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, February 15, 2017

Free Diving, by Zander, scheduled post

Do you know what free diving is? Free diving is diving down without the help of a scuba gear. Some recreational free divers, with just a few years of practice, can dive to depths of 100 plus feet and stay down for several minutes. Snorkeling technically counts as free diving, but most free divers think of snorkeling as floating on the surface.

One of the advantages of free diving is you don't need bulky scuba gear. It also costs a lot less then scuba gear and paying for tank refills. Breathing compressed air is very loud and it makes a lot of bubbles, which can scare fish away. Free diving is quiet and there are no bubbles to scare fish away.

There are many different free diving records: deepest man, deepest women, deepest person with fins, deepest person without fins. There is a thing called no limits free diving. What a person does in no limits free diving is, they hold on to a weighted sled and hold their breath as long as they can. The weighted sleds descend faster then some world war 2 submarines. When they can't go any deeper they stop the sled and inflate a big float. The float brings them to the surface like a rocket. The deepest person ever was a women that went to 517 feet on a weighted sled. No limits free diving is very dangerous, there is a high chance of blacking out and suffering from nitrogen narcosis (at a certain depth, which differs for different people, some people can go to 100 feet, some people can go to 800 feet, too much nitrogen accumulates in your blood and creates a narcotic effect, effecting your judgment). In free diving you have to equalize your ears, but you don't have to worry about lungs expansion and decompression sickness.

I have been practicing holding my breath for a few months now. I now can hold my breath for 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Underwater, I can hold my breath for 2 minutes. Physiologically humans should be able to hold there breath longer underwater, because when you submerge your face in water your body reduces blood to your extremities. But in realty most people feel just a little bit nervous in water, so that reduces your breath holding time. Today I did a dive 1 minute and 25 seconds long constantly swimming at 30 feet.

It is harder to hold your breath the deeper your go. The reason for that is, the deeper you go the greater the pressure. That pressure is making your lung volume smaller. At 33 feet there is 14 pounds of pressure on your body, 28 pounds at 66 feet and so on. At a certain depth ( depending on your body ) you become negatively buoyant, and begin to sink. This happens when the air in your lungs is so dense that it is not a enough to make you float.

The secret to efficient free diving is CO2 tolerance and relaxation. The higher tolerance to CO2 you have the longer you can hold your breath. You can build on that by doing special apnea training exercises, that you can find on the internet. Also, relaxation is very important because if you are nervous your heart rate goes up and you will use more oxygen. In most sports adrenalin is a positive thing, in free diving it is the opposite. You want to keep your heart rate low in free diving. If you are nervous or excited you are not going to be able to hold your breath very long.

There are multiple reasons to take up free diving: some people free dive to break records, some to spear fish and some people do it simply for enjoyment. I enjoy free diving to spear fish and for fun.

Frebruary 15, 1800 miles to go

It is another leave your coffee mug on the counter day, meaning flat and slow. We are still creeping across the ocean, the Pacific Ocean mind you, which is freaking huge when you are moving at a snails pace. We were hoping to be almost half way there by day 10 and yet we still have 1800 miles to go. On the silver lining side of things I caught a nice yellow fin tuna yesterday on my night watch, our first since leaving the Galapagos. Mike got a fresh, cleaned fish for Valentines Day. Yup, I'm a fish slayer on my down time! Fresh fruit and vegetables are starting to go. We bought beautiful, organic produce in the Galapagos, but it sure doesn't last as long as the pesticide laced produce we can buy at the big supermarkets. In Panama a cab driver gave me the advice of skipping the local market and buying from the big box stores to provision for a long passage. The fruit taste far better in the local market, but it only last a few days. I did a little of both, but sure enough the pears, apples and melons I bought, from Chile, lasted 3 weeks and the local mango's and passion fruit from the market didn't make it past the Perlas Islands. I think I have one more watermelon hidden under a sail bag on the deck and then it will all be fruit from a can, frozen or dried. We will keep the scurvy at bay, but it will be boring.

Today we did another swim call. Mike cleared one of the deck drains that had backed up, did a bottom inspection and the kids and I played. We pulled one of the kayaks out, just to get a little alone time. It was a nice feeling to be more than 42 feet from another human for the first time in 10 days. Ana cannon balled off the the back deck, Zander did some deep diving, Porter helped Mike clear a few gooseneck barnacles from the bottom and we all got a little elbow room.

Anyway, we are hanging in there. We are watching the storms brew in the southern part of the Pacific, via grib files, breaking up the trades, giving us our light variable winds. Fingers crossed, tomorrow is expected to be better.