About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi


"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844


Monday, December 27, 2010

White Christmas of a Different Kind!!

Greetings from Banderas Bay/Puerto Vallarta!  Yesterday we celebrated the holiday with a bit of body surfing on the white sandy beach.  No snow, but Santa landed by para sail down the beach from us.  A white Christmas for sure!   Good fun...

We arrived in Banderas Bay +/- one week ago.  It felt really great to complete the 300 mile crossing from Cabo...very light breezes saw us motoring perhaps 1/2 the way.  Sailing past Punta del Mita we were greeted by a flock of blue footed booby's...great fisher-birds, we really enjoyed their acrobatic dives.  Spent the first couple of days anchored out at La Cruz, a pretty little fishing village around 8 miles from PV.  Really enjoyed walking around, shopping at the little tiendas (tortilleria for fresh tortillas, mercado de pescados where the fisherman were unloading the freshest shrimp ever (except for those we catch ourselves in the Pacific NW!!!)  Nice little taco stands as well, with incredible marlin tacos for $1.00!!


After weighing anchor in La Cruz, we headed to Nuevo Vallarta, and checked into Paradise Village Marina to await the arrival of friends from Seattle, Rich, Laura, and Zach.  We took the bus to the airport (serenaded by a couple of entrepreneurial 13 year old kids singing for pesos.  The guys actually had pretty good sets o' pipes, and all on the bus seemed to enjoy the musical ride).  The bus is fun, and for 13 pesos, a great way to get around.

We packed a lot into the 3 day visit with R, L, and Z.  One day we went up into the mountains above PV for a fun zip line adventure.  Zach is a zip line guide on a course in Ketchikan during the summers, so he had a great rapport with their guides. 

R, Z, and Adam hired a local fishing boat for a day of fishing....let's see how the pro's do it!  The big difference from trolling off Bravo was the use of live bait.  We used small sardines that we bought, and also fished with small lures to catch larger bait fish, perhaps 8" long.  Trolled these without any luck, and finally decided to put some meat in the cooler...bottom fishing out by Los Marietas, at the mouth of Banderas Bay.  Like bottom fishing everywhere, it's always fun, and you never know what will be at the end of the line.  Caught a great variety of fish...pompano, trigger fish, spanish mackeral, snapper, grouper, and sea bass. 
Had a bet on the most fish and the largest....Adam ended up buying the "fru fru drink" of choice for Rich for most, and Zach for largest (nice pompano).  All in all, a fun day of fishing for the three of us, while Cindi and Laura had a relaxing day with a massage and beach time ashore.
Zach catching some zzzz's in the hammock on Bravo's foredeck

One night walking the beach, we saw some little turtles hatching, way up beach near the sidewalk.  They were walking away from the water, and their tracks showed that they had come a long way (in the wrong direction).  Before they hit the sidewalk and got squished, we decided to stage a bit of a turtle rescue, and scooped up a few of the little critters to help down to the ocean...god speed, lil' guys...you'll need it!!!

Now that our visitors have headed back to the soggy Pacific NW, it's time for us to start working on "the List", the list of projects that have been accumulating over the past 1500 miles coming down from San Diego.  Every cruising boat has such a List, and we definitely need to start to whittle it down.  The first one is to deal with is our electrical system.  Running both refer and freezer uses a fair bit of power, slightly more than the solar panels can keep up with.  Especially the freezer (we enjoy ice in our rum sundowners!!!)  When we're at anchor (typical), we just run the generator for an hour or 2 every few days.  Here in the marina, we have shore power available, so I plugged in.  The marina AC voltage read 131, a lot more than we typically see (110-115).  Can't see if that was the the cause, but we fried our inverter/battery charger.  Parts are no longer available to repair, and new ones are a big ticket item.  Happily, we have spare circuit boards in our spares department.  Will roll up our sleeves and dig into it later today.  With a lot of luck, one of the spare boards will have the burned out component(s), and we'll be able to charge the batteries again.  Also will be working on some rigging and sail repairs while here in PV. 

Plan is to spend two more days here at Paradise Village, then head out to explore other places in Banderas Bay for perhaps a couple of more weeks.  Probably spend New Years in La Cruz.

We're using the wifi at the local Starbucks (still no wifi aboard the boat, and our Banda Ancha card continues to stubbornly refuse to cooperate), so will put up a few photos from the past weeks sailing down from San Diego. 

FELIZ NAVIDAD to all!!!


Passage down to Cabo was mostly mellow...here we're going very "cruizy", southing under spinnaker alone!!!

