Trip Log: Return to the California Channel Islands

Picture of Trip Log: Return to the California Channel Islands
I'd been sailing all night, cold in the big dark waves, bright stars above and bright phosphorescence in the water. I was sitting on the platform between my main hull and the outrigger, with my feet over the water.
Suddenly something glowing big in the water under me.
Three dolphins swimming right under my feet in formation.Three giant shapes all lit up with glow-specks like moving windows to the stars, flowing phosphorescent galaxies.
They'd schooled up with my canoe!
Then they shot off ahead in calligraphic curlicues, thowing glow-bursts off their tails,
goofing off in the waves.
They're clicking and chirping at me. How do I answer?

And how did I get here?

This is the story of my second trip to the California Channel Islands.
At the end of the first trip I left my outrigger canoe stashed on an island and returned by ferry during a storm.  A month and a half later I went back.
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Step 1: Channel Islands

Picture of Channel Islands
That line is an approximation of my outbound travel path. 
I'll take the ferry from Ventura to Prisoner's Harbor in the middle of Santa Cruz Island.
Then I sail my canoe along the coast to Santa Rosa Island.

My canoe is an 18 foot long single outrigger sailing canoe similar to a Malibu Outrigger.

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KanwarSingh19 hours ago

like your work :)!!!!!!!!!

HarryLaine8 days ago

just one word-aweome :)

best tut out there:-)

Idea and Concept are amazing

thank you for this

awesome work sir

great Work

Love your work

Is that a hockey stick? Are you planning another trip to Alaska...

cseger11 year ago
Hi Tim, I really dig the stuff you do. I normally don't comment a lot but I wanted to introduce myself after seeing your diesel 720. I have an 81 that I rebuilt the motor on last year, not quite back in the truck yet but soon. It was getting 44 mpg while driving like granny. I also have an old Prindle beach cat that I have been returning to active service that I am going to sail for the first time next week. She's got really soft hulls so I think I may get a year or two out of them before they'll need to be scrapped. At that point I am going to build a sheltered water cruising proa a'la Jzero/Madness. Anyway, thanks posting up your stuff. get in touch if you want, I am a goat cheese farmer in Texas,

Kinnishian2 years ago
This is one of the first instructables to make me simply inherently pleased and happy (as opposed to the normal attitude with instructables of excited-happy). In addition, you were shouting great tips and techniques between the lines. Really enjoyed it.
chenacross3 years ago
MY god .. .!!!
jackhg3 years ago
your just flying in your boat, i'm toooo chicken to try this,
katmckee3 years ago
reminds me of your south florida halucinations... was fun to talk to you right off the water - you were so high from your journey with the animals!
katmckee3 years ago
i love your rants. they reveal that the craziness should be so obvious to everyone. Today I found out my car insurance on my 1991 honda accord costs the same as insurance on a 2010 Toyota Prius. How can that be....? I thought they factored in that I'd scrounge the junkyards for body parts while a new car would require expensive new parts. Or that someone with an old car like mine might not bother to get body work done after a fenderbender. I don't get it.
Lokisgodhi4 years ago
Regarding the outrigger. Is there any reason why you can't have two, one on each side? That would keep it for tipping both ways.  
TimAnderson (author)  Lokisgodhi3 years ago
The "L" shape of a single outrigger is easier to right after a capsize than the "T" shape of a capsized catamaran or double outrigger
So you can capsize even with outriggers. Good to know.
Great story. I liked the "sailing to Cuba" episode, too. I am going to use some of the tips in your articles to rig my canoe for sailing.
Re: Step 5: Tim, I agree with your comments. And another thing brought up in Step 5 that sucks is the whole "CA State Law free air and water" thing. It's good that the air and water is free to paying customers, but IMHO, bad that it is a state law. That's the problem with the masses: most of them support laws like this, rather than individually demanding this service and refusing to shop at a place that doesn't provide it. A prime example is water in the windshield washer bucket, and paper in the printer at the pump. If I buy gas somewhere and the bucket is dry or the printer is out of paper because the owner of the station can't be bothered to maintain it, I make a mental note to never buy gas there again. Folks say things like "power to the people", but almost none of them really believe in it. It's just a cool slogan to chant y bandwagon to jump on.
canida4 years ago
Tim!  Here's the trick to tick removal:
I've never heard of this before.

The way I've always seen tick removal done was to light a match, let it burn for a second, blow it out and press it against the tick while still hot.

It causes them to disengage and try to get away.   
TimAnderson (author)  canida4 years ago
thanks! I can't wait to get another tick so I can try it! :)
Hey Tim! Great instructable, you rock! That saying you mention in step 5 is actually "Stadtluft macht frei", translates the same, runs on "nach Jahr und Tag" (after year and day) and is much, MUCH older than Goethe. It stems from the middle ages in Germany (don't know whether other countries had similar laws), when runaway indebted serfs headed for the cities. Common law said that if you lived inside city gates for a year and a day, your master couldn't claim you back as a slave. Wikipedia says that this common law was abandoned in the 13th century.
Please don't ever confuse the saying with the infamous "Arbeit macht frei" (I don't think I have to explain that one, if in doubt, the Wiki link above has a link).
TimAnderson (author)  nutellamonster4 years ago
great answer! That's a lot more interesting than what I was expecting, something like "somebody said it somewhere". Thanks!
Always glad to help (sweeps invisible hat off brow and bows deeply, appropriate to your current pic)!

