Checking The Compass

Before GPS became ubiquitous, swinging a compass (checking it for accuracy and adjusting)  was a yearly ritual for most boat owners.  The compass was the most important navigational tool onboard as even a small error could have a major effect on an Estimated Position calculation. These days, we are not as dependent on compasses, but the humble steering compass is still an important navigational tool.

We had the compass checked and the good news is that it is reading correctly; there is little deviation from what the compass shows and what is actually shows as you can see from the “report card”.   However, we did discover that the air horn, which is used to signal other vessels, was causing a major deflection of the compass as it is a heavy metal container and was located close to the compass.  Once we are out of San Diego Bay where we might need to give an audible signal, we will move the airhorn to a place far enough from the compass not to be a problem.

Coming full circle- A return to Onahama

Hiro’s first attempt to cross the Pacific began in Onahama, Fukushima.  This is also where we intend to conclude this second attempt that will begin in San Diego.   Why Onahama?  Why not San Diego’s sister city of Yokohama or some other major port?

The reason is that this is a voyage of hope and inspiration, an attempt to show that disability and adversity will not overcome the will to succeed.  It is natural to return to where the last voyage began and show our continued support for the people of  Onahama, Fukushima and Japan generally as people still work to overcome the effects of the tsunami and its aftermath.




We took Dream Weaver to the boat yard at the end of April to have the rigger entirely replace the standing rigging (the wires that hold the mast in place) and the running rigging (the “rope”/line by which the sails are controlled).  While still in relatively good condition, these would eventually need to be replaced and we want to reduce points of potential failure that could lead to bigger problems during the voyage.

In addition to the replacements, we are also having the rigger remove the boom for the staysail.  The staysail is a smaller sail between the genoa (the sail at the front of the boat) and the mainsail (the sail that provides the most power to the boat and is attached to the mast and boom).   The staysail boom was just getting in the way and we believe we can have more flexibility, especially when tacking (moving the bow of the boat through the wind so that the sails are on the opposite side of the boat), without it.

6 Month Countdown


We have been very busy preparing the boat, including re-rigging, “swinging the compass” (checking it for accuracy) and other work. We also have a busy training schedule planned for October.

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