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Old 12-19-2009, 03:07 AM   #1
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Default The Countdown To The Jumping Off...hawaii May 2010

You guys probably know from my various posts that we plan on cruising around the Pacific Northwest (and possibly Alaska) before we leave the West Coast of North America. As many cruisers already know, because of the prevailing winds, during most of the year, the easiest way to make it from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest is to go offshore skirting the southern side of the Pacific High...and many people simply go to Hawaii, enjoy a bit of sunshine there and then go from Hawaii to the Northwest over top the Pacific High. It takes about 3 weeks to get to Hawaii from here and about a month to make it from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest from Hawaii.

While many of our friends here in San Diego have made multiple trips in this manner, because of our having a cat aboard and not wanting the cat to go through the 120 day rabies quarantine period required by Hawaii, we've been somewhat worried about how we'll make our way to the Pacific Northwest without doing it "the easy way via Hawaii." We had pretty much resigned ourselves to slogging up the West coast harbor hopping and motorsailing. We've not been too excited about this--the people, the cat, and the boat all are likely to find it rough going.

Well, we have "new news" in that the quarantine requirement in Hawaii has changed dramatically as of October 2009 because of availability of a new rabies test. Now thanks to the recent changes in quarantine regs, the cat is only required to have a 5 day quarantine in Hawaii! I've been in email contact with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and they have just sent me a list of veterinarians who are willing to visit the cat on the boat to provide a Hawaii health certificate upon our arrival to Hawaii.

Exciting news! That means we can, if we choose, enjoy downwind sailing and nice beam reaches rather than beating our way up the West coast

Indeed, this really changes how we plan to travel to the Pacific Northwest. It also puts us on a "schedule" to leave San Diego on our first "big" passage late in the spring of 2010. The rabies tests for the cat must be performed 120 days before his arrival in Hawaii and his appointment for the required bloodwork is January 5th. So, we can arrive in Hawaii no sooner than mid-May 2010.

We're setting a schedule to leave San Diego in early May.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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Happy sails Brenda. I keep telling myself that Spring 2010 is not too far off.

In the mean time, here in DC is snowing heavily.

Happy Holidays!

Vasilis
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:47 AM   #3
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I am very jealous. There is nothing in the world like an old wooden schooner on the water.

The best of luck to you with your well-earned freedom.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:33 AM   #4
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Our kitty cat, Beamer, has been having some wheezing going on while he breaths and its been getting really bad in the past two weeks. We took him in today for his blood test for the Hawaii trip so were able to have x-rays and other blood work to try and figure out why he's having such a hard time breathing of late. We were thinking it was cat asthma since when he gets stressed it's harder for him to breath.

He's sicker than we thought. He's also lost 4 lbs in the last 8 months since his last check up (from 22 lbs to 18 lbs)...Well, long and short of it is that it's not his lungs but rather his heart. He has fluid pressing on the lungs because he has heart disease. He's very sick with what is likely hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)--we'll know more by Friday. The vet gave us a drug to lower his blood pressure as it was dangerously high and a diuretic to try and remove fluid pressure from the lungs.

This does not bode well for Beamer and lengthy passages since he is always stressed while we're underway on the ocean. Two weeks to Hawaii and a month to the Pacific Northwest--that's a lot of stress. The prognosis for a cat his age (15-1/2) and this condition is very bad even if he were in a comfy low stress situation. In any situation, the vet believes he will be unlikely to live more than a few more months--even though he looks so healthy.

We are still making plans for our trip in May, but very realistically believe that Beamer will no longer be with us by then.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #5
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The vet believes he will be unlikely to live more than a few more months--even though he looks so healthy.

We are still making plans for our trip in May, but very realistically believe that Beamer will no longer be with us by then.
Sad news Red ...

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Old 01-06-2010, 11:58 PM   #6
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Good news and sitting on the edge of my seat for "the rest of the story"....the radiologist says that Beamer's heart looks fine though his lungs are suffering and he either has a bronchial disease (remember I thought it was cat asthma?) which we can treat with anti-inflammatory meds and/or antihistamines OR he has a serious fungal infection (unlikely, but they're testing his blood for it now).

Bottom line, his blood pressure is high and we can treat for that--and he'll be ok in high stress situations if we get it under control. And, looks like anything else wrong is going to be manageable! We'll have the full blood work back friday, will continue the high blood pressure (and diuretic) meds and after we learn what we learn on friday we will either treat for asthma or the fungal infection.

Keeping the fingers crossed that Beamer will be able to make the passages with us after all.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:35 PM   #7
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Just a thought, having done the SD to Victoria, and Mexico back to the PNW a number of times around April-May. We used the old clipper ship route, sail west and make north if you can until you are 135w or so, go around the high, and then north and east to your destination. We left Punta Mita in Banderas Bay, stopped at Clarion Is for a day of surfing, went out to 135w 32n and then on to Victoria BC. We never had more than 32 knots, never had the wind forward of 80 degrees, and made 4000nm in 20 days of easy sailing. Hawaii adds days and miles to the trip, and adds the cat and puppy jail time and adds weeks to the trip....

