Seattle to Panama Part 1

After a great time in Seattle, we had an amazing sendoff.  Ruby helped me get all my gear back on the boat, Navy band played us going to boats, and Nancy came down and waved us off.

Tubist is not going to miss the action

Tubist is not going to miss the action

Navy Band ready to play a good march for us to go to boats. (we amble, no marching)

Navy Band ready to play a good march for us to go to boats. (we amble, no marching)

Nancy waving us off

Nancy waving us off

Then as we began our parade, the Seattle Fireboat got into the action.

How cool is this?

How cool is this?

Clipper Telemed passes the fireboat

Clipper Telemed passes the fireboat

Kevin Brubaker got me set up in YouTube so hopefully you will be able to enjoy some videos in the future.  Since this is my first try at this, please be patient.  The fireboat and all the other boats that came out to send us off was great.

On the way out Renee and Lynna sailed by to provide an on the water sendoff.  So good to see AYC friends!

From no wind in the harbor to big wind as we sailed out and finally ended with reef 3, it was an exciting sail/motor to start line.  We motored through the night and it was a symphony of lights as we passed buoys and channel markers and I started thinking the timing of the flashes in my head.  There was even one buoy that had a syncopated rhythm to it.  Pretty amazing the issues that come to mind while on watch on the boat.

1:30am we heard a PING sound and immediately began looking for the source.  Soon we discovered that about 8 inches of the main mast track had somehow broken and flown off the mast.   We waited til daylight and then on our 6am watch began working on replacing it.  Sean spent some time up the mast getting measurements and then our engineer type crew (Justin, Craig and Neil) made a replacement part.  With Sean back up the mast numerous times, repairs began only to be hampered with tools and the replacement part flying down and going overboard.  Then due to rough seas, Sean gets the green monster.  Neil then goes up with a 2nd replacement part and starts working.  Race is started without us.  As we get close to finishing repair, Clipper calls boats back for a second start so that we stay together.  Whoops, 2nd replacement part goes into the water and a third begins to be made.  They end up starting without us again!  We go to a small harbor and circle slowly while Neil goes up with the 3rd part.  Finally at 2am he finishes.  YEA Neil!

Now we head out to a specific longitude/latitude  position and start on our own (8 hours behind rest of fleet).  In many ways we are down about this, but determined to make the most of it so we just “Stay Calm and Sail On” (thanks for the slogan Jackie).

Turns out to be a beautiful day sunny but no wind til noon.  We managed to start in the high pressure system.

Kat trying to predict our future.

Kat trying to predict our future.  I tried to tell her the compass might not work.

May 2nd we get our sched report (report on everyone’s position that we receive every 6 hours while you viewers on the website can see the updates every hour!)and we are actually catching up to boats!!!  Crew really comes alive and everyone becomes even more focused!  Our guess is that they hit the high pressure and stayed in it much longer than we did.

May 3rd we SEE boats!!  Wahoo, we are slowly catching the fleet.  Positions begin changing quickly throughout the fleet.  ICharCoal makes a move further west and goes from last to first.  We pass Qingdao and move up to be almost beside UNICEF.

We are really close to a boat!

We are really close to a boat!

May 6th started with rain and some beautiful double rainbows with the ends appearing about 10 yards from the boat.  I love the colors and how they shimmer on the water.  Pictures cannot portray what the eye can see.

Double Rainbows with closest landing near us

Double Rainbows with closest landing near us

Beautiful sunsets as usual

Beautiful sunsets as usual

Then, problems with the spinnaker halyard so we had to switch halyards so Port halyard holding Code 2 comes down and Starboard halyard hoists Code 1.  Whoops, wrong choice!  Winds fill and Code 1 explodes and comes down in 2 parts!!!  The upper part is wrapped around the shroud so up the mast I go to cut the remaining line and unwrap the kite.  Now up goes Code 3.  Jen, Jane and I quickly wool Code 2 and soon it is back up and Code 3 is down and needing a wooling team.  A busy but fun morning!

Pink line at top was culprit on Code 2 coming down.

Pink line at top was culprit on Code 2 coming down.

 

Jane busy at work on Code 1 repair

Jane busy at work on Code 1 repair.  Yes she is sewing on a sewing machine.

We were lucky this leg as Jane was onboard and had worked in a sail loft.  She pieced together the Code 1 and in a couple of days it was up and flying again.  Jen, Jill, Lynn and I were the lucky ones to get to help with the repair and see how it is done.

Finished product. The big Band-Aid across top and fixes along the luff.

Finished product. The big Band-Aid across top and fixes along the luff (left hand side of picture).  Renamed Snozza after Jane.

