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Foolish

Foolish Muse returns - the Voyage of Rich'n Edie

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Since the Singlehanded Transpac, Rich Jones and Edie Felix have been sailing back to Victoria with my Olson 30 Foolish Muse. I'm doing the weather routing for them.

 

They started by heading north, then moving NE. I've currently got them aiming at 40N, 150W. I'm hoping they can cross through the narrowest part of the high pressure system. (As an ultralight, FM doesn't need much wind to keep going.) If they can get up to about 42N, they should be able to catch a nice ride back home.

 

At 36N, 153W they've had quite the trip so far. The highlight was the storms they faced over the weekend. Rain so heavy "the drops had to take a number to land". They collected two 5-gallon buckets running off the main. Thunder and lightening all around.

 

On Sunday, they were able to have nice showers and do laundry with all the extra water.

 

I'll keep you posted.

 

Andy

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The intrepid couple are facing a delimma today. Do they sail East, beating into the easterly winds on the bottom of the high pressure system; do they continue NNE towards their waypoint of 40N, 150E and into the heart of the high; or do they head due north and attempt to pass the high on the west?

 

The decision: NNNE, betting on Foolish Muse's ability to move in the slightest puff of wind and the prediction that the high will move west by Thursday.

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The dynamic duos have shifted into high gear today, moving along at 7 knots in 15 knots of North wind. They are positioned at 42-09N, 148-04W with a heading of 050, towards their next way point of 45N, 140W.

 

You can see from the wind charts at http://tinyurl.com/zyp5s they can expect a quick trip for the next week, as long as they get above 45N.

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Late Friday the boom on FM broke again. And it didn't even have the decency to break at the same place. It broke a few inches forward of the prior break.

 

So they have rigged up a snatch block on the rail at the stern, and are using the main without a boom.

 

Now they are mainly driving with the genoa, with beautiful 10-15 knot winds from the north. They are making over 6 knots of speed and are only 684 miles from Cape Flattery. Looks like a weekend finish.

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Late Friday the boom on FM broke again. And it didn't even have the decency to break at the same place. It broke a few inches forward of the prior break.

 

So they have rigged up a snatch block on the rail at the stern, and are using the main without a boom.

 

Now they are mainly driving with the genoa, with beautiful 10-15 knot winds from the north. They are making over 6 knots of speed and are only 684 miles from Cape Flattery. Looks like a weekend finish.

Looks like they had an excellent window for weather. When I first heard B2S was sailing her home I thought... "no thanks!"

 

Also, can they use the spin pole for boom jury rig?? It might help a bit to get the clew out.

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With my incredible weather routing skills, the dynamic duo have skirted around the top of the high pressure system that has trapped the rest of the returning fleet to the south. They are at 46-41N, 135-29W, making 6 knots towards Victoria. At 444 miles away from Cape Flattery, I'm anticipating that the wind will hold for the rest of the trip giving them a late Saturday or Sunday finish into Victoria. (I think they will hold off till daylight to pull in.)

 

They've been under overcast conditions for nearly a week, so the solar panels and batteries are stretched to the limit. They have not had a failure yet, but have been hand steering quite a bit in the last day to preserve electrons for the radio. I expect they will get into more sunshine as they near the coast.

 

They will also want to start using their running lights at night. They have not seen a single vessel for the entire trip, but this will change in the next hundred miles or so. I've warned them to watch for fishing boats with mile long nets.

 

The lack of a boom is not causing any problems. They continue to sheet the main as a tri-sail.

 

Andy

Foolish Muse

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With my incredible weather routing skills, the dynamic duo have skirted around the top of the high pressure system that has trapped the rest of the returning fleet to the south. They are at 46-41N, 135-29W, making 6 knots towards Victoria. At 444 miles away from Cape Flattery, I'm anticipating that the wind will hold for the rest of the trip giving them a late Saturday or Sunday finish into Victoria. (I think they will hold off till daylight to pull in.)

 

They've been under overcast conditions for nearly a week, so the solar panels and batteries are stretched to the limit. They have not had a failure yet, but have been hand steering quite a bit in the last day to preserve electrons for the radio. I expect they will get into more sunshine as they near the coast.

 

They will also want to start using their running lights at night. They have not seen a single vessel for the entire trip, but this will change in the next hundred miles or so. I've warned them to watch for fishing boats with mile long nets.

 

The lack of a boom is not causing any problems. They continue to sheet the main as a tri-sail.

 

Andy

Foolish Muse

 

Keep the updates coming FM. The O-30 fleet is listening.

