On my way home

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 6.59.41 PM

Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii

April 17, 2017 Honolulu, Hawaii  8:35 am local 18:35 UTC

Lat. 22 06.9 N, Long 157 35.8 W, Course 003 True, Boat speed 5 knots, Distance to Victoria 2232 nm

Left Honolulu yesterday (April 16) under sunny skies and a warm offshore breeze.

Been resting all day today after a long night. Beating into that NE 20 knots of wind with 2-3 meter seas. Taking it easy at 5 knots. Lots of water on the deck. All is well.

Trying to catch up on my sleep and get my sea legs and tummy settled. Still fairly warm with overcast and grey skies. 

Been resting all day, but still yawning and generally feeling tired. Just had a few spoonfuls of “FATSO” and a cracker to tie me over.

Making great headway at the moment, very lively ride and the best place to endure it is in my bunk. The combination of the 20 knots of breeze and the height and breadth of the waves and our sail set is giving us a steady 5-6 knots of boat speed. The electric bilge pump has packed it in so glad I brought a new one with me. We are not making a lot of water but enough to make it something to keep an eye on which is exactly how I found out the pump had packed it in. I have a small hand pump mounted on a board and that is what I have been using for the last little while, til things calm down enough so that when I replace the old for the new I don’t risk falling head first into the bilge. I may have to shorten sail for a bit to make that happen.

There’s lots of those extremely talented sea birds skiing the waves and providing a living element to the vast breaking ocean vista that I am sailing through. Both the ocean and sky are fifty shades of grey, the sky the lighter of the two. The clouds look like a tray of endless croissants floating all at the same level. I think they are only one croissant deep as occasionally you can see the blue tray they float on.     

Looking back to yesterday afternoon there is quite a contrast in the scene. I left the Ala Wai Marina channel with bright sunny skies, warm offshore breeze and patches of surfers like a flock of birds waiting for the perfect wave suspended in the azure green water. Watch this short video MaryLou took of the same channel back in January.

The sea was calm with a gentle swell. Diamond Head was picture perfect with a few billowy bright white clouds contrasting its distinct and powerful shape.  

I sailed out into the ever increasing wind and waves towards Molokai and then tacked on to starboard as the sun set, to clear Oahu and have been sailing along ever since.

I am in a familiar place and all my senses default to sailing mode, preset after thousands of miles, hundreds of sunsets, thousands of reefs and tacks all adding up to a program deeply set into my genetic makeup and may have been there for generations – passed down from my Dad and my Mom.

There are instinctive movements and decisions made automatically in response to the fluid environment all around me. My mind adjusts to the 2300 nautical mile passage ahead, already breaking it down into bite sized pieces that are easy to fathom. The warm leg, the temperate leg and the cold leg. When will the moon shine full? I have sailed down the Straits of Juan de Fuca in 1973, 1997, 2006, and 2013 all but one single handed, in boats from 55 ft. to 26 ft. always headed out into the Pacific, never home.

So this passage will be very special. It’s the end of an odyssey, a returning home. I long for the smell of the west coast. That mixture of coniferous forest and salty seedy beach.

And home once again to MaryLou who waits ever so patiently. Thanks for waiting MaryLou.

 

WestWindII on the hard in Keehi Boat Harbour, Honolulu

Painting the bottom at Keehi Boat Harbour in Honolulu before setting sail

April 17, 2017

The short view

 

April 17, 2017 #2

The long view

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 7.48.26 PM

Go to earth.nullschool.net for up to date wind conditions across the north Pacific.

 

Settling in …

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

 

 IMG_1094

I’m here in the legendary and very hospitable Waikiki Yacht Club.

I am happy and very lucky to be here with my MaryLou and to have arrived safely. MaryLou and I have just enjoyed a coffee and fresh breakfast prepared by chef Jasmine.

I’ve been for an early morning swim in the pool, which overlooks the boats and Ala Wai Boat Harbour. I’ve done my poolside yoga lying in the early morning sunshine. 

We’ll spend the rest of the day working on West Wind and preparing her for her 6 month stay in Hawaii. 

Thanks for all your welcoming comments.

Making good time

January 5, 20170 @ 02:40

The blazing red orb sizzles its round face into the western horizon. Clouds form diagonally across it like war paint and the saucer moon hangs above just like the image in the movie with Huck Finn sitting fishing.  

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-9-17-21-am

Fanning Island rose up from the Eastern horizon not 4 miles off our starboard bow.

1517-fanning-atoll

I eased our course 10 degrees to give it a wide berth and watched it slide by. Along with the two fish boats I saw this morning it’s getting crowded out here.  We are now ready to sail through the starry night, our course and sails set to take us over the waves while I hopefully get some sleep.  

Good night and sweet dreams.

Early Morning

Top of the morning to you. Our distance to Honolulu is 999 nm.

