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.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tonga to NZ day 12

We hove-to last night in big seas and strong winds. This morning we took off again at around 9:30 and have been sailing ever since, but still in 25+ knots and 3 to 5 meter seas. It just calmed a bit and it's not so wet in the cockpit (think buckets dumped over one's head). There are about 55 miles to go and we hope to be in to port tomorrow.

Tom's quote of the day: "One meter my ass", commenting on the weather forecast that called for up to one meter seas in our area.


  1. Welcome to NZ. You have just experienced Kiwi weather, a good blow in the last 100 miles into the coast. I have been following your trip for sometime and congratulate you for your efforts. I am certain you will enjoy our summer on the coast of NZ and if I spot you will drop by to say Gidday. Tusk

  2. Hi, I read about your earlier attempts at heaving to and was wondering if you improved the boat's performance at heaving to, perhaps with the backstaysail?

    I'm considering buying a Dana 24 but am concerned at her alleged inability to heave to.

    Congrats for your passage, and for your very informative blog. Hope Karen is now better and can join in your adventures.

  3. Hi Richard,
    A Dana heaves to just fine, better than many boats in fact. We have hove-to many times on this voyage, and it's amazing how things quiet down and steady out.

    I think this notion that she doesn't may have begun with our experiments off the Oregon coast to reduce the amount of fore-reaching (and thus outrunning the "slick" of calm water) in winds of about 35-40 knots. Almost all boats except the most traditional designs (the ones with no cutaway forefoot in their full keels) will fore-reach a bit when hove-to, unless other measures are taken. Fin-keeled boats in particular have trouble heaving to. A Dana has a full keel with a cutaway forefoot, a modern (and common) take on a traditional design.

    We wanted to achieve the level of stoppage where the slick would be abeam, not on the quarter. This only becomes a big deal in very high winds and breaking seas, which are rare. We will write more extensively on this soon, but I wanted to correct this inaccurate assumption. Danas do just fine hove-to under most conditions, so you needn't worry about that. We've done it many, many times. Thanks for bringing it up; we will post soon on this topic.