Tomek and Wacek 'wrong-way' voyage update: To repel ghosts


Record dog Wacek reading Van Daniken?


Neglected yachts just stand there, like abandoned dreams


DAY 392


DAY 391

Mar 31


We are sailing.

DAY 390

Sun Mar 30 16:28:59 2008 UTC - 31 50.47 N - 120 35.63 W


It was good that I had a feeling and in the evening reefed down grotto, it was supposed to blow no more than 20 knots (5B), but in the morning the wind hit us like a hammer, the sofa support became a seat. I turned the lights on masts, quickly threw down the mainsail and I fell off from the wind. Two hours we went 9-10 knots on double reefed grotto and two small, front sails. To Ensenada remains 200 miles, today Aurora will probably go out to sea and tomorrow we should meet.

If the wind dies down, we will enter port the day after tomorrow in the morning, if it continues to blow like it does, maybe we will be there tomorrow evening.

DAY 389

Sat Mar 29 16:33:51 2008 UTC - 30 54.48 N - 122 54.88 W


The ocean probably wants to get rid of us, because since morning we have backstay, and there shouldn’t be backstay about this time of year here. Perhaps Mother Ocean is saying goodbye in this manner. Soon we will sail into the stone cages of port, there it will send us greeting. I look at the dirty cabins with horror, today it rocks less, I should clean up but it is such a complete mess that I don’t know where to begin. Yesterday I discovered a leak straight onto the sleeping-berths in the second cabin, it leaks through the handle fastening the boom of genoa to deck, and I will have to solidly seal it.

DAY 388

Fri Mar 28 17:25:25 2008 UTC - 30 4.37 N - 124 37.14 W


Wind, just like the wheater fax promised – turned, since morning we have NW and now we quickly gain altitude. Ensenada lies almost on 32* degree width, I will feel well when we will enter this 32 degree already and the remainder of the way we will sail with a lovely half-wind.

At night peas and carrots woke me up, the can was rolling noisily in some cupboard. When I finally realized that this new sound does not mean danger, I thought about ignoring it, but it was more practical to go to the cupboard and immobilize the can. When I fastened it, we came down sharply from some greater wave, Luka tilted to the side, and I was thrown at a plastic container with diving equipment which should have been returned to the warehouse on stern a long time ago... Luckily I wasn’t thrown at the container beside it filled with fixings for sewing of sails, big needles, sharply ended tubes, long scissors and other sharp objects. With pain in my soul I will take on cleaning today, I can’t stand cleaning, it’s not creative, nothing results from it , and in a few days it will be the same.

DAY 387

Thu Mar 27 15:25:37 2008 UTC - 29 27.14 N - 126 45.21 W


We sail almost in direction of Ensenada, it pushes us a little to the south, today the wind should start to turn to north-western, and let's hope that our course will change. At night I woke up in silence, for an hour we floated on a dead wave, the sails trashed around impatiently, on each boom we have contrashot, so we did without “blacksmith’s hammers”. Then the wind returned, let's hope that today it will turn and we will begin to gain altitude.

DAY 386

Wed Mar 26 16:45:23 2008 UTC - 29 39.57 N - 128 22.60 W


In the morning we turned toward Ensenada, presently we come a little down, but tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow the wind should turn to northern, and then to north western and we will turn together with it. The autopilot as before rests, Luka when not compelled by the autopilot, does not place herself too sharply to the wind, but on this course she is comfortable, and after this long cruise she deserves a break ...

The printer broke, a little salt water poured on it...

The printer hissed, let out a little smoke and died.

Since the last MP3 player stopped working, I printed books, but now I can’t. There’s still a few days of cruise left, I have to occupy myself somehow, find something to read, otherwise I will keep turning the GPS -plotter on every fifteen minutes to check how much is still left to go.

DAY 385

Tue Mar 25 17:54:23 2008 UTC - 28 24.17 N - 127 38.32 W


We sail, since this morning we are accompanied by dolphins, they do not jump from the water, do not show their tails, they swim on both sides of Luka, like an escort ...

Nearer to the shore we should come across some whales, right now they’re moving to the north, in the direction of Bering Straits. Companies producing nautical electronics should create a micro-wave transmitter that would be irksome for the „ear” of whales (including great whites), so that they would get out of the way for ships which sometimes hit these great mammals when they sleep, and also to let the great whites know, that a sailing-boat which from the bottom, chiefly at night looks like a sleeping whale, is not edible.

History knows the circumstances of such dramatic, sometimes tragic mistakes.

A yacht rocking gently on a wave, chiefly at night, was suddenly attacked by a few great whites who from the lack of smaller victims, sometimes hunt on whales. With great speed they attack with the head (they have very bulky skulls) and with hits like that, each about the force of a few tons they kill the whale. If they have a choice, they pick young whales, so smaller yachts have a greater chance for such a sparring.

Not many yachts can survive such a meeting, they usually end up with a great hole and the yacht drowns in the course of a few minutes.

