Lancer 30 Movement
Also added Personal Log.

July 28 2003

8:57 AM Engine on. Wind 2 knots west. 33N41.5 118W14

Why am I here doing this? Damned if I know. I need the money, but more important: I need the adventure! And what is adventure? Adventure is pain and hardship after the fact.

9:16 main up

9:38 AM cleared [San Pedro] breakwater. Auto helm working well. Don't see Hawaii yet. Motor boat on port bow did not yield right-of-way: had to evade collision. Not a good way to start the day.

I'm rather annoyed that many boaters still do not know the rules of the road. The last thing I need is to have some idiot run me down. I had to aim at the motor boat's stern and then throttle down to avoid the ass.

9:45 AM engine off. Starboard tack. 5.7 knots, 130 magnetic.

Good wind. Damn shame it ain't going where I wanna go.

10:09 AM Desired course: 238 magnetic. Wind direction: 236 magnetic. Shit. Engine on. 3.4 knots

I should do my tacking while I'm fresh and rested, but I just do not bloody well feel like it. I can run the engine some more.

11:09 AM Past 2 sail boats that are heading east -- both are motoring. Wind light from 238 magnetic. Swells from 230 magnetic. Desired course 238 magnetic. Speed 3.3 knots. Sky overcast. Chance of rain.

No apparent wind available, so the engine is still on. I want to fetch the island before dark.

12:01 PM Dolphins to port.

7:40 PM mainsail peak blew out -- ripped.

Almost eight hours of motor-sailing and the mainsail blew apart at the peak. This is probably a BAD THING, but fortunately the boat's owner and I went to Minnie's and got a spare mainsail. I sure hope the hanks fit the mast railway.

8:38 PM Anchored at Santa Barbara for sail change.

We are here in the lee of Santa Barbara Island, anchor down and holding well. I have an overwhelming urge to stay here a week--- maybe swim to the island's dock (actually, it's a hanging ladder from the cliff face) and visit the Park Ranger station.

July 29 2003

7:08 AM Started sail repair / exchange. Weather reports thunderstorms. Old sail slides fit on second (spare) main -- good! Will (spare) main fit?

10:20 AM Second mainsail installed. HARD WORK!

The old hanks fit on the new sail; it was easier to use the old hanks rather than try to get sail cars for the thin railway on the mast. Three hours of sewing did the job, and it looks good and tight. The problem now is: if this main blows out, I will not have a spare. I'll see about repairing the torn one. Apple juice for breakfast.

11:10 AM Auto helm dead! Instrument panel dead. Heading back to Santa Barbara Island and hope to repair. Cannot do trip without auto helm. No reset button; is there power to the helm? Radio has power; running lights work.

2:10 PM Still no power. Opened all panels - no break found. Need volt meter!

2:19 PM Found blown fuse. Need spare fuses! Jury-rig.

Three hours "wasted," but so what? I've got time to spare. What's three hours out of a month at sea, in the scheme of things? Still, it is darn frustrating having these problems at the start of the trip--- though better at the start than the middle. Why are there no spare fuses? Because I did not think to bring any. Why is there no multi-meter?

2:40 PM Auto helm repaired. Staying for dinner at island. Not a good way to start a trip!

Since we are sitting here at anchor in what is generally a flat, calm lee, I thought I would take the opportunity to have a huge dinner. I looked around, then settled on a can of olives and a bag of corn chips.

4:14 PM 190 meg. 5 knots

6:40 PM Sailing close. Overcast and rain predicted. Wish I had a woman!

But then, I've never not wanted a woman. The wind is about 20 degrees off the bow, and the boat is dragging slowly across the sea. I fully expect the wind to die soon, as it did this time yesterday.

