Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Preparations Continue

Greetings All,
We are 10 days and counting. Our current departure plan is to cast off from Elliott Bay Marina on Sunday, Sept. 9th, catching a mild northbound current to follow previous tracks to Sequim Bay for our first night's rest at anchor. From there it is to Neah Bay (Sept.10?) and depending on the weather window, we will head out around Cape Flattery on Tues or Wed!  2 weeks from now.

We have planned both a coastal route and an offshore route, one being about 25 miles out and the other about 100. Either way we will be out of sight of land (oh my!) for 4-6 days, before our first port of San Francisco. The outer route will probably be our preference. The winds will be bigger -- a good thing for a sailboat -- but also more steady, with fewer other boats and less fog to maneuver. We are looking for winds between 10 and 30 knots and the predominant blows this time of year are from the Northwest. If that's what we get, it should be a steady push from the rear quarter of the boat (a beam reach) which is easier and faster than beating into a headwind.

Since we will have 3 crew, we will take watches for 4 hours on and 8 hours off. We imagine (and hear tell) that it takes a few days to adjust to the sleep schedule, not to mention the rolling floor. But this is all predictive and maybe optimistic. It's hard not to have visions of what it will be like. All we know is that it is likely to be a mixed bag... and our emotions are likely to run the gamut.

So, what chores have our last few days been filled with and what is still on the list to do?
That's what we ask ourselves each morning. One thing that we haven't been doing much of is taking pictures of ourselves hard at work -- we promise more photos when we get to more scenic vistas!

The Sailrite heavy duty machine
works like a champ. It will go along for
necessary repairs or creative projects (?)
At the Nav Station

Things accomplished recently include: reworking solar panels, reconditioning and rebuilding 2 bilge pumps, deflating and packing kayaks, and lashing dinghy to the foredeck, inspecting and reinspecting lines, rigging and hardware, taking more stuff out! of the boat's inner cabinets and putting different stuff into them, stocking and rechecking safety items such as flares, ditch-bag, life jackets, harnesses, etc., sewing covers for diesel jugs on deck and speakers in cockpit, replacing several LED lights, replacing gaskets and adding mosquito netting to the six portlights, and making copies of papers we will need to be official as we enter Mexico. Ongoing progress has been Lanham's growing understanding and skill with the process of sending and receiving "sailmail" and both of our learning to read the weather faxes that we can receive using the HighFrequency radio.  Still to be done is the major food provisioning and some more shakedown sails with our first crew members.
More to come... thanks for following along.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More photos!

 I'm still working out the kinks for adding photos to the blog.

Here are some more pics of the haul out at Sea View Boatyard in Shilshole where Solar Wind's bottom was painted, zincs changed and hull polished.

Going back in the water. Inflatable kayaks will make the trek to Mexico with us.  
Here we are practicing our suturing skills on pigs' feet -- not pretty,
but good to have tools and a patient teacher.

  Anna's going-back-to-school sail during  
             Brendan's visit to Seattle!


Melinda -- getting increasingly comfortable at the helm.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Won't be long now!

Hi Folks! We are waxed, washed and bottom painted. Fresh zinc anodes are installed, and the folding propeller has been greased. We are practicing with the spinnaker - almost got it! Sometimes we feel like we are sinking, but really its only the 5,000 + lbs. of added equipment and provisions setting us a good bit lower in the water. Melinda has taken the lead with medical provisioning - starting with a nice 1st-aid kit from Carol and Gary, and fascinating suture schooling (and supplies) generously contributed by old friend and ace plastic surgeon Craig, and adding $1,200 in antibiotics, pain pills, immunizations, splints and salves - we are practically a floating infirmary! We have sold our children's family home, moved all belongings into three storage units, purchased a two bedroom condo in Fremont and installed tenants there for the year we will be away. Family, In-laws and outlaws have helped us lighten our load by staging garage sales and descending on our weekend long move out of 6016 and into storage. MAY I STRESS; We could not have done it without you. If you were there, you know this to be true!! Thank you. Charts and routes - both paper and electronic are (or have been) being installed, and our various communication systems checked and re-checked. Auto-pilot, water-maker, batteries, solar panels, engine and transmission, rigging and sails - - all have spares, fresh lubrication and are ready to go (almost). We currently plan to depart Seattle on September 10th with Slim (the guy lying in the pipe-berth) as crew, and trade him in for Keith in San Francisco about a week later.... Melinda and I will leave San Diego about the end of September, but hope to stay for a week at our first Mexican port of Ensenada, and attend language school - another last minute detail! Many thanks to you all as you have understood our preoccupation and helped us do what must be done prior to departure. Vela Felizes Love, Lanham & Melinda
First Crew member, Slim (Seattle to San Fran), tests out the pipe berth.

Thursday night shakedown with Slim, Sam and...


Monday, August 13, 2012

Just the beginning!

Welcome to the first test of Solar Wind's Adventure Blog. I'm trying this template as an alternative to the one we have begun on Coastal Explorer. The domain name is
We are approximately 3 weeks from pushing off to sail south. Lots to do!