TivoliCruise

09 January 2020 | Zihuatanejo, Mx
02 January 2020 | Huatulco, Mexico
27 December 2019 | Bahia del Sol, ES
17 December 2019 | Pez Vele, Costa Rica
11 December 2019 | Vista Mar Marina, Panama
11 December 2019 | Vista Mar Marina, Panama
07 December 2019 | Balboa Yacht Club, Pacific Panama
30 November 2019 | Shelter Bay
26 November 2019 | Shelter Bay
20 November 2019 | San Blas, Shelter Bay
02 November 2019 | Still at Red Frog !
27 October 2019 | Bocas
14 October 2019 | Red Frog Marina
30 May 2019 | Bocas del Toro / Upper Sardine Lake
18 March 2019 | Providencia
13 March 2019 | Montego Bay, Jamaica
10 March 2019 | Montego Bay, Jamaica
07 March 2019 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
26 February 2019 | Ponce YC, Puerto Rico
15 February 2019 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua

Pacific Pondering

09 January 2020 | Zihuatanejo, Mx
Judy | Awesome
Our travel companions.

What is there not to like about being back in the Pacific? Though I loved the aqua blue seas of the Caribbean, there's no denying why they call the Pacific the Pacific. Now, I'm no fool. I know how this ocean can rear her ugly head but for now I am enjoying her easy going swell and teams of wildlife both above and beneath her!
During our night watches we could hear the dolphins playing along side of Tivoli. Then the picture above is what day light brought, followed by whales, turtles and multiple species of birds. So to answer many of you who question why we are moving so fast? It is when we are sailing that we are the happiest! So bring on the overnighters with the phosphorescence sea, and the Southern Cross making a short appearance just before dawn. Cups of hot tea and stale Danish cookies to help you stay awake. Chicken casserole for dinner and hard boiled eggs for breakfast. Wearing the same t-shirt and pair of shorts for three days straight. And sharing your pillow with your mate! Doesn't get any better!

Sailing into 2020

02 January 2020 | Huatulco, Mexico
Torben | Sunny and nice
Computer program showing the Tehuantepec the next day after our crossing - the grey areas indicate winds over 50 knots.


Some people celebrate New Years with a lot of tradition, same place and same people for decades if you are Dane. Well, not us, here is a list of the last 9 years.

La Cruz, Mexico 2011
Havana, Cuba 2012
Jost van Dyke, British Virgins 2013
Great Camanoe, Britiish Virgins 2014
Richmond Yacht Club, CA 2015
Calistoga, CA 2016
Inverness, CA 2017
Christianstad, USVI 2018
St. Johns, USVI 2019
Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico 2020


The one that really sticks out is the last one, Tehuantepec 2020. This Bay is 250 Nautical Miles across and one most gale ridden bodies of water on the west coast. The month of January historically has 19 days of gales for the month. We had to get across at some point to go North, and New Years eve provided a window with only 10 – 15 knots of breeze, so off we went the afternoon on December 31 for a nice New Years Eve. I actually did not say happy New Years to Judy at midnight as she was snoozing between watches. I toasted her in imaginary Champagne, though.
We had an uneventful and fast crossing of 36 hours, only interrupted by a couple of moments a minor drama. At 2 in the morning the bilge alarm went off and the automatic bilge pump started up-not a happy moment! We quickly tore through the boat to see where water was coming in and identified a good size leak in the water maker area. After shutting down water making operations and closing the truhull we could pump the water out and continue (upon inspection in daylight it turned out to be a cracked filter housing). The second moment of some anxiety happened the next morning a 2 AM finding our way into an anchorage in Huatulco. Both the chart plotter and computer Nav Program was showing a position that just did not make sense, so in the moonless night we felt our way in using Navionics Nav on my cel phone. When we finally anchored in 30 feet of water a few hundred yards from the beach our two principal nav instruments showed us about 3oo feet inland!
Happy New Year!

