DAY 102 - JULY 17, 2007. DESTINY ARRIVES IN GIG HARBOR.
Here's the note by Mike:
"Destiny arrived this afternoon. The rudder has been prepared and gets pulled tomorrow morning and sent to CA for repair. The driver said that the tractor, trailer and load weighed 72,340 lbs...he was overweight in Colorado and had to pay a fine. The driver said that the tractor weighs 17,500 but he didn't know the weight of the trailer, but I doubt that it weighs as much as the tractor which puts Destiny's weight closer to 40,000 lbs than the 35,000. She arrived in good shape with no leaks found and no bugs either. So, the job of putting her back together begins."
52 - MAY 26, 2007. ARRIVAL GALVESTON.
PLANES, BOATS, AND AUTOMOBILES...
Mike arrived at Galveston this morning by running the boat aground in Galveston Harbor. He called the USCG at 05:22 today. The boat was towed into the boatyard soon after.
Mike had thunderstorms Wed & Thurs nights, blowing him off course by 50 miles. He slowed his course on Friday after dark but still arrived an hour before dawn this morning. It was pitch black (no moon, no sun). For 50 miles he called to USCG with no resonse. He reached a fellow boater and soon afterwards he felt Destiny run. That was when the USCG responded. They invited Mike aboard but he refused and decided to stay aboard. He waited until 8 am for the tow boat to haul Destiny into port. During the wait for the tow boat, the high winds blew Destiny further into the rocks. It took 1 1/2 hours to get her out of those rocks and another 1/2 hour to the boat yard. She's not taking on water. Mike never left the boat.
The truck will pick up Destiny on May 31 and deliver it to Tacoma on June 15.
Time for a few days of R&R and big meals for Mike before heading by plane back to Gig Harbor. Let's see a quick summary of this voyage from the start: Planes, Boats, and Automobiles...
DAY 49 - MAY 23, 2007. 7:40 PM EST
Mike has lost all power on Destiny. He's on a SAILBOAT and not a power boat, so he should still be just fine. But, docking in Galveston will be a chore. He is 250 nm from the state where EVERYTHING IS BIG. (Editor's Note: gotta wonder if Glen Campbell has been banging around in Mike's head the past week).
MIKE IS TRUCKING ALONG NICELY!!!
Mike reached a captain of another vessel in the Gulf of Mexico by radio. His message is: All power down. Complete power failure. He cannot even start his motor. The New Orleans Coast Guard has been notified to put out a Marine Safety Net since Mike has no running lights. He's in no danger except from a vessel who cannot see him (any fuel tankers in the area?). The USCG has announced to everyone in the area between Mike and Galveston to watch out for him. So much for SkyMate updates.
Position: 27 22.18N. 90 07.95W
(Editor's Note: after this adventure, I think it is safe to say Mike will want to put this rust bucket on wheels when he reaches Galveston, and haul the turd back to Seattle where he can repair the thing with his own time, effort, and TLC for a real future ocean-worthy voyage across the globe. What's the old addage? "You get what you pay for?".... :) Still a valiant, noble, and worthy effort of a Air Force career man that left the skies for the seas. It certainly has been fun to follow.).
DAY 48 - MAY 22, 2007. 12:59 PM
26° 25.045" N, Longitude 87° 18.939" W
Ray commentary: Mike only needs the mapping software when making a landfall. Without the Nobeltec he will want to enter Galveston during daylight hours. That means if he gets there during the night he may need to stand offshore until daybreak. Remember Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, Henry the Navigator and others didn't have Nobeltec or even a gps and they did ok. My guess is that Mike is at least as good or better than any of them.
Editors commentary: and Sir Francis and Columbus never had 25 years of navigating from above, either (Mike had a career as a USAF navigator)!
another 65 - 70 nm overnight. Very good pace. Winds should hold so he
can probably make Galveston by Friday evening.
