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October 31, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #40

40. Date: Sat, 31 Oct 98 03:59:35 GMT
Latitude: 25 degrees 39.550 minutes North
Longitude: 139 degrees 24.911 minutes West
Wind NE, Force 3-4

Friday evening (Moksha time). I ought to be be upstairs at the Presidio Yacht Club, Sausalito, tucking into one of Mike's amazing sea bass dinners -put one on hold please Mike! Instead, were still bashing out the miles, taking full advantage of continuing force 3-4 northeasterly with a 24 hour pedal rotation gradually taking its toll.

You may have noticed a great many opinions in our updates and very little actual news, for the good reason that hardly anything ever happens: day slowly changes to night, and the vast liquid desert shifts its endless shapes of blue and white. Even the temperature stays pretty much the same. I find my mind wandering back home...early autumn, has there been a frost and crisp, cold morning, do the apple trees sag with fat green fruit, what color is the forest leaves, can you smell them damp and rotting, do boys drag there feet through the piles on their way to school -talking of halloween and bonfires and christmas, have the street lights been turned on now before you get home, are the milkman and postman searching for the faithful woolly sweater for this weeks early morning delivery. ("No, they've had them on all rotten summer" a chorus replies). Is the fire back in the hearth, coal ordered, wood stacked, have the chaffinch stopped calling, lawn mowers quit rattling? Two days ago I was remarking on the paradox that we take for granted what we have and value what we lack. Presently, in the sub-tropical Pacific, I'm as curious about my home as I ever was about the world. -Steve

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:34 PM

October 30, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #39

39. Date: Fri, 30 Oct 98 04:12:53 GMT
Latitude: 25 degrees 48.107 minutes North
Longitude: 138 degrees 35.771 minutes West
Wind NE, Force 4
Heading 240 degrees(M)

Another magical wind day; blue skies punctuated with cotton clouds, even the swell and waves gently working in our favor with friendly nudges in the direction of Hawaii. One has the feeling of a 'right of passage' having been granted by Poseidon -our current host- with these conditions. Long may it last! According to the Pilot Charts, we can typically expect wind from the northeast like this 60-70% of the time this time of year. Could make Hilo in 20 days. Downhill from here...

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:33 PM

October 29, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #38

38. Date: Thu, 29 Oct 98 03:47:48 GMT
Latitude: 26 degrees 10.589 minutes North
Longitude: 137 degrees 33.505 minutes West
Wind NE, Force 3-4

Great progress again today, northeast winds, force 3-4 with intermittent squalls. On land, we run from the rain. Out hear we scramble out on deck and stretch our hands to the clouds in messianic devotion, savoring each drop that hits the skin. The same intense gratitude and pleasure exists for us in each mouthful of H20 we drink, each crunchy bite of cabbage leaf (now only a memory) and each moment of still, sunlit peace. If only I could pass on a fraction of that feeling to you for when you take that next shower, cold drink, delicious meal -if only we could retain it ourselves for more than a few days back on land, then our lives would become an endless series of pleasures. It is a great tragedy for man that his passions are not absolute but relative to his circumstances -I guess that's one value of venturing off into the wilderness once in a while, where the essentials are obviously so precious. -Steve

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:32 PM

October 28, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #37

37. Date: Wed, 28 Oct 98 05:33:14 GMT
Latitude: 26 degrees 36.394 minutes North
Longitude: 136 degrees 39.068 minutes West
Wind NE, Force 3
Heading 240 degrees(M)

Perfect pedaling day; low swell and sunny skies. Kept fresh with wind from stern funneling down hatch onto head and shoulders of person pedaling. I'm feeling back to normal after course on re hydration salts and 9 hours sleep. Steve doing fine -though tired.

So hey!! What's new???

Failed pedal unit turned out to have sheered 1/2" propeller shaft. Due likely to rugged use in for last week against southwest winds and extreme strain of heavy custom stainless propellers. Not worried as we have 3 other shafts (spares, spares, spares -can't have enough of them!). All on the learning curve toward creating the perfect pedal unit! Only black mark on the day was a sudden leakage from emergency water maker. Quick surgery revealed loose pipe -easily fixed. After a particular odious session in the rear compartment stashing trash and retrieving new week's supply of nourishment, equilibrium returned to the good ship Moksha, facilitated in part by 1/2 package of M&M's each and a cup of Tetley's finest FD tea.

We've been seeing and hearing more and more ghosts recently. Not being kookie here, just trying to make sense of strange hiccups of mind experienced recently and suggest possible link between Sensory Depravation and sea myths of old in which returning sailors swore blind to have seen mermaids, sea monsters and the like during long ocean passages; claims that gt short thrift in rational, scientific world we live in today. Standing in the cockpit this afternoon I noticed out of the corner of my eye a huge gray shark not 3 feet from the boat -a few feet below the surface. With a start I turned to face the monster only to find myself staring at a harmless streak of bubbles thrown up by Moksha's bow wake, reflecting light strangely from a cloud overhead.

