5/15/11- Kim & Sharon's blog
We left Nuka Hiva and moved the boat 30 miles to Hakahetau Bay
on the island of Ua Pou (pronounced "Wapoo"). Some books claim that Ua Pou has the most dramatic geological
features in the world. Giant spires and towers rise over 4,000 feet from the ocean.
Sailing by the Ua Pou
airport was a highlight of the passage. Curtis, a former Delta pilot, noticed that the landing strip was on a steep
incline. This allows a landing plane to slow down quicker since you are going up a big hill as soon as you touch down.
When taking off, there would be a big down hill run to launch you over the ocean. Curtis noted that there would be no
way to abort a landing at this airport due to the surrounding terrain. Safer to come here by boat.
was beautiful, bug free, cool and most important - flat as a pancake. The full moon came out simultaneously with
the sunset. The moon was so bright it almost looked like day time. We had a relaxing dinner in the cockpit,
retired early and planned for an early start for our 3-4 night passage. On the "Road" again! You can
read about the next leg of our adventure by clicking on the new Tuamatus link on the left.
s/v Georgia J
anchored at 09 21.389 S, 140 06.362 W in Hakahetau Bay
5/14/11- Kim's blog
Our friend and new crew member, Curtis, arrived for the trip to the Tuamotus.
We had a great dinner at the Pearl Lodge, the only fancy resort on the island. The French chef even drove us back to
the dingy dock after dinner. This was the best restaurant meal we have had since leaving San Diego.
We told Curtis not to expect this every time. More often than not, the restaurants are more like "Snack Make Make".
We are packing up and lashing down everything loose to prepare for the next leg.
5/13/11- Kim & Sharon's blog:
The last few days have been good. We rented a four wheel drive
pick up truck and drove to the other side of the island. The road changed from paved mountainous switch backs with amazing
views to dirt, then rock and gullies. It was undoubtedly the roughest road I have ever driven. At the end, we
found an amazing French restaurant on a beautiful beach for an impressive and expensive lunch. Although we only traveled
8.5 miles as a crow flies, the drive took 2 hours each way.
We have been restocking food since there are few provisions
in the Tuamotus. We loaded up the truck with groceries and headed for the dingy dock. The fisherman were cleaning
tuna about 10 feet from where we climbed down to our dingy. Every time a tuna scrape hit the water, the water boiled
with sharks. Sharon refused to buy fresh tuna so close to the sharks.
The local mechanic has finally got
our diesel generator running. He removed the defective solenoid which moves the throttle, cleaned the injector, and
bypassed the secondary fuel filter which seems to be sucking air. [Note to Kenny T.: There is a market here for
a diesel guy with his own set of wrenches.]
|Drive around Nuka Hiva
|A really big tree at an ancient archeological site
|Lunch at Chez Yvonne's
Kim & Sharon's blog
We are still in Nuka Hiva preparing for the 3-4 day passage
to the Tuamotus. Our friend Curtis arrives Friday to join us for the trip. We have been relaxing a bit more adopting
the local custom of afternoon siesta. Last night we enjoyed dinner with our friends from Calou. We are amazed
that there are two former Corinthian Yacht Club commodores (Bruce and Sharon) here in Nuka Hiva.
Yesterday we refueled
the boat. Kim went by jeep to the service station and filled 15 jerry cans with 400 liters of diesel fuel. These
were transferred by dingy to the boat and then siphoned into the tanks. Amazingly, the operation went pretty smoothly.
The fuel guys wanted to barter for .22 caliber bullets. The mountains of this
island are extremely rugged. They hunt goat, wild pig, and wild cattle. The cow hunting does not seem very sporting.
Sadly, I had no .22 bullets to trade.
We had two culinary firsts today. We had French crepes from the back
of a Volkswagen bus and Sharon is preparing breadfruit for dinner. The crepes were excellent. The verdict is still
out for the breadfruit.
To honor a long nautical tradition for crossing the equator, Sharon was tattooed on her
ankle today. We went to a local tattoo artist's home where we chose a tasteful design and swatted mosquitoes while
the artist did his work. The fuel delivery man told us that once you have a Marquesan tattoo, you are forever connected to the islands.
at anchor at
08 54.999 S
140 05.897 W
|Refueling in the Marquesas
|Refueling in the Marquesas
|Sharon's new tattoo
5/4/11- Kim's Blog:
We moved the boat to the island of Nuka Hiva yesterday. The trip took 12 hours.
Oddly, there were no trade winds and we motored most all of the way. The highlight was visit by a group of dolphins
just before we made landfall. We saw our first baby dolpin (about 15") who had no problem keeping up with the boat.
The entrance to the bay was amazingly dramatic. Two giant sentinel rocks guarded the entrance and the large
bay is surronded by rugged green mountains.
