Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hair Raising in Hiva Oa

Wayne - before his Hiva Oa haircut.
(Ack - trying to find the after shot!)
The long overdue antidote to terrible tresses....

Dana - after her Hiva Oa haircut.
Wayne - neat & trim after.

Dana - before her Hiva Oa haircut.

Location Location

Baie Tahauku, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia (S9.48.260 W139.01.924).  When not doing boat maintenance and repair and provisioning, we are getting in some much needed R&R.  We plan to explore more Marquesan Islands as we work our way through French Polynesia to Tahiti.  We are allowed a maximum of 3 month’s stay in French Polynesia.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Marquesas - Marked Forever....

pearson 365 sailboat, sailing South Pacific, cruiser activities, cruiser life,
My first (and last?) tattoo - planned for some time
to commemorate sailing to the Marquesas.
I did it!

Artist:  Piu of Menavanui Tattoo

cruising destinations south pacific
Location Location

Baie Tahauku, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia (S9.48.260 W139.01.924).  When not doing boat maintenance and repair and provisioning, we are getting in some much needed R&R.  We plan to explore more Marquesan Islands as we work our way through French Polynesia to Tahiti.  We are allowed a maximum of 3 month’s stay in French Polynesia.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marquesas! Mystical & Magnificent

cruising south pacific, passage making
Hiva Oa Marquesas Polynesia anchorage --
cloud-shrouded towering peaks.
Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia.   Thirty two days at sea from the Galapagos, and at we were so glad to finally arrive here.  

We're still playing internet triage with limited internet access and speed - a ways away from our anchorage.  Plus recovering from a Mac that more often that not is refusing to charge.

More soon!!!!  Galapagos, our 3,000 mile passage from there to the Marquesas and the Marquesas itself.  We arrived last Tuesday eve.

Location Location
Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia (late long will be updated later).  We are due to receive duty-free fuel this coming Wednesday.  Then we'll see if we can get our engine running again - more about that in a future post, too.

PS Many thanks to Tricia Dunn for any posts that happened here on the blog and on Facebook while we were underway.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Sinking of Nirvana Now

February 28, 2015

On Panama's idyllic Ilsa Contadora, we enjoyed a game of beach bocce ball with fellow cruisers Randy and Dawn Ortiz of Nirvana Now.  Randy was a ringer; Dawn, incredibly sweet. 
Dawn, in the upper photo, and Randy with the straw hat
April 8 2015
"Watch out for Nirvana Now - they're in your area and sinking!" Satellite-SMS-ed Julie from Kia Ora.

As in most disasters, initial information  is alarming, confusing, insufficient and somewhat contradictory (likely including some info in this blog post).
Julie gave us a rough location, which seemed implausible given Nirvana Now's 10+ day lead on us as they bypassed the Galapagos (where we spent 10 days).
We weren't 100% sure when Nirvana Now began floundering, or if their boat was still recoverable (Wayne believed perhaps his mechanical prowess, tools and repair materials might save the day).  We didn't know their exact location.

We'd heard at least 2 and perhaps 3 boats were either already there or on their way.
Unsure of whether or not we could help, we made a u-turn and headed their way.
After a few hours, it appeared we were not needed, and we turned again, resuming our course.

Over the next 12 hours we learned Dawn and Randy were rescued via super yacht schooner Athos and sailboat Continuum, but that Nirvana Now sank.
Rescue efforts were facilitated via a mix of technology - ham radio networks, satellite phones and Wi-Fi hotspots, EPIRB (distress signal coupled with GPS location data), VHF radio, coordinated between Pacific Puddle Jump (PPJ) organizers and participants (209 boats, including Nirvana Now and us) and the Coast Guard.  PPJ organizers had everyone's contact info, most of their location data and a listing of their communication and emergency equipment.  They rapidly deployed that information accordingly.

