S/V Nereida sails around the world

Thurs 3rd Nov 2016, A beautiful day in Victoria area today... blue sky and warm sunshine.   Excellent for getting deck work done.

Repaired staysail was collected  this morning and hoisted late today but I'm waiting until tomorrow morning to replace furling line - ran out of daylight! Also started organizing new series drogue - on removing starboard shackle with great difficulty, found it was damaged...  Will need to replace it.   Not too surprised to see state of it, in view of stresses it was put under without the second bridle arm to share the load and the big seas it had had to contend with.  I'd asked friend Les to come round to advise me since he works with steel all the time - "Don't risk it" was his advice on seeing the slightly opened jaw and bent pin of the  big shackle.  What amazing forces it must have been subjected to...!

I spotted a machine screw lying beside the toe rail close to the stern quarter...  Eventually, another was found further forward, close to the stanchion where a furling line lead had come adrift - yet another victim of those rough seas. ...

The fine weather is set to continue tomorrow, followed by rain over the weekend, so I hope to finish with deck items while it's dry.

With a tarpaulin for shelter over the weekend, another job I'm hoping to get done is to replace a seemingly defunct heater element in the hot water  tank under the cockpit locker floor...  Difficult to access.   It would be nice to have hot water available at times while in the cold Southern Ocean!

Thursday 7th November 2013

Up well before dawn to leave San Francisco - rather regretfully, since it has been a very pleasant stay with so many friendly SFYC members and staff. Many thanks to John Sanford for encouraging me to visit the club as his guest, although the club finally took over that role, thanks to their Deputy Port Captain's intervention. I look forward to re-visiting sometime.

The Spectra watermaker is now totally reconditioned, thanks to Bill & Darren, and I'm looking forward to using it in remote areas at anchor. I've had strict instructions to flush it through (easily done...) with fresh water after each use, to protect the membrane etc., but it's now 'pickled' since I don't need it while hopping down the coast to Mexico. I also had the genset looked at by Anders - he found the small diesel pump was slightly cracked and leaking - so I pulled out my spare to replace it immediately. The other good news was being offered a gift of two hardly-used genoas by Andy Fromm to replace my torn, worn-out one - we were chatting over a meal one evening and he said he had 26 sails in his garage which his wife, understandably, felt he should get rid of... He's a keen racer and just doesn't use the original cruising nor the older racing sails he'd accumulated. The hoist length was a perfect fit...

I've been busy organizing the aft cabin contents, all of which had to be removed for the watermaker service, and I hung two doors - which had been stowed in Port Townsend with Rob Parish for the last three years! I finished hanging them around 11.30pm last Saturday - just in time to enjoy the last of the Commodore's Ball dancing and music - after a suitable change of clothing! Tim helped me stow other bulky items in the forepeak yesterday - that's still waiting to be dealt with properly, but at least I'm now able to sleep in the aft cabin - first time for three years!

Had a lovely, sunny day on the water, motor-sailing initially in calm seas, south to Santa Cruz, with pelicans lined up on the breakwater as I left Belvedere Cove in the pre-dawn light and the occasional seal and sealion spotted in the water close to the Golden Gate as dawn broke over San Francisco and Alcatraz .

By early afternoon, after some solid motoring with light fog lurking just off the coast all morning and plenty of birdlife seen in the good-sized swell, the wind suddenly picked up as we were rounding Pt Ano Nuevo - to around 23kt! So we had a great sail for 2-3hours, until close to Sta. Cruz at sunset, when the wind died again... I managed to get in safely in the dark, through the shallows surrounding the harbour entrance at Low Water (!), with Brian Beers helping from on shore. (He brought me several delicious fresh items from his bakery)

I'd given a very well-attended, enjoyable presentation at the Tiburon Y.C. Friday week ago - in a lovely clubhouse, with excellent organization of the evening by Alice (ex-Commodore), helped by club members - Thanks for all your help and support during my stay, Alice!

It's been great to be able to catch up with old friends in the Bay area and also to make new ones during this stay.

Yesterday (Wednesday), I was guest of Zia Ahari (Rear Commodore, SF) at a CCA lunch meeting at Marin YC withTom Wylie, well-known boat-builder, as speaker - very interesting, despite a projector breakdown! Zia made the announcement that I was being awarded the CCA's 2013 'Blue Water Medal' - to be presented in NewYork next March - quite an honour! - and I'm looking forward to visiting NewYork for the Awards Dinner at the New York Y.C. - itself an interesting venue.

Wednesday of last week, I was visited by some radio hams - we'd spoken several times on HF radio during my RTW sail, but now we were able to meet up over lunch...Rusty, W6OAT has generously volunteered to be my 'QSL Manager' for all the many radio contacts made on my way around, confirming the contacts I've made, and Jim, K9YC, has been designing and organizing my QSL card - he lives high up above Santa Cruz, in the mountains, among big redwood trees which provide a superb support for his several high aerials!

Thursday 24th October 2013 - Belvedere Cove, San Francisco Bay
I've been made very welcome here at the San Francisco Y.C. - the oldest yacht club W of the Mississipi, I'm told. The current well-protected, sunny premises here in Belvedere Cove date from 1934, the Club having relocated from its former facility in Sausalito. The Yacht Club was founded in 1869 in China Basin in San Francisco.
Making landfall last Friday after a fast (6-day) offshore sail down from Cape Flattery, and being well settled in before the weekend, proved to be excellent timing - Friday evenings seem to be always very well-attended at the club, so I met a lot of members .   I was told all about the Leukemia Cup Regatta (the big sailing event of the year) due to take place on Sunday, with major fund-raising Auctions and Dinner (a mere $1,000 per ticket!) on Saturday  evening, and was encouraged to join Bob, Torill and Soren who were due to go over on the Committee Boat the next morning to Sausalito, to fuel up ready for the Regatta on Sunday.
The invitation turned out to be ideal for allowing us to get to the keel-laying ceremony (where I met up with friends Rob & LaDonna) in Sausalito on Saturday afternoon  for the brigantine 'Matthew Turner', It will become the San Francisco Bay area's Tall Ship and is set to be a major educational vehicle, enabling local youngsters (and 'oldsters'!) to take part in its construction and, in two years' time, its sailing programme.

