Chasing Elegua

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,145
1,100
East central Illinois
I just read this whole thread this morning while waiting for the wind to fill in for kitesurfing in Cape Town. Most excellent passage, Elegua, and great commentary and advice from the circumnavigators and others here. I love this place, even when guys are a little rough on me. I wish I had your confidence, Elegua, in sharing my tracker here, I kept it to family and friends. I stuck to post-trip reports in my Sailing The South Pacific thread. Maybe next year.

Just a few thoughts on things covered in the thread. I had an Iridium Go! and Predictwind and once I figured it out I loved it, mostly. The texting was mostly great, but you have to send short texts, and the replies have to be short. And eventually it would stop moving the newest texts up to the top of the list and then I had no idea out of the 30+ people I was texting with who had sent something. My wife came up with the solution of deleting text threads that were long (just read the reviews of the Iridium Go! texting app on the AppStore to see just how bad this app is, same for the email). The emailing is painfully slow and annoying, and as Evans notes, you have to constantly remind folk that they cannot send pics, forms, or any big emails. I never even tried to access the internet directly. The weather predictions were wonderful (I'm a little surprised, Elegua, that you say you got twice-daily updates, I thought mine were something like six-hourly). But what kept me the most involved was the blog ability, which on the Pacific passage I did several times a day, but after getting to French Polynesia I did every night before going to bed (and with cell service I could upload pictures, but not movies). And now I have that blog with over 400 posts as a reminder of what I did and when. I never needed the departure planning or the routing as things were pretty obvious for what I was doing, although I did get myself into a maramu and got hammered by a northern front, both of which I might have avoided with those services, but mostly it was my underestimation of just how rough things get when the wind gets to 30 knots. Finally, my Iridium unit pretty religiously stopped working once a week. The first time was almost panic mode as I had no other means of communication and my wife and others would have worried as then there were no tracker updates either. The only solution was to remove the battery and put it back in, annoying. After that I made a point of regularly reminding people reading the blog that if the tracker stopped and blogging stopped it did not mean I was in trouble, for that the EPRIBs and PLB would tell the story. I have been fortunate to have met and gotten lots of advice from Webb Chiles, but I was not interested in cutting off all communication with land, sailing that initial Pacific passage solo as my first ocean-sailing experience was enough of a "monastery of the sea" for me. In any case, it was part of the deal with my supportive wife, who loves sailing dinghies, but was not interested in an ocean crossing. And in my six months of sailing there were about 10 nights that she would have been seriously unhappy about, while for me they were just part of the adventure, something I signed up for willingly. Plus the style of sailing would have been completely different, keeping watch, being far more cautious moving about the boat, etc., although the food would have been better, etc.

You had a bigger boat than me and crew. When things got seriously rough I would go down to staysail only and bear off to a broad reach and simply let my Pacific Windpilot take care of things for me and retreat to my bunk (twice for 36 hours each). Initially I tried to keep to reaching courses, but getting slammed by breaking waves which sound like a bomb going off inside, and enduring water over the deck (first one forced water in through the 1 inch limber holes at the front of the compartment that the companionway hatch slots into, and then disgorged all the dirt that had accumulated there for 3 decades into the cabin over the chart table and galley). Everything leaked on my boat, but generally once things calmed down it dried out nicely. I sailed naked most of the time, so no issues with wet gear coming below.

I tried to keep my boat as simple and durable as possible, so no wind meters, only a simple autopilot for when motoring, and only a tiny Engel fridge, yet I had 630 watts of solar and 600 amp hours of batteries, so never had to worry about power and never ran the engine to charge batteries (but I was also in the tropics so only had one entirely cloudy day in six months). My solar is above the bimini and on the aft lifelines, so is seldom shaded, especially since mostly I was sailing downwind (see pic). I did motor quite a bit on the initial passage in the doldrums in the Bay of Panama, but still only used 20 gallons of 45 aboard, and am now much more willing to motor or usually motor-sail and now have 65 gallons aboard with four extra 5-gallon jugs on the port side-deck.

