One more before we leave.

This post falls under the full disclosure category. I figure it’s only fair that if I post all these stories about how much fun we are having and all the awesome stuff we are seeing and doing. I should also, from time to time tell you about the not so awesome stuff.

I’m just gonna give you the ending right up front. Bit of a spoiler, I know.

But the short story is that we ran aground a couple weeks ago. Oops!

The long story is:

We had been here in Bora Bora for about a week. Decided to head around the island and check out some of the anchorages on the North side of the island. It is very beautiful over there for sure.

We followed the charts and advice from other boaters and got to the spot we intended to go. But another, closer look at the charts and a read through some of our cruising guides showed another anchorage a little further up. Granted, the cruising guide said that unless you draw less than 6 feet, do not attempt to get in there. The pass through the coral is narrow and very shallow.

We draw just over 6 feet. So despite all the warnings, we thought we should give it a go.

As we were approaching the small pass in the coral, Tawn was on the bow giving me directions on which way to go. I was looking at the charts and thought I should be more to starboard, but Tawn was insistent that I go more to port and get as close to the channel marker as I possibly could.

There was a good current running through the little pass against us and the wind was on the nose, so as I was turning more to port we were being pushed a bit sideways and next thing I know…..Bump, bump, bump.

We stopped moving.

The wind and current pushed us abit more up on the coral. Tawn dropped the anchor to stop us moving in the bad direction.

I tried reversing off, but we were stuck hard.

Luckily we were towing the dinghy. We grabbed our stern anchor and put it in the dinghy and I ran it out to port into deeper water to use as a kedge to hopefully pull the bow around and off the reef. But the wind and current was just too much. We were stuck and stuck pretty good, and heeling over avbit.

A few tourist boats came by and waked us pretty good, which was shitty, but it’s what they do best.

As we were planning what to do next, another cruiser came over from the anchorage in his dinghy and offered to help.

We decided to pull up the kedge and re-run it off the back of the boat, which should pull us back the way we came and into deeper water. Tawn raised the first anchor we had down. Then ran back to the cockpit to crank in on the newly re-positioned kedge anchor.

The guy that came to help, used his dinghy to push the bow of Palarran into the wind and to prevent us from getting even more stuck now that the front anchor was up.

With him pushing on the bow, Tawn cranking the stern anchor in on the winch, I put the engine in full reverse and…..slowly…slowly we started backing up. Then poof, we were off the reef and in deep water.

We had to drop the anchor line in order to keep backing off the reef. The guy that was helping us retrieved our anchor for us,

We changed our minds in trying to get into that anchorage. :) We to another close by to dive on the boat and check for damage. Other than some scrapes in the bottom paint and a few very small chunks of fiberglass missing from the bottom of the keel there was no damage at all.

All told we spent about 20 minutes stuck. Maybe half an hour.

All is good and we were back to business as usual in a couple hours.

A couple days later we rented a couple bikes and rode around the island. It’s only 32km(which is Canadian for 19.8 miles) all the way around the island.

We stopped and took a picture of the spot we got stuck. No way in hell we were taking pictures at the time.

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We were headed from left to right as you look at the picture, and any of my SoPac mates can probably clearly see where the channel is in that pic. Right were you see the channel end on the right is were it goes from 14 feet to 6.5. Which is fine, but I should have hooked it more left and hugged that marker, which would have kept me in 6.5 feet of water…instead I went more straight and ended up in 6 feet of water…which was no good.

Here is a pic to get us all back in the right frame of mind.

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Even when it’s shitty, it’s still pretty good.

The first part of July found Me and Tawn in Seattle. I had a job with Danno and so we took the opportunity to visit friends, pick up some boat parts, some new kite boarding gear, and some other bits we needed to bring back to the boat.

Tawn flew back through Hawaii so she could hangout with friends Dave and Jen for a few days and buy a new kite board. I flew back via L.A. and got back a day before Tawn did.

My baggage did not.

Half of all the stuff we bought and stuffed into our luggage was in my checked bag. The one the airline lost! Easily $1000 worth of boat parts and other goodies. Luckily it all showed up on Monday afternoon, but the welcome back to Tahiti was marred just a little.

Since we had a few days to kill waiting for my luggage we spent it putting the boat back together and ready to go cruising again and goofing off around town.

This does not mean the same thing in Tahiti as it does in Seattle. I was a little sad.
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We left Papeete, Tahiti and sailed to the Island of Moorea about 25 miles away. Moorea here we come!
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We were sailing in to Cooks Bay on Moorea island through the pass under headsail alone when the wind completely died. So we rolled up the jib and fired up the engine. That is when shitty reared it’s lumpy brown head.

