Cailin Lomhara

Some stories of our life wandering the oceans, along with some random thoughts on matters either important or trivial. Through words and pictures it is our way to share our life a bit, perhaps even what we learn along the way.

17 May 2017 | Wreck Bay, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos
14 May 2017 | Wreck Bay, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos
13 May 2017 | South Pacific Ocean
12 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
11 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
10 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
09 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
08 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
07 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
06 May 2017 | Balboa, Pacific Coast Panama
01 May 2017 | Balboa, Pacific Coast Panama
25 March 2017 | Land
13 January 2017 | Marina Santa Marta, Columbia South America
03 January 2017 | Airport anchorage, Aruba
02 January 2017 | Airport anchorage, Aruba
01 January 2017 | at anchor
28 December 2016 | At anchor; Spanish Water, Curacao

Chillin with the natives

17 May 2017 | Wreck Bay, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos
Larry Green
We are firmly anchored in Wreck Bay, San Cristobal and spending as much time as possible taking in the sights and learning about these islands. I am also sewing the genoa clew back on which is a tiresome task but the only evidence of anything resembling a sail maker is apparently a shoe maker (cobbler) with a sewing machine does some sail repair work on Santa Cruz.
Last night we watched a video of a true story which took place here on the islands back in the late 1920s' and early 1930s'. My prior understanding that these islands have always been pristine nature preserves was pretty well blown away by the film. Apparently these islands have had their share of characters, schemes and intrigue having nothing to do with what brought them fame, i.e. Charles Darwin.
Added some cool pictures to the Galapagos Album, including a new cover picture of a good looking tortoise. More later.....

Amazing, awesome......

14 May 2017 | Wreck Bay, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos
Larry Green
Awesome is a pretty over used word and there must be a better one to describe the sense one gets with the first view of these islands underneath a cloud way off in the distance. Initially it looks like two or more islands since the approach provides a view of the Northeast end and the Northwest side of San Cristobal. You can get an idea of the perspective we had from the Chart View showing our actual track sailed (the blue line leading from Panama). Interestingly, there is no evidence of civilization on the parts of the island we could see when approaching. No houses or evidence of any buildings, roads, towers or anything until you are practically in the little village that surrounds the harbor at the bottom of the island.

The blue line on the Chart View above represents the last 40 or so NM of our passage to the Galapagos, and was stopped when we anchored yesterday, Saturday May 13th in the harbor at the southern end of Isla San Cristobal. Our Log reflects we anchored at 1515 local time. It also reflects the passage was 1003.63 NM in length and took seven days, five hours. Slower than Cailin Lomhara's usual long passage speed of about 6.8 kts. But not terrible considering the adverse currents getting out of the Gulf of Panama and the inability to use our largest headsail.

So, you might be wondering, why did it take over a full day to post some information. The short answer is we have been very busy and a wee bit tired. Here are some of the details.

As we are setting the anchor, me driving and Charlene and Stine doing the heavy work of lowering the anchor one of the local water taxis came alongside. I admit here the language barrier is my inability with languages not native to me, therefore I tried to wave him off thinking he was like the boat boys of the Caribbean trying to sell me some service. He was more persistent and I finally understood he was simply trying to find out who my agent was for handling formalities. I passed along the name and he left in a flash. No sooner had I got the snubber on the chain than he was back with a woman, who is the sister of Johnny, the agent, and works in the business. She does not speak one word of English and is delightful and efficient and I soon know what she needs. Three copies each of; Ships Documents, Passports, Crew List, Zarpe from Panama, Fumigation Certificate, Liability Insurance coverage (environmental cleanup), Veterinarian Certificate from Panama for each of our two cats. Once she had all the paper she called her taxi aquatic on a handheld VHF radio and departed. Two things as she was getting off the boat. Inspection by officials at 0900 tomorrow (today) and what date did I wire the funds to pay for all this.

This morning at 0830 there is a knock on the hull, that is not the three sea lions that took up residence on the stern swim platform. It is my agents' sister making sure we will be ready at 0900. I assured her we were ready and off the taxi takes her. At 0900 the taxi returns, this time with a full load of inspectors and officials, our agent's sister and an interpreter, who is Johnny's nephew. A family business. The 8 officials, making it 10 visitors in all came aboard welcoming us to Ecuador and the Galapagos. The Captain of the Port, in his white uniform was last to board and more effusive in his welcome.

They set about their work efficiently, the diver obtaining a copy of the certification of the last bottom paint and hull cleaning, Immigration getting all the Passports etc. About an hour and a half later the Immigration officer handed back our stamped Passports, the Customs officer had me sign and stamp a bunch of papers, then the Captain of the Port Instructed us to lower the Q flag and raise the Ecuador courtesy flag. Turns out that the version of the Ecuador flag sold by US boat stores is incorrect, and we are not to fly it and go buy the proper flag. Not bad for clearing in.

