Happy Solstice! The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere isn't that important when you are zig zagging back and fourth between latitudes. In March we were in Spain at about 35N, in April we were in the Cape Verde's at 15N, By May we were at 5N and our most southern point in the Guyana's and now we have traveled north as far as we are going to St. Lucia at 12N only to start heading south again shortly. We'd love to explore the whole Caribbean chain but technically we are in the hurricane belt this far north and we don't want to stay here long. We have been watching the National Hurricane website and we will run south if any storms start brewing in the Eastern Atlantic (home of the Atlantic Hurricane). Hurricanes in the Atlantic generally start off the Cape Verdes as a low coming off of Africa. If weather and water temperature cooperate they go from depressions to storms and then can eventually become hurricanes. Historically there haven't been many hurricanes in June so we are only coloring a little outside the lines, but we will start moving south tomorrow (not wanting to tempt Murphy's law too much). Historical data is great, but global change is also a reality and we will watch the weather closely in case an early storm starts to form.
OK, enough of the Amateur weather woman show. We had a fantastic week in Tobago and I'm guessing that will be a Caribbean highlight for us. My Aunt and uncle joined us for part of the week so we pulled the toys out and spent a very relaxing week only covering a few miles a day. We are now in St. Lucia after a fast and generally flat, but mostly to weather passage, from Tobago. We did take on one fluky monster wave and I woke up to witness a literal waterfall in our living space! I think I love everything about the ocean, except that it is full of saltwater. Have I mentioned it is hard to get seawater out of mattresses, cushions and rugs?
A Canadian cruiser in Tobago suggested a stop in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia. In a perfectly protected, mangrove lined bay, tucked between two mountains we tied Pelagic up in our first marina in months. It was such a liberty to be able to get on and off the boat without initiating a huge departure plan so we can all get in the dinghy and go ashore. We all got some much needed space to ourselves, and as a bonus, our marina had a 5 star hotel attached and we had full access to all their amenities. Beautiful pools, fantastic service, friendly wait staff that would continuously bring us snacks and beverages (mostly free which the kids loved). The boys figured out the rotation of snacks around the pools and after being served at one pool, quickly ran down to the next pool so a new waiter could serve them again! We were kind of like Randy Quaids family visiting the Griswalds! We were living it up and it was a nice break from being hyper vigilant about everything on the boat. We were able to fill up with water, connect to shore power, get some laundry done in a real washing machine (not just boat clean) and have unlimited wifi. It sounds ridiculous to say while on a two year vacation, we need a vacation, and I probably can't adequately describe how cruising does take its toll, but it does, especially on the Captain. Mike never lets his guard down about issues on the boat. The boat is perpetually trying to fall apart (not really, but it feels like that because there is always something to repair). Obviously at anchor it is easier than when we are cruising when we are really putting some wear and tear on our rig, sails and electronics, but there is another constant list of things to do when we are relatively still. For example on the list was de-sulfating our batteries (requires shore power) which have been building up sulfur and not able to hold a full charge. This was high on the list of things to do as we have to run our generator every day to charge the batteries (yes, we have solar power, but we our regulator isn't not functioning and need to pick up a new one). Generally we have spares, but this one item missed the list. We use a fair amount of power on the boat with two fridge compressors, computers, electronic readers, electric autopilot and dare I admit our TV.
We've also put a lot of miles on the boat in the last 3 months (about 4K)and while Pelagic has performed amazingly in general, she needs a little TLC. Trinidad is known as a great place for parts and maintenance, so we plan to spend some time there and get the boat back in tip top shape. Pelagic has taken great care of us over the last 2 years and we need to repay the favor a little. We will slowly make our way towards Trinidad as we travel south along the windward islands, all the while keeping a watchful eye on the weather!
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