Likewise on Saturday's 1/2 a flip-flop seemed at first glance to be a deadly scorpion fish. And since the start of the voyage I've been hearing a male voice murmer occasionally from somewhere near the stern, which my rational mind corrects me almost instantaneously as being just a rope rubbing the side of the hull. The shark, scorpion fish and voice all seem as real as the bubbles, flip-flops and rope rubbing on the side of the hull. At least for the millisecond it takes for the mistake to be corrected by the mind. The brain is a large muscle like any other in the body. It is used to processing large volumes of information, which is of course much lacking out here on the ocean. As soon as a sense organ -like the retina in the eye -detects a new and rather unusual stimulus in the external world, an extra sharp and astute part of the brain immediately pounces on it and interprets it with a 'non-sense' label (in this case a shark) before a more rational part realizes the error and replaces it with a a label that makes 'sense' (ie bubbles). The reason that the initial label chosen by the brain in each case was either a dangerous animal or a human is perhaps a throwback to a prehistoric survival instinct to expect the worse in an unpredictable world and prepare the body for 'fight or flight' mode. Each label is as real as the other, at least for the time -however brief -it is experienced by the host. This may not only go some way to explaining old sea myths in which sailors really did for an instance see a mermaid or a sea-monster in a shifting pattern of the waves (ie a ghost), but also add weight to theory that the external world of objects and things that seems so real -is in fact just illusion. The real world is in here, not out there!

Last night I saw a ghost in the middle of my graveyard shift that had me worried though. I was staring at 240 degrees on the red compass light, mind a million miles away, when the "2" on the "240" sprouted a huge set of teeth and took a chunk out of "270's" backside! (The next number on the compass card.) Now I was navigating by a compass that had due West (270 degrees) relegated to be NNE (27degrees). Chaos! Luckily, on the 2nd take, all was back to normal -just as well. Otherwise we'd never find our way to Hawaii.

Fatigue or going doo-la-li? After a month out here

-I'd say both. -Jason

Editor's note: So would we!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:29 PM

October 27, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #36

36. Date: Tue, 27 Oct 98 04:11:49 GMT
Latitude: 26 degrees 56.567 minutes North
Longitude: 135 degrees 50.621 minutes West
Wind NNE, Force 4
Heading 220 degrees(M)

We have been messing about in the dark fixing the pedal drive unit again. Now down to our third and last unit. The second one just quit on Jason -that is to say the gears aren't locking into each other. Nothing too alarming, we're sure we ought to be able to keep at least one fully functional unit even if we have to mix and match parts from each. Final option is oars -dreadful thought, Moksha wasn't designed for it and it would be very uncomfortable.

Now about half way there -still struggling with lack of sleep and the stress of confinement in constant motion. Difficult to explain how draining it is on body and mind to be in small wooden box constantly swaying from 10-45 degrees back and forth, 24 hours per day, always having to brace your body with a hand, knee or elbo -even just to sleep. -Steve.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:27 PM

October 26, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #35

35. Date: Mon, 26 Oct 98 04:13:53 GMT
Latitude: 27 degrees 06.787 minutes North
Longitude: 135 degrees 20.384 minutes West
Wind NNE, Force 4
Heading 220 degrees(M)

The following sea conditions are near perfect again, despite return of Moksha's 'rock n' roll' that is so exhausting. After feeling back to my chipper self for most of the day, my sickness returned with vengeance just two hours ago following the afternoon shift. I am still assuming dehydration to be the cause -loss of essential electrolyte salts for excessive sweating -as symptoms of fatigue, nausea and resulting loss of appetite reminiscent of in-line skating through deep South of US 3 years ago. However re-hydration salts do not seem to be helping much. Steve feeling OK so I assume nothing to drastic.

We are now about 80 miles short of our 1/2 way mark! A little imaginary goal in the future like this (or on a similar scale -a cup of tea 1/2 way through a graveyard shift) is great for making the present all the more valid, motivating one to pedal harder and commit more fully to living in the eye of moment. Perhaps that's the only real purpose goals serve -as 'psycho-carrots' to bring us into the here and now. As the old saying goes 'It's good to have an end to journey towards but it's the journey that matters in the end'


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:21 PM

October 25, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #34

34. Date: Sun, 25 Oct 98 02:52:07 GMT
Latitude: 27 degrees 30.624 minutes North
Longitude: 134 degrees 33.320 minutes West

Jason is feeling less than 100% today, bit of nausea and tired. He has taken restorative mineral and salt powders in case it is due to a deficiency in something. I feel OK but dose up on the powders anyway. Being a practical guy, I'm thnkin' that it wont be long before I'm lackin' whatever he's lackin'.

Hoorah for the North wind that came a calling again at noon today. It's good to be back on the freeway again so to speak, clipping along on a 210 degrees(M) heading with the northerly Force 3-4 wind. We've been pussy footing around 28N by 134W for too long.

But all experiences are learning experiences, and as ever our great teacher, the ocean asks us to surrender our anxieties and just accept what will be. My dad always said "strive for your highest attainable aim, and never put up resistance in vain." In native american belief, the event called "Moksha arrives in Hilo" is already real and will come into our present as and when it should. All this may be so much wooly nonsense to you, and the cynics say "if you believe it enough, it works." But I'm a practical guy and I'm thinkin' the opposite -"if it works, hell, I'll believe it!" -Steve.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:19 PM

October 24, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #33

33. Date: Sat, 24 Oct 98 04:02:15 GMT
Latitude: 27 degrees 58.432 minutes North
Longitude: 134 degrees 27.933 minutes West
Wind South West, Force 2-3
Heading 180 degrees (M)

The high spirit's of the last few days have been slightly dampened by wind shifting this morning to blowing from the South West -our exact heading for Hawaii; fine for sail boats and not a problem for power vessels -but death for little human powered vessels like us. So it has been one of those days spent watching bubbles move amazingly slow or not at all past the window of the pedal seat. For most of the day we punched just North of 270 degrees (M) -loosing ground to the North but still making good ground to the west. Even if we make zero miles in a day -it's kinder on morale than a minus figure.

