Around the world with S/V Zephyr

The adventures of Bill & Tracy as they fulfill their lifes dream of sailing the world. We've dreamed of this for years and now is the time while the health is still good and there is money in the kitty to make it come true.

09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
05 December 2017 | 08 04.62N:-082 50.96W
04 December 2017 | 08 04.62N:-082 50.96W
03 December 2017 | 08 05.81N:-082 21.64W
02 December 2017 | 07 52.53N:-081 36.11W
01 December 2017 | 07 37.42N:-081 16.23W
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama
27 November 2017 | Balboa Yacht Club, Panama City, Panama

Up the mast I go

09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
Bill
Last night, as the sun went down, we made sure to turn on our anchor light so others could tell we were here. It didn't come on. The navigation light as well as the flashing light that is built into the fixture came on just fine so since we have had the problem before, we knew it was a somewhat loose wire connection. I was going to have to go up the mast and relieve the gravitational pull on the wires. Did it before and I guess it was time to do it again. I grabbed my biggest zip ties, wire cutters and some screw drivers and the bosuns chair with Tracys help and our huge Milwaukee drill and the steps I installed on the mast 9 years ago, up I went. The big Papagayo winds hadn't quite kicked in so I was only in the occasional 10-15 knot winds. I climbed as Tracy used the big drill to help pull me up. Once up there, I took out the zip ties and wrapped one around the wire that goes down the inside of the mast and then zipped it closed. Took out two even bigger zip ties and joined them into one huge zip and slid it through a hole in the top of the mast and zipped it closed, taking the downward pull off the wires. I put my hands around the fixture and the light came on. It's on a photo cell that turns it on automatically when the sun goes down. All fixed and I started coming back down the mast. A few days ago as we unhappily motored(instead of sailing)we found that our "steaming" light wasn't coming on so I took a spare bulb(can't have enough spares) up with me and screw drivers to take off the cover. Once I was down to the fixture, I had Tracy turn it on and it worked just fine. what we thought was a problem wasn't. Once back on deck and our bag of tools put away, we unlocked, and uncovered the generator, filled her tank with gasoline and with one pull, she started right up(hooray for Yamaha!!)and she's putting volts back into our battery as I type this. It's also charging a multitude of electronic gadgets whos batteries were a bit low. We are back in the cruise mode again. The winds are starting to blow and we just had a spat of 22 knots come across the boat. It's going to be a fun few days as we wait out the oncoming Papagayo winds.

A long day motoring--again!

09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
Bill
We arrived at bahia Ballena(09 44.542N:-084 59.35W) just before 0700 this morning after a 24 hours trip. We left our last anchorage at Bahia Drake((08 42.063N:-083 40.041W) at 0630 and headed for Punta Dominical(09 13.757N:-83 50.732W) a wide spot along the coast that was supposed to have a nice reef just off shore to stop the swells from coming in. Fraid Not! We got there just about lunch and it was low tide and still the swells came into the bay. Tracy doesn't do well in swelly water as Zephyr rolls from side to side. Instead of staying, we turned around and headed for Bahia Ballena farther up the coast of Cost Rica and just short of where the dreaded Papagayos are due to arrive in the morning. It was about 78 miles farther so we had to judge our speed so that we would arrive in daylight as night time arrivals in any new bay are to be avoided if at all possible. Once farther off shore, we took Zephyr out of gear and shut down the engine and I took a nap while Tracy sat in the cockpit as lookout. About two hours later, we started up the engine and took off at a speed of about 5 knots. That would put us in about 0700 and it worked out just fine. We had to jockey around a couple of fishermems nets along the way but both had flashing lights on the ends of the nets so we could tell where they started and ended.

