Just about to round Table Cape on the Mahia Peninsula, then around the lighthouse on the southern-most tip of the Peninsula, and then just 50 miles to go to Napier- we'll be in at first light and waving the Q flag in anticipation- now, how do we explain that we left Tahiti with 4, and yet now there is only three of us...
Tolaga Bay, an unexpected surprise... Not normally a visiting yachts first place to visit, however Paul had to vacate the vessel early- Rory's cooking had the better of him (too many smiked bananas, perhaps?!?), or something like that... Anyway, just received word from the big fella that he is resting up this evening and feeling a million times better, which is great news. Two weeks of no sea legs has paid the price- everyone at MPI go easy on him for a few days as he gets his strength back!
East Cape!! New Zealand!! A very welcome sight to all aboard! The beginning of the end of what has been a mammoth mission, only made possible by at least a dozen wonderful crew who have joined us from all around the world for a week or two, and up to three months for others. Thanks to all who helped made this possible:) We need to get together and have a beer and some food- party in Welly?!?!?!
The winds eased round behind us and we've taken off, sailing the angles she's fantastic on, and with just enough wind too generate a healthy swell from behind, we're surfing every wave and smashing the miles away- have averaged 8.75 knots for the afternoon, stoked!:) Champagne sailing, as they say!! Not so crash hot for the crew though who are passed out below decks- Ellen, normally soldiering on through wind, swell and sickness hasn't risen from bed for the day, and Paul's in the same boat, if you'll excuse the pun.. Rorys trooping on, although feeling a little worse for wear after finishing off the last of our Tahitian smoked bananas- not sure if they're legal in NZ or not but the evidence has been consumed! And along with it any blame for Rorys dodgy tummy, which I'm more likely to attribute to an early hangover from the beers that went down in the heat of the day! Righto, back to the glorious moion-lit, about-to-be-coastal full spray-in-ya-face wind-in-ya-hair big-boat surfing down the east coast!! :)
Just passed over Rumble III- unfortunately no pumice to collect, which is a damn crying shame cos my feet are in desperate need of a bit of TLC after 4 months at sea.. Beautiful sunny day after almost the last week of pretty stormy conditions and rain, so we're drying the boat out- she was starting to resemble a turkish bathhouse with the elevated humidity and piles of random clothing lying everywhere. That said, it probably doesn't smell as good as a Turkish bathhouse... 100nm to go to East Cape, 160 to Gizzy, 230 to Napier- still not sure where our first port of call will be, will see how progress goes and call it when we are a little closer. It sounds like it'll be a struggle to get MPI to clear us on Sunday in Gizzy (sheesh, the nerve!), so we may push on to Napier. In the mean time, the sun is shining, the Titi are circling, Rory's cracked his first beer, and all is quiet below- no chundering for 12 hours now! Awesome. Oceanus signing off...
Just got buzzed by an Orion- Welcome to NZ waters!!
Bit of change of weather since the night before, as 30+ knots, driving rain and seriously lumpy seas tossed us around all night, with pretty much every item that was securely stowed on the starboard side ending up ricocheting around the cabin multiple times.. Hopefully all those other yachts out there returning to NZ are surviving unscathed too. Unfortunately after a super still preceeding 36 hours which was setting up very nearly to be a record chunder-free run for Oceanus, the crew is once again feeding the fishes. Fortunately its easing up a little and hasn't blown more than 30 in the last 90 minutes, and the fishes have gone hungry for the same duration. May the fishes continue to starve. We're having to run straight south in the strong winds, and making great speed towards home, but have our fingers and toes crossed that the impending southerly change is both short-lived and mild, and won't way-lay our arrival into Gizzy/Napier late sat night or early sunday morning.
After another mill pond, mirror-like night at sea with the peaceful sound of a Yanmar diesel purring away in our ears, we're finally into the forecast northerly breezes- building from the NE as forecast, but still awaiting it to come around far enough and pick up so that we can reach straight for East Cape. Its getting coooold too, the crew have pulled out the overalls and jackets for night watch, our resident polar bear (Rory) has taken to wearing t shirts during the day, theres been at least one occurrence of a wooly hat, the duck-down sleeping bags are out, and heavens-to-murgitrude Hannah's Bumble Balm (TM) has solidified, after 4 months of being a liquid- look out, Winter Is Coming!
