Tag Archives: cruise

Singlehander Sails from California to Hawaii and Back

Singlehander Screenshot

I stumbled upon this wonderful thirty-minute video made by a guy sailing singlehanded from California to Hawaii and then back.  His narration is insightful, humorous, and warm, with his love of sailing apparent. The quality of the video is outstanding and creative. If you have  29 minutes 35 seconds to spare, take a look. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Warren Fraser

Report: TSPS Spring Rendezvous, 2012

2012-Spring-Rendezvous-15The TSPS Rendezvous held on June 23rd at Velasis Marina was a success. The party kicked off at 1400h and went until dusk. Lunch included roast chicken, barbecued hamburgers, caesar salad, and fruit, all was washed down with a collection of fine European craft and draft beers, Spanish wines, and American soft drinks. Demir and Nao made the trip by boat as did Stuart Gibson and a group of friends aboard his powerboat. In total 29 people attended, including our newest members Pierre-Jacque and partner Pascale from France, and Rumiko Fraser. To these three, welcome to TSPS; and to the rest, thanks so much for coming down to Velasis for the afternoon.

Warren Fraser,
Commander TSPS

Yarramundi Ready For Yap Voyage


It would appear that TSPS member David Devlin, so unfortunately waylaid by a coral bommie (outcrop) on May 15th at Faraulep in Micronesia, has completed the temporary repairs necessary to his vessel’s skeg and rudder and is about to depart for Yap, a sail of about 385 miles. There, he will complete the repairs at a boatyard before continuing on to Australia. This is from a recent update on his blog:

Thomas, Chan and Chan’s son Melvin navigated for us yesterday on a nail bitting trip out to sea through the lagoon’s middle entrance. It is a dog leg’s entrance and we found it both difficult to navigate going out and then returning in to. Think we will use the narrow but straight entrance we used when we first came in when it comes to leaving.

My mouth was dry and I was shaking the entire time. Not only concern over hitting again but concern over the repairs holding up. We motored around a bit and found water in the bilge. Emptied it and found it did not return. I have had this happen before. There are so many places for water to get trapped and once you get out to sea and rocked around it starts appearing in the bilge. We then put up the main sail 3rd reef and ran with the wind toward Yap doing 3.4knots. The wind was between 15 and 20 knots and the waves 3 to 4 feet. We turned around came back through the lagoon entrance, attached back up to our anchor and celebrated with 3 not so very cold but very enjoyable bottles of wine with our new friends.

There has been no leak whatsoever since. I have therefore decided to sail to Yap. The earliest would be tomorrow afternoon but still a few things to get done so more likely Thursday. All weather permitting.

We will lodge our sail plan with Guam Coast Guard and also Australian Maritime and won’t go if they say don’t. We plan to only use sail to steady the boat to reduce pressure on rudder. Will keep our sea anchor ready to deploy from the bow should we get strong winds or a storm.It is nearly 400 nautical miles so we are bound to hit a couple of squalls.

I am not going to write all details here of our repairs or the how we plan to sail to avoid a barrage of arm chair advice and comments. I have chosen to work with 4 good people on this and they have devoted a lot of their time. We have spent a lot of time discussing and debating every detail and I feel confident we have done the best we can and the boat will withstand the journey.


All of us at TSPS wish David an easy and safe journey.

So We Strike, Like…

Over Golden Week, four boats made their way to the west coast of Izu. We wrote the details of the journey in detail not long ago. During the trip the shutterbugs were hard at work snapping pictures, which we’ve turned into video slideshows. The photos in this video are from the camera of Bifrost skipper and crew Per Knudsen and Anne Bille. Editing is by Warren Fraser. Youtube approves of our choice of music, and therefore the video may not be viewable in some regions.



and previously posted: a video from the crew of Distant Dreamer


Yarramundi In Faraulep Update

David Devlin aboard Yarramundi on Faraulep Island sent an update via satphone today. We, like everyone else concerned, are relieved that things are well in hand, and his spirits are up. Being stranded, even temporarily, thousands of miles out must be stressful, but as mentioned in our original post, it could be worse. The images on the homepage show the extent of the damage and the temporary repairs made.

Here is David’s email to his friends/supporter crew here in Japan:

Thanks for your many many many text messages and getting everything out there. Appreciate it heaps.

We are not in an emergency situation and are not stranded. Just delayed for a while. We have had two marine surveyors look at the photos on the blog and give us clear instructions on what to do.

We have one package containing basics to stop the leak, stop the insects and top up the beer supply. It arrives on supply ship H1 Wednesday and Captain Dominic is looking after it for us.

