Actually Darwin sailed from Chile to the Galapagos, not from a non existent Panama Canal, but we have a destination in common hence the title to my blog. We are headed to the Galapagos Archipelago, as Darwin did in the 1830's, to see for ourselves the islands that inspired his theories on evolution and natural selection. I see some fun science lessons in our future! It cost $1200 to visit just one island and the price goes up from there, so they will be expensive lessons.
Our short (900 mile) passage has started on a good note. We spent the morning, before leaving, walking miles of beach line, body surfing and picnicking on the beach.....all things we won't be able to do for awhile. Back at the boat we kept the kids in the water an additional few hours as we prepped the boat and tired them out.
Finally we put the islands of Panama on our stern and motored out into the big blue on glassy flat seas. While a true sailor doesn't like to motor, the flat seas provide such a fantastic opportunity to see wildlife, we don't mind it for a while. The Pacific seems so much more alive to us than the Atlantic. Everything is jumping out of the water, as if the sea is too full and the animals need to go somewhere. We've had numerous schools of dolphins swim around us. We've seen the water frothing with fish to the point that we have to double check the charts to make sure we aren't approaching a shoaling reef. Flying fish are numerous and rays are air born all around us. Fishing has been fantastic. We caught and released a Dorado, landed and ate a Sierra and lost two Yellow Fin tuna. In two years of fishing I'm not sure we've ever lost a fish and we lost two big ones in a row. That is what you get for fishing with 30lb line for 40 plus lb tuna. Personally I'm sick of fish, but I'm sure Mike will dig out some bigger line and we will be back at it tomorrow. We caught Black Fin in the Atlantic, but we have yet to get a Yellow Fin aboard.
Just as the sun set on our fist night at sea and we were settling in for the night the winds started to fill in and within 10 minutes we went from zero wind to 15 knots. Before long we had 25 knot winds and we were able to fly all our sails, turn off the motor and sail through the night. In fact we were flying. The Humboldt Current rushes up the South American coast, pushes into the Gulf of Panama and is spitting us out the north side. We will take it, we averaged about 8-9 knots for the night and hope it keeps up at least a little longer.
At the moment it is about 6 am, Zander has just come off watch and Michael is snoring. I've just brewed a cup of tea and the sun is starting to color the horizon. A dawn at sea is always magical and it has been a few months since I've experienced one. Life is grand aboard Pelagic.
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