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.

17 December 2017 | 13 16.974N::-088 54.290W
14 December 2017 | 09 52.008N::-085 30.792W
09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
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

Past the Papagayos finally

17 December 2017 | 13 16.974N::-088 54.290W
Bill
We finally made it to Bahia Del Sol in El Salvador after a a two day all out push to get here. We pulled up the anchor at Bahia Samara(09 52.008N:-085 30.792W) for the 290 mile trip to Bahia del Sol planning on checking our forecast for the Papagayos(huge slot along the coast that funnels huge winds across the coastline)as we went knowing that we could duck in to shore should something happen along the way. There was a point of no turning back and once we got there, the forecast looked good for the rest of the trip--another 200+ miles. We found that the mornings would be nice, the afternoons would be the pits and the evenings and night pleasant. The winds were forecast to be over 20 knots but for the most part, they we not so bad. Now the swells during the second days afternoon were downright nasty with over two meter water hitting our sides, over and over and over. We sailed, we motored and we motor sailed trying to get the most out of our speed so we could make it through the worst parts of the trip as fast as we could. During the trip, we were joined by lots of dolphins as well as turtles floating in the water, one with a bird sitting on his back. We had to be careful to make sure we didn't hit any. Sea Gulls, Pelicans and Cormorants were with us as well with a big Cormorant resting through the night at the top of our mast. Not sure he enjoyed it as he was getting thrown from side to side all night long. We also had lots of Rays flying up into the air and flopping back into the water with a big splash. We used to see them all the time in the Sea of Cortez and since that's the way we are headed, we guess they live here as well. We had no rain but some parts of each day were overcast and looking like they wanted to but just didn't have enough water in the clouds. We closed up all the portlights and hatches most evenings just in case. Panama was one rainstorm over another the entire time we were there. SInce leaving there a few weeks ago, we've had close to no rain at all. Bahia Del Sol is a hotel complex that really loves cruisers with all kinds of specials for them to entice them to stay. On our way in, I sent them an email about staying there but got no response and the manager was in the capital city of San Salvador. I finally got the word that I would be guided in tomorrow afternoon as we have to come in at high tide and since a second boat is due then, no problem. We are at anchor just off the coast with maybe a one foot swell coming at us and a gentle wind trying to keep it cool but with all the sun, it's quite hot outside. We have to be guided in since the anchorage and marina are on an estuary and the sand on the bottom of the estuary continues to change so to avoid going aground, they will guide us in. About two hours after we got the anchor down, some food in our stomaches and started cleaning up the boat, along comes a fishing boat with two men on board that want to guide us in. They in Spanish with a touch of English and me with a touch of Spanish and lots of English. In the end, one of the men called his boss and handed me the phone. Since our anchor was already down, we decided to just wait till tomorrow when the tide is high again(1500) and go in with the other boat. This gives us time to cleanup and put lots of things away on board. One of the really cool things we saw on the trip up was the bioluminescence in the water. At night time, the waves that were all around us glowed in the dark as they broke and as dolphins rushed through the water beside us, they glowed in the dark making a glowing tunnel of light beside our boat. Dozens of them passing and playing beside the boat during the night. Add in the turtles and all the birds and it was an interesting trip but I'm glad it's over for few days. Tracy even got to see the ever elusive "green flash" that happens just as the sun hits the water as it's setting. Lucky her!

On the road again!

14 December 2017 | 09 52.008N::-085 30.792W
Bill
This morning,, all our plans changed at the drop of a forecast. Yesterday, the forecast was for the Papagayos to lessen on Friday. This morning, it all changed with the download of new GRIB weather files. It was lessening today!!! We battened down everything we could, pulled up the anchor and took off. We needed to make as much headway as we could while Mother Nature took some pity .on us. The next port of call for us was Bahia Samara(09 52.008N:085 30.792W). The forecast was for still some winds, but no where near the 25-30 that's been in the forecast for the last week. Instead, as we rounded the corner along the south west coast and headed northwest, we were greeted by next to NO WIND! We still had to motor. We did roll out our big genoa sail at the bow and let it help us along. Add a positive current pushing us along and we did about 7 knots the entire way, getting us in at just after 1600. Having left after 0900 and covering close to fifty miles, that's just fine. We came into Bahia Samara and dropped the anchor behind a big island with reefs on both sides so that really keeps the swells from hitting us and throwing us around like it did at Ballena. We really got tossed around there. Sometimes we would sit nice and flat and the next moment, we were violently rocking from side to side. While safe from the winds, it wasn't safe from the swells all the time. As we made our way north along the coast, ,we saw our first sailboat anchored in the next cove from us, We'd considered going into Bahia Carrillo but it's wide open to the south and that's where all the swells come from. We passed and took the next cove instead and it's been nice and quiet. Tomorrow, up comes the anchor and off we go. We'll see what the winds are as we move along the coast. If not to bad, we may head straight for El Salvador and by pass Nicaragua totally. Tomorrow will let us know.

