Posted by: captaindale | July 19, 2010

New format for travelogue

Hello friends and family

I enjoy all of your comments about my sailing trips. Sharing my experiences with all of you makes the trips even more meaningful. Unfortunately, the blog format is too public and there have been some people who abuse this information for their own selfish needs.

I will revert to emailing my travelogue directly to those of you who would like to continue to enjoy sharing my sailing trips. This way, I can control who receives this information. Feel free to share it with your friends, I have no problem with that. To the people who have subscribed for their own selfish reasons, adieu to you.

If you don’t mind responding to this post by sending me your email, I will be sure to include you on all my upcoming rants.

Thanks for understanding and I will not make you emails public in anyway.

Captain Dale

Posted by: captaindale | November 23, 2009

Una Mas

Sunday, Nov 22 0930

We are anchored in Wreck Bay, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal waiting for our zarpe to depart for Puerto Ayora. The navy and immigration were here at 0830 but needed to come back in one hour with the necessary papers.

I woke up early this morning to my favorite alarm clock — roosters! We discovered that we had had a night visitor, as the aft deck was covered in slime, mud and fur. Sven and I went ashore at 0600 to try to get some extra diesel for the trip over only to find out that they can’t sell it on Sundays. There is a “diesel trafficking” culture here much akin to drug trafficking. After taking a taxi to several houses with chain link fences and finding no one at home, we resorted to asking fisherman. Luckily we were able to get some and all is well.

The wind is howling in the right direction and we shouldn’t need any fuel anyway. The up side to all this is that we had a great breakfast including TOAST and fresh fruit. It felt wonderful to walk again. I got a small dog fix as a fuzzy white one befriended me in the outdoor café. I am sure it was because of my toast, but I took the affection anyway.

It is about a four-hour sail to Puerto Ayora and we are all looking forward to getting settled in. Tomorrow, we leave in the morning for Quito and then home. Read More…

Posted by: captaindale | November 21, 2009

Last One From the Boat!

Saturday, November 21 0430
126 nm to go to San Cristobal Island

The last watch … We should arrive around 1800 today. If all goes according to plan, customs closes at 1900 and we can clear in today and head over to Puerto Ayora to settle in. If not, tomorrow morning it is.

I received confirmations today for hotels and the flight to Quito which leaves on Nov 23 at 1100. We should have enough time to enjoy the town a little bit and visit the Darwin Center before leaving to drive across the island to the airport. Last night was our last dinner together on aVida, bringing much conversation of bonding, future plans and sailing. We did also learn that leftover night in Chile is called Lumamiju. (Sounds better than leftovers). Mark and Rita have decided that once they get through the canal and Mark’s’ daughters have come to visit in San Blas, they will “”Vayan donde los lleve el viento”” (Go where the wind takes you). They have already come a very long way. Read More…

Posted by: captaindale | November 20, 2009

On to the Galapagos

Friday, November 20 0330

315 nm to go to our approach – 345 nm to port

Another great sailing day of 13-15 knots of wind with the spinnaker doing its job. At midnight, the wind fell to 8-10 knots so we are using the “iron genny” aka Volvo Penta 55 hp. Yesterday we stopped and went for an offshore swim as Rita and Sven had never done that. The water was warm and a beautiful translucent turquoise. We have those innate fears that have been ingrained in us from Jaws and Shark III movies that a shark will come and bite our legs out here. I am sure that seeing one laze by the day before had nothing to do with it. After looking around carefully ,we jumped in one-by-one, except for Rita who was pushed off the aft step by Mark. There is also something a little intimidating about how deep the ocean is out here and just how small it makes you feel. We all survived with all our appendages intact ,enjoying the feeling of the salt water on our hair and skin. Read More…

Posted by: captaindale | November 20, 2009

Ships in the Night

Thursday, November 18 0430 – 500 nm to go

One thing you can count on out here is that everything happens in the middle of the night. It seems that this is an excellent place to catch fish. Every few hours there appears (not particularly on the radar) a small light in the night accompanied by numerous blinking strobe lights just on the water surface. Small wooden fishing vessels with long lines strung out like a string of Christmas lights, hundreds of miles from anywhere resembling land, creep up just when the spinnaker has settled in and is happily pulling us along. Read More…

Posted by: captaindale | November 19, 2009

Not the Cookie Diet

Sunday November 15 – 0500

Boat delivery, one would think would make you thinner. Not always the case. What other job do you set your alarm for the middle of the night to get up and have tea and a couple of cookies? This is not my ordinary delivery, but one on which I have been hired to both bring aVida to Galapagos and to ensure that her new owners feel comfortable and confident about this amazing sailboat of theirs.

