Sailor Woman

Have you ever had to try to comfort a terrified pet? Maybe they were terrified of being in the car? Or of thunder? Going to the vet?  It’s not a situation of safety nor even of any risk, the fear is totally unjustified with the reality. But you know that no amount of words canContinue reading “Sailor Woman”

24 Hours, 2 Shrimp, 2 Crab, Bad Batteries, a Poor Forecast and a Dying Engine

Saturday was supposed to be a respite between the storm systems that roll over the North Pacific and into the Gulf of Alaska. Light winds, periods of no rain. That’s great. It wasn’t to be. Since the beginning, I’ve told anyone who would listen to never bet your safety on a weather forecast. And inContinue reading “24 Hours, 2 Shrimp, 2 Crab, Bad Batteries, a Poor Forecast and a Dying Engine”

Crabby Lady

Three years ago, when I met Tee and her son Thien, in the hot, humid climate of SaiGon, it was far from Alaska as one could get, mentally and physically. But as I got to know the Vietnamese in general, and Tee in particular, it became clear to me that while her dream of AmericaContinue reading “Crabby Lady”

A Humdrum Day

As we returned to Wrangell Harbor after a day of fruitless fishing, but with 5 Dungeness crabs at least, I thought about how I was now an “old pro” returning to this harbor and dock. What made me think that? This was only my 7th time returning to this harbor and docking on this dock!Continue reading “A Humdrum Day”

The Day of Reckoning

Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks! By Friday, the weather still looked good. That evening, I told my crew, Tee and Thien, that they could sleep late. I could get off on my own, but they needed to be ready for action by 09:00 sharp and they needed to be prepared to spendContinue reading “The Day of Reckoning”

Preparing for the Day of Reckoning

Yesterday, Saturday was the Debacle, Sunday the Plan was made.  That gave me five days to sort out the windlass and get it working again. First thing I did was get out the Ideal windlass manual for my ACW windlass.  I had two issues: As we were hauling the anchor, it became more and moreContinue reading “Preparing for the Day of Reckoning”

After the Debacle

While I felt good about having the common sense to abandon the anchor and not try to lift 125 lbs. of anchor chain and anchor more than 150 feet (50 ft of 3/8”bbb chain x 1.65lbs/ft x  + 40 lbs. anchor = 122 lbs. plus rode), I had a sleepless night. While I wasn’t sleeping,Continue reading “After the Debacle”

Lost Anchor, Lost Shrimp Pots, Lost Daylight

The week started ominously over some spilled rice. I had dropped about half a cup of rice on the galley floor. I told Tee I would take care of it and then I froze. Had I been alone, the dustpan would have come out and that little pile of rice would have been over theContinue reading “Lost Anchor, Lost Shrimp Pots, Lost Daylight”

The Dauntless Winter Home

Passing under the Golden Gate, I felt the chapter coming to the end. Like turning the page and seeing only a short paragraph remaining. As I made my course eastward under the bridge, the winds picked up as forecast to westerly at 20 to 25 knots. I was happy to have just gotten up theContinue reading “The Dauntless Winter Home”

The Golden Gate

On the 63rd day since getting underway from Huatulco, 2300 hard miles ago, I got up for the last day at 02:00. 70 gallons of fuel would be more than enough to get Dauntless the last leg to San Francisco Bay and Vallejo. Checking the current tables, I had to get to the Golden GateContinue reading “The Golden Gate”

With My Heart Still Racing

I still needed to get Dauntless out of this harbor safely. After a close call, like I just had, it’s easy to relax your guard, but it’s still dark, in a narrow channel lined with boats, piers, infrastructure and even sleeping otters. For 30 minutes I threaded my way thru the horseshoe shaped channel. AtContinue reading “With My Heart Still Racing”

Seconds from Disaster

A long, harrowing day was over. A good night’s sleep erased much of the drama. I was closer and closer to the end of this Baja bash. 07:25 I get up 07:30 I did my morning checks and log entries: Fuel: 3.25” port; 5.5” stbd Batts: Current draw -8 amps, 12.48v, -84 amp-hrs. H2O: 72-galContinue reading “Seconds from Disaster”