s/v Charabia

29 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
28 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
27 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
26 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
25 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
24 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
23 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
22 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina
19 December 2017 | Shelter Bay Marina in Colon, Panama
18 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - 105 miles to Colon, Panama
17 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - 273 miles to Panama
16 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - 430 miles to Panama
15 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - south of Grand Cayman
14 December 2017 | George Town, Grand Cayman
13 December 2017 | Governors Harbour, Grand Cayman
12 December 2017 | Governors Harbour, Grand Cayman
11 December 2017 | Governors Harbour, Grand Cayman
10 December 2017 | Governors Harbour, Grand Cayman
09 December 2017 | Governors Harbour, Grand Cayman

Return of the Wind!

18 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
Had to motor all night and day, as the wind stayed either directly in front of us or kept changing direction. Mark put the jib out several times but the wind kept changing and he finally took it down. Then he put up the main sail so at least we got a better speed. The sun shone and the Pacific Ocean was flat with a little chop. Almost no clouds in the sky in the morning. Blue sky was something we have not seen on this leg of our adventure. Then a bank of clouds formed just at the horizon level, with blue skies above. The bright sunshine radiated thru the water, sparkling on the surface of the water. We saw a lonely sea bird, boobie, flying very low over the small swells. Mark determined that we had between 1/4 and 1/2 tank of diesel after running the starboard engine for over 24 hours. We spent time adding the last jerry jug of 5 gallons worth of diesel to our fuel tank. We have just under 1/2 of the tank remaining. Mark worked on more boat maintenance. He oiled the steering column because it was making a squeaky noise after three weeks of constant motion. We were able to get back on the rhumb line. Then I selected one of the XXX movies with Vin Diesel. It was actually a movie that we had never seen before, with a story line in Prague. Yes, we had popcorn to go with the movie. Yes, the movie was action packed and kept our attention. We kept stopping to do checks. No wind until 8:30 est time, which was half way thru the movie. Finally got 17 knots of wind. The jib is flying and our speeds were up to 8 knots. However, we have small, close together, waves from the north and it is bouncing us consistently. It's a very rocky boats. Catamarans don't roll, but they seem to lurch. We are doing that in both directions. We need to hold on with two hands. Sun just set and it's pouring rain. Visibility is poor to add to our fast speed. During the day there was some grooming going on in anticipation of land fall happening soon. We are ready for dry land! No other vessels were seen overnight or today. It's just us out here. Once again, no one could hear Mark's call to the Pacific Seafarers' Net. 409 nautical miles to go!

UFO Sighting?

17 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
Hope everyone had/is having a good St. Patrick's day. I wore my green today. Light winds at night with full jib, but not fast speed. It was in my 1st shift, Mark pointed out that there was a white glow on the horizon ahead, which looked like the lights of a small city from a distance. I kept checking AIS and Radar, but nothing turned up. Then the wind changed and we went off our rhumb line in order to keep the sail full. The average speed was only 3.5 knots but at least we were sailing. The swells were big at times, rocking the boat and messing with our speed as they enveloped us from behind. Then the light was supper bright once we had directly in sight and we got closer. I was worried about running into it, so I woke up Mark and we changed our course slightly and eventually got back to our rhumb line. When I checked with binoculars, I could see multiple white lights and a red light, so I assumed they were going in an opposite direction from us but no real idea of what it was. It took forever to get by it, but we passed it about 3-4 miles away. If they were indeed going against us, we would have passed so much quicker. Not sure if there are any oil rigs 500 miles off Hawaii. I stayed up for 7 hours and was beat by the time I got to my 2nd sleep. Then today Mark saw a rainbow early morning and the sun shone and the rains came down several times. With the rains came no wind. We flew the spinnaker early, but the winds changed direction back and forth from south to north. Unable to keep it full, so we eventually took it down and turned on the port engine. The big swells disappeared and were replaced by very flat spaced out waves. It was a very nice change. The sun shone and charged our battery bank, as did running the engine. Mark checked and we still had a little more than half a tank of diesel. We don't want to run the engine but we have no choice. Speed is 3-4 knots. We have 490 nautical miles to go. There are huge white puffy clouds from the horizon up, but beautiful blue skies in-between. Just as we were taking the spinnaker down, I heard a vessel calling us on the VHF. We are in the middle of no where and we could see this fishing boat that was passing us to starboard about 5 miles away. Had a lovely chat. He wanted to make sure we were okay. I told him that all was well and that we were headed to Hilo. That was our first VHF radio call in three weeks since we left La Cruz, Mexico. Then Mark noticed some debris in the water with the big swells pushing it along. Every type of plastic container was in the water. Several pieces of rope and other boat parts floated by. Not sure if a cargo ship lost a container or if there was a boat in peril. We went back to watching an afternoon movie with popcorn. Mark selected Sliding Doors. It was very entertaining and as the credits were rolling, they played Sade's Best Day of My Life song. Yes, these are the best days of our life. Mark called into the nightly net but no one could hear him tonight. Only one other vessel, Intrepid, could hear Mark but not good enough to take down our status and position. The sun has not quite set. It's 11:30 est time and our GPS says we are 6 hours behind est. We did take some pictures today. We have not had a full day of sunlight since leaving, but today it was sunny when it wasn't raining. Mark worked on some boat maintenance. He emptied the rain water from the dinghy. He also did engine checks on both engines. We both put up and took down the spinnaker about 4 times. The wind is variable from side to side and not much speed. Just about to cook dinner, but it's still early here.

