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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Questions and Answers for Billy

Ship's log

June 29, 2011

Lat 00 degrees 20 min N

Lon 138 degrees 12min W

Questions and Answers for Billy

1) Q: So tell us, William, now that Terrwyn has been at sea for over a month and the voyage for nearly 5 weeks... how is it going? I mean between you and Catherine?

B: OK thanks for asking. So far so good, never been better and better every week. Especially now that it's warm and we both "in the buff" as it were... 28 degrees in the cockpit and deck and 30 degrees below deck. We wear our double tethered life vest/harnesses above and below if on watch. Lots of fun. And now that we're that much safer with only a naked woman aboard, which is good and we got that going for us.

2) Q: OKK how about the sailing?

B: Funny you should ask... this morning is our best day yet. We're still under full jib and staysail and double reefed main sailing "on the wind"(as Gentlemen never go to windward" it fits. I've never been happier as barbarian in doctor's get up!) Yes, we're close hauled on port tack (60 degrees) doing 6.6 knots through the water and 7.6 kts on GPS (SOG, Speed Over Ground, cute bit is that the "ground" is 4,160 metres below the keel. sailors, at least me never trust those boat speed impellors but with the Equatorial Current it's all possible.Anyway, with the wind and spray off the bow and Terrwyn bobbing and weaving her way through the swells it feels like we are flying.

3) Q: Are you guys tired or bored? After all no land or other people for a month in a small boat!?

B: Are you kidding? N o way! Let me repeat myself for clarity Catherine is naked 24/7. Alright dress code aside Right I'll try to refocus. No boedom every day (and night) is different, learning every day (and night). For 4 or 5 hours/24 I must stand in the cockpit holding onto the Dodger at chest height and just watch Terrwyn's bow charge, rise, splitswoosh and toss the water aside as she flies along. I love this. It's like a combination of two images forever shiftin in my wee brain as my bottom half simply sways and counters the endless motion in the cockpit, occasionallyneeding to duck the odd spraya bucket of 28 degree water tossed to the aft.

It's like a little kid in a chest high ccounter with every candy imaginable right there laid out before his eyes. OR like a Roman Carioteer holding ontothe reins as he charges over the field in full flight. Seems a little far flung but honestly it is so exciting, fun and a little scary especially in the middle of the night but I love it. Mind you sleep deprivation is a little like being drunk.

3) Q: Billy, do you worry about anything?

B: what? Like being run over by a container ship? running into a sleeping whale or lost container 6" below the waves- no. Likea chain plate or terminal failing and the rig falling over? No Like springing a leak in a through hull and sinking? No.Like falling over board and being dragged along the boat or having Monti sail away? No Like being rolled over from a wave on the beam? No. Like incapacitating seasickness in the scenario or an extra-seasonal gale or even hurricane? No, not really.

Sailing is so relaxing..!!! Just kidding - it is what it is and what we make it and I love it. Cathy and I follow our heros advice (Lin and Larry Pardey) and do our best to make the other look and feel good. And Terrwyn and this voyage is our dream and opportunity to do just that and it is such a blessing to have this opportunity that I focus on this and put the scary, horror stories to bed as foes we will deal with in another lifetime.

Meanwhile this is the time of our lives.

5) Q how were the Doldrums ?

B : Doldrums right missed - em . rats Looking back at the log a couple of 100 M days depite my best efforts swapping assymmetrical spinnaker for Driffter with or without apposing poled out Jib was fun sort of a cute "chute clinic" in the sun and with showers on deck and cool ones at happy hoiur no nasty all fun , In Fact not to give advice but to advise I recommend all sailing husbands to pick up a Driffer from Hasse's loft as an anniversary or birthday gift for your wife and a Spinnaker for Christmas for her so as you TOO are in position to wisk her through the ITCZ. very generous of the giver.

BUt thats all the time we have for now back to fiddling the sheets for that little etusive 0.1 knot Thanks for hearing me .

Yours ,

Billy the sailor want-a-be

Now from Cath:

I just got off the Pacific Seafarers Net after reporting our position and other info for their mariners roll call... great service and a really wonderful bunch of ham operators volunteering to keep tabs on we voyagers!! (A wee bit like our very own B.B.!! Thanks again for all your work on keeping our blog alive Gord!).