More later..............

Last Night at Sea-Perhaps

13 May 2017 | South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
The last night of a passage is always a bit special. Sometimes it is the anticipation of finally getting out of cold, wet clothes and lousy weather and in to a safe harbor. Sometimes it is a bit nostalgic. Considering the high points of the passage, the great sailing, great mates, wonderful sights and especially the starlit nights when you are all alone. This one is very different in a number of ways.

First and perhaps of most significance is we sailed across the equator at approximately midnight local time on a beautiful night, with stars and a full moon, a gentle breeze and calm seas. The appropriate traditions were followed, we paid homage to Neptune and had a great time with lots of laughs and I suspect some pretty hilarious pictures. Stine (to whom I am apologizing for misspelling her name in previous posts) our young crew member from Denmark revealed we were following in her mother and father’s footsteps, actually following their wake, as they made this passage to the Galapagos some years ago, and went on to make a 21-day passage to the Marquesas. It sounded like there may be a little side bet or just a challenge to see if we can equal or beat their time.

For Charlene, it was her first time sailing to the South Pacific, though she has sailed in the South Pacific. It is also the fulfillment of one of her lifelong dreams, or part of it at least. For me, first time sailing to or in the South Pacific and the fulfillment of one part of my lifelong dream. In the words of the great American statesman, Joe Biden, it is a BFD.

The only possible downside is any repercussions of arriving on the weekend. In many countries, there is a small financial penalty, amounting to paying some overtime for officials involved in the clearing process. From what I have heard the penalties here are quite stiff, but that is all hearsay and I have no first-hand knowledge of what actually goes on. We are only about 50 NM from the harbor on San Cristobal so I will soon find out. More later………….

Gettin Close

12 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
As you can see from our position as I write this at 0600 local time we are quite close to the equator, and our destination of San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. Details include 72 NM to the equator and a total of 150 NM to the harbor where we expect to anchor. We have been sailing overnight at around 6 knots which if we continue means an arrival tomorrow morning. There is only one hitch. In checking over the documentation we need, various entry requirements etc. I re-read the last footnote on the contract with the agent (required) who is handling all the entry details and logistics. The footnote said "for vessels arriving or departing on a weekend or National Holiday the charge is double" Not exactly specific as there are a list of charges, about 20 in all, that total a bit over $2,400. I am not sure I want to double that so have emailed the agent seeking alternative ideas to hanging out in the ocean from Saturday morning to Monday morning. On the bright side yesterday we got a taste of the wildlife in this part of the world. First, as mentioned before are the birds. There is a family of about 15 or so Red Footed Boobies (with blue beaks)(Charlene knows about such things) that have been leading us for the past 2 days. Other than the mess they leave all over the boat it is an amazing performance to watch. Some are always flying and one or two are always perched on the bow pulpit. Then there was this enormous turtle that waddled by yesterday. At first I thought it was a large tree, but turns out it was (I think) a large Leatherback turtle. Later in the day we were joined by more birds, including big black Frigate birds. No sooner had our naturalist (Charlene) said they were usually accompanying whales and or dolphins then the dolphins showed up in very large numbers. Hard to say but there may have been 20 or more. Breathtaking as that sight was it sort of paled in comparison to the pods of whales we were soon sailing through. The consensus aboard was they were Minke whales, based on their size and location of dorsal fin. They appeared to be resting as they were just swimming around lazily and there were probably 20 or so of those. All this provided a good couple of hours of "wow, you see that?" At least they all seem friendly. More later.................

A Stitch in Time.....

11 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
Seven hundred twenty-one nautical miles behind us, two hundred seventy-two to go. About 81 nm before we get there, based on our current course, we shall cross the equator to the never ending, everlasting joy of all aboard. A boat full of shellbacks will pay homage to King Neptune as has been done for centuries. We can then move on to newer and greater accomplishments.

In other news from afar there is an old saying, which I believe goes something like "a stitch in time saves nine". One of the items of regular and routine maintenance is to have a sail loft examine all the sails for wear and potential problems, as well as carefully examining the stitching of all the seams and attachment points. The reason for this careful examination of the stitching is that the thread used in sail making, though terribly expensive, is not immune to damage from chafe and the Sun. We had this task completed while we were in Panama, along with washing the sails which is a normal part of the process.

So, to say I was surprised yesterday morning would be a major understatement. Surprised at what you may be thinking. For the first time since we left Panama yesterday morning was quite beautiful, sunshine a nice breeze of 10 to 12 knots etc. The surprise came when I unfurled the genoa and as soon as I started to sheet it in the stainless steel ring that is sewn into the clew (corner where the sheets attach) was free of the sail and the sail was free of it. There are five pieces of a special webbing tape sewn in a manner to appropriately spread the loads on the stainless ring across the sail. Each side of the tape is 8" long and there are four rows of sig zag stitches spaced about 1/8th of an inch apart. Pretty nearly every one of those stitches broke with the slightest of pressure applied.