Craig left for home today and we already miss his singing. We
explored Taiohae (the town) today and found our new Aussie friends from Cat Wagon, who we last saw in a store in San Diego.
Taiohae is wonderful. We have internet, restaurants, fresh produce, and a hardware store. We even stopped by the
public health service to be vaccinated for Elephantitis. The vaccine was free and they did not even ask our names.
We expect to be here about two weeks getting
the boat back into shape for the passage to the Tuamotus.
The last couple of days have been great! We are anchored at a beautiful
bay on Tahuata island, about 10 miles from Hiva Oa. We had a couple of days of snorkeling, deserted white sand beaches
and a flat, gorgeous anchorage. Craig snorkeled much farther from the boat and encountered two large black tip sharks.
They circled as he made an olympic swim back to the boat. He is a little extra sensitive since he was bitten by a shark
a few years ago.
Even Plato is happier. He spent the day wandering the deck and eating like a wolf.
He made one mistake when he jumped to the foredeck failing to realize that there was an open hatch. He went right through
the hatch, fell seven feet and landed on all fours. Shaken, but not hurt, he went to bed.
Glenn Hansen, our
rigger and new friend, heroically flew here from San Francisco to fix our shrouds and make sure there was no other damage. He has worked hard and has been
a great addition to the crew. Can you imagine any repair person making a 2000 mile warranty trip? For the best
rigger in the bay area contact Glenn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do have some lingering mechanical problems. Our new Garmin system is on the blink, so we have no depth
finder or wind indicator. Fortunately, we have back up GPS info with Nobeltec.
We plan to head to Nuka Hiva
in the next couple of days.
Position 09 54.431 S 139 06.252 W
At anchor, Tahuata Island
|Customs Police board Georgia J- They were nice
|Our private beach and aquarium
Kim's log 4/28/11:
pictures to the blog below. It is really slow to do this from Hiva Oa.
The highlight of Hiva Oa has
been the dinner we had a couple's house who operate a local pension/B&B. He was a ex French foreign legion sniper
who married a Marquesan girl and decided to stay here. We enjoyed the excellent dinner, wine, and conversation in
their home. Surprisingly, Craig was invited back the next day to watch soccer with their friends.
Bruce and Pascal on Calou showed up in the harbor today. Hiva Oa now has two Corinthian Yacht Club staff commodores
The rigger comes today from San Francisco to fix the shrouds. Most of the other repairs, cleaning
and laundry are almost done. We hope to leave for beautiful Tahuata, a neighboring island today or tomorrow.
We are confident we can handle the two hour trip.
|Solid Stainless rod which helped hold up the mast- notice how it bent
4/26/11- Sharon's Blog
First, Happy Birthday, Erie! It is hard to believe that our little girl has grown into such a lovely, successful,
young woman with a beautiful home and family of her own. We could not be more proud of you.
Well, we have
the first dissension among our crew. Captain Craig is all ready to sign up and do it again. Captain Kim is saying
no way. I am right in the middle. Hard as hell? Absolutely. Worth it? Well, I don't know
yet. I do know that I am thrilled to be here on Georgia J.
Yesterday was a great example of what a special
crew we have. No one had a burning need to immediately get off the boat or away from each other. After a bottle
of champagne and one too many Bloody Marys, we slept until late afternoon. We had a
lovely candlelight dinner in the cockpit, with soft music, stars and this amazing ambiance
of this quiet anchorage. Now, that is what I had in mind.
Our land adventure begins today. We go in
search of check in, LAUNDRY, French bread, cheese and wine. What more could anyone need?
Its all forgotten: the breaks, the spills, the failures, being thrown around, knocked around and spun around. No climbers
enjoy the hardships of Everest, but standing on the summit is why they do it. This morning as the sun turned the shades of
grey into color, Hiva Oa, lusciously green, with its spires and ridges and cliffs of lava came into focus... and life was
good again. We were on the summit. It was 100% worth it and I would do it again with the same boat and the same crew. We are
now nestled in a small anchorage with 19 other boats of all shapes and sizes and flags. Each boat having their own story,
there own struggles, dancing in this tiny bay on this tiny island in this massive ocean. Yes, Life is definitely good.
Had I known the trip would be this hard, I would never have done it. However, the broken
standing rigging, contaminated fuel and water, and relentless pounding for days on end were
not anticipated. I also did not anticipate the quality of our crew. After 33 years together, I knew Sharon would
first fuss, then face any adversity. However, I did not expect that our only arguments would be over her insistence
to cook hot meals on a rolling stove which posed a serious danger of severe burns.
I also knew that Craig had the
necessary technical skill to do the passage. However, I did not know he would become our cheerleader and motivator.
