I’m gonna let this be a photo blog solamente.

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I had the early morning watch as we came into the Galapagos Islands. This is Kicker Rock. We would later do my favorite dive of the trip there.

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Isla San Cristobal is thick with Sea Lions. They make themselves at home on any dock, beach, swim step or dinghy.

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There are tons of weird looking lizards here…the black lava lizards actually surf! I name this little guy Eddie….Eddie Lizzard.

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Boobies!! Haha made u look….it is a blue footed booby…the bird people😲

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Darwin is all over this place….fun fact….Charles Darwin…the living legend of evolution….only spent 5 weeks in the Galapagos islands!

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There are crystal clear bays all over this place. We swam here and young sea lions came up and played with us.


I swam with these guys near the boat. The one is playing with an egg that got chucked overboard….never broke it, just held it gently in it’s mouth tossing it to his buddies.

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We went to a turtle reserve and nursery on Isla San Cristobal. They bred the turtles and hatched the eggs. Turtles from new borns on to 100 years are found here. They start in a nursery and are kept in protective cages until they are old enough to not be eaten by predators. We may have gotten to close to this guy, but the guide kept telling us to get closer! I love these guys, look at the cute little guys tongue in the close up….but as you can clearly see, CB is wary….he’s thinking “that is not a dog”

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CB and Robbie holding up the bar on Isla San Crystobal….the beers here are huge!

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Apparently there is a version of volleyball played in Equador that exists nowhere else in the world. When they play they catch the ball and then toss it back over the net…only briefly….but there is definitely a catch. And they are very serious about this game. Maybe the fact that they are playing with a soccerball has something to do with it….ouch!

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The whole town showed up to watch these bozos yell and scream at each other….their own team mates. I am not sure what was being said….but even when they won the point arguing took place.

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This guy was the angriest and started all the shit talking…he is abbout 4 1/2 feet tall…always the little guys😊

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Everyone got into it….even this little girl. She stole the ball, maybe she got sick of all the arguing and wanted to end the game😄

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In Santa Cruz, the biggest town, there is a eating street. At night the road is lined with food vendors. They all basically sell the same thing, so there is a mad rush to get your business as you walk by each place. The center of the road is full of tables and chairs and everyone eats family style. It was the cheapest and best place to eat. CB and I each got a lobster and big beers for 12$ each!

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Santa Cruz had a fresh fish market where you could buy fish straight off the boat. The market is right on the wharf and the women cleaning and selling fish spend most their time shooing off the Pelicans and the sea lions….who are slippin’ and slidin’ around under their feet.

We also visited Isla Isabella which was our favorite island. Less people and tour boats and the town still had that undeveloped feel. Dirt roads were still the norm. Isabella is worth a post of it’s own and once we get the videos edited we will put up the goods.

