Sunday, April 1, 2007

Matey: Mexico to Hawaii



Hi - I bet you want to know what it was like for me doing the crossing since I didn't actually have a choice in the matter. At first I thought we were just going for another daysail so all was good, then after a couple of days of the sailing thing I thought maybe we were on one of our passages - they usually last about 3 days or so - so I kept coming out to sniff the wind to see if I could smell land yet, but nope!!!


After about a week, I settled into my fate and slept a lot. Kinda weird since usually I'm such an active girl, but just walking around and doing normal things like eating and drinking are physical activities for a little doggie. Mom and dad have hands to hold on with, but I have to use my muscles to stay upright - like serious yoga for doggies. I learned new tricks like eating and drinking while swaying and stumbling on a rolling boat. My agility workout was fine tuned since I had to master going up and down our companionway stairs in a rolling boat. This is hard enough for most dogs when the ladder is steady, but I had to go up and down 5 steps as if someone were also moving the ladder on me. Really I just learned to time when the sea was mostly steady and run down (or up) real fast. Sometimes I got stuck and mom or dad would say, 'Go now, go!" and I'd run real quick. I also got really good with the 'cockpit' command - like when mom and dad went up to the bow to deal with the spinnaker and either forgot to tell me to stay (or I decided not to stay), they could tell me to go back - I didn't really enjoy that one, but I know they always look out for me so I listen when the 'vibe' feels more intense.


At night I learned to tell mom or dad that I wanted to go out to take care of business, so that they could hold a light for me. Sometimes at night it's real dark and when the sea is rolly - I'd rather have someone watch me. I also makes sure they give me my payment for going (jerky strip for #1 and chicken strip for #2). I'm really glad mom and dad brought enough of my favorite treats from home to last the entire trip.


I learned to detect when anyone touched the fishing pole (not just the reel), fishing lure box or towing generator. I could even detect this while sleeping - which made for some wild frantic sprints into the cockpit from my room.


I also learned to sleep while bracing myself against the side of the boat. I would keep one paw stretched out in front of me so that I didn't bump my nose. I also learned to sleep in the small cubby on the floor - less rolling down low, you know...


I would usually wear my shoes most of the day with mom or dad taking them off in the evening after my potty time - then I could lick my paws and they could be shoe free over the night when I was less prone to be running around.


So I think I got really into my groove after the first week - then mom and dad noticed that I settled into routines such as first thing in the morning (before breakfast) I would scour the cockpit looking for any flying fish or squid that have landed on the deck. Mom wouldn't let me eat the flying fish cause they're so spiny, but I made sure she saw them so she could throw them overboard. Some were as big as about 18 inches and our smallest was about 3/4 of an inch. The squid were fair game.


Things continued pretty much as usual in my little Waterworld until on the last day mom and dad kept looking at me and asking questions between them selves. I heard things like, "I don't think she even notices". They pointed out this big red thing (maybe a buoy?), but I couldn't care less. Then as we motorsailed into the Bay and mom and dad were tying lines to the boat - I started to get a familiar feeling (we haven't been to a marina since December). But when we entered the marina and I saw all the other boats tied to docks -- then I knew something was up. I didn't freak out as they expected, I guess I was happier with my waterworld that my parent's thought. I was supposed to be confined to the boat until the doggy police came for me the next day, but Dad did sneak me off for my first land business since everything seemed so low key.


I think it was still a couple of days before it all came back to me. But now after a few beach runs under my collar - I've forgotten all about Waterworld. Mom scoped out the good off leash places with a couple of other dog owners. No matter how they try to contain me -- I am dog and I will run!!!!


Here are some pictures of some of the adventures we've been having so far:


My very first play session and chance to run on land. Mom and dad just picked me up from the airport and stopped at the first open field they saw. Gosh it felt good!!!!!


Kaneohe Bay looking over the YC - you can kinda see masts at the bottom of the picture


7-eleven in paradise...


Beautiful beach shot on a drive around the island - gotta take time for play!!!!


Had shrimp scampi and a garlic hot dog at Giovannis -- YUMMY!!!!


Stopped to pose by this huge guy


A snorkeling lagoon type place on the North Shore - we are going to return here...


Lanikai beach


At the Pali Lookout. It was super windy and I was a favorite side attraction with the Japanese tourbus - they loved my 'high five', I had a group standing around me watching me perform, till mom saved me and ended the show.


We took a hike up to the Manoa Falls and don't tell because I wasn't supposed to be off leash, but I got to swim in my very own little pond at the base of a waterfall!!!!!


Dad at Manoa Falls


Part of the hike brought us through a Bamboo forest -- very cool.


Mom and I on the hike - amazing trees and constant bird sounds (luckily I don't care much about birds anymore)


Part of the trail - it wasn't all like this, most was climbing over wet slimy (kinda slippery) rocks with some mud thrown in.


Yesterday at the beach in Kailua. This is a great beach just a short drive away from the YC that allows dogs on leash - but most have those invisible leashes that we love so much!!!! The bad part is it has showers so mom and dad can squirt me down when it's over.


