21 May 2015 | Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos, Ecuador
08 May 2015 | Panama City
01 May 2015 | Panama City
30 November 2014 | Kralendijk, Bonaire
10 November 2014 | Prickley Bay, Grendeda
13 October 2014 | Chaguaramas, Trinidad to Prickly Bay, Grenada
10 October 2014 | Power Boats Boat Yard, Chaguaramas, TT , W.I.
10 October 2014 | Power Boats Boat Yard, Chaguaramas, TT , W.I.
22 June 2014 | Scotland Bay, Chaguaramas, T&T
20 June 2014 | Chagauramus, Trinidad
02 May 2014 | Deshaies River, Guadeloupe
22 April 2014 | Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
17 April 2014 | Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
26 March 2014 | Statia
21 March 2014 | Saba
02 March 2014 | BVI
26 February 2014 | Norman Island, BVI
24 February 2014 | Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVI
13 February 2014 | Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas
22 January 2014 | Vieques and Culebra, Puerto Rico

Hello Galapagos

21 May 2015 | Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos, Ecuador
Happy to report that after 8 days, 20 hours, and 19 minutes at sea we are safely anchored in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno next to Isla San Cristobal. The sight and smell of land was a delight to our senses when we approached land after dawn this morning and sailed along the coast of this easternmost island in the unique archipelago of Galapagos, Ecuador. Shortly before reaching the harbor entrance a sea lion swam by to greet us and we saw several others lounging on the steps of catamarans at anchor.

For over a week we were out of sight of land, did not see even a single ship, sailboat, or lights on the horizon indicating there were other human beings out there with us. Jeff did check into SSB nets 3 times every day to report our location at sea, get a bit of weather information, and have a little social contact with other vessels on passages.

We did see many of the sea's varied personalities. There were wave conditions from glassy to choppy to 9 foot swells, with everything in between. The skies provided a never ending pallet of shades and colors. The day skies ran from blue with a few white cottony clouds to completely gray with sheets of rain pouring down. A rainbow provided a slash of color encompassing the whole spectrum. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets provided tones of yellow, orange, red, and purple. At night an infinite number of stars sparkled above and were sprinkled down to the horizon in the dark bowl overhead. Many nights, the water glistened and glittered as Mezzaluna sported a gleaming bioluminescent tail streaming and undulating behind the rudder.

There were daily rain showers - sometimes sprinkles, sometimes deluges. We were hit by 2 or 3 thunderstorms which had us stuffing all the electronics into the oven - it acts as a Faraday cage to protect them from getting zapped should a lightening bolt strike Mezzaluna. One of the squalls buffeted us with 30 knot winds for over an hour and one night we were becalmed. Most of the time, however, winds blew from 5 to 15 knots, although not always in a favorable direction for sailing to our destination.

Our encounters with sea life included the sighting of a small pod of whales while dolphins were swimming in the bow wake. Another day we got a quick glimpse of half a dozen dolphins surfacing 200 yards off the starboard side. There were countless schools fish, sometimes rolling and boiling marring the surface of the water and other times breaking through the waves and taking flight in the air. A few flying fish as well as a small squid ended up marooned on the deck when bigger waves dashed them aboard. I guess we could have eaten them if we'd been really hungry but Jeff recycled them as bait instead! We dragged fishing lines behind the boat everyday but only caught one dorado, which broke off the hook just before we landed him aboard - damn. We would really prefer to be on the "catch and keep" program rather than the involuntary "catch and release" program. Last night we caught a bird who liked the looks of the lure, dove into the water to catch it, and got the hook stuck in it's beak. Unfortunately, it drown while Jeff was pulling it in to unstick the hook and release it. Probably could have eaten that too, but we didn't!

Every night "ghost birds", some kind of gull I think, glided along the starboard side of the boat occasionally swooping down to snatch a fish out of the water. We never saw them on the port side thus surmised that the green side of the mast head light illuminated fish below the waves but the red side of the light did not. In addition to the exhausted little songbird that took refuge aboard, a red footed booby landed on the bow pulpit one evening and spent the night there, leaving quite a mess for Jeff to spray off the bow sprit in the morning. There were numerous other daily sightings of pelagic sea birds including frigates, gulls, petrels, possibly an albatross, and others we were unable to identify.

