SV Parrothead is fi...
 
Notifications
Clear all

SV Parrothead is finally on its way to STX!

 
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

My husband and I began our long-anticipated sailboat journey on Friday morning. We departed Swantown Marina in Olympia, WA for nearby Gig Harbor, WA for a send-off party with family and friends on Friday night. Saturday's trek saw us heading north through Puget Sound, past Seattle to Port Townsend to fill up the fuel tanks and pick up some new sails. This morning we left Port Townsend before dawn to head out through the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the open ocean.

We are currently in the Strait and expect to hit the Pacific Waters in a couple more hours. Seas have been calm all the way to this point and the weather has been unseasonably warm for the Pacific Northwest. The lack of rain has been a fabulous blessing, as we've been able to enjoy the astounding beauty of the mountains and fir trees and all the sea life that approaches our boat as we sail through the calm waters. Seals and pilot whales and sea otters have been very curious to check us out. We haven't seen orcas yet, but it's just a matter of time. The trip thus far has been mostly motoring, as the winds have been light and in the wrong direction to enhance our speed. Once we hit the Pacific and turn south, we will have the wind at our backs for the remainder of this first leg of our journey. About a week from now we should be dropping the boat in San Diego to wait another month for hurricane season to end before bringing it the remainder of the route through the Panama Canal and across the Caribbean to its new island home.

The sailboat was built by my father-in-law, but is not your typical back-yard, hobby project. He built a work of art. It has a Roberts 57' hull and is 65' overall with the bow sprit. The new davit and dinghy hanging off the back make us about 70' when arranging dock space. The interior is hand inlaid teak and cypress and oak and includes four cabins, two heads, two salons, a pilot cabin, and a galley with large eating area. Above deck there is another large pilot area and eating area that can be enclosed or left open, plus fore and aft decks. Over the past six months, my husband has added a myriad of high-tech gadgetry, from wind generators and a solar panel to several GPS units, multiple communications systems, several computers, plasma screen tv's, etc. Ultimately the boat will be used for high-end charters in the BVI's, but we expect to enjoy this 4000-5000 mile adventure (depending on the route we take through the Caribbean) before sharing her with future charter customers.

There are seven of us on the boat for the trip to San Diego, four of whom have crewed boat relocations many times and are well-experienced at this type of journey. They have been fabulous the past few days with helping to get systems tweaked and everything primed for the trip. Every so often I will see one of them standing below decks looking around with a grin on his face. They don't usually get to crew a boat quite like this one. They are especially delighted that the boat is equipped with several large freezer and refrigerator spaces and they will be eating like kings during the journey instead of being restricted to basic rice and beans meals as they are on so many other boats. All in all, it should be an interesting trip. If everything goes well, the S/V Parrothead will be anchored in Christiansted Harbor before Christmas.

I'm not sure how to post photos within messages on this site or I would add a few pictures of the adventure as it unfolds. A few old photos of the sailboat in motion are posted on our website at www.viescape.com in the Sailboat section. You will see the boat was originally named the "Stavangerfjord" after the boat my mother-in-law was a passenger on when she immigrated from Norway as a child. That was quite a mouthful and the decision was made to re-christen the boat with a name more suitable to the life we are living in the USVI... and Parrothead was born. The new logo is really cute (A parrot with a bottle of Cruzan Rum). We'll be posting updated photos of our trip on the viescape domain as the days go by. If anyone wants to be on our email list for the daily trip updates, send me a PM with an email address to add and you should soon be getting the update complete with photos.

I trust all is well in the USVI. As I am about to post this, the engines have just been cut back and the sails are being hoisted. It's time to catch the wind and head south. Time to sign off and join in the fun!

Alexandra

Quote
Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2006 7:10 pm
jane
 jane
(@jane)
Trusted Member

wow - what a small world!
We relocated to Port Townsend from StX...and this morning we were crossing the Straits of Juan de Fuca returning to Port Townsend from the San Juan Islands - we must have croosed paths!

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 24, 2006 11:15 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Boy Alexandra, that sounds like such an adventure. We will be there until Dec 13th, so I guess we'll just have to see you guys again in March.
Terry and Annie

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 25, 2006 2:52 am
Dawn
 Dawn
(@Dawn)
Guest

WOW -- you are living my dream! Someone posted this on the Buffettnews.com website and I had to read it. I would love to read about your adventures!!

I live in Portland and have been to the USVI's three times, but never St. Croix. I do need a new bracelet... I have to get down there!

I recently read "An Embarrassment of Mangoes" about a couple sailing from Toronto to Greneda and back... and I loved it. I'm not sure if you are sending e-mail updates to strangers... but if you are -- please count me as a fan!!

Safe and Fun travels!
Dawn

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 26, 2006 9:03 pm
Bill L.
(@Bill_L.)
Active Member

Dawn, now now, no leaving the Phlock. 🙂
I received my first e-mail from Capt. David and Alexandra today. The adventure is off to a great start. I can't wait for what's to come. They're even sending Pics!!!!!

