Dave's Logs

MAY 20. 09 - Down to two weeks or even less...yipes. We have all our stuff from the states....new Hookah set-up in case we need to dive on the prop to free it up from a giant squid or worse. A new wet suit came along with the air gear so we can stay in the cold Pacific water while fighting the squid!!


A 200 gallon bladder tank will be filled on the foredeck for that extra insurance policy in case we can't find that mid-ocean gas station ;-)


A drogue, rode and deployment gear in case the following seas get bigger than we are comfortable with. If so we can throw this over the stern and slow down....no broaching or pitchpoling on this trip ;-) Bill is bringing a second larger one with him to double our pleasure!


The SSB is working well now so we will have good weather faxes daily on our laptop. Much better than the old paper stuff.


Still looking for places to pack all this stuff that it is at arms reach yet not trip over it. The conversion from cruising mode to passage mode is taking place but Nancy doesn't want to see her beautiful things taken down till she leaves. So we have a bit of a move ahead a little faster issue on occasion.


We will be leaving as far as checking out and all from La Paz, not Cabo. The cost down there makes my eyes and wallet water. We will stop there for a few hours and perhaps overnight if we get there to late as we'll grab the 50 or so gallons of fuel that we used coming down from La Paz. No sense passing by the "last gas for 2800 nm" station and not topping up, eh!!


The weather right now sure is looking good all the way across. There's been no wind over 15 kts between Cabo and Honolulu for several days now. No waves/swell over 10 ft either. Can these be the weather window that I thought may occur this time of year? I have spent untold hour running over the old pilot charts and new stuff to look for this kind of pattern. Terrible for the sailboats but great for us, I hope :-) Months of planning may actually pay off.


So our actual departure from Cabo will either be the afternoon of the 4th or very early on the 5th of June


MAY 08. 09


N24 09

W101 20


Sitting at anchor in La Paz


Thought we'd better update everyone on what we've been doing as I know you are all waiting for another installment of adventure and nail biting suspense.


Well we have been doing nothing! Just limin as the sun comes up and later on it goes down. Swan Song doesn't move more than a couple of hundred feet as the tide swings us one way and then the other. We do have a bit of current where we anchored...close to 4 kts at times.


The damn sea birds think we have become a fixture. We have seagulls during the day and then the small herons come as the sun goes down with larger ones once it is dark. No matter what I do to scare them away they are right back in a few minutes. The boat needs to be scrubbed every couple of days. In 8 years this has never been an issue. What's with the Mexican birds?


Nancy is into the bridge circuit here along with some art stuff so she's right at home. Swan Song keep flashing her "honey do list" at me so I'm kept busy with that.


We bought a cell phone modem so we no have internet wherever there's a TelCel signal here in Mexico. In all out travels La Paz has been the dark hole for WiFi.....amazing.


Peter has gone home. He has been a great mate for us thru these many miles. I think he enjoyed every minute of it as much as we have......well there were a few that we all might have wished had not happened ;-)


BTW, La Paz has Wal-Mart's, Costco, etc., here now....some difference from when I was here last in 1979. Population then was something like 15,000 and now it is 250,000


OK that's the news....except




Dave, Nancy & Peter


Swan Song


Roughwater 58


Panama to La Paz Passage '09



 here is the drogue that I will most likely be getting for the passage. http://www.roschmarine.nl/images/DownloadStore/prod_24_47.pdf and here http://www.seabrake.com/pages/productsFeatures.html


It has a good reputation for doing just what we may need. Slowing Swan Song down in short big following seas which is not it's favorite heading.


This particular one is more like a "cruise control" in that it has minimal drag at low speed....up to about 5 kts and then the drag go up exponentially as a wave tries to accelerate you on the face. This allows us to keep our speed up yet have that safety brake deployed for the unexpected big wave. I would hope that we don't need to use it often but I I'll wager a dollop of rum that we will use it more than once!!


If it's OK I am going to have them ship it to you in Hawaii so you can bring it. I checking around here there are few ways to reliably get items into La Paz. Most of the cruisers here have their own vehicles or have a friend who goes back to the states a couple of times a year for those "hard to get supplies" and bring them back. Sort of like it was in Venezuela....... They ship via TNT air freight which I've used before from Australia to the BVI for a mast. They got it there in 2 weeks and the last leg was on a DC3 from Puerto Rico to the BVI.


It is large when it is deployed but packs family small so it shouldn't be a bother to bring. I will source the 300' rode, which need to be polyester double braid, here in La Paz unless you have a cheap source in Hawaii for high performance line....300' of 7/16 or 1/2" plasma line would be nice.