Dad going off to play in the surf. Notice the dark clouds - that's a squall about to come through. They are frequent here, but so far have been very quick and not really that big of a deal. We did leave the beach for this one because it was very windy - mom got tired of being pelted by the sand, so we went under a tree just off the beach to wait it out.

Passage Stats - Mexico to Hawaii



Mexico to Hawaii:


Vessel Name : Pacifica (Ericson 39B)


Departure Point & Date La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, MX 4-9-07 (depart 9am local)


Landfall Point & Date Kaneohe Bay, HI 4-29-07 (arrive 6:30pm local)


Days in Passage & Total Miles: 21 days/3027 miles


Engine Hours Used : 40 hours (about 1/2 for charging only)


Average Speed for Passage: 6.15 kts


Best & Worst 24 Hour Run in Miles: Best 166, Worst 115


Highest Wind & Waves Encountered: Wind 30 kts, Waves 12 feet


Number of Fish Caught: 3, 2 blue fin tuna and 1 dorado (in addition, on our 2nd day out we hooked a Marlin which gave a thrilling show until he threw the hook (thank, God!))


Boat Breakdowns: 1 jib block fell apart and some windvane steering lines chaffed through


Most Valued Crew Member: SAL - our Sailomat windvane


Day Crossed Halfway Point: Day 11





Most Valued Entertainment Equipment: HAM/SSB, Ipod, Books

Passage: Mexico to Hawaii



Day 2~~~


19° 25' N


107° 32' W


245° T


5.1 Kts


2835 miles to Hawaii


Hi Everyone,


Just wanted to let you all know how we are doing. We had a great departure - Patti on Angelfish got in her dinghy to take pictures of us as we left and wave goodbyes, Pincoya came out to say goodbye as did Sea Tub. Len (Greg's dad) went out on the end of the pier to take final pictures as we sailed out of Mexico. It was a great send-off and we felt very special. After toasting Mother Nature and Neptune with some of our good tequila we were rewarded with flat seas, sunny skies and warm breezes. We happily sailed through the day in 10-13 knot winds, we were loving life. Last night the winds got a little fluky so we've been having to work again for our miles. Now we are motorsailing hoping to get into some reliable winds soon. And the fishing line was just put in the water.


So far sleep has been okay, but I know we are not into the routine yet as it's only the second day. I've been be bopping around the boat listening to tunes/podcasts and lectures about Jazz. Greg has a touch of a sore throat so he had some extra sleeping time today to give his body a good chance to fight it. I even had my first reefing exercise this morning - though it was fairly benign.


Anyway, we're having a good time, checking into the radio nets. Adagio is about 500 miles ahead of us, and Anna and Cutthroat (the 2 other Hawaii bound boats - their webpages are on my links page) are both planning to leave today.


As always, you can check the following link for our trip reports that we send in to see our position plotted on a map: http://shiptrak.org/?callsign=ki6ews





Later,


Melissa, Greg and Matey


PS, for those interested Matey's biological functions are all working as they should, she OOOORRRWWWWed to me this morning for her breakfast when I started my 7am watch. She has been spending her time monitoring the water towed generator, scanning the sea, and now keeping tabs on the fishing line.


---


Day 4~~~~


18° 09' N


111° 36' W


270° T


6.1 Kts


2620 miles to Hawaii


Well, we are getting into the groove, though it would have been a lot easier if a cold hadn't grabbed onto Greg just as we were shoving off. Luckily it's just a minor one, but when you need two people to run the boat 24 hours a day even a minor one is a pain.


But we're doing well, spirits are good and the fishing line is in the water. We've been checking into all the nets, our day starts off with the Picante Net at 7:15am, then the Amigo net at 8am, then position reporting at 9am (this is a twice daily detailed report that we keep for our records taken the same time each day). Then if we want weather updates we'll check in with Don at 10:30 or 11. After lunch there is the Pacific Maritime net at 4pm, then our Hawaii bounders net at 6pm, then the Southbound net at 6:45, then finally after our evening 9pm reporting there is the Pacific Seafarer's Net at 9:20. Throw in between all those nets, making water, meals and keeping the sails full - we don't get bored on Pacifica.


Matey is in her groove, she was excited by a dolphin show early this morning, right now she's snoozing in the back keeping one ear on the fishing rod.


About the sailing, the past couple of days we've have extremely fluky winds fluctuating about 30-40 degrees - our tracking on the GPS looks like we've been taking in a few too many Sailor Jerry Rum drinks.


Oh, one thing that is very interesting out here is the vibrant colors. There aren't that many different colors, but what they are are beautiful. The sea is the most amazing cobalt blue I've ever seen. And last night was the blackest night I've ever seen - there was almost complete cloud cover and no moon, often I had trouble seeing the horizon - but at least it made spotting ships easy (at least I think it would have if there were any out here).


The night before last we did have a ship that was looking like it was on a collision course with us - or at the least coming very close. After getting on the radio to call him we discovered we didn't show up at all on his radar, but he could see our running lights after we told him our coordinates. He altered course and passed safely behind us.


