Journal 11- Daily Log of Pacific Crossing


    A short log about a long passage.  These daily notes outline our conditions
    and activities during those 25 days at sea – they are by no means the official
    log of the vessel, which contains more statistical information regarding wind,
    sea state and other maritime phenomena.

    Wednesday April 7     
    Lat: 20 deg 39’ N     Long 105 deg 15’
    Left Puerta Vallarta with 210 gallons fuel, 180 gallons water, $1,000 worth of
    Mexican provisions: boat down 3” on the waterline.
    Fuel dock fiasco – geyser of diesel, finally solved with a heavy discount and a
    shower.  Motored through Banderas Bay, dolphin pod saw us off, turned 3
    circles, set sail with 2 reefs in the main for a conservative start. Quiet Night:
    Dinner – seafood rice paella

    Thursday Apr. 8
    Lat: 19 deg 41’  N  Long 107 deg 15’
    Todays Miles157
    Smooth sail till noon,  passed Cabo Corrientes with no hassles, main sail (1
    reef) & 94 jib, wind picked up : 18-24 knots wind, “wild ride” all night; we
    send/receive first emails from the Pacific.  Dinner – Thai chicken green curry
    with fragrant coconut rice, mango chutney.  Vanilla pudding.

    Friday Apr 9th
    Lat: 18 deg 09’N  Long 108 deg 59’
    Todays Miles: 125
    Wind continued strong all day till sunset then died down to 16 knots, cool
    evening: Saw huge freighter bound for Acapulco. Easter Friday, Henry cooked
    great Dinner: caramelized onions, grilled yellow & green peppers, rice, ostrich
    steak medallions.  Chocolate bar.

    Sat Apr. 10  
    Lat: 17deg 37’N   Long 109 deg 42’
    Todays Miles: 95
    Ran engine for 2 hrs, wind 12 knots, pleasant day; enjoying radio & weather
    nets and checking in with Don/Summer Passage.  Awful night with light &
    variable winds, medium swell, boat banging around; GT sighted Southern
    Cross. Dinner: Vegetable stir-fry & spicy noodles. Orange slices.

    Apr 11: Easter Sun
    Lat: 16 deg 11’N  Long 111 deg 47’
    Today miles:105
    Very light winds,boat speed 3 knots, nice sunny day with calm water,
    loosened turnbuckles on uppers/lowers on rig by half turn, hoping to reduce
    pumping under heavy weather; did a few items of laundry, started reading
    books; radio nets – boats ahead of us encountering rough weather.  Dinner:
    ostrich medallions, caramelized onions, peppers, rice pilaf, crème caramel flan
    with glass of wine to celebrate Easter.

    Monday Apr 12
    Lat: 15 deg 53’N  Long 112 deg 47’  
    Today’s miles 100
    Calm Seas, light winds, Jack driving, sighted large fishing vessel to port.
    Working our way through fresh produce, now have 2 loaves of bread left;
    found & opened large box of chocolate biscuits…. 12-14 knot winds, perfect:
    140 mile day.  Did email & submitted first Yotreps report.
    Dinner: fresh guacolmole (from 2 of the 18 avocados aboard), melba toast,
    grilled salmon roulade, potato w/cheese filling.

    Tuesday Apr 13   
    Lat: 14 deg 40’N  Long 115 deg 40’
    Today’s miles 142
    Very calm, beautiful blue sky, no wind – use this as a down day: shower,
    haircut, laundry, sorted fruit & vegetable baskets, full diesel tanks from 4
    yellow fuel jugs (good to get them off the deck); made cheesecake to celebrate
    GT’s mum’s birthday; 3 big seabirds crap on dodger, 2 dead flying fish on
    deck.  Dinner: chicken keiv, saffron rice, green peas.  Cheese cake, red wine to
    toast birthday.

    Wed Apr 14
    Lat: 14 deg 01’N    Long 117 deg 06
    Today’s miles 95
    NE Trades !! wind lightens and veers to north from the NW prevailings,  then
    NE.  Cloud formations different today. Dinner: Salmon medallions, garlic
    mashed potato, fresh veg.  Cheesecake.

    Thur Apr 15   
    Lat: 13 deg 09’N   Long 118 deg 14’
    Today’s miles 94
    Flying fish fly’s into GT’s lap while she’s reading on watch!  Both fish & GT
    freaked out! Wind 17-18 knots, jibe for the first time since we started, now on
    port tack – our port side muscles (legs etc) weak from being on starboard tack
    for a week, a little uncomfortable.  Reefed at midnight, Spoke with Don…. Great
    discourse, Winds 25 knots.  Dinner: Turkey/Apple/Cinnamon sausages with
    rice, salsa, fresh veg.  Cheesecake.