One can even attach such transmitter to whaling industry ships, – this a request from boys from Greenpeace.

DAY 384

Mon Mar 24 15:57:05 2008 UTC - 26 51.02 N - 126 42.97 W


We sail on, nothings worth describing happened.


DAY 383

Sun Mar 23 17:09:07 2008 UTC - 25 34.28 N - 125 36.80 W


This tack is long, I could break away tomorrow, but I have to take amendment on the northern current which will be push us to the south, a good 30 miles for twenty-four hours ... We will thereon stay on this tack another 2 - 3 days and only then we will turn in the direction of port. Beata will be in Ensenada on the 31st and that day we should enter the port, or April 1 in the morning.

Yesterday like usual, I listened to the radio on frequency 14.300. Good souls operate on it, radio amateurs, mainly from US, they try to help people in need, especially those at sea, but also each station in motion, many Americans have amateur radios in their cars. They systematically give weather reports for the neighborhood of the Caribbean and central Pacific, also in every other place if you will ask. At one point a desperate voice joined the conversation, he said there was an accident on yacht, and that they need doctor's help immediately. It turned out that the guy cut himself with a knife on his forearm, the wound was 2.5 cm long, it already stopped bleeding, and now he wanted to know what to do. Hehe. After a half an hour a doctor came on the radio, listened to the dramatic tale about the sharp knife and tomato salad, and told him to wash the wound with hydrogen peroxide and put a band-aid on it hehehe. Let's hope this guy knows how to put on a band-aid...

DAY 382

Sat Mar 22 16:45:39 2008 UTC - 24 16.45 N - 124 21.60 W


Today, shortly after midnight (PST) we cut across our course from the previous year. We sailed the earth.

Now we rush to Beata and cold beer. Beata has for me a big cigar, I haven’t smoked for years, but for some reason I have a great desire for this one, along with a cold, good beer. Yesterday I threw down the staysail and I carried it to the wheelhouse and I put a cable in the bottom. The bottom part of sail flapped a lot, and I couldn’t get rid of it by just moving the shot block. Such flapping on strong wind sooner or later will end in ripping, now the bottom is rounded out and doesn’t trash. We sail on reefed grotto, although I could put the whole thing up, but I don’t want to tempt fate, I don’t know if I could turn in time if that fixed stopper broke. I look around, it’s a terrible mess here, some day it will be necessary to clean up, put away boxes with parts in the warehouse on stern, clean up the caboose (kitchen) and the deck, Luka although fatigued from the cruise and overgrown with algae, has to look nice ...

Ps to "kryslas" : The substance of saying " God guards the guarded” agrees in certain substance with the solution of the "equation" , and from the lack of others, you won a sleeping-berth in the autumn cruise on the Caribbean. Write me an e-mail. Regards


DAY 381

Fri Mar 21 16:57:31 2008 UTC - 23 10.21 N - 123 18.87 W


Tomorrow I will be able to say "We sailed the world" , only a little bit remains to close the loop ... I’ve had enough of this right tack. Sleeping in these conditions is only a theoretical concept; I feel like I do not sleep at all. Perhaps I will cover the edge of the table with a mattress today, otherwise it will forever engrave a mark across my ribs. We sail sharply to the wind and wave, it tosses us incessantly, I have to slow down often, thrown down the grotto, because we come too quickly and Luka hits every second wave with the beak.

Thank God Wacek and I, real sailors, do not suffer the typical for "land people" sea sickness, we are not ill at all, and for a few days now conditions for throwing up are perfect, it tosses wildly in all possible sides, I can only imagine how in such conditions the case would be in a smaller, lighter boat ... Immunity to sea sickness is our genetic feature, my brother Mirek (may it always blow peacefully for him) never was sick afloat, Janek, my uncle, also is not ill. He says that a wave on the sea is so that not every ass could become a sailor. Although Nelson, the pride of English Navy, in pictures was painted with a boy standing behind his back holding a bucket. Nelson, a great sailor and marine bandit threw up like a kid right after exiting from port. Sea-sickness murdered many sailing dreams and coral islands, a lot of them came to an end right after exiting the port. "Some may have meat, but can’t eat, others do not have it and suffer famine. And we have meat and can eat, so thank God for that"- Robert Burns.

It looks like we were able to have good weather on Horn ... I thought once to sail the canals of Patagonia, but after anchoring at Herschel, I know how this looks, and my urge to go there ceased. Warm islands, diving and spiny lobster on the grill ...

It looks like they laid a stick on Bona Terra, maybe it won’t sink and someone will find it...