We are now truly in the South East Trades and enjoying some very constant winds to take us to the Equator tonight ETA being around midnight! As we sail closer and closer to the Equator we lowly Bottom Dwelling Scum Sucking Polliwogs (anyone who has not sailed over the Equator) will soon proudly bear the name of Shellbacks!! (We got this info from our Seafarers Net)... of course there are supposed to be all sorts of humiliating (though not abusive) ceremonies that happen but that is only if there is a Polliwog amongst our crew! AS it is we will celebrate with a beautiful bottle of the best champagne well chilled in our little icebox this afternoon...that we received as a bon voyage gift from our friends Mike and Allison Budd!

The winds (about 15 kts and the waves about 2 metres) pretty much on our nose makes for a fairly rocky and rolling ride). However, despite the constant motion I was determined to make some bread as the temp. in our galley reads 30 degrees C which is perfect for bread dough to rise - just sitting out on the counter! I made one loaf of white bread and had enough dough to make a nice 12" pizza with salami and artichokes for dinner tonight. It was so successful I think we will be making more soon!! The loaf of bread quickly disappeared with lots of grape jelly and strawberry jam... mmmm good!! Oh yes, and it went very well with the delicious seafood chowder with the final bits of the fresh tuna.

I have been practising on the ukulele most days and hopefully will have mastered some of the most popular songs by the time we get to the Marquesas... and it is hard to believe that we are within 20 nautical miles of the Equator and only a week away from our first landfall which will be Atuona on the island of Hiva Oa. Hard to believe that there is actually land in this massive water world of ours!!

Must go and check on that champagne!

Hope all is well with you

Fair Winds and love to all


Monday, June 27, 2011

Through the ITCZ (Doldrums)

Ship's Log

Lat 04 degrees 09 minutes North

Lon 135 Log 55 minutes

Better to be lucky on the open Ocean.

Good morning Readers from Billy aboard Terrwyn Located Lat 04 degrees 50 min N Long 135 degrees 43 min W

Course 180 True Speed 5.6

The breeze has continued to veer from the E to definitely SE as has the swell now coming on the bow from the SE.

This is almost too good to be true!! WE suspected for the last couple of days it was happening but after the scare stories of the NE Pacific Hurrican Zone(which we had to cut the tail off) or becalmed for days in the ITCZ, we were quiet about our progress. Both the hurrican zone and the ITCZ are north of the Equator but how far North?

The hurricane season officially starts in June but here we are as the Northen Gales off Washington coAST diminished in May- compromise was made. There was a reasonable low east of us (and the Pacific High to the NW) as we approached 13 degrees N and sped us through the ITCZ with three days runs around 100 miles/day and only a few hours calm with overcast showers. Definitely no hurrican nor ColDeridge's calm of the Doldums Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Water, water everywhere etc.). Well, we were lucky and it was the ITCA,AND we are through all of the above: cold, northern storms, the NE hurrican area (and season) and now the Doldrums... YAHOO! And it is on the bow but blowing 15 out of the SE and we can soon "fall off" a touch and set a course SSW for the Marquesas at 9 degrees S 139 degrees W.

So much fun and a treat to witness.

Co-cap cath now adds her two bits worth!

We are now within 300 miles of the Equator and I am wondering how we need to dress for the occasion!! Casual, formal, dressup as sea and wind gods??? What is a girl to do when things are not clearly outlined for the occasion!! Also regarding the tenuous ITCZ - In fact I really think it is necessary for a global committe to be struck regarding how best to mark things like the ITCZ - where are the border lines...? I mean if they can do it for american ice hockey why not this very important segment of the Pacific Ocean. Here's another thing our BB (Blog Boy) could take up = as a leader of a large school we know he has the talent to make this happen (especially now that a leisurely time is just around the corner!! Yeah right... hey Gord???

Anyway back to crossing the equator... we have Mike's champagne on ice (well not exactly... more like resting on the icebox unit) and no matter what time of the day or night that we sail over 00 degrees 00 minutes latitude we will be cracking it open!! We're hoping it might be July 1st so it will be especially special for us Canadians!! OK, here's another question for all you brilliant minds and great imaginations... we both are "equator virgins" and we call ourselves... sailors... what special name should we be addressed as once we do the equator (as it were!)?? I'm thinking perhaps "Equatorians"?? Any other ideas?? (Oh boy, I've really opened up a can of worms now I know!! Have fun with it!).

All day yesterday and last night we have had one very boisterous rain storm after another roll over us (some of them have included torrential rains which has provided us with a bit more fresh water for our irregualar bath times (yesterday we had to have our showers in the cockpit as it was so rocky rolly that the front deck was not a temptation for us - think huge waves washing over the bow and further on a regular basis. Oh wow!!... We just had one break over the beam as I've been writing this and it was like someone took a bucket of salt water and dumped it down the companionway and onto our stove!! Now after mopping it all up we will let the stove dry and see if it will work again!

