still stuggling with to get to Rangiroa with squall and lightning storms.. in the forcat again toniight
we made 112 in two days.. big better today was temped to head to Hawaii but fuel is the concern so will just go the long way round to RAngiroa..
just like bashing north always
15 17S 149 28
test for log for Moorea to Hawaii
Vicky Rudy Chika
Galapagos to Tuamotus May 2012
As the crow flies to entrance of Fakarava 3364km
We had anchor down 30day 23 hours !!
Departed Hualtulko March 28th arrived April 9th , 11days 20.5 hours Isla San Cristobal Galapagos. Isla Isabella May 3rd
Jeremy (Melanie's boyfriend) arrives to sail to Tuamotu French Polynesia. Crew from Mexico were not ready for offshore. Jeremy and Melanie want to someday sail the seas, so he took on the challenge, his longest time at sea 3 days.. We have a few days till we depart so take in some sites as we are on the most amazing Island, Isla Isabella .
We wake up to penguins swimming around Inspiration at Sea, and gee a morning nap for our favorite seal on our dinghy. Jeremy is in the water swimming with the local crowd of sea life, from pelicans, seals, rays and yes Penguins who love to stare him in the face with his goggles.
I have with Cetus arrange a Volcano hike, that was incredible, we had a small group of 8 some British cruisers en-route to Australia and us. With a crazy fun guide. We did the long hike, and had lunch looking over the most recent Volcano flows, after walking through fields that were hundreds of years old. The history was fascinating and to see the re-growth from the rock, amazing. The views of course were breath taking, looking into the craters and out to the sea where the lava flows.. cooled. We had walked on the flows and tunnels a day earlier.
We added another adventure of swimming the lava tunnels in the oceans and there we saw white tip sharks, me I was keeping back of the snorkelers ready to walk on water out of there. From there you flow with the current to other pools and the fish were amazing, the seals.. we there feeding and one shark came by to get a meal or two, the seal was quick to move him along his way. Then turtles.. huge beautiful.. my dream came true! Swim amongst Turtles. They were beautiful, the markings the grace. They could care less about us, so here we are in this under water wonderland, amongst these awesome creatures of the sea. I feel so blessed that I got to experience this closeness. Lunch is on the boat floating around in the lava tubes, with penguins and the local bird life, blue footed boobies too. This is a group of Islands where we are the guest of the Nature on land and in the sea. Iguanas that love to surf, pink flamingos too. It was a month of everyday wonders. The seals nursing on you walk into town along the shore, or finding one who had his favorite lawn chair. Jeremy had only 4 days so we took in as much as we could. We had to depart so we could meet Melanie on Fakarava Tuamotu June 3rd. Cetus stayed on for a few weeks more, till it started to get chilly, they were going to come via the Gambiers and meet up with me in Tahiti.
We depart very very sadly Isla Isabella on May 8th for the 30 day we hope or less crossing. Cetus will be our check in and weather, as we find out both my check in sources Spot and Skymate will not work in a few days! Yup another 1800$ of what I thought was my email weather souce at sea. They were great Mexico to the Galapagos.. seems they do not get along with FP. Cetus was our guide re weather.. we did rather well, also lost my Tack tic wind instrument enroute to the Galapagos in a blow.. direction fine speed no.. so I took to listening to my wind generator. Note at 30 plus knots it will shut down for protection.. so that was my guide. Radar for storms , well good old Raymarine that Jeremy had brought in with him to replace my other unit that gave out enroute from Mexico, that gave out about a week out. Still battling that one with them, yet Tack Tic with West Marine have a replacement on its way to me, they are aware it has its issues.
I still have internet via skymate, I get am email from my brother Michael, our Uncle Dennis (our dads brother) passed away at 6.45 last Wed. It was very strange. That night we had not seen any dolphins around the Galapagos and that day just before sunset we had Three come by and do a few circles around us. Jeremy asked me the significance of the three.. as we watched them, I said that is the 3 brothers Barry, my Dad Dennis and Pat... all together again, watching over us. We shared a glass of B&B and toasted them as the sun set.... And then they were gone.
From day 2 to day 12 we were undersail and Barry my Hydrovane (named after my salty dad) steered an amazing course. Through light winds to squalls.. and seas from 4 knots to 7plus!
