Around The World Voyage : Commentary

November 9-10, 2001
Dana Point to Honolulu
0330 Pacific Standard

What a difference 24 hours makes!

Thereís a low-pressure disturbance developing to the north of us, sucking up weather from the south. The northeasterlies have become 15-to-20-knot southeasterlies, kicking up a beam sea again, with it the motion and thudding of confused waves. The barometer is dropping. The forecast calls for the wind to continue to clock around to the south and then the west, the direction we are headed. Saturday is likely to be bumpy as a result.

The good news is that itís getting warmer, now close to 70 F. And motion is a lot easier to take on Day 6 and 7 than it was on the first couple of days out. Thereís been a question about accommodations in the e-mail received at

Day 7: Dana Point to Honolulu
Accommodations aboard Nordhavn

For a 40-foot boat, we have a lot of flexibility in sleeping accommodations. There are four men aboard and we each have our own berth, and storage space. Jim and Eric are in the forward stateroom where the queen-size bed is divided into two by a full-length lee cloth down the middle. In the guest stateroom, I have the lower berth while Dave has the upper.

In a seaway, the best sleeping space is the settee in the salon. Almost always, during the night hours, someone is sleeping there. Often, when the ride is bumpy, another body will be on the warm salon floor above the engine room, curled up against the auxiliary freezer installed for the circumnavigation. During the night hours, the 12 hours of darkness at this time of the year, only the watchstander is awake. Thus, the fact that some crew are sleeping in the ďliving roomĒ doesnít impact on anyone or any activity. We have supper together between 6 and 7 p.m., and then, until about 7 or 8 a.m. everyone is asleep except for the watchstander. At night, you have the wheelhouse to yourself and the ship runs in silence with instruments providing the only light. Everyone carries a small pocket flashlight for moments when local light is needed.

During the day, there usually are two in the wheelhouse, the watchstander and someone keeping him company or just sitting there on the raised settee and reading. Iíll be at the table in the salon, typing away, while the fourth person will be in the cockpit, galley or second settee. So, we have lots of space, a cordial and casual atmosphere, and no one is getting on anyone elseís nerves. The day goes by quickly. Spirits are high because we are all thrilled to be out here. There is some beer consumed during happy hour, and Dave and I take a glass of wine with dinner. From the numbers of cases stashed in a locker in the master stateroom, Iíd have say that Coors Light is the Official Beverage of Nordhavn 40 Around The World.

Day 7: Dana Point to Honolulu
9 November 2001
1130 Pacific Standard Time

We seem to be getting Saturdayís forecast a day early, with 22 knots out of the south and a confused beam sea of 8 to 10 feet. Nordhavn soldiers onward, albeit at a slower pace, 4.8 knots. Itís remarkable how well the boat tracks in this slop, with the Raymarine ST6001+ autopilot making only minor adjustments.

Why have I been using Pacific Daylight Time when, in fact, weíre functioning in Pacific Standard Time? Whatís a Canadian to know, eh, about how Californians keep time?

Day 7:
Dana Point to Honolulu
9 November 2001
1545 Pacific Standard Time

Boat speed is down to 4.5 knots as we take 16 to 20 knots on the nose, with the wind wave running diagonally across the swell, making for one confused sea and uncomfortable ride. All the references to boat speed in this journal to date have been at 1,400 rpm, indicating how much we are slowed by changing weather.

The last of several squalls just left a fat rainbow in the darkening sky behind us. The one reassuring constant in the rocking and rolling is the murmur of the Lugger, ceasessly pushing us toward Hawaii at 1,400 rpm, an economical engine speed for minimal fuel consumption during at least the first half of the passage.

The bummer about the deteriorating weather is that we have to delay the 46th birthday party for Jim. It would be too difficult to serve the ice cream cake his wife, Sue, secreted into the back of the freezer. Besides, I still have not found the candles she said were aboard.

Day 8:
Dana Point to Honolulu
10 November 2001
0315 Pacific Standard Time
Latitude 27.09.283
North Longitude 132.51.586
West Heading 244 M
Speed 3.8 knots

Not the most pleasant watch Iíve started. As darkness wore on, the contrary seas continued to grow. By midnight, we slowed to 3.6 knots so we and the boat wouldnít take a beating. The reduction in speed reduced, but not eliminated, the crashing and banging of sea against boat. RPMs are down to 1,280 as we plug along, with a fair bit of rocking but, thankfully, not much rolling. Some spray is flying.

As darkness fell, we were looking at 8 to 10 foot seas, so it would not surprise me if out there now seas were 15 or even 20 feet, as the wind has strengthened to 25 knots. Itís a steamy 77 F in the wheelhouse this morning as all windows must remain closed on account of the spray. Only the aft-facing windows in the salon are open.

This is not heavy weather, which starts in full gale conditions at 35 knots, but certainly this qualifies as medium weather. Itís the sort of unpleasant night at sea that seems to take forever to end.


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