Dawn I haven't been to STX either but my wife and we each have a wonderful hook bracelet from
http://www.sonyaltd.com
Smooth Sailin guys,

Bill aka Liminone

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 26, 2006 10:23 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Dawn - where on the Buffettnews website did you see something about our sailboat adventure? I browsed a little tonight but didn't come across it.

I've added you to the email list and forwarded you the past editions of the "Parrothead Squawk". The entire epic can be found also at: http://www.viescape.com/SailingParrothead.htm although there will be a few days time lag before each new daily account is posted. Sometimes we don't get a good enough signal to send/receive email and things have to wait a day. Then my husband's office manager has to find time to update the website.

Our most recent adventure was sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge at about 9:30 PM Pacific time last night. As one of the crew said: "cross one more thing off our list of 1000 things to do before we die." We should be in Monterrey in about 7-8 hours and will spend a few hours ashore before continuing south to San Diego. Our last shore stop was in Newport, OR on Tuesday. We left Newport in the fog with some fresh Dungeness crab and look forward to picking up wine in Monterrey. Each port has its own treasure to enjoy.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 30, 2006 9:13 am
terry
(@terry)
Expert

How about an update Alexandra!

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 6, 2006 12:38 am
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Terry - I got back to STX last night. The Parrothead was still happily afloat in the Marriott Marina in San Diego when I left it there. David is working on a few things and will be coming home in the next couple of days. The trip went great. We had a wonderful and talented crew who did an awesome job on this shakedown cruise to help get all kinds of little gremlins worked out of the various systems. The weather was unbelievable cooperative throughout. I had never seen the Pacific Ocean as calm as a lake before, but that's how it was nearly the entire trip. We motored a lot more than we had expected due to the light winds that left the seas so calm but managed to get in some good sailing the last few days once we were south of San Francisco.

Along the route, we saw countless whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea otters, etc. We caught fresh tuna towards the end of the trip. A sailboat cruises along at the perfect trolling speed for tuna. 🙂 We crossed some interesting life events off the list along the way, including sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and being boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard... which happened just as we were navigating the kelp beds at the entrance to San Diego Harbor. They figured that with a St. Croix registered boat we were probably just arriving from Mexico and they wanted to do their "welcome to America" search. Nice young men as it turned out, and they had fun oohing and aahing as they got the grand tour of the interior of the sailboat. The only black mark on their report form was that the flares on board were out of date. But only by 21 years, so that's not so bad, right? lol. My father-in-law had purchased the flare gun kit when he was still building the boat and it was still in its original wrappings, so David hadn't thought to replace it.

Moments of excitement came the last night when a hydraulic system leak temporarily resulted in loss of rudder control. Our able crew figured out the problem pretty quickly and bled the air out of the system while we continued underway with yours truly being assigned the unenviable task of steering the boat with the emergency tiller handle (an 8 foot aluminum pole with a box wrench head attachment at one end that connects directly to the tiller shaft below decks). The seas were rolling for the first time in the entire trip and I had some pretty strained muscles from keeping us on a steady course manually when the hydraulic system was restored an hour later. I had been having nightmare visions of us having to steer by back muscle all through the final night and was therefore extra delighted when the moment came when I no longer had to steer the old fashioned way. I was NOT born to be a galley slave! lol

The meals throughout the trip were unusually sumptuous for a boat trip of this type. One of the crew members sails about 30-35 weeks a year relocating boats and he voted this trip his all time #1 for food. I'll have to come up with some new menus to keep him happy for the next phase of the journey.

The crew from this phase has been telling all their sailing buddies about the experience and we've had a bunch of guys calling the last two days asking about taking part in the remainder of the process. It sounds like the boat could get especially crowded just in time for the Panama Canal transit. Go figure.

There are short daily logs of some of what went on each day along with photos on our website at:
www.viescape.com
click on SAILING and then on the Parrothead logo to enter the trip zone.
We took thousands of photos during the trip, so I expect that more will be added after we've had time to go through them and pull out our favorites.

Oh, one final bit of fun was at our unexpected "After Party" in San Diego. As we docked the boat in the Marriott marina, Paul Simon and his band were warming up about 100 feet away at an amphitheater for a concert he was playing that night. We wound up on deck that evening with great seats and a bunch of marina guests coming aboard for a tour and to enjoy the concert. David was fantasizing about what he would have done it it had been Jimmy Buffett in concert instead. He can dream...

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 7, 2006 3:57 am
terry
(@terry)
Expert

I thought you were going to be gone until around Christmas? Are you flying back to sail the boat to the Carribean?

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 7, 2006 3:30 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

We dropped the Parrothead in San Diego for 4-5 weeks to make sure hurricane season is totally over before bringing it through the canal. The next phase will begin somewhere between October 27 and November 5. Still figuring out exactly what day it will depart. I will be back on board for at least part of the balance of the trip. It's obviously tough for me to be off-island for 6-8 weeks all at one time. Then again, mid-October to mid-December tends to be the slowest real estate sales period of the year in the islands since most people are focused on their holiday celebrations and preparations.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 7, 2006 6:15 pm
Close Menu