Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," and 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 Sockdolager (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 began cruising on Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. In 2018 we cruised up to Glacier Bay, Alaska, and back. But in 2024 we had the chance to buy Sockdolager back (we missed her), so we sold Raven. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sockdolager in the Movies!

Click here for this video.
Dreams vs budgets:  that's a new category of video at Off Center Harbor, the Maine-based, exceptionally talented marine documentary group who just made a film starring Sockdolager (!!) and called it "Outfitting a Small Cruiser for Voyaging, Part 1." You can see it by clicking on the title or photo caption above.  Filmmaker Steve Stone put us right at ease and made the filming part feel effortless and fun, the extent of which you'll be able to gauge by the amount of giggling coming from yours truly (K).

But! Hang on to your hats! Steve also made us our very own Off Center Harbor web page for our friends, family and blog readers!  Can you beat that!  AND!  This video, which is part 1 of 2 parts, has been paired with an article written by Karen Larson of Good Old Boat magazine, that appeared in 2010 and featured my former Dana 24, Minstrel.  You can find it by clicking here.  I didn't know they were going to do that, and okay, I'm blushing now.

**NB, November 19, 2013: Part 2 has now replaced Part 1. And Part 3 will be replacing Part 2 in a few weeks. You'll be able to see all 3 parts by signing up for the 10 free videos in the box on the right side of the special page the links take you to.

Click here to see OCH's highlight video and 10 others.

Off Center Harbor is a subscription-based video service, and so far we've been unable to plumb their fathomless depths because they have so many cool videos to choose from.  I found myself sitting back and saying "Ahhh!" a lot.  In addition to films about voyage preparation, their topics cover seamanship, boatbuilding, tools of the trade, tours of historic boats, and instructional videos for kids, plus links to many blogs. Sailing is a small world, so I'm delighted to be seeing a lot of people I either know or have heard of.

So, enjoy Part 1 and its accompanying article and other videos, and we'll let you know when Part 2 is ready (or Off Center Harbor will if you decide to subscribe.)

Finally, for those of you in the northern hemisphere who are getting ready to put your boats to bed for the winter, or, for that matter, for those of you in the southern hemisphere where it's Spring and time to do something for the boat, here's a simplified maintenance flow chart. You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Voyage Statistics

Jim here.  I have been  doing the math and putting statistics together from our voyage.  I also figured out how to load a GPS track into Google Earth.

GPS Track to New Zealand
The voyage lasted for two years and 25 days (755 days).  July 9, 2011 to Aug 2, 2013.

A nautical mile is 1.15 "regular"/statute miles and is abbreviated as "nm". Nautical miles per hour are abbreviated as "knots".  Statute miles per hour are abbreviated as "mph".  And if we just say "miles" it means statute miles.

We sailed 10768 nm.  For you land lubbers that is 12,383 miles.  In metric it is 19,931 kilometers.  For those of a biblical persuasion it is 43,588,160 cubits.  This includes the distance from Port Townsend, WA to Tauranga, New Zealand and from San Francisco to Port Townsend, but not the miles from New Zealand to San Francisco on the container ship.

Of the 755 days away we were "under way" for 122 days.  That includes all the time the boat was actually moving even if it was just for an hour or two.

Of the 122 days we under way, 103 were "at sea" in which we sailed through the night.

While at sea one of us was always on watch.  We used a watch schedule of four hours on and four hours off.  So in the 103 days at sea 1236 hours was spent on watch for each person.  Almost all of that time was outside in the cockpit. About 40% of the time was at night.

Our average speed for the 122 days underway was 3.7 knots (4.25 mph).

The average distanced we traveled in 24 hours while at sea was 83 nm (95 miles).

The longest distance we traveled in one 24 period was 130 nm (150 miles) at an average speed of 5.4 knots.  The shortest distance was 17 nm, backwards (while becalmed near the equator).

A "passage" is a multi day trip between two points of land.  Our longest passage, from the tip of Baja California in Mexico to Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia took 37 days. The total distance traveled was 2,802 nm (3,222 miles) .  The average speed for the passage was 3.14 knots (3.6 mph).  For the first 17 days we averaged 4.2 knots but then got stuck in the doldrums and averaged only 2.23 knots for the next 20 days. During this passage we used about 40 gallons of water and 19 gallons of diesel fuel.  

The next longest passage, 1142 nm, was from Tonga to New Zealand at an average speed of 4.0 knots and it took 12 days.

Other passages included: three passages of seven days each, two five day passages, one three day passage, six two day passages, and eight one day passages.

For our 122 days underway, 70% were under sail and 30% were motoring.

While motoring we used about 325 gallons of diesel fuel at an estimated cost of $2000.

Of the 633 days NOT at sea, about half were spent at marinas and half were at anchor or on a mooring. Estimated marina costs were around $5000.  We kept the boat at marinas in New Zealand while we lived ashore and toured the South Island, a period of about ten weeks. There were very few marinas on the route between Mexico and New Zealand. On that stretch of eight months we spent two weeks in a marina.