It’s is the end of the second night as I write this. Aside from the obvious concern of hurricane Marie, the conditions have been extraordinarily practical. The wind has been strong on the beam in the first leg, allowing us to do good speed. Then, yesterday early in the evening, thanks to the advise of my sailing friends, I have put up the A5 spinnaker, and again we are moving swiftly. One of the hardest thing for a sailor is being in very light wind, and you can make that situation worse by adding a good strong swell. In those conditions, it is really hard to get a sailboat moving. And the sailor will try and try and try until exhaustion, all the while making tiny progress. This is likely to happen many times. But for now we’re happily gliding. Just like last night I have been lying down in my bunk, not yet getting good sleep. Other daily activities such as eating, drinking, and using the infamous bucket, are going well. I do however already long for a shower.
I have started to keep a job list. I noticed that the Windex windvane atop the mast was off center. This likely means that a screw has come undone, and I’m likely to lose it unless I go up the mast, which considering the situation is unlikely to happen as I need to keep moving to try and beat Marie. It does mean that I will find myself without a windvane but there will be alternatives to that. I do not have a backup however. I think the accumulated stress over the past months is slowly making way for other emotions, slowly. On other news fronts, I am happy to report one additional donation on my GoFundMe campaign. Thank you! I have received friendly support from different companies out there, but for the most part I am self-funded. I had to dig deep to get started, and that was still by working with a shoestring budget, considering the magnitude of this grand sailing project. So, all that to say, that I would welcome additional donations if you can spare some change: www.gofundme.com/SF2SF
An attitude of gratitude
I will try to thank the long list of folks who have helped me along the way. Looking at the history of this adventure, I will start by sending my thanks to Christian Dumard. Although a Westward circumnavigation from San Francisco had been thought of before, it had not occurred in my mind and Christian was (to me) the one who suggested this course. I had plenty of conversations about the general plan with different people after that. But if my memory serves me right (which is not a given) Christian planted the seed. And he continues to help me when possible. I also would like to thank Jean-Francois Mazan, a French entrepreneur who owns the dry storage place where Changabang was waiting for her next owner. Besides being a wonderful gentleman, he put me at ease with the transaction, which was a major decision and financial burden. During the search and purchase of a vessel for this project, I had on my side Bill Lee, whose vast experience was tremendously helpful to help me manage the uncertainties of buying a new to me boat. I bugged his ears more than was reasonable, and he was always friendly and helpful. I thank him very much for working with me.
What comes next?
Considering that I am trying to go southwest towards Torres Strait, the optimum path will likely be to sail just in front and on the west side of hurricane Marie. This involves managing the forecast, and making routing decisions. I am likely to continue on this course until Saturday, at which point I will gybe to finally make some progress South. That’s all for now.