My major issues, as some here know from my various threads asking advice, were ancient original sails that started tearing at the leech (the mainsail), and original standing rigging that started breaking at the bottom swages. And the connecting rod between the vane and rudder of the 27-year-old Windpilot broke, which I MacGyvered. Nothing else broke.


IMG_0053.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Elegua

Generalissimo
@TheDragon

Weather: PredictWind updates every 6hrs just like all the weather services do. It's the same data just in a slicker interface. Because getting the gribs is a bit of a faff, I decided I would do it once in the am and once in the pm and update my routing. I've already experienced times where PredictWind has been wildly off from the conditions I was experiencing.

Email: The iridium email app is terrible. I know it's another subscription, but OCENS email is worth it. It can use any kind of connection and it automatically segregates out large emails which you can download later when you have a faster connection. It also has very good compression. Last, it interfaces well with OpenCPN so getting gribs through OpenCPN and saildocs is dead nuts simple. Almost makes PredictWind redundant.

I chose to get a YB3i as a backup communication tool. You pay by the letter, but it's backup.

For me, the commentary from the more experienced members has been priceless.
 
Last edited:

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
Fumigation, delousing and laundry in progress. The war against water and shmoo never stops.

And yes, she is going to re-do everything. Feels good to put most of the cold weather clothing into space saver bags. Then I'll go after the leaks. Joker valve needs replacement as well.

Interesting. I noticed a scratch on my anchor and then saw that the wood I used to chock it was crushed.


Speaking of fumigation …good time to make your boat rat proof…air intakes and other vents like engine room

course aluminium screen and a snipper

8D67CF2F-F1C9-4900-BE1C-10F3D602747C.jpeg
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,999
3,282
Edgewater, MD
@TheDragon

Weather: PredictWind updates every 6hrs just like all the weather services do. It's the same data just in a slicker interface. Because getting the gribs is a bit of a faff, I decided I would do it once in the am and once in the pm and update my routing. I've already experienced times where PredictWind has been wildly off from the conditions I was experiencing.

Email: The iridium email app is terrible. I know it's another subscription, but OCENS email is worth it. It can use any kind of connection and it automatically segregates out large emails which you can download later when you have a faster connection. It also has very good compression. Last, it interfaces well with OpenCPN so getting gribs through OpenCPN and saildocs is dead nuts simple. Almost makes PredictWind redundant.

I chose to get a YB3i as a backup communication tool. You pay by the letter, but it's backup.

For me, the commentary from the more experienced members has been priceless.

I regret not asking you to show me all of this while you were sitting here. Now I want to see it.

I'm stunned that you only consumed 30 gallons of water during the entire trip. Were you paranoid about water consumption or did it just work out that way naturally?
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
I regret not asking you to show me all of this while you were sitting here. Now I want to see it.

I'm stunned that you only consumed 30 gallons of water during the entire trip. Were you paranoid about water consumption or did it just work out that way naturally?
At sea you consume very little water

the galley wastes most waterv

if you are seamanlike and wipe your dish and cooking utensil clean with a paper towel you can really be a water miser
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,999
3,282
Edgewater, MD
At sea you consume very little water

the galley wastes most waterv

if you are seamanlike and wipe your dish and cooking utensil clean with a paper towel you can really be a water miser
He has seawater pumps at the galley. I'm aware of the standard water saving measures but 30 gallons seems far more efficient than I expected. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way-

30 gallons for an 11 day passage= 2.72 gpd and 1.3gpd/person.

I guess for cooking, brushing teeth, rinsing dishes and drinking, that's reasonable. It sure as hell doesn't include water for whole body hygiene, even just a rinse after seawater but a good rain could help with that in the cockpit.

