August 27, 2012

VALIS Has Come Home

We spent a spectacular night making our way through the Strait, sailing for a while, but eventually motoring, cutting across the shipping lanes to our mark at Race Rocks near Victoria. With dawn approaching we then headed towards Cattle Pass at the southern tip of San Juan Island. The currents there can be fierce (over 11 kts at times), but we were able to time our passage to get through about one hour after maximum flood, and by staying in the center of the pass things went smoothly (and quickly).
Once through the pass we were in Griffin Bay, and fifteen minutes later we were being welcomed home by family and friends. Docklines were passed, and after 17-1/2 days at sea we were back on dry land. Arrival: about 11:00AM Thursday, Aug 23, 2012.
We spent the next two days resting, eating, and cleaning, giving VALIS a good scrubbing. All extra gear was taken off, and VALIS was put back into her cruising configuration. The water at the dock is too shallow to keep VALIS off the bottom during a minus tide, so she was taken out to the mooring during the evening hours:

Yesterday we moved VALIS to her new slip in the Friday Harbor marina.
I have to say that this has been a great Pacific Cup, and passage to our new home. During the race we worked hard, made some good decisions, and had some great conditions. Paul Carson, Dick Holm, Rich Jones, Michael Moradzadeh, and Phil Mummah are good friends who are also great sailors.
Our passage home was a completely different experience, and one I will treasure forever. Nicole Chatterson, Rich Jones, Lin Parks, and Jenta Russell were the best possible crew, and made the trip a happy one. Lin and Rich are skilled and resourceful, and Jenta and Nicole, while less experienced, bring enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn that makes them a joy to sail with.
Now that VALIS is finally in her new home, I look forward to exploring our new territory. There’s a lot to see and do up here!
Sincerely, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: admin

August 22, 2012

Land Ho!

August 22 PDT
At about 6:00 this morning we sighted land in the brightening pre-dawn sky. Vancouver Island and the Washington State mainland were roughly 55 miles to the east, but the dark profile under the low clouds was unmistakable. We watched the sun rise over the Strait of Juna de Fuca, and the golden clouds were spectacular.
We are sailing very slowly in light winds, but should be in the Strait by mid-afternoon or early evening.
I will write more later, but wanted to share this with you.
Best wishes, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

August 21, 2012

One Last Night on the Ocean?

Date: Tuesday, Aug 21 Time: 6:10 PM PDT Latitude 48d 10m N, Longitude 127d 26m W Course 062 d magnetic, Speed 7.2 kts.
By this time tomorrow, we will be in (or at least approaching closely) the Strait of Juan de Fuca. From there it’s about 85 miles to our first stop in Friday Harbor, so a Thursday daylight arrival seems likely for VALIS.
The wind today has been a little light, with periods of clouds and light rain, interspersed with areas of extremely light wind. We can usually sail through these patches, but we did spend a half-hour motoring through one particularly troublesome bit of dead air. Otherwise, the wind has been about ten knots on the port quarter (behind and to the left), and we have been moving at 4-6 knots towards the Strait. Tomorrow promises to be similar, but with perhaps slightly more wind.
Last night we were treated to a starry sky, and the appearance once more of the moon, just after sunset, it’s thin crescent sinking into our wake as we sail East-North-East. We’ve had only normal meteor activity, but even these occasional flashes of fire can be spectacular. One in particular streaked from to horizon to horizon, leaving a vivid trail.
Dinner was a delicious chicken curry, prepared by Lin, and greatly appreciated by all. Nicole and Jenta took the opportunity to present me with some much-needed pieces of safety gear: an attractive aluminum-foil helmet (to shield me from the mind-control rays I’ve been complaining about), and a sharp-looking face mask (essential to avoid zombie-virus infection once we reach land). We’re pretty sure that much has changed in the world since we left Hawaii, and it’s good to be prepared!
Regards, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

Aug 20 9:00 PM HST Position Report

Boat, lat, lon, course, speed, wind direction, windspeed, comment
VALIS, 47 44, 130 13, 060, 6.5, 315, 12, ETA Thursday (Friday Harbor) Bequia, 37 54, 138 22, 001, 6, 324, 11, ETA 4 days Cassiopeia, 36 49, 129 46, 062, 5.1, 320, 1, motoring ETA Thursday mid-day Kotuku, 47 53, 129 24, 065, 6.7, 315, 10, ETA 1-1/2 day (Neah Bay) Tiki Blue,,,,,,,no contact – should be in port Jamani,,,,,,,no contact – should be in port Spellbound,,,,,,,no contact – should be in port Nozomi, 35 10, 130 02, 074, 5, 020, 4, motoring – ETA 4 days Cherokee Rose, 30 42, 151 16, 075, 5, 030, 11
General news: Nothing reported. Cherokee Rose will run net tomorrow, SSB channel 4B. VALIS will be checking in, and relay if necessary.
VALIS news: Just great sailing and great weather. Some light air and motoring earlier in the day, but the wind has filled in and the forecasts look encouraging. We should be in the Strait of Juan de Fuca by sunset Aug 23 (PDT), and in Friday Harbor around sunrise Aug 24. Remember though, the “E” in “ETA” stands for “Estimated”!
Regards, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

