Author Archives: A Family Afloat

About A Family Afloat

I'm a mother of 3 amazing kids (currently 15, 10, and 4) and a wife of an amazing husband. We are currently sailing our boat in Mexico with a sail plan of going around the world. In August, 2015 we cruised out "the Gate" of San Francisco and spent 2 months going down the coast of California and 2 years exploring Mexico. Our next intention is to cross the Pacific to French Polynesia around March, 2018, leaving from ???. Stay tuned....

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.

-Shawnigan
(Christian, Josie, Nina, Ellamae and Taj)

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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!


At 02/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 08°17.32’S -123°46.12’W

Day 15 completed at 0830 our time. Slower day, wind dropped to about 8kts over night . Comfortable sea state. Wing on wing.

Total miles: 2206 total

Miles over last 24h: 140 miles even lower, but should pick up the next 24h.

Day 16: May 2nd -3rd , we had dolphins visit us! Normally we’re not as excited to see dolphins, only because we’ve been spoiled and see them quite often. But on this crossing we haven’t seen much of anything. So today when we had dolphins visit, all of us stopped whatever we were doing and went straight to the front of the boat to watch. The dolphins seemed as excited to see us as we were to see them. The rest of the day was mellow. Light winds, causing us to slow down a bit, but comfortable seas.


At 03/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 08°30.32’S -125°58.12’W

Day 16 completed at 0830 our time. Another Slower day, wind dropped to about 8kts over night . Comfortable sea state. Still sailing Wing on wing. Otherwise, living “Groundhog Day” over and over only with less and less produce everyday and slightly different meals. All is well. Dinner last night was Mexican veggie stuffed potatoes.

Total miles: 2342 miles

Miles over last 24h: 136 miles (even lower)

Day 17: May 3 – May 4th. pretty uneventful day again. A few more dolphins a few more waves. Made veggie Pad Thai for dinner, always a hit.


At 04/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 08°50.32’S -128°26.12’W

Day 17 completed at 0830 our time. Just gybed I a starboard tack wing on wing to keep us from heading too far south. Wind just switched to a more ENE direction. Interesting trade winds this year.

Total miles: 2493 miles

Miles over last 24h: 151 miles (phew a little better!)

Miles to go: ~635nm

Day 18: May 4th – May 5th. Well, light winds, slow tracks, just sitting relaxing, waiting. Doing a lot of reading, writing, knitting, lego-ing. Veggie fried rice for dinner.


At 05/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 08°48.58’S -130°26.57’W

Day 18 completed at 0830 our time. Just gybed back to starboard tack wing on wing with Asymmetrical up. Wind just switched back to more straight E direction.

Total miles: 2615 miles

Miles over last 24h: 122 miles (ouch!)

Miles to go to Hiva Oa: 515 nm .

Day 19: May 5th -6th. Another slow day. Hoisted the Asymmetrical. Wing on wing back on port tack. At 12:15 we have less than 500 miles to go! It’s crazy to think that our passage from Mexico to Costa Rica took 19 days +many hours to go 1600 miles, and on the passage we’ve gone over 2,700 miles in the same amount of time. This is now officially our longest time out at sea. cinco de mayo dinner of Tamales, rice and beans and Mexican Slaw.


At 06/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 09°0.8’S -132°22.22’W

Day 19 completed at 0830 our time. Had Asymmetrical up all day until midnight when a tiny rain cloud and wind came. (Can’t quite call it a squall). Switched back to genoa wing on wing causing speed to drop .5 – 1 kt.

Total miles: 2733 miles

Miles over last 24h: 118 miles (even more ouch!)

Miles to go to Hiva Oa: 400 nm

Day 20: May 6-7th. Well we are officially out at sea longer than we’ve ever been before (not counting Christian’s experience as a child). Sunday fun day was pretty mellow. The 15 kt of breeze the grib was calling for never came. Wind was 8-10 kts most of the day.. by nightfall, however it had switched out of the south southeast picked up to about 10-14kts. We dropped the A sail with an impending squall, which happened to just nearly miss us, gybed the jib and started heading back on the Rhumb line with better average speed.


At 07/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 09°21.18’S -134°31.51’W

Day 20: completed at 0830 our time. Had a good day sailing yesterday. Wind switched out of SSE in the late afternoon. Slowly switched back toward ESE by this morning. Had some rain and skirted some squalls last night.

Total miles: 2862 miles

Miles over last 24h: 129 miles (even more ouch!)

Miles to go to Hiva Oa: 270 nm

Day 21: May 7-8th, 2018:


At 08/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 09°37.4’S -137°3.34’W

Day 21: completed at 07:00 our time (changed to Marquesas time during the day). 3 weeks! Another great day sailing. Wind speeds up, 12-18 kts. Boat speeds up 6-7 kts. Caught 2 fish at once with our 2 lines, one Yellowfin Tuna and one Mahi Mahi . Finally keepers on the hand lines. Almost 3,000 miles without any keepable fish on the lines. If we hadn’t speared the one Tuna last week, these would have been the only ones the whole trip. Had sushi for dinner. We had more rain overnight along with slightly increased wind speeds. Kept the jib slightly furled.

