First blow

Sunday, Sept 13 @ 21:35 39.39 N, 130.77 W 5.4 knots

There’s  nothing quite like your first blow to find all the chinks in your armour. It’s blowing pretty hard out there and has been for most of today. I have three reefs in the main and the working jib rolled in a little way past the last black reefing stripes. We are doing just over five knots and it is comfortable in a gale-at-sea kinda way.

I spent a couple of hours in the cockpit watching the storm unfold after an hour or so catching up to the wind conditions. In the euphoria of being back at sea I had forgotten to take the anchor off the bow when leaving the Straits and although I secured it well, not well enough for the conditions we are experiencing today.

So with my new offshore gear on, I faced my old nemesis “the guy with the fire hose”. After crawling up the deck I got all snuggled in to the bow with harness attached and a line to re-secure the anchor in my free hand. West Wind is plowing the Pacific at 5 1/2 knots with the anchor – a fine 40 lb 
plow itself. As soon as I leaned through the pulpit to lasso the anchor, the guy with the fire hose starts soaking me down. The bow is rising and falling about six feet with each wave burying the anchor every four seconds along with me. The big consolation here is that the water is, well not warm but it sure ain’t Cadboro Bay either. This is when all that practice doing the one handed knots really pays off. After what seems like an eternity on the waterboard I feel water start to trickle in my boots and it’s on its way to my neck as well. This voyage was made out to be a big deal so I laid down some serious coin for “offshore rain gear” and I’m here to tell you after all my voyages I have never found rain gear that is any match for the guy with the fire hose, it’s impossible. The rodeo with the anchor is now complete and I disentangled myself from my safety gear kind of like Houdini and made my way back to the comfort and relative safety of the cockpit. Mission complete!

I think we will be in this little commotion for about 12 to 18 hours, at least that’s how long they usually last. We are hunkered down for the duration and I have a can of split pea and ham soup on the stove. This gale has been good for me. It reminds me of all things I need to do to be prepared and what to do as it builds. 
There has been some rain as well and along with the waves it will clean all that smoke and soot residue off the decks.
I have a good course and once this has passed, I hope to be in a good position to head for a way point in the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone).

The ITCZ is visible as a band of clouds encircling Earth near the Equator.

Note: The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms because of its monotonous, windless weather, is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. It encircles Earth near the thermal equator though its specific position varies seasonally. Source: Wikipedia


  1. Oh my! That guy with the firehose shows up at the most inconvenient times. So glad you got the anchor secured. Bill and I are both following your voyage closely. It brings back many memories!
    All the very best,
    Cathy and Bill Norrie

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