April 1, 2001 ~ April 15, 2001
April 15, 2001
HAPPY EASTER!!! Hope that the Easter Bunny filled all your spring baskets with lots of colored eggs and jelly beans! We weren't able to have our usual Easter Egg Hunt since the eggs would have been rolling around everywhere and Eric would have found them too easily...like he always did on land!!! We did enjoy a lovely dinner of spanish mackereal with bonbons for dessert! This Easter Bunny forgot about the date while she was in Ecuador....so there weren't any jelly beans aboard!
So, instead of hunting for eggs, Eric fixed the Northstar and our chart table light!!! It is so nice to have him aboard! Guess all that out-of-state tuition at CU is paying for itself...and then some!!!
We actually had an absolutely beautiful day with SUN and wonderful sailing....what we were expecting to have on this long passage!!! HAPPY EASTER!!! HE HAS RISEN!
April 14, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TED!!! Hope you had some nice spring weather there in Maine to enjoy your special day!
We had a really rough and squally night and then it rained ALL DAY again, which continued into the night with lightning (makes us VERY nervous!). None of us got much sleep at night! I think there is a Law which states that everything is always more at night! Rains MORE, winds blow MORE and harder from MORE directions, etc. etc. We were also surprised to hear birds around the boat during the night, but we could never see them.
April 13, 2001
We noticed that today is GOOD FRIDAY and also FRIDAY, THE 13TH!!! Obviously NOT a good day to start on a passage!
We turned on our Northstar GPS to check our status (while underway, we use our Navplotter which works off a paper chart on the chart table and uses very little power) and it didn't work! Then we turned on the light on the chart table to eat dinner (we need to have it dark inside the pilot house to retain our night vision (like in a car at night), and that blew too. (We didn't think that we had a spare, but we later found one that would work!:) I guess those were our Friday the 13th problems!!!!
We have been enjoying the fish for dinner and also my rotis. We have been alternating, depending about the condition of the sea which usually governs the condition of my stomach! Boy! there is nothing better than this absolutely FRESH fish with fresh vegetables which we purchased in the Galapagos and rice!
April 9-12, 2001
We were in very lumpy bumpy seas with no winds with rain and squalls! The type of sailing that makes us wonder WHY we are out here doing this???? Especially, when I am feeling sick the ENTIRE time, but still able to stand watch and to prepare meals (but sometimes not to eat them!!!). We are on a very regular schedule now. We even had to motor for 18 hours on April 11. We were able to speak on the VHF with Ken and Wendy on *Someday is Here* since we could actually SEE them. The only time on passage where we saw another boat. Then on April 12 we were able to speak with Gail and Henry on *Maritime Express.* We had rain almost all day. Mold seems to be growing every where inside the boat!!! I did manage to write some emails, but I desparately needed to work on the lists for our daughter to bring to us in Tahiti and also to figure out her schedule and flights. So, I forced myself to hang on and work at this computer!
April 8, 2001
HAPPY PALM SUNDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELIZABETH CLARE PROPHET, The Messenger of our church! We hope it was a very special day for all!
I was on watch from 4-6 am and then promptly was on The Big Fish Net at 6am. We were rolling quite a bit, so I slept the entire morning, made lunch for the guys, was sick, and slept most of the afternoon. (Everyone says that this mal de mer will pass after three days at sea!!!) I get very very behind in updating this website and writing emails when I have a day like this! We had to pull the spinnaker down before dark. The wind is much too flukely to fly the spinnaker at night. It is hard enough to bring it down during the daylight! *Peace and Aloha* is truly beautiful undersail and magnificient with the colorful rasberry and purple spinnaker afloat. We need to have someone take a photo, but we never seem to be sailing near anyone else! We are so FAST!
We had to be ready for dinner and dark about 5 since we were changing time zones and remember, here in the southern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter as we approach winter! No spring and summer for us this year!