The other 3 Hawaii bound boats are all out here and it's fun comparing their distances each day. We are slowly gaining on Adagio - but they are a slower boat than us, Cutthroat is quickly gaining on us (they are much bigger and have a larger fuel capacity and aren't afraid to use it). Anna is only on their second day, so we don't know how we relate to them speed wise yet. But Anna, Cutthroat and ourselves are within 200 miles of each other.


I better go, it's getting a little bouncy and I really don't want to ramble on to much. Oh we found out this morning that as of yesterday Greg is an officially General Ham licensee - so YIPEE!!!


Anyway, all is good - take Care, Melissa, Greg and Matey


---


Day 5~~~~


18° 04' N


114° 10' W


275° T


5.9 Kts


2473 miles to Hawaii


It's been another good day and night aboard Pacifica - though yesterday we were a little more like motor boat Pacifica because of light winds. But early this morning around 1am the wind came up nicely and around 6am the wind shifted to a beam reach. Currently we are sailing along with our asymetrical spinnaker in friendly seas and all is good.


Yesterday afternoon the fishing line went off with a HUGE run...Greg started to reel him in and when we got the fish close to the boat he did a wild thrashing which showed us that he was a marlin. Fortunately he managed to throw the hook before we got him to the boat - I don't know what we would have done if he hadn't.


This morning though brought better luck for the tummy. We landed 2 blue fin tuna - small guys so they will make about 2 meals. We'll BBQ one in a couple of hours when Greg wakes up and have the rest in some meal tomorrow.


A little bit of bad news on Pacifica is we've lost our lettuce and all our cabbage (except for a small piece in the fridge). I have no idea why - I think those green veggie bags just don't work for me, I haven't had any luck. Anyway, we are going ot be really wanting some green leafy stuff by the time we get to Hawaii in approximately another 18 days.


Oh, a Matey update - she is totally zonked out after her fish excitement and gorging herself on sushi (she wasn't really gorging, but she did have a lot).


Until Later - or should I say Hasta Luego since we are still technically in Mexico.


Melissa, Greg and Matey


---


Day 6~~~


18° 06' N


116° 21' W


270° T


6.9 Kts


2351 miles to Hawaii


So, Yesterday it was a good thing we ate our tuna early, and he was wonderful - we had him seared on the grill with some stir-fried veggies. I say it's a good thing because in the afternoon the wind and seas really piped up, we spent most of the afternoon and evening with a double reefed main and a reefed jib. Around 2:30 in the morning the wind retreated to motoring level so we were back motoring which wasn't all that bad, our towable generator isn't taking to it's new brushes, so we needed the engine to charge the batteries. It was fairly cloudy during the day, and we did not get our full complement of solar energy. Greg will work on it more today it see if he can whip it into shape - it sure is nice to have all that free power coming in even if it is on the slower spinning prop (did I mention we lost the faster pitched one overboard?)


This morning was busy for me - lots of net talk on the Picante net - that was fun and helped speed away some time. Then I did the most important work of finding a great place for the sirius radio antenna and securing it into place. In between finding shows to listen to, I called Don our weather guy for his opinion on the weather out here.


I know I've mentioned him before about how he provides Mexican weather on the nets down here. Another thing he does is monitors his radio 4 times a day for vessels such as ourselves crossing to Hawaii or like our friends on Marcy (who are now happily anchored in the Marquesas) who crossed to the South Pacific. Although we get buoyweather and grib files forcasting, it's also nice to have a 3rd source especially one you can talk to who will also explain the 'whys' to you. We totally LOVE our SSB!!!!


Don says that we are in the NE trades and they will gradually get stronger and back toward the East and so will the swells. He did prepare me that the swells will get bigger, but they will be mature (all of which Greg prepared me for before we left).


Anyway, here's to another day at sea - and to Jan, just a little sidenote: we literally sail into the sunset every evening (since we are sailing due West).


It's almost time to wake Greg, though I hesitate to do it, he is sleeping so peacefully. But today is my long watch day which means I only have 4 hours to sleep, so I'm ready to get some. Our watch schedule has us taking four hour turns during the day (7am to 7pm) and three hour turns at night. This seems to be working out well.





Melissa, Greg and Matey


---





Day 8~~~


18° 19' N


121° 39' W


270° T


6.5 Kts


2050 miles to Hawaii


Rockin', Rolin', Bouncin' along. That about describes the last day and a half. Yesterday the wind filled in to peak about 25kts in the late afternoon and held till around 12:30 where it seems to be settling around 20 kts. It was pretty amazing though, we had a triple reefed main and a reefed jib and Pacifica was still screaming along at a nice 7+ kts. She really does handle things beautifully. We've had a pretty uncomfortable swell and wind chop on our beam so things are pretty noisy down below. Sleep in lee cloths and ear plugs is even hard.


