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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 15

We had an amazing first night in New York City anchored in front of the Statue of Liberty.  No, we didn’t go ashore, we were too tired to do much, but we luxuriated in the calmness of the harbor and the brilliant view of the New York City skyline.  One hundred yards from Liberty Island we imagined how millions of Americans must have felt seeing the Statue for the first time, with all their hopes for freedom and prosperity.  We have enjoyed traveling to third world countries in Central America and the Caribbean, but we cherish our citizenship and felt a rush of patriotic pride sailing back into the United States.
We spent the next two days exploring as much of the city as we could with stops at the Empire State Building, Time Square, Central Park and the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier museum where we saw, in addition to a WW11 aircraft carrier, a concord and a space shuttle.  Our last stop was a somber one at the 911 memorial.  The reflection pools where the two towers once stood was a tearful experience and immediately brought us back to that fateful day.

Still pushing forward, trying to get to Maine by the end of the week.

June 13 leaving the tropics and arrival in NYC

We’ve officially passed latitude 38 and our bodies, now accustomed to the tropics, are cold!  We’ve had to drag out the fleece coats from the bilge for night watches.  The departure from the Gulf Stream was pretty dramatic with not only a loss of current, but a decrease in water temperature from 83 degrees to 73 degrees overnight!  Brrr!  
It took us almost a week to get from Miami to NYC.  I mistakenly thought the gulf stream, with its 2-5 knot current, with us for the first half of the trip would be more consistent.  We did have a very fast first day, but what I neglected to consider was how difficult it could be to stay in the gulf stream as it spreads out further north.  Where were the signs to point us in the right direction? The margin for error was quite small and a mere handful of miles from the axis was a  dramatic loss of current strength.  We had downloaded an approximate map of the current when we left, but it was not always exact and we moved in and out of the strongest part of the current throughout the first 600 miles.  At our top speeds we were getting 4 knots of assistance, but there were times that we were down to .5 knots.  Between the inconsistencies in the current (or at least our ability to find the middle) and the light winds it was a pretty slow passage.  The good news is we did sail most of it, we had very pleasant conditions with the exception of one cold night with a side of sheet lightening and monstrous thunder claps.  The one casualty we had a was a whisker pole that bent in half when we didn’t get the jib furled fast enough when a squall caught us unprepared (again the sheet lightening night).  All in all, it was a good passage and we feel a little more prepared for an Atlantic crossing which will be twice the length.  Not so bad!
We welcomed the return of marine mammals, which have been sadly absent since we entered the Atlantic.  We had hundreds of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins accompany us on the trip north; playing in our bow wake, giving us aerial shows and and being a great distraction from a long day at sea.  We also caught a Mako shark, which looks just like a miniature Great White when it is being hauled aboard.  Nobody wanted to try to take the hook out, but fortunately, for all party’s involved, it spit the hook and managed to make its way over the deck on its own.  Mako is quite tasty and I know it’s a staple fish and chips on NZ’s South Island, but we have a treaty with the sharks we like to abide by.  We won’t eat them if they agree not to eat us!  

We literally just arrived into NYC and in a few minutes we plan to crawl into our warm cozy bunks and get a full night of sleep and rest up for a full couple of busy days in the city.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 8 220 plus mile day

Winds have been light, but with the aid of the Gulf Stream we have still managed to have a 200 plus mile day.
We are currently sailing up the coast of Florida, will pass the border in a few hours and then pass Georgia, the Carolinas and hopefully pass Cape Hatteras before the weather changes.

This is actually really exciting for us. We are in uncharted territory, which is ironic since we are probably along one of the busiest waterways in the world. We are cruising along the East coast of the United States and for the first time in our whole trip we are doing something totally new. Since this wasn't our original itinerary we didn't familiarize ourselves with the weather patterns along this coast. Mike, ever the boy scout, is always prepared! Right! Anyone that knows him knows he loves the planning and researching process. I, on the contrary, am kind of a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal. If we were relying on my preparedness skills we would still be motoring around in the Columbia River looking for the river bar. But I digress a little. We are novices here and we have both been studying the weather forecasts for the last month or so trying to figure it out. We watch the highs and lows as they dance like spinning tops over the nautical charts of the Atlantic and we try to make sense of their direction and heads or tails of where they will go and how that will affect the weather in the ocean and specifically, us! For out biggest move we just wanted to be out of the hurricane belt before the summer storms start up. NOAA has predicted a lighter than usual hurricane season for the Atlantic, but we still think it is best just to clear out. Nervousness aside, we are feeling good about our window to Maine and we hope to make most of it in one go. This will be our longest passage to date, but without Anakena on board, it seems almost like a holiday. We miss her, but wow, it is much easier without a 5 year old and the needs of a five year old on board. She is having fun with my parents in Alaska and will meet us in Maine when we get there. Gotta love the grandparents! We just spent a week and a half with Michael's parents in Gainesville, so we have been very spoiled lately.

So far we have traveled about 250 miles of the 950 mile trip and things are looking good. We've clocked the Gulf Stream assistance at anywhere between 1 and 5 knots. We are loving it and hope to be able to stay in it for another couple of days. At some point, near Cape Hatteras, the current goes offshore and we will lose it, but for the present, we are loving the ride.

Our current location is N 29 53 400, W 079 30 900

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 7, 2015

I’m going to wait to post this until we are actually headed out to sea, but the plan is to leave Sunday morning and point north.  We hope to have a weather window that will get us all the way to NYC.  Right now there is a low sitting off of Cape Hatteras and call us chicken, but we are going to wait one more day until it passes. The forecast is for light winds our first day, but then 3 or 4 days of good southerly winds and along with the gulf stream, we hope to have a pretty fast passage.  It all looks good on paper, but when we get out there it often looks nothing like the forecast, so we will cross our fingers take our mecclazine and hope for the best.  We feel pretty lucky we aren’t along the Pacific coast of Mexico now trying to get north like several boats we know.  The water on that side is substantially warmer than it is over here, which is just an invitation for a friendly hurricane.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 2, 2015

We had planned to leave Ft. Lauderdale on May 30th, but plans and the cruising lifestyle don’t always mesh well.  We fired up the motor to start our pre-cruise check and noticed a small hairline crack in the exhaust elbow.  Not life threatening, and if we had been at sea and noticed the crack we would have patched it and minimized the motoring, but since we are in one of the boating capitals of the world, we decided it would be prudent to get it fixed in Lauderdale.  It is a simple fix, but unfortunately it will take until Friday to have someone fix it.  The good news about being in a boating mecca is lots of boating repair shops that can fix virtually anything, the bad news is there are a ton of boats that have the same idea and are in the queue ahead of us!  In 9 months of sailing this is the most inconvenienced we have been, so I guess I can’t complain.  And on the flip side, the kids are excited to drive back up to Gainesville to visit grandparents again.  So we will wait it out and hope the global weather gods get the memo and the weather cooperates with a late in the week departure.