Sunday, March 31, 2013

Première semaine complètement sur l'eau - Jours 7 [French]

Me voilà a une semaine dans l'océan. Le vent est bien présent, la houle se fait bien sentir et on avance bien. Un autre 250 mile nautique en 2 jours. Nous voilà a plus de 1254 km de la terre ferme. Il nous reste encore 3800 km d'océan a franchir avant notre arriver. Ouche! Ca, ca veux dire encore 2 semaine et demis a se faire brasser la cage par papa Neptune, si tout va bien ... ;) lol assez incroyable non?
Ca parait long tout ca mais les journées passe tellement vite.

L'ambiance est bonne a bord. Je cuisine pas mal et ca fais du bien à notre esprit. C'est pas mal extrême comme cuisine et même dangereux lol. J'aime ca les défis. Hier on s'est fais visiter a deux reprise par deux gros pod de dauphin. C'était assez génial comme expérience. Surtout que j'ai réussie à filmer sous l'eau à l'avant du bateau?.wow et re wow ! Les images sont à couper le souffle. L'océan est d'un bleu magique et il y a plein de dauphin partout qui nage sur exciter. Même qu'on les entend nous parler avec leurs petits bruits aigues. Je vous montre ca des qu'on a une connexion internet rapide. La c'est par radio HF donc c limité.

A part de ca le ciel est magnifique à chaque matin et à chaque soir. Les idées se font aller dans ma tête, de tout bord tout coté. J'ai même dessiné un design pour mon premier tatou polynésien. Je pense a chacun de vous un petit peux a chaque jours. Il me reste pas mal d'aventure à vivre et ca me fais un grand plaisir de vous les partager. Mais encore plus plaisir quand on va être sur la terre ferme car là j'écries sur le bateau en pleine mers et on a un vent de 18 noeuds de dos et des vagues de 15 pieds qui nous font avancer et basculer de gauche a droite. Je me sert les fesse en TA pour pas frapper les mures avec mon trop grand corp.

C'est à suivre pour des histoires qui viennent de plus en plus loin?


First Week on the Ocean - Day 7 [English]

So here we are, a week on the ocean. The wind and swell are very present and pushing us quickly forwards. Another 250 miles traveled in 2 days. We are more than 1254 km from land. We still have to navigate for 3800 km of ocean before we arrive. Ouch! This means we still have to be on the ocean for at least 2 weeks...being shacked all over the place by Daddy Neptune...if everything goes well ;) Incredible no? It might look long, but everyday goes by quickly.

The ambiance is good on board. I cook a lot and it's good for our spirit. It's kind of extreme cooking in the kitchen, even dangerous at times. But I like the challenge. Yesterday we were visited twice by large pods of dolphins. It was a wonderful experience. I was even able to fill them underwater in front of the boat. Wow and Wow! The images were astonishing. The ocean is a marvelous blue magic and we can see dolphins everywhere swimming excitedly around the boat. We can even hear them talking to us with their high pitched voices. I will show you the video as soon as we have a good internet connection. Now the emails are through HF radio, with a limited connection.

Other than that, the sail is beautiful, especially in the mornings and evenings. I have a lot of ideas in my head. I'm even designing my first Polynesian tattoo. I'm thinking about all of you a little bit every day. We still have lots of adventures to live and it's always a pleasure to share this with you, but it will be even better when we reach land. Now we have 18 knots of wind at our stern with 10 foot swell, so I'm watching my back to avoid injuring my tall body on our small boat.

To be continued from farther and farther away...


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Message from a Friend - Day 6

I didn't realize how alone I was feeling until I read a message from a friend.

My bestest friend, Treenie, had the idea of giving us 3 messages that we could read at the end of week 1, 2 and 3 of our sail across the Pacific. The messages were emailed to Chris, who saved them in a secret folder, away from my curious eyes before we left. I'm not very good about saving surprises. At the time, I thought the messages were a very nice idea, but never knew how deeply I would be affected when reading them.

The winds have picked up, which is great for our speed, but it also means the seas have gotten lumpier and I felt instantly seasick when I awoke this morning. I also just got my period and everything was annoying me. Does the boat always creak and roll this much when sailing downwind? Has there always been so much mess and clutter around the boat? Safe to say, I wasn't in the finest of moods.