And we're back on the right side of the date line! With NZ due south of us and a big-arse blow due west of us which is going to take us home in a hurry, I think we're getting ready to come home! Actually, I think all aboard were well and truely ready a few days ago... So we've just got to sneak through yet another light patch, and then we should be homeward bound. Properlike this time. And about a week late. Sorry to all the bosses out there!
And now its died right off again... At least there are storm clouds on the horizon to give us a hurry up in the middle of the night?!?
After most of the day with variable 2-3 knots, and on the motor for all of it, its now back to blowing hard again- on the nose, 15 knots of Southerly. Still making going south very challenging.... Now where are those freakin nor-westers that were forcast? Dum-de-doo.....
On the nose, 15 knots of Southerly, which is making going south very challenging....
24 hours of motoring in breathless, mirror like conditions, which is nice to sleep in, but not great for making distance... Or conserving fuel.. Finally a southerly has kicked in and is building, but its taking us away from where we are trying to get to, doh. Glad the boss is with me, cos we are going to be late home....
Beans. Thats what we need apparently. Something about generating wind when you need it. I'm not convinced to be honest. But more so than Rorys future directions for sailing in windless environments, which entails towing a small barge with solar panels to run the fans on deck. Canadians, eh. I'm awaiting for the electrical engineer to come up with something more practical, but thus far no joy- looks like we're back to praying to Huey..
Argh, 2 hours of glorius SE 'trades' and we're smoking along for a bit, then it drops and we're twiddling the thumbs, dum-de-doo... Still, its the best looking office view imaginable:)
Argh, a couple of hours of wind from 0-5 knots from all the way round the compass, and another freaking fish tearing off with the lure and half my line! Didn't see this one though so it wasn't a marlin! Seems as though the best fishing (well, most productive fishing that resulted in sushi) was Galapagos to Marquesas- haven't eaten fresh fish for over a month! Tis a little wrong.. We're not sick of the vegan-friendly tofu yet either, honest. Its delicious. No really. No where's that biltong gone..
Stopped at the lights, indicator on, looked both ways, then leeeeeeft turn!
Sheesh, did someone say that it was cool??!? Its back to roasting again- where's that coooool NZ breeze gone? And worse still- we ran out of apples today. There was almost fisty cuffs and a mutiny as the realisatyion dawned upon us that that beautiful, crunchy, sweet and juicy apple that I was munching on this morning whilst savouring the sun slowly rising may have accidentally in fact been the last one.... Just quietly, it was rather good! And its only 8 or 9 more sleeps til we get fresh ones so thats not too bad eh?! No need to fret tho mum, we have plenty of oranges and pampelmouse to stave off the scurvy with! Smoking along on a tight reach, still mainly west, and looking forward to that wind shift to push us in the right direction- it'll come tonight I'm sure... Now, wheres my secret stash of golden delicious gone..
Blew past Beveredge Reef yesterday afternoon, and just passing Niue now, to the north. Looks like we'll start to turn for NZ in the next 12 hours as the forecast wind comes around:)
I'm hoping we're into the wind system now that will take us all the way home, fingers crossed.. Its blowing directly from NZ, and there is a distinct chill in the air coming straight of Ruapehu (I'm sure..)- I actually pulled out a sleeping bag for a fleeting moment this morning, but having said that its ridiculously hot now and its not even 11am, so we're definately still in the tropics! We're still smashing west right now, but the wind is meant to gradually move through to the SE over the next 48 hours, and with that we will bend around and point for NZ- cant wait to be back on home shores with familiar faces, bikes, fresh fruit and veg, fine craft beers, and a toilet with legroom that isn't constantly tryin to buck you off!
