Beowulf Logs

Read all about Steve & Linda Dashew’s adventures on Beowulf, their 78-foot bare-aluminum ketch. The logs run from 1999 through 2002.

Seller’s Remorse

The last few weeks of enjoying BEOWULF, while suffering a keen case of seller’s remorse.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 4, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Advice to a SetSailor on "Getting Started"

Steve and Linda’s advice to a family with questions about "Getting Started with Cruising".

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 21, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Time for a Change…Farewell to Beowulf?

Farewell to Beowulf?

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 9, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Stupid Oil Storage

Stupid oil storage.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 2, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

The Purple Stuff Is It!

We’ve been giving BEOWULF a good cleaning and polish. This includes all of the engine room (even the bundled plumbing and wiring) the dinghy, inside of lockers, and interior hull surfaces. Except for the dinghy, which has stains on the inside from spilled gas/oil mix, and the engine room, which has not had a thorough cleaning in three years, most of the cleaning is a simple wipe down.

But for the dink and engine room, stronger measures are required. As a result we’ve done some scientific testing of various cleaners. Simple Green, Zep Purple, and Nature’s Orange, in concentrated and diluted ratios have been used. The result…(roll of drums)…Zep Purple is by far the best cleaner. Simple Green is second and Nature’s Orange is last.

The Zep Purple is a wonderful material in the engine room. Diluted at 3-3 we spray it on, do a quick brushing to loosen things, and hose off the dirt. We’re not sure about availability, but we picked ours up at Home Depot.

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Zep Purple wins Beowulf’s seal of approval.


Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 26, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Remove Those Batteries!

Steve was so inspired by our "battery" topic that he has written a second article!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 23, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Batteries

The Dashews have answered SetSail’s questions about what kinds of batteries they use aboard BEOWULF, and how they maintain them.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 18, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Top Ten Cruising Lessons Learned

10 seamanship lessons learned on BEOWULF’s eventful passage from the Virgin Islands to Panama to San Diego.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 22, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Malaria

We’ve had all sorts of experiences on boats – mostly good, a few bad. In the latter category are two bouts with vector-born (i.e., mosquito) diseases – malaria and dengue fever. In the former case, this was of the Falciparum type, often deadly. In our case it hit during the last round of the rock and roll dance contest at the Port Moresby (New Guinea) Yacht Club. It was down to us, the Liggetts, and one other couple for the championship, when I (Steve) collapsed. At the time I thought Al had slipped me a “Mickey” so he could win…

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 18, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Arrival in San Diego

Resting peacefully on the Harbor Police Dock in San Diego.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 17, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

220 Miles from San Diego

As San Diego draws near, reflections on a too-rushed "delivery".

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 16, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Ideal Conditions for Baja Passage

Ideal conditions for passaging up the Baja Peninsula.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 15, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Underway Again after Quick Stop in Cabo

Stopping for a few hours in Cabo, then heading north – while the water temp grows increasingly colder ( 63 degrees F?!?).

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 14, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

30 Miles from Cabo

Making good – if bouncy – progress. And breaking out the blankets!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 13, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Underway Again without Boom

After resting up in Barra de Navidad, BEOWULF is underway again, sans boom.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 12, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

150 Miles to Manzanillo

Beowulf gets caught in tropical storm Boris. Here’s a blow-by-blow analysis.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 8, 2002)    |    Comments (2)

Panama to San Diego: Breaking the Boom

1100 hours – Breaking the boom. Steve and Linda are kicking themselves for passing up Acapulco!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 8, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: 1560 Miles to Go

1560 miles to go – Six hours in the same squall, and the GPS and speedometer finally agree.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 7, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: Halfway There

2100 hours/Halfway to San Diego – A great sail (top speed 28.5 knots), and since it looks like they’ve got 48 hours of good weather ahead, they decide to skip Acapulco.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 7, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: Issues with Range under Power

2100 hours – Considering BEOWULF’s range under power.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 6, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: 1700 Miles to Go

1700 miles to go – Finally getting a chance to sail.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 6, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: 2000 Miles to Go

2000 miles to go – Taking advantage of the squall activity to catch some rain water (after clearing the decks of squid and flying fish).