                                          2013-10-19-ladonna-keel-laying-sausalito (photo: LaDonna Buback)

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The after-dinner speakers at the Leukemia Cup Dinner were Gary Jobson and Ben Ainslie - both great, experienced sailors, in their different ways!    I was thrilled to get the chance to meet up with 'Sir Ben'  and shake hands with him after being allowed to slip in to watch the two of them discussing the events of the America's Cup racing that Ben had been so involved in as tactician onboard 'Oracle', with Gary commentating so well for NBC.   (What an amazing turn-around... and what great videos of fast, aggressive racing - I finally got to see them on Youtube to appreciate how well covered and presented the racing had been!)   Ben brought his sailing jacket to the Dinner and it was auctioned off for $15,000 ....
The next day saw fairly light winds but enough for a total of 80 boats to enjoy the racing, with the start delayed slightly to let the morning fog disperse safely from the race course....     I was invited out to watch but already had a prior engagement at a CCA (Cruising Club of America) lunch which had been arranged by my kind host here, John Sanford.  The lunch meeting was thoroughly enjoyable and gave me the chance to meet several local CCA members (all experienced cruisers) and answer questions.   The rest of the day was spent in lovely sunshine, meeting and chatting with people, enjoying the music, barbecue and lively atmosphere.
I seem to be needing to see to a real mix of things ... Had a long telephone interview on Tuesday with a journalist for the RYA Magazine, preparing for a story in the Winter issue; I'm trying to sort out dealing with the damaged genoa (likely to need replacing); still trying to catch up with a lot of past emails (and trying to keep on top of present ones); slowly trying to get the boat better organised down below and seeing to different items on deck (there's chafe on several lines - replacements needed but there's nowhere really close by to do that); trying to complete an item on the use of Jordan series drogues for 'Yachting World'.

I also need to get to the watermaker under the aft bunk, after Zia Ahari (Rear-Commodore of SF CCA) organised meeting up with Bill Edinger who kindly offered to see to it.  The Spectra is a great 12V watermaker (I've the Cape Horn, with two pumps) and I've always found it to be reliable, but I've not treated it very well recently, so although it's still making water when it's run, it's almost certainly in need of servicing - but first I need to get access to it... the aft cabin is totally cluttered up with gear that has been stored off the boat for 2-3 years and is awaiting my attention...

I got side-tracked Wednesday - met up with a small group of women headed by Cissy, about to go out for a short sail in the Bay.  They persuaded me to join them on 'Q' - Glenn's lovely traditional-looking boat which he only uses for day-sailing/racing - but what fun!   We went over to Sausalito to look at several lovely old boats from the water (some had come over from the East coast just to be here for the America's Cup) and then finally found some wind and had a great sail until it was time to come in - we got going at over 8 kt a few times and I enjoyed taking the tiller for a bit.... great to have a self-tacking jib!
I'm finding it quite difficult to focus on work and repairs with so many friendly people around ...    it's so much easier just to socialize and/or relax!
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Some photos of autumn foliage - some lovely-coloured trees near the Royal Victoria Y.C.in October :
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Leaving Juan de Fuca Strait in a flat calm - sunset over Cape Flattery:
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and the view over to the north, towards the SW of Vancouver Island - near the Strait entrance:

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Friday 18th October 2013

I'm writing this from a sunny, warm  Belvedere Cove, on the Tiburon Peninsula, in San Francisco Bay, where I'm tied up at the San Francisco Y.C. with a pretty, steep, tree-covered waterfront area in view.

m_IMG_4102 View of Tiburon from sunny SFYC dock in Belvedere Cove
After strong wind picking up overnight, making me reef right down in order to slow down from 7-8 kt and avoid possible entry with a strong ebb current, the wind suddenly died away totally on getting closer to the entrance channel to the Golden Gate and there was thick fog.... Motor on! Useful to have the radar, as well as AIS, on display to help avoid the big ships around, as well as several fast, small fishing boats heading out to sea which only showed up on radar or when within several boat lengths away.

I kept well off to one side of the main shipping lanes leading toward the GG Bridge - which was almost completely hidden from view until we reached the Bay area itself.
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We passed close to fogbound, rocky-but-steep-to Points Bonita and Diablo.  Then the fog cleared as we rounded the Golden Gate CG station and Point Cavallo.
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It was bright and sunny to the N of the bridge & on the E side of the Bay, but Alcatraz, SF city and everywhere to the S were still hidden in the thick fog bank, with little of the bridge showing except the N end leading to Sausalito and the top of the N and central piers.

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Got a little sleep overnight before we got close to the main ship channel so I'll get to bed early tonight - in the meantime, enjoying a nice long shower! Had a good long chat over coffee with John Sanford and his friend Bob, who both met me & took my lines on entry. I've already had to discard a layer or two - it's definitely a lot warmer here than in the Pacific NW and at sea on passage.

I'll be busy catching up with urgent boatwork & emails (still lots!), in between relaxing and seeing some friends here. I'm looking forward to making use of my fold-up bike and getting some exercise during my time here.

