MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Friday, November 30, 2018

Jump to the left, step to the right -MW Morpheus Log Day 10 -11/30 7:48 PM Ship Time (GMT)

Miles Traveled:1,747
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 999
Heading: 285
Current Speed: 7.5 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: Jim/Otto with a 17.2 Knot mark on 11/26
Butter Indicator: Nobody cares anymore

Thought of the Day:
"Number 9... Number 9... Number 9..." - The Beatles

Sailing:
Lets do the gybe warp again! Due to a lack of journalistic rigor in the official ships log, I cannot precisely report on the exact number of hours we were on the port gybe before taking a jump to the left and a step to the right at 10:17 this morning. Safe to say, it has been around 4 days, possibly as much as 50+ hours that we were a Center Left sailboat. We are now Center Right and those sleeping on the port side of the boat will have a more restful night. I may or may not have successfully recorded a 360 degree movie of the entire gybe maneuver which I will endeavor to post on this blog at some indefinite time in the future.

As of the time of this post, we broke triple digits in miles remaining on this passage. The new course puts us on a heading that is still a little South of Antigua, but we've got 999 miles to refine the course.

We had a cargo ship sighting overnight on Kim's watch, and we can see a sail about 4 miles distant on our starboard beam as I type this. AIS informs us this is the "ZED 7" Solo Sailor cranking along at 12 knots. First sightings since we saw three boats on the 25th.

Casino Morpheus:
The Antigua Arrival Betting Pool had to be expanded as we accepted a late entry from our honorary crew member and guardian weather angel, Gibb. He is predicting a December 5th 6:16 PM Atlantic Time arrival. Since no one on board can explain the difference between Atlantic Time and Ship Time, we've added a December 5th early arrival date to the pool.

Additional Antigua Arrival Pool Date: Dec 5
Hours:<< 0-4 [xx] 4-8 [xx] 8-12 [DJ] 12-15 [JG] 15-18 [KC] 18-21 [MW] 21-24 [DG]

Fishing:
We gave the fish another day off.

Food and Drink:
For Happy Hour we enjoyed Tinto Veranos, a refreshing red wine, lemon Fanta over ice concoction that is popular in Spain.

Yogurt Fruit and Nut Medley for breakfast. Everyone had to pick out their M&M's and give them to Jim. Ham and Cheese wraps for lunch. Chicken and mushroom risotto for dinner. All great. - mw

Movie Night:
With continuing benign conditions, Movie Night on the Mainsail is becoming a nightly event. Quentin Tarrentino tonight.

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My intent is to cross-post daily logs to my blog MW Mobile Blog (MikeWallach.com) and Jim & Deb's Morpheus Sailing Blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short -text only - posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PostScript - All on-board have an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission if they so desire:

All of the above is some straight up sh-- from trip scribe and historian MIke W.
Noon yesterday to noon today run: 194.5 nm.
Wash day for me. 2 loads- DJ

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Place Your Bets -MW Morpheus Log Day 9 -11/29 8:00 PM Ship Time (GMT)

Miles Traveled:1,564
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 1,165
Heading: 225
Current Speed: 8.5 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: Jim/Otto with a 17.2 Knot mark on 11/26
Butter Indicator: Schrodinger's Butter is in a Superposition Quantum Wave Function where it is both melted and unmelted until someone opens the lid

Thought of the Day:
"Fry 'em" - Jurist in "My Cousin Vinnie"

Sailing:
Same as it ever was... Same as it ever was... Same as it ever was ....

Casino Morpheus:
The Antigua Arrival crew betting pool has been settled.

Volumes I and II of the rules, codicels, exceptions, tie-breakers, etc. are too extensive to be transmitted via SailMail so we will maintain these on a 50 gigabyte thumbdrive on board.