Along the way, we saw the Emerald Princess cruise ship come across our bow as it made it's way into the harbor in front of us. They were lit up like a Christmas tree. We still haven't really run across any other sail boats other than the few we say in Gulfito when we were there getting more diesel fuel. Having to run the engine everyday will drain the tanks and we took about 68 gallons at $4.00 per gallon into our tanks. That's some of the most expensive fuel we've taken on in a long time. The weather has been rainy, cloudy, sunny and in between. It could be sunny now and raining in 30 minutes. It's keeping the deck nice and clean. Yesterday morning, we were greeted by hoards of flying ants and mosquitos. We brought out the spray and the deck looked like a slaughter had happened and it did. Thousands of bugs lay dead on the deck. I'll post some pictures once we get internet. Using the SSB radio allows me to post words but no pictures so they will have to wait till we get actual internet and that could be a while. The plan as of now is to get up to El Salvador and stop in a a hotel, up a river that loves cruisers and spend a few days or maybe a day depending on how long it takes us to get there and the weather at that time. Right now, we have to get past an area that has Papagayos. These are coastal areas that are prone to high winds--25 knots and higher gusts and large swells that are caused by it. Bahia Ballena is right on the south east side of where they come howling through and the latest forecast is for them to be shooting through for the next 3-4 days so we're sort of stuck for a while. We've had just about no wind since we left Panama and now we are going to be pounded by far too much wind. The kids are doing well. Out early in the morning and late at night to sit on the deck and enjoy the coolness of the day and then hide out once the sun comes out. Sort of like vampires I guess. We don't lack for food as we picked up eggs and bread in Gulfito and it was all we were really short on, oh some more Pepsi for me. That's about it for now. While we are here in the wind, we may get a few things done but who knows. Bill

Into Gulfito Bay, Costa Rica

05 December 2017 | 08 04.62N:-082 50.96W
Bill
We had another 60 mile day again today rounding the last pinninsula before coming into Gulfito Bay on the south edge of Costa Rica. We were up by 0530 and underway just after 0600 as we had some distance to cover. In the end it didn't really matter as there was a time shift as we went to GMT-6 from -5 so we gained an hour. Where we stayed last night Punta Barca I think was a nice out in the middle of no where anchorage with some protection from the swells by a shallow reef just to the south of where we dropped the anchor. We'd read in one of the reviews of this place to get about 100 yards off shore of a house and drop there. As there was only one house along the shore, it was easy to spot and drop and the anchor dug in well on first try. Just before entering the bay, we finally has some wind and rolled out the genoa and took off hitting in the mid 7 knot range for a couple of hours(YEA!!). Originally, we had planned to just come in, get fuel and get out but as we will be traveling along the coast and there is a big Coast Guard presence, we felt it would be better to just bite the bullet and check in. We still have no idea if we will continue to just hop along the coast or go more off shore but we can't just keep doing 30-40 miles a day as it will take a long time to get to Mexico and we really want to be there by Christmas if at all possible. Since we were inspected by the Panama Coast Guard at a small anchorage, we will check in tomorrow and then be prepared should we be boarded again. Play by the rules! As we came in, a man came out to one of the docks at the marina as we passed and looked at us with binoculars. Once the hook was down, we got a call from Guenevere1, a boat we had drinks with clear back where were in Mexico in 2010!! They have been here for a year trying to get their boat fixed so they can head off for Ecuador and recognized us as we came into the anchorage. What a small world. We will be meeting them tomorrow to get the lay of the land and how to get checked in to Costa Rica. Never hurts to have some one in a port that can direct you.

Almost to Costa Rica

04 December 2017 | 08 04.62N:-082 50.96W
Bill
We made it into Punta Balsa about 1330 after an easy 30 mile trip, again all under motor as what winds showed up were straight at us or just off our starboard bow. Some but light makes us have to use the engine if we are going any where. We spend a very rolly night in a small cove called Trinidad on the south shore of Parida. Swells showed up and we'd go from side to side and then the swells would stop for a few minutes and we would sit comfortably. We were up about 0600 and off by 0645 with the sun coming up on our stern as we were going due west. We saw a few boats on our AIS that were freighters bound for the Panama Oil Depot to our north along the shoreline. One of two sport fishing boats but so far, not a single sailboat other than one on AIS our third day and we never actually saw him. I would have thought we would see others but we are still early in the season for boats headed for Panama and to either transit or set off for Galapagos Island in January or February for a Pacific crossing. Tomorrow, into Costa Rica and Gulfito where we will be getting more fuel to continue the trip. We've had to use the engine the whole way so far. Winds are forecast for light at 5 knots and that's just not enough for us to use the sails.

