Bye Cape Horn!
 


 

 

Holding at Cape Horn

 


 

March 5th, 2007, the last evening before...


DAY 331

Thu Jan 31 17:01:33 2008 UTC - 27 38.44 S - 89 16.99 W

 
Today perhaps we will stop, so far we’re somehow sliding.
Mash is distinctly slowing down, this could be that the cork isn’t tight, or that the alcohol began to kill the yeasts, and this would mean that Mr. Izydor, the old sailor, was right stating that in this temperature, 26C+, it will take a week to make – 10 days max. Too bad that I don’t have a test-tube which just like in case of checking the acidity in accumulators, would also measure the content of alcohol.
It’s super beach weather, I’m only missing cold beer and Beata on deck-chair... Luka has perfect beach conditions ... All the back behind the steering room invites to set up lounge chairs, and on the stern is a place for the grill , and a descent to the platform for diving (now taken off) which makes coming out of water easy.

What a great life in some solitary, blue cove. Such solitary places still exist, but there is no sweet water there. In case of Luka this is not a problem since we have a water maker; it desalts 70 L of water/hour. And containers that hold almost two tons of fuel.

Two great sun batteries take care of the current needs for power as well as two wind generators (one got sick, but we will cure it).

At the occasion of realizing my dreams of this cruise, I created Luka, which can sail into any one place on earth and in complete autonomy stay there for two years ...
Luka is ready for any climatic conditions. Before the cruise I put on thermal isolations on the whole deck from inside the starboard above the water line, it’s already isolated.

We have also solid central heating on petroleum from separate fuel system and with daily container.
And pilothouse – sheltered wheelhouse bestows upon navigating altogether a different dimension. I will mention this in the final summary of the cruise.
Luka is not a yacht designed to break speed records, although that does not mean that she’s slow, it’s only that I put as a main aim to sail to our goal, but not necessarily quickly hehe. Sometimes I saved to exaggeration the sails and accessories, afraid that something will break, snap.

Now I know that I was blowing on cold, what was supposed to break broke anyway, and then there were situations when Luka took on the burden of a tanker and neatly like a ballet dancer would shake off the tons of water and resolutely went on.
To tell the truth except for the smell of Beata and booze (booze is in the making) I don’t lack anything here.

I still have 1000 books I haven’t read, films of the type „Godfather” , „The Flood” , „The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” I can watch them every month again.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m pushing to get to this  Ensenada...

If I direct us only a little to the west, in 3 weeks we would be in Marquesas, and a bit from there to the north west I would close the circle which I started almost a year ago.

Then I could quietly stay in some turquoise bay, dive in the coral reef, eat spiny lobsters and wait for Beata.

 


DAY 330

Wed Jan 30 14:32:07 2008 UTC - 29 12.41 S - 88 9.62 W

 
Winds are feeble and twisted, but we’re sailing in the direction of Ensenada, the rest are details ...
Yesterday the sun set in super red color, I took a camera and made a few pictures, then I put it on the roof of wheelhouse, I was going to take more pictures moved in time, I went downstairs for something and I forgot about the whole affair. I turned on the generator and started to load the batteries.
The camera stayed outside, at night it fell, and lay all night on the deck. In the morning rain fell, I found the camera only later. I was certain that it was a goner, but I dried it and it works heheh, tough one.
 


DAY 329

Tue Jan 29 17:20:17 2008 UTC - 30 15.25 S - 87 28.59 W

 

 About 6 am Wacek started to walk on me, which in his language means – “if you don’t take me out on deck, I will go here in a minute ..."
I stood up, carried him out to the wheelhouse, he can deal with the rest, I checked the horizon and I returned quickly to the sofa, while I still did not lose the taste of this full-bodied wine and sweetly-spicy conversation with Beata which accompanies me sometimes with the second bottle of wine .. ..
We sat together in some pleasant bar, and I stared at her long legs leaned on a high bar stool, mniamiiii ...
I didn’t quite return to my place at the bar, when Wacek raised alarm, he was barking in that alarming manner, differently than when he barks at birds.

Something was going on...

I stood up from the sofa (usually I wake up and fall asleep with lightning speed, this is a genetic present from some ancestor soldier) and jumped on deck.

I did not lose time to look around; I just looked to where Wacek was and in which direction he was barking.

He was on the stern, half over the preventive net and was barking at jerking on the end of a cable great Dorado.

My blood pressure rose, I ran to get a knife, I readied a hook on a long handle, for the pulling out of big fish, and slowly started to pull in the cable.

I regretted that I did not take at least one glove, the cable cut a little into my hand; I took advantage of the flam of yacht and took out the cable when stern sank.

With a quick motion I cut it with the stinging hook, and it was on deck. Chief Baranowski compassionately sedated his fish with rum; I from the lack of anesthetics did this in a classical manner, with a big knife and a bit of wooden beam.
The fish was big, head of course for soup, meat from abdomen into the frying pan, remainder cut in long sections, for 15 minutes in soybean sauce, and then hung to dry.
 


DAY 328

Mon Jan 28 23:13:01 2008 UTC - 31 0.75 S - 86 56.74 W

 

In the morning I looked over the deck, all is great, I didn’t touch the sails since yesterday, we sail on exhibited mainsail and marching foresail, a little “snaky”, in 9 gradual scale autopilot sensitivity, we go on two, on this gear it gobbles little. 
Yesterday for the first time in this cruise I took out the guitar, sailing serves it, it seems, because it sailed with us almost the whole world and what is difficult to believe, it sounds good...

I took it in my hands and right away it “sang” cleanly...

I got it from Beata for Christmas, and it was especially made on order, by a violin maker in Madrid.

We met him on chat Paltalk and Beata ordered the guitar.

It is gorgeous; sometimes I feel reproach that I touch it with my great, clumsy paws. 

Entrance on stones continued 
 
I ran onto the bridge, Alen sweaty and pale nervously manipulated the ignition levers of engine and helm trying to get us away from stones..... 
I said that water in tap is salty, Alen looked at me with reproach and said: I k-n-o-w 
I glanced at his face and some half-witted giddiness overtook me...