Thursday 17th October 2013

Sky cleared overnight - nice clear blue sky now but air still feels cold.

Winds eased this morning - around 15kt so pleasant conditions and making good speed under full mains'l - with genoa having ripped in half, have staysail in use.

Shackle holding line tensioning the gas-filled rod kicker broke overnight - heard a loud bang and wondered what it was! Couldn't see much in darkness although initially all looked OK from cockpit (mast, boom etc OK!!!) Found a replacement shackle - old one was impressively broken! Not too much of a problem - have topping lift I could use to support boom, if needed.

2pm Getting closer inshore now: 55ml SW of Point Arena, 80ml W of Bodega Hbr, 87 ml WNW of Point Reyes.... 110 ml WNW of entrance channel to Golden Gate and SF Hbr.

Had a big lunch of ham, eggs, onions and mushrooms with cherry tomatoes - nice!

Lots of shipping around - already had to get on VHF to make sure "MOL Efficiency" didn't get too close as they headed out from SF Bay & shortly afterwards there was another - not usually a problem once we've made contact. Most ships stay well away -good to be transmitting in this situation!

10pm Well, so much for expecting light wind -it's been up to 25kt at times for last few hours & we've been making 7-8 kt regularly. Means we might have made the Golden Gate too soon, before the strong ebb has died away so I've just tied in two reefs to try to slow us down. Also had to change course slightly to avoid a big yellow buoy I suddely realised was right on our path! Making sure we stay well clear of both the Cordell Bank and the Farallon Islands as we get closer in.

Sleep will be in snatches tonight with so much shipping and obstacles to look out for - present ETA at Golden Gate is around 7-8am (LW slack), although if wind does die down, we could arrive later. Max flood is around 10:30am, so that would work fine... From the Golden Gate, it's not far to the San Francisco Y.C. in Tiburon, where I'm expected.

11pm Wind down to 20kt and our speed down as well - SOG ~6kt. Looking good for catching flood through GG.

24hr distance run at 8:20pm was 145 n.ml.

Wednesday 16th October

Dull, grey and cloudy all day. Spent a time on deck this morning. Finally stowed the pole, despite rough seas making foredeck work difficult and wet. Good to have the stays'l available but it's a much smaller headsail than the big genoa.

As the wind eased somewhat this morning, I shook out first reef 2, then reef 1. Wind is not very consistent, varying this afternoon and tonight between 13-18kt, so boat speed also highly variable. Presently 5.3kt in 14kt of N wind. Having got up well before dawn to gybe the mains'l and change course, I finally managed a couple of hours of much-needed sleep early this afternoon.

Made several contacts on radio - gets busy on 40m in the evening, with lots of possible contacts. 20m is generally better during the day. Found the (USA) Air Forces Flyers Net just before 9am - welcomed me even though I'm clearly not connected with aviation, although 'Nereida' flies well through the water at times!!

Occurred to me I haven't been checking on our daily distances run... With the strong conditions and good speed, we've made 24hr distances under sail alone of 143,163,134 n.ml. over the last three days - a lot better than when trying to make landfall in the light winds of June/July!

I keep looking at our ETA at the Golden Gate on Friday. A strong flood tide (good), mid-morning, of 3.4kt is followed by an even stronger ebb tide (bad!), mid-afternoon, of 4.6kt - so it's vital to get the timing of our arrival at the Gate right- ideally, somewhere between low water slack and high water slack (a 'window' of just under 6hrs). An average of 5.5kt would get us there just before midday - fine if we can manage it but wind is forecast to die right down, so we'll probably end up motor-sailing - nice to have that option!

Tuesday 15th October 2013

Thought the wind was easing around midday - it went down to 22kt for a short time - but it's now frequently back up to 28+ kt and the big following seas are still up around 2.5m every 6 seconds. It's another sunny day, although it doesn't feel so very warm. We're still being thrown around quite often so I keep having to tidy up.

Was up early this morning for radio - made contact with Japan and Australia, although the Aus stns couldn't copy me too well so it was useful to have a relay (Bruce, K9LOF, in Illinois) helping.

Making use of my time by trying to catch up with lots of outstanding emails - some from quite a time ago.

Solar panels are doing well in the daytime, putting in up to 14A, but the genset has started playing up and dying after a short time of running, after having a problem exciting. The oil level is fine and I've released the actuator spindle that was a bit stuck and stopping it from speeding up and exciting initially, so I'll try it again tonight..... seems a pity to run it now, in bright sunshine, when the solar power input is high.

I was interested to hear from Rick, VE7TK, that he'd spotted my position (from my AIS transmission) on http://shipfinder.co/, rather than on marinetraffic.com. He used the MMSI number, which is 235070185, to locate us. We were well offshore, W of Portland, Oregon - a busy port with lots of shipping showing at the time on my AIS screen.

Later: Generator ran fine this evening - a relief! Rough seas and strong wind still - up to 27kt with occasional lulls around 22kt. Passing Cape Mendocino over 150ml off to avoid possible stronger seas and wind that are likely closer in.

Wednesday 16th October

6am Came below after gybing the mains'l and turning 60 degrees to port - headed directly towards San Francisco now. Dark starry sky - moon set a while ago. Speed down a bit in 22kt NNE wind. Clutch not holding 2nd reef line tightly - having to hold the line on a winch.

Time for some more sleep - no ships in sight but expect to see them as we get closer in to land and San Francisco.