Not every having a Windvane It took some getting used to , not to have to touch the helm. Once in a while if in heavy seas or we change some sails we had to tweek Barry.. Other than that if was quite a nice ride. We were making good mileage every day even thought we would be in a few days early of our predicted 35 days. We did get in 4 days sooner.
Repairs underway included blowing out the panel switch for my Gps radar something shorted and the breaker did not blow, smelt burning wire plastic and could see the panel smoking yes the one panel that holds all my electronics.. .. shut down.. melt down.. crap.. loose the GPS. I rewire the Gps to another breaker for the night and worry about new breaker in am.. Spares thank goodness, I had the right breaker for the GPS so made a dedicated one and just left the Radar as it was not working anyway. (turns out when in Moorea, Terry went up after hours of sorting tyring.. sourcing the Radar, that's is on a gible on my mast, the wire with the rocking slowly created enough friction inside the wire to melt it together. Not anywhere it was connected just out there was weird, no where we would ever expect. )
We were in some weather for a few days and of course water finds its way. Chain plates were leaking in my bunk and behind my treasures cookbooks, they are a little thicker these days. So in calmer weather caulked them temp. when running the engine to charge batteries the engine died. Hmmm thank goodness we still had wind to keep us moving along as we took the racor apart to clean out the peanut butter in the bottom. With all the swishing swooshing around we get the fuel and crud all stired up and whalla it makes its way to the racor. That fixed and we prime still no fuel in the aft tank we just switched to as forward was almost empty thus the crud. We try and sort that out and gee the fuel line connector to the feed line just break in half in my hand. Its not a easy fix as it is a special fitting fluted to fit . you have to cut the copper tube, put the new fitting on and with the special tool I do not have aboard . So now we have the fuel we need and can not get and a grungy forward tank under my bunk. Again give Barry a pat and the winds co operating we start digging out the forward tank open it up , and start cleaning it. Thank goodness for Jeremy's long arms, he get that part. About an hour later we have a tank clean, now we have to get fuel for aft to forward. That is done by siphoning into fuel tanks the reverse to the forward, carrying this fuel through my salon. We managed pretty good not spilling too much, it still was a frustrating messy job here day 14. Had to rerun the furler line at one point because of chafe, the head was plugged the first week out, after some cleaning Fun, we found that if we put it to tank and every few days pumped it out, we could get by till Landfall and new hose etc. one afternoon I head the water pump running. Shut that down and go hunting for water. Of course under the head sink everything is soaking. So Josephine plummer me pulls out the plumbing kit and we are back in business. The usual smaller items to tend to and notice the rigging is getting loose again. I had it inspected in La Paz before departing then again in Hutulko Terry and I went over and tweeked it a bit.
I start noticing things like the staysail shroud is loose, weird it's a quick release, so easy to tighten. I start noticing down below my drawers by the compression post do not open and the wall panels are popped out.. I start not to sleep much right next to the compression post after, I pulled up the floor boards and notice metal fragments size of loonys , and other rusted fragments. I feel up in the opening where the wires come out of the lower support to the post and come out with more fragments. Its slowly disintegrating, this holds the compression post up and that in turn holds the mast up. Okay, I do not tell Jeremy as do not want him alarmed, as feel we have been through enough and we are only 5 days away. What he does not understand why I am not full sail out , kinda running on the light side of everything and quite to let out when the wind pics up.
All goes well we make it to Fakarava at 1900 hour to late to go in the Atol without good light and what was the tides. | we try to relay to Melanie as she is worried as we thought we would be there two earlier. We sail off a bit and hove to, doing about 1.4 knots with the winds are up and current pull us towards Tuaou I send Jeremy off and I do watch, and have to perform this twice till 5 am as its only a short distance between the Atols. 5 am I start to move towards Fakarava, the seas currents and winds do not us to get anyway near, we jibe we tack we try motoring. We after getting spit out of the pass once re the winds coming over the atol from the inside creating a huge fetch in the pass through us out.. we wait for half hour and try again.. it took some doing, I just pretended I was trying to get through Active Pass back in BC . Catching the whirlpools on the edge to help us along.. we put out the geni as we get close to other side, and that gave us enough heading into the atol.. Knowing there are coral reefs shallow off the entrance Jeremy is on the bow with a watchfull eye , till we can get clear enough to tack into the channel. We manage that still battling the waves comes across the atol forcing us into the coal along the shore. We cannot make it past the first mark actually going to hit it and the coral it sits on.. tack back into the atol, Jeremy keep watch till we think we have made enough room to make it past the first mark. With engine and sails we make i to the first anchorage. Melanie is there somewhere, with no VHF she has to find away to get ahold of us. Lady Bug another cruising couple relay for us, after we just dropped the anchor after a stressfull 24 hours.