#111

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The daring duo are just 143 miles west of Cape Flattery this morning, making 7.2 knots. So I expect them to arrive in Victoria Saturday evening. I don't see any reason why the wind won't hold for the rest of the trip.

 

FM's broken boom was mentioned in Latitude 38's electronic edition yesterday:

http://tinyurl.com/ksx9k

You can find several other articles about the race in earlier editions of the website. And lots of good pictures of FM too.

 

And they will have a complete article on the Singlehanded Transpac in their August issue. You can download the issue from their web site at

http://www.latitude38.com/ebooks.htm

(It was not up as of this morning, but should appear in a day or so)

 

I have already ordered a new boom for the boat. I've been in sailing withdrawl for the last three weeks.

 

Andy

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So, whatever happened to Foolish Muse, you ask?

 

Here's a quick recap of the last days of the passage to Oak Bay...

 

At the 2100 roll call for the SHTP Return Fleet, FM reported she was on course, doing 7.5 knots and only 50nm from Buoy 2D at Cape Flattery (Tatoosh Island, actually). At 0200, with 25nm to go the wind crapped out. In fog, amongst beaucoup inbound and outbound traffic and terrific communication between Tofino Traffic and the sailboat with no motor, no boom, no radar or reflector (the latter got blown off the mast about the time the boom broke), and no wind.

 

At 1600 on Saturday, about the time FM was expected to arrive in Oak Bay, she was just leaving Buoy 2D to stbd thinking the worst of it was over...well almost but not quite.

 

Thinking once around the mark, 3 knots of favorable wind and 1 kt of favorable current would easily get FM to the south side of the inbound traffic lane. Well usually, but not this weekend. Tribal fishing was going on in the normal inbound lane, so a temp inbound lane was established 1 mile south-er...sheesh.

 

So, with fog horns and engine sounds all over the place, FM made her way south and away from the tonnage.

 

Just before sunset, somewhere between Neah Bay and Clallam the fog lifted the wind filled in and even though there was a slight ebb FM was back doing 6's and 7's with her terrific reaching genoa only.

 

The temp inbound traffic lane ended and the regular lane was back in effect at 124W, so that's where FM decided to cross the Strait on a heading for Race Rock. Seattle Traffic said OK, and had no inbound or outbound traffic on their scopes for quite awhile.

 

About mid-strait the fog returned but the wind and waves were very favorable until these things were needed most---at the point where FM left the traffic separation zone S of Race Passage. There things got crazy and of course traffic was starting to appear from both Vic and Puget Sound. Lots of gybing practice for an hour or so, but once FM was E of the lanes to and from Vic and all points S and E, she was screaming toward home.

 

As the sun rose, the fog burned off and the skyline of Victoria was in sight, the waters calmed down and the wind dropped to a nice 5-8 kts. With the entrance to Oak Bay just a half mile away the wind quit. It's now 1000 Sunday. Because the was no cellphone reception, calls couldn't be made to let people, including the tow boat know where FM was and nobody coming and going from Oak Bay Marina had there ears on, FM drifted...first toward shore then back out to sea. Then the puffs started to appear. FM started back toward Oak Bay Marina...going was good except the tide was low and any obstruction like piles of rocks easily cast wind shadows.

 

Finally, FM got tired of nobody paying attention to her so she let her keel bounce gently over two rocks and allowed her rudder to nestle itself between a couple others. That gave her crew a chance to anchor in a kelp bed and then call for some serious assistance, which arrived in the form of a Bayliner skippered by a fisherman who is also a volunteer with the Oak Bay Rescue Team.

 

FM was safely and painlessly removed from her predicament and comfortably towed to the customs dock. What a surprise to find thousands of people waiting her...plus Andy had arranged for an air show directly above Oak Bay by the CAF Snow Birds which started @ 1400, just 1 hour after FM cleared customs and was towed to her slip right below the marina cafe...now that's a home coming.

 

It's now Tuesday morning and in about an hour FM will get a well deserved bath, and a bunch more TLC.

 

If Foolish Muse could talk, she'd probably say the past several weeks was a great high seas adventure, Hawaii was terrific but the there's no place like and she's glad to have had the chance to going blue water racing and cruising, but she needs a rest before doing it again. Like childbirth, the negative parts will quickly disappear from memory and in about two years she'll be ready to do it all again...maybe ;)

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FM great race it's good to see you correct out well it is hard to save your time on a "O" on a long race like this good on ya.

Not to be a shit disturber but it seem "foolish" To start the trip home with no outboard. I know that there is no way to carry enough fuel to get through the high. but to spend the last 24 something hours within 25 miles of the slip with no propulsion is bad seamship/planing. This is not meant as a bash but would do it this way again?

