Lessons From the Crew

Hi Kathleen, John and Sarah,

Looks like you are heading south again. Hope you’ve been having an amazing time. On the ferry from Port Angeles, I wrote the following notes, with the intention of developing a fuller blog post. However, it just hasn’t happened, so I’m sending it to you as it is. If you think it is useful, feel free to use it on the blog.

I will keep an eye on the blog to hear of your travels.


PS…I was on the west coast this weekend (Nootka Sound Kayak trip)…and saw sea lions thermoregulating!! It’s a thing.

After a few years away from passage making, I seemed to have forgotten the uncomfortable motion and long days associated with taking a small boat between continents. I thought a couple weeks crewing across the Pacific sounded like a wonderful adventure. And it was. However, I’ve made a few notes, should my memory fail me (it will), and I find myself tempted to engage in similar passage making behaviour in the future:

· Always ask Kathleen to be in charge of provisioning, for any voyage.
· Do not celebrate aloud the wonder of the auto pilot. You will be tempting fate. The auto pilots will fail as a result.
· Hamburgers and fries are a mandatory post-voyage celebratory meal. Even if it requires waiting two hours on the sidewalk for a table at the best burger joint in Washington. It will be worth it. It was.
· Do not leave port without a plumbers friend. ‘Nuff said.
· Contrary to my experience elsewhere, fog does not burn off by midday. In fact, you might spend ALL day in fog in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This makes “Landfall” especially anti-climactic.
· No boat should be without a full size shower. A seat is necessary.
· Do not remove your happy patch. Seasickness meds were necessary for the entire voyage.
· The Pacific can be just that. However, it can also be a nasty beast that makes you question why you would ever go from a to b in a boat, instead of using a more logical mode of transportation.
· Tying one’s hopes and dreams to an ETA based on current speed is folly. An eta of four days, for three days in a row, is crew-defeating.
· One’s idea of a good time can be fluid. Daily highlight was our 4:30 calculations of distance travelled and fuel consumed. This data was graphed, and we all revelled in the fuel vs distance curve… affectionately called the “howzit goin’ curve”.
· Do not doubt that a large, unwieldy, poorly constructed, metal sampling device will add value to the voyage. In fact, it will be the part of the adventure that you are most proud of.
· Life without google is hard. And awesome.
· Sea Lions thermoregulate. It’s what they do. It might look like a shark’s fin. But it is a sea lion’s flipper trying to soak up some sun. I promise.

Naomi 🙂

After 20 days at sea, Naomi stepping off in Port Angeles.

After 20 days at sea, Naomi stepping off in Port Angeles.

This entry was posted in Laysan, Laysan: Crossing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lessons From the Crew

  1. Sybil says:

    Burgers and Fries … in BOLD!

  2. Joe Moss says:

    Thanks John.

    I have been thinking about you and wondering how it is going.
    I remember you were to have company soon.
    Are you motoring much?
    Good thing to write notes on voyage, it is easy to wax over.
    Yet now you will be in the new area for a good amount of time.
    There is so much to see up there and plenty of water.

    We are just now back home.
    Much to do and don’t look at the yard or you could go crazy.
    Thought I had got all our bills on line, opps missed a few.
    Now have 5 months to work on that issue to make it right.
    Only off island in December for 2 weeks to New Orleans this winter.
    Starting to think about spring, summer, fall travel.

    Love you, Sandie

    Sent from my iPad


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