Calou's Blog

Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump

01 June 2016
06 February 2016
21 May 2015
29 March 2015
18 February 2015
18 February 2015
18 February 2015 | Barra de Navidad
04 May 2014
26 April 2014 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
07 April 2014
02 April 2014 | Isla Navidad
31 March 2014 | Puerto Vallarta
29 March 2014
28 March 2014
21 March 2014

Arrival in South Fakarava

15 June 2011 | Tuomotu Archipelago, French Polynesia
We arrived at the South anchorage at Fakarava again. It was an easy sail along the 40 mile channel from the north side of Fakarava to the south side. However when we arrived at the south end the marked channel ended and we were left to our own devices to find our way among the coral heads to the anchorage.

We chose to use waypoints provided by s/v Soggy Paws, which had previously been there. So we dutifully entered the waypoints into our navigation system and made our way towards the anchorage in what was about 50 feet of water depth.

I had mounted a masthead camera, and was watching it, when suddenly the image on the screen changed from deep blue to light beige. I immediately put the boat into full reverse thrust, but it was too late, a few seconds later there was a huge crashing sound as we had run hard and fast onto a rock hard coral head. The depth had gone from 50 feet to 4 feet in just a few seconds. And this was along a route that was recommended as a safe route!

My first reaction was to ask crew to check for any incoming water entering the hull. None was observed. Then we tried reversing off the coral head. We were stuck fast. So we took our stern anchor out with the kayak and dropped it off to port side, with it attached to the spinnaker halyard. By winching in the spinnaker halyard, we were able to make the boat heel enough so that we were free of the coral.

So we gingerly backed out of the hazardous area and found deeper water.

Lesson learned: never believe any "safe routes" given by prior cruisers.

Luckily there was no damage to the hull of Calou, save for some scratches in the bottom of the cast-iron bulb keel.

This photo, of a black tip shark, was taken while diving on the keel to inspect it for damage.
Vessel Name: Calou
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 47
Hailing Port: The Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA
Crew: Bruce, Pascale, Antoine (15)
Extra: Sailing on the 20th Annual Baja Ha-ha, departing mid October 2013 from Tiburon, and continuing to cruise Mexico. This will be our 3rd Haha. In 2011 we sailed the Puddle Jump from Mexico to French Polynesia, then up to Hawaii and back to San Francisco.
Calou's Photos - Calou's Baja Haha (Main)
30 Photos
Created 20 December 2013
Photos from our month long stay in Mazatlán in board CALOU.
30 Photos
Created 17 November 2013
photos from our crossing from Cabo San Lucas to Mazatlan with crew members Steve and Lisa.
20 Photos
Created 13 November 2013
Photos from our sailing trip from San Francisco to Monterey, Santa Barbara, Channel Islands, Catalina Island, and San Diego
31 Photos
Created 10 November 2013
20 Photos
Created 11 March 2010
Photos of Isla Isabela, San Blas, Chacala and PV
97 Photos
Created 11 March 2010
We rented a car and took a land trip to visit Colima, the capital city of Colima State
41 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
photos between Puerto Vallarta and Barra de Navidad
64 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 May 2009
We rented a car and drove 6 days to see Guadalajara, visiting many small mountain villages along the way. The rugged mountain scenery was delightful.
55 Photos
Created 14 January 2009
Here is the sketchbook of Antoine, age 10
7 Photos
Created 30 November 2008
Includes photos from our tour of a tequila factory, and more stoff to be added later.
15 Photos
Created 29 November 2008
78 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
72 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
109 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
86 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
190 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
20 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
79 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
123 Photos
Created 26 October 2008
We took a side trip by bus and train to the spectacular Canyon de Cobre (Copper Canyon) in the state of Chihahua
32 Photos
Created 10 February 2007
33 Photos
Created 9 February 2007
Photos from our trip starting after Novemebr 18, 2006. Photos prior to this date are contained in ALBUM PART 1.
92 Photos
Created 1 January 2007
Photos of the FIRST part of our trip, from our departure from Tiburon to our arrival in Cabo San Lucas.
27 Photos
Created 6 December 2006