When I crawled in the lazerette at midnight concerned that a new noise was the propeller shaft coming loose, Craig told me
to go back to bed. When I was was up the mast having the breath knocked out of me, Craig was yelling, "hold on
buddy, you can do it." When I found a quarter inch gap in the floor panel indicating that the boat was coming apart
2000 miles offshore, Craig told me to be positive, I simply had a larger boat. He was sure we could fix any problem
as they arose, we just needed another "Mexican gasket." I learned to be creative as we faced new challenges.
The final surprise was adding new crew member after we were underway. Erica became our lifeline allowing us
to receive messages from friends, tracking our position and even researching the equator crossing ceremony. Since she
was a wee bit negative about her parents running away from home, her help was greatly appreciated.
As a final joke
from Neptune, the 3/4" missing nut which almost brought down our mast and was desperately
needed for the repair somehow washed up in the cockpit with two dead fish on the the final day of the voyage.
At anchor in Hiva Oa, Marquesas
09 38.221 S 139 01.824 W
Georgia J and her crew
have made it safe and sound! They are currently anchored at Hiva Oa and very happy to be there. More to follow
P.S.- The Winlink position dots are not correct. They did not start heading north towards Hawaii
but have in fact reached their intended destination. Kim hopes to fix them soon.
of 1445 PST today is S 8 35.4
W 138 24.7
71.8 miles from land Ho!
Its probably my kharmic influence that has caused these conditions. I certainly cant believe
that it could be Kim and Sharons. We made the decision to slow down to avoid an arrival in the middle of the night. Well,
at the moment, we have half the jib out are close reaching in 12+ seas, 25kt winds and are pounding along at 7 kts. This is
suppose to be the "Milk Run" so far it has been the "Rock Gut, Home Stilled Whiskey" run. On a happy note,
only 78 miles to go and at mile 79, I certainly wont be sippin' milk.
ps: Erica, its not nice to laugh at a
grown man getting pee'd on!
Sharon's Blog: Happy Easter, Everyone. This is one Easter that Kim and I will not forget. I managed to cook
a full breakfast despite the conditions.. Craig and Kim asked me what I wanted to eat for our first meal on shore.
I couldn't care less, as long as i don't have to cook it or chase it across the counter. My Mom asked me today if
we were having fun. I really wanted to say yes, but just couldn't quite say that. However, I do believe that
we are just getting to the fun part. We have, however, made the best of it, and all of us have stayed amazingly positive.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, it is impossible to deny the incredible beauty of the ocean, the sky, an immense
rainbow and the stars (that's it, that's all we've seen). We are grateful for our safe passage thus far and this
amazing opportunity we have. Now bring on the fun!
PS: We love getting your guest book comments.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Georgia J's Position as of 1500 PST on 4/23
It was a rough night.
The swell was hitting us from two directions. I dreamt that I was off road on a really rough hill, going over ruts and rocks
in a slow moving truck. The first thing Kim said to me this morning is that he felt he was four wheeling down a rough road
all night. Go figure. Weird- Time to spend some time apart.
As of this moment, let me check...200 miles to Hiva
Oa! We are ready in so many ways to drop the hook. Bernard Metissie (sp?) in the first race solo/non-stop around the world
was in the lead in the homestretch back to England,
back to glory and $$$, after nearly a year at sea, he inexplicably changed course and decided to go around the world again-
leaving the fame and fortune behind.
Sharon Kim and I took a vote- no plans on doubling back here. We are gladly taking
the infamous and illfortune happily.
A quick note on Plato who seems as if he as been in Pluto this entire trip. I
was trying to play with him in the cockpit yesterday while K & S were below. He was very cutely nuzzling his mug under
my arm. I thought he was playing-- apparently he was preparing his spot, he pee'd all over me and the cockpit cushions.
He then sat down and tilted his head sideways wondering why I was doing such a funny dance.
Sharon and Kim will
be back on the blog manana.
Position 03 55.1 S, 136 52.6 W. Heading 205T, speed 5.1 knots
Yesterday's big event came flying. While cleaning up the galley, I noticed two eyes behind the bread basket.
During the night a 6" flying fish had apparently flew over the boat, down a 12" over head hatch and crash landed
on the new Corian counter top. Although the fish was stiff, Plato dug his teeth into the head when Craig offered a bite.
This morning has been very squally. We just passed through a big one where the true wind peaked at 48 knots.
Even with the main down and jib reefed, we all watched the mast bend and crossed our fingers that the jerry rig would hold.
Only 368 miles to go.
Last night and this morning were wild. The strength and the frequencies
of the Squalls increased. Not much we could do other than head off, reduce and prey that the
rigging gods were happy.