El Salvador for Christmas

27 December 2019 | Bahia del Sol, ES
Torben | Sunny
Hard Rock Café, El Salvador style.

We arrived at Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador, just in time for a flurry of activities with the cruisers here to celebrate Christmas. This is the Bay where we first arrived 9 years ago for the 2nd Annual El Salvador Cruisers Rally. Last we were here we had a good amount of rain and mosquitos. This time we enjoyed the dry season with no rain, no bugs and a nice welcome from Jean & Bill who has run the rally since inception. They make everyone welcome and now have a house on the Bay complete with a swimming pool that they frequently open up for visitors, including cooking a nice Christmas meal for about 20 people.
We got to sink back in time for a week eating popusa’s, going back through the mangroves to La Herradura in search of a kid that used to watch our dinghy in return for cookies and hang our swapping sea stories at the Hotel Pool with all the other cruisers for happy hour.
One highlight was a lunch at the Hard Rock Café – you really wonder how they do the awesome seafood they serve with no running water, no power, and pretty interesting sanitation plumbing!
El Salvadore has a reputation of being dangerous to visit, but from our prospective it is one of the places we have been that has the nicest people, period. They work hard, are courteous and it is one of the few spots where the officials on checking in and out never forget to welcome you to their country and tell you that they appreciate you coming to visit. OK, everything is a little primitive and requires patience. You wonder how the docks survive the relentless current. A simple thing like getting fuel could easily take hours as the pump needs attention or some other detail needs tweaking, but somehow they make it all work.
This afternoon we are off again, next stop planned for Sunday afternoon is Chiapas, Mexico.

A stop at Pez Vela, Costa Rica

17 December 2019 | Pez Vele, Costa Rica
Torben | It's the dry season, only a little rain
The big sailfish was made from 1,000's of recycled plastic bottles.

When we left Vista Mar outside of Panama City about a week ago we were headed for Golfito as our first fuel stop going North. Well, actually SOUTH for the first 80 miles as you have to get around Pt. Male before the course will take you closer to SF.

As it turned out, we had much better wind than anticipated and could do a fair amount of sailing rather than motoring. Second night out we anchored in Isla Jicaron, totally secluded island in the Coiba Marine park and realized we did not have to go to Golfito but could make it to Quipos for fuel.

Making a very long story short, no fuel without checking in and out of Costa Rica, and,NO, you can't check in without an agent. And things are not moving swiftly, we are still here after 2 1/2 days but about ready to leave for El Salvador with full tanks.

So the bad news.....between the agent fee and a single night at posh Pez Vela Marina, that set us back $ 560 + the fuel! The good news were $ 1.75 Margarita's, quite nice showers and a great meal out.

Phil' er' up

11 December 2019 | Vista Mar Marina, Panama
Judy | Sun shining on Judy
Phil doing his duty, evaluating rum.

How do you get enough of Phil? Take him on the Baderas Race Week or on two Atlantic crossings? Nope. How about spending thanksgiving together, transiting the Panama Canal and spending a few days in the Las Perlas islands? Nope. Phil left us still wanting more. Talk about the perfect crew!
Or maybe it's the never a dull moment when Phil is around. It began at the Panama City international airport. Ricky comes through customs leaving Kristin holding one of Phil’s bags. Where is Phil? He got stopped by customs because he did not fill out his custom form properly. That turned into a full on search of Phil's other bag which contained some misc. Ship stores for TIVOLI. The officer quit searching when he came across our new toilet seat and let Phil go.
Then there was the lost toiletry bag, that mysteriously appeared in his duffle bag after 3 days. We used to try to help him find his lost items but now we've given up. My favorite one was when he lost his headlamp on our last Atlantic crossing and when Torben found it, we kept it, wrapped it up, and gave it to him for his birthday!
After we transited the Canal I witnessed Phil searching every BLUE hull boat we came across in hopes of running into Vickie and Rowan Fenell from RYC. The morning we were getting ready to leave Las Perlas, who should come by TIVOLI in a dinghy? The Fenells and they came from that WHITE hull boat!
But a visit on TIVOLI is never complete unless we subject you to a rum taste off. And Phil was no exception. After tasting seven (7) different types of rum blindfolded, then confirming his rating by drinking full shots of his two top rated rums, he declare with a smile that the rum tasting and night portion of the canal transit has been his favorite part of the trip!
A picture is worth a thousand words!
And then the good by. We arranged for a private taxi to take Phil to the airport. We exchanged with the driver his vehicle info for a photo of Phil and sent Phil on his way. Thinking everything is fine, we get a text from the driver 30 minutes later. Where's Phil? He should have been long gone. Well he was long gone, in some body else’s taxi!
Love yea buddy!

