Ship Logs

Field to shop and back to field, new rig of MONGO has been strutting her stuff all over Lahaina. Maui re-rig in full swing.

This un-planned Maui re-rig is turning into an absolute highlight on the good ship MONGO. The various rig projects are coming along nicely, i'm sourcing a new main sail, i've lined up some part time work, wrtten several articles and have reconnected with my friend Rebekah from Kauai. Maui and it's people have been amazing, MONGO will be sailing in a few weeks and I may be picking up one crew for trhe voyage to the South Pacific :).

 

The new mast is actually far nicer than the original. A beefy section with a tapered mast head, internal halyards and aero spreaders, i'm pretty stoked on this new rig. Moving the rig into the shop, Bob-O and I stripped everything off of it. All rivets, hardware, tracks, bolts, screws, spreaders, etc etc etc. Down to a bare tube. Bob-O reworked the sheave box for the main halyard, his wife Allison polished and cleaned up a few parts. Bob-O also welded over and closed up several holes where hardware had been at one point, but no longer will be. We moved the rig back to Bob and Allison's field where I will strip it, sand it, clean it, primer it, hang it and spray it. I will also do the same to Bob and Allison's Cascase 36 rig.

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This view from this morning is indicative of how I think of Hawaii. A beautiful, magical place where anything is possible. Weeks like this last one are the reason why. Aloha.

“Aloha”. Those five letters mean much more than a post card to me now. Since dropping my rig off a lee shore on the windward side of Maui, i’ve experienced some pretty extraordinary kindness from random strangers who have happily offered to go out of their way to help out a sailor in a bind. I have sailed to Hawaii many times now and have always had nothing but incredibly positive experiences while here; it’s why I keep sailing back, Hawaii is paradise. But this is the first time i’ve found myself in a really, really shitty situation in Hawaii and the response has been equally overwhelming, humbling, gratifying, touching... Aloha.

 

 

You can't keep a good boat down. Just four days after being towed into Kahului by the Coast Guard, MONGO rolled out sporting 4 horsepower and a staggering 100+ feet of sail area.

 

Sailing for Lahaina when I dismasted, I was headed to the yacht club there to pick up a very important mail drop that included a new bank card and a couple of paychecks from magazines. With the rig down, I still needed to make the journey across the island to Lahaina. This journey would happen sooner rather than later. Just two hours after reaching the dock in Kahului with my now dismasted boat, an 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile creating a potentially serious tsunami situation in the Hawaiian Islands

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I just wrote a full write up of my recent dismasting for Sailing Anarchy. You can read it by clicking here. 

MONGO back in Kahului, Maui after dismasting. Thanks to the US Coast Guard for towing us back into port!

Unfortunately, MONGO has dismasted and is back in Kahului Harbor after being rescued by the Coast Guard. I have borrowed a 4-horse out board engine, outboard engine bracket and have erected a jury rig using my old boom. I will motor sail for Lahaina tomorrow using two storm jibs and will be accompanied by the Valiant 32 Horizon, whom I met in Hilo. 

The resurrection of MONGO begins. Boom has been set as a jury rig and I have bolted on a 4-horse outboard for the move to Lahaina, where I will re-rig. Thanks to Zach from s/v Horizon for the engine and Lars, commodore of Lahaina Yacht Club for the OB mount.

I have found a mast in Lahaina that i'm going to buy and am planning to re-fit, repair and re-rig the boat while on a mooring in Lahaina. MONGO is going to be resurrected and the journey is far from over!

More to come very soon.

Several people have inquired about helping with the re-rig. If you wish to contribute to MONGO's re-rig, my paypal address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thank you very much to those that have contributed. MONGO will ride again...

 

 

After 20 days at sea, MONGO anchored in Hilo's Radio Bay. Absolutely awesome first passage of this journey and fully stoked on where we made landfall. Full 360-degree protection, ultra flat water and a really big, beautiful wild island to explore. Not upset about this.

 

MONGO rounded the breakwater, turned upwind and sailed across Hilo’s inner harbor under sunny blue skies with the world’s largest mountain; Mount Mauna Kea watching over us. Powered up on a port tack will full main and working jib, MONGO rocked up into Hilo with authority. Blasting by a big, anchored cruising catamaran flying a German flag, we threw in two quick tacks around a commercial pier and then sailed into the 360-degree protection of Radio Bay. Keeping a safe distance to windward from one of the two Hawaiian sailing canoes moored out in the tiny man-made anchorage, MONGO’s jib was doused, anchor dropped and then backed down on with the mainsail. The boat stopped moving. Using palm fronds rustling in the wind and a nearby Polynesian sailing craft as a reference, I confirmed that the anchor had set. I doused the main. We had made it. The picture-perfect final approach into Hilo’s Radio Bay was indicative of the entire passage.

 

An early season engineless passage from So Cal to Hawaii is a bit of a dice roll, but MONGO was blessed by the gods. 20 days, very few issues and consistent, mostly mellow conditions

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MONGO tracker going live March 6. Click here for link.

(This is the only way that I can update while at sea.)

Adding the final touches to MONGO before her first blue-water voyage.

MONGO's almost ready, i'm almost ready, a weather window is opening up and my bank account is wrecked after this re-fit: It is time to leave. I am planning on setting sail from San Diego on or about Wednesday March 5, bound for Hilo, Hawai'i. The vibe is decidedly different this time around than before, now my sixth time departing for Hawaii... The first time ('08), was a shit show that ended poorly and the other four (2010, '11, '12, '13) were all races where I was under pressure with deadlines and competitive aspirations. This time is very relaxed and completely on my terms. I feel prepared, i'm not stressed, i'm completely doing my own thing both schedule-wise and sailing-wise. I'm going where I want when I want and how I want. I'm very stoked on that. When I first began sailing, a sailboat represented freedom to me - a beautiful and profound way to travel to distant lands. That aspect of freedom and the dream of crossing oceans never changed for me, but sailboats began representing sport and competition more than freedom and exploration. MONGO represents the former once again and for that I am very happy.

The trials and tribulations of MONGO

Haul out #2 for MONGO. Grinded away some fiberglass on the port side of the skeg in front of the rudder to allow the rudder to turn all the way. Massive thanks to Chuck Drisoll at Driscoll's Boat Yard for helpping me out! And thanks to Don at the Foss Company (builder of the rudder) who immediately offer post-sale supportfor my fitment issues, although I chose to haul out instead.

The re-fit has still been forging ahead at full steam. In addition to knocking out a lot of small tasks, the big one for last week was getting the new rudder installed. The rudder builder dropped off my new rudder in San Diego and I was stoked! Upon initial inspection, the rudder looked great, so I took the rudder to Dynamic Marine Machining and had Dave and Sean give her some love and drill a hole in the rudder post to bolt on the rudder head/ tiller head. After that, I brought the rudder back to the dock, sanded quickly and then painted with bottom paint. (Should've saved paint from my haul-out. Buying paint by the quart is expen$ive.) Donning my wetsuit, I dropped the old rudder in the slip and installed the new one. Perfect fit. Bolt on the rudder head and tiller and go for it. Left-right-left-right. What the f---? The rudder moved about 70 degrees to starboard but only 20 or 30 to port. 

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