August 20, 2012

Monday, Aug 20 – 260 miles to the Strait

Monday, Aug 20, 6:00 PM PDT Latitude 47d 41m N, Longitude 131d 06m W Course 060d magnetic, Speed 6.3 kts
Today we had sunshine! We’re sailing well in moderate winds and minimal seas. Hair was washed, clothes changed and washed, and we’re feeling much more human.
Last night after the radio net, the wind dropped to where we were practically drifting. So, at 1:25 AM we started the engine, and motored for about five hours. At 6:00 AM the wind came back (weakly), and we decided to unfurl the sails again. We sailed fairly slowly, but this was vastly preferable to listening to the diesel-consuming, noisy, engine. At noon the wind again died, and we furled the genoa and fired up the engine. At 1:00PM the wind came back, so off went the engine and out came the genoa. Since then we’ve been sailing with full main, full genoa, and full staysail. The Monitor windvane is steering, and we’ve been enjoying the sailing immensely. The wind is gradually “lifting” us (moving aft from from forward of the beam) and we adjust the Monitor and sail trim to compensate. We’ve been looking forward to this wind shift as it lets us sail comfortably towards our destination.
Best wishes, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

Aug 19 9:00 PM HST Position Report

Boat, lat, lon, course, speed, wind direction, windspeed, comment
VALIS, 47 34, 138 18, 060, 5, 340, 8, ETA Friday Hbr Thusday(?) Bequia, 38 31, 141 01, 055, 5, 300, 8, Cassiopeia, 36 16, 132 13, 060, 5.2, 170, 3, motoring ETA Golden Gate Thurs midnight Kotuku, 47 27, 132 57, 060, 5, 000, 6, Tiki Blue, 37 36, 126 50, 070, 7.8, 300, 16, ETA Golden Gate Aug 21 0600 PDT Tiki J, ,,,,,, in port Jamani, 37 55, 125 24, 079, 7.5, 310, 23, ETA San Francisco YC Aug 20 2000 PDT Spellbound, 37 28, 124 31, 090, 8, 300, 21, ETA Golden Gate Aug 20 1300 PDT Nozomi, 35 02, 132 34, 069, 5.1, 230, 5, motoring Cherokee Rose, 30 58, 153 49, 090, 5, 030, 15,
Tomorrow’s net will be on SSB channel 6A
No debris reports. Tiki J is now in port. Tiki Blue, Jamani, Spellbound are getting close. VALIS and Kotuku are looking at probable light winds for approach to Strait of Juan de Fuca.
VALIS report: Another fast 24-hours (146 miles), it’s been a cold day with overcast and light squalls. It’s getting slow right now. Looking at the latest wind forecasts, we estimate a Thursday arrival in Friday Harbor.
Regards, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

August 19, 2012

Great Progress Today

Sunday, Aug 19, 7:15 PM PDT Lat 47d 26m N, Lon 133d 56m W. Course 055d mag, Speed 6.9 kts
As of midnight last night I was just about ready to start motoring again. The wind had dropped, and we were barely ghosting along. But, as usually happens, things changed. The wind picked up and started blowing from a good direction, and we were sailing towards the Strait.
We’ve been keeping in touch with Kotuku, a Pac Cup boat that left Kaneohe the same day as us (perhaps a little earlier, I need to check). They are heading for Seattle, and we have been fairly close neighbors for most of the passage. Last night we saw their tricolor, and had a nice chat via the VHF radio, and as the sun rose we could see their sails a few miles off. At this point I’m not sure where they are, but we will exchange position reports during the evening SSB net. It’s been interesting to discuss our strategies as we work our way through the changing winds.
Today has been overcast and cool, with some minor squalls. VALIS has been sailing well, and the small swells make for a pretty comfortable ride. For lunch Rich surprised us with a tortilla soup that was a great antidote to the cool temperature. Every night we dress a little warmer, and are pulling out the sleeping bags and additional blankets.
A Friday Harbor arrival some time Wednesday (Aug 22) is still looking likely.
Best wishes, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

