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Old 01-07-2010, 11:38   #46
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Not only screwed up my winds, but ripped the headboard off my new sail. We think we have found someone local to repair it, or we will be trying to fit the new battens with the old main. As always time will tell.....i2f
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:51   #47
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Sayonara!

Just returned to St Augustine from six months in the Bahamas to read all about this great adventure! Best of winds and seas, while we live vicariously through your postings.

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Old 01-07-2010, 15:00   #48
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HAHAHAHAHAHA,
You should be glad you went home. As you can see we have returned to Panama. If I could I would put my thumbs on the sailmaker's wind pipe until he was blue in the face.
We were sailing along doing 6-8 knots close hauled when we noticed a squall approaching. Melanie went below to close hatches while I turned down wind to cover the jib, so I could furl it. I let out the main to blanket the jib in 25 knots, and the head of the sail sheared right off the headboard. The main down, and the headboard stuck up the mast.
The headsail furled, the main down, and we continued on with staysail. The squall, storm, lasted a day at least. The waves came from every direction, and the wind had a mind of it's own too. We fought our way south with Galapagos in mind with just the staysail, and motors. All the time a lee shore becoming closer, and closer sailing close hauled. The shore was a 100 miles off, but if it was to be a 3 day storm with wind direction, the angle of land, and if the weather deteriorated we could be on the rocks.
Mel's health worsened, but she did her watch. The sound of the waves was like being in a artillery practice ground, constant! A couple of times waves picked us up, and threw us sideways. Using fuel with 600 miles to go, Mel is sick, & the health of Imagine all concerned me.
I finally made the decision to run with it. We turned 180 degrees, and put the waves & wind on the quarter. Everything got quiet except a bit of wind howling. We started doing 8 knots with just the staysail, and no motors. There was the occassional bomb, but I could live with that. 3 hours later the wind turned again, and moved 100* forward. I tacked, and turned on the motors to sail away from land.
I wasn't going to turn around again, and become a yo-yo. Eventually it started to subside, and we turned for Panama. Before it was over we ran over a telephone pole. It hit the bow, and bounced along the bottom. I think it hit the prop. I will have to dive down, and look this afternoon. I immediately looked in the engine compartment for water intrusion. I revved the motor, and things seemed ok, but I then noticed a slight shimmy. That makes me think the prop is bent.

One thing I will have to type is that the F#*)+NG rudder is still there. The grate to the door split, there's a large indentation on the bow, and the windows now leak like a waterfall. We'll lick our wounds, and set out in about a week. I offered Mel to fly home, and she refuses. My li'l brown love is one tough cookie.....

As soon as we dropped the hook I sent a reply to RTB's letter of WHAT'S UP? This is the short story, but I will fill in some details later, and post on SPOT. The wind was only 35-40 knots, but the seas were a mess. Just hours before a we hailed a freighter, and he advised weather from the west 13-15 knots for days, and that is what we were sailing in. I was thinking I hit the goldmine of weather. We also downloaded the weekly report from Passage Weather. They can be as bad as the local forecaster too I guess. We will next go with the percentages in the Pilot Chart.
When we sort out the main we will head south, and round Punta Mala, the most western side of Panama right at 8*s. Then it's head west to about 135*, and turn for Hawaii. The sailmaker made the sail different from the old one against my request. He was suppose to duplicate the old, so all hardware would be interchangable. I am beginning to think he didn't, because my old battens are gone, and new ones in thier place. We will pull down the torn main, and have a form plan by tomorrow evening. Even if I have to fabricate more battens.....Type with you soon.....i2f[/B]


.................................................. ........


To add to this a wee bit, and give the mono guys a hard laugh. When we were being tossed, and the bombs were exploding enough to crack the grate. I was considering an immediate trade for a mono. Unfortunately there was no immediate takers in the vicinity, so we will carry on with the cat.