Antigua Arrival Date: Dec 6
Hours:<< 0-4 [KC] 4-8 [JG] 8-12 [DJ] 12-15 [KC] 15-18 [DG] 18-21 [MW] 21-24 [JG]
Antigua Arrival Date: Dec 7
Hours: 0-4 [DJ] 4-8 [JG] 8-12 [DG] 12-15 [DG] 15-18 [KC] 18-21 [MW] 21-24 [DG]
Antigua Arrival Date: Dec 8
Hours: 0-4 [JG] 4-8 [DJ] 8-12 [KC] 12-15 [DJ] 15-18 [MW] 18-21 [MW] >>

Fishing:
We've enjoyed two meals of the Dorado with at least one more meal pending. Fishing will resume tomorrow.

Food:
Leftover Rum Cake for Breakfast. Chilaquelles for Brunch. Dorado Sushi Rolls for dinner appetizer (except for Jim, who had a mystery meat byproduct roll instead). Seared pork & rice with ratatullie (sp) for the main course.

Last night's movie night on the mainsail "My Cousin Vinnie" was interrupted midway due to technical difficulties. The movie will probably resume tonight, although I am not sure why. The ending is clear - [SPOILER ALERT] The two New Jersey kids are found guilty and electrocuted - mw

++++++++
My intent is to cross-post daily logs to my blog MW Mobile Blog (MikeWallach.com) and Jim & Deb's Morpheus Sailing Blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short -text only - posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PostScript - All on-board have an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission if they so desire:
Casualtes: 1 clothespin lost overboard.
Repaired: Hinge on chart table lid, 3 screws pulled out .Match sticks pressed in place and screws re secured. 3 year warranty.
Observation: After many days of seeing just about nothing in the ocean today we are seeing many bits and small clumps of light brown seaweed. It is our belief that it is Saragaso seaweed.
Rebooted : All B&G instruments and ships computer.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Is the passage half empty or half full? - MW Morpheus Log Day 8 -11/28 5:50 PM Ship Time (GMT)

Miles Traveled:1,344
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 1,344
Heading: 245
Current Speed: 8 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: Jim/Otto with a 17.2 Knot mark on 11/26
Butter Indicator: Butter debate rages on unsettled. Consensus: Not Melted

Thought of the Day:
"Boring is good." - Deb

Sailing:
It's deja vu all over again. Blue skies, puffy clouds, and a consistent following wind. A smooth comfortable ride in mostly the right direction. The same port gybe with the Wing and Wing configuration, mainsail starboard, jib port. Jim thinks this is the longest time on this passage we've been on the same gybe. The trade winds are performing as advertised. We're on a course that'll take us further south than Antigua, but hey... there are other cool islands down there.

Halfway Party:
At 5:50 PM GMT we reached the exact midpoint of the passage. 1,344 miles ahead, 1,344 miles behind, and you know that notion just crossed my mind.

Deb planned ahead with a selection of hats that you will simply have to wait for the pictures to see, as I am not going to attempt to describe them. Okay. Two hints. Think... Conquistador Jim, #Doug, Dia De La Muerto Kim, and Matador Mike. A double issue of grog to mark the occasion - meaning - I got two beers. The highlight was Deb's homemade Rum Cake, a slice of which qualified as an additional ration of grog.

Fishing:
Fishing is suspended as we've decided we should eat the fish we caught before catching another (refrigeration constraints).

Food:
Yogurt Fruit and Nut Medley for Breakfast. Multilayer Nachos for lunch. Fresh Dorado Tempura Fish Tacos for dinner with Debs flammable Rum Cake for dessert. Smoking not permitted within 10 feet of the cake.

The fish was great. Really great. Captain Jim (who generally hates fish) gave the fish taco plate a glowing review saying: "I could eat this."

As good as the fish main course, the rum cake was even better.

