Not Rolling

Wednesday 4/3/13    15:00
18 10.931 S
95 10.116 W
http://maps.google.com/?z=4&t=k&q=loc:18 10.931S 95 10.116W

Finally after two weeks of rolling in eight to ten foot following seas it has let up a little.  I am sure that if it goes totally dead I will long for the high winds again.  We are sailing along on course at about five knots with only seven to eight knots of apparent wind.  It is surprising that a person can sleep when your body is rolling side to side and the boat is creaking and moaning.  Just imagine taking your kitchen and tipping it thirty degrees one way and then slamming it thirty degrees the other. Stuff is always banging and clanging around.  There is always that one can or jar that clinks up against a cabinet.  Then when you climb out of your bed it quits then just as you fall asleep it starts again, it can drive you totally nuts.
We have developed a way to hang the generator from the boom so it is gimbaled and does not tip over, which it did when we were hit by a particularly large wave.  The thing kept running lying on its side as I scrambled up to shut it down.  The only thing that happened is oil ran into the air cleaner and chocked of the motor.  When I got it started again it started smoking like crazy until it burned the oil out of it.  Because the auto pilot has to work so hard to keep us on course in the rolling seas we seem to have to run the generator at least twice a day to charge the battery. Without the generator we would have to take turns steering the boat and that would have been a challenging sail for the next 2 weeks. Every day there is something to fix.
Yesterday we saw a pod of False killer whales (that’s their real name according to our Nature book). They are about 12 feet long. They hung around the boat for quite a while swimming alongside and then diving under the boat. It is always amazing to see them up close in the wild. There are also schools of flying fish that seem to all take off in unison and fly about 5 feet. Every morning we find a few on deck.
I am surprised just how much easier it is with another person on the boat.  I actually get a chance to sleep five or six hours at a time.  And having someone to talk to makes a big difference and Barb does not let me forget to eat.

Bugs!

Tuesday 4/2/13    12:00
18 26.344 S
92 16.954 W
http://maps.google.com/?z=4&t=k&q=loc:18 26.344S 92 16.954W

Well our latest dilemma seems to be bed bugs.  They must have come aboard when we were stocking the boat in Puerto Montt.  It is a little hard to do much about them when you are in eight to ten foot seas.  We have bagged up most of our bedding and are boiling the last remaining sheets and vacuuming the cushions.  We will keep this up for a while.  So if anyone was wondering if Barb was getting lonely out here for so long, it is not a problem she has lots of new friends that really love to sleep with her. I tell her that those are just little love nibbles from her new friends but she does not see the humor in that.
The sailing here is really different than sailing against the wind in the Atlantic.  It is all down wind.  Most of the time we are using just the big jib poled out.  We are faster with that then using the main and the big jib because the main shelters the jib too much.  The last few days we have been doing over 150 miles a day which is really great for this old boat.  It is quite the ride though, in these eight to ten foot seas.  The worst part is the frequency of the waves is very short, so the boat is really fishtailing around as the waves shove the stern this way and that.  The autopilot is constantly fighting to keep up. The feeling of speed is almost scary at night when you are surfing down the waves at over eight knots with the glowing phosphorescent foam all around the boat. Yesterday I was on the bow moving the pole from one tack to the other and Barb was in the cockpit pulling sheets when a wave hit the rear starboard quarter dumping six inches of water into the cockpit and throwing me against the life lines.  So staying in the cockpit isn’t always the driest place to be.  The lack of sleep is very wearing, it makes doing anything at all a chore.  Just moving around the boat is a lot of work.  Doing dishes is a two person job, because you can’t set anything down or it ends up flying across the cabin.  So one person washes the other has to dry and stow them away.
20 days done at least 20 to go, half way, if the wind holds.

