Dramas onboard, in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean Ep. 43 (Sailing La Vagabonde)

A series of unfortunate events onboard La Vagabonde at the beginning of our trip. Some pretty bad rope burns for Tony and our auto pilot display completely conked out. Could we all last the next few weeks at sea hand steering around the clock, with only 3 of us onboard?? It was certainly ‘do-able’, but we knew this meant it was going to be an entirely different sail for us all. What a test. Stay tuned for part 2. Fingers crossed for no more drama!!

Riley and Elayna 🙂

Comments 39

  1. Great choice in music.

    Odd couple that gets along.

    Good sailing you 2.

    Hope you don’t hit any cars Rhiley.

  2. Nice to see you sailing and hear about navigation stuff, some are more about the stops but I m definitely all about the sail life!
    Fair winds for the three of you

    Ps: what an awesome thing to be able to sail like that as a family with so much good humor and harmony, fair winds!

  3. Always document the jewels! Rule number 1. Rule number 2… forget autopilot and enjoy the ride. Safe seas dudes

  4. So glad to see some personal reflection Elayna! It’s so important to be aware of how incredible your journey is and how you both are evolving and growing as people. Very real moments (which seem to occur daily) require awareness to fully appreciate the beauty of it all.

    Without sharing too much, I think it would be great to hear some more perspectives on life at sea……and it is impacting your views on life and the world….. Just a thought.

  5. Hang tough – stay strong and cheers!!!

    I don’t know how you all do it without a little bit of ‘The Clash’!

  6. No auto pilot on an ocean crossing…that’s a lesson learnt by everyone watching….I would try a rotation of 4 hr shifts with a) being at the sails and b) being at the helm…so you actually are ready on deck for 8hrs…in gods speed (I know the auto pilots already dried out but if it messes up again that would be the three man rotation I would try)

    1. I have found that 2 on and 4 off (except for the occasional sail adjustments) takes the strain off things. In this case, use your tiller, it is easier for long helm periods

  7. Thank you again for another well crafted video. I’m always eager to see our friends on SLV. Keep safe!

  8. Thank you for sailing offshore for all of us who can’t at the moment….took my Beneteau 40 along the east coast and Bahamas back in 2008 and can’t wait to go back….BTW we are hosting the Canadian National Melges 24 this week in my own town of Kelowna BC which is more known as Canada’s wine region but the sailing is just as amazing….over 31 Teams are expected mostly from the US. Bon voyage you three.
    Michel from BC Canada.

  9. It is your combination of charm, humility, and tenacity that make your videos so engrossing. Don’t change a thing. ….and may I never hear another word about the catamaran.

  10. Great stuff guys! You inspire me in many ways. I really enjoy your videos! Keep safe.
    Will Mostert

  11. Ah, really cool episode! Looking forward for the next one!! It’s so funny how Riley and Elayna can handle a drama situation…

  12. Hey Guys

    Sorry to learn about the electric self steering. Duplicate the system or even better, fit wind vane self steering for oceanic passages….Not cheap but doesn’t rely on those pesky electrons….

    Anyway it sharpened up your helming skills.

    1. There is a method of self steering using two head sails, if it’s good enough for Joshua Slocum, it’s good enough for me.
      I have a photo on my disc of a homemade self steering lash up using wood and a fishing weight, this uses a blade rudder and a pendulum blade.

  13. You manage somehow to make all of us feel like part of the adventure, Elayna. Seeing your tears made me cry too! Wonderful, wonderful videos.

  14. Love the time-lapses guys. Best of luck with the Autopilot…. Can’t wait for the second part!

  15. Stay safe you guys. It’s great to see your videos and keep up with your adventures. Regards and fair winds.

  16. I guess you are adding to the duplicate list of two kidneys, eyes, ears, feet, arms, boobs, ovaries, gonades, winches, sails, and now auto steering systems.
    Thanks for the latest adventure much enjoyed!
    PS At least Elayna has two males! ?

  17. You guys are awesome!! Love having you dad on-board Riley. My dad can’t sail with me anymore. Those were glorious days.


  18. Riley, if you can at some point in the future, get a copy of “Self-Steering without a Windvane” by Lee Woas. Much of the info applies to tiller-steered boats, but with a little ingenuity you might be able to apply the principles to your wheel steering setup. Best luck and fair winds.

    P.S. Many episodes back you used your friend Jimmy’s truck to travel around Australia. I sent you and email about it, but you had stopped responding personally to emails. Can you tell me what the make of his camper setup was? Thanks.

  19. You have a gazillion viewers – Keep mentioning the Brand name of the piece of shit Auto Helm! – I’m sure they’ll fly a new computer out to you . . .

    Cheers, and stay sane LOL!

  20. Hi Guys , I just saw the vid and your auto pilot problems ! too little too late as the video is already uploaded and you are probably already done with the crossing ? Solution to AP control unit being defective , hook the main AP processor (the grey raymarine box hidden somewhere) up to the MFD (multi function display)/ chart Plotter , you should be able to use the MFD / chart Plotter as control unit to the auto pilot , that way you operate the auto pilot from the plotter and not from the ST6001 control unit at the helm good luck !

  21. How do you manage to post your great movies from tue middle of the pacific?
    Greetings from Bavaria

  22. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with us. Your hearts are as big as that ocean out there (and man it looks huge!). Great to know how you are provisioned for the long crossing. Your courage and love of life helps each of us realize what is truly important. Safe sailing and thanks for sharing your amazing journey with us.

  23. Hi Guys & Gal! Thanks for another great video. Don’t like the look of the rope burns tho. Hope
    they have healed by now and no infection. And the bl……. auto pilot! Of all the times and places…
    Murphy’s Law strikes again! Keep up the excellent work/play?? Can’t wait for part 2.
    Take care, be safe,have fun.

  24. Great video. Stay safe, fix de aotopilot. and keep goig! I whish you smooth sailing, fair winds and following seas, until the Marquesas. Cheers from Rio de Janeiro.

  25. Elayna: The trick with egg storage. For years’ refrigeration of eggs never existed. From personal experience this has worked for me.
    1. Only use free range eggs or purchase from a farmer.
    2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and spoon the raw egg into the boiling water for 3-5 seconds. This will seal the air holes in the shell.
    3. When the shell cools place the egg back in the carton.
    4. Turn the carton over on its top side every 24 hours.
    5. The eggs should last well over a month.
    6. Test with your nose after cracking to be on the safe side.

    Note: Eggs stored in this manner are great as scrambled but in some cases might be a little runny if fried or sunny side up.

    Happy sailing!
    Michael Poole

  26. Riley:
    Did you try poring clean drinking water over the logic board for a few minutes?
    Then placing the logic board in a container of uncooked rice for 24 hours? Salt water may have fried your board and may need replacing if still manufactured.

    Happy Sailing!
    Michael Poole

  27. One thing I’ve learned from my years of living aboard and sailing is to be redundant on certain items….radios, flares, autopilots, you get the picture. You do know how to stock up on food items though…Once again I am looking forward to your videos and wish you all the luck in your crossing..God Bless and fair winds…..Dave. p.s. you Really ought to have jack lines from bow to stern , port and starboard and never go forward unless hooked up……That is a must!!!!

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