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Our “Sailing Out The Gate Video” leaving San Francisco 08/20/2015

Year ago, August 20, 2015 we left San Francisco to head to Mexico via our Steven’s 40 sailboat. I added this video to the last post a little late, so I’m posting it again by itself because I feel like it deserves its own post.  Our family of 5 plus Nina’s best friend Ava and Ellamae’s biological father,  Jason joined us for the first leg from Horseshoe Cove San Francisco to Halfmoon Bay, California.

Shawnigan has officially crossed the Pacific Ocean!

We’ve completed 3 weeks of our crossing from the Galapagos to the Marquesas!!!
*again, posting from sat phone equals no photos. I will try to add some when/if we find wifi on the islands that supports uploading images.

May 8 – May 9th, 2018:

Day 21+++: Wow what an exciting day! With just over 100 miles left, all aboard are anxious to get to land. It’s so close, but so far! We watch are speed, at 6 kts we’ll get there by dark morning tomorrow (May 9th), if we maintain 7 kt average we’ll arrive before midnight. Dark is not ideal, but the anchorage is pretty straight forward and open.
As we think about our arrival, we long for a full night’s sleep on “flat seas” . Any anchorage (well almost) is less rolly than out here crossing the Pacific for 3 weeks.

The passage has been A LOT quicker and “easier” than we all expected. Yes, we all agree on this. I think most of that has to do with us already having done the 19 day passage, 1/2 the distance and upwind, from Mexico to Costa Rica. The days went by quickly, routine with watches, sleep, school, meals all fell right into place. I know that not everyone keeps a “schedule” on their crossings, but for us, it seems to work well. It gives the kids something stable everyday in a situation that is “unstable”. We can now say, after a few longer crossings under our belt, day 2 is the hardest, after that routine sets in.

The kids did 6 days a week of school. Sundays we took off and called it “Sunday Fun Day”. I cooked all meals except Christian’s and Taj’s first breakfast. Yes, first breakfast… they both eat oatmeal every morning and then when the girls eat (9-9:30) they eat another breakfast of usually eggs, pancakes, or cereal and yogurt. Lunch is pretty much always at 12:30. Snack sometime between lunch and dinner. Usually frozen fruit juice, apple and peanut butter, or pop-corn. Dinner is between 5:30 and 6pm. I try to switch cuisine ethnicities every night (Asian, then Mexican, Italian etc.) This gives me something to focus on everyday. Oh and I made bread almost every other day. That helped with lunches when left overs weren’t enough for us all.

We provisioned in Panama City and the did a fresh produce and restock what we used in Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Thankfully, Santa Cruz had an amazing farmers market with tons of produce that lasted really well. Today, for fresh produce, we still have a dozen green apples, a bell pepper, eggplant, carrots, cucumber, one tomato, purple onion, a purple and a huge green cabbage, potatoes (sweet and regular), winter squash and butternut squash. We have a few more frozen veggies and Fruit that we’ll save for another time. After yesterday’s fish catch, we now have extra fish in the freezer along with frozen beef from local organic cows in the Galapagos!

Other daily activities included trolling with two hand lines, drawing, writing, knitting, origami, card games, story telling, listening to kids music, some audio books, and lots of reading (Both Christian and I read 6 books, Nina read 6 + some re-reads, Ellamae has also read 6, plus all of the books we read to Taj)! Taj like to take videos of himself and play them back over and over, that’s pretty entertaining. He also, finally, got really into legos. So between books, legos, magnet toys, and some other random toys and games, Taj had a more tame passage than the previous ones. He still had some good moments of torturing the girls and a few screaming fits. But really, what can you expect when you take a active boy and keep him stuck on a boat for 22 days?

Our watches were regular as well. Nina took 8p-11p, I slept from 7:30 p-11p and took watch from 11p – 3am, then slept again from 3a – 7 ish. Christian slept in the cockpit the entire passage to be help for Nina or myself durning his sleeping times. He slept 8p-3a and then napped at 1p-2p. For time changes, we had 3, we changed during the day as to not disrupt our watch schedule. Every 1,000 miles we fell back an hour except for the last one (the 3,000), which required a 1.5 hour fall back. For some reason, the Marquesas are on a 1/2 time difference. Example: when we left its was 10:30 am Galapagos time (16:30 UTC). Now at 16:30 UTC the time in the Marquesas would be 07:00.

