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Who doesn’t love playing Dodgeball? And who didn’t laugh at least once watching the low-brow cult classic ‘Dodgeball’?

We played the high-seas version of that now verboten school yard game most of yesterday and much of last night. Sadly, no bragging rights or ‘l’m the King of the Castle and you’re a dirty rascal!’ honours were awarded. We were forced to content ourselves with the brief lulls between these behemoths. Perhaps I am getting lazy, but it seemed like a lot of work constantly fussing with sails, course, windvane, and the log.

About 0030 last night, I decided that 30 knots was pushing the sail plan a little hard so I put the third reef in the main and took a reef out of the Solent. Foredeck work at night is always done under the glare of the spreader lights. Those lights turn night into day on the deck at least. No sooner had returned to the cabin than the VHF started blaring at me.

Turns out the SV Gaia outbound from Oahu some 8 days saw the deck lights, saw me on AIS, and decided to call as it looked as though I would be passing by within a couple of miles. Not so much of a concern if it’s two sailboats. They mistook me for a freighter and were rightly concerned!

It is only the second time in 9 months that I have had a gam with another vessel. And the only time that the other vessel has been a sailboat. Like Seaburban, Gaia is headed to the Pacific Northwest. They were on a course to ease their way through the confused and building wind waves and swell. I wasn’t looking to ease anything and was making tracks for the western corner of the North Pacific High.

While talking over the radio, we ran on parallel courses. After our good nights however, I hardened to the wind set a course to pass well astern of them. I lost sight of their masthead lights just before dawn and could not find them again scanning the horizon with binoculars in daylight. I tried calling on VHF at 1030 this morning and did raise them but could not make much out the noise and static. Seems sticking the mast in the water a few times in the Southern Ocean hasn’t done the antenna any favours.

To my friends aboard Gaia, my your passage be swift and the wind and waves to your liking. I will look forward to comparing voyage notes the next time we meet, ashore or otherwise.

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

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