Friday, March 23, 2012

New video

Hello All,
I spent about 3 hours last night and 3 hours this morning making a new video. I did this a little different, I put together a compilation of the whole trip with lots of photos and some video. I didnt get as much video as I should have but since I got my Itouch it made it more convenient to carry it around.
I posted it on my video link and I will post it here also.
It was heaps of fun to make so enjoy.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Varnish work and anchorage short comings

Hello All,
We had a few nice days without rain squalls this week so I went to work touching up my outside wood. It has been over a year since I cleaned up all of the teak and put some varnish on. I did that while I was in New Zealand and the stuff I used was a very good product made in New Zealand. The problem is I am out of it and to ship it here would be way to expensive and the Island doesn't have anything for outdoor use. I had some epoxy with a special wood hardener I had left over but I am just about out of it so I am going around fixing thin spots and coating complete areas where I can. I am just trying to get it to hold up till I can get home.

Outside of that I have been enjoying the goodies mom has sent me in the mail and watching the TV shows she recorded for me.

Since I arrived here Feb 3rd there has been all of 2 days where the the trade winds have been a gentle 10 knots. Besides that the wind blows here in the anchorage an average of 25 knots which makes 1 to 2 foot wind waves. It makes it very hard to work outside with out getting everything blown off deck. And the dingy ride to the yacht club is always an adventure. Right before I make the half mile run to the beach I slam my fingers in a drawer to put me in the right frame of mind and get a salt water shower while pounding into the waves to cool me off.

I could not resist holding back my thoughts on the anchorage any longer. And town is a 10 mile bike ride one way, the one good thing about being here is the yacht club with its fast Internet and facilities and I am still in the tropics. I am sure this last paragraph will fall on deaf ears to the folks at home.

I will enjoy my last 3 weeks here and am looking forward to a fast track tour of Japan. Southwest Alaska will be an adventure all by its self and will be good to be able to tow a beer behind the boat and actually have it get colder instead of warmer.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patricks day dinner

Hello All,
I was invited to go out to dinner with Mark and Pauline, the cruising couple that will be staying here the season before going to Japan, and a few of the yacht club members. We went to an Irish pub, which was quiet fitting. there was a live band playing some great music and the dinner was fabulous.
Every Sunday the yacht club serves lunch and a few people showed up and took a few of the lasers out for a sail. We have had heaps of wind lately so I have just been doing little inside projects on the boat. I plan to do some touch up varnish work on the outside of the boat this week so I hope we have better weather. It has been in the 80s in the day but has cooled off to 75 at night brrrr!! hehe.
A couple from New Zealand showed up a few days ago, They are heading for Attu Island directly from Guam about the first of May and plan to tour the coast of Alaska. We have been chatting about where they will be going and looking at charts of all the different anchorages the Aleutians have to offer.
I know a few boats heading my way so I know I wont be out there alone.
I am getting a ride to town today with Mark so I need to get going. Talk to you soon.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

New crew and New crew

Hello All,
Exciting times here, I just got word from a new crew that I will have to cruise through Japan. Stephen will have to leave the boat when we get to one of my first ports because he has to get home to Canada to care care of some business. The problem is I have a long way to go after I reach the first port to where I want to depart from the country. I have 2 Swedish guys that will meet the boat where I make land fall and will travel the coast with me for a month till I get to Kobe Japan where I will get ready to make the crossing home. It should be a really good time and even though I'm not making any crossings with them aboard it will be nice to have the help to navigate through the ship congested waters. I will get to see much more of the country with them. It is a little different plan than I originally started with but I like this one much better.
From Kobe I have already arranged a crew home and I will fill you in on that when the time comes.
Thats all for now.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Boat work and new crew

Hello All,
It has been over a week since I have been here. I have been slaving away installing navigation equipment on the boat. For almost 3 years I have had to steer the boat by hand under engine only and even though I have mostly sailed there is still heaps of times myself and my crew have had to sit for hours on end steering. Under sail I have a Monitor wind vane that has done a wonderful job. It is all mechanical so it doesn't use any power but it only works when the wind blows.