Fruits and veges here are fantastic....Here's a typical breakfast, including monster payaya and banana fruit salad.
Anchored in Turtle Bay, we took on fuel by barge...easy!!!
Turtle Bay was a sleepy little fishing town...I think this guy has caught his last fish!!!
The shrine of the sacred power meter...
Emily and Cindi, enjoying life at Bahia Santa Maria, a beautiful spot.
Swimming in Bahia Santa Maria, Bravo in the background.....(only thing missing is a couple of Corona's in the foreground!!)
A nice hike along the Bahia beach...outside of Baja is a true desert landscape
Emily enjoying hammock time at sea.

Somehow this pix just seemed to pair nicely with the previous one!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cabo update

It's been a busy few days since our last post. We had a great 2 day passage from Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas. Mix of motoring and sailing, but a mellow trip. Arrival in Cabo was a real culture shock after working our way down the remote west coast of the Baja. Yikes, the place is like sailing into an amusement park...jet skis, para sailors, ultra lights, cruise ships (3 anchored in the bay at one time!), pangas, sport fisherman, etc. The only things missing were cruising sailors like us. And we quickly found out the reason: the place is EXPENSIVE! As an example, we often figure on paying $1.00/foot for a guest slip in a marina. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. That works out to around 50 bucks/night for Bravo. At the marina in Cabo, it was $186, and that's US dollars, not pesos!!! Reputed to be the most expensive marina in North America, if not the world!!! We did it for our first night, as we needed access to the port captain office and immigration to check into Mexico. The other 2 nights we anchored out. (Even then, as we were getting ready to leave Cabo, an official looking panga w/ 5 uniformed folks pulled up to us with our bill for ANCHORING!!! $11 USD!!! Unbelievable.

Cabo itself was exceedingly tourist oriented, especially for the hours when the cruise ships disgorged their hordes. From kids hawking chiclets, to guys offering their iguanas up for photo ops, it really had pretty little appeal. You get the picture.

A couple of events stood out. First, do you remember that our recent attempt at a beach landing of our dinghy resulted in a swamping?? Well, we seem to have perfected our technique...we now know how to do a complete flip!!! Yup, we hit the beach near our anchorage, and a little wave combined with extremely steep beach created a monster undertow. Flipped us like an I-Hop buttermilk cake!!! Damage report: one soggy cell phone (now deceased), one pair prescription sunglasses (probably look better on the next wearer than me, but he'll have nasty headaches!!), and one very water cooled outboard motor. Happily 2 pangas were passing by and their crews jumped into the surf to help us flip the dink back over, and tow us back out to Bravo. We pulled the sparkplugs out, emptied the cylinders of their salty juices, and got it fired back up. An hour or 2 of lubing and cleaning, and hopefully we'll be good as new.

We also said our goodbyes to our wonderful crew, friend Emily Hawken, who had to fly back to the soggy Pacific NW. The night before she left, she was looking for her visa, and noted it missing. So we retraced our steps to the port captain's office, who had them last. He only had kept bank receipts showing payment for the visas, so we had to trek back to immigration. Turns out the guy there remembered us (after a 2 hour wait), and had our visas waiting for us...he had evidently forgotten to give them to us 2 days prior. We've since learned that this dance is common, and typically known as the "immigration shuffle".

Left Cabo yesterday morning. Sunny skies, 80 degrees, and even a bit of breeze. Sailed for much of the day before the wind died for most of the night. Came up this morning, right on the beam, so we're on a delightful broad reach aiming right at Puerto Vallarta, still around 130 miles to the SE.

Fishing report: Hasn't been too hot, though not due to lack of trying. Caught one skipjack tuna (pretty nasty, dark red meat), and got a beautiful 3' yellowtail tuna to the boat before it threw the hook while we were trying to gaff it. I did manage to pick up a "fighting belt" in Cabo, handy to anchor the butt end of the rod while fighting these fish...should do wonders to protect the fisherman's cojones.

Again, sorry for the lack of photos these days. These posts are all coming through the ham radio link, and it can only handle texts. We bought a "Banda Ancha" card in Cabo. It's a broadband cell internet card for the laptop. Unfortunately, after a 2 hour wait while they "discussed with Tijuana", they said due to a "network problem" the card will remain kaput for a couple of days...whatever!!! Photos are coming...

All in all, feels fantastic to be in Mexico at last!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bahia Santa Maria...now we're talkin' !!!