7:56 PM Stepped right foot into my toilet bucket! Yuck. Speed 3.3 knots

Rather than use the toilet, I used the "bathroom" for storage space by putting the spare sails in there, and I'm using a five-gallon bucket as a toilet. I have a lanyard attached to the bucket, and I can fling the bucket over the side to gather sea water to "flush" the bucket-toilet. This works great, except I have to tie myself to the boat first before I fling the bucket over, so that if I fall overboard I will, presumably, stay with the boat. All this work to "flush" the bucket seemed like so much bother, I didn't bother "flushing" it the last time I used it. It just sits on the floor of the cockpit, lurking in the twilight gloom, and I put my foot in it. I think I'll "flush" it after every use from now on. I still prefer the bucket than to waste the space in the "bathroom---" where else would I put the spare sails?

8:58 PM Speed 2.4 knots

How long will it take me to get there at 2.4 knots? Let's see. That would be 38 days.

9:28 PM Auto helm DEAD AGAIN.

Fuse has blown out. I must cut open the fuse housing and hard-wire the power: I do not have another fuse. The gear might be jamming, causing the motor to pull too many amps. This is pretty damn annoying.

WIND GONE.

9:40 PM Port tack. Course 210

July 30 2003

6:10 AM becalmed. Sea flat.

There was no wind at all last night. I rather expected this. The sails flogged so I put a preventer on the main and rolled up the jib. Given the current, I suspect we actually gained about 6 miles--- drifting southward.

7:30 AM No wind. Motoring south to find wind.

9:10 AM No wind.

11:00 AM No wind. 32 North 46.136 119 West 31.687

This calm is annoying. I'm impatient to get there, and we are not moving at all. Paper tossed over the side bobs along with us as we drift.

12:59 PM Wind! Very little, from south-south-west

3:02 PM Course 170 meg. -- all she'll bare. 2 knots max, 1 knot min. I want to get south!

July 31 2003

8:08 AM Made less than one knot all night. 31 North 55.236 119 West 50.589

I've finally gotten to the point where I can sleep soundly without too much worry about being run over. I am well outside the islands, and far from the shipping lines. I have not seen any other boat since anchoring at Santa Barbara Island. I spend the time laying on the port quarter-berth, listening to the CD player, popping my head out the hatch every fifteen or twenty minutes to look around. I watched the lights of Santa Cruz Island to the north pass to starboard. I want to get far past San Nicolas Island before turning south (if the wind allows).

We've sailed off the map! "Here be dragons."

Folded up the coastal map, and we are now using the ocean passage map.

Current course: 186 mag. Speed 3.6 knots.

Sunlight today! Good to see. Sky still cloudy.

9:34 AM Wind clocked. Course 185 mag. Speed 3 knots. Sea flat.

12:25 PM Very slow -- west wind, light. Started engine to charge battery: low throttle. Have not seen another boat in two days.

2:10 PM Engine off.

2:25 PM Still under 2 knots.

2:30 PM Sails slack -- no wind.

2:50 PM No wind.

4:06 PM Wind back. Speed 1.8 knots. Course 202 mag.

Okay, so like, where the fuck is the wind? I do not really mind going so slowly--- it is a sailboat, and that's what sailboats do. But a wee bit of wind would make the journey more fun. I've been reading books about gun fighters, outside in the cockpit when the sun is out and about, and below on the port quarter berth when it is dark and cold. The radio is picking up KNX 1,070AM radio, so I can listen to the news. Death and destruction back "home," and I do not give a flying nor floating fuck.

5:09 PM Good wind -- making 3 knots, heading SSW. Sea for past day littered with tiny bits of plastic: 60+ miles of it!

Wow! See what happens when you complain loudly and long enough?! I got wind! And it is blowing me where I wish to go! How often does THAT happen? The butane stove works well--- I heated soup.

7:03 PM Painfully slow. Oh for the Trades! Never get there without them.

Almost two hours of good wind, then it died utterly. I'm once again adrift. The AM radio continues to un-entertain me. If the Pilgrims had a radio on Mayflower, they would have listened to it and turned right around and never land in the New World: too much mayhem, fascism, insanity, and hatred here in America. The USA needs some good, healthy anarchy: far too many people are obeying tyrants, thieves, despots, and lunatics in "public office." How about turning America into a DEMOCRACY: now there's an excellent idea!

7:41 PM Dolphins.

9:19 PM The night weeps starlight upon my shoulders.