Georgia J is ship shape but man do we need a deep cleaning. Everything from doggy do do
to a entire quart of salza has hit, slid and shattered on the floor- not to mention sheets, towels cushions and pillows that
are constantly damp from many wet miles. I know its driving Sharon crazy but all we can do is wait to get to a laundry facility
and spend the day. The problem is Hiva OA, out first stop, only has one facility--and that is one concrete sink in the middle
of town! When asked about provisioning, I always say one bottle a wine and one roll of paper towels
per person, per day. Current inventory: We still have plenty of wine but are down to our last roll.
position as of 1200 PST: S 01 52.2
W 136 07.2
We were sorry so many of you missed
the party, but we hope you had a glass or two in celebration with us. We think King Neptune would be pleased with our
offering and the respect we showed the occasion. The festivities culminated for me when I saw the Southern Cross for
the first time (someone should write a song about that). Allyn, I know how much you like astronomy. I wish you
could have been here.
Today, I inaugurated the stove top cappuccino maker that Kim gave me for Christmas. It is a French machine, so it seemed appropriate.
At home, I normally am at Café Acri before 8:00 a.m. each day. Today was really the first day I had even thought
about it. Perspectives are certainly different out here.
With land hopefully abut 4 days away we are all
starting to get a bit anxious. Hiva Oa can not get here soon enough for this crew.
beautiful night of no sleep. In the real world, not sleeping ruins your entire day. Here the cool night time breezes, the zillions of stars, the moon rising, passing
squalls and the sound of the waves slapping the hull entertains conversely from the suns domain. Not to mention, we can catch
a few winks during the day to make up for it. So, tonight, forget the sleep thing, stay up all night, bump into the wall a
few times and enjoy the show.
Crossing the equator is not something you do that many times. I'll never forget my first. But what really stood out was filet
mignon and lobster tail for our
crossing dinner. Sharon, once again, proved her culinary skills and this time, at 0 degrees. I'm mean really, steak and
Finally, here we are. Today's the day "E Day"!
The last 3 days have been relatively quiet, almost boring. Trust me, out here, boring is good. I have actually
fond time to flip through a couple of cookbooks. We even played "Who's the Skipper", a nautical knowledge
game Paula gave Kim. Guess who didn't win that one.
Today's events center around celebrating, paying
homage to the gods (all of them!) and being grateful that we are still on track. We will be pulling out all the
stops today; champagne, filets, lobster, and we are all taking showers today! Thank goodness for that new watermaker.
As you know, the last few months have been practically hectic and challenging. I am bouncing back remarkably
well. I seem to have the energy I need when I need it. I will however be quite happy to hear that shout "Land
Ho". I will be happy to have a meal somewhere other than my galley; anywhere will be fine with me.
us in a toast today, as we leave our pollywog status behind.
Big day around GJ.
Every one is puttin' on their Sunday best. I even did some laundry in the bucket- it was getting bad. The weather is just
what you would imagine and we are soaking it up and drying out. I've never been across the equator by boat, this has always
been a goal and I couldn't of picked a better boat or crew to do it with.
Kim says there is a dotted line on
the water when we get there. Who knows, after two bottles of celebratory champagne, it might be!
A Poem by Captain Craig
Pacific crossing, a story to tell
A special poem for my Sue Bell.
Southwest from San Diego with a gentle
Georgia J, our boat, sails with ease.
I'm leaving the woman of my dreams
Only temporarily as it
The wind and seas began to rise
Torment and fear in my eyes
The sails and keel yelled out loud
That there was a problem with our shrouds
With our lives at stake
A repair was needed to insure our fate
My life meant nothing on this sea
I had to get back to see my baby
We jerry'd the rig, and and made
We're back on course to 186
I can sigh a relief that all is well
and dream of when I see my Sue
4/19/11: Supplemental Log
A concern has been expressed that only Capt Craig is posting to the blog and that Kim & Sharon have mysteriously disappeared
from the boat (like Dead Calm). In fact, we are here, but need more sleep than Craig. Current status is as follows:
We are out of the ITCZ. The sun is incredibly bright and the ocean is 81 degrees. To avoid heat stroke,
the Admiral ordered a round of mandatory margaritas. We are motoring on a port tack with the next course adjustment
at Hiva Oa, 738 miles away. Winds are light, but we have calculated that we have enough fuel on board to to motor 780
miles, plus or minus a couple hundred miles.
Here is a recap of equipment issues to date:
Icom 802 radio- email and transmission works incredibly well
Garmin instruments, computer, Nobeltec
Refrigeration (Thanks Jeff!)
Loss of lower shrouds- Falling masts are never
Generator- Overheating, then stopped working.
Refrigerator & freezer lids- hinges tore loose in heavy
Contaminated fuel and water- should have added valves to all vents
Deck leaks- we had several small
leaks from decks. Much of our clothing is soaked in sea water and will not dry. Really need a laundry mat.
Oven- Swings wildly at night ejecting pizza stone and pots.
We will need to do a fair amount of repair
work in Hiva Oa and take on fuel. Unfortunately, we understand they are low on fuel and the supply ship does not arrive
Position at 22:56 UTC on 4/20:
Heading 187 true at 5.0 knts
Georgia J Position as of 1400 PST: N 02 04.4
W 134 53.2
We are frantically
trying to get invites out for our Equator party. Dress casual, plenty of parking, BYOBoat.