Had a bit of breeze come through yesterday, blew over 35knots from the south for a good couple of hours, then gradually settled into a more manageable 25 for the rest of the night- good for making miles west, but came at a cost- everyones sealegs washed overboard almost immediately the front hit, doh! Also, the sad remnants of the hand of bananas suffered considerable as we were tossed around- the back deck was partially covered with dismembered, inverted, and squashed bananas- no need to send a banana cake recipe now! It settled down nicely this morning though, and the smiles are back on peoples dials, the breeze is light, and we're close hauled heading straight for home- not quite ready for the final turn to NZ yet, but nice for the miles to be sailed dissappearing at the same rate as our speed. 1600nm to go... As the days tick by, and with the weather having been generally light over the last week, our intended landfall of the end of the month is looking a bit dubious unfortunately.. best we could hope to do it in is about 10 days from here- so maybe the third of Nov at the earliest? See ya when we're looking at ya:)
The bananas have turned! The back deck under the radome is becoming a quagmire of over-ripe mushy bananas, which are being shed slowly and indelicately over the helm as the boat rocks. With safety first, there's a real danger that someone gets conked on the head with one of these sticky mushy projectiles- perhaps its time to crack out the hardhats. If someone texts us a banana cake recipe I'll atempt to resolve the issue, although if I'm on the end of the spatula then the resultant cake may be a H&S hazard in itself- Lyndsay, where are you when Oceanus is in a time of need?!? And Dani, you've deserted us with your banana pancakes recipe!
The wind has slowly dropped all today, and come around to the north east, leaving us flapping under a poled out headsail and rolling in the moderate swell, however there are smiles evident occasionally aboard as all begin to get their sea legs sorted! Movie-night has even been discussed, so all must be feeling perky! Its even been a day of relative gorging as fruit is ripening rapidly and the inevitable light rain of bananas from the hand hanging up on the back deck provide far more than one hungry, and three slightly hungry mouths could want! All is good tho, still no rain (apart from the bananas), and sleep is coming easily too! Righto, back to sailing this boat home- just 1778nm to go!
Its midnight and we've just smoked past Aitutaki at full tilt, her lights shine through the haze of wind and cloud, bright enough upon the horizon. The moon is just starting to rise and we're settling in for a fast overnight run in good breeze, trying to slot between the high and the low when they come through in the next 36 hours. The bonus, it just so happens we're pointed in the right direction and making really good vmg to NZ too- we're headed straight for the Three Kings right now! Crew morale is finally building as the sea-legs start to develop- everyone ate something for dinner and kept it down which is great news! At this rate there'll be a cheeky game of cards or a movie tomorrow night with lashing of custard- you just never know!
After the wind kept building we managed a run of 175nm yesterday which we're definately happy about, although the waves driven by that wind have been a little less than welcome, with most of the new crew bar Rory suffering the consequences of the rolly motion. Needless to say there has not been much eaten over the last 24 hours, but plenty donated to the sea! So the dropping wind and sea will hopefully have some respite for Paul and Ellen! We're heading straight for Aitutaki at the moment, and if the wind direction and speed holds, we will pass it around midnight tonight. Its a pity to blast past such a gem, but with the cyclone season potentially just weeks away, there is no rest for the wicked. And what better time to return to NZ- straight into a nice warm NZ spring will be the perfect transition from the tropical heat we've become accustomed too. Looks like the weather over the next few days is going to be lighter and variable- wish us good luck to pick our way past the impending highs and speed on home.
Finally some wind, although there are some seriously ominous clouds following it, but for the meantime we are reaching along in relatively calm seas with a steady breeze- may the storm clouds stay around us but not on us! Having some problems with the sat phone dongle (who'da thunk ya still need a serial port dongle in 2016?!), so if we stop communicating then don't fret- we'll let you know when we make landfall for sure! See ya'll soon!!
After a very relaxing few days swimming, snorkelling and enjoying the local food and beverages, we departed Bora Bora yesterday morning bound for New Zealand. We didn't get too far before being distracted by the crystal-clear waters of Maupiti- a small atoll 30 miles to the west of Bora Bora; we hove to 50m from shore in mirror-like conditions, and by all accounts the fish and coral life was stunning- lots of sharks and big fish, plus the bonus of the volcanic underwater topography providing a maze of coral and sponge covered caves and swim-throughs- a perfect way to finish our French Polynesian experience. Back on the road now in continuing mirror-like conditions with very little wind, leading to our slowest (yet most comfortable!?) 24 hours yet- about 100nm covered, mainly under motor. Crew are settling in well, and have been spoiled on their first night by the tranquility of the ocean, vibrant stars smeared across the night skies, and a glowing full-moon with which to navigate by- sailing at its most serene.. We'll continue to head west for another 1000 miles or so, before 'fanging a lefty' when the right weather system comes through to sling us home- see ya'll in a few weeks!