Monday 14th October

A lovely sunny day - but steep, short seas are continuing to knock us about a lot . The following seas have built to about 2.5m/8ft and I decided by mid-morning, in view of the 20+kt winds we were already experiencing, with possibly stronger wind forecast, to head further off Cape Blanco - notorious, as is Cape Mendocino 145 ml to its south, for strong weather and nasty seas. We should be passing Cape Blanco about 120 ml off.

3pm I went up on deck intending to tie in the second reef in the stronger conditions - and found the genoa badly ripped down its centre. I managed to furl it in past the ripped section, leaving just a small amount unfurled - I'd poled it out last night as darkness was falling. We've been making 6-7 knots in the good NNE wind.

I then noticed the large butane tank lashed on deck had come loose in the lumpy conditions - it was quickly tied down with a strong rope. I normally prefer not to stow anything on deck on offshore passages, except possibly the deflated dinghy - this incident showed exactly why that's a good idea.... (I 'd expected that, by now, the butane would have been finished so I could throw away the tank, but I've not done much cooking of late!)

Just to make sure everything happened in threes, the third reef line had come undone - I'd clearly not tied it in well enough when the new sail was put in place last Monday. So that had to be dealt with as well.

5:30pm (PDT) Position: 43:55N, 126:38W. DTF: 515 n.ml. Wind N-NNE 25kt, speed (SOG) 6.3kt, course (COG) 204T, swell NNW 2.5m - close togther, every 5s , so they're very steep-faced, making for an uncomfortable motion. Sun getting low - time to eat before it gets dark: a nice roast chicken to finish.

Evenings and early mornings are times for ham radio chats - sometimes making use of my new callsign. While my transmissions are usually good, I have a lot of noise on frequency, making receiving difficult if I don't switch off my instruments... I wish I could find a solution to that problem! I've put ferrites all over the place, to no avail... Maybe I need to put a lot more in place?

7.40pm Well - so much for radio chats - I've finally managed to tie in the 2nd reef - had a bit of a struggle, not having released the lazyjacks enough, so things got a bit tangled up and then the jammer holding the lazyjack on the mast jammed completely and took an age to release - but I finally did it ..... so, "by the light of the silvery moon", we finally got things under control ... Now for some food ... Wind is a good Force 6 - up to 27kt - and speed is around 7kt downwind, but we're no longer over-canvassed & our motion feels better, despite the waves still being big, making us surf often to over 9kt .

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

Leaving Juan de Fuca Strait in a flat calm - sunset over Cape Flattery:
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 and a view north over to Vancouver Island:   

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I hope you're enjoying the same lovely sunshine as we're getting here onboard 'Nereida' as we make our way S, well off the Washington/Oregon coast. We rounded Cape Flattery last night as darkness was falling, having passed Neah Bay at sunset - glorious colours and calm water with slight ocean swell. There was almost no wind in the Strait both Friday and Saturday, so I had to motor - nice to have the option of doing that, instead of drifting around helplessly...!!

I left Philbrook's dock at Van Isle marina on Tues 1st October. having delayed partly due to a forecast of bad weather with very high winds - sure enough, Sunday evening (29Sept) saw very strong gusty conditions but we were perfectly safe.

It was a pleasant short trip over to the Visitors' dock at Royal Victoria Y.C., where they'd kindly offered me moorage for my time with them until my proposed departure from Canada around 11th October, and my stay there has been made most enjoyable by the very friendly welcome I've received. Thanks to all of you who made that happen!

The only downside to my stay has been finally taking back several items I'd offloaded while making my last two nonstop RTW attempts - very many thanks to Michael Cooper and to Ian & Susan Grant for use of their garage space. I'm looking forward to pausing somewhere long enough soon, to sort out the storage problem I now have, as a result of having also picked up doors, cushions, dinghy and outboard from Rob Parish in Port Townsend in August! ( Think I need a bigger boat!)

My time was made good use of while at RVicYC, apart from working on radio (Thanks, Doug & Rick!) and other problems onboard, by preparation for several presentations on my circumnavigations. I finally gave two at Sidney N.Saanich Y.C. - so many people wanted to come on the first evening I agreed to give a second - which was again over-booked. I also gave a talk to the Thermopylae Club in the old Maritime Museum in Victoria - an interesting venue... I felt just slightly uncomfortable speaking from the seat of the 'Hanging Judge' in the old Assize Courtroom... All three were enjoyable events - thanks to those who organized the evenings and to all who came. It was great to meet up with some of the people who'd been following and supporting me on my way around.

The trees are looking magnificent in their autumn colours now and I enjoyed seeing them on my trips out to friends' places for evenings spent with them.
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Despite all the other things I was busy with, I just about managed to find time to study for my Canadian Ham radio licence - nights got rather shortened as I burned the candle at both ends reading through a lot of material and practising exam questions. I was delighted with the news that I'd passed the Basic exam with Honours (91%!) - Alan Mallett had very kindly organized the exam (which I sat Friday 4th October at RVicYC), having provided me, soon after my return in July, with all the necessary material to learn in readiness. So I now have the callsigns VA7NER (shore-based) and VE0JSJ (offshore) to add to my US callsign KC2IOV. That enables me to have unrestricted use of the available Ham frequencies.

With a new mainsail from Leitch and McBride delivered by Paul last Monday, a quick visit to Costco and no stormy weather forecast, and having regretfully turned down a Thanksgiving Dinner invitation due to pressure of time, I got underway Friday afternoon and cleared Customs into the USA that evening - a delightfully easy telephone experience from the Fuel Dock in Port Angeles - the best ever!! Weather crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca was dull, cold and damp on Friday, but by 2pm on Saturday, after heavy overnight rain and an unexpectedly long sleep (the expected early awakening by people needing fuel by 7am didn't happen), the sky had cleared and the sun was out - quite a few logs and lumps of kelp to avoid in the Strait but a lovely exit from the Strait into a slight ocean swell and lots of shipping to keep an eye on overnight.

