29 August, 2005


After calms and storms, plenty of clouds, and lots of idle time spent reading or sleeping, Ozzie and I made it under the Golden Gate Sunday afternoon. As we entered San Francisco Bay, the sun came out, the wind picked up and the bay seemed like a playground full of windsurfers, kite-sailors, sail boats, ect.
We sailed into Sausalito under full sail on a beam reach, toerails skipping on the waves.

We had our share of adventure. We spent two nights hove-to in a gail (?). It wasn’t much—the seas weren’t breaking, ten-foot swells or so, forty-knot winds. We set the sea anchor seeing as we kept sailing forward as we were hove-to.
During the lull of the storm, the sailing was excellent; running under storm jib and trysail, trailing a wharp, long gentle swells straight off the stern, no breaking seas, only slight occasional broaches.
I’d never done any sailing like it.
Unfortunately we had several calm spells that lasted a total of nearly three days. This stretched the trip out to eleven and a half days, a bit longer than expected.

One of the real exciting points of the trip was our success with using sheet to tiller steering. We worked it out rather simply and it kept a great course in a light swell, so long as it wasn’t overpowered.
It would never jibe, seeing as we used the jib sheet to run it. This was really cool.

We did have all sorts of problems. The list is long. Somehow the solar panels quit, due to the voltage regulator, so our power was at nothing pulling in. We almost couldn’t start the engine. (Why I didn’t use the genny to charge is a different story.)
My radar reflector got partially ripped from its seizing during the gale and the next morning I had to be hoisted up the mast in 25 KNOT WINDS.
This was by far the hairiest part of the trip. I felt like one of those flags attached outside the window of some hick truck going down the interstate. It was rough.
Other than my jaunt up the mast, the only intensities were when we hove-to to reef sail.
Because we were running with the wind, we were always a little tardy in this. When turned up into a hove-to position, the boat would heal over so violently that the windows were more like aquarium glass: there would be half-a-foot of green water flowing over the deck.
I’d tie myself on a short tether and ease the main halyard and the boat would stand up tall again, no problem. But it was intense all the same.

I’ll write a more proper story later.
But suffice it to say that we made it. We are happy and whole. I really really appreciate all the care and concern. It helped us through.

13 August, 2005


On Tuesday or Wednesday I'm leaving Port Townsend for San Francisco. I've got crew. The boat is in good shape.
The 'to do' list is getting shorter. In fact, if me crew could, I'd try and leave tomorrow. ---really I couldn't, but that is how I feel.
All of the toil of the last eleven months has all built up to this. This is the first open-water passage, the first jaunt into ocean swells.

We will sail out to the very tip of western Washington and anchor there in Neah Bay. If the weather holds, as it looks like it will, then we will head west from there.
The idea is to go far out, a hundred miles. There the wind is more consistent and a great storm can't blow us ashore.
Once away from land, we follow the wind south. It is a five to ten day trip. I hope for good winds and good weather.

When we reach San Francisco we'll pull into Sausalito Bay and anchor there and sleep for a few days.
My friends Ben, Miriah (sp-sorry), Phil and Katy left on Friday with the same itinerary. I hope we can catch then in San Fran before they head farther south for San Diego.

finally I'm leaving. It seems like it has been a long, long time coming. I needed the time to learn what I needed.
I am strangely relaxed.
When I was leaving South Carolina I had the distinct feeling that I would return there.
Wish me luck.
I'll write again as soon as I find another public library.

09 August, 2005


All is underway. I can see the end. Soon I will be heading out into the open water, the North Pacific.
Under the circumstances I am rather calm. I've been nervious enough in the last few months to sufice. Now I am just anxious to go. My last bits of work are getting solved.
The only major hurdle is the fact that my one crewmate went to jail a couple of days ago. Now she's out on bail, so I doubt she will be leaving the state. Some how, I find this ironic and funny.
So I have a week to get some crew lined up and on the boat.

03 August, 2005


The break is over. Six days home. Lots of eating. Good visits with family. Not enough sleep, perhaps.
Still, all the conversations were wonderful. The last night home we got all my dad's children together, and all the nieces and nephews, and had a big meal. So much laughter. Everyone is growing up so fast. It meant a lot to me to spend some good time with them.

So now I am back in Seattle. When Jamie gets out of class she will take me down to the ferry where I will get a lift to the Olympic Peninsula and hop a bus for home. I hope everything is as I left it.

I feel the clock ticking and everything is still so up in the air. Something is squeezing around my stomach. But leaving home, I had the clear sensation that I would return there. So I am full of confidence in that regard.
It has been frustrating not being in touch with the person who is crewing for me. Very foreboding. It is driving me crazy frankly, but at the moment there is nothing I can do about it.

Everyone pray for me.