I have gone under the boat, and it looks like it was just my inner fears about the prop. Everything looks fine, and feels good. The indentation from the log once I got in the water. Is just paint missing down to the outer glassed skin. I will call it a draw with the pole.

I think we have found someone to fix the main. Mel & I will fit the new battens to the old main, and see if they will work. I do have more battens, doorskins, and epoxy if I need to rework them for size in length.

While taking down the main I found the same batten pocket had let go, and the batten was hanging out almost 2 feet. Same batten as before that was lost.

HUD,

Looks like we will miss you. Then again things may start going my way sometime soon.......i2f
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Old 01-07-2010, 15:26   #49
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Yes, Mel is "one tough cookie," John, but so are you! You've had a run of bad luck, but you've made some smart sailing decisions, you're both uninjured, you're in a pretty good place to put things right before you head out again - all-in-all, I'd say you're fortunate to have discovered the problems with the new main before you got too much further out in the Pacific.

Take care while you see to Imagine's needs, and give yourself some credit . . . you're an excellent sailor who is destined to return to Hawaii in command of your own vessel - just a bit later than you were hoping.

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Old 01-07-2010, 15:34   #50
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Sorry to hear of your recent travails and hope you can quickly get back on schedule. Your problems are all fixable and although frustrating I am sure your luck and weather will change for the better

Best regards

Alan
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Old 01-07-2010, 18:58   #51
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Thanks for the BEST WISHES. The new battens fit the old main except for the one I bought to replace the lost one. I will try to find one, or use the one I made out of doorskins. Tomorrow morning the sail repair man will come out to the boat, and look. Just so happenes he lives on his boat less than 100 yrds away. Maybe this is my change of luck?........i2f
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Old 01-07-2010, 20:33   #52
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How far out did you get before you turned back?--I remember bashing my way back to Panama City about 75 miles when the autopilot crapped out--I ended up fixing it myself because I was unable to get parts, but I really wanted everything working before the big Pacific passages.

I hate to bring this up, but isn't it getting late in the season to sail to Hawaii from Panama?? Its only July 1, but there have already been 4 named storms and one TD. I know most of the Pacific storms never get far enough west to hit Hawaii, but where do they historically go with respect to the rhumb line course? I'm planning the same trip next year, but was aiming to get out of Panama in early April do I didn't have to worry about dodging them.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:18   #53
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My plan was to be here before May 15th, but you know how this boating thing goes! We were 250 miles south following the coastline. That is what the wind gave us, or it was sail north. We had turned around just under 5*.

Yes it is getting on into the season, but I have not been able to find anything in history lower than 12*. This time we plan to sail west once rounding Panama, and staying below 12*, until after 135*. By then we should have the trades, if they do exist & they are not really just rumors, behind us, and be making 200 mpd.

Sailing the rhumb, rum, line will leave you exposed for about half the distance. I have taken Cornell's advice, and that didn't work, so now we will follow the Pilot Chart's %'s. I did forget to mention that at 5* it was nearly cold as a S.F Bay summer day......BRRRRRRR......i2f
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:13   #54
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
By then we should have the trades, if they do exist & they are not really just rumors, behind us, and be making 200 mpd.
I think you did the right thing going back tp Panama.

We found it pretty crappy to the Galappagos. As you get close it becomes quite cold! We were rugged up on the equator at sea level!

We did the rhumb line and the current was adverse. Jimmy's route is the 'right' one... thats if everything goes right!

The things to remember is that its only 1,000 miles so not far. The Galapgos is so wonderfully worth it when you get there!
and after the Galapagos is all plain sailing till getting close to Australia


Have fun on Take II.

If you are going to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Wreck Bay) St Christobal you will find it's just majic
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:28   #55
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Sorry about the bad times, I'm sure things will get better.

You may be able to find round solid glass battens from an industrial house like McMaster Carr? Regarding the main, if you have a sailmaker that can sew spectra straps in the sail through the headboard it should be fairly bullet proof.

Good luck with round 2, hope you have 15 knots broad reaching all the way to Hawii.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:11   #56
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You are a braver person than I.