Arrived at Santa Maria the night before last at 1 a.m. in a pea soup fog...the bay is very large, perhaps 3 mi x 11 mi, and only about 3 other boats here, so anchoring by radar was no problem. Had a mixed bag of sailing conditions to get here from Turtle Bay, around 230 miles to the north. Seas were quite lumpy, so at times was like being in a washing machine, especially when the wind was not quite strong enough to keep the sails full in the 6-8 foot swell that was running. Sails slatted hard at times, and we broke a couple of fittings, including the outhaul at the end of the boom. All was either repairable underway or we could jury rig, and we're good to go again. That seems to be a familiar theme...they say the definition of cruising is getting to fix your boat in exotic places, and I guess we're beginning!!!

This bay is beautiful. White sandy beach around most of the bay, with rocky coves on the north. We're anchored at the north end, for a bit of protection from the prevailing wind. Yesterday we spent catching up on sleep, reading, and general sloth and relaxation...sweet!!! We had planned on leaving last night at midnight for Cabo, but decided that this place was so nice we'd spend today here as well.

Dropped the dinghy in the water this morning to go exploring. Thought a little hike ashore sounded good. One of the guidebooks describes the beach as "a surf landing requiring care and skill." Always up for a challenge when the gauntlet is thrown, we decided this was right up our alley. Well...let's just say we have a bit of work to do to get our dinghy surf skills fully developed!!! On the way in, we took a small wave over the transom, getting us fully soaked. No worries, though, the water was warm, and we landed without further incident. The one bummer was that Emily's camera now has water sloshing about in it...don't think that will "buff out"!!!

We went for a bit of a hike, had a good swim, and lay about on the hot rocks for a while, before coming back out to Bravo. The take-off from the beach got our attention, but was pretty painless. The solar shower felt good, then lunch and it's now nap time!!! A tough day!!!

We'll leave at 5 a.m. for Cabo. Should be around 30 hours or so, and we want to be sure to arrive with daylight.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Arriba!!!

Arrived in Turtle Bay last night at 11. Had a wonderful sail down from San Diego, took around 60 hours. Had good breeze at our backs most of way, 12-25 kn. A few minor glitches, like losing the shackle pin at the genoa tack (TWICE!), after never losing a shackle in previous 8 years!!), caused a small minor tear in the luff tape. We just put one wrap on the furler, no worries. No fish caught, though we had one bite, came off before I could get the rod out of the holder.

Warmed up today, over 70 and sunny, nice to wear shorts after living in fleece since Seattle! (San Diego was in the 40's at night!)

Ruben from Anabelle's Fuel Service pulled alongside us today in a fuel panga and delivered 26 gals of diesel while we're at anchor, for $3/gal. Sweet!!! Even took our basura (garbage) for us!!!

After breakfast, we went off in the dinghy to explore. Got a tour of the town by a guy here waiting for repair work to be done on the boat he's crewing on. After a week here, Eric knew the place well (not that there's TOO much to discover). We had a fun walk about the town to check things out. Our report: the Pacificos were cold at Enrique's, and the burrito's fresh and tasty (and the Pacificos also cold!!) at the Morocco. Turtle Bay is a hard scrabble little town, with dirt streets and not a lot of industry evident to replace the tuna cannery that shut down a number of years ago. Over 100 miles of dirt road from the paved highway, it doesn't see a lot of tourists except the "yatistas". But it was a great immersion into Mexico, and felt good to get out and walk after a few days of sailing.

Got back to Bravo late in the afternoon, to some boat chores and repairs. All going very well.

Will likely head south tomorrow, to Bahia Santa Maria, near Magdalena Bay, about 220 miles to the south.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let's get this party started!!!

Bravo left the dock in San Diego at around 8 this morning, now in Mexico, heading south toward the land where the butter melts!!! YEE HAH!!! (But sure not there yet, temp has been in the 40's at night in San Diego.....brrrrrr the next couple of night's watches will be chilly)

The past couple of weeks have been extremely hectic...packing the house up, moving all into either our storage locker, good will, dump, or, when lucky, eBay. Cindi had her last day of work on 11/30, and we were on the plane for San Diego in the morning of 12/2, after a midnight moving wrap-up the night before.

Friend Emily joined us in SD on 12/3 for the sail to Cabo San Lucas, and we spent the past couple of days provisioning, stowing gear and food, and trying to remember where everything was. But it's all good, and felt great to finally get underway.

Just before crossing the imaginary border into Mexico, a US customs boat pulled along side to grill us a bit. Apparently the answers jived with his computer screen, as he finally let us go w/ a wave. No worries.

Looking for breeze, winds finally came up. Now at 18kn, we're boogey-ing south at around 8 knots...sweet! Especially nice to shut down the engine. Fishing line is out, hoping for a bite for sushi by dinner!!! Next stop will be Turtle Bay, about 300 miles to the south.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Final month of preparations...

