Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mexico to Seattle - Day Forty, THE END (And the Beginning)

It is 2030 on Friday, June 24th. Position 48 deg 05.2 min north 122 deg 40.3 min west. We just past Port Townsend and expect to be in Shilshole Marina by 0400 on Saturday. A very long voyage with no major injuries and no major equipment failures. I would like to reflect on a few of the memorable events. First the crew. When the crew was assembled, it was not by any design. Kirk Hackler is a person I respect and had worked with previously, so I was delighted he was able to help as long as he was able. After that it was somewhat rag-tag. The Puget Sound Cruising Club was notified through Judy Naismith resulting in several possible candidates. In the end, Don Van Valkenburg who has a similar vessel was enlisted. He has been very dependable as a sailor but was also very good in the galley. One of the most helpful members was Ralph Hemphill who marketed himself in the La Cruz Marina with a rather unprofessional note on the bulletin board. I was impressed with his single handed sailing lifestyle and his ability to speak Spanish fluently. He and I spent a long time dealing with difficult sailing conditions without an auto pilot. We got the job done and I am so thankful he was the other guy on board. Through a cruiser met during the voyage south, Andrew on "Windsong", I was introduced to Paul Grossman in Florida. Paul has several sailing experiences on the west coast from California to Washington and he was available for the legs from San Diego to Seattle. Thankfully, he has a great sense of humor and stories to tell because we have now spent a lot of time together and it has been fun. Paul is always willing to do the unpleasant tasks, such as foredeck work in a seaway, and he has learned a few new things along the way - AIS and Furuno NavNet2 technologies. His knowledge of ports along the way became very helpful. Finally, my brother, Peter who has never joined me in a sailing adventure. He fit right in and carried his load. That part of the trip from San Diego to San Francisco went so quickly, I don't know if he got short changed or was just lucky. And finally Nita, who provided logistic support and helped get "Odessa" prepared for the voyage. I suspect her biggest challenge was the absence of boat, home, and husband for nearly a month and a half. The boat and husband will be resolved in a few hours. The home may take longer. To those who sent messages of encouragement - Frosty and Judy - and got no reply, the thoughts were welcomed and appreciated.
The big issue was the W-H Auto Pilot which had no maintenance for fifteen years and got a little beaten up during the voyage. Wil Ham the designer, builder and customer support for the equipment was on top of it. He put it back together making it better than new and got it to me with only a single day interruption. I wish all of the equipment had such great support. While I am talking equipment, the Aqua Signal Navigation lights failed twice in Mexico and, I discovered last night, that they failed again. There has got to be a way to keep water out of a light fixture under real sailing conditions.
In fact the really big issue was the conditions. Nine of the forty days were spent at the dock/hook. Five of those days were weather related. Many of the days underway were so challenging that our knots made good per hour could have been walked easier and faster. As previously warned, the wind was always on the nose. Except for yesterday and today, that was correct. It is wonderful that we ended the voyage on such an agreeable note.
I am glad to have this journey behind me and the daily writings will not be missed either. Thanks for joining me/us along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations...a difficult job well done! I have enjoyed reading your daily updates and following along on your made it sound so easy and I know it wasn't. It would be good to connect after you have caught up on much needed rest and relaxation.
    Take care
    Anne & Dick "Full & By"