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Don & Deb's Big Adventure Continues in Oz
We are now living in Melbourne, Australia after selling our beautiful yacht 'Buena Vista' in New Zealand. Even so...the big adventure will continue one way or another!
Day 8 to the Marquesas
03/28/2012, Outbound Cabo, Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Day 8 = 103 nautical miles...1,957 left to go. After the very slow start of this passage we are really happy to see more wind. WIND WIND WIND - THAT'S ALL I EVER TALK ABOUT. Bigger winds, however, bring bigger seas. Bigger seas, especially ones that come from lots of directions at once, tend to roll the boat and make life more difficult. Cooking becomes downright dangerous. Sleeping, not much. We're trying to follow our 'rhumbline' to the Marquesas but in favor of finding a little bit of normality we've strayed pretty far away from it. Tomorrow we'll have to jib back towards the south to get back on track. We're both feeling a bit loopy from the sleep deprivation caused by bumpy seas...we decided to reef our mainsail just before dark last night and it was a challenge that left us both exhausted. It was the right decision though because a few hours later even with a double reefed mainsail and double reefed genoa we were flying along at 7 knots. Then, every 10-15 seconds this bulldozer would hit you from the side...geez...I'm gonna go have a nap. Oh, I almost forgot. At 4:30am Don woke me up and said he spotted a ship coming up behind us. We were able to pick it up on radar and then on the computer AIS program which showed the vessel name, Mount Adams, a cargo ship going to Japan. I called him on the VHF radio and had a chat with the captain who was french. He said he had us on radar and would pass safely behind. About 20 minutes later he passed behind us about three miles away. Easy peezy.

03/29/2012 | Jo and Rob on Blue Moon
So glad to see you are on your way at last. Rumor has it that you are heading to NZ this year - awesome! Can't wait to welcome you to our home base. Fairwinds.
Day 7 to the Marquesas
03/27/2012, Outbound Cabo, Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Day 7 = 102 nautical miles...2,060 left to go. We're traveling with several other sailboats, mostly smaller and lighter than Buena Vista. Southern Cross, for example, is an Erickson 38 and it's a fast boat in these lighter conditions. Mark has two crew members aboard and they are able to keep their speed up all night while Don and I reef down (reduce the size of the sails) to slow the boat down for a more comfortable night with just the two of us. All of us are in radio contact each morning sharing our positions (where we are in latitude and longitude) and having a chat about conditions, strategy, and what we've seen and done each day. This morning, upon hearing Southern Cross's position we realized they were within 20 miles of us. They left the day after us and after 6 days had caught up. They went on the radio and said that we had a photo opp, that we could take each other's pictures when they caught up to us. Well...I began to slow the boat down and get dressed (out of my pajamas anyway) for the picture and then it occured to us....why should we slow down for a picture only to have them leave us in their wake? So - Don took the wheel and we've been flying like a bat out of hell ever since. If they want a picture they're going to have to catch us! It's become clear as these lighter boats slowly move ahead that if we want a faster passage we're going to have to work a little harder for it. We're now talking about how we're going to accomplish this - whether it's better for us to push harder for a faster passage or to settle into are routine and not worry about getting there possibly days and days later than others. In the end, 102 miles a day is OK but 150 would be better.

03/27/2012 | Linz and Cath
Ha at least your going forward guys and not turning back, after this many days out last year we were almost back at La Cruz, Well Done Guys. Well be Toasting you guys in Northland NZ real soon
03/28/2012 | JUCE
Thanks for the updates, been watching you daily. Have a wonderful and safe passage!!
Day 6 to the Marquesas
03/26/2012, Outbound Cabo, Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Day 6 = 114 nautical miles...2,160 left to go. Buena Vista is flying along right now. We've got wind from behind at about 15 knots. She loves it and is acting like she has somewhere important to go. Don said to me this morning that he's only just realizing how much open ocean we have to sail through before hitting land again. I'm not thinking of that yet - in my mind we have barely left Mexico. Good friends of ours are in Cabo right now checking out of the country and others haven't left La Paz yet. At our going away party in La Paz our friends Mike and Karen on 'Beau Soleil' took me aside and said, "Now Deb, whatever happens out there...just keep going - we'll be right behind you." OK, OK, time to leave Mexico behind once and for all! How far is the next island? Holy Shit! That IS a long way.

03/27/2012 | Carla and Doug
Just keep moving and stay in your routine - time will fly by and you will be in the Marquesas before you know it!

Glad you found the wind!
03/27/2012 | Pam
Thanks for the daily updates. I look forward to them every morning. Be safe, happy, and enjoy the ride. Love to you both.
Day 5 to the Marquesas
03/25/2012, Outbound Cabo, Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Day 5 - 89 nautical miles...2,280 left to go. First, Happy Anniversay Darling...19 years ago I married Donny and I can't imagine life without him. Babe, you're the best! We set sail yesterday around 11am and sailed the rest of the day (with David Bowie taking the day) and were able to sail all night too. With Horacio the Hydrovane doing all the steering we just have to get up and take a look around once in awhile. That's where the 'Watch Commander' comes in. It's a super duper timer device for cruisers that my mate Kat on 'Island Bound' told me about. We set it for 60 59 minutes a red light starts flashing and in 60 minutes a beeper goes off. When that happens you press the reset button, get up and take a look around and in 60 minutes it happens again. But say Deb is downstairs off-watch sleeping and Don doesn't press the reset button. Maybe he's slept through it or god forbid has fallen overboard. After a minute or so the beeper stops and a super loud siren goes off...enough to wake up anyone aboard. It works great for person is downstairs in bed sleeping and the one 'on watch' can nap as well...right next to the device and press reset when when the red light starts flashing or when the beeper goes off. It's made doing this passage with only two people alot safer and we're both getting plenty of rest too. Yesterday Don started scraping out the old caulking in our teak deck by the port side gate. I'm on computer stuff...every time I plug the AIS into my OpenCPN world charting software I get the dreaded blue screen of death. I don't think OpenCPN likes Windows Vista so I may have to transfer it all to my older XP computer. All is well on board. More wind would be nice but we're having a nice time out here anyway. Thanks for all the comments - we feel your love and support even out here in the middle of the ocean.

