Ships Log:

10 December 2005
Hawaii - Ho!
We have really arrived, Actually we could have come in at 3:00AM last night but chose to stand off till first light.
We are currently tied to the dock at Waikiki Yacht Club in Honolulu. We are at the 140 foot guest dock with a view of downtown. The club facilities are very nice including a beautiful swimming pool.
After we check in and sleep we will explore. Cheers, Richard

9 December 2005
Into the Lee
We have arrived in the Island chain but still have125 miles to go for Honolulu.
On our approach last night the wind piped up to 25-30 true. We were on a direct course to Honolulu when the seas went to big and wet sloppy conditions so we decided to alter course to the lee side of Hawaii and a bit more shelter. By 12:30 am we were in the lee and the wind fell to 5 kts so we motor sailed up the island through the night about 9 miles off.
This morning we turned for Honolulu. We have 120 miles to go so we will make official landfall tomorrow morning. At the moment we have no wind and we are motoring (so far). The forecast is for 10-15 mph trade winds which will be on or behind the beam for us. Life is good.
Position at 10:00 AM Hawaii time, 19 50 N, 155 21 W, Seas 1/2 meter, Wind 3 true NE. Cloud 5% Course 324 mag, Speed 5.2 kts motoring, 120 miles to go to Honolulu.
Cheers, Richard

8 December 2005
Forward - Onward
The rain has left us but the wind has not. We have puffy white clouds, 15-20 kts beeeze and 2-3 meter waves.
Through the night we were going to weather in 15 kts making 7.5 across the bottom. This morning the breeze is up to 20 so we have cracked off 10 degrees and are close reaching, this will not get us to the tip of the big island but keeps us high on our course to Honolulu and we are going 8.5-9kts.
Position at 10:00 AM Hawaii time, 17.10 N, 155.53 W, Seas 2-3 meter, Wind 20 true ENE. Cloud 55% Course 345 mag, Speed 8.5 kts, 272 miles to go to Honolulu.
Cheers, Richard

7 December 2005
Slow going...
The bad weather has continued through the night, mostly wind and big waves, and a little rain. We reduced sail further yesterday afternoon, taking down the main staysail, so we have had only the double reefed main and fore staysail.
This morning there is clearing skies and moderating wind so the main staysail is back up and we are doing 7 kts to weather towards the tip of the big island with 265 miles to be in it's lee. The seas are still lumpy but easing.
All is good on board and we are all looking forward to a big Mai Tai at the Waikiki Yacht club.
Position at 10:00 AM Hawaii time, 14.39 N, 155.35 W, Seas 2-3 meter, Wind 16 true ENE. Cloud 55% Course 345 mag, Speed 6.5 kts, 419 miles to go to Honolulu.
Cheers, Richard

6 December 2005
About Christmas?
>>> Msg out: Hey! what about Christmas Isl? How was it? It looks pretty interesting on the map. Did your crew jump ship as planned? You haven't mentioned the guys in a while. Here are some football scores: [snipped] ---------
HI Byron & Paula: Thanks so much for the updates. You cannot believe how out of touch we are. We love those sports scores. It took us for ever to figure out what was going on the World Series this year. We could not figure out the whole Yankees/Angels bit & then who finally won.
Yes, we had crew changes. It seems that it is very difficult to get a US visa if you arrive by yacht. We had wonderful crew from Australia (Paul) & a real great sailor from UK that would have paid their own way home but they could not get their visa in time.
We still have Cryssa Byers from our NHYC & Daniel's dad Rudolf sailing with us. We are all having a great time.
Cmas Island is unbelievably nothing. Luckily it did have1 restaurant - no menu just a choice of fish or chicken - which was surprisingly good. There was nothing charming about it - except the people who were very friendly. The grocery stores (I use the term loosely) had almost nothing. Not even box or powdered milk, bread, sugar or flour & only one store had rice. Luckily, I have enough in the pantry and could get by till our next stop. Hawaii will probably take everything meat, eggs etc in customs anyway.
Nothing else was very exciting on the island. They don't recycle and the roadsides are covered with beer cans mostly VB. The housing is cement brick with aluminum roofs & it is dry - really dry. I am glad we came here but really see no reason to return.
Thanks again for everything. Sounds like all is well So Calif. ~~~Lani
Since the ITCZ we have had and continue to have weather. For over 200 miles there has been continuous squall activity. 30 degree headers with 27kts before the squall heavy rain through and then 40 degree lift after with little wind. So we have gone through the night either over powered or almost stalled but always hard to weather.
Today looks to be more of the same although it looks lighter ahead right now. Despite all this we are dry and comfortable below with the auto pilot doing most of the work. We are still reefed down in our safe mode and doing about 140 miles a day so life is good. We hope to be in Honolulu on Friday
Position at 10:00 AM Hawaii time, 12.47 N, 155.21 W, Seas 2-3 meter, Wind 20 true NE. Cloud 100% Course 345 mag, Speed 6 kts, 531 miles to go to Honolulu.
Cheers, Richard