With benign conditions, movie night on the mainsail is on the docket after dark. - mw

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My intent is to cross-post daily logs to my blog MW Mobile Blog (MikeWallach.com) and Jim & Deb's Morpheus Sailing Blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short -text only - posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PostScript - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission if they so desire:

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Sent via SailMail, http://www.sailmail.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Take the Red Pill - MW Morpheus Log Day 7 -11/27 4:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled:1165
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 1525
Heading: 245
Current Speed: 8 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: Jim/Otto with a 17.2 Knot mark aided by a 26 knot following wind in the early morning hours of 11/26
Butter Indicator: Jim: "The butter has melted!" Deb:"That is soft butter, not melted butter." Kim: "Not melted yet. No puddle."

Thought of the Day:
"Everything is better with a smear of soft butter on it. Particularly Deb's homemade ginger bread." - mw

Sailing:
Today we have blue skies, puffy clouds, and a consistent easy following wind. Not going very fast, but it's smooth comfortable sailing in the right direction, and no need for any sail adjustments all day (so far). We're on a port gybe with the Wing and Wing configuration, mainsail starboard, jib port. Jim says's we may be on this gybe for days. He says that everyday.

It is such smooth sailing, everyone slept late, and there is very little activity to report. However, it is smooth sailing today because there was a lot of activity last night. On Doug's watch, in a squall, in light winds, at some point, Morpheus was sailing backwards confusing Otto, and requiring running the motor to get him reoriented. We were sailing again by the time of my watch, but we were apparently sailing to Nova Scotia instead of Antigua. So Jim, Deb, and I gybed and redeployed the jib in the dark while sleep deprived. It went off like clockwork. On Jim's watch there was a private showing of the Matrix projected on the mainsail. Private because apparently no else was invited. I was aware of it because I thought I was dreaming, but I actually heard Morpheus (movie character not boat) explaining the Matrix to Neo. Kim caught the end of of the movie on her watch, at which point the wind died, so they rolled in the jib and started motoring. By the time of my morning watch we were sailing again.

Fishing:
Due to our port gybe, the mainsail sheet extends across the spot where we mount the fishing rod and reel. So... no rod and reel deployed. Jim did get the handline deployed with a red squid lure. I don't want to believe that Jim selected this tack specifically to keep me from using the rod and reel, but ... I just don't know.

BREAKING: The sailing was so smooth that the Officer Corp authorized a cocktail hour and distributed beers. As we were enjoying the beer, a four foot dorado hit the handline. Jim's catch, but a real team effort bringing it in. Having experienced some difficulty in the past getting a hooked fish on the boat, we decided to not rush it. The fish was hooked well enough to drag it behind the boat until exhausted. I then climbed down on the transom and grabbed it under the gills hauling it on to the boat. We put a stringer on it, and with a few judicious cuts put it back in the ocean to bleed out. Finally, still standing on the transom, we decided to fillet the beast on top of the Yeti cooler. With the rest of the crew finding me tools, ensuring I was safely secured, taking photographs, and washing the back of the boat with a sprayer to keep effluvia flowing backward, we managed to hack some good size fillets out of the catch. Jim also helped by shouting encouragement from below deck. Dinner was already underway, so half the fillets went into the freezer and half into the fridge. We'll be eating fish the next couple of nights.

With everyone sleeping late, breakfast was catch as catch can. I enjoyed Deb's Homemade Ginger Bread with a smear of soft butter. Lunch was ham and cheese wraps. Chicken Chili with Ratatouie for dinner. As I feared, I am gaining weight on this passage. - mw

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My intent is to cross-post daily logs to my blog MW Mobile Blog (MikeWallach.com) and Jim & Deb's Morpheus Sailing Blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only - posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PostScript - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission if they so desire:

Mike is doing a good job - Jim

***

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Monday, November 26, 2018

It's Magic - MW Morpheus Log Day 6 -11/26 7:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled:1020
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 1704
Heading: 250
Current Speed: 7 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: BREAKING! Doug's new speed record of 16.2 lasted about 2 hours when Jim beat it with a 17.2 Knot mark aided by a 26 knot following wind in the early morning hours of 11/26
Butter Indicator: Not Melted