Chris asked me when today I wanted to read Treenie's first message. "Now is a good time", I replied. I got through about 2 lines before bursting into tears, overwhelmed with gratitude for my friend's caring spirit and beautiful letter to us. Chris read the message aloud to all of us in the cockpit as we sailed away. It was a special moment.

Sometimes it's hard to admit to yourself how you're feeling. I'm definitely feeling more alone out here than I thought. Treenie's message was an infusion of love into my soul from a friend, something I didn't realize I needed so much until I got it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart my dear friend. I'm already looking forward to week #2's message.

Maybe the animal world heard that I was in need of a friend because we've gotten many visitors today. We've seen 2 pods of dolphins, dozens of birds (boobies and frigates), flying fish and a sea turtle. To trump it all we saw a boobie standing on a sea turtle's back, with another boobie floating near by, like it was waiting in line for it's turn. What a sight! I'm not sure I would have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Movie Night and Dolphins - Day 5

Last night everyone was in high spirits after the nightly HF radio net. Anne-Marie did a great job moving the net over to channel 6A to avoid the static on channel 8A, and got everyone's reports in a orderly fashion. The full moon was rising and Busby was in the process of whipping up some tortilla pizzas which made me think it would be the perfect night to have the first semi-weekly Starship movie night!

That is how it came to pass that we spent last night sailing along at a pleasant 3.5 knots, sitting in the cockpit, watching the full moon rise, eating pizza & cake all while watching "A Night's Tale". It was quite a magical experience, which I'm sure will not be forgotten by anyone onboard.

The next morning, Anne-Marie and I were awoken to Busby yelling down the companion way hatch "DOLPHINS!! DOLPHINS!!". We shot up instantly out of bed, and once we realized the boat wasn't sinking, we made out way to the bow to see the dolphins playing. It was really neat to see them in such crystal clear blue water.

Those were pretty well the highlights of our day today. We are still hoping for more wind tomorrow, although right now we are trucking along at a nice 5 knots.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Slow Ride To The Trades - Day 4

Not much to report today.

We are moving quite slowly towards our destination under really light winds. It looks like stronger winds will be a few days out, as the trade winds should fill in and we can get moving at warp speed.

Moral has been high onboard though! Our main problem has been trying to eat all of the pastries which Busby has been baking. He made some delicious banana bread and banana muffins a couple days back. Then yesterday he made some chocolate banana muffins and a cake! We are still working on all the meals he made as before we left in addition! Life is tough :)

Three boobies spent the night on our bow pulpit last night. It was pretty funny watching them try to land on it. There were 6-8 boobies jockeying for position on the pulpit, and the one's which already landed would squawk and try to knock the others off. In the morning the boobies were still there, and didn't mind us coming up to join them! They just sat there while we walked up to within a few inches of them, and prepared the whisker pole for deployment. Definitely the highlight of the day today.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

300 Miles Des Cotes - Jour 3 [French]

Nous voila a près de 300 miles nautique de la cote. C'est a plus de 500 km de tout terre ferme. 3 jours plus tard en plein milieux du grand bleu. L'eau est magnifique. On a vue des tortues, des oiseaux et quelques gros paquebots. Ya un des paquebot qui était assez proche et sur notre trajectoire qu'il y a fallu communiquer par radio avec lui pour s'assurer qu'il nous passe pas dessus.

Aujourd'hui l'océan est calme le vent nous souffle tranquillement vers notre destination, a peine a 3 noeuds. Les voiles battes au vent et sons a peine gonfler d'air. Le bateau oscille doucement. Le ciel est bleu, l'océan est bleu, tout est bleu. Mes shorts sont bleu, celle a chris sont bleu et le t-shirt a Anne Marie aussi est bleu.

J'ai hâte de plonger dans cette autre eau d?un grand bleu mystérieux a plus de dix mille pieds de profondeur sous la coque du bateau. L'eau est claire comme de du Crystal. J'ai hâte de vivre c'est frissons doux et de rencontrer Neptune ou une sirène...