Total miles: 3015 miles

Miles over last 24h: 153 miles (yay, back up)

Miles to go to Hiva Oa: 118 nm

ETA to Hiva Oa: early morning May 9th.

So 3,015 miles in 3 weeks isn’t too shabby. We have one more day left, just over 100 miles until we reach Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia.

I decided to save our last day for its own post.

Again, sorry for the lack of photos. The Iridium phone and email only permits small images. Will add them later.

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.

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.


At 26/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 06°34.6’S -108°20’W

Day 9 completed at now 09:30 am our time. SOG 6.5-7.5. COG 260t. Wind 10-15 kts ESE with gusts in high teens.

Total miles: 1255 miles

Miles over last 24h: 170 miles! (4 170+nm days in a row!)

Day 10: April 26th-April 27th.

Another beautiful day out here in the big blue. Caught 2 Mahi again just before dinner, but again they were two small to keep, plus they were mates, so we felt bad to take them so young. We returned them back to Neptune. Hopefully one of these days he’ll give us a big one in return. Veggie Pad Thai for dinner. We made pretty good ground again today. Winds were more variable and had a few rain “squalls” , but not too severe.

–—

At 27/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 06°53.6’S -111°35’W

Day 10 completed at 09:30 am our time. SOG 6.5-7.5. COG 260t. Wind 10-15 kts ESE with gusts in high teens. Rolly night with a few rain showers. Dipped our boom in a few times (single reefed main).

Total miles: 1429 miles

Miles over last 24h: 174 miles!

Day11: April-27-28th, 2018

Calm night. 1/2 way mark 1,550 miles completed at 0300 on the 28th!


At 28/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 07°17.36’S -113°40.35’W

Day 11 completed at 09:30 am our time. SOG 5-6. COG 260t. Wind 10-15 kts ESE.

Christian just now speared a 10+kg yellowfin tuna from off the bow of our boat!

Total miles: 1585 miles (I added 9 too many to yesterdays)

Miles over last 24h: 165 miles

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Day 12: April 28-29th

After catching the Tuna, excitement remained high for the day. As soon as we had the fish onboard, the sushi rice was in the pressure cooker in preparation for dinner. I made Poké bowls for lunch and rolled up sushi for dinner. Yum! We’ll be having fish for the next few days! The night was a great sail. Speeds picked back up to 6 and 7’s.


At 29/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 07°46.15’S -116°15.35’W

Day 12 completed at 09:30 am our time. SOG 6-7. COG 250-260 throughout the night. Now 270t. Wind 12-18 kts ESE.

Total miles: 1746 miles

Miles over last 24h: 161 miles

Day 13: April 29-30, 2018: Sunday fun day aboard Shawnigan was pretty uneventful. Pancake breakfast. No school, sea state pretty calm, sailing wing on wing (aka butterfly or goose winging). The girls brought out the chessboard. All was good and restful. Made Poké bowls for lunch again and seared Tuna with Asian veggies over rice for dinner. Beautiful blue moon rise over the horizon tonight. Not a single thing in sight except for Ocean and scattered puffy clouds. A few bIrds in the distance, not sure what kind.


At 30/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) Monday, our position was 07°54.5’S -118°57.12’W

Day 13 completed at (new time) 08:30 am our time. SOG 6-7. COG 270 throughout the night. Wing on wing. Wind 12-18 kts switching more easterly.

Total miles: 1910 miles

Miles over last 24h: 164 miles

Day 14: April 30,- May 1st. 2,000 miles completed @ 2100 on April 30th. @ today, May 1, 2018, we made it 2/3 the way exactly at the end of our 14th day. 2,066 miles completed, just over 1,033 miles to go. Maybe a 21 day passage?!?! We’ll see…


At 01/05/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 07°57.46’S -121°30.33’W

Day 14 completed AND 2/3 the way at 08:30 am our time. SOG 5-7 (slowed down with less current helping and wing on wing with less wind. COG 250-270 throughout the night depending on wind speed. Wing on wing. Wind 12-18 kts more easterly.

Total miles: 2066 total (2/3 the way!!!)

Miles over last 24h: 156 miles (lowest in a while).

Up next:

Last 1/3 of our Pacific Crossing from Galapagos to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia.

First 1/3 of our Pacific Crossing from Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands

I realized just now after finally having decent wifi to check out blog posts that were sent from the iridium that my posts were incomplete! So here is the first 1/3 posted again….

Pacific Crossing from Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands 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.

—–10:30am

At 18/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 01°38.38’S -091°0.11’W

As if this morning, We are making our way southwest COG 200 before heading more westerly. We have a 0.5 counter current right now.

Miles total: 74

Miles over last 24h: 74

Day 2:

11:30 76 miles (tracker restarted) started engine for 2.5hrs. 0’5 counter current pushing east. 2pm Changed heading to more westerly to accommodate for current.