Not so long ago, most boats/cruisers avoided the Tuamotu’s. They were called the dangerous islands (or something like that). All reefs, not very well charted and most of them you cannot see until you are just few miles away in the daylight, at night you would not see them at all. The charts of the area nowadays are a lot better and GPS makes it that much more easier. The passes into the atolls are not so easy. The majority of these passes are only safely traversed at or near slack water (that short period of time between low and high tide). Unfortunately there is not a good source (that we have found) for when slack water actually is in these passes, and even if there was, there are so many different variables for each atoll and the weather at the time that those would be inaccurate anyway. We have developed a technique however. And should you find yourself in the Tuamotu’s feel free to use it. The technique. We find the closest island on our charts with a tide table and use that time as a very rough guess. We then send an email to our land based shore operation headquarters/weather router (L.B.S.O.HQ/WR for short). He internets for us and replies to us with the times for slack water, which are just as inaccurate as what we come up with(Seriously though, thank you Eric). We take both of these times, average them and subtract a half hour. At the appointed time, we then wait another 20-25 minutes then slowly approach the atoll and watch the current in the pass. If it looks relatively safe we proceed. Otherwise we wait. Yep….it’s just that scientific. The first atoll we stopped at after leaving the Marquesas was Makemo. We arrived there late in the afternoon, about an hour after slack water, which meant we could not get in that night. We hove-to about 5 miles off the reef/atoll until sun up and for the next tide change. Heaving to in the open ocean is very mellow. Once the boat is setup and the sails are set correctly. Everything flattens out (relatively). We made dinner, watched a couple movies and chilled. All went well in the pass and once inside the atoll the water changes from open ocean conditions to almost flat calm, lake like conditions. We are currently at our second atoll, Fakarava. To use the term “Island paradise” would be a substantial understatement. I cannot really begin to describe it, and since I am posting this via Ham radio I cannot upload any pictures. So hit CTRL, T and google for a bit. That will have to tide you over till we get to Tahiti and get some solid internet. We have been anchored here in the south end of Fakarava for a little over a week now. We don’t really wanna leave but there are other places to see. We’ve spent most of our time snorkling, diving, kite boarding (trying) and exploring the motos. A few nights ago me and 3 other guys from a couple other boats decided to go lobstering. We waited till after sunset and dinghied out to the reef to catch some lobster. It’s not too hard once you spot one, which is hard. Once spotted, you blind him with your flashlight and grab him with your other hand from behind. You gotta be fast and they are crazy strong for their size. If you still happen to have that other tab open take a look at a picture of the southern tip of the atoll. Or better yet, go to Google Maps and drop these coordinates in there; Dinghy anchor spot 16 32’08.4 S 145 28’18.9 W Turn around 16 32’57.2 S 145 29’54.2 W Not that far apart. Straight line about 2 miles. Keep that in mind and let me paint you a picture. It’s 8pm. The Sun has been down for 2+ hours and the moon is about to set. It is dark. We anchor the dinghies and tie a small flash light to a palm tree so we can find our spot on the return. With headlamps and hand held flashlights we walked out to the edge of the reef in water that ranged from ankle to thigh deep. The terrain, a murderous combination of lava rock and coral reef. At the reef’s edge the swell and waves from the ocean are slamming into the reef about 20 feet away. It was low tide, so most of the waves would slam into the reef and die away after crashing into the reef. Every few minutes or so a big set of waves would roll through which would break over the reef and sweep toward us. Falling down is NOT an option. Remember that murderous terrain we are walking on? Falling down turns that into a human cheese grater. That two miles we walked took us 3.5 hours but we managed to catch 25 or so lobsters. We now had to get back, but the tide was rising so we could not safely………(excuse me, bahahahhahhaha…)..ahem…walk the outer reef so we went into slightly shallower water for the return. As an added bonus I was carrying a mesh bag with most of the lobsters in it. That basically made me a walking chum bucket. I had to turn around every so often and kick at the reef sharks that were following right behind me to keep them from going after the lobsters we had caught. I kept telling myself they were going after the lobsters…… “Self”, I would say. “They are only going after the lobsters.” The walk back only took 2 hours and at 2am I was safely tucked into my bunk, swearing to never do that shit again. The next day we had a beach bonfire and grilled up the catch making all the trouble of the night before worth it and of course talking about the next time we should go.

It is Tuesday, June 16th. We are anchored in an atoll in the Toumotus called Makemo. We ended up spending more time here than we planned due to weather. Not particularly bad weather, but it was enough to make the passes in and out of the atolls a little gnarlier than we like so we just stayed put here. And as luck would have it, Here, is absolutly a south pacific island paradise. We are tucked in behind a reef. So even though the wind has been blowing 25 knots for a few days, the waves never build up to more than a foot of wind chop. The reef we are anchored behind is huge and we have been snorkling all over it. And have become accustomed to swimming with sharks. Granted they are reef sharks, but i’d like you to pay particular attention to the word that appears after that word “reef”….Yeah, it is still a shark! We are sorta channeling some Steve Irwin. We spent a little over a month in the Marquesas, which were freaking awesome! Loved every minute of it. The scenery, and the islands were incredible. INCREDIBLE. The Marquesaian people, unbeliveably friendly and welcoming. That last sentence was very hard to write. I actually wrote, deleted and rewrote it about 10 times. Most of the stuff I deleted was multiple paragraphs long. But I just could not get it right. There is just no way I could write out just how mellow, friendly, and welcoming almost every one of the people we met in the Marquesas were. I say almost, cause there was one lady in particular that was grumpy as shit. Maybe she was just having a bad day. So I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt………she was still a bitch though. Our last stop in the Marquesas was the island of Oa Pou. We spent almost a week there. From there we sailed four days to the next island group. The Toumotus, which is a group of Atolls. I seriously suggest you get your Google on and check out some pictures. These atolls are a trip. I’m posting this via Ham Radio, so I cannot upload any photos. A few minutes of Googling and you will not be disappointed. However, if your sitting in your cube at work, you might feel a slight suicidal twinge, but that will pass when the jealous rage takes over. As I mentioned, the atoll we are at in called Makemo. We have been snorkling, kiteboarding…..ish…and just chilling here for a week. Our plan is to take off tomorrow and head for another atoll called Fakarava. We have decided to skip Tahanea (sorry Aaron), but we only have a limited amount of time on our visa and have had to make some tough decisions. Sorry no pics, but word is there is internet available on Fakarava, so we might get some pictures uploaded next week.

