Around The World Voyage : Commentary

November 8,2001

It’s a little past midnight and the fifth night at sea since leaving Dana Point. Today, this afternoon and evening - a feeling of well-being are shared by all. Our weather – while still overcast is very pleasant with temperatures in the upper 60s and the wind has clocked around to our stern from the east – we are clearly in the trades. At noon today Eric caught his first Dorado, which as Sushi is much preferred to the cold water Albacore caught earlier in the week. After writing Sue yesterday that we had forgotten Wasabi she emailed be back and told me there was a fresh tube in the locker outboard of the microwave oven – sure enough. The Mahi Mahi was sweet and tender – chilled and eaten 90 minutes after being brought aboard.

The wind while turning easterly has moderated from 15-20 knots – down to 7 knots. It was so pleasant this evening that we barbequed steaks, baked huge potatoes and with fresh spinach – thoroughly stuffed ourselves. As the sun set we could see a bright line on the horizon – indicating a break in this overcast many miles to the west and we hope to reach sunshine by tomorrow.

It always takes time to adjust and settle into a long ocean voyage. The first three days – while not miserable – were typical of this classic California to Hawaii passage. Leaving the protection of Catalina and then San Nicholas Islands the unimpeded northwest wind and swell make for uncomfortable conditions. Departing Dana Point on Saturday – all the preparation – the huge send off party – the magnitude of the voyage that lie ahead and the rough conditions – combined with concern over the reliability of the new equipment installed – all succeeded to wind my springs pretty tight. Robert Beebe summed it up in an unpublished article he wrote where he spoke of the dread he always felt at the start of an ocean crossing and I had a pretty good case of it.

After four full days now – the boat is performing beautifully. Our speed is exactly what was predicted and we are building a good fuel reserve, our water tanks are full of pure R.O. water, every system is operating perfectly and I’m beginning to feel that wonderful, confident, rested feeling that we hope for while passagemaking.

It’s time now for a log entry and I need a cup of coffee so I’ll sign off from N28’30 – W127’58 – Course 258M – 6.2 knots…..

Jim Leishman


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