After a crew change in Raiateand a night in Tahaa in beautiful Hurepiti Bay (reminded me of Fiordland), we are now in Bora bora, and after three days awaiting the official ok (and doing a bit of diving and exploring on the reefs :), have received clearance from the Gendarmerie to depart tomorrow morning, Monday, on the final leg to NZ, and home, yay! The weather is looking decidedly light, with several highs forecast for the area we're travelling through in the next week, so wish us luck and better than forecast breeze! See you all soon!
A beautiful still night here in Hurepiti Bay, to give the new crew a false sense of security lol!
A beautiful still night here in Hurepiti Bay, to give the new crew a false sense of security lol!
Raiatea and final crew change! Which means we're on the homeward leg:)
Tahaa, via Huahine- all good here, although closer to saying goodbye to the crew, and family, which will be hard- has been an awesome 6 weeks with Kath and Issie aboard (and everyone else, of course!). The new crew arrive tomorrow!!
After yesterdays gloriously smooth 24 hours with 15 knot easterlies and light trades, we've run out of wind and are motoring the last few miles to Huahine, which strikes an imposing image on the horizon with its volcanic structure and towering peaks. Tahaa and Raiatea are beyond in the distance, possibly the target of tomorrows sail, or maybe the next day, depending on the surf forecast! And yesterdays highlight- after a couple of hours of trolling, what did we pick up just on nightfall??? Again?!?!? Another marlin- amazing, and hard to believe that they are that plentiful up here that you can hook up two days in a row!! So after 20 seconds of another monster fish dancing all over the surface of the water and stripping 500 m of my brand new line on the highest drag I dared to use.... ping.... gone again! But once again unbelievable- Rod, you'd be amazed!! And just quietly, they both hit the same type of lure- I have their dietry requirements all figured out for next time in case someone wants to sponsor another trip up this way!! ;)
No whales on the way back from Mataiva, but somehow we hooked up with a giant marlin on the way back to Tikehau, which danced all over the water whilst stripping all 500m of my 80lb braid on the fishing line with full drag on- 10 seconds later all the line was gone and the fish as well! Incredibly exhilarating to watch it jump repeatedly but nothing we could do to stop the mondster fish do the inevitable and disapear over the horizon! Arrived in Tikehau sans fish and no whales sighted, but its been quite a spectacular couple of days fishing wise! We'll be sticking around Tikehau for the next few days before departing for Huahine and then Raiatea for a full crew change, then onwards to NZ.
Mataiva- no whales but the largest giant trevally you have ever seen landed! Waaaay too big for 6 of us to eat over a week so we released her to do her thing and looked for more bite-sized fish! :)
Tikehau for a night before heading to Mataiva to chase humpback whales!
Been at Rangiroa for most of the week now- sorry about the delayed update- will be hanging here for the rest of the week then looking to head to the Society Islands and then onward:)
Departed Manihi yesterday afternoon after dropping our Dani at the wharf, where she will spend her last couple of days before heading back to the northern hemisphere- safe travels Dani and thanks for the good times! We're now in passage on the way to Rangiroa to drop of Mikey, whose been a champion aboard Oeanus for the last 5 weeks, and has helped out no end with what was the longest leg of the trip- and he hasn't stopped preparing delicious meals since his arrival! It will be a hard act to follow Steve and Lou (no pressure!!), who we pick up tomorrow from Rangiroa! In the mean time, we are just cruising so that we arrive at Taputi pass shortly after sunrise. See you soon!
Manihi- we're here now! Dani leaves us tomorrow after 8 weeks- she's been there since the start and we'll miss her very much- but in the mean time we drink beers and cocktails and celebrate our arrival in the Tuamotos! Tres bien!!
