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Thread: Humboldt Bay to Hanalei Bay

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Humboldt Bay to Hanalei Bay

    Here's a little heavily edited video of our passage to Hanalei Bay. It has always been a dream of mine to cross an ocean since I was a child with my Dad sailing on Tahoe in an El Toro, capsizing it, turning blue while waiting to get towed in and laughing the whole time. My father has since passed. I love you Dad. I did it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Redwood City
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steevee View Post
    Here's a little heavily edited video of our passage to Hanalei Bay.
    Very cool, thanks for sharing.
    P___/)___J
    Solo RTW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
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    Yes, way cool. That is a great video. I think you said elsewhere that it was a rough passage. In any event, if you decide to share more about the crossing, tough parts, fun parts, lessons learned, etc., that would also be cool.

    Congrats on making the passage. Hoping to do so as well . . . .
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Humboldt Bay
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    127

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    The video is fluff as most of you know who have made the passage. This was my first ocean passage, in my own boat and as "skipper". It was a tough trip, more accurately it was a challenge. We experienced a lot of light wind as the trades and the east pacific high didn't really have any predictable form until latter in the trip, plus leaving from Humboldt Bay as opposed to SF bay made it more challenging. The first part of the trip was fraught with gales and steep seas. The first week was a bitch. When we reached about 29N and 135W things began to improve. We had this weird, elongated trough following us which plagued us with light wind. This is where I made a huge mistake. I had no spinnaker. Please don't ask why I opted not to take a spinnaker. I was thinking 'Hey we're cruising, not racing , who needs a spinnaker?'. Wrong thinking! Anyway, if I do the race next year I will have an arsenal of sails. That would be my best advice to anyone doing this race. Be prepared for light wind. It's maddening. Being stuck, not moving and bobbing around in open ocean swell with your sails flogging and lines chaffing is a suffocating prison. Wind is your friend, even heavy wind...until the seas build. And they will in the trades. We had 9ft seas in the trades for about three days, but after we grew accustomed to them and were no longer taking them on the beam it was wonderful. Surfing, even my slow boat, at 9 -10 knots and making 140-150 mile days was a huge morale booster. Yes!
    I would have to say the worst thing about the passage were the squalls. They were brutal with wind speeds up to 40 knots in about half a dozen of them, but at least they kept us moving when we were in them. They usually hit at night...or more like O'Dark Thirty and the one's we experienced were preceded by building seas. Impressive stuff. One "squall", or some kind a weird weather phenomenon, lasted 2 hrs and the seas build to a steep messy froth. We were flying our three reefed main only hitting 7 knots. I almost went bare poles when it finally let up. The best description of a squall I can give for people in a "slow" boat as opposed to those with faster boats who can keep up with the squalls a bit longer and make use of them is this: a squall at night will come with very little warning in terms of strength and duration, if it hits hard you will be struggling to reduce sail, maintain course and balance while flying by the seat of your pants, then it passes leaving you with little or no wind and sloppy seas, bobbing around and flogging. It's like a bad one night stand where you wake up in the morning in an empty bed, no breakfast or coffee or phone number. You're just laying in an empty apartment all used and lonely.
    To summarize our trip I would have to say it was awesome. I'm glad I did it. You'll see things you'll never experience on land. You'll feel your insignificant place in the universe and it's comforting. And you arrive in a paradise that you may not want to leave.
    Lastly I will say if you really want to do it, you can do it, but to say anyone can do it is bullshit. It's a challenge and requires a lot of planning and prep. I spent 18 months getting our boat ready along with lots of practice. I think when people say anyone can do it, they forget the work they put into it to make it happen. It minimizes it. The end result and untying the dock lines is relatively easy.
    Things that broke: gooseneck (fixed underway)
    whale pump(had spare on board and replaced underway)
    lifeline(fixed under way)
    Best advice: Keep sails trimmed neatly
    Have spare parts...lots
    Spinnaker, spinnaker , spinnaker...and know how to use them and pole them out in a rolling pitching boat...safely
    prevent chafe
    jibe preventer from end of boom to forward block at bow then led aft to dedicated winch and cleat
    practice your downwind sailing
    There's better sailors then me by far on this forum. Read everything they offer. This site is a great resource for short handed and single handing sailing. Read previous SHTP postings. Read all the resources shared on this site. Read Skip's stuff and ask questions. Just go sailing. I learned more about sailing and my boat than anything I read or from any sailing instructor by spending 23 days on it in all sorts of conditions.

    Aloha,
    Stephen Ludwig (currently in Nawiliwili Harbor living a dream and embracing life. Peace!)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Berkeley Marina
    Posts
    134

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steevee View Post
    lifeline(fixed under way)
    Curious about this one, especially as I've also recently converted to dyneema lifelines. What broke and how?
    Congrats on a successful voyage!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Arnold, CA
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    425

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    Sounds like an awesome trip.
    Thanks for the write up!

    Was the gooseneck issue due to the lack of a preventer?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Humboldt Bay
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    127

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    In regards to the life lines, I had unintentionally released the the jib sheet on the poled out headsail in 25 knot wind which immediately wrapped itself around the forward turnbuckle of the lifeline and spun it loose and I watched it get flung into the sea. It was quite incredible how quickly it happened. The lines, the pole and the sail were a complete clusterfuck and all I was trying to do at that point was prevent the headsail from shredding. The Dyneema itself including the eye splice were totally intact and were impressively chafe resistant the whole way. I would recommend rigging tape around any turnbuckle used on your lifelines or even better just lash it. The lashing I used to repair lasted 18 days and held the tension better than any of the turnbuckles.
    Last edited by Steevee; 07-25-2017 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Grammar

  8. #8
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    Nov 2013
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    Humboldt Bay
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    The gooseneck breakage or I should say disassembly happened at our thousand mile mark at 3 in the morning after a series of squalls and flogging. We heard a ping and then the boat depowered. I thought the halyard let loose because the main had gone slack. My heart sank as I noticed the boom was no longer attached to the mast and realized the ping we heard was the hinge bolt and nylon nut bouncing off the cabin top and into the sea. I immediately went to ,"we are completely fucked!", and then worked my way up from there. I doused the main, found the bolt in the dorade, but the nut was still missing when I heard my wife say, " What is this!?" It was the nut. I kissed her and began the reassemble the gooseneck back onto the mast. Tragedy averted.
    I had not properly tightened the nut on the gooseneck before we cast off and it bit us in the ass, so check ALL fittings before you untie your dockline. Once the nut was tightened, there was no problem after that.
    I was always diligent with the jibe preventer.
    Last edited by Steevee; 07-25-2017 at 01:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Bay
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    127

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    Name:  IMG_20170725_100412.jpg
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Size:  217.8 KB
    Here's our route. Not pretty but it got us here.

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