Knocking off the miles

Sunday, April 30, 2017

03:10 pm

I’ve been out on deck reading and taking a few photos. There are a pair of Albatross cruising around the boat and one lone Wanderer. My tiny storm petrel is still hold up under one corner of the life raft and not being very sociable. I hope he or she will be ok and fly away.

Still very grey low cloud cover but good steady breeze and we are knocking off the miles. Very cool here. The kettle’s on for more tea.

later that evening …

Sleep seems to be evading me tonight. It’s a beautiful night with a tangerine crescent moon hanging over our port stern quarter. We have 15+ knots of wind coming up on our starboard stern quarter pushing us along at 6 -7 knots with a distinct rolling motion. We’re making good time and the sound below is accentuated by the darkness, occasionally we are moved around but Fleming always brings us back on track.

We made 150 miles in 24 hrs. today,  average overall is about 125 miles. The wind is supposed to build in the early hours of tomorrow and so I will take the last reef in the main and a couple of rolls in the Yankee.

Sleep has been a little hard to get started these last few nights and tonight will be no exception. I’m feeling a little anxious about things but should probably believe in my abilities after all these years at sea. I am going now to give it another try…

Good night Marylou ~~~~~_) ~~~

Threading my way home

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Small green circle is WestWind II at 38.43 N, 140.57 W April 29, 2017 @04:45

Position: 38.43 N, 140.57 W

Having another great sail this afternoon (yesterday). Blue sky, sunny, steady wind, WW II sailing off the wind making good time on a great course. Looks like we are just threading our way above the high and below the low headed home.

(From ML) Thanks to the ham radio operators W7ABT in Oregon, and W5AQZ in Denver who heard Glenn on the radio last night and sent me an email to relay his “All is well on board” message. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.

 

On to a new chart !

04:15 am Saturday April 29, 2017

I have just finished a tour of the deck and spent an hour and a half repairing a parted reefing line. Wind has died down a fair bit and we are down to 4.5 knots but WW II is still moving well. The sun is coming up in a little while so the sky is flooding with tangerine light. We have a big cloud bank just south east of us that seems to be moving towards us. I have been up several times during the night and feel tired so will be going back to my bunk soon. Its cool here low 60’s and lots of dew on deck.

Big day here as we move on to a chart that shows the west coast and Vancouver Island. 1016 miles to go!

Halfway

Great run last night. We are halfway home !

Lat 35.55 N
Long 144.46 W
course 045T
Speed 6+knots
Log: 1157 to go

Distance in last 24 hrs: 150 nm

Things are great on board tonight. I have a new stew on the go and looking forward to that. We are making good time and our course is very good. I am so looking forward to sailing on for home. Feels emotional for me. I have done a lot sailing since I left the Straits the first time in our little Haida. I feel very lucky.

Enjoying pleasant weather …for now

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Position: 33.45 N, 147. 61 W @ 20:45 Pacific Daylight Savings time

It is a splendid afternoon, the sky is bright blue and the ocean a deep indigo. Our speed is not earth shattering but for a light ten knot breeze coming just off our stern starboard quarter we are doing a respectable 3-4 knots. I can not maintain a course dead down wind or North in this light breeze with a fairly active swell on our quarter because the sails will not hold the wind and Fleming can not steer. I am just off a broad reach with the yankee poled out to Port along with the a triple reefed main. Both sails guyed down as much as possible to keep them from spilling the light wind due to the swell. I have the Ray Marine 2000 electric auto helm doing the steering, which has me running the engine an hour or so to charge the batteries.


The air is warm and pleasant enough to sit outside and I have been doing some reading sitting on the foredeck so all in all a very pleasant sail. I’m reading  The Island by Victoria Hislop set in Crete. Good read. I spend most of my day reading and some time carving another chain. I have good music and the food is excellent. My nights are full of sleep in such conditions as there is no need to be jumping up putting on rain gear to take a reef in the main or jib.

This will change in a few days I’m sure but in the mean time I’m enjoying the whole experience. I realize that all too soon it will be over and I will be back to my regular activities on land dreaming of days like this.

The miles I make at night while I sleep are very sweet. So great to wake up in the morning and look at the GPS and see we have done 40 miles or more. I hope I can keep this weather for a few more days at least till I reach the half way point, which is just 200 hundred miles away. Been a little out of contact here these last few days and looking forward to getting back in touch. Miss you lots.

Not a breath of wind or a ripple of sea


What a splendid morning, sun is just up over the edge of the pond. Not a ripple anywhere, the sea is molten mercury, we are waddling in a south west swell which we have been in all night. We have drifted three miles closer to home and by the looks of things, our prospects of going much further could be going only another three by days end. There is nothing to do but give myself up to the fate of the wind gods and “roll” with it!

Having computer problems this morning so hope the gremlins cooperate and I can send out some mail and most importantly receive some.