This email is yet a ploy to keep myself awake as I wait patiently for another hour till I can wake Greg for a shift change and get another 3 hours of sleep. It's surprising how quickly I can wake up while seeing the white phosphorescence crest of a breaking wave coming at us at eye height out of the corner of my eye. Pacifica just sweetly rides over it, but my sleepy mind freaks out for just a bit. It's also surprising how quickly I want to go back to sleep after being jolted awake. Another midnight vice of mine is soul music - it's so fun to pretend to be singing along to it (of course alone in the cockpit in the middle of the night) - I only hope one night I don't actually start belting out tunes, Greg would definitely think I had lost it.


We had our first bit of chafe damage yesterday - Sal's (our steering windvane) steering line broke, but Greg replaced it easy enough and he was back in business. Sal definitely gets the vote for most valued crew member aboard.


It's morning now and the winds are back up to 20-25. I spoke with Don Anderson and we should have this wind most of the way to Hawaii - so we're looking at a fast passage. I'm already calculating the days with the calculator....





Melissa, Greg and Matey


---


Day 11


18° 22' N


129° 50' W


270° T


6.3 Kts


1589 miles to Hawaii


THe wind has died down to about 10-15 kts, so we've shaken out all the reefs and are moving along nicely. Over the past two nights it's finally been calmish enough to actually make interesting meals. It just seems that so far we've been heeled so far over or rolling so much that the thought of cooking seemed a bit suicidal (or at the very least an invitation to injure ourselves). You see, Pacifica's galley (or kitchen) is on the high side of the boat on this crossing and we don't have a galley strap set up (but we will in Hawaii), so cooking has the constant feeling of cooking while climbing uphill and with the risk of being thrown down the hill suddenly with no warning. Add to this the stove contents could come crashing across also - though the stove is gimbaled, sometimes the roll exceeds the gimbaling limits.


Yesterday I woke to Greg spotting Cutthroat (the big 52 foot Island Packet that left a day after us) off our stern. So the day was dominated with Cutthroat catching up with us. We rolled up the jib, then took in a couple of reefs to slow down so they could pass us in daylight and we had a late afternoon mid ocean photo shoot. How cool is that!! It's not easy to get a picture of your boat sailing over 1000 miles from land.


Last night we had a radio chat call set up with Peter and Ginger on s/v Marcy who are now in the Marquesas. It was so great to talk to them and it's amazing how clearly you can talk over thousands of miles with these radios.


We have the fishing lines out so Matey is hoping it'll be her lucky day. We sure could use a Dorado or wahoo and we have room in the freezer for him.


Oh, a little bit of bad news, I jammed my toe yesterday (part of that rolling throwing you to the opposite side of the boat). Luckily it didn't need to be put back into place like Greg's toe before we left, but it definitely needs to be taped to his neighbor for support and is very painful. If I were not crossing an ocean I could relax and be pampered as it heals. But unfortunately on a small boat with only 2 people aboard, that's not an option. Though Greg has been a sport about getting out of bed to make minor changes in the cockpit when it's rough. Though he did suffer for it last night.


Finally - I can't believe I almost forgot about this - we should be reaching the halfway point late tonight or early tomorrow morning (we are considering 1500 miles as the midway). So we get to have a little toast of Don Julio with King Neptune and Mother Nature tomorrow...YIPEE!!!! Then it's downhill from here.





Melissa, Greg and Matey


---


Day 13


18° 14' N


135° 29' W


270° T


6.6 Kts


1275 miles to Hawaii


Hi ~ after a couple of emails asking how we are doing, we figured we better write another update. So....Notice the mileage to Hawaii -- we're past the halfway mark. The night before last we 'crossed the mark' but waited until yesterday afternoon for our celebration. So we got out our finest unbroken shot glasses and after Neptune and Mother Nature got their offering, Greg and I sipped Don Julio in celebration on a very boisterous sea.


We've been having fantastic wind keeping Pacifica averaging at least in the mid 6, sometimes 7 knot range. At this rate we are thinking maybe being in Hawaii on Monday-ish. We've also nailed down our destination, it looks like it will be Kaneohe Bay since it is supposed to be a gorgeous location with several calm anchorages, a welcoming yacht club (though they are dredging so it looks like we'll anchor out - but we can use their facilities), and a bus stop which can get us to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, West Marine etc. Sounds like a perfect place to recharge our batteries. Early on we'll try to catch a bus to Honolulu to meet our fellow Hawaii crossers (3 of them are going to Honolulu) the fourth we'll probably run into in Kauai.


I remember reading our friends on s/v Marcy's update at day 12 on their trip to the Marquesas and especially that they said a small part of them is going to be sad to see it end. I've been stretching within myself to see that point of view from where I am. And after a couple of days trying, I did for a fleeting 5 minutes or so this morning. But really, Ginger, I'm sorry to say I can't wait to get to a non heeling/rolling anchorage and be able to cook while not having to hold myself on the high side (or having to watch Greg hold himself on the high side), to be able to wash my hair in the sink without Greg behind be supporting my butt so I don't fly across the boat, to have the feeling of fresh water flowing over me (not an option in our cockpit unless you want periodic drenches of salt water thrown in), and a popcicle - I can't believe how much I wish we had popcicles in the freezer. Greg tells me to remember that Marcy wrote that after a tough 10 days in 30 knots of wind and at the time they had crossed the equator and were in flat seas with sunny skies. Also, I have to add, one reason I may not be sad for the end is that I get to do it again in two months on the crossing from Hawaii to San Francisco. I guess I need to be satisfied with the feeling that I'm not thinking of selling the boat and moving ashore never to sail again. I feel good that I can be comfortable looking out to a sea of swells coated with white caps and know I'm 1000's of miles from land and not be freaking out.


