Never overestimate the unimportance of most things

13 August 2011 | Vancouver, B.C
11 July 2011 | Denver, CO
11 May 2011 | Lakewood, CO
07 May 2011 | Denver
19 April 2011 | Colorado
10 April 2011 | Marina San Carlos
04 April 2011 | Puerto Escondido
26 March 2011 | La Cruz
18 March 2011 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
13 March 2011
05 March 2011 | Ensenada Carrizal
04 March 2011 | Barra de Navidad
02 March 2011
26 February 2011
23 February 2011
19 February 2011 | La Cruz Anchorage
03 February 2011 | The marina in La Cruz
20 January 2011 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Catching up

13 August 2011 | Vancouver, B.C
Kate/ Partly cloudy 20°c
After a long hiatus from the blog, it’s time to get caught up. Dan and I were very happy to be back in Colorado, and enjoyed many evenings and outings with friends and family. We love Denver, and it felt good to be home. However, we both knew that if Dan and I were to go back to work, we’d like it to be somewhere neither of us had lived. Our time on Akupara gave us the desire to see and explore new places, and that desire would carry through to the next phase of our lives. Dan had been in talks with a potential employer about a position in the Los Angeles area. LA was not our top choice for a new city, but we were open to the idea of giving it a chance and seeing what it had to offer. Fortunately for us, the talks fell through, and another opportunity presented itself.

Westport Innovations, a company located in Vancouver, B.C., modifies light and heavy-duty engines to run on natural gas. Dan had a Skype interview with a panel of Westport engineers and supervisors, and he impressed them enough to earn an invitation to fly to Vancouver for a face-to-face interview. Dan and I both flew to Vancouver, and spent a few days exploring the area.

Fraser River Park, just a few blocks from Westport, provides miles of paths for walking or biking and has some great views of the Fraser River.

We took the hundred kilometer drive from Vancouver to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, and the views couldn’t have been more stunning. This scenic highway is flanked on one side by the blue waters of Howe Sound, and by the granite outcroppings and cedar forests of the Coast Mountains on the other.

We came away from our trip to British Columbia feeling extremely hopeful about moving to the area. The Pacific Northwest (or Southwest if you are Canadian) has always been at the top of my must-visit list, and the thought that we might be able to live there and explore was very exciting. We waited several nerve-wracking days, and were ecstatic when Dan received an offer. We had already looked into the logistics of emigrating to Canada, and after a little more research and a lot of discussion, Dan accepted the offer. Canada, here we come!

Vancouver, Here we come.

11 July 2011 | Denver, CO
It has been a while since we have posted, but a lot has been going on.

Long story short, we are moving to Vancouver, BC, Canada. I start a new job at Westport Innovations on Aug., 2nd.

Go Canucks!

Fun weather in Colorado

11 May 2011 | Lakewood, CO
Dan / Snowing
We have been back here for about 3 weeks now and have been enjoying our time back in Colorado. Yesterday morning I was outside on the deck checking emails, it was 68 F and 16% humidity. This morning it is 35 F, 66% humidity and snowing. I like this stuff.

We have been getting the house ready to go up for sale. You can see the sign in the front yard in the picture, but we are not advertising yet, we want to get the psinting and new flooring and carpet installed before we get a lot of people coming through. If things work out the way we want, we will be homeless in a few more months.

New Addition

07 May 2011 | Denver
Kate, sunny & beautiful
Our nephew, John Patrick "Jack" Carter, was born May 6, 2011. Dan and I went to visit Mom, Dad, and big sister Olivia this morning, and to welcome the new little man into our family. Mom and baby are doing well, and should be home from the hospital tomorrow afternoon. Congrats to Joe and Brooke, and welcome, Baby Jack!

Back in Denver

19 April 2011 | Colorado
Just wanted to get a quick note out there to let people know the boat has been moved into the storage yard and we have made the 3 day car trip back to Denver. We will get a new post up with more details about the work on the boat and the trip home, but we are a little tired after the last few weeks.

