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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Surfing Santa Cruz
06/21/2011, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

We're here! We arrived about an hour before sunset, telling Tuomo our agent that we were here. "Yeah, that's great. Just to let you know the swell is quite bad at the moment, so you may want to put out a stern anchor when you arrive." It's certainly not the calmest anchorage we have been in. We set about putting two anchorages down - the normal one at the front and then a stern one at the back (that doesn't mean he's angry - stern means back of boat, for all you land lubbers) This keeps us into the swell - or should I say surf? - whilst the wind is trying to push us sideways. If that doesn't sound nice, it's not. But here in Galapagos, the restrictions for yachts are such that we cannot anchor anywhere else so we're stuck here for the next two weeks. Lars from Yacht Luna came over to greet us and pick up his chartplotter that arrived by Pegasus Post (a much quicker and more reliable option than airmail via Equador!) and then warned us that their bridle on their anchor snapped and another yacht had been hit by one of the big boats whose anchor had dragged, so to be careful.
The next day, our bridle on our anchor snapped, so it has been replaced with mooring line sized ropes, with chafe guards. Mark stayed on the boat to check that the anchor was holding whilst the kids I and went to ashore to get the heads up from Tuomo about checking in and the touristy stuff. Once Mark felt happy, he ventured over to Luna to help Lars diagnose an electrical problem in the solar panels, which they did. Luna took us out for a meal to say thank you which was really really lovely and after the initial 'I can't talk to them, I don't speak Danish' the kids had a great time with Nana (12) Emil (9) and Jacob ( 7) running about in the streets whilst the parents compared notes. A lovely evening followed back by a trip in the water taxi (not brave enough yet to negotiate the swell in the tender yet!) and a leap of faith back onto Pegasus when the waves are right. Yikes!

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Heading in the right direction

18 June 2011

It's just been a clearing up kind of day; you know, chucking the flying fish off the boat (6) squid (2) and general fish bones and detritus that those pesky gulls left behind on the coach roof. Honestly, it just goes to show that wherever you are in the world, gulls make a mess. Pegasus has been flying along at about 6.5knots in the right direction, so we all feel better, though it is rough. At this rate (famous last words!) we will be dropping anchor before sunset on Monday evening. 10 days after all. It's hard to know what to write now; this is probably very boring but I'll ramble on with my thoughts for a wee while longer and let you into a few secrets. Like how I have taken to cooking on my night watch and talk to an imaginary camera, pretending I am on a cookery TV programme. Did I just admit that?! Like how I made Lochy do an extra page of maths because he stole from my secret stash of sweets. And how I made my worst loaf of bread this trip today. But shhhh don't tell anyone. Current post: 01.07N 86.04W

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The Equator
06/20/2011, The Equator

20 June 2011

Last night Mark and I were up for the crossing of the equator. I wish we could have mustered up a bit more excitement but we were just so tired! However, all excitement came back in the morning when the kids dressed Mark up as Neptune and we all did a little dance around the cockpit with an offering for Neptune into the sea. Then cakes were made and decorated and eaten all day. We can see land and it has been creeping closer and closer all day. We've about two hours to go. I've had a shower (not my first this trip bty!) and so feel ready to meet the officials such as the fumigator, preparing for such event by lobbing overboard a few suspect carrots which were attracting flies. I asked Mia what was the best and worst parts of this passage. Her worst bit was feeling sick when it was rough. "What even worse than the fish hook incident?" I asked. "Oh, I forgot about that" replied Mia. I'm going to get this sent by SSB and then we'll be back on hotmail/internet tomorrow. Current posn: 00.45South!!!!! 90.10W

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Hello sun

Today has been the first time all trip that we have seen the sun and been able to watch the sunset as it has been so cloudy up til now. We are still on track for tomorrow sunset at Admiralty Bay in Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos. It's always the same with all my athletic feats (ha ha!) The Great North run, it's the last couple of miles that kill, the Itex round Jersey walk, the last walk across St Aubin's bay that's the killer. And so today has been exhausting. The end is in sight and we just want to be there and we're tired. However, a happy tired. To be fair on Mark, I've done pretty much nothing today except sleep and he's held the fort. It was also he who asked whether it was Father's day today. Oops! He heard us planning a secret and thought it was a father's day surprise, but actually, we were planning his King Neptune costume for our crossing of the equator tomorrow, having completely forgotten all about fathers day. Well, it's all a load of commercial bull isn't it? Father's day, valentines day. In fact all those days are just a chance for the shops to be quids in. Except Mother's Day of course. Now that one is important and shouldn't be neglected!

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06/18/2011, Our two bird power indicator

17 juNE 2011
curr psn: 1.41N 84.00W
It's very considerate actually, because I'm aching all over from my little adventure yesterday with the bruises on my thighs turning blacker and bluer. As our wind direction indicator thingy at the helm is a little skew-whiff (who'd have thought that word would be on spell check?!) we usually have to look to the top of the mast to get an accurate indicator of the wind direction. Which is difficult for me today. As I said, I'm not getting any younger and yesterday's trip up the mast has probably been the most physical exercise I've had in ooooh 6 years. However, I've just noticed that our two little hitchhikers - swallow tail gulls - have become very accurate wind direction indicators, facing into the wind to keep their balance. I even checked it out, turning a few degrees north, to see if they would turn. They did! Hours of fun! They even fly off if the sail luffs, but I try not to do that too much. If only they didn't poo so much (they've obviously made themselves at home!) Not too much more to report, except that I inadvertently became the net controller on the SSB radio today. When no one came on at 0900, I put a call out and then found myself relaying messages here, calling for new boats to come forward there! If only I had all the lingo. Mark has been daring me to say "roger roger" Star Wars style all week, but I'm just too English and wouldn't be able to do it like the Americans do. It just doesn't roll off the tongue easily. So, on that note, this is Pegasus of jersey, 2delta xray quebec 3 clear and on the side. Roger roger!

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She who breaks it fixes it

16 June 2011
Apparently, it was my fault the main halyard block sheared as I was on watch at the time! Well, that was the reason Mark gave me for me going up the mast rather than him. Actually, mast monkey has become a bit of a Cath specialty, but I popped my going-up-the-mast-whilst-at-sea cherry today and I've got the thigh bruises to prove it! We motored pretty much through til 2pm today when the seas/winds got slightly calmer (16knots) Then, donning Lochy's bike helmet, pillow down front/cushion down back of sallopettes, Mark winched me up the mast. The idea was that I would use a safety harness around the mast to keep me from swinging too far away, which worked well, except I had to unclip and clip back on to get past the spreaders and that was really hard. Then up to the top, using my thighs to grip the mast (thank God for my pole dancing lessons back in Jersey!) untie and re-tie a one handed bowline, threading it through a new block. It was like riding a bucking broncho up there and I was wishing at that point that I hadn't left my climbing harness at home; it would have been far superior to the bosun's chair I was in. Holding on to the mast was taking all my effort and I was knackered; my muscles getting tired. When I had to unclip to get past the spreaders on the way back down again. My hands were so tired, I didn't clip back onto the mast, which was the point at which my body and the mast parted company and I went for a bit of a swing. With a shout of "just get me down quick" I was lying on the trampoline in a jiffy, not scared just absolutely. Physically. Exhausted. My muscles are all aching now but the sail is back up and Mark and I feel proud of our joint effort. This trip has made us realise that we do actually make a good team.

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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