On reading the 48 hour weather forecast on the Galaxy of 'little change' to wind direction, we started steering 180 degrees (M) about two hours ago to make progress toward the elusive trade winds -even at the expense of loosing miles to the East. We have reverted to old two hour shifts of the Atlantic crossing to save our grinding knees and have a tangible goal, time wise, to work toward for each stint.

On the flip side, our South Westerly -as if in compensation for our pains-brought some unusual beasties to show us from the warmer more Southerly latitudes. A beautiful golden and purple turtle -about two feet in diameter-drifted effortlessly past about 11am this morning -almost close enough to exchange a high five. It's languid 'going nowhere in particular' pace making it all look so easy. Earlier this morning while greeting the dawn with a cup of Tetley's finest, I caught sight of what looked like at first to be a translucent butterfly wing flitting on the water. At second glance, however, it revealed itself to be the sail of a baby Portuguese-man-of-War, its deadly tentacles barely big enough yet to be visible. But the sea creme de la creme was a strange multi-colored creature with a unique spine about 6 inches in length and red in color hanging from underneath its bright yellow throat. "Wow" I call to Steve "Take a look at this crazy looking thing!" Sticking his head out for a closer look he exclaims "Looks like one of those deadly Scorpion fish." On closer examination however, it turned out to be half a very much worse for wear flip-flop, made in Taiwan...

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:17 PM

October 23, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #32

32. Date: Fri, 23 Oct 98 04:09:39 GMT
Latitude: 27 degrees 57.174 minutes North
Longitude: 134 degrees 20.970 minutes West

Light air gave way to gentle Southerly, Force 3-4 early this morning, injecting a little life into a placid ocean. Not that we're asking for weather now, this week's calms have been exactly the right catalyst we needed to physically and mentally chill out and really start enjoying the voyage.

Today we had the first Dorado visit, the glistening 30 pounder jumping up around the boat displaying his yellow tail and rainbow hide. On the Atlantic these fish would keep us company for weeks, and Jason even nicknamed the largest "107", because we only had 106 days food -fast running out. This time we will not eat our fish companions. Jason, for reasons of personal ethic (we have plenty of food and don't need to kill for it) and myself for more practical reasons (I know from experience that a sudden change in diet would give me a dreadful bout of the "runs").

Now early evening again, and light air returns. Our progress today has been slow, partly because we spent the afternoon scrubbing thousands of goose neck barnacles off of the hull and because we had to service a noisy pedal drive unit in which we discovered fu1l of sea water but no lubrication. In the absence of any corrosion, we assume that sea water has slowly penetrated the prop shaft seals over time. Luckily the unit is easily taken apart, exposing the gears on which we have smeared lithium grease. The dried-out, re-lubed system still grinds somewhat, but is doing its job just fine - and drowning out Jason's snoring at the same time!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:15 PM

October 22, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #31

31. Date: Thu, 22 Oct 98 04:01:11 GMT
Latitude: 28 degrees 02.140 minutes North
Longitude: 133 degrees 59.241 minutes West
Wind ??, Calm
Heading 220 degrees(M)

Seems like we've hit the doldrums -in the middle of high pressure that came South and robbed us of any following wind and wave- means we'll just have to pedal instead (er-just kidding!). The wind generator and solar panels haven't kept up so this will be a shortie as power is low.

Yesterday we answerd a question from the Classroom Expedition; What do you VALUE most (on the boat)? Interesting question... Especially as the removal of external distractions and absence of usual chatter of twentyth century living helps to clarify such a key question that rarely gets asked enough on land. The objective of raising such a question -in context with the topic Materials and Goods being studied at present by schools -is to discriminate between our needs vs perceived needs in life, a concept central to the Classroom Expedition project. Our consumption patterns our molded by such discrimination or non-discrimination, and correspondingly the effect they have on other people and the environment both localy and globaly. It's a question that any responsible human being should perhaps ask themselves as often as possible. Our lifestle on Moksha has to be honed down to the bare essentials.

This is a list of what Steve and I curently value on the boat:

1. In some ways we miss the telephone, to hear voices of freends and family. But good to be away from it for a while too, because technology can dominate and take you over sometimes -especialy TV, which is nearly always an escape from life rather than a real value.

2.Jason values fresh bread, M&Ms, cabbage, wooly socks, H20, music, writing mat, laughter and companionship, memorys of friends and family. Steve values Jason, Moksha, H20, fresh food, journal, books, warm jacket, imagination, candy, "trooper" mascot, "Sentry" ship alert and sunshine.

One thing on the boat however ht my partner views as 'low val' is the violin I brought along. Thurday was calm enough to sit out on deck and saw through a couple of blistering renditions of 'Three Blind Mice'. I was informed shortly afterwards that if any mice had been unfortunate enough to be within earshot of such a hellish cacauphony they'd be deaf by now as well as blind -probably dumb too. Genius has to start somewhere I retort -taking comfort in the thought that Mozzart must have sounded like this once too. -Jason

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:10 PM

October 21, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #30

30. Date: Wed, 21 Oct 98 03:31:00 GMT
Latitude: 28 degrees 21.760 minutes North
Longitude: 133 degrees 35.035 minutes West
Wind NE, Force 3

In the Sailing Thru Science section of the GOALS CLASSROOM, you will find detailed information on making fresh water at sea.
Moksha uses A PUR Survivor 35 (PowerSurvivor 35 version shown)

"What are you looking forward to most?" Someone asked as I was climbing aboard Moksha just before we left. "Having some free time." I replied.