We are glad to be back in the mountains of Colorado but we also really miss the boat already.

At journey's end

10 April 2011 | Marina San Carlos
Kate / windy
After two quiet nights in the protected anchorage of Puerto Escondido, we were ready to head another forty miles north to Caleta San Juanico. All of the weather stations reported favorable conditions for our early morning departure. Dan awoke at first light, cast off the mooring lines and motored out of the quiet calm of the anchorage. When the morning weather reports came over the radio, we were a bit disappointed to learn that instead of the light southerlies we’d been expecting, we were more likely to have winds from the northeast all the way to San Juanico. Also, the forecast for our crossing to San Carlos had changed, with one station predicting southerlies and the other predicting northerlies. We decided that, instead of turning around and heading back into Escondido, we would head toward San Juanico. We knew that if the conditions grew uncomfortable, we could duck into one of the small anchorages along the way. The winds picked up shortly after our departure, but never reached more than fifteen knots. The swell intensified, causing us to bash into the waves a bit, but not enough to make us change course. We dropped anchor in San Juanico just as the whitecaps were really getting going out in the Sea. We were both happy to be back in one of our favorite anchorages on the Baja, and we took the opportunity to lounge in the cockpit with a cold beer and enjoy the scenery.

According to the weather reports, the wind would either die in the afternoon and remain light and variable throughout the night, or continue to blow from the north into the early morning hours and possibly well into the next day. Our plan was to have dinner in San Juanico, get a few hours of sleep and wake up at midnight to check the conditions. About an hour after dropping the hook, the winds died. Completely. Score one point for weather guy #1. We waited another few hours, keeping an eye on the conditions outside of the anchorage. The seas seemed to by dying down quickly, and, by the looks of things, would be almost flat calm by nightfall. Rather than wait around until midnight to make our move, we decided to haul anchor right after dinner.

Our crossing to San Carlos couldn’t have been better. The seas were much calmer when we set out than they had been that afternoon, and continued to lie down as the night progressed. The winds had shifted to the east by the time we set out, and they built to a comfortable fifteen knots well before sunrise. Dan had the genoa out and was making about seven knots by the time I got up for my 5am shift. For most of my three hour shift we were motor-sailing steadily at over seven knots. We pulled into the San Carlos anchorage and dropped the hook around 11am. Our ninety-six mile crossing took just over fourteen hours, and our average speed was 6.6 knots. Thanks to favorable winds and currents, our final crossing had the highest average speed of all of our trips here in Mexico.

Akupara is currently tied up at the docks in Marina San Carlos, and we have been working hard (but not too hard) go get her ready for haul-out and storage. Dan has been working on deck to get everything unbolted from the railings, the sails prepped and stowed and the port screens removed and rinsed free of salt. I have been working on sorting and stowing everything on board, separating what stays on the boat from what goes with us back to the states, and re-oiling all of the interior teak to help protect it during storage. We have also been taking a little time to relax and enjoy being back where our journey started. We made such good time on the trip back from La Cruz that we caught up with our friends from S/V Day Ja Vu, and have been able to spend some time catching up over a meal or two. We haul out in two days, and expect to have everything prepped and ready for long-term storage in about a week.
Vessel Name: Akupara
Vessel Make/Model: Whitby 42
Hailing Port: Lakewood, CO
Crew: Dan and Kate
About: I am a mechanical engineer and Kate is in international business, we both have a dream to sail and explore various parts of this world. This boat is the first step. Hopefully we will meet a lot of great people during our travels.
Akupara is currently in the Sea of Cortez, the trip will start here and we will have to see where it goes from there. Many people have asked about the name, Akupara. It means "unbounded" in Sanskrit, and also appears in Hindu mythology as the name of the turtle that carries the world on its [...]
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Who: Dan and Kate
Port: Lakewood, CO