All is well. Still making good time. WW II is holding on and I am too.

See you soon.

Motor sailing through the hi

122416

December 24, 2016 Leg 2 Day 4

4 a.m.

There’s a Hi moving in from the North East and I am on the edge of it now with wind coming from the North, North West at 10 knots. Not a good heading for me to sail into. My course at the moment is 301 at best. I have Perkins on, otherwise our boat speed in this wave condition would not be enough to keep Fleming steering.

Going west would bring us into some wind but our heading would be South of West sailing away from Honolulu. I might have to just bite the bullet and take the jib down and power at 3 knots due north till the hi passes in a day or so. It means powering into the waves which may not work at all. I will stay on this course till daybreak in about an hour when I can see the sea conditions better.

Till  then it’s back to my bunk beside Perkins.

Had a difficult afternoon yesterday. Couldn’t upload or download any mail for a few hours.

I’m now on port tack. Came around from starboard tack because we were heading due west. Now wind has shifted to the east and we are headed east. Can’t seem to win here today. Have a triple reefed main and only 1/4 yankee out and we may be overpowered at that. Lots of wind and heavy seas most of the day. Lots of water making its way into the boat in the form of drips which although small, do eventually make things wet. So hard to find the source of these little devils. I have been reading and thought of working on the chain but the motion is just a little too much.

Got it together to boil a few eggs and had a Plowman’s lunch with cheese and crackers, a little sun dried tomato and pickled onion.

The sky has just gotten very dark so probably in for some torrential rain very soon. Thinking of you. 

I’ll try get this off later this afternoon when propagation is better and down load faster.

Bye for now love you  

4 pm

Merry Xmas to all

Lat. 15.52.82 S Long. 160.25.57 W Course 040 T Speed 5.5 knots Wind NW 10 Knots Waves W 2 M Cloud 100% Baro 1010
Miles in last 24 hrs: 125 NM Range to Honolulu 2239 nm

Motor sailing. Hope to push through this hi in the next day or so. How are things looking for transiting the ITZ’s? And what is above the high?

Trying to stay with a course as close to 160 Longitude as possible, shortest route.

122416-close-up

Thanks again for all the wonderful support and hope you enjoy family and friends over the holidays.

All’s well here.

Cheers Glenn

Riff on a sunset

121416-raro-and-tahiti 

Lat 25.24 Long 159.51 Wind NE 5-10 knots Waves SW 1.5 metres Cloud 100% Baro 1013
Distance in last 24 hrs: 98 nm  Range to Rarotonga: 250 nm

Day 18 December 14, 2016

Lovely cool morning here. The sky is filled with change. A very large bank of grey cloud with a ragged front is sliding over from the north east. The sea has just a ruffle of a breeze showing from the east over long rolling swells from both the South West and the East. We’ve had Perkins pushing us along since midnight when, for the very first time there was not a breath of wind. I took all sail down and after drinking up the beauty in the moonlit sky for half an hour, went back to sleep with Perkins snoring beside me. There is just a bit too much swell and not enough wind yet to hoist any sail but it does look from the clouds moving in that we will get wind soon enough from the East.

Last night I witnessed the most spectacular sunset. It was not one of those classic radiating blazes although that element was there. It was the illumination of so many layers of clouds over the entire evening sky from one horizon to the next and one encore after another of those ever changing pastel blues, brilliant reds and flamingo pinks. It didn’t matter where I looked there was a event of galactic proportions as if on an IMAX screen. It started with the billowy clouds on the edge of the opposite horizon which early on showed faint hints of shadow ever darkening underneath them, the blue sky around them fading lighter and lighter.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-6-30-22-pm

As the sun sank into the ocean behind, it revealed the dying moments and molten bright red blazed at the edges and a molten silver flame shot out right at the oceans edge. The high sky above this regular sunset event was still very bright robin’s egg blue. It was the texture and variety and the clarity of the high cloud that was so dramatic, bright white against brilliant pale blue. There were long wispy clouds that stretched in over the northern sky and overlapping those in the western sky just above us were paddocks of soft cotton batten balls all very close together. Then in the southern sky high and overlapping the cotton were jagged thin edged bright white wispy streaks. All these sat in a very bright soft blue sky light. Mean while back behind us, opposite the dying sun in the eastern sky was a large foreboding swirling Tsunami of a wave cloud starting to turn a soft pastel red. It was as if in slow motion all these clouds which were moving in different directions over lapping each other crossed the stage while all their sunset pastel colours grew more faint but so very crisp showing all the detail of the thin cloud edges.

I was overcome by what was unfolding before me. Everywhere I looked in the sky, a beautiful scene was taking place. It went on and on, and eventually after a half hour show, a bright star appeared as if to draw the curtain down and signal the coming of the night. I was spellbound.

My description could never come close to explaining what I saw and experienced in the sky last night but hopefully I did it some justice.