Shorts & Spinnaker Run!

16 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
We had plenty of wind overnight. In fact, the swells were so big at times, we got pushed and pulled and lifted up and dropped. Thankfully, I slept thru the worst of the big seas. On my first watch, the radar kept showing a vessel or something on the water close to our port side. I could not see anything in the pitch dark, as there were few stars in the sky to light up the ocean at night. Early morning the sun once again rose and went behind clouds. However, that did not last very long. The sun was shining pretty much the whole day. Something we have not see in many days. At one point I could see a rainbow on both starboard and port sides. The skies looked like rain in the distance, but we did not get any. It must have dissipated before we got to that location. We set the spinnaker after breakfast and it's still flying now. I saw speeds over 8 and was worried we had too much wind. The big speeds did not last long. Also, the wind was from the starboard stern area, but kept changing to the starboard beam. We will wait until closer to sunset to bring it down and fly the jib overnight. The waves decreased over the day. Every so many waves was one that much bigger than the rest. This could be heard banging to our hulls and bridge deck. When you look out in any direction, the tops of the waves have white caps, so we must have plenty of wind. With the sun shining, the white caps are sparkling slivers of white. Had a nice hot lunch today. Then Mark started the water maker for a couple of hours. Our tank is almost full again. While that was going on, we watched another movie, sans popcorn. Forrest Gump. They did a wonderful job mixing in actual history. Mark is practicing with his tin whistle, out in the cockpit. He has limited music to play, but it sounds pretty good. It's a stunning day to be out on the Pacific Ocean. The sun is still shimmering on the waves in front of us. Spent most of my night watch shifts listening to Coast to Coast radio. They always have interesting guests. It really makes the time go by faster. Sleep seemed to be more deep last night. Although the boat motion is more than just rocking. I kind of felt like I was being tossed around and my body felt it this morning. We are currently sailing over top of 4722 meters of water. How incredible is that? We have another 584 nautical miles to go to Hilo, Hawaii. So, maybe another 5 days or more, if the wind is not steady enough. With the sun shine, the ocean is a deep blue color. There are cloud banks close to the horizon in all directions. Last night for the first time, we got to see the sun set, through a lot of clouds, but there was a red color mixed in. We were happy to have enough power from the sun's rays. No need to run the engine, which is wonderful. Mark finally traded his jeans for shorts. During the day the breeze didn't feel so cold. Our salon temperature reached 81 degrees today. From our downwind sailing, there was again some leakage of sea water into the bilge and engine compartment on the starboard side. Mark pumped out the water, so all is good.

Rainbows & Spinnaker!

15 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
The big swells continued overnight but the wind speed decreased. Mark thinks the waves were smaller by morning, but I do not believe that. The swells continued to catch us as their speed was faster than ours. We still see the continuous mounds of dark blue water all around us, in every direction. I was surprised to see the sun peeking thru the clouds this morning. Although the distant horizon showed dark clouds with the chance of rain. On one of my watches, I noticed a huge rainbow off the port side. There was a matching rainbow off the starboard side and each were dipping down into the Pacific Ocean. The rainbows disappeared with a light rain shower. Then the sun came out and again, I noticed the rainbows. Only this time it was a complete arc of lights from south to the north. Absolutely beautiful. The light rains continued several times over the day. The sun was able to reach out solar panels and charge our battery bank. It was also greatly appreciated on our sun shower. The seas were ever so big. Not an easy task to shower with the big waves pushing the boat along it's rhumb line. After lunch, we launched the spinnaker. Charabia was tossed and turned by the big waves while Mark released the spinnaker, which has been adding to our speed this afternoon. I am ever so glad that Mark is well balanced because it's not easy to watch him up on the netting. The top speed I noticed was over 8 knots but we are averaging in the 5s. We have 705 nautical miles to go. As it nears sunset, we will drop this sail and unfurl the jib for our overnight sailing. We took advantage of some down time to watch the movie, The Great Gatsby while we feasted on fresh hot popcorn. The late day skies are dark, so there must be some more rain to come. We spent some time cleaning the boat, even changing our bed linens. We still have another 6 or 7 days to go, as long as we continue to have wind to sail.

Huge Waves!