So, we're feeling good and Pacifica is handling this trip beautifully. She really is an amazing boat. And Sal - I can't begin to say how much I appreciate Sal. He NEVER complains and always stands out there steering us better than we can no matter what the sea splashes at him.


Anyway, the fishing has been disappointing, we've been dragging a hook for the past couple of days...nada. We did land the smallest flying fish ever - he was only about 3/4 of an inch long, I didn't know they came that small.


I better go for now, I hope you are all doing well!


Melissa, Greg and Matey


---


Day 17


Sorry, but I seem to have made a typo in our email address for you all to use. The CORRECT address is [we'd be happy to send it to you vial email, but we don't want to post it] Please send all fan/hate/news/email to this address.


18° 42' N


146° 11' W


280° T


6.0 Kts


674 miles to Oahu


Melissa has decided that if she can't say anything nice, she shouldn't say anything at all. It has thus fallen into my lap to turn the morale around and get a report out.


Apparently I did not thoroughly enough explain to her the main fact of life she would experience making a (very) long downwind ocean passage. Sing with me: Roll, Roll, Roll your boat gently down the sea ... OK, maybe not so gently. This has truly been an extremely rolly trip. Pretty much the whole way we have been in reinforced tradewinds with seas in the 10' range. Add lots of bumpy wind waves into the mix and imagine the result. The bright side is we are moving along at a very fast clip and should easily make our fantasized 21 day passage time. This is very fast for a 3000 mile trip on a small-to-mid sized cruising boat. Except for the first three days, we have consistently made 150 to 160+ miles every day.


Our watch schedule of four hour shifts in the day and three hour shifts at night seems to be working well for us. We both feel like we are getting the sleep we need, and the only really tough shift is the 1:00AM to 4:00AM. That being said, it will be real nice to get back to normal 8 hr. uninterrupted sleeping at night.


After our initial early success with fishing on this trip, it has since been a total bust. Except for a couple days where it was too rough to even contemplate dealing with a flopping fish, we have had a line in the water continuously. Nothing, nada, zilch. I'm thinking today our luck might turn around however. I'm visioning a mid sized dorado or wahoo chomping on our lure this afternoon. I'll get back to you on this with a follow-up report.


Other than one genoa sheet block coming apart, nothing has broken on this trip. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. Amazing. We had plenty of other blocks to replace the disintegrated one, so no big deal. A couple of windvane steering lines chafed through, but that barely counts. It seems that all or our careful preparation has paid off.


Many of the last few days we have had either just a double reefed main (sometimes triple reefed), or just a poled out jib. That's all we've needed to keep Pacifica moving along at 6.5 to 7+ knots. This morning does seem to be lightening up a bit however.


Meal preparation continues to be a real challenge. Imaging trying to prepare a meal in your Kitchen that is regularly rolling 20 degrees side to side. Not so fun, but you could probably learn to deal. Now add in an occasional bit of corkscrewing motion. OK. Now for the topper, every few minutes through in an unexpected 35 to 40 degree roll when a particularly large wave hits at a bad angle. You get the idea. What we really need is a belt which keeps the chef from being tossed across the cabin.


On the positive side, the sun has started making it's appearance a couple days ago. Blue skies and white puffy clouds are the rule now. Very beautiful looking out at the wavy sea in these conditions. The water is incredibly clear and blue.


Melissa has finally been able to read a book while underway. This is a big breakthrough for her. We've both been enjoying all the time we have for reading, though we also spend a fair amount of time playing with the HAM radio.


After more than two weeks of this, Matey is wondering if this is now her lot in life. We are trying to explain that she will not be living in Waterworld for the rest of her life, but I don't think she'll believe it until we land at Oahu and she touches (and pees on) actual earth.


It now looks like we will arrive at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu on Monday morning. We would more naturally arrive late Sunday night, but we will slow down so we don't make landfall until first daylight. It would be a shame to have made it all these thousands of miles, only to put Pacifica up on a reef.


That's all the news for now,


Greg, Melissa and Matey


---


Day 18


19° 15' N


149° 35' W


282° T


6.0 Kts


480 miles to Oahu


Wow! It sure feels like we are in the home stretch now. The winds and seas have calmed down and will probably stay this way till we reach Ohau. The winds are about 15 kts and the swells about 6 feet(but smooth). The sun is shining, we are happy.


