What You Know What You Learn
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What You Know What You Learn

What You Know What You Learn

What You Know What You Learn

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”
John Wooden

I don’t know if Mr. Wooden was right about many things, but he is most certainly right about this.

One of Seaburban’s less desirable tendencies is to lay abeam to the wind and seas when hove to. I felt there had to be a fix for this as heaving to is a tried and true way to deal with conditions when progress can no longer be made safely. Knowing it all, the fault lay not with me.

This passage of the last low afforded me an opportunity to either find a fix or abandon the tactic altogether.

The plan was to sail close hauled north and let the building winds bend my course westwards as the low and accompanying trough approached. West of the disturbance would mean I would be clear of the core of 45 knot winds and 6-8 nmeter seas with s clear path east as soon as the wind backed into the south west.

Once the winds got to be 35 gusting higher, I hove to the goal being to get Seaburban’s bows into the wind and have the yacht lie in the protection of the slick that is formed by the side-slipping hull. (For us nerds, the slick is really a Von Karman Vortex Sheet.. Don’t ask now I know …)

I tried everything I could think of but I simply could not achieve both. Either w would fore reach with a wake trailing behind, or we would lie beam on the seas and get pounded while the slick trailed off the quarter doing a marvellous job of calming the breaking seas.

I watched and wished. I wished it would work. I wished there wasn’t so much wind age forward. I wished the forefoot was deeper. I wished the triple-reefed main had more drive. After wishing all my wishes, I remembered John Wooden’s quote and did two things.

Firstly; I pulled my head out of the dark hole you can see south of me when I am northbound and secondly; I set out to learn something.

I took the Snark Drogue out of the starboard cockpit locker, the spare drogue warp out the port, shackled them together and did what the manufacturer says not to do. I put it through a mooring hawse over the bow.

This is not an original idea. Jerome Rand, who circumnavigated in 2017-2018 had mentioned to me that he carried a 200′ warp and anchor in case he wanted to keep Mighty Sparrows head up. In the Drag Device Database there is an account of a yacht using a GaleRider over the bows to heave to. But, as you might remember, knowing it all it never occurred to me to do something similar.

Once deplyoyed, Seaburban’s bows moved from 110 degrees off the wind to about 65 and she lay comfortably within the slick created by her underbody. Moreover, the harder it blew, the better it worked.

The $64,000 question for me is always once the whole lot is over the side, how do you get it back? I had bitter end of the rode led to a sheet winch figuring that when it was time to go, I would grind away. With the wind in the upper twenties and out of the south west, I started turning the winch.

The novelty of this wore off after I had recovered ten of the 200 feet that was out. I had monitored the loads while hove to and they were less than a fully loaded jib close-hauled. Now they were even less so rather than winch, I went to the foredeck and hauled it all hand-over-hand in no time flat.

The pictures show the rode streaming to windward and us laying in the slick streaming off our hull.

Heaving to. One more trick in my bag of tricks. Thank you Mr Wooden.

Follow my tracks in real-time:
https://bit.ly/svseaburban

 

27 Comments
  • Claude
    Posted at 20:39h, 29 March Reply

    In weather like today having a fellow partner would make the difference of the world.

    Heavy weather conditions are great only when you have enough energy to enjoy it. I wish you the time of your life.

  • Tony Yanca
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Bert, I came across your voyage on goodnewsnetwork.org looking for more positive and up-beat news in the world today. As we continue to try to isolate ourselves looking to conquer this extremely serious virus, you’re essentially isolated fighting the elements of Ocean Blue. I’m a surfer in Southern California and I’m always intrigued by extremely passionate individuals who take on these adventures, especially when it involves the ocean. I’m currently listening to some Reggae and enjoying a Pale Ale from our local brewery 🙂 Our Family is healthy and I’ll be working from home tomorrow, but will continue to follow your voyage rooting you on the whole way through. I wish you safe passage and pray that you will utilize all that you’ve learned to help you endure the many obstacles that come your way. You will make complete this voyage and I look forward to your future posts. Take care of yourself.

    Cheers,

  • John T.Rice
    Posted at 04:06h, 06 April Reply

    Be safe..pulling for you!

  • Susan Conway Gray
    Posted at 05:56h, 06 April Reply

    Bert,
    What an incredible journey you have set up for yourself!
    I find your reflection on the coronavirus to be incredibly insightful.
    Self isolation as a time to reflect on what we want to become, what legacy we choose to leave behind.
    To many that level of self introspection will appear daunting and even impossible.
    To truly examine our minds, behaviors, and motivations while holding them into the light through the prism of our souls is an exercise most would not have the courage to do.
    But I hope some will take up that challenge.
    Good luck to you!

  • David
    Posted at 21:30h, 06 April Reply

    Que incrível seu isolamento, optou pelo mais extremado.
    Admiro sua coragem, você está bem conectado com a força que vem de Deus.
    Que Ele proteja você por todo a jornada.
    Deus o abençoe.

  • Barbara Rhyneer
    Posted at 00:25h, 07 April Reply

    Enjoy your solitude!
    -human of the Great Lakes/Lake Superior/transplant from Alaska

  • Elizabeth Higgs
    Posted at 14:37h, 07 April Reply

    Sending luck and love from Southern Oregon and the mighty Rogue River.

  • Len MacDonald
    Posted at 13:22h, 08 April Reply

    Just now picking up on your adventure. Thanks for all the work taking time to give a glimpse into your challenges and triumphs. I’m looking forward to each new post.

