Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pacific crossing Day 5, flying high

I have always said this sailing life comes with higher highs and lower lows than land life. Today, it's a high. The spinnaker is up, we are making good progress while not even in the trade winds. It's a joy to sit in the shaded cockpit, we are even having fun doing school. I know, sounds crazy! Today school part will include marking our position on a paper chart, learning about long/latitude, and throwing in some math as well. Tessa has been collecting the dead flying squid we have on deck every morning, and is also enjoying taking pictures with her new camera (thank you, oma and opa!). I got some laundry done, and I'm looking forward to the fritata Tod will be making tonight( we left with 190 eggs, I overdid it, so we will be creative with some eggs dishes). This life teaches me to take it one day at the time, and when it's a great day at sea, it's a glorious one. On a different note, things felt a bit spooky last night during my night watch. An alarm went off on our chart plotter, red sign flashing "vessel dangerously close". I had been looking at traffic for a while, and I didn't see anything other than bright stars. We don't see other boats out here, the exception was last evening when another Pacific Puddle Jumper sailed closeby, the fist sailboat in 5 days. We chatted on the VHF radio for a bit, and then off we went, each a slightly different direction. Back to the flashing red light.. ..I just kept looking around, 360 degrees, but just couldn't see any other boats. After 10 minutes the red sign went away, and during our night switch at 2AM, we figured out that *our* AIS (which shows our vessel's position on other boats' charts, but had been not functioning the day before) was temporarily active again, and it was own own boat that was dangerously close! It's on our never ending "to fix" list, to get our AIS responder working properly again. Manana, manana!

Post script on Thursday:
Question for the day: which part was fiction in the above part? No, you guessed it wrong; school was really fun yesterday. What was fiction was that Tod didn't get to make the fritata, because...the sheet hit the fan so to speak. The fan was that propeller again. Seriously, you would think we are newbies to sailing, and have not sailed for decades and many sea miles. In short, when it was time to get the spinnaker down (too big of sail, so we put it away for the evening), we again managed to get the way tooooo long lazy sheet in the water around the propeller. We hove too, got to boat speed down, and Tod reluctantly jumped in again. Waves were quite high this time, 6 ft is my best guess.
Short story, he untangled it again, but we were just too tired to deal with dinner for ourselves any more. The waves kept strong all night, rocking us like crazy, not much sleep for the adults (it doesn't affect Tessa), and the high day ended up like a real low.....

Stats Day 5: 550 in last 5 days, 2300 to go to Nuku Hiva
Jolanda for Bliss crew signing off for now, at 16 degrees 07' N, 112 degrees 50' W

Blogpost at sea are sent through our SSB radio. We can read your comments, and love them, just know we have no ability to reply back on the website.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Pacific crossing day 3

It seems ages ago that we left Puerta Vallarta on Friday March 22, but it has only been 3 days.

I'm rocking and rolling in my berth right now, horizontal seems to be the best position if you don't want to be trashed around. We have had an adventurous day: tod really wanted to fly our spinnaker, he got it all nicely set up, we enjoyed a nice ride for a while, until it went downhill. Short version, the lazy sheet got wrapped around the other way around than jumping in the deep blue while being tied to the boat. Not something you want to do unless you have no other choice, as we are in larger predators territory here. off course, Tod fixed our problem and we are now flying our jib with our new pole.

Tessa seems to take the rolling motion the best of the crew, and is the most happy of us 3. She is devouring audiobooks, plays and eats well. "The boat rocks, mama, its just something you have to get used too", she told me yesterday, while i cursed like a sailor. The adults aboard need just a couple more days to get in the swing of things. Ending on a positive note, we had a glorious day of sailing yesterday, almost what i imagined trades sailing will be. Something to look forward too! The night skies have been amazing, and soon Tessa will know more about galaxies than I do. And our sailboat Bliss is in her happy state, this is what she was mend to do.

Blogpost at sea are send through our SSB radio. We can read your comments, and love them, just know we have no ability to reply back.

stats; 350 miles in last 3 days.

Jolanda for Bliss crew signing off for now, at 17 degrees 52' north, 110 degrees 14' west

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

When you are ready but the wind is not

Waiting is part of the game, if we like it or not. After months of continuous work, we looked at what could possibly be a short weather window to get off the coast of Mexico here. Bliss carries only so much fuel, and a good portion will be used for crossing the ITCZ, the zone near the equator with fluky to zero winds (also know as the doldrums).  So, we are in a waiting pattern, fridge is fully stocked again, but we will have to stock up again next week right before departure. Knowing Tod, he will try to finish up some more less urgent projects. Stay tuned, we are hoping for late next week. Happy Spring!

another one plus full cart, dry and not so dry provisioning

Another birthday for Tod aboard

we carry paper charts too, up to New Zealand

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Getting into the final stretch

This afternoon we will be part of the farewell party of the Pacific Puddle Jumpers here in Banderas Bay. Al tough there are hundreds of boats in this area, only about 14 will be sailing the 2900 NM from here to the Marquesas, French Polynesia. The far majority of these 14 boats will be leaving on Monday, the first good weather window to catch good wind to go West. Almost all boats leaving from here are boats with US crew only, and they can only stay in French Polynesia for 90 days (unless they applied in advance for a special permit).  These boats plan to sail another 5000 to 6000 NM to either Australia or New Zealand to be there for cyclone season, starting end of November.

Bliss on the other hand, is in a slightly different boat. As Europeans, Tessa and I can stay in French Polynesia for an unlimited time, and Tod gets another benefit for being married to me:-). We do have to submit paperwork once we arrive in the Marquesas, but if all goes well, Tod will get his annual Carte de Sejour, and we can bob around without going all the way down South. We plan to leave Bliss in French Polynesia during cyclone season, but as all boat plans, they are written in sand.

We plan to leave in the 3rd of 4th week of March, waiting for another good weather window. In the meantime, still boat projects, home schooling, and provisioning to do. Tod's birthday coming up next week, and we will have the chance to get one more "fancy" meal in. We hope that Tessa's birthday is no longer at sea, but celebrated in "Moana Land" (she is very excited!).

I will send out one more blog post before we leave, that will include a tracker for our Pacific Ocean crossing. Hasta luego, and thanks for following along! We love to hear from you!

Crocodiles in marina Puerta Vallarta, yikes
Catching up and having fun with our friends aboard Let it Be

Looking up from our bedroom 

Fascinated by the lobster at the fish market

This is another project added to the list, and counts as birthday gifts for both of us for the next years.
we decided to add a spinnaker pole for our downwind sailing

cruise ships in Puerta Vallarta make you feel so tiny

We can not wait to do more sailing/playing, here back to
our home base in la Cruz. Whales and dolphins on our sail home

Dona Mari, the 99 years old Mexican woman, walking every day several km,
collecting cans for money. She makes you smile.

hanging out in the cruisers lounge in La Cruz, with AC!

So much fun with La Cruz Kids Club, and Cat (on the right) makes it all happen!

I'm gonna miss dropping off our laundry for $6, getting back same day,
nicely folded. Hand washing from here on after we leave....