S/V Hello World's Travel Log

san francisco

After anchoring in the rolly Sausolito anchorage, we decided to head over to Aquatic Park in downtown San Francisco for a few days of city life. Aquatic Park is an interesting bay right underneath the Ghiradelli Square sign that exists mainly for ocean swimmers. There is never not someone swimming around the anchorage. This means that they don't allow powerboats inside the anchorages.

Sailboats? Yes. Powerboats? No. We love it here already.

It's a tight anchorage so we called upon our experiences sailing around Vancouver Island and stern-tied to one of the pilings in the harbor. This keeps us from swinging into the multitude of little boats tied up to mooring balls throughout Aquatic Park.

We have been thoroughly enjoying San Francisco. We are within walking distance of all sorts of great places. We ransacked a used book sale at Ft. Mason, carting away 25 pounds of books for under $50. We took in a not-so-great (but free!) concert at Golden Gate Park before we learned of another concert (also free!) happening at the same time.

We've met up with scads of friends living in the Bay Area and will continue to meet up with folk for the next few days. We've walked to farmer's markets, Chinatown, little Italy, downtown. We are quickly falling in love with San Francisco. It's fast moving up on the Where Do We Live When We Run Out of Money And Have To Be Grown-Ups Again list.

The view of Ghiradelli Square at night from our boat.

Our nifty stern tie in Aquatic Park.

The Aquatic Park anchorage.

Our crew hanging out in Golden Gate Park watching the Train concert.

Fisher's got a new hat!

Riding back in Ryan's truck from Golden Gate Park.

Golden Gate Bridge.

Walking down the Golden Gate Bridge.

Watching a container ship go under the bridge.

Palace of Fine Arts.

37°48'29.72"N 122°25'31.27"W

under the golden gate bridge

Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge was a big moment. This is something we've talked about doing since hatching this cockamamie scheme of ours.

After a 48 hour passage from Crescent City that was mostly uneventful (my favorite kind of passage), we pulled into the entrance into San Francisco. We were getting 15 to 20 knots of wind behind so we pulled out the sails again and actually sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. And who was waiting for us on the other side of the bridge? White Cloud!. We have finally caught up with Kim and Fisher who have their own interesting tale of the passage down from Seattle waters.

We anchored in Richardson Bay next to Sausalito. Richardson Bay was well protected from the wind but not so much from the swell. We had Fisher and Kim over dinner and soaked up the satisfaction of our first big milestone.

Along with some rum.

Sailing past Bonita Head into the Golden Gate entrance.

Approaching Golden Gate Bridge.

Under the bridge.

We finally catch up with White Cloud!!

Seals hanging out in Sausalito.

37° 57.726'N 122° 28.568'W

the ice cream truck of the sea

We've had three sets of Dall porpoises playing all around the boat as we motored along headed south (one of which was at night, looking like mini comets in the phosphorescence). They were probably having as much fun playing in the bow wake as we had watching them. Assuming that, I've decided that we are the ice cream truck of the sea. The juvenile porpoises can hear the jingle of our prop as we slowly make our way down their neighborhood. "Please can I go play in the bow wake Mom, PLEASE??"..."I don't know, go ask your father". Finally, the adults relent and the whole family heads for the boat. And in the end, the adults have just as much fun as the kids.

38 46.881N 124 03.153W

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cape mendocino

We are currently rounding Cape Mendocino bound for hopefully warmer waters. We're thick in fog right now with a spot of wind on the nose. We've been motoring this whole time since leaving Crescent City yesterday and plan to be under motor for the rest of the way into Drakes Bay. We're going to anchor in Drakes Bay tomorrow evening so we can rest up and hit the San Francisco Bay entrance on a favorable tide, hopefully in the morning before the afternoon sea breeze pipes up. We saw scads of Dalls porpoises yesterday but I'm going to let Christy tell you about that in a later post.

All's well aboard Hello World.

40 14.352N 124 57.434W

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leaving crescent city

We're finally ready to leave Crescent City! Laundry is done. Showers done. The boat is washed, staysail stay secured, water tanks are full, diesel tanks are full and the weather looks good. We're shooting to run all the way to San Francisco on this hop which means sailing past the daunted Cape Mendocino. The weather looks pretty good for this stretch. We will likely motor past Mendocino unless we get some surprise wind. We don't really want surprise wind on this leg, thankyouverymuch.


We had arrived in Crescent City by ourselves on Sunday. By Tuesday we were surrounded by friends.

We heard our friends from Sidney, Keith and Olina on s/v Anon, talking to the Coast Guard so we expected their arrival. After moving over to C dock, we were joined later by Rose and Jani aboard their beautiful Hallberg Rassy, s/v Lovely Lady whom we had seen but not met in Neah Bay. And then Paul and Cherilee pulled in aboard s/v Kipuka, an Australian couple flying a British flag on a boat they bought in Seattle.

