Archive for August, 2010


All American

August 31, 2010   

So tonight I went with David to a Giants game for a typical all american experience. I haven’t been to a ball game since I was 8 years old so it was good fun to soak in the whole experience. I asked David a lot of questions and he kept on giving me information so he must not have been too bored with my stupid questions. I guess one thing that amazed me most is how much they get paid as atheletes I know they don’t have long to earn but if you were smart with your money it could concievably last a lifetime.

I guess also some of them are not that fit looking either! We had hot dogs for dinner and walked around during one of the innings visiting the side where the bleachers were. David also had an invitation to the club area before the game for a wine tasting.

There were a total of 31,000 people there tonight they just kept on streaming in all game long another thing that amazed me was how quickly the stadium emptied without any problems.

Oh BTW the giants beat the colorado rockies so David was happy!

Buy your one of a kind

August 30, 2010   

Buy your one of a kind 2011 Women of Antarctica calender here today and help raise money for Breast Cancer Research.

Water everywhere….

August 26, 2010   

Dad and I on the Going to the sun road Glacier National Park, Montana

We stopped off at Logan Pass which is on the Continental Divide and listened to an interesting talk by a ranger. I might have my figures very slightly wrong but here goes…

The earth is covered with 75% water. 2-3% of that is fresh water. 90% of that fresh water comes from glaciers providing us with water to use. The glaciers are melting. Of the 100+ in Glacier National Park in the late 1800’s there are only 25 left and those are set to dissappear by 2020. With this change in climate many species will be adversely impacted. One within the park is the ptargmigan which is a gamebird. They change their plummage from white to brown so they blend in with the snow in the winter and rock in the summer however, the change is triggered not by temperature but by the amount of daylight hours so they will be in trouble.

Anyways that is the thought for the day brought to you by RYM!!! So basically people conserve water and look after what we have!

Big sky and lots of trees!

August 25, 2010   

My mother and I with a neighbourhood dog! on a paddleboard on Flathead lake MT

The two weeks since I got back from Hawaii have been crazy catching up with work and friends and getting ready to leave again for 16 months to South Georgia. On tuesday morning after only 2 hours sleep I jumped on the 4am airporter and flew to Kalispall Montana to surprise my Dad who is travelling with my mum and their friends for his birthday. So I have 4 days hanging out in Glacier National Park to get my fill of trees and spend time with the family. Followed by 3 days in Colorado visiting my cousins and Uncle. Time to do the rounds of all the relatives as I won’t be seeing them till 2012! It really is a very beautiful place here the water is crystal clear and the lake water is warm enough for a swim.


August 16, 2010   

So Charlie asked several times what sea turtles eat and I didn’t really know the answer. Nor do I really know what type of turtle we rescued from the fishing net. I have sent the picture off to turtle experts so that they can tell me. You can have a look and see from the picture if you can ID it by using the Sea Turtle Conservancy site.

Check out the website for more information. I have to say it was the highlight of my pacific adventures during July and August.

RYM clients win!

August 15, 2010   

So I can’t miss the marketing opportunity and really I did nothing towards it… however!! The top three boats at SFYC Spring Keel this weekend are RYM clients. So well done Arbitrage, Jam Session and Donkey Jack.

I was asked the other day who won the ETA competition on under the bridge. The answer of course is the skipper – who has the control over boatspeed! We went under at 4:45am so Ed lost by an hour.

The last three days I have been burning up my credit card as I only had these days to pack for South Georgia so lots of things have been very kindly carted by my poor mother to the UK. This includes blocks of wood for making presents, pieces of plastic (ditto), oreos, deodrant, conditioner, specialty flour, freeze dried fruit, lots of sweets the list goes on.

This is Whiskey Delta Foxtrot four wun six niner going clear on eight Alpha

August 11, 2010   

I will miss the open ocean…

Our last roll call as we approach the golden gate bridge with less than 50 miles to go. We are starting to see a lot of sea birds and clumps of kelp are going by. It has been a good trip and all the crew I got from the Pac Cup website have worked out really well. For one I know it is a lifetime experience that won’t be repeated, for another it is the start of his offshore career and for the other I think he will continue to look to do a trip like this every few years.

There is always a feeling of accomplishment no matter how many times you cross an ocean when you get to the destination with the boat intact, everyone in one piece and happy. This was my sixth crossing and definantly the most benign with the most amount of sleep and the least time spent motoring. I think the crew got what they wanted out of the trip including some spinnaker sailing for about 7 hours on Sunday in pretty perfect conditions. We had to catch Green Buffalo so we crept up nice and steadily so as not to cause a stampede! It is touch and go as to whether Ed or I will win the bottle of wine if we average 7 knots from here he has it by 45 minutes!

Through out these trips as I explained to my crew you go through differentmental states about the distance to go and the distance you have come. At some point you just get into a rhythm and really it doesn’t matter how much longer you are out there unless it is really miserable conditions. I was very much looking forward to being on land for more than 5 days until it dawned on me on Saturday night that I only had 4 (potentially 3) nights left as boat captain on the ocean for what is likely to be almost 20months. I will leave San Francisco on the 12th September and not come back till January 2012 and I leave the UK for South Georgia on the 18th November. While on this delivery I was sent an email with the dates – it will take 10 days from London to get to King Edward Point as I go by sea from the Falklands.