    Fair winds.

  • Fernando Solorzano
    Posted at 23:49h, 13 April Reply

    Came across your article and what an adventurer. Lots of time to think about things and catch up with inner self. I can’t imagine, light pollution is non-existent and I bet a great view of the stars and milky way?

    All the best from Tracy California.

  • Robert Schell
    Posted at 00:08h, 14 April Reply

    Captain Bert ter Hart,
    You are truly an inspiration to us all. I look forward to reading your posts and following your journey. Hold fast, and Godspeed.

  • Zach M
    Posted at 06:29h, 14 April Reply

    Thank you for inspiring adventure! I learned of your story this evening and look forward to following your travels and sharing your story with my daughter in hopes she too will be motivated to explore.

    Safe travels.

  • Mary Bertin
    Posted at 09:56h, 14 April Reply

    Just learned tonight of your incredible courageous journey. I look forward to your next blog post to know if you are ok from the bad weather in your way. I’m a former scuba diver and perpetual ocean 🌊 lover. Now a stay at home Mom to a severely disabled 13 year old son recovering from a major surgery. Reading about your adventure has momentarily lifted me out of the daily difficulties of my life. Imagining you sailing ⛵️ once again soon on a beautiful day of calm sea. I’m pulling for you from Round Rock, TX.

  • Dale Bloom
    Posted at 12:10h, 14 April Reply

    Wow, I am speechless! Saw this on the Yahoo Finance website.
    I will be rooting for you and your audacious goal!
    I admire your clairvoyant timing of the trip, brilliant.
    Your description of the 21’ sea swells reminds me how under qualified I am to be even ballast onboard.
    God speed as you round the next 3 capes.
    I now will read more of your adventures in your blog, and take in the cape pictures, trying to piece together your route, I am woefully challenged to where all these capes are located.

  • Stewart
    Posted at 13:16h, 14 April Reply

    Glad to know you are making great progress Bert. Wishing calms seas and fair winds!

  • Cari Gillette
    Posted at 13:26h, 14 April Reply

    Praying to the Creator of the universe, Who has a special interest in us humans He placed on earth, to keep you safe and draw you closer to Him.

  • Daryl R Heiser
    Posted at 21:55h, 14 April Reply

    Read about your journey today on AOL about the safest man on earth…You!! Wow. what an epic adventure. I wish you sincere safety in navigating the weather you are currently facing. Stay strong. You are an inspiration to all of us sheltered in place during COVID 19. Your words of encouragement during periods of isolation are so helpful . I hope everyone gets to read about your adventure. Be well, and may God’s Blessings and Guidance be with you on your journey home.

  • Edward Bamberger
    Posted at 03:26h, 15 April Reply

    Just found your blog, wish I had seen it earlier. Good luck finishing your journey.

  • Bob Morton
    Posted at 14:12h, 15 April Reply

    …..there is always a way

  • Chris Lazzarino
    Posted at 15:07h, 15 April Reply

    Eagerly waiting word of your safe emergence from those terrible storms. The maps are truly frightening. Be safe!!

  • Phil Purkett
    Posted at 04:34h, 17 April Reply

    I pray God be with you and strengthen you sir! #nofear13:6 Hebrews 13:6

  • Gary Peterson
    Posted at 02:43h, 18 April Reply

    Thank you for the BOAT BREAD recipe – it’s great bread and easy to make, Very delicious! Hang in there!

  • James Norwood
    Posted at 04:33h, 19 April Reply

    I too wish I had followed your journey much sooner. I am sure that you were well prepared for this epic journey. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 still lurks in the shadows. Fortunately for us mere mortals it seems that due to new found evidence that humidity and temperature has an affect on this menace to man. Hope your worst weather is about to be over with and that the Pacific is much nicer to you. Hang in there Bert!

  • Gerry Peterson
    Posted at 15:40h, 26 April Reply

    Run Forrest Run…

    You are all by yourself but you are not alone. We await each update on your progress.

    Just one but certainly not done.

    Good luck on your journey Bert!

    .

  • Darrell Wells
    Posted at 21:03h, 28 April Reply

    AYE BERT, YOU ARE AT LAST, HOMEWARD BOUND ..!! FARE THEE WELL.

    https://youtu.be/MaQYQnrPgSM

    In the quiet misty morning
    When the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing
    And the sky is clear and red,
    When the summer’s ceased its gleaming
    When the corn is past its prime,
    When adventure’s lost its meaning –
    I’ll be homeward bound in time
    Bind me not to the pasture
    Chain me not to the plow
    Set me free to find my calling
    And I’ll return to you somehow
    If you find it’s me you’re missing
    If you’re hoping I’ll return,
    To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening,

    And in the road I’ll stop and turn
    Then the wind will set me racing
    As my journey nears its end
    And the path I’ll be retracing
    When I’m homeward bound again
    Bind me not to the pasture
    Chain me not to the plow
    Set me free to find my calling
    And I’ll return to you somehow
    (softly)
    In the quiet misty morning
    When the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing
    I’ll be homeward bound again.

  • Martin Gonzalez
    Posted at 04:31h, 14 May Reply

    Best of luck…!!

  • Douglas Lock
    Posted at 15:49h, 15 May Reply

    What you are doing is amazing. I read your blog daily and live through your adventure vicariously. God’s speed.
    from AD6H, ex-Estevan resident of many years ago.

  • Douglas Lock
    Posted at 23:00h, 30 May Reply

    Bert
    Why were you hove to just before Rarotonga?

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