14 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
The good news is that we are making good speed but have had huge waves all night and day. Our starboard aft wind kept our speeds up to 5-6-7 knots overnight. The wind was variable thru the day. Then mid afternoon, it turned pretty much downwind and we changed our course so we could continue sailing. We are about a mile off our rhumb line. We have 815 nautical miles to go. Our day was a blur. I keep staying up late due to the time change where we are. Then last night, I really didn't sleep well. It could have been the motion of the boat. If you can imagine, the waves are racing under the back of the boat and picking us up as they move under us. One side of the boat goes up and down and it feels like the wind is pushing us to the port side. Then the other side of the boat goes up and down. As Mark says, it's a two handed day. We have to really hang on or be thrown with the momentum. I did put together a hot lunch which I baked in the oven. The cloudy day saw bits of sunlight coming thru which was great for our solar panels charging the batteries. However, for most of the day there was no hint of sun as the clouds were thick. It almost looked like a sunset time as the clouds are dark. I thought it would rain at times, but no rain materialized. We took time for a very lengthy DaVinci Code movie, along with freshly made popcorn. We stopped to do our half hour checks and log entries. Did I mention that the swells have increased in size to 10-12 feet. It almost takes one's breath away for the magnitude of the conditions. Again, we are riding down the waves so it's a relatively smooth ride. Every so often, a wave contacts the bridge deck and makes a banging noise. We are flying a full jib Jib and our miles are ticking away. The winds also increased to 20 knots from the ENE. When the wind shifts, we will jibe and get back to our rhumb line once again. Mark worked on navigation, installing the Hawaii chip on our gps. I rested and filled my day with some reading. Planning to have a light dinner before we begin our night shifts. The salon is 78 degrees which is very comfortable. Our cabin is much cooler. We have taken lots of pictures and videos today. The sight in front and behind us is that of wall-to-wall massive swells of Pacific Ocean water. The normally blue waters are a much darker gray color today. The sun has not yet set here and it is already so dark out. Mark noticed that the props were moving, when a wave came over the escape hatch window in our head. He then put both engines in gear to stop the feathering props from spinning and slowing down our speed.

Trade Winds, finally!

13 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
We have to thank the wind god, Aeolus for granting our request for some wind, yesterday afternoon The wind increased from the NW and gave us great sailing overnight. Our speeds were 6-7 knots. The swells increased, bouncing and bashing us as it stayed close to the starboard beam. We had to be careful moving around the cabin and cockpit on our watches. This morning, the wind shifted to the predicted NE. The swells settled some and Mark dropped the main sail as it was blanketing the Jib. Our speeds decreased to 4-5-6 and the winds were more on the aft starboard hull and less rocky a ride. We took advantage of the smooth sailing to get a little more rest. It's hard to fall asleep sometimes when the waves are crashing and bashing. On my 1st watch, the sky was so black with no stars shining thru the thick layers of clouds. I noticed a light and it showed up on the radar, about 12 miles to our port side. It was soon after this, that an alarm went off. I was listening to Coast to Coast radio and I thought it had something to do with the HAM radio. Mark got woken out of his 1st sleep, and thought it was the VHF. A Digital Selective Call on the VHF may have caused it. It may have been a call from the passing boat. No other alarms were heard. Also, the vessel was long past us with only one white light visible. Woke Mark from his 2nd sleep for a nice hot lunch, I had prepared. Then I got a 3rd sleep today as I did not sleep well on the other shifts. We took advantage of the smooth sailing afternoon and watched the movie, Contact. Mark made a pot of popcorn. I think this is becoming a habit. We enjoyed it thoroughly. I was given Sun Gods by the name of Apollo and Helios which I used to ask for some sun. We don't want to have to run the engine to charge our batteries. The sun has been out but hidden in many layers of clouds. Today, the sun graced us with its presence and worked on charging our batteries. The clouds were not as thick, so the sun was able to help us as well. Getting ready to cook dinner shortly. The swells are sizable and further apart now. It's much darker as the cloud layer has thickened. Sunset is around 6:30 our time, which is 5 hours behind East Coast Time. We have 936 nautical miles to go to Hilo. Our winds are predicted to last thru the weekend. By then, we hope to be close to our destination.
Vessel Name: Charabia
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot / Athena
Hailing Port: Jacksonville, FL
Crew: Mark &Helen
We are both computer folks that were live aboard cruisers back in the 90s. We settled in Jacksonville Florida after escaping the great white north and cruising the Bahamas, T&C, DR and points south down to Trinidad. [...]
Extra: Charabia is a French slang word for nonsense or gibberish. It derives from Arabic "sharab" which means alcohol.When you drink (too much) alcohol, you start talking Charabia. The original owners named her and Mark liked the name so it stuck.
Charabia's Photos - Main
Photos 4001 to 20 of 20
Upgrades and maintenance to Charabia
79 Photos
Created 27 June 2017
72 Photos
Created 16 May 2015
46 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
72 Photos
Created 7 April 2015
95 Photos
Created 4 April 2015
106 Photos
Created 31 March 2015
Get the boat ready to cruise.
10 Photos
Created 14 March 2015