August 15, 2014

Aug15 PM Log…Final Report

Ahoy VALIS Fans…
We are 7 nm west of Race Rocks, which means another 23 miles after that and VALIS will be home in Friday Harbor. Without getting all sentimental and stuff, let’s just say it has been an honor and a pleasure to be trusted to bring the sailing vessel, VALIS, back to her owners and her relatively new home in Friday Harbor. Seriously, very few people are given the opportunity we four sailors have been lucky enough to experience. We each arrived at this point in our sailing careers in very different ways, but here we are sharing an adventure that is beyond words…so we took lots of photos, and shot lots of videos that hopefully will find there way online via the VALIS blog, Sailing Anarchy, Scantlings, etc. so people can enjoy our fun vicariously.
To recap the day…we had a heck of a night and morning encountering fishing boat after fishing boat. The wind finally packed it in at 22:10 HST, which is when we started motor-sailing. We tried sails only for a short time to no avail and have been under the iron genny for close to 24 hours. We have plenty of fuel…we filled the tanks with diesel in our gerry cans. Right now, we still have about 13 gallons left in the cans.
Today we saw sunfish, a humpback, seals and sea lions, Dall porpoises, Laysan albatross, a puffin and lots of tonnage coming and going, and we came close enough to fishermen to pass the Grey Poupon if we had any. And, we netted two Vellela for crew to observe…then we placed them back in the water so they could sail on.
So for the final time, here are the numbers:
Position 48″17′N 123*38′W…heading for now is 088*m, SOG 6.5 knots (pedal to the metal), water in the Strait is calm like molden lead…wind close to nil.
We hope you have enjoyed our reports. We certainly have enjoyed sharing stuff with everyone.
Again, thank you Paul and Mary for trusting us with VALIS.
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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Aug15 Log Adendum #2

Entered the Strait of Juan De Fuca at 11:22 HST. Tiki Drummer and the entrie cast…Travel Tiger, Sponge Bob, Fred the Turtle, Barbie and Tiki’s girlfriend…put on quite a show. We launch the VALIS drone and video’d the performance. Then the wine came out…now the crew is casting their eyes toward the bottle of rubbing alcohol (just kidding, the use by date is June, 2013).
63 nm to Friday Harbor. Still no cell reception :-(
VALIS, out…

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Aug15 AM Log…Adendum

First off…the subject line was left off the last transmission…it was the Aug15 AM Log.
This adendum is to announce that we spotted our first humpback whale at 08:08 HST. It was approx. 75 yards off our starboard quarter moving south. Nice fluke wave as the giant animal swam away.
VALIS, out…

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Live From The Field

We are close VALIS fans…like 25 nm to the Strait, 93 nm to Friday Harbor. Mountains off to the right. A swarm of fishing boats and tonnage in front of us. We have at least 12 targets on our AIS screen. The alarm is keeping us well advised of vessels near rather than far. None since daylight any closer than 5 nm. But before daylight? Oh howdy, we had the entire PNW fishing fleet off our bow to stern all on the starboard side of the boat. Cleared one by 4 nm, another by 3 nm and the third we altered course 3 times to clear her by 2 nm.
We contacted Tofino Traffic and advise them of our approach and intentions for entering the straight. They see VALIS on their screen and our plan to take Buoy 2D to port and continue on south of the inbound traffic lane is a good one.
We were motor-sailing since 22:10 HST last night. Gave sailing again a try at 0700 HST, packed it in after a half hour. The sea state is like a mill pond, very leadened and the sort of conditions where you can’t tell where the water ends and sky begins on the horizon. Good for spotting wildlife…no whates yet, but dall porpoises, a couple of sunfish (weird critters), a puffin, Laysan albatross and seals…Oh, and more Vellela. Crew got to see one up close as it landed in the cockpit when it was rough going the other night.
We received an email from Back Bay, advising us that they are headed down the Strait toward their home in Anacortes. The Back Bay crew thanked VALIS for keeping in touch during their voyage and passing on tips here and there.
Now for some boat business…
Batts being totally refreshed as we motor-sail. Position 48*13′N 125*16′W…heading 045*m…SOG 6.3 knots (with current assist)…winds nill…sea state flat calm. Engine oil checked…remaining fuel will be dumped into fuel tanks when there’s room :-)
BTW, no cell reception yet…we keep trying.
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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August 14, 2014

Aug14 PM Log

Ahoy VALIS Fans…we are 99 nm from buoy 2D at the entrance to the Strait, and 164 nm from Friday Harbor.
Batts @ 12.45v, 72% charged Our position WSW of the Strait is 47*32′N 126*52′W…heading 040…SOG 6.5 knots…seas calm will a gentle swell on the beam giving us an occasional push forward toward home. Sky overcast, no fog.
The crew had bacon-flavored Spam with their scrambled eggs this morning. No leftovers either. The galley turned into a bit of a mess. A skillet full of yet-to-be-scrambled eggs went flying (the eggs, not the skillet). Stove and oven have never been so clean :-)
One ship today, 10 nm off our port beam…a tanker headed to Barbers Point, Oahu, HI.
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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Aug14 AM Log

We are rocking here on VALIS. Not so much forward as up and down. We are beating against a really confused ocean. Waves from every direction. Speed is not so hot, but it’s better than if we tried to motor.
We are now 178 nm from the Strait and 242 nm from Friday Harbor.
Batts @ 12.35v, 58% charged…engine goes on at 0700 for charging and maybe motoring if our speed thru water goes below 5 knots.
Our position is 46*46′N 128*22′W…Hdg 031*m, COG 040*m…SOG 5.9 knots…sea state very lumpy.
It’s been a challenge last 12 hours for the crew…one eye on shifty wind direction the other on trim while trying to keep the boat moving as close to the preferred course as possible. We lost a little of our northing, but we are still in good shape.
Kudos to Jim and especially the racers, Sylvain and Erik for tweaking things to maximize VALIS’ close hauled performance. Not VALIS favorite point of sail. But she’s learning ;-)
And a big attaboy to Jim for giving #3 and extra half-hour of shut eye. Hobby-horsing in the V-birth is good for nothing except maybe mixing martinis provided you like them shaken, not stirred.
That is all.
VALIS, out.

