s/v Charabia

21 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
20 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
19 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
18 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
17 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
16 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
15 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
14 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
13 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
12 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
11 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
10 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
09 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
08 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
07 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
06 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
05 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
04 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
03 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
02 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii

Happy Spring - To Hilo or Not To Hilo!

21 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
An interesting day. I stayed up late, letting Mark have a sleep after dinner. I think that threw off our watch shift timings. The swells remained all night and by morning eased off some. Then some huge swells came thru from the East (behind us). The wind was from the NE which allowed us to sail slowly at times. Then our speed picked up as did the swells. I am guessing on 12 foot swells, spaced apart. The waves hit the underside of Charabia and pushed us back and forth and up and down. We reduced sail early once we heard about the 25 foot high surf advisory on the radio and messages from multiple people. Our speed was down but the wind picked up and we averaged 3 knots each hour while trying to go slower. We only had a tiny bit of our jib sail out. Mark worked on the steering column noise again, the squeak replaced by a rather disturbing deep groan. He used a different lubricant this time. So far, it's been quiet. One issue he recognized is that we don't have a grease gun onboard. We will pick one up in Hawaii. We spent a good deal of time researching alternate ports on the island of Hawaii. One choice would have been Honokohau Harbour on the west side of the island. Mark also tried to call into the Hawaiin Ham Net but no one could hear him and he gave up. Hopefully, someone in our regular net will hear his check in call. We are trying to regulate our speed to 4 knots so that we will arrive in Hilo by mid afternoon tomorrow. We are trying to get information from the SeaFarer's Net this evening. No movie today as our time was taken up with research and trying to get more information. So, we have a little more jib flying in order to keep up our speed. We have 92 nautical miles to the sea buoy outside of Hilo. Our wind speed is 10 knots from the east. The sun attempted to shine for most of the day. Lots of cloud cover at times blocked it. I saw a very large white bird with black markings, soaring over the huge waves. We have not seen any other vessels. Now that we are so close to Hawaii, we may start seeing some. I did not see many stars last night, although Mark said that he did. Just after sunset, we can see a small sliver of the moon. Our temperatures outside feel cold with the breeze. With the bright sunshine, it's 84 degrees in the cabin.

Spinnaker Run!

20 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
Very slow sail overnight as the winds were light and variable. It changed directions from on the starboard beam, then aft and forward of the beam. After daylight, we set the spinnaker and it has done great. We made an average of 4.5 knots and at present our speed is over 5 knots. Seas were light all day. It's taken an effort to mind and trim the spinnaker all day. We also went thru our clothes shelves today. It was totally cloudy this morning, but then the sun finally broke thru. The clouds are maybe 10% at present time. Batteries were almost charged today. Mark measured some of our lines which we will replace in Hawaii. Even though the seas were more settled today, it was still a bit of a bumpy ride. The swells have increased in size as the day progressed. Mark was heard on the SeaFarer's Net and provided our location and course and information. 181 nautical miles to Hilo. Just when we thought we would already be there, the winds have slacked off, making our speed a lot slower than expected. This means two days to go. Mark is confident that we can do it. The sun is shining and will be setting within the hour. We started watching the first Harry Potter movie, but did not finish before we took a break for the Net. We enjoyed a pot of popcorn that I cooked up. I will be cooking dinner shortly as we dug out a meal from our freezer. And then our night shifts will begin, once again. I really wanted to be there today! We are thankful to be in good health at this point of our lengthy ocean adventure. We are eating well and have plenty of food and water onboard. Charabia is doing such an awesome job, especially the autopilot which steers for us. We will be dropping the spinnaker before it gets dark. The jib will fly overnight, as the wind is staying behind us. We had a much smoother ride today as the waves are directly behind us. It's a quiet, calm ride with our focus on counting down the remaining miles.