Kim and Sharon are deep
asleep. The constant movement makes you want to nap a lot. It is a very good sign that we are moving along smoothly, which
we have been for the past 3 days. We are miles away from being out of the ITCZ, without issues and are sighting the Equator
for sometime around noon manana. None of us have ever crossed, so we are a tub full of Polly Wogs until that moment at 0 degrees
where we become Shell Backs. Sharon has steak and lobster, I brought a bottle of Dom, Kim has a little outfit he will share
with us and, well....sounds like a party.
Hope to see y'all there!
Georgia J Position
as of 1430 PST: N 04 08 01
W 134 31.3
What a pleasant, quiet evening we had last night.
Wind has shut down to 10 kts and at low RPM's, the engine let off a hypnotic drone as we slice through the ITCZ. The moon
was full and bright illuminating our way 'till the sun worked its way up the horizon this morning. All hands slept well
enough that the low level of snoring harmonized perfectly with the engine.
Today, we have hit an area of moderate
convection and have been dealing with thunder and lightning, multiple wind shifts and constant sail adjustment--still paranoid
of the jerry rig. We do have good news as Kim and I took about a gallon of fuel off the bottom of our largest fuel tank and
there was no indication of water. Woo hoo!
Yesterdays highlites: Plato pooped, Sharon made burgers, Kim read about
squalls and I finished "Pirate Latitudes" by Michael Critchton (highly recommend) It seems as if we have finally
settled down to the important stuff.
|Sunset at Five Degrees North
Georgia J Position as of 1200 PST: N 06 19.8
W 134 32.7
We had some good
news today. Our rigger has agreed to fly from San Francisco to the Marquesas at his
own expense to fix our rigging and inspect the mast for damage. This is one heck of a warranty house call. We just have
to keep the mast up for another 1000 miles to meet him.
We have now entered the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) where the northern
trade winds converge with the southern trade winds. The ITCZ is also called the doldrums since there is typically little
wind and flat seas. Unfortunately, the doldrums also has severe squalls and electrical storms. So far, we have
had 20 knots of wind, one small squall and no thunder storms. We are departing from the rhumb line to the Marquesas
so that we can cross the ITCZ at a right angle and minimize our time here. Our weather router (www.weatherguy.com) tells us there is moderate activity, so our timing is good. We plan to motor most of the way which should take about
Side note- We would like to thank everyone for posting messages to our blog. It is a little
lonely out here. Reading these is a high point of each day.
So what's the news.
Is Kadafi still in power? is Japan still West of us?
Is Wilson back closing for the Giants? What's happening in the
Champion's League (Jeff)? American Idol results anyone?
I was having a bad day yesterday- sorry 'bout the
downer log entry. I'd rather have a bad day sailing to the South Pacific than stuck on
hwy 17 coming home to Santa Cruz at 5pm
on a Friday afternoon. Sorry Al, Brett
and Albert. So far, so good on the rigging fix. I think about it constantly, especially with every good thrashing from an
off course wave. I got to hand it to the rigger who did the work. Everyone makes mistakes, its how we handle it that tells
the story. As Kim said above, He is meeting us at landfall to sort out the problem.
Just a note: Before the rigging
failure, we were really flying. At the pace we were going and with the conditions we have seen since, our ETA to the Marquesis
could of been 15 days! Georgia J is a thoroughbred, Bob Perry got this design right. She tracks well, punches through the
wind waves, surges straight as an arrow off the swells and is balanced enough for the auto pilot to keep her on course. AND
she doesn't need all her standing rigging to keep her going!
For the Barr contingency,
Kim and Sharon are doing great. Sharon has provided excellent meals during some pretty rough conditions. For those of you
that have done some passage making, you know a hot meal goes a long way a rough night. As for Kim, holy cow! The guy is all
over the systems on this boat and his 4 trip day up the mast was fearless. His body, literally was covered in bruises.
Two last notes:
1) Kim believes that Plato might be the only Schnauzer to make a Pacific Crossing. if not, at
14 he is definitely the oldest. Somebody get him a booking on Letterman
2)Sharon, at the delight of her crew, has
shaved her port armpit. I have to say, it made me feel like I was back home in Santa Cruz though.
Georgia J Position 1600 PST: N 08 08.6
Yesterday and a bit today brought a much needed
respite. Odd, isn't it that I can call 8-10ft waves a respite! The prior 48 hours was one of the most physically and mentally
challenging in my recent memory. However, we have faced each challenge head on, with a positive attitude. It is true
they say that a boat can only have one captain- let me just say, I am darn glad that we have both of these two captains, on
board and working together to come up with resourceful and creative ways to handle our problems. Now, if they would just get
those waves down another notch...or two!
