The Galen Diana

Home » Articles posted by hollinmayer

Author Archives: hollinmayer

Where are we now? See us on the tracker!

Since October 2021 we have been on the move and heading South from out home in Sausalito, CA. HERE IS OUR TRACKER


Position Update 9-3-16

Hello all,
At 08:40 we are 151nm away from the SF Buoy. Our position is 38.49.576N x 126.32.967W. We have sailed over 2501nm the last 19 days, 8 hours and 40 minutes. Our heading is 130dT, average speed the last 21 hours has been 8-10kn. At this pace we are looking at a Sunday arrival late morning to early afternoon. The winds are gusting up to 32kts and the seas are up to eight feet and building. We are on a broad reach surfing our way in to our SF waypoint. It has been a rockin night and with first light we realized why when we could see the swells building and some breaking. It is a fun and exciting ride compared to the past several days of light wind and calm seas.
We will update you all again as we reach the Farallone Islands.
Hope to see you all soon. It has been an adventure but we are not out of the woods yet.
Conditions are looking great for the rest of our journey.
Time now for some classical music and a cup of coffee to to complete this beautiful morning sailing at sea.
IMG_1097day 20IMG_1090IMG_1066IMG_1063
Standing by on the Pacific.
Captain Rod.

09-01-16 position

off the bow dSeptember 1, 2016. We are 6 hours in to day 18 and 490nm away from the SF Buoy. Our track from Honolulu is now at 2209nm. We are still motor sailing since yesterday afternoon due to light winds out of the west that are due to change eventually to NW allowing us to cut the engine and sail again.grib 9-01
Our 0900 position is 39.55N x 132.06W (Slightly south of Pt. Arena 372mn off the California coast). Current Speed-6.6kn. At this pace we are looking at a Sunday afternoon arrival however,the grib looks favorable for increased speeds within the next 24 hours or so which could advance our arrival to early Sunday morning or even mid day to late Saturday. We will need to revisit the ETA as conditions improve.
Weather here is nice. BP is up to 1015mb, it is clear and sunny and the ladies may be in their bikinis again absorbing the rays while they can. We had two cargo ships pass by us almost simultaneously this morning and a little too close for comfort. One within 1.5nm to our port side and the other less than 4nm to our starboard.
It had been two days since our last ship sighting but as we approach San Francisco we are definitely near and in the shipping lanes and will be keeping a close watch on things. The sunsets and sunrises continue to amaze us with their ever changing uniqueness from day to day bringing us a feeling of warmth and joy as we witness the beauty that our earth, sky and sun deliver us each and every day.
So not taken for granted on the high seas and the highlights of the morning and evenings. Another breathtaking show that being on night watch has to offer are the stars that have been shining so bright the past several nights. They seem so close that you could reach up and grab a few. Lots of wishes have been made with all the falling stars we have seen.
During the day the wildlife action is an entertaining sight. Curious Terns
We have had a lot of seabirds circling the boat. We had a couple of “Terns” checking us out yesterday which appear to be a male and female in the photo.The male has the black outline around his eyes and is ahead of the female who appears a bit smaller in size. That’s my guess anyway.
Albert Ross
The one seabird I have been hunting down to photograph is our Albatross AKA “Albert Ross” I refer to as Albert or Mr. Ross. He visits us time to time but doesn’t stay long. I was able to capture a few close ups of him. This one he appears to be dragging his wing in the water like a surfer carving his bottom turn. What an amazing creature and huge wing span at 10-11 feet at the least. He soars so gracefully. Solely riding the wind like a remote control glider I have yet to see him flap his wings.
More updates to come.
Standing by on the pacific.
Captain Rod.September SunriseCargo Ship 9-1
9-1 ships passing