Today began at 3am. I pedaled til 9, had oatmeal breakfast and continued til 11, washed and shaved (felt great -finally could sit out on deck and get clean again), made bread, made fresh water, had nap, pedaled again til now (6.30pm). There just doesn't seem to be any spare time. I guess we'll just have to devote a whole evening to R&R when we cross 135West. I suppose we could do that every day if we liked, but I feel strongly that we owe the mighty Pacific more respect than that. Having a sense of urgency to reach our destination is the first law of the sea and I think she will let us pass under those terms. Once we take her for granted without fear and respect, she will break us, as she broke the great Titanic which boasted its invincibility.

I did that once, when I was 13. I was body surfing on the beach and started daring the sea to do its worst, taunting her. One minute later she threw me onto the rocks and cut open my stomach. Never again. For now, she is quiet and cooperative, with a NE Force 3 wind and swell making life very pleasant for us. We count our blessings and push Westward. -Steve

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:07 PM

October 20, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #29

29. Date: Tue, 20 Oct 98 03:31:34 GMT
Latitude: 28 degrees 47.666 minutes North
Longitude: 133 degrees 03.011 minutes West
Wind NNE, Force 3
Heading 220(M)

Strange how we've only been out here for 3 weeks -feels like a lifetime already. Must be something to do with the huge change in our environment and correspondingly extreme adaption of the grey mater to deal with it. We therefore greedily devour each message that comes through on the Galaxy like shipwrecked mariners. Had a sample of regular mail sent through yesterday (the high cost of satellite communications prevents more being sent -eg this update will cost about $11 to send). All heart warming stuff -thanks to you all and we'll be replying to all individually. Warmed to the cockles of both our hearts yesterday to learn of Dan Klug's plans to pipe us in to Hilo with bagpipes, although the thought of a man in a dress being the first thing we see on land is a little perturbing!

Thanks also to April's kid's in Colorado who have put together 'a message a day' inside brightly colored envelopes, even though the jokes for the most part are dreadful! (eg -Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the dirt and cross back over? Answer- a dirty double crossover! -one of the better one's). We also carry messages for others -about 160 pen-pal letters (many written on home-made paper embedded with seeds that will germinate when planted by recipient), photo albums and miscellaneous exchange material for schools in the US and Europe to give to kids in Hawaii. Although you have 'missed the boat' to have a message delivered in this unique fashion -there is still time kids to send in material for us to deliver on arrival. Check out the World Pen-Pals and World Photo Exchange sections on the Global Learning Exchange page for more information.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:02 PM

October 19, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #28

28. Date: Mon, 19 Oct 98 03:04 GMT
Latitude: 29 degrees 12 minutes North
Longitude: 132 degrees 33 minutes West

My Perfect Sunday: Wake at sunrise on my 50 foot Portuguese trireme, Salcombe Harbor SW England. One hour of yoga and meditation on deck, then row dingy to East shore to exercise friend's horse. We cross damp, steaming fields and through fragrant woods to the beach, where we race along the surf line. Row across estuary to town around 10am, for Captain Morgan's oozing bacon and egg sandwich, pot of hot, sweet tea and Sunday papers. Go to the beach with big group, lots of kids, play games and bring sushi and champagne picnic. Fall asleep among dunes in the sun. Big family evening meal, roast duck with roast taters and vegetables, treacle tart and custard desert. Go to pub for few pints and bring home group friends for card games and storytelling til early hours with good coffee, brandy and cheeses.

Reality: 8.30am Jason's voice from sleeping compartment "Steve... You awake?". I'm not in Salcombe. I'm wearing salty, damp T-shirt, wet sleeping bag over that, and over that I seem to be wearing a small yellow boat, which is rolling violently on the Pacific Ocean 800 miles from land. I've had 2 hrs on the rolling torture machine that is our second bed, being tossed around like a rag doll between hard cabin walls. Have been almost continuously battered now for 3 weeks. Water sloshes back and forth on the floor, along with an empty packet of hot chocolate and a wool sock. Outside the wind howls across grey, 20 foot rolling swells, and it starts raining. To make enough water for a cup of tea requires pumping the little plastic machine for 20 minutes, but I don't want it that much. This is dreadful. Then a wave squeezes through the slightly open canopy, injecting half a gallon of cold water on my head, most of which trickles its way down my body inside the sleeping bag. One day I'll have my perfect Sunday, and when I do, I'll honor the memory of this one.

Happy Birthday Eilbhe!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 6:00 PM

October 18, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #27

27. Date: Sun, 18 Oct 98 03:15 GMT
Latitude: 29 degrees 43.221 minutes North
Longitude: 131 degrees 55.880 minutes West
Wind NNE, Force 4
Current Heading 220(M)

Another blistering day, adding to the sizable bites taken out of the chart in the past few. There is however a corresponding psychological and physiological price to be paid for this opportunity to 'make hay while the sun is shining; cumulative fatigue. In the waking hours our bodies are constantly reacting to every shifting whim of the ocean felt through Moksha's light frame. Thousands of hidden nerves and muscles subconsciously working all of the time to keep us balanced. The result is deeply wearing. Moksha is also too small a boat to sustain a varied lifestyle for more than one person. Some of you, eg, are maybe reading this over Sunday morning coffee, enjoying the ritual of the weekend off in order to start work Monday morning with a rejuvenated mind and body. For us this is not possible. The one sleeping compartment and severely limited space do not allow it. There is no distinction for us between Mondays and Sundays, night and day. We never get to 'knock off' for the day -the pedaling never stops. Everything takes on a 'greyness' after a while and it takes great fortitude or will and a creative mind to keep motivated. Liken it to eating a ton of plain rice siting in front of a blank wall. Sure, there's beauty in it if you look hard enough. But it's difficult to see the beauty in anything once chronic tiredness sets in.

