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


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!
video
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...