I have just finished installing an electric auto pilot to help us when under engine only. After I leave Guam and the trade winds I am foreseeing a little more motoring so I wanted to make it easier on us and as the temperature decreases we wont have to freeze to death holding on to the tiller so much. I have also installed an AIS system (Automatic Identification System) In the shipping industry the boats are required to send out a signal that states there position, heading there length, what they are carrying and where they are going. The system I installed picks up this signal and puts them on my chart plotter so I can see them with out using my radar. The radar will pick them up also but this system is more precise and it gives you a boat name also so if you need to call them on the radio you can hail the name of the vessel. It hasn't been an issue so far in my travels to track ships but I am told Japan has heavy ship traffic and I just want to keep things safe.

Now for the news everyone has been waiting for. Stephen from Canada will be arriving in Guam on the 4th of April to help me get the boat to Japan. He has never sailed before so this will be an adventure for both of us. We have been visiting for weeks on email and skype and he is really excited to make the trip. I dont plan to leave till about the 15th of April so it will give us some time to get the boat out sailing and get us both used to the boat again.
Things are coming together on the Freestyle and it will be good to get underway again to visit strange and interesting ports.
I will keep you guys up to date as things move along and I will add some Regatta pictures to the Guam album.
That's all for now.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Guam won the Regatta

Hello All,
I spent Saturday and Sunday out on the chase boat helping set coarse marks and watching the race boats to make sure know one got into trouble. This weekend was very windy gusting up to 30 knots so the racers had there hands full trying to keep from capsizing. Most of the racers that competed come out every Sunday to practice and have little race events of there own. All of that being said they are in very good shape and can make those little boats fly. On the beam reach leg of the race they were sailing at least 15 to 20 knots boat speed.

I wanted to get some pictures while I was out there but our chase boat was very wet from the 2 foot wind waves out on the coarse and with 3 of us on a 12 foot inflatable we got very wet. A few of the members were out there on a drier boat and got some really good photos. I will try to get with one of them this Friday and see if they can give me a few to post.

Last night,(Monday night for me) one of the yacht club members hosted a dinner for everyone involved. We had a great time visiting and they put on a big spread of food consisting of Chamorro (local food) American and Japanese. The 4 Japanese racers made dinner for everyone and it was awesome. There was also a Japanese cruising boat that showed up last week, Fuji on the sailboat Seagull. He is finishing a around the world trip done in 3 years time and all by himself. He just left this morning to head north up the Island chain. He is a really nice guy and I have all of his contact information so we will keep in touch.

Good news on the freestyle, I have crew coming to help me get to Japan, I will have more details on who and when in the next few days. Hows that for suspense.

Thats all for now and I will keep in touch.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Good will ragatta, Guam vs. Japan

Hello All,
This last week I have been busy with collecting of packages in the mail and talking with hopeful crew on Skype and on email. Its looking good so I'm stoked.
This weekend the yacht club is having a sailboat race. They race smaller boats called lasers, I grew up sailing boats like these on the lake. The yacht club owns about 20 of these boats and once a year a few Japanese Laser sailors come for the weekend to compete. I volunteered to help on one of the chase boats to keep track of boats and help out if needed. It was heaps of fun today, I helped set up the coarse markers this morning and just helped keep track of the 14 boats out racing today. I will be doing the same thing tomorrow also. Its pretty cool they feed you at lunch time between the races and I get a yacht club tee shirt after tomorrow when the races are finished.
I have been busy here just meeting new people and catching a ride when I can from members that show up and are heading my way. I also have been riding the bike to town a few times, its 10 miles one way so a day is shot if I have to go by bicycle.
All is good here and sorry its been so long since I wrote, time flys when your busy.

P.S. I will post some pictures after the weekend and I still have to put together some videos, I'm working on it.