Position 0830 8-29-16

Hello all,
Our position is 40.05N x 139.45W.  Heading 081dT. We are cruising 5-6kn on a broad reach with NW winds 15-17kts. Last night was foggy and millions of these floating jellies with sails illuminated by the STB nav lights all night long.
jellyFor the past several days these guys have been sailing on by. These creatures, whose scientific name is Velella , aren’t actually jellyfish but hydrozoans, related to the Portuguese man-of -war.
Yet unlike man-of-war, they don’t sting humans, though authorities don’t recommend touching your face or eyes after handling them.
Each little sailboat, measuring about 2.75 inches (7 centimeters) long, is in fact a colony of hundreds of smaller organisms, each with a specialized function such as feeding or reproduction, researchers say. “They sit at the surface of the ocean and have little sails ,” and their movement depends on which way the wind is blowing, said Richard Brodeur, a fishery biologist at NOAA Fisheries’ Newport, Oregon, research station. Most of the time off the coast of Oregon and California, the winds are blowing toward the South, into the open ocean. But when big storms sweep out of the southwest it blows these living flotillas onto the beaches. There, they usually die, giving off a bad smell as they rot.
They are everywhere and so dense if you go for a swim they will be all around you.
We have been under motor for the last 12 hours until the wind picked up this morning about 0700. Very smooth sailing now and yesterday before the wind died. The current grib looks good for us with consistent flow going our direction. Attached is the file showing the LOW up near Canada turning counter clockwise and then the HIGH to the east turning clockwise. Cool stuff to view so plainly. We came uncomfortably close to a pallet made up of 4×4 lumber. Imagine what that could do if hit head on while moving at 8-9kts… ouch. We have been seeing more ships now that we are approaching the west coast on this latitude. Thankful we have A.I.S. to spot them in time to get out of the way but they can see us too so we notice they change their course to remain at least 5nm away on their closest point of approach. This one, Hyundai cargo ship is headed to Pusan and has an ETA to their destination on 9-07-16.
We are 817nm away from San Francisco and our ETA is some time around Labor Day weekend. Still too soon to pinpoint an exact date and time. Today we are doing some laundry, laying out on deck catching some rays and after my watch I am making my bolognaise sauce for a pasta dinner tonight.
Life is good aboard the Galen Diana today.
More updates to come as we continue our approach towards the west coast…
Standing by on the Pacific Ocean.
grib 8-29cargo ship 8-29-16pallet lat 40 long 140

Day 13: Weather giving us a beating and bath

8-27 storm c
Hi all,
We are at 40.21N x144.21W approx. 1028nm from San Francisco. We have sailed over 1635nm over the past 12 days 9 hours.
We have been in a rough wind and mini rain storm pattern since 1330 yesterday.
It appears we are beginning to see some relief on the horizon.
The boat has been rockin and banging against swells and disorganized seas all night long.
The wind has been blowing steady in the mid to upper 20’s and when the storm fronts pass over up to 32kts with rain.
We have reefed the main to 40% as well as the jib. We have been controlling our speed to slow down at night so crew can sleep then accelerating during daylight to a boat speed of 7-8kts. The wind system that is passing us by is forcing us down to a heading of 130dT however when the wind changes we should be able to crab back up to a desirable latitude if needed for our approach to the west coast.
Attached is he latest grib file showing where we made the turn and our progress to date.
grib 8-278-27 rod c8-27 crew b Also a couple of pictures of the crew and environment today.
Standing by on the Pacific Ocean

The Turn below the High

8-25 sunset dinnerHello All,
We made “the turn” below the high yesterday at 1630 to a port tack as the wind clocked around the high(@41.48N / 147.49W).
Things started out slow and our initial heading was 155dT. Since the wind has continued to clock around from East to NE allowing us to turn up to 120dT and at times 90dT. The chop and swell mix is currently unstable or “junky” so to avoid launching the boat over the swells and tossing Alison about the forward berth we have turned back down to 135dT and on a beam reach until things settle. Since we went so high up in Latitude we have this luxury.
We are currently at 41.14N 146.29W with the wind at the moment at 22-28kts reefed in still cruising at 8-9kn. We have sailed over 1523nm the past 11 days 9 hours. We are 1126nm away from San Francisco which at a 6.5kn average pace would put us there within 8 days. The current grib looks good and the high looks to have passed over us and should drop down behind us providing more favorable wind in thru Tuesday.
Current weather out here is overcast with NE wind at 24-28kts. Swells 3-5’ mix with medium chop and some white horses when the wind gusts over 25. Air temp 74.8, sea temp 65.3 BP 1025mb.
We had a wonderful group dinner last night at sunset. Alison prepared pasta with chicken breast in a pesto, sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts mix. Awesome stuff. Lucas told Alison that he never expected to be eating such amazing culinary meals on this trip. We are eating well this round.  Lucas and Patrick are having the time of their lives on this delivery. Great dynamic aboard this round too. Everyone is so respectful to others it is clearly different than the trip to Hawaii without the negative energy of a couple of sour grapes.
The grib attached shows our position today against the high and healthy wind to advance us to our destination.
Stay tuned,
grib 8-26
chicken pesto pasta8-25 sunset
Standing by on the Pacific,
Capt. Rod
capt rod b

