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.)



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are We There Yet? Almost.

Pacific Crossing, Day 36: Wow, 36 days at sea. We wouldn't have predicted it. As of midday we are 145 miles out from the Marquesas, and sailing again. The torrential rains stopped around noon, and after motoring for 25 hours with the tillerpilot steering, we were pleased to see we'd made 117 miles! The cabin was a cozy haven from the rain all night and cementaceous dark skies this morning. In fact, except for lacking a newspaper it had that Sunday morning feeling, reminding us of Northwest skies in early Spring (except for the temps, which are in the 80s.) We collected a few gallons of sky juice--nice feeling pouring fresh cool rainwater into the tank.

There is enough fuel remaining for another half-day of motoring, but we'll use the wind we have now and save the diesel, even if it means going a knot slower. If the wind dies we'll use the engine sparingly. It's good to have a reserve supply, especially if the supply ashore is tight.

Fresh fruit. Fresh bread. Gorgeous islands. Unlimited sleep. It's so close! A couple more days and we'll have crossed the Pacific, at least this portion of it. The offshore passages between island groups from the Marquesas to Tonga are from 200 to 600 miles apiece, and the sail from Tonga to New Zealand is about 1200. We hope this one will be our longest passage for a very long time!

There's been a blog post every day since we left Mexico, which surprises me more than you, probably. I once vowed never to do daily posts, especially from sea, because if you stop, readers start calling the Coast Guard (or worse, their magazine editor.) Last year at the Northwest Maritime Center's Spring Symposium, I taught a seminar on blogging a voyage, and in preparing for it interviewed Lin Pardey, Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, Janna Cawrse-Esary, and Andrew Revkin at length. None advocated daily posts from sea. So, I never intended to blog every day for fear of raising expectations, and yet here we all are, together each day on a voyage that to some of you is an adventure of Scylla and Charybdian dimension, and to others of you an oh-my-god-they're-out-of-their-minds kind of thing. Well, heck, it's been fun! Come aboard! Have a seat and we'll yarn a spell! One friend in the Bay Area pleaded, "PLEASE post more often, I live vicariously through your stories!" Dude! You own three boats! THAT'S vicarious!

It appears that by posting every day I may have spoiled you. I either have to keep it up or wean you off... oh stop that, I can hear you from here. Truth is, I like to write. No, make that love to... okay, HAVE to write or else watch the grumpage factor go up. While there's plenty of physical and some mental exercise to be had on a boat offshore (when you're not too tired,) I've written every day because a day without writing, even in my head, is not good, and a whole string of them is my definition of in extremis. It's kind of like the skit on Prairie Home Companion where the character Jim coos to his mildly homicidal wife, "Dear, perhaps you're not getting enough ketchup lately."

Here's the deal: the idea of writing a word picture each day and posting it is thrilling. I write, push a button, then Jim comes down and pushes about 20 buttons, the radio squeals nicely, and the words are whisked away to this very page, riding on the snorting stallion of technology voodoo. Anyone would find this irresistible from 2000 miles at sea. These daily posts have felt like an indulgence to me.

Back to the point. Blogging every day raises expectations that it will continue every day. I can't promise that it will, because when we arrive in the Marquesas a different daily routine will emerge (like, marathon naps.) I may be out collecting stories and writing them in my head. We'll be doing all kinds of fun activities.

Before we left Mexico this blog's format was a bi-monthly mega-post, with lots of photos and stories, not a daily activity log. Because internet connectivity will likely be the exception rather than the rule in Oceania, we will find a new rhythm for keeping you up to date and sailing along with us.

I miss being able to post photos (bet you miss the photo breaks too) and I worry that long blocks of text are boring. We do have a passel of voyage photos to post and will do so asap. But those long blocks of text--I mean, imagine reading endless variations on Jeez-it's-beautiful-here without a photo. Does that respect the reader? Perhaps if the description fits well within a context or story where readers can participate by using their own imaginations, it might. When we can't post photos I will try to give you technicolor descriptions.

Anyway, we're about to reach our dream destination, where we begin the next phase of cruising, and while too tired to fully appreciate what's likely in store for us, we are psyched. As always, there will be new blog posts whenever one of us has something to say or a story to tell. It just might not be every day.

Sent via Ham radio

1 comment:

  1. LOVE reading your BLOG. Karen, you're a fantastic writer. I'm living the same adventure (with the Pandion twist, of course...) but I still STILL love reading your BLOG. We, the crew of Pandion are amazed at your tenacity, saltiness, good attitude and true grit. We're in Nuku Hiva now and sadly, I don't think we'll meet up. :( Maybe in Tahiti? Welcome to land!! We wish you much sleep; relaxing days, lots of adventure, tropical fruit and a big tray of brownies!! You guys rock and are our heroes!

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