DAY 380

Thu Mar 20 16:41:09 2008 UTC - 21 50.30 N - 122 9.84 W


For a few days Luka directs herself, the autopilot rests ... I don’t have to check if the wind turns, Luka like with a self-steer turns together with the wind. Under many regards this is a gorgeous yacht, big, but not too big, she can travel with a great crew, she can travel sole, she’s very solidly built and we have here everything that’s indispensable and more. Tomorrow at night we will cut our "old wake" , we will close the loop. Tomorrow all the events of this cruise will close in a circle, we won’t be able to add anything to it or to take anything away. Uncle Janek already congratulated us, he stated however that the main reward for the successful cruise belongs to Luka, and bought her a clock that shows the sea tides, so that we won’t scrub her bottom on stones in shallow Bahamas.


DAY 379

Wed Mar 19 16:04:03 2008 UTC - 20 30.96 N - 120 49.31 W


We’re sailing, still another week up hill and we will turn to Ensenada, then another 4-5 days and in the end I will lower the anchor...
Earlier, I hope that we will meet S/V Aurora, on deck will be Beata and my uncle, Jan from Gostolin, and also captain Ziggy with family. It will be difficult for me to hold back from charging onto Aurora and running to my Beatka in these pink figs. I hope that we will meet not farther than 100 nm from Ensenada and somehow I will get through this last day ... I’m a little worried about Ziggy, Aurora must be already in Ensenada, they’re probably sailing along the coast, they will join in with opposite current and wind in eyes.

DAY 378

Tue Mar 18 16:47:13 2008 UTC - 18 55.44 N - 120 24.85 W


BonaTerra is rumored to be still drifting, two days ago it was seen on position 55*32S and 066*07W. Word is, that if I was in that neighborhood I could find it and I could probably save it ... Boys from Selma should move their ass and at least try ... One could bring a solid pump, drain the water, cut off the remainders of cordage with masts and tow it to Puerto Williams. Too bad ... In the evening a cable on the free staysail broke and the border of sail trashed like mad, it already got dark, so I threw it down. If I had left it, in the morning all that would be left would be a ribbon. Today I exchanged the broken cable and we sail on.

DAY 377

Mon Mar 17 19:04:29 2008 UTC - 18 13.81 N - 119 50.05 W


At night we got kicked a little bit, weather fax showed the wind at 25 knots, but in the morning it blew about 35 .. We sail sharply to the wind, normally in such conditions in the evening I would thrown down the genoa, and in its place put a staysail, but it turns out that subconsciously I begin to hurry, and although we were hitting the waves with a bang, like a torpedo smack, I didn’t want to lose speed and genoa stayed. In the morning it blew stronger, Luka lay strongly on her side, and it’s not easily to stick her to water, she is broad. I got thrown under the table, and I remember that I was dreaming something nice, I entered the wheelhouse, I turned the lights on the masts, I inspected the deck, and in this moment, like on call the genoa crackled. It flew widely up and up to the "eggs" on the reefing line. Impulsively I wanted to jump on deck right away, but this more wise me, ordered to sit on my ass, to put on storm pants and safety girdle ... I use broad, strong girdle as protection, instead of typical nautical "saddle" . Commonly on both sides of yacht, on deck, one secures a strong cable, or line, to which the crew attaches themselves with long cables attached to "straps" . In this arrangement a crew member as before can be thrown overboard, but will not go far, the combined cable will keep him near the yacht ... He will bang his head or other body parts about ship's side until someone will pull him onto the deck. In our situation this arrangement is unlucky, there’s nobody who would pull me in if needed, and even then it is heavy work. Once, twice in one cruise I pulled from the water a clumsy crew member, and each time I had to work pretty hard at it. Problem of safety on deck had to solved in such manner that there wouldn’t be a chance of me going overboard. On Luka on both sides of the wheelhouse, from beak to stern there are fastened two strong cables, at chest level. Originally the functions of safety fulfilled the ¼ inch steel cable, but on Indian Ocean I was compelled to make backstays from it and I exchanged it for a strong cable. It doesn’t matter on which side I walk, I am pinned with a brief cable to the safety cable and if for some reason I lose equilibrium, the brief cable will not permit me to go farther than to railing. So I went out on deck in gortex trousers attached to the safety cable, genoa during this time was crazy in the wind and trembled still more. Luka relieved of the pressure of great sail rushed now wildly on a high wave, and I on all fours, like a dog on a leash trashed around along with the genoa, which perhaps avenging that I did not take it off, beat me over the head with a fury, like a pissed off boxer. In the end I threw it down to deck, or rather what was left of it, and with an aching head like after a street fight, I returned to the wheelhouse. Until morning we sailed on mizzen-mast and marching foresail. In the morning I carefully coiled the torn up genoa and I put up staysail. I’m tempted to raise grotto, but I’m deterred by the sight of the torn genoa ... Lately I have to remind myself the priorities of importance in this cruise. The main thing would be to get back in one piece – sailing as comfortably as possible - and only in the end - sailing quickly. I wonder how Bona Terra broke both masts, on March 13 in the neighborhood of Horn it blew 50- 60 knots, there was a squall to 100, but when I was waiting for a good window of weather at Horn and in a few hours I had to move, the boys from Selma who also waited for preferable weather in Puerto Williams warned me that there were squalls with wind up to 70 knots. They lost both masts, so Bona Terra had to spill .., and probably 360*, in another situation there had to be something wrong with both masts, unless both were solidly combined ... This can be a good lesson for sailors ...


