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.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Threading Between Squalls

Pacific Crossing, Day 18:
!!Squalls to the left of us!!
!!Squalls to the right of us!!

This is the sixth day of our little ITCZ cat-and-mouse game, which has been a series of: Duke it out; sail into clear weather; see trade wind clouds ahead; heave a sigh of relief; at sunset, heave a sigh of dismay when POW! It comes back to sit on us as the axis moves right over us again. Hey! It likes us! Awww...

We'd like to know if there's some kind of prize given to the boat with the most ITCZ clobberings.

Now, though, we're realizing that the squalls are losing the punch of the ones from the other night, and are mostly dark blobs of rain... with lightning. The good news is we've never lacked for wind, and may have set a surfing speed record for a Dana 24 (have GPS photo for proof.) The bad news is with all the overcast, the solar panel hasn't charged the batteries enough to keep them at a decent level, so at 0815 we started the engine and are still heading due south, trying to cut through the murk at a right angle. With the the Equatorial Current sweeping us west, the actual course is 190. We'll motor for about 6 hours and then will resume sailing in the light airs, in hopes the ITCZ won't chase us further south.

What a pleasure to hear the engine roar to life so easily after 18 days. The heavy-duty alternator poured 80 amps into our 2 thirsty Odyssey batteries and had therm charged in three hours. All the hard work Jim did on the mechanical/electrical systems is paying off.

It's hot hot hot. Hot enough to melt the waxy frosting off the last of our lemon biscotti. But we're less than 180 miles from the Equator, Hooah!

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