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Old 06-27-2013, 10:09 AM   #161
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HealHustler, that's a great photo! Thanks for the laugh.

Reflections on the Journey of a Lifetime…..
In the past when I’ve taken trips on the boat I’ve posted threads similar to this and after the trip is done I’ve come back and posted some of my thoughts and recollections of the trip. That’s what this post will be and I’m hoping it will provide some closure to a great trip for all of us.
Before I get started on this though, I’d like to thank Stuart for providing the opportunity for me to make this trip. From before I had even considered being a part of this I recognized that it would be the trip of a lifetime and it was. So Thanks Stuart. It was fun, I learned a lot, and had a great time.
I’d also like to thank Doug for being the kind of guy he is. I learned many things from him and appreciated his good nature, his ability to joke about things and to hang in there when the seas got a bit rough. As an example, while I was hanging over the galley sink depositing my breakfast, Doug was making a pulled pork sandwich. He was kind enough to ask me if making the sandwich was going to upset my stomach even more, saying he’d go up to the pilothouse to eat it if I wanted him to. It wouldn’t have bothered me, but just the fact that he thought to ask makes a huge comment about the kind of guy Doug is. I hope we get to do some boating together again in the future. I’ll let you show me around the San Juans and points north!
In one of the forums I’ve posted my ‘blog’ on someone mentioned a feeling of depression when the trip is over. He likened it to a post-partum depression. Well I can assure you right up front that none of us delivered a baby on this cruise but I am feeling a bit sad/depressed that the trip has ended.
All of the pre-trip excitement that comes with high expectations for a great cruise, the hours spent on planning to make sure you have everything you will need, the menu planning I did (more on that later) and just the excitement of the new adventure kept me on a high for several weeks. As the departure date grew nearer the smile on my ugly mug grew wider.
I went into this journey not as a new boater but as an experienced boater heading out on a new adventure. I know that at some point GW and I are going to take Beachcomber up the coast of WA and into Canada. This trip was to be, in many ways, a training mission for that. I’d never spent much time on the ocean and I’d get that experience on this trip. I’d never done any real long distance trip planning and route planning and I’d also get to do some of that on this trip.
I was going into the trip with high expectations and I was not disappointed. Yeah, we were disappointed by having to hole up in port a few days, but that’s part of boating. The rough weather we experienced on the way to Ilwaco was a bit more than I expected but with 20/20 hindsight I’m glad we encountered that rough water because now I have a better sense of what it means when they say “swells of 5’-8’ and a 1’-2’ wind chop on 10 seconds.” I know the next time I’ll stay in port if the heights of the swells + wind waves = the wave separation time. Ain’t no reason for this kid to be out there trying to prove to mama nature that I’m capable of handling anything she can throw at me.
I’d never met the other two (Stuart and Doug) I was to cruise with before we met at the boat. There’s always a bit of apprehension about being thrown into a boat with two guys you don’t know for 7-10 days. Experienced boaters have developed their own styles; their own ways of doing things. When those styles don’t fit perfectly with the styles of the other two there can be conflicts…..and there were. The good thing is the conflicts were all minor and we were able to resolve them on board. The cops didn’t think they were a big problem either. Just kidding…no cops were harmed in the making of this trip.
Following Seas performed nearly flawlessly. When you figure that Stuart just got this boat about 3 weeks before we departed and spent much of that time installing air conditioning and other equipment, it’s not surprising that he knew the boat pretty well. There were a few small glitches but nothing that couldn’t be easily rectified. For example, the porthole windows in my stateroom leaked. Not just a tiny bit, they leaked a decent size trickle. As fate would have it, there were no hangars on board so I had put my clothes on the shelf beneath the window. The one where the water ran down and soaked all my clothes. Stuart applied a couple of coats of silicone sealant around the perimeter and that fixed it. It took a couple of days for my bedding and clothes to thoroughly dry but that’s OK, I lived with it and we did OK.
We ate like kings on this trip. I had done the menu planning, bought all the food ahead of time, prepared some of it before I left home and fixed the rest of it on board as we traveled. I planned on meals for four people for 8 days. There were only 3 on board and we ate dinner out twice in Eureka so Stuart is not going to have to buy groceries for awhile for the boat because there will be lots of stuff left over. Dinner menus consisted of a beef roast, two pork roasts, a fresh halibut filet, salmon, and an assortment of fresh vegetables, corn on the cob and all sorts of snacks and cheeses. Lunches consisted of pulled pork sandwich meat made from the pork tenderloin roasts. Nobody was going to leave this boat lighter than when they first stepped aboard.
When I take off on a trip such as this I try to mentally prepare myself for any eventuality. I don’t like bad surprises when they pop up. I can gladly say that on this trip we had no bad surprises. Well except for maybe the day we were headed to Ilwaco and I gave back breakfast. That was the first time I’ve ever ralphed from motion sickness. When Doug and I hiked up to Costco in Eureka I got some killer pills to take care of that. I took them the day we left Eureka and, while the waves weren’t as large as we’d seen before, I felt no queasiness at all. Thanks Costco.
So all things considered I’d have to say that this trip was a great success. I learned a lot about long distance navigating, about rough water boat handling, food prep when the boat is rocking, and how AIS is such a benefit. I certainly won’t say that we couldn’t have made this trip without the AIS, but it was nice to have. Radar, on the other hand, was absolutely essential. I would never even try a trip like this without a good Radar and chart plotter. The importance of those two cannot be overstated. Having heat and a/c on the boat made it much more comfortable. We used both at varying times and it was nice to have them.
Following Seas is a very nicely equipped yacht. It’s about the same length (60’) as my boat but about 1.5’ wider. That additional space is very nice. It’s also a very comfortable boat. It’s hard to draw a comparison between Following Seas and Beachcomber. There are some things about this boat that I like better than mine, but also things about my boat I like better than this one. That’s natural. Would I trade? Nope. Stuart and I were talking one day and he asked me what I would change about my boat. I honestly couldn’t think of anything major that I would change because I’m very happy with Beachcomber.
Well I guess that’s about all I have to say at this time. If anyone has any specific questions about any of this or about the trip in general, fire away and I’ll respond to them.