May 9th, we go through the scoring gate 2nd and receive 2 extra points.  This is the first scoring gate that we have gone through and received points.  Also Matt’s first and it’s his birthday!  Guess this was our birthday present to him.

May 12th worked on the “up in the lulls and down in the puffs” concept with rest of our watch.  Used this to work our way past UNICEF.

Moving on UNICEF.

Moving on UNICEF.

May 13th spotted a pod of dolphins and enjoyed watching them.  They look different than others we have seen as they are smaller, gray speckled and some have short tails.

Note the short tail.

Note the short tail.

Justin hard at work trimming code

Justin hard at work trimming code.

Alex turns 20!!!

Alex turns 20!!!

John likes the bean bag approach to trimming.

John likes the bean bag approach to trimming.

Just another moment with Mother Nature.

Just another moment with Mother Nature.

Crew mate Sean likes to get his picture taken. He is closest person to a pirate that we have on board.

Crew mate Sean likes to get his picture taken. He is closest person to a pirate that we have on board.

Mike helps tone things down!

Mike helps tone things down! Busy ready to grind Code at a moments notice.

Just love the way the sun reflection simmers on the water

Just love the way the sun reflection simmers on the water

And we say goodbye to another day.

And we say goodbye to another day.

My turn to be the grinder. ML, please note that I am wearing sunglasses.

My turn to be the grinder. ML, please note that I am wearing sunglasses.

Jen checking out what is happening on deck!

Jen checking out what is happening on deck!

Lynn taking a break during her rest time to read.

Han checking all his electronic gadgets while he relaxes during his watch’s rest time.

One of our lunchtime specials. YUM!

One of our lunchtime specials. YUM!

I guess birds have a community into which they go.

I guess birds have a community into which they go.

Whoops just another beautiful close to the day.

Whoops just another beautiful close to the day.

Lynn using rest time to relax and read

Lynn using rest time to relax and read

It only gets better

It only gets better

Yep

Yep

even better

even better

 

 

 

 

Kat is our fashion statement with her Heart Hat

Kat is our fashion statement with her Heart Hat

Crewmate Neil on the helm

Crewmate Neil on the helm

Matt and Justin checking out the competition

Matt and Justin checking out the competition

And now we have a special visitor. Can anyone identify?

And now we have a special visitor. Can anyone identify?

And this one spent the night with us! At least he stayed up there and we knew not to walk anywhere under the mast area.

And this one spent the night with us! At least he stayed up there and we knew not to walk anywhere under the mast area.

Mother Nature yet again.

Mother Nature yet again.

John hard at work on the helm. Making sure he is doing the correct wind direction or course over ground

John hard at work on the helm. Making sure he is doing the correct wind direction or course over ground

Justin, our watch's fearless leader

Justin, our watch’s fearless leader

Neil's mascot! Checking to see if we are on task.

Neil’s mascot! Checking to see if we are on task.

Another amazing lunch! No I can't tell you what it is as it is a secret.

Another amazing lunch! No I can’t tell you what it is as it is a secret.

Caught a fish!! Now what to do with it as it is small

Caught a fish!! Now what to do with it as it is small

Jane wanted to hold it the English way with her little pinkie up.

Jane wanted to hold it the English way with her little pinkie up.

I m beginning to think the birds have a thing for our boat. Hope it doesn't decide to check out our sail locker

I m beginning to think the birds have a thing for our boat. Hope it doesn’t decide to check out our sail locker

OK, what is this one? The Brits call it a Doobie

OK, what is this one? The Brits call it a Doobie

Down in the laz on Deck walk today

Down in the laz on Deck walk today

Get to bail and

Get to bail and

Check the steering cables

check the steering cables.

Another of my splicing repairs. Figured out how to do this by dissecting the bad one.

Another of my splicing repairs. Figured out how to do this by dissecting the bad one.

Back in serviced for the preventer line

Back in serviced for the preventer line

We are in the hot mode and everyone tries to find a place to rest that might have some wind coming through.

We are in the hot mode and everyone tries to find a place to rest that might have some wind coming through.  Sail locker is a favorite place.

They just keep happening!

They just keep happening!

Jane and I working on making more sail ties as they somehow disappear.

Jane and I working on making more sail ties as they somehow disappear.

Drying out after squall hit.

Drying out after squall hit.

And it started with just one.

And it started with just one.

And then his friends came by.

And then his friends came by.

And soon there were 9!

And soon there were 9!

 

 

 

 

Check out those feet!

Check out those feet!  They let us get right next to them.

And I will close for now with a setting sun.

And I will close for now with a setting sun.

More to follow later as it was a fun leg.  Have a great day and if you get bored, check out how you might be able to donate and make a difference.  Just click on the donate link!

 

 

 

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