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, April 9, 2012

Guy walks into a millibar...

Pacific Crossing, Day 28: Yup, time for a lousy joke. Guy walks into a millibar and says "Ahm here fer the thief what stole my wind." That's it. Well what did you expect, Rodney Dangerfield?

Last night, after a day and a half of gliding along all tickety-boo and daring to think we might have it like that all the way to the Marquesas, a huge squall line put paid to that notion. Seeing the rapid approach, around 1:30 am, of a long, nasty black cloud with rain under it so dense it blocked out all moonlight, I called to Jim, who came up and doused and secured the spinnaker just before it hit. Buckets of rain, loads of wind, rising seas, and a quick jot of our position in the log in case lightning hit (there was none) saw us go from peaceful to carooming at 5+ knots under double-reefed main alone, in a direction diverging from our rhumb line.

Soaked, chilled, tired and grumpy, I said Bag This, hove the boat to, went below and went to bed. Good decision. Jim, who was off-watch in his bunk, thought so, too.

This morning not even the spinnaker would fill. Big leftover seas made steering, even by hand, almost impossible, and the soundscape was as if two sumo wrestlers were having a towel fight overhead. That ole homicidal feelin' returned, but after awhile I felt more like laughing at the ridiculosity of it all. We managed to move forward at 1 knot, most of that current, and finally in early afternoon the wind came back--light, but usable. We're making about 3 knots now. And gunnin' fer that wind with the determination of a labrador retriever in a school lunchroom. Okay, too many metaphors. So sue me.

Meanwhile, at the very moment I was talking on the radio at noon to 3 other boats (Southern Cross, Ladybug and Buena Vista) and lamenting the lack of wildlife we're seeing, Jim yelled, "THERE'S A HUGE FISH RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOAT!" Turned out to be a pilot whale, in a pod of at least 2 dozen! They made our day, swimming lazily alongside.

We. Will. Get. There. Dad. Gumit.

Sent via Ham radio


  1. Loving your blog - we have not yet decided east or west from Mexico - so this is great "dreaming" for us.

    As to your "millibar" joke, Keith swears you are now suffering from a case of the "delirium de doldrums", a well-known disease! :)

  2. Hang in there Skippers! I will buy you many drinks if we ever make it to Tahiti... :)