An Uneventful Trip

(The below was written last week, while underway, midway between St. Vincent in the Grenadines and Bonaire)

It’s about time!

Don't Let this happen to you. The wreck on the east side of Kleine Curacao
Don’t Let this happen to you.
The wreck on the east side of Kleine Curacao

Anyone who looks at a weather map can see that the passage from the eastern Caribbean to the Dutch Antilles is pretty much the same conditions as the Atlantic from the Caries to the Caribbean.

That means strong easterly trade winds and the seas and conditions that they produce. They are trade winds, because they are produced by the global heating and not by low pressure systems, as occurs north of the tropics.

So, we are merrily rolling along.  This is 42-hour point of a 70-hour trip.  Do I worry about jinxing it, by writing that we had no problems?  Of course, I do.  But every once in a while, I feel the need to get really crazy. Hoping that Poseidon is playing with Persephone and doesn’t have the inclination to mess with Dauntless this time.

Sunset Looking Towards Bonaire
Sunset Looking Towards Bonaire

Now, if this post never gets published because we never made it.  I take all the above back. But let’s assume that you are reading this in the comfort of your reading place and I am happily ensconced in Bonaire paying too much for everything and squealing like a pig as I do so.

Since I finally just published the account of an average day crossing the Atlantic in the trades, you should all know the routine my now.

And the weather is the same.

Sunrise
Sunrise

Easterly winds, 20 knots gusting to the low 30’s, with the direction varying from northeast to southeast.

As long as it has an easterly component, Dauntless can deal with it as we make our way west.

While the winds are about the same, the wave heights are significantly less. Thank God, no strike that, Thank Poseidon.

I guess that is the effect of the Grenadines and Antilles reducing the fetch (the distance winds blows over uninterrupted sea).  There seems to also be a tidal current of 0.5 to 1 knot pushing us along.  That means that yesterday, we made 156 miles in the first 24-hour period, that’s an average of 6.5 knots.

The extended length filling tube and funnel for the power steering
The extended length filling tube and funnel for the power steering

Our earlier Atlantic Passage, our average was 137 nm at 5.9 knots.

Yesterday, I made grilled chicken for us, with a side of pasta.  I also made a tomato sauce for pasta, which we will eat today.  This is something I have not made for many, many years, at least a half dozen, years.

I made this for Micah, as the time for him to return to school and get on with his life is now rapidly approaching.  It’s the least I can do for his hard work and the diligence he as shown these past 8 months on Dauntless.

The three big problems we had previously: the mysterious fuel leak, paravane shenanigans and hydraulic hose failure, have all been overcome.  The paravane poles have been the most interesting in that I am always tweaking the system.  Sometimes my tweaks work, sometimes they don’t.  But I pride myself on finding simple, inexpensive solutions and this stabilizing system is finally starting to speak for itself.

The hydraulic steering and the helm and for the ComNav Autopilot has never been quieter.  Never, at last since I’ve owned the boat.  And as Micah pointed out, the owner’s manual did say that one had to be patient as air would work itself out of the system in a few weeks.  I did help it by rigging a Rube Goldberg looking filling tube and funnel on the upper helm.  This allows the system to burp itself without the usually oily mess.

After the ABCs, we are headed to Colon and the Panama Canal, after a short visit to Columbia, where my brother is for some unknown reason.  He’s never seen Dauntless, so it’s the least I can do.

Near term, once through the canal, we’ll head up to Costa Rica, where Micah will leave us and Larry, my Alaskan friend of 44 years who I met on T-3, will join me and D.

 

 

 

 

Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

4 thoughts on “An Uneventful Trip”

  1. Wow, I can’t believe Micah has been on the boat for eight months! Seemed like yesterday he got on the boat….

  2. Sounds like a very enjoyable passage to Carraco. Have a great trip to the canal and be careful in Colon. When I was there in 1999 it was very unsafe. May have changed by now. Fair following winds and kind seas!

  3. Wow! Congratulations on continued successful adventures! Hi to Peter ( and Rose?)
    Tam

  4. Hello Uncle it’s Nicci. When you meet up with father be sure to post picture. Enjoy your journey!

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