Matey has had about as perfect a day as she can without us making landfall. It started out with a yummy breakfast (yes it's spiced with doggie nutrients and a little oil), then followed that up with a beef marrow bone. After prancing around trying to wake Greg she had a hot dog, then after Greg woke he put the fishing line in the water. Then the topper - we caught a nice dorado. Then she spent the time while I was cleaning the fish waiting for little bits of sushi to be dropped into her mouth. She is now sitting on the back seat watching the lines waiting for another fish to bite.


It was really great to finally catch another fish - that always pipes things up aboard.


As for the Talley on the other boats out here and when they will arrive: Adagio who left PV on April 2nd will arrive in Honolulu on Saturday, Cutthroat who left a day after us (on the 10th) will arrive in Honolulu on Sunday, and we will arrive on Monday morning. We've eaten most of our veggies - I think we have one green pepper, some onions, potatoes, tomatoes and a large cabbage salad with yummy veggies in it. Our freezer is basically empty except for a little ground meat and a half a pack of bacon, and about 8 beef marrow bones. Since I think they will take most of this away from us when we land, I hope Matey doesn't get too upset to see her bones go away. But we're not sure how customs will work, I've also heard a lot of times they don't even come aboard - we'll see, it's not that big of a deal either way.


Matey's vet appointment is confirmed on Monday afternoon at the airport for her to get her healthcheck - this is the final thing she has to do before she can be released back to us. So hopefully everything will work out and it really will be same day turnaround to in process her - it sure looks like it.


We always chuckle at the ways she has adapted, from the sleeping with the paw out bracing herself against the side of the boat so she doesn't smash her nose in the rolling, to going to the bathroom on a rolling platform, to doing a little dance side to side with the motion of the boat while she eats - and no complaining - she still shows her puppy face and seems very happy. I can't wait to see her run on the beach Monday evening. She's now learned to ask to go outside - even though she has free access to the cockpit, I think she feels better when we are there to watch her - or maybe she just wants to make sure we see her do her business so she can be sure we give her a treat (yes, we still treat each and every time - it's hard, I feel like I should have a treat after I go too).


We got to hear Ginger from s/v Marcy on the Pacific Seafarer's Net last night. They are enjoying their baguettes in the Marquesas - it's nice to catch up with friends on these nets. Just a simple hello can brighten an otherwise lonely (sleepy) start to a night watch.


Well, I must be going, we are settling down for cocktail hour (you know it's nice when we have cocktail hour). So here's to you - we'll toast you with a nice Sailor Jerry's run and diet coke!!!!


Melissa, Greg and Matey


---


Day 20


20° 40' N


154° 21' W


282° T


6.6 Kts


198 miles to Oahu


Another nice day aboard s/v Pacifica. As we are closing in, we've turned up the focus on Pacifica -- now it's SPEED. She excels in this light air (we have light trades of 10-15 kts and flat seas), and I'm happy she does. After we did some figuring, we decided since we were so close to getting in Sunday night, that if we pushed her (not crazy out of hand pushing, just sailing not cruising pushing), Pacifica could get us into Kaneohe Bay Sunday before nightfall. So, up went the spinnaker and we've been making great time. We have to average over 6.5 kts to assure a Sunday arrival - otherwise our little sorry selves are going to be spending an additional night out bobbing around outside the Bay waiting for that big yellow lightbulb to come up in the morning (Kaneohe has reefs and they can be particularly nasty if hit).


We decided to do this big push yesterday and had a beautiful day of spinnaker flying to culminate with a full rainbow off our stern (with the hints of a double) as the squalls started to pass through in the evening. After a nice little freshwater shower for Pacifica, we decided to do a take down and just sail with the genoa through the night. So there were a few hours of lighter (slower) times - I know those racers out there would be telling me we should have just flown it all night, but with the squalls around and at the time it was borderline too windy, we caved (sorry, Bill).


But at first light before Greg went to snooze, up went the spinnaker and she's been flying ever since. We've been averaging about 6.6 over the last few hours with a little 6.3 thrown in.


Matey is oblivious to our stresses and thinks it's great fun each time we go to tweak Sal to adjust our course. Reason being is it's in the back near the fishing lines - Matey is all about fishing, all day, every day. She runs down below to scarf down her meals, but she's back on deck to manage her lines. Every once in a while when the lure gets especially jumpy, she starts barking her head off till we look back and tell her there is no fish on the line.


We've been enjoying all the emails - thanks to all of you who have been sending them. We don't get a 'you've got mail' tune, but we do get messages when we connect as to how many messages we have. So the suspense while they are downloading is fun and we usually huddle around the computer or one of us will read them to the other.


Oh, a little tidbit, The guy who initially took me out on his boat for a Wednesday night race out of the Vallejo Yacht Club 7 1/2 years ago will be in Hawaii at the same time as us to do a delivery back to SF Bay. That guy is Bill Thomas of s/v Cpt George Thomas and because of his and Greg's patient supportive teachings, I am now here. And maybe Bill gets a little more credit because he did take the non sailing girl out on his boat, had he not volunteered that, I wouldn't have met Greg 3 months later. I later raced with Bill for 3 years and did the sail down the Mexican Coast aboard his boat. So, thanks, Bill - we're looking forward to seeing you in Honolulu or Kaneohe in a couple of weeks.


