Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," and more recently, our Bigfoot29 powerboat, "Raven," 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, sailed to Mexico, 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. In 2018 we cruised up to Glacier Bay, Alaska, and back. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mental Games for Crossing the ITCZ

Pacific Crossing, Day 16: Shhhh... we think we might be through the Intertropical Convergence Zone... be vewwy, vewwy quiet so it doesn't notice and come back. It seems to be busy tormenting boats north of 6N, and we're flying down longitude 127W going due south for the Equator, hoping to be below 4N before nightfall. If the wind holds. Last night was pure nuts, weather-wise. According to the GPS, Sockdolager reached 10.1 knots surfing on Jim's watch, and, we kid you not, 14.8 knots later, which we find hard to believe but nonetheless possible for a fraction of a second. Sails were heavily reefed.

Yogi Berra's famous "90 percent of baseball is 50 percent mental" also applied to this part of the passage. Here are some of the mind games in use aboard the old Sockdolager for crossing this lumpy, grumpy acre of ocean:

1. We live out here now (careful, may backfire.)

2. It's not as bad as it COULD be (then again, why are more flying fish trying to get into the cabin?)

3. Just think of the stories you'll have.

4. You wanted to do this, remember?

5. The boat's doing better than you are, so Man Up, Karen.

6. Is that a patch of blue sky?

7. This part won't last forever. Repeat until numb.

8. Are we there y... Shaddup.

9. Wow, the boat's going through these watery canyons and hills really well--just like the boats of your sailing heroes did!

10. We will dry out. We will dry out.

11. People everywhere still cook without chasing food around the cabin. One day you will, too.

12. Imagine sleeping a whole night... no, wait, better not do that yet.

13. Don't your skinnier selves just LOOOOVE all this weight loss and toning up?

Some dues were paid to Neptune: Many rain squalls, but most under 30-35 knots (however, last night was 30+ and it lasted about 8 hours.) Wind on the nose (but only for half a day.) Oppressive heat and humidity (hey, isn't some of that what we came for?) And spray. Spray everywhere. I mean, spray even found its way into the cabin--there are saltwater marks on the hanging locker, and we had 2 of 3 boards in the companionway before I had to shut it completely at midnight. The cockpit was a saltwater bath, no waves broke over it but heavy dollops of spray merrily dumped themselves all over without being invited. Da noive, Ceil. Da noive. Things got a little wet. Even the jibsheets have that been-wet-for-so-long-they-stink eau de phew.

But you know, winds and seas have generally been very good to us compared to what could have been dished out. And we are sailing fast, nearing the turning point (the Equator) for the Southeast Trade Wind sail to the Marquesas. Regardless of minor discomforts, it's still a dream come true.

Sent via Ham radio

1 comment:

  1. Great post, and to be honest I don't know that we'll ever tackle an ocean crossing! One of the main reasons other than fear (which I admit) is that mental part .. we might go crazy, LOL!

    Glad it's all going pretty well and congrats on your upcoming crossing of the equator!