We were practically on shore, it was not so terrible ... 
I opened my mouth to say that it will be necessary to pump out the water from storage, I started from – "ch ... There with fish, I go ... "-  Alen interrupted and yelled: " Hurry up and pump water from storage" , heheh (the fish were kept in two storage spaces filled with cool water). He didn’t have to repeat himself .

Before I ran to stern, where the cooling and circulation pumps were, I went for a moment to the engine room, in spite of working pumps, the water was gaining...

I ran to stern, I put the valves directing water from both storages overboard and I turned on the pumps. 
From the 5-inch thick outlets on both ship's sides came streams of carefully cooled to 28 F, or -2 C water. After a quarter of an hour we lifted up almost a half a meter, and suddenly the quake of trunk which the incessant revolutions of engine caused and the revolutions of the powerful driving screw, stopped.

Alen was able to “back away” ,we came away from stones.

We were again on water...

I turned off the pumps and ran back to engine rooms; the water almost reached the metal slabs of floor.

Alen ordered reports of everything, but I didn’t want to waste time to climb upstairs, on bridge.

The constructor of this smack, may he live happily always, did at least two wise things. First, he designed the containers of water as an integral part of trunk in the front part of smack, thanks to which we tore mainly the containers of sweet water, the second wise thing, was that one section of the 5-inch thick pipe circulating water in front loading platform he extended to bilge in engine room and ended it with a valve. These two, seemingly innocent things saved the smack. 
I never opened this valve, I only knew where in the bilge the pipe ended. I took off the floor in the place where the valve should be, the water was already almost even with floor, I started to nervously look, my blood pressure was rising, I could not find it in this icy mixture of water, oil, petroleum and everything else that was in bilge ...

Finally I felt it, I was laying flat on my abdomen, water splashed me already under my chin ...

I got hold of something with my feet, and praying that the half-a-meter long lift which I was going to pull up, didn’t break, because I did not have doubts that I will open the valve, if only the lever will keep, in those times I was strong ...

I grabbed the levers with both hands and started to pull, then stronger ...

My hands dipped in the black oil became very slick. I seized a bit of „diaper for oil” and with it I grabbed the levers.

Now my hands didn’t slide, now either the handle would break, or valve will budge ...

I got hold of it once again, pulled and the valve budged, started to open...

I opened it to the end, and black like night I jumped on bridge to tell Alen that I opened valve. He looked at me stupidly, asked how much water in the engine room, and told me to as quickly as possible fill the water in storage and start to again cool it. 
I went back on stern, directed the outlet of the left pump overboard, I drenched it in water and turned on.

I jumped on deck, bent over ship's side and after a moment from outlet jetted black mash from engine rooms, we live .. ... 
I tinkered with the valves, and filled the storages with water, with a by-pass I directed water from both loading platforms to right circulation pump and turned on both cooling compressors.

With one pump in system, the circulation of water in the heat exchangers was weak and the valves with freon started to freeze whole sections of the heat exchangers.

Now we were fighting to safely deliver the fish ...

Practically, the whole way to port I sat on stern looking at the heat exchangers and regulating valves, before too much freon would freeze the next sections ... 
The fish made it great, since then from 9% contribution in the profits of the whole smack I grew to 11% - captain got maximum 13%. 
On Kodiak the diver welded us a little, and in the next cruise, with Alen and some guy from office, we sailed on to Ketchikan, to fix ourselves good in a dry dock .. 
 
Ps: When Alen turned on the autopilot on course in the direction of shore, he sat down on an arm-chair before the wheel and fell asleep.


DAY 327

Sun Jan 27 16:54:57 2008 UTC - 32 33.26 S - 85 29.95 W

 

Today it’s again summer, it is warm but not hot, the mash gurgles joyfully, and if not for the "bitten" by "mongrel" Beata, our world would be in an ideal balance.

According to weather fax, the last twenty-four hours we should have been rocking on a dead wave, but in spite of this silence we sailed a good amount.

The whole twenty-four hours we had a private 4 from left ship's side.
In the morning the wind turned and it blows now straight in the stern.

We come on exhibited with the boom mainsail, with marching foresail on butterfly.
I read yesterday, once again, the book of chief Baranowski "The second time around the world” and (I should not read such books during my own cruise ...) and among other things I paid attention to the struggles of chief with twisting mainsail on full drives ... Chief Baranowski probably didn’t have luck with friends, he didn’t get as a present of spinakier boom (like I did). Navigating with the wind without at least one boom is horror, waving causes the front sails to twist, rub about one another and shoot. In such conditions, sooner or later the stop-watch holding in heap rails of roller on end stay, will loosen , the sections of rails will come apart and will snatch up sail etc Without booms it’s necessary to go with backstays ...

But even one boom settles the affair, second front sail can stretch a little with a loose to the max boom grotto, putting on end block and leading that way the sheet of the second sail, or another front sail. Boom grotto will not stretch the second sail ideally, but it will suffice then to go a little to the wind on the side on which the sail extends boom and all is great, boat goes quietly and nobody jerks anybody.
Yesterday bits of clouds fell on horizon and looked like islands coming over the sea-line ...

I knew perfectly well that there was nothing there, but the illusion was so strong, that I turned on the radar, and then I set in motion our main navigator and I checked environment on a detailed map.
This reminded me of a cruise on F/V Ocean Hope One, somewhere in the neighborhood of Shelikof Strait on Alaska. We returned packed with fish, we had a not a bad cruise behind us. About 6 am I woke up the captain, for his 16 hour watch. He only shared the steering wheel with his engineer and mate in one body, always at night for 8 hours. Alen rubbed his eyes, and recited short prayer, he was a zealous believer in a Korean Rava Moon, the rest of our smack and a few others, and also a piece of the shore belonged to this fake jesus ...

So Alen recited his short prayer, and at once turned the autopliot on course in the direction of the shore, distant by about 20 miles.

He was going to let down the net, in some known to him place, to check for fish. I went to engine room and checked clocks, level oil, then fried scrambled eggs on the side and while eating I was watching a bit of some film. I was dozing on the sofa, waiting on the emission of net, when the whole smack suddenly jumped from water like from a diving-board, declined, jumped again and again it declined. I found myself under the table, when I stood up I went on deck and I found myself almost in a forest ...