19 March 2018 | Pacific Ocean on route to Hawaii
The winds continued thru the night and all day, staying on the starboard (north) side of the boat. The direction varied from beam to slightly aft of beam to slightly forward of beam. We were able to sail the entire time with speeds reaching 8 knots at times. The rains overnight disappeared at day break. The swells increased to 10 feet and bounced us mercilessly. At the time of writing this blog, the swells are down to 6 foot and the winds have decreased as well. Our speed is 4-5-6 knots. The sun is shining and our battery bank was fully charged. We made great progress in the number of miles we covered over the past 24 hours. There are 279 nautical miles to go. The up and down and side to side motion was continuous and we were not able to get much else done. We took turns for additional naps thru the day. We did a search thru our stows to find some key things we were out of, with great success. In the weeks we have been at sea, we still haven't gotten thru most of our additional boxes of extra food. The breeze outside is much colder. However, with the sun on the deck, our indoor temperature reached 82 degrees. Mark pumped out the dinghy after the many rain storms ended up there. He practiced his tin whistle. The jib was furled when we had huge winds, and then unfurled as the wind eased off. We started watching a very long movie called, K19. No popcorn with our movie today. We stopped the movie for Mark to listen in to an earlier net but Mark gave up. Last night, no one could hear our radio transmission to the SeaFarers' Net. Today's net is at 11 pm est time. The sun is still high in the sky as it sets so much later way out here. There were no vessel sightings last night or today. We did see a couple of birds over the water, but nothing else. Very dark blue angry seas today. Our muscles are hurting from hanging on. Cooking is not easy at all. Not sure what we will have for dinner tonight.

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.
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 - Upgrades
Photos 1 to 79 of 79 | Main
Port Chainplate
from the outside
Inside Chainplate
Starboard chain plate: Inspected and re-bed chainplates
Screen for Movie Projector
New Main Sail
New Galley Faucet
New Faucets in both Heads
Deck Flood Lights & LED Steaming light Install
Flood Lights at Night
New electrical panel for outdoor lights
Cockpit & Aft Flood LED lights
Underwater LED Lights
Re-upholstering: Helen did a great job re-covering the seats & cusions around the main table
Re-upholstering - another view
New Microwave: Also had to install a new larger inverter to handle the load from the microwave.
Re-Finished main saloon table
Re-wiring Solar Panels: Spliting off the 5th panel and putting it on it
New Standing Rigging: Took a lot of trips up the mast
New Turnbuckel
Sta-Loc fitting at end of new forestay
Triming the furler extrusion: Done while repacing the forestay
Attaching the new forestay: Thanks to Jim for all the help!
New Water Pumps Install - both engines: Had to use an air powered impact wrench to get one stubborn bolt out.
Installing new water pumps: Water pump is at the very bottom of the engine and the only access is from the top...
Installing Non-skid in the Cockpit
Non-skid in cockpit
More Non-Skid
Hull Repairs
New  Drouge
Charabia just out of the water
Re-bed aft rub rails
New 3 blade feathering props
Fresh anti-fowling paint
New fuel vent
Repaired anchor kick plate
Replaced Rudder Bearings: Thanks to Jim, Chris & Helen for the help getting the rudders off and back on.
Saildrive Out
New Diaphragm: This I hired a mechanic for - Replace rubber diaphragms on both sail drives and installed new motor mounts on both engines.
Installing new vent
Polishing Crew: Thanks to Helen & Chris for all the hard work!
Mast head maintenance
Plumbing for Watermaker
Watermaker - top view
Watermaker front view
Watermaker Thruhull #1
Watermaker Thruhull #1 outside
Watermaker thruhull #2
Watermaker feed to water tank
New head installed: with larger bowl
New Head Pump
Removing old flooring
New Flooring - main saloon
New Flooring - stairs
More New Flooring
New Trampoline: It was a real bear to strech the new trampoline to fit
Radar Mount
Installing Radar
Radar install helper
Radar under the cover
New Boat Graphics and New Sail Cover
Radar Mounted
Radar Working!
2nd  New Head Installed: Including modified lid to open in the limited space.
Cleaned up Under Sinks
Winch Maintenance Underway
Splicing double braid rope for the Drouge contol line
More Splicing
Almost done
Finished Splice with whipping and themble
Replaced Main Halyard: The end of the main halyard is tied off at the top of the mast so it took a trip up the mast.
Repairs to the new Sailcover
Added 3rd Reef Control Line
Replacing steering cables
New Steering cables
New chart table repeater for instruments : Old one literally burned out cutting off power to the rest of the Raymarine instruments so really had to replace it.
Wiring for new repeater: Of course new repeater is SeatalkNG the old is original Seatalk so had to install a mini NG network with the converter to talk to the existing devices.
Replaced rusting bolts on the deck lights: Ok not really an upgrade but needed maintenance
Mast climb helper!