DAY 376

Sun Mar 16 20:22:19 2008 UTC - 16 57.38 N - 118 51.18 W


At night the trade wind died and every half an hour we did turns ... Autopilot could not keep course, the dead wave trashed the sails. In the end I threw down the grotto, I fell off a little, I turned the autopilot off and Luka moved slowly by herself, under reefed genoa, with marching foresail, and mizzen-mast. The rest of the night passed by quietly. In the morning the wind returned, I put up the grotto, but I didn’t turn on the autopilot, I bent helm 5* on lee and balanced Luka presently holds course, this is the quality of two masts ... Yesterday the trade wind turned to NE, we come now more to the west, but tomorrow night the wind has to turn NE and again we will jump up. I think about S/Y Bona Terra, and distinctly realize how lucky we were as far as weather. I also in the stage of planning was thinking about passing Cape Horn in March. It is rumored that precisely in March one can count on SE winds and it looked like it was the best month to sail Padere de Hornos in direction from east to west, but somewhere subconsciously I feared , that this already will be fall, and it will not only be the island Horn which (how our compatriot proved not long ago) one can conquer with a pontoon with engine, but it’s also necessary to run through the Drake Strait and then several hundred miles up before you come out of the zone of mooing forties, and how it turns out "mooing hundreds" ... In my world a yacht is not only a cleverly shaped tree, aluminum and plastic .. .., each yacht has its "soul”. The wind will no more tear the tired sails and break cables of S/Y Bona Terra, may it rest in peace.

DAY 375

Sat Mar 15 20:54:33 2008 UTC - 15 57.47 N - 117 32.85 W


I got a text message from Beata yesterday about the sinking of a Polish yacht in the neighborhood of Cape Horn. The information that reached me is very brief, it speaks however about the main point, with is that the crew survived. A reference about this sad event had to have appeared in the Chilean press, some "land rat” wrote about it, there’s no details, besides the name of the sailor, and the captain of the smack that saved him. Maybe the details of this drama will appear later. Wind is nearing gusts of 190 km/h, this is already a hurricane, with such wind one can only politely move down and make sure to slow the running of yacht. The sinking of boats, about which I heard, or read, all happened when the yacht was going with the wind, speeding up a lot when coming from a great wave, then sharpened with its side to the wind and then the same wave from which it came, or the next, hit in the exhibited perpendicularly side, and wham .. Many sailors don’t recognize a drift-anchor as a safe solution in such conditions. It happens that way because nobody explained to them, how exactly they should use it ... Drift-anchor is a tool, and not a piece of bulky linen with rope ... First of all a drift-anchor turns, so it has to have a solid turnabout, second it has to be properly attached. You can’t tie cables on stern or on beak, and throw it to water ... Yacht will place itself then in line with the wind, it will jerk and turn every few minutes. In this position there will also be a great pressure from water on the steering.
The length of cables should be so well-chosen that the drift-anchor and yacht would be in the same place on the wave. The drift-anchor cable must be suitably long and fastened to the main capstan of front sails, and the second line with block should be attached on the beak (in case of yacht with open cockpit). Stretching the line on beak, one can place the yacht under corresponding angle - +- 50* to the wind and obliquely to the wave. On a yacht without an open cockpit and with a great uplift on stern (Luka), one can attach the line with block on stern and obliquely exhibit stern to the wind and wave. The trunk of the yacht drifting creates whirling, which smoothes the steepness of the coming waves. One should also understand that an open cockpit in heavy weather can suddenly start to play the role of a funnel and gather water to the inside of yacht, the greater the cockpit, the greater the funnel ... Throwing down of sails and leaving the yacht to herself will cause that yacht to almost surely place her side to the wave, and omitting the fact that it rocks terribly, in such position it will easily topple over. That and the corresponding time of year, the middle of March, can be a good period to conquer Cape Horn in the direction of E-W, but you need a good weather fax, and a place to hide and wait. In different circumstances it’s necessary to have a lot of luck ..., our compatriot had little of it, but the main luck did not abandon him, and thank God he will be able to tell us about this ... Amen


DAY 374

Fri Mar 14 17:05:55 2008 UTC - 14 5.71 N - 116 4.92 W


Since we sail with a north eastern trade wind, my sleeping-berth-sofa became very windward. We sail slanted on portside and each wave pushes me closer to the edge of the table. There’s no time for a decent dream, I wake up before I’m asleep. The sofa on the left ends with a wall; I could not straighten my legs there. In 8-9 days we will change tack, again it will be comfortable. Pump nr. 1 is exchanged, all there works, I did not yet touch the wind generator, presently I’m analyzing it ...
I noticed a little leakage on the left ship's side, at the altitude of my cabin. Water gathers on the floor, and so it’s coming from higher up, and only when we come in inclination. I first noticed this occurrence right before Cape Horn and I felt a little panic. I took apart half of the cabin on the portside, but I found nothing. I came to the conclusion that this has to be coming from the deck, but in this moment we weren’t taking any water on deck ..., although actually, from time to time water splashes onto the deck and flows exactly to a place over my cabin ... We will perhaps settle this problem already in port, I will take apart all cupboards in this place and we will find the problem.