Very near by, some 50 meters before the beak there lay a
green forest .. ..

I jumped to engine room, the bilge pump already were turned on , I returned to kitchen, I turned on water in tap, it was salty ... –
the containers of the sweet water were an integral part of trunk on beak. Two remaining crew members, Chris, Paul and observer of the Fishing Game that we had in this cruise, already were putting on thermal coveralls...

This story lengthens somewhat, the rest tomorrow.
 


 

DAY 326

Sat Jan 26 14:18:25 2008 UTC - 34 10.17 S - 84 21.72 W

 

At night a text message from Beata woke me up, she had an irksome incident with a "mongrel” at a friend’s house, “he bit her”. The dog probably thinks that it’s big...
A dog that bites, especially women, should be put to sleep, or at least castrated, and this one, unluckily for itself, bit my wife ...

Suddenly it’s summer, I wonder if it will stay that way, I had to undress to pants, and after the icy Cape Horn this is a very pleasant feeling.

I got a brief story from someone in an e-mail, it’s a little Sunday school-ish, but nice all the same. In sailor translation it’s like this:

A sailor went to a barber, he sat down on the arm-chair and like it’s common at a barber they started talking...
At some point God became the subject, the barber said – I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe that God exists
Why? - asked the sailor. You only have to go outside and you will quickly comprehend why – said the barber. If God existed, would there be so many sick people? Or abandoned children? If God existed, would He allow for so much pain and suffering? And I do not imagine loving a God, who allows that...
The sailor did not answer, he didn’t want to continue the argument.
The barber finished his work; the sailor went out on the street and saw a man with long, twisted with dirt, hair. He stopped, returned to the barber, stood in the door and said -
„You know what, barbers do not exist ...”
How you can you so – said the barber, I just shaved you and cut your hair.
Barbers do not exist – said the sailor, otherwise this overgrown like a dirty ape cyclist would not be here...
But of course barbers exist – said the barber, what can I do if those people do not come to me..
You touched the truth barber, God also exists but what can He do, if people do not come to Him ...

Ps: „Candy” from the translator : Life is too brief to lie,
break the rules, quickly forgive, share all you can, in everything search for love.


 

DAY 325

Fri Jan 25 16:13:21 2008 UTC - 35 9.66 S - 83 45.68 W

 

The wind died down, but it’s important that we’re heading in the right direction, quick, slow those are relative concepts....
Yesterday I mixed two innocently looking packs of dried yeasts in warm water with sugar and then I got busy with the boiler for mash.
When after a few minutes I looked at the stove, the yeasts sailed out like lava from the full pot ...
This must be some aggressive type ... I poured half to container and I was going to pour it down the sink, but suddenly it smelled like bread and I changed my mind ..
I mixed in some flour and a little eggs in powder, I threw in two cans of some fruit mixture, and I fried yeast pancakes. I could not fry fast enough, the dough incessantly grew. I poured the remainder into the distillery of liquors.
Alcohol is in the making, it boiled over a little, but this perhaps means that it’s working.
At night it became cool, in the morning the froth in the container fell down a bit, even though in the evening I dressed the boiler in a sweater and a sweatshirt. To be sure in the morning I boiled water, I poured it into two big Whisky bottles, I put some towels on the floor, then the bottles with hot water, and on them I put the “dressed” boiler. Now in the distillery of liquor it should be warm. In the evening I will put in a cork with tube, we will make a nice twist and we will pour in a little water, so we can see how the “factory” works.
Wacek spent all day in the wheelhouse, and when in the evening I brought him down, he almost went crazy. I thought that some ghost must have visited us because Wacek kept glaring at the door to my cabin, he was barking, his hair stood up, he would run up barking, ran away, then again come back and barked as if he lost it. I could not calm him down, I peered into the cabin, but of course nobody was there, but even so I felt uneasy ...
I looked at Wacek more closely, and understood, that the idiot was barking at the boiler with the distilled liquor. The container was making some murmurs and was giving off a smell unfamiliar to the dog. Poor Wacek thought that there was an intruder on deck. In the end he stopped barking, but still he doesn’t trust the noisy and smelly container, every few minutes he runs to check on it...

Today Mother Ocean smoothed her waves and rocks us mildly, the booze is in the process of being made autopilot murmurs satisfyingly, I have the following
song on my lips:
- and I only miss you here
- in this prison, Beata
- I only miss you here
- you here, you here..
 


DAY 324

Thu Jan 24 13:28:47 2008 UTC - 36 35.78 S - 82 35.82 W

 

I think I have to start wearing glasses, after some hours of reading I can’t change sharpness ...
Today we’ll start on the mash, with 3 kg sugar, 2 liters of honey and 2 liters of maple syrup, I hope that this syrup will not mess up the whole thing. I don’t know how to treat the dried yeast, is 10 dkg dried stronger than 10dg fresh, or maybe not?


DAY 323

Wed Jan 23 18:22:11 2008 UTC - 37 41.30 S - 81 29.12 W

 

We’re sailing.

At night we were going only on a marching foresail, this steaming with staysail in this weather, it was killing the autopilot.

Poor pump yelled unhappily, and every few moments when we were coming down from a wave and Luka sharpened to the wind, it would shoot with valve regulating the pressure, like a series from a gun. This valve should not open so often, but I went overboard picking the pump.

I bought one size too big, our hydraulic servo-motor which moves the helm, didn’t have an informational table and I could not decide how much it contains exactly. On visual inspection it had the limit of dimension type 2 and type 3; I chose of course the bigger. Now we have pump which pumps a little too much oil, especially when it gets instructions from the computer, in order to quickly correct course.

These are the mistakes that are practically hard to avoid, when we do something for the first time. One can of course listen to specialists in every aspect, but persons deserving this title are few.  Usually under the name specialist hides a technician, who knows for example; How to air out the injection pump, but to questions which go beyond the typical service instructions, he has only one answer “please call the service”.
Many companies took over for “specialists
"  giving out advice, with automatic answering service which answer questions, or ask them themselves for example: Does your hydraulic pump 1. buzzes,  2. knocks, 3.whistles, choose one answer ...

