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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Going Bananas

8 July 2011
I thought we'd have a week or so before the green bananas started to ripen and that maybe they ripen a few at a time, but alas, this is not to be. They seem to be ripening at an alarming rate and we are all now used to the gentle thud as another banana falls off the 'tree.' We've never been so healthy, as we eat our way through passion fruit, bananas, pears, cauliflower, broccoli and all the other things that seem to have a short shelf life. Banana smoothies, banana muffins, banana in yoghurt are all the order of the day, several times a day! If only Mia and Lochy liked bananas!!
We have been enjoying the same conditions for the past 3 days now, with constant winds and maintaining good speeds. In fact I didn't think there was anything to much to report in today's blog. That was until a shoal of mini squid flew out the sea and hit Mark and I simultaneously in the face. Now at least we know how it is that we have several squid on our decks every day - they jump on board! I don't know what a group of squid is called. I know that it is a smack of jellyfish and somehow, that seems fitting for this little group of thugs! Current position: 02.55S 96.19W course 250 degrees

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07/09/2011 | Nikki M
I think its called a SCHOOL of squid.
Do you know what a group of bankers is called?
Mark the Spark

7 July 2011
Having made a respectable 146nms in the first 24 hours, we've been chugging along at 5-6 knots ever since, settling into our new watch system. We thought we'd try out something new, especially so I could fit in the radio nets and not be on watch at the same time. It was Whit who pointed out that he had one less hour which meant Mark had one more hour, but since Mark had OK'd the watch system before and hadn't realised the discrepancy, we thought the less said the better! Anyway, Mia now enjoys taking a couple of one hour watches during the day, so that will free Mark up. This morning, I was glad to feel better as I have been joining Mia in the finding of our sealegs. That's not normal for me, but it seemed to be triggered by listening to SSB and writing down everyone's coordinates. Mark woke me early as he needed help to fix something. The autopilot. When I said the propeller was one of the only things we didn't have a spare of, the autopilot was probably the one of the others! Whit had written in one of his blogs (what am I talking about, his only blog since leaving the US!) that Mark had an uncanny ability to take thing apart and fix them in a way he would not be able to do. So, Whit and I crossed our fingers as Mark took apart the autopilot, hoping he would find something to fix. He did. Not something easy like a pin that needed replacing but the current to the electromagnet had shorted and needed replacing. Which Mark did. Three hours later, and Uncle Auto was back on the helm. Our most ardent of blog followers may remember we had a similar problem with Uncle Auto whilst crossing the Atlantic and you can rest assured that THIS time we counted the rudders and there were (thankfully) two. So, we continue to chug along with a fair wind and all is good aboard Pegasus of Jersey for now. Current position: 2.13.72S 94.14.50W

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Goodbye Galapagos

6 July 2011
We knew Whit would come back - he had to to collect his extensive library of Lonely Planet travel guides he left behind whilst travelling through Costa Rica. Monday and all of Tuesday consisted of getting the boat ship-shape again for going to sea. We feel we have finally made it as an ocean going vessel, now we have a huge bunch of green bananas hanging up in the cockpit. Despite the fact that we we won't be able to eat them for two weeks and then they will all ripen at the same time, we still wanted to buy them as they were pretty cheap, as were most of the other fruit and veg we bought at the farmers market in Santa Cruz. Cheap compared to Jersey, obviously, maybe not to other countries. So, we have a boat load of fruit and veg, most of our dry provisions were already on and a very kind restaurant froze 6 of our meals for us that I had prepared earlier (eat your heart out Blue Peter!) Although we don't have a freezer, we have a freezer box that Mark has made and so hopefully they should keep cool for a little while. And so we set sail at 1800 on 5 July. Other boats had had problems retrieving one or other of their anchors, so we were prepared for the worst, but were pleased that neither anchor gave us jip and we were heading out before the sun had set. A knackering day by all accounts as all our water had to be put into tanks by jerry can and with no prop on our outboard motor, we had to befriend a water taxi for most of the afternoon.
So now it's the morning of the 6th; the big boys are snoozing, I've been on the SSB net and made contact with other boats and the kids are reading, we've got a couple of knots of current in our favour and whilst the waves are slightly forward of our beam, we've 15-20 knots of wind so are making a respectable 6-7 knots boat speed. Current position: 01.19.62S 91.48.68W

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Hello again!
07/03/2011, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

