The Doldrums: Position: 7.48N, 125.24W

Motored for ten hours, now bobbing around waiting for wind.. Fresh tuna for
dinner tonight. Reading Melville's "Taipee" in prep for Nuku Hiva.

We had gingerbread and Stollen for x-mas.

Turning West. Position: 18.01N, 119.35W

Certain that the wind will not change, impossible to get to Mexico. Today
turned around with new target: Marquesas.

High Seas

Position: 24 degrees 46 minutes North, 122 degrees 34 minutes West. 1070 miles from San Francisco.We had a good first couple of days with average speed of 6 knots. Tuesday we crossed the California/Mexico boarder 180 miles off-shore. Blue water sailing rules! I feel like I've never done anything else in my life.Plastic flotsam and marine mammal sightings are tied 2:2Ran out of wind for two days, then rain, then lots of rain, confused seas, lots of wind, then no wind. It's warmer though, took my first saltwater bucket bath on deck today.Love you all.


we are leaving saturday, at noon. today, friday, when tracy and i came
back from shopping for fresh food, veggies and fruit, holger had hoisted
the signal flag for the letter "P", also called the "blue peter", it means
the ship is leaving port. ever since then everything is different. i had
drinks and dinner with peter; and jeff and company were there too, it was
good to say goodbye, talk with real people. we're leaving...i feel good
about it. i'm ready.
so the pictures i wanted to post yesterday didn't come through, i'll try
to add them now, but it might not work, so. please forgive me and just
imagine me being on a cool boat.
love and i will try to update as much as i can.

two more pix

- Holger, Tracy and Moana, my crew mates until we pick up Ira and Dennis in Mexico
- and a view of Lord Jim at the dock in this horrible weather, i'm glad i'm not in the ocean right now

just as i wrote this a big gust hit the boat and things went flying on deck that weren't properly secured yet. all is good but it was a little panic attack and reality check. now everything is secured - i hope. the wind is already shifting, so it should be over in a couple of hours.
we just looked at the weather and the high is coming south bringing wind from the right direction, NW, a lot. so this might delay our departure another day to avoid really choppy seas.

happy december

the weather is miserable. i went to bed really early yesterday and slept until 9:30 this morning. it is so dark outside, i missed my automatic waking hour at 6:30 am... I guess it is good to get some rest before we leave. since there is nothing really to do but wait, i went around taking some pictures for you all, so, not much text but lots to look at here:
- my bunk
- the galley with more cleaning stuff to put away
- the saloon, still set up as home office
- the fo'c'sl stowed with lots of sails, the outboard and the potato basket
- the luxurious head (bathroom)

crew mode

i had all these thought last night to post this morning, but now it's hard
to remember.
we all realized that we are in transition. both tracy and i are spent
nearly all day below, stowing. i only left the boat maybe 4 times to go to
the head and a little walk. only when i went for my walk i didn't move out
of sight, this is the crew mode, preparing for only being on the boat,
nowhere else to go.
i am still in sausalito, but in my head i am not. i still have my
cellphone on, but i'm not calling anyone, i am not really here anymore.
i'm in crew mode. i wake up and want to start working, i go to sleep and
sleep right away, crew mode.
i had a tiny leak in my cabin when it rained yesterday, it is in an o.k.
spot, i hope it doesn't move too much once the boat is heeling. all
electronics (computer, camera, i-pod) are packed in plastic, and the
clothes in the drawers and lockers have a sheet of plastic on top of them
in case of drips.
we're studying the surface analysis charts, and i should start reading the
book oliver gave me to understand it better, but i am too tired to read
every night and all i manage is 2 pages of a novel of which i need to
re-read the second page the next night because i don't remember.
If nothing changes and the high gives us some room between it and the
coast, we'll leave on saturday at noon. that will already be december...
no way i'll be back mid april...


it looks like we would have only a 10 hr window after this storm and then
the next one is really big and wet and it doesn't make sense to go out.
Friday night the wind pattern is predicted to shift northwest at a speed
of 15 to 20kts which will be perfect. so there, the new departure day is
saturday. High tide. That gives us nearly 4 more days and brings up other, laundry, money...