On another topic... This one is for our friend Magnus Murphy - We have been very safety conscious and wear our harnesses snapped onto lifelines at all times!! In fact Bill is in the cockpit right now and is hooked onto both the port and starboard jacklines (we heard you loud and clear, Magnus! Thanks for the reminder!!)...

Oh yes and how can I forget our biggest news so far???? Yesterday as I was on watch in the cockpit and Bill was trying to get a much needed nap below decks... I heard a huge TWANGGGG!! and looked aft to our fishing line was out taut and as I looked at the end of the line about 2 boat lengths behind us I saw a silver object (about 3 feetlong thrashing about in the waves. Oh my gosh!! Finally we have caught a fish!! I yelled down to Bill and as soon as he heard the word FISH he was up that companionway like a shot!... as I dug out the gaff Bill played the fish (tuna) bringing it up to the port side of the stern. I handed him the gaff and he nicely brought it into the cockpit. It was thrashing around and blood everywhere but I just had to get this on video so down I went to get the camera and brought it back up to shot some footage of the happy fisherman and his catch!! Now this is where ratings will need to come in play - as you can imagine with the temps being so high and humidty right up there too and no ships around we tend to go around with nothing covering us!! Need I say more?? This bit of footage will need to be R18 rated for viewing! I just couldn't seem to get a shot without certain body parts getting into the frame!! OK enough said... we also got a number of great still photos with only the fish :-) As soon as we gave our fishy a slurp of our good rum (that supposedly stops the thrashing... hmmm... I might have been too stingy with our rationed rum as it didn't seem to make one bit of difference!! A good slice with my yachtman's knife into the brain was definitely a more effective death move!! Now the fillet knife came out and after sloshing the bloody cockpit to clean up most of the guck I brought out the soya sauce and we took slice after slice of still warm tuna flesh turned tuna sushimi!! Also fresh ahi-ahi was on the dinner menu last night and today's lunch will be tuna sushi!! After that I will make a seafood chowder to use up the rest of that delicious meat! WE both felt kinda bad killing this poor 30 lb baby tuna just so we can fill our tummy's!! Of course those thougths passed quickly as we enjoyed that wonderful fish!

I am glad to say that we are now back into the skies with fluffy clouds and almost full sun!! There are many large waves still rolling through (some are definiitly 3 metres and if one is brave enough to look down when we are at the top of one of these huge waves it looks like a deep valley - enough to make one gulp!! But our Beautiful Terrwyn comes through for us every time and nicely coasts down the gully and then cuts through the next wave. A bit of a ride but having sun makes it all feel much more cheery!

Must go for now and think about making our Sushi lunch Mmmmmm...

Love to you all

and Fair Winds


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Magical night and day of June 23rd...

Ship's log

Lat 11 degrees 20 minutes N

Long 134 degrees 44 minutes W

In the middle of the early morning hours of today, June 23rd, Bill was on watch and I was sleeping while Terrwyn sailed (seemingly all on her own with Monti gently telling Tilly where to go!! and she responds without any arguments... lovely!!)... Bill decided to have a little check around Terrwyn. I was awakened hearing Bill calling me to come up on deck quickly! I jumped out of our berth and scooted up the companionway and joined Bill as he hung over the port lifelines. As my eyes adjusted to the night's darkness I saw something magical! There were lights illuminating under Terrwyn's hull (it looked like the lights in a hot tub) and our bow wave was covered with hundreds of tiny lights as it shot away from the boat. Phosphoresence filled the water and the tops of the waves twinkled all around us. So magical!! Then I looked at our stern wake and it looked as though we were leaving a trail of fairy lights marking where we had been. We had both experienced seeing phosphoresence (biolumination of plankton) in the ocean before but nothing like this... incredible. Truly amazing!

It seems that over the last 24 hours everything has clicked for me! I am in love with all of this!! The air and water temperatures are finally tropical with the air heavy with a unique scent that one only smells in the tropics... heavy sweet salty and... well... tropical!!

Today we also found our tuner for the ukuleles so we brought them out and tuned them and both of us started playing... as Bill headed down for a nap I continued playing and singing as we skimmed along the ocean with our jib and beautiful red drifter with the white triskele flying high...this is what it is all about!!