Lewis & Smith,

Posted at 5:58 PM

October 17, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #26

26. Date: Sat, 17 Oct 98 02:12 GMT
Latitude: 30 degrees 24.7 minutes North
Longitude: 131 degrees 15.2 minutes West
Wind NE, 20 knots
Current Heading 225(T)

Really whistling along here with 20 knot North Easterly and blustery 25 knot squalls, from 25 degrees latitude line and trade winds. We put the mast back up this pm, despite strong winds, so we can use hatch above pedal seat for ventilation; huge relief. With new baked bread and fresh batch of sprouts, we're doing well. All systems go.

Must pedal harder to develop appetite for revolting pasta dinner, no amount of curry powder enough for it.

Saw our first flying fish today only to leap, fly 6 feet and plop back in again, but a highlight for me, and possibly for it. Otherwise, with the exception of two unshaven, smelly Brits, no sign of life in this section of shifting blueness.

We're looking forward to the next mini-goal, 135 degree West, at which we can celebrate a "5 degree party" with music, dancing (of sorts) and general Tom foolery. For now sheep remains deflated, there's work to be done!


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:57 PM

October 16, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #25

25. Date: Fri, 16 Oct 98 03:03 GMT
Latitude: 31 degrees 01.673 minutes North
Longitude: 130 degrees 33.347 minutes West
Wind NNE, Force 4-5
Current Heading 200(M)

Should be a high mileage day. Since yesterday we've been running before 15 foot swells rolling in from the NNE. Pedaling is easy at last as Moksha slips effortlessly down the front of each wave like her narrow beam is designed for. Then it's a case of going through the motions on the cranks before the next roller comes along and does the hard work for you. Occasionally a rogue 'beamer' jumps us from the starboard side, throwing us over onto the opposite gunnel as if to remind us of where we are. So for the past 30 hours we've been traveling with the wind generator down to lessen chances of a roll over.

In a minute I'll start dinner which is getting increasingly challenging on account of there being only two choices -Chili Con Carne or Ala King -Pasta Prima vera sucks! (sorry UK -gruesome Americanism for which there is no English translation- but it happens to fit the bill here).

So the total number of combinations at our disposal is only three. Since the start we have relied heavily upon fresh vegetables for inspiration, the last of which will be gone tomorrow; one hunk of cabbage left from which we ceremoniously tear off one leaf a day each. For some reason fresh cabbage takes on a divine quality 800 miles from land. Each bite sends Steve and I into raptures of dribbling ecstasy; it's the crunch more than anything, symbolizing all that is missing out here -fresh things that are alive! Not counting of course the fist fulls of fresh sprouts our sprout farm (2 jam jars with holes in the lids) continues to churn out with reassuring regularity.

It's ridiculous that with all that thousands of dollars worth of equipment, books, cameras, radios etc we have on board as distractions, all we really want is more M&M's.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:55 PM

October 15, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #24

24. Date: Thu, 15 Oct 98 00:55 GMT
Latitude: 31 degrees 30.934 minutes North
Longitude: 129 degrees 55.849 minutes West

Seems Hurricane Kay has been distracted in tropic latitudes.

Jason and I are taking full advantage of the fresh North Easterly which superceded yesterday's lull. Hope this wind lasts a while. Helpful winds are the heart and sole of my positive outlook.

As unwise as I know it is for one's state of mind to be hostage to the vicissitudes of ocean weather, but there it is... Business-like day; pedaling routine periodically broken by cooling dips in the ocean; passive routine divided between various needs for fresh water, food and sleep.

The night shift is often the most pleasurable, permitting much need of time alone, watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee in one hand and the other hand rhythmically transferring M&M's from packet to mouth before the next wave demands the hand for the boat. We're hanging in and holding on.


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:54 PM

October 14, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #23

23. Date: Wed, 14 Oct 98 03:44:22 GMT
Latitude: 31 degrees 51.520 minutes North
Longitude: 129 degrees 20.474 minutes West

I wake to the sound of rain drumming the roof of the sleeping compartment and Smith crashing about like a bull in a china shop trying to catch as much of the precious stuff in pots and pans as possible. By the time I haul myself out of the rat hole, he's got at least half a gallon of slightly salty tasting water that has run off from the roof of Moksha Good enough for cooking. Why sweat when nature will do it all for you!

Our upbeat opportunist mood is slightly dampened by a weather report from our Trimble Galaxy about Hurricane Kay, a 90 knot hell-raiser currently 16 degrees North by 117 degrees West moving WNW at 3 knots. It's still about 1,200 kilometers away, but if it continues with its current speed and heading of 300 degrees True and we continued with ours... We'll hit bang on in about 12-13 days. High noon here we come!!

It's strange to have a Hurricane so late in the year. We deliberately timed our departure from San Francisco to avoid traditional Hurricane season, May to September. But then the global wether has been so messed up the last year with El Nino, it's hard to predict anything. Actually, it's very unlikely Kay will come anywhere near us. Hurricanes like warm water and we expect it to turn parallel to latitude heading west in the next few days. However, we have taken a precautionary heading of 270 True, due west to avoid going to much farther south into warmer water and we're all ears to the wether reports and preparing Moksha accordingly... Readying the small sea-anchor, checking lashings, running through 'what if' scenarios and re-capping various drills should the worst happen. She's a plucky little boat is Moksha, but if high noon should head our way and we have any say in the matter, there'll just be tumbleweeds blowing across the big blue where we used to be!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:52 PM

October 13, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #22

22. Date: Tue, 13 Oct 98 00:57:27 GMT
Latitude: 32 degrees 08.155 minutes North
Longitude: 129 degrees 04.024 minutes West

Tuff pedaling last 24 hours. Determined SW wind in the face reduces all our efforts to zero. Trying not to be greedy. After all, we haven't been forced backwards or used the sea-anchor in 15days. Lucky!