I have wanted a tattoo for a long time…but I wanted it to mean something. Nothing ever felt right to permanently affix to my body. I made it through college without any poor decision tattoos. I knew someday the time and place would be right. When we started seriously talking about cruising and crossing the Pacific ocean, I decided a Marquesian tattoo would be a great badge of courage. Well, we made it across the ocean and it was time to start searching for a tattoo artist. The larger towns had tattoo parlors and numerous cruisers were getting their own badge of courage….but none of it felt right. I wanted a more traditional feel. One of the cruising guides we had talked about a guy named Fati who lived on Tahuata island in the village of Vaitahu… The book mentioned that Fati was thought of as one of the best tattooist in the Marquesian Islands. So we went to Vaitahu bay and started our search for Fati. The little map of the village was not accurate, so in horrible French we started asking around about Fati. Apparently Fati is a popular Marquesian name meaning big or large. The first Fati we found offered to trade for fruit, but said he was not tattoo Fati. He did know where he lived though and told us enthusiastically how high up in the mountains tattoo Fati lived. Fruity Fati thought it was a good 2 km straight up😯 It was high noon and hot as hell. We almost gave up, but in the end started the hot ass trek to find tattoo Fati. A quarter of a mile up we ran into a local kid and asked him where Fati’s house was. He said not far, I’ll show ya. Total distance was maybe a 1/2 mile walk…maybe we shouldn’t asked for distances from men named Fati. Anywho, tattoo Fati is a super nice man. He spoke no English and us no french…but it all worked out. We would come to his house tomorrow to talk about tattoos. As we were heading out we heard a whistle and saw Fati flagging us down. Turns out he didn’t know that “tomorrow” was the Lord’s day (Sunday for all you heathens😉). His wife very adamantly told him so and that he had agreed to cook for the island children who had just had their communion. He asked us to come and that we could do the tattoos the next day. C’est Bon! Meanwhile, while walking around town we saw some other cruiser’s who looked like they had new tattoos. We went to their boat and talked with them. They did indeed get their tattoos from Fati and they were amazing. The boats name was s/v Letitgo, they were French and had also been invited to a kaikai (meal) at Fati’s house. The next day we met up with Letitgo and headed up the mountain. The meal was great and was served out on the lenai. Thank goodness Letitgo was their to translate and help us with explaining what we wanted for tattoos. Fati is an original Marquesian tattooist. He wants to hear your story and then creates a tattoo for you in his mind. He needs a night to think it over, and when you show up the next day he sketches it out for you on your chosen body part. For me it was my ankle (one of the most painful places). I wanted an inch wide band that represented our crossing and a few other personal things. The next day we went to Fati’s and his lenai had been  transformed from eatery to tattoo parlor. As I laid out on the same table that I had ate at last night looking out at the mountains and lush valley, I realized that we had found the special experience we were looking for. Even more amazing was that we found out that Fati had tattooed friends who went cruising 2 years before us on s/v Estrelita 5.0. As I cringed and took the pain (these things aren’t licked on by kittens people), my badge of courage transformed into a beautiful piece of art that I would have with me for the rest of my life. Thank you Fati and the crew of Letitgo! I love my tattoo.

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This is the Marquesian symbol for boat and the waves underneath represent our passage. The next symbol is man (CB).

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This is the symbol for woman (me) and the Marquesian flower.

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This represents courage, but also is similar to the design of our rings (the turkshead knot).

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Finally, the Marquesian cross representing the land and people of the Marquesas.