Saturday, January 28, 2006

Update 1-28-06

As you've followed my adventures for the last three months I've traveled over 3000 nautical miles (3500 statue miles) and stopped at over 30 ports or anchorages. These months been very busy providing tremendous learning experiences, amazing beauty at every turn, good friends both old and new and great content for email updates. The New Year has marked a new chapter in my cruising adventure as I'm now out of travel mode until approximately April 1. My days are filled with pure leisure aside from weekly shopping trips and occasional boat projects. On a typical day I'll wake up to listen to the radio net for weather reports, make breakfast, go for a swim, do a little fishing, then in early afternoon join in a game of bochi ball on the beach followed by social hour at one of the beach palapas, cook dinner and then spend the evening hanging out on one of the many boats. I also study Spanish and do a fair amount of reading both for leisure and study. The study aspect is mainly reading sailing guides for the locations I will visit in the South Pacific taking notes and planning my trip. Currently, the boat is anchored on the Central Mexican coast in a region with numerous closely spaced anchorages and perfect weather. High temperatures for the day usually are a comfortable 85 and drop to around 70 at night. Occasionally, a cloud will drift by but, thus far none has offered a single drop of rain. The bays are alive with sea life such as dolphins and fish of all sizes and nature. This morning I was awakened by a feeding frenzy taking place next to the boat as a school of small fish tried to hide from some nice 3-4' Dorado. I got out my fishing pole and had one of the monsters on the line momentarily before it spit the hook. My cooking skills are improving and this morning I prepared Huevos Rancheros for the first time and was impressed with the very authentic result. Shopping for groceries is usually a half-day project as numerous stops are required at tiendas (small shops) to find all the items you are searching for. In the smaller villages one eats and cooks local fair as there is no alternative. Fortunately, I enjoy Mexican cuisine so it's really no hardship. I have a mountain bike on board and take it into the beach for a ride when surf conditions permit a dry landing and departure. Regardless the bike which was new in July is already showing signs of an early death due to corrosion.

Around April 1 I will be heading to the South Pacific islands and constantly traveling again until November when I plan to arrive in New Zealand. The first leg of this journey will be a daunting non stop sail of over 2700 nautical miles (3000 statue miles) to the nearest South Pacific Island group called the Marquesas Islands. This leg will require a minimum of 18 to ?? days of sailing 24 hours a day and take me from 20 degrees north latitude to 10 degrees south latitude and 105 degrees West longitude to 140 West longitude For a sailor with aspirations of sailing around the world this passage turns out to be the single longest non-stop leg to do so. The weather seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere thus the planned departure of April 1 as this marks the end of the Southern ocean hurricane season (November - March) and ensure a safe journey into the Southern Hemisphere. I plan to have two crew on board for the journey and have a pretty good short list of candidates to select from. However, I would appreciate any potential leads.

In the near term a quick trip to Seattle to shop for specialized items and spare parts then when I return to Mexico a haul-out is planned to paint the bottom of the boat and some other final preparations.

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