Crossing Log, Entry 5: It’s a big, big ocean out there
Officially underway, our Trilogy crossing crew checks in during the first few days of their voyage! Still early on, spirits are high (and jokes abound), as the crew begins their long voyage of 5,900+ miles aboard the Trilogy IV back to Maui…
Galley Officer Lol, 10/11/18 @ 12:34 hours
I am sitting aside Nick who is happily standing watch at the helm singing wholeheartedly into a stopper knot microphone while downing sunflower seeds. I believe he’s concerned about maintaining a healthy amount of sodium intake while on the crossing :-) As planned, we departed for our journey back to Maui yesterday, 10/10 around 12:30 pm, after fueling in Christiansted. Before leaving Salt River Marina, we had the opportunity to thank and say goodbye to all the incredible, hard-working boat builders that spent so much time hand-crafting our brand new (and absolutely gorgeous) Trilogy IV. As we pulled away from the dock, we heard the last words float across the ocean surface, from one of the local Cruzan boat builders, Pedro… “Stay safe mi son!” (see below, our super talented boat building team!)
It has been slightly over 24 hours since we departed and we’ve had very calm and fortunate downwind seas, assuring us that no lurking (ok, maybe fictional) pirates could make their way toward us without us knowing. Katie even shot a Kraken in the eye with a slingshot - what aim!
Suffice it to say that at this point, every one of our crew remains in high spirits! We’ve even managed to keep water consumption to a minimum, using only a mere 10 gallons of fresh water; with over 395 gallons onboard, 10 gallons is surely a drop in the bucket! Fueling up was a little bit of a chore as we had to purchase & load just over 1,100 gallons of diesel for a whopping total of $3,700. Sugar Daddy, Kai, of course busted out the company credit card to pay that bill! ;) Fortunately, the pump had a much faster rate of flow than our all-too-familiar fuel pumps at Lahaina Harbor, but even so, this task took quite a bit of time.
For long ocean crossings, it’s necessary to fill both the Port and Starboard fuel tanks, each of which holds 150 gallons of diesel, in addition to four 55-gallon drums and two 300-gallon fuel bladders. After we all took turns filling every possible drum & tank (here’s Katie & Jim during their round), we decided to quickly “forget” how much flammable liquid we just added to our voyage and officially departed Christiansted, all stoked to finally be on our way!! Yeeeeaaahhh!!
Setting out, Captain Big Whip took the helm, cruising at about 15 knots, while the crew secured the boat & stowed lines and fenders. After everything was stowed and secured, most of the crew rested while Jim created watch shifts that would bring us all the way through our ETA at the Panama Canal - around 12pm-4pm Saturday, 10/13. Here’s a little insight into our world the next few weeks…
From the hours of 6am-6pm during the day, each of the six crew members will be assigned a single two-hour shift. During the hours of 6pm-6am each night, each member of the team will pair with another for two separate 2-hour shifts, thus dividing the workload evenly. Fifteen minutes prior to starting your scheduled shift, a required boat check must be conducted by each crew member. This generally consists of looking in all hatches with bilges, float switches, recording temperature readings in all engine rooms, and assuring gear is safely secured (in addition to maintaining a constant situational awareness, keeping our eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary).
After a bit of rest, we all gathered around the helm around 6pm to enjoy the first sunset of the crossing, a moment we were all looking forward to! The hues and faint oranges and pinks over the calm seas were simply magnificent. As Katie and I were on the first night watch (1800-2000 hours), we turned on the nav and mast lights as the crew felt their bellies begin to grumble. RaGhoul, happy to volunteer for the task, concocted some delicious shrimp burritos for dinner, complete with black beans, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and mexican/gringo rice!
As we sailed along, the skies were mostly clear with no land in sight, and the stars and a teeny sliver of a waxing moon shone brightly in the Caribbean Sky. Before the sun went down, Katie spotted a quickly fleeting Brown Booby drifting alongside us for just a few moments (note: not the actual bird.. but this is what they look like!). In subsequent days during two separate night watches, we noticed two container ships around 600ft and 200ft pop up on the radar. We alerted Big Whip of the radar’s discovery (per his request), but it turned out to be of no concern, as the charted paths of each container ship were not close enough to ours to eventually cross. During the night we saw a lighting storm off the starboard side (which fortunately didn’t come into our route) but WOW, the lighting streaks were awesome to watch from afar!
During her boat check that night, RaGhoul noticed three fish laying out on the forward deck, who apparently decided to off themselves - two Malolo (Hawaiian for Flying Fish) and one Mackerel Scat. Again, obviously nothing to be concerned about, but it was beginning to get interesting, the types of new sights and sounds and events that were in store for us these next 5-7 weeks. When it was my turn to relieve the last evening crew pair for the first day shift, the sky had started to turn pink. Nick told me that first light (read: off shoots of actual sunlight) would be around 0520 hours, with the sun finally peaking above the clouds at 0635 hours. I saw SOOOOO many Flying Fish, which are my absolute favorite!
Now I have to stop writing, as it’s time for our very own happy hour at the helm (everyday from 4pm-6pm), led by Nick on the stopper knot microphone, and myself as a backup singer - and for better or worse, RaGhoul, since she is at the mercy of her helm watch, and forced to be our audience!
Until next time…
Edited by: Cyndie Ellis