Squalls All Night, Trouble All Day – Sailing Across The Pacific

Squalls All Night, Trouble All Day – Sailing Across The Pacific

We have reached the breaking point.  And by that, I mean the point of this ocean crossing where stuff starts to break.  We knew the drama would show up eventually, but we didn’t expect it to come in threes!

Ocean crossings, squalls and broken bits go together like peas and carrots.  You see, its prime cruiser talk once we make landfall.  First two questions are always, “How was your crossing?  Did you lose anything?”.  So at least we’ve got some decent stories to share from our first big passage.  It’s rather boring, and doesn’t make the beer last as long, if you show up with a happy story like “it was great, just another beautiful downwind sail”.

So grab your tools, foul weather gear & sunglasses and join us for days nine through fifteen of our sailing adventure across the Pacific Ocean.

It’s funny to look back now and see ourselves riding out squalls one day and the next we’re yelling “Goooood Morninggg” like we’re on Oprah (remember that show?).  It’s all tossed about in my memory as one event.  Not distinguishable by individual days.  Putting together these passage videos brings back a flood of little details, and man was it a roller coaster!

We’ve officially surpassed the halfway mark (in nautical miles) and crew morale is intact and optimistic.  Now, it’d be great if Mother Nature could give us another taste of those easy breezy days as we approach land.

sailing across the pacific ocean
sailing across the pacific ocean

About Those Broken Bits

So far our steering is moaning, our traveler is busted to pieces and our bilge is collecting a fair amount of water.  Here are a few extra thoughts on our sailboat issues.

Steering Moan – It’s never a good sign when a new noise comes about.  The moan is just one of many ways a boat can speak to you and this wasn’t one we wanted to ignore.  Our backup steering is located aft at the lazarette locker and would be a very precarious place to be steering in heavy seas.  Chances of getting swept overboard would greatly increase.  We’ve cleaned, lubed and inspected every part and the best we can come up with is the block that guides the rudder cable is seized and not turning…thus creating the moaning sound as the cable moves around the non spinning block.  We’ll continue to keep a close eye on everything.  We’ll clean, lube and repeat until the moaning stops or we identify an official culprit.

Busted Traveler Car – We inspected, cleaned and lubed everything before taking off and this traveler didn’t show any signs of needing to be replaced.  But…it’s original to the boat, which means it’s 13+ years old.  So, perhaps it was just at the end of its life.  If you look closely at the footage or photos below, it is the metal pin that broke and busted up the plastic as it came catapulting out.  Not much we can do about it out here.  We’ll need a new traveler car.  But…spectra to the rescue!  Jason smartly stocked up on spectra as a CYA.  It’s incredibly strong line and can be used to lash all sorts of stuff together, including keeping our boom under control.

broken traveler on sailboat
trouble on passage

Bilges – While the install of the new bilge is doing the trick, the bigger question is always…where is all that water coming from?  We always accumulate a small amount of water on days where the seas are rockin and rollin, but this is a bit more than average (granted it is the longest we’ve ever been out to sea).  We have plenty of theories and haven’t found any obvious leaks.  So…any suggestions from our salty sailors out there would be greatly appreciated.

trouble on passage

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Gear Used In This Video

Sailing Report

sailing to french polynesia

We use our Garmin InReach to track our sail and send updates to family & Patreons. It’s also how we were communicating with Kent to help us troubleshoot our issues.  We take a screen capture every day at 5:30pm, because that marks another 24hrs logged for our sail across the Pacific.  It’s a fun way to follow along in real time and hear what’s happening on board.  This video covers May 3 – 10, 2018.  Here is the screen capture from May 10th.  The little dots share real-time trip info and the little message pop-up is us writing to the people following along from home.