into Pta La Trinidad on Parida

03 December 2017 | 08 05.81N:-082 21.64W
Bill
It's a bit rolly but not bad and we expect it to calm down as it does most evenings. The hills gently slope down to the shoreline and with a 11 foot tide, we are careful about letting out enough chain for the difference. Lots of palm trees and other vegetation are all over the island and there is at least one house above the water with solar panels as I'm sure there is no electricity on the island. So far the gulls have avoided us and that's just fine. We keep finding more places they left their calling cards. Oh, so stinky. We were off at 0630 and heading west again with next to no wind making us motor all the way again. We did roll the genoa out for a short time but then what winds we did have died. We've seen some fishing boat--both private and commercial as we head west but no other sailboats other than seeing one on AIS the third day and he was heading east to out west. The kids are adapting well with Snowshoe out sleeping in one of the cubbies in the cockpit and Blue down below. She comes out early in the morning before we leave and after the sun goes down at night to patrol the decks looking for something--any thing at all. Two days ago, as we motored allong, As I sat at the wheel, I heard this plunk on the back deck right behind me. As I turned around, there was a sea gull trying to regain his balance to get off the boat. I guess he was looking for a place to get some free travel and misjudged his landing and splatted on the deck. Once righted, he took off. Snowshoe, sleeping next to the companionway door, stuck up his head with his eyes alert, looked back just as the bird took off. He followed it with his eyes but couldn't be bothered to actually get up. What a slug he is. Tomorrow, we will be anchoring just around the corner from entering Costa Rica and leaving Panama. Into Gulfito for some fuel and to fix the stern heads macerator. After all the work we did on it two months ago, it's decided to stop working and we need some more hoses to fix it. At least there is darn little in the tank this time. Ah, living the dream!

Into Muertos

02 December 2017 | 07 52.53N:-081 36.11W
Bill
Hi, my name is Bob and I'm a sea gull. Bill asked me to tell you about the fun I had with his boat today. I flew out early and ran into some gull friends, Sara and Ann and they told me about seeing a piece of floating stuff off our coast. Big and blue and just moving right along. They has spent some time this morning practicing their bombing skills and I wanted to get in on the fun. I flew around till I found them and started in. Here's the way the game goes(Sara and Ann told me). If you hit the thing, well, that's five points. Hit the big piece of dark blue fabric on top and that's ten points. Hit the long white thing that right down the center of the boat and that's twenty points. I could see below me that Sara and Ann had done a pretty good job hitting the dark blue fabric but I wanted to go for more so I lines up with the back of the thing and moved in and let loose. I got lucky and I hit right where I wanted, the long white fabric thing along the top of the cabin. I made a few more passes and hit the dark blue fabric every time and even for the square glassy thing on the stern deck once!! Oh, it was so much fun and Sara and Ann were jealous that I'd done so well. I flew off, happy as I could be.

OK, back to Bill and Tracy. as we motored along(still no wind) we kept hearing things hit the top of our dodger and bimini. We thought that the reefing lines were slack and just moving around. It was not until later when I left the cockpit that I saw what was really happening. Sea gulls had been straifing the boat dropping pooh all over the place but mainly on the dodger, bimini and mainsail. What a mess. We had no idea that the birds were using us for target practice but they were and they were very good at it.. Once we dropped the anchor, we got our bucket and brushes and lots of water and started in cleaning it all off. First with the stiff brush and then the soft brush and eventually it was all gone. We got some fresh water and rinsed away the salt water and now we need to dry it and probably do it again.