Robert & Linda
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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Very happy to hear Beamer is on the up.

Keep us informed of how the sailing plans are going and kitty cat's health.

Cheers Dave
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:27 AM   #9
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Very happy to hear Beamer is on the up.

Keep us informed of how the sailing plans are going and kitty cat's health.

Cheers Dave
The sailing is good. Beamer seems to have asthma. Oral steroids don't seem to be really working yet but we're hoping that we'll see an improvement this week.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #10
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redbopeep,

We're heading North from Victoria BC to the Queen Charlottes this June. Perhaps we'll see you.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:43 AM   #11
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redbopeep,

We're heading North from Victoria BC to the Queen Charlottes this June. Perhaps we'll see you.

Enjoy!
Yes, perhaps we'll cross paths up north. I read on another of your posts that you're very flexible with your schedule--is there a chance that you'll do some winter sailing around up north or will you head south before it gets too cold?
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:05 AM   #12
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Yes, perhaps we'll cross paths up north. I read on another of your posts that you're very flexible with your schedule--is there a chance that you'll do some winter sailing around up north or will you head south before it gets too cold?
We are leaving mid or late June. I'm thinking we'll head straight to the Charlottes in a relatively direct manner (still playing but more efficiently than normal) to get the last of the summer season and then when the season turns too fierce there (I'm still reading about the weather there and on the BC mainland) we'll get behind Vancouver Island and keep making our way south in Desolation/Gulf/San Juans/Puget Sound through the winter until it is mild enough to head up the W Coast of Vancouver Island again and play until August or so when we head *really* south to CA.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
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The sailing is good. Beamer seems to have asthma. Oral steroids don't seem to be really working yet but we're hoping that we'll see an improvement this week.
redbopeep

Sorry to hear Beamer has not been well. Hope he is back to his old self. Our plans are still on track to leave Queensland, Australia to Victoria, British Columbia. We should cast lines off approx 2nd week June. Our two siamese cats know something is going to happen with all the work going on on board. They looked at me kinda funny when I was storing away a heap of our supplies the other day. They had this look in their eyes that said, "Oh No Not sailing again" But I couldn't imagine going without them. Hope Beamer is fully recovered now. Hope all is well for your planned May trip.

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Old 03-17-2010, 08:17 PM   #14
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We're glad that your plans are coming along! We hope we'll be able to meet up with you at some time during your travels. Sadly, Beamer is no longer with us. I've posted about that, here in this topic, today since maybe folks didn't see other discussion about it.

We're still flipping coins about going via HI or up the coast. We've found a good boatyard in the SF Bay area so might go there in late April/early May and then head up from SFB to the PNW. If the weather is totally awful up the coast, we'll definitely do the HI passage and hit a boatyard in Washington State before exploring the PNW.

Good luck with your passage--and PLEASE keep us all posted on how things are coming along!
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:56 PM   #15
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We're glad that your plans are coming along! We hope we'll be able to meet up with you at some time during your travels. Sadly, Beamer is no longer with us. I've posted about that, here in this topic, today since maybe folks didn't see other discussion about it.

We're still flipping coins about going via HI or up the coast. We've found a good boatyard in the SF Bay area so might go there in late April/early May and then head up from SFB to the PNW. If the weather is totally awful up the coast, we'll definitely do the HI passage and hit a boatyard in Washington State before exploring the PNW.

Good luck with your passage--and PLEASE keep us all posted on how things are coming along!
So sad to hear of Beamers passing. Condolences (belated) to you both. I found your other post and yes we think that is a wonderful place for him, with all those fish for him to chase with his little angel paws. We also buried at sea our last beloved dog complete with all her things then had a lovely picnic lunch with dolphins, it was as if they had come to say goodbye to her. Our plans are coming along nicely except in the last few days as we now have a cyclone dilly dancing off the Queensland coast causing all sorts of problems. We just got over the river (where we are at the moment) flooding about a week ago. Now more rain (from the cyclone) is holding up all our painting and deck work. But we will soon have something to take our minds off the weather. One of our siamese (Mia) is due to deliver her first litter on 27th March. It will be wonderful to have little kittens under feet again. We are still on track to leave around say the 15th June. Not many weeks to go now. But we are having some difficulties in getting our paperwork done by Australia's Aqis, our quarantine mob. We can't see a problem but apparently they can. They are concerned with us stopping at either Kiribati or Fiji. Neither is acceptable to them. So it may be a non-stop trip for us all the way to Canada. Two and half to three months without land, wow this is sure going to be a long hard trip. But if that is what we have to do to take our babies with us. Then so be it. Boy I hate bureaucracy.

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Old 03-19-2010, 03:49 AM   #16
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They are concerned with us stopping at either Kiribati or Fiji. Neither is acceptable to them. So it may be a non-stop trip for us all the way to Canada. Two and half to three months without land, wow this is sure going to be a long hard trip. But if that is what we have to do to take our babies with us. Then so be it. Boy I hate bureaucracy.