DAY 373

Thu Mar 13 18:15:27 2008 UTC - 12 22.03 N - 114 46.07 W


We’re sailing, a little slower than yesterday; maybe later I will add another sail.
I thought that I fixed the bilge pump yesterday, I exchanged the automatic connector, cable in the old sensor broke, and because all of this often works under water, I installed a new sensor, I will fix the old one and keep it as a reserve. Besides that when I finished and I again attached the sensor of pump nr 1 and higher to pump nr.2, it turned out that as before something was wrong with nr.1. I directed the outlet of pump that charges the desalting device to bilge, filled it with water (I felt a little strange pouring water to center), in order to test all systems ... It turned out that pump nr 1, for the first 30 seconds after turning on takes 25 A current and only then it goes down to 4A, it behaves like a great engine which needs the "bucket” of motion current, there’s probably a short circuit somewhere... Today we will install a new one. I also have bilge pump nr.3, this one is fastened to the wall of the engine room, and also a folded, extra pump with soft hose which one can quickly let in to bilge, install to the distributive board and to lead the hose to wheelhouse (it has outflows). And finally our heaviest weapon, a 2-inch thick pump with internal-combustion engine wrapped hermetically in warehouse on stern. This is our secret weapon..... This pump is a habit from the period when I was a fisherman on Alaska. One day we stood in a bay at Shelikof Strait, we were waiting out another winter gale. Not far stood another smack, a longliner.
One night he started to scream through the radio that they were sinking and that he was sending his crew to us on a pontoon, only captain and mechanic remained behind. I went with Peter on their pontoon to the longliner, they were already seriously flooded, we brought them our pump. The pump right away held the water on a stable level, and then very slowly there was less and less. In an hour a Coast Guard helicopter showed up, they let down their pump to deck, a much bigger one, and with this one they weren’t kidding, it pumped out the rest of the water in the course of two hours ...
It turned out then that their rusted electrolysis valve fell away from the bottom...

It’s not worth it to save on zinc protections. I bought a pump like that once, only smaller, with little four-stroke engine. Now it sails with us, but because we have it, we will never use it....=? ... Sleeping-berth in a fall cruise to the Caribbean for the solution of this “equation

DAY 372

Wed Mar 12 15:37:37 2008 UTC - 10 23.33 N - 113 12.59 W


At night again squalls and thunder storms, this time the thunder was near by. In the evening heavy clouds gathered to the northeast, it seemed we would have night's "attractions" , so I tactically took down the grotto, all night we went on reefed up genoa, marching foresail and mizzen-mast, in spite of that we did 9-10 knots ... the second wind generator went on strike, bilge pump strangely pumps - I will be busy today.


DAY 371

Tue Mar 11 18:12:59 2008 UTC - 8 43.72 N - 111 40.00 W


Yesterday our wise Philip went to dog heaven.

A few hours earlier I dreamt that Wacek fell overboard, but at once then “I saw” three beautiful fish, right near the stern. I get the message ... At night it shook a little, every hour or two, strong squalls with rain fell on us, then for a half an hour it would become quiet, the sails jerked around like pursued horses, then the trade wind returned, filled the sails, Luka returned to course, and I to sofa.
Somewhere over the horizon the storm was passing, it flashed, but there was no thunder, it had to be very far, and very well ... It is rumored that when Zeus hits the mast, all electronics go down, even the unconnected .. .. That would make quite a mess - big radio, little radio, satellite telephone, 3 computers (although the one in the waterproof suitcase for a rainy day maybe would be ok), two radars, plotter with GPS, antenna GPS for the computer, sonic finder, autopilot computer, inverter-rectifier ...
We would be left with only an oil lamp. I would have to get to know 'The Oceanic Practices" of chief Baranowski, open it to a page and remind myself of all those charming declinations, deviations, the azimuths of sun, amendments, rounding off to uff ...I’m a poor mathematician, let's hope that a "fiery thunder" will not happen to us in this adventure (or in any following) ...