A+, Busby

300 nautical Miles Later - Day 3 [English]

Here we are at 300 nautical miles from the coast. It is more than 500km from any land. 3 days later in the middle of the big blue. The water is magnificent. We have seen turtles, birds and big cargo ships. We called the cargo ship on the VHF radio, to make sure they wouldn't run us over.

Today the ocean is calm and the wind is blowing us slowly towards our destination at only 3 knots. The sails are flapping and barely full of air. The boat is rocking from side to side. The sky is blue, the ocean is blue, everything is blue, even my shorts, Chris' shorts and Anne-Marie's shirt!

I can't wait to dive into that mysterious water at more than ten thousand feet deep under the keel. The water is clear like crystal. I can't wait to feel the goose bumps from jumping into the water, and maybe meet Neptune or a mermaid of my dreams.

See you later, Busby

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Boobies and Melons - Day 2

I am very happy to report that I DON'T feel seasick. I owe it all to a medicine you can get in Mexico called Stugeron (spelling?). Thanks to all who gave me this suggestion, I've never felt so good in conditions like this before. What a luxury to be able to cook and eat on Day 2 of a passage with lumpy seas.

I had quite the exciting night. During my watch I was happily listening to a podcast about "Creating New Universes" as I stared at the shimmering moon and contemplated how small I felt. Then I heard a yell and swearing from down below. I leapt out of the cockpit to see Busby with a banana by this crotch. What is happening? I thought. "Just banana on the balls", he yelled up. No really, what is happening? I thought again. "A banana fell out of the fruit hammock and landed on my balls" . Oh ok....that's reasonable enough I guess. I proceed back to my corner of the cockpit to finish my podcast and continued to admire the night's sky. A half hour later, I heard another surprised yell from down below. It was soon followed by "Just banana on the balls". In retrospect, these falling bananas should have been a forewarning for the next event.

As my watch ended at 10:30 pm, I was so excited for what I thought would be 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I fell asleep easily enough but was startled awake to our entire fruit hammock's contents (melons, banana, limes, oranges and grapefruits) falling on top of me. It was a very frightening and painful awakening. I felt like the boat was falling apart and was somewhat relieved when I understood that it was only the fruit hammock. My next thought was "I told Chris that ONE screw wasn't strong enough for the hammock". As if hearing my thoughts, his first words after "are you ok?" were "The screw didn't break Annie, the hammock end just wiggled itself free from all the boat motion". I am so lucky that I changed my sleeping orientation because the fruit landed on my legs instead of on my face. After this experience, I'm NEVER sleeping with my head under the hammock.

Today has been pretty calm compared to the night's excitement. I saw the most beautiful moon-set and then sunrise on my 4:30-7:30 am watch. I then managed to cook us breakfast without killing myself. The guys seemed so appreciative of a warm meal (our first of the passage). The most exciting part of our day has been all the boobies checking out Starship. They are such adorable birds and looks so curious as they fly circles around Starship. I'm happy for the company.

Monday, March 25, 2013

We Came and Left By Cover of Darkness - Day 1

Well, we are underway! Kind of fittingly we arrived in Banderas Bay in the middle of the night, and we departed the same way.

It was quite a lot of work for the final push, as it always seems to be. Jonathan was cooking up a storm yesterday preparing a delicious pasta sauce and ooso bucco (an Italian pork dish). I'm sure the entire anchorage was jealous of the amazing aromas emanating from Starship. We must be the best fed crew in the Puddle Jump fleet this year!

Mexico served up a little excitement for us on our last trip into shore. Busby and I were going to pickup a few last minute items before departure, water jugs, some coke, etc... When we arrived back to the beach we found a very chaotic scene. A mooring line which five or six pangas tie to just off the beach had parted due to massive waves, and the pangas were now being tossed onto the beach like toys by the waves. Half a dozen Mexicans were running around trying to push the pangas onto the beach and out of the breaking surf. Busby and I tried to help, with limited success, we got one of the pangas on the beach, and some of the others were driven to safety in deeper water.

With that we returned to Starship, bagged Twinkle and a few dozen other final preparations, including of course a final bath in Mexican waters and we were on our way at 0300.

Anne-Marie the trooper which she is took the first night watch, as we steamed out of Banderas Bay. Luckily she only needed to run the motor for 2 hours before she found some great wind which we have been sailing since then.

