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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.
Made it in yesterday morning.
12/05/2012, In Tuvalu

We made it in yesterday morning after a good 36 hour beam reach sail. Engine didn't want to start to get us into the harbor so had to run the generator for a while to get the batteries back up. Some thing is causing the start batteries to not stay as charged as they should be. Got it started and dropped the anchor about 0900 local time. We lost a day as we crossed the date line again so it was Wednesday instead of Tuesday when we got in so it took 8 days 20 hours to do he 790 miles here. Not a fast sail by any stretch. Best sailing was the last 36 hours with a beam reach sail doing 6-7 knots the entire time. Got checked into Immigrations, Quaranteen, and Customs by mid afternoon and then returned to start scrubbing the bottom of the boat. Got incredible growth during the 5 weeks in Am Samoa. Unlike anything we have ever seen. Surprisd boat that have been there for years stilt float. I strapped on scuba tanks and spent 80 minutes under water while Tracy scrapped around the water line and we still aren't done. It's a mess. Today, finish the bottom, get fuel delivered and find out when our weather router will tell us we can get out of here. Hopefully less motoring. Stay tuned.

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12/07/2012 | Carla and Doug
Glad you made it safely. Hopefully fair winds will get you to your next destination!
One week
12/03/2012, At Sea

We've been out one week now(it's Monday sort of) and we are finally getting some better winds. They kicked in last night and we've been doing in the 6 to 7 knot range and higher in spurts. Rains squalls still come and go either dumping tons of rain or just a few drops but we have to close up everything just in case it's more than a few drops. The kids are still doing fine though Blue is pushing Snowshoe around blocking his path sometimes and growling at him. He's just such a pushover he back off and goes another way. He's not taking this trip as well as he has taken others. At this point, we should be in Tuvalu tomorrow morning and spend a maximum of three days there taking on fuel and cleaning off Zephyr's bottom. I've never been in a harbor where growth on the bottoms of boat is so quick. I can't imagine what the boats that have been there for a year look like unless they clean them every two weeks and I know that's not happening. As is the case, after the first two to three days, we all settle into the routine of the passage and life gets a bit easier. Mine would be if I hadn't gotten some bad rope burns on right hand and hadn't gotten a nasty cold again. Life in civilization has it's drawbacks I guess. We'll write tomorrow when we get in.

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Friday, day 4
11/30/2012, At Sea

We've been at sea now since Monday and slowly making our way northwest toward Tuvalu. It's slow going as the winds are light and we are force to motor far more than we wanted to. We started the engine this morning to get some speed to make a distance between us and an up coming storm. Earlier, a storm passed along our stern dropping tons of water on Zephyr. We both took off for the deck and took showers in the rain. Tracy our first and then me. Of course, as I just finished lathering up, the rain let up and left me with a nice lather all over(even my hair). Mother Nature took pity on me and the rain started up again with a vengence. It poured for well over an hour and with the leakes in our deck, the bilge pump came on the get rid of the extra water down below. As we sat watching the storm, we counted off the seconds between he lightening and the thunder. Three miles, Two miles, One mile and then I could clearly see the flash off our stern and the thunder was just four seconds behind the flash. It was loud and right on top of us. Luckily, it was the last bolt we saw for quite a while and that's fine with us. We'd already put all the computers into the stove to protect them should a bolt hit us. Something about it being a "Faraday Cage" with metal on all four sides. Got me. I just do as I read and the stories tell me to put them in there so in they go. We have the genoa, forestaysail and main all deployed and we are still just about sitting. It looks like the engine will be coming back on again this afternoon unless the winds come back. We're swinging from side to side waiting. We're now about half way to Tuvalu. It' going to be a slow trip.

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Day 2 into day 3
11/29/2012, At Sea

All is well though I got some rope burns on my right hand and fingers while setting up the spinnaker yesterday. I was stupid and didn't wear my gloves and paid for it. It's going to be a couple of weeks before they are back to normal again.

Squalls off and on through the night and today the wind is light and the sky is partly cloudy. The kids have settled into the day to day cruise and Blue even comes out into the cockpit and spends some time with us. Snowshoe, on the other hand has set himself up on the floor of the stern shower stall and seems quite happy to stay there other than to come out for food and to use the cat pan.

We just put out the spinnaker and the other sails were not doing the job and we are now moving in the right direction for Tuvalu. Some stitching came undone on the foot of the genoa sail so we will stopping in Tuvalu for probably two or three days.

More to come. Bill SV Zephyr

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11/30/2012 | Susan Gardner
Glad you are underway again to your next goal! Hey, great you could fly the spinaker and make forward progress. I always loved steering with the wind just on the right place on my neck when we were able to fly it. Your blog brings me good memories. I send very good wishes to you two. We have winter rain, cold and driving today. Total grey. I love your picture that comes up on my screen. Enjoy! Hope fingers heal quickly. Susan
On toward Tuvalu
11/28/2012, At Sea

We checked out out of American Samoa($167 in fees) and pulled up the anchor having to scrub the growth off it and finally got out at 1500. We are on our way again. We'd heard from Bob McDavitt, our weather router and he advised us it was good to go so off we went. Wind were light as we traversed the south side of American Samoa and then continued as we skirted the south side of Samoa. Bob had indicated that we should take the north side of Samoa but by the time I put in the lats and longs he had sent us, we had passed the cut between the two islands. So on we pushed with the wind finally dying out about 1800 last night as some squalls approached from Samoa. We motored the entire night and finally got wind as we cleared the west end of Samoa. We're now moving along about any where from 5 to 7 knots under full sail. Yesterday, it was so light, we put up the spinnaker to make better time and that helped.

Both kids got hit by seasickness and it's not a fun sight to see two cats drooling at the mouth. Both are fine today. It's hot and humid so showers are a must but we wait for a rain shower to take a good shower on the back deck.

I'll be in touch as we move along.

So far, so good.

Bill & Tracy SV Zephyr

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We're out of here!
11/26/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

We got the go ahead from our weather router so we've cleared Customs and will be bringing up the anchor in a few minutes.
Next stop--Tuvalu, about 700 miles away.
About time!

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