Now having to spend a lot more time making water. With the wind like this, life is reduced to very basics; eat, pedal, make water, sleep. Last week I wrote in the report that we ought to be able to find a balance and peace of mind out here, if anywhere, because all is so much simpler. I think I lied. This life is a lot tuffer to cope with because the environmental stresses are so intense... The constant motion, the claustrophobic, tiny living area, the unpredictable, merciless ocean. So I won't pretend that I'm anything other than looking forward to getting off in Hawaii and determined to succeed. And I'll do it again and again till Oz. Whatever it takes in the bigger picture of the circumnavigation. By human power of course.

There will be high points, great lessons and experiences to remember, but as for ever being perfectly content out here and indifferent to seeing land? Not in this life buster! My hat is off to Mick who is doing this all way around.


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:50 PM

October 12, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #21

21. Date: Mon, 12 Oct 98 03:21:44 GMT
Latitude: 32 degrees 10.668 minutes North
Longitude: 128 degrees 58.411 minutes West

Lazy day. Partly because it is Sunday and we are trying to break up the monotony of the days that are starting to merge from one to the next without identity, more however thanks to the swell that has died for a few hours at least. Like being on a different boat without the ceaseless rocking that chips away at nerves every waking and non waking minute. For the past four to five days we have been bashed, biffed, pummeled, pinched, soaked and scalded; Every time a 'smart wave' empties itself through the hatch onto your head or you pour boiling water on your feet while attempting to make tea; You pretend not to notice by exercising the ancient art of pain disassociation. But there's only so much Zen a man can muster before he looses it completely and reverts to the primal state of yelling, screaming and taking chunks out of anything within reach with the nearest long hard instrument that comes to hand...

But not today. It's been sooo good! We both slept in, made pancakes then pottered about doing odd jobs, swam, slept some more, did laundry etc. It was even calm enough to do some yoga out on the front deck. Heavenly. Nothing is ever perfect though and our drinking water situation continues to be a question mark hanging heavy in the air. The primary water maker remains broken (tomorrow we will take it apart completely) and the emergency pump will make the days needs (1 gallon) in about 4-5 hours pumping... Laborious stuff. Already cut intake down by 50 percent. Both feel increased thirst -but not because of need - more a primordial hoarding instinct that kicks in in times of scarcity. Not the most secure feeling in the world -but then it wouldn't be a proper expedition without a bit of drama!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:48 PM

October 11, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #20

20. Date: Sun, 11 Oct 98 02:22:09 GMT
Latitude: 32 degrees 34.220 minutes North
Longitude: 128 degrees 40.057 minutes West

Big occasional swells with a 150 meter wave length coming down from the north, no problem. Winds light and progress good. Jason gave up on primary water maker today. A major disappointment but glad backup works fine though it is a smaller emergency unit. Now it will take 2-3 hours per day instead of 1 to maintain sufficient levels. We could start inventing crazy solar distillation contraptions if mama necessity required, but right now not too concerned.

Jason very angry with the machine this pm... We did what any Brits would do in a particularly tricky situation - "ave a cuppa tea and fink abowt it."

Spirits are still high and heading for Hilo. -Steve

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:44 PM

October 10, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #19

19. Date: Sat, 10 Oct 98 02:53:48 GMT
Latitude: 32 degrees 56.869 minutes North
Longitude: 127 degrees 59.004 minutes West

Raiders of the Lost Soup, Part 1...

Once there were two young men who decided to go out into the world and seek their fortune. They made a little boat out of wood and set out across the ocean loaded to the gunnels with every conceivable delicacy; porridge, freeze dried cat food and most delicious of all, a 30 pound bag of thick mushy pea soup. After a number of days at sea, one of the travelers, seeing the need for a boost in morale, called to the other saying:

Brother... Man cannot live on freeze dried cat food alone. We need soup in our veins!

The other readily agreed that this was indeed a fine idea and proceeded to light the stove in eager anticipation. But where they thought the bag to be?? Alas!!! It was not there! They searched hi and low, looking in every nook and cranny, even crawling like worms into the dungeon, the rear cabin they both hated going into. For hours and hours they toiled, but still no soup!

Tired and down hearted, our chaotic adventurers gave up the desperate quest, vowing to launch another expedition for the prized green gruel as soon as they regained their strength and resolve. For their minds were now tortured through the long, cold ocean nights in the knowledge that what they craved madly was so close and yet so far! "HELP!!" Any Clairvoyants out there??? Kids!!! Any mad suggestions where it might be? We don't think we can keep on going for much longer if we don't find the wretched stuff!!!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:41 PM

October 9, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #18

18. Date: Fri, 9 Oct 98 02:26:02 GMT
Latitude: 33 degrees 29.520 minutes North
Longitude: 127 degrees 23.291 minutes West

Hard still to believe we're actually pedaling across the entire Pacific Ocean in a pedal powered boat!Harder still to fully recognize that the ocean is currently slipping by me only two feet under my seat. Today she is bubbly, confused and dynamic. I feel like a flea riding the peristaltic rhythms on the silky blue skin of some colossal serpent. Feels a lot like skiing, using grade to control and maintain speed.