8/23 Day 9

masked booby
Hello all,
We are 9 hrs in to day 9 Honolulu to San Francisco. Our position is 37.21N by 152.54W.
8-23-16 a8-23-16 b
(almost even with SF but 1800nm away from the California coast. We have good wind today after motor sailing the past two days due to very light unstable winds. We are on a broad reach averaging 7-8kts on a heading of 075dT but with the drift our course is more like 040dT which will put us on my mark for the turn BELOW the high pressure system.
Attached are a couple of the current wind files showing our position and future waypoints. Also there are a couple shots of our chart plotter showing our position and heading as well. This is what we are using to navigate our way home.
Sailing is smooth and wonderful out here for the time being. The grib(wind files) show good wind ahead as the high pressure system moves easterly off Seattle.
Since it is looking like it will stay way north we will be able to tack on or about Lat 41/42 near Longitude 145/144 which is where we made the turn in 2014 but we were above the
high pressure on that delivery.
grib for sat 8-27grib 8-23
We were attacked by flying squid yesterday. At least six landed on deck and we quickly tossed them back in while they were alive. One actually flew in to one of the open hatches and landed on Lynn’s chest as she was dozing in her cabin.
We heard a loud high pitched scream like Chihuahuas barking and moments later up came Lynn “inked” on her face, mouth and torso. We were wondering what was up with her then we saw the squid in her hand with tentacles moving and oozing ink.
We all busted out with laughter once we knew she was ok.
What a bizarre rude awakening.
albatross at lat 37We spotted our first Albatross yesterday who followed us for hours. Beautiful, big and graceful sea bird. This one had to have a wing span of 8 feet or so.
This morning Alison and I are doing laundry while the crew is sleeping.
Life underway goes on just like a daily routine at the household. Lots of chores and work to do every day.
Alison, Patrick and Lucas have adjusted nicely and now have solid sea legs. Now they too can understand the awesomeness of passage making.
We should be making our turn down to SF within the next 2-3 days if the weather models cooperate as anticipated.
More news and pictures to come within the next several days.
Standing by on the Pacific Ocean,
Capt. Rod.

alison 8-18c

Alison on 8/18


Captain Rod

life below deck

Life below deck…

mahi cuts

Mahi cuts…

mahi for dinner

Mahi for Dinner!

