Leaving tomorrow!

Category: Ships Log

Time period: Sunday 04/06/14 – Sunday 04/20/14

The weather window is finally opening for us to embark across the Pacific tomorrow (Monday 4/21)! 


Last week Chris wrote about our plan for the crossing, so I thought before we left I’d briefly write about the final preparations we’ve been busy with these last couple weeks.  We are a bit behind the majority of cruisers leaving for the Marquesas, but better late than never!  As March stretched into April, we watched as one after another cruiser left the marina, bound for the Marquesas.  It’s hard to watch everyone sail away and know you should be with them, but also knowing your boat isn’t quite ready.  However, after a frantic last couple weeks, we finally have the major and necessary projects complete.  Among the mini panics we had: 1) the watermaker didn’t work correctly – but after a few days of troubleshooting and taking everything apart, Chris managed to fix it as of this morning; 2) we noticed some major chafing at the head of our jib sail and the grommets that help attach the mainsail to the mast were popping off – luckily there is an awesome sailmaker here – Tony Morelli – who was able to fix it for us in one day and at a reasonable price;  3) the list of a hundred small, yet important items we didn’t get around to until these last few days (ie: making extra blades for our windvane, creating a mount for our diesel cans, re-wiring our transom light, installing a water tank sensor so we know when it is full, etc.) . 


The new sail cover I sewed for our new lazy jack system (a lazy jack system lets you just drop your sail into the waiting bag instead of having to flake the sail and then put on a sail cover - it helps you be more lazy at sea!)


Christian was getting a bit crazed after working on the watermaker for several days.:)


We left our dinghy in the water a bit too long... this is one month of growth.


One of the benefits of leaving late is we have the knowledge gained from hearing about the experiences of friends who have already completed the crossing or are en route right now.  One problem many boats have run into (at least the first few hundred miles offshore) is the birds. Apparently they try to sit every place they can on your boat, including the top of the mast and the spreaders. This might not be so bad, except boaters usually have a lot of equipment on top of their mast such as wind indicators and antennas.  We’ve heard of birds taking out several of these already (actually a bird already took out our wind indicator earlier in our travels). To prepare for this, we have placed cable ties (pointy end up) on the prime bird perches so hopefully they look less attractive. We have also invested in a water gun and our boat neighbor found us a wood slingshot we can try if things get really bad (not sure what we could use as ammunition though apart from food scraps, which the birds would probably enjoy).  Another annoyance we’ve heard about are flying fish and squid landing in the cockpit and deck.  In one case, our friends on Eleutheria said they even had a fish launch itself through the companionway door into their cabin! To help shield the cockpit, and keep out some of the salt spray, I sewed some weather covers that fit between our deck and the lifelines.  Hopefully they will help a bit.  We are also preparing for not feeling like cooking much our first few days out.  Being in a marina the last month, we have lost our sea legs so to speak, and will likely not be feeling super great initially.  Tomorrow morning I’ll prepare several meals and snacks that can be eaten cold and with little to no preparation (ie: tuna salad, quiche, hard boiled eggs, popcorn, etc.).


When we leave tomorrow, we won’t be alone.  Three other boats are also leaving from Banderas Bay with us: Fluenta, Kattu, and Windcutter.   We plan to hold our own mini radio net as we head across, which should be fun.  And as we head across we’ll also be updating the blog on a regular basis (more frequently than while we’ve been at the marina working on the boat!), so be sure to check back!


Last week we managed a half day off from boat work and walked up the river in downtown Puerto Vallarta. This is a cute market along the river.


Enjoying our last street tacos and hibiscus juice for a long time with friends from the sailboat, Avant.


Last potluck with our dock neighbors before everyone left to head north.


Sunset from Puerto Vallarta.


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