August 31st, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Pam Burns…Ready to set
and Roger Hunter…Ready for
Bequia (Beck-we)… Ready
Skipper Dennis…..Last call to his wife!
RH, hard at work
Beautiful Moon over the Pacific Ocean
Through the Gate!
August 28th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Family and Friends:
This will be our final communication until we return. We will fill in some of the blanks over the weekend, in between sleeping and eating a whole bunch of salads! The ocean has been rather lumpy the past 48 hours, with 30ft swells and gale winds of up to 36k. We’ve had waves hitting the sides, trying desperately to come inside, but we’ve done well in keeping out the water.
Our engine overheated this morning again, so we are currently dealing with that, but we think we can just do what we did before.
What we’ve learned in the past two days has rounded out our whole experience. I believe there are some bets going on at the yacht club as to when we will actually hit the GG Bridge. As for Roger and I, this has been another epic experience for the two of us. With 160 miles to go, give or take a few, we are certain there will be winds, just hopefully in the direction we need them to get us back to land.
Love to the fam. Pam
August 28th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
No word from the sailors in the last few days, but you can easily track their progress…here’s how;
Go to http://www.pacificcup.org. Next, click on the link that says “Satellite Tracks for Returning Yachts“, click on Boat Selector and the arrow that say’s Return 1. Check the box next to Bequia and click on Boat Selector again…..you can zoom in and see the tracking right off the coast of San Francisco.
Here are the links to the location as well;
They should be home soon now!
August 26th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Well, we’re heading for the stable with the bit in our mouth! Our current position is N37deg 36′ X W134deg 00′. Just about 550 miles out. The plan is to head up to latitude 38 and then hang a right for the Gate. This allows a nice, slightly downwind angle coming in which will be good for crew comfort and easier on the boat. The forecast is for winds in the 30 knot range out of the north, which is pretty typical as I understand. The crew and skipper are all looking forward to getting home and seeing family. No predictions yet on arrival time. There are just too many variables. I will say, however, that we have been enjoying a stiff breeze out of the north at 15 -20 knots all last night and today. This has given us the second highest daily average of 150 miles.
An update on the engine cooling problem: the last few days have seen us using the engine without a drop of added coolant. Gremlins you say? I still think Murphy will find a way if there is an opportunity, but for now the problem seems to have subsided. All other systems on the boat are go.
That’s it for now …
Roger & Pam
P.S. Love to all our family! We miss you all! Happy 90th Dad!!
August 25th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Greetings from Bequia!
Well, after a night of no wind and motoring for most of it, we finally picked-up a nice breeze about 0500 from our aft quarter that is leading us straight home. The sea state is moderate with 5 foot wind waves on top of 8 to 10 foot rollers. With just the jib out, we are slewing around our desired heading by +/- 15 degrees. The motion is kinda like doing a slalom course with your rear tires flat. Our current position is: N36deg 13′ W139deg 56′ we should easily be less than 800 miles from the Gate by this afternoon (8/23). As we close in on our destination, some critical supplies are getting low, namely beer, coffee and the skipper’s cigars. The crew is quite concerned for the skipper’s well being as whenever a situation requires heavy thought, it seems that a beer (or coffee depending on the time of day) and a cigar are required. I’m not sure how this is going to play out – stay tuned.
Pam and Roger
August 25th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Greetings from Bequia,
Our current position is N34deg 56.2′ W141deg 57.7′. It seems kinda strange, but we crossed the half-way point yesterday with approximately 1020 miles to go. The second half of this journey should go much quicker than than first due to the better wind angle we currently have. Although we’ve been plagued with light winds over the last 10 days, we’re hoping to pick up some more breeze getting closer to the coast. Otherwise, we’re enjoying the trip; the food is good (pesto pasta with pine nuts and garlic bagels last night), and our shipmates are entertaining.
In our last post, I mentioned the overheating problem with the engine, but failed to fully explain the situation. The problem is potentially quite serious as the engine provides the only source of regenerating power on the boat. While this is a sailing vessel and powering is sometimes needed to keep moving, the more important use is charging the batteries. Modern boats have many systems like refrigeration, sophisticated navigation & communication and the autopilot that are all power-hungry. The routine on this trip, with our power consumption, has been running the motor twice a day for approximately 2 hours. The engine cooling problem is such that the motor consumes about 48 ounces of water during a 2-hour run. At this rate we have plenty of water to finish the trip, but we’ve cut back on other uses.