Thought of the Day:
"Sailing away on the crest of a wave, it's like magic. Rolling and riding and slipping and sliding, it's like magic." - Electric Light Orchestra

Sailing:
Once upon a time, there were things called "CD's" where one could select music from your collection, copy to them to a CD and enjoy full fidelity music on a CD with a theme of your choice. We called these "mixes". Today you can do this with a playlist from your digital music collection, but it is not as good because there are no limit to songs you can include in a playlist. With a CD mix you had to make hard choices on which songs to include and exclude as you were limited by the physical capacity of the CD. Kids have it so easy these days.

A decade or so ago I created a Sailing Mix CD for one of my passages on the Morpheus back in those dark ages of CD musical technology. I bring this up because I included ELO's "It's a Livin' Thing" on my CD Sailing Mix. I was surprised when several of my crewmates on that passage questioned whether it really belonged on a Sailing Mix. As noted, whether a song belonged on a CD Mix was a Very Important Question in those days that would precipitate heated debate that could destroy friendships. We agreed to disagree.

I bring this up because of my late watch (11:00-1:00 AM) last night. Wind was blowing 20-27 knots, and even with our main double reefed and flying in the Wing and Wing configuration, the trip speed records were dropping by the hour. Winds in that range make the Captain & First Mate nervous, particularly with amateurs on watch, but the interesting fact is that Morpheus loves it.

So it's midnite, it's dark, the moon is rising but obscured by the clouds,the wind is howling at 26 knots behind me, I am alone on deck, strapped to the boat, standing behind the dodger, amidst swells bigger than the boat, sensing more than seeing the violence of the Atlantic all around me, and Morpheus is just cruising along at about 12 knots, smooth as cruise control on I-5, straight as an arrow, gently swaying me back and forth like a baby in a basinet. It was like a magic carpet ride. And the soundtrack in my head was playing those first two lines of ELO's "livin' thing". So yeah. It's a sailing song.

On the Captain's official noon to noon log, we logged 205 mile. A 200 mile day is always a good day.

Fishing:
Also during my watch, a flying fish smashed itself into the glass in the dodger in front of me. So I am claiming the First Fish catch on this passage.

For more conventional fishing, I decided to forego the cedar plugs for a deep diving Rapala that promised it was good for high speed trolling. Long story short, the lure almost bent the poll in half, and by the time I got it under control we had a god awful tangled mess in the reel. A few hours later and with Doug's help we had the reel untangled and a cedar plug back in the water. Jim added a hand line on the port side trolling a squid, but no luck. My flying fish was the only catch of the day.

Winds lightened up in the afternoon. It's getting hot, but the butter refuses to melt. We motored most of the afternoon to recharge batteries and refill the fresh water tanks. Heading into the evening watch re again under sail with light winds.


Milk and Cereal for Breakfast. Shirley's Meat Loaf Sandwiches for Lunch. Iberian Ham and Manchego Cheese for afternoon snack. Choice of Pork Curry or Meat Loaf for dinner. - mw

Poll Question: Is ELO's "Livin' Thing" s Sailing Song?
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My intent is to post daily logs to my blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PostScript - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission if they so desire:

***

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Three's a Crowd - MW Morpheus Log Day 5 -11/25 6:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled:840
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 1820
Heading: 280
Average Speed: 8-10 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: BREAKING! Doug sets a new speed record with 16.2 knots while he is at the hem during a squall on 11/25, shattering Kim's prior best with 15.3 knots on Nov 23
Butter Indicator: Not Melted

Thought of the Day:
Even if your boat is a Privilege 60, and it is colored white, you should not announce on channel 16 that your boat is a White Privilege.

Poll Result:
The correct answer was confirmed by both Gibb and Harlan - both gybed (British spelling) and jibed (American spelling) are correct. However, "gybed" is cooler so we will be using that spelling exclusively here on the Official Blog of Record.