April 7, 2001
Departure Day: 8:30 am *Peace and Aloha* sailed from Villamil, Isla Isabela, Galapagos for Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas!
We weren't quite ready to leave: however, *Voyager* was over our anchor and they wanted to go in to town so we pulled up the anchor and finished our final preparations while we were underway. *Stella* with Terry and Ariel aboard from Toronto, Ontario, Canada left about an hour before us, while *High Drama* from Phoenix, Arizona with Jeff, Anne, Mike and Stacey aboard left about an hour later. I must admit that I definitely was not ready to leave Isabela and the Galapagos: I felt like there was so much more to see,so manafriendly people to meet and delightful animals to discover. We will just have to return!
We had an absolutely spectacular day! We caught FIVE fish: three spanish mackerel, one small mahimahi and one 51" (we measured him to make it legal! Unfortunately, we do not have a fish scale to weigh him!) wahoo or ono (remember! Ono in Hawaiian means "delicious!" ) We have 16 fish dinners for the four of us in the freezer and the refrigerator. We are definitely thankful for the great abundance given to us by the universe!!! We also saw a large pod of dolphins feeding and many small black petrels skimming along the tops of the waves eating insects. Some of them actually appear to "walk on the water," and that is why they are often referred to as "Jesus Birds!"
We were now on watch! We decided to not have it rotate in time as on past passages, hoping that our bodies would acclimate!!! I am not sure that ever happens! Our schedule is: 4-6am Ellen, 6-10am David, 10am-2pm Jason, 2-6pm Eric, 6-10pm Ellen, 10-12pm David, and 12-2am Jason. During our time on watch, we are responsible for sailing the boat (sail changes require assistance from all crew on deck!), keeping the hourly log and plotting the course on paper chart, checking radar and radar detector, VHF radio communication and continuously scanning 360 Degrees on the horizon for other boats, such as fishing boats or trawlers, freighters and other sail boats. The LAST thing that we want to do is to run into another boat!!! We have a rule that the watch person does NOT read and/or listen to music or books on a walkman. It is too easy to become absorbed and not pay attention! Also, one might miss an important noise that indicates a potential problem, while listening to music or a recorded book.
Weather faxes need to be obtained, emails need to be sent and received, participation in two nets on the SSB needs to be maintained, food needs to be prepared, the dishes need to be washed, and the boat needs to be maintained, picked up and cleaned. We also need to stay in communication through writing emails and writing updates for this website. Each person is also responsible for trying to obtain as much sleep off watch as possible. Fatigue is biggest cause of problems while cruising. So, actually one doesn't have much time to spare! We are very mystified when other cruisers complain about being bored!
I spent most of the afternoon reading information about the Marquesas. We decided to have rotis for dinner with the last of our bakery items (we should have bought more!!!) to let me try to get my sea legs!!! I didn't take anything or put on a patch, so I was feeling quite queasy!!! I really think that a very good comparison is to "morning sickness"... sometimes you feel absolutely terrible and others you feel human again.
April 6, 2001
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NARAN!!!! Wish we could help you celebrate with cake and ice cream!!!! Have a very special day!
We were up at 5:30am to move the boat, since we had put out our THIRD anchor last evening after we had moved dangerously close to the rocks on our starboard side with the wind shift of yesterday. After getting up three anchors, we put one down and we were sitting between *Voyager,* *Stella,* and *Beacon.* and others. Not a very comfortable anchorage because boats meander around when there is no definite wind.
We went into town (took the dinghy to the beach closest to town since the boys did not want to walk....and we got rather wet and the dinghy was filled with blowing sand!!! One of these days this crew will pay attention to the words from the Admiral!) We checked out from the Galapagos...No problemo! so now we actually have TWO zarpes to the Marquesas! We then went to the bakery and picked up some goodies and our 10 loaves of "integral" (whole wheat) bread. More stops for cookies and fruits and veges! When we were walking to the other stores, Eric spotted ONE lone flamingo in the ponds! So we walked over, took pictures, and watched him eat (very interesting!)!!!! The highlight of the day!!!