DAY 48 - MAY 22, 2007. 12:50 AM
Latitude 26° 13.551" N, Longitude 86° 10.554"
Mike has traveled 75 nm since last report. He's truckin'.
DAY 47 - MAY 21, 2007. 11:05 PM
Mike message: "Corrupt Mapping Won't Start. Nobeltec." Suggested that he remove Nobeltec and reload it from the CD he has.
Weather forecast: Tuesday evening thru Wednesday winds are forecast to pick up a bit to 20-25kts. Mike should shorten sail before it gets dark Tuesday night if he hasn't already done so. Seas will be building and wind strengthening over the next few days. Not to a dangerous level but perhaps to a level that the self steering vane may have trouble keeping the boat on course.
On Thursday forecast is for winds 15-25kts and seas 8 to 10 feet. Great sailing weather but may need a lot of attention.
DAY 47 - MAY 21, 2007. 12:26 AM
25° 5.268" N, Longitude 84° 24.091" W
Ray Minehan: In spite of whatever problems he is having, Mike seems
to be making pretty good way toward Galveston.
Weather forecast enroute to Galveston: winds in the 15-20 kt range off his starboard aft quarter. Mike should get over the seasickness pretty soon and should be in better spirits when that happens. ETA of Friday may be a little optimistic but he has 35 years experience figuring out ETAs so for the time being lets say Friday evening or Sat morning depending on how much speed he can carry by himself. -- Ray
DAY 46 - MAY 20, 2007. 07:22 PM
from Mike: "BusySeaSlngStaysilReefmainFurlingJamSeasick
24° 48.846" N, Longitude 83° 28.976" W
DAY 45 - MAY 19, 2007. 09:07 PM
No matter what, Mke was NOT going to return to Key West. Maybe he will continue on, but Galveston is his next stop.
Sat 5/19/07 9:07 PM. Latitude 24° 20.313" N, Longitude 82° 56.199" W. The position report was received Sunday May 20 2007 at 4:07 AM GMT. To view on Maptech mapserver, click here.
DAY 45 - MAY 19, 2007. ABORT TO GALVESTON
From Mike: Sent: Sat 5/19/07 5:48 PM
"Boat Not Ready Enroute Galveston."
(Editors Note: It seems clear that Mike will likely take the boat to Galveston and have it shipped on land to Seattle. It is unclear at this time (9:21 pm EST) the problem that led to this decision. However, this was considered a last-resort solution. The trip, unfortunately, has likely come to an abrupt end. Details soon.)
DAY 45 - MAY 19, 2007. 06:48 AM - BON VOYAGE!
Mike left at 06:48 am this morning. Report at 09:16 am - can barely see a hairline of Key West, aobut 10 miles out. 6-7 knot winds, have both the genoa and the mainsail up. Making great speed, beautiful/perfect sailing weather. A bit difficult without the autopilot to get bearning while putting the sails up, but made do nonetheless.
DAY 44 - MAY 18, 2007. DEPARTURE - TOMORROW!
AFTERNOON: $1500 for the computer part of the autopilot and they couldn't install until Monday. FORGET IT - Mike feels comfortable with the windvane. There is a nice breeze out there right now. Mike's tempted to leave yet today, but much needed rest tonight and departure on Saturday!
MORNING: The technicians came out this morning with the new part and it still didn't work. They have now decided that it needs a new computer. There is one somewhere in the Keys that they have gone after. They hope to have it in this afternoon? Last night the winds quit and the bugs invaded the boat. Mike wonders how much worse conditions can be. Oh yes, the Marina came over to remind him to pay them 20% of whatever the technicians charge.
DAY 43 - MAY 17, 2007.
The technician called back this afternoon and said it was the clutch that had gone bad. They ordered a new one which should be at their shop first thing Friday morning. They said they would come out right away then and install it. IF... they get it done by noon, Mike will sail tomorrow. If it runs into the afternoon, he'll wait till the next morning. Somehow, he's finally feeling optimistic again.
