Jud - s/v Sputnik

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About Jud - s/v Sputnik

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  1. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    I’m using this reply as a way to “reply all”, instead of lots of individual replies. I really appreciate everyone’s perspectives, from retirees (?) and those cruising with children, to a mostly singlehander (Pnwer). I pretty much get the “gear” side of things, based on some experience (almost!) completely refitting our boat, and based on reading/talking to people over the years. I’m hands-on: I’ve been closely involved with a recent full engine rebuild and reinstallation, do my own electrical work, etc. etc. What I’m short on is the “specialized knowledge” side of offshore sailing. I feel like this really boils down to knowing how to deal with heavy weather (from actual sailing strategies like heaving to, etc., to fatigue management and figuring how to safely stow things, etc.), since most other specialized skills you can (more or less) learn at home/on your own (e.g., getting and using weather info and route planning, celestial nav basics, ham radio license, etc.) Pnwer, as a singlehander where you have no one else to rely on, would you agree that heavy weather management is the “key” skill to learn (in addition to various others) that let you feel, yeah, “I’m ready”? Was it a matter of reading what to do and then gradually going out to learn to deal with increasingly difficult weather conditions? (And, separately, re: gear/spinn pole as whisker pole, do you have a set up on your mast to allow you to stow and set your spinn pole as a whisker pole by sliding it on a track, i.e., to make it easier/safer as a singlehander?)
  2. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    R2AK 2019

    Unbelievable - I just had a look at the entries, as was surprised to see this is ex-B4B2 with a massive upgrade from last year’s ‘Bobbles’, their massively leaky Bayliner/Buccaneer 19 day sailor! The Alberg 23 could cross an ocean! (If anyone has the skills to do that, it’d be Alex.) That’s little Bobbles in the background over his right shoulder, a lot of her gear on deck drying out after a spot of bother with a massively leaky centreboard...ugh!) This news makes it all the more urgent that I return Alex’s Porta Potti! (A consignment/gift from him on the dock in Victoria last June - no room in Bobbles for. The theory was for me to sell it and send him the money. Better: I’ll meet him on the same dock in Victoria year! I love a good story with a happy ending...)
  3. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    R2AK 2019

    I came across their O30 for sale on Craigslist the other day quite by accident. (I was actually looking for a used kayak spray skirt and their listing weirdly appeared! [Similar keyword in ad?]) It’s very, very close to me and, let me tell you, it was all I could do to convince my family that buying it would be the right decision :-). (It would involve getting rid of an offshore cruising boat, not an option now.) Great boat and price (lot o’ upgrades/new gear). Ready to go!
  4. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    R2AK 2019