DAY 370

Mon Mar 10 16:40:11 2008 UTC - 7 4.62 N - 110 34.07 W


Northern trade wind seized us for good, now one can speculate when we will enter to port; I think that we will throw anchors in the first days of April.
We can’t go straight to Ensenada, because of a strong northern current, which broadly goes around the coast of California and northern Mexico and which on width 800 - 1000 nm changes direction of the wind almost to northern. Coming from here to Ensenada we would be going against the wind and current.
We will go 600+ miles from shore, maybe even further if it will be necessary, and in the neighborhood of 28*N we will break to Ensenada. For a long time now I don’t ignore suggestions contained in “Ocean Passages for the World" , but about this time of year they suggest to come away to137W, 1200 miles from shore before changing course on perpendicular to the coast.
We will risk it and we will go a little nearer to the coast, if we have to we will go further later. In a straight line to Ensenada remains +-1500 nm, but because we can’t sail straight, the distance grows to 2000 - 2200 nm. If we count 100+ miles for every twenty-four hours=+- 3 weeks. That’s from my counting, but I’m not a born mathematician. I represent the archeotype of a "conqueror” and I leave the counting to "collectors" ...
At night dolphins swam with us, the moon didn’t want to glare, it was super dark. You could hear loud intakes of breath when they took in air, they looked like 10 torpedoes, each drew behind a spraying streak.


DAY 369

Sun Mar 09 15:25:33 2008 UTC - 4 47.71 N - 109 43.22 W


We sail, in the end we budged and I hope that we will stop only on anchor in Ensenada. It became more tolerable, it is not so hot, and this joyful noise of water about ship's sides, we sail...
The underside of Luka is again clean, the wind in this moment is 4-5 B, we go 5-7 knots, there’s no great wave, it is warm but not hot, we come with a beautiful half with all sails on masts. This is the type of navigating all sailors always dream about, not to mistake with “crazy” sailors for whom a yacht always goes too slowly ... To complete the picture I’d want some island on the horizon, palms and a beach.
Yesterday when we already moved, I sat down on a basket and with admiration I looked at my ship. All her “dresses” selected and assured with snap hooks, Luka slightly bent, glided in the smooth ocean, wow ... In such moments I understand clearly why I am here. In contrast to most women, Luka gains on beauty, when you add garments to her. "All dressed up” she looks like Miss Pacific.


DAY 368

Sat Mar 08 18:37:51 2008 UTC - 3 27.45 N - 108 56.03 W


Cisza, Silence, today at night or tomorrow we should move. Yesterday I worked a little, I also drank a bucket of water, for it was impossibly hot and after each movement streams of sweat flowed from me, now I know why black people are so lazy ...
Around midday the diving platform, along with the emergency handle for the engine was in place. When I lower it, it is 20 cm over the water, you can sit and soak your legs, exiting the water is now very easy, we don’t even have to use a ladder, instead it’s comfortable enough to jump up. Previously each exit from water was a little stressful; the lengthened before the cruise ladder on hay-beams which now I got rid of with pleasure, used to bent and creak horridly under my weight ...
I took the diving compressor, turned on the engine in order to charge the accumulators which through the inverter charge the compressor. I should probably turn on the generator for this work, but sometimes the circuit breaker of the pump circulating water in generator pops out (generator water pump does not work) and if I do not notice this the engine will overheat, and if I won’t notice that, the engine will cease, and this I won’t notice under water...
From two evils I chose the main engine, although I imagined that the lever of the transmission pushes in a magical manner, when I work near the roller and the sharp screw slices me like a salad ... I probably wouldn’t pick this option if someone was on deck, they might involuntarily hold the ignition lever of the transmission going inside ... Wacek will not reach it even from a jump, besides the entire time he was looking at the place where I dove and barked until he hoarsened ..
Water is warm like soup, it turned out that my „rived-bed” is in place, but the rubber turns together with the roller, so it will not stay there long... ..
Again we’re overgrown, I could not believe it, a month ago I scraped inches from the bottom, it seems that the special paint doesn’t work anymore and life in warm water blooms.
I sat on the platform, putting on my fins when a turtle swam up to us. He surfaced right at my leg, quiet, as if I was also a turtle and stared at me ... Heheh
He was about 80cm in length and he wasn’t afraid at all, I at first wanted to catch him and bring him on deck, but then I thought about what I would do with him after, after all we aren’t starving. I started watching him, to touch his shell; it seemed that he had an unnaturally great head ended with an eagle's beak. Oh well, a turtle is a turtle, but I had to get to work. I jumped in the water and started to clean the bottom, but my friend the turtle had no intention of going anywhere, he distinctly looked for companionship. He was coming near every few moments, then swim away and again come back, in one moment I saw something out of the corner of my eye (each time I dive on the open sea, I think about the film „Jaws”) I turned around nervously, and now I had his stinging peck 10 cm from my mask, I wondered if he was going to peck me ... Hehe. I stopped cleaning, I gently turned him around and pushed him away, he swam a bit but at once returned, I pushed him another time, this time stronger, but again he returned. He treated this as entertainment, or merely he had no wish to swim away ... The back part of his crust was covered by something that looked like red moss ... The shell in this place was decolorized, I thought that maybe he saw the scraper and wants me to scrape him too ..., so I turned him around and scraped this red moss from him. He wasn’t protesting when I scarped him, but I thought that as soon as I let him go, he will quickly swim away. No such luck. He turned to me and was bothering until the end; maybe the scrapings like snow interested him. Two fish traveled with him; one smaller, all white, like an albino fish, the second brightly gray around 25cm. She had a big sucking attachment on the top of her head which she used to attach herself to his abdomen, and only from time to time with lightning speed she sailed away a bit, she seized something in her mouth and she returned to her place.
Under the bottom also lives the family of rainbow fish: two big ones and a few tiny ones which without fear swam at the spatula and would catch something. The two big fish, probably mother and papa, had to know my thoughts, because tactically they hid under keel, I thought about getting bait, but on the other hand, these are „our fish” , they live here, we will not murder them in their own house ...