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Old 06-27-2013, 11:28 AM   #162
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What was the magic elixir you bought at Costco to resolve your sea sickness? Any side effects like drowsiness?

Thanks for the closing thoughts. I can certainly relate to the 'let down' when the an greatly anticipated trip or vacation is over. One solution might be to start planning your next adventure!

Cheers!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:32 AM   #163
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I know I'll get flack for this but alcohol calms the stomach and is known to help prevent seasickness in moderate amounts. Ginger too. West Marine sells ginger soda for seasickness.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:38 AM   #164
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I know I'll get flack for this but alcohol calms the stomach and is known to help prevent seasickness in moderate amounts. Ginger too. West Marine sells ginger soda for seasickness.
Perfect! Jack Daniels and ginger ale--does it really have to be limited to moderate amounts?
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:20 PM   #165
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Perfect! Jack Daniels and ginger ale--does it really have to be limited to moderate amounts?
That's perfect!! Thanks for a new drink!
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:24 PM   #166
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I particularly enjoyed following you guys on the SPOT messenger. Did he (Stuart) rent the raft and EPIRB by the day? Or is that a weekly rental?

I've got exposure suits and the dinghy, but I think the SPOT might make a nice extra piece of gear for the ditch bag.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:01 PM   #167
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Stuart,
Great trip, thanks to all you guys for sharing.
I have the same boat and am really interested in your average RPM and fuel consumption for the whole trip when you get chance to calculate.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #168
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I take it the sea sick watch was a failure.....Big $$$
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:41 PM   #169
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What was the magic elixir you bought at Costco to resolve your sea sickness? Any side effects like drowsiness?
It's called "Travel Sickness" and it's a pill that comes in two strengths. I bought the stronger of the two. No side effects that I noticed.

