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Flour Girl
The Homeschooling of Zack on a Cheoy Lee Offshore 44
Last Day at Sea
05/12/2013, Marqueses Passage

Day 20 at sea and we will be there tomorrow morning. We plan to be at the southern tip of Fatu Hiva at sunrise and then head north along the coast for another eight miles to the anchorage. Fatu Hiva is supposed to be one of the most dramatic landfalls of the South Pacific and the boats ahead of us have all been awed. After 21 days at sea it will be exciting just to see land.

We have had a great passage (nothing broke) and the weather/wind has been just about perfect, we only motored for three hours during the entire passage. Zack made his own fishing lure a few days ago and it has worked better than any lure we have ever used. Yesterday we landed four good sized Mahi-Mahi, around five pounds each. He can now reel them in by himself and it is really exciting for him, and us. Zack was getting very tired of this long sail but now with all the fish we have been catching he could care if we ever make landfall!

We left the Galapagos with our friends on Sueno (a 43 foot Fountaine Pajot Belize Catamaran) and we will be pulling in together with them tomorrow morning. Perfect! Flour Girl keeps up with the cats, and we only used our jib for the entire sail!

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50 Pound Fish - For Breakfast!
05/10/2013, Marqueses Passage

I woke up this morning to the sound of the fishing line running out. Zack came screaming past yelling "fish on!" So, I got up. Zack had been up for a while and had decided to make his own lure. He took two lures and combined parts of them and then added a mardi gras bead at the top. Well, it was an effective piece of fishing bait. He had it out for almost half an hour and we had a huge fish on. David had to bring it in because it was just too heavy for Zack to reel in. They had to fight it for over half an hour to wear it out enough to get it in. Finally David got it over the transom and we pulled out our fish identification book. Zack looked it up and discovered that we had a Short-billed Spearfish on board. The food quality only rated as good, we should have thrown it back but Zack was just too exited to have caught such a large fish on his first home made lure that we had to keep it. He was just as big as Goliath the 50 pound Wahoo we caught off of Columbia. He wouldn't fit in the fish bucket and David had to lay him across the floor of the cockpit to clean him. What a bloody mess that was. Thankfully that is David's job and all I had to do was bag and freeze the fillets. Zack was thrilled and so I cooked fish for breakfast. Unfortunately Zack wasn't all that keen on the Spearfish and said it was tasteless. I am going to have to try to make some fish spread of something out of it. I guess we will end up bringing it to many future potlucks. We put Zack's new lure back out and a few hours later we got a 2 1/2 foot Mahi-Mahi. This is Zack's favorite, so we kept that too. We are trying to fill up the freezer because food is expensive in the Pacific islands.

David's mom wrote that she was concerned that we were alone out here.. Not so. We are of course traveling with our buddy boat Sueno. Galavanter, a boat we were hanging out with in the Galapagos went down to the Gambiers instead of coming with us to the Marquesas. We also have a cruiser's net going, which is a group of boats that left within a week of each other from the Galapagos. We check in to the net every morning and every evening. There are so many boats in the net that it takes an hour for all of them to check in. We know most of the boats, it becomes a big community of cruisers out here, so don't worry because we are never alone.

We are about 350 miles from Fatu Hiva and we will hopefully be making landfall in a couple of days. I think we are all ready to get off the boat, this has been a long time at sea - today is day 19 since leaving Galapagos. Hopefully our friends on MacPelican will still be in Fatu Hiva when we arrive. I am going to cook some fish!

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05/11/2013 | PATRICK
well I feel much better knowing there is a group of boats out there. Glad the weather has been on your side and Zach is catching more fish than you can eat. His own lure. zThis must be such a exciting time for all of you. Dave must be so proud. When oh when are you coming back?
05/12/2013 | Lindonda
Good to know! M
Day 14
05/05/2013, Marqueses Passage

We have been at sea for 2 weeks now. That is a very long time on a boat and we are only 2/3rds of the way. Unfortunately our wind is becoming very light and is down to about 10 knots and projected to stay that way for the next 3 to 4 days. We are making about 5 knots which is ok. We passed the 1000 miles to go marker today at about noon! The total journey is almost 3000 miles, so at least we feel like we are getting there. We have been catching fish everyday, mostly Mahi-Mahi, with the exception of 2 tunas. Zack is having a great time with the fishing. Today we caught our biggest Mahi yet, it was about 2 1/2 feet long. Last night we had a huge pod of dolphins play with us for almost half an hour. They were jumping out of the water and putting on quite a show. Dolphins are always a joy to see, and we are still hoping to see whales, but no luck so far. We have been at sea so long that we have Gooseneck Barnacles growing on our waterline! At least with the calm winds I was able to do some cleaning and stainless polishing today, sailing hard seems to trash the boat. Zack is absolutely stir crazy and can't wait to see land, but he has been great the whole sail. We have played lots of Uno, Shut the Box and Poker. We have even managed to do a bit of school.

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Almost two-thirds there
05/04/2013, Marqueses Passage

Twelve days down, 1,195 miles to go. Just had a pod of dolphins playing on the bow for about twenty minutes, very nice. Some were jumping all the way out of the water.

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Halfway to Fatu Hiva
05/02/2013, Marqueses Passage

We are on day eleven of our passage, and we are half way to Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas islands. It has been a very good trip so far, we are all in good spirits and the winds have been good to us. We are averaging 6 1/2 knots, some days a lot faster and some slower. Eleven days at sea is a long time, and we will all be happy when we reach our destination. Zack is ready to run, he is going a little stir crazy but has been remarkably great for the entire passage. We have been catching lots of fish, which keeps him happy and adds some excitement to the trip. We have kept only enough to eat, all Mahi-Mahi and one Skipjack Tuna. Mahi is Zack's favorite so he has been pretty happy about that. We have thrown a lot of fish back to the sea and had a few dramatic catches where the fish shakes the hook as David is pulling it in. Zack now does all the reeling in and David does the final job of getting the fish onto the boat. School has been a bust for most of this trip, but that's ok. The worst part of the long passages is the lack of sleep. We have been doing 5 hour watches and each taking a nap during the day. I have been trying to study French on my watches and it is not an easy language to learn. I know how to buy a baguette so I should be set. Just another 1400 miles to go and we can't wait for those French Baguettes!!

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Day Six
04/27/2013, Marqueses Passage

We are now on day six of our passage, officially around one quarter of the way there. We have caught several mahi today, released them all as we are still eating the tuna we caught two days ago. Have only seen one other boat, a large fishing boat at night, very well light up. 760 nautical miles down - 2,140 to go.

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