Aug 18, 9:00 PM HST Position Report

Boat, lat, lon, course, speed, wind direction, windspeed, comment
VALIS, 46 48, 13, ETA Friday Hbr Weds (?) Bequia, 37 47, 143 36, 018, 8.2, 260, 14.5, Cassiopeia, 35 36, 134 31, 057, 5.1, 170, 3, motoring Kotuku, 46 42, 136 42, 068, 5.2, 015, 5, Tiki Blue, 37 28, 129 58, 070, 6.4, 270, 5, motoring Tiki J, 37 49, 124 42, 073, 7, 290, 16, ETA Aug 19 PM Jamani, 38 00, 128 39, 070, 6.5, 270, 9, ETA Aug 20 2200 PDT Spellbound, 37 19, 128 16, 070, 7.6, 290, 9, ETA Aug 20 1500 PDT Medusa,,,,,,,Tied up at Richmond YC Nozomi, 34 48, 135 35, 064, 5.2, , ,motoring in under 5kt wind Cherokee Rose, 30 47, 155 03, 338, 6, 035, 14,
Hana Ho, 35 08, 136 03,,,,,, email report
General news: Cherokee Rose will take over net when VALIS reaches port. Net will move to SSB channel 6B (6.227 MHz) on Aug 20 HST. No debris mentioned.
VALIS news: A slow day of sailing and motoring. We have battery charging problems, but have figured out how to make do with no difficulty. Today we had some whales swimming alongside and crossing our bow. We couldn’t identify them positively, but they looked similar to Sei Whales. Later we saw more distant whales and dolphins. We crossed the “500 mile to the Strait of Juan de Fuca” line this evening! Yay!
Regards, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

500 Miles to the Strait

This evening, after a dinner of tuna, rice, and salad, we passed the 500-mile distance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Tiki Drummer let everyone know with his musical announcement, and there was much clapping and dancing among the crew. We’re getting close!
Today we encountered light air that pretty quickly dropped below anything we could sail in. We started the motor, and noticed that the batteries weren’t charging. After some study, we determined that the engine-driven alternator was delivering only about 10 Amps (it normally puts out around 80 Amps). THe solar panels weren’t putting out much in the overcast conditions, so we shut down all non-essential electronics.
Later we discovered that by running the engine at idle, we were able to charge at about 25A. This isn’t a lot, but certainly enough to let us run what we need. Ultimately, not a big deal.
Position Aug 19, 12:01AM PDT: 46d 48m N, 136d 42m W. Course 070, speed 3.5 kts. Very light wind, will probably resume motoring. Likely ETA Friday Harbor sometime Aug 22 or 23.
Regards, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone

August 18, 2012

Aug 17 9:00 PM HST Position Report

Boat, lat, lon, course, speed, wind direction, windspeed, comment
VALIS, 46 10, 139 49, 040, 7.5, 325, 15, ETA Friday Hbr Weds (?) Bequia, 37 21, 146 43, 075, 8.7, 355, 15, Cassiopeia, 34 51, 136 41, 055, 5.1, 350, 7, Kotuku, 46 08, 140 10, 045, 7.5, 340, 13, Tiki Blue, 37 18, 132 59, 060, 4.5, 270, 10, Tiki J, 37 43, 127 55, 073, 6.5,195, 9, ETA Sunday PM Jamani, 37 55, 131 54, 075, 6, 211, 11, Spellbound, 36 49, 131 34, 060, 7, 220, 12, ETA Monday PM Medusa, 38 01, 126 00, 080, 7, 252, 3, ETA Golden Gate tomorrow PM Nozomi, 34 26, 137 34, 075, 4, 330, 5, Cherokee Rose, 28 15, 155 07, 340, 7.5, 045, 17, using SSB channel 6B
Debris Report: Tiki J spotted an overturned power boat, approx 30 ft length. Sunday PM at lat 37 35, lon 129 43.
VALIS report: A day of cold and gray sailing. We were quite pleased to be able to sail through the forecast wind shift (from south to NW), jibing in the early AM and only having a few hours of very light winds. We are now sailing slightly north of the bearing to Cape Flattery, hoping to avoid the need to tack as we approach land. Wind is good, and we are sailing close to the wind under reefed main and genoa. We had Paul’s famous “canned chicken enchiladas” for dinner. The crew asked for seconds, so I guess I haven’t lost my touch. Or, perhaps they were just very hungry.
Best, Paul / VALIS

Comments Comments | Categories: Uncategorized | Autor: ValisSatphone