David wanted to leave today; however, it is said to be Bad Luck to begin a passage on a Friday. I finally found out the reason....just in case, you have also been dying to know the reason why???? According to "The Ocean Almanac" by Robert Hendrickson, "it is unlucky to start a cruise on a Friday, the day Christ was crucified. (In the nineteenth century the British navy tried to dispel this superstition. The keel of a new ship was laid on a Friday, she was named H.M.S. Friday, launched on a Friday and finally sent to sea on a Friday. Neither the ship nor her crew were ever heard of again.)" We do NOT set out on a long passage on a Friday either!!!!
About 3:30pm we went back to Dora's to say "aloha and thank you;" however, she was resting, so we purchased some tskirts and came back to the boat. We stopped to welcome *Lady Bug* to the anchorage. They had caught a huge yellow fin tuna and were having everyone aboard for dinner (they do not have a refrigerator/freezer!). They very generously gave us a big chunk, since we couldn't join them while making all our preparations to leave in the morning. We gave them a new tube of the "good" green wasabi sauce!!! Julie is going to have to bring us more...she needs to find it in larger tubes! We enjoyed some sashimi and then cooked (not really) ahi....oh....was that good! I enjoy the spanish mackerel and the ono/wahoo; however, my favorite is STILL ahi!!! And we haven't caught one yet!!!
For the past two days the blue footed boobies have been giving us quite a show as they are feeding in the morning and the evening! They would all flock together and then dive together, and all pop up eating their fish together!!! It would sound like we were being dive bombed!!! I tried to get some pictures, but not sure what I got!!! I should have used the video camera for that one. Unfortunately, the batteries are not charged up...
April 5, 2001
HAPPY BIRTH-DAY!! Alexander!!! Rosanne's Grandson!!! Welcome....
Seven boats left Villamil: *Muna,* *Aldebaran, Milwaukee,* *Aldebaran, Ireland,* *Someday is Here,* *Cap d'Or,* *Argonauta,* and *Maritime Express.* All heading for the Marquesas!
We fixed the rotis and continued to make ready to leave ourselves. We went to Dora's to try to send an addendum to the website, but she couldn't get an internet connection...actually the phone was not working!!! She says it happens all the time. David and Eric spent time in the water cleaning of the bottom, so that we will go faster.
April 4, 2001
*Lazy Jack* and *Fair Hippolyta* pulled up their anchors and left for the Marquesas. We went into town and found out that there was no more diesel. We were able to get gas, but there will not be any more diesel on the island until the barge comes on April 26!!! We only needed two jerry jugs full, about 10 gallons, but we had been slacking and didn't make the boat ready before we started playing!!! We went shopping and also went to the bakery to order bread for our passage. We purchased some delicious goodies and bread from her!!! We did all this with our limited Spanish!!!
I fixed and stowed all the vegetables and made a big batch of rotis for our passage during the afternoon. I also had to get items out so that we wouldn't run out while on passage.
April 3, 2001
We were up at 5:30am and at Dora's, The Blue Whale, for breakfast (eggs, fruit, juice, rolls with marmalade, coffee or tea) with Paul and Suzette from *Altair* from Seattle. (Remember? They are the ones who sailed through Kicker Rock, off Wreck Bay.) We left Dora's about 7:30am and rode in the back of a pickup truck up the side of the mountain for about an hour. We then rode horses up the side of the crater for over an hour. After the horse ride we hiked up to the top of one of the craters where we could see the fumorales and actually feel the steam coming out! The view was ABSOLUTELY incredible. We have seen the volcanoes on the Big Island and also Haleakala, but I was completely in awe of the .......majestic beauty....We returned to the horses after about 2 hours of hiking. We returned to Doras the same way....one hour on the horses and another hour on the benches in the back of the truck!