We are within 2 degrees of the ITCZ (inter tropical
conv zone) or "in the caca zone" Its muggy, sea is confused and squalls are surrounding us. There is no rhythm,
no order, no pattern to our movement. I also realized I brought two books that i have already read, I'm running out of
cloths and we cant sail over 5 knots because of a rigger that did not secure a a bloody nut! Thats right I'm bitchin'
and Ive had it. Time for a nappy poo.
|Cooking while tethered to stove
10 32.5 N, 133 50.23 W.
Time 20:51 UTC 4/15
Today is a better day. The sun is out
and the waves are smaller. We worried all night that the jerry rigged mast would fall since we were in big swells that heeled
Georgia J from side to side every 2-3 seconds. However, the mast seems to have stopped pumping and we are more confident
it will hold.
We think we have gotten rid of the water in our main fuel tank and are motoring to charge batteries.
The only problems today have been one water tank which is contaminated with sea water and a severely stopped up toilet.
Both are also almost fixed.
Plato has developed a taste for the tiny fish that fly into our cockpit.
1222 nautical miles to go!
Captain Craig's Log
Speaking of logs, shout out to Kim for diggin'
into the head stoppage this morning. We are back on tract with a noticeable limp. Murphy, Gremlins, bad kharma and not contributing
enough rum to our fallen privateer's resulted in contaminated fuel, contaminated drinking water,
failed rigging. Which means at one point we could not charge the batteries, operate under engine power or sail the boat --about
1700 miles from land. Pretty much up that well known creek. We attacked each issue, jerry rigged some areas and are back on
course- happily I might add. On a personal note I want to add that those failures were not in any way a result of Kim and
Sharon's flawless preparation and organization of Georgia J. Enough said, especially if you know the Barr's.
I finally took a shower and have lost my dreads and have gained my ability to be stealthy upwind again. Its time for
a Cuba Libra and you can bet the first sip is going over the side.
Hi Sue Bell xoxoxo
Today was not a good day. As the sun came up this morning,
I noticed some loose shrouds. It turned out that a nut holding four shrouds at the lower spreader had come off and we
had lost four shrouds which support the lower part of the mast. We took down all the sails as soon as possible and tried
to come up with a plan. I went up the mast three times in 15 foot seas and was able to jerry rig a metal rod to hold
up the shrouds after three tries up the mast. Unfortunately, this fix only held for short while.
with two riggers, I went up again and secured two lines to the shrouds and mast to stop the mast from pumping. We now
have only a reefed jib out and are making about 5 knots on course. We have a couple of additional ideas, but need calmer
seas to do a more proper fix.
We have been able to run the engine periodically to charge batteries while constantly
Very tired, but no immediate danger.
Position at 03:50 zulu 4/14:
133 17.00 w
Speed 5.0 knts
Bearing 180 M
presure 1009 - up 1 in last hour
Seas NE at 12-15'
Intentions- sail roughly 180 M towards ITCZ. We have a jerry rig backup plan in case mast comes down.
Position at 00:29 UTC
130 48.9 W
Heading 234 M
Speed 8.0 knts
last 2 days have been difficult. Salt water entered our main fuel tank and one of the
water tanks. We were able to dump the water and replace. However, the fuel problem
was more difficult. Ultimately, we took a lazerette insert out of the cockpit, hand pumped about 30 gallons of
fuel into the insert (while in the salon in a rolling sea). We then filtered the fuel back into the tank with a baja
fuel filter. After draining the racor filters about 50 times, we were able to get the engine and generator running.
Craig also installed a valve on the vent line to prevent more contamination. The other big task of the day changing
reef line rigging since a block broke last night during an accidental jib during a squall. Very tiring days, but much
better than hand steering if the autopilot does not have electricity.
The batteries are now 75% charged and we
were able to run the refrigerator for a while. We still have to fully charge the batteries, run refrigerator and make
more water while draining racor filter every 10 minutes.
Hard work, but an excellent result.
friend Tony- You were right. Solar power does work. My two small panels produce enough juice to run the
autopilot. Of course, it helps to be in the tropics.
It is getting hot. We must be getting closer to
My parents called this
evening via sat phone to give me an update and they wanted me to post an entry here for everyone. The crew is fine but
Georgia J is having some mechanical problems. They have taken sea water into their fuel and water
tanks via the vents. They have plenty of food and uncontaminated drinking water,
so they are in no danger. However, they need to pump the fuel into containers and filter it in order to run the
engine and keep the batteries charged. Needless to say, this would be much easier if the sea were calmer. In the
meantime, they are going to try to conserve battery power as much as possible. That means for now they will not be using
the computer and so will be unable to send updates for the website. They also reported that they are finally in warmer
weather which everyone is appreciating and that Plato is feeling much better.
