July 19, 2021
Well it has been an eventful 24 hours – the best of times and the worst of times (but not too bad, though)! First, on a positive note, the water maker is fixed and showers are back on the itinerary – yea! Bubblemaster Mark figured it out and the tank is filling as we write this. The fix still really works only on starboard tack, which we will be on most of the time. We expect it to be warm enough in a couple of days to wash up.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum, last night at 11:15, we were steadily sailing along in about 22 knots of wind and suddenly the spinnaker afterguy broke (it broke at the splice to the shackle). For those less acquainted with the spinnaker – it’s a triangular sail and you have lines at each corner – it was one of those that broke. We got it fixed pretty quickly, rousing Mark and Kathy from the beds to help. Unfortunately, about 3 hours later, the spinnaker itself ripped nearly in half. Our guess is that it got torn in the afterguy incident, but we didn’t notice it. This time, Chris & Hugh got out of bed for the fun. We are sailing on spinnaker #2 (of 4) while seamstress and tape mistress Kathy tries to tape and sew the other (better) spinnaker back together.
Meals are still great. At Hugh’s request, Mark made his fantastic avocado toast for a second day in a row – it’s really good and we have lots of ripe avocados to eat. Dinner last night was enchilada pie – also really tasty.
Donations are doing great – around $22K so far, but we are below our goal of $50K. Please donate if you have not yet done so. Also, please share Mark’s story with your friends and other who might be interested in supporting ALS research. We need to help stop this horrendous disease. Once again, thank you!
The Nalu V Crew
Sailing for our Mark – In memory of Mark Buttermann
July 18, 2021
It’s day 6 and we have the spinnaker up at last! The wind is a bit variable between 12-20 knots – we like 20 better! Now we are starting to move south a bit more to live us up for the to-come trade winds.
The water maker has been put on hold until tomorrow. We aren’t using that much water, so it’s not an issue – and we do have a work-around (as well as a manual water maker, too).
The crew is in good spirits, especially when we look forward to our mile marker treats that Chris Tadock strategically planned. It did take us a while to receive our first 100 mile treat! Now the half way marker treat is really looking promising- sip of rum, klondike bars! (Yes,ice cream is on board). Once again, thank you!
July 17, 2021, Evening
Another day of great progress. Although the wind has been a bit up and down, last nights lasagne was fabulous. Apparently, we are more concerned with our stomachs than going fast. Based on our current performance, this may be a healthy area to focus on. Sort of a “don’t worry – be happy” strategy.
Speaking of happy, we know what would make the captain happy – a working water maker! This is the issue du jour. While the machine does work, it’s really picky about air bubbles in the sea water intake. Unfortunately, the current installation seems to produce more bubbles than water, so it doesn’t work. After 2 long hours of trial and error, we landed on error. Mr. Fixit has a new plan for tomorrow. Not to worry though, this really is an issue in terms of having water to take fresh-water showers, not a safety issue (OK – maybe safety for our noses as the stink builds).
In terms of sailing, we are itching to get the spinnaker up. To do that we need the wind about 20 degrees more behind us. Per the forecast, the wind should be coming around, so it’s just a matter of time.
Our crew is also starting to get into our at-sea rhythm – including being able to sleep better and getting used to the schedule. Spirits are high overall.
Once again, thank you and if you have not yet had a chance to donate to ALS research, please take a minute to do so – we would greatly appreciate it (see the link below). As we sail, we are flying our custom “In memory of Mark Buttermann” ALS flag.
July 17, 2021, Morning
Well it’s day 4 and the wind is here. It’s been 15-20 with gusts to 24, so it’s starting to get exciting!
The ghost of Transpac 2019 has reared its ugly head and we have been having the bilge fill up with sea water – just like it did then. Upon examination, Mark determined that the bilge line was actually draining the ocean into our boat – not good. After hours of trying, Mark could not get it quite right so plan B was enacted – plug the bilge pump exit hole. The hole was unusually sized, so the best “plug” was a GoPro handle – and that’s how we are sailing right now (thanks Chris for the outside the box thinking). This bilge issue is a factor of our high speeds offshore – not something that happens near LA. We believe it’s fixed and crossing our fingers.
We covered 175 miles in the last 24 hours – a record for us, we believe. With this wind and a gradually improving course (the wind will start to come behind us more), we should continually improve on that over the days ahead.
The nights have been chilly, windy, sometime rainy and we have occasional wave break over us – everything true sailors dream of. We’re dreaming of a few days from now, with trade winds and warmer temperatures.
Food continues to be great – enchiladas last night and Hugh’s famous breakfast burritos this morning were both hits. Once again, thank you!
July 16, 2021
It’s the beginning of day 3 and things are looking better! After a long day looking at San Nicholas Island yesterday (the military was nervous and was certainly looking at us), the wind finally came up and we were able to get to better wind. Overnight, it was pretty variable but we made some decent time. Currently, the wind is ranging between 7 – 10 knots with it predicted to be 15 later.
Meals have been the high point so far, with an excellent Teriyaki Chicken last night (thank you Lynn!) and waffles with strawberries and whipped cream as well as bacon for breakfast. No freeze dried food for us!
The crew is doing well and still settling into our day-to-day routine. Watches are 6 hours starting at 8AM. Mark and Kathy are one team and Hugh and Chris the other. We split the night at 2AM, which we are all getting used to (sort of):-)
This morning, Mark saw a whale which we hope to be a good omen. There is also a lot of bioluminescence in the water and we have been seeing some unusual glowing blobs (possible alien life – Chris your dad says that you may be interested in these).
Also, this morning, our cruise director Chris Tadlock (official position being “Cat 3 Cooler Jockey” – really, look it up on Yacht Scoring) surprised us with a 100 mile treat – tasty balls (AKA M&M’s). Apparently, there are more treats to come at future milestones.
We have about 2050 miles to go, so lots of adventures yet to come.vOnce again, thank you for your support!
July 14, 2021
News flash: we survived our first night. We had a great start and were first over the line! The wind was better than predicted and in a more favorable direction — initially. Last night the wind mostly died, although not completely. Lots of weaving around, but some progress made. It was nice in a way that it was calm – the chili went down well – and stayed down!
In terms of our course, it looks like everyone else went north and we stayed south and right now are just below San Miguel Island. We think this is a better course – better wind (at least it was never 100% dead) and it’s shorter – time will tell. It looks like the synoptic wind (consistent offshore northerly wind) is nearby and that will really get us going.
Spirits are high, meals have been great and we’re pushing on. Once again, thank you!
The Nalu V Crew
Sailing for our Mark – In memory of Mark Buttermann
Donate here: https://donate.als.org/team/36
From the Transpac site: https://transpacyc.com/news/article/nalu-v-boat-blog