As for the paper towel method, it depends on the level of soil and what was cooked. I'm not a fan of food borne illness. I'm not saying I'd never do it but I'd certainly be very thoughtful about it.
 

Cruisin Loser

Super Anarchist
Oh, and never bring anything cardboard on your boat in the tropics. Roaches.

Since we do the occasional offshore race we have a laptop interfaced to the instruments and the Iridium running Expedition with our polars loaded. Hit one button and it automatically grabs GRIBs from OCENS and you can update your optimal routing. The only thing a chartplotter might be useful for offshore is AIS. We use the chartplotter at the helm for coastal and inshore.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
Oh, and never bring anything cardboard on your boat in the tropics. Roaches.

Since we do the occasional offshore race we have a laptop interfaced to the instruments and the Iridium running Expedition with our polars loaded. Hit one button and it automatically grabs GRIBs from OCENS and you can update your optimal routing. The only thing a chartplotter might be useful for offshore is AIS. We use the chartplotter at the helm for coastal and inshore.
Roaches are a fact of life…especially when you provision in small funky out of the way shops

fruits are a troublemaker ..insects and rats …they can smell the ripening fruit a mile away ..always store fruit in the refer

best way to catch a rat is a small piece of fruit in the galley sink surrounded by those super sticky rat catcher sheets

the rat instantly gets glued to the sheet, struggles then turns into a rat burrito ..throw over the side
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
I regret not asking you to show me all of this while you were sitting here. Now I want to see it.

I'm stunned that you only consumed 30 gallons of water during the entire trip. Were you paranoid about water consumption or did it just work out that way naturally?
Weren't paranoid. We did take at least one full shower (I have a Nemo water pressure shower - the thing is awesome) and daily sponge baths. Water for drinking is about a gallon per person per day. Washing dishes is a gallon or two a day since you just need the fresh for rinsing. We used around a gallon and a half per person per day.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
Weren't paranoid. We did take at least one full shower (I have a Nemo water pressure shower - the thing is awesome) and daily sponge baths. Water for drinking is about a gallon per person per day. Washing dishes is a gallon or two a day since you just need the fresh for rinsing. We used around a gallon and a half per person per day.
Rainwater collection , via a foredeck sun awning into a 5 gallon bucket was standard procedure for a long time

that extra bucket of water is very handy for cleanup
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,556
2,556
Roaches are a fact of life…especially when you provision in small funky out of the way shops

fruits are a troublemaker ..insects and rats …they can smell the ripening fruit a mile away ..always store fruit in the refer

best way to catch a rat is a small piece of fruit in the galley sink surrounded by those super sticky rat catcher sheets

the rat instantly gets glued to the sheet, struggles then turns into a rat burrito ..throw over the side
Roaches are not a fact of life if you are careful with what you bring aboard, and how you store it. We cruised full-time for six years, much of it in the tropics, and never had a roach on board. We also didn't leave fruit and veggies lying around.

All our dry goods were stored in large, soft, zip-top storage bags which were always kept zipped except when you were going into them.

Yes, if you aren't really careful, you are likely to get roaches.

Rats are mostly a problem if you tie up in a marina. In much of the world we cruised in, boatyards and marinas usually had a fair number of cats lounging around to keep a lid on the rat population.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
Roaches are not a fact of life if you are careful with what you bring aboard, and how you store it. We cruised full-time for six years, much of it in the tropics, and never had a roach on board. We also didn't leave fruit and veggies lying around.

All our dry goods were stored in large, soft, zip-top storage bags which were always kept zipped except when you were going into them.

Yes, if you aren't really careful, you are likely to get roaches.

