People, Boats, and Stories => Boat Discussion => Topic started by: Captain Smollett on June 08, 2011, 08:24:43 PM

Title: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Captain Smollett on June 08, 2011, 08:24:43 PM
Kirk Little is currently in Bali, Indonesia getting ready to cross to Madagascar.  The boat is an Alberg 30 (Hull 504, a "liner boat").

He left back in 2008 from the East Coast, went down through Panama and across to Australia.  James Baldwin posted about it when he was just starting out (,699.msg15761.html#msg15761), and I thought an update was in order.

Here's his blog ( and Google Map ( of his trip so far.

Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Captain Smollett on June 08, 2011, 09:46:20 PM
And James' discussion of the refit on the ( site.
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Captain Smollett on August 01, 2011, 10:25:48 AM
Kirk has made landfall on Cocos Keeling after a ten day passage from Bali.  Hope to hear from Kirk some details of the trip(s) made so far.

I take inspiration from seeing another A-30 making the circle.
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Bubba the Pirate on August 03, 2011, 07:02:17 PM
Yes!  And with my Alberg designed CD28, I'm inspired as well.  Thanks for the update! 

Don't know if I'm that ambitious, but I have a bunch of voyaging ahead. 
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: ntica on November 05, 2011, 09:04:45 AM
I read the salasa blogg, fantastic!!! He mention a video clip??? can't seem to find it. anyone?
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Captain Smollett on December 17, 2011, 08:15:03 AM
Kirk and Salsa have made it to South Africa.

Salsa site (

He had a rough bit down the Strait, but it regrouping/resting on the eastern side before rounding The Cape to Cape Town.
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: ntica on December 18, 2011, 12:56:11 PM
Like the salsa site, and did found the Video clip! He laso sail with Norvane, and pleased with it...
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Captain Smollett on January 17, 2012, 09:13:03 AM
Kirk and Salsa are back in the Atlantic Ocean.

Three years ago, he left the Atlantic by crossing the Panama Canal.  This morning, he posted from 34* 53' South, 20* 00' East, about four miles offshore (so he had an Internet connection!), that he was abeam of the Cape!

Grog to you, Kirk, and Fair Winds.
Title: Detailed Diary/Log from Indian Ocean crossing on Salsa.
Post by: Kirkalittle on January 24, 2012, 05:28:07 AM
Just wrote a new 'retro' update posting my writing during the Indian Ocean.  If anyone wants an honest detailed description of what an ocean passage in moderate to rough seas is like on a small boat, I think this captures it, haven't even put it on the website yet, so I'll post the long blog entry here;


Aug 13 2011, 930am departing Cocos keeling.   The weather was borderline "sailable" at the time I left, being very light winds and somewhat variable, most boats deemed it to be 'unsailable' and it probably was in their bigger yachts which require a bit more of a breeze than little Salsa.  Then again as I write this, 48 hours into the trip the wind and seas are so big I would consider it 'barely sailable' in Salsa and the other boats would be flying along having a ball, albeit I suspect with at least a bit of discomfort.  Right now the seas are around 10 to 15 feet high, and the winds 25 to 35kts.  Its just pure poop out here.  It?s been so cloudy and rainy I haven't seen the moon or sun since the day I departed until now.  When I left there was a slight breeze from the north and as I was sailing west, it was perfect, just barely enough wind to fill the sails and keep them from slapping around in the big but gentle southerly swell that just never goes away, even when there is no wind.  This Northerly breeze (a bit unusual as we should have SE trade winds around 20kts or so I thought) kept going until around 9PM when it just got too light, I was only sailing at 3kts and the sails started to bang around too much to make any headway.  So I prepared to just drift a while, well actually we kept sailing more or less west but only at about 1 to 2 kts since I put 3 reefs in the main and nearly took down the Jib to protect the sails from all the banging around with no wind, however there was just enough wind to keep  moving under reefed sail, and I went to sleep for a while.  After midnight I awoke to the GPS alarm telling me that I was off course and turns out the winds had finally gone back to the SE, but still at a miserly 10kts.  Even with the main deeply reefed I let out most of the genoa and we were making 4kts again, not bad, and then it started building, the wind and seas.  By morning conditions were very uncomfortable, winds over 25kts, seas over 10 ft, cloudy, rainy, I completely furled the jib by then and was sailing with only the triple reefed mainsail,  (and have been just like that for 24 hours as things just seem to get worse, but not dangerous).  Currently I'm making near 6kts (that means up to 10kts when I start surfing down these waves) and I'm thinking I might have to completely douse the third reef in the mainsail and go back to just a tiny bit of the jib.  I tried going out this morning for a shower in the rain but before I could dry off a huge wave smacked me and it seemed the salt water spray was hitting me more than the fresh rain water, lovely.   So yes, this is one of those moments when you think, why the heck am I out here.  I just spoke to my friends still in Cocos on the radio who are fishing, diving, having BBQ fish on the beach, and I'm here in the poop.  Funny how they have Sunshine and light winds just 150 miles away.  Last night I took a wave into the cockpit so big that it was almost full of water, I was surprised how long it took to drain, several minutes, hmmm....   On top of that, my radar is acting up AS USUAL, worked fine the first day, but today I have had to reset it 4 times to get it to work, and I really need it as I am actually around shipping lanes and with this weather I couldn?t see any ships outside even if I was looking.  THEN about half way through writing this I hear my fishing line go, and I see a nice Wahoo (my favorite fish) jump clear out of the water, and before I could even begin to pull him in, he got loose.  So that?s how my day is going.  It's funny because back in Bali someone asked me about sailing and said, wow you must have some amazing times, and some awful times out there on the sea.  And that is the exact truth.  If every day was like my last 24 hours I would never be doing this.  The really hard question is does all the nice days make up for the crappy ones!?  Sometimes it's hard to say.  But I think somehow our little brains tend to remember the better parts and therefore convince ourselves to keep doing this kind of thing.  