RYC rendezvous

11 December 2019 | Vista Mar Marina, Panama
Torben | It just rained
Emma, Lucy, Vicky, Rowan and Taliesin Rose in Boat Jail.

While at anchor at Mogo Mogo Island in Las Perlas with Phil we were enjoying our evening cocktail watching a sailboat sneak over the reef and anchor a few hundred yards away from us at dusk. We commented on the large number of folks and kids on deck, counting about 10 or a 44 foot boat.
In the morning when Phil was still looking for his toothbrush and Judy and I were playing a competitive game of Double Solitaire we heard a shout. ‘Judy, Torben, Tivoli, how are you?’ So 4,000 Nautical Miles from Richmond YC, the Fennells, who had their boat on C-dock, showed up. Vicky and Rowan have been cruising their Bavaria 44, Taliesin Rose, for a couple of years with their 2 kids Lucy and Emmy. How fun. We used to race Moore 24’s against them as well.
So it turned in to a rendezvous at Contadore Island and a dinner with them and their 6 guests !! And later in the week a hamburger night at Balboa Yacht Club to exchange experiences and cruiser tricks.
As luck would have it we ran into them once again on checking our at the Immigration office at Flamingo Island. They had just hauled out the boat for a routine bottom paint job that – like those things do – was turning interesting as their rudder not only had some major blisters but also some shaft pitting, Lets hope they resolve it quickly so they can launch and head towards their ultimate destination on New Zealand.
Vessel Name: Tivoli
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau First 42s7
Hailing Port: Point Richmond, CA
Crew: Judy & Torben Bentsen
About:
On September 11, 2010 we cast off the dock lines from our home port of Richmond Yacht Club, California with an agenda of a multi year cruise. Season 1 took us down the coast of Mexico and we ended the season in Bahia del Sol, El Salvador. [...]
Extra:
TIVOLI is a 1994 Beneteau 42s7. Once upon a time she was a fairly competitive race boat, now - in her old age - she is content being weighed down with a lot of cruising stuff. We raised the waterline twice before leaving Richmond Yacht Club to compensate for the anchors, chain, water maker, extra [...]
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From Bequia to Trinidad to San Francisco with a stop in Nova Scotia
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Shelter Bay, a short stop in San Blas and then 600 NM North to Gand Cayman
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Final outing with Connie and Steve to the Spanish Fort guarding the mouth of the Chargres River.
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Cap't Steve ready to drive the ferry across the Canal.
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Party on, mangofish
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Going to Thanksgiving at Betsy's in Pedesi
29 Photos
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Visit to the old transfer city of stolen gold and silver
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Getting a few projects done.
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If I hold the lobster, will you shoot it Steve?
46 Photos
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Sun, Blue Water, Double solitaire!
71 Photos
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Hello CARIBBEAN SEA
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Gatun Locks
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San Miguel Locks
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Miraflores locks
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Connie and Steve arrives, Betsy and Stu joins.
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Shots from Amador and Las Perlas Islands
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Coming back to El Salvadoe
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Acapulco to El Salvador with stops in Huatulco and Puerto Chiapas.
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Barra Birthday, Santiago Bay, Los Hadas and Manzanillo
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Christmas time in La Cruz.
34 Photos
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Random shots from Torben's trip to SF, Ricky visiting prior to Christmas, will he change his shirt before going back?
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San Blas & Chacala
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Pictures from Thanksgiving in Los Frailes and from 5 days in Mazatlan
47 Photos
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The solitude of Espiritu Santo and the metropolis of La Paz.
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Ensenada to Quintin
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Random shots from the last days in San Diego, including provisioning at the farmers market and finding a spot for it all
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From J's trip to celebrate Connnie and make some bucks at the school.
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