Light winds, full sail at 2pm. Poled out 150 and full main.

7pm Slow progress SW. SOG 2kts. Chicken Mole “Enchiladas” for dinner.

Midnight position 155.5 S, 9117.39W COG 200t, SOG 1.5 -2kt. Very light wind, current pushing again SW 1-1.5 kt.

10:30 total miles 136 miles , miles over last 24h 60

Day 3: hoisted asymmetrical at 0830. Wind slowly picked up. Comfortable seas. 2pm seeing 4 kt SOG and less at times. Wind slowly switching more out of south. By 5 pm wind on the nose pointed as high up as possible. Cog 245 , SOG 5! No fish but have bluefin tuna swimming by our boat. Not desperate enough to get the spear gun out, but instead enjoyed watching them play. More (final serving) of the Chicken Mole and rice variation that I made on the first day. Everyone is tired of it.

Midnight position 258.5 S, 9207W COG 230t, SOG 5.5kts. Wind ~ 10 kts, nearly close reach. Sea state: comfortable slight occasional roll.


At 20/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 03°38.20’S -092°51.6’W. COG 217 SOG 6.5 TWS 12kt SE.

Day 3 (72h) completed at 10:30 am our time. We sailed most of yesterday’s daylight hours with our asymmetrical. By 5pm the wind switched more out of SSE forcing us to head as high up into the wind as possible to keep a SW heading. Steady wind throughout the night, picking up around 2 am.

Total miles: 254 miles (~2,800 miles to go)

Miles over last 24h: 120 miles.

Day 4: full white sails all day (main and genoa). Wind 8-14 kts mainly out of SE SOG mostly 4-6kts, COG 220 – 240. Making ground! Good day doing school and getting in the groove. Sea state still pretty comfortable with a 1.5 – 2 m S swell. Caught a small Mahi Mahi, returned her back to Neptune. Asian noodle veggie stir fry for dinner

Midnight 425’43’’S, 9347’12’’ N


At 21/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 04°48.49’S -094°33.6’W

Day 4 (96h) completed at 10:30 am our time. Steady wind throughout the night, dropping a little around 1 am, but picked up again by 2:30am.

Total miles: 388 miles

Miles over last 24h: 134 miles.

Day 5:

Wind at 11am 10-14 kts SE. SOG 5-6 COG 240t

Working sails all day wind 10-20, 14 avg. avg speed 6, saw some 8’s! Had one episode of furling in the jib and reefing the main, but that only lasted about 30 minutes. Mexican veggie sauté “stuffed” Potatoes for dinner.

Midnight: we hit 5S! 501’S, 95*53.7 W


At 23/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 05°20.19’S – -097°2.6’W

(120h) completed at 10:30 am our time. SOG 6 – 8 COG 250t. Wind 12-17 kts SE

Total miles: 549 miles

Miles over last 24h: 161 miles! A New PR

Day 6: uneventful day. No fish. Made bread, mayonnaise, rotated eggs, made a meat sauce spaghetti. No school day!

Midnight: 534.47’S – 9837.33’W SOG 7-8.5 COG 250 – 260t

——-

At 23/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 05°43.3’S -099°34.4’W

SOG 7 – 8 COG 250t- 260t. Wind 12-17 kts SE and Steady wind throughout the night, now aft of the beam.

Total miles: 727 miles (2300 ish to go)

Miles over last 24h: 178 miles! A New PR

Day 7:


At 24/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 06°1.38’S -102°37.3’W

1 week completed! Day 7 completed at 10:30 am our time. SOG 7 – 8 COG 260t. Wind 12-17 kts SE and Steady wind throughout the night, just aft of the beam. Asian veggie stir fry over rice noodles again. (I used the extra sauce I made from the other day).

Total miles: 897 miles

Miles over last 24h: 170 miles!

Day 8:

Another day of smooth sailing so far. Wind speeds started to pick up over 20kts. Reefed the main at 1500. Seeing speeds of in the 10’s while surfing the swell. Caught 2 small Mahi at one time, released them back to grow. Meat sauce Spaghetti again with the extra sauce I made from the other night.

@2333 (2230 new time) we reached 1,000 miles! We’re 1/3 Rd through our crossing with just over 2,000 to go. Now, officially the time changes back an hour.

8 am this morning wind picked up a little, so we furled in the jib in to “working jib” status.


At 25/04/2018 16:30 (UTC) our position was 06°22.38’S -105°37.3’W

Day 8 completed at now 09:30 am our time. SOG 7 – 9 COG 260t. Wind 12-17 kts ESE with gusts in low 20’s .Steady wind throughout the night, aft of the beam.

Total miles: 1084 miles (~2,000 miles more to go)

Miles over last 24h: 187 miles! A New PR!

boat galley cinnamon rolls made for our first 1,000 mile marker!

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…

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Christian and Diego Surf it up, #tortugabayexperience

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Field trip to the Darwin Center!#Eatlesspasticand we still had enough for sushi!