Tag Archives: pacific ocean

Signs

Everyday, as I ride my bike to work, I ride by this sign. Everyday, as I ride my bike to work, I want to stop and take a picture of this sign. I like to invent creative things this sign could say. It’s a sign for boats, obviously, since it’s facing the harbor, not the land. But maybe it’s not for boats, maybe it’s for ducks and pelicans. Or maybe not. Continue reading Signs

1st Leg of the Journey: Puerto Vallarta – Cabo San Lucas

1st LegWe left the beautiful Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags) and have started our journey home. The first leg of the journey had us crossing the sea directly through on to Cabo San Lucas. This is the 4th time we do this journey, but the first time that we make a direct line, or travel as the crows fly… It shaved a good 5 days off the trip!

Here’s a little list of what went wrong:

  1. Leonard’s computer would not fire off when we left, not major other than the navigation software with charts is on his laptop. Halfway through the journey it decided to join us in the land of the living.
  2. The fuel pump died just as we were making or way past the Islas Marias (the Alcatraz Islands of Mexico, aka Don’t go near-em Islands)
  3. The starter switch died as we kept testing out the fuel pump: yay.
  4. The bilge pump died: thank god Leonard took a peak in the bilge to notice the boat was filing up with  before we actually started sinking
  5. The dinghy davit holding the dinghy and our solar panels nearly collapsed

What went really well?

  1. It was close, but neither of us got seasick although the 10′ head on swells worked really hard at making it happen
  2. Dolphins gave us a show beyond what the Sea World could ever accomplish – have video footage, can’t wait to share once I finalize the whole movie of our journey
  3. As mentioned above – cutting through the sea saved us an easy 5 days.

For now I will leave you with a video of my last day in Punta de Mita where I happened to paddle board near a humpback whale. You heard me, I was so close to a whale I could have shared a cup of coffee with it.

Can’t Get What You Want

The sunrise on a 2-day crossing
The sunrise on a 2-day crossing

You can’t get what you want, unless you know what you want…

I’ve rarely heard anything that rang truer than those words. It’s so basic and elementary. Figure out what you want out of life and then set out to earn it, win it, deserve it, gain it or even take it. Whenever unemployed I’ve always applied for every single available job for the single facts that: a) I was needing employment; and b) I felt I qualified. The desire to do that specific job was ever so rarely part of the equation.

I think life has served me well by not giving me those jobs. Any of them. Ditto on my chasing single men or boys. That one could have gotten me into so much more trouble than I dare to imagine.

We’ve sailed out as far as we had been to last year in the Bahia de Banderas (the Puerto Vallarta bay). It’s a long ways, and for those who’ve never even left their home state it can be seen as daring and brave. But for those around us, other cruisers we meet in the bay – this is still little league. It’s like we’ve never even dared spend the night going commando without our diapers and we can still hear the screeching sound of our training wheels dragging beside us.

Never mind the fact it takes one month to sail to this point from San Diego – for those who have circumnavigated the planet it’s like we’ve never even left our backyard! Trust me, this is nothing…

When we left San Diego we held on to the ultimate goal: to cross the Pacific with 100s of other Puddle Jumpers. We geared up for it (almost) and got most tools and toys necessary for the crossing. Like I said: almost. Currently our house battery pack is not 100%. That means by the time the sun shows its bright face in the morning our fridges have run out of power. It’s not that big of a deal while we’re anchored. But out in the middle of the ocean with the auto helm running 24-7, the loss of battery power is a HUGE deal. *shiver*

A is where we are and B is the Marquesas: a long long way!
A is where we are and B is the Marquesas: a long long way!

Our location (A) is ideal for a crossing – it’s a one-month trip before even dropping the anchor at the first island of the French Polynesia (B). One month. If all goes well… It can take longer. Much longer.

We simply cannot make up our minds. We just can’t! On the plus side:

  1. When will we ever get the chance to cross an ocean ever again?
  2. This is Tahiti we’re talking about… Bora Bora? The Marquesas? Paradise?
  3. The adventure of a life time. Just the thought of the people we’d meet, other jumpers, the Polynesians, etc – it’s a dream!

