Turns out that sailing a slow boat across a large ocean affords you alot of time to sit and think about stupid shit. I’ll spare you the truely stupid shit I think about most the time. The other day I was sitting in the cockpit watching the waves and swell passing under the boat and thinking that over the last two years of sailing/traveling from Seattle, Canada, The Pacific coast of the U.S., Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatamala, Belize, Nicaruagua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Galapagos, Ecuador….for some reason it occured to me that other than a very small handful of items, Me and Tawn have no souveniers of our trip. Pictures and memories by the pant load, but no stupid little knick knacks. I shifted my focus from the waves to our shitty old outboard engine hanging off the stern of the boat and I notice the steel cable I made to lock it and our dinghy to trees when we go to shore. Then it hit me….we actually do have a crapload of souviners. In no particular order starting with that rusty old cable. We got that in Chinendega, Nicaruagua at a hardware store. It took me 20 minutes to explain I wanted stainless steel cable. After much hand waving and 3 guys nodding and me speaking louder and louder in shitty spanish I finally got my stainless steel cable…..that is decidedly NOT stainless steel. There are the two new Solar Panels that we bought from an old British dude that runs a solar store in Antiqua, Guatamala, which is just outside Guat. City. He fudged the invoice (thinking it would help us out), it did not and got us thrown off the bus at the El Salvador/Guatamala border. Only with the help of an english speaking business man did we make it across the border and back to the boat. Picked up the perfect oil funnel in a 99 cent store in Port Hardy, Canada while we waited for the liqour store to open up next door. Two surfboards, mine we picked up in Pismo Beach, California and the metro bus driver would not let us on the bus with it, so the stoney surf bum that sold it to us agreed to bring it to us after he got off work. Tawns board we picked up in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We played the two shop workers there against each other and got it for $50 dollars less than they wanted to sell it for. Which reminds me of the surfboard rack that holds them to the side of the boat. Half of it is a couple lengths of stainless steel (for real) tubing we got in San Salvador, the other half is tubing we got from our friend Josh on Gitana. Which we walked around Hualtuco, Mexicoj with in the blazing sun looking for a machine shop that would bend it for us. Two little porcelin bowls we found in a wierd little store in Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. We needed something to mix wasabi and soy sauce togather for sushi nights when we catch fresh tuna. There is the ugly ass metal dryer vent hose that we use to vent out the engine compartment. Picked that up at a Home Depot in La Paz, Mexico. Tawn’s new Android tablet that we got in Panama City in a shop in “Chinatown”. NOOOO WAY that thing was not stolen. My two Machetes, one I got in Mexico and the other in Zacatecluca, El Salvador along with a casting net for fishing. The list goes on and on…. The travel and visiting the tourist sites and seeing the sights your supposed to see are all very cool, but honestly, for me the best part is the adventure of doing the random crap that I like the most. Finding parts for the boat, stumbling into the wrong part of town or getting abit lost and getting help from random people along the way.

We’ve been underway for a a little over a week now. The time has actually flown by. We are doing 4 hour shifts, but really that does not mean alot of work. We have lots of wind and for the most part it stays out of the same direction (ESE) all the time. The wind speed changes a little and the sea state does to, so from time to time we have to do a sail change or adjust the course to make it a little more comfortable ride. The windvave is doing all the steering, so all the person on watch has to do is hangout and read, listen to music or watch a movie and adjust what ever needs adjusting from time to time. The last couple days have been a little squally so it’s been a little more work on adjusting sail trim or dodging most of the storms. But over all been a good trip. We are making way more miles a day than I thought we would. As of day 8 we are averaging 132 miles a day, which is awesome for us. I would have been crazy happy (and amazed) to average 120 day!