That's all for now,





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Arrival...


Kanehoe Bay Hawaii


Hi Everyone - Just wanted to let you know we made it. Sailed in at 7 kts as the light was fading away - talk about just making it - there are a lot of reefs around here, most marked with a PVC pipe but some not. Sure glad we made it before the light shut down.


We just got back to the boat after having a couple of beers and a hot dog at the Yacht Club. So far met a great bunch of people - I'm sure we'll feel right at home here over the next month.


Take care, more details later/...





Melissa, Greg and Matey


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Kaneohe Bay Update


Kaneohe Bay Hawaii


Hi~~~ Sorry you haven't heard from us in awhile - but we've been enjoying the life of being on land again.


First off, Matey's in processing went so smoothly - it was all smiles every step of the way. We called the inspector Monday morning (along with Customs). The inspector came by and called us on the cell when he got here to as us to bring Matey ashore. So she got to happily walk up to the inspector - getting yummy treats from him. Then we all walked to the van and had her hop up in the crate. She was happy and perky. Then he drove off with her to bring her to the airport holding facility. Her vet was coming by the airport to examine her at 3pm, so we had a little time to have some lunch and catch up on email when the customs inspectors came out to the boat.


They also take care of agriculture and immigration. Luckily we had already tossed all our produce and finished off the meat before coming in, so all they did was take our trash and a bag of limes that I forgot about. They didn't do any kind of inspection, in fact they didn't even come aboard the boat. At first they just wanted to do everything at the club (since that's where we were sitting doing email), but since our paperwork was at the boat, they walked down to it. When Greg asked if they wanted to come aboard, they said, "No, Thanks". So it was very low key and relaxing. After they left, we arranged for a rental car - then drove off to Honolulu to pick up Matey.


Of course we don't really have good directions so when we got close, I called the office to get help and the office manager from Quarantine stayed on the phone with me to give real time directions as we made our way through the airport. How is that for nice??? When we got parked and entered the office, everyone came out to tell us hello and meet the owners of the 'boat dog' (as Matey was affectionately nicknamed). It seemed everyone wanted to say hi - but they did also mention that they think everyone in the office had a chance to email me about Matey. Guess I was a little 'attentive' with by questions about what was going to happen to her. I can't help it if I'm over protective about her, and they didn't seem to mind - they were very friendly. When the vet finished his exam he came out to talk to us and commented a number of times as to how healthy she looked and what amazing shape her teeth were in - I was beaming. It also seems Matey impressed everyone there by being a sweetheart. The guy who was caring for her was gushing about how good she was - he was amazed, just say sit, and she sits... So it was a very good and fast experience - absolutely nothing traumatic about it.


Now finding a dog park or legal place to run is another story. I sure hope Kauai is better, believe me there is a lot of room for improvement for that. So we've been taking long walks and being a little illegal in our play.


So, now we have a rented car and are enjoying ourselves. Oh, Monday evening, we walked back into the club and who should we see: Jeannie Mariscal, Bruce Wallace and Sue Robertson (all from the Berkeley Yacht Club). What a small world. They just got into Honolulu last week from bringing Dave and Jeannie's boat over from San Diego and just happened to be checking out the KYC and noticed the guest book where we signed in - so they were keeping a look out for us. We had a few drinks then headed out to dinner. Sue and Jeannie have flown out today, but Bruce will be around for another few weeks. We also got an email from Doug Asche (another Berkeley YC member), he'll be in town next week and again with Marsha (his wife) toward the end of the month. It's great how we're so far away from Berkeley but still get to hang out with club members!!!


We've been enjoying the car - so much so, we are going to try to work out a deal to rent it for another 3 weeks while we are here. The one problem with being at this club, is there is NOTHING within walking distance and Matey is not allowed on the bus. Tomorrow we are going to take a drive around to the North shore, do some exploring and try to find a cheapish hotel to stay for the night.


THis afternoon we took a trip to West Marine, got a couple of new jib sheets and new steering lines for Sal along with new traveler lines - Pacifica I'm sure is very happy with all of her new fresh accessories.


Talk to you soon,





Melissa, Greg and Matey

La Cruz ...still..not for long



We just finished cleaning out the fridge and stowing all of our perishables for the crossing to Hawaii. We are planning on leaving on Monday. We're all three in good spirits and looking forward to it. Greg and I because we'd like to be out there and moving again, Matey because she knows we have a large supply of raw bones that she has to eat before they go bad (limited room in the freezer).


I never would have guessed the amount of joy I would have over buying bones for her at the carneceria. I never fail to get smiles as I ask for bones for my doggie. They seem to totally understand that. Today we needed to stock up again and I got a HUGE bag of beef marrow bones for only 10 pesos, that's a little under a dollar. When I left I told them (in Spanish) I was going to have a happy dog and got a number of smiles and laughs from the crowded shop. I think they we laughing at the cuteness of a doggie getting a bone and the sheer joy it brings them, of course they could have been laughing at my Spanish.


