Day 12: Hiva Fleet

Progress was a little slower the past 24 hours as we (figuratively) powered through a couple of periods of light winds. We’ve been practicing our French and reading voraciously. The improved sea state is helping us to catch up on some much needed sleep – it’s much easier to do so when you don’t have to tense your entire body every five seconds to avoid rolling out of bed. We’ve been keeping in contact with a group of boats that left the Galapagos around the same time we did. The daily email updates are a good source of information and entertainment. With crews from France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Hong Kong and Mauritius, World Cup soccer is a frequent topic, complete with the requisite smack talk. Obviously, we have nothing to add since the USA is nowhere near the event this year but we’re rooting for all and will pick sides if/when required.

Breakfast: Nut butter & honey toast, all natural yogurt w/berries, coffee

Lunch: Curried encapsulated chicken and chickpea salad, sweet onion and sour cream potato crisps

Dinner: Chunky corn chowder served with salted flatbreads

Evening entertainment: Episodes of “Bob’s Burgers” and “Parks & Recreation”

Current location: Lat 07 01.081S Long 119 44.320W
Distance traveled: 170 NM

The seas have calmed considerably, the sun is out, and a white tropic bird just cruised past for a closer look at us, all the way out here, 1700 miles from land. Unfortunately, like yesterday, the wind has shifted to the E/NE so we had to again jibe to gain some northerly direction. The swell is more on our tail, though, which makes for a somewhat comfortable ride. No other news to report.

Breakfast: Egg, veggie and sausage scramble, coffee

Lunch: Ham and cheese crepe roll-ups

Dinner: Black bean quesadillas with salsa and homemade sour cream

Evening entertainment: “Intolerable Cruelty”

Current location: Lat 07 03.011S Long 117 42.408W
Distance traveled: 180 NM

Well, part of yesterday’s wish came true… we finally have a sunny day. The seas are still large and confused, though, and continue to dish out a rolly ride. And the wind, well, let’s just say it has stopped fully cooperating. It’s still strong enough to require a deeply reefed mainsail, but the direction has pushed us farther south than we want to be so today we jibed (meaning, we changed tacks) in order to gain back some of our northerly direction. Luckily we’re still heading west, at least, and not going backward.

The best part of today is that we reached our halfway point! We are halfway between the Galapagos and the Marquesas islands. If all goes well we should make landfall in about nine days. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Wags made some awesome crepes this morning. We also set our clocks back an hour and will be doing so again for the next couple of days. We’re not sure exactly which time zone we’re in right now but we know the sun shouldn’t be rising at 9:00a and setting at 9:00p.

Breakfast: Freshly-made crepes topped with beurre et sucre (butter & sugar), and nutella with bananas

Lunch: Leftovers

Last night’s dinner: Thai Vegetable Red curry over rice

Last evening’s entertainment: Rainy day double feature! “The African Queen” in the afternoon; Veep and Brooklyn Nine-nine in the evening.

Current location: Lat 07 04.113S Long 115 21.958W
Distance traveled: 191 NM

Over the last couple of days we’ve had a consistent 15-20 kts of wind. That would be perfect if it weren’t for the higher gusts, which tend to make the boat corkscrew. We’ve reefed our mainsail to about half and are flying the full jib, although last night we reduced that to about half, as well, as we were seeing gusts of 25-30 kts. The seas have built over the last two days and are now 3-4 meters and quite confused, meaning we are constantly rolling from side to side. No danger, but it’s very uncomfortable and, frankly, more than a little bit annoying. On top of that it’s grey and overcast. We’re hoping the sun will come out and things will smooth out soon.

Breakfast: Tart cherry Seattle scones with butter, jam and honey, coffee

Lunch: EMFH (every man for him/her self)

Dinner: Locally sourced AMERICAN caught Mahi-mahi sashimi with a side of rice and soy/wasabi dipping sauce, miso soup

Evening entertainment: “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (what’s more American than a good road trip?!)

Current location: Lat 06 43.563S Long 113 01.159W
Distance traveled: 184 NM

It’s a beautiful sunny day in the South Pacific ocean and we are celebrating Independence Day on Gadabout like many Americans, especially in the Pacific Northwest, with good ‘ol American cuisine and boating. Later, we’ll watch for falling stars in lieu of fireworks. We hope you are enjoying your day and wake up tomorrow with all your fingers still attached. Be careful out there… Happy 4th!

Breakfast: White bread toast, AMERICAN Peanut Butter blanketed with AMERICAN jam

Lunch: AMERICAN hot dogs and AMERICAN style potato salad, chocolate chip cookies

Dinner: AMERICAN cheddar cheese plate

Evening entertainment: Sherlock, S3 Ep.3*

*Since this log runs from noon to noon, evening entertainment reflects the previous evening. Paula assures me we will be having AMERICAN themed entertainment tonight. (I’m guessing “Team America, World Police”)

Current location: Lat 06 18.937S Long 110 25.891W
Distance traveled: 189 NM

Day 7: Fish on!

Another rolly 24 hours as the wind angle has us perpendicular to the swell. We are making good progress, though. On the bright side, we finally caught a fish, a beautiful mahi-mahi. It’s our first since leaving Panama. We thanked it for its sacrifice for our sustenance and we look forward to the variety of meals ahead… mahi-mahi pancakes, mahi-mahi ice cream, mahi-mahi brownies… let us know your favorite mahi-mahi recipe!