03/25/2012 | Larry, Lisa & Ben
We're sending our love!! You guys are awesome! Keep it up and we'll meet ya somewhere soon! Can't wait! XXOO
03/26/2012 | Carla and Doug
Happy Anniversary - so happy that you got some wind to sail. Things are definitely looking up! Thinking of you out there in the big blue ocean!
03/26/2012 | LYN
Hi Debbie & Don, I didn't get a chance to say Bon Voyage - got home from NZ yesterday - great family fix. Happy Anniversary. Glad the windvane is being a great 3rd hand.
Fair winds,
Beginning of Day 5 Update
03/24/2012, Outbound Cabo - Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Don started the engine this morning and said, "I'm just doing it to charge up the batteries." I said, "My batteries?" He said, "Well, the boat's batteries and yours too." It felt good just to be moving forward again. But soon after that the wind clocked around to the south and Buena Vista took off. Crew morale is now greatly improved. We are enjoying the first good sail in days AND we're actually going in basically the right direction! We've got 10 knots from the WSW, boat speed is 5-1/2 knots, course 185. We're headed towards Isla Clarion (145 miles ahead) of the Isla Revillagigedo Island Group. Yippee!

03/25/2012 | Bruce
I agree...Yippee!
03/25/2012 | Linz and Cath
"Happy Wedding Anniversary Guys" Hope there was lots of movement on that S/V to celebrate' -Wind I'm talking about.
Day 4 to the Marquesas
03/24/2012, Outbound Cabo - Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Day 4 = 25 nautical miles...2,378 to go. Today you could call us the Pacific Puddle Floaters instead of Puddle Jumpers. There are a few other boats in the area, all friends of ours, who are able to keep moving in this light air. Not Buena Vista. She goes just fine in 8-10 knots and up (especially up) but getting her moving in 2-3 knots is nothing but frustrating. The others are able to keep moving, even if slowly all night long. We just turn on our super bright Bebi light that we hang off the spreaders and go to bed. It's a trip going to sleep in the middle of the ocean. I do set the alarm for every 1-1/2 hours and have a look around for traffic or turn on the radar and do a quick sweep. Hopefully tomorrow will be different.

Day 3 to the Marquesas
03/23/2012, Outbound Cabo - Inbound Marquesas, French Polynesia

Day 3 = 17 nautical miles...2,403 to go. This might take awhile :) Tried to fly the spinnaker but gave up early due to lack of wind. Ended up kicking back and just enjoying the day. It's a lot like going to a fabulous waterfront beach resort without the beach! Nice sunny weather. Great music...Supertramp and Sonny Boy Williams. Plenty of good food and drink aboard, whatever you want really. I had my first attempt at baking banana bread and then made a fabulous curried chicken dinner. It's true, we're going nowhere fast right now...but it's all good.

03/23/2012 | Polly and Walt
We really enjoy reading your blogs. Keep up the good work and be safe.
03/23/2012 | Lisa frost
Sounds great my friend. Thanks for checking in. Things are good here. Just a bit nervous about the change at work, but it's all good!! Missing you. Funny, I just made bread the other day myself
03/24/2012 | jayna and tom
whotee who, hey sounds like a vacation i need. music , food , and tequila....catch some big fish..
Day 2 to the Marquesas, French Polynesia
03/22/2012, Outbound Cabo - Inbound Marquesas

Day 2 = 61 nautical miles, 2,420 to go. The wind was light all day but Buena Vista was able to cruise along nicely until about 4pm. Then the wind completely died and all that could be heard was the 'thwackeda thwackeda' of the mainsail flopping around. We tried different sail configurations to keep the boat moving but finally just gave in and proceeded to 'park' the boat out in the middle of the ocean. I KNOW...not the best way to start a long passage...on the other hand there's no place to spend money and it's really quite nice out here. There are at least three other sailboats within about 100 miles of here, not including our mates on 'Chapter Two' who parked about a mile away from us. We had some dinner and went to bed at 8 o'clock. At about 10 o'clock I woke up feeling that the boat was moving. I could feel a faint breeze and I heard Don in the cockpit rolling out the headsail.. We were on the move again, slowly, very slowly. We ghosted along all night in about 5 knots of wind. By morning we had gone another 25 miles.

03/22/2012 | Mike Anderson
So happy for you guys. Watch out for that little island about 200 miles ahead on your left.
03/23/2012 | keith & maureen
Amazing - Wind! not enough - just enough -too much. Sleep! - not enough -just enough - too much - hope you are somewhere in the middle. But fun & adventure - We hope it tops the chart

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Buena Vista's Crew
Who: Don and Debbie Robertson
Port: Ventura, California
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