DAY 42 - MAY 16, 2007. NOW LIKELY MAY 18.
who came out this afternoon was not that knowledgable. He worked for
3 hours and the autopilot is still not working. He's coming back out
at 8 am. They didn't even get a chance to talk about the HF. This evening
the tugboat owner came over and sat with Mike in the cockpit while
DAY 40 - MAY 14, 2007.
that it will be today. The fellows yesterday found that one of the
DAY 38 - MAY 12, 2007.
First Position Report from Skymate
Sent: Sat 5/12/07 8:11 PM PST
24° 33.976" N, Longitude 81° 43.480" W
DAY 37 - MAY 11, 2007. DEPARTURE DATE: MONDAY, MAY 14.
Mike was laughing again today telling about working in the salon and glancing in the mirror to see the little tiger face of the kitten looking in at him from the cockpit.
His other story is more of an invasion story. A few days ago he saw one of those huge flying roaches (2.5 in long) fly into the salon and land on the lighted globe. It was disgusting! He went after it with a flyswatter and hit it hard. Well, the darn thing disappeared. He looked every where for it but it must have fallen into the bilge at the base of the mast.
he awoke with the "alien" climbing around his bed in the forward
Also, Mike has his SkyMate system installed. He's going to call them just now and have it activated. When it's ready, he's going to send out a Test Email.
DAY 36 - MAY 10, 2007. PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE
It's been a very good week for Mike. He sounds so much happier with so much accomplished. The mainsail has been repaired, the hull work has been completed, the anchor rollers repaired, the fuel cleaned (today), the manual steering repaired, the steering cable installed, and a lot of minor inside repairs that Mike has completed himself. The SkyMate system he ordered should be installed on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday he'll rent a car and restock provisions and replacement parts. He wants to get cables to connect the HF radio to the computer as a back up weather system. He expects to be launched Monday morning. When he is in the water again, the fellow can work on the autopilot and get it going again.
Perhaps by noon on Monday he can set sail!!! There is a young fellow there in Key West from Michigan State Univ. who Mike invited to sail with him, but it doesn't look likely that he will go along.
A black and white kitten has been sneaking around the boat. One night Mike sat straight up in bed when some animal dropped through the hatch and landed on his feet. The next morning he wondered if it had just been his imagination till he found tiny footprints on the deck.
DAY 23 - APRIL 27, 2007. KEY LARGO BY CAR.
Largo library. Fed Ex'ed broken steering cables and chain to West Marine
in SC today. After lengthy discussion, old arrangement not available
so they will come up with a new one in the proper lengths. Expect return
at end of next week. Plan to have autopilot maintenance after installed,
DAY 20 -- APRIL 24, 2007. BACK IN KEY WEST.
Damage from anchors off the bow; fireglass repair is necessary. Steering and backup needs to be replaced, repaired and modified. Need to pull anchor chain out and fix it. Need to fix door for anchor. The steering wouldn't fit over the wheel; when we finally modified it, it snapped. Biggest concern is getting underway with fiberglass repair and steering. Autopilot and HF radio are both out. On the new main, one of the slugs was torn loose. Need a sail loft to do the repair; it is only the top one, but need to do it while I get the chance. I hope a week to do the repairs. Things are drying out now.
Here is the story:
Dean and I left at 9:30 am after we refueled, got the sail up after an hour. Things went well most of the day, but with the wind directly on our tail, we decided to wing it with the genoa and the mainsail. Forecast was for winds up to 15 knots, but as the afternoon came to close they increased to 20/25 knots (according to Coast Guard). The waves increased to 12-15 feet; the forecast called for just 4-5 feet. My new windvane worked great (on the second try) and we were amazed watching the machine do its work. But, as the winds increased, we found it harder to do the wing-on-wing for fear of accidental jibe... the waves got even stronger, the wind built even more. Finally, we just had the main up. The boat was getting harder to control; as Dean was correcting the boat, he said "no steering." Dean brought the main straight into the wind. The backup steering wouldn't fit, so we dismantled the wheel. We finally got it on, but couldn't move it. When we tried again it snapped. Dean put out a message without steering, plus we were heading into the waves and they were getting pretty large. A Coast Guard jet heard the message and flew overhead, and a cutter was on duty and swung by in an hour and a half.