it is nearly december and we're still here. today we'll make the decision in the morning if we'll leave tomorrow or thursday on the tail of this storm. it is raining and raining. Tracy and i did more shopping yesterday, two full carts at trader joe's and two full carts at safeway, and we'll have to go back and get more. Somehow it is good that the weather is giving us more time because we can be better organized and be more of a team. on the other hand, yeah, i want to get out of here. it is weird to say all the goodbyes and have parties and then not go. though in my head i'm gone. if we're leaving tomorrow, i'll turn my phone off today, and this will be the last update from sausalito. Then we'll see how the sailmail over the radio works.
i'll spend my day stowing today and we'll have to go on a fresh food run before departure. i haven't posted any pictures of the masses of food because i didn't take a picture, was too busy thinking about where to put it all. But i assure you that we have enough for the 2 week trip to PV and nearly enough for the long leg (5 people, 3 month).

not yet

this morning i woke up to the news that we won't be leaving tomorrow. departure delayed, but hey, i am already on vacation since over a week ago.... i'll keep you updated.

here's the weather forecast just for kicks:
830 AM PST MON NOV 28 2005



shopping and stowing

Yesterday tracy and i spent the best part of the night stowing food. we figured that IF we have to stay up late we should do it now and get two good night's sleeps in before departure on tuesday. We're trying to get a good push from the next storm system that is coming in, and given the fact that i don't know the boat and we are shorthanded, we won't get much rest during the first couple of days of the voyage.
i have been cleaning out cupboards and storage spaces and making diagrams and lists of what is where. Tracy is good considering all the different climates we'll be going through, the weight of stuff and where they should be on the boat; and with my own organized brain and the super-well organized example of Anasazi from the atlantic crossing 2 years ago i am coming up with good systems that find approval with these experienced folks here as well. i'm getting a good hang of it. We have a lot of food, and still several more runs to make. I also stopped by REI and got two more moisture wicking underwears for the southern ocean, i really don't want to be cold.
the vacuum sealer i got is great to break down bulk stuff we got.
right now holger is defrosting the freezer (yes we have a freezer and a fridge!) we'll take frozen vegetables etc to have something for out at sea, when everything fresh we're bringing is used up or turned bad. Of course there is always the possibility of the refridgeration system breaking down, and we need enough canned and dried goods to keep us afloat in that occasion. O.k. - back to work!

Everybody is happy we didn't leave yesterday.

i just got up, it is raining, the storm is here. earlier it was blowing quiet hard. some of the stuff we had fixed during refit mode are still leaking. we'll need to try to find a fix for that so we don't have an unhappy first mate...
today is more stowing and provisioning, and that's what we'll do until the weather is right to leave. maybe on sunday. maybe later. In case anyone is interested: Thanksgiving didn't happen this year. we worked on the boat as usual and had vodka tonic and pretzels for dinner. I called my good friend Lesbian Love whom i have spent most of my thanksgiving's with, she's in LA on her way to Buenos Aires. Maybe we'll meet in patagonia. Every now and then there is a gust that makes this big boat heel a bit and the moment it staightens out again you hear the rain drops intensify. then it goes back to a regular rain. on a boat - even at the dock - one is much closer to the elements. Everybody is happy we didn't leave yesterday.


i still don't know when we will be leaving. but departure IS getting
closer... holger has been checking the weather and the high over the north
pacific is getting squooshed by a couple of lows. one of them very low. it
looks like the no wind out there will soon be replaced by rain and wind
from the wrong direction. there is rain in the forecast for late thursday
and friday and if all goes well, the low will pass us on the north and we
will get favorable winds. if it passes too close to us the wind will come
from the s or sw and we will then delay departure even longer because
there is no sense in beating against it.
today Ira and i painted the stbrd topsides, i picked up a load of
sprouting seeds and jars to sprout them in. i went on a last visit to my
house to drop off money for john for the 35 lbs of coffee he is getting us
at super discount price from his work, drop off the car i had borrowed
from jade, and tracy and i went to the pharmacy to pick up our medikit. We
were working with a real personal, non-chain pharmacy in the outer mission
and i will go back there, screw Walgreens or even my kaiser pharmacy. i
have never encountered better personal service and care. (Central Drug
Store, 4494 Mission St. @ Sta Rosa)
I did some more stowing in my stateroom/cabin, i can't quiet get my head
around organizing stuff well and practical for sea, since we're on the
dock all the time and have different needs for clothing and other stuff.
tomorrow is thanksgiving, the american holiday. i wish we were sailing. i
feel disconnected to this country, and the city somehow too, it is good
that i am in sausalito, it's a bit like vacation already. the weather is
still exeptionally beautiful and every morning i wake up and come out the
companion way i am greeted by a fabulous sunrise and it seems like we are
being spoiled by good weather, like a sweet goodbye, like a bribe to make
me want to come back.
My boss Ross came by on a surprise visit today to wish me farewell, that
was sweet of him. I had missed him a couple of times when i went by the