Mother you have to come over to the breakwater as I have fuel for you, the guys need if off their truck.. we look over and see her waving her arms with two others in a truck. Up anchor and out fenders.. we ease over to this tire covered wall and huge smiles are every where, a month at sea. Jeremy flies off Inspiration to Melanie, I have the family that Melanie has been staying with come and greet me. The I get to hug my daughter whom I had not seen since November.
Beer is flowing, hugs are flowing.. it's a great day and wow what a beautiful place too. All the trials and tribulations are behind me know, we are safe and in great hands. As the fuel starts flowing with hand pumps, the beer flowing and getting spilled everywhere.. oh well time to RELAX...
And we did !!
Will put a note on what to do and who is who on Fakarava at definite Place to visit in the Tuamotus...
just went off to the store one more time.. for fresh fruits eggs etc as will be huge busy next two days. Final items to be attended to Radar, Wind Transducer, and gee Monday Engine.. we HAVE to check out then too Monday 8 am then they want us on our want Tuesday..
no problem there ..
will try and sort Sailblogs and Sailmail out we can give a here and there check in along the way..
Chika knows somethings up and she follows me into every cupboard i am sorting out.. wait till I put her harness on.. Monday..
hope this finds everyone well. take care
Vicky Chika and soon Rudy..
Iorana Family and Friends
Its October 23, 2012
Yes already, where did time go? Even for a cruiser supposedly in Slow mode time seems to fly by
Inspiration at Sea is Still Yes in the French Polynesia, Tahiti. My departure date was September 8, and yes did depart made it as far as Tikehau, well the doorstep. I was traveling with Cetus, on our way to Hawaii. New green (literly ) crew aboard (from an add on Lat 38th) . Well we departed with we thought a good window from Moorea, it was to be a two day trip then rest up in Apataki. Mother Nature had other plans, we started out actually sailing quite nicely and well things got dark and stormy.. wind of course on the nose and seas. Cetus was ahead then behind, I Inspiration tends to sail a little fast.. they motor faster. Well going into day two and evening we chose Tikehau to hide out the storm and outside anchourage ? Beating into it with out a radar at night in the Tuamotus is not a adventure I would hope to do again. Never knowing where the real Atol start and stops is huge trust in your charts, and for anyone that have sailed Mexico and beyond you understand. We were in touch with Cetus all the time and they have Radar and get weather reports as well.. they manage to get closer to the Atol and seemed it might be okay to hoav too.. they did.. I was fighting our way back to them as with avoiding land and trying to motor sail I ended up to far the other way. Tacking back and forth between them at night also gives you grey hairs. They radioed after getting more weather reports and no let up in sight. With the seas in this condition the Atols are dangerous to even attempt in daylight. We made the choice to turn around and run back to Tahiti to regoup.
We had departed at 6 am on Monday the 3rd and returned anchor down 6am the 7th. It was the wildest confused seas and big seas I can remember. As at one point we took 3 waves over my bow to fill my cockpit and float everything including my huge cushion. There was constant waves coming over the gunnels and then over into the cockpit so many times you were standing in water to your knees. I have never had a WindVane before and am So thankful I did as my Hydrovane name Barry (after my father as real salty) held course after these huge hits. I really am amazed ! no auto pilot would had held up to such a beating and well crew, was under the weather and that would have made more stress on me as it was there was enough. Talking to Cetus , Terry and Heidi were too fighting the seas and wind. They made it in the night before, my engine was overheating at times and point of sail was not great. So thus hear I am.