I heard you on 14.300 MHz today on the Maritime net, good signal from the Galapagos Islands


     Harold Willis, W4HEW
     1657 Stone Meadow Road
     Milledgeville, GA 31061

     Tel:  478-414-1028
     Cell: 478-457-7944

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

                   Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


DAY 367

Fri Mar 07 14:48:13 2008 UTC - 3 35.30 N - 108 28.21 W



Silence ... I’m beginning to see it as a problem, at night we went back 5 miles to the south.
I started to organize “in a heap" a diving platform, today I will make a provisional handle for the adhesive engine, just in case of troubles with entering the port. Then I will go under water and try to figure something out with the rived-bed of roller, I will also clean ship's sides on the water line, they’re overgrown again. Weather fax shows wind just over 5* S, we will somehow have to move these 100 miles to the north.

DAY 366

Thu Mar 06 16:16:49 2008 UTC - 3 38.17 N - 108 8.83 W


Today marks a year on the sea, I will have to make some indentation on the mast ...
There’s still no wind, but sometimes it blows, it changed direction today to eastern.
Maybe these are lazy heralds of trade wind.
In the evening the sun set was exceptionally charming, usually during such evenings I take lots of pictures, of course I concentrate on sharpness and closeness and I lose all the charm of the performance. Yesterday I decided not to take any pictures and for half an hour I stared at the impossible to describe game of light reflecting in the sea and clouds. This performance was only for me, nobody else saw it.

From every other place on the horizon it looked different...


DAY 365

Wed Mar 05 16:11:17 2008 UTC - 3 36.93 N - 108 7.74 W


As before it’s silent, ah.....If only we could use the engine... 100 miles before us begins the northern trade wind...
In the evening the dolphins again gave us a demonstration. This time they swam up near by, although not as close as in oceanarium. Our camera is not good at grasping objects in motion, like every digital camera it has a delay.
One can push the button halfway and adjust sharpness, but if the action plays out a bit further, it doesn’t come out sharp. We have many such pictures.
I did not manage to depict the high jumps of dolphins, on one a young dolphin only comes out of the water, on another it already falls back in... In a certain moment it looked like two mature dolphins were teaching a young one how to hit the water with his tail. They took turns, first the old dolphin, then the young. It’s precisely in such manner that they stun the fish. The whole thing was framed by a red like wine, setting sun.
Wacek half hang overboard, or would run on deck furiously, he took turns barking and crying excitedly, I would check sometimes if he didn’t get it in his head to swim with the dolphins.
Super evening but a little sad, because there was nobody I could share it with...
In the evening I connected with a yacht Don Pedro in road to the Mediterranean, we talked for a few moments; the fellow came to the conclusion that this connection was a sign from God. Mediterranean will not be his aim; he will sail on, around the world, just like he always dreamed ... Hehe. Amen.


DAY 364

Tue Mar 04 15:37:27 2008 UTC - 3 24.88 N - 108 15.27 W


Silence, the ocean is as smooth as folded glass, these folds are from a dead wind from north east, we rock on the waves. This dead wave announces northern trade wind, maybe tomorrow it will appear ...
I’m reading Van Daniken, I have mixed feelings, he’s a buffoon - but also the collector of interesting information, some of his personal proposals are like a stretched condom, but I decided that it will stay on the shelf...
Stupid books are unloaded overboard.


DAY 363

Mon Mar 03 18:02:33 2008 UTC - 3 21.94 N - 108 28.16 W


Since yesterday we have informal half (wind), here where we are the weather fax shows the wind at 1-2 knot, from all directions, while for us blows not very strong, but stable wind from the north west, this is probably a present from Mother Ocean for our anniversary ... Hehe.