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I particularly enjoyed following you guys on the SPOT messenger. Did he (Stuart) rent the raft and EPIRB by the day? Or is that a weekly rental?
Mike, he said before the trip that he had rented a 4-man life raft. He didn't. I looked around the flybridge when I was up there taking a video and didn't see it anywhere. Had I known he had not rented one I likely would have declined the invitation to make the trip.

The EPIRB is mine. I carry it on Beachcomber just in case. One never knows when you might need it. The SPOT was Randy's and I returned it to him when he picked me up at the airport in Seattle.

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I take it the sea sick watch was a failure.....Big $$$
Tom, it didn't seem to work for me. I could feel it giving me the little tingles so I know it was working. That's not to say it wouldn't work just great for someone else.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:36 PM   #170
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Mike, he said before the trip that he had rented a 4-man life raft. He didn't. I looked around the flybridge when I was up there taking a video and didn't see it anywhere. Had I known he had not rented one I likely would have declined the invitation to make the trip.
That's scary. That's a big ocean out there and not a smart thing to do. Not what I would have expected from Stuart. Especially without discussing his change of heart with you guys.

He should have had SOME SORT of floatation for you guys. Two exposure suits, no raft... someone would have died if something went sideways.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:02 PM   #171
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It is scary when you think about it. In regards to your last paragraph....I'm bigger than he is and I suspect better trained in hand-to-hand combat. Wouldn't have been me wishing I had an exposure suit.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:19 PM   #172
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I'm just surprised a decision like that would have been made without the crew being even told. To save a few buck no less. Heck... even if you had an inflatable strapped to the roof you'd have some sort of floatation. No dinghy... bad call...
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:25 PM   #173
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I'm just surprised a decision like that would have been made without the crew being even told. To save a few buck no less. Heck... even if you had an inflatable strapped to the roof you'd have some sort of floatation. No dinghy... bad call...
WHAT???? You did that trip with no dinghy at all? Bad Call!!

You guys are very lucky in a boat none of you know nor have knowledge of all the maintenance or lack of. I hope you did a complete inspection first and checked out the through hull fittings, hose clamps doubled, etc.

I'm glad you made it safe and sound with no mishaps. What a slap in the face.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:52 PM   #174
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Rentals are usually valise rafts and could be stowed anywhere. They should not be out exposed to the elements. GFC should ask Stuart where the raft was. Actually that would have been a good thing to go over in the safety briefing before departure.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:01 AM   #175
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Rentals are usually valise rafts and could be stowed anywhere. They should not be out exposed to the elements. GFC should ask Stuart where the raft was. Actually that would have been a good thing to go over in the safety briefing before departure.
For clarification, in a phone conversation with Stuart prior to the cruise he told me (and gave the same information to Doug) that he had made arrangements to rent a 4-man life raft for the trip. I didn't think to question it prior to the trip. My mistake for taking him at his word and not asking to see the raft. That's a mistake I will not make again.

Following the trip when I emailed him about it he emailed back and said it would have been very expensive to rent and an inconvenience to send back because it had to go via truck freight.

Had I known we did not have a life raft on board I would have declined to make the trip.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:53 AM   #176
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Had I known we did not have a life raft on board I would have declined to make the trip.
Are you guys still talking to one another? There's a lot of laundry being aired here.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:11 AM   #177
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Are you guys still talking to one another? There's a lot of laundry being aired here.
The post-trip garbage being thrown around on this and other sites regarding this trip sickens and angers me- how dare some pompous asses get on their high horses and publicly assassinate the character of the skipper of this trip.

