The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.

Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.

Our favorite sailing quote:

"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron

Monday, August 7, 2017

One month post arrival

As we crossed the bar into the Columbia River, we still had 90 miles to travel up river to Portland. Zander spent some of this time stringing together all the courtesy flags from the 39 countries we visited. Our arrival also coincided with our nations's birthday, the 4th of July. As we made our arrival into the Portland Metro area, to the passerby, we just looked festive. About 15 miles out of Portland we passed a dingy, covered in USA flags, that doubled back to say hello, they were fellow Yacht Club members and recognized our boat. As we passed Sauvies Island we were hailed on the radio to come into a dock and share a glass of wine with other boating friends. Apparently they had watched us cross the bar the day before via our AIS and knew better than we did our arrival time. They mentioned that they had been following our blog and as they recounted several of our adventures I had written about, both Zander and Michael realized I had been writing quite a bit in the last three years. I don't think they were aware how much of our trip I shared and that there were actually people following us. Several hours later we docked at the Portland Yacht Club to a patio covered with people cheering. OK, so maybe they were there for the Independence Day celebration, but they sure made us feel welcome. We were in a bit of daze, but the Commodore brought us a bottle of champagne and asked us to speak a few words at the dinner that we pretty much crashed. I'm not sure if we were very coherent, but we certainly had a very lovely welcome back home.
Since then it has been a flurry of house projects, landscaping battles (death by blackberry thicket), a drive to SF to retrieve some of our belongings and say hello to family and attempts to re-engage in a land based life. It has been all a bit overwhelming, although at the same time it feels like we never left. In some ways we have slipped seamlessly back into the folds of suburban life and for some of that I am grateful. Friends have reached out, the boys have had countless playdates and morning gossip with running friends started up just as I left it. Those aspects of life have been lovely. We try to focus on those parts and ignore those that are less fun to engage in; like getting bogged down in traffic or something equally tiresome. It is a balancing act, as life so often is, and these are long lost skills for us, but we are working on our balancing skills every day. Some days I desperately miss the solitude of being at sea, the instant camaraderie you feel with fellow cruisers and the opportunity to spend so much quality time with our kids. Some days I wonder why we came back, but most often I try to feel grateful for the friends that we are reconnecting with, the comfort of being in a house again  and the close proximity to family. Those are all things that I cherish and things that I focus on as we continue to re-integrate into life.
Latitude 38 included the last leg of our journey in their latest publication. They have been great about supporting our adventure and hopefully we've been able to highlight the cruising experience in a way that is enticing, but by the same token realistic.

Latitude 38 article on our trip, page 123 August 2017

A few more videos

OK, not from our arrival, but a throw back from the outer reef on one of the Tuamotu atolls.

Not many pictures with Zander putting his arm around anyone, so I had to post this one. 

dolphin escort out of the Marquesas

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Home Sweet Home, July 15

I feel like after three years at sea I should be sharing some words of wisdom and some coherent summaries of how our life has been changed and bettered by our time together as a family. How we saw the world from a different prospective and not through the lens of the American media and simply to reflect on the wonderful things we have experience. Alas, I am just not up to the task at the moment and hope to work on some words that articulate better what this epic journey has meant to us. That will have to come in time, for now I can offer an update on how things are going as we re-assimilate back into our land based lives. I can also share a few short moving videos of underwater life that I simply was not able to share with the bandwidth we had while cruising.

We've been back 10 days or so now and the novelty of living in a home again is starting to wear thin. We've had three years of deferred maintenance on our house to catch up on, so while Mike was excited to move off the boat and take a break from constantly fixing things.......guess what he is doing now? He's fixing things! Although there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Things have changed a little in our neck of the woods. In the time that we were away, two new houses were built adjacent to our property, so where there once was a thicket of blackberries and other trees, there now are two homes.  The high school boundary map was redrawn while we were away and the high school we always expect to go to, the one just a mile away and down the street is no longer our HS and we will have to cross two major highways to get to the new one. The traffic seems to have gotten worse, but that is probably the case everywhere. I suppose all in the name of progress. How soon before I yearn for those isolated days on the atoll? Probably when I'm stuck in my first traffic jam!

When we returned Porter immediately started texting friends and setting up park dates and he is currently at a sleepover. Zander has touched base with a friend or two, but enjoys the solitude of shooting hoops and having some much needed space to himself and is slow to move back into the hectic social scene. Ana didn't remember much about our house. She needed to be shown where the bathrooms were, where the mailbox was, and while she was ecstatic to have her own room, she has yet to sleep all night in it alone! We are all used to having zero elbow room, and now we have a big house to get lost in. It is all good, but it is taking some adjusting to.

What else is different? It is still a novelty to have Internet and instant information at our fingertips. We still aren't used to that and we feel like cavemen having been dropped into the 21st century. I love having a grocery store up the street from us. I no longer have to meal plan two weeks or so out in order to make sure we eat.  Not everything has to be made from scratch either. A frozen waffle and a toaster is an amazing thing. The amount of retail in our area and the choice of stores, restaurants and buying options is also staggering. I can now walk into a Target and drop $100 and not really get anything important. Abroad that never happened. Yes, prices were more expensive, but there really never was anything of quality to buy.  In the islands nothing was ever cheap and the quality was poor. Think dollar store quality or worse.  And more often than not, just nothing to buy.  In Latin America things were cheaper, but you got what you paid for and quality was usually still poor. We bought very little, and of course we were restricted by space on the boat, so purchases were minimal and we got by with what we left Oregon with. We are also hemorrhaging money in many other ways that just didn't exist on the boat. Obviously the house is consuming some money but that was a given. We've poured money into soccer camps, soccer leagues, water polo associations, swim condition access at the community pool and get this, it actually cost big bucks to play on a high school sport these days. We've got cell phone bills, cable, wifi, house utilities, car insurance and higher health insurance. All things we didn't have to pay for while afloat. The financial cost of living the American dream is a bit overwhelming at first.

We are very happy to be home, but we know there will be times when we will miss the simpler lifestyle cruising offered. It will continue to be an adjustment, but hopefully an enjoyable adjustment period. Pelagic is currently docked at the Portland Yacht Club and we've decided we aren't going to make any decisions on whether or not to sell her for the next year. She took great care of us for three years and over 28K miles, and we want some time to ponder what our next big adventure will be and whether or not it will require a new boat, our old boat, or no boat at all.

More to come as I sift through our mountain of video.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Arrival, Astoria, July 3rd

Spot doesn't have coverage over the whole Pacific, but this covers most of our last passage.

The Astoria bridge in the background as we made landfall in Oregon. Whew, I didn't think we would ever get here. 
I'll keep this one short, but I've got some videos; diving, passage making, that at some point I would like to share.  It may take me a few weeks to get organized enough to post. Check back.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

ETA Columbia Bar, 5am

After 19 days at sea, we are finally in the final push to land. We will still have to motor up river 90 miles, but we will be within cell phone range, on a flat river and more importantly, maybe we will get out of this marine fog and warm up.
We've got about 75 miles to go, and we are expecting to cross the bar at about 5am tomorrow morning, which has us cross with a flood tide, perfect for going up river.

We are starting to see lots of fishing boats out here, but our lines in the water have yet to get a nibble. We've got lots of space in our freezer for a nice big salmon. Bite damnit!

N 46 16
W 126 01