nov. 7, 2008

departure on time at 0800 with the starting ebb
lots of photos and Angela is still on the phone
on board are Skipper Nelson, his girlfriend and project PR person Angela, both from Taiwan, sailing master Lao Tang, his cousin ACai, both fishermen from china with sailing junk experience, AUe a retired engineer from Taiwan, Hugh a young man from Iowa who lives as a businessman in China, and me.

leaving SF

through the gate accompanied by porpoises. John Bielinski is seeing us out the gate with his boat Annabelle, he's got Frank on board, a chinese camera man and another friend from the dolphin club.
First there was a bit confusion about the route, with the shipping channel and the lee shore, Nelson was still on the phone and Lao Tang and i couldn't really communicate, but all is good now, we're in 6ft swells way past point bonita. it is gorgeous weather, little not enough wind to sail. i don't have a feel for the boat yet so it's hard to make recommendations.

out the gate

Yesterday when i went to the lunch it turned out that i'll be the only US crew, well, besides hugh who speaks chinese and lives in china.
So they made me the navigator and i spent all afternoon getting proper charts together and advise, John Bielinski help a lot, so did Nelson's friend Bob. then i found myself getting photographed and giving interviews. it felt a little overwhelming and stressy, but also exciting and an honor. We decided on the major waypoints and the watches. I went and had a beer with ACai who wanted to go to hooters, but instead of the girls he kept watching the cooks preparing the food behind the counter. then i crawled into my bunk, a little coffin made for short chinese people. about 22" wide, 30" high and 5.5ft long. the crew quarters are about in the middle of the boat and 4 bunks on each side thwartships. so the head is near the keel in the middle of the boat where there is the least movement - in theory... it was o.k. at the dock, we'll see how it will be at sea.

my bunk

Getting into the watch system was easy
A: Lao Tang, AUe and Hugh
B: Nelson, ACai, Angela and i, with angela not really on duty so she gets to rest from the one month long PR circus in SF
4hrs on 4hrs off, each person steering for 1hr20min


it was easy to fall asleep when it was time and wake up.
We are running before the wind trying to nail 180true, but it seems more like magnetic. in the afternoon off Pt. Montara it got really foggy but we slowly sailed out of it further away from the coast, leaving it between us and land.

the galley

At night the moon set and we had tons of stars, lots of shooting stars as well. ACai was singing beautifully all night, respectfully humming when it wasn't his trick at the tiller, but singing loudly when it was. I found myself humming along.
Too bad we can't really talk because he seems so nice and funny, like a cute, cuddely panda bear.

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