Saturday was a sailing day not to be forgotten. We had long rolling swells pushing us, accompanied by very steady 20 knot SSE winds. The spinnaker was pulling us along at 10-12 knots under overcast skies. Surfing down the fronts of the swells, aVida roared along at 15-20 knots. Unlike the smaller Atlantics I have delivered, the 57s don’’t even shake at 20 knots, just the whistling in the rigging and a slight roar as she reaches peak speeds triggers a glance at the speed indicator to see if we have set a daily record high. The crew cheers from time to time as we watch the numbers go higher and higher. 20.2 knots is our personal best so far. Read More…

Posted by: captaindale | November 16, 2009

Trip Tracker

For those who are unable to view the Google Earth map.


Posted by: captaindale | November 14, 2009

Blowing North!

Friday Nov 13 0400

My old friend, Glen Rodgers, gave me a book entitled, The Water In Between” relating to the discovery of the joy of the getting there. There are those of us who feel this in their very bones and there are those who never will. Neither opinion is right or wrong, just one of those basic, “chocolate and vanilla” things in life.

The first day is always a bit of an adjustment and ours was a rip-roaring leap into flying across the ocean. With a double reefed main and a reefed genoa we averaged 10 knots surfing down the front of giant sw swells and rattling from the smack of the ones that caught us under the wind decks on the beam, It was a difficult adjustment to the noise and motion for some of us but by lunch time the next day, there was laughter over our atne (tuna) sandwiches and discussion of our first fishing attempts since leaving Higuerillas.

Sven has the starboard side with the trolling rod and Mark sports the custom made hand line (a combination of Kevin’’s ready-to-be-patented design and Alwoplast’s ingenious construction). Rita is supervising her two fisherman and snapping photos of Sven’s absurd costume. Smiles everywhere, sun is shining. The bottle of cheap vodka is standing by to subdue any unsuspecting pescadore who might take the bait. We were unable to find any appropriate offshore lures in Valdivia, but the fishing continues anyway. Read More…

Posted by: captaindale | November 12, 2009

Glorious Sailing!

Being on the open ocean compares to nothing else. We left yesterday at 2010 after only spending 48 hours in port. Much to the credit of Alwoplast and the multi-talented Roni and Sven, everything was ship shape in a very short time.

We left our mooring at Higeurillas Yacht Club to sail in 15-20 knots of SW winds. Nothing could have been more perfect. The voyage to Puerta Ayora, Galapagos from there is 2180 nm. So far we are reveling in the starry night and sunny day this first 24 hours. Sven is a natural sailor and I cannot begin to imagine how it must feel to be flying along at 10-12 knots in the boat he worked everyday to create.

Rita prepared fresh beautiful salad, queso empanadas and I made some veggie fried rice. As always, roughing it on the Atlantic 57s. We are all so inspired by the machine we are sailing and its ability to move so swiftly while still providing a comfortable passage and most importantly, a relaxing dinner environment.

It is 1040 on Wednesday and our position is 31 S, 72 47 W. I am still thinking about how the night converges with the day and silvery tones reveal the seas that pushed, crashed and rolled us along on our way to Galapagos. In the darkest hours of the night, the sounds and sensations of the wind and water are amplified as the visual perception of the equation disappears. It is somehow soothing not to see the immensity of these offshore swells, yet mysterious when one sense is deprived.

It takes a day or two for everyone to fall into the rhythm of passage making. I, on the other hand, am exhilarated by the sea and all it offers to us. Last night I had the most amazing dreams of Nokotas playing in our field and taking long walks with Leif and Tonka. Imagine that!

I miss you all and will write again soon.

Posted by: captaindale | November 11, 2009

A Stop in Valparaiso

Brief Update

Well … we were sailing along at 10 knots in a beautiful south westerly wind. There surfaced some critical charging problems that could not be handled at sea. We changed course to Valparaiso, Chile to meet Roni and Sven from Alwoplast. On the way we enjoyed a humback whale and two finbacks … just a glimpse of what is to come. I truly enjoy spending my brithday on the ocean despite missing my family and friends immensely. But instead I enjoyed ceviche and yes, more Chilean wine in the company of Mark, Rita, Kevin, Sven and ROni. Not my family, but such close friends.

Kevin’s scedule does not allow him to continue with us so Sven will finsh the trip to Galapagos. Nothing like a 27 year old to take on the heavy lifting. We have agreed to help each other with English/Spanish along the way. The paperwork cha cha took up most of Monday but we are almost cleared out of here now. Immigration has stamped our passports to leave and the armada is on the way.

I will keep my journal along the way, write when I can and upload the rest when I arrive in about 10 days.

Love D

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