn't heave-to in the night. But to answer Jay's question from awhile back (he asked what we'll do if we have to heave-to in high winds and seas,) we had Port Townsend Sails make us a backstaysail, got advice from several people including the Pardeys (it's in the new Storm Tactics reissue) and bought a Gale Rider, which, if the backstaysail isn't enough, we'd stream at a 45 degree angle off the bow to keep the bow up and slow down any fore-reaching so as not to outrun the smooth "slick" of water created to windward of the hull. Though we're ready if need be, we don't anticipate having to heave-to on this passage. However, we'll report how it goes when we do.

We haven't heard from Craig for a day or so, and figure he's coping with the forecast 10-16 foot seas off Hawaii. Seas here (8N, about 480 miles N of the Equator)are forecast to be 3 meters, too high for this amount of wind, so we're guessing the seas are coming from up north. So, HEY! North Pacific folks, please cut that out! We got enough seas of our own down here, thank you very much.

This morning was gorgeous but torrid. Good word, eh? Hot, sweaty, Night-of-the-Iguana torrid. Like, butt-nekkid torrid if we all didn't have to be careful, as Livia previously reported, about bun chafe from salty cushions, and BTW how does a woman with any endowment whatsoever wear a safety harness widdem tings? I tellya, if Victoria's Secret designed safety harnesses we wouldn't be in this predicament. There. The bondage theme has been addressed, sort of.

But if anyone still has one of those old "Sail Naked" posters, hang on to it.

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