I'm laying in the cockpit, staring up at then sky, with a crystal clear view of EVERYTHING--- Life, The Universe, and All That is Within It. No coastal lights are in view of course: the coastline is below the Earth's bulge, and so is the hellish glow of what passes for "civilization." I'm glad I spent so much time prospecting in Death Valley, far away from any other human being and far away from "help:" it was excellent practice for being alone on a tiny boat far from shore. The summer stars are very familiar to me, as I have spent the past five years in various USA deserts and away from towns. But my favorite stars are the winter ones: Sirius, Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka (did I get that right? Who the fuck cares!), Betelgeuse, M42, Rigel, Procyon, Alphard, Aldebaran over there hiding. Who can be lonely with so many stars in the sky?

11:00 PM engine on to recharge battery --- may not be needed.

11:40 Engine off.

Hank Williams the Elder on the CD player. The night has turned cool, with a windless, sleepy somnolence that calls me to bed.... maybe I'll sleep in the cockpit.

August 1 2003

10:00 AM Engine on to recharge battery. Light wind: sails slack. 30 North 44.333 120 West 33.740

10:55 AM Engine off. Sails slack.

2:57 PM Very light wind, still very far to go. Will take a long time -- much longer than anticipated to get to the trades. What the fuck am I doing out her?

I must remember to drink more water and juice.

The wind still continues to be a disappointment. I feel dehydrated. The wind is not allowing me to get south, so I have been working south-west. This is what Captain Ron meant when he said "You sail where the wind goes," such as when he and a few others delivered Pendragon to Tahiti. As long as the boat is going, who cares WHERE?

6:15 PM Engine on. Might get all of 40 miles today. Argh!

6:36 PM Mainsail back-haul came off-- broke. Jury rigged.

The standing rigging has been "beefed up" for the trip, but some of the running rigging is still too light for this trip. The foot of the current mainsail is too short, which we knew before buying it. The shorter main was for the trade winds. The back-haul has broken or pulled loose, so I have used a spare line and block to haul the sail's foot taut on the boom. In sooth, this boat was never built for this trip.

7:13 PM Engine off. Sails slack. Preventer on main.

I expect rain.

If it were not for current, I would not be moving at all. I knew the wind would be light the first week or so, but I did not count on no wind at all.

9:29 PM Sails still slack. Green glow in the water 30 feet to starboard, ten feet in diameter. I want wind!

A huge sea monster came to check me out, stirring up the diatoms and exciting them into an orgy of bioluminescence. It moved very slowly, more manta-like than fish-like.

11:45 PM Doused main.

I secured the mainsail because it was flogging and making noise, plus I did not want it to wrap around the spreaders. The wind is too light to move us. I am not complaining about the wind anymore: its fickle personality is due to early childhood trauma up there in the Aleutian Islands or something--- "nurture" as well as "nature." I tell the wind "I'm okay; you're okay."

August 2 2003

1:30 AM Wind!

I rushed to pack on all sail, striking my knee on the bulkhead in my eagerness. Sails are pulling very well.

11:21 AM Engine on. 29 North 36.266 121 West 15.857

The good wind lasted about seven hours.

Only 300 NM in five days. Where's the trade winds? Got to get another 130+ miles south.

Well, I've gone 350 miles but who's counting?! I'm listening to Nanci Griffith on the CD player--- "Anyone can be somebody's fool." Speaking of being a fool--- why am I out here, alone, on a intercoastal day-sailer? There may be old pilots; there may be bold pilots; but there are damn few old and bold pilots.

12:17 PM Engine off.

1:59 PM sails slack. Used almost 10 gallons of fuel so far. Maybe today I'll "shower!"

2:42 PM Engine on to maintain steerage. Sea is glassy. No wind.

4:10 PM Engine off.

6:34 No wind. 29 North 17.412 121 West 31.489 This calm will drag out the trip for years! Will I run out of food, water, and fuel before getting to O'ahu?

I'm a little concerned over the slow progress. I said it would take about 24 days; Ron said it would take "as many days as it takes." Ron was right, I was wrong. I have enough food for some 35 days, and enough water and juice for that long. If I run out of food, I guess I can eat one of my feet or something.

