Hilo to Neah Bay – North Pacific Passage

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    Some members noticed last month that this website was down for a while. My bad. The hosting service didn’t get paid on time so they suspended the account.  I was away from the internet for some time because …

    In June, Van and I sailed Rainshadow from Hilo Hawaii to Neah Bay Washington state – it 31 days to do the 2700+ NM.  If you are interested, you can view most of our track here, (we dropped the PredictWind plan on June 30th, a day before landfall) and read Van’s blog here.  (Hint, to read it in chronological order, scroll to the bottom and start there).

    Rainshadow took very good care of us while underway. But I must add that before we did this passage, we had undergone a lengthy refit. One of the larger tasks was rebedding nearly everything that penetrated the deck. In doing so, we found a variety of scary stuff –  failed fasteners in the handrails, a rotten wood backing plate under the bollard, crevice corrosion in the primary winch bridge bolts.  Less scary, we found chain plates with pits, but the pits go in about a millimeter, then turn to run parallel to the rod length for maybe a centimeter, so the pits are not impacting the rod strength. To read the full list of what we did before departure, see various recent postings our blog.

    It was all a good thing to do that work before departure. Even with our care in preparation, one day on the passage I found part of a bolt laying on the cockpit floor. A quick assessment of the situation determined the bolt came from within the cockpit, which quickly led me to look under the helm chair and realize that one of the two bolts holding the helm seat had corroded through and failed. Both bolts were swiftly replaced and the helmsman never tumbled to the floor – thankfully.

    The moral of the story – fifty years in a long time for metals in a marine environment. Best to replace fasteners before failure occurs.

    And the other moral – don’t rely on automatic bill pay when you will be away from the Internet for a while and won’t be there to get the warning that the website is about to be suspended. Sorry about that. Bill now paid for another year.

    Marilyn, moderator

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