Flying fish, the size of herrings, jump out perpendicularly from water, as if they couldn’t fly anymore.
Wacek, all excited, defends the deck and runs long ways on the deck like mad – a little movement will do him good.
The net stretched on railing protects Wacek from falling out, it also stopped some flying fish from dropping in, and there are some scales in it.
Yesterday I decided to take care of the cases for sails. The sun damages them a lot, it’s necessary to cover them, especially when the yacht is not moving (soon we toss the anchors)
In the US, especially in cheap marinas stand many neglected yachts. People buy themselves the right to dream, but they don’t have enough courage in order to sail. They don’t sell the yacht, though, because that would mean getting rid off their dream.
Such abandoned yachts just stand there, like neglected, lonely women, and the uncovered sails become yellow and green from must and after some years in the sun and rain they disintegrate in your hands.
A well sewed sail, and cared for, will pull a boat a good 20 years, and then it will be difficult to let it go, you can always mend the places around the snap hooks , and correct seams on corners ...
The material itself, if the sail was not beaten cruelly and left in the sun, will live long.
I went to the fore cabin and started to look for the cases. Meanwhile I found a lot of chicken soup, and eggs in powder, this last one we will never eat, they taste like old soles, they will stay on boat as iron reserve of protein, in these cans (the maker says) they can stay 30 years.
When I finally dug up the covers, I found a solitary (alas) can of beer ... Hehe. I forgot for a few moments about the cases and I returned to the wheelhouse, I sat down comfortably and I slowly popped the can. There was a familiar hiss, and I felt a familiar smell of hop ...yummy ... I put the can to my mouth and, and... ..Ah "what a wedding this was”... ..
Still before the cruise I was supposed to sew new cases for the sails, the ones we have are old, the seams in many places are frayed, and the material worn out by the sun tears like paper.
One day we were visited by a guy who made cases, he measured everything, and in a few days informed us, that the price for three cases, with 30% post-season discount, was $1600... I thanked him nicely; I decided to buy a machine and to sew them myself. I managed to buy the machine and even sew the sails, but then I broke my elbow, and I didn’t have enough time to order sunbrella, a special material for cases. So we still have old cases, but if I fix them a little they should suffice until I will sew new ones.
I would eat a fresh fish, but we sail too slow, I can’t count on it...

DAY 362

Sun Mar 02 20:00:57 2008 UTC - 2 7.03 N - 108 17.57 W

We are stuck in feeble changeable winds between trade winds, south and northern, the wind for a few days now turns and dies, but today since morning we have a lovely half – I wonder how long we will enjoy it ...
Autopilot almost subsided into silence, it hums sometimes quietly, as if it was telling the perfectly balanced today Luka, in which direction she should move.
In the morning I put up all sails, they stretched on the wind and straighten the scars of reefing from Cape Horn. They smooth out with time, time evens out everything...
In a few days it will be a year since the beginning of our trip, how quickly it went by ...
Time according to Einstein is relative and is more surface than line ...
A year has 365 days (not always) and we need one day, in order to twice see the setting sun. A DAY has 24 hours – I wonder who divided it so, it could have had 14, or 72 parts.
Because the earth does not only revolve, but also move, someone not very exactly calculated that each time when we turn 365 times, it begins a new year.
The whole affair got complicated, when we decided to divide a year on longer periods than a day.
Someone invented a week, and then a month. They managed to pack an equal number of months to each year, but they couldn’t do their magic so that each month had the same number of days. You can’t divide 365 days by 12 months, to get even bits.
For “sacred peace”, it was decided that some months will merely be „briefer”, and that the remainder of time that showed up in the equation, will be named “leap„ year.
Even Uncle Einstein was not able to solve this puzzle and he invented his own equation. He knew that something had to move in this „machine”, and he figured out that it’s not the time that moves but we move in time, and the speed with which we do this, defines the rate our life.
If one can trust a man whose ancestors „killed Jesus” (or maybe thanks to whom Jesus appeared in the first place), then the conclusion is that in spite of modest daily adventures, we had to pretty well speed in our time-space, because the last year flew by like a brief dream about the sea.

DAY 361

Sat Mar 01 18:22:29 2008 UTC - 1 13.12 N - 107 58.44 W

In the morning the anemic wind died altogether, and after a moment it blew from the north. I was not in the mood for the nightly hoards with the genoas’ boom, so I let it down together with boom and returned to the sofa, I still caught the ending of my dream...

Yesterday I turned on the radio, and I happened on the right propagation. Radio Havana de Cuba reached us almost clearly. I do not know Spanish, but every few moments I heard familiar words - mucho, reform, dinero, travacho, Fidel Castro...

As a somewhat intelligent person, hehe, without trouble I connected these words into shapely news – reform on Cuba, and after the resignation of Fidel Castro not enough cash and a lot of work ... Hehe. After the news there was super music, guitar and Cuban flamenco mixed with the smell of women and warm rum.

Then I caught a frequency on which a fellow from Florida gave weather, to each yacht that asked for it, after giving its position, super affair. So far I was not sure if our radio worked, propagation this year is altogether bad, and I did not have a chance to check it earlier. We have a satellite telephone; radio was as plan „B.”

Lately, talking through Iridium got very expensive, and my bank account is already so thin that I could already see the form which will soon close it. I started to turn the radio on often, generally it’s difficult to talk on it, but I only need a few stains on the sun and a little current.

So I called out to the weather angel and the angel heard me ... We talked for a few moments, I didn’t need the weather, but it was nice to talk.

So the radio is in order, I’m only missing English-speaking broadcasting frequencies; I would gladly listen to something I could understand.