    Fri Apr 16    
    Lat: 13 degN       Long: 118 deg 40
    Todays Miles 90
    Same conditions, grey sky, winds between 18 & 28 knots all day. Both tired &
    cranky. We’re on track.  230T course.  Switch to 2 hrs on 2 off tonight due to
    wind conditions.  Wested, into squalls, winds 28-34 all night, rained hard, we’re
    soaking wet, gone thru 3 changes of dry clothes, hand steered over 25 knots
    thru big seas.  Boats ahead in PuddleJumpers net advise 50 knot squalls,
    lying to sea anchor.  Dinner: ostrich & tomato bolognaise over pasta.  Crème

    Sat Apr 17
    Lat : 12 deg 20’N        Long 119 deg 28 ‘
    Today’s miles 132
    Jibed to Southeast (156deg) to escape low pressure system, winds lightened
    to 28 knots, still grey, rainy, squalls passing to west, not on desired course,
    but less rough: noon winds lightened, seas big, running engine to help punch
    thru waves/swell, cold, full heavy foul weather gear, wool hats, both exhausted
    & wet, napped, shoulders ache from steering.   Recovery afternoon, handed
    boat back to Jack all night.  Dinner: Large bowls Clam Chowder.  Chocolates.
    Orange slices.

    Sun Apr 18
    Lat: 11 deg 48’N   Long 121 deg 30
    Today’s miles137
    Course 190, still southing, ok for rhumbline heading, both tired but returned to
    3 hr watches, seas 12-15ft but wind easing to 20 knots, first piece of blue sky
    in 4 days; did boat running repairs; lazy jacks, patched small hole in main, sail
    taped biminy tears, fixed 2nd reef block/lines (had torn from sail during heavy
    weather);relaxing day, needed this after being “beaten up” for 3 days; had a
    beer. Email from Sven (Spiritus Invictus) advising he had crossed Equator,
    great news. Speranza left Mexico to start passage.   Dinner: chicken cordon
    blue, seasoned rice, mango chutney, fresh avocado slices.  Vanilla pudding.

    Mon Apr 19
    Lat: 08 deg 24’N     Long: 124 deg 07’
    Today’s miles 120
    Sunday night, wind, swell picked up again, rain, winds to 34 knots (glad we
    fixed 2nd reef block yesterday); back to 2 hr watches, managing helm in these
    conditions very demanding, focus, “wired” coming off watch.  GT has start of
    bad shoulder/neck cramps. Both tired.  Jack died during dinner.  Dinner:
    Turkey chilli (first meal out of a can). Fresh orange slices. Chocolate.

    Tue Apr 20
    Lat: 06 deg 50’ N      Long 125 deg 12 ‘
    Today’s miles 110
    Squalls, rain, wind 28-34 knots, big black smudjy squalls; bad news from s/v
    Djadara via radio 150 miles ahead, Victoria got thrown from helm through
    companionway, injured head/face.  Weather system (combined Pineapple
    Express/NE Trades/ITCZ that moved north) playing havoc with large area – we
    are on the edge of it….boat still full of wet clothes & towels. Cold, foul weather
    gear again. Called Commander Wx systems “what is this?” jibed south again
    to avoid intensifying cells to the west. Jibing Dreamcatcher in big seas, driving
    rain at 34 knots, scary.  Step by step. Very careful, nothing breaks.  Noticeably
    more stable conditions 6 hrs later, motored 4 hrs.   Dinner: Pumpkin Soup,
    crackers & cheese w/sun-dried tomato.

    Wed Apr 21
    Lat: 05 deg 34’N       Long 126 deg 17’
    Today’s miles 120
    Our 2 week milestone, pre-dawn talked to Don/Summer Passage on our
    position/proximity to ITCZ: it is still north of it’s usual position (3-7 deg N) we
    are in it.  Jibe west again, aiming for 130 deg long. equatorial crossing; blue
    sky, 18 knots, lovely sailing, safe enough to disrobe & shower, radio nets still
    great company, keep us from feeling alone – still sighted no sailboats.  Flying
    fish on deck each day.
    Dinner: Chicken Cordon Blue, mashed garlic potatoes, green peas, chutney.

    Thur Apr 22
    Lat: 05 deg 03’N  Long 128 deg 14
    Today’s miles 115
    Great sailing, 18 knots, GT’s shoulders aching from hand steering, 2 hr
    watches full time now.  Where are these doldrums? Want a couple of days
    Dinner – fresh vegetable bolognaise over pesto tortellini pasta.  Glass of wine.