I'm about to turn off the engine, having been gently motor-sailing up to now, with the wind having finally increased to around 15kt from the N. We're running downwind and it gets very rolly at times, but it will be nice to have a peaceful sail overnight and on to the San Francisco Y.C. in Tiburon, in San Francisco Bay.... ETA Friday 18th if all goes well.

I'm posting my usual regular position reports (see 'Travels' page on www.svnereida.com) and also checking in daily to the Pacific Seafarers' Net. It was great to make unexpected contact last night with Glenn Wakefield - I wish him luck and hope all goes well for him on this, his second West-about nonstop RTW attempt from Victoria, B.C.

Plenty of lovely, sunny, often hot, blue skies and a lot of travelling around over the period. Not too surprisingly, with so much else going on, not as much achieved on board as I'd hoped for.

From Westport, and with a beautifully clean bottom allowing excellent speed, it was time to travel over to Friday Harbor to get a USA Cruising Permit for the coming months. It was good to meet up with Sue & Jim Corenman who patiently waited for a very late lunch while it took a record, unbelievable, two hours to complete my USA paperwork.... I'd had to make an early (5.30am) start to avoid low water in the shallow area around the Westport Marina haulout and then spent a short time at anchor off Sidney Spit so as to avoid being headed by a strong ebb current in Spieden Channel around the N end of San Juan Island.

It was a short onward trip from Friday Hbr through Wasp Passage, avoiding some rocky outcrops around Crane Island, and on to Orcas Island for a visit to friends and a dinner party there, with an enjoyable drive around Orcas Island the following day. I had to be away before 10am to avoid a strong foul tide (flooding N) through the San Juan Channel as I headed S, through a partly-foggy Juan de Fuca Strait full of sealife - it was lovely to see so many birds, seals and sealions. (photos: Exiting S from San Juan Channel;Whale Rocks)
View exiting S from San Juan Channel
Whale Rocks 20Aug2013

We made an excellent SOG (speed) in the flood tide passing by Pt Wilson, as we got close to Point Hudson. There I paused in the lovely, friendly wooden-boat town of Port Townsend, for a few sunny days - catching up with friends, getting the mainsail track insert repaired and finally retrieving doors, cushions, dinghy and outboard - all left in care of kind Rob Parish for nearly 3yrs - two circumnavigations, in fact! I had a helping hand one day from Gina who did a good job cleaning the decks of dried-on growth. (Photo: 'Fried egg' jellyfish in Pt Hudson marina)
'Fried egg' jellyfish in Pt Hudson marina
On my way N through the San Juan Islands again, a week later (Photos: Schooner 'Adventuress' from PT; Washington State ferry),
Beautiful schooner 'Adventuress' from PT 28Aug13
Washington ferry in San Juans 29Aug13
I spent a very enjoyable evening at West Sound marina, on Orcas Island, with John & Dorothy Guzzwell. Having heard so much about John over the last few years, it was a pleasure to meet him personally, although I have yet to read his book 'Trekka' in detail. Thanks, Betsy, for organizing the get-together and being such a welcoming hostess.

Another pre-dawn start the next day, clearing in to Canada at Bedwell Hbr before making for winding Active Pass on the flood tide, always an interesting, mind-concentrating passage, where I was pleased to avoid meeting up with any of the frequent, big, B.C. Ferries. (Photo: 'Coastal Inspiration')
m_'Coastal Inspiration' crossing Georgia Strait to Nanaimo

On nearing Gibson's several hours later, on the N side of the entrance to Howe Sound, I was met in Georgia Strait, not far from the harbour entrance, by a small flotilla - a lovely welcome back to Gibson's, arranged by CG volunteer Robyn with the help of the local CG & members of Gibson's Y.C. - who promptly made me an honorary member and presented me with their burgee! (Photos: Welcome to Gibsons!; View up Howe Sound)
Welcome to Gibsons 29Aug13
View up Howe Sound, past Gambier Island

Daytimes there were mainly spent on board, trying to make progress in sorting out 'Nereida' in between lots of chats with friendly passers-by. I did manage to complete a major service of the headsail furling gear - both are now very well-greased, although a vital screw was dropped into the water.... (replaced last week, courtesy of Steve Norbury, helpful MD of Selden UK)

A few walks, in between work, with Sassie, friends Tom & Maggie's lively dog, with blackberry-picking along the way, among the spectacular, Rockies-backed scenery of Howe Sound, and time disappeared all too quickly - I could have easily stayed on for a lot longer but time was pressing & I made for Vancouver, there finally to meet up at Fishermen's Wharf, on Granville Island, after a gap of several years, with friend Kevin and his new family. Excellent fish and chips, chats to the nearby fishermen and a budding solo sailor, a quick visit to the Saturday market.... again, I could easily have lingered on in the friendly, albeit wet and thundery, atmosphere overnight.... but moved on to Jericho Bay and a brief stopover at the Royal Vancouver Y.C. to meet up for a meal with more friends.

My timing seems to have been good in that most of the Club members were anchored off over much of the summer while the docks were replaced but have all just moved back again. While I was waiting for my slip to become available, I carried out a thorough calibration of my instruments, taking care to avoid the many anchored, empty cargo vessels in the Bay as we first turned in circles and then wiggled 'full steam ahead' in the calm spacious waters north of the Club.