And so on ... And then they quote the bit of the instruction of service.
Once I had problem with a computer on warranty, I called the specialists with “
Compaq”, the connection was going through slowly, and finally a Hindu barely speaking understandable English answered. I dialed the local number of specialists  "Compaq"  and I got through to India, (I made it a point to ask where he was) hehe. The man in India tried to fix my computer in California, poor guy didn’t have a clue, he kept repeating, like a broken record, a few rules he probably worked hard to learn, I did not know whether to get angry, or laugh. He did try very hard, his work depended on it.

Still at the end, through my inherent gentleness I had to lie and tell him he did help me. Pitiful...

 But even such genuine specialist, who it would seem, knows the  subject well, can mess up , here a bow in the direction of a specialist from
Perkins in LA, in which firm for a price of 60% of a new engine, they repaired our “athlete”, and this specialist, in spite of my suggestions, did not put in new oil exchangers and new conduits of fuel, because in his professional opinion they were in an ideal condition ...
It turns out that you can’t trust anyone completely, and the only thing that’s left is to have additional safety measures and always have a plan 
"B".
I also called a specialist in
Raymarine to ask what effect it would have if the hydraulic pump of the autopilot was too big in relation to servo-motor on the helm main part. The expert, a specialist in a giant company Raymarine, started mumbling something, look for something, in the end he told me that I will have to check on this myself, because in his computer there was no answer to such question...
 Now I know, that we have a strong pump, only the valve checking pressure often opens and it passes excess hydrolase, especially when we come down from a great wave on course with the wind.
 In any case we took off the staysail, we sail slower, Luka is better balanced and everyone is happy.
We are actually not in a terrible hurry, of course I miss Beata very much, and those other things, to which I became accustomed, but I do not remember feeling any pressure to hurry during this cruise, for example: an apprehension that we won’t reach Cape
Horn in time...
Luckily we sailed out much too early, and we were never in a hurry, now I know that this “too early” was exactly “calculated"  ...
We reached Cape
Horn just in time ....
There are sailors, who declare openly their love of the sea, they maintain that they feel best on  yacht, far from shore but right away they call Mother Ocean a streetwalker, when the wind stops blowing  and the yacht stops in the center of the paradise which they missed so very much ...

And when only they leave the port, they hurry to the next shore, urge their yacht to the limit of its endurance, take risks of breaking the mast, tear their sails, because only in the port they can exhale deeply ....
 It’s a strange love, like with a woman with whom they love to have
sex, but they hurry through it, as if their life depended on them ending quickly.

And then they escape from her arms as quickly as possible, to their stool in a bar and comfortable sofa ...
And here comes a question, is this love, or is this banging ...

 


DAY 322

Tue Jan 22 14:38:59 2008 UTC - 39 5.94 S - 79 40.16 W

 

Wind inflates cheeks, but politely it blows straight in our stern, at night it’s supposed to blow stronger, it will be necessary to take down the main sail and put up the marching sail along with the staysail, we will go at night with full backstay, so that both boys will have something to do. It’s possible that after passing of this low it will become warm and then perhaps we will be able to start making distilled liquor, but except for the date of the battle of Grunwald (1410), I know little about this. How this 10 dg fresh yeasts translates into dry yeast (on yacht we have only dried), what is the minimal acceptable temperature of the environment, in order for the yeasts to do their work, how will I know if I can distill already, is the container supposed to be tightly closed, or is the air supposed to circulate ...

We need the advice of a specialist distiller.
I read yesterday a book by Michal Boguslawski "Steering to stars". Boys led a 12-meter long yacht from Australia, through Suez to Canada. There were five of them and I thought that they must have been terribly uncomfortable inside heheheh.
 


DAY 321

Mon Jan 21 18:08:09 2008 UTC - 40 15.82 S - 78 37.48 W

 

Today we have a fresh wind, it was born yesterday, it started to blow from the north east and slow, through the night it turned to south western, living is good.
Yesterday we had a pleasant day, it suddenly got warm, both Wacek and I took off our “armors”, Wacek two coatings of polar sweaters, and I 4 pairs of socks and a few coatings of sweaters and track suits.
Wacek got into a great mood freed from his clothes, for 15 minutes he chased his shadow, between the beak and stern.
He now looks somewhat thin and white .. Hehe.
When I got rid of part of my armor, I realized that the time came for a general shower ... This does not mean that I smell like a skunk (at least it does not feel that way), we take care of neuralgic places every day, however I detected near by the discreet smell of goat.

It is rumored that people do not smell their own scent, so it’s quite possible that I really smell but can’t tell.
Except for the warm day, we met yesterday with another surprise - we caught a fish. This is some tuna, although the meat was white, long fins on abdomen and stinging teeth, almost like a Barracuda ... But the most interesting was the abdomen, it was literally cut through its whole length and only a few of millimeter of coating of deeper skin was maintaining the insides of its abdomen. Very odd history, but without regard to this, the fish tastes super. I cut it into fillets, cleaned the head and backbone and prepared soup, it came out great.
Wacek all this time was under my legs near the fish, growling and would try to bite it. Then when I already cut out the fillets, he stole one. I thought he was up to something because he suddenly disappeared ... He ran away to the beak and hid under the anchor lift .... he was growling when I came near, I was wondering if he would eat a raw fish, he never tried before ... I started talking to him reproachfully, telling him he’s a thief and not trained properly, and I pretended that I wanted to take away the fish, Wacek then swallowed the whole fillet, heheh.
After a moment he got hiccups and threw up on deck but almost right away he devoured it again this time quickly chewing.
I thought I would burst out laughing, too bad I couldn’t tape this, it would be a hundred-percent winner of a program "Stupid animals"
The remainder of the fillets I marinated, in a mixture of soybean sauce, lemon juice, and powdered garlic. In the evening I fried it, and added the coatings of sauce from carrot and peas, with a little flour and great quantity of pepper ...
This is my manner from Alaska for a dry after frying fish, finger licking good...
 


DAY 320

Sun Jan 20 12:05:33 2008 UTC - 41 51.45 S - 77 25.62 W

 

We’re sailing.