Dean thought we'd be taken aboard the cutter; I was scared of the boat being scuddled. But, I said I'd try to fix the steering with the cords and other materials on board before they would sink her. We had some radio problems trying to communicate with USCG - and I even had a new radio. Finally we were able to communicate, and the USCG decided to tow. I had heard about concerns with USCG towing because they go so damn fast; but they need to keep people safe so we understood. They started leaving before the anchors were secure; the anchors were banging against the hull. But USCG wouldn't slow down so we could secure the anchors. The boat was leaping off one wave and into the next, and Dean was out there trying to secure the anchors, but couldn't do it. He finally got the anchor off the granny bar and secured it but couldn't do the anchor off the front. It was crazy; the USCG had a camera man there taking shots of the event, and we're hoping we can get a copy of the video shots. Eventually the USCG cable broke after we had been going for a few hours; at that time, we brought in the anchors because we had a few spare minutes. We lost one anchor; a big CQR stainless steel anchor. We tied down the main some more. It was amazing during the tow: we were flying around on the boat on the inside, leaping from one wave to the other.
The front end looks terrible. The anchor was banging on the front, took off all the gel coat and the matting and resin; it took chunks out of the boat. The frame is there, but loose. They need to be fixed. Some of the tools and Dean's camera got down in the bilge. Things were flying everywhere.
We were halfway to Cuba when they picked us up (23.50.463 N; 82.47.462 W). They towed us into a buoy outside of Key West. Sea Tow picked us up to temporary morrage. We got a motel that night. Next day moved the boat over. Repairs shouldn't take that long, but it is always finding someone who can do the job now. I am hoping to get the work done in a week. The inside is back to livable conditions; I've lost tools and books, but it is fine. There is minor damage inside.
We pulled the boat out of the water; it looks fine below the water line. The big problem is above the water line. It is better that this happened now than it did between Panama and Hawaii. But there was really no great hazard. We were going into the waves, and she was handling it nicely. I'll be out and off to Panama again soon.
DAY 19 -- EMERGENCY RESCUE!!! APRIL 23, 2007
Destiny is not ok. Mike halfway to Cuba when the steering went out. Then the back up steering went out. Dean (buddy from Gig Harbor) made a call on the radio to whomever could respond. The Coast Guard responded and arrived to tow them back to Key West. It was a 6 or 7 hr tow which turned out to nearly destroy the boat. Destiny is designed to go 7 knots at the most and they towed them at 10 knots. The hatches all leaked water, the seas were high, one hatch broke off, they lost one of the anchors. The table in tha Salon broke, everything flew out of the cupboards, everything is soaked.
Stay tuned for more details.
DAY 17 - APRIL 21, 2007.
Departed Key West, 8:43 am. Headed directly to Panama.
DAY 14 - APRIL 18, 2007.
Still at Key West, FL. Modification of stern rail for Monitor taking place today with welder. Deck boxes have been removed, new halyards and most running rigging replaced. Icom VHF replaced with new Icom and tests OK. Tested GenSet today again and Dean thinks electronic warning system is the problem so will use only if no other choice thus risking total failure. Raised staysil today and one of two appears to be incorrect size, too large but checking with sailmaker. Will not take hard dinghy beyond Key West as there is no acceptable location to store it aboard...reluctantly purchased rubber dinghy. Operational status of 6 HP Evinrude still unknown and now too large...may add to Florida reef. Received operating manual for SEA 2250 HF/SSB today. Will not have email capability. ETD for Panama 4/19 or 4/20.
DAY 11 - APRIL 15, 2007.