So stay tuned. The next few weeks of posts will be about my adventures trying to enjoy everything the US has to offer before heading to Europe. Then you will hear all about my training for going south and last but not least there will be a 13 months of posts from South Georgia.

So now time to enjoy my last partial night at sea hopefully there will be some stars out though I can’t hope for a moon. It is likely however, that we will be bucking the tide coming in the gate under a cloak of fog listening intently to VTS for incoming and outgoing traffic into the bay. Thanks for reading.

Ahead of the Buffalo and Coyote

August 10, 2010   

205 miles to the South Tower of the Golden Gate the breeze is up to 20 gusting 25. It has been like sailing in the UK today all gray, cloudy and rainy. Seas are coming from behind and from the north so we have a little cross sea. The compass we resealed is leaking again into the aft bunk! Oh well it is only one more night. Dinner was jazzed up noodle with carrots, pesto, onion and chicken breast.

Starting to see lots of signs of civilization in shipping traffic and when it wasn’t cloudy this morning lots of airplane contrails. We have pulled 6 miles ahead of Green Buffalo and were able to talk to them on VHF instead of SSB. We are under one reef and the number 4 and they have a full main and the working jib. Looks like it is going to get light about 70 miles ahead so it might come down to who has the most horsepower in their engine to displacement.

This is my last full night in the ocean for a long time and I am looking to enjoying it except my foulies decided to give up the ghost so I might get into Oliviers which he left aboard!

Trucking towards the gate


When I came up on deck yesterday at 11:45am we were socked in a fog bank with 15 knots of wind dead behind. Then the fog cleared but it stayed cloudy and it was time to hoist the spinnaker and give the crew a break from the boredom of the engine. The mood lifted when I yelled down to everyone to get up if they wanted a kite up. We changed to 3 hours on 3 hours off for the period the spinnaker was up. I taught Charlie how to wool the kite and I realised it was a good thing we were putting the kite up because it was still full of grass cuttings from the lawn at Kanehoe YC and still a little damp from when it had been washed.

So we crept up slowly on Green Buffalo making sure not to spook them and cause them to stampede! At roll call we were 60 miles south of them at 38 06 and 4 miles aft of them. Coyote is 60 miles directly on our stern so there is no chance of them catching us.

As the wind went forward we doused the kite making sure to keep it dry and went back to a more relaxed 1.5 on 4.5 off and the very familiar droning sound of the engine. So we are now under 300 miles to the dock at RYC and the crew is looking forward to it. The only other thing to report is that I got to wash my hair again yesterday – it really does make you feel more human!

Looking like Ed could be getting the bottle of red wine as we might be closer to his ETA then mine at the bridge! We could always throw a bucket over to slow us down..

Sorry Dee with the spinnaker going up it looks like an early morning arrival at the dock. Don’t worry I don’t expect to see you till a more reasonable time by which time we won’t be so smelly aboard!

Position is 38 10N 128 35W

Gentleman start your engines

August 8, 2010   

Many jerries of fuel to be used!

Well we did that days ago it seems and are still motor sailing. Yesterday it cleared into a warm sunny day and after a beautiful sunset I thought we might get a night full of stars. 45 minutes into my first night watch the stars had been replaced with a blanket of cloud and when I came up for my second watch we were in damp dense fog.

Yesterday morning the wind shifted to the west which was not predicted by the grib files. I am not sure why I am surprised as the GRIB files haven’t made sense this whole trip! We keep on getting enticing wind reports from the boats ahead at roll call but by the time we get there there is nothing! I am pretty glad I loaded up with fuel at this point. We could actually motor all the way to the dock!

This is the first delivery back that I have done roll call and I have to say it is good for a few laughs each evening. Last night JP got on from Recividist asking if anyone was putting up their spinnakers. I said we didn’t have any left after the race but he should be totally fine seeing as he doublehanded over with his fiancee. He mentioned several times about wanting to get home – I thought come back to me when you have done 9000 miles in 2.5 months! He did the race over but was with his fiancee so basically that is like having all the comforts of home 🙂

The next laugh was when green buffalo asked if we had caught up with them yet. We have closed the gap and have been daily. Then he mentioned that Coyote, Buffalo and Rhum Boogie are all in the same harbor and it was a race to the showers. Well that is like putting a red flag to a bull with me 🙂 I said well you have water line length (Buffalo is 40 feet and Coyote 42 feet) and your engine has more horsepower. He mentioned we had larger sail area to displacement – he has a point…. however, he has an autopilot and has hand steered only 3 hours of the trip so far where as we have hand steered 100% of the way. Anyways he said – I didn’t realise it was a race to the dock – at which point Doug off Delicate Balance said – are there more than two boats on the water! So now it is game on. My crew want to see the spinnaker so in the interest of education and to stop the ringing in our ears from the engine we might have a go for a few hours this afternoon with the big mother.

We have also decided there should be a delivery race back from these trips and the handicap should be decided by fuel used, number crew, autopilot hours, customer satisfaction (i.e. crew grading the skipper), water line length, fish caught etc. You get bonus points for rescuing sea creatures and demerits for needing outside assistance like Deception requiring a battery from Hula Girl.

Also we want to pass the Farallones at sun up on the 11th as there is no point in getting in in the middle of the night on the 10th/11th.

Position today is 38 10N 132 11W we have green buffalo off to port and coyote off to starboard so we are going to head them both off at the pass!