Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Letters From the Sea

I just received a note from a friend who sailed from SF to French Polynesia and back to SF.  Here is the note:

Aloha Capt. Craig,
Yep made the circle from Mex to Tahiti to Hawaii and back again. I learned a lot - about sailing, about people, about myself. No regrets. It was a great adventure, though I could have picked a better captain. Highlight was definitely diving in the Tumamotus. Fakarava is amazing. When you go plan to spend as much time there as possible, and stock up on fruit and veggies while you're in the Marquesas. One of the best shark dives in the world. And gorgeous fish. Make sure you're at the south pass the first full moon after the summer solstice for the massive grouper spawning. They're so tired you can pet them, and the sharks have a feast. Marquesas are fantastic too, but the water is murky. A few times I saw hammerheads hunting around the boat while sipping my morning coffee. Pretty incredible. Tahiti and the Societies are a little bit of a let down after the Marquesas and the Tumamotus, but I hear it gets better as you keep going West from there. Pay attention to the weather. And take lots of different kinds of glue. Help everyone you can. Got caught in a nasty storm headed back from Tahiti to the Marquesas. A 4 day crossing turned into 9 days beating into 50 knots (at least it was 50 before we lost the wind vane). I had busted my eardrum and was pretty much useless. But it was totally unnecessary misery. Lesson not to push a schedule. But that crossing from Mexico was a piece of cake. Downhill all the way. Going up to Hawaii was a fast broad reach all the way, but we were about 1 day away from a hurricane as we neared the Big Island. Crossing from Hawaii was pretty much misery. We left with a 1 foot tear in the main, without an extra sail, and it was soon shredded. Hit a big high and had no wind for days and days. Lost the transmission. Captain's borderline tendencies in full swing as we tried to sew the sail. I kept a blog for a while but the captain was very concerned about maintaining control of his spin on his decisions, so dropped it.

The electric motor sounds very cool! Don't know much about them. I like the reliability and distance we got out of the diesel. We used it often to charge the batteries in the Marquesas. It rained so much the solar panels were pretty useless.

Good luck on the prep for 2018! Make decisions with your head and not your ego. ;-)

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