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Work nearly complete here in Pt Townsend.

Just received 'Happy Equinox' good wishes from Bob McDavitt! I'd been noticing the full moon and I'm hoping by the next one to be on my way.... Always nice to start passages with good moonlight.

Life has been pretty hectic of late - so much to do - & quick trip to UK (spent 3 days in all at So'ton Boat Show), while needed & very useful, didn't help!!

But I'm feeling quite optimistic with progress - actually may have achieved a dry boat with portlights having been pulled out and re-positioned, being now well- bedded in sealant. Also achieved major re-wiring of SSB/HF radio and solar panel regulator, among many other jobs done - so might be able to hear people as of now, without stopping the boat & switching off all instruments etc to avoid RF noise generated (not been too convenient!). I should actually see a decent solar input from now on also...! Spent time this afternoon balancing new Kiss wind generator rotor blades, ready to replace old generator tomorrow - if not raining.... Also now have both diesel heaters working and have organized getting hot water from immersion heater (will need to keep a good eye on battery voltage when using inverter for that) - useful for cold climes... Another plus is avoiding getting seawater into heater (diesel) daytank and also into freshwater tank by improving vent systems . One bonus of recent long, often rough, passages is finding all such problems before taking off on next (very long!) passage.

Saw my sails being worked on today - Carol Hasse and her crew at Port Townsend Sails always do an excellent job and I've had equally good riggers (Dan & crew at Pt Townsend Rigging) advising on, and implementing changes to, rig & reefing system - I've high hopes of reefing being a lot easier & less problematic from now on, especially with them having found cause(s) of my earlier persistent chafe problems.

Had lots of queries answered by helpful technical people at Southampton Boat Show - very productive time was spent there and urgent instrument repairs were seen to speedily by Raymarine & Simrad. Met all four new 'top' people at Najad who sounded very supportive - total change of ownership & top management there, which looks to be good for the company's future.

My proposed RTW nonstop route in outline: I'll probably need to leave from Victoria (B.C., Canada) as soon as a depression has passed by to get the 3-day weather window needed to get safely down past the Washington/Oregon coasts to the California border and better weather at this time of year. I usually plan to stay ~70-100 mls offshore initially, to avoid the continental shelf and fishing boats, and expect to end up rounding C. Horn early in the southern high summer of the New Year - then it's ENE from there, hoping to avoid nasty conditions around Cape Horn & near the Falklands, aiming for 40S or further north in the S. Atlantic and then on eastward (40S worked well for me ealier this year from S.Africa to past Aus - see my track via 'Travels' page on website). Then I'll pass S of Tasmania and N.Z. to pass the last two of the 'Five Gt Capes'.... I hope the weather S of N.Z. won't be too bad at that time of year (it's a bit shallow there...!) Then from N.Z. it's north to Cape Flattery & the Strait of Juan de Fuca - I hope the position of the N. Pacific High is more favourable than on my recent passage north, since I won't have the option of motoring in any calms encountered.... Back to Victoria - in May, if I'm very lucky, but could well be June.

I need to get back in the water, off the hard - next Tuesday, I'm hoping - so headsails' work (new anti-chafe patches) can be completed. I'd hoped to leave here well before the end of the month but it looks like being a few days later than that, but that's not too bad. Need to go sailing for 2-3 days to check all systems out & calibrate items before heading in to Empress Dock for final preparations for starting from Victoria Harbour just as soon as I'm ready - before next full moon, I'm hoping.

Port Townsend, WA, USA

Written by : Mike

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