Work has been continuing in Seattle, getting our house packed up and moved to storage in preparation to rent out.  We're thrilled that old family friend Alexis and her husband Jacob are moving back to Seattle from New Jersey and want to live here for the next year!  We've sold two cars, are taking care of umpteen details and paperwork items, all while Cindi finishes up her last month of work at Harborview.

Adam went down to San Diego this past week to install our new anchor windlass on the bow.  The motor of our old one, a Nilsson Maxwell 1000, just wasn't up to the job, and the "down" gear was not working. It was time for a new one, after the old unit gave 25 years of service.  We put on a Maxwell VWC3500, and it was reasonably good fit.  "Reasonably" was the operative word, as quite a bit of fabrication was involved, not to mention drilling a 5 inch diameter hole into the deck, a bit of a spooky move, to be sure...("measure twice, cut once", as the old adage goes!!!)
John helping Adam installing the windlass.  This is looking forward toward the forepeak, with John crammed into the chain locker.  The temp in the locker had to be at least 110 degrees!

The windlass installed on a new teak base.  Nearly done, the deck still needs a cleaning, and the anchor shackled to the chain!
It took Adam and helper John three days to install the windlass, including new deck switches, solenoid, and wiring back to the main battery bank.  The weather in San Diego was hot, including the hottest November temp EVER recorded in the city, 101 degrees!  Nice to get this project behind us.

During the Grand Prix sailboat regatta in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, Adam tore the meniscus cartilage in his left knee.  Felt it pop, and MRI confirmed the tear.  Arthroscopic surgery scheduled for this coming Wednesday.  Not the best of timing, but recovery should be quick.  Will figure out how to do physical therapy on board.

Now back to continue packing up the house.  Cindi is finishing up at work, with last day on 11/30.  Plan is to be back aboard Bravo on 12/1, and quickly head into Mexico after a bit of provisioning.  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Back in Seattle...



After taking care of lots of boat chores, it was finally time to leave Bravo, safely tied up in her new temporary home in San Diego.  We flew back to Seattle Sunday night, for the next 2 months.  Cindi will finish up at work, and we'll get the house packed, moved, and ready to rent out.  Arghhhh....we're not looking forward to that!  Adam will also go down to San Diego in a month for a few days of work wiring and installing a new anchor windlass on the bow.

Then, in the first week of December, we'll head back down there and be off to Mexico.  Can't wait!!!

For both of us this shakedown cruise down the coast has been a great experience.  We learned a lot about Bravo, how she handles in heavy winds (and, more often, light!!!), and about ourselves, handling the boat and getting along in such tight quarters for a month.  Happy to report that it was a real success!!  It felt very strange to leave Bravo behind, as she has really begun to feel like a great home for us.  And we're eager to get on with the adventures that lie ahead.

So check back periodically over the next two months for the occasional post, and by all means, join us the first week of December as we get underway again!  In the meantime, here are a few last pix of the past few weeks...stay tuned for more to come!
Mark and Adam leaving SF, ready to head out on another adventure
Leaving the Golden Gate behind after a nice SF visit
Mark, Vicki, and Adam walk the labrynth in Santa Barbara







Being swallowed up by a monster ficus tree.  Had to ask a couple of homeless guys to let me into their space for the shot, there were perhaps 20 sleeping in all of the nooks and crannies!
Cindi has decided that David Crosby's yacht in Santa Barbara would do fine....The boat is undergoing a major restoration.  "Off the wind, on this heading, lies the Marquesas...."
Flopper stopper hanging off the spinnaker pole made a big difference when anchored in the rocky rollies!
Toys deployed!  These inflatable kayaks are great!
A view from a hike on Santa Cruz Island above our anchorage.
Cindi tests the Channel Island waters....C-O-L-D!!!  In fact, just a few degrees warmer than Puget Sound until we got south of Newport.
Empty moorage field in Emerald Cove.  This is the way we like them!!  Weekends, we're told, are a completely different story.
This was the scene around the corner at Avalon!  Mid week, no less!!!  That's Bravo right in the center.
This is the way the Avalon moorage looked on radar!
The dinghy dock was quite the scene!
But the sunsets were beautiful.

Impending squall heading into Oceanside.  Avoided the rain tracked on radar, and saw some scary lightning arcs.