Sailing:
We gybed again in the morning, so the mainsail is back at left wing, and the jib is back at right wing. Seas were a bit more confused over the course of the day and we skirted a few squalls, but still mostly smooth sailing. In this configuration we can again get a fishing line in the water. We learned the painted cedar plug we used today was exactly as effective as the plain cedar plug we used Friday.

Three other sailboats were spotted today. I spotted a tricolor in the far distance on my early morning watch. The boat was visible on AIS but it's name was not identified. I assume this was the catamaran King's Ransom that hailed us yesterday. Jim spotted a sail about 2.5 miles off our starboard beam, which we soon learned from a Channel 16 conversation was the Zatara - a white Privilege 60. Don't blame us, that's what they said. Finally Kim spotted the Wiz on her watch late this afternoon. They are all heading for Antigua. They are all behind us now.

Cal / Colorado Game
Thanks to all the Cal Alum for texting the play by play to the Morpheus for the benefit of the Buffalo on board. Even though the game was over after the first three offensive plays, I was glad to hear the chirp of football updates form the community throughout the night. I am just gratified that my alma mater has made the transition from doormat of the Big 8, to doormat of the Pac 12.

Highlight of the day was spotting three other ships. My early morning watch
Late in the day we hailed by the "King's Ransom" - a self described "fat pig catamaran" also heading for Antigua on Channel 16. They claimed they could see us, but we never saw them. Still looking.

Yogurt Surprise for Breakfast. Pizza for Lunch. Pork Curry with Rice for dinner. - mw

++++++++
My intent is to post daily logs to my blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PS - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission if they so desire:

***
Casualty:
New Port side jib sheet cover worn through due to chafe. Replaced w/ spare.

Repairs:
boom vang bracket attachment screws (6 total) on underside of boom loosened. 1 presumably fell overboard 1 retrieved from deck. Reinstalled a/r with a spare and this will be watched.
Engine wiring: 2 wires chafed to bare wire at point of contact with engine mount. Taped with electrical tape and loom zip tied away from point of chafe. - DJ

***

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

There's no place like drone - MW Morpheus Log Day 4 -11/24 4:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled:666
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 2020
Heading: 230
Average Speed: 8-10 knots
Fastest Ride so Far: Kim with 15.3 knots on Nov 23 - Undefeated and Still Champ
Butter Indicator: Not Melted

Thought of the Day:
"An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an equal and opposite force." - Isaac Newton

The "Wing and Wing" is working well, but to push our heading further south (to melt the butter) we needed to gybe (jibe?). To a land-lubber like myself, that means we had to switch the position of the mainsail and jib. The mainsail is now the right wing and the jib the left wing. Coincidently, the wind is now aligning with the swells and we are enjoying the very definition of Smooth Sailing.

Poll Question: When used as a verb past tense, is it spelled Gybed or Jibed?

Respond on Morpheus Text Message with your answer.

With no stress to speak of, Jim felt obligated to create some by flying his drone. I was the designated catcher. I explained to Jim that every experience I have ever seen with a drone in wind involved either the drone flying away unitl it becomes a small black dot in the sky and then disappears - or - it flies into a tree and breaks into pieces. There are no trees here.

Rather than explain this entire episode, which would require too many words, and with a picture being worth 1,000 words, I will simply invoke a panel of pictures which you will see someday.

Panel 1: Close up of drone leaving hand with big ocean in background.
Panel 2: Picture of Big Blue Sky with puffy white clouds and a tiny black dot receding in the far distance
Panel 3: Jim hunched over a drone handheld controller with a very worried look on his face. Mike shielding the screen from glare of the sun with his hat as it is almost impossible to see screen.
Panel 4: Picture of small blue sailboat in a great big ocean taken from a drone very high and very far away.

There are a few more details, but with SailMail text limitations we'll have to wrap it up here.