Cheers from me “rollin in the deep”.

We’re working on it …

 

We have a technical glitch at the moment. The result is the program that sends subscribers updates via email is not working.

I’ve been working madly to try to fix it. I reached out to WordPress for help and the best I was offered was to post my problem to a public forum. This was after doing their updates!!!  Anyway, that was days ago and I’ve heard nothing so I have enlisted the help of our local tech geeks (their word) who are working on it as we speak and will hopefully get things sorted out today.

I’ll continue to post regular updates from Glenn here so stay tuned.

Thank you.
MaryLou

 

 

A fine balance

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tonight, I watched the blazing orb of the sun set for the second night in a row. It slipped quietly into the grey molten sea without a splash as if an act in a magic show.

Without the light of day, night sailing takes on a rather white cane approach. All my senses are piqued and shift into another realm. The humming of the wind generator signals the strength of the wind, the sound of the waves as WW II moves through the water signals our speed. A slight luffing of the sails lets me know we are off course. The movement of the boat as the swells manipulate her keep me abreast of sea conditions. The wind is very light and without WW II’s sizeable tonnage, she would falter in the fickle wind, but during the lulls she presses on against her own inertia. I still have one reef in the main as to let it out would be just too much sail and with the swells she would start to flap maddeningly. Her course, if plotted on a small scale, would reveal a rather drunken stagger but for that weight and clean bottom she recovers easily and keeps a forward motion.

I feel the fine balance and know that Fleming can only steer if the wind blows a certain strength, so I am ready with Ray, the electric auto pilot to
take over at any time. All these parts must work together or the game is up and we are “rollin’ in the deep”.

Fleming under sail

Fleming tied up

Perkins, of course has retired with a broken leg for the rest of the season and can’t be relied upon to take over as the iron sail. For such little wind, I am always amazed at our progress. West Wind has proven to be a more than able world cruiser, from the gales of the Southern Ocean to the equatorial calms and doldrums. She will, without a doubt, make a great coastal cruiser for Marylou and me.

Perkins diesel engine at rest

More common view of Perkins

Cruising the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

 

Waiting for my ride

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lat 30.56 N, Long 149. 36 W

There is a draft wind from the south pushing us very slowly before it. It would seem the good sailing wind and I are just missing each other. I will spend another day practicing my light air sailing skills while trying to dodge the chafe on the lines that inevitability comes with it.

Being out here alone always piques my emotions and all of my senses. Overall, I feel a great deal more, which is the thing I love about it. The difficulty is I feel both the good and the difficult feelings. Loneliness, for instance, I feel to the point of heartache, but it drives me on.

Out here, when you have feelings, they’re rather difficult to escape. They’re intense and my reactions to things are accentuated. This of course makes things more awe inspiring, like the site of the stars on a clear night, the moon rising, that glimpse of a wing gliding over the gale whipped seas. Emotions are concentrated because of the isolation. And for that, I keep coming back. And as soon as I get here, the loneliness descends and it is beside me all the way home  like a force, a yearning that needs to be satisfied.

I’ve been lucky to have had these many voyages and explore my feelings and see where I fit in to the great scheme of things. Little did I know that the fulfillment of a dream that was hatched twenty years ago in our little Haida 26′ in the South Pacific would lead to the many amazing voyages I’ve had.

I’m a lucky man, and if it were not for MaryLou our story would not have been shared. Being out here alone makes coming home and the life I lead on land all that more precious. It comes back to the simple things that I feel that I get the most from. I am looking forward to sitting down to one of MaryLou’s great breakfasts and a good cup of coffee and just talking about things.

My course is as you are aware, is a wiggly line north east. This morning I’m sitting or I should say strolling at the corner of Lat 30′ 56′ N and Long 149′ 36 W in a north easterly direction waiting for my ride.

Making a steady 100 miles a day

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Well they don’t make much better days than this for cruising along. Warm sunny day, wind 10 knots, sea calm with overlying swells, not not much, WW II sailing herself and feeling good and in the moment.

Doing some carving and reading, writing and housekeeping. Good food and music. Company today is excellent – well behaved and social, didn’t talk too much and did as he was told. Been at sea a week and as usual our daily average is 100 miles a day, it seems to even out to that number somehow. So we’ll see you in about 16 days.

Ran the engine to charge the batteries and it went fine. I may not have mentioned this but a weld on one of the mounts on the engine has fractured which means that powering is out of the question. The good news is I can still run the engine to charge the batteries. Tried with renewed patience to send SMS on the InReach but apparently not being received at the other end. Not sure where these messages go?

Still heading a little east of north but I’m happy with my course at the moment. Would love to get a long range big picture synopsis of the weather for the next week. For now, I’m trying to keep on the rum line to the Straits so usually around 47 T.

Love to all
Cheers Glenn