We need a line that has ~20,000 lb breaking strength. 3/4" double braid polyester (Dacron) is the garden variety and is the cheapest here. If there is someone going out of business that had a 300' spool of 1/2" high tech line with a 20,000 lb breaking strength it would be nice as it is easier to handle. However at ~$4/ft it doesn't come cheap :-(


Passage Filename:

Passage Creation Date: 4/26/2009

Pilot Chart Data Used: Actual dates based on departure specified

Vessel Profile Used: C:\Documents and Settings\Dave\My Documents\My Passages\Swan Song.vp

Minimum Speed Set: 5.00 Knots

Fuel Consumption Set: 3.00 Units/Hour

Currents: ON    Current Values Used: Average All    Wind Values Used: Highest Occurence



Waypoint # Latitude Longitude

1 N22° 52.00' W109° 51.00'

2 N22° 21.89' W120° 0.18'

3 N21° 42.94' W130° 50.82'

4 N21° 15.90' W142° 11.00'

5 N20° 16.44' W155° 50.45'


General Information:

General Information Data

Calculated Great Circle Distance: 2568.8 NM

Calculated Rhumbline Distance: 2569.4 NM

Actual Distance Traveled due to Beating: 2568.9 NM

Elapsed Time to Complete Passage: 16.7 Days

Fuel Consumption: 1200.4 Units

Average Boat Speed: 6.4 Knots

Boat Speed Made Good: 6.4 Knots


Apparent Current Angle Information:

Numbers indicate percent of leg sailed at that column's current angle (relative to the ship's heading) along with the average current speed.  Relative current angle given is the direction in which the current flows away from the ship.

Leg # Apparent Current 0° to 45° Apparent Current 45° to 90° Apparent Current 90° to 135° Apparent Current 135° to 180°

1 9% at 0.5 Knots 11% at 0.7 Knots 79% at 0.1 Knots 0% at 0 Knots

2 33% at 0.6 Knots 11% at 0.2 Knots 46% at 0.0 Knots 10% at 0.3 Knots

3 45% at 0.5 Knots 9% at 0.5 Knots 46% at 0.1 Knots 0% at 0 Knots

4 74% at 0.6 Knots 18% at 0.4 Knots 8% at 0.3 Knots 0% at 0 Knots


See other leg by leg reports for more detailed information


here is a link to the new bladder that Swan Song is getting to give us that bit of reserve we need.

http://www.atlinc.com/rangeextender.html It is a 200 gallon pillow tank and will fit nicely on the foredeck.


This will give us the 1775 gals total that should put us into Honolulu with a few hundred left in the tanks. I look at it this way. Every 100 gallons of Mexican $2/gal fuel I have when we get there will turn into $3+/gal of Hawaiian diesel there. The cost of running out of fuel prior to getting there.....priceless! Another insurance policy but this one actually pays me premiums ;-)



We used our bare feet on the boat no shoes or sandals. Sandals are for street wear aren't they?


I have a Hookah system en-route which should arrive on Monday but given it's Mexico will be a few days late. It has two 50' hoses with a 20' feed hose to the cooling tank. Plenty of air and length to do anything around the bottom of Swan Song. It will use the air from our onboard compressor run thru a filter/dryer combination to make sure it is good air. I have one weight belt, one wet suit (XL), gloves & hood. I always encourage folks to bring there own mask and snorkels as they know they fit and work for them. We have fins if you need them. I also have a few knives and a machete to cut/kill those  dreaded nocturnal giant squids. I don't have a leg knife holder but might get one from the dive shop here if they have them.


One way tickets don't seem to be a problem here in Baja. Folks fly in and drive/sail/motor back all the time so a letter isn't required for one wayers. I will make one for you anyway in case you run into an Migration person who doesn't know the rules in Baja.


Questions on the Iridium phone:

Is the data cable a USB or serial port cable?

What Model phone is it as they have 3 or 4 and each requires something different in the way of software/drives and interconnects. I can download all that stuff on our connection here but need to know which phone we have.


I had thought of the car rental to run back to the airport as it is an easy drive and you'll have already covered the route coming up in the Bus. There are two route down to the airport so maybe you can check out some more of the desert. The cars here are cheap...something like $30 odd/day from what I understand. I'll check around for you. Plenty of cars are available as the tourist business has tanked with the flu crap that is keeping people away.


We are moving to the dock at slack tide this AM. Swan Song has been on the hook for 6 weeks. Bet the chain looks a bit like a reef. They have red barnacles here that grow at a rate I've never seen. I've cleaned the tender bottom twice and its fouled again. The boat bottom is not as bad but still fouled. The bow thruster prop/tunnel has a good crop! This is a good reason to wait for slack tide/wind for docking.


First time we have been on a dock since the Caribbean at Colon, Panama.....the dock line are stiffer than I am in the cold morning breeze!


Got to run and get ready to warm the Detroit up.





Dave & Nancy


Swan Song


Roughwater 58


Limin in La Paz


Oswelia, Bo, Nancy at Costa Baja- small