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Sailing Log




What does Trafficated mean?


Written by Daryl

Photos by Daryl

 Crossing The Pacific

     One of the best parts of sailing around the world is getting to meet so many different people from the various places that we visit.  And although each meeting is unique in its own way, it usually starts out with the same introductory conversation in order for our new acquaintances to get an understanding on who we are why we are visiting their country.  It’s a great feeling to watch their expressions change from basic interest to amazement when they find out that we are not a couple of typical backpacking travelers (even though we look the part) but a couple of sailors,…who have their own boat,…and are sailing around the world!,…with no experience!!  One man we met in the Galapagos told us ‘either you two are very courageous, or are very stupid to do something like that’.  I think it was a compliment.   Then, just to make our story a bit more entertaining, we tell them that we are getting ready to sail across the Pacific.  ‘At this time of the year? You guys are nuts!’ Is their reply.

     You see, if one wants to sail around the Globe, there are a few things that you must become familiar with,…well, more than a few.  The world weather patterns play an important role on where and when it is safe to sail.  And even though our daily weather prediction is a bit difficult on the boat when all you have for equipment is a wet finger, the yearly weather patterns have been consistently charted for the past hundred or so years and are well documented.   These patterns deal with which major weather systems are prevalent, where they are likely to occur, and during which time of the year.  For instance, the hurricane season in the Caribbean is always between June-Sept.  Knowing these weather patterns help cruisers in scheduling their circumnavigation in order to avoid an eventful dance with nature.

     Typically, one wants to be out of the Caribbean by June and then outside the South Pacific Cyclone Zone by November.  So, that gives a cruiser 5 months, if leaving in June, to get across the Pacific and to decide where to wait out the Cyclones before continuing on their circumnavigation.  New Zealand is the most popular destination being on the other side of the cyclone zone and on the other side of the Pacific which is about 10 000 km from Galapagos.

     It does become most adventurous when one (or in our case two) decides not to have anything to do with scheduling and not worry about being rushed.  We took our time getting out of the Caribbean and ended up leaving Panama mid-June. Then in Galapagos, instead of making the move to cross the Pacific as soon as we could to deal with the Cyclone question, we ended up staying a bit longer than our limit.  Now we are attempting to cross the Pacific in September when no other cruisers would really want (except for the two cruising boats we met in Galapagos, a South African sailor, Paul, with his American girlfriend, Andrea, and a solo French sailor, crazy Juilian, who has already sailed in a hurricane once this year!)  This is not because the Pacific conditions would be unpleasant for sailing, just because it would mess up cruisers schedules of hurrying to get to New Zealand to wait out the Cyclones and miss seeing the beautiful islands inside the belt.   Actually, the conditions in the Pacific are at their best right now for sailing.  The winds are strong from the SE and the current is right on our back at 2 knots!  We traveled at all time high speeds of 11-14 km/hr over the 5400 km course under blue skies and bright stars.  We planned for a 30 day sail from the Galapagos to the Marquises and we did it in 24 due to the favorable weather conditions and of course our newly acquired sailing personalities!! (comparing this to our average speed from Trinidad to Galapagos, also 5400 km was 6.5 km/hr).

     The only problem we might face is where we are going to put the boat to wait out the Cyclones.  Instead of putting it somewhere after the belt, we are going to have to put it up before,…hmmmm this will mean 5 months in Tahiti, or maybe Bora Bora, or Tonga.  These decisions are really tough!  And even though some of these islands have restrictions on how long you can keep your boat there during the Cyclones.  This really isn’t concerning us as it would other cruisers.  We were only supposed to stay 10 days by law in Galapagos, one of the hardest places for cruisers to stay, and we pulled off 53!  And these islands won’t really push us out during the cyclone season, will they?



             Pacific Sunset

   $2 breakie         Dinghy Wash

  Dinghy Repair        $2 lunch

 Paul & Andrea       Crazy Julian

  Signing out

   Sailor Man        Funnel Clouds?



Out runnin' the Storms



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