Rats are mostly a problem if you tie up in a marina. In much of the world we cruised in, boatyards and marinas usually had a fair number of cats lounging around to keep a lid on the rat population.
In my world the roaches have little legs and they walk right on your boat

i tried a NO ROACHES ALLOWED sign but it just doesn’t work

to anyone reading..who lives in the real world…Boric acid and a couple roach hotels keeps things tidy
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
Re-bedded a chainplate (aft lowers). I'm trying the blow-pop strategy of butyl (chewy in the center) covered with a beauty bead of 4000 (crunchy on the outside) to keep it from smooshing too much in the heat. Cut off all the butyl that smooshed out of the foredeck hatch and put a bead of 4000 around that. Didn't want to take the portlights apart - tricky, unique, metric aluminium sex bolts - so bodged it with silicone bead (already bedded with silicone). We'll find a more permanent solution later. Changed a leaky joker valve.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
Roaches are not a fact of life if you are careful with what you bring aboard, and how you store it. We cruised full-time for six years, much of it in the tropics, and never had a roach on board. We also didn't leave fruit and veggies lying around.

All our dry goods were stored in large, soft, zip-top storage bags which were always kept zipped except when you were going into them.

Yes, if you aren't really careful, you are likely to get roaches.

Rats are mostly a problem if you tie up in a marina. In much of the world we cruised in, boatyards and marinas usually had a fair number of cats lounging around to keep a lid on the rat population.
Not long ago I was anchored in a small , isolated , one boat cove..tiny place

in the morning , with my coffee , I did the deck walk around, looked aft to make sure that the dingy was ok..not against the transom , and I spot a pesky rat as big as your hand in the tender…

I grabbed the boat hook to harpoon or flick the rat from the tender ..that rat launched over the transom, swam ashore , climbed a shear rock wall then disappeared into the bush

that island is uninhabited

if you haven’t had rats you haven’t done much sailing
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,556
2,556
Not long ago I was anchored in a small , isolated , one boat cove..tiny place

in the morning , with my coffee , I did the deck walk around, looked aft to make sure that the dingy was ok..not against the transom , and I spot a pesky rat as big as your hand in the tender…

I grabbed the boat hook to harpoon or flick the rat from the tender ..that rat launched over the transom, swam ashore , climbed a shear rock wall then disappeared into the bush

that island is uninhabited

if you haven’t had rats you haven’t done much sailing
My sailing record speaks for itself.

I've seen plenty of rats around the world, but have always managed to keep them off the boat.

My garden shed in Florida, however, is another matter entirely...
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
Re-bedded a chainplate (aft lowers). I'm trying the blow-pop strategy of butyl (chewy in the center) covered with a beauty bead of 4000 (crunchy on the outside) to keep it from smooshing too much in the heat. Cut off all the butyl that smooshed out of the foredeck hatch and put a bead of 4000 around that. Didn't want to take the portlights apart - tricky, unique, metric aluminium sex bolts - so bodged it with silicone bead (already bedded with silicone). We'll find a more permanent solution later. Changed a leaky joker valve.
Hatches…like a Lewmar are seated on weather strip type foam tape and only the fasteners are bedded in sika flex

into foam tape and they never leak ..and when it’s time to remove for service they come off without damage

B0A75882-6155-40AD-8EAD-3ADB3B78C96F.png
 

Peter Andersen

Anarchist
941
222
Roaches are a fact of life…especially when you provision in small funky out of the way shops

fruits are a troublemaker ..insects and rats …they can smell the ripening fruit a mile away ..always store fruit in the refer

best way to catch a rat is a small piece of fruit in the galley sink surrounded by those super sticky rat catcher sheets

the rat instantly gets glued to the sheet, struggles then turns into a rat burrito ..throw over the side
throwing the sticky plastic sheet overboard is against MARPOL Zits
 
Last edited:

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,556
2,556
I tried to find a salacious, over-the-top news story about accidentally imported venomous banana spiders (in a bunch of bananas someone brought home from the store), with the most terrifying pic. Best I could find - click if you dare. Yeah, careful with bunches of bananas. :)
If my wife saw that coming out of a bunch of bananas, or anything else for that matter, she would be off the boat or out of the house in a flash. She hates spiders like Indiana Jones hates snakes.
 




Top