The parts to make us seaworthy were sent from a Guam boat shop to Yap and arrived this morning. Missing the supply ship.
They are at the Pacific Missionary Aviation office in Yap and pilot Amos Colins is looking after them for us (I believe). They will air drop them to us for $4600 within 3 or 4 hours of requesting. Not going to do that. But if there is a medivac situation or similar we can piggy back off that. For example Woleai is just 80miles from here and has an airstrip. There are 2 funerals there this weekend including that of the Chief’s wife so there is a chance that a big wig from Yap might fly out. Then we would only have to pay $200 for them to fly by here and do the drop. I am also talking to Arthor and Sam of the Yap fishing association. They are prepared to come here but they themselves are waiting on parts from Japan for their own boat. Just a side note – the supply ship is carrying the bodies so they could not delay. If they were not we could have asked them to wait and paid the captain a fee. But the Cheif is his father in-law. Everyone is related here. And as we are helping with things on the island – Nicky starts teaching English tomorrow – we will no doubt get a lot of help in return.

The supply ship H1 next leaves Yap again on June 14 and should get here June 18. So worst comes to worse we sit here for a month and I am forced into some R and R and Yarramundi would get a real work over with all those little jobs completed which I never got to. Still have not looked at a book since we left Shimoda as have been so busy.

But, if there is a yacht passing by sooner and can carry out package from the PMA (Amos Colin’s) office that would help us get underway sooner.

Finally – I am very worried that our satphone and laptop will get damaged from saltwater or just the hot salty air. So now that we have  the technical issues solved, the parts order and ready for shipment I will only take it out of its w/p case twice a day.

Once again – appreciate the help that you and everyone else is providing. Will post a blog tomorrow thanking Warren, Jason, Jiro, Mark and Simon too.


You can keep up on what’s happening aboard Yarramundi at David’s blog.

TSPS Cruiser’s On-Going Adventure On Faraulep

Yarramundi powering out of Shimoda port

We wrote briefly back on March 26th of David Devlin’s departure for Australia aboard his sailing vessel Yarramundi. His journey is to take almost a year and cover some 6,000 nautical miles. Over the past two months, David has sailed to Hachijojima, Ogasawara, Saipan, Guam and others, and is now about a 1,600 nautical miles south of Tokyo at Faraulep. It is there, however, at Faraulep that Yarramundi hit a coral outcrop (a bommie) and cracked her hull at the hull-skeg joint. (A skeg is usually an extension of the hull placed in front of the rudder to both protect and provide a mount for the rudder.)

David and crew have worked tirelessly getting the inflow of water under control. They dove on the hull and eventually reduced the leak by using underwater epoxy putty and sealant. They managed to reduce the gushing-in to a trickle and are now dealing with a liter of water every four hours, so the crack is well under control and posses no immediate risk to Yarramundi. Another problem, however, is this fix is purely temporary and will not withstand the rigors of open ocean sailing, especially at this time of year when seas are typically 4-6 feet high. David must effect repairs on the island strong enough to resist the forces of the sea and then sail the boat at reduced speeds for a week or so to a hual-out facility over 1,000 kilometers away. To do this, he has ordered a repair kit from Guam, but here Yarramundi and crew have hit yet another barrier. It seems the inter-island boat will not arrive until June 14th and they just missed getting the kit on a missionary flight to a nearby island. An airdrop is out of the question because of the high costs.

So David has enlisted the help of his friends in identifying alternative means of getting the repair kit to him on Faraulep. TSPS has posted a request for help to the most popular cruising website on the planet and received wonderful responses from sailors around the globe. They’ve offered temporary fixes learned from suffering similar problems such as melting polystyrene in gasoline to get polyester resin, and through-bolting the skeg to both sides of the hull using flat metal bars. We’re passing on this information to George Leaning who is in contact with David.

Those who know David are completely confident he will successfully pull himself out of the difficulties he is in. He is very resourceful and patient, and the crew has the skills necessary to make the repairs at Faraulep. And to be honest, if you’re going to have these sorts of problems, a paradise island in the Pacific is as good a place as any to have them.

We wish David the best of luck and look forward to news of Yarramundi raising Guam or some other such port in the near future.

You can keep up on what’s happening aboard Yarramundi at David’s blog.

Report: 2012 Golden Week Cruise

This past Golden Week saw a TSPS fleet embark on another week-long cruise, this time to the west coast of the Izu peninsula. Boats that made the trip were Distant Dreamer, Bifrost, Fuji VII, and Sophie, and stops included the beautiful ports of Shimoda, Mera, Arari, and Misaki. Unfortunately, heavy rain, very strong winds, and high seas kept the fleet in port much more than expected.

The cruise began with Bifrost leaving her home port early on Saturday, April 29 and encountering strong winds and a two knot counter-current on her way to Shimoda. Distant Dreamer left Yokohama the same day before noon for an overnight sail direct to Mera via a rounding of Oshima and Mikomoto Island near Shimoda. She arrived in Mera 21 hours later, having encountered light winds most of the way. Fujii VII departed Seabornia Marina on Sunday, and made directly for Arari, arriving a little past noon on Monday. Distant Dreamer was joined in Mera by Bifrost who sailed up from Shimoda. Together the two boats sailed to Arari Monday morning arriving a few hours after Fuji VII. Sophie joined Distant Dreamer, Bifrost and Fuji VII in Arari arriving in darkness at approximately 19:30h after a fast six-hour sail from Shimoda, her home port. The fleet was complete and rafted up alongside Minoru Saito’s Nicole BMW Shoten Dohji III, in port for a complete refit after his epic round-the-world sail. That night plans were laid for the remaining 5 days of the cruise.

