It's that time of year. The "Puddle Jumpers", boats bound for the South Pacific are leaving La Cruz and other west coast ports for those magical islands. I am excited for the skippers and crews. It's great to be here with those preparing for what will undoubtedly be a memorable passage. I admit that I would like to be doing the same thing. I can envision the long downwind passage aboard Exit Strategy. The boat was designed with tradewind passages in mind. Amels came with a novel twin articulating spinnaker pole setup that allows the poles to project about 20 feet out to either side of the boat. We have been impressed with the performance of our twins coming down the coast and across the Sea of Cortez and anxiously await the opportunity to fly those sails across the Pacific. That will have to wait until next season at the earliest. Right now we are still trying to finalize our summer plan, which unfortunately is not going to be exploring French Polynesia and points west. Why not you ask?
Those that know us recall that we left to go cruising about a year ahead of our original schedule. Once we made the decision we sailed out the gate and turned left 6 weeks later. We created a project plan with a list of all we hoped to do and color coded the items in order or priority. Red items were things that we had to have done before we left the slip. In the following weeks we changed the color on several of those items. Reality is neither us nor the boat is ready for crossing the Pacific. If I was a singlehander, the decision to leave without basic safety gear like an EPIRB, SSB (single sideband radio) and a liferaft would only have ramifications for me. I could emulate Chichester and say if the boat sank from under me I would simply drown like a gentleman. I am not a singlehander though, and my sailing partner is a woman I love. We made the decision to sail to Mexico with a SPOT transmitter and survival suits in the event we suffered a hull breech. We are very confident in our Amel Maramu and if we were holed anywhere forward of the saloon area (nautical speak for the living and dining area) we could close our watertight door and have an excellent chance of staying afloat and even keeping the boat moving. Rescue resources along the coast exist and other boats are often within hailing range on the VFH. In many areas along the coast we could even use a cell phone. I have even been on the internet while 6 or 7 miles offshore. Crossing the Pacific demands a higher level of self sufficiency and either a satphone or SSB for long distance communication. Although I am confident the boat would do fine I feel it would be irresponsible to set off without those items. This is a personal decision applying only to us and our boat. Anyone else contemplating a similar crossing will reach their own conclusions, which may or may not be the same as mine. I know many people have done far more impressive crossings with less substantial boats and no safety gear. Again it is solely a personal decision.
Unrelated to the state of the boat is a family commitment in the fall. Jean will be adding another grandson to her collection, which now numbers two. Congrats to Meggin and Rob. So what are Jean and Dave doing this summer?
As I mentioned earlier we are still deciding. If we remain in Mexico we need to be somewhere with good internet since Island Planet Sails relies heavily on email communication. That eliminates the best spot to summer, the remote islands in the upper Sea of Cortes. We can stay here in Banderas Bay which is a good hurricane hole. Another option under serious consideration is going to San Diego and making money. Cruising boats run on a combination of sails, diesel, and money. Putting our noses to the proverbial grindstone could really help get the boat ready for crossing the Pacific and eventually reaching our milestone destination of Southeast Asia. When Jean and I wintered in Thailand and Malaysia a few years ago we vowed to our friends that we would be coming back by boat. We fully intend to return there aboard Exit Strategy.
Another advantage of being in the states is that Jean will have an easier time approaching funding partners for easykeeper.net
, her web based livestock management application. Jean invested a great deal of her own money in developing this amazing SaaS (software as a service). When she was laid off she lost the funding source. The product that has been exceedingly well received by a group of beta testers and she only needs a relatively small amount of money to finish the first phase. The success of easykeeper.net
will play a large role in allowing us to cruise and continue sharing the experience through our blog. So if you know anyone looking to back a very promising business with 25-100K available for investing let us know or pass our contact information to them.
It is time for me to sign off and do a few boat projects. The boat is a bit messy in Jean's absence. Please don't tell her. I will have it cleaned up before she gets back. On the agenda today is some toilet maintenance and sourcing some parts for Jean to bring back from the states.
I am keeping a weather eye on the horizon for our friends on Third Day and their marauding pirate kitten, Cortes. I anticipate they will be here shortly.