getting ready

today tracy and i went to SF to meet with the doctor, Megan, to get all
the prescriptions. then off to the pharmacy, dealing and talking with the
pharmacist. we are dealing with some cool people!
Then to Rainbow grocery for bulk müsli, electrolyte drink, homeopathic
medicines, bulk soaps etc. then to west marine, picking up a life west for
the dog and finally clement street in the avenues for chinese pots and
pans and dried vegetables etc. we picked up dim sum for the whole crew and
made everyone happy upon return.
it looks like a thursday departure is out of the question. we are waiting
for some weather to come through to get favorable winds.
my friends who want to escort us out the gate are bummed because they have
to change their plans all the time. but that is what it is: sometimes you
gotta wait. and if it doesn't make a difference in arrival date if we're
leaving on thursday or on sunday, it makes more sense to have more time to
prepare and leave on sunday. tomorrow we're getting our last port supply
order in, and once that is stowed we're ready to put al the sails in the
fo'c'sle and stow the rest of the boat. Ira and i are doing last
cosmetics, tracy is figuring out sailmail and stuff, holger will install
the new wind instruments. everybody is so ready, but we must be safe and
it would be dumb to sit in the ocean with no wind or get clobbered by too
much of it from the wrong direction. I probably turn my phone off on
wednesday when i have to run my last errants in the city. i will be on the
hudson e-mail until fri nite at least. then again in PV.
this is still my only diary type of thing, i will start a proper every day
paper diary once we actually leave the dock.

still here...

it is the 19th, the date we were originally planning to leave. it didn't happen. instead i went to a party in sausalito to celebrate the fact that i live here now, on a boat, in a marina. it was fun.
yesterday we bent on the new mainsail that came in from hong kong. it was easier that we all had feared. i need to work on my fingertips, they noticed that i hadn't handled sails in a while. calouses everywhere, but not there. Here is a photo of Tracy checking out the sail as it comes out of it's bag. and a photo of the new mains'l bent on.
today we took all the sails that are not actually bent onto the boat up to the parking lot and spread them out, made sure they are dry and then packed them back up, after inspection and taking notes for what needs to be done with them.
it is amazing what i learned only in the past two days, and at the same time to realize what i know. we're getting closer, don't know if all these preparation photos excite anyone. well, that's what i got, later there will be only text! On the photos you see some of the sails and awnings drying on the banister by the marina parking lot and the gollywobbler drying out hanging in the rigging. it is holger's design, going with the little flag that has a cross on it, nice.

today is the day

i moved onto the boat, left my house, hope i didn't forget anything. also: we bent on the new mains'l. it's beautiful. i cooked my first dinner on board, and now that i am not commuting, it's kinda weird sitting in the salon and doing my e-mail,while holger is watching tv and tracy is still folding charts. i'll get used to it and then it'll change again, because we will actually go sailing.

wenn einer eine reise tut...

is a german saying meaning, if one goes on a trip there will be stories
to be told. so far i am only telling stories of preparation.... and
with the biggest part done it is also a time to party... pretty much
every other day. yesterday we had a big dock party at the boat for
friends and neighbors, it was totally fun. on wednesday will be my
goodbye party somewhere in the city, i don't know yet, well, and then
i'll move onto the boat and then we will eventually leave. that might
be a party too, because many of my friends have said they'll sail out
the gate with us, and many of H&T's friends are planning the same.
there is only tiny preparation jobs to be done on the boat itself. the
big job is stowing everything Holger and Tracy have accumulated over
the past 4 years living on the dock, and also making room for our
provisions and gear. I am working with Tracy and friend Megan who is a
doctor on putting the medical kit together, and then there is still
provisioning. and then more stowing. i picked my bunk and slept in it
last night. it's the bottom bunk in the port stateroom. i had a long
discussion with my sailor pals at the party about it and closer to the
middle of the boat and away from the deck was the consensus. it should
be favored even if another crew member might potentially step on me...
i moved most of my stuff out of my room today and am starting to live
out of a duffle bag. there is still some bills to pay and things like
that to take care of. i can only try to fathom how it is for Holger and
Tracy who will never come back and have their entire life on board. i
just need to put some boxes into the garage and then carry them back up
and unpack when i'm back.

