- Currents Bluewater Cruising - http://currents.bluewatercruising.org -

Currently Cruising Updates – February 2018

This edition of Currently Cruising Updates brings greetings from BCA members in Mexico, Galapagos and the Caribbean who were part of the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 Fleets. The Currents editorial team wishes all currently cruising members fair winds and following seas in 2018; please stay in touch as we love to hear from you.

Isla San Francisco anchorage at sunset (and somebody else’s boat, not Marathon)

Nello and Sheridan Angerilli, Marathon, Fleet of 2013

We were fortunate enough to spend November and a good chunk of December 2017 in La Paz. We were even more fortunate enough to spend two weeks “in the islands”, enjoying some new anchorages and some terrific sailing. The sailing was book ended by repairs and preparations for “the puddle jump” to French Polynesia which is tentatively scheduled for “mid-March” from La Paz. This long time plan has been delayed by work and family matters for several years but the track looks clear this time! Please feel free to link to our blog [1] which has recently had some new material added to it.

PS: I should add that I am a huge fan of the BCA and the role it plays assisting people like us realize our cruising dreams. We continue to proudly fly the BCA burgee.

Gary and Karina on Isla Isabela hanging out with wild tortoises

Gary and Karina, Sea Rover II, Fleet of 2014

After three years of hanging out in Mexico, we decided it was time to make things hard for us again and sail somewhere else. The summer was spent collecting up every part that could possibly be needed for a pretty substantial refit in the fall, plus at least three years sailing in areas where parts are hard to come by. In September, Gary drove a very full car down to Guaymas and spent two solid months tackling projects both on and off “the list” in order to get ready for a big season offshore.

By mid November, it was clear the project was rapidly going off the rails and so Karina helicoptered in to make things right. After a difficult launch and one more week at the dock, Sea Rover sailed away from beloved Guaymas with Gary and fellow BCA’er Tanya Van Ginkel, on a shake down passage to La Paz, where they would pick up two waiting crew members BCA’ers Rosario Passos and Denis Heinrichs.

After another week of long days completing boat projects with all hands on deck, Sea Rover was finally in a state to leave Mexico and sail to the Galapagos. A brief stop in the remote anchorage of Frailes completed a few more unexpected projects and all were certainly ready to be on their way.

Unfavourable winds and seas were on order for the passage, but after three weeks a tired but seasoned crew arrived in the Galapagos and quickly set out to maximize their time there. Karina (being the smart one) flew in to San Cristobal with replacement crew member Nadine Soukoreff. Tanya, Denis and Rosario all flew back to their normal lives, while the now crew of three will continue on, with passages to Easter Island and then Puerto Montt, Chile.

Stay tuned for further updates with topics that include “How to re-rig your boat in the Galapagos”, “Got that sinking feeling? How to find and stop those pesky leaks in beautiful anchorages” and “Galapagos, the best place in the world to see Penguins and still get to wear a bikini”.

Follow us in real time at www.svsearover.com [2].

An overnight stop enroute to Guaymas

Barb Peck and Bjarne Hansen, Hoku Pa’a, Fleet of 2015

Hola Amigos! Barb and Bjarne are back aboard Hoku Pa’a after 10 months away, and almost two years since the last time sailing. In fact, our mainsail has been bagged for so long that it has developed nice sharp creases that look ironed in. Sharp-memoried folks will recall that Hoku Pa’a was knocked over by hurricane Newton in September 2016, while on the hard. Our several visits to Mexico since then were dedicated to assessing and fixing a broken mast and other damage; for more details have a peek at our blog [3].

Our drive down from Victoria took six fairly leisurely days, including a wonderful visit with cruising friends in Seattle. Other towns we passed the nights at were: Salem OR; Susanville CA, where we watched the Last Jedi in a lovely old theatre; Tonopah NV; Kingman AZ, on the famous Route 66; and Green Valley AZ, after we stocked up on wine from Trader Joe’s in Tucson. Some mornings were chilly, including one at the Clown Motel in Tonopah, (see photo) when we were forced to scrape ice from the windshield. Mornings now are much milder, about 15C at dawn and warming to 25C in the afternoon. At night the stars are out and we’ve only seen a handful of mosquitoes in the last three days, so we enjoy the evenings in the cockpit. The only downside is that occasionally the wind shifts the wrong way and we smell burning plastic and stinky agricultural (chickens/pigs/fish?) scents.

Having been in Guaymas for just over three days, progress on readying the boat to launch has been good. The first day was pretty much just cleaning and clearing space so we can actually live on board. As you can imagine, every surface and aisle was stacked with boat bits and clothes in sealed bags. We also had to go fetch provisions to pair with our wine: fresh tortillas, tomatoes, avocados, chipotle hot sauce, and salsa. Yum! Tomorrow we are looking forward to checking out a new restaurant called Koyotl, near the marina – we’ll be rendezvousing with Michel (Colymbus) and Carol and Kelly (Intrepid II).

All seems to be OK, if not yet Bristol, on Hoku Pa’a. We felt environmentally evil on seeing the plastic wrap our mast had been enclosed in had 90% disintegrated in the sun and tiny polyethylene flecks lay scattered on the ground nearby. We’ll have to pick up some local trash to atone. Our only other disappointment was discovering an almost-empty wine bag buried in back of our booze cupboard. The reddish dregs and sediment sloshing around would have tasted much better 10 months ago! Our immediate tasks are now to populate the to-do list and get busy!

Mazu II at anchor

Peter Cosmann, Mazu II, Fleet of 2017

After a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 2017 with his partner Sandra, Peter left Blaine, WA and single-handed Mazu II, an aluminum Sinek 43, to California.  Sandra rejoined him there and they sailed on to Mexico in November, leaving the boat in Zihuatenejo.  In early January, he returned to Mexico and will be heading off in March across the South Pacific.  Peter and Sandra’s blog can be found here [4].

Jess and Chris on the bow of Sitka

Jess Guay and Chris Madsen, Sitka, Fleet of 2017

You probably already know us. Chris is a nerdy accountant, forced into early retirement. Jess is an athletic adventurer that moved to BC to chase the great outdoors. We saved up and bought a sailboat, sight unseen, and are now exploring the world on it. Our boat is a 2004 Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 423 named Sitka. The name represents our love for the outdoors, and also being a tree native to the Pacific Northwest, our home.

We flew from Vancouver to Antigua to join our boat in Jolly Harbour, where it had survived Hurricane Irma which crashed into the island on October 5th.  After we had put a few weeks of work in on the hard, we started with daysails to English Harbour and back.  Our first adventure off the island was a trip to Guadeloupe, and then we began exploring the islands to the northwest of Antigua. Now we are heading down the Lesser Antilles.  We made our first overnight sail a straight shot from Deshais, Guadeloupe to Martinique, a beautiful French paradise.  Now we’re exploring the island of St. Lucia, and then it’s south to Grenada, and all the adventures we can find as we head to Panama to cross into the Pacific Ocean in March.

You can find our stories and photos here [5].

Feature photo of a lionfish courtesy of Jess Guay and Chris Madsen.