CHANGES "Today was laundry day, and I took care of business by using a bucket and several lines strung up in behind the dodger," wrote Jeff. "This all seemed well and good until a squall sought us out and pounced upon on Sailors Run. Things were suddenly chaotic in the cockpit as I struggled to roll in the headsail while being slapped in the face with a wet tshirt. Later in the J e f f , i n M e x i c o , n o t morning I peeled properly dressed for the the not-so-good Southern Ocean. leaves off six cabbages and got them re wrapped in fresh newspaper." So the excitement never stopped. "One of the things I learned from my solo trip around Cape Horn six years ago was to bring lots of cameras, and in order to capture the best shots and footage, make sure they could withstand getting drenched. I also learned when to burn lots of film and when to conserve it, so my next video will have considerably fewer 'nude shots'. "My routine calls for a shower every third day, but I get many unscheduled showers in between. They are either salty showers from the sea or cold freshwater showers from the sky. It's all part of the sailing experience." "On Day 11, I found myself just south of Lima, Peru, over 1,200 miles off the coast of South America. I'm a long way from help out here, so I have to balance the stress on the boat versus the desire to go faster. You might think 7 to 9 knots is not very fast, but when you are heeled over 20+ degrees, the water is raging along the side of the hull, and the boat
It's going to be months before Jeff has anything green and fresh in his diet. There's more sodium in these foods than there is in the ocean.
is suddenly struck broadside by a very steep 9-ft wave that explodes into one of those unexpected 'showers', it seems a little faster than it really is. And you suddenly feel extremely alive and pray that everything will hold together. "So far I've been sailing with good speed as I attempt to nearly circumnavigate the South Pacific High, using it much like a giant pinwheel to sling shot Sailors Run into the 'Roaring Forties'. The transition from the winds on the outside of the High to the westerly winds in the Southern Ocean is one of the key parts to my having a fast circumnavigation. We'll see how it works out. “Two days ago I found out that I’m not totally solo on this voyage, as it seems I have a stowaway. Yes, a cockroach must have got on in Ecuador, and now the question is whether he is solo or has friends along. I should say was solo, because his life came to a horrible end. Maybe I should have taken precautions by placing poison everywhere except in the fresh produce. As least I'm 'packing' a can of Raid. I also put out a huge tarantula-looking rubber spider left over from Halloween in hopes to 'scare' any other roaches away. I hate waking up to a big cockroach crawling across my face, as I usually give myself a bloody nose and the thing disappears before I can get a light on. "On Day 12 I saw a ship on the AIS that came within 31 miles of me. That's the first one I've 'seen' since a fishing boat at night a week ago. "I think I have narrowed down the problem with the wind generator. I was out in the cockpit adjusting the windvane steering and got the wind coming in over the stern, and while looking at the windhawk at the top of the mast, I noticed the wind generator facing aft. 'What the heck', I thought, 'let's turn it around'. Much to my surprise, it started generating electricity properly. Now it seems almost for certain that the problem is dirty slip rings in the unit, which I hope to clean when the seas lay down. Even if I never get up there, the thing should work in much of the windy Southern Ocean. "I have struggled a bit trying to get my head around this great adventure of mine. The planning took 18 months, and the preparations were such that I didn't sail in the five months before taking off.
Once at sea, it all seemed overwhelming. My sailing skills were rusty and my movements had to be methodically thought out and continually re-evaluated. Things began to improve after a week, and I’m happy to say that things are once again coming to me naturally. Sailors Run and I are again one with nature. The one thing that will never be 'right' until I return is the yearning to hold my dear wife Debbie in my arms once again. — el jefe and latitude 11/19/2015 Readers — You can follow Jeff's great adventure at sailorsrun.com. Reflections — Esprit 37 Gene and Sheri Seybold Protection From The Sun and Spray (Honolulu / Stockton) We can't remember how long Gene and Sheri have been out cruising, but our Latitude records show that they started their Puddle Jump from Panama
The December 2015 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.