You've all been spared of a blog for ...ohhhh....4 days - lucky you! The past few days have been a mishmash of recovering from the day trip (kids just wanted to stay on boat for next couple of days, chilling!) another trip to Charles Darwin Centre for kids to do some still life drawings of the tortoises (!) Mark doing bits and bobs on the boat (changing the wire from SSB ariel to radio for better reception, changing various filters on engines, collecting water in jerry cans, etc) I went to the local garage with my permission slip for the diesel man to charge me 4 times the going rate cos I is a gringo. Even the taxi driver thought the man was kidding as the cost dial indicated $57 and he proceeded to charge me over $200. However, obviously I took it as a man (because it is all part of the rich tapestry of sailing life - being charged 4 times the going rate) , but was glad I was a woman as the taxi driver filled all the jerry cans for me and loaded them onto the water taxi (who says chivalry is dead!) Why was a taking a water taxi, I hear you ask. Now, there lies a story. As I had loaded up the dinghy with all the empties, Mark and I realised that the reason the outboard wouldn't go into gear is that the prop had fallen off. One of the only things we don't have a spare of. I half heartedly snorkelled for a couple of minutes, not really expecting to see anything and being proved right. Then I spent half an hour picking my way between on the black volcanic coastal rocks to see if I could see the small bit of black plastic, but it turns out if it is there, it's as well camouflaged as the marine iguanas I was nearly standing on. Ho hum, lets see if a delivery makes it's way to the Marquesas!
Apart from all of that jazz, we've enjoyed the company of Goody and Yolo, two other yachts, one of who left today and the other who leaves tomorrow, so that really does mean that we are the last yacht in the Galapagos. So, we'll pick up Whit today, our groceries at the farmers' market on Tuesday and head off to the Marquesas as soon as possible after.

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07/05/2011 | Pete Burch
Allez les Jacksons! Hope that you have fair winds and good fishing for the next leg to the Marquesas...looking forward to the blogs from the Pacific
Isla Isabela
06/29/2011, Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Mark's Uncle David said that we HAD to go to different islands when we were here as they were all so different in terms of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the only way to visit the other islands is by small speedboat, so I shall blame Uncle David for the bone-breaking 5 hour round trip we had to endure in order to see one other island. However, Mia and Lochy surpassed themselves and showed that they have become true salty seadogs as, whilst they felt a bit queasy, they weren't the children that threw up on the ride and it really was the kind of ride where people threw up!
Once on Isla Isabela, I will give it to him, Uncle David was right about the different wildlife. We were excited to see Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, white tipped sharks, flamingos and a ray, none of which we have seen yet in Santa Cruz. We even went snorkelling with the sealions and were most grateful for the inherited pink wetsuit from Samba as the Humboldt current brings exciting wildlife in the form of penguins, but also a decidedly chilly sea. Some more giant tortoises were also on the agenda, and one of them even opened its mouth, which was exciting!!
We had planned to stay overnight with Gruffalo who were anchored at Isabella, but they were moved on by the navy just as we arrived, so we waved from shore and chatted on VHF to wish them well on their onwards passage to Marquesas. Maybe we will catch up with them there. Once safely back on dry land, Mark and I wondered which island we should go to next. For a second. Then we decided, there is plenty more to see on Santa Cruz, before we leave next week.

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boat activity, island activity, boat activity, island activity
06/26/2011, Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Even though we are loving all the trips here, we mustn't neglect Pegasus, especially as we have the longest leg of our journey ahead of us in a couple of weeks. So we have fallen into a pattern of doing something exciting one day, followed by boat maintenance the next. There's a lot to do. We are still catching up on the laundry. Luckily the agent has a machine we can use and a line to dry the clothes. Also, all the fuel and water has to be dinghied in 25 litre jerry cans to the boat, which is no mean feat, considering the surf we are still negotiating (whereby even the kids are not arguing about wearing lifejackets!) Actually, the list consists mostly of finding places to put all the stuff we dumped in Whit's room whilst he was gone as we did a big provision before we left Panama. On Friday, Mark and the kids went ashore for the kids to do their school work and Mark to skype his family and catch up on emails, like where to send our satellite phone that has not worked since the Atlantic. I stayed on the boat and spent the whole day swapping contents of cupboards around to make things easier to access and check sell by dates on the stuff we bought in Greece. Not too many surprises, though we will have to eat more of those TUC biscuits in the next month!
Yesterday we hiked the 2.5 kms to Tortuga beach which was absolutely beautiful. Take St Ouen's bay in Jersey and you are nearly there, though you have to add pelicans and marine iguanas. We dragged all the snorkel gear there, but then only the kids went in, so excited to be able to swim after a long long time. They didn't report any major wildlife under the water and we could see the iguanas swimming on the top of the water, so Mark and I rested in the shade of the mangroves whilst the kids played with Johannes from Goody, a South African boat next to us in the anchorage.
PS, we moved OK the other day from the spot the tourist boat sank, the only sign we were near a wreck was the bed sheets we pulled up on our anchor. As Mark said, if only we had pulled up an outboard engine, we could have claimed salvage!

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