    Fri Apr 23  
    Lat: 03 deg 57’N   Long 129 deg 28’
    Today’s miles 120
    Heave to for 6 hours, sleep, shower….light winds, 6 knots.
    Dinner: smorgasbord in cockpit – fresh avocado, crackers, blue cheese, sun-
    dried tomatoes, celery with peanut butter in channel. Beer, Oranges.

    Sat Apr 24
    Lat: 02 deg 17’N   Long 130 deg 50’
    Today’s miles 110
    Winds 9-11 knots, we get spinnaker out; had main up, hard to hold kite.
    Shred halyard, but able to chop off shredded end, bowline & duct tape,ugly
    but OK.  Take in spinnaker late afternoon.  Motor 6 hrs in 8 knots wind.  Make
    Cheesecake for tomorrow.  Dinner: Sausages (sun-dried tomato & cheese),
    mashed potato, mixed veg.  Caramel pudding (Nestle).

    Sun Apr 25
    Lat: 00 deg 00’ Long 131 deg 32
    Today’s miles 110
    Spinnaker all day without main: flies much better… Have to take bimini down
    to see sail, hot, GT in long pj pants, long sleeves, big hat. Drop kite at 4pm,
    approaching equator.   Heave to for 3 hrs and cross Equator!! a major
    milestone.  Shower, lipstick (GT), phone calls to parents (love that Iridium!) We
    are now in the Southern Hemisphere.!
    Celebratory dinner: Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, melba toast, fresh
    avocado, bottle of champagne with toasts to everyone we can think of,
    including Neptune.  

    Mon Apr 26
    Lat: 0 deg 43’ S  Long 132 deg 19’   
    Today’s miles 120
    Great winds, SE trades are running, 18 knots, terrific sail all day.
    Dinner: Pasta with tomato sauce, cheesecake

    Tue Apr 27
    Lat: 02 deg 21’ S Long 133 deg 31’
    Today’s miles 110
    Great Sailing, winds 15-20 knots
    Dinner; Salmon roulades, saffron rice, tomato/avocado slices.  Cheesecake.

    Wed Apr 28
    Lat: 03 deg 46’ S Long 134 deg 42’
    Today’s miles 135
    Jibed, need to make some southing, winds about 15 knots…great sailing but 2
    hr watches & hand steering starting to take toll, we are constantly tired.  Night
    squalls come and go, GT on helm in 34 knots wind squall, wake Henry for
    assistance, need to ease main, jib, boat at hull speed, 8.2 knots, very alarming!
    wild, hairy, drenching ride.  Too much adrenaline to sleep. Dinner, Sausages,
    mashed potato, fresh tomatoes.   Hot chocolate.

    Thur Apr 29
    Lat: 05 deg 16’ S  Long 136 deg 15
    Today’s miles 100
    Closing in, only 400 miles to go, hard to hold course, wind dead down-wind.  
    Jibe, 6 hrs later jibe again, winds good at 14-16 knots from SE now. Compass
    acts up – shows 18-20 deg off: we email compass guy who gives technical
    treatise on mis-behaviour of compasses that have been calibrated in nthn
    hemisphere.  Steering with GPS.  Cannot hold our 210 desired course,
    frustrating, try to point too high, main bangs around despite preventer, poor
    boat.   Jibe again, too much southing, jibe west again.  Frustrated we cannot
    lay the landfall waypoint.
    Dinner: Chinese sweet & sour chicken (using last of fresh veg) with ginger rice

    Fri Apr 30
    Lat: 07 deg S Long 136 deg 50
    Today’s miles: 110
    Winds change from SE trades to NE – why? Too far south for the NE trades
    here. Jibe again, winds between 12 & 15 knots…thinking about poling out jib
    but too hard for one person to do (other stuck on helm) as clew to high and
    seas very rolly. Still trying to hold 210 but get beam seas each time we’re
    close…wind not enough to drive us through rolly seas.  Getting cranky with
    this.  Dinner: chicken chilli (frozen, home made in Mexico), grated cheese,
    chopped onion.

    Sat May 1
    Lat: 08 deg  38’ S Long 137 deg 30’
    Today’s miles: 100
    Still NE winds 17knots, stay on southerly jibe all day: 190 deg only course we
    can manage, still need 210, southing too much…. We know we’re close, very
    tired, winds lighten quickly at sundown, down to 12 knots, then 7 knots…. We
    are exhausted, turn on engine and drive to final waypoint in light air overnight.  
    Dinner: Thai chicken curry with cardamom rice, mango chutney.

    Sun May 2
    La:t 09 deg 44’ S Long 138 deg 37’  

    LANDFALL at dawn – wonderful sight.  Motor past Hiva Oa to
    Tahuata Island.  Drop anchor late afternoon.  Dinner: 2 beers
    & chocolate bar.  Sleep 17 hours straight.