An early start the next morning was needed to get the timing right for making a safe passage at the end of the ebb tide (close to Low Water slack) through rocky Porlier Pass after crossing back over Georgia Strait. We were en route to Saltspring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands, where I was due to make a presentation to the island's Sailing Club in Ganges Hbr. The sky cleared nicely, and low-lying fog cleared away ahead of us, as we made our way the length of long, narrow Galiano Island and headed over towards Prevost Island before rounding up into Long Harbour on Saltspring. There I visited friend Ann's house for tea before finishing up at the S.C. dock later that afternoon - to be met by a very friendly group of members. I had a thoroughly pleasant stay at the Club, whose members really went out of their way to help me and make me feel welcome, and my presentation was filled to overflowing, with some people even having to be turned away, unfortunately, due to fire regulations...

Nereida was in safe hands while I flew to England for the Southampton Boat Show - always an enjoyable event, with lots of boats in the water to view, activities on the water, meeting up with people, bumping into friends and getting all kinds of boat problems discussed and resolved (Harry of The Rig Shop was his usual smiling helpful self!), ...this time with the addition of frequent congratulations from people, happy to see my successful nonstop RTW completion, at last.

Autumn has definitely arrived... both in England and B.C. ... but colours on nearby young maple trees are making up for the continual rain just now. I was amazed to spot that pressure had dropped to 991hPa on Saturday night, while writing this - a major depression is passing over with strong winds expected by Sunday night on Vancouver Island.

I've finally been able to meet up with Jamie Hansen of Philbrook's, to thank him personally for being so very helpful in July. (Photo)
Thanks to Jamie of Philbrook's for his generous help

He had sent Ryan to help with essential electrical work when Chris Eldridge generously repaired the welded joint on the pole-mounted radar, damaged by Southern Ocean wave action, when the wind-generator also came off its pole & ended up terminally damaged. I came over on Friday to Van Isle Marina in Tsehum Harbour, where Philbrook's are based, and was shown around the workplace and yard - they have a well-deserved reputation for excellent work.

This coming week I shall move on to accept the hospitality generously offered by the Royal Victoria Y.C. in Cadboro Bay, from where I plan to leave around 11-12th October to sail S well offshore to San Francisco - with a new mainsail, the material of the old one having given up the ghost after two circumnavigations.

In the meantime, I've lots to do on board, to be ready for passage-making again.... and I'm also busy preparing for the Canadian ham radio exam next Friday, preceded by a presentation at Sidney North Saanich Y.C. at 7pm on Thursday.  (I just heard that evening is fully-booked and I've been asked for a second evening to repeat the presentation...). It's a busy life, still!

A well-overdue recap of events since leaving Victoria Hbr on 15th July to make for Westport Marina - who very kindly donated a haul-out and hard standing - very many thanks for their kindness and generosity.

Photos showing "Nereida" in the slings of the hoist, with the hull and keel smothered in gooseneck barnacles - no wonder we were so slow at the end of our journey!

Haul-out at Westport m_Brad scraping off gooseneck barnacles m_Gooseneck barnacles - no wonder we were so slow! Under the keel
It's been a busy month of repairs and catching up, including a short but hectic visit back to the UK (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrW6Hv5C4rE ) which, like British Columbia, has been enjoying some magnificent summer weather.   Many people have come by the boat on the hard to chat - always enjoyable, although it does slow down the work progress!
"Nereida" now has a beautifully-repaired, strong, steel radar support, thanks to Chris Eldridge, and some excellent electrical work has been done, thanks to Jamie at Philbrook's Boat Yard, who sent Ryan to sort out a variety of electrical issues, including helping Chris with the removal and re-routeing of the cables down inside the pole on which the radar and a number of other items are mounted - a difficult job made necessary by the welding which had to be done by Chris... but "Where there's a will, there's a way"...!
m_Chris & Ryan  -up the pole!
Similarly, Raymarine technicians Don and Levy, from CMC in Burnaby, came to check out a few instrument issues and upgrade the radar to the new digital system - I kept well out of the way while they struggled to complete running the new radar cable to the chart table - not an easy task with so many other wires in the way!   In testing out the autopilot, it was found that the steering system was misbehaving after four weeks of no use - grateful thanks to Rose & Robert for coming at short notice to sort that out ...
The Iridium problem has not been resolved - the main unit is 'dead' and the only way forward seems to involve an expensive replacement.
The Force 10 stove was taken (Thanks, Warren!) to Coquitlam, where they had offered to service it thoroughly, so it now has new gimbals and ignition system - it's a real pleasure to use and, with the stove out of its recess, I was able to take the chance to clean the area thoroughly.

m_Cleaning, before polishing I have been kept busy cleaning and polishing the topsides and applying antifouling.   Rose and Robert kindly spent a hardworking morning showing me how to get rid of some nasty marks on the topsides around the stern, with a helping hand being given by Shaun P, who removed some oily marks at the bow.   Gerry kindly volunteered to spend time sanding and later helped in applying a coat of antifouling.

"Nereida" is about to be re-launched today, looking pretty - on the outside, at least!   Many thanks to Brad Schmidt, the local Interlux rep, who kindly donated the Micron CSC bottom paint (and to the ever-helpful Elaine of Jensen's who approached him about it).