Computers and other electronics went into the oven for lightning protection.  Don't know if it really works, but we figure it can't hurt.  As long as we don't forget before baking brownies!
Boat on our San Diego dock....I think we found Al Gore's yacht!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Southern Cal explorations

Well, we finally arrived in San Diego yesterday.  Really culture shock coming into the Bay after weeks spent in relative peace and quiet.  Military presence everywhere, we felt were on the set of Top Gun, with fighters and choppers overhead, an aircraft carrier passing by outbound (with naval security keeping us at a distance), and huge ships all around the harbor.  Everything from jet skis to mega yachts buzzing all around.  Quite a scene, really!

We eventually made our way down the south Bay to our reserved marina, Pier 32 in National City.  It's several hundred $$ / month cheaper than the marinas in Shelter and Harbor Island, and since we're just going to be "storing" Bravo for a couple of months while we wrap up commitments in Seattle, we chose it based on cost.  But everything has a price.  The marina is brand new, and beautifully designed (by architects Miller/Hull in Seattle!!!).  But it's absolutely in the boonies.  When you ask "how do I walk to 'x'?", you either get a blank stare or a chuckle...you simply DON'T!  The place is surrounded by miles of industrial wasteland and freeways, but it's designed as an isolated oasis with a yacht club feel, with pool, lounge, etc.  We figured we'd rent a car, but none are available at the local places, so will take the tram and a bus to get into town.  Fuel is only available back at Harbor Island, nearly 1 hour back up the Bay!  Want to change the oil...none available here, need to drive to get it!  Oh well, will just be a couple of months here, then off to Mexico.

The last few days have been great.  While in Emerald Cove, we did go for a hike...on the hottest day ever recorded in LA history!  113 degrees, broke the thermometer at LAX!!!  Must've been 100 on Catalina.  We went for what we thought would be a scenic 5 mile walkabout, and it turned into a Batan death march...well, ok, that's a bit of an exageration, but carrying little water, it was a scorcher.

Next headed to Avalon.  We picked up a mooring there, and looked up to see friends from our marina in Seattle moored a couple of boats away.  Bill and Kat from KP44 Island Bound came over for dinner.  They're also on they're way south, and we had a good time comparing notes.

Leaving Avalon the next day, we headed across to Newport Beach.  Rather amazing place, with thousands of boats of all shapes and sizes on moorings, at anchor, and at slips behind folks houses, both in the main channel or in side canals.  Very cool, the entire town seems focused on boating in one way or another. 
We picked up a mooring there ($5/night...nice!), and Cindi's brother Tom, his wife Alicia and son Ian visited us for dinner.  Really nice time had by all, and nice to share the Bravo experience with family.


One new experience at our Newport mooring was "clicking shrimp", shrimp making clicking noises through the night.  We've since been hearing the noises at all other spots we've anchored or moored.  And speaking of anchoring...we've finally had to admit that our existing windlass, the winch which hauls up our anchor, is not up to the job.  The new anchor we added in Seattle weighs 30# more than the old, and when we anchor in 70' of water, it the windlass is nearly "brought to it's knees", struggling to lift that much chain and the larger anchor.  It's not possible to get a stronger motor for it, so we'll need to replace it while here in San Diego.  A big ticket item to be sure, but better to get it done now, than to find us in a remote spot unable to raise the anchor. 
Sea lions have adopte Jubilee as their personal Newport yacht!

From Newport we headed to Oceanside for a night, and then yesterday to San Diego, where we'll spend the next couple of days doing boat chores...after we find a car!!!  Between Oceanside and SD we were visited by a pod of hundreds of dolphins.  They were all around us, and groups of 10-20 took turns playing in our bow wave.  Very cool, the biggest visit by dolphins we've ever had, and they stayed with us for perhaps 45 minutes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Island travels...nice!

The last few days have been downright beautiful, as we soak in the southern California sun. We spent three nights on Santa Cruz Island; one at Pirate's Cove, and two at Smuggler's. Never saw any evidence of either, but if beaches could talk, I'm sure there are good stories here! Most of Santa Cruz is owned by the Nature Conservancy. They restrict landing to those with permits, and only issue permits by mail...10-14 days required! Well, that wasn't happening, and since there were a couple of Conservancy wonks hanging out on the beach at Pirates, seemingly keeping an eye on us, we weighed anchor and headed to Smuggler's.

Arrived at Smuggler's Cove on Friday at around 2pm. Only 3 other boats anchored in the large cove. Sweet! Well, a few hours later the mainland armada began to show up. By the next morning, Saturday, there were over 25 boats of every size and shape lying to their picks in the sand. You can really see the effect of being a short 20 mile hop away from the population centers of the mainland. Happily the weather couldn't have been milder, so anchor dragging was not a worry. But there was a fair bit of ocean swell, and we deployed a "flopper stopper" to good effect. This is a gizmo like a pair of hinged doors. We hang it off the end of our spinnaker pole as far out from the boat as we can. The "doors" open as the boat rocks one way, and close, creating resistance, as the swell rocks us back the other. Really dampens the motion. We could see the boats with and without in the anchorage, and the difference in their motion (and comfort) was apparent.