5 December 2005
Day 4
Last night and this morning were slow but today has been better though bumpy. We are reefed down,(main staysail, fore staysail, 2 reefs in the main) close reaching in 20-25 kts of wind. The waves have grown to 2-3 meters but have finally stretched out so we are not thumping as often. It's reassuring to be in a big heavy sea boat that just shoulders the waves out of the way.
All is well on board, the food is great and the crew is happy. We are almost half way to Honolulu and 100 miles past half for the big island.
Time 6:30 PM Hawaii , Position 11.12 N, 155.14 W, Seas 2-3 meter, Wind 20 true ENE. Cloud 95%, Course 002 mag, Speed 7 kts, 624 miles to go to Honolulu.
Cheers, Richard

4 December 2005
We have finally gotten far enough north to be in the ITCZ (Inter tropical convergence zone). This is where the north and south weather butt heads. The result is unsettled, squally weather with wind or not from any direction. Our wake up call was at 4 AM when we had a 30+ kt squall hit with all sails up. Needless to say we all had a lovely on deck shower (pouring buckets) while we took down the fisherman and tucked 2 reefs in the main.
The weather since has been squally with patches of no wind. This usually lasts for about 24hrs so we are motor sailing when necessary to push through.
Despite this we have had a great sail so far, covering 406 miles in 48 hours, averaging over 200 miles a day. Lani, Cryssa, Rudolf and I are all having a fun passage.
Time 6:30 PM Hawaii Position at, 09.21 N, 155.13 W, Seas 2 meter, Wind 8 true East. Cloud 95%, Course 001 mag, Speed 7 kts motor sailing, 732 miles to go to Honolulu.
Cheers, Richard

3 December 2005
Reaching through life
This passage is much different from the last. We are NOT going hard to weather! We have been on a 50-60 degree reach since leaving Christmas. This is allowing us to get in a lot of east incase the breeze gets some north further along. Boat speed is currently 9.5-10.5 kts across the bottom and we are going into the west setting current. Our first days run should be well over 200 miles.
We have had bits of rain here and there but not enough to measure. The weather is mostly clear this morning with moderate seas with the swell from the ENE.
Time 7:30 AM, Position at 04.54 N, 156.5 W, Seas 1.5 meter, Wind 12 true East. Cloud 30%, Course 014, Speed 9.5 kts, 984 miles to go.
Cheers, Richard

2 December 2005
This way to Hawaii
We are pointed to Hawaii. We were anchor up and underway at 10:00 AM Hawaii time. We seem to have a good weather window for the passage. Since clearing Christmas Is. we have been averaging over 8 kts on a 60 degree reach. This course is allowing us to head east of our rumb line by about 15 degrees. The total passage to Honolulu is 1150 miles as the tuna swims and with any luck it should be a reach the whole way.
Time 6:30 PM - Hawaii Position, 03.10 N, 157.12 W, Seas 1.5 meter, Wind 14 true ESE. Cloud 40%, Course 007, Speed 7.5 kts, 1087 miles to go.
Cheers, Richard