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<RANT>

Bad seamanship? I had an O30 without a motor for a couple years, and did have a few instances of light air that were a little slower than I would have liked, but that is just the way it is - it's a frickin sailboat. I think Bad seamanship is relying on an engine as much as people do. Go buy a powerboat.

 

I was given grief about taking a tiny little outboard to Bermuda to meet the race requirement.. the wind went light and half the fleet dropped out and motored into Bermuda (in 2001). Except for me who wanted to continue sailing anyway, and 3-4 "well prepared" boats with inboard engines that couldn't get them to work for any number of reasons. Needless to say the Olson ghosted in no problem.. the 20k lb leadmines did not. I think one of them was towed. The lighter the boat, the less important the engine, and having one doesn't guarantee a damn thing, except that maybe when you are wasting 10 minutes trying to figure out why it doesn't work you have already washed up on the rocks...

 

</RANT>

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Iron gennies, and similar devices are great, and most of us usually sail with some kind of alt propulsion, just like most of us sail with more than just solar panels for charging our batts. But here's something to think about.

 

On the trip home, FM relied totally on the sun for amps and wind for propulsion.

 

Only once after almost 7 days with very little direct sunlight, did the electrics indicate a need for rationing electrons...which meant for a few days no inverter, no tunes on the iPOD or DVD's on the laptop, etc. Otherwise, Auto, the SSB, VHF, running lights and weather fax downloads continued as usual.

 

And because it is very easy to keep an O30 moving, not once on the way TO and after entering the JDFS was there ever a need or desire to have and use an engine. And if the comm plan had included a handy piece of info like Oak Bay Marina monitors Ch 66, no engine would have been needed .25 nautical miles outside of Oak Bay.

 

Now hear this...

 

Every problem FM experienced was sailing related and fairly easy to overcome...play in the tiller, a bilge pump with a weak bladder, blown main sheet (that was exciting), broken boom (ditto), a radar reflector that fell piece by piece into the cockpit, a little tear in FM's best sail and that's it.

 

As far as sending, recieving, range and 24/7 reliability, FM had the best VHF and SSB radios in the fleet. And not enuf can be said about her solar array, controller and batt set up.

 

These were the really important things other than here rigging, sails, hull and deck. And while FM is sailing along happily, always moving in winds from 2kts to 30 something, here's some of what was happening with almost every other boat in the SHTP return fleet...

 

Corroded wiring that either prevented engines from starting or batteries from charging or both. Water in either the fuel tank, or fuel line, or engine or all three places. SSB's with mikes that won't work or channels that won't stay tuned. Cigarette lighters that no longer charge GPS's. Electonics that no longer send and/or recieve AIS signals...etc, etc, etc.

 

Bottom line...sometimes it's good when all you have to rely on is what Mother Nature provides.

 

PS: A few monster squalls also provided all the water the crew needed for showers.

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To the Foolish Muser's, congratulations on a job done well! I hope to hear from you guys soon about the trip back to Victoria.

 

But the engine thing, well it would have been nice to have either an engine below for the harbors or have someone meet you on the way in with one. So many marinas are not designed for boats sailing into them, especially if you have the misfortune to arrive on a busy powerboat traffic day with little or no breeze. For the ocean part, I agree that you don't need an engine, but as we all know, it gets a lot more dangerous nearer the shore and shipping lanes (especially shipping lanes when you don't always have the option of waiting for a breeze). I'm glad to hear that the battery and charging system worked so well, I know that there was some concern before the race that there wouldn't be a back up to the batteries if one crapped out.

 

But for now, welcome home!!

 

Jollymon

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Using a handy tool called GPSvisualizer, the return trip of FM was plotted on Google Earth.

 

For folks really into this stuff, here are some fun facts:

 

The heading for the GC route is between 038* and 039*, covering a distance of approximately 2334 nm.

 

FM lat/lon positions, SOG, COG, & other data was gathered from 90 reports and put on a spreadsheet which was then fed into GPSvisualizer to generate both a .csv file and the Google Earth thing. The red dots on the Google Earth track represent the first lat/lon position reported for each day after the start date of 7/15.

 

FM's average COG per report was around 060* and the SOG was 5.38 kts. Total distance sailed was just under 2,600 nm.

 

This seems to say a bunch for two things...first, the performance of the Olson 30 in a wide range of ocean conditions and alt. rigging & sail configs :rolleyes: It also says something about the routing Andy did for his boat and delivery crew. Knowing well what his boat could do really helped. I'd take that resource over routing software, any day as long as you can talk to the router guy via SSB or SatPhone :lol: .

 

PS: The boom broke at about FM +14a

post-200-1155921328_thumb.jpg

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