We left Santa Catalina this morning about 0730 and headed out along the coast till we made it to Muertos(07 52.527N -081 36.111W), a nice little bay with lots of protection. There are a couple of thatched huts up at the end of the cove and I've seen one person so far but know that they have to get here by boat as no roads make it in here, it's so far off the beaten path. No wind again today and darn close to flat seas so we were again forced to motor all the way. We did get just a bit of a breeze earlier in the day and did roll out the big genoa sail and it helped but the breeze quickly left and in came the sail. We dropped the anchor about 1425 and as I wrote earlier, started cleaning.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shin Fa 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado
Crew: Bill & Tracy Hudson
About: We've been sailing since the early 80's on lakes in New Mexico and Colorado and finally took the plunge and bought Zephyr.
Extra: We moved on board in April of 2008 and have been working and sailing her ever since. Up to Alaska and down to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. We're now in the Caribbean in Grenada after making the crossing from South Africa 7 months ago.
Home Page: http::/www.sailblogs.com/member/svzephyr
Zephyr's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 54 of 54
1
It
The electrical connection with switch for the new Spectra Watermaker.
Our new watermaker--it still needs the hoses run but we are getting closer to getting the job done.
La Panga Restaurant and Marina Palmira office
You put your trash out in trash cans by the curb.  Here, they put it in raised steel containers to keep animals out of it while awaiting pickup.
OK, sounds like a restaurant I want to try.  Nothing wrong with a skull on the sign.
Boats in Marina Palmira.
Bigger power boats in Marina Palmira.
More boats in Marina Palmira.
Marina Costa Baja
There
Looking West from the marina.
Looking North towards the hotel La Fiesta.
Boats at Marina Costa Baja.
We sat for quite a while just watching the sun go down and see all her changing colors.  Each night provided a whole rainbow of colors.
La Fiesta Hotel.  Nice place and just about empty.
Matt getting some relaxation at the pool.
They stroll the docks each day.
Along the sidewalk at Marina Costa Baja.
Looking down from above.  Boy, it
The view from the top of the mast of the marina.
Out into the bay.
The "Beach Club at the hotel.
More of the Marina and the hotel.
Pangas along the beach at Los Muertos.
The dingy dock at Los Muertos.
Looking out from the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Pelicans and the pangas along the launching ramp at Los Muertos.
The Sun glinting off the bay at Los Muertos.
What used to be the Giggling Marlin restaurant.  Now El Carbon.
Rock walls out by the dingy dock at Los Muertos.
One of the flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.  Look closely.
More flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.
The Eastern end of Los Frailes.
Ensenada de Los Muertos.
The ceiling of the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Blue goes hunting.  She knows there is something on the barbecue grill
With her toes spread, she is weaving on the life line.  The camera is still, she is not!
At anchor in Los Frailes.
The anchorage in Los Frailes.
At the pot luck dinner along the beach in Los Frailes waiting out the wind.  The wind won!!
Our new Fender Step.  It will make coming into dock much easier.
Our new Spectra 200T watermaker.  Now all we have to do is find the time to install it.
The Immigration Office in Ensenada, Mexico.  At least it is all in one building now instead of spread all over town.
The big flag by Baja Naval Marina.  An easy land mark to navigate to.
The Port Captain
The Mexican courtesy flag flying from our mast spreaders.
Celebrating crossing into Mexico.  The white wine had gone bad so we gave it to King Neptune instead.
Looking towards Ensenada Harbor.
 
1
25 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
Around Kudat and the Penuwasa Boat Yard
39 Photos
Created 18 November 2013
Up the hills till an opening shows up in front of you and then see if you can get down into it. Not always.
36 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Some photos of our diving on the reef.
30 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Our trip around the north end of Borneo
20 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
10 Photos
Created 23 October 2013
Our trip around Malaysia starting at Tawau.
36 Photos
Created 21 October 2013
51 Photos
Created 13 October 2013
Our trip from Tawau around the top of Borneo down to Brunei.
6 Photos
Created 9 October 2013
13 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
24 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
Pictures of our dives off Musket Cove Marina
20 Photos
Created 7 December 2011
Avea Bay on South Huahine and on to Raiatea Island.
39 Photos
Created 25 July 2011
Our arrival in Tahiti through Huahine
91 Photos
Created 18 July 2011
Getting Zephyr ready to go.
37 Photos
Created 28 October 2010
My three days getting not only knowledge and some self confidence but nice and dirty.
8 Photos
Created 26 August 2010
Heading South from Escondido.
23 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 30 April 2010
An old salt factory.
33 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Incredible sandstone
17 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
A great place to spend time exploring.
48 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante
25 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 30 April 2010
47 Photos
Created 14 February 2010
Our continuing adventure as we head North farther up the Sea Of Cortez.
47 Photos
Created 22 January 2010
8 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Our visit to the famous "Mushroom Rock" bay.
12 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Art and statues along the waterfront as you walk through downtown La Paz, Mexico
13 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Still heading South but now in Cabo San Lucas
24 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
Making our way South along the coast of Mexico
25 Photos
Created 28 November 2009
View My Stats