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.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things that Go Bump in the Night

Pacific Crossing,Day 7: (Days are being measured from noon to noon, because we left for sea at noon on March 13.) Last night was gawdawful lumpy, and we rolled so hard sleep was impossible because Job 1 was clinging to the bunk. And where's that famous sun? Jim says he's gonna write a sternly-worded letter to someone... Winds have been fluctuating from 8 to 25, with seas from 4 to 10 feet coming from several directions, sort of like being in the Grand Central Station of Roller-Coaster Heaven. It's cool and cloudy from some weather system to the north, and even sprinkled a little. We're still rolling heavily as we barrel along. Bleagh. Though our stomachs are used to this much roll, our psyches aren't... wait, did that sound like a whine? Never mind. Jim, whom I see only in passing as we swap jobs, gave up a half hour of his own off-watch to give me more sleep time. He does that often. Now that's what I call love.

The sails are poled, prevented and vanged, meaning they're whisper-quiet and pulling like mules. Yay Hasse! Yay Brion Toss! Yay Gordon Neilson! Sailmakers and riggers first-class.

It's funny how once sounds become familiar you can ignore them until they change. As we roll, things that rattle or thump are found and secured. Gym socks on wine bottles are great, BTW. But when a newer and bigger set of seas creates new sounds we play "Hunt the Rattle" again. That occasional soft shuffle of pencils on a shelf? No biggie. The creak we can't stop at the companionway? We can sleep through that. But one new clink in a locker? Go get it. If the sound is named and known, it's part of the normal soundscape, and can sometimes be tolerated. It's the new sounds, especially on deck, that get our attention.

FYI, we can only post but can't read comments or emails until we get to an internet connection in a few weeks. But don't let that stop you!

As we rolled along yesterday afternoon, I thought it would be fun to match the sea state to a song, so I belted out "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing." Just before sunset, I was singing the peaceful Russian hymn "Tibyeh Pieyom," which I'd learned in the Port Townsend Songlines choir, to the clouds. We were crossing the Yokohama-to-Panama Canal shipping lanes. Suddenly, a ship appeared. A Russian ship. A big grey bulk carrier, with a nice First Officer who reassured us in limited English that he'd pass clear of us 3 miles ahead. Hmmm... sing in Russian, a Russian ship appears. Okay, folks, what do we make of that? I'm a little unsure of what to sing next.

Sent via our ham radio

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, I've really been enjoying it. I'm a Dana 24 enthusiast, although I don't have one yet (and you guys have had two?). At any rate, following your daily updates across the Pacific, and gave you a shout-out on my blog:

    Good luck, and keep up the good work!