Since Smuggler's Cove is in the Channel Islands National Park boundary, we launched the kayaks to explore, and go ashore for some hiking. Had a great 4 mile trail to the Yellow Cliff Overlook, with incredible views to the bay below. Then got in a bit of practice with our surf launches of the kayaks. Let's say our technique is a work in progress!!!

Smuggler's was a great anchorage, full of wildlife. Sea lions, pelicans everywhere, and the water was teeming with baitfish.

Yesterday we motored the 60 miles from Santa Cruz to Catalina Island in 0-3 knots of breeze. It remained flat calm until we arrived, when the wind piped up to around 20 as we tried to figure out the mooring system in Emerald Cove. Happily the harbormaster came by and helped us to an available mooring, where we are now. Over 100 moorings in this bay, but only a handful of boats here after the Sunday afternoon departure of the armada. Nice, we feel like we have the place nearly to ourselves. Today we'll go kayaking again, and take a hike over to Parson's Landing. Supposedly there we can pick up the cross island trail. It's all good! Especially the weather; we're finally experiencing the warm days and pleasant evenings that SoCal is famous for. Fleece is all being tucked away, at least for now!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Channel Islands...not in Kansas any more!

We've spent the past couple of days playing tourist in Santa Barbara. Great town for that sort of thing. The four of us walked to and toured the SB Mission, mostly original from the late 1700's. Then yesterday we rented bikes and cruised around the various 'hoods. Some rather tony real estate in these parts to be sure. Even the gates have gates!! All in all, a really nice socal visit.

After our sail around Point Conception a couple of days ago, we found that a part of one of our batten cars on the main sail had disappeared, leaving the batten free to fall out...not a good thing. Sailmaker Carol Hasse's team in Port Townsend came to the rescue and overnighted the missing part, which we readily installed today. Great service, great people, those folks at Port Townsend Sails!!

Mark and Vicki took off this morning, and Cindi and Adam headed out to the Channel Islands. Had a fantastic sail over, steady 15 knot breeze on the beam, and as we dropped anchor in Prisoner's Harbor on Santa Cruz Isl, the wind dropped to zero...perfect. Really a beautiful spot, with pelicans everywhere, and dolphins feeding around the boat. Pretty sweet evening...

We'll likely spend a couple of days in the Channel Islands, then head over to Catalina Island. Really feels like we've crossed into southern California at last!!!

This post via ham radio uplink, so no photos till a wifi connection available.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bravo gets in a great sail today


After leaving SF 2 days ago, we continued our search for breeze, to no real avail.  We motored for around 28 hours south, only seeing around 5 or 6 knots max.  It was only as we headed into the anchorage at Port San Luis that it piped up, w/ gusts over 30 kn!!  Made for an interesting approach to drop our anchor, whereupon the wind dropped completely, and we were left with a gorgeous evening, including a gourmet feast of barbque albacore fillets, cut from the "catch of the day".  Tasty business!
Carving up sashimi


Also sharing the anchorage were a pair of humpback whales, who came in for a visit in the evening, as well as seals, sea lions, dolphins, pelicans, storm petrels, and more.  Amazing animal life in one small bay.

Waves always look smaller in the photos...This one was a good one!
We set sail early today for Santa Barbara.  The winds were forecast to be in 20-35, and we decided against San Miguel Island (in Channel Islands), saving that till the wind calms down a bit, as it is very exposed.  As soon as we left Port San Luis, the wind piped up.  We hoisted the main with a single reef, the staysail, and a 1/2 furled genoa.  Wind quickly built, and soon we were flying along with double reef and a staysail, a magic combination for Bravo.  Eventually we were seeing gusts to the low 40's, and we tucked in a third reef.  Seas built to perhaps 14', combined swell and wind waves.  Bravo handled it all beautifully, a rock solid ride, really never out of control.  This downwind ocean voyaging is clearly her pedigree, and it was wonderful to see today.  Hopefully lots more to come!
Hey, I thought southern California is supposed to be warm...
When the sun finally came out, and the wind died in the Santa Barbara channel, it was time for Cindi to take a snooze...
We're now heading into Santa Barbara for the night, motoring again as the wind has gone light for the evening.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leaving SF

With friends Mark and Vicki joining us for this next leg, we passed under the Golden Gate at noon today on the ebb tide, after taking on fuel and water in Sausalito. What a great place the Bay area is!!! We really enjoyed our time there, including a surprise visit two nights ago by friends Michael and Candida, down from their home in Healdsburg. Yesterday we finished up the install of the new boom vang...hopefully that will do the trick that the old vang wasn't up for!!! Also repaired the chafed #1 reef line, and installed a new upper lifeline. Bravo back in one piece once again!!