Bill is deep into studying celestial navigation... that ancient and almost magical (to those of us not mathematically inclined) skill! He heads out to the foredeck every mid day with his beautiful sextant to take the noon site. At night he can be found with neck craned peering at the stars that peek at us from behind the incessant clouds. Oh for a clear night sky!! He is totally immersed in this work... as only Bill does!!

I am going to take a break from the series that I am reading right now to read "We, the Navigators" by David Lewis. It is an indepth study and practical testing of the intriguing question of how the Polynesian peoples navigated these vast seemingly endless and trackless seas. When and where best to read this.

Out in the middle of the deep blue Tropical Sea!!!

Cath and Bill

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Running Down the 135th to the South Pacific

June 21, 2011

Lat 13 degrees 17 min. N

Lon 134 degrees 17 min. W

Air Temp 80 degrees F (below decks)... we are now feeling like we are approaching the true South Pacific! At least from the air and water temps!)

Cath's bit:

We are having to use another electrical source for our computer and sailmail as our plugin that we were using for our I-Go adaptor for some reason decided to stop working!! Darn! Now we are trying to do this by plugging it in to our heavy duty inverter which may interphere with the propogation for our sailmail to get to you. Oh well, here's hoping! For the last couple of days we have had definite tropical temps and have been so lucky to have spent a whole morning sailing with 30-40 dolphins playing with Terrwyn!! We sat at the bow with our legs over the side and laughed and called to them as they swam and leapt through the bow wave and beyond. We could see more coming from off both starboard and port bow. As they swam by us they would turn and look up and seemingly laugh and shoot away. Absolutely amazing! We enjoyed them for well over an hour and then they all slowly disappeared!

Our other wildlife have been a couple of flying fish sacrificing themselves on our deck (each about 8 inches long) seemingly so that they could be bait on our fishing lures (sorry to say we have not caught any fish despite Bill's best efforts each day to get all three lines out from the stern). I still have the soya sauce ready!

We also have had our daily (sometimes 2 or 3 times) visits from our friends the Red-Legged Tropicbirds. Usually there are two swooping around our mast but yesterday they brought a friend to show us off to!! They were very noisy cheeping and chirping to the new guy... so cool! Sometimes I hear them in the night above us... Feels good to have some friends around!

Yesterday we were becalmed (as we are as I type this) and so we took advantage of the calmness and went out on the foredeck with bucket, shampoo, towels and Bill washed my hair... what a decadent feeling! Now if you happened to see the movie "Becalmed" you will be very nervous hearing this... so the rest of you now need to watch that movie - please know that our experience was delightful and nothing like that awful movie. Earlier in the day I saw something on the horizon that looked like the top of a mast... we immediately got the binoculars out and it looked like a man overboard stick so we motored back to investigate. As we approached it I kept thinking "I sure hope there is nothing awful attached to the bottom of this stick"... it turned out to be some kind of old weather buoy with a radar deflector on it and some ragged remnants of flags (burgees). We left it alone and went on our way. Amazing how small things like that are huge happenings in this apparently huge, empty ocean!

We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on June 20th with some cranberry champagne (from Quadra Island) and a chicken curry dinner. I also made some brownies with sticky, gooey chocolate frosting... We are finishing up our fresh produce with the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers in a huge Greek salad the other night... now when I check through our produce crate I have to regularly throw out lemons that have decided to grow their own flora (I still have some lemons waiting to be served with our fresh fish!!). We are able to turn on the "refrigerator" when we run the boat motor but that is only an hour every other day or so. It really makes one appreciate a nice cold drink! I must say the only frustration I have is trying to remember where I stowed that can of crab meat or the package of taco spices... oh for a well orgainized pantry!!

We hope all is well with all of you as your Northern Hemisphere summer approaches. Let's hope the summer weather is great all around!

Much love from Cath

Now from Capn Billy:

Good day readers from Terrwyn! Course 165 T Speed 4.3 knots

0% cloud cover Barometric Pressure 1015 (down another 2 points)

Flying the new "125 Drifter" on port beam reach with full main and working staysail a little east of south to keep the sails full and pulling as we slide over the 1 metre NE swells. Truly Tropical Paradise - FINALLY!! It just took 21 dyas at sea. Took our first sea bucket showers on foredeck with fresh rinse today. Wonderful celebration of a "Noon Fix" at L.A.N (local apparent noon) 1402 BC time (watch time) but 2102 UCT (Universal Coordinated Time or what we used to call Greenwish Mean Time). The sun if finally north of our lattitude.