    7048 for sure (the no-sails-allowed “feeder” race event for R2AK), and maybe (maybe) Stage 1 if I feel ready to cross Juan de Fuca (new kayaker). The Cal 20 is grounded in the front yard, in need of new keel bolts (very leaky!) Skin-on-frame baidarka kayak. (I didn’t build it —long a “dream” of mine but never had a workshop; bought frame on Craigslist for $200 this summer, steam bent and replaced seven broken ribs, and I just finished re-skinning it; currently carving a Greenland style paddle. I recently discovered that the boat was built at the Skinboat School in Anacortes, WA in early ‘90s). The silly team site, for those interested in skin-on-frame kayak esoterica! https://m.facebook.com/mightycalico/ (haven’t updated the page top pic yet from Cal 20 sailboat to kayak! Too busy carving! :-) ) (edit: can’t figure out how to get photo right side up...hopefully won’t be a prob with the real boat :-) )
  5. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    Oysterhead - Off the top of your head (sorry! :-) ), can you think of any resources in particular that helped get you and your family ready? Boat prep, skill set, etc. Just anything that, for you, stood out as particularly useful in the plethora of info out there.
  6. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    Great reminder, Paul (those various links). I’ve long meant to read Andy’s book (and his sextant guide as well - I have another sextant how-to book). The good thing about this thread (for me, anyway!) is that it’ll help centralize related resources in one place. I.e., I’ve long known about the SHTP, Andy Evans’ book, etc., but having them here is like having them in a file, in one place, for me (or others) to refer back to. Re: SHTP/Pac Cup, I’ve long thought that (esp. SHTP, or Pac Cup double handed with daughter) would be a fun “retirement project”. E.g., buy a cheap Moore 24 and trailer and budget, say, $15k or whatever for outfitting, trailering it down, race, then shipping the boat back. My current boat is in no way a race boat - I originally bought it dreaming of high latitude cruising (Greenland, etc.) when living on the east coast. Out here on the west coast, I once thought of the SHTP, but didn’t want to be the “guy on the Westsail 32” (for example), way, way at the back of the fleet. :-). But I’m coming see it would just be a fantastic information and training resource. Lots of know-how there, and the SHTP requirement to do a shorter 400nm qualifying singlehanded race/voyage (like the LongPac) prior to SHTP. That would really focus me. (Now I’m thinking —maybe— my planned voyage is instead a multi-week family cruise down the coast to SF, I do the SHTP, and then we sail back together, certainly the hardest leg. Just rolling over ideas.)
  7. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    Good advice - thanks. Trusting/knowing your body seems key. I’ve always been impressed by the determination of Webb Chiles, a highly accomplished sailor, to be able to do his age in push ups. I quite sure I can’t, and I’m a few decades younger! Just as a basic metric for getting to a fitness goal. I’ve pushed myself to do a half-marathon - hard. (No desire to go farther!) Having a tangible goal works for me. I recently bought an old used skin-on-frame kayak frame, skinned it, and took up kayaking —I’ve always wanted a skin boat. With some more practice, I think I’ll be rolling by New Years. (Goal is the 7048 race next June, Puget Sound S-N.) But now I see that, with a busy work/life schedule, it’ll be great for general fitness. Simple, like running. Now, if I can just work up to 50 or so push-ups! :-). I’m picturing being where I was on the Vic-Maui delivery one day 4 1/2 years ago, putting myself in that headspace, but when I was with two others on-board, somewhere around 40N, the relaxed warmth of Hawaiian waters far, far behind, the sea and skies now darker and greyer, it’s colder out, a bit more challenging —and it’s just you on-board, approaching the massive shipping bottleneck of Juan de Fuca Strait, and a chilly, rocky, maybe foggy coast. Indeed, you’d better be feeling healthy, agile, etc., “on your game”.
  8. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Help: Friend's Dad is Lost at Sea

    I should add - I mean no disrespect by passing a summary judgement. On the contrary, I admire people who attempt solo ocean crossings, something I’d like to work up to. This story is, indeed, very instructive for singlehanders, even if it’s perhaps specific to this case (the apparent psychological breakdown might have been related to something else? Relationship issues were alluded to above. Or other personal history or predisposition). What I meant was that Chiles’ opinion of the story seems spot on, coming from someone with vast solo ocean sailing experience. When you go to sea, as much as possible you must be in the present, not tethered to land psychologically (as incredibly difficult as it may be).
  9. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Help: Friend's Dad is Lost at Sea

    Having read the Outside magazine story, with only that info on the events, I think I concur with Webb Chile’s opinion on the story: “From what I read I do wonder why he ever thought he wanted to sail an ocean alone. Like many others, his mind never really left the land.” http://self-portraitinthepresentseajournal.blogspot.com/2018/11/evanston-too-easy-heat-wave.html?m=1
  10. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    If solo, I’d be a bit more carefree. I won’t be. (Kid on board; stakes are higher.)
  11. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    Am hoping to get out this winter/next spring in challenging conditions in Georgia Strait; as always, available time is the issue. Would love to be able to be part of another offshore delivery. I’ve read enough “situations” where, for sure, people give in long before the boat does. Common, I’d say. Fatigue, both mental and physical, is serious business. It’s a hard one - many folks preparing to go offshore probably have this same stumbling block. They’ve read about heavy weather strategies but haven’t actually handled heavy weather per se, as it can be difficult to get such experience. Fifteen days from Honolulu to Victoria, BC for me, and I was somewhat disappointed to have no “weather issues” - probably due to very competent routing by the very experienced skipper. (Though we did have to reef the 50’ race boat in sporty conditions that made me appreciate how quickly things could go sideways, especially on a big boat with big loads.)
  12. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    I think what I’ll akso do here is post related project updates/pics - example: I need a clear/plexi/acrylic cover, maybe with finger holes in it, to protect my toggle switch-style breaker panel from getting accidentally slammed into by a knee as the boat lurches off a wave - it’s in a low-ish vulnerable location by navy table, and that getting slammed into and switches broken, would be bad. So, I’ll try to use this thread to chronicle such important projects as they’re done.
  13. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Countdown to Hawaii 2020 - prep?

