Blog from Captain Rick

Taiohae Baie to Hooumi Bay

9.18.18
We left Taiohae Baie at 3:30pm, 7NM to Hooumi Bay. We tried too sail out of the bay only to be reminded of sailing on Lake George, where 180 degree wind changes were common and often. This boat is wider than that boat was long. Quick fast tacks (turns) with out more crew are not quick. We motored into the wind the whole 7NM. Anchor down at 5:00pm. A peaceful beautiful mountain valley anchorage with one other boat there. No one was on it.

9.19.18
We decided to sail to Anahoe Bay. It’s a rainy, cloudy, dreary kind of day. So off we go! As we leave I am awed by our surroundings, again. We are traveling through a mountainous valley with cliffs, peaks, forested slopes and rock pinnacles on 3 sides of us. To travel through such mountain beauty and do it on a boat is unusual and awesome. As we leave the calm bay and begin to get to the open ocean, Teri, says to me ‘I’m glad it’s not rough out.’ I can’t stop smiling at this comment. I am so happy for her sweet sailing attitude. The waves currently are about 8 feet high on 6-7 second periods. Unfortunately, the sea state deteriorated significantly in the next 20 minutes. As the white caps engulf us, I note we are now in 180 feet deep water. We are mildly surprised to see on our port side 1,000 feet away a rock the size of a large pickup truck, just barely sticking out of the water. No markers, lights, or buoys exist here. It would rip the bottom out of a boat, and be the last day that unfortunate boat ever sailed. As the rock has been past and it appears we have open ocean ahead, the waves continue to grow and more concerning the wave period continues to shrink. (Wave height is the height of the wave, measured on the backside of the wave. Wave period (much more important to us), is the number of seconds from the top of one wave to the next. >7 seconds = Great! 4-5 seconds = Rough and <4 seconds = ride like inside of a washing machine). We are now in 10 foot seas. I decide to check that all is well and secured at the bows. All is secure and the thrill of Oceans launching skyward off the tops of the waves only to then drop 16 feet down between the waves with no slap, boom or harsh impact as her narrow hulls slice into the waves, then back to skyward. I was hooting and howling with joy, while having a very tight hold to the pelican striker. Comfortably and safely seated back at the helm, for 5-6 mins., when a massive wave came over the bow dumping 3-4 feet of water onto the trampoline I was standing on. It blew the rope lacing line that secures the trampoline in place apart in 28 places. The wave periods were down too 3 seconds, everything on the boat was being given a hard workout. Quickly changing course to go more with the waves and reduce more damage potential. Our next planned destination was 4 hours away. We quickly decide it was no longer desirable to go to Anahoe Bay. New heading straight downwind, we found it much more acceptable. It was still rather lumpy. We are sailing back to Taiohae Baie on a downwind run. It was delightful. Teri made a starboard turn at the bay, sailed us all the way to our anchoring location and remained at the helm throughout the anchoring process. She did it perfectly. I am so proud of her. At peace, safely and comfortably anchored it was time for lunch. What a great 1/2 day!!! RR

Touring Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Brief introduction: Taken from Landfalls of Paradise, Earl R Hinz & Jim Howard

” Only 6 of the archipelagos 12 islands are inhabited. Total land area of the group is about 492 square miles compared with the 407 square miles of Tahiti alone.
All are elevated, ranging in height between 1,300 & 4,000 feet, and are covered with a layer of deep and very fertile soil. These islands, mountainous & cut into deep valleys, are not protected by coral barrier reefs.
The group contains no indigenous land animals, but they do contain herds of wild sheep, cattle and pigs, that were left behind by earlier plantation workers. The islands do however, have many birds, the most interesting of which is a species of ground dove found no where else in the Pacific. Fish are also plentiful, and waters of the area contain a variety of enormous sharks.”

Pacific crossing-Part 2

Hello, 3,000 nm-nautical miles.  (in the English measurement system a nautical mile is 1.1508 miles or 6,076 feet, so it is more than a regular mile).

We the crew of s/v Oceans begin our 3hour watches, starting with Rick, Me & then Matthias.  With 3hr watches this gives us the potential of getting up to 6hrs of rest/sleep each.

Rick & Matthias put up our Code Zero sail, which is used when there is <13-15 knots of wind.  It is our “pretty sail”, the one that says “Sail With A Greater Purpose” on it, our Sea Mercy sail.  Unfortunately, it is short lived by being up, one of the stern blocks that lets the line slide through it, Breaks, so down comes the code zero.  Up goes the main sail and the genoa, the wind picks up & we are on our way.  YIPPEE!!!!!