Cetus departed a couple of weeks later and today are 5 days for Hawaii, having a not bad passage, some thunder storms yet making good miles. Me my crew flew out that weekend and I got busy with mechanics dealing with my overheating issues. The other task was crew. The yanmar turned out to need more than some more tweeking that they did just before I left round one.
Seems the Oil Cooler is too far gone, I got on the horn and had one shipped from my favorite dealer in San Diego, Elias at Pacwest Marine. He was cheaper than what they could be for me here and it was here in just over a week! To remove the oil cooler, they decided to lift the engine as I also expressed problems with my transmission. It have given me some trouble in the past, not going into gear all the time etc.. so asked them to check it out as well.. yup the gears are worn so far that a rebuild is needed, and up rebuild is more than a new one... so here I sit waiting for the New transmission!
In the mean time I was able to convince my Trusty Crew Rudy to come back for yet another adventure! This will be his longest leg yet. He had done several with me even to El Salvador. I have to update all those legs and Galapagos. He arrives on the 3rd of November and we have our papers my extension expires on the 6th. Yes I got it , the No One Ever Gets extension... as well . What's a gal to do, no engine and no crew? So with letters and several meetings, thank goodness Cetus Heidi was still here. She helped me with letters, meeting with Florian at Sin Tung Marine (they wrote a letter stating my repair needs ) and we did it.
Unfortunately Cetus had to depart as nothing was wrong enough for them to be able to stay. We had lots of repairs on both our floating homes when we got in. Leaks like have never seen. Terry continued working on both our boats, as some projects it just takes two people. He knows Inspiration at Sea as well as Cetus. They are the greatest and sure miss seeing them on the mooring next to me.
We chat every night on the SSB to see how they are moving along, they hired a Weather Router, Ken and we have done the same as like what we see and hear from them as they move along. Its nice to have someone else watching out for you with all the tools of the trade.
Here I sit and been a busy gal, repairing deck leaks, take out the bad screws, fill with penetrating epoxy then new screw, epoxy and plug. Terry gave me a lesson before he left, so far have done are 60. The rest will have to wait till Hawaii as ran out of good screws. I make my own plugs. After that I decided to sand the coach house and paint it nice and white to match my newly painted hull and topside before I left Mexico. Also lost of sanding and varnishing inside and out.. so she is pretty shinny. Now looking at again provisioning for the passage, so baking has started again and every few days I make a trip in with Gerry cans for fuel and water. Almost topped up. Been running my geni every other day if no sun or wind to keep lights on. My outboard motor gave me a pain in the butt littlerly, as the carburetor got plugged. Every one I told as they saw me rowing to shore and back, said ooh that s bad re it being a 4 stroke Yamaha. Most local cruisers here have the little 2 stroke 5 horse. So I pleaded with Florian at Sin Tung as they sell and work on merks . He personally on his lunch time came and pick up latterly off my dinghy and took it to the shop. He emailed a day later it would be here at the dock and it was a pretty bad clog. I even have an external filter that my fault I should have changed when I saw what looked like tea leaves in it as well little parts get through... I had been rowing back and forth for a week till he took it away.. so my hands are recovering from blisters as well as other parts, it this heat of the your body drips with sweat, thus I should have worn gloves and sat on a cushion!
I follow with some info on French Polynesia, the place and people, what to do and note of good contacts.. also a bit on the 30day 23 hours from Galapagos - Tuamotu FP.
10/09/2012, Marina Tiana Tahiti
As I await the parts for my Transmission and new Oil Cooler I sand and varnish.. interior and exterior
now thinking about sanding coach house to paint.. as every thing else is shinning and that still is dull.. so 25 days till departure day.. so gee guess i better get her done..
My blog is a year behind.. if not more.. so lots to catch up on will do that in Hawaii with places contacts etc. for those traveling to Galapagos and beyond..
will try too and blog along the way to Hawaii.. if I get it figured out..
Sat phone enroute.. as Note Skymate and Spot do not work after you leave Galapagos.. and not even here to Hawaii.. or Hawaii.. so note that was
expensive equipment and dues.. that are of no use to me..
so many cruisers now use Sat Phones.. about the same cost as Skymate after all put together and no blackout areas.. hmmm live and learn. its only money...