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Report: 2013 Spring Rendezvous & Cruise


The 2013 Spring Rendezvous and Cruise held on June 8 began under clear blue skies. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way, given the “Ministry of Weather” had declared the beginning of rainy season two weeks before. We’d done our due diligence, reserving space at Velasis next to the clubhouse to take advantage of their giant awning if the rain came down. When it became clear that Saturday would remain clear, we quickly moved the event to deck space separating the boat yard from the marina for a view of the boats floating at their docks; the perfect setting for the feast we’d prepared.

Over thirty people attended the event, with new and old members mixing with friends with children. Two boats sailed in: Mike Snyder’s Distant Dreamer carrying two crew and Demir Sadikoglu’s Akdenizli with four people aboard.

It was a lively barbecue that kicked off when the beer keg was tapped at 2:00PM. The fire had been lit a bit before and soon the cook had steaks and chicken on the barbie. By the time the coals had burned out, everyone got their fill of steak, chicken, prawns, paella, steamed mussels, caesar salad, Mexican rolls, and fruit salad. Many types of beer were on offer, and the same for red and white wines, soft drinks, and water. By the end of the event everything had been consumed, with no one left wanting.

A big thanks to everyone who came out, and a special thanks to those who worked hard at putting it all together: Per Knudsen, Eugen Mall, Francis Wertheimber, and the hostess with the mostest, Rumiko Fraser.

If you attended, why not leave a comment below.

Here are a few photos in the Rendezvous photo gallery.



Kirk Patterson Weathering Storm, 700nm To Hakodate


June 5, 2013

Kirk’s current position is 415 nm due east of Hakodate, hand steering while under engine due to an autopilot failure. Silk Purse has slowed considerably, making less than 300nm over for the past three days. Arrival could be as soon as June 9 or 10.

June 1, 2013:

Kirk Patterson, TSPS member and soon-to-be Trans-Pacific sailor, aboard his aluminium vessel Silk Purse, on March 31 reported,

“16hr hell! 30-40 kt winds. 4-5 waves. Boat out of control. OK now! Phew! 128 NM”.

Four to five meter waves on the stern, Force 8 winds on the nose! That doesn’t sound like much fun. Or does it? For Kirk to temporarily lose control of Silk Purse in those conditions is understandable. The fear of broaching (veering to become broadside to the waves and potentially rolling the boat)  must have been foremost in Kirk’s mind.

Over the three preceding days, Kirk logged daily distances of 163 nm, 163nm, and 159nm for a four-day run of 613. Silk Purse has covered about 2600nm since leaving Honolulu and has approximately 700nm to sail before reaching Hakodate, Hokkaido.

The image below is a GRIB file showing wind conditions, with Silk Purse’s position marked by an X. On the right is the storm Kirk is experiencing. The wind is indicated by arrow-like symbols with the ‘feathers’ of the arrow indicating wind strength and the arrow pointing in the direction the wind is going. A short feather means 5 knots and a long one means 10 knots of wind. The scale on the right is the Beaufort scale, with the strongest winds of the storm in yellow equalling Force 8, or up to 35 knots. A different view of the GRIB file (not posted here) showing wave heights and direction indicates the waves are coming from behind Silk Purse. Of course, GRIB files are estimates. The wind and waves Kirk is experiencing most likely exceed estimates.

You can keep track of Kirk’s progress at:


Enter Silk Purse’s callsign VE0KRP (0 = zero) for detailed information

Silk Purse GRIB Jun1


Enjoy These TSPS Member Benefits and Discounts

Hi Gents,

Just to let you know I rented 3 cars on my recent trip to Australia – not all at once though – and saved at least over $100 using the TSPS membership benefit program. Avis and Budget are members of the program which works worldwide. Thought you might like to know that the benefits outweigh the cost of membership!

This simple message received last week from a TSPS member is prompting us to remind you that there are considerable financial benefits to being a TSPS member. In addition to discounted TSPS social events, such as the upcoming Rendezvous or the monthly Keelhaul which if attended often enough can recoup more than half your annual fees, members are entitled to a raft of discounts provided through our parent organization. The Avis and Budget car rental discounts are good examples of what’s available. Here are some of the services offering benefits and discounts.

USPS is of course an American organization, and so naturally most of the benefits of membership can be had in the US only. However, if you’re planning a trip stateside, you may find some of the benefits and discounts helpful, such as the USPS Vacation Center, which offers discounts on local and international vacation packages. Discounts are also available for US hotel chains, and health and travel insurance  For a list of benefits available take a look at the uspsbenefits.org webpage.

While we’re on the subject of discounts, West Marine offers international shipping of most of their marine products. Looking for new wet gear or a winch or a shackle? Check out the West Advantages page on the West Marine website. Their Silver and Gold rewards schemes add even more of a discount to your purchases, and come highly recommended by a few of our boat-owning members. There is no specific TSPS membership discount, but as boating people, we can use every discount we can find. Check it out.

One final discount well worth mentioning… The Bulldog Pub in Yurakucho. For more than a few years, TSPS has been holding its monthly Keelhaul get-togethers at the Bulldog and for all those years each TSPS member has received a 10% discount. We recently met with management and got this discount extended to card-carrying TSPS members slaking their thirst on any day at any time. So the next time you’re feeling a bit peckish and thirsty, head down to the Bulldog, flash your USPS membership card, and receive 10% off. Please note, this discount applies only to members, and not to non-members in the company of members.