We were very tired....very dirty...campers by the time we arrived back at Dora's for lunch/dinner about 3pm. I had arranged to have her wash all my sheets and towels while we were gone (normally she asks for a day to do laundry) so she had all clean sheets and towels for us. As part of our tour package is the opportunity to take a shower at her place (she has rooms for rent as well as the restaurant) and change into clean clothes, and we left all our dirty horsey smelly jeans and clothes with her to wash and pick up tomorrow. We then had a delicious dinner of pumpkin soup, fish, french fries, cucumbers, rice, mango/papaya nectar, and lemon cake!!!!:) What a special treat!
We dinghied back out to our boats and EVERYONE was aboard *Argonauta* having a farewell party since seven boats are hoping to leave on Wednesday. Julius called to ask us to come over. The boys decided not to....Eric is STILL allergic to horses so his nose had been running ever since the horses appeared on the scene. He should have taken an antihistamine BEFORE he went (Isn't hind sight fantastic?), but we are not sure that would have helped either. He and his father have vowed not to get aboard another horse....David's back was going crazy every time the horse would speed up. Of course, part of the problem was the no padding on the saddle. ....David and I went aboard long enough to see a few people...I think they had 29 aboard. That beats our record of 19 for Christmas Eve Dinner!!! We counted 22 boats in the anchorage.
Of course, I still had to make all the beds...which still takes some gymnastics to make them while you are sitting on top of them, since the sides are not open....But it felt sooooo good to be on reallllllly clean sweet smelling sheets...after a wonderful day in Paradise!!!!
April 2, 2001
We slept in until 7am...What a treat!!! We purchased four spanish mackerel from the local fisherman for $21! Eric spent all morning cleaning and fileting them. He had quite a fan club of 10 pelicans and loads of frigate birds all waiting for food. There was a hurt pelican sitting on our dinghy whom he tried to feed the most. He had caught a fish hook on his beak and it was torn all along the edge of the beak, so food would fall out the side of his pouch. We hope that he made it, but after all, we are in the islands of "the survival of the fittest." I am really surprised that they do not have a facility to care for sick birds, but they don't. We cleaned out the freezer and the refrigerator. (Eric had to fix the shelf in the refrigerator, since one edge had been glued to the plate by the builder. We were surprised that it stayed glued for this long!!!) .
The boys and I went over to the dock to go to the gas station for diesel and gas with several other boats. Unfortunately, we waited to late and they had closed about a minute before we arrived. There is only one gas station!!! We will have to return another day, but needed to get back to the boat to be ready for our excursion in the morning!
April 1, 2001
We walked to the Tortoise Breeding Station after checking out the Flamingo Ponds. We didn't see any flamingoes but there were stilts, ducks and marine iquanas, which are always interesting to see. We had a long HOT walk along the dusty road but arrived at a very nicely maintained (by the Galapagos National Park) facility. We were greeted by a Park Ranger and guided around the facility. He did not speak any English, but we were able to read the signs on all the enclosures and were able to understand most of what he was saying! We REALLY should have learned Spanish and French!!! At this breeding station, which appears larger than the one at Academy Bay, they only breed the Tortoises from Isla Isabela. There are six different volcanoes on the island (the largest island in the Galapagos) and each volcano has its own species. There are shaded walled enclosures with different ages and different species. We came upon a pair mating....we were told that they engage in such behavior for 3-4 hours at a time!!!! Our guide informed us of a path to return to the beach! We had a lovely walk through poisonous machineel trees (the tortoise eat these!), along incredible lava formations (a much nicer walk than along the road!!!), however; the path connected to the walkway above the flamingo ponds (which we had been on earlier in the morning!)...and it was NOT completed. We decided to navigate the pylons and finally the preliminary boards, rather than return to the station and then walk back along the road!!! We succeeded...and didn't even get wet!
We all enjoyed an absolutely spectacular sunset and then settled into a movie and popcorn!!! We thoroughlly enjoyed "Nothing to Lose" and highly recommend that you see it, if you haven't already done so!