Only a day away from Ahe or Manihi- TBC depending on arrival time. Been a wet 36 hours of continuous tropical storms, the saloon is like a sauna with the wet weather gear and bodies drying! We're all looking forward to some atol time in the Tuamotos and some feet up and long relaxing days snorkeling and exploring beaches:)
After a waaay too short stay in the Marquesas, consisting primarily of chasing Gendarmes and paperwork (hurrumpf!), we're on the road again, with flights to meet in the Tuamotos. Bit of a rough first night for Kath and Is last night, with an uncomfortably choppy sea state and enough breeze to make it exciting. Looking forward to some actual relaxation in the Tuamotos in a few days time! Today we are celebrating Danielles birthday though, so some frivolity will ensure this evening no doubt! Hugs from all here to all everywhere else in the world, and dont be afraid to free-text the sat phone (00881632648758) from https://messaging.iridium.com/ :)
We snuck in two nights ago about 10pm under a full moon- the end of a long leg, but all safe and well and sleeping soundly! Departing for Tuamotos in the next 24 hours so in repair and stock up mode!
Jesoos, its just there, but we canny see it Jim! 39.75nm to go to the anchorage, and only 26 to the eastern tip of Hiva Oa, but do you think we can see it yet?!?! Beers are on ice and the thermostats turned waaaaaaaaaaaay down..
on the home stretch- 160nm to go!
Still slowly slowly, but not too far to go now- just crossed into the French Polynesian EEZ. Another mahi mahi landed yesterday, so we're eating like kings again! And after 16(?) days at sea, where we saw no sign of humanity whatsover- no ships, no airplanes, no satellites at night even, we were checked out yesterday by a navy boat, and came across a squid fishing vessel last night, and saw a couple of airplanes flashing across the night sky... The pacific certainly has thus far lived up to its name, and also reminded us all that there are still places on this earth you can go and escape most signs of humanity for weeks on end. Unfortunately the pollution cannot be escaped from- there is a horrendous amount of plastic detritus floating in our oceans- please do your best to reduce, reuse and recycle:). 190 nm to go says the plotter- all going well we'll make Hiva Oa, and the small anchorage at Atuona before sunset tomorrow afternoon- see you there!
Bugger. After tearing the clew out our last good spinnaker 3 days ago, and following an astonishingly brilliant repair job to said clew by all, we were flying along again for the last 24 hours, when suddenly this morning there was a *bang*, followed by Danielle's voice- 'f**k!'- the tack of the spinnaker has now blown out of the sail... With almost all our sail tape gone, a repair is not possible, so we are now spinnaker-less and on the slow-boat to the Marquesas... having lost about 2-3 knots of boat speed, our arrival date is now looking more like the 14th, local time. Doh. We're all mildly gutted... Anyhoo, its a lovely day, and if the wind picks up, or blesses us with a 90 degree wind shift *ahem* then we'll be back on track. Not holding our breath just yet... Still, its a nice day. Hugs from 7 degrees south, over n out.
Yet another beautiful sunset followed by yet another moon-lit spinnaker run towards the Marquesas- just 640nm to go til hot showers and cold beers:)
Another beautiful sunset followed by a moon-lit spinnaker run towards the star studded horizon:)
We're into the last third of the voyage, and the trades have gradually snuck behind us, so its downwind on the spinnaker day and night now- hopefully 5 more days to go and we are in the Marquesas! Its coming up on two weeks at sea thus far, and we have not seen one other boat or ship since departing the Galapagos- just lots of big open spaces out here in the Pacific- not even a single plane flying over hear either- its as though the world has stopped completely out there. But I hope thats not the case cos we just ran out of chocolate, which has meant we are onto some unusual mystery packets of Spanish randomness for our sweet deserty treats- most interesting! Bring on the French patisseries I say! Peace out
Broad reaching with spinnaker under beautiful star-filled skies- glorious!
The spinnaker is humnming, and we're surfing every wave, heading pretty much due west, and most importantly, we're halfway to the Marquesas!!! The crew are stoked- its been a long 9 days thus far, so to reach this milestone is a grand thing for all aboard. We're celebrating by cracking open our last pineapple, which seems apt! Now, just another 1470nm to go... Bring on the canned foods.....