We’ve had this reoccurring electrical issue that I have been unable to track down. Somewhere in our rat’s nest of an electrical system there is a short. Every now and again, it shows it’s self in the form of a burnt fuse. Which, once blown takes away our ability to charge the batteries with the alternator when the engine is running. Luckily we are in the South Pacific, so we have more than enough sun and wind to keep the batteries charged up.

Historically this issue shows up so infrequently that I sorta don’t give a shit about it. The fix has always been to look at and wiggle some wires, then replace the fuse and it works for another couple months. As a quick aside, if you need an electrician to work on your boat. Hit me up. My rates are reasonable and i’m pretty sure i’d rip you off WAY less than any other “Marine Electrician” you’ll end up hiring.

It is however, officially time to pay the piper. The issue seems to be permanent. As soon as I turn on the ignition, the fuse blows. No matter how vigorously I wiggle wires.

So we spent two days chasing and replacing wires and connections. Good news is I found two corroded wires and replaced them. Bad news is, there is at a minimum one more bad wire somewhere and I have not found it yet.

Honestly though this is not a bad place to work on your boat.
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But the sun was shining and there was miles of coral reef to snorkel. So we said fuck it! Jury rigged it so we can at least start the engine and we’ll fix it properly when we haul the boat in Tonga in a couple months.

Right now the patch is to just start it, let it burn up the fuse and carry on. At this point in the story i’d like to take the time to apologize to the good people of Papeete, Tahiti and a couple small towns on Moorea. I’m pretty sure we bought all the 30 amp fuses on those two islands…..sorry if you needed some.

I bet if you made an offer this beauty it could be yours.
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Anyway, here are some pictures of awesomeness that we are experiencing instead of fixing stupid wiring issues.

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Ali Beth, the shorts you bought me give me awesome balancing powers.
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And of course we can always find the bar for sunset drinks!

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Posted in Big trips, Palarran | 1 Comment

Fatu Hiva!

Some quick info on the crossing.

We left Isla Isabela, in the Galapagos Islands on April 9th at 11:30am. We arrived here at Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia at 7:00am on May 3rd. A straight line shot from there to here is 2914 nautical miles. Since we wanted to stay in good wind as much as we could, we went a little further south to do that so our total trip miles ended up being 3094.

Our daily average: 129.25 nautical miles
Average speed: 5.4 knots.

We covered that entire distance under sail alone with the exception of 24 hours in which we used the motor. That means that we only burnt somewhere in the neighborhood of 14.4 gallons of diesel fuel. Those 24 hours were not consecutive, but spread out over the course of the 3 week crossing.

23.5 days of constant motion on a 32 year old boat that never really sits still anyway is a lot and we had a few things break along the way, but nothing huge. A small valve on the head (shitter) broke, but we improvised a fix. That fix is still in place and probably will be until we get to New Zealand.

Both jib sheets and the second reef line chafed. But those are easy to flip and get the chafed area out of use. The big break was the whisker pole. I was on watch and got hit by a smallish squall one night. The pole was up and wind rose from 12 knots to 30 in about 25 seconds. I did not have time to get the pole down or the sheet eased and we fell off a wave and rolled back on a gust just as the jib collapsed and then loaded up big time. The shock blasted the whisker pole mount on the mast completely off. Ripped the rivets right off, and blasted the top off one of our mast winces for good measure in the process. No show stopper though. No such thing as that really, we didn’t really have an option out here. Once the sun came up, I dug out the tool bags and re-riveted the whisker pole mount back into place with a better backing set up and stronger rivets than I had on there in the first place. So it should all be good to go….

But now on to the good stuff. The island of Fatu Hiva.

INCREDIBLE!

This place has easily made my top 3 spots in the world. Actually, it is firmly in 1st place.

I’ll grant you that in order to get here we had just crossed half the pacific ocean and had not seen land for over 3 weeks. So you could argue that had we pulled into a Walmart parking lot in French Lick, Indiana we probably would have been pretty excited. But screw you and your cynical attitude.

The night before arriving we slowed down to time our arrival to sometime after sun rise the next day. Pulling into the bay, we were met with an amazing view. I’m not even going to attempt to describe it, i’ll just let you look at a few (inadequate) pictures.