I would be too nervous to make the run to Hawaii at this time of year. If I was going to make the trip, I would probably head cautiously up the coast of Central America. It's a very long sail to Hawaii, and I don't trust the weather gods in hurricane season. I am severely allergic to hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons.

If a hurricane develops during the passage to Hawaii, what is your exit strategy?
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:18   #57
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Last year's storm tracks in the NE Pacific.

Individual Storm Summary

Winds in knots, pressure in millibars, category is based on Saffir-Simpson scale.
#NameDateWindPresCat 1Tropical Depression ONE_E 18-20 JUN 30
- 2Hurricane-1 ANDRES 21-24 JUN 65
1 3Tropical Storm BLANCA 06-09 JUL 45 998 - 4Hurricane-2 CARLOS 10-16 JUL 90
2 5Tropical Storm DOLORES 15-17 JUL 45 1000 - 6Tropical Storm LANA 30 JUL-03 AUG 55 995 - 7Tropical Storm ENRIQUE 03-07 AUG 50 996 - 8Hurricane-4 FELICIA 04-11 AUG 120
4 9Tropical Depression NINE_E09-13 AUG 30 1006 - 10Tropical Storm MAKA 10-12 AUG 35 1007 - 11Hurricane-3 GUILLERMO 12-19 AUG 110 954 3 12Tropical Storm HILDA 22-27 AUG 55
- 13Tropical Storm IGNACIO 24-27 AUG 45 1000 - 14Tropical Depression TWO_C 28-29 AUG 30 1007 - 15Hurricane-4 JIMENA 29 AUG-04 SEP 135 931 4 16Tropical Storm KEVIN 29 AUG-01 SEP 45 1000 - 17Hurricane-1 LINDA 07-12 SEP 75 984 1 18Tropical Storm MARTY 16-19 SEP 40
- 19Tropical Storm NORA 23-25 SEP 50 997 - 20Tropical Storm OLAF 01-04 OCT 40 1000 - 21Tropical Storm PATRICIA 11-14 OCT 50 997 - 22Hurricane-5 RICK 15-21 OCT 155 906 5 23Hurricane-3 NEKI 18-26 OCT 105 956 3

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:01   #58
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Dave,

It has nothing to do with being brave. It is what life has brought to me. As far as an exit plan. Most weather moves west & north a simple turn south should work. I use a SSB & information from that will tell me when to turn, and where to turn.

Making the trip north is even more dangerous along the coast for a crew of 2 especially. I have done the Baja Bash singlehanded in June, and it's no fun. It's hard on the boat, and anyone aboard.

This year is suppose to be a calm year, but you know how forecasting goes!.......i2f
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:48   #59
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I am glad to hear that you have an exit strategy prepared in your mind. I knew someone who disappear on the trip from Panama to Hawaii in a small monohull sailing singlehanded years ago. That was before there was good weather available to sailors.

You exit strategy is similar to mine when I sailed trans-Atlantic. I favored the southerly route, and yachts sailing further to the north got beat up that year. My exit strategy was to head directly south in the event of seriously bad weather. I had enough fuel for more than a thousand miles if there was no wind. I didn't need that strategy, but having a plan ahead of time meant that I knew what I would do if I had weather issues.

Have a great trip.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:56   #60
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life is what happens while you plan your future ; -)

So glad you made it thru safe, and the silver lining to this is: Gee, ya gotta spend a little more time in Panama!!

Go up ta El Valle for a few days. that will soothe you both! or take a day trip out ta Taboga and indulge in a Gotahavataxi. I liked mine with an extra shot of pineapple juice...

Up at lake Gatun there is amazing natural life, birds and all manner of beasties. I think you can arrange trips to Barro Colorado... Smithsonian does cool stuff there.

Ruins down west of town, in Panama Viejo, are beautiful and compelling in the way they are integral to the area, not set off as a *historic preserve*.

Panama is a good place ta make lemonade!
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