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 5, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: 2248 Miles to Go

2248 miles to go – Mother Nature puts on a good show.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 4, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego: Brownies Offset Wind on the Nose

1900 hours – A double batch of brownies, and the tropical wave moves off to the west.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 4, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego Passage: 2350 Miles to Go

2350 miles to go – Crew is in fine spirits despite unsettled weather conditions.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 3, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Panama to San Diego Passage: 2545 Miles to Go

2545 miles to go to San Diego.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 2, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Leaving Panama

Provisioning in Panama, checking out the new Marina Flamenco, and making some compromises for the weather.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 1, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Through the Panama Canal

Check out photos from a live web cam of BEOWULF transiting the Panama Canal.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 31, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Celestial Events over Panama

A breathtaking sunrise with the mountains of Panama close off the port beam.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 28, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean to Panama: Weather Forecasters and Models are Wrong

Looks like the forecasters and models are all wrong.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 27, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean to Panama: “Racing” a Freighter

"Racing" a freighter.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 26, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean to Panama Passage: Day 1

First day en route to Panama: Great sailing, good movies, and a lovely full moon.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 25, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean to Panama Weather: Life Isn’t Fair

Weather update: Not fair!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 24, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Beowulf’s Back in the Water after 5 Months on the Hard

North Sound, British Virgin Islands

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 23, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

To the Boat!

Back to the boat!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 17, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Gateway PC Update

An update on the new Gateway PC. (updated May 3, 2002)

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 25, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Don’t Wait to Go Cruising – Go Now!

How to make the cruising lifestyle economically feasible.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 19, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Researching Worldwide Weather Patterns and Making Plans

It looks like 2002 is shaping up to be an El Nino year. As Steve and Linda are trying to decide where to go when BEOWULF is relaunched next month, they’re checking out worldwide weather patterns. (with links)

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 14, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Medical Supplies

In all our years of cruising, we’re happy to report we’ve never used any of the serious medical stuff we carry aboard. By now, the total of supplies we’ve either thrown or given away amounts to thousands of dollars. Even the rubber and metal products have had to be replaced several times. Yet we still carry this stuff, hoping we’ll never need it.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 22, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Which Computer?

Getting a new computer for the boat.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 15, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Boat Watching at Simpson Lagoon

Indulge in some boat-watching in Simpson Lagoon on St. Martin, where Linda and Steve admire the magnificent SWAN.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 2, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Electronics

Steve and Linda discuss their electronics priorities.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 8, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Winter Dreaming

BEOWULF is hauled out, so the Dashews are daydreaming. With the help of weather/routing software, they simulate passages in the Caribbean and around Cape Horn.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 19, 2002)    |    Comments (0)

Man (or Woman) Overboard

Steve and Linda’s strategies for what they would do if one of them fell overboard.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 31, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Powering Up

two spinnakers from aft

We’ve been looking for the edge of the short-handed cruising envelope for a lot of years. Improvements in sail handling gear, materials, and our own experience have allowed us to push the horizon further and further. And even though BEOWULF looks pretty aggressive for a couple of grandparents, she is not yet at the edge of what the two of us can handle.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 21, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Satellite Phones Face Off

Globalstar vs. Iridium: The Great Face-Off.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 15, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Last Sail

The winter trades finally appear, in time for a lovely sail from St. Martin back to the British Virgins, where BEOWULF will be hauled out for the winter.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 7, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Life Rafts

The Dashews have always been conflicted about life rafts. Find out why they don’t like them but still have one.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Medical Insurance for Cruising

In the Bernhardts’ April 01, 2001 discussion of their cruising budget, they state that they pay $2280 for medical insurance for the year for the whole family. I’d like to know which insurance company they use. Their boat insurance is fairly inexpensive also, since their cruising area includes Europe…Love this site. Thanks. Claire D

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Cruiser’s Thanksgiving

Before the fleet disperses, Steve and Linda join friends from 15 boats for an unforgettable Thanksgiving potluck.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 23, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

The Fat Lady Has Sung: Caribbean 1500 Race Results

The final results of the Caribbean 1500, where motoring speed and range were a big issue for the fleet.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 20, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Land Ho! Caribbean 1500 Fleet Arrives in Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor is awash in waves and heartfelt welcomes as the Caribbean 1500 fleet begins to arrive.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 16, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500: Crossing the Finish Line

Yesterday BEOWULF crossed the finish line, shaving five hours off her time from last year. Find out what Steve and Linda attribute this to.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 14, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500: Final Day

48 miles to go and BEOWULF is getting a workout.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 13, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500: Some Folks Have All the Luck!