This passage has provided a number of memorable accomplishments. We crossed the equator at 1:49:07 Tuesday morning, shed the title of polliwog and gained the distinction of being shellbacks. After 2 years, 10 months, and 21 days in our quest to sail west around the world, we are finally west of where we departed from South Shore Yacht Club on Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, having crossed longitude 87 52.941W at 12:55 on Tuesday afternoon. We survived our longest passage yet, with both of us still aboard and speaking to each other!

This afternoon, Jeff went in the water to clean the bottom and swim with the sea lions after Bolivar, our agent for the Galapagos, came aboard to start the check in procedure which might take a day or two as it includes divers inspecting the bottom of your boat. Once all that is taken care of we're off to explore this extraordinary region that was an inspiration to Charles Darwin who came here in 1835!

Headed for Galapagos Islands

08 May 2015 | Panama City
We are in the final preps for going to the Galapagoes.
Today we'll head to Las Perlas Islands to clean the bottom of the boat and then set sail for the journey at sea on Sunday.

We use a program called Predictwind to do our passage planning. They tell us we are going to take 9-10 days with winds averaging 7 knots with a max of 14 kts. Up wind 15-20%, reaching 50-60% and running 10-20%. The swell will be 1-2 meters 75-90% and 2-3 meters the rest.

Follow us as we report in every day with our position at: Pangolin Our id is wdf9625, which is also our call sign for the SSB radio. We'll also be reporting in with 2 different cruiser nets, The Magellan Net and The Pan Pacific Net, on the SSB everyday so there will be others at sea who know our location out there in the big ocean!

Ancon Hill

01 May 2015 | Panama City
We've been doing some exploring in Panama while waiting for our long term visas for French Polynesia. Here are a few photos from our Early Morning Hike to the highest point in Panama City, Ancon Hill.

Greetings from Bonaire

30 November 2014 | Kralendijk, Bonaire
We left Grenada at 3:00PM on November 10 and arrived in Kralendijk, Bonaire 73 hours later. Averaged about 5.6 knots sailing for the first 380nm. As we rounded the island the the wind let up and was directly behind us so we had to turn on the engine and motor the last 35 miles to get in before sundown.

No anchoring is allowed so we are on a mooring right next to the reef which surrounds the whole island. So far, we have been unable to tear ourselves away! The snorkeling is grand and the diving is AMAZING. We have been doing at least one dive almost every day, always finding new, interesting, and exciting things. There is no such thing as a bad dive, the dives are either good dives, better dives, or great dives!

Kralendijk is a cute, a little Dutch resort community plopped down in the Caribbean. The Divers' Bar and Restaurant has frosty pint mugs of Heinekin for $3 during happy hour every night and we've become good friends with Luis, the bartender. There's a free taxi from Karol's Bar, where the the dinghy dock is located, to Van Den Teel Supermarket. I thought I died and went to grocery store heaven when I got there!

There are lots of European boats in the mooring field, divers from North America and Europe at the resorts, and a cruise ship belching passengers off to scurry about most days. Dutch is the official language, Spanish and Papiamento are commonly spoken and nearly everyone also knows English. US dollars are the currency used with prices are similar to US, some things a bit higher, some a bit lower.

We rented a car with friends for a tour of the island's desert landscape stopping along the barren windmill lined road to take a look at the ancient Marka Indjan Indian Inscriptions at the star watchers cave. For lunch we stopped at The Rose Inn in the little village of Rincon where Malfina cooked and served us the local specialties of iguana soup and goat stew.