Now about 6 miles south of Half Moon Bay, and around 5 miles offshore, heading south west. Winds are once again proving elusive, with current conditions showing around 5 knots of wind on the nose. So, we motor on, now in pea soup fog, in search of breeze. Heading now a bit more offshore, in the hope that there's wind out there. Our plan at this point is to get south to the Channel Islands, and spend the next week or 10 days exploring that area.

As before when underway, our blog posts are coming to you via ham radio (Winlink), so no photos can be posted. Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

San Francisco update


Well, the last few days in Sausalito have been pretty well packed, both with tourist activity and boat chores.  But first, a bit more detail on our trip down here…
Several have asked for more info on our sick crewmember.  It was actually quite a harrowing tale…thankfully with a happy ending.  After leaving Neah Bay, and clearing Cape Flattery, our course turned SW, heading out into the Pacific.  The winds were light, and a heavy westerly swell was running, left over from the storms of the previous week.  Led to very rocky rolly conditions, with the swell on the beam.  Seasickness is a fact of life…it happens!  Has happened to many sailors in the past; will happen to most at some point in their sailing careers.  Kirk felt queasy as we entered the swells, and vomited several times into the evening and all the next day.  Our concern was that he not get too badly dehydrated, a common side effect of the frequent barfing.  We tried to keep him poured full of electrolyte replacement, but weren’t sure if it was enough.  Adam was alone on watch at around 2am, heading towards Newport for a fuel stop the next day.  Mike poked his head out of the cabin, saying “Adam, get down here quick…it’s Kirk”.  Kirk was unconscious, lying on his back, half in the head, half in the salon, with his back bent in an unnatural angle over the threshold.  He was moaning, and his “lights were out”.  After talking to him, and coaxing, his eyes opened and he came to.  We got him to sit up after checking extremities, and he asked for his fluid replacement bottle, already ½ litre to the good for the night.  He was drenched with sweat, but was able to get up and into his bunk, a very sick puppy indeed.  At this point, we were obviously extremely concerned for him, but still thought it was simply bad dehydration, and decided to keep him drinking fluids as we made our way to Newport, and to get him to a clinic on arrival.  The rest of the night passed without further incident, with Kirk alternating between sleep and groggy wakefulness, tentatively sipping fluids.
Upon landfall in Newport at 10am, Cindi walked a shaky Kirk up the gangplank to a cab, for them to ride into the Newport hospital.  Once there, they began two I.V.’s of fluid, also suspecting dehydration.  His BP was low, and pulse elevated, but not alarmingly so at that point.  They did a blood workup, and that’s when the red flag was raised.  His blood hematocrit level was ½ of normal, indicating severe blood loss.
Kirk was put in an ambulance for emergency surgery in Corvallis, about an hour away.  They gave him 2 pints of blood, and his BP continued to drop.  Then, under lights and siren, he got 2 more pints.  In the OR arthroscopic surgery stopped the bleeding in 4 blood vessel tears between the esophagus and stomach.  Apparently the vessels tore due to violent vomiting due to seasickness.  Altogether, he received 8 pints of blood!  They must’ve thought they had a vampire on their hands!!  His doctor told him that if we would have taken the time to head to Coos Bay, as we’d considered, he likely would have bled to death.  Very scary stuff…
Kirk spent next 3 days in recovery before being released, and thankfully is now recouping at home. 
So, what are the lessons we’ve learned from this very close call??? 
1.   Seasickness is not a good thing!!  Encourage or even insist that crew take preventative measures for the first couple of days out.  The other 3 on the boat took scopolamine and/or meclizine, and had virtually no symptoms of mal de mer.
2.  Be aware of the potential seriousness of severe seasickness.  We’re all taught to be aware of dehydration, but realize that it can be more than that. 
3.  If someone passes out to the point of unconsciousness, this is a sign that something much more serious is likely a cause, and dig deeper to find that cause.  For instance, we have a BP cuff aboard Bravo, but didn’t think to use it, again under the assumption that we were dealing with simple dehydration.
Cindi the Bravo figurehead approaching the Golden Gate!
Mike got this shot of a humpback whale taking a quick breath before diving right next to the boat on the way down the Oregon coast!  Couldn't have been more than 20' from the boat.
Nice to get out of the soggy Pacific NW!!!
OK, enough of that seasickness episode.  We made it fine to SF as you know, and we continue to live on a mooring ball in Sausalito.  Our friends Mark and Vicki joined us yesterday for our next chapter, SF to San Diego.  Unfortunately, we’re having difficulty with our boom vang.  Working with South Beach Riggers here in town, we ordered a new Hall Quik Vang.  They say “the definition of cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places”, but we just didn’t think it would kick in quite so soon!  Oh well, that’s what shake down trips are all about, and it’s better to get it right now than to wrestle with it some dark and stormy night…..Should finish the install tomorrow, Friday
We went to the “Bay Model” today.  It’s an Army Corps of Engineers scale model of the whole SF Bay and tributaries, stretching over 1-1/2 football fields.  Though the water was drained for repairs, it’s still an amazing sight.  They built it before the age of super computers to model effects of development, oil spills, dam construction, etc.  Also toured their museum about construction of the Liberty ships and tankers in WWII, here in Sausalito, in fact right where we’re now moored.  Was very interesting personally, as both Mark’s dad and mine served on these ships during the war.
Mark ready to throw the BIG switch aboard a Liberty Ship!

