Shaman getting to Hanalei

Tom Burden
Tom Burden

I feel a little like an Astronaut out here.
Have seen only five vessels since the first day, and with very limited
bandwidth from my Iridium WiFi device, there’s a lot of solitude. There
is also raw and untamed nature you won’t find anywhere else, sunrises,
sunsets, doldrums and 23-knots on the nose. The only other air-breathers
I have seen since the large number of whales I encountered near the South
Farallon Island are brown albatrosses. They’re my occasional companions.
The most amazing thing, to me, is how well the technology works. The
autopilot just keeps us sailing on a course, and I can eat dinner, sleep,
fold HUGE sails or read a book. This is while surfing along at speeds up
to ten knots!

The Cal 40 sailboat dates from 1962, same era as the Beach Boys and Hobie
Alter’s first foam surfboards. These all have surfing waves as a common
theme. Riding waves is what Shaman does, hour after hour, day after day!

There have been exactly two moments of what I’d call sheer terror so far.
Both happened at night, on the foredeck, in raging conditions. More about
these in a future post. For now, let’s just say that my West Marine
Double Tether is a trusted friend.

Shaman – Pro kite trimmer

shaman TomBurden_1493 4c_160

Frustrating sailing as I have trimmed kite constantly in tough light air.Now have gybed south. Vance in Seazed Asset went the right way by going south. The forecasters did not catch that one so good on ‘ya mate, as the Aussies would say. Other than frustrating sailing have been fixing stuff like two Battcars for the mainsail, and replacing charging cable for Iridium Go. Yikes! The original cable failed and the battery went dead in the device. Luckily, the DeLorme inReach has exactly the same cable. Might have been pretty lonely without the Iridium system!

That is how life has gone, breaking stuff but nothing mission-critical, and still sailing hard and sailing well. Gotta escape from the dreaded high that is holding most of the fleet hostage.

11am PDT, July 9

From the chart table of Tom Burden

shaman TomBurden_1493 4c_160

Captain's log, morning of departure:
Weather forecast has improved to a very stable and pleasant first few days. We are looking at a fast and straight line route. The high pressure system looks very well established. Will sail the Great Circle Route straight down the runway. No gales and no drama.

Passed our final inspection yesterday so Starship Shaman is cleared for liftoff. It's Showtime!

Thanks to you all for your support. Special thanks to Monica Pette, Daryl Long, Danielle Buenrostro, Dave Ungerecht and Brian Gordon and to my title sponsor, West Marine! More kudos for Nature Power solar, Mastervolt, B&G and West Marine Rigging.

As a cancer survivor, I am honored to work with two great organizations, Jacob's Heart and WomanCare. May my voyage be an inspiration for fellow survivors,

Big hugs and could not be here without the help of my support team, Michele Logan and Jeff Felicetti! And Kitty Hansen, my sweetheart and therapist during at least 19 nervous breakdowns associated with this adventure.

Aloha and will keep you posted.

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