6:49 PM Engine on for steerage.

7:33 PM Sails still dead -- no wind at all.

Sea is covered with odd jelly-fish: oval base with sail on top.

millions of them scattered over hundreds of square miles -- thousands of square miles?

What I thought to be bits of white plastic scattered over hundreds of miles of sea is actually a huge "herd" of biologicals, i.e., organisms, AKA wee little beasties. They have a sail on top that sticks out of the water, and the main body floats on the surface. When the boat passes individuals, they somehow turn to "face" the boat: I wonder if that is due to them sensing me, or due to the wind being disrupted by the boat? Probably the latter. Their dangling polyps makes be think they are a kind of "jellyfish," though I have never seen their like before. I tossed my toilet bucket over the side to scoop one up, which I carefully measured and examined, then put it back among its siblings, cousins, parent or parents, nephews, nieces, aunts, and old weird uncles.... thousands and thousands of them.

8:41 PM Still no wind. I'm not sailing to Hawaii: I'm FLOATING to Hawaii.

10:02 PM Sails slack. Less than 40 miles in the past 11 hours.

10:20 PM Good wind.

August 3 2003

9:50 AM Good wind most of the night. Fair right now. Can of olives for breakfast. 28 North 36.128 122 West 05.233

I liked the wind last night: strong yet gentle, caressing yet oh so forceful. It pushed the cheerful vessel along as if we were on ice skates. I was lulled to sleep with what Ron calls "Gurgle-sloshes" along the hull. Twenty more nights like that and we'll be there!

12:21 PM Potato and onion soup for lunch. Broad reach, starboard tack. Bagel for desert. Sea choppy with occasional white caps. Nice having wind for a change.

2:45 PM Still good wind.

Squalls still follow us around, dropping some rain now and then. The real nasty weather appears to the north, and show no inclination to visit us. Yet.

3:50 PM Engine will not start: batteries dead. If I cannot get it started, how long will the auto helm work?

I'm concerned about the engine not starting. I do not care about the boat moving via the engine--- it's a sailboat after all--- but I am concerned about the auto helm. Will the boat steer herself or must I stay awake for the next two weeks and steer? Why did the battery fail to charge?

5:55 PM Still in a funk. Must reach steady and strong wind before auto helm quits due to no power.

6:27 PM Sink is clogged.

August 4 2003

9:13 AM 27 North 30.443 123 West 12.735

11:19 AM Boat will not hold course when helm is tied down.

3:43 PM Should I go back to San Diego? Can't get there with this wind. At 5 knots I could be in O'ahu in 16 days. But I won't get 5 knots.

I do not know what to do. I have been steering for many hours, trying to find a wind strong enough to get "lee helm" so that locking down the helm will work. Without a good wind, the helm will not hold a course without my steering.

7:55 PM Very afraid. Battery almost dead: auto helm struggling. Helm will not hold course. 1864 miles to go.

It sours my gut, but I'm thinking of turning back. For the past day my steering has more or less been constant, and our progress has been a mere 20 or 30 miles.

San Diego is at 32N40 117W15

August 5 2003

9:38 AM 500 miles to San Diego. The boat is taking on water! I have been bailing every 2 hours or so.

I spent the night with my feet in water in the cabin, wondering where the fuck the water is coming from. I used a flashlight to look, but it was too dark to find the leak. In the morning I looked again and I still cannot find where the bloody hell the water is coming from. I've looked at all of the logical places: I have shut all the sea cocks I can find; there are no holes; I cannot tell if the water is going in from the stern or forward. I've been bailing most of the night. Oddly enough, I am not afraid: as long as the leak does not get any worse I can keep up with bailing. I'm bloody pissed: ten minutes ago I turned the helm to San Diego--- I cannot get anywhere when I have to bail day and night. I want so much to sail to Hawaii! I am considering diving on the boat's outside to look for holes.

Why didn't the alternator charge the batteries?

1:24 PM I doubt I'll make it-- anywhere.