Rose and Jani had plans to rent a car and drive to the Redwoods and invited all of us along. Um... ok.

So it was that we piled in and test pilot Rose searched for the performance parameters of a mini-van loaded with eight sailors along the tight, windy not-overly-paved roads of the Redwood State Park. The first road we took was originally a covered wagon road so it wound through the trees rather than over the top of trees as American roads typically do.

We stopped for a few hikes, but far and away the most spectacular was Fern Canyon. 5 miles of trail led down into a canyon with vertical walls 30 feet high and completely covered with... wait for it... ferns. Very cool.

Both Kipuka and Lovely Lady have since left on their way south. Anon is still working through some autopilot difficulties but will likely take off soon.

That just leaves us sitting in Crescent City waiting for some new friends to show up.

Cozy mini-van.

Looking down the coast.

This was a crazy cluster of 10 redwood trees that formed a perfect circle.

Walking through the creek down Fern Canyon.

41°24'10.45"N 124°03'45.76"W

crescent city, ca

I heart weatherfax.

NOAA broadcasts weather forecasts, weather charts and satellite images 24 hours a day on an HF frequency. When we're away from internet connections, we can tune our single side band (SSB) radio to these frequency and with special software on our PC, pick up these weather charts.

So it was that we pulled off the surface forecast below off the weatherfax. The important part of that fax is the words DVLPG GALE - developing gale. No thank you. We on Hello World are not brave nor proud. Our motto is Fugio Quod Vox ("run away and cry"). We originally planned on running into Coos Bay, OR where we also have some friends to visit, one of whom was struggling with an illness. But, as it turned out they closed the bar getting into Coos Bay so we would have been denied entrance by a very persnickety Coast Guard. So we chose Crescent City and came in. And happy we did. The next day, an 86 foot megayacht came in crying uncle. If an 86 foot boat is getting creamed, we want no part of it.

After pulling into Crescent City, we learned of the passing of our friend in Coos Bay. So we're going to stay here an extra week and attend the life celebration for him this weekend.

Which means we'll be landbound for the next week or so. We'll keep y'all updated on happenings. We're also planning on renting a car with some other boat folks and heading out to the redwoods.

41°44.933'N 124°11.089'W

headed in

Well, we've decided to skip out on the low pressure system that's going to build the southern winds off the coast and duck in for a few days to wait it out. We're on a course now to Crescent City, CA and should get there at about 10am Sunday.

Turns out this is a good thing as last night we decided to take down the flopping jib (nearly no wind) and start up the motor. We attempted to turn on the engine before furling in the poled out sail and...? Crickets. No engine. Fabulous, well at least we still at the jib up and the seas weren't too bad. We started troubleshooting the engine problem when we heard a loud *bang* on deck - the mast end of the pole had dropped to the deck. Turns out the flopping jib/pole combination broke the track on the mast. Great, so we were then engineless, jib was flopping around in little to no wind and now the pole was being dragged across the deck every time we rolled from a wave. All in the dark.

Jason managed to fiddle a few wires and get the engine started. We rolled up the jib and got the pole secure enough that it would last the night and we could deal with it once it got light out. But now with the fluky engine, we've decided not to turn off the motor until we hit port - just in case it doesn't want to start again. We've got enough diesel to get us there, so we'll be good, but it will be nice to get into port to sort this stuff out.

On a happy note, I've discovered that Jason's illustrious college career did gain him at least one thing: he can make ramen noodles like nobody's business.

43 01.660N 125 09.542W

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off the northern oregon coast

Hey kids! Just another alls well aboard Hello World. We're getting some nice wind from behind us at around 10 to 15 knots in 4 to 6 foot swell out of the northwest. We've been running under a poled out genoa for the last day making a decent 6 knots. Last night was more fishing boat dodgeball. At one point, I had 12 contacts on the horizon, all fisherman with their bright-as-the-sun klieg lights. But they generally don't move much or fast and are easy to see so it was no sweat.

Christy is feeling much better and digesting her food rather than hurking it up into the Pacific. Every seasickness med we've ever heard of ever doesn't work. (Yes, even that one.) So now she either lays down below decks or is up top staring at the horizon. Seems to be working. I think she's also starting to adjust to the motion.

This weather window has proven to be outstanding. We're reaping all of the sunshiney-north-winderly benefits of a coastal high pressure system right now and it looks like this will hold for the next day or two. There's a low pressure system that may start to rear its head off the coast of northern California. We're keeping a close eye on that. We have no plans to make landfall before San Francisco but a big swirling low pressure could easily change our mind. Right now we're about 85 miles off the coast of Oregon but we're going to run with the swell a little more today and come in closer. That will give us some options to tuck tail and come in if we need to or stay off.