    So, I wanna sail with my family to Hawaii (from Vancouver, BC area) in summer 2020. And am rolling over the idea of a singlehanded return. Have done a big extended coastal trip (AK) on own boat, with a 5 year old on board, and have crewed offshore, but never done anything like this before offshore (especially singlehanded). Where do I begin? I feel like it’s time to start getting serious about prep. Some background: -boat is or will be sorted. Fin-keel 33’ steel hull, hard-chine cutter, Gilbert Caroff design, yard built. New rigging. Tiller steered. Hank-on headsails. Rebuilt engine. New portlights. Windvane. Watertight main hatch, etc. Various other repairs/upgrades. Not fast, but well built. I’ve spent a lot of time going over and improving systems. I’m confident in the boat in general but there will always be a “list”. There are standard criteria and equipment one can look at and say about the boat, “it’s ready”, like basic gear lists or ISAF Cat 1 requirements - those will be my guide. But when to know you yourself are ready? Very hard to say. To route plan and sail offshore on your own vessel, being self-sufficient and, even bigger, potentiality caring for others (spouse, teenage child, both of whom sail)? At some point you have to trust your gut and say, “yeah, I’ll never be 100% ready but I can deal with pretty much whatever arises.” But I’m not there yet. -I've owned a few boats for years but, alas, as for most non-retired folks, lack of time/work prevents taking extended offshore voyages. Did Race to Alaska Stage 1 (in a Cal 20); lots of local Vancouver, BC area/Salish Sea cruising. Planning Haida Gwaii next summer. --extended coastal: have cruised for 5 months from Vancouver, BC to Glacier Bay, AK and back on own boat (33’). Once-upon-a-time rock climber when I had time; winter camp/snow cave camping/backcountry skiing (i.e., comfortable in outdoors/exposed). -offshore: crewed, 25 years ago, Victoria, BC-San Francisco, and more recently a Vic-Maui delivery, but have never dealt with heavy weather at sea. Ever. Have crossed Gulf Stream Florida-Bahamas. -heavy weather feels like it’s my biggest knowledge gap. That, and understanding weather - getting wx info and using it for routing. So, pondering out loud, I wonder, given limited free time (work...family...house), how to best spend the next year and a half plus “preparing” to actually go on such an extended sailing trip? Don’t really have time to get involved in racing (like overnight/near offshore). Practice heaving-to in moderate conditions so that I’ve at least got the basics dialled; and learn basics of weather, and getting and using weather info at sea? I also feel like, if singlehanded offshore, knowing how to navigate with a sextant is just a really sensible idea as a back up. Thoughts? Let’er rip! Seems like a really big knowledge set to have before you can finally say to yourself, “I’m ready.” I suspect there are others here who’ve either gone through this process, or are currently. Maybe a good dialogue will result.
  14. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    An Idiot, a cat, and a sailboat

    Yup, I know John, from chatting with him on the water, etc (his boat is named “Eos”). If I see him, I’ll ask if knows the owner is Amrak (Amray?).
  15. Jud - s/v Sputnik

    Woman without Patreon account goes sailing in cold place

    This topic, “Woman without Patreon Account Goes Sailing in Cold Place, reminded me of this film about “early cruisers” Nancy and Bob Griffith. (They sailed to warm and sine very cold places.) http://www.followingseasfilm.com/ Well worth the $3 or whatever to rent to watch it on Google Play, etc. Very impressive sailors sailing at a time when you very much were all alone out there, sadly, an amazingly hard thing to do nowadays. It’s compilation of their old 16mm film they shot —much of it lost in shipwreck and recovered, amazingly, and edited to tell their life story. (After watching it, you will not give a flying fuck about any sailor’s Patreon account anymore :-) )