Our watches seem to be going well, though it is hard to sleep as the ocean has been very rough with close choppy waves just about all of our trip since leaving Panama.  Matthias has lost all his Spotify music and all his audible books he was hoping to be listening too on his night watches.  Then mine are all gone also, well all except my Christian playlist, this is Very strange, since I could listen while in the Galapagos.  My playlist is only 26 songs, I love them!  GOD is showing us a sign, that HE is all we need.  (I will share on a separate post the contents of my playlist, if anyone is interested)

Day 6:  We sail through another time zone, our chart plotter lets us know when this happens.  Pretty cool!  1957 NM to Hiva Oa, Marquesas.

On Fri-8.3, we get a text on our InReach from my Brother, Brian, wondering how far we are away from Hurricane Hector?????WHAT????? Immediately, Rick sent off a text to our weather guru, Chris Parker.  Chris confirmed that we were far enough away from Hawaii, where the hurricane was expected to go.  We all knew that we were past the equator & Rick confirmed the fact that no hurricanes have crossed the equator North to South in the Pacific.  GOD has us, we are safe!  Soon after Rick noticed a squeak in the steering system, so he wanted to spray some lubricant on the cable.  Upon closer inspection, our steering cable was down to only 2 stainless steel strands out of a total of 7 strands.  Of course, this happens at 2000hr (8pm), All hands on deck!!!!  Rick & Matthias tried to splice & repair, but the cable didn’t have any tension on  it, due to the fact our autopilot was doing the steering for us.  We now have a back up in place, if the cable breaks completely.   Passed through another time zone.  Destination Hiva Oa-1400 NM to go.

Matthias has been making hearty German bread for us, I am trying to do an apprentice-ship with him.  We are so glad that Matthias is on board with us, he is a Huge help!

Day 14, 1,000NM from Hiva Oa.  Our mainsail starts to deliminate again, in the 1st reef we see 4-5 huge rips in the sail.  We are down to 2 reefs in the sail too use.  Rick says it doesn’t look too strong, but, we are safe!!!  We have diesel and hopefully enough to get us to land.  We are trying to conserve fuel, so we are going much slower with less sail area; 3-4knots.  Matthias makes more bread, yummy, I try to help.  Solar panels stop charging again.  I find myself praying continually.  We need YOUR help, LORD, LORD we need your help.

Day 15, Autopilot quits, 1330hr (1:30pm).  Now, we go to hand steering only & 2 hour watches, with only 2 stainless steel strands on the steering cable.  Since, I don’t know how to fix things, I am at the helm and Rick & Matthias try to fix the autopilot.  So, our complications are growing in number:  deliminating mainsail & genoa (worse than before the repair), steering cable breaking, low on diesel, solar panels not charging properly, loosing freezer food, rough, choppy seas, dinghy trying to commit suicide by breaking away from the boat, so much dirty laundry, very stinky, tired and loss of energy.  If it is going to happen, it will happen out here and most likely at night.

WOW, I often wondered when I would have a “come to JESUS ” moment, I believed that it happened when we were in Guatemala during our mission trip with PC3.  Do people have more than 1????  This adventure has brought me closer to GOD & Rick too.  I feel more intimate in my relationship with JESUS, than ever before.  By reading HIS Word and listening to the only music that stayed downloaded on my phone.  There is no one but YOU, JESUS, for us!  YOU parted the sea so we could sail right through it, YOU drown our fear in YOUR perfect love, YOU rescued us so we can stand and say, We are Children of GOD. (I changed the lyrics a bit).  Life is different out here!!!

On day 16, Rick & Matthias get our old autopilot to work, we go through another time zone, we are back to 3 hours watches.  Matthias’s engineering & electrical back ground has been very helpful to us.  We are grateful!  Rick thought it best to change course and go to Nuku Hiva, because it is a bigger island and we would have a better chance of getting repairs and parts completed.  <500NM to go

8.14-Land Ho!!!!  Port side is Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa is off our bow.

8.15-Day 20 Anchor is down at 1251hr. S08.54’/W140.06′ Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.  We celebrate with champagne.  Thank YOU, JESUS!   We will persevere!   J.R. Macduff: “It is better to weather the storm with CHRIST, than to sail smooth waters without HIM.”  Thank you, Sissy for sharing this quote.