26 November 2005
Anchor Down - Christmas in November!
We have arrived! We got the anchor set as the sun set, our usual style. We have sailed a total of 1631 miles on a passage that is 1270 miles in a straight line. The weather has never been bad but the wind has never cooperated. The anchorage here is off the lee side of the island because the lagoon is too shallow. The good news is that the wind always blows from the east here, we hope, because Christmas is so close to the equator.
We have not tried to check in because it is the weekend so stay tuned for future adventures.
Cheers, Richard

25 November 2005
Over the line with two new Shellbacks
We crossed the Equator at 11 am today. Had a proper ceremony (no toucher or body painting) for our new Shellbacks Cryssa & Paul. We are hoping to make it to Christmas Is. tomorrow if the wind holds??? If not, certainly on Sunday. We will celebrate Thanksgiving sometime after we arrive.
Time 19:00 Hawaii Position: 00 40 N, 158 38 W, wind- EENE 10-14 kts, seas: 1 meter, course 26 mag, 20% clouds, 100 miles to go,
Looking forward being in a harbor.
Cheers, Lani

24 November 2005
Sailing On!
We are still sailing! The breeze has settled into a easterly pattern with some clouds but no rain. We are still hard to weather almost on the rumb line. the wind and waves are bigger than yesterday but OK, 12-15 kts & meter chop. Our nav program claims that we are 2 days out but we may have to tack to get enough east in, we are in no rush so we will just wait and see.
Time 19:00 Hawaii Position: 01.09 S, 159.32 W, wind- East 12-15 kts, seas: 1 meter, course 12 mag, 20% clouds, 223 miles to go,
Cheers, Richard

23 November 2005
Like a Schooner
We are now sailing like a proper racing schooner, still hard to weather, but quickly and on the rumb line. The wind turned easterly this afternoon (as it should have been for the entire trip!). We have about 10 kts true and small seas so we are sailing at about 7 kts average. We have up: Full main 2 staysails #3 jib and the weather fisherman, Looking the proper schooner. This close to the equator there seems to be no ocean swell just wind waves, maybe because or all the calms. We are closing in on Christmas Is. and so far the weather is perfect.
Time 18:00 Hawaii Position: 03.09 S, 160.27 W, wind- EENE 10-12 kts, seas: 1 meter, course 3350 mag, 20% clouds, 350 miles to go,
Cheers, Richard

22 November 2005
Good Sailing Day
We sailed through the night and into the day, it's a miracle. Last nights breeze was light but enough to keep us going east with a little north. This morning after a big squall the wind shifted more easterly so we tacked north. After a very light start it has filled in to 10-12 kts from the ENE. We are sailing due north at between 6 and 7 kts over the ground in mild seas. The forecast is for the wind to go east, if it does we can make a straight run for Christmas. We all have our fingers crossed.
Time 15:00 Hawaii Position: 05.14 S, 160.12 W, wind- ENE 10-12 kts, seas: 1 meter, course 3350 mag, 70% clouds, 462 miles to go,
Cheers, Richard

21 November 2005
The wind has arrived, not from the east though, but from the north. The forecast is for another day of calm so they are correct as usual. We have 10-12 kts that we are beating into, having a great time. The skies are overcast with some rain but who cares as we are tacking towards Christmas Is. Yesterday we glassed north on the rumb line doing 1-2 kts with just big gollywobbler up. We had 3 kts from astern in glassy conditions. Late in the day the wind came up and clocked to north west, so wobbler down plain sail up and we sailed through the night.
Time 10:00 Hawaii Position: 05.54 S, 161.21 W, wind- NNE 12 kts, seas: 1 meter, course 305 mag, 100% clouds, 525 miles to go,
Cheers, Richard

20 November 2005
Slow Motoring
Just checking in, we have not moved much. There is some breeze in the rain clouds, but the moment it clears it goes still. Cryssa has decided that we should consider this an anchorage and relax and enjoy. The only difference is we can't go to shore for lunch.
Time 10:00 Samoa Position: 06.33 S, 161.07 W, wind- NNW 2 kts, seas-almost flat, course 020 mag, 10% clouds, 555 miles to go,
Cheers, Richard