Position N14-20.7 W127-55.5
Position:N 17 19.4 W 126 29.5
The highlight for me yesterday was speaking
to my parents, Erica & Connor--although, I do realize that Connor was more excited about being allowed to get up when
he was suppose to be napping than he was about talking to Grandma on her boat. Kim promised me only 6 days of cold weather
sailing and sure enough, day 7 blew in with blue skies and sunshine. We have officially, "hit the Trades" --If we
could only get a little bit smaller waves.
Captain Craig's log
The highlight for me was getting
to speak with the love of my life, Sue Bell. If you are reading this, I miss you, wish you could be here. With every degree
of latitude, I come closer to wrapping you up like a spicy burrito.
There is a clarity to a midnight watch. How
often in the day to day do we have 4 to 5 hour our eyes wide open, no company, no television, no texting, no internet? Answer:
never... but I highly recommend it. Your brain goes into overdrive and thoughts, visuals, and memory that are buried deep
in your grey matter come up for a breath. Last night, I was backstroking through those thoughts when the boat rounded up and
the cockpit filled with water. I dont know if it was me who caused that or just mother nature governing my visual at that
FYI: Sharon just announced that Kim and I have to get over her one hairy armpit. After all the space
rays she has been hit with, she can't shave until April 17. That, for sure, will be the highlight of that day.
The Pacific Ocean is much bigger than I realized.
|Pirates at sea
23.04 N, 124 50.15 W -nearest land is Cabo San Lucas 850 miles
Distance traveled in last
24 hours 174 NM
Today is my Dad's 90th birthday. I was just able to speak
with him on the satellite phone. I am so greatful to my family for being able to celebrate a few weeks early.
My Dad is an amazing man, a WWII veteran, a farmer, a good neighbor and friend, a devoted husband and without a doubt a wonderful
father. He may not understand why I would want to do this particular adventure, but in so many ways he is the reason
I am the kind person who is willing to take it on. Happy birthday Daddy.
out the jib, prevented the mainsail and headed more South yesterday with the swell pushing us along nicely. Prior to, we were
on a port tack which allowed me to tuck up comfortably to the side of the hull on my bunk. With our new point of sail, the
boat might be well balanced and sailing fine but I am a complete mess in bed. I have to sleep in a three point stand, wedge
pillows on either side of my hull and sleep while keeping a rhythm to the sea.---Last night around 0100, there was a slight
clearing in the sky. There it was, slightly tilted low on the horizon and framed perfectly along side the mast, under the
jib and above the deck--The Southern Cross.
What a beautiful target to take bearing.
Position at 19:00 UTC on 4/9- 22 54.09N, 123 21.5W.
(732 miles west of Cabo San Lucas) Course 212m Speed 8.5 knots. Swells 10-12'
on beam at 10-12 seconds. Another 200 mile day. Cummulative miles 804
morning we had our first hint of the sunshine to come. The sun was out. We had the Rolling Stones cranked up in
the cockpit and spirits were high. I had gone down to make a round of Bloody Marys when the first squall of the day
hit. Throughout the day we honed our storm tactics. The first of which is to remove Plato from the cockpit and
secure him down below. I can hear the groans now- poor Plato. I have faced many culinary challenges, but trying
to prepare a warm meal will dodging squalls rises to the top of the list. Tonight's meal will definitely have fewer
Captain Craig's log:
Blue skies, blue water and puffs of cumulus
clouds freight training above my head. Now, that's what I'm talking about! 4 days, 804 miles-the numbers dont
lie, we are haulin' ass. Late afternoon yesterday, we punched thru a squall line and slolum'd
over our course. We were sailing fast and hard. The autopilot was having issues keeping up in the gusts so I took the helm
and had some fun. I had one of those moments when I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here--until I took 300 gallons
of seawater into the side of my head and felt the cold water slowly dripping down my long johns. At that moment, I wanted
to be in a hot shower at home with Sue Bell--not here.
I know it is rough out here
since my wife is serving the salmon bagels without capers.
Total squalls yesterday- 5 plus 1 false alarm
|Hard to Stay in the Bed in these Seas
Position 25 14.73N
121 32.06W at 18:10 UTC.(about 500 miles off coast of Baja Peninsula) Speed 8.0 knts. Course 190T
April 8- Last night was a magical midnight watch. After blowing 15-25 knots for days, the wind suddenly
died at midnight. The sky opened to reveal millions of stars. In the far distance I could hear the eerie song
of whales. I had heard them before, but never at sea. I called Capt Craig to confirm I was not going mad.
We listened to their songs for half an hour. Then the wind picked up, the clouds covered the sky, and Georgia J
took off. A hint of wonders to follow.
Captain Craig's Log
-Last nights hot
chili not only satisfied my hunger but kept me warm in my oil skins throughout my watch. The wind let up early in the
morning (0100) and the sky opened up for the first time illuminating a splattering of stars. The whales moaned as if to say
the starry show was a short one. They were right, it rained most of my watch and the temp dropped as well.