TSPSer Kirk Patterson Departs Hawaii For Hokkaido

Kirk Patterson Aboard Silk Purse

We received the following message from long-time TSPS member Kirk Patterson, who over a year ago began a trans-Pacific voyage from Victoria, Canada to Hokkaido, Japan aboard his vessel Silk Purse. The threat of encountering tsunami debris and the onset of typhoon season, however, caused Kirk to lay up in Honolulu for almost a year, where he wiled away his time working as a bartender. He is now ready to finish the crossing and will soon depart on what could be a 35 to 40-day voyage from Honolulu for Hakodate, Hokkaido.


Hi, TSPS Friends,

I trust that this finds you and everybody at TSPS well.

Well, I have had a very interesting, enjoyable 10 months here in Honolulu, including working full-time as a bartender (!).

But now I am ready to resume my voyage to Japan. I will leave on about May 1 and sail non-stop to Hakodate, probably arriving between June 5 and 15. After a couple of weeks in Hakodate, I will circumnavigate Hokkaido in the summer, go south along the Sea of Japan coast in the fall, spend the winter some where in Okinawa, and then go north back to Hakodate in spring/summer 2014.

After that, I might stay another 1-2 years in Japan…or return to Victoria…or head to the South Pacific…or ???

I will probably get to the Tokyo area in May 2014, so I look forward to seeing you all then.

Best regards,


S/V Silk Purse

 P.S. If interested, you can track my progress across the Pacific by going to www.winlink.org/userpositions…at the bottom of the map on that page, input my callsign — ve0krp — and click “Search”. The blue/green dots will show my current/past locations. I will try to do daily position reports, but please note that if I am unable to connect to winlink relay stations then I will not be able to post position reports. FYI, my boat email addresses are cfk9236@sailmail.com and ve0krp@winlink.org.


While we don’t know Kirk’s course just yet, it’s not uncommon for sailors to head west from Hawaii with some southing in their course until they reach a longitude near and east of the Bonin Islands (Ogasawara), then make a turn north. If Kirk follows this course, he can expect good winds from the north-east to push him along until the southerlies fill in for the ride north to the Kuroshio current, then a sleigh ride up the east coast of Japan.

Regardless of the direction he heads, we at TSPS wish Kirk only the best of luck and weather, and a very safe passage.


[box]After arriving in Hawaii, Kirk wrote the following informative article in the Hawaii Yacht Club Bulletin.

Aloha, HYC Members!

You may have noticed my boat, Silk Purse, at the Aloha Dock & seen me at the Club, so I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself.

After a 25-year career in Japan, I retired in late 2007 and moved back to Victoria, B.C., Canada, to pursue my long-postponed desire to get into sailing. I bought Silk Purse, a 40-foot custom steel cutter designed by Mark Ellis (of Niagara 35 and Nonsuch fame), and then set about learning to sail and, more challenging for me, learning how to maintain and repair a boat. I sailed extensively in British Columbia, including two circumnavigations of Vancouver Island and a trip to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), and made two trips up the Inside Passage to Alaska. All my sailing is done solo.

I arrived in Hawaii in early June, planning to make just a brief stop before continuing on to Japan. However, being a bit behind schedule and having lost more time due to repairs, the typhoon risk of going to Japan is now too high, so I will stay in Hawaii until next April. My plan is to spend about five years sailing in Japan, starting with a full circumnavigation of the Japanese archipelago, something that apparently has never been done by a foreigner. Although there are many challenges involved in sailing in Japan – bureaucratic red tape, lack of anchorages and marinas, frequency of typhoons and fog, lots of shipping, ferries, and floating fishing nets, and more – many cruisers have told me that the friendliness and helpfulness of the Japanese people, the beauty and diversity of scenery, and the history and culture more than make up for the challenges.

I will write articles about my voyage in various English- language and Japanese-language sailing magazines and other publications. In addition, I plan to write three books: (1) a book about the voyage itself; (2) an academic analysis of the cultural and historical roots of Japan’s “ocean-phobia” (unusual for an island country and in sharp contrast to England); and (3) a cruising guide to Japan (there is currently no such guide, not even in Japanese).

In undertaking this voyage, I am very grateful for the official support that I have received from various organizations, including the Japan Hydrographic Association, the Japan Sailing Federation, the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, and the Institute for Global Maritime Studies in Massachusetts.

Finally, let me express my deep appreciation to HYC and its members for your warm welcome. HYC is a very special organization and, being at “The Crossroads of the Pacific,” plays a truly unique role in bringing together sailors from around the world. It’s an institution of which you can be justifiably proud.

I look forward to getting to know more HYC members (especially members with Japan sailing experience), so a coffee or a beer is waiting for anybody who wants to drop by Silk Purse.

Kirk Patterson S/V Silk Purse 


TSPS Wins Two 2012 USPS Awards

The United States Power Squadrons has awarded TSPS with two awards. The first is the “Distinctive Communicator” award for our website. The second is the USPS Educational Fund Certificate of Merit which was awarded for “the furtherance of education in the fields of navigation and small boat handling.” We’d like to thank the USPS for the awards and also thank the educators at TSPS , Jeff Canaday, Randy Erskine, and Tony Whitman, for their hard work in bringing educational opportunities to our members.



One Hundred Percent Increase in Facebook “Likes” in 12 Months

Facebook "Likes" Hit 100

It’s not a big number, but over the past year those of us who visit the TSPS Facebook page saw the number of “likes” slowly creeping higher. We started 2012 with 50, got to 85 in October, and today we hit 100. If those numbers were plotted on a curve, the direction is upward, and accelerating. While we certainly don’t have the kind of popularity The Onion or the Rolling Stones enjoy, we’ll take it.

Thanks to everyone who clicked on the “like” button in 2012.

(Apologies for the previous egregious math error.)