45 24.092N 125 59.519W

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off cape elizabeth

We left Neah Bay yesterday afternoon. We had southerlies yesterday for a spell but died off overnight. We've been motoring ever since. Lots of fog this morning and with fog always comes loads of unidentified contacts on the radar screen. Lots of ducking what we assume were fishing boats. We are currently about 50 miles off shore due west of Cape Elizabeth on the Washington shore.

Hello World is doing well as are her occupants. Christy is chumming the waters every now and again but otherwise in good spirits. We're on a four hour watch schedule which seems to be going well so far. Saw a shark this morning. Guess we won't be going for that afternoon dip after all.

47 22.690N 125 37.773W

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neah bay

What a long, strange trip it's been.

We thought we already did our shakedown trip this summer. We were wrong. After being in the boat yard, we've dealt with these calamities:

* We splashed after a week and a half in Canal Boatyard in Seattle. We noticed a bad metallic rattle from the drive train as soon as we splashed. We delayed an extra three days to diagnose said rattle. We hauled out again to check everything and got 19 opinions on the matter. Best guess? Dripless shaft seal wasn't properly burped. Haven't heard it since leaving Seattle.

* On our way up to Port Townsend, our tenants that rent our townhouse called to let us know water was coming out of the ceiling. We sent a plumber out to find out that we now need thousands of dollars of plumbing work done to the place.

* Rounding Marrowstone Point heading into Port Townsend, the engine oil pressure alarm went off. All of our engine oil was now in the bilge. Sailed in to PT and anchored under sail. Problem was an oil filter that either wasn't seated properly or the seal was broken. Replaced oil filter and oil. Now all the oil stays in the engine.

* Anchored in Port Townsend off the breakwater for the Boat Haven Marina when a fresh southerly kicked up. 35 knots of wind with three to five foot seas. Two other boats in the anchorage dragged anchor and washed up on shore. Our 73 pound Rocna held like a champ.

We decided we needed to get out of PT as the next windstorm was coming that night so we caught the 6:00PM ebb tide and made a night run to Port Angeles. Left early from Port Angeles and caught the next ebb out to Neah Bay. We went straight to the fuel dock to top off our tank. As we went to leave, starter wouldn't work. Reseated some electrical connections and now it starts fine.

It looks like we might have a few days in Neah Bay waiting for northwesterlies so maybe the good luck fairy will have some time to get her lazy ass over here and throw us a bone.

48° 22.253'N 124°37.117'W

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packing our ditch bag

No, not a douche bag...ditch bag. In preparing to head out to the big blue, it's wise to be ready for the unspeakable. For such a time, we have:
* a 4 person Avon liferaft - repacked and certified
* an EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon) which will notify the coast guard of our position if we set it off (or if it goes underwater)
* our first aid kit packed in a pelican case with solas tape covering it
* and now, our ditch bag

These are the things we'll take if we need to abandon ship. It's a weird thing to do to pack a ditch bag. Thinking about us, in a liferaft, in seas that just sank our home and what we'll need. Here's what we decided to pack:
* sunscreen
* $200 cash
* copies of our passports
* swiss army knife
* sunscreen
* trail mix bars and summer sausage
* 1 gallon of water
* lighter
* extra clothes (pants and long sleeves)
* seasickness meds
* flashlight (with a strobe)
* handheld GPS
* handheld VHF
* extra batteries for all (lithium ion so they'll live a long shelf life - hopefully very very long)
* toilet paper
* pencil, pen, waterproof journals
* signal mirror
* flare bag (containing our flares and horns)

What would you bring?

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blog updates by boat

Hey all, we finally (*finally*) got our single side-band radio, high frequency modem, serial-to-USB converter, laptop, and Airmail software to converge in some semblance of a working condition. Which means we can send email from our boat just about anywhere our boat is. Which means blog updates will likely happen much quicker than they have in the past.

A caveat: this system relies on a shaky chain of dependencies any one of which is very very likely to fail. So if you don't hear updates from us, please don't assume the worst. Assume that we broke something. Or that its just too nice out for us to be farting around on the computer.

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left seattle! (question mark)

After a cavalcade of problems and frustrations and some serious consideration to renaming our vessel S/V Hello Shilshole Marina, we have absolutely positively (probably) reached escape velocity necessary to exit Seattle's gravitational pull on our way to Mexico.

We would have never reached this point without massive amounts of help from friends, family, and even strangers we now count as friends. Thanks never cuts it but that's what we can offer at this point. Soon we'll start repaying our debts in Mexican lodging and cervesas.

Until then, thanks all.

47 45.540'N 122 27.919'W