I can't give short answers... you know, my middle name is "smart a**", according to some people of my acquaintance. :D
roadieflip4 years ago
Tim Anderson. You're my hero!

I absolutely loved the free boat saga, and just found this thread. Looks like the rest of my evening is gonna be taken up by a lot of reading.

Fantastic job...
Wow, what  a great storyteller you are! Thanks Tim for sharing your adventures!

Two questions: Does wearing a wool sweater as pants really work? And, did your offer on the land get accepted? (hope so)
TimAnderson (author)  maxstevenson4 years ago
re: land: I have land! After all those years of living in trucks and stairwells, saving my nickels...
what kind of nut trees can you get me for my tree orphanage?

re: sweaterpants: it works really well. Pants as a jacket takes some modifications. I learned the sweaterpants trick from a homeless guy.

Speaking of homelessness, there's a phenomenon "elasticity in housing demand" which is a powerful concept. With much practical utility.
I was wondering about those moving trees 'ibles! Congrats on the land!

Nut trees often don't self pollinate, so you need male and females, like in pistachios, or two varieties, like in almonds. Do you want all edible trees? Do you have water for irrigation?

Mexican think skin avocados do well in northern california, highly recommended, if you like avocados. I can get you some cuttings of an amazing mulberry tree. Its the only one of its type (I know of) and I would love to see it propegated. The taste is mind blowing berry licious and fruits in Aug.
TimAnderson (author)  maxstevenson4 years ago
Food trees! Mulberry would be great, especially if you've got the propagation lore to go with the cuttings. Avocados, nuts, yes! I've got running water for irrigation. Let's proceed by email.
TimAnderson (author)  maxstevenson4 years ago
Thanks! You're an asset to any free yacht cruise!
I actually have friends who have made datura tea. Smoked it too. I've always wanted to try.
TimAnderson (author)  masterochicken4 years ago
Really? what happened? I once on Cable TV (remember that?) I watched an ER documentary, some insane-acting campers were brought in looped on the stuff. It didn't seem, hmm, fun.
They enjoyed it. They've used a lot of other hallucinogens prior though. Oh, and I still use a basic cable package.
Wade Tarzia4 years ago
One more question -- what is the sail area for that canoe? It looks at least 80 square feet.
TimAnderson (author)  Wade Tarzia4 years ago
More sail cut details:
I cut the sail from a trashed genoa from the sailmaker's dumpster down the street.
The sail geometry is about the same as Iroij Michael Kabua's Riwuit I measured in the Marshall Islands (MH)
1.25" S-curve edge rounding in the foot, straight along the mast, and slight hollow in the leech. I kept the leech from the Genoa.

There's a little broadseaming in the sail to give it belly. I was worried that it would be too much, but it's just about right. I guess they made the genoa pretty flat to compensate for forestay sag. The broadseaming is hmm, 1/8"inch each? and done to give max camber at 30% or so.

LUFF: I rig the luff luff tension to just a little more than gravity.

FOOT: I rig the foot with lots of slack belly along the boom right at the tack, that feature is "bwij" or belly in marshallese. Same word as a matrilineal clan. I infer it's a very important feature, and it does seem to make the sail pull well.

LEECH: I pulled the leech line to hook the leech until it stopped flapping.
I like a hooked leach. I spent many days beating into the wind in the fjords to Alaska watching VMG on my gps and tweaking with my sail to get max progress upwind. Hooked leech works well for me on this sail.
That's against standard western doctrine, but it seems to work. The race sails I saw in the Marshall Islands tended to have a hooked leech also.

MAST RAKE: It's raked back just a hair from vertical.
Some sails go to windward better closer to vertical, some like to be raked back a lot more, boom almost horizontal, which can trip the boat and makes it hard to see where you're going.
For this sail, I lean the mast forward until the boom doesn't hit me in the head on a tack. If the boom is any higher than that any sail tends to flog when drifting with a slack sheet.

MAST LEAN: I lean the mast to windward in strong wind, to just over the windward rail. I lean the mast to lee in a weak wind. That's standard MH doctrine.
TimAnderson (author)  Wade Tarzia4 years ago
Something like that. Intended to be small.
It's a triangle sail on 14 ft windsurfer mast spars.
The mast has another mast jammed inside it to make it stiffer.
jdtwelve124 years ago
I would not have thought it possible to put that much adventure, courage, and beauty into an Instructable.  If I was the sort of person who saluted people, I'd salute you, for both the experience and the telling of it.  Thanks.
ewilhelm4 years ago
Tim sent me a note telling me he made it back alive (I called and then called off the coast guard on his failed attempt to Cuba), but neglected to tell me he was leaving!  We need to work on our routine. 
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