Jason makes fresh water with Pur 35 which is leaking badly. I'm in full flight (ok, 3 knots but feels fast!) at helm and we're listening to Best of Blondie - Aah that explains a few things about these crazy fools I hear. Truth is, we're getting saner every day, slowing down, forgetting time, can't let HI exist now, live now! If we can't come to some happy balance and peace of mind in this simplified, straight forward world, what chance on land? Biggest trick now is to manage mood swings, as mind is allowed to open and expand from its normal corridors, is untethered and can go up and down. Seem to be keeping dark opponent at bay with good humur.


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:40 PM

October 8, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #17

17. Date: Thu, 8 Oct 98 02:50:10 GMT
Latitude: 33 degrees 55.597 minutes North
Longitude: 126 degrees 49.371 minutes West

6:40am... Been pedaling now for about 20 minutes since taking over from Steve's graveyard shift (1am-5am). At this time in the morning the suggestion of dawn is in the east and it's no problem to stay awake.

Last night, however, was a different story. I fight fatigue using every means possible; pinching myself, slapping myself in the face, visions of being run down by a fleet of cargo ships, listening to 'The FooFighters' at full blast. I got so desperate at one point that I even put on 'They might be Giants'. Music so painful to listen to you're almost guaranteed to stay conscious.

With dawn closing in behind, Moksha is following a narrow corridor of pale steel light from the westward moon set. There is no need to follow the hypnotic swing of the red LED compass light as I know just by periodically checking the milky way ahead that we are still on about a 265 degree course. It's calm enough, but at one point Moksha's bow nods skyward on a small crest and comes down with a loud slap. Now Steve is a light sleeper. At this unexpected sound he jerks sharply upward cracking his head a real hum-dinger on the bulkhead. Boom!! I feel it resonate through the timbers of the boat. "What was THAT??" he says. "THAT" I almost let escape from my lips "Was your big, fat melon nearly putting a HOLE through the sleeping compartment!" Dry Brit humor is a little much to deal with at this early hour... Even for a Brit. So managing to staunch an additional caution against the perils of head banging in confined spaces, I muster some compassion and offer "Bad luck... You OK?" instead. But it goes unheard. He's either fallen asleep again or knock himself out.

Dawn is my favorite part of the day out here. It's very personal and loaded with meaning. The ritual of greeting the new born sun, the same we bade farewell to yesterday evening at sunset, is a ritual I sorely miss on land. For one, You can't see the wretched thing if you live anywhere near a city and secondly, you are considered somewhat of a freak by other people if you're alive and kicking at that time of the day. But you get a real charge that you carry with you for the rest of the day. And like most quality things in life, it's simple, free and takes just a little effort!


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:38 PM

October 7, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #16

16. Date: Wed, 7 Oct 98 02:45:14 GMT
Latitude: 34 degrees 20.884 minutes North
Longitude: 126 degrees 33.813 minutes West

My day began at 3am. Jason woke me for my pedaling shift and I ploughed happily on by moonlight, catching a beautiful dual sky at 7am. Pink moon set and yellow sunrise. Jason awoke 9am to small fresh-baked bread wafting through a sunlit hatchway and we swapped pedal duty again. Thanks to Diana and Arvid Stein (vets of '97 Trans-Atlantic rowing race) for the recipe for pressure-cooked bread.

We're now experimenting with sprouts as our fresh vegetables are running out. So glad we made the effort to bring these invaluable items. Other small but priceless stuff includes food spices to jazz up Reliv dehydrated meals and small speakers for the walkman. In this much confinement, any way you can make the same environment seem different is a Godsend. Wish we could also have brought funny audio tapes like Monty Python or Dudley Moore / Pete Cook to smile through dark hours.

Now getting dark again, wind picking up from the west making pedaling a struggle and have just had to pedal off course to avoid another container ship steaming to Japan. Our Ocean Sentry (radar enhancer) picked up ship's radar first and alarmed us, followed by our C.A.R.D. alarm which also gave its approximate bearing. Again, no response by vessel to our VHF. Typical... In the oceans there are thousands of huge vessels barreling along at 20 knots and oblivious to rest of humanity. Why should we allow this? Let's start a petition here!

Power to the little people.


Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:36 PM

October 6, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #15

15. Date: Tue, 6 Oct 98 03:06:50 GMT
Latitude: 34 degrees 40.920 minutes North
Longitude: 126 degrees 06.660 minutes West

Starting to hear things... People's voices mingled with the murmur of the ocean and boat sounds. Just now while making water with the desalinator a wave drenched me in the open cockpit. I could have sworn I heard a woman's voice laughing behind me straight away after. A cheeky mermaid perhaps? "Great!" I thinks to myself... "It's only 7 days out and I'm losing it already..."

Last night a strong force 5-6 wind from the north brought 25-30 foot waves with white caps like short, sharp daggers jabbing at our beam. It threatened to capsize us on a couple of occasions. Pedaling by the light of the moon, Steve and I took it in turns to wrestle with the ocean, trying to keep control of the boat whilst still underway.

The key in seas like these is to keep the boat at 45 degrees to the waves. At 180 degrees the boat will surf at hi speed down the front of the waves and eventually corkscrewing, broaching and capsizing with not a damn thing you can do about it because the rudder is traveling at the same speed as the water. Traveling parallel (90 degrees) to the waves will potentially result in the same thing as a rogue white cap could push us over in a fraction of a second. At 45 degrees though, you can feel the personalty of a particular wave. Its power, direction, etc. as it coils itself under the stern and before it unleashes itself. This gives the intuitive part of the experienced helmsman a fraction of a second to throw the rudder one way or the other to avert disaster and use the wave to maximum advantage... Like a bull rider riding steer. It's pretty intense and exhilarating but potentially disastrous if you don't get it quite right, like the time Steve was nearly washed away on the Atlantic.