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As we pulled in we saw a friend standing on the bow of his boat waving to us. We motored past him and he tossed a couple of huge pamplemousse to us as a “You did it!!” gift. Also, after 3 weeks fresh fruit and veg is but a memory. So very welcoming.

I had never had a pamplemousse before. Now that I have, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

I love them. I don’t say that about many fruits. The list is: Pineapples, Strawberries, Dan Lofstrom and now pamplemousse. And sometimes Granny Smith apples, but I sometimes go overboard with those and burn myself out on them. Soooo, no. I do not LOVE Granny Smith apples.

But, back to the pamplemousse, imagine if a grapefruit and a pineapple made sweet, sweet (and probably forbidden) love. Then went to the store and bought a pamplemousse, which they then gave to me as a treat. Shit is sooooo good. If you have had one, keep it to yourself, this is about me right now.

There are roughly 600 people on this island (Fatu Hiva), in two different villages. There is no airport so the only way to get here is by boat. The village at the head of the bay we are anchored in is called Hanavave. Sleepy little town, with one small store, a church, a post office and a pay phone. That is about it.

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When we left the Galapagos, we only had about $25 USD on us and absolutely no French Francs. But we were told that you could trade with the locals for fruit and veggies. The main thing they wanted to trade for was old rope. Nothing fancy, but they seemed to want it. So we dug some out of storage on the boat and Tawn grabbed some trading stock items she had picked up in Panama City (shitty perfume, lip stick, crayons, coloring books, pencils, paper, stuff like that) and we headed in to do some trading.

For a few yards of old rope and some lipstick, Tawn loaded us up on fruit.

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Thats not all of it, just the stuff we keep out side to ripen.

We took a look at a few Tikis, but nothing really caught my eye and they were just too big. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, we are not really big on knick knacks. But some of the stuff was pretty cool.

Later that day I ran into another local carver at the little store and he wanted to know if I had any old rope to trade. I said I did and I ask if he could carve me two small tikis so I could us them to replace the wooden knobs on my throttle and gear shifter on the boat. He said he could, and they they would be done the next afternoon.

They were. I got these two custom shifter knobs for my boat for the grand total of 16 feet of 3/8 inch line.

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I was looking through a guide book we have on board and saw a drawing of a Marquesian war club (yeah I know, ‘nough said). I started asking around town and all the carvers said they did not make them. Only one dude did and they pointed me in the right direction.

We went to the guys house. His name is Tema, and he carves the coolest stuff. It is next level. Blows the other guys stuff away. And he knows it, so do they. :) He sells his stuff on other islands and in Tahiti. He had a crate of his stuff getting ready to ship to Tahiti next month for a competition of some sort.

He starts dragging it all out and showing it off. It was amazing stuff. The War clubs were cool as hell. I wanted one bad, real bad. Then I saw his price tags….No way I could justify that, even if we did have the cash on us. Some of his Tikis and fruit baskets were $200 USD. The war clubs ranged from $120 to $400.

As we were talking I ask if he would consider trading. He said no right away. Oh well….didn’t need more crap on the boat anyway.

Tawn was inside looking at and buying a Tapas his wife made. Tapas are cloth that they make from the bark of different trees and then draw these very cool designs on.

This is the one Tawn got.

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As I’m standing out in his yard, I notice he has an broken spear gun hanging in a tree by the back door. I ask him if he needed a new one. He said he did and he also mentioned that he lost his flippers last month when his boat flipped over.

DING!

I told him i’d come back the next day.

I did, with a pair of almost brand new flippers that my buddy Robbie left with us when he was in the Galapagos with us. I also brought my spear gun. He was drooling over the flippers and spear gun. :)

We talked for a bit, he tried the flippers on. Then he says, wanna trade for a Tiki? I said, no….but I would trade for one of the War clubs and grinned. We went in the house and I pointed to the one I wanted.

This is it:

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It is so awesome. It will go on my wall o’weapons!

This is just one of those “Just another day at the office” Pictures:

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Our boat is the furthest one out.

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Went for a hike, took this picture.
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Posted in Adventures | 2 Comments

Panama to the Galapagos

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.
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Kicker Rock (Far!)
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Kicker Rock (Near!)
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This is me and Tawn on an (yet another) Awesome beach
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This is a sea lion pup
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This is sea lion poop. In case your’re wondering, it is not the pup’s poop. Not to my knowledge at least.
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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.
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Here is Christy, she also has some riveting footage, in fact. I think we captured her filming here.
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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.
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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.
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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?

Posted in Adventures | 2 Comments