Pam and I are looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
August 19th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Our current position is N32deg 25′ W149 03′. We’re skirting along the southern edge of the Pacific High that by any other name is called a huge, windless hole. We’ve had wonderful sailing today with a breeze in the 15s and flat seas. Last night was somewhat of a chinese fire drill as during my watch (of course) winds piped up from the steady 10 knot range to 20+ and then back to nothing … three times! During one of the dead air times, we decided to motor. Shortly after starting the motor, I heard hissing from under the bonnet! Apparently, the engine cooling problem we experienced earlier had not been solved. With steam filling the cabin, it sounded just like the pressure cooker that firstmate Mark used for dinner that night (Although I personally think the engine-generated steam was pretty wimpy compared to that pressure cooker…). While all this was going on, we were visited by a pod of dolphin! They stayed with us for the next half hour under a nearly full moon. It was kinda nice to know we weren’t all alone out there. Needless to say, we were all tired puppies by daybreak. With plenty of head scratching and a few choice words, we have renewed confidence in the reliability of the engine cooling system after repairs were made this morning. We’ll see tonight, probably during my watch.
Some of you may have noticed that our track across the Pacific looks like the profile of an alpine stage of the Tour de France. Well, most of that is intentional. Early on, it was apparent that the best we could do with our northerly heading was mostly north but also some west. Exactly opposite of the direction we want to go. The opposing tack wasn’t much better; mostly east but also south. So, working our way north east was going to be a series of tacks. I say “most” because there was a tack in there that the old hands call a “crash tack”. This was brought on by the keen eye of firstmate and wildlife biologist Mark of a whale dead ahead. Like 200′ dead ahead. Crash. Tack. Fortunately there was no crash for the whale.
Time to sign off. More to come …
Pam and Roger
BYW: If you havn’t already, check out our current position on the Pacific Cup Yacht Club website under “returning Pac Cup boats”
August 18th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Checking in from Bequia. Current position: N31deg 55min W152deg 23min. Inevitabily there are good and bad sailing days and boy have we had our share of both! Last thursday and friday we were becalmed with nary a breeze to be found. To keep things moving, we motored for most of those hours. To give you some perspective, imagine taking your lawn mower and parking it in your living room. Fire it up full blast and then lay down on the couch next to it. Oh yea, make sure your AC is off so it gets about 95 degrees with 95 precent humidity. Now, make sure you’re quite inebriated so the room is moving in all kinds of crazy motion and then try to sleep! I dare you you!
About this time everyone is hoping for even the slightest breeze. Well, the evening of the second day we got it … and boy howdy! Of course, it was my watch (0200 – 0500 hours) when a big ugly line of sqalls appeared on the horizon. When we got into it, it didn’t seem too bad. However the wind just kept building, and building and … By the time we had everything under control, we were under double reefed main and just a scrap of jib. I remember seeing just shy of 30 knots on the meter. Seas were pretty manageable – in the 5 to 8 foot range. The real issue was the direction of this wind – about 050 deg. Our heading up to that point had been around 025, but now we had to make a choice, either head up to roughly 360 (north) or down to 090 (east). These were, of course, not going to get us to our destination unless it was going to be Alaska or Ensenada! In the end, we chose to head east (090) since it seemed to be the least uncomfortable. The evening roll call of returning boats told the story – all of the nearby boats were having a rough ride too.
Well, thats it for excitement today. More compelling action tomorrow!
Roger and Pam
August 15th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
Thanks for faithfully checking the blog….ummm, where are Pam and Roger you ask? I have NO idea! Haven’t heard from them yet, but hoping for something to come in over the weekend sometime so check back….again
August 5th, 2008 Terri Berbena-U'Ren
On Saturday, August 9th, my
friends Pam and Roger will be taking off on a sailing adventure. We thought it would be great fun to keep track of their journey on the Adventure Sports Blog so stay tuned for more…..
Many of you know Pam and I have been learning to sail; first on small boats and more recently on bigger boats. We have been gaining experience in leaps and bounds while under the tutelage of many experienced sailors at the Vallejo Yacht Club.
Our regular wednesday nite “beer can” races have provided a great training
ground for making all the mistakes while not hurting ourselves or breaking
things too much. Ultimately, we aspire to have enough experience to safely set
off on the high seas when we retire. So when the opportunity came up to be part
of the delivery crew for a returning Pacific Cup Yacht Race boat presented
itself, we jumped all over it.
The Pacific Cup occurs every other year and is one of the longest offshore races at over 2100 miles.
The race starts in front of the San Francisco Yacht Club and ends in Kaneohe Bay on
Oahu. Check out the race website at: http://www.pacificcup.org/ The majority of
boats take between 12 and 18 days to make the mostly downwind trip. Coming back
to the mainland, its upwind and usually slower – 16 to 21 days depending on the
wind. The boat (named Bequia) is very comfortable at 42′ long with dual heads,
a decent-size galley, refigeration and all the latest navigation and
communication equipment (including e-mail). We hope to keep a daily blog, but
are limited in the content (just text – no pictures) as the bandwidth is
extremely low. We should be sailing from Kaneohe Yacht Club on the 11th of
August, returning to the Bay by the end of the month (hopefully much earlier).
Pam and Roger
Oh, and did I mention that they love to cycle too!