Northern Passage Day 5

May 22, 2020

Today’s post (below) is from Bob, the newest member of the crew. Bob hails from Port Townsend by way of Portland Oregon where he was a Harbor Pilot on the Columbia River for Portland Fire Bureau before he retired.

We were delighted that Bob would join the crew of Estelle in Hawaii with his rescue, navigation, and sailing experience. Canasta, as you will read below, was an unexpected bonus.

Update from S/V Estelle. Day 5; 600 NM north of Hilo. The weather turns nice, very nice, too nice. A far cry from the past 4 days. But let me start from the beginning …

Getting here was a bit of a surprise. Sea-Tac airport was busier than I expected. Not crowded and everybody quietly respected the 6 ft rule. Masks where by far the norm. My flight was 50% full with only families sitting next to each other.

The other part of the story was the woman who had cardiac arrest in the lavatory just before landing. I can honestly say that I’ve never done CPR on the cabin floor of a 757 during an emergency landing. The officials in Hawaii took temperatures, information and phone numbers. They were welcoming, calm and friendly.

S/V Estelle was at anchor in Reed’s Bay. Mark, the skipper, and I linked up at baggage claim at the airport. We had met two months earlier in LaPaz, when a salty vessel, hailing from Friday Harbor moored near Valkyrie. We quickly became friends.

We both had plans to leave Mexico about the same time. Valkyrie on a ship and Estelle sailing to Hilo with a crew of 4. I offered to help out on the second leg to Friday Harbor. And here I am.

The standard route from Hawaii calls for sailing due north for some distance, around the pacific high, before turning easterly. Today we started a NNE heading on a fairly flat sea. Routines are established and life on board falls into a normal pattern of watch, eat, rest, read, sleep repeat.

Oh, lest I forget about Days 1-5, they were sloppy. Not rough, but not nice either. The boat, a Hallberg Rassy 39, is an exceptional craft built in Sweden. Rugged yet beautiful and a very good sailing boat. Before leaving Mexico, Mark installed a HYDROVANE steering vane. The boat and vane seem made for each other and it is a marvel to watch this device effortlessly keep the boat on a very precise heading.

Today I introduced the crew to Canasta (Steve and Tracy- the legacy continues) a close match, with scores kept and more to follow.

2 thoughts on “Northern Passage Day 5

  1. Holy smokes, Bob – did _you_ do the CPR on the plane? Sounds like the person didn’t make it?

    So, what are you all reading, then? Last time I read (novel, non-fiction, philosophy, whatever) was probably 13 years ago.

    Interested in this Canasta business. We only have three family card games (that I know of), and they’re getting a little long in the tooth.


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