Down below, the boat is in a state of total chaos - the result of giving clear aft-cabin and chart-table access for the wiring efforts of Chris, Ryan, Don and Levy and delving into the forepeak to access bits and pieces.  I now have the difficult task of slowly getting things back into order and cleaning everywhere thoroughly - all inside surfaces are still covered in a thin film of salt and the deck is dirty from both the long passage and also from being on the hard for four weeks.   Fenders stowed in chain locker for over 8 months were filthy... but cleaned up nicely:

m_Dirty fenderm_nearly all cleaned

I still have the job of cleaning all kinds of lines - most are very salty - and replacing some which are well-worn.  The headsails have now been repaired (but are weakened) and the mainsail needs renewing - the material has totally degraded after two circumnavigations and is easily ripped - another expensive item.
So still plenty of work ahead - many items broke or needed fixing whilst on passage and all need to be dealt with now.   I'm still way behind on replying to emails, I've been asked to make several presentations and I'm also trying to find time to work towards an exam for a Canadian amateur radio licence.... Just not enough hours in each day!
Next week I plan to be in Port Townsend to see friends, retrieve some stored items and continue the mending, cleaning and organising process, before returning to B.C. to catch up with friends not seen up to now.

m1.NEREIDA at Race Passage Jeanne Home Coming Victoria BC 7-7-13m2.Jeanne with Race Passage Lighthouse in background Home Coming Victoria BC 7-7-13 m3.NEREIDA at Race Passage against sunset 7-7-13
m4.NEREIDA Under tow by Prince of Whales boat from Finish Line at Breakwater to Empress Dock Jeanne Home Coming Victoria B.C. 8-7-13It's been a busy few days since arriving overnight early Monday morning, having drifted over the Finish line from Ogden Pt, at the entrance to Victoria Harbour, in a light land breeze that saved me from being becalmed a third night running!  I'd had a great sail in a good W wind during the afternoon, leading up to a glorious sunset soon after rounding the disturbed water by Race Rock, where I gather my AIS signal suddenly disappeared for no apparent reason, worrying quite a few friends keeping an eye on my progress....   Lots of cheering and noise as I crossed the line, from the two boats nearby and from the end of the breakwater.   Many thanks to all those supporters who waited around for a long time into the small hours to greet me after such a prolonged and frustrating delay - and to the many who presented me in the morning with lots of fresh fruit and flowers - lovely and much appreciated! 

Mark of 'Prince of Whales' took 'Nereida' alongside his boat full of friendly faces and safely delivered us to our Causeway slip within sight of the impressive Empress Hotel and the Parliament building.

I got to my bunk as dawn was breaking and at 8am, a pair of very friendly Customs officials arrived, so not much sleep - but it didn't seem to affect my high spirits and general well-being - I was on a high!!

By 10am, people were beginning to gather for the 10.30 'Press conference' which started with an unexpected presentation of an O.C.C. Award for my circumnavigation.  There were quite a few cameras and microphones as I answered a lot of questions about my journey, with several people later being shown around 'Nereida' afterwards, with more questions and answers.   The Harbour Authority have been very helpful over radio interviews, giving me use of their phone for those, as well as being helpful over Internet access while my computers had a problem.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first full night back on shore, with a lovely soak in a hot tub and a big, soft bed to sleep in after a nice meal - courtesy of Spinnakers.  Many thanks to Jak Mang for his help posting my daily 'blogs' and photos - especially more recently - and also to Mike (N7RY) and Robert (WA6AMK) & particularly Lor (W3QA) for help with position reports and to Rick  (VE7TK) for his recent help with my 'blogs'.
I would like to thank Mark and Alan of "Prince of Whales' for their help and generosity during both my start and finish and John Green for coming out to meet me near Race Rock and staying close despite the lack of wind for quite a time.   Also Ian Grant, who put a lot of time and effort into organising the details surrounding my arrival, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority who donated my slip for the week.

A lot of very friendly and supportive people have come by 'Nereida' over the week or have stopped me as I've passed by them around the Waterfront here - it's been great to chat to them all - and I was grateful when two Canadian Navy officers came by to sort out my computer Internet access problem - word had got out about that and they were asked to come over to see if they could help - thanks to their commanding officer, Cdr Mark Sheppard.  Others generously donating help have included the Royal Victoria Y.C., Shawn Dunand of Vela Yachts and Dave Irving at Westport Marina (where 'Nereida' is to be hauled out and placed on the hard this coming week, so that a start can be made on boatwork - lots of TLC  needed to get her back into order and looking pretty...).   CMC came over from Burnaby to sort out my Raymarine instrumentation - thanks to them and to Derek Gilbert for that - and several friends have seen to quite a bit of laundry for me - thanks!

My 'email team' of cheerful, helpful amateur radio operators are now out of a job - very many thanks to Rick (WA1RKT), Tom (N5TW) and Jim (WB2REM) for all their time and help with that since 11th May up to my landfall...  Tom was hoping for 1000 hits - Did we make it?  If we didn't, We got very close!

Weather here in Victoria has been consistently sunny and I'm hoping slowly to get 'Nereida'back in order - lots to do and it will take quite a time to organise.

I've been asked by quite a few people for photos and videos of my arrival and news - so below I've listed a variety I've come across.

Thanks to many of you reading this for your ongoing support -I've really appreciated that as I've sailed around.

