Little Green Boat

Spruce visited Japan and Alaska in 2018 after time spent in the South Pacific, NZ, Australia and Asia.

26 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-15)
24 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-13)
23 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-12)
22 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-11)
21 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-10)
20 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-9)
19 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-8)
18 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-7)
17 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-6)
15 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-5)
15 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-4)
14 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-3)
13 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-2)
12 March 2020 | Manzanillo - Colima - Mexico
03 March 2020 | Bahia Chamela - Mexico
03 March 2020
03 March 2020
03 March 2020
28 February 2020 | Yelapa - Banderas Bay - Mexico
28 February 2020

Dances with Waves

26 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-15)
Sue & Andy
Day 15�- 27/3/20 at 00:06utc - Distance logged:1,802M �- Distance to Go: 1,365M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn
We are close reaching in around 15kn trade winds. It is a bouncy ride but we hope to be a little more onto a beam reach tomorrow. The waves are somewhat disorganised and we are angling I to them so this is not very comfortable sailing...much nicer to be going downwind. Although we are now doing 6.5-7kn.

More Wind Tomorrow

24 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to South Pacific (Day-13)
Sue & Andy
Day 13�- 25/3/20 at 00:16utc - Distance logged:1,537M �- Distance to Go: 1,615M - Ave Speed: 5.1kn
After a fast night, the winds have eased a little today and there is a little more east in them...but not for long. We are making good progress south and soon expect to have stronger winds from ahead of the beam. A wet close reach is anticipated. Blog updates may necessarily reduce over the next week or so, typing while bouncing excessively is much more difficult.
By tomorrow morning we should have passed our half way point.
Photo shows Sue enjoying the last of the smoother conditions before we hunker down. Even so, this next leg still should be much more pleasant than the slog in the NE Monsoon 2-years ago, sailing up to Japan: there we suffered days of 25-30knot winds.

Seventh Time Lucky

23 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-12)
Sue & Andy
Day 12�- 23/3/20 at 23:59:30utc - Distance logged:1,413M �- Distance to Go: 1,736M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn (Oops got date wrong y'day)
At 05:00 local time today we crossed the line (equator) for the seventh time aboard Spruce. This was probably the best experience yet, in terms of minimal convection activity and winds that have enabled us to sail almost the entire way through.
We are now very close reaching in 10-knots of wind. It is already getting bouncy and we are making around 6-knots. Although we are once again bucking a half knot of foul current. It is hoped the wind will ease back a little more into the south eas,t instead of SSE biased as at the moment.
Photo shows us paying homage to Neptune. But a wee sip for the two of us, and a tot into the ocean to give thanks for the generous weather.

South East Trades!

22 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-11)
Sue & Andy
Day 11�- 23/3/20 at 23:59utc - Distance logged:1,290M �- Distance to Go: 1,857M - Ave Speed: 5.1kn
Mundane chores must go on. We are taking the opportunity in this lighter wind zone near the equator to get some washing done. We are sure we are in the SE Trades now. For 24hours we have had SE winds and we hope to cross the equator during the night ahead, another 50-miles and we shall pay homage to Neptune & Poseidon with a nip of the strong stuff. A sniff for ourselves and a tot for the gentleman beneath the waves.
Another couple hundred miles of southing and we shall get stronger winds, possibly from ahead of the beam. Life will get boisterous, the hatches will be firmly clamped shut and below decks will be come humid and stuffy. Washing clothes will become pointless as spray across the decks will make drying them impossible.
We shall continue aiming east of our destination, so when we get into the stronger trade wind zone, farther south, we can bear away to make the ride for the final thousand miles more comfortable.

ITCZ Astern? - We Hope So!

21 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-10)
Sue & Andy
Day 10�- At 23:27utc - Distance logged:1,169M �- Distance to Go: approx 1,900M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn
The Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is the line approximately parallel to the equator where the SE Trades and the NE Trade winds meet. This place is where the sun's heating effect causes hot humid air to rise into the troposphere, leaving a low pressure zone at sea level. Along with this convection comes condensation as the rising air cools with altitude, the formation of thunderheads and in the worst cases strong localised winds, allied with torrential rainfall can make sailing through the doldrums quite tedious and sometimes challenging. The latest forecast this morning seems to indicate we have slipped through encountering winds of no more than 20-knots and more typically less than 16-knots. Although the shifts in direction associated with each passing rain shower have been a feature. However, this is not a constant moving belt of weather. Depending on local sea temperatures the ITCZ may suddenly re-materialise in a different location. It could still reappear south of our present position at latitude 2 degrees 40 minutes North. We hope not, as we slowly plod south, close hauled in a SSE breeze of around 5-10knots. Another 100-miles of southing and we should be clear of these troublesome doldrums.
Photo shows us looking back north this morning at the band of cloud we passed through along the ITCZ during the night.

Bouncing Along

20 March 2020 | On Passage - Mexico to French Polynesia (Day-9)
Sue & Andy
Day 9�- At 23:19utc - Distance logged:1040M �- Distance to Go: 2,022M - Ave Speed: 5.2kn
Winds have been up in the 14-18knot range today. Now things are a little less at up to 14-knots but with the wind slightly ahead of the beam. There appears to be some moderate convection clouds ahead but hopefully they will not build too much through the remainder of the afternoon and evening.
GRIB weather models are notoriously inaccurate, but the GFS model has proved quite close to reality over the past few days, perhaps a knot or two understated, direction and timing predictions have been good. We hope that continues as we approach the ITCZ, (the zone where the north-east and south-east trade winds meet near the equator), the model is showing a slight reduction in strength but enough easterly quadrant winds to keep sailing through to the equator. We wish it will be so.
All is well aboard and we continue to make steady progress.
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-18 brought us from Asia to Washington State via the Noorth pacific Rim. In 2019 we aim to cruise BC and then head south to Mexico.
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Spruce's Photos - Preparations & Maintenance
Photos 1 to 18 of 18 | Main
Solar panel in its stowed position
Andy attaching a block to the backstay for angling and controlling he position of the solar panels
A tasty lunch in St Georges
Nutmegs and Cinnamon bark at the market
Room with a view. A beautiful old schooner anchored overnight.
Somewhere over the rainbow....lies the Panama Canal ???
Rigging dive equipment to scrub off the hull below the waterline
Mucky but not hard to just brush off. Glad we have dive gear for this boat with twice the underwater surface area..phew!
Sue still happily scrubbing the hull...breathing is good.
Andy pretending to scrub hit part of the hull.
Supplies at the market.
Sue polishing the topsides.
Reunion of folks from Secret Smile, Spruce and Mary Ann II..last all together in Cape Verdes during mid-November.
A shop selling dresses for the imminent Independence Day celebrations in early February...lots of national colours to brighten the island.
Raw Sea Water pump from th main engine.
Checking the bearings and seals on the spare pump found aboard. When the seals go on these it can liberally spray salt water around the engine space.
Several boxes of tools, bits and pieces clutter the living space whenever maintenance jobs need to be undertaken.
Tacking the fuel pump issue on the Mariner (Mercury) outboard. It does not seem a very inspired design that should the diaphragm rupture the sump will be pumped full of petrol.