Late in the day we hailed by the "King's Ransom" - a self described "fat pig catamaran" also heading for Antigua on Channel 16. They claimed they could see us, but we never saw them. Still looking.

I want to clear up one thing. I don't believe I adequately explained the sandwich we had for lunch yesterday and today, describing it simply as leftover turkey. That was not right.

It was really an entire Thanksgiving dinner between two slices of bread. The turkey slices were smothered in cornbread, sausage, leek and cranberry stuffing, also spread with garlic and butternut squash, apples and raison. Added cucumbers for crunch and mayo and mustard because sandwich.

Pork Curry tonight. Update tomorrow. - mw

++++++++
My intent is to post daily logs to my blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PS - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission. The reader is not obligated to read those superfluous footnotes.

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Sent via SailMail, http://www.sailmail.com

Friday, November 23, 2018

Fishing Line Deployed - MW Morpheus Log Day 3 -11/23 4:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled:498
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 2,190
Heading: 260
Average Speed: 10 knots heeling to Port on a Starboard tack
Fastest Ride so Far: Kim with 15.3 knots on Nov 23 beating her own record
Butter Indicator: Not Melted

Thought of the Day:
Today is November 23rd. At the 23rd minute of the 23rd hour, Morpheus will be at 23 degrees North and 23 degrees West. Michael Jordan's number is 23, and Jim Carrey starred in a movie entitled "23" about weird 23 synchronistic coincidences. Make of that what you will.

Full moon on the night watch was spectacular. Jim caught the moon setting and sun rising on his watch. Weather is beautiful. Sunscreen on but not too hot. Sunshine, puffy clouds, and big blue rolling swells. On my 5 AM watch, I saw another vessel for the first time since leaving Tenerife. A cargo shiip passed about 2 miles behind us and on a heading parallel but more southerly than ours. It's lights were visible most of my watch.

The sail reefs were let back out to catch as much breeze as we can, and the path of least resistance has us sailing almost due west. As a consequence, that butter may never melt (see previous post). In an effort to have both a happy boat and a boat sailing in a more southerly direction, Jim reconfigured the Main and Jib in a "Wing and Wing" configuration. Doug, who is almost as old as me, and (unlike me) has been sailing his entire life, says the last time he saw this configuration was at the "Ray Wallace School of Sailing" when he was eight years old.

We set up our fishing rig and are currently dragging a cedar plug about 35 meters behind the boat. I'd like to stress that today was a fishing gear setup and familiarization day. It was not our intent to to catch fish today and, so far, our plan is working out perfectly. I may also plan on not catching fish tomorrow with a deeper diving rapala lure.

Leftover Turkey sandwiches today for lunch and Lasagna tonight.

Imagine if you will a photo of the sun and orange lined clouds peeking between the "Wing and Wing" as we sail into the setting sun. Someday you will see that photograph posted here.

All is well. - mw

++++++++
My intent is to post daily logs to my blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only posts. I'll backfill pictures and video once I am home again.

PS - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission. The reader is not obligated to read those superfluous footnotes.

----------
Sent via SailMail, http://www.sailmail.com

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! - MW Morpheus Log Day 2 -11/22 4:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled (over water): 315
Miles Traveled (as the crow flies):269
Miles To Go (to Antigua): 2,325
Heading: 220
Average Speed: 10 knots heeling to Port on a Starboard tack
Fastest Ride: Kim with 13.7 knots during a squall on an overnight watch
Butter Indicator: Not Melted

Captain Jim suggest we add a couple more benchmarks to the daily post. The leader for fastest speed, and the Butter Indicator.

This last requires some explanation. The navigation rule of thumb for this transit is to drive south until the butter melts, then turn right. The butter is on the counter in the galley and has not melted yet. Stay tuned.

It's Thanksgiving and we enjoyed an extraordinary feast on board that must be seen to be believed. To appreciate, you'll just have to wait until I can post pictures, and until then be satisfied with my description. The roasted turkey breast and drumsticks were perfectly done and accompanied by a corn bread stuffing and butternut squash with leeks and garlic. So good. Deb and Kim are miracle workers in the galley.