Had our first and worst light air night "pully holly" (which is what the sailors of the 1800's used to call slopping around. Brutal slatting of sails. Clearly we have been taking the consistent 10-20 knots of breeze for granted. The weather grib files forecast this light veering breeze and more to come before the 10 degrees north lattitude ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) i.e. The Doldrums, north of the equator.

The Drifter sail is superior to the full Roller Furling Jib as its light nylon material does not collapse after each swell passes. Hurrying down the 135 degree meridian has been fun working the various sail combinations with a waypoint of 00 degrees 00 min latitude and 135 degrees W Longitude to be in the best position to reache across the coming SE Trades to Atuono, Hiva Oa, Marquesas which is at 09 South lat/139 West long.

The fluffy scattered cumulus Trade Wind Clouds are hee. South of Hawaii and Mexico now halfway between the two. Now need to catch a fish or two, more than the odd poor flying fish on deck in the morning.

We are finally here, Southern Cross follwed by Alpha Centarus seen at night. Doing Noon Fixes and now the twilight multiple star celec=stial fixes... busy, busy Billy. Thanking our maker for Catherine; we share the watch 50/50 and general boat chores, but I have laid claim to the foredeck (very little work at odd hours) as Cathy has staked out the food prep galley area (very much work and very often!).

That's about all here... I am so blessed.



P.S. Best day's run has been 140+ nautical miles, average 120, hoping for over 100 each day over the next few days if we're lucky!

Monday, June 20, 2011

All good though trouble with sailmail...

I have just received this from Cathy and Bill.  They might be off line for awhile with respect to communication with us.  I have also embedded an image from Mike B. who has plotted their route as per their last coordinates (not including this blog entry) GC

Lat 17 degrees 00 min N

Lon 135 degrees 14 min W

Darn!! We have been having such a good run with Sailmail, but now our backup electrical system for our computer and sailmail is causing problems. It appears that we will not be able to send another blog update until we get to Internet access in the Marquises or Tahiti... darn it. Well if you could let everyone know through the blog that we are doing very well and having a great time! We will keep trying to get our Sailmail back with alternate power resources but if not we will be in touch when we have Internet access (could be a couple of weeks).

Take care and thanks for being there!


Cath and Bill

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cathy's Blog Entry

June 15, 2011

Ship's log

Lat 25 degrees 18 min N

Lon 135 degrees 33 min W

I just came down from checking all around Terrwyn as night settles on the ocean around us. Bill is in his berth reading and soon to fall asleep safe in his knowledge that I am 'on watch' from 2000 hours to 200 hours checking the horizon, wind speed, boat speed, sails and then if anything is not as it should be he knows that I will wake him up and we will deal with it together. Tonight I plan on letting him sleep an extra hour since he did not have a nap this afternoon and I did. I always thought I was a bit of a night owl but going to bed at 3am each 'night' is Night Owl

Extreemism in my books!

I thought you might be interested in some of the day-to-day routines and details of our life in this little boat all alone on the wide, wide sea.

It sure makes one appreciate how insignificant we really are in this huge world of ours. Imagine... it has been 17 days since we started on this journey and after leaving Bamfield on the West Coast of Vancouver Island to head out over the horizon we have only seen 3 other boats!! All 3 of them were extremely large container ships and we raised them on the VHF radio calling " Big ship, big ship this is little sailing boat on your port bow. Do you see us? Over." All 3 of them answered us and we exchanged home port information and destinations... each of them were from China heading for Panama Canal. Each of them were very courteous and asked if we were OK. Then they sailed away to their destination as we continued on our route.

We also have our daily visits with our sea birds and other sea life... today 3 Shearwaters or they may have been Petrels came to check us out.

Our fishing lure was not out but they kept checking the spot where it usually hangs out. Later this evening our friend the Black Footed bAlbasdfOK.>>>>.... (whoops! Sorry about that!! I just fell off the Nav Station seat when a big wave came woooshing under us. That's one thing you need to do is constantly anchor yourself or you may find yourself flying through the air and ending up in the galley or the quarterberth unexpectantly!). As I was saying our friend the Black-Footed Albatross comes for a visit and possible garbage treat each afternoon and he is Billy's favourite. Oh yes, and we found one unfortunate stow-away yesterday morning - a little squid somehow found it's way onto our side deck where Billy found him - a nice addition to our fishing bait it turns out. We had to wash off the ink from the deck which he left as his calling card, poor thing. Another little visitor was the teeniest flying fish possible... it must have been left behind when a wave wooshed over the leeward side (as opposed to the windward side) of the deck or it may have just flown out to check us out... you know what they say about curiosity poor thing!