Turned West

Friday 3/29/13 23:00
20 28.568 S
83 32.059 W
http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:20 28.568S 83 32.059W

Heading West

We finally made the turn and are now heading West versus North and so we are getting further and further away from the South American coastline. The weather is getting warmer although for the last few days it has been mainly cloudy. I am already in shorts and it will probably take Dennis another week or so before he is in shorts. The last couple of days the wind has settled into a pattern. In the mornings there is a nice breeze but the waves are fairly large so the boat rolls quite a bit. By the afternoon the waves and the wind settles and we can have a nice afternoon in the cockpit. By evening the wind start to pick up and we start experiencing a nice fast sail. From 20:00 to midnight the wind gusts and can go from 10 to 25 knots in a matter of seconds. I am starting to get used to this and not get the feeling of terror as the boat heels 30 degrees. Yesterday our keyboard went flying during one of the wind gusts but it still works!!
Based on our average boat speed for the last couple of days we should be arriving in the Marquesa Islands in about 4 weeks or 28 days.
We are now trolling a new lure and fishing line but still no fish. I was hoping to have fresh fish for Good Friday. Oh well, I do have some chocolate for Easter Sunday!!

A Day of Sailing

Wednesday 3/27/13 05:00
24 01.260 S
79 49.436 W
http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:24 01.260S 79 49.436W

A day of Sailing

Yesterday we had a day of sailing. We had the Spinnaker up and it was a quiet sail. I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying my morning cup of coffee when suddenly the wind gusted from 10 knots to 20 in a matter of seconds. I did not see it coming. Dennis was trying to get some sleep and it’s the fastest time I saw him scramble to the cockpit. He was there within 2 seconds (in his underwear). We decided to bring down the spinnaker and put up the main with the 160. From there the weather starting to turn and there were grey clouds all around and before long it was misty rain. The wind gusts became more frequent so we changed the 160 to the Yankee and before long we had a reef put in the main. I have to say that sailing with the spinnaker is an easy sail but 20 to 25 knot winds and sailing with the main is much more exhilarating.
We still have no fish but now we have quite a few birds diving for our bait. One bird actually caught it and he released it pretty quick. Within 5 minutes he was back ready to do another dive. We pulled the line in as a sea bird is not on the menu, for now anyway.
We are doing great with our food supply. We figured we have another 2 weeks with fresh vegetables and bread and after that it’s homemade bread and canned goods plus rice and beans, although we do have plenty of cabbage, onion and potatoes. We just have to be creative with the one pot meals!!

Sitting in Toronto

Friday, March 08, 2013

Toronto Canada

Here I sit in the Toronto airport waiting for a flight to take me back to Chile.  The trip back to Chile should not be to bad it will only be two days.  Unlike the trip from Chile to St. John’s which took over four days.  I ended up staying in Toronto for two days because of fog in St John’s.  I went to St. johns to do a few things to Barbs house that the buyer wanted done before closing.  I was able to get all the repairs done to the house so that the buyers could do an inspection on Wednesday.  That gave me Thursday to run around St John’s and do a little shopping for Barb.

Barb just called me and told me that the freezer has stopped working.  Great, now when I get to the boat tomorrow night I will have to get right to work so we don’t lose all the meat that is in the freezer.  Boats are really constant work.  My work is never done.  I never lack things to do that is for sure.  I am still hoping that we will be able to leave on Wednesday, but we will be very busy.  Everything takes way longer here, not just because we are always waiting for the bus.  For example just before I left we were standing in the line to buy some cheese, when we got to the counter the guy waved us off pointing to his lunch that had just been brought to him.  He pushed us out of the way and shut the doors and went inside, leaving a line of three or four customers to wonder when he would open again.  We came back an hour later and he was still not open.  Customer relations are not their strong suite.  This is not an isolated case but is the norm here.  They can have hours posted on the door but that does not really mean much either.  One has to learn to be very patient, but it is very trying.  So I guess we leave when we leave.

Another day in Puerto Montt

23:30 Saturday March 3, 2013

41 30.012 S 72 59.262 W

https://maps.google.com/maps?z=7&t=k&q=loc:41+30.004S+72+59.271W

A month ago I was in Newfoundland and Dennis was in Chile getting things ready for our departure to the South pacific. Today I am here in Chile while Dennis makes his way to Newfoundland. After struggling to find somebody to fix a few things required to finalize the sale of my house we both decided that it was best if Dennis did the work himself. And for anybody that knows Dennis you will agree that fixing things is definitely his specialty. So the earliest departure for our sail is probably March 12th.