Odd jobs as we wait.

09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
Bill
As we sit along the Costa Rica coast waiting for the Papagayos to lessen, we're doing a few off jobs. Tracy's been polishing the stainless steel on deck along with other jobs(getting me up and down the mast) and I've been up and down the mast twice. Both times were to fix the anchor light on the top. It's worked for quite some time but suddenly stopped. The last time it did this(US Virgin Islands), it was a loose connection in the wires and a simple zip tie fixed it as it took the downward pressure off the connection. I took a few more ties with me and went up on Sunday and fixed it. At least it was working when I left. Sunday night, it didn't light again so I went up again yesterday and moved some of the wires around and added a couple more zip ties and last night it was just fine. Glowed nicely up there. We have nets attached to our lifelines to keep the kids and myself on board. Zephyr came with them but over the years they rotted away and I found some abandoned fishing nets when we were in Micronesia and replaced them. Unfortunately, I didn't get lengths of line quite long enough so we had to tie two sections together between the stanchions. Some of the ties have vanished over the years so yesterday, I took a bunch of small black Zip ties and used them to connected the two sections. Looks much better and neater too. As I was doing this, Tracy was again polishing the stainless steel on deck. We've had a big port light that has leaked for quite some time. A few months ago, I ran rriggers tape(like super duct tape) around it and it stopped the leak. Once we get to Mexico and iI can get new glass should it break. The tape had started coming loose in a few areas so I pulled it off and retapped it. Now it's nice and sealed again. This morning(Wednesday)while Tracy was again polishing, I changed out the Racor fuel filter. Using our engine as much as we have, it's always good to change it when you thing it needs it. Once done I took some of my tools and got the rust that happens out here off and coated each with a special anti corrosion oil we bought a long time ago and use regularly. I even took apart and coated the prop shaft puller we got when in Panama. It's going to be put in a nice plastic bag to keep the moisture off it. Rust is our enemy out here. Today, Left over Thai Yellow Chicken Curry!!! Yea!!

Sitting still

09 December 2017 | 09 44.542N::-084 59.35W
Bill
We just sit and wait as the weather gribs say that we will be having winds anywhere from zero to 30 knots and that about what we've been having over the last 24 hours. One minute it's calm and the next we're up in the mid 20 and then back to zero, over and over all day and night. The repairs I made to the anchor light didn't take and I'll be going back up the mast in a day or so. No hurry as the forecast is for this to last another couple days. Yesterdays lunch we outstanding with a great steak, potatoes and marinated cucumbers with blueberry cheese cake for desert. How's that for living large on a sail boat? Today as Thai chicken curry on bed of rice. Again one of our favorites. All the fresh veggies are long since gone so we are digging into all the other food we've stocked up. We've had two motor cruisers anchored in the bay next to us, swinging at anchor just as we are. The winds just keep shifting directions so one minute they are out of the north and then the south and around and around the compass. Both boats left a few minutes ago and it looks like they are heading across the bay for the big marina to our east. Lots of money to stay there so we passed it by. As for our skies, well it's been overcast with the occasional break of sunshine but not much and the party tourist boat that brings folks from across the bay to a nice beach to our north didn't show up today. Yesterday, we had a good 40 people on shore, some working on their tans and other just sort of sitting around.. They show up in bigger pangas each wearing a life jacket(not the operators though) and then get off and wade ashore for the day, leaving about 1500. Today, quiet reigns..

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
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.
 
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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
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