That’s very much how I am these past days. I can feel that I’m starting to get into “preparation” mode. The task at hand is so enormous and diverse (including a job search) that I’m not yet able to focus my energy into specific accomplishments. Well, ok, that’s my usual self-deprecating me speaking there. There have been a few developments since my last post.


It had been 3.5 months since I last had gone out sailing. Every year, the SSS organizes a fantastic race in the San Francisco Bay: the Three Bridge Fiasco. This race usually attracts over 300 racers, strong tidal currents and light winds, and often ends up with a very large portion of the fleet retiring. I double handed on Frequent Flyer, a Farr 30. We did retire; still, it was fun being on the water again.

300+ sailboats drifting in light air

On the wait list

I’m in need of a berth for Changabang. The folks at Redwood Landing Marina are not accepting my application because the owner is a foreigner. I’ve applied for the wait list for Pillar Point Harbor. It’s unclear if I’ll have a slip by the time Changabang is up San Francisco.

Aerial view of Pillar Point Harbor

Marking things off the shopping list

I’ve slowly started shopping for things and they’ve started arriving. I bought a sailing harness as I don’t think a life jacket is of much help when sailing solo offshore (in fact, I got two as the seller seems to have made a mistake). Some of the navigation lights need replacement bulbs so I bought 4 LED bulbs. I also bought 150 feet of 2″ Dacron repair tape; this is to wrap the fiberglass mainsail battens and associated spare (these shed micro shards of fiberglass everywhere; it’s also to prevent splinters should they break when in use). 50 ft of 1/8″ shock cord will be used to re-attach the mainsail. The battery on my portable VHF HX870 did not seem to hold the advertised 12 hours so I got a new one.

Ouch, that hurts!

And, ahem, I got to cough up the remaining invoice for the shipping of Changabang. There are still incidentals but, oh boy, my fingers were sure heavy when I setup the wire transfer online.

Wait, is that a sponsor?

I realized how much food I might need when I started counting the number of bags of freeze dried food I’d have to buy. Let’s say we’ll need 6 months to finish the course and that I eat 3 times a day. That’s 3 x 6 x 30 or 540 bags. Add 20% for safety and we’re talking about 650 bags. At about $8 each that’s $5,200! I started wondering if I should do my own freeze dried food! So I decided to reach out to the main players and ask for discounts or something. Most of them came back negative but Backpacker’s Pantry made me a solid proposal that will help me cut the cost in two. It’s not sponsorship but it’s a very nice gesture. I really enjoyed their Pad Thai on the way to Hawaii during the SHTP in 2018. Now, I do know that there are options to buy in bulk and compose your own meal. I’m just not sure that’s something I’d like to do while sailing.


Today I took out the small scale paper charts I had bought to start plotting my course (I mostly looked at the South Pacific). I had to reach out to Navionics to better understand my electronic charts options (what happens if my subscription runs out when I’m out there?). I’ve researched what I could find about Torres Strait.

Torres Strait passage

Over the next 30 days I would like to finalize my navigation tools and charts. Although using SailGRib WR worked to sail to Hawaii, I think I need something a little more practical than a tiny phone screen for this circumnavigation: a larger tablet or a laptop (I got an old one with Adrena with Changabang)? Separately, I did get useful advice from Stan Honey, which I plan to research over the next few days. Everything starts adding up. Lately I have not been watching the wind forecasts daily as I used to; by this time I would be somewhere in the middle of the South Atlantic and, in fact, I should start watching for lows spinning off the East Cost of South America.

Low blows

Chugging along

All the while Changabang continues her journey towards her new home. And I’m still trying to find a new job.

Changabang somewhere out there

Did I say scatterbrained?

Author: Skipper

Wannabe circumnavigator.

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