298 miles to go…Steve and Linda share how they’re using the info provided by the new SetSail-MaxSea software in their decision-making process.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 12, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500: The Lottery Has Arrived

The Dashews have a tricky decision to make in terms of weather tactics…Plus they reveal one of their "secret weapons".

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 11, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Catamaran Found!

An eventful 24 hours.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 10, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Where Is the Opposition?

Where is the opposition?

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 9, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500: We’re Off!

We’re off!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 8, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500: Ready to Go!

Ready to go!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 7, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500 Delay: More Time = Longer Lists

More time = Longer lists.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 6, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500 Weather: The Plot Thickens

The plot thickens.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 3, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Caribbean 1500 Weather Factors

A heads up on some weather that could affect the Caribbean 1500 race/rally. Stay tuned for daily updates.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 2, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Hampton, Virginia

The Hampton Municipal Piers are humming with 50-some participants, including BEOWULF, their crew busy with last-minute preparations for this year’s Caribbean 1500.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 31, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Security Issues to Consider while Cruising

We’re headed back to the boat (in Norfolk, VA) in the next few days and are in our usual pre-going-away period of trying to get our respective desks cleared off. It will be really nice to get away from the daily overdose of news to which we subject ourselves when there are televisions close at hand. (Such equipment is banned from the boat for exactly this reason.) And, of course, the usual list of pre-departure projects, check lists and stocking up will keep us occupied and away from the news.

The two of us have been having some dialog about our philosophy of self-defense, in light of the “new reality” in which we all find ourselves. When we cruised years ago, and the kids were little, we looked at this in the same way we dealt with our medical kit. We were well prepared for almost any eventuality, and hoped like hell we’d never have to use that preparedness.

But with the kids on their own, the defense mechanism tends to moderate. On the other hand, the hassle of carrying an arsenal continues-there can be a lot of paperwork and running around when clearing in and out-if you have guns aboard. So, in recent times we’ve changed our approach to this very controversial subject.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 26, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

New Routing Tool

In the process of getting ready for their Virginia-to-Caribbean passage, the Dashews are using an exciting new weather routing tool–which is revolutionizing the way they plan their passages.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 20, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Watching Weather Rhythms for Chesapeake-Caribbean Passage

Watching the weather to head from Norfolk, Virginia back to the Caribbean.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 18, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

New World, New Cruising Plans

New technology, new plans. (Posted 19 Oct 01)

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 11, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Boat Yard Diet

Boat Yard Diet…BEOWULF, Steve, and Linda all lose some weight. (Photos.)

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 28, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Cruising Grounds and Geopolitics

How Steve and Linda are re-considering their cruising grounds in light of changes in the world.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 27, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Priorities when Planning to Go Cruising

Reflections after last week’s terrorist attacks.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 18, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Red Right Returning – Not!

Red Right Returning–Not! A warning against talking on the cell phone while piloting through rocky waters.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 14, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Water Pumps/Changing Impellers

One of the maintenance issues that is bound to occur is a bad salt water pump impeller.

Image

The photo above is from Wind Horse‘s starboard engine. Notice the missing vane in the lower right portion of the impeller? It would have been better to change this impeller on a proactive basis, before it got old and tired. The missing vane reduces cooling water flow, and we now have to find the piece so it does not block one of the heat exchangers.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 7, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Chasing Down an Elusive Oil Leak

It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been fighting this mother of all wars for five long, hard years. But yesterday we tasted the sweetest of all fruits-Victory!

Yes, friends, after running our Yanmar diesel hard (2800 rpm continuously) for an hour, not a trace of oil was to be found. Danny, our miracle-working mechanic from Billings had indeed found the elusive oil leak which has plagued us since launching BEOWULF in New Zealand. And now our engine sump will stay CLEAN!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 7, 2001)    |    Comments (0)

Seagoing Web Access

Linda & Steve, In your recent article on the new passage planning software (I hope to see more on this later) you made a comment regarding downloading weather forecast data during your passage. What method do you use to access internet at sea?? Regards, Mark

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 3, 2001)    |    Comments (0)