By dawn we were both exhausted having slept little. But spirits remain high as we are screeching along at a mean lick, 45 miles in 12 hours! Outstanding stuff... Our performance to date has ben 22% higher than the Atlantic crossing largely due to our superb new drive train and a hand crafted propellers by Pitchometer . The Propellers and direct drive pedal units are from MicroMarine . If you fancy wings for your boat or getting into shape like we are in a pedal boat, check-out their web sites respectively. -Jason

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:31 PM

October 5, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #14

14. Date: Mon, 5 Oct 98 02:45:59 GMT
Latitude: 35 degrees 09.516 minutes North
Longitude: 125 degrees 32.209 minutes West

We have enjoyed fresh Northerly winds with 12-15 foot swell for several days now, traversing down southern slopes of the waves and using their graceful momentum to maintain our Southwesterly pace. Now it has turned a little sour. Strong squalls whipping up sharp crested waves and demanding constant attention to avoid a broach*.

Had to shut down the wind generator. It was going crazy.

Wake up call!!! This is no Caribbean cruise. Progress still encouraging though. We should be in the trade winds in a week to 10 days, hitting the key 30 North by 130 West marker. It is important psychologically not to view the chart too much at this stage. Nor to look forward to Hilo... Seven days of pedaling hasn't made much of a blue line yet! Steve.

*The definition of broach can be found in the GOALS CLASSROOM section under Nautical Glossary.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:30 PM

October 4, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #13

13. Date: Sun, 4 Oct 98 02:10:29 GMT
Latitude: 35 degrees 33.169 minutes North
Longitude: 125 degrees 08.636 minutes West

Now that we are out from the cold, dank costal waters we are gradually finding the rhythm of the daylight hours. But with the sun has come an aggressive starboard beam-on sea. Rogue waves occassionally make rushes for the hatch, barging in unannounced and uninvited. They're obnoxious and horribly cunning. Our porridge took a direct hit yesterday morning. One landed with a self appreciatory flop right in the pan. I was furious. Porridge tasted no worse than usual though.

The nights are a little harder to adapt to. Especially when sleeping. Both of us have witnessed the other yelling out in their sleep. Each time something to the effect of "Where am I! What the hell's going on!" (We often find ourselves yelling that during daylight hours too!). Maybe the subconscious mind taking time to catch up... Still on land as it were. Maybe the night fears John and Casey talked of are still haunting the boat. Who knows...

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:28 PM

October 3, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #12

12. Date: Sat, 3 Oct 98 01:43:24 GMT
Latitude: 36 degrees 14.119 minutes North
Longitude: 124 degrees 38.754 minutes

Skipping along waves in Moksha under sunny blue skies, heading south west to the trade winds. Good weather makes for altogether better experience. Now we can see the moon and stars at night and dry off during the day.

Jason and I are adopting an interesting routine. No set schedule... Depends on how we feel. Makes us communicate, cooperate and care about each other. So much more natural and human than Atlantic rigid 2 hours on and 2 hours off.

We cut each other off so much now in everyday life. You can operate for days without talking to someone. I'm beginning to realize what the efficiency, time, money society really costs in general eye contact... To hell with efficiency... Better to leave things open and see how we feel.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:27 PM

October 2, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #11

11. Date: Fri, 2 Oct 98 02:14:00 GMT
Latitude: 36 degrees 43.996 minutes North
Longitude: 124 degrees 04.542 minutes West

Last night Steve and I had ring side seats to a specially choreographed show from a pod of 3 dolphins buzzing the boat. Their luminous vapor trails of phosphorescence twisting and turning around us like the spirits at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. First full bore toward our hull on collision course then spinning away a the last moment. Like underwater comets chasing each others tails. So skilful, so graceful. Then disappearing as quick as they'd arrived.

Saw two sharks today, one just a minute ago. Huge thing waving its fin at us invitingly to come and join the fun... Err, we might take a rain check. Thanks matey... Got an island to find!

We are both feeling better. No sickness today. Still dour sky though. But a fringe of pink on the northern horizon looks promising.

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:25 PM

October 1, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #10

10. Date: Thu, 1 Oct 98 02:36:02 GMT
Latitude: 37 degrees 06.978 minutes North
Longitude: 123 degrees 37.079 minutes West

2:09PM: Keeping the gaze on the ocean somehow helps the with the sea sickness. We're scorching along at 1.5 knots. Me pedaling with eyes fixed on the ocean ahead, Steve getting over another bout of sea-sickness in the stern compartment. I hear a long drawn out sigh from my partner. Poor sod... I think he must feel awful to sound that bad. Two minutes later another sigh four times louder than the 1ast. The poor chap sounds like he's about to kick it for good.

At that moment I look up just in time to see two huge plumes of water shooting up into the sky not 20 yards forward of Moksha's bow. Finbacks whales!! Two adults and two Baha no doubt. By the time I fumble about finding the camera they're gone, slipping into the deep for another dive. Wow! The most exciting thing to happen for months. I lean back into the monotony of the pedaling, staring mindlessly at our two tone world of sea and sky in an attempt not to sink into another spiral dive of nausea.

7:15PM: Grey overcast sky. Wind WNW making pedaling tuff. The graveyard shift starts soon. Blind pedaling while listening to Credence Clearwater on the walkman.

Toasted the digital camera this afternoon on DC power... Idiot! So it's just the power of the pen from now on...

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted at 5:23 PM