Another beautiful day! And getting hotter again, following the anomaly of the Galapagos, where cold at night was quite a shock, being situated directly on the equator and all. Its now back to 'normal' tropical conditions, high 20's and humidity, making deck-time during the day best to be avoided- hiding in the shadow of the spinnaker is the place to be! We're expecting more warmth as we move further away from the cold Humbolt current that drives the cooler temperatures around the Galapagos. The mahi mahi is absolutely amazingly delicious- Mikeys cooking it minimally too perfection and the accompanying greek salads and rice are the finest accompaniment. All on the boat is fine, apart from the alternator which I'm about to attack - slipping belt I'm sure so that will have us generating power effeciently again at night when the solar doesn't help. We're charging through our water supplies too, so the watermaker will be put through its paces in the next few we eks. Fortunately we got it running smoothly in the Galapagos, so all is well. And of considerable concern- tp.. We're on rations of a roll and a half for the next 1760nm til we get to the Marquesas!
Following a couple of days of light-wind sailing, and spinnaker runs during the day, we now have solid trades with a confused sea which is making life aboard Oceanus a little challenging- sleep is hard fought and cherished! Making good speed though, as the average picks up- we're well over a third of the way to the Marquesas now! We celebrated today with fresh mahi-mahi: sushimi now, fillets later, steaks tomorrow and baked the day after! Protein- check! Looking forward to seeing loved ones in Tahiti, albeit likley to be a day later than hoped- perhaps the 12th? Hugs to all from the sunny topics:)
Finally, wind! And we're racing towards the Marquesas after a bit of a slow start- the extra speed is making life on board a little less pleasant, and sleepy that little bit harder to seek, but we'll be into the swing of things soon enough. 2443nm to go!!
Whales yesterday!! Either one or two large (>15m) Sei whales surfaced within 20 metres of the boat four times- just in front of us and going in the same direction- very exciting for all! Still in light winds but making close to hull-speed, and slowly pushing south to where the more consistent wind is purported to be..
With Isla Isabela slowly disappearing over the horizon, with some regret we say goodbye to the wonderful Galapagos Islands, which truely deserves an extra few months to explore and marvel at her many wonders. Wind is slowly starting to pick up and become more consistent, and we are reaching, but following the wind direction as it varies widely between SE and S and heading between SSW and W with the gusts. We'll focus on maximising speed for the next few days, to alternate between VMG and southing, to get us to the more consistent trades. Hopefully we'll see them tomorrow afternoon, and we can get our downwind sails out and start making serious progress towards the Marquesas:) This will be our last communication for at least a few days, but will update you all when we get a chance. Take care all, hugs from Danielle, Lyndsay, Mikey and Tim
Isabela, so short and sweet- you have struck a chord with all of us with your enormity, rugged beauty, charismatic megafauna, and simplistic township with cheap amenities and good food. Unfortunately our time here was always going to be short and sweet, so we now have cast off, heading for slightly more southern climes, and the joys of french bakeries, Agathis trees and coconut crabs:)
Coming to the end of our last day in Santa Cruz- heading to Isla Isabela this evening- the largest, and most remote of the islands, where there is little in the way of infrastructure and services available. Consequently, we have stocked the boat with three weeks worth of fresh produce, and visited immigration this morning for our clearances out of the Galapagos Islands- a sad day! We will depart for Isla Isabela this evening, the largest and most untouched of the main islands, and will enjoy its volcanos, tortoises, iguaneas etc for a day, and then head to sea- next stop the Marquesas! This will take us something in the region of 16-20 days- the longest leg on the trip. But lucky me, Kath and Issie will be meeting us there- cant wait! :) :) Will be fast spinaker runs during the day and poled out Genoas at night to ensure we make good time! We will likely get a forecast every ~3 days or so, and at that point I'll endeavor to update the YIT site with our progress, but as these updates are subject to satellite availability, and electrical and mechanicical vagaries at sea, dont be surprised if you hear from us less often, or not at all! We will definately update you on our arrival at the other end:) Hope everyones is wonderful, wherever you are in the world, and we'll catch you in the Marquesas!! Hugs from Oceanus
Sailing past Isla Sante Fe,. a little islet with a beautiful small lagoon on the northern side, and covered in cactus trees- yup, they're cacti but they have trunks very cool! On the way to Santa Cruz- eta 1500 local time.
Ahhh, Santa Cruz, a little rolly on the anchor but nice and shallow with good holding so all is good with the world! Heading to the restaurant and some good local food and some more local microbrews- who'd-a-thunk-it?!