Two of our visitors through the night...
Well,that's that for our relationships with the neighbours.

Now on to the topic of Cooking... I am the ship's cook (or as some refer to our class as galley slave). It is great fun each day going "shopping" in our stores... imagine retail therapy and no money exchanges hands but the same satisfaction of finding a treasure and taking it home (albeit only 5 feet into the galley). Now comes the interesting part... think sharp knives, ripe vegetables,pots of boiling water or soup or stew or muffin batter ready to go into the hot gimballed oven and a kitchen i.e. galley moving around like the inside of a washing machine... interesting combination. I have a few new bruises after every meal... thank goodness I have crew member who does all the cleaning up for that is yet another challenge.

Yay!  The bread turned out pretty darn good (despite a slightly higher rise to leeward!)... baker donned bathing suit for photo!

Ablutions - BIG DAY today!! It was Cathy's hair washing day... did you know that Herbal Essence shampoo does lather up in salt water? ..sort of... and that one can rinse one's hair using only 2 cups of fresh brackish water? ... sort of... and that it feels like heaven to have clean hair after 2 weeks of ponytail yucky hair.... definitely! My daily sponge bath does the job for the rest of the body parts... say no more! You may also be wondering where the toliet facilities are in all of this?? Good question since 'the head' or washroom is filled with rolls of paper towels, t.p., bags of books, beer etc. Our toilet facility is our wonderful little black bucket - recommended by our good friends Dave and Rhonda Mancini of SV Swan - well seasoned cruisers and experts in all that makes a cruise doable. Anyway that black rubber bucket may be familiar to some of you who have the same item that is filled with oats to feed your horse! Dumping the contents over board and making sure it has a good rinse in the ocean (of the bucket, that is!) adds even more excitement and challenges to our day... this time it is crucial that one keeps a steady hand and firmly planted feet to make sure our bucket stays rinsed and sweetly smelling... ok enough about that (although it's amazing how such activities that are so taken for granted on dry land soon becomes a major feat in this rockin' and rollin' world of ours! Communication - each evening I prepare our report for the Pacific Seafarers' Net... this is a ham radio group who gather information from boats that are trravelling in the Pacific Ocean. We each report the same information for the day - i.e. lat, lon, speed, course, wind speed and direction, seas direction and height, barometric reading and then any outgoing or incoming messages for each boat on the roll call. Hams from as far away a Australia, New Zealand and parts of the States and Canada take part in relaying our information to the main database called Yotreps (as in Yacht Trips in Kiwi language!). Great to know that people are out there each night waiting to hear how you are doing! If you happen to have a ham radio license you can find them on the USB (Upper Side Band) at 14.300 with roll call starting at 8:30 PDT. Then, of course, our Sailmail time when I send out the small amount of email (such as this blog entry) and receive incoming messages = all through the ham is slow and onerous but so worth it - we live for our messages!

Well it is now almost 8pm PDT (0300 Zulu time or UTC time - which used to be known as GMT Greenwich Mean Time and is used as the common time zone for those of us on the Ocean) and I need to fill out my report for the Net...

Hope all is well with you and we will be uploading photos and videos for the blog once we get to an internet cafe!!! which won't be for another 2-3 weeks depending on the wind and seas.

love to all

Cath (while Bill is deeply engrossed in the second book of Steig Larrson's series "The Girl..." and after my report I will dip back into my current book of the George R. R. Martin modern fantasy series that started with The Game of Thrones... a terrific read no matter where you happen to be! Thanks to Cam for that recommendation! Although I think it is my brother Don's favourite series too!)...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Daily Grind (24/24; 7/7)

A little on what's actually happening. We are flying along (4.5 to 6 knots) dead down wind and down seas. (Wind directly blowing from the North over our stern and the 1-3 metre swell - old smooth big waves) also come up behind the stern and we rise up, get pushed a little either side and often slide down the front of the wave face with a sweet swisssshhhh... then "Monti" our Monitor Servo-pendulum wind vane corrects our course with regard to the wind pressure on the wind vane paddle.