I can and may well have to hand stitch it back together as I do not think there are any sail lofts in the Galapagos. I started yesterday as we were actually sailing along with the (much smaller) staysail and main hoisted. I soon discovered that the trick of pushing a needle through 6 or so layers of cloth while staying aboard the boat was going to make this a long tedious task, so have decided to wait and hope there is someone with an industrial sewing machine or do it at anchor by hand. The lesson for the day is this: even though you hire professionals to do some work it is best you check the work yourself. I honestly don't know that had I looked really close I would have said ah-ha! This area needs more work. When I have watched sail makers and others inspect the stitching they all have a different technique, but generally it involves rubbing something coarse, like rough cloth or leather, over the suspect thread to see if it breaks.

Needless to say, I keep on learning. More later.......

The Moon, a Star...Wow!

10 May 2017 | Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
I just looked around the horizon, all 360 degrees and there was not a thing to see except water, lots of clouds, and a single star, pretty much to the west of our current heading which is south west. It was the first star I have seen since we left Panama Saturday morning. Things are looking better!

Earlier when we were eating dinner around the cockpit table the full moon rose over the port quarter, the sea was a glassy surface with wind of 0.00 knots and just some long stretched out low rollers letting you know you were afloat. The moon, was incredible. There was a break in the clouds just as it was rising and what we saw was the long silvery road leading back towards the moon. That effect dissipates all too soon as the moon goes higher in the sky, but it was a sight to toast as we have not seen it before especially from this vantage point.

Speaking of seeing things, we have not. No ships, no boats, no airplanes no other humans for at least the last 48 hours and perhaps longer. The last time I saw a ship was at least 3 days ago, a big red cargo vessel that passed within a couple of miles. Charlene saw the lights of a ship one night, and I think that was maybe three nights’ past. As noted yesterday we did see some fish and our visiting bird but that is it. It is this sense of the vastness of the ocean on this very crowded planet you get when out here that is awe inspiring. It makes this kind of passage very special. We are travelling a well-worn path that dozens, if not hundreds of boats travel every year and yet, you can go for days without sight of anything but the sea, the sky, your shipmates and your very tiny little boat. Pretty amazing.

The planning and accompanying rise in the level of excitement about crossing the equator goes on. The big question of the day is when will we cross that magical line. Our destination, San Cristobal Island lies at 00°48’.51South so it is not far from the equator. So, the question is not only what day will we cross, but now what time of day. Can we do it in daylight? Maybe around noon when everyone is normally awake? We are a couple of days away from the possibility of crossing so as navigator I can get away with something crusty, as in its too soon to know with any certainty. At least for today.

More later…………
Vessel Name: Cailin Lomhara
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52
Hailing Port: Anna Maria Island, FL
Crew: Charlene Green & Larry Green
Both are life long sailors with a shared dream to sail the world. Charlene sailed her previous boat, CatNip, a 35 foot Island Packet catamaran throughout the Bahamas single handed a couple of years ago. Charlene holds a U.S. [...]
It has been some time and many miles at sea since this "something extra" was updated. When first written we had not yet spent nearly 3 years in the Caribbean, which we now have, we were not in Panama waiting to transit the canal prior to a Pacific crossing, which we now are, we were not ready to [...]
Cailin Lomhara's Photos - Main
Pictures from the passage to this part of the South Pacific along with pictures we will add of what we see while we are here.
22 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
At 0430 Friday our Pilot/Advisor came aboard and 30 minutes later we were underway headed for a single day transit. Some of the photos are taken inside the lock(s) others of the scenery along the way.
40 Photos
Created 30 April 2017
Our passage to Columbia. Lots of wind, mostly from abaft the beam.
6 Photos
Created 13 January 2017
A beautiful, pretty much uninhabited spot to welcome the new year with it's possibilities
9 Photos
Created 1 January 2017
When all your worldly possessions are aboard your boat/home it rides a little lower than designed. We finally raised the waterline in Curacao
4 Photos
Created 28 December 2016
One of the most unusual islands in it's beauty and charming people. Most of these photos were taken when we were touring the island with Hubert Winston as our guide. There are no marinas and only two viable anchorages, one in Portsmouth, the other to the north in Roseau. We were there through Christmas 2015.
7 Photos
Created 11 January 2016
Some of us, family, friends and folks we have met
22 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
The cats, Buzzi and her cat Bobbi
8 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
Views of places and people we have met along the path.
26 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
Photos of Cailin Lomhara
12 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 29 June 2013