Lately our days have been filled with radio sessions and with some meals with Greg's dad and Carol thrown in. Len has been recovering from a pretty bad infection so he hasn't been up to much active touristy stuff. He's doing better after a number of visits to the doctor for various antibiotic shots.


Matey had one instance of 'acting out' when we left her alone for a longish while. She got into our basket of unrefrigerated stuff (onions, potatoes, garlic, eggs) and made herself a little snack. I think she ate about 4 eggs and tried some garlic. Fortunately she's a very neat dog so she was sure to lick all the egg out of the shells she opened and was also careful to not crack the 6 eggs she decided she didn't want (she just left them strewn in her back room). No wonder she snuggled with us all night - she was probably wondering what took us so long to clean up her room.


She's also enjoying the romping here - there is a great place for her to run her little heart out near the fishing pier. It's funny to see her zooming around.


We've been really into the music here, in fact we've found a favorite local band (Tatewari) that we've been seeing a lot of. In fact later this evening we will be going to the lead singer's home to copy some of her CDs (on our computer). It's so funny to be in such a small town. It's also been interesting as we noticed yesterday that we've become familiar faces to many locals - when we walk around town, frequently the town folks recognize us and wave.


Tomorrow is the big day, at about 9:30 we'll be pulling up anchor only to take it off the bow to be stowed away for the 3000 mile journey to Hawaii. We should be out for somewhere in the 3-4 week timeframe. I'm feeling a little nervous, no real reason except it's something I've never done before. But we feel good about it, we and the boat are ready. Today we are spending the afternoon at Len and Carol's hotel enjoying being on land. Matey is resting and taking in her fill of landsy smells.


Oh, Today is Easter and the entire week before has been a holiday known as Semana Santos which had the town square hoppin' every night (this also happens to be directly across from Len and Carol's hotel). There were fair rides and music most nights and days. It culminated with last night the burning of Judas. Of course the next couple of weeks will be wind down festivities so the parties will continue. Anyway, Greg and I enjoyed the scene - even took a ride on the Wheel of Death (the ferris wheel).


One of the games at Semana Santos. On the prize table there are cigarettes that people can win.


The operator of the wheel of Death. It seemed to spin at super fast speed and of course the bolts holding the thing together were showing signs of rust.


The Wheel of Death. Sorry the picture is so dark, but I wanted to show how in the left hand side of the photo the power lines are tied off to the side to make room for the ride. It didn't go as fast as it looked from below but we think that is because we were the only adults to ride it. Maybe Greg should have gotten on one side and me on the other.


Here are the bumper cars looking down from Len and Carol's Inn.


This has to be the coolest trampoline set-up. It's double decker and has a bouncy slide.






Photos around La Cruz and PV:


How's this for a small town, no address, just ask around - though we have no idea where this place is.


What La Cruz was named for, the Cross made out of a Huanacaxtle tree.


When tying up to a fixed pier, always leave enough room in your dinghy line to allow for the lowering of the tide. Matey's Ride found herself is quite the predicament one day when we went into town for some shopping.


Believe it or not, this is the bus stop (just the end of the on ramp to the main highway) when switching from the Nuevo Vallarta Bus to the La Cruz bus. Kinda freaky standing on the side of the road waiting to flag down the bus.


Matey enjoying her shoes - she cut her pad so we had her wear her shoes. Everyone was laughing at the dog with shoes. It was funny (embarrassing) to hear the fishermen calling to their friends to look at her shoes. After a couple of days of this, we had her just wear one shoe - that got less laughter.


Matey enjoying the internet cafe while we did some printing.


Doing our taxes at Philo's Bar


We had a fabulous dinner in PV. This huge fish which is a Dorado was only 99 pesos. And they included soup, desert and tequila shots (notice the bottle of Tequila on the table).


Anna Banana's Cruiser Wall. Pacifica is toward the lower right of the Photo.


Church in PV


The lovely Blue Agave growing at the tequila factory we stopped by to tour.


That's tequila in that there white jug.


The La Cruz Inn server room in an open air patio.


Pangas on the fishing pier.


This bardge came way too close to us. They decided to thread through the anchorage when it was peak afternoon winds. We weren't aboard but out neighbors on Pincoya took this photo for us. A panga had to push our boat out of the way - and we have the gouge to prove it. Luckily it was only cosmetic.


Greg and I in Bucerias


The restaurant had parrots we could hold. This photo of one of them is courtesy of Carol.


Pelican housing in La Cruz.


This is us getting our Zarpa to leave the country. It's suitable for framing. We were shocked to get a certificate for cruising Mexico. The port captian looks very serious but really he was constantly humming a cute little song.


All ready to go - Greg has his cruising doo...


Len and Carol at Philo's










Well - We're off - so the next time the page is updated, we'll be Hawaii. As for those of you on my email list, we'll be sending updates during the crossing so you'll hear from us soon...