4:30 pm. Leg 1 Done Just Ahead Of Storm. Arrived Key West. Confident; knew I could do it.
DAY 10 - APRIL 14, 2007.
7:51 pm. Marathon (24.42.269 N, 81.06.736 W). Very tired. Fightin winds and swells. Autopilot didn't like wind either. Friendly folks here. Nice to be in safe harbor. Good nite.
7:18 am. Key Largo
DAY 9 - APRIL 13, 2007.
8:41 pm. Anchor oceanside. KeyLargo. Rockin & rollin. Not 2 bad. Latitude 25.18.491 N. Longitude 80.15.627 W.
Noon. Leaving. Ft. Lauderdale. New Antenae. Rigging ok. Bow lites fixed. Atlantic then Hawk Channel. Spent the past two days making repairs.
DAY 7 - APRIL 11, 2007.
Sunset. Today 3 chores up the mast. Then sunset. Very stormy lightning close. Tomorrow atlantic. 1:22 am EST.
DAY 6 - APRIL 10, 2007.
Thunderstorm at 6:17 pm EST. Bridge at 1:38 pm: 27.15.08/80.13.16. Daybreak. Put up new mainsail.
DAY 5 - APRIL 9, 2007.
4:52 pm. Melbourne, Fla. Put in new gas filters. Engine runs great now. Filled up with gas and fresh water. Hard to navigate the intercoastal waterway. So shallow. Just anchored. Danced in galley. Fun! Good night.
DAY 3 - APRIL 7, 2007
Underway earlier this morning departure from New Smyrna. Called son Scott and provided him GPS coordinates for the website; currently around the Mosquito Coast. Plan to sail until dark; hope to arrive at Keys within next five days. Will sail into Atlantic to avoide W Palm Beach - Ft Lauderdale intercoastal bridges. Will go back into intercoastal at Ft Lauderdale down to Keys, repairs, then into open water and head straight for Panama.
DAY 2 - APRIL 6, 2007
Idea was to be underway in full sail by noon today. Stuck in the mud twice, average depth is about 12', but some areas very shallow. Needed a power boat with two 225 hp engines to rock Destiny out of the mud. Some surprises found on the boat as we sailed: both HFs won't work - antenna is missing (how did we not see that?). However, we had the autopilot fixed and it works great. Will place the wind vane on the boat and address other repairs upon arrival at the Keys. Currently behind planned itinerary by five days. Sailed until 7:30 pm before anchoring
DAY 1 - APRIL 5, 2007
We've put the boat in the water, shoved off the dock in St. Augustine and traveled 1/2 mile south through the insland waterway to an electrician to finish off the work before we are completely under sail. Popped into a nice sports bar, looked up, and watched the last five minutes of the Michigan State Spartan hockey team complete a 4-2 victory in the national semi finals. I can't believe the Spartans are playing in the national championship. Go figure.
Will follow the Intercoastal waterway along Florida's East Coast to North Palm Beach, enter the Atlantic Ocean, and dip back into the Intercoastal along Fort Lauderdale. Will travel to Islamorada, where we will make final repairs and cross over to the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea. Will travel on a direct route from Key West to Panama, catch the backcurrent in the Yucutan Channel in an easterly direction. Expect 10 days to Panama, with an ETA arrival of April 25. Five days through the Panama Canal, with an estimated departure for Hawaii on May 1.
Will travel to 10/11 degress Latitude, 130 degrees west Longitude, and head directly for Hilo, Hawaii. ETA arrival of June 10 in Hawaii. Will travel from Hilo to Hanalai Bay in Kauai. Expect to arrive on June 15. Soon depart thereafter due North to 40/45 degrees Latitude, then east to the Straight of Juan de Fuca. ETA in Puget Sound by July 7-10.
ETA Gig Harbor, home, by July 15.
4/01/07, Intracoastal Waterway, ~500nm, 9 days
below of Mike's travels .
The RED LINE is the projected path.