Hindsight is always 20-20, and some discussions are warranted- I get it. But NOT to the point of public humiliation and degradation. Those participating in calling Stuart (owner of the vessel) should be ashamed, "man up" and apologize- publicly, and with just as much zeal as their attacks. This forum is supposed to be about the love of boating, not a bully pulpit to attack a man who decided to take his boat on a trip and invited others to come along for the ride.

I like the Bible's take on things- "Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone..."
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #178
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The post-trip garbage being thrown around on this and other sites regarding this trip sickens and angers me- how dare some pompous asses get on their high horses and publicly assassinate the character of the skipper of this trip.

Hindsight is always 20-20, and some discussions are warranted- I get it. But NOT to the point of public humiliation and degradation. Those participating in calling Stuart (owner of the vessel) should be ashamed, "man up" and apologize- publicly, and with just as much zeal as their attacks. This forum is supposed to be about the love of boating, not a bully pulpit to attack a man who decided to take his boat on a trip and invited others to come along for the ride.

I like the Bible's take on things- "Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone..."
What "post trip garbage" on this site???? It was said many times how great the trip with only minor stuff that is typical.

Not sure about other sites... but nothing outrageous or out of the ordinary here.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #179
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The post-trip garbage being thrown around on this and other sites regarding this trip sickens and angers me- how dare some pompous asses get on their high horses and publicly assassinate the character of the skipper of this trip.
Get over it Pete. This isn't an assassination of anyone's character. I've known Stuart longer than all of you and I'm just surprised he'd make that decision without at least telling someone. I'm also close friends with Doug and his family.

Yep. Shame on the passengers for not questioning his judgement, but I think that was mostly about trust.

There are people on here (and other forums) that believe it was perfectly OK to head down the coast without a raft of any sort. I just disagree with that and find it poor form to imply he had taken those safety precautions and had not.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #180
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Thank you for that Peter. It was getting pretty lonely down here in this bunker.

I have had my Internet battles in the past and feel I finally matured enough by age 70 to turn my back on the school yard mentality. There is usually one individual who stimulates others to action and it is no different here. I could write an entire chapter in responding to all this, but instead I only want to clarify a couple things. It is NOT true that I confirmed I had rented of a life raft to anyone prior to the trip. In fact, it would have been pretty embarrassing to have done so and then not actually have one on board.

After researching the raft idea and finding the obstacle to be returning it to Seattle due to hazmat requirements, I felt I was providing an equal safety margin in buying survival suits for everyone, including myself. I believe that is the avenue taken by many commercial fishing boats so it made perfect (to me) sense. Reasonably warm and floating in a suit vs. freezing wet in a raft seem an even trade off, or at least I thought so. Perhaps I am missing something here, and I’ll accept it if I should, but note that it was a decision that applied to me as well.

The overall implication is really much deeper, that I planned this trip on the cheap. You could see that develop right here on this thread when we pulled into Richardson Bay to anchor overnight. And that posted stimulation definitely created some stressful situations the following day. No one has bothered to point out that I paid for all the food and other provisioning, plus provided return air travel right down to the baggage fees.

And finally, regarding safety, I’d like to say this. While others were reading books on their Kimble’s or texting and posted on the Internet, I was reading Charlie’s Charts, the State of California’s documents on entering the Bay Area, the entire west coast section of Costal Pilot 7, and various state publications online regarding coastal weather patterns and bar crossing. I monitored the NOAA weather forecasts, buoy reports, passageweather.com and buoyweather.com (to which I subscribed). I hired ‘Omni’ Bob Jones as our Weather Router and used him to validate my go, no-go decisions, which incidentally were all spot on for the entire trip and is why we arrived safely in San Francisco Bay..

I am very sorry this trip and this thread ended like this. It doesn’t take much of a push to get a gang stirred up and because of that, I have and will continue to ignore (not read) those posts that choose to call for my execution. But it is important to me, at least on this one forum, to publish a statement so you can make an informed decision on my acceptability and participation in the Trawler Forum. Many of you boat here in the Delta and I am hopeful to be welcome on your turf.
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