Day 107 Rain chaser 17/12/13

Dec 17 w weather

I’ve had an exciting day. The first part till my radio sked at 03:00 pm local was mainly keeping out of the sun and staying cool. The mercury ocean returned in the late morning after a couple of breezes teased me away from my book.  I set full sail only to take it down 30 minutes later then 30 minutes later put it up again, then down. You can’t ever say I’m not trying to get home.  If the wind blows, I am on it. After my great radio show with Cliff and my mates in Western Australia, at around 05:00, I felt the wind start to fill in from the south. 

On the wester horizon, a very large black “rain cloud” loomed so off we went in hot pursuit at 6 knots. I figured it would take me an hour to get there. On the way I planned my strategy. I could see the rain falling from the belly of the cloud in sheets and the cloud seemed to be heading north at about 3 knots, I had a good breeze and could see I was gaining on the cloud. It was dropping rain along a line stretched over a good distance. The trouble I had before when trying to collect water was that I had no speed of my own and relied on the squall to come over me and collect as it went overhead. It didn’t work that well, firstly because there wasn’t much of a rain fall, and secondly I needed to wash the deck first before I could let water in the tank. If I open the valves too soon, the water would be too salty. As I got closer I could see there was a pretty good volume of water falling. I thought if I could get inside the rain zone and stay sailing with it for a while I could wash the decks clean of salt then flip the valve open and fill the tank.

I sailed up behind the cloud, and shortened sail.  I swung in up behind the cloud and into the falling rain. It was a good volume coming down and I waited. I slapped my hand down into the water collecting on the deck by the drain and tasted it. It was ready so I opened the valves and kept the boat in the rain for about 3/4 of an hour. I was running with the wind at about 3 – 4 knots just keeping pace with the rain over the boat. I could not believe my luck ! I managed to collect 10 gallons of water in just over an hour!  I did it. I feel so much better. YAHOO !

With that reserve, I’m now good to go and I know I’ll be able to collect more.



  1. What great memories that story stirred of chasing the rain clouds mid ocean…..the replenishing drops into the tank….the unbelievable relief of the knowlegedge of task (survival) completed….and the feeling of clean….no salt etched on the skin….your finger tips already looking like prunes from days at sea now drinking in the fresh water and plumping up if only for a little while…..and that unforgetable smell ….at sea…..of FRESH water! it is like smelling land for the first time after 28 days at sea…..What fantastic news for you and now the wind filling your sails ….your mind and body refreshed …..go for it…..have a scotch and hold the water and …..hmmmmm ice? …..Pretend…make believe….it is good for the soul….
    Love to you ….talked to ML….she is doing so well….I promise. xoxoxo Deb

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thanks Deb. As an experienced offshore sailor yourself, you know all about it! I can feel your excitement at the very thought of fresh water on board. Take care and chat again soon. ML

  2. What fantastic news Glenn and ML! So relieved for you both. I’m sure that “Water water everywhere and n’ere a drop to drink” has been on the minds of many of us lately. Hope our collective good Kama helped in your success today.

  3. So glad you’ve got rain/water, and now no worries. Just keep on sailing! I absolutely love following your adventures.

  4. Glen
    What a great story!! Did you get a chance to shower and do clothes as well?
    I have to get my boat work done so I will be ready to meet on your return. Do you want company for he last few miles? I still picture Jessica Watson arriving in Sydney Harbour. You deserve nothing less.
    You and I shared a scotch when she completed.
    Keep it up and sail safe, Glen
    John Green

  5. Pat and Fred Lark says

    Hi Glenn,

    How exciting. I made myself slow down reading this post because I wanted to know the outcome so badly. A sailor who voices his experiences so emotionally and so thoughtfully will surely have more to tell in the weeks ahead. We were going to send you a pile of snow if you couldn’t get rain. We are glad to share. Happy sailing and writing.

    Pat and Fred

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thanks Pat. Hard to believe, and don’t tell my relatives in Ontario, but we actually had a dusting of snow here in Victoria the other day. Today of course, it’s back up to a more respectable 6 C where it should be. I’m still raking leaves in our garden called “Seven Oaks”. Just saying. They’re predicting another flurry in the next few days just for show. All the best to you and Fred for Christmas. ML

  6. Dan and Barbara Willock says


  7. Douglas Adkins says

    Bravo Glenn! Glad you caught that rain shower. Lots of PNW eyes on you and sending best wishes. Doug Adkins, Seattle

  8. Anne & Eric Mayers says

    Hi Glenn
    Glad to see that you are doing so well on your trip. It’s so good to hear that you have managed to store some water at last.
    Aunty Mary was so pleased to speak to you the other day , she sends her love as we all do. We love reading your daily updates and wish you well . We are all thinking of you. XXXXXX

  9. Melissa Anderson says

    Water. The very stuff of life. Congrats on your storm-chasing and your 10 gallons. That will ease your mind I’m sure. I was thinking the other day when you were in Scotch mist about the fog water collection systems in coastal Peru and Chile. You use a vertical net to collect the fog water from whence it drips down into a container. I don’t think it is particularly productive but it might be fun to play around with next time you are in that kind of weather.


    Hi Glenn
    So happy you found some rain – beautiful rain. Had a nice talk with Mary Lou the other day. You are one lucky man to have her in your life but of course you knew that – ha ha .
    Hang in there Glenn – love Ann & Steve

  11. Hooray!!

    I’m going into the break room for tall mug of tap water to celebrate!

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