Our hearts go out to Randy and Dawn for their devastating loss.  Our guess is their boat is uninsured (like ours - older boats are often difficult and impractically expensive to insure).  If so, it's a significant financial setback, though likely not much worse than a moderately bad day in the stock market. At least,Randy and Dawn still own a home in the Edmonton Canada area - someplace to go back to.

Far more difficult is the emotional loss... The sense of helplessness, and most likely the loss of a beautiful dream... Independently traversing the high seas to explore remote and magical places.

A rare moment - Journey with all her sail up and
a photographer in range.  (Thanks, Anne aka "Krazy Lady.")

We are deeply saddened 

by Randy and Dawn's loss. 
Even though our boat's not prone to the specific mechanical issue that sank Nirvana Now, we accept that some other freak disaster could strike us, too.
And yet the everyday courage required in taking these calculated risks are part of what makes life worth living.  Even if we weren't in the midst of a 3,000 mile open ocean passage, we risk our lives every time we get into our cars to buy groceries or head into work.  We risk our hearts in every meaningful relationship we build.  We risk our very essence by refusing to dream, or refusing to follow our dreams. 

For us, foregoing that risk would be the greatest tragedy of all.

March 2, 2015
Nirvana Now was among the group of 5 sailboats
(including ours) making passage to Galapagos (us) or the Marquesas (the other 4 boats - we were heading there after Galapagos).

The nearest landfall?  Roughly 1200 miles away.
Their vaguely-estimated location was 4-5 hours from us, less than 21 miles away, behind us.
The silver lining in this nightmare is thanks to all that and the heroic efforts of Athos and Continuum's crew, Randy and Dawn survived, even if their boat did not.  The ragtag emergency assistance system works.
Does this tragedy discourage us?


Please wish us a safe passage... 
More importantly, send your heartfelt condolences to Randy and Dawn as they recover and rebuild their lives.  And for you, do not be afraid to dream big, and live your dream.


We were incorrect - Nirvana Now did not have a spade rudder.  They experienced some freaky conditions.  Our best guess is an isolated sea mount combined with unusual turbulence.  We were near and yet completely unaffected by those  conditions.  Dawn and Randy were insured, and flew out of Hiva Oa a few days before we arrived.  "They're tough as nails," said Bob of Continuum, who rescued them.  Bob seems to be making a habit of this - he and Dave from Anahata towed us into anchorage from 2 miles out of Hiva Oa.  More about that in a future post.  

Read Latitude 38 for more on the story of Dawn and Randy of Nirvana Now - click here.

Also on Latitude 38 - Randy and Dawn tell their own story - click here.

Location Location

We arrived after 32 days at sea and over 3,000 nautical miles in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia (anchorage latitude, longitude coming).  We are catching up on 36 days without internet access - much more to post soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How do you plan for a month's gluten-free meal meals at sea?

To make more interesting, the last big tipoff to our supplies, was in Panama City, Panama.  That was over a month ago.

We added a few sundries from Galapagos' limited selection 2 weeks ago - mostly produce... carrots, cabbage, onions, a few potatoes, apples pears and eggs.  The eggs in particular were of dubious freshness. Quinoa was inexpensive; a nice protein addition for the passage ahead with limited freezer space for meat.

For the culinary curious or those provisioning, especially for a gluten-free diet, here is our 1st 2 weeks meals

Day 0
Breakfast:  killer potato toes with onion, pepper, chorizo spam and Verde salsa
Lunch:  smoky quinoa salad
Dinner:  leftover chicken stir fry
Snack:  giro
Greek Salad
Day 1
Breakfast:  homemade GF raisin bread and butter
Lunch:  Greek salad
Dinner:  Asian soup with mung bean noodles

Day 2
Breakfast:  French toast from cinnamon bread
Lunch:  PBJ sandwiches on cinnamon bread
Dinner:  chicken nachos
Day 3
Breakfast:  raisin bread

Lunch:  leftover skillet spuds & Greek potato salad    
Dinner:  Asian soup chilled as salad, Mediterranean salad with pears, Kalamata olives, hearts of Palm, cheese

