Thursday, June 28, 2012

Palau to Guam June 2012 Passage

 Had to stop by the Belau Yacht Club and say goodbye to many cruisers I have known over the last two years on Palau. Of course hoisted a few Red Rooster local micro brewery beers. I never did steal a Red Rooster Mug. Thanks, Phil Kleb, Brewmaster superb. Thanks Sam Scott for all the ammenities to the cruisers. I dropped my mooring lines and was on my way to Guam.
 Home Sweet Home
 Goobye Blue Corner.

 Goobye Soft Coral Arch.
Goodbye Jelly Fish Lake.

Oh shit shit shit..... what do we have here?  6 days out and north east of Ulithi a tropical storm Butchchoy started forming around Chuuk and then turned into typhoon Guchol.
My weather gurus in Palau,Jason and Roger in Guam sent messages via satelitte phone saying basically you are gonna get nailed! A typhoon alert was issued by Guam Joint Typhoon Warning Center. A 60% chance of a serious typhoon developing within 6 to 24 hours. The creature was tracking right across my track. My position at the time was halfway between Yap and Guam. Not a fun night ,weather in my position was calm, but I readied the boat for the worst. In the morning Roger stated the typhoon alert was cancelled and the monster moved south below my position changed direction and hit Ulithi and Yap. Can you say relief? I experienced many very nasty black squalls with strong winds in the range of 45 to 50 knots lasting for an hour or so ....then no wind..... I got very fast at getting all sail down and running with bare poles then when there was no wind putting some sail back on to keep moving and from slaming around in the following bouncing seas and light winds. Horizontal rain in the strong wind gusts forced me to wear a dive mask while on deck dropping sail. Most of the time I huddled under the spray dodger resting when I could. Sooke slid past over the top and missed the worst of the tropical storm. The seas never did get very high as the winds kept shifting in all directions. I did see some amazing lightning flashes and intense thunder at times miles way to the south of my position.

Good morning Spinner Dolphins. Thanks for dropping by two mornings in a row. Perhaps I was sailing so slow? Note the calms seas which were experienced most of the passage.

Here comes the sunrise right on course to Guam. After 9 days of slow sailing I made landfall at Agat Boat Basin on Guam. Of course after Customs and Immigration and clearing in, I just had to cruise on over to Jan Z's Bar to consume some golden nectar. Life is good!

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