Monti then pulls or pushes the tiller (fondly known to the rest of the crew as "Tilly") to bring Terrwyn back on course. Monti has a water paddle also which actually powers the tiller control. Very very clever, silent, reliable and zero energy provided by us as electrical or mechanical assist. "Monti" does this via "Tilly" 98% of the time and we correct "Monti" by moving his wind paddle 1-2 inches into the wind every few hours as the wind or seas back or veer every few hours. (Cathy says its a "Look Ma no hands" situation for the rest of the crew since Monti and Tilly have everything well in hand - as it were!). That's how we steer Terrwyn after plotting our position on the chart and determine where we want to go. The wind and sea condition limit where we can go and the changing conditions make it all a dynamic fun project.

Now the power to push Terrwyn (20,000 lbs.) through the ocean obviously comes from the wind. We catch this wind energy by putting out various sails, the sails transmit to energy via the rigging (wires and ropes) to the hull and the hull pushes through the water. Simple.

For example after our first few days " beating' into the SW wind we picked up this amazing Northerly Breeze pushing us along due South exactly where we want to go. So, for the last week or so our 10' 10" wide vessel has presented to the wind nearly 35 feet across of sail. To do this we deploy two spinnaker and whisker poles to the sides to hold out the sails, two twin jibs, head sails in our rig's 37 feet , 20,000 lb. displacement. This is where our work comes in. It often feels like we rowed the darn boat all day after pulling, setting and changing the position of these ropes (lines) to control the poles and the sails. We love this work... and work it is... but it is good work. Like mountaineering rope work, these lines which average 1/2 inch in diameter and 30-40 feet long are wonderful to hold and pull.

Terrwyn's 37 foot, 20,000 lb. displacement dictates the size and pressure on these working lines (running rigging) and the size of the various sails. The sizes and forces involved are about as great as one man or woman can generally manage without power assisted devices i.e. electrical or hydraulic powered winches. We have a 1/2 dozen mechanical winches and as many simple pulleys to increase our strength to adjust these lines to hold the sails and poles in place. And they often require adjustment as wind and speed and direction change. Nothing "fiddly" about these ropes and they are so lovely to hold.

On my previous boat and in racing situations 7 or 8 guys did this work, but here it's just we two (and Monti). So we take longer to do most sail changes but still do all the same work. Fortunately the joy is in the labour not just the fruit.


Bill the Sailor Wannabe

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It is feeling warmer!, and there was a moon last night giving a horizon - at last - first time!!

Ship's Log June 11 SV Terrwyn

Lat 35 degrees North

Lon 134 degrees West
Where is this? - Try -

Course 180 degrees Magnetic

Speed 3-6 knots

Seas from the North at 2 metres

Breeze North 5-10 kts

Air temp is 62 degrees F up from 58 degrees F (sorry our digital thermometer must be American!!)
12th day at sea and 650 nm West of Los Angeles

100% overcast for the 5th Straight day

Barometer steady at 1025 with gradually warming temperatures
Good day from Terrwyn! We are healthy and life afloat is good with our routines settling in:

Cathy on watch 20:00 - 02:00 (that is 8pm to 2am) each night Bill on watch from 02:00 - 08:00 (2am to 8am) each night.

During the day it is "pick up sticks" i.e each of us on watch and filling our days with naps, snacks, fishing, navigating, cooking and, oh yes, sailing Terrwyn as fast and safe as we can! Both of us are very conscience of having our safety tethers attached to our jacklines whenever we are above decks. Doing that is important for us to have it as second nature to be tethered in no matter what the conditions - one gets very adept hooking in and out.

We've been sailing double head sail rig with two spinnaker poles but today we changed up to the Spinnaker!!

It is feeling warmer! And there was a moon last night giving a horizon - at last - first time!! If we didn't have GPS it would be pure DR (dead reckoning which means sailing just using the compass) navigation as there has been no sun, no stars, no moon for over a week now! Averaging 120 nautical miles in light N breeze as we head south in the Eastern side of the North Pacific High. Far past the notorious Washington-Oregon lee shore in the Roaring Forties.. YAHOO!! We made it over that challenge!!

Wildlife includes visits from the Black-Footed Albatross and occasionally we spot a Layson Albatross swooping around (eyeing our Tuna teaser fishing gear!)... we also have seen Storm Petrels, Shearwaters and one visit from the beautiful "Little Fairy Tern". It is fun to try to identify our curious visitors although we do worry that they might try to swallow our tuna fishing lures which we dutifully set out each day. No fish yet! We are hoping that a tuna or Mahi-Mahi will eventually not be able to resist our delicious looking lures! Cathy is ready with soya sauce in hand for our first tuna sashimi!! Come on fishies!!