Safely anchored in Isla San Cristobal, enjoying fine Equadorian home brews, good food and the crew are off exploring the island while skip focusses on things more of a biosecurity nature!
At the entrance to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno where we will attempt customs, track down our Galapagos advisor, shower and clean 8 days of saltyness from peoples and boat, and maybe find some fresh fruit and a hot feed! All safe and well in the Galapagos! :)
And then the mist cleared for a fe moments just past 8am local time and there they were- the Galapagos! All the crew are asleep so I enjoyed the moment before quietly whspering below where we are, and within a few minutes all the bleary eyes were being rubbed and the faces were beaming and admiring the vast, martian landscape that is Isla San Cristobal:) heading for the south western corner now and immigration- wish us luck!
The equator!!!! The Deckie, the Dutch, Seaman Sal and Salty all cross for the first time!! 1320 local time, Seaman Sal gave us the countdown, and we submitted to Neptune, played dually by our gnome Dave, and by Salty, pressups were undertaken, rum was drunk and shared with the sea, and hair was sacrificed for the betterment of all! Actually several rums were had and frivolity ensued! And the Deckie put together a wonderous ode to the experience! Poem for Neptine for crossing the equator Oh Neptune, great god and king of the sea, At least thats what I think you are, but to be fair I didn't do Greek history, We give thanks for your waves that have been real nice, except for the ones that make our bowel motions visit us twice, Dunno if you're in charge of the winds too, if so thanks for the lack of duldrums- thats out of the blue, So chur big hairy man for whats been a pretty sweet ride, thanks for carrying us along on your equatorial tide, Soon we reach Galapagos, I heard thats also where you hang out, if we see you there, there's a drink on us- our shout, PS I think you're the ultimate hipster, that beard is outstanding, I've now made this very hard to end; I hate shandy Deckie L on the MC :)
Still smoking along- cant believe this wee monohull sits happily between 7-8 knots going to windward, with a full cruising belly and 4 people aboard taking it easy- stoked!
More dodging fishing fleets off the coast off Equador over night, but we made good ground southwards in the last 24 hours so at 2am we tacked onto our new course at 262degrees, heading directly for the galapagos Islands (finally! Crew are stoked!!)The forecast suggests that further away from Equador we get the more the trades will come from the south, then east, so bring on the blast-reaching into the Galapagos!I'd expect we'd look to tickle over the equator tomorrow at some stage, so if you have any particulkar suggestions as to appropriate 'pennance to Neptune' for particular crew aboard Oceanus (!) then free text it to the sat phone (00881632648758) from https://messaging.iridium.com/ :)
After coming pretty close to the Colombia coast last night and starting to see a heap of fishing boats, net markers, and possibly some illicit Colombian narcotics boats (lol) we tacked west at about 2am, hoping that the wind will keep rounding to the south and will allow us to continue West and then start heading WSW to get to the Galapagos, otherwise we'll take west ward shifts and tack back south to the elusive equator, where the sacrifices begin and we pay penance for our sins against Neptune! Any ideas?!?
Slow upwind passage making currently, with consistent winds (yay) directly from where we are trying to get to (arse). Heading west now with a shift, but still fighting to get to the equator and hopefully some more consistent southerlies. May the next forecast look more promising!
Making reasonable time, heading south, and west when wind shifts allow us to tack across. Will be hard slog over the next few days until we get south of the equator and hopefully pick up some consistent South trades!
Making good time, between 5-7.5 knots and heading towards the Punta Mala (Mala Point) one of the most southern points on the Panama mainland, which we should pass sometime around midnight local time here. We'll hold our course as long as poss if this wind will allow, and then bear SSW as the wind allows. Lovin the access to shore-based data- our updates will become far less common as we head offshore, sorry!
position 08 48N 79 35W Having cleared customs last night, we departed Balboa yacht club heading SW making the most of the light breeze on the beam- expecting the wind to turn round onto the nose later today and then hopefully stay with us for a few days of close hauled in light winds- best case scenario! Otherwise we'll be motoring for a fair portion of the next few days to get south and into the trades- bring it on!
position 08 56.3N 79 33.4W We're in the Pacific!! Which means we're on the home stretch now;) Parked in Balboa 'Marina' on a 'mooring', which we discovered at low tide is just a liiiitlr to shallow for us- lucky its a soft mud bottom so no concern, but made for a mildly uncomfortable roll for the bottom hour of the tide when shipping wake comes through. Suggest you closely check depths and anchorage position if moored anywhere but the inside moorings when using this anchorage- and there is a 5m tidal range at neaps, so even more at springs. In for a meal at the yacht club (good ceviche!), and cold one and a final catch up with loved ones before we head to sea tomorrow. Look forward to seeing and speakign to you all soon!