Oh, my, the things we'll do for our pets

There is no place you can stop on the way? Amazing. What is your expected path? I'm very interested in this.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #17
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Oh, my, the things we'll do for our pets

There is no place you can stop on the way? Amazing. What is your expected path? I'm very interested in this.
At this stage we are planning as straight a line as possible depending on wind/weather of course. We will aim for west of Hawaii then best line possible into Victoria, BC. We hope it will only take us 1 month + to get to Hawaii then another month + to reach Canada. Depending on where the NP High is as we go threw will depend on how much we have to curve our route. Looking forward to seeing lots of wildlife on the way and hopefully catching some Mahi Mahi (dolphin Fish) to supplement the stores. Just as well we sail good to windward, this is going to be a long trip, but boy are we going to be glad to get to Canada. Really looking looking forward to some cool weather also. We have just had floods here in the river at Bundaberg (where we are), moorings dragged and broke sending boats carreering down the river by themselves. Not a good sight, all boats were retrieved most had some damage. And now we just had cyclone Ului hit the coast north of us at The Whitsundays Islands. Many boats wrecked. So lots more rain and humidity, no painting again for another week. How are your plans coming along?

Cheers

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Old 03-21-2010, 10:02 PM   #18
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Oh, we're up to our ears in strange tasks (and not so strange ones) to get done before our passage. David would like to simply head offshore about 700 miles and then up to the PNW. This is actually the best route from here to there if we don't want to stop at one of the boatyards we've found in the SF Bay area. We expect to be hauled out for at least 2 weeks and likely 3 weeks while we get our "first haulout" stuff done. In the back end of the SFB, we should have dry weather to do our painting (topsides) and seam touchup (bottom paint on keel) whereas in the PNW...who knows how much rain we might have to slow us down...

From here to HI takes two weeks in our boat and about 1 month from HI to the PNW. From here to PNW via bluewater offshore route should take 3 weeks to 1 month. Up the coast timeframe totally depends upon weather since it is a beat directly into the wind the whole way. Our boat loves to reach, she doesn't love to be close hauled.

Right now in prep for the trip, David just did alignments (engine to stern shaft log) and a "tune up" on the worm gear steering (wood boat moves around a bit and after launch you actually have to re-align the gear/rudder set up) so that it is back to easy turning and a joy to use. After that tune up he can install the autopilot we've had sitting here for a year to be installed! He and I are also messing around with the running rigging to get things more as we like them. In particular, gaff topping lift for the foresail, lazy jacks for the main and foresail, re-doing the tricing lines for the jib. We're also installing fife rails (to use at the base of the masts in addition to the pin racks which reside in the shrouds) and finally putting on jacklines. I need to install the bronze bars over the companionway door safety glass and the safety glass in the deck lights (butterfly hatches). I also need to purchase and cut out 2x2 foot squares of clear plexi or lexan to install on the overhead under the decklights as I believe such hatches could be swept off the boat in a bad storm. Also need to fabricate a cap for my charlie-noble thru-deck fitting as it could have issues in heavy weather...I'm adding a reefing row to our mainsail and that represents many hours of hand sewing since the 12 oz dacron won't really work with my machine.

Many many things to do...just getting ready to order a radio with AIS as we don't have AIS aboard yet. David still needs to get the HF radio to work with weatherfax...oh my. I think I need to stop typing and go do some of this stuff!
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:42 PM   #19
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Is it my understanding that you've discussed your plans with Australian Quarantine & Immigration Service (AQIS?) and they're telling you that they have a problem with your intended stops?

I'm curious if their objection is related to pets or politics.

We rescued a tiny, mouse-sized kitten from the Samoa tsunami six months ago and he's been a bundle of exciting energy (with claws) aboard our boat ever since. We've made him prosperous, had him "fixed" and now he's climbing half way up the furled head stay and attacking every fly that comes within striking distance! If only I could attach a messenger line! We're looking for a new home for him now because we're leaving soon and I don't want the hassle (or $2000 AUD expense!) of bringing him into Australia. Lucky has been a full-time boat cat since before he opened his eyes... and we're considering to let him be adopted by our close neighbor - a friendly Vietnamese fellow on a tuna boat who is assuring us they won't eat him!

We'll simply bring another needy kitty aboard after we've arrived in Australia.

The Commonwealth of Australia has very strict rules for cruising vessels intending to arrive. The officials there still seem to regard all its citizens as convicted criminals... especially those arriving by boat! And now it seems they're getting the same attitude for those intending to depart, as well!

In my opinion - in a Perfect World there'd be no need for Flags or Borders... or Travel Restrictions.

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Old 03-22-2010, 03:06 AM   #20
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Is it my understanding that you've discussed your plans with Australian Quarantine & Immigration Service (AQIS?) and they're telling you that they have a problem with your intended stops?

Kirk
Um, I kinda thought that it might be Canada which had a problem with the cats entering from "other than" a set list of countries. Can't wait to hear the real scoop.

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