That’s about all for now.  Hope to get underway tomorrow for Southern California, with time to explore the Channel Islands, Catalina, and the beach scene!!!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Bravo in SF

We passed under the Golden Gate bridge today at 11am, and were met by our friend Derek in his boat. After showing us to our mooring in Sausalito we all split a bottle of champagne. great to be here, 6-1/2 days after leaving Seattle. Sun shining, typ SF breeze blowing, life is good!!! Details/photos to follow....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Next stop...SF!

Been working our way south, much motoring, little sailing in the light breezes that have plagued us since leaving Seattle nearly 6 days ago. Made fuel stops in Neah Bay, Newport, and Crescent City.

Now about 135 mi north of SF. Had great night sail past Mendocino, about 25 miles offshore. Right after dark, wind came up to 25, gusts to 32! Bravo FLEW all night. Chafed thru number 1 reef line, went to the second reef, a half furled genoa and staysail, making steady 8-9 knots. Big sea and swell...yee hah!!

Now coming closer to shore, wind down to 7 knots, heavy beam sea, again very hard to keep sails full. Want to get to SF in tomorrow morning for flood tide, motoring again.

More details when we have wi-fi.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

California at last!!!

Bravo just crossed 42deg latitude line, about 10 mi offshore.

spent a night 2 nights ago in Newport after dropping off a sick crewman.

trip so far has been nearly all under power, w winds rarely above 6-7 knots. hopefully it picks up as we near mendocino, but we're heading to crescent city for fuel to motor rest of way to SF if we need to

seas glassy calm now, a gorgeous morning, winds 2 knots!

surprisingly little boat traffic encountered, day or night, and thankfully few crab pots, which can be a real worry. season must've closed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Motoring still...

We've pulled into Newport, Oregon to take on another squirt of fuel...got in about 7 hours of light wind sailing last night, but still extremely light winds, and forecast calls for more of the same. But, hey, silver linings in every cloud, as we're off to the marina showers to clean up!!!!!

These posts are coming via HF radio link, so not capable of uploading photos. Sorry, those will come later.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bravo underway off Oregon coast

Well, we finally left the dock at 1am on Sunday night. Light breeze, but a great ebb tide made for a quick motorboat ride out to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Unfortunately the wind hasn't filled in yet, 1-1/2 days later, and nothing good for breeze in the forecast. We stopped for fuel in Neah Bay, just in case, and are now looking at another fuel stop early tomorrow morning in Newport, OR. Hardly the sailing we were hoping for, but at least we're working our way south at last!!! Hopefully the wind fills as we get to the California border.

Just caught our first fish, a nice albacore, about 5 minutes after dropping a lure in the water. Should be a tasty fish dinner tonight!

Except for the lack of breeze, all going well...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bon Voyage!


Great dock party yesterday!  70 or 80 folks had no trouble draining the keg, and both of us had lumps in our throats saying good bye to so many wonderful friends.  We're both so excited to be starting this new adventure at last, but departing on a journey is always bittersweet. (thanks, Jola, for the great pix!)

Great to be able to stay connected via the web, and we're looking forward to seeing many of you "out there" in the months ahead!  Drop us a line anytime, and if you want to come join us, just let us know!
Obviously Toby had no trouble hopping aboard!
The cockpit filled...

Bets were in....will it really float???
The case of the disappearing waterline!!!
Grant doing his part to share in the festivities!!!