Having cleared customs last night, we departed Balboa yacht club heading SW making the most of the light breeze on the beam- expecting the wind to turn round onto the nose later today and then hopefully stay with us for a few days of close hauled in light winds- best case scenario! Otherwise we'll be motoring for a fair portion of the next few days to get south and into the trades- bring it on!
We're in the Pacific!! Which means we're on the home stretch now;) Parked in Balboa 'Marina' on a 'mooring', which we discovered at low tide is just a liiiitlr to shallow for us- lucky its a soft mud bottom so no concern, but made for a mildly uncomfortable roll for the bottom hour of the tide when shipping wake comes through. Suggest you closely check depths and anchorage position if moored anywhere but the inside moorings when using this anchorage- and there is a 5m tidal range at neaps, so even more at springs. In for a meal at the yacht club (good ceviche!), and cold one and a final catch up with loved ones before we head to sea tomorrow. Look forward to seeing and speakign to you all soon!
Having just completed transiting the Gutan locks, we are now in fresh water and 80Ã¢ÂÂ above sea level- the Panama canal was an awesome experience revelled by all, and a must do for all mariners! All feeling pretty astonished and overwhelmed at the engineering feat, and of course the enormous sacrifice that 20000 people made to complete this engineering marvel- full respect. Amazing sunset to put the final mark on an amazing day. Tomorrow we depart at 6am and begin our journey across the lake at first light, to reach the Pacific coast in the afternoon, and then onward to the Galapagos!
Through the Gatun locks and moored for the night before we transit the lake and second set of locks at Miraflores tomorrow.
Heading to the 'F anchorage', in preparation for our transit through the Panama Canal tomorrow afternoon, which is scheduled for `1700 to 1800 local time tomorrow, which equates to 1000 - 1100 NZ time. Apparently you can watch the proceedings live on the Panama Canal website, if you find yourself particularly bored tomorrow! We will spend a little less than 24 hours on Gutan Lake, before transitting through the PAcific locks, where we will fuel up at Balboa YC and head straight to sea- next stop the Galapagos!
Awaiting confirmation of clearance to progress through the canal,which may happen tomorrow afternoon, fingers crossed.. In the mean time, we are enjoying some of the local highlights- the marina is buried within a national park, with an amazing array of wildlife to be seen, from sloths, to capybaras to crocs and caymans to pumas, and some fascinating moths, butterflies and lots of other big invertebrates! Plus some interesting ruins to explore when its not raining
Leg 1 British Virgin Islands to Panama - done! The team have arrived at Shelter Bay Marina at 1am Saturday 30th July. Here's hoping they can clear immigration on a Saturday and start the canal transit process.
Ran out of wind last night and been motoring into a painful current and no useful wind to speak of. We're only 29nm now away but its slow going!
Only about 45nm and 8 hours away from Panama, all things going well. We ran out of steam last night, after quietly sailing through a seriously intense electrical storm for about 3 hours- it was amazing and beautiful, but also a little bit dry-mouth-esque!
All going well we'll be in Panama about lunch time on Friday, but will depend what we get for doldrums closer to the canal. Have hit 14.2knots so far, and she easily sits between 6 and 10-11 knots going downwind:)
We're firmly entrenched in the middle of the Caribbean- 15 25.6N and 68 45.4W- about half way between Aruba and Puerto Rico- good sailing conditions- 20-25knots of trades and we're making good time- the boat goes great and will happily get up and surf- dont know what we are hitting at the top end, but she is ticking along nicely between 6 and 10 knots!
Completing outfit, provisioning and preparing for the delivery trip in Tortola, British Virgin Islands! Its hot here, and we are racing the hurricane season, so back to the prep!
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