Well, I just tried to upload photos but after 4 hours…. I only got a few to uplaod…I think I will give up. I will add the other photos when we get better internet that is faster than 2G. This is a short version since it is mostly text.
Week 1 – we left La Cruz Mexico on the morning of April 1st (April’s Fools Day, just in case we needed to turn around). This day had another significance….Trevor proposed to me on April 1st 2004.
We didn’t have much wind for the first week as we headed SW to reach the northern trade winds. Sails were flopping which created chafe on our lines and we had to replace some and fashion “chafe protection” as we saw fit.
We also thought our hydro generator wasn’t working so we had to conserve energy aboard even more. This meant no GPS garmin on….really there is nothing out there. We instead ran the auto pilot (ur third crew member) as it was more important.
Our alternator also stopped producing power….Trevor installed our spare but that also died a day later. We resorted to running our gen set to recharge our batteries for our night time power usage since our solar and wind kept up during the day.
It took 3 or so days to get use to our schedules doing night shifts. During the day whom ever was tired napped but at about 8-9 we would start our 3 hours on and off.
We even saw a submarine…above water of course.
We were able to do laundry and sort our garbage. Everything goes overboard expect for plastic. We wash out our plastic and cut it up to save space.
Lots of visitors on the boat: squids, flying fish, and at one point we had 17 Brown footed boobies on our bow and anchor! That was a lot of poop to clean up!
Week 2 – We finally got into the trade winds, about 10-15 knots of wind from the NWish…this made our sail pattern a downwind sail. Unlike conventional wisdom, sailing downwind for us is not very comfortable. We fly wing on wing (jib one side and mail on the other, mizzen centered for steering).
We stayed on this tack for days…the waves were 2 meters most days and the boat would rock and roll from side to side about 20 degrees every 12 seconds or so…..let’s just say we couldn’t stand without being assisted and hanging on to something.
By the end of the week, I was going crazy as it was hard to DO anything but sit and watch…I actually took a valium at one point to reduce my argo attitude. Trevor was of course much better at handling the rocking but I think we both were ready for for another motion all together.
We hit a major squall….36 knots of wind, gusts up to over 40 knots and wave heights up to 20 feet. Trevor had to hand steer for over 2 hours to steer through these waves and that left me to take down the mizzen sail in all of this. We rolled in our jib and reefed our main sail but ripped it at the bottom due to our ducth-man system which helps flank the sails when we take it down….to say the least….we were drenched and it rained for 5 hours straight!
After doing damage control, it was night time and we were exhausted. On the bright side, the next day we hit the “duldrums”.
Week 3 – The duldrums – The duldrums is generally near the equator (10-20 degrees north and south of the equator…and it moves around A LOT). The seas calmed down and we motored though until we hit the equator.
We crossed the equator on Sunday Easter. Trevor made me a Easter basket with cabbage as grass, a few slices of red onion for color. He drew fun designs on hard boiled eggs and stuck one of our chocolate bars in it. Super cute and wonderful to wake up to. Our crossing ended up at about 10pm so we couldn’t jump into the water or anything fun like that but we made silly rabbit ears hats out of tin foil and a Neptune staff. We popped open a bottle of champagne (one we got at a winery during last years Girls Wine Weekend in Yakima). We toasted to Neptune and Trevor said a few words, offered Neptune some champagne and a few pesos from Mexico to keep him “happy”.
We had about 5 days in the duldrums and got the boat back to semi-organized again, cleaned up a bit and we were glad we did that as the next few days were a bit rough.
Week 4 (3 days until landfall) – After the duldrums there the SE trade winds that take us WSW to the Marquesas Islands. With these trades there is a “line” called the Monsoon trough…what I call “Squall city”.
These squalls move from east to west bringing clouds, wind and rain. We basically played “dodge squall” but of course couldn’t escape them all. One of them was 16 miles long…that one got us in the middle of the night! We at least kind of knew what to expect since we went though a pretty rough one earlier but at night you can’t see a thing (the moon rose later and later in the evening since we left MX). All was well but the squalls didn’t stop until literally we made landfall on April 23rd at about 8am local time here in French Polynesia.
But we caught our first fish!!!! And saw a HUGE pod of dolphins…
Landfall – We anchored out in the town Atuona on the island Hiva Oa in the bay on Sunday. All the official offices are closed so we could not check in until Monday. We stayed on our boat, since we had not passed customs or immigration and rested.
Stayed tuned for our island adventures….may be a while but we’ll get it out somehow : )