getting closer

it's been raining here, so i couldn't do my last chores on the deck of the boat. instead i went to the dentist and also packed. my office and room into storage and what i am taking into piles and finally bags. i think i have it down. my list is pretty extensive but i think i have it to a manageable size. i will have to fly back with a lot of the stuff and who knows how much i'll have to carry it around before checking it in at the airport...
have a look at my list and the "nearly" packed result.

it's sinking in...

finally it is sinking in for realz that i will embark on this great
adventure, and what a great adventure it indeed will be. everything i
read about the southern ocean, and all the personal accounts i am
hearing, it can be frightening, huge waves, cold, wind... then again i
think if sailors in the past centuries survived cape horn sleeping in
the fo'c'sl with the big hausers to the open ocean, i can survive in a
1930's "gentleman's yacht". And before the southern ocean there will be
the tropics...
we're leaving in a week and a half. yesterday we moved the boat, so for
the first time she wasn't in that very same spot on the dock... she
moves. it was like the first baby step towards this big voyage... it
felt good to handle lines, pull, tuck, belay... work as a team with the
others. we spent so much time talking and working on the boat together,
but this little moving the boat 20 feet, was the first time besides
raising the sail at the dock once that we did something as a crew.
today the weather is too icky to do anything outside, so i will
concentrate on packing, paperwork and shopping lists...gathering prices
etc. use any minute smartly, i am in fact already crew on this boat for
over a month now, my mind has been on this and hardly anywhere else,
every meeting with a friend is a goodbye. every shopping run includes
things for the trip, every minute at home i am preparing, writing
lists, thinking about recipes, clothes, the southern stars, celestial
navigation, the trip. it feels good. i want to go.

A sailor can't live of fish alone

My dear mom is helping me to assure a balanced diet while under way... We are dehydrating yummy things you can't buy, like cabbage, red bell pepper and un-fried onions. a very yummy treat are dried kiwi fruit slices as well.
She is also showing me how to make chicken preserves. yes, i know you can buy canned chicken, but it's not good. THIS will be good! we got 12 one pint mason jars to fill with delicious chicken breast. then i have to figure out how to protect the glass in the bilge or where ever we'll end up storing it. i can't wait to dish out my yummy mango chicken, 2 months out at sea after tuna, mahi mahi, marlin, ono and swordfish up the ying yang it will be fabulous!

more prep for prep

i got my dehydrator going to dry fruit and vegetables to provide light
and easily stored vitamin sources. i also got a foodsaver vacuum sealer
and ordered 50 bags for it. I'm thinking of buying bulk stuff and pack
it in smaller, managable portions. Tracy is really the onein charge of
provisioning, but she is still so busy with other things that i am
hoping to help with my little ideas and contributions. also, in a house
with a full kitchen i have more possibilities of doing stuff than she
does on the boat. i am also already thinking about hte meals i will
have to cook. i need to make sure that spices and condiments i will
need are on our shopping list. it is so exciting.
tonight we had potential subletters come by and i think we made our
pick. i will call them tomorrow.
life is good

20 million thoughts

it is incredible, all the thoughts that go into a trip of this
magnitude. imagine going car camping for 2 days with 3 people. all the
stuff you need to take, gear, food, clothes, common things, personal
things... then imagine being somewhere for 2 months without being able
to drive to the store. every fucking thing needs to have been thought
about before. it is amazing. so, as we work together on the boat to get
it ready for the trip and any weather we might encounter, i am asking
questions about provisioning, stuff they like to do in their spare
time, etc. and every time i bring something up tracy tells me to write
it down so i can remind her. it is so much stuff... how many rolls of
toilet paper do 4 people need in 5 months?
you get the picture, it is amazingly complex and involves lists and
discussions...i love it!

i'm going sailing again

we are currently preparing departure for mid november.
the boat is "Lord Jim"
the crew will be Holger, Tracy, their dog Moana and me. then a guy named Dennis from New Zealand who will join us in Mexico, and very maybe a guy names Ira from Sausalito who still doesn't know if he can make it.
we are recaulking the decks right now and doing lots of odds and ends work to get thre boat and ourselves ready.
i got a new passport, presciption medication i might need, and my mom, who is in town, is helping me make preserves and dried fruits and vegetables.
the planned route is Sausalito - Pourto Vallarta - Pitcairn - (Easter Island) - Punta Arenas - Brazil