At 22:00 we reached the south east end of Hiva Oa. We still had 20 miles to go (~5 hours by the time our anchor is down), but the excitement in the air was strong. The waning crescent moon had not risen yet, but a slight shadow of landmass was discernible on the horizon. “Land Ho” I wanted to shout out, but the rest of the boat was sleeping expect for Christian. We sat silently, taking in our last night of the passage across the Pacific Ocean. We were both awake and Nina got off early, as we new we’d be anchored and back to bed soon enough.

At 0120, on May 9th, we started our engine to head into the anchorage. The smell coming from the island was so sweet. The aroma of citrus, damp earth and flowers filled the air.

At 09/05/2018 12:00 (UTC) our position was 09°48.24’S -139°01.92’W
Day 21 + 19.5 hours , our Pacific Ocean crossing from The Galapagos Islands to Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia completed with anchor down at 02:30 our time. 3 weeks! Another great day sailing. Wind speeds up, 18 kts – 24 and Boat speeds up to 7 kt average, allowing us to make it in less than 22 full days.

Total miles: 3140 miles
Miles over last 19.5 hrs: 125 miles
Miles to go to Hiva Oa: 0 nm
Arrival to Hiva Oa: May 9th @ 02:30 (21 days and 19.5 hours).

Total engine hours: 7 . (3 the first day, 2 the second, 1 the day before arriving to check the engine, not for propelling, and 1 hour coming into port to anchor.)

Generator: we ran the generator, Honda 2,000, twice to recharge the batteries and make water. With afternoon clouds and wind from behind, we didn’t quite bring in enough solar and wind generator power.

(Christian, Josie, Nina, Ellamae and Taj)


last 3rd of our South Pacific Crossing! Minus our last day.

Yay, Shawnigan is on her last 3rd of our South Pacific Crossing! A little recap:
We departed from the Galápagos Islands on Tuesday the 17th of April at 10:30 local time (16:30 UTC). We left with 4 other kids boats that same day, and another 2 left 2 days prior and 1 left 1 day prior. That’s 7 kid boats in all! Another boat named Dol’Selene that’s in our fleet left with us as well. We call them the “big kids” , so if you count them, there was 8 “kids boat” that left within 2 days of each other to cross the big Pacific Ocean.

It’s been fantastic having a group “along” with us. I say that with parentheses because we are all spread out now with over 300 miles between some of us. We’ve been in contact with each other 2 if not 3 times a day. Always good to know where your buddies are and what the conditions are nearby. We’ve been holding up the rear, not because we sail the slowest, but because we only motored for a total of 5 hours the first few days of leaving the Galapagos. No complaints here, though. We took the relative path of least resistance and have had good wind and good sea states starting from day 3 onward. You can see our track here: http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Shawnigan

My apologies for the “bland” posts lately. The crossing has been great. It’s pretty much the same day in and day out. Wake up, drink coffee, make breakfast, start school, read, make bread (every other day), or prep for lunch, make lunch, read, more school, entertain Taj, afternoon nap (Christian), afternoon snack, make dinner, eat dinner, play games, read text family, I go to sleep at 7:30pm, Nina’s watch starts at 8pm – 11pm. My watch 11pm to 3 am. I do a little 30-40 min exercise routine at the beginning, then I read or write. Christian’s watch starts at 3 am to whenever I wake up (around 7:30am) then the day repeats itself. Did I mention reading?! Lots of reading going on. It’s great!

So here again back to the “daily log” style. We have approximately 1 week left.

Day 15: May 1st – May 2nd, 2018 – not too much excitement aboard Shawnigan today. Everyone a little more tired with the time change. Not seeing much out here, no boats, no dolphins, less fish , a few birds. I did forget to mention, however, that we saw a Oceanic White Tip shark swim by our boat a few days ago. Good thing we weren’t swimming! Just before 5pm we hit our “less than 1,000 nm to go” mark!

Our 2nd 3rd of our Pacific Ocean crossing from The Galápagos Islands to The Marquesas

Our 2nd 3rd of our Pacific Ocean crossing from The Galápagos Islands to The Marquesas. ***Post from our IridiumGo. Will add pictures at a later date.

We just completed 1084 miles by the end of day 8. The Shenanigans and Shawnigan continue

Day 9: April 25 into April 26th was pretty uneventful. Dinner was Sweet and regular potatoes with Mexican seasoned veggies and fresh pico de gallo salsa.