18 November 2005
Slow Motoring
We are still going slowly north. We have had 7 days of almost no breeze, an all time record. Today we motor sailed most of the day until this evening when the breeze stoped completely. we will motor on for a few hours and then shut down until morning to conserve fuel. We would like to complain about the conditions but the weather has been so perfect who would listen. we did catch a 30" wahoo today and have just had him for dinner, yum!
Time 20:00 Samoa Position: 06.59 S, 161.12 W, wind- N 2 kts, seas-almost flat, course 035 mag, no clouds, 580 miles to go,
Cheers, Richard

17 November 2005
Perfect Day
Today has been a perfect day. We raised sail at sunrise as the wind had finally steadied. The breeze has been 8 kts true of out of the north, I know it's supposed to be from the east but we are happy to have some from anywhere. The good news is that we are getting a lot of east in before the east winds arrive and we turn north. We are still making good northward progress and we are about 675 miles from Christmas. So far we have only sailed about 40 miles further than we would have if we could hold the rumb line. The water is still flat and blue, the sky clear with a few puffy clouds.
Time 1900 Samoa time Position: 08.00 S, 162.48 W, wind- north 8 kts, seas-1/4 meter, course 051 mag, 20% cloud, BAR 1008 steady - 632 miles from Apia,
Cheers, Richard

15 November 2005
Full Moon
Yesterday afternoon we had the most glorious sail for about 4 hours. The breeze rose to about 8 kts true on the starboard bow so Astor could reach on the rumb line. Schooners love to reach and she did, 9-10 kts across the bottom in 10-11 kts of apparent wind and flat water. At sunset the breeze once again disappeared and we took down sail and motored through the night. For you people caught in the cold picture a perfect night, midnight, air temp 79 degree, water 85 degrees, crystal clear sky and a huge full moon, and flat water with just enough ripple to shimmer in the moon light.
At 10 am all sails are up and we are close reaching in 8kts apparent doing 6kts over the ground in flat water, life is good!
Time 10:00 Samoa time Position: 11.20 S, 166.39 W, wind- ENE 2, seas-1/4 meter, course 046mag, 20% cloud, 370 miles from Apia,
Cheers, Richard

14 November 2005
Slow Motoring
We are still motoring slowly looking for wind but there is none to be found. We are 260 miles from Apia with about 1000 to go. We have had rain off and on all night but no wind and (good news) no lightning. All is well on board.
Time 0930 Position: 11.23 S, 168.14 W, wind- ENE 2, seas-1/4 meter, course 046mag, 50% cloud, 260 miles from Apia
Cheers, Richard

13 November 2005
Calm Flat Seas.
We have motored through the night with no breeze and almost flat water. It look as though we will need to be about 300 miles from Samoa to get the wind. The good news is that it is pleasant and warm. We had rain squalls all around us in the night but none of them got us.
Time 10:00 Position: 12.27 S, 165.56 W, wind- ENE 2, seas-1/4 meter, course 046mag, 50% cloud, 140 miles from Apia
Cheers, Richard

12 November 2005
On to Christmas!
We are once again on the move. We left Apia, Samoa this morning for Christmas Island. We have been motor sailing in about 5-7 kts of breeze out of the east, The weather is clear with about 50% cloud cover. It's about 1270 miles to Christmas and the prediction is for light winds for the next 7 days.
Time 14:00 Current Position 13.36 S, 171.13 W, wind- ENE 6, seas-1/2 meter, course 030mag, 50% cloud, 45 miles from Apia.
Cheers, Richard

5 November 2005
Anchor down!
We have arrived! We are anchor down in Apia, Samoa. We got within 30 miles of the Islands and the wind went light and turned east so we went around the western island and motored along the back side of both islands to Apia(about 60 miles of nice flat water).
We arrived this morning about 10 am local time. The good news is we are here. The bad news is that we cannot clear customs until Monday morning (today is Saturday) so we can't go ashore until then. The drinks are best on Astor anyway so not this is not hard duty.
Cheers, Richard