Breakfast: All natural yogurt with fresh fruit, granola and bee poop (honey), coffee

Lunch: Line caught free-range Pacific mahi-mahi ceviche served with old-fashioned soda crackers

Dinner: Penne pasta in a imported basil puree (imported from COSTCO Panama) served with toasted artisenal bread topped with olive oil and garlic

Evening entertainment: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Current location: Lat 05 27.286S Long 107 56.567W
Distance traveled: 175 NM

We’re making good time. Unfortunately the sea state leaves a bit to be desired. For the last two days it has been lumpy and confused with quite a bit of wind chop on top of a 2-3 meter swell. Winds are 15-20 kts, gusting to 25-30 kts. We reduced our mainsail considerably to minimize the corkscrewing effect we were getting when the gusts kicked up. It has helped but it does nothing to mitigate the constant rolling from the swell… back and forth, back and forth… And with the rolling comes a cacophony of noises – squeaks, creaks, grunts, groans – from hatches, doors, floors, lines, etc. A good night’s sleep has been elusive.

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast: House Made Bread, lightly toasted, accompanied by nut butter, fresh banana, Ecuador’s finest margarine and Galapagos Highland Coffee

Lunch: Assorted chips and a trio of dipping sauces: Hummus, Ranch and French Onion

Dinner: Lumberjack Stew: Sautéed smoked sausage, in a pepper, onion and tomato reduction accompanied with homemade artisenal bread and Ecuador’s finest margarine

Evening entertainment: Veep, S3, Ep.7

Current location: Lat 04 43.897S Long 105 23.904W
Distance traveled: 190 NM

I was standing watch early this morning, engrossed in my book and tucked in neatly behind the clear plastic panel that provides wind protection in the cockpit. All of a sudden, “SMACK!” A large flying fish hurled itself directly at my head, at the last moment hitting the panel and flopping to the deck, unfortunately just out of reach for a safe rescue and release – if it’s dark outside, we don’t leave the cockpit without two people on deck, and this wasn’t an urgent enough matter to wake Wags. Later this morning another flying fish attempted his kamikaze maneuver as I sat minding my own business. This one ricocheted off the panel and into the cockpit where it came to rest on a cushion. Thankfully, Wags stepped up to the task of returning the stinky interloper to the sea before it expired, and if you know how smelly flying fish are you understand why his chivalry is so greatly appreciated.

Nothing else to report except the day’s fun facts.

Breakfast: “Sailor’s Gruel”: Oatmeal with brown sugar and apple bits, coffee Lunch: “Dog’s Breakfast”: AKA Leftovers
Dinner: Artisanal Farm to Table Lasagna with locally sourced Ecuadoran Queso Fresca Evening entertainment: Magnum, P.I.: S4 Ep 13 “No More Mr. Nice Guy”

Current location: Lat 04 37.877S Long 102 51.859W
Distance traveled: 198 NM*

*Distance from the ship’s log may include an effect from current, which can inflate the number.

The wind picked up considerably yesterday afternoon, held through the night and continues to blow 15-20 kts, giving us our best daily distance to date, although the swell direction is making the motion quite rolly. Otherwise, an uneventful 24 hours (we’ll take it!).

In anticipation of dwindling new dramas (we hope), we’ve added the categories of breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening entertainment for your amusement.

Breakfast: Banana bread, hard-boiled egg, Galapagos orange slices, coffee
Lunch: “Delta Airlines cheese snack plate” – 2 types of cheese, chorizo sausage, kalamata olives, almonds, crackers and, of course, a chocolate Dinner: “Churched-up” Ramen (w/onions, cilantro, cabbage and pepper flakes) Evening entertainment: Episode of “The Americans”

Current location: Lat 03 42.916S Long 100 22.670W
Distance traveled: 194 NM

Day 3: Swim call

After successfully dodging the fishing fleet yesterday afternoon, we ended the evening by catching a line in our prop. How, you ask? We had been trailing a line along the side of the boat all day to prevent gooseneck barnacles from attaching to the waterline (the jury’s still out on how well it worked). With sunset approaching we powered up the engine and turned into the wind to reef the mainsail – we use the engine to hold us steady when needed, which is a big help in lumpy seas. It took only a matter of one turn and one blast of power for the line, about which we had completely forgotten over the course of the day, to wrap around the prop, tight as a drum, and the engine to die. It took only a split second for both of us to realize our stupid oversight. We didn’t have time to tackle the problem before dark so this morning we got to practice “heaving to” – this is a technique whereby you turn into the wind and counterbalance the mainsail and a headsail to put the boat in a state of no (or almost no) forward motion. It is very useful for riding out a big storm or, in this case, doing repairs requiring a slow speed. Wags went over the side in 13,000 ft of water and spent over an hour under the boat being dragged at 1.5 kts in 6-foot rolly seas working with a sharp knife to separate the newfound relationship between prop and line. It was a success – all fingers are accounted for and we learned a valuable lesson. Now, let’s hope for a less eventful Day 4.

Current location: Lat 03 10.33S Long 097 50.16W
Distance traveled: 154 NM

Particular Harbor

John & Michelle’s adventures afloat

Sailing Around the World Powered by the Sun

The Raven Odyssey

gad·a·bout ˈɡadəˌbout/ noun a person who travels often or to many different places, especially for pleasure.

SV Delos

gad·a·bout ˈɡadəˌbout/ noun a person who travels often or to many different places, especially for pleasure.

S/V Madrone

Follow the travels of S/V Madrone, a Taswell 43 sailboat