“How do things get lost so easily on a boat? I know it's here somewhere.”

Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

Google Map loading...

Sloth Photo

Posted on Saturday May 17, 2008

Photos (2)

Words (69)

At this cool place called Saiananda they have two sloths which roam the property and are used to being around people. They would rather hide in a kitchen cupboard than up in the tall trees. It's fun to watch them creep around and feed them snacks. This is the male sloth wallowing in a tasty pile of lettuce.


Here's Hopper, Desidarata's dog, facinated by the sloth's creepy crawling movements.

Bday & Caraquez

Posted on Sunday May 11, 2008

Photos (1)

Words (120)

Yesterday we had a great party for my Birthday and I managed to milk it for what it was worth. Everyone brought a vegetarian or vegan dish and we tried to stretch 2 cakes to feed 30 people!

Caraquez is an interesting place with places to hike and great people. Some friends let us borrow their bicycles and we?¢â??¬â??¢ve finally been getting some regular exercise. The veggie market here is pretty amazing. They have really good quality stuff and it?¢â??¬â??¢s hard to shop for a week and break $10.

Here's a shot of our friend Ryan and his crew on Sonrisa coming into the narrow entrance channel that is close to the breaking surf. We took this photo from the beach.

Photos From Crossing

Posted on Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Photos (3)

Words (153)

Sarana sailing upwind to Ecuador, before the breakdown. We had two very fast days at the start of the passage. Just checkout the sunset and our pretty boat about 200 miles offshore.


Here we are towing 12 ton Batwing upwind (as seen from Batwing). This was one of the calmer days when the seas weren't too bouncy.

On this day we transfered our tow to Leonidas. We had 400' of floating line that we would spool out behind us with a float (you can see the float). Leonidas would approach the float, snag the line and then tie off the tow. Then we would begin the slow process of rewinding about 300-350' of rope. This was made a lot easier by the flat seas that allowed us to sleep a little better and improved our spirits around Day 5. We also had do to a similar techique to pass fuel to Leonidas (in the dark!).

Day 8 -- Arrival

Posted on Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Words (127)

This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

Yesterday we managed to get Batwing inside the harbor with a panga side tied to them to provide thrust. The swell was fairly small, but it was very shallow, about 8 feet in some spots. The crew on Desidarata cheered us in from the seawall as we went by. All three of us managed to stay in the channel and we're all safe inside the protected bay.

We were relieved to get Batwing tied up and ourselves anchored. Then we met the officials, and eventually made it to shore where our friends where there to show us around and buy us a cold beer. We certainly don't plan on going anywhere for a while now!

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com

Day 7 - Land

We had really good luck with the weather and were able to regain another 40 miles or so south and anchor in the bay outside of Bahia. It's a relief to get here. Tomorrow we have to negociate the bar entrance with Batwing, but a bulk of the trip is over. We have the end in sight!

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com

Day 6 - Crossing the Equator

We had about 24 hours of calm weather allowing all of us to catch up on some lost sleep. And after 3 1/2 solid days of towing Batwing 250 miles, Leonidas took over this morning. So for the first time in about 72 hours we were able to shut of the engine and sail along side them. We're beating into a SW wind at about 2.3 knots and have about 40 miles to go. We think this wind is land generated and we can actually see the land again!

In about 8 miles we'll be crossing the Equator, which isn't really that significant but traditionally it's a big deal. We brought some Champaign for the occasion, but it's a bit bouncy for a party. Perhaps it will settle down tonight and allow us to make better headway down the coast. We might be able to make it into Bahia Ecuador in time to catch the high tide at 4:30pm into the entrance. Sleep!

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com

Day 5

Posted on Saturday Apr 19, 2008

Words (141)

This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

Well, not a lot going on with the Sea Tug. We are still pulling away. We thought up a way we might repair Batwing's prop temporarily so that he could motor while we tow him. This would give us a fighting chance against the strong current. So we are heading for the nearest bit of land we can manage to struggle to in order to anchor and try to fix his prop.

While we are there we'll catch up on some sleep and off-load some fuel from his boat to ours and Leonidas. I sure am tired, but there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The winds have died down and the seas are FINALLY calmer. This is helping our progress and attitudes.

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com

Day 4

Last night was a rough one for the tug and tow (sarana & batwing). We crossed the ITCZ and there were squalls everywhere and the seas were churned up like a group of failed weightwatchers showing off their cannonballs at the public pool. With our very limited maneuverability we were able to dodge most of the really big squalls, but not all of them. And towing a boat through those waves was a bear. Batwing had to try to hand-steer much of the night behind us while holding on for dear life.

We are still about 180 miles from Ecuador, but now we have a NE current setting us too far east. The wind has fortunately switched more to SW allowing us to point close to our destination, but it is very very very very very very very slow. Oh and did I mention uncomfortable? We've got about 15-20 SW with a lot of chop. It seems to be calming some, but we definitely have at least 3 days of this and we will be at the limit of our fuel. We might have to try an ocean transfer of fuel from Batwing to make the full distance.

As a backup I am going to alert the Ecuadorian officials of our situation and see if we can establish contact with them over the HF radio. This way if conditions get worse, or we have to cut batwing loose, or we just can't get them moving in the right direction we will have some kind of backup plan for getting them back to land.

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com

Day 3 - Broken shaft

Posted on Thursday Apr 17, 2008

Words (153)

This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

The seas calmed down finally dropping to 1-3 feet so Ron could dive on his boat and look at what happened to his prop. Turns out the whole shaft is broken off. What a bummer. No slapping on the backup prop there.

So we have taking over the "Open Ocean Sea Tug" title. We started towing them this morning and we are only able to make about 3knts and we are about 25-30 degrees off course because of the strong 2knot WSW current trying to drive us to the Galapagos. We remain hopeful that once we near the coast we will get a break in the current, otherwise we'll be in for a long long long slog at about 1 knot or less for days.

I think our cats want to kill us. Shh...here comes one now. sdnmtr ko,.fkl

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com

Day 2 Sharks and Lost Prop

Posted on Wednesday Apr 16, 2008

Words (326)

This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

We had another good sailing day, covering about 120 miles and sailing for about 20 hours. At one point we had a shark following our boat, a big grey sucker. Sherrell said it looked like a nurse shark, but I think it might be a doctor shark. Anyway it got bored quickly and took off.

However our spirits were dampened when Batwing called us in the morning to report a problem -- they lost their prop. Somehow it had become detached from their shaft and lost to the deep. You might think, well, it's a sailboat, so sail. Unfortunately Batwing is a junk rigged sailboat and this is a mostly upwind passage, junk rigs don't like going upwind. So we've spent quite a bit of time debugging his problem to determine it is hopeless then the rest of the day trying to match his sailing speed. I can honestly say I've never worked so hard to go so slow in my life. We often have two reefs in the jib and two in the mainsail just to go slow enough to stay with them. Their orginal stragety for this passage was to motorsail upwind the whole way if necessary, but with no prop and the current pushing them SW, they were screwed.

For us, it got to the point where we couldn't use the autopilot to steer because our boat speed was so slow and hand steering 300 miles was really looking depressing. So Leonides the other boat with us has now taken Batwing into tow. We're not going much faster, but the speed is constant and we can at least head in the right direction. The bonus is the added speed lets us use our autopilot again. So rather than the fast 4-5 day passage we were looking at achieving, I expect we'll be out here for a while longer.

----------
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

http://www.sailmail.com