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August 13, 2014

Aug13 PM Log

Ahoy VALIS fans…Big Whoops on the AM Log. It was dated Aug12 instead of Aug13…sorry.
Batts 12.75v, 91% charged… We are at 46*04′N 129*46′W…hdg 029*m…SOG 7 knots…winds 15 knots from 258*m…sea calm to moderate with swell still on our beam mostly.
Fun day of sailing. Still grabbing as much north as we can above the rhumb line to Buoy 2D at the entrance to the Strait of Juan De Fuca…currently 247 nm dead ahead. Friday Harbor is 311 nm away.
Some interesting news today.
We passed the NOAA ship, Ronald H Brown (of “Brownie’s doing a great job” fame during Hurricane Katrina). They are on station with scientists from Woods Hole doing research on the volcano at 45*55′N 129*59′W. When contacted, the NOAA person said they had a submersible down doing live video viewable on the NOAA site. VALIS passed them 4.5 nm off starboard. We were at 45*59′ 130*02′.
In other news, we have gotten daily emails from Back Bay, another Bac Cup boat not able to check-in via SSB each night. Their latest position as of 1700 HST was 46*32′N 130*27′W. VALIS’ position at the same time was 46*01′N 129*50′W. Like they say, it only takes two boats for a race ;-)
For breakfast, we had orange juice, scrambled eggs with hash browns and corned beef hash. For dinner, we had chicken fajitas, with assorted chocolates for dessert.
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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Aug12 AM Log

Ahoy VALIS fans…
Another rocking and rolling night on a close reach. We continue to fight the push south and it looks like we might win it. Our mark at the Strait has a bearing of 037*m and our target heading is 030-035*m. Reaching Friday Harbor by Friday is looking more and more doable…especially if VALIS stays on HST. PDT puts us in at close to midnight at our current course and speed.
The new GRIB shows us in double digit winds until we are within spitting distance of the Strait. So needless to say, our speed from here on out will be at least 5 knots to the Strait and at least 5 knots plus or minus what the currents give us going down the Strait.
No shipping lately, but we will be turning on the chartplotter when we hit the 100 nm mile mark as things will get busy shipping and fish boat wise as well as navigating shipping lanes, marks and channels.
Today we start housekeeping, although VALIS is pretty ship-ship. We are a tidy bunch of tired sailors longing for the shade of a big tree, plus wine, beer, coffee and bacon.
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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August 12, 2014

Aug12 PM Log

Attention, Attention! Mia Culpa coming…
There’s been a data entry error on VALIS. All previous reports of miles to the Strait of Juan De Fuca are inccorrect. Those are miles to Friday Harbor.
The real numbers this evening are 414 nm to the Strait, 478 nm to F.H. Friday Harbor on Friday? Maybe :-)
So, maybe people need to change there plans a little if they want to catch dock lines at Friday Harbor. A little bird has told us there will be plenty of water for VALIS to pull up to here own dock at home.
Batts @ 12.95v, 87% charged VALIS is at 44*38′N 133*07′W…Heading 040 and fighting the push south…SOG 7.5 knots…winds 25 knots from 264*m…seas continue as they have been, moderate with swell on the beam.
We had pineapple pancakes for breakfast. The bad news there is the #3 spork broke while cutting a skillet sized pancake…that was at 10:30.
At 12:30, Jim hand-lined in an albacore tuna. Erik landed it with the net. Sylvain administered the vodka cocktail and did the work with the knife. Crew had delicious baked tuna steaks with lemon-dill sauce accompanied by a cabbage salad with carrots, cherry tomatoes, crushed corn chips and bacon ranch dressing. Pink popcorn for dessert. We are bring 4 fresh tuna steaks home for everyone to enjoy.
It should be noted that both our Mahi mahi and tuna were caught with a piece of wood with a hook attached known as a cedar plug.
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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Aug12 AM Log

Batts at 12.60v, 81% charged Current position 44*07′N 134*49′W…Heading 047*m, SOG 7.0 knots, wind 19 knots on the beam from 270*m, seas moderate with 6-8′ swell on the beam.
We did 88 nm since 1800 last night, and 170 nm for the past 24 hours. A few more days like that, light patches (one in 24 hours) notwithstanding and we’ll reach Neah Bay on Friday, Friday Harbor on Saturday. Hey, wait a minute…shouldn’t we be reaching Friday Harbor on Friday? Start the betting pool!
We did have a pretty zippy night reaching. Sort of on the slant a bit more than usual because of the swell on the beam instead of the port quarter. Cockpit stayed dry for the crew. Sky was 50% full of puffy white clouds and the moon was shinning bright the whole time so meteor watching was not so hot.
Cross your fingers and hope the weather forecast continues to swing our way. We don’t mind 10 knot winds on the beam but less than than and we’ll be deploying the iron genny.
BTW, the cross wise sleep sack was not, repeat not, in the V-birth :-)
That is all.
VALIS, out…

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