DAY 319

Sat Jan 19 14:53:43 2008 UTC - 42 47.21 S - 78 44.87 W

 

Wind is very feeble, we do little more than 2 knots on water, and GPS shows almost 4, we have to be in the current of Peruvian Current. Soon however we will come out of this river, along with the line of the shore of South America, the river of current goes obliquely to the North East, and our port allocation lies to the North West.
Sailing with the current we would be going faster, but we would make up a lot of way and account would actually total up to minus. We will keep a little to the east from the old route of the sailors coming from Cabo De Hornoos to Los Angeles.
I now read (not for the first time) “Ship " and although we suffer painfully from lack of alcohol and all those other nice things which we could not bring, I enjoy where I am and I’m happy that Luka is not a submarine, and nobody throws water bombs at us... I tried to imagine a narrow, stinking of everything possible, pipe (I was once inside “U-boat " , I went in almost on my knees) and explosions of the thrown out, like grain from the arm of a farmer, deep-water bombs .. I almost felt my throat choking with fear and gritting my teeth...

Heeh horrible.
I am not claustrophobic, but having a choice, I would choose a parachute jump which only opens once every two jumps ...
Suddenly I felt sympathy for those marine jackals, I felt disappointed, when the English destroyer did not allow them to shoot helpless steamers and murder hundreds of people. If such steamer sank afloat the Arctic, each person who would survive the explosions and found themselves in water, after some minutes would die of hypothermia.
Terrible times, and terrible people who lived in those times.

I don’t just mean the seduced by Hitler Germans, or beguiled by communism ill treated with Stalin’s terror Russians ...
In such times "the sun goes out" , love dies, on the throne sits fear which from its own nature brings out in people all that is ugly and cruel ...
Let's hope that today, in the time of internet and free flow of information, there won’t be someone slick to manipulate people into "a holy war" and to wake up in us this sleeping monster ..., and none of us, never again, would stand before a choice, I and my family, or he and his children ... Amen.
 


DAY 318

Fri Jan 18 14:29:55 2008 UTC - 44 33.37 S - 78 38.45 W

 

Today it blows weekly from south west, main sail on boom dangles back and forth undecidedly, it has to catch something however, because we’re moving.
Yesterday I got a letter from old friend sailor, in which he delicately tells me that there’s a lack of nautical descriptions in my reports, that a report must start with position, speed, direction and atmospheric conditions.
He laughs at my, as he calls them infantile descriptions, of type: Mother Ocean, Mr. Horn etc.
Well, I admit, that I avoid, if I can nautical slang, the atmospheres of deck discipline and descriptions that I am a great sailor. Indeed, this cruise is from the beginning a great 17-meter experience with two masts....
Since I remember I lived with the dreams about the cruise around the world, when I first read a book by Leonid Teliga and all others from the series "Famous Sailors" , and when I was fixing up the first Luka in kindly rented hangar of the Ilawa police, and when I bought the plans of steel yacht Rudy, and when I bought the stainless sheet metal, and in a Swedish room with window overlooking the port and three masts readying to enter the sea sailing-ship, and sewing the net on the deck of the smack F/V Ocean Hope One under the Bering Strait, and each time when I had a bad time, when I was confronted by "damn" dragons , then I always remembered like a radiant bird, my dreams, my cruise ...
I made my world from own dreams and I don’t want to now weigh it down with kashubian slang, like lead ...
Actually most nautical terms are a turned around kashubian pronunciation, English and German words, especially German sharpens to a point yachting terminology, after such German call, capstans turn square, and it’s impossible to sing in this language, perhaps an oceanic march ...
It’s extraordinarily important, to what we compare and which names we bestow to surrounding us occurrences and things. I consciously name the sea Mother Ocean, because I desire to see it that way, like my smiling warmly and loving mother, and such an Ocean I experience, such I chose for myself...
Each day we make some decisions, every day we choose something for ourselves...

 


 

DAY 317

Thu Jan 17 14:46:59 2008 UTC - 46 1.69 S - 79 8.88 W

 

Today we have a little feeble wind, but at least from a good side, we exhibited grotto, marching sail and mainsail, we’re sailing with a sharp backstay.
In the evening we must jump 45*S, and when we pass 40*S we will feel trade winds from there, or at least we will already be close to them ...
Wacek put a mine at the entry way, luckily for him I got up smiling today, I dreamed of Beata in pink figs, she stood on a beach, ankles in water, and she waved to me holding a double smoked sausage, I could smell it on the deck.. .. Heheheh
This was good dream, in any case I woke up happy and without excuses I “disarmed” Wacek’s mine.
I decided that I will not wait until the end of the cruise, and instead during the calm days, when it doesn’t rock, I will start to teach Wacek how to climb the ladder to the steering room.
During the cruise there was a lot of time for lessons, but the incessant rocking of the yacht causes difficulty for Wacek to keep his balance on the ladder. Maybe someone knows a way to teach a dog to climb up a ladder?
In the morning uncle Janek called and told me exactly how to completely disassemble the still leaking valve in the injection pump and that I have to delicately „polish it” rubbing it about a piece of wood.
One calm day we will dismount the pump again and we will buff it.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 35* S it should be warm enough, that we could perhaps make some “mash”. We have 2 L Honey, with 2 L Maple Syrup and we will sacrifice for this occasion 3 kg of sugar, we’ll just have to get used to drinking unsweetened tea.

If we count the whole as 5 kilograms of sugar, then we should magically make about 3 liters from it... This is another reason why we should hurry in the direction of the equator...
 


DAY 316

Wed Jan 16 15:46:31 2008 UTC - 47 16.76 S - 78 47.54 W

 

Wind quieted down, it starts to blow from the south west. We will wait until the wave recedes and then maybe we will put a mainsail on boom. 
Yesterday I had a hard day mentally, for the first time since I remember I had a grazing doubt about the sense of what I’m doing. What was the sense of this cruise, passing Horn, what will I do now, when I already almost got over this hill and what to do with the rest of my life...

Beata waits for me, and I’m sure she will absorb part of my attention, but what of the remainder, what will I do with the rest of me...?

I will sell Luka, build a little cottage in the forest, I will eat bacon and drink Whisky, and maybe write a book.. .but a book about what ...?, The only think worth mentioning in my life is this cruise, but there’s nothing to write about here, nothing happens on the sea, what happens is within, but who cares about of the thoughts of an aging nomad from Ilawa ...