Day 4
Breakfast:  Anniversary!  GF organic buckwheat pancakes, bacon, cranberry mimosas
Lunch:  misc. leftovers & snacks
Dinner:  pork stroganoff (GF made from scratch)
Day 5
Breakfast:  GF homemade pumpkin bread & cream cheese
Lunch:  misc. leftovers
Dinner:  leftover stroganoff 

Day 6
Breakfast:  pumpkin bread & cream cheese & cheese omelet
Lunch:  salad of feta, pear, ‘bell’ pepper, lalamata tad, hearts of Palm

Dinner:  leftover stroganoff

Amazing to still be eating some fresh
 salads 2 weeks out.  All the more so given
 produce picked up from small tie dad on
 one of the less populated Gal├ípagos Islands.
Day 7
Breakfast:  smoked quinoa salad
Lunch: salad of pear, salami, capers, manchengo and kalamata
Dinner:  Frito pie (Fritos topped with chili and shredded cheese

Day 8
Breakfast:  rehydrated spuds skillet cooked with spam chorizo, onions, olives
Lunch:  tomato corn salad
Dinner:  red chicken curry with coconut rice (awful!  How can Thai Kitchen make such great noodle soups and such lousy curry pastes?)

Day 9
Breakfast:  leftover skillet spuds
Lunch:  apple-cabbage-carrot salad
Dinner:  nice Dinner:  rice noodle soup
Day 10
Breakfast:  instant mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese added and a fried egg on top
Lunch:  apple cabbage salad with blue cheese
Dinner:  chicken enchilada casserole (from scratch)

Day 11
Breakfast:  GF granola (made from scratch) (Dana) rice with butter & Soike (Wayne)
Snacks :  curry leftovers on plain rice (Dana), Blue Diamond GF pecan crackers & cheese
Lunch:  salad of pears, salami, blue cheese, roasted red bell pepper, Kalamata, capers, hearts of Palm

Dinner:  pasta with made from scratch Al Arabiatta sauce + onion & roasted red pepper
Gluten-free Brazilian Cheese rolls using
crystallized eggs - came out great!
Day 12
Breakfast:  cheese omelet (using crystallized eggs - remaining eggs from Galapagos tossed - spoiled) - came out well!  Wayne ate granola
Snack:  Brazilian cheese rolls (made another batch)
Lunch:  apple, purple cabbage, blue chi use and pecan salad
Dinner:  leftover spaghetti
Day 13
Breakfast:  granola
Snacks:  cheese & crackers, Brazilian cheese rolls
Lunch:  tuna in ranch dressing atop salad of purple cabbage, carrots, roasted red peppers, black olives and rehydrated celery
Dinner:  stew, made from scratch using a mix of canned mix veg, rehydrated potatoes and rehydrated celery and fresh carrots

Pasta salad made with a gluten-free rice-based
pasta  and a mix of fresh, canned and rehydrated
veg and  ham.  The rehydrated green beans were
as good  as store-bought frozen green beans.

Day 14
Breakfast:  just smacked on cheese, crackers and giro
Lunch:  stew
Dinner:  GF pasta salad made from scratch with fresh carrots, canned corn , onions, fresh carrots, green olives, rehydrated celery and green beans, parm cheese and homemade vinaigrette dressing

After 2 weeks passage, with another 2 weeks or so to go, there's still meat in the freezer (though we hope to catch some fish, too), 1/3 head of cabbage, 2 carrots,
7 onions, 3 heads of garlic, 1 casaba root, 1 green tomato and enough nonperishables to last at least another 3 months if needed.

"Don't think we're going to lose any weight on this passage" Wayne observed, eating stroganoff.

Probably not.  Looking forward to hiking it off and eating lighter once we hit landfall and can re supply with fresh fruit and veg.

What would you do if you had to plan for a month's meals with no new perishables?