- We really
are making amazing time. Georgia J loves this point of sail and she is a joy to sail. 6 knots seem slow now as we have been
averaging over 8 with a reefed main and a 90% jib. Well, another day logged and all is unexplainable as ever. Its now time
for the third phase of the chili.
|On Watch In Colder Latitudes
Sharon's Day 2 was a lot like the fist day, except we did not have any warm sunshine or gentle
breeze. Strong winds and high seas have kept us rocking and rolling. Mid afternoon, we reefed the main and hunkered
down for a long night. Capt Craig pulled more than his share of the night watch, giving me some extra sleep. I
suspect he knows I finds these seas a bit intimidating, especially at night. The sustained 10-12' swells, the highest
this sailor has experienced are no problem for Georgia. She slides through the waves with far more grace than her crew.
Kim & Plato are both feeling better, but neither one is quite their normal frisky self yet. My carefully
thought out plans for nourishing attractively presented meals have been put aside for now. The crew is having to make
due with what I can quickly pull together, while performing impressive feats of balancing and acrobatics.
news is that we are flying (under control, points out Capt Craig). By the end of our second full day, we have covered
404 miles, far better than expected. But I ask "my Captains" where is the light down wind sail I was promised?"
Capt Craig's log:
Everyone should live their life at 15% heel, it puts life in perspective. Georgia
J rocks! She is handling the wind and wave like a hot knife thru butter. I'm loving the 200 mpd reach. Just
like the song says, "sailing a reach in a following sea." The only sane one on board is the dog, Plato.
I can see in his eyes "wondering where is the warm house with a view of San Francisco
and why in the hell did they ever leave home." I love you Sue Bell.
Kim's log: Quote of the day
comes from Erica:
"Poor Plato, he was just an innocent bystander." Erica- the electric wrist band you gave
me for Christmas cured the sea sickness within 1/2 hour.
Postion at 21:49 UTC on 4/7: 27 22.89N 120 26.6 W (about 300 miles offshore from Baja Pennisula. Course
205m, Speed 8.0 knts.
N 30 30.87
W 118 36.9
J departed at noon on what looked like a day made to order: warm sunshine and 12 knots of wind. Kim, Craig, and I enjoyed
a relaxing lunch in the cockpit and life was good. Soon, however, the wind and seas picked up, hitting us directly on the
beam, making our first night a very rolly one. Fortunately, I had pre-made "overnight passage" minestrone soup--cooking
was pretty much impossible. Unfortunately captain Kim and his faithful companion Plato the schnauzer have fallen hard with
sea sickness. The true bright spot in this story is that we are making AMAZING time- averaging between 6-8 knots! Captain
Craig calls it "money in the bank", but I would have been happy with a bit less.
As Murphy's law would have it, wind was ahead of the beam as we left San Diego. I seem to always be searching
for that warm breeze and following seas-- apparently that does not happen until later! Highlites of our first 24 hours were
finding two of my chicken's eggs (one whole, one scrambled) in the pocket of my jumper, hearty homemade minestrone soup
for dinner and a galaxy of phosphorescent particles in the head at 0400. It's nice to be in the arms of Mother Nature
once again ;)
|Casting off for Marquesas
The crew of the Georgia J before setting sail
from San Diego on 3/5/11.
Today was a frantic day of last minute preparations. We had the bottom cleaned,
the compass swung, a door trimmed to fit and the fuel tanks filled. Tomorrow we get a new jib halyard and plan
to leave the dock at 10:00 am.
Only one crew member is not cooperating. After 14 years of being
house broken, Plato refuses to pee on the boat. He held it for 18 hours and only gave way after receiving a cold cockpit
shower. Pretty good for an old guy.
Captain Craig has offically agreed to go!
We are extremely pleased
that our friend, Captain Craig, has agreed to go to the Marquesas with us. He is not only a good friend, but is
also a skilled professional Captain with vast blue water experience.
April 1st: We are on track for April
We have been working extremely hard at the San Diego Yacht club to get ready to go. Our biggest
projects have been replacing the radar and rigging the boat for the genniker. We also have a never ending list of small
projects ranging from defrosting the refrigerator to cleaning the bilge. We now have enough canned food to cross the
Pacific several times and avoid even considering Plato as a source of protein. Sharon will cook many
meals for the freezer tomorrow and will buy fresh foods on Sunday.
We had a treat yesterday when our weather router,
Rick Shema, made a visit to our boat. Rick was formerly the Chief Meteorologist for a US Navy aircraft carrier group
and is also an avid sailor. He happened to be in San Diego and took time to stop by and get introduced.
We learned a ton and really appreciated putting a face to the person we are depending on. Rick is predicting light
winds (i.e., a slow trip) for next week.