I stared at the waves, not knowing what to do with my thoughts, I drank the last draught of Whisky, but it helped only a little ... 
 
I started watching movies, I already saw all of them in whole, or partly and I saw one DVD entitled "Man who became pope" 
I turned it on and I started to watch the war in Poland, inhuman behavior and the sufferings of German occupation, dying on the roads of women and children, and inhuman cruelties inflicted on the Jews ... Force and death were taking away life, like a hurricane plucks the forest. 
And then, from this conflagration of mud, feud and fear there appeared a beautiful light, it grew and became stronger and it included in itself more and more grey, scared faces and it touched them with its warm light. 
From abyss and fear there appeared love brought in the warm form of  Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II). Even though this was only a movie, and even though He is not with us anymore, the message of Jesus about which he reminded us and brought to our lives, lives on. 
Suddenly I felt it, I felt the love, and now everything seemed simple and nice, my world seen through Its prism again gained substance, the future appeared colorful and warm, my environment which a moment before was sad and full of preying, like gray moths, apprehensions, now seen through the eyes of love – it became brighter, and the gray moths of fears turned into joyfully colored butterflies ... 
There was no doubt that I was looking at the same world, but how differently I saw it now, and the decisions I will make in this colorful world, will pour in still more love and colors .. 
Watching the movie about the life of Karol Wojtyla I realized that the only aim and cause for which we live is love.

We search for it all our life, sometimes not realizing that this is precisely what we seek ... Even when we do things that are ugly and cruel, it’s because we have to distinctly feel its lack in our life, and in order to find it in ourselves... 
I completely realized that the only aim and cause for which we live is to learn how to love.


 

DAY 315

Tue Jan 15 14:55:27 2008 UTC - 49 10.86 S - 79 7.94 W

 

We have today a beneficial wind again, at night it was quiet and the waves are small so far.
Wacek got a leather bone in the morning, he approaches me now every few moments to boast about it. Because of the swinging on Horn some things on the yacht changed location, and I found a few things. I found a bottle of Whisky, a 12-year old from uncle Janek from Gostolina, alas the bottle shows its bottom, there’s only one swallow left. Canned food appeared, perfectly smoked sprats in oil from Riga and a pack of leather bones for Wacek. The first officer loves them, today for half the day I won’t see him, he will go to his sleeping-berth under the manual pump and until he figures out how to untie the knot on both ends of the bone, he will not show his nose from under there.
The last working MP3 player broke ...

Listening to books is my only amusement and already a habit, this made a great hole in my daily routine...

I do have a new one, still not used MP3 player, but the hook up for headphones are atypically little, like in cell phones, and I can’t hook up the headphones I have ..
Maybe I will take it apart today and try to install the headphones line directly on to the plate, although the player is a little bigger than a box of matches and thin like paper ... I don’t see this working, but I feel bad when is it just lies there brand-new, and I can’t use it ...
Either I will somehow connect the headphones or I will brake it and toss it overboard. In any case it won’t irritate me.
 


DAY 314

Mon Jan 14 13:55:07 2008 UTC - 51 14.37 S - 78 3.79 W

 

Today we have super wind, it blows WSW, we go with a sharp half-wind to the North West, so up and at an angle we move away from the shore.
Still a few such days and the crew will be able to return to the left behind before De La Maire Strait sofa-bunk in mesa.
Sleeping in the wheelhouse, chiefly when we come left tack is as if for punishment especially since the seating there is a half a meter too short to be counted as a bed ...
Since yesterday I look around for parts I could use to make a radiator for cooling engine oil, but perhaps nothing with come out of this effort, apparently the “Main Engineer" did not see this repair coming ... But this is not altogether bad, actually we can use the engine, we can’t kick butt and it’s necessary to turn it off after half an hour, so we can shoot a few time from this “shotgun” ... I return to my good frame of mind and typical for me balance…
Mother Ocean presented Mr. Horn amicably to us , it’s true that he didn’t receive us right away, we had to wait a few days for this visit, but it was worth it because when he graciously received us, he was in the right mood, maybe a little foggy, but this was probably because we came to him in the morning ... On the eastern part of the island lives the lighthouse caretaker, I could see a white cottage with red roof and the lanterns. This guy has to like his company, or maybe he has a woman who shines the light for him and if this is a nice piece of ass (best mute), then this island might become a little cold paradise ... Warm chimney, rain striking in window-panes and a soft woman in fig-leaves ... Well, I have to be starved if I see ass everywhere .. ..
Going through the strait was without adventures, but "skunk dragons" came up from behind and whispered things in our ear: “you will hit an iceberg" , or 'at once will hit the announced today through port authorities in Port Williams 70 nm/h squall and it will break your mast, you have too much sail .. ." etc. A few weeks earlier, a Canadian passenger ship with tourists sailing the Row Strait hit an iceberg and sank. They saved the passengers and crew , but who knows if we would be saved from such an adventure ...
But this is already, let's hope, behind us, today we go 5 knots north, there awaits us warm weather trade winds and beautifully smelling Beata.

 


DAY 313

Sun Jan 13 15:57:27 2008 UTC - 52 54.81 S - 77 31.53 W

 

Pan Mr. Horn treated us friendly, but this not the end of the game, now it’s necessary “to climb back up the mountain” ... Last two days it blew against us, it moved us some to the south west.

Yesterday evening the wind graciously turned, and we’re going up.