I have spent the previous three hours taking the boat apart to find the source of the leak. If I could just FIND THE DAMN HOLE I could turn the fuck around back to Hawaii. It isn't coming from any through-hull. It kind of looks like it is coming from the bows, but there are no holes there! FUCK!

Isla Guadalupe: 28N50 118W15

2:59 PM Main back-haul broke (again).

3:18 PM Steering wheel keeps jamming on the auto helm (gears).

6:47 PM Boat is still badly leaking: I'm very tired of bailing.

9:00 PM shortened sails.

The wind had picked up, and the boat is now doing around six knots. A storm is coming, and the volume of water leaking into the boat has increased. I want to find the fucking leak! I need to avoid Guadalupe.

August 6 2003

Dragonfest. Bailed 13 gallons of sea water from bilge this morning. Where is it coming from?????

11:08 AM 27 North 56.466 121 West 33.284

I would get engine help at Guadalupe, but I can't get there.

4:56 PM Still bailing. Damn this boat--- it wasn't ready to go to O'ahu. Turning back: was the correct decision, but four days too late. When trouble started. I cannot steer and bail all the way to O'ahu.

August 7 2003

Storm, double reef main, tiny jib. 35+ knots wind.

This storm is a real bitch; shortening the mainsail to its highest reef point was also a bitch, but I did it in the dark, by feeling instead of seeing what I was doing. The deck heaved and rolled under me, and I'm a bit surprised I didn't get flung into the sea to sink and die--- no safety harness, no line tied to me! Stupid! At the moment the boat is under very small sails, and still flying across the water.

1:27 PM 28 North 55 119 West 55

7:34 PM Traveler car came off rail. Expect 2.5 days to San Diego, if the wind backs.

The running rigging is too light for this storm. Pieces continue to break, and I have to jury-rig a fix. This ain't "marlinespike seamanship:" it's more like "Hillbilly Bailing Wire Applied Technology." I hate having to end up in fucking San Diego instead of Honolulu. I wonder if I can get the boat fixed in San Diego and then head off to Hawaii again from San Diego?

August 8 2003

5:48 PM I'm angry with the boat for not working properly, and I'm angry with myself for not inspecting the boat better before leaving. I should have tested the battery charge system. The sea water is flooding in, and I cannot find where it's coming from! My arms ache from bailing. 30 North 11.824 118 West 28.268

161 miles to San Diego. Two days?

August 9 2003

Very light wind. SLOW! So very, very tired of bailing.

The storm blew herself apart late yesterday, and fell to a dead calm for a few hours--- resting, perhaps. I have given up the idea of heading back to Hawaii from San Diego: I have lost confidence in the boat--- one storm, and the mainsheet traveler was broken. I'm using a line tied to the end of the boom and to both cleats on the stern to keep the boom in position.

August 10 2003

Dense fog. Hope to miss the Coronados. 23 miles to San Diego.

9:32 AM Bail.

Bail

Bail

Bail

Bail

BAIL!

10:31 AM Whale spout to starboard

3:59 PM Anchor down, San Diego.

San Pedro: 33N41.5 118W14

August 11 2003

Shelter Island Boat Works. Charging batteries from shore.

When looking over my cans of food I noticed that they are rusting. Sea water has gotten into the forward storage bins. It looks like the water was going in THROUGH THE BOW WINDOWS. The trip survey lists "confirm bow windows are water tight," but apparently the vessel's owner did not do so. This makes me VERY ANGRY at the boat's owner. If I had known the water was going in through the improperly sealed windows, I would have duct-taped the living bejesus shit out of them. These are not port holes that open and close: they are supposed to be water-tight, fixed to the hull. Any time the boat heals, port or starboard, the windows scoop up water. I'm again thinking of heading out towards Hawaii again, with the windows caulked, but the running rigging is still broken.

August 12 2003

Arrived Dana Point at 5:23 AM. Desperate for sleep.

August 13 2003

7:25 PM 30 minutes to San Pedro.

August 14 2003

4:35 AM Tied up San Pedro, B28E8

10:39 AM Moved boat to B29F38