4 November 2005
The turtle keeps moving
If you are going to have a slow passage it might as well be the whole one. We sailed slowly through the night around squalls and big waves. you go for miles with long waves from one direction and then suddenly it's like a bad piece of road, construction zone, with waves in all directions. So, like the turtle, we just keep going slowly and safely. It is 10:00 am Fiji time and we have 65 miles to go to be in the pass between for the two islands of Western Samoa and flat water. It,s getting hard to believe that there is such a thing as flat water!
Current location: 10:00 am Fiji time: 13.59 S, 173.19 W, 2.5 meter waves-confused, course 70 mag. 100% cloud cover, speed 5.2 kts hard to weather.
Cheers, Richard

3 November 2005
Slow Going
Welcome to the slowest passage of all times for Astor. The wind and waves action is so contradictive that we reefed down sail last night. Going slow (3-5 kts) allowed us to have a pleasant night of rest. You can only put so much green water on the deck before enough is enough.
Today the winds have slowly abated to about 22 kt. and the waves have stretched out. We have been motor sailing since dawn to get some pace on and keep a close angle to the wind. We are about 175 miles from seeing Samoa and then another 40 to Apia.
All is well onboard and we are having a good time despite the weather.
Current location at 1:00 pm Fiji time: 14.36 S, 175.03 W, 1.5-2 meter waves-confused, course 55 mag. 70% cloud cover, speed 6.5 kts hard to weather.
Cheers, Richard

2 November 2005
Slow Going
It was a slow and wet night to weather. We are sailing with a double reefed main and fore staysail only averaging about 4.5 kts. We have been underpowered most of the time but have had squalls come through with 50 degree wind shifts, heavy rain and 30 kts of wind. Astor doesn't mind the weather and the ride is good at the reduced speed so all is well onboard. It is 9:30 am Fiji time and we now have blue sky between the squalls and the wind is down to about 20 kts out of the south east so we are almost on the rhumb line.
Current location at 9:30 am Fiji time: 15.31 S, 177.02 W, 1.5-2 meter waves-confused, course 52 mag. 70% cloud cover, speed 6.6 kts hard to weather.
Cheers, Richard

1 November 2005
Heading: Samoa
We finally left Fiji for Samoa. We departed Savusavu at 8am yesterday. The weather forecast was for north going northwest so of coarse after an hour it went to East south east, on the nose. We spent the day tacking through line squalls. We did manage to travel 120 miles in the right direction.
At sunrise we cleared the last of Fiji's reefs and now are sailing just west of the rhumb line in about 18-20 kts of wind.
All is well on board. We have about 400 miles to go to see Samoa. We have crossed the International Date Line and are now in the western longitudes.
Current location at 10am Fiji time: 16 24 S, 178 38 W, 1.5 meter waves, course 42 mag. 100% cloud cover, speed 6.8 kts hard to weather.
Cheers, Richard

22 October 2005
On to Savusavu
We have crew at least to Samoa and we are on the move to Savusavu, Fiji, about 130 miles. We left 2 days ago for the slow motor up the west side of the big island through the reef locked passage. Tomorrow we will break out of the reef channel and get to sail the last 90 miles in open water.
Our crew is Cryssa from NHYC and 2 friends from Sydney (father & son). All are great sailors. The boys from OZ will be with us at least to Samoa and Cryssa thinks she can go all the way to Hawaii. This is good news.
We are currently anchored off a small island just inside the northern pass. The weather is perfect, 87 air 83 water, 10 kts of breeze and sun.
Cheers, Richard

08 October 2005
Time to move North...
Jim & Glenda have departed and we are alone in Musket Cove. Looking at the calendar we realize it may be time to get underway as cyclone season approaches.
We have decided on some new cruising plans: The plan is to go from Fiji to W. Samoa over the equator to Christmas Is. then on to Hawaii hopefully before Christmas.
We are once again looking for crew and will report back when ready for the run north.