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Delicate Balance Delivery

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Sometime last year Doug Storkavich bought Delicate Balance. This is an Andrews 56.
It's sort of like a large Santa Cruz 50 with a nice interior. Since then he has been keeping
it up in the Northwest. However while the Northwest is a wonderful place to have a sailboat,
it was time for it to come home to San Francisco. So on Sunday, June 26th, Ben, Bernard,
Curtis, Ken and I flew up to Seattle to do the deed.

After a night at the Ramada, we hooked up with the boat, performed some final preparations
and headed out. We motored (without Doug but with Brad) to Victoria. Spent a delightful night
in Victoria and then the next day we began the long trip South.

At first the wind was against us so we motored... and motored... and motored. Then
the wind went away entirely as we turned south (to course 150) so we motored some more.
Incidently, all this motoring was without an autopilot so we had to hand steer. However at long
last, the autopilot was fixed. Our nights of freezing as we hand steered were over. Now we could
duck under the dodger. However, that's when the wind came up. We never did get the chance to
to actually use the autopilot.

However we had wind now and could turn off the noisy engine. So we gleefully popped the big
chute and it pulled us along for the rest of the day. Night came so we dropped the chute, poled
out the jib and settled into our watches.

The next day the wind was still with us and growing stronger. We put up the ounce and a
half and held on. Everyone took turns driving. It was good to be sailing.

Sometime in the early afternoon, the steering gear failed and we lost all rudder control.
The boat rounded up heeling over hard and was pinned down. The chute held the boat over
so we had to get it down so the boat would right itself. To quote Ben, this douse was more of a
retrieval than a douse but after considerable effort we were finally successful in getting the
chute below deck.

Somehow during the chaos, the pole broke. No one knows how that happened but it meant
that we couldn't fly the chute for the rest of the delivery. This was a great disappointment.

Doug and Ben jury rigged the steering while Bernard and Larry steered the boat with the
emergency tiller. Ken and Curtis trimmed the sails to keep us moving down wind. After
a short while we were on our way to land hoping to put in for the night so we could perform
a more permanent fix.

We ended up in Brookings, Oregon. This is a lovely little port ("the best kept secret on the
Oregon coast"). We fixed the steering and put the rest of the boat back in order. And the
next day we were on our way again.

We sailed the rest of the way to San Francisco. The winds picked up as we headed south.
That night it was blowing in the thirties with gusts into the forties. The waves grew. Ben
actually attained 15.1 knots of boat speed (by our GPS... all the instrumentation was down)
under bare poles with a scrap of jib exposed off the headstay. Previously our highest speed
was 15.3 knots with the chute up. After a scary night when we had to reduce sail to nothing
we were sped on our way to San Francisco. The wind gradually diminished to a more manageable level
as that last day wore on. So it was quite comfortable by evening.

We arrived in San Francisco early Sunday, July 3rd.

Now for some pictures....