So being new to living on a boat, I would like to chronicle my day here on LandFall without Dennis (I do so miss him!!). I wake up around 10:00. I always considered myself to be a morning person but somehow on the boat I manage to sleep way past my usual 7:00 am!! The first thing I do is step into the same clothes I have worn for the last 2 days (never would have imagined doing that)!!. I make the 3 minute walk to the Marina washrooms for a nice long shower without the thought of running out of hot water. Once back, I fill a kettle with enough water to boil and make my coffee and to do last night’s and morning dishes. I fire up the propane burner on our stove and as the gas sputters and heats up I am relieved that today is not the day to swap out the current propane tank with the spare. (Dennis was well aware that it could happen any day while he was gone so he gave me instructions on how to change tanks!). I root though the little fridge to find a few mushrooms to use for a mushroom/egg omelette. Once dishes are done I turn on the Ipod hooked up to the stereo (I have yet to get through my 2000+ songs that I have on my Ipod). I start up the laptop, check emails and make a few phone calls on Magic Jack. I talk to Dennis for a while. He is stranded in Toronto waiting for weather to clear in St. John’s where the fog has settled in. I had plans to clean the boat but the sun is out and it is 20C so I opt to go for a hike. I check in with Dennis’s friends Richard and Hans and let them know the direction I am heading in case I get lost.

CaptureI find a trail that takes me to the top of a hill with a great lookout. Note the ‘RED’ arrow indicating the marina where the boat is. You can check out the pics of my hike in ‘Our Photo Album’ tab.  There were 300+ steps to climb! At the top I was struck with a familiar smell of wood smoke and Eucalyptus trees. That took me back to childhood memories of Peru.

I got back hungry and fired up the BBQ to roast some wieners to go with Dennis’s left over Potatoe salad. Hans dropped by to make sure I got back. I checked emails again, talked to Dennis who is still stuck in Toronto, read my knidle for a while, posted on the blog and now I plan to watch one of the 300+ movies that I accumulated and copied to an external hard drive.  I  want to stay up so that I can check in and see if Dennis has made it to St. John’s. His flight is now delayed until 2:00 am. With the fog still lingering his arrival in St. John’s in the wee hours is still dubious.

 

Simple pleasures

20:00 Saturday , march 2, 2013

41 30.012 S 72 59.262 W

https://maps.google.com/maps?z=7&t=k&q=loc:41+30.004S+72+59.271W

DSC_2253Just outside the marina gates we found Blackberries growing in abundance! We can pick a $5 Costco container in 5 minutes. We filled a bowl with 1/2 Blackberries and 1/2 Vanilla yogurt and we both agreed it is one of the best desserts we have had in a while! The simplicity of this delicious dessert is a symbol of what life is for us now. We maneuver around our 36 x 12 foot living space that holds everything we own and need. No deadlines, no hustle or bustle and the sound of water surrounds us. Our backyard is always changing without the need to mow, weed or seed. We leave the boat with our backpacks and cameras and not a second thought of going out without a cell phone or a Blackberry.

 

Puerto Montt

15:35    Thursday  2/28/2013
41 30.012 S
72 59.262 W

https://maps.google.com/maps?z=7&t=k&q=loc:41+30.004S+72+59.271W

DSC_2284After settling in our boat we finally got a chance to visit the city of Puerto Montt. I did not realize how magnificent the landscape was until the clouds cleared and revealed the breathtaking backdrop, a volcano no less. Modernization is inevitable as Puerto Montt is boasting to have the largest salmon aquaculture industry in the world. The view is of the shopping mall in Puerto Montt.  But for the most part the city is filled with old and colorful houses and buildings.

 

 

 

DSC_2265The city suburbs consists of houses that seem to be constructed with no evidence of boundaries. The history of the city reveals that squatters decided to settle on otherwise unoccupied farmland. The houses seem to be built out of any available material that people could find or get their hands on.

 

 

 

DSC_2268Houses nestled on the shore line where the only demonstration of aesthetics is colour! These houses are on an island accessible via 5 minute ferry ride from Puerto Montt.

 

Arrived in Puerto Montt

DSC_2244I spent $350 for the extra luggage, got on a direct flight from Toronto to Santiago-Chile and arrived 10 hours later. No trouble getting through Customs as they are not concerned about BBQ grills, bilge pumps and other miscellaneous boat parts. They only look for food, dried or fresh.  Dennis had already made the overnight trip to Santiago to meet me and help with the luggage. We made our way to the bus station for the 6 hour wait to get on the 13 hour bus ride to Puerto Montt.  So after 2 days of travel I am finally here!!