We have all rags on, and even though the wind "died down" , we’re sailing...
One day after passing Cape Horn I turned on the engine in order load batteries, the generator with bypass (the pump of sweet water doesn’t work, I put on a little electric one outside) we use only when it’s necessary to make water. When I went to the engine room I noticed that petroleum was leaking from a metal conduit connecting the injection pump and the fuel filter. I ran to the wheelhouse and removed the ignition lever of gas, but the revolutions did not fall. I did not pay attention to this, and turned off the engine. I tightened the leaking tube, but the engine didn’t want to start after that.
I went back down and it turned out that the tube broke, so I cut the damaged part and I put on a bit of rubber hose . Leakage was fixed but the engine didn’t want to start anyway.
I aired out the whole fuel system completely, and another time, and again, and then one more time with the instruction of the engine service. The air-out pump did not give fuel to the injectors.
I called Marti, then a man that fixes pumps in Los Angeles. Armando said that there’s a chance that the lever opening the fuel injection got hung up, but in conditions on the yacht this would be difficult to check.
My uncle, Jan from Gostolin, called, may he live eternally and always happily. Janek reached a man named P. Bialoszewski the next day, he does regeneration work on injection pumps, and he corroborated the suspicions of the mechanic from LA, he gave me exact pointers on how to reach that part in the pump. Yesterday morning I took a deep breath, I disassembled the pump, I got to the d..m lift, poured DW40, then I moved it up and down for 30 minutes.. .. I put the pump back together, put it back in, aired it, pushed the starter and .. ... Engine came back to life, beautifully rattling with valves. Ah, what gorgeous music this was .. .. I called Janek and let him listen to the joyful sounds of engine ...
Without a working engine I did not have a "Plan # B', I couldn’t hide anywhere and sailing by capes is mostly the art of dodges and waiting for adequate moment. "Plan # B" , an additional way out in "case of case" , permits me to keep a balance on this rocking deck.
That’s why I fought for the engine with such stubbornness. Janek contacted a representative of Perkins in Poland, and this one assured him that the repair of injection pump on yacht is impossible, it demands special tools and new gaskets, but Janek he did not give up and found a way...
Alas the engine adventures did not end there. All victorious and happy I loaded batteries, engine hummed satisfyingly, when I went out to check things on deck and saw that together with fumes the engine is spitting out also petroleum or oil, we were leaving a greasy trail on water .. .. I called Marti, he told me to watch it for a while, maybe it was only a little petroleum in expiratory pipe after two days of turning the starter and de-aerating of the fuel system. After 20 minutes the alarm sounded informing me that we were losing oil pressure.
I turned off the engine, and now I knew what was wrong.
F...... ing radiator blew on the inside, just like earlier the transmission did, and it stuffed all the oil to water cooling the engine and then out with fumes.
Well, it looks like the engine did not want to be fixed ...
Preceding day we ran out of sugar, I was looking for a new pack and I found a forgotten bottle of Whisky from Janek. I drank some, checked course and went to sleep. This morning I chucked the heat exchanger, I connected together oil conduits, and from now on the engine oil will not be cooled, at least until I can invent something. For now we can’t use the engine for more than a half hour at a time, after that the oil pressure drops and it’s necessary to turn it off. But it’s enough to load the batteries a little.
 


DAY 312

Sat Jan 12 11:30:47 2008 UTC - 53 24.72 S - 77 11.98 W

 

We were forced back a lot since yesterday, tomorrow the wind is supposed to change and again we will go up.

Besides that we’re sailing.

Ps: I apologize that I don’t write back to letters I receive, I stay ready to fight and I don’t have enough energy for anything else, I will make up for that when we once again will move forward.

 


DAY 311

Fri Jan 11 12:14:17 2008 UTC - 53 9.68 S - 76 39.29 W

 

We’re sailing.

Since January 8 I fight with the engine, something got hung up in the injection pump; it does not give fuel to injectors. I aired it out a hundred times, something inside is blocked. I called a mechanic and Perkins service in the US. When it calms down a little, if it calms down, I will have to learn the repair of injection pumps, but I have such qualifications for it as a viewer of the series “Hospital on peripheries" has for open heart surgery...

 


DAY 310

Thu Jan 10 11:52:51 2008 UTC - 54 40.83 S - 76 8.49 W

 

We’re sailing.

 


DAY 309

Wed, 9 Jan 2008 19:01:31 -0500

 

We’re sailing.


DAY 308

Tue Jan 08 12:09:51 2008 UTC - 57 29.55 S - 71 35.51 W
 

In the morning the wind turned a little, this was a signal for us to turn.
We already took on altitude, we sailed away from the coast, this south western course, even though with this arrangement of winds it was a reasonable way out, it somehow depressed me, it put us still further to the south, but today we sail already in the direction of the -not seen for 10 months -port. It would be wonderful to get through the remainder of the Drake Strait with one tack and fall in the arms of a warm current at the coast of Peru and farther with a calm half sail in south trade wind. Presently we are on 57*S, cold, far from home and not a drop of alcohol.

 


DAY307

Mon Jan 07 09:40:03 2008 UTC - 56 56.50 S - 69 24.68 W

 

 

 

Yesterday we sailed by Cape Horn. We’re trying to avoid bad weather


DAY 306

Sun Jan 06 07:37:29 2008 UTC - 55 49.27 S - 67 17.51 W

 

Something woke me up, only after a long moment I realized that it does not toss us anymore, the wind doesn’t scream, and only the generator propeller still whistles a little...

It’s 3 am; the southern sky is lit by a pale glow. I checked the weather, perhaps I will start to pull up the anchor at about dawn, as before it still blows on Horn a little and as before against us, but the wind weakens and I don’t want to overlook even one hour that we might sail to the south west. We have to move away from the coast and only then we will speed as much as we can to the north.
Yesterday I talked with boys from Selma, oh irony they will be here tonight, in the same bay, they could bring us alcohol, meat, fresh bread ..., but I would have to wait for them here all day, or longer, and such delay can mean for us 60 miles in the right direction ... Too bad, we’ll have to be satisfied with a taste ...
 


DAY 305

Sat Jan 05 15:22:45 2008 UTC - 55 49.27 S - 67 17.51 W

 

The hail whips, it hits the deck like a hundred drums and drowns out the howl of the wind. The anchor alarm rang a few times at night, I increased its tolerance for about 10m, the wind falls from the mountain at different angles and it turns us like a pendulum of a mural clock...

Tomorrow we’re supposed to have our promised wind; we’ll pluck the anchor, oy my hands will hurt...