And then there are the negative sides:

  1. The uncertainty
  2. Important stuff breaking – it happens all the time, and like Cap’t Ron said “If anything’s gonna happen, it’ll happen out there” and out there is nowhere near hardware stores, boat supplies, hospitals and *gulps* bars.
  3. Running out of money. It can happen. Our funds are not unlimited, and if we run out while we happen to be on the other side of the planet, making our way back will be hell.
  4. The boredom. Four long weeks before touching land is hard to find stuff to do to fill in those voids. Very long.
  5. The food supplies – fruits & veggies do not last one month, nor do most dairy products. Imagine if my fridge does die? Where will I get ice for my cocktails?
  6. Storms. Sharks. Pirates. Crashing meteors. All have been known to happen.
  7. Living without the internet  😦  for god-knows-how-long!

Is it any wonder we cannot make up our minds? If I don’t know what kind of work I want to do next, or if I cannot make up my mind on what to eat for breakfast,  of if I don’t know what spice I would be if I ever joined a newly rejuvenated Spice Girls ensemble and if I debate endlessly in the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store…

How can I be expected to make such a life changing decision?

I Smell Dead Fish

My liquid silvery water under a full moon.

I inhale. The smell is still there. I open my eyes. Put my glasses on. Remove them to rub out the sleep and put them back on. I get up and go stare at our radar screen. Unblinking. For one minute. I close my eyes. Other than the blinding glare, I know there is absolutely nothing around us for a full 12-mile radius.

I inhale. The smell is still there. I go back to my bedroom, put on my long johns, my wool socks and my hoodie. I climb up the 6 steps to the deck. We have a combo ladder/staircase above the motor. It’s a steep climb – takes time getting used to – but I manage it without slipping. It’s 5:30 and it’s still dark outside. Plus it’s cold. Just a tad below 70.

I inhale. The smell is still there. I look around. Nothing. Silver water. Full moon behind a mixture of clouds and fog. I sit by the combo ladder/staircase and look ahead. Slow swells keep us in a constant up and down motion. Up… And down… And up… And down… Over and over again, taunting me, lulling me back to sleep.

I inhale. The smell is still there. Dead fish. Silver water. Long swells. I need to find the source of that smell. Sometimes in a long crossing we find treasures on deck. One morning I woke up to a mass suicide of squids. A good baker’s dozen of them. Must have been some weird squid cult movement – you may have heard about it in the news… Just the other day, when Leo woke up from a nap behind the wheel there was a dead fish at his feet. “Can I come over for supper?” the fish offered itself. We didn’t eat it.

I inhale. The smell is still there. I climb back down our combo ladder/staircase and get a flashlight. If you ever plan on living on a boat, the rechargeable light that comes with most power tool kits is the best kind to have. Trust me. I wouldn’t lie to you. Also a good dive light is pretty awesome. It’s brighter than a 4th of July fireworks display, plus if you drop it in the water it’ll still work and keep on working until you find it. If you find it.

I inhale. The smell is still there. I walk around the deck. Searching for the source of that smell. It’s nasty. I look around our boards, everywhere in the cockpit, even in the dinghy. Funny the words people used to label things in boating. Cockpit. Dinghy. Head (that’s the toilet – yeah, I still giggle over the notion of sitting on a head to poop – but that’s me – forever oh-so-mature.)

I inhale. The smell is still there. Winds are at 7 knots. Our speed is 5.8. If we come to a complete dead stop, a truly difficult challenge on water, the wind would drop to 1.2 knots. Barely noticeable. One could almost say it’s windless. Slow moving waves, so slow they’re called swells. No wind. The smell. What I am searching for is all around me. There is no dead fish – just the smell of calm windless waters.

I inhale. The smell is still there. But at least from this long crossing I can now check off 2 hours. What will I do now?