Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 4: waiting out the storm

Now that our blogger is back on land, regular updates on Junk's progress on the way. Our two sailors are currently anchored off San Nicolas Island, waiting for the storm to pass, and to hitch a ride on the next south-blowing winds.

After our good byes in Long Beach:

©Peter Bennett/Ambient Images

first order of business was making room for 4 adults in a TIGHT space crammed with 6 weeks worth of supplies. For the first few days, Junk would have two extra crew mates - Nicole Chatterson (Algalita's office assistant) and myself. To give an idea of the cabin size:

Here's Marcus, with a fraction of the stuff we packed in there.

©Peter Bennett/Ambient Images

It was a human jig saw puzzle, w/ some very stiff necks and backs the next morning...

Day 2 of the tow brought our first technical challenges. Both Marcus and Joel had been very concerned about the pressure towing Junk would place on the raft. Designed to float along gently at 1-2 knots, being dragged through waves and wind at higher speeeds would test her limits.

After a sleepless night of slamming along to the tune of Junk's unusual crunching/squeaking noises, we woke to find a small rip in one of the front pontoons, with bottles leaking out onto our deck. For immediate repairs, Marcus dove under the boat to sew the rip, while Joel stitched from above, and crew shoved bottles back into the net.

©Peter Bennett/Ambient Images

The force of the tow tore a small hole through the netting, which Marcus and Joel repaired at sea. This sort of pressure was strictly a function of the tow, and may be the most stress Junk undergoes in the entire 6 weeks.

We arrived intact at San Nicolas Island, and managed to bring Junk crew over to the tow boat for a final hot meal and shower.

Which required shuttling them in a small dingy, amongst sizable swells and approaching gale force winds, a bit hair raising.

All went fine, until the motor fell off the dingy on Joel's return ride, leaving Jeff bobbing about in the pitch black - storm on the horizon. Being a resourceful young man, he hauled the motor on board by the fuel line, and signaled us with his flashlight for a rescue. Marcus then had to leap from Alguita's stern over to Junk - all in all, a dramatic send off.....

1 comment:

Rick Hart said...

We're glad to have you back to keep us posted on "Junk's" progress. What kind of communication will you have with the crew while they are at sea? Do they have any sort of satellite internet connections for e-mail or is it strictly radio/satellite phone?

Rick Hart