In the evening the boys from a French yacht called us on the radio; they invited us for supper of Chilean steak and wine, but I, like an idiot, long decided that during this trip I can’t leave the yacht and nobody would enter it. I thought about it for a
moment, but I know how I later suffer, when I change plans without deciding causes... Now the boys probably sit in mesa, gobble up fresh meat, and I hear Chile has great steak, drink wine and talk about the butt of French Mary... And we here with Wacek, outcasts from our own choosing …, actually Wacek didn’t have a choice, he was incarnated to the crew „in English” .

Thank God I will never have to repeat such cruise...

One time will suffice. A few years from now, over the horizon, awaits us a shapely, warm cottage with a view of the forest, and another Jack Russel girl....

I promised Wacek that I will make up for this year of jail to him and someday I will find him a wife.
 

 


DAY 304

Fri Jan 04 12:50:01 2008 UTC - 55 49.29 S - 67 17.50 W

 

We spent the night in the steering room; it started blowing in the evening, in the morning  it blew 9 B. Around midnight it blew still stronger and we moved a bit on anchor, even though in the evening I loosened extra 30m of the chain.

I started our “athlete” and we waited out the squall with a small on front.

It’s 6 am, the wind perhaps a little weaker, but still it jerks us and plays macabre symphonies on cordage. More suggestive music to a film titled; “Offender in purgatory”, even the master Morricone would not be able to write. In the morning a French yacht entered the cove, captain had to know this place, he went almost onto the beach. It probably doesn’t jerk so much so near the coast. We entered on sonic finder, almost in the dark, without a detailed map and manual guidance, and I did not know how the tides are here, so to be safe we stood on 10m, we didn’t enter too far. The French yacht has 16m and a 7-person crew, they’re going to Antarctica, and they’re supposed to stay there for a week. Just like us they are waiting here for a change in weather. Once I was thinking about such cruise, but now I day-dream about a warm cove, Beata sunbathing on deck, cold beer and a steaming grill on stern with a bulky two-inch steak.
 


DAY 303

Thu Jan 03 14:23:33 2008 UTC - 55 49.29 S - 67 17.52 W

 

Friends congratulate us on passing of Horn, did I inelegantly suggest that we already sailed by it? Anyway I will treat this congratulations as good divination...

Actually, if all we were doing was passing Horn and going back to Ushuaia, then on 1 of January we would be coming back as members of Cape Horn club, only in our case the island Horn is not an exit from Drake Strait...

For us it only opens it, in this place the whole fun starts...

Before us -+ 600 nm of difficult way ... If nothing changes then maybe on the 7 of January the window of acceptable weather will open, may it be so.
Somebody is supposed to 'cover' a little this hole from which it blows, and maybe then the "Horn mountain" will lose for a moment his western temper, and will stop yelling "no one will pass this way, get .. .. .out"
If on the 7th “the hole will be covered a little and the wind will begin to turn, then in its flourishes maybe we could move a little to the west and jump away from the coast.
It’s so cold that in spite of a candid apprehension I turned on the stove ...
I keep an eye on it, it’s on the lowest revolutions and I will turn it off at night. Once, something got stuck in the valve regulating the income of petroleum and the stove went crazy, in a course of a few seconds it overheated to red, and petroleum started to leak from the valve; a nightmare ...
Outside it howls and yells, hail changes to rain.
Overfilled with water, livid gray clouds rested on the water, as if they were too heavy to get up.

One can probably buy a cheap plot for a summer cottage here, heheh.
We have a torn mizzen-mast, but outside it howls and it yells so, that just by looking out through the window it gets cold, sewing will have to wait, maybe tomorrow...
 


DAY 302

Wed Jan 02 17:38:25 2008 UTC - 55 49.29 S - 67 17.52 W

 

 

We stand on anchor, sheltered from wave, and partly from wind, but the remainder, which gets over the top of the mountain, causes a little hurricane in the cove. I’m solemnly thinking about throwing out a second anchor, but when I thought that I will then have to pull them both up with my hands, because the anchor lift stopped working a long time ago, I decided to wait.
Our main anchor is 50 kg, we stand on 11m, I gave 70m chain.

The bottom seems sandy, presently it holds, although it pulls us about from all sides, but even if we slide, then it would blow us away from bay to open water, so it won’t be a tragedy.
Two days ago, somewhat smoothly we got through the La Maire Strait. A strong north-western wind pushed us, we went with a full half-wind, but because we were going against a strong current, even though we were going 6 knots on water, we did not do more than 2 at the bottom.
I incessantly observed the weather having naive hope that maybe we’ll be able to enter the Drake Strait from march, but it looked like the next day it would blow there 7-8, the next few days 7, and then again 8 .., of course against us ... In spite of this, after exiting La Maire we turned in the direction of Drake Strait. A second night without sleeping passed and yesterday, before midday, only the Island Herschel divided us from Horn, and nobly protects us now partly from yelling wind and great wave.
We emerged a little from behind it, on reefed mizzen-mast and marching foresail, Luka uttered a groan, as if with reproach, and at once directed us in the direction of the South Pole. There are no doubts, we have to wait for friendly wind, we can’t do it otherwise.

It has to blow from another direction than western, we are not fastidious and we take each wind, below 8 B blowing from behind a western quarter. Meanwhile, we stand in a fierce Patagonia cove and during interruptions between hail and rain, we admire the beautiful and crude charm of this place ... If not for the order “without dispatching to coast”, I would already take the pontoon and tomorrow we would walk with Wacek on the island.

Along the way (from a distance) we sailed by little penguins, standing on flat scales, seals and dolphins greeted us when we entered the canals of islands Deceit and Freycinet.

Actually it looks here a little like Alaska, although there the islands are greener, and on some live stags, and also brought before the war, as if for reserve of food, pigs and cattle which went wild and perfectly assimilated to local conditions. If here was like that, I probably would not be able to say no to temptation and I would go with Wacek on a little hunt.

Once I promised myself that I will not hunt anymore, but I am now so famished for fresh meat that I would easily forgive myself that digression.
The islands, however, look uninhibited, although at this distance it may only look that way...

Maybe someone can look on the internet what lives on island Herschel...
 


DAY 301

Wed Jan 02 00:00:17 2008 UTC - 55 49.29 S - 67 17.52 W

 

We stand on anchor, 10 nm north of Cape Horn, hid in a well sheltered cove; we wait for our wind ..., presently strong wind from the west...