After lunch it was on to Washington Slagbaai National Park. The ranger told us it was too late in the day to scrambled up through the cactus in the sweltering heat to the top of Brandaris Hill, the highest point on Bonaire at 784 feet, and get back down before the park closed. Oh, damn! As we drove along the rutted dirt road we got a few distant glimpses of pink flamingos feeding in the inland salinas and stopped at Wayaka, one of the dive sites on the northern end of the island, for our daily dose of snorkeling

We hope to rent a scooter before heading off so we can buzz around the southern side of the island. We would like to get a more up close and personal view of the pink flamingos and check out the slave huts on the beach that we saw from sea on our arrival.

Good Times in Greneda

10 November 2014 | Prickley Bay, Grendeda
We've had a great time during our month stay in Grenada where we reconnected with some old friends, made some new friends, and had adventures with all. Had a gas playing trivia and winning a little money as well as a sheep (which I didn't keep) at Big Bingo at Prickley Bay Marina. Tasted and learned a little about how to prepare Grenadian cuisine at True Blue cooking class. Went the opening of the new West Indies Micro Brewery on the island and sampled their beers. Got dirty and sweating making our way through the bush and into some neighborhoods on four hashes. Bought fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish at the St. George Market. Brushed up on our Spanish in classes at the Venezuelan Cultural Center and joined the conversational group with Sandra. Practice yoga and tai chi with Pierre-Yeves and Marille four mornings a week. Joined our friends anchored in Mt. Hartman Bay for a dinghy raft up concert. Rode the bus to Grenville, then hiked to Mt. Carmel Falls, one of the many waterfalls, where we got a pounding massage under the falls, slid down the chute, and had a quiet swim in the pools. We got rid of a bag full of unneeded items at the Big Jumble where we made enough money for a night out. Cutty's Island tour took us through villages, beautiful beaches, rain forests, and mountains where we saw coco, nutmeg, cinnamon, and exotic fruits growing and being processed in old and new facilities. Of course we made the mandatory stop at rum distilleries to see how our favorite beverage is made and did a little imbibing. On our last weekend we went to the St George Museum for First Friday jazz. Of course, we had to order in a new regulator as well as a clutch for the water maker for two of the many boat projects we worked on here because, after all, living on your boat is really just working on your boat in exotic locations.

It's now time to move on. We'll be pulling the anchor this afternoon, setting the sail, and heading west to Bonaire. We're hoping for fair winds and following seas as has been forecast.

Farewell Trinidad, Hello Grenada

13 October 2014 | Chaguaramas, Trinidad to Prickly Bay, Grenada
Made good friends, saw beautiful countryside, and completed much needed maintenance and improvements during the four months Mezzaluna was in Trinidad, including 12 weeks on the hard at Power Boats Marina and Boatyard.
I now get to check living in a boatyard and climbing down a ladder to go use the bathroom in the middle of the night off my bucket list even though I'm not quite sure how that got on the list!

We departed Chaguaramus, Trinidad shortly before sunset just after a squall blew through.

Oddly, the winds were blowing out of the north, the direction we were heading, so we motor-sailed until the winds clocked around to the east. Then it was the magical moment when the engine gets turned off and the wind blowing past the sails is what moves us toward our destination. The nearly full moon looked like a fire in the sky as it rose between the clouds. It lit up the night for us to catch glimpses of the friendly pods of dolphins cavorting in the moonlight that joined us for numerous intervals on our journey.