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=961628
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/07/08/bc-socrates-circumnavigate-globe.html
http://globalnews.ca/news/700534/oldest-female-sailor-circles-the-globe/
http://globalnews.ca/news/703000/victoria-senior-completes-solo-non-stop-trip-around-the-world/
http://www.cheknews.ca/?bckey=AQ~~,AAAA4mHNTzE~,ejlzBnGUUKY1gXVPwEwEepl35Y795rND&bclid=975107450001&bctid=2534794255001
https://plus.google.com/photos/115077494868953019748/albums/5898658932352824385/5898671037934484898?pid=5898671037934484898&oid=115077494868953019748
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0X2jyYeMoUE .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4aJdL6oZ1oM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLUp8eKnpE8
http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?397609-Jeanne-Socrates-KC2IOV-completes-solo-non-stop-circumnavigation-of-the-globe
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/solo-sailor-returns-to-victoria-after-global-journey-oldest-woman-to-accomplish-feat-1.392036
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/oldest-woman-to-sail-around-world-solo-non-stop-ends-journey-in-victoria-1.391809
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/solo-sailor-passes-cape-of-good-hope-1.74583
http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/editorial-solo-sailor-sets-example-of-grit-1.432429
http://www.itv.com/news/london/story/2013-07-08/woman-sails-into-record-books/
http://www.itv.com/news/london/story/2013-02-13/oaps-round-the-world-adventure/
http://www.itv.com/news/london/2012-10-22/ealing-woman-bids-for-sailing-record/
http://liquiddaysphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-slideshow/G0000iuekCUtlt9k/?start=


Saturday 6th July 2013

Drifting overnight and into morning – up at dawn slight land breeze making 2.4 kt.  In contact with Tofino Traffic Control – keeping ships advised of my drifting 4 n.mi. N of the shipping lanes and S of Bamfield. Significant fog, seas are still big, well over 2 meters from the W.  Several cruise ships have passed by over the day.

1pm Finally managed to get underway in a W wind – weak sun showing through the fog, Poled out genoa.  Making 3.1 kt.  Genoa slightly ripped near the clew – presumably the result of flogging in little wind – had noticed a tiny hole in that area in the last few days.

4pm   Fog lifted to give clear sky but fog still visible on Washington coast – Cape Flattery in sight above the fog. Light winds all afternoon only making 2 – 3 kt – dying by 7 pm.  For the rest of the evening and in to the night struggling to keep the boat heading on course in almost no wind.  Trying to maintain position roughly 2 n.mi. from both shore and shipping lanes – very, very difficult in these circumstances.

Very little sleep overnight – what I got was had sitting at the chart table – in short snatches with an alarm set.

Forecast for Sunday is a repeat of Saturday with very little wind – likelihood of getting to Victoria Sunday diminishing fast.

I understand that my AIS position is now available and you can follow Nereida on the marinetraffic.com website.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT (4 pm PDT): 32n.mi.; Strait of Juan de Fuca: 15n.mi; Victoria: 74n.mi.

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Rick, VE7TK, Victoria, BC (Many thanks to Don, VE6JY, for the internet receiver connection) via Ham Radio for posting

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

Friday 5th July 2013

Very strong conditions overnight into Friday morning, strong NW wind giving boat speed of 7 – 8 kt.  Very rough seas knocking us about a lot.  With reduced sail speed still 7 kt.  Crests of the waves tumbling onto side of boat.  Tried to take in 3rd reef – main dropped okay and halyard tensioned but reef cringle came away from sail so leech is loose.

By 10 am calmed right down, winds died but seas still up.

1 pm Mainsail sorted out – reefed the main to 2nd reef point.  Spinnaker up-haul was caught on spreader, managed to release it.  Unfurled the staysail.

Lovely sunny day ... making 5.3 kt in 2.5 metre following seas – 55n.mi. from Juan de Fuca Strait entrance.

10 pm   DRIFTING in no wind but 2 – 3 metre seas, 4 n.mi. N of shipping lanes – busy with traffic.  Distance to Victoria 80 n.mi.  Tofino Traffic advising nearby ships of my situation.

Footnote:  At time of reporting Nereida drifted all night in no wind and is likely to continue drifting all morning until the W wind gets up Saturday afternoon.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 135n.mi. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 46n.mi. (108T); Victoria: 105n.mi.

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Rick, VE7TK, Victoria, BC (Many thanks to Don, VE6JY, for the internet receiver connection) via Ham Radio for posting

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

Position  at 2300 Zulu (GMT)  1600 PDT

48 deg  42.5 min N 125 deg  51.06 min W

Distance covered last 24 hours  135 NM

Distance to Juan de Fuca 46 NM  on course 108T Victoria  105 NM

Speed 5.7 kt, Wind NW  at 15 kt, Seas  2.5 M

Thursday 4th July 2013

250 am  Bright light along  N horizon, crescent moon low in E, starry skies.  “Kyoto Express” CPA 0.5 n.mi – TOO CLOSE called on VHF16 FOR 20 minutes finally replied – Changing course to port.

5 am Wind veered to NW needing to gybe – takes a time – need to furl in genoa, pole down, stow the pole, and raise the pole again on the port side and gybe the mainsail from port side to starboard side making us goose-winged again.

1030 am   Weak sun through thin overcast.  Wind WNW 10kt seas 1 – 2 feet (0.7 metres).  Getting to sleep while weather faxes download!   A very tiring night .... what with shipping, weather faxes, course adjustments and radio skeds.

4 pm   Email radio sked – not so many email today so a short time.  Wind up at around 15 to 20 kt time to take the genoa off the pole and stow the pole at the mast.

6 pm   Seas have built up with the stronger wind so stowing the pole without car uphaul available took some time.  On port tack, on a broad reach, making 5 – 6 kt – that speed should give a daylight ETA on Saturday.

7 pm Grey cloud, rough NNW seas of 2 metres or more.  Really being tossed around and pressure cooker on stove knocked over – fortunately the lid was tightly closed.

830 pm  Busy radio sked with lots of good contacts.

930 pm   Sky completely clear but wind very strong.  Remnant of sunset colours on W horizon light cloud over Vancouver Island to the NE. Seas still very rough and wind possibly up to 30 kt

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 79n.mi. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 182n.mi. (105T); Victoria: 240n.mi.

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Rick, VE7TK, Victoria, BC (Many thanks to Don, VE6JY, for the internet receiver connection) via Ham Radio for posting

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking


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