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Jason Rose on Bohdran: A bit of cruising

Bodhran anchored in Mimiwhangata:

We were sitting in Tutukaka with the forecast calling for 40 knots of wind out of the east to southeast. The anchorage was pretty rolly and we had moved in to a pile mooring in the marina. So the question was do we stick around Tutukaka on a nice secure mooring, or do we sail north to find an anchorage to wait out the weather? We had already done the hike out to the lighthouse in Tutukaka and there wasn’t much else to do but spend money at the little store or the pub. Christian had also picked up two backpackers who didn’t much want to just in a marina, so we decided to sail north to Mimiwhangata with it’s long sandy beach and good 270 degree protection. There was even the chance that we’d be able to hike over the hill to a good surf beach on the other side of the spit. We had a great mellow sail with 10-15 knot easterlies pushing us along on our northeasterly course and anchored in 8 feet of water and blissful protection from the 6 foot swell running just outside the anchorage.

Fortunately we got up the gumption to go snorkeling and go ashore the first evening in the anchorage, as the weather came in hard about midnight. Torrential rain, 40+ knot winds and leaks I didn’t know about was the theme of my night and morning while we spent the rest of the next day hunkered down with the tempest roaring outside. A break in the monotony came when Paul on Surreal came into the anchorage just before sunset. He’d just singlehanded his 46′ catamaran down from the Bay of Islands in all that snotty weather that we’d been hiding from. There were a […]

Cockpit combings and such

Bodhran anchored at Port FitzRoy:

My last post found me about ready to haul Bodhran in Gulf Harbour to determine whether or not I needed to replace my cutlass bearing. Upon hauling, my cutlass bearing was deflecting less than 1/16th of an inch, so it wasn’t the problem. I then investigated further and quickly found that two of the four bolts connecting my prop shaft to the transmission had come out and the other two were loose. Oops. Seems that when I put my engine back in in November and replaced those stainless bolts in the coupler with some mild steel ones I forgot to put on any lock washers and after a hard 4 hours motor sailing into 25 knot winds the nuts just vibrated themselves free. The fix took 15 mintues and $5 worth of hardware, this time including some $.15 lock washers. So I’ve got Bodhran hauled, Tiffany is gone for 10 days traveling with her mother, now what am I going to do? I’d been talking about building cockpit combings for Bodhran for 5 years or more and figured that now was a fine time to do it. Pat on Eeylos had lent me his transformer so that I could plug in all my power tools, Arek and Iwona lent me one of their cars to run errands in, the timing was perfect to start a building project.

Combings, for you non-nautical types out there, are a barrier built around the cockpit to keep water from the deck rolling back into the cockpit. They also normally serve as backrests for the cockpit seating. For one reason or another, the Downeast 32 was built with a wonderfully clear, clean deck that runs uninterrupted from stem to stern. In theory, any water reaching that deck is supposed […]

Close Encounters

Back in the bight of Port Madison on Bainbridge Island, where we like to anchor, there is a collection of lovely large houses. This (poor) picture shows that there are at least 5 of them there, and there is a shared dock for them just at the left side of the picture.

Now, I want you to let me create an image for you. It’s a warm summer morning. Early. Imagine a well-to-do man, leaving one of these houses to walk down to the docks to get in his boat and commute to Seattle. He is wearing a suit, carrying a cup of coffee and newspaper in one hand, and a briefcase in the other. Perhaps he is trying to get a head start on the day. It may be early, but he is on top of his game, so as he walks down the dock, he is reading the newspaper, a little groggy, barely paying enough attention to keep from wandering off the dock into the water.

Now how do we have so much detail about this? Because we were watching thru binoculars, that’s why. And why did we choose to watch this particular commuter on this particular morning? Well, see there was this giant sea lion sleeping out on the end of the dock.

Sea lions are big. And tho they look kind of like a 600 lb water balloon full of blubber, they can be fast, they have teeth, and most of all, they are very loud.

So here comes Mr. Businessman, sauntering along. And the sea lion wakes up. Detecting a threat to his lair, he rears up and lets loose with a mighty bellow. Mr. Businessman stops short and spills his coffee all over everything. He is maybe 15 feet away from a […]

Windsong: The Journey Leg 2: Gulfport to Ft. Myers

The idea for the this leg was to go from Gulfport to Ft. Myers, then all the way to Stuart on the East coast via the Okeechobee waterway. My dad would help out for the offshore journey from Gulfport to Ft. Myers, and then it would just be Jenny and I for the week while she was on spring break. Unfortunately some bad weather made us have to stop our trip in Ft. Myers. This all took place March 6-7. I came back this previous weekend (March 20-22) to finish the trip across the Okeechobee waterway, and will post about that journey soon. Here are the photos to go along with the sail from Gulfport to Ft. Myers.

Leaving Gulfport. It was a chilly day.

Out of the inlet, sails finally up. We had to beat upwind to clear the inlet, which was a very uncomfortable way to start the day. Sizable short period wind swell pounding the hull. Once we cleared the inlet and turned Southwest things were comfortable.

Jenny and my dad cruisin

We headed out Southwest to clear the shoaling around Egmont Key. This made us have to cross the primary shipping channel coming into the bay. I was worried about what kind of traffic we would face, but only had to deal with this one cargo ship. Luckily it was going fast enough to pass a few miles away.

Ended up dead downwind once we cleared the shoals as we pointed South-southeast, our track for the remainder of the night. I poled out the jib for a wing to wing sail formation.

It was another great sunset, but I didn’t take too many pictures of it this time.

I trolled three fishing lines the entire night: a light tackle spinning […]