ladies on deck

Ladies on deck…

alison at sunrise

Alison at sunrise…

ocean sunrise over a stormy sky

Ocean sunrise over a stormy sky…

epic sunsets

Epic sunsets…

bow pic 8-20i
At the bow…

Day 45: Hawaii is under the Rainbow blocked by Hurricane Darby

7-20 rainbowWednesday, July 20 2016.
We are at Lat 23.30N Long 150.00W approximately 500nm NE of Hawaii. It has been a long road and all of us on board the Galen Diana are ready to make port. We hope to make port within the next eight days or so.
We have to hang back and stall our westerly progress to wait for Hurricane Darby to make up its mind to either pass in front of us or below Hawaii. We are on standby waiting for weather updates as our support team tracks the weather developments. We had just come off Hurricane Celia a few days back. 50mph winds and 30’ seas for a minimum of 30 hours.
We were able to snap a few shots of one of the rowboats we have been tracking for the Great Pacific Race. We are currently back with three crews (rowboats) 500 nautical miles from Honolulu. This is our last hurdle.
We are beginning to become inpatient with the weather delays(as are the rowers) and ready to pull in to Ala Moana Yacht Harbor and step off the boat for the stability of solid ground. I know five minutes on land in Honolulu with the noise, crowds and traffic congestion, I will want to get back out to sea as soon as possible or even escape and sail over to Maui for a few days on mooring in Lahaina.
The crew aboard GD have been so great and patient.It has been a great sailing adventure thus far. We have had a few things break down while on this voyage. Minor stuff mostly. However we did take a pretty good hit when the traveler car broke a couple of weeks ago. I managed to temporarily repair the traveler by lashing the car to the track. The side caps broke on my traveler releasing the non captive bearings. Luckily this happened at a time when it was daylight and we could bring in the main and restrain the traveler car and main sheet connection to the traveler track.
My first call was to my friend and yacht broker John Kuony (who was on vacation in Alaska). Within an hour he had notified Glenn Hansen (Hansen Rigging, Alameda, CA). I sent Glen pictures and a drawing of the parts I need to repair in Hawaii and he took care of it from there. But it didn’t start there… Our Auto Pilot went out on us 250 miles from San Diego as we were headed in to drop off a patient we MEDIVAC’d off one of the boats 400nm off shore. I’m not sure what happened since the auto pilot and linear drive for the AP were new just installed mid May but it would not engage. What we would find out in San Diego is that the pin that holds the linear drive to the tiller had sheared off and detached itself from the tiller.
Weather was rough and those 200 miles without auto pilot was doable but inconvenient. That’s sailing, shit happens. Deal with it, repair it if possible and move on. So on our way in to San Diego, we had a lot of water breaking over the boat at the bow. So much that it got in to the Navigation lights and shorted out the circuit. Luckily I was able to run up some emergency running lights for the time being. In San Diego we had a surprise visit from one of our crews husband Scott who knew every place in San Diego for parts and marine fabrication. After being shut down several times by other fabricators he found someone(Steve Harrison, Harrison Marine) that was willing to help us and make a new pin for our auto pilot. He could have it ready the next day which meant we had to stay in port for the night. We made the most of it. We repaired the Navigation Lights with new wiring and connections and  packed the connections with silicon for extra protection. We met up for dinner at Miguel’s Mexican Food with my mom and dad, my daughters and their mom who live in San Diego joined us as well. It was so nice to see them while we were there less than 24 hours.
FTK 7-16a GD
That was 34 days ago. Since then we have been bouncing around the Pacific in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands checking in with the rowing crews who really are the ones roughing it in comparison and taking a beating from the mighty Pacific. Oh, and our Nav Lights went out again during the last Hurricane. Another fix for Honolulu…
rods mahi 32 inch 7-18
Now that the water has warmed up to 76 degrees the fish have been biting. We have caught nine fish so far. 1- Marlin, 8- Mahi Mahi. Only one keeper at 32 inches. It was delicious!
7-6 sunset GD at UN
Sunrises and sunsets continue to amaze us. On clear nights the stars fill every inch of the sky. We have had a full moon cycle lighting up the sky at night providing enough light to actually see the ocean surface at night. Magical nights they are.
Since leaving Oakland on May 30th, we have sailed over 4,105 nautical miles (4,515 statute miles). It will be close to 5,000nm once we make port in HI.
Stay tuned for more news, stories and pictures to come.
Captain Rod Mayer.UN 7-6 GD

Day 36 at sea sailing over 4,259 nautical miles…

July29, 2014
We are on week six on this expedition and have seemed to adjust to this way of life in a short period of time.

The endless rocking and sway that never goes away is somehow mute aside from the occasional unexpected wave that broadsides and throws us off balance below deck. Topside it is if we are still and unaffected by the continuous motion. I sleep in the V-berth and love the motion of the ocean until we are beating the wind and seas and I
find myself bouncing from top to bottom and side to side.

That’s when I retire to the main salon of aft cabins. Provisions are holding strong due to my amazing wife who managed that program. Outside of being out of snacks and cereals due to a select few who don’t realize that on long voyages one does not consume like it is a Las Vegas buffet, we still have plenty to keep us eating without much compromise. Pizza, Pastas, fresh fish catch, steaks, chops and breakfast meats and hash brown potatoes. Don’t forget that I taught Billy and British Dave the art of preparing American pancakes which are now a morning ritual between the two. (Goodbye maple syrup)…

We have our eyes on the charts for Hawaii but have several obligations left prior to the Great Pacific Race. The other day we came across these two boys rowing looking so French, then later we came across four lasses taking on the high seas. We gave our hellos and snapped some shots and video then left them to continue their quest. Looking back I never realized when I began preparation for this role that I would become not only a Captain of the vessel, but a cook, professional photographer, videographer, aid to a University study and coach.

I love this job, but miss my wife…
~Captain Rod Mayer, Out.


boaty.7-27-14.rm.2 boaty.7-27-14.rm.1 (1) cc4pacific1.7-23-14.rm cc4pacific2.7-23-14.rm

Flat seas and glassy…

(From 22Jul14)

“It was beautiful today somewhere near Lat 23 / Long 137. Flat seas and
glassy. Sunny around 78-80f, sea 75F.
Getting a tan and getting fit. I think this is my thing…
To my wife -xoxo”

alisons husband at sea day 29

~Captain Rod