The sun was rising over the ocean as we neared Grenada. Radio greetings from friends on Cheers, Emma Louise, Bendecita, and Simple Life welcomed us we dropped the sails and motored into Prickly Bay Saturday morning. We dropped the hook near our good buddies on Cheers, took a quick dip in the clean turquoise water then reunited with them over delicious ahi omelets with feta cheese and garlic pita bread aboard their boat.
Vessel Name: Mezzaluna
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Bay View, WI
Crew: Jeff Anderson & Katie Lauritzen
Although relatively new to big boat sailing, Jeff has been racing scows for over 40 years, with Katie as crew for the better part of the last 27. Katies’ first sail was with Jeff when he invited her to go sailing on his M16 scow when both were going to college. [...]
Mezzaluna is a big girl with an exciting past. The boat was designed by Robert Perry and built in Taiwan. She is a blue water cruiser weighting in at 29,000lbs dry. Originally purchased by someone in Chicago, she sailed Lake Michigan for a few years. The next owner, Dave Engel, at the helm of [...]
Mezzaluna's Photos - Main
Scenes from our rock hopping adventure in Guadeloupe
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Created 6 May 2014
Pictures during a weekend of serious fun racing our boat/home in the Heineken Regatta.
80 Photos
Created 29 March 2014
Snapshots of the island.
63 Photos
Created 22 January 2014
Celebrating with our Luperon friends in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
19 Photos
Created 5 January 2014
Annual trip with lady friends to Lilly Bay Lodge on Lily Bay, Lake Michigan outside the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
17 Photos
Created 18 August 2013
15 Photos
Created 16 February 2013
The journey from Bimini across the Great Bahamas Bank to Frazier's Hog Cay along with people, places, and adventure at Frazier's Hog Cay and Chub Cay.
31 Photos
Created 11 February 2013
Moments in time captured with the camera.
20 Photos
Created 8 February 2013
A look at the places and adventures we had during our six week stay on a City Marina mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida
23 Photos
Created 4 February 2013
Snapshots from adventures with Bill and Steve when they visited during winter holidays.
32 Photos
Created 29 December 2012
Snapshots of our road trip adventures in outlying areas of Charleston with Randy Mintken,a former Delafield neighbor who has spent the last 15 years in the Carolinas. Renewing the warm friendship made the cold and rainy weather a lot more tolerable.
10 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
Great people, pets, and wild things at the hurricane party and 3 potlucks during the 16 days we holed up at Whittaker Point Marina during Hurricane Sandy and while doing boat maintenance projects.
16 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
Highlights from our 25 mile trip up the Chester River and visit to Chestertown.
8 Photos
Created 2 October 2012
Some snapshots from the Eastern Shore in Rock Hall and Swan Creek
4 Photos
Created 2 October 2012
Chesapeake Bay, Sillery Bay, and Rhode River with Sharon and Gene
12 Photos
Created 2 October 2012
Maryland Blue Crabs from Trap to Table
4 Photos
Created 2 October 2012
A meager attempt to capture the grandeur of water going over rocks....
31 Photos
Created 25 August 2012
Views going down the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Tonawanda, New York
20 Photos
Created 24 August 2012
Looked at a lot of water on Lake Erie during the journey from Cleveland, Ohio to Buffalo, New York. Took pictures from the boat while in port for the night at Conneaut, Ohio and Dunkirk, New York.
7 Photos
Created 17 August 2012
Sights and fun times all along the waterfront.
10 Photos
Created 5 August 2012
Our first stop on Lake Erie, this resort town on South Bass Island.
12 Photos
Created 5 August 2012
An old fishing ice house renovated to create a unique yacht club
9 Photos
Created 4 August 2012
Captured moments from a weekend with good friends sharing good times and good food.
12 Photos
Created 4 August 2012
15 Photos
Created 24 July 2012
Beautiful boat at Yacht Haven Marina
3 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
Going east from Lake Michigan into Lake Huron. Stayed in St. Ignace at the marina then continued on to do a harbor drive through at Mackinac Island.
13 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
Photo ops from our 2 night stay in St. James Harbor, called Paradise Bay by the locals, at Beaver Island.
6 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Small wonders found while hiking.
8 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Entertaining myself taking artsy shots on the boat while motor sailing between Lake Michigan ports of Pentwater, Portage Lake, Leland, and Beaver Island.
8 Photos
Created 13 July 2012
5 Photos
Created 12 July 2012
Family and friends help with the moving sale and stop by Mezzaluna to say farewell before Jeff cuts the line.
18 Photos
Created 10 July 2012
10 Photos
Created 7 July 2012
52 Photos
Created 14 June 2009
Pictures of Mezzaluna and the work to bring her back on the water.
14 Photos
Created 15 May 2009
Life is Good