Normally, Morpheus is a dry boat (literally and figuratively) on extended passages. Given this is Thanksgiving, Captain Jim authorized a cocktail hour before dinner. It was a good decision.

Double reef after dinner to provide a smoother overnight passage.

Thoughts of the Day: What are we thankful for?

1) Friends with Boats
2) Otto the Autopilot makes standing watch a breeze.
3) Our spouses who tolerate us going on these adventures while tending to the home fires in our absence.
4) The boat is NOT sinking
5) No Trump Tweets

I hope everyone at home enjoyed their Thanksgiving as much as we did on board. - mw

++++++++
My intent is to post daily logs to my blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only posts. I'll back fill pictures and video once I am home again.

PS - As a courtesy I give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission. The reader is not obligated to read those superfluous footnotes.

----------
Sent via SailMail, http://www.sailmail.com

One Day In - MW Morpheus Log 11/21 3:00 PM Ship Time

Miles Traveled (over water): 239
Miles Traveled (as the crow flies):139
Miles To Go (to Antigua):2,483

Heading: 290
Average Speed: 7 knots heeling to starboard on a port tack

We're about 24 hours in, I'm just finished my third watch, 3:00 PM as I write this.

Captain Jim feared the winds would be so light that we might be motoring exclusively for the first couple of days. Turns out, we've had wind enough to sail most of the time and we were sailing for each of my three watches. Weather is beautiful.

We have 5 souls on board and a 4 person watch schedule. Two hours on, six hours off. Doug, Mike, Jim, and the Cooks watch (Deb and Kim are sharing the cook's watch). We've had the Canary Islands in sight for most of the first day, and only now are watching El Hierro recede in the distance.

We're settling in to boat life, no one is seasick thanks to the miracle of modern medicine.

As per the usual drill, nicknames have been assigned to coffee mug - El Capitan, First Mate, Sailing Spice, Ballast (me), were retained from previous passages, but Doug needed a new one. Our provisional working nickname was "Iceman" based on his favorite movie "Top Gun". Circumstances demanded his nickname be revised last night. I relieved Doug on our 2nd Watch at 5:00 AM, and he retired to his cabin. About an our later he was staring up at me at the foot of the companionway and saying "Why did you wake me Deb? I was just on watch an hour ago."

I explained that I was Mike not Deb, and that no one awakened him. It was a dream. Doug considered that for a few moments, than retired again to his cabin. His new nickname is "Sleepwalker".

Thought of the Day from Captain Jim: "Turning door handles as you close the door makes it easy."
++++++++
My intent is to post daily logs to my blog from SailMail. Due to the technology limitations, these will be short - text only posts. I'll back fill pictures and video once I am home again.

PS - As a courtesy I will also give all on-board an opportunity to add comments here on the bottom of post prior to transmission. The reader is not obligated to read those superfluous footnotes.

Captains Comment - We have a great crew for this trip. Not only do we have Mike and Kim back after helping us with the West to East Atlantic crossing 5 years ago, but Doug Jorgensen has joined us. Doug is a lifelong sailor that I met in college and have sailed with many times since. Doug flew to NZ when we first launched Morpheus to help us get her ready for her first travels. Great to have him back!!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Day In Barcelona


Thanks to generous and trusting friends of friends, my one full day in Barcelona was not limited to eating trail mix and husbanding my last seven euros for the metro ride back to the airport (as I thought it might upon my arrival).  Nuff said about yesterday's series of unfortunate events. I had one day to explore Barcelona for the first time and was not going miss the opportunity.


I am staying in the Gothic Quarter, and started the day by by downloading and following Rick Steves Audio Tour of Barcelona, as recommended by my seatmate on the flight over. My intent was to see and do everything there was to see and do in Barcelona. I assumed one day would be enough. Herein a selection of photos on how I did.  You be the judge.