From Cap'n Billy: It is this boy's dream, rather like held up in a high alpine hut for days of bad weather surrounded by climbing gear and simple galley fare (Cathy says..." Hey, not so simple in a rockin' and rollin' galley!!")... where rest, food, commradeship and reading never was better. Solid one star digs in a world unto ourselves, watching weather and working our boat. Far, far from usual urban life finally really doing it (crossing this might ocean one day at a time) rather than that preparatory, getting ready life we have been living for years it seems. Today we are here. I am so thankful and never been happier or more gainfully employed at life with the one person on the planet right her within 37 feet of me at all times who I love; entering the middle game.

Thanks for reading us...
Fair winds to all
Love from

William and Catherine

SV Terrwyn

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Small things such as this are very significant

Ship's Log 0630 Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lat 44N

Long 130 W

(Please note, this is the correct Lat & Long; I contacted the crew last night for correction - They are off the Oregon Coast. If you want to see where they are as we hear updates, type the coordinates into this neat online tool   I will add this link to their blog... BB)

It's been a week now of cold sailing. Just finishing my 'trick' of "Middle Watch" 00:00 - 4:00 (i.e. Midnight to 4am).Tired, sleep deprived but high as a kite. We're on a starboard broad reach (meaning the wind is coming from the right and towards the back 1/4 part of the boat) on a course of 200 magnetic under staysail and jib alone (the staysail is one of our smaller sails and the jib is a fairly large sail at the very front of the boat). Terrwyn is maintaining 6.8 - 7.0 knots surfing now to 8 knots. Just enough daylight to see now...bleak, 100% overcast, drizzle and cold (oh yes, and did we mention bleak??). Cath is just rousing from her berth, I believe due to the ship's increased motion and the sound of water rushing by her head about 8 inches away! This is our best run since Sidney. We have been essentially beating our wayso far into the SW breeze (cold!). We can't believe it will ever be warm but keep trying to make southing now that we are at latitude 130 degrees W and over 200 miles off the Oregon coast. Our life aboard is settling out and I love our new routines. That's about it for now. Time I get a basin of warm water and a hot coffee ready for my co-cap, wife, lover and best friend (Cathy agrees).

signing out
P. S. from Catherine:
We are quite excited that it is Sunday as that is the day we are allowed a bottle of wine with dinner... believe me small things such as this are very significant when one is in a small boat alone in the wide, wide sea (apologies to Michael Morpurgo).
Fair winds

Catherine and William

SV Terrwyn

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Blog Entry June 04, 2011
Ships Log
5th day at sea

Lat 45 01.442
Lon 28 56.903

We are running a course of 180 degrees (magnetic) at 5 knots and surfing with the huge waves (approx 3-4 metres!!) and flattened wind waves on top of them. We started with all three sails up (main, jib and staysail) but soon doused the main and jib and spent a number of hours with staysail only and we were still doing 5 knots)! The sky has been clear and blue all day long with bright sun. Wind is 30+ knots (i.e. 40 mph) and seas are building with streaks of foam.

Both co-caps have been healthy despite the messy seas... amazing what good meds do for one! It has been difficult finding a frequency that would answer our Sailmail requests. There are only certain times of the day when the ionosphere works for us and there fore many others are sending an receiving at those times. Oh well, I just keep trying :-)

We are now on the Pacific Seafarers Net, which is a net of ham operators keeping track of boats and even willing to pass on messages for us if we can't get through with Sailmail. Each evening at 8pm (0300 Zulu time) we call into the net through the ham radio and the ham operators who are part of it take details of our location, weather etc. and store that info in their database. Our call sign is VE0 WCN (in international language that reads Victor Echo Zero Whiskey Charlie November)and it's sure nice to know that a number of operators are out there knowing who we are and where we are going and keeping tabs on us.

Now on the topic of sleep - It is amazing how one can fall asleep in almost any position when one has to! Sleeping sitting up in a cold, wet, dark cockpit between watch checks every 15 min where the person on watch needs to check the radar, and watch for ships etc. I didn't believe I could do it but it turns out that both of us are magnificent nappers for 15 minutes at a time!!

Well, must go now and make some supper in this rockin' rollin' galley of ours :-) Videos and photos will be forthcoming about 5-6 weeks when we arrive in the Marquesas and find some wifi networks.

We apologize for not personally answering all emails that we receive but we hope that the info in our blog will be of interest to all and fills in for any questions you may have of this voyage of a lifetime!

Take care

Cathy and Bill

SV Terrwyn