First look at Delicate Balance   View of Shilshole Marina from the air as Doug flew over
Leaving Seattle... from left: Ken, Ben, Curt and Bernard   Not enough wind to sail so we motored all the way to Victoria
Entering Victoria   Looking into Victoria's harbor
Whale watchers   Our first look at the kamakazi seaplanes
Brad... he escorted us to Victoria. Fun guy and a seriously experienced sailor   Doug taking pictures of us as we came into the harbor.
This picture is a Doug's Eye view of DB's arrival at the custom's dock   Doug and I were taking pictures of each other (see picture directly above)
The Empress Hotel   Coming into our parking spot
Doug stepping aboard as we headed off to inspect Victoria.   I probably should know what this building is but I don't. Provincial capital maybe?
The tourist area of Victoria. Lots of fun shopping opportunities.   Bernard took this picture. Now that I see it I understand what he was looking at. The colors are nice.
Doug and Shannon. Shannon was our server. She was a total firecracker. I wanted to take her with us.   Doug and Brad
Night lights   The Empress at night
DB the next morning.   That official building (could it be the provincial capital building?) as we were leaving Victoria.
Kamakazi seaplanes...   ...landing....
...and taking off    
We were just about to hit something underwater when this picture was taken. Kind of startling but no damage.   A Canadian naval vessal. This ship just took off and was at the horizon within minutes.
Everyone soaking up a little sun before being engulfed in the clouds.   Vancouver Island on the right.
Bernard and Ben   Curt
Looking forward as we motored through the fog   We've just turned south and have assumed course 150 - 160 which would be the course we steered for many hours to come.
Bernard at the chart table   Ken
Doug   Me
Me trying to stay warm at the helm   Curt assuming the position
After many hours of hand steering, Doug and Bernard were finally able to get the autopilot to work.   Ken and Ben
This whale was huge. It wasn't a grey or a humpback. At the time I thought it was a blue but now I'm convinced that it was a sperm whale. It has that little hump in it's back and it's spout is pointing forward. It also seemed to breathing a lot on the surface as it prepared for deep dive.   The wind picked up and we put up the 3/4 oz chute.
This is one big ass chute.   And it's a long way to the top of the mast.
Below decks   Bernard closing the fore hatch
The berth where I slept.   We all took turns steering the boat under chute
Even me...   Ben
And Doug even got to drive his own boat.   Ben driving the next morning.
Curt overdosing on Queaz-ez   The pole after our steering meltdown. We're heading back to land.
We only had the jib up to ease the pressure on the rudder.   Curt driving as we headed towards Oregon.
Bernard trying to put on a happy face. Ben not happy at all.   Ben and I were cowering under the dodger as we approached Brookings. It was pretty windy and cold with some good sized waves. Poor Curt had to endure it at the wheel.
First look at Brookings   This was the Brookings Harbor approach bouy that we all had plugged into our GPS units.
Our Coast Guard escort   The harbor dredger
    A better look at the broken pole.
Brookings is a nice little harbor.   DB parked near the fuel dock.
Ben on the outside and Doug on the inside repairing the steering.   The emergency tiller that we used to steer while Doug and Ben fixed the wheel steering.
The jury rigged steering. This bolt was only held in by only a few threads. The duct tape was a backup in case the threads gave way. It might help hold the bolt in and buy us some time.   The new bolt with the detached quadrature (I think that's what it was called).
Doug and Curtis fashioning the fiberglass shim   The repair took on the flavor of a bear skins and stone knives kind of operation since we didn't have any sand paper
The finished repair...   ...better than new!
Oh oh... found some more damage from the broach   Finishing up at the fuel dock.
Leaving Brookings   The harbor approach bouy dropping behind us.
The lighthouse at St. George Reef. This is an amazing lighthouse located on a rock off the coast of Crescent City. This lighthouse apparently was very difficult to build and has an interesting history.   A wave rolling under us.
Me with the lighthouse in the background   A beautiful day of sailing
Ken driving to the sounds of The Police while eating red licorce. I sat in the cockpit watching him...   ...and the waves all afternoon. Was incredibly pleasant.
Sunset that evening   The next day was very different. Actually, the night was very different. The wind picked up causing us to reduce sails to bare poles. For awhile we were making as high as ten or eleven knots with no sail up. Later we sheepishly put some of the jib out and started sometimes getting speeds into the 15s.
Ben driving as a wave rolls under us.   The wind was sometimes blowing the tops off the waves.
Ben driving and me in the cockpit. The seascape was a spectacle which was hard to take your eyes from. Looking back at our wake will give you some idea of our speed.   Curt driving... he drove for almost six hours that morning. Steering in these conditions isn't easy. I wonder what kept him going.
These waves were amazing. The would march up and tower over us. You just couldn't see how the wave wouldn't crash into the cockpit but every time the stern would lift up and the boat would ride over the wave. After awhile you just came to expect it. Once however (not long after this picture was taken), one wave did crash over the open transom into the cockpit.   Looking ahead at the endless expanse of ocean.
A container ship. We were amazed with how little traffic there was. We saw a few fishing boats off Washington, a military vessel of some sort off the Oregon coast then little or nothing until San Francisco.   Curt in his sleeping bag. Ben slept in the berth on the right of the picture.
Doug's and my area. It was in shambles most of the time. The deck boards were torn up so we (Doug) could pump out the water that was entering the bilge from a leaky rudder post. Our stuff kept falling in the water.   Also we had the drinks under my berth
The watch schedule. Also in the upper right were all of our guesses as to when we would arrive at the dock in San Francisco Bay.   Our last sunset of the trip. This picture didn't do it justice. It was one of those sunsets where the sun looked like a hydrogen bomb going off in the distance.
Point Reyes! Our first sight of the Bay Area   DB at her new home
Unloading and cleaning up the boat. Was good to be home but I was already getting nostalgic for the trip...   ...I mean how often does one get to do something like this in such a wonderful boat with such great friends. The people made the trip for me.
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