Pacific Odyssey 2010/2011

Follow the Larsens from Seattle to Australia and back.

14 February 2011
16 November 2010 | Australia
14 November 2010 | Ballina, NSW
10 November 2010 | Scarborough, QLD
02 November 2010
22 October 2010 | Brisbane
16 October 2010
15 October 2010
14 October 2010
08 October 2010 | Vanuatu
01 October 2010 | Noumea, New Caledonia
28 September 2010
28 September 2010
26 September 2010
25 September 2010
23 September 2010
21 September 2010 | Lautoka
19 September 2010
18 September 2010 | Musket Cove, Fiji

Approaching Fiji

05 September 2010
Fiji in less than 24 hours! We are just about to make a crucial turn around Wailangilala Light on the NE edge of the Fiji Islands, Lau Group, a long awaited waypoint on this passage. First we had to slip through two reefs and soon will round another larger reef called, Duff reef, before we can make that turn. We are doing this all the while facing weather that has given us our new personal records of 36 kts, 15 foot plus seas, and an all-time surf down a wave record of 13.2 knots GPS speed.

Theoretically our 33ft boat can travel 8.0 kts (this is calculated using the length at the waterline); realistically, we can travel at 6.5 knots comfortably if the sails are balanced and the seas are at the right angle. So 13.2 is rockin! Our other surfing moments were more like 10 and 11 kts and we had that happen maybe 10 times. At one point in the night we were slammed by a side wave that flipped open our hatch cover and dumped a bunch of water in the cabin. Ooops, we forgot to put the extra clip on the hatch lock. Otherwise, we're surviving the passage thanks again to Eric who is eternally optimistic and incredibly capable. He may even rightly claim single-handing some of this trip to Australia as I shut down when the wave action is too much. Give the kids snack and a book on tape and they can handle anything.

We will be in Fiji instead of back in Vavau awaiting a chart plotter replacement because we simply abandoned that problem and worked out another solution to our overall issue. We've blogged about that before (Eric downloaded software for a very old chartplotter we had in storage and our Fiji chip fired up just fine, albeit ΒΌ of the screen size we paid so dearly for.) We've also had problems holding our course on this passage because we had to travel 150 miles dead-down wind. Our boat sails best down wind when the wind angle is 120 to 140. We've had to keep it around 180 without gibing the boom just so we can keep our course. We've had to be precise because of the numerous reefs and shoals that dot the area between Tonga and Fiji. Yesterday we realized that we weren't going to be able to keep our course. We toyed with the idea of gibing to track North for a few miles and restart our position on the original course line, but in the end we decided to abandon that problem and plot a new course (not ideal but manageable) and try to keep to that instead. While solving other problems on this trip I find that we've employed a similar strategy to great result: If the problem you are trying to solve becomes to cumbersome, stop trying to solve it and focus on the result you want instead. Reinvent the issue in a way that you can solve it. We've had to cast off so many original plans and create new ones in order to move along. I am thankful for the opportunity to reflect on that in a conscious way.
Vessel Name: Jenny P
Vessel Make/Model: Hans Christian 33T
Hailing Port: Seattle, Washington
Crew: Eric, Christine and family
About: Sophie 10 Finn 7 Freya 5
Extra: After sailing in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years, we are preparing to sail to the South Pacific
Jenny P's Photos - Main
16 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
43 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
27 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
11 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
40 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 9 October 2010
62 Photos
Created 11 September 2010
94 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 21 August 2010
76 Photos
Created 18 August 2010
1 Photo | 12 Sub-Albums
Created 4 August 2010
6 Photos | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 26 July 2010
21 Photos
Created 24 July 2010
7 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
10 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
Time Ashore
35 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
13 Photos
Created 28 June 2010
Photos of our floating home
9 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
10 Photos
Created 12 May 2010
Pictures as we left Seattle
5 Photos
Created 11 May 2010