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.


  1. Great blog entry and pics! And I now have access on my phone so can follow you any time. Fun seeing you last night and getting a few more of the details...what a great adventure you're on!

  2. I like the blog! Does this mean that the Coastal Explorer blog is no more? I watch everyday for updates. xo Weeze