Placa de Calalunya and The Rambles - Wherein I learn that one can sit on a bench on a busy pedestrian boulevard and not bury your nose in your phone.




Catedral de Barcelona - Where I learn the significance of 13





Jewish Quarter - Where I learn that in 1492 Ferdinand & Isabella not only sent Columbus to sail the ocean blue, but also purged all Jews from Barcelona.





Placa de Sant Jaume - Wherein I learn the administrative center of Barcelona and Catalonia is frequently the site of large protests attended primarily by young attractive women and girls.







Sagrada Familia - Wherein I learn you can get almost anything built in 150 years or less, and there are 400 scary steps down from the Passion Tower.












Picasso Museum, Friezes and Watering Hole - Wherein I learn I can make my wife jealous by exploring the art and locations to be found in the location of Picasso's formative years.











Tapas - Wherein I learn that tapas are like... um... uh... Martinis! Three are too many, one is not enough.




I intended to take a siesta after my tapas snack, then head back out for a late seaside Catalonian dinner. But I never quite recovered from the siesta after the frenetic activity of the day. That leaves something left to do when I return, and I certainly will someday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Once or Twice in a Lifetime - The Return of Morpheus


Five years ago, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a mostly non-sailor like myself. I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean as part of a crew of four on a 50 foot sailboat. It was a great experience, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it.  Since then, Captain Jim and First Mate Debbie have been exploring and enjoying the Mediterranean on board the Morpheus.

Turns out it will be a twice in a lifetime experience. Morpheus is returning to the Caribbean, and I'll be on board. First I had a few assignments from the Captain to pick up and bring along.


Then it was time to get to where Morpheus is - Tenerife in the Canary Islands. This story started as a typical "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" trip ...


Uber to OAK, Norwegian Air to BCN...



 ... then the Metro train into town and a walk to Nouvel Hotel in Barcelona. This being my first time in Barcelona I decided to stay a couple nights before proceeding to Teneriefe.


Upon emerging from the Metro station, I am immediately charmed by the Barcelona architecture as I walk a few blocks to my hotel while wheeling my bag behind me.


Here I must digress from my usual travel narrative. We've done a lot of traveling and posted about our wonderful experiences. After having almost universally positive experiences, when things go bad I feel I should 'fess up and admit it on the blog.

While on the flight, my seatmate offered a suggestion for this first-time, short-time visitor.  He suggested I download the Rick Steves travel app and take his audio walking tour of the Gothic section in Barcelona. On that app Rick Steves warns about the well-heeled pickpockets that work the streets of Barcelona. I also received a text message from Captain Jim describing Barcelona as the pick-pocket capital of the world.  But I did not see or hear those messages until the next day.

Instead, on this day, in a jet-lag fog, I am traveling crowded Metro stations, strolling down a Barcelona tourist magnet boulevard, dragging my bags, stopping to take pictures of the architecture, with my wallet in my back pocket and pretty much carrying a giant neon sign over my head saying "EASY TARGET HERE".

And by the time I got to the hotel, I no longer had my wallet in my pocket. Fortunately, my passport was not in my wallet, and after an angst-ridden discussion with the hotel front desk, panicked wake-up call to my sleeping wife in San Francisco, and a scramble to get valid credit card info to the Hotel, I was permitted to check into my room.


Not much of a view, but I didn't care. I'm just glad I had a room.

So I spend the first night in Barcelona with a total of 7 Euros in cash, no credit cards, and wondering WTF I am going to do.

A solution soon arrived with a little help from my friends.  But I feel compelled to post this as, in addition to cash and credit cards, I also had ID's and business cards that reference this blog in my wallet. So this is a message to whoever "found" my wallet. Keep the cash. The credit cards are stopped. Use a little of my cash to send my license, cards, and wallet back to my home in SF.  You've got the address. Thank you.