Pacific Crossing from Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands

Pacific Crossing from Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands to the Marquesas. Our First 1,000 miles (1/3rd of the way).

Day 1: motored 2.5 hours (10:30 am. – 13:00). Full sail, light breeze. 4pm, wind 8kts SOG 4.5 -5kts. Chicken Mole dinner with rice. 7pm, wind patchy/died. Nina watch 8pm-11pm. Josie watch 11pm -3 am. Midnight 1° 15.35 S, 90° 45.20 W, SOG 1.5 – 2 kts. 44 miles . Crossing the Pacific Ocean from Galápagos Islands 24 hour report.

Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands : Week 3

Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands : Week 3

Posting from our iridium satellite phone. I will post photos when we get decent wifi somewhere in the South Pacific.

On April 10th we arrived in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island at night. Not our favorite thing to do, arrive by night that is. We were having such a great sail up and over here that we were a little late on getting the engine to assist to make sure we were there before dark. We came in around 7:30pm. We motored in slowly as it was incredibly dark, but littered with lights from town, it was hard to discern were there was space in the anchorage to drop our hook. To top it off the anchorage was crowded. Some people had stern anchors out and some didn’t. We found a hole to safely anchor in and called it a night.

The next morning, April 11th, our morning coffee during sunrise was beautiful. The sun came up soft and warm, and the sky turned from pastels to a bright blue. The town had a look of a little village in the Mediterranean. We were excited to get to shore. Santa Cruz is the most populated island of all the Galápagos Islands. The town of Puerto Ayora itself only has 2,000 people, but that does not account for all of the tourists and the nearby villages. It was Tajs 5th birthday and we were all excited to wonder town and find a place to get a birthday treat to celebrate with.

Water taxis were mandatory once again, $1/person each way. We walked the Malecon, found our place to get a treat, found good coffee and we found our local friends that we had only met online. We attempted to FaceTime family for Tajs birthday, but wifi on the island was slow. A little frustrating, but it forced us to enjoy the moment more.

Over the next few days, we met up with our local friend, Diego and surfed. We found more activities to do with the other kid boats (Pelizeno, La Cigale, Lady Mary, Raftkin, Bajka and Dol Selene). We surfed more and went to more beaches and tortoise breeding grounds and huge lava tunnels. Saturday was a big day. There is a local farmers market that starts at 5am. A group of us got together at 6 and took a taxi there. We loaded up of fresh food for the crossing!
That afternoon (April 14th) we celebrated Tajs birthday with all the other kid boats and celebrated Hayleys (off of SV Raftkin) 12th birthday as well. There was a total of 17 kids (SV Kea and Cest Si Bon joined our kid boat group)! We were so happy to have so many kids to help celebrate with.

Before we knew it, it was time to check out. Our weather window to leave was looking to good as far as having decent wind to sail as much as possible to catch the southern Pacific trade winds. Also, all of the other kid boats were leaving during the same window. Wed already grown attached and didn’t want to be too far behind them once everyone made it to The Marquesas. Leaving was so hard. We all felt like we wanted another week there and we wanted to spend more time with our local friends Paola and Diego. But weather windows always take priority when planning a departure. We might just have to find our way back to the Galápagos Islands for another visit.

Tuesday morning, April 17th, we finished checking out of immigrations after one last farmers market (6am) run, breakfast with Paola and Diego at their house, and a last minute FaceTime with family. I held it back during the moment, but those calls were a little emotional for me.

At 10:30am (16:30 UTC) we departed for French Polynesia. Kea and Cest Si Bon left 2 days prior, Bajka left the day before, the rest of us kid boats (Pelizeno, La Cigale, Raftkin, Shawnigan) and Dol Selene left on Tuesday a few hours apart.

*** side notes for people who will be visiting Santa Cruz:
Places to eat;
-La Garrapata (excellent service, sea food, fresh tuna, ceviche and kid meals).
-The Rock: For lunch time, you can get a very tasty almuerso special meal for $5 that comes with soup, main meal (i.e. Chicken and rice) and fresh juice. -OMG: for coffee and ok wifi.
-Saturday morning Market (Farmers market) fresh empenadas and Bolons.

Places to see:
-Darwin Center
-Museum that’s down town
-the 400 m lava tunnels and tortoise breeding grounds.

That’s all the Shenanigans on Shawnigan for now…