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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!)...


  1. Oh cripes! All this time, I didn't realize that if I actually signed into the blog site, I could actually comment on your blog entries! I'm sorry!!! I didn't realize that there was a way that I could actually send you my thoughts and wishes. :(
    In any case, most dearest Cath and Bill, we hang on every word of yours that we receive. Your life right now is so incredibly removed from anything either of us has ever experienced, that we can't even begin to imagine what you're experiencing. But your latest blog entry, Cath, has bridged the gap and made it much easier to picture your daily lives on your wee boat. Bill's entries are wonderful from a technical sailing aspect, but I have to admit, hearing about your black bucket was exactly what I needed. It made your experience seem real and tangible.
    Here's a timely message for Billie: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!! I hope you get loving messages from all your bairns. :)
    Life is very good here, my loves. It's wonderful having Em home, and Sophie has just finished dance for the year, so things should be less hectic. Yay! We are mere days away from working permanently from home, and our new office space (Em's old bedroom) is ready for us to move into. It's a happy, bright, colourful space. I can hardly wait to show you photos. I guess we need to wait until you have access to your email?
    We both send you buckets (but not black buckets) of love and we miss you like crazy and we can't help worry about you but know that you are handling your craft expertly..
    With all the love in the world, Jenny and Glenn xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. Wow! Your journey sounds fantastic. I'm writing from Victoria - where it is finally warming up! I'm interested in following your adventures since my son (19) just arrived in the Marquesas (crew on the yacht "Afar") and he writes much less frequently than you! It's fun just to get a feel for what it must be like out on the open sea. Best wishes as you sail on...