We pulled up the anchor at 11:30am on Thursday the 9th of April. Straight line distance from Isla Isabela, Galapagos, Ecuador to Fatu Hiva is 2923 (approx.) nautical miles to the southwest. However, we will actually cover a couple hundred miles more since we are going to sail south for two or three days to pick up the trade winds before making our turn and heading for Fatu Hiva, which of course is an island in the Marquesas, French Polynesia. Best case scenerio, if everything weather/wind wise works in our favor we could be there in 21 days. That however will not be the case. I expect it to take us 26+ days to get there. 30 minutes out of the anchorage and we had the sails up and motor off. We do not have enough fuel on board to motor all the way (or even 25%) of the way to French Polynesia. So we have to sail the majority of the way. However, currently the Galapagos is sitting in a big windless hole. So we have given ourselves a 48 hour limit of motoring time. After that, it is race rules. Sails only till we get there. There is wind, the trade winds about 300 miles south of us, so that is our short term target. We are aiming more south than west till we get to 4 or 5 degrees south of the equator. Then we should have picked up the trade winds and we will more than make up for the extra miles. As usual, keep an eye on the tracker (www.shared.delorme.com/kevinmidkiff) That little device will post our postion every 10 minutes, as long as it is not acting up. Like it was this morning. I can only update via my HAM radio, so no pictures. I’ll try to put an update here on the site every couple days or so……. ===== This message was sent using Winlink, a free radio email system provided by the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation and volunteers worldwide. Replies to this message should be brief using plain text format and any attachments kept small. Commercial use or use of this email system for monetary gain is strictly forbidden. See www.winlink.org/help for additional information.

After a successful/crazy ass haulout in Panama and help from our new crew member Robbie, we left Panama City and sailed/motored over to the Las Perlas (an Island Group) for a couple days of chilling out and snorkeling.

Not exactly sure of the day of the week, but I do know it was around one in the afternoon when we hauled up the anchor and headed off for the Galapagos.

The first 3 days were spectacular. We had 20+ knots of wind on the stern and gust to 30. The boat was absolutely flying along. At times we only had up a double reefed mainsail and still cooking along. Robbie learned why I do not flinch at the price tag of our Hydrovane wind-vane. That thing was steering us down some big ass square waves like a champ.

With three people on board everyone was well rested and well fed. Robbie was an awesome crew member. It’s nice to have crew that knows what the hell to do on a boat and that we can trust to run it when both me and Tawn are off shift and crashed out down below.

Sometime on day three or four of the passage the wind died on us, but left some really gnarly humped up waves behind, so instead of wallowing around in that crap we decided to motor and let the seas mellow out a bit. 12 hours later the wind was back and we had another day or two of sailing. Unfortunately the wind started coming out of the South West and that combined with current we were getting pushed way north of our rhumbline. About 100 miles north of the Equator the wind died completely so we motored the last 2 days to the Galapagos.

I did a quick update on us crossing the Equator, but what I did not mention was that we actually crossed it 3 times. The reason…….? Robbie was not fast enough with his camera to capture the exact 00.00.000 moment on the chart plotter, so we circled back so he could get it. He fucked that up again, so we circled back one more time. :)

Once we actually got to the Galapagos, Jason and Christy of Hello World fame joined us (by plane) for a couple weeks of sweet Galapagos action.

We did some inland touring and scuba diving with them.

Here are some pictures of one of the dives we did while they were here.

Here is the gang (Robbie, Tawn, Jason, Christy, and me behind the camera). We took a dive trip out to a place called Kicker Rock.

Kicker Rock (Far!)

Kicker Rock (Near!)

This is me and Tawn on an (yet another) Awesome beach

This is a sea lion pup

This is sea lion poop. In case your’re wondering, it is not the pup’s poop. Not to my knowledge at least.

It’s CB and Jason underwater! If you want some awesome video of Jason scuba diving and looking at stuff, you should ask him to show you his video. It is an incredible bit of film making. Think selfie……for 32 goddamn minutes.

Here is Christy, she also has some riveting footage, in fact. I think we captured her filming here.

This is Tawn, giving a big thumbs up. Why? She thinks she is filming video footage, when in fact, she took 581 stills. There may have been a slight misunderstanding of the camera instructions.

Roooooobbbbieeeee!!! He didn’t fuck up any video. Why? Cause he dropped his phone in the water somewhere in Mexico prior to joining us. Dodged a bullet there Robbie.

The following video is a very quick and ugly edit of what I thought were some of the best parts of the videos we all took while diving together here in the Galapagos. Enjoy?