Because of the equipment aboard the four boats, the experience of the eleven crew members, the nine smartphones, and the three iPads, the boats were all too aware of the weather. The forecast was for rain, and lots of it for long stretches of time. The cruising plan slowly evolved from an adventurous one that included visiting three ports to the north of Arari to a much more conservative stay-in-port-and-wait-out-the-weather plan. And so the fleet remained in Arari for three long and wet days and nights, before Distant Dreamer, Bifrost, and Sophie busted out when the rain let up on Thursday morning.

The next port of call was Matsuzaki, a small town with dock/wall along a river bank a few miles south of Arari. However, upon arriving first in port, Bifrost discovered the river was swollen with the heavy rains in the mountains of Izu, enough that with high tide, the entire docking area would flood. Additionally, a 2 to 3 knot current in the river made docking difficult and dangerous. Per Knudsen aboard Bifrost waved off Distant Dreamer and Sophie as they approached the port and the decision was made over the phone to return to Mera, another two hours down the coast.

All three boats arrived in Mera easily enough under pleasant winds and gray skies. The skies later cleared and the remainder of the day was spent lazing aboard the boats, searching for basic food stuffs, and watching a very strong blue-sky gale build gradually. The forecast was now calling for Force 10 winds, 4 to 5 meter waves, and beautiful blue skies over the next 24-36 hours. Experience has taught us to effectively double the forecast figures if you want to approximate reality, and so the decision was made to remain in Mera for a second night. In the afternoon of the second day, in the middle of the gale, a 34-foot sailboat came lurching into port flying only a storm jib. They had departed Shimoda early in the morning bound for Aichi, but the conditions forced the crew to quickly revise their plans and make way for Omaezaki. The wind and waves, however, were coming exactly from where they were bound. With no hope of making Omaezaki before sunset, they beat a hasty retreat to Mera for refuge from the storm. The TSPS crews were there to lend a hand when the boat docked and the wide-eyed, exhausted, and bewildered look on the faces of the crew said all that needed to be said about their day on the water.

The crews of Distant Dreamer, Bifrost, and Sophie felt a little peckish near sunset and so the region’s only taxi was enlisted to ferry the seven to a restaurant in the hills above Mera. Discussion on the sailing plans continued and Distant Dreamer skipper Mike Snyder decided a 05:00h departure Saturday morning from Mera would make it possible to reach Misaki before sunset. The seas remained very high as Distant Dreamer left port Saturday morning, but fortunately the winds had dropped to Force 5-6 and the passage south to Mikomoto Island was rough but uneventful. Upon rounding the island, the seas and wind moved astern, and the boat settled into a smooth groove all the way to Misaki. Meanwhile, Fujii VII left Arari at about the same time and was five or so miles off Distant Dreamer’s stern for much of the early morning. Upon reaching the Shimoda area, Fuji VII headed due east perhaps to pick up a favorable current, rounding Oshima on its return to Seabornia. Bifrost left Mera mid-morning Saturday and had an easy sail down to Shimoda, where she stayed for the night. Sophie spent the day sailing and returned to Shimoda on Sunday.

Bifrost departed Shimoda for her home port of Velasis early Sunday morning in fine weather, but a few hours after turning the south east corner of Izu and heading north east, she encountered very strong winds and high seas. Gusts peaked at over 45 knots and the boat hit speeds in excess of ten knots as she surfed down the waves. Not trusting the autopilot, Per and crew Claus hand steered the boat all the way to Velasis Sunday afternoon.

Distant Dreamer departed Misaki on Sunday at around 09:00h and was soon caught up in the same gale Bifrost was experiencing further out. As she entered Tokyo Bay winds built to speeds in excess of 35 knots and the first hour or two was spent dodging traffic. Once inside the bay the seas flattened but the winds remained. Low tides meant arrival in Koyasu, her homeport, needed to be after 14:00h, so Distant Dreamer stopped at Bayside Marina for a few hours before completing the cruise under power on Sunday at around 15:00h.

So, all boats got back to their home port safely. There were no injuries or major equipment failures suffered on the cruise. In this very important way, the cruise was a success.

So that’s it. A brief summary of the goings-on of the four-boat fleet on an eight-day Golden Week cruise to Nishi Izu. One key lesson learned on this cruise, one that confirms opinions of last year’s Golden Week cruise: do not go cruising during Golden Week. The weather sucks.

The crew of Distant Dreamer has posted their images and video here in a video slideshow of the cruise. We will be adding other photos as they become available.

In late April and early May of 2011, four boats– Bifrost, Fujin, Samurai VI, Yarramundi– from the Tokyo Sail and Power Squadron sailed to Japan’s Kii Hanto. The voyage there and back lasted over 10 days and covered more than 600 nautical miles. Most of the 16 crew snapped pictures and took video, and so we’ve put together a sixty-minute, six-part video that captures some of the excitement and drama of the adventure. We hope you enjoy it.

Kii Hanto Cruise