On my second day underway from Cocos the winds maxed out gusting up to around 40kts  and seas were up to around 15 feet, been taking a lot of water into the cockpit and even a bit into the cabin...........

OOPS, my entry exceeded the allowed length (20000 Characters) you'll have to read the rest on, should be up by the time you read this, or certainly within 24hrs.. 
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Cruiser2B on January 24, 2012, 09:19:52 PM
very informative! I am working on the mast of my 1971 alberg 30, could you tell me if you are using the original masthead? if so did the topping lift block fail on you? if so what type did you have on there. I am thinking of changing out all of my mast head blocks as they are original, but both marine store i went to suggested that my originals were better than what i could buy originals are schaefer with an aluminum sheave.  Thanks for the update on detail account of your passage. ome more thing, did you do anything to your forward chainplate knees? i have made all new chainplates from 1.5" x 1/4" 316 and upgraded bolt size, just wondering about reinforcing knees. thank you

Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: ntica on January 25, 2012, 06:04:26 AM
Great reading kirkalittle... thanks! keep posting please!
Title: Mast Head blocks
Post by: Kirkalittle on January 26, 2012, 01:10:44 AM
1) Yes, the mast head is original. 

2) I dont think any of the blocks up there are original and with long distance sailing you will constantly be changing them out, right now I actually have to spinnaker snatch blocks up there because (as you might have read in the blog) I had to replace one offshore and those are the easiest to put on when you are up the mast offshore in a swell.  I've broken all the blocks at some point, always from sails banging in light wind, never in heavy wind!  I guess it would be worth buying those blocks with the extra load rating, usually its the little shackle or pin on the block that fails, so you can always re-use it once you replace that little part.

I did reinforce the knees on the forward lower shrouds, but I'm not sure I did a good job, I didn't realize they were a problem area at the time, but I just recently saw a very good interview on You Tube from Yeves Gelenes, 

He mentions it's a good idea to reinforce here, watch the video, what I did (I think different from his approach) was to epoxy in a shaped block of wood between the top of the knee and the bottom of the deck so that excess load is transferred to the underside of the deck, probably would have been better to extend the knee down below the shelf as I think he did so the load is still on the hull itself, but there is a stringer there in the way, probably the orig. knee is strong enough for normal cruising and trade-wind cruising.

Also I have that original sheave in the mast intended for a WIRE halyard but I managed to get a normal halyard into there which I use for the jib as it made a perfect lead for the roller furler.  everything else is external blocks I added for the two spinnaker halyards, topping lift, and main halyard.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Cruiser2B on January 26, 2012, 06:19:07 AM
Thank you very much for the reply. did you modify the mast head in any way? i was thinking the the 1/4" pins for topping lift and spinnaker blocks were a bit small, i had thought about increasing those to 5/16". I have hesitated because of material thickness that would be left after opening up the hole. 
Now that you are using the large sheave for you jib, where have you attached the block for your main?

 I saw that you used James of Atom voyages for consulting of your boat mods, is there a reason you did not add an inner forestay? or did you?

I enjoyed you last blog post, it was very honest and candid.  my wife read it, who has always wondered if others candy coated the "cruising experience". I told her that important lesson here is that while it was uncomfortable, your Alberg 30 got you there! obviously with your guidance!

Thank you again.
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Kirkalittle on August 20, 2012, 05:36:15 AM
Sorry for taking so long to reply to your last message.  The primary reason I did not add an inner stay is simply the cost.  Especially as a true cutter rig would require something like running back-stays to support the mast when using the inner stay.  I liked the idea but I was running out of time and money, and other things were higher on the list.  I think those 1/4" pins for the running rigging are perfectly fine, I don't even see much wear on mine.  The main sail halyard is just going through a standard block that is hanging off of the pin on the mast, I'm trying to attach a photo but I'm not sure it is allowing it, if you want I can email you pics of my masthead.
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Cruiser2B on August 20, 2012, 04:17:45 PM
Pics would great for comparison. I have rerigged my boat with 9/32 and 7/32 wire and larger chainplates and bolts. Going off your recommendation I left the mast head the way it was and just put new hardware up there. Here are a few pics
Title: Re: "Salsa" getting ready to cross Indian Ocean
Post by: Cruiser2B on August 20, 2012, 04:25:23 PM
couple more