The sail has been amazing so far... great wind, fairly pleasant boat motion and 4 really close turtle encounters! When I was on the foredeck guiding up the spinnaker sock I saw one turtle so close I thought we would run it over! Luckily it scurried out of the way just in time to avoid Starship's plunging bow.

It is hard to put into words all the emotions I feel at this time. Years of anticipation and preparations, all being put into practice. Pride in Starship and her Crew, ready to take on this adventure. And most importantly Love for my good wife Anne-Marie, for without her none of this would be possible.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

And We're Off!

The day has finally come! We are shoving off from Mexico on our way to French Polynesia!

We will be experimenting with blogging while under way so keep a lookout for updates.

Also, you should be able to see our progress using the position map:

Sunrise Surf Session

These last few weeks have been very stressful. We've been in constant "go go go" mode for a while with no time to unwind or just sit. All the constant rushing, worrying, stressing, buying, building and working has resulted in a few (actually many) "I-just-can't-take-it-anymore-tears". Luckily once the tears were shed, I felt a lot better. Chris would often remind me that this part is the worst and we will have fun again one day. I tried my best to believe him. In an effort to add a little bit of fun to our lives, the boys had the idea for a sunrise surf session (we've been too busy to surf during the day). I was skeptical of the plan because it cut into my precious sleep time.

I was still skeptical (and cold) in Twinkle...

The boys on the other hand were on a mission

and super excited

Once I got in the water, I was a happier girl

Surfing requires intense focus.

You have to paddle hard!

You have to merge from the milkiness of the ocean...

But once you're up, you look and feel super cool :)
The sunrise surf session was a beautiful experience and definitely worth it. Thanks guys! 

For more pictures, check out this album

Friday, March 22, 2013

Magie Noire [French]

Nous avons sauté dans l’eau l’autre soir, c’était magique !

Un bon soir où il faisait frais... Mais un soir où t’as vraiment besoin de te rincer un peu du boulot fait durant le jour sur le bateau.

Tsé, un soir que t’as envie de sauter parce que tu trouves ca mystérieux de sauter en pleine mer la nuit sans lumière et que ca te donne même une petite shot d’adrénaline de sauter dans l’inconnu. Une petite récompense de dernière minute. Un plongeon sans fond et épeurant à la fois.

Mais là faut quand même pas capoter hein ! On était ancrés à 4 ou 500 mètres du bord avec 40 pieds de            fond sous le bateau. C’est quand même pas si pire …

Le plongeon prit quand même quelques minutes à se faire, le ciel était tellement beau… et l’air était quand même frisquet.
Et tout d’un coup, boom, splouche !  Me voilà à l’eau juste après Chris.
Nous voilà par magie dans du plancton phosphorescent. On brille dans l’eau entourés de milliers de petites lumières indiglow, comme des milliers de petites fées à la Peter Pan. Plus on bouge, plus ça brille et illumine. C’est excitant, magique et ça donne le gout de replonger à l’eau, mais avec des lunettes de natation. J’ai finalement plongé et replongé pour faire briller ces petits trucs cools partout autour.  Même les poissons sous le bateau font briller un peu le plancton quand ils s’agitent. C’est pas mal beau à voir et c’est comme un deuxième ciel rempli d’étoiles.

Je me suis pincé pour voir si tout était vrai et oui tout était réel. Même que je me suis fait un torticolis à faire deux trois plongeons.
La preuve que je n’ai plus 20 ans!

Le coucher de soleil avant la nuit magique !

Black Magic [English]

We jumped in the water the other night, it was magical! It was a night where the outside was cool, but a night when you really felt like jumping off the boat to rinse yourself off from the hard work done during the day.

You know a night that you really want to jump in cause it looks mysterious out there, in the dark, no lights on, in the middle of the anchorage. It's a little treat to jump in to the unknown and it gives also a little shot of adrenaline, just perfect for that moment.

But it's not that bad and there is noting to be afraid of. We were just 4 to 5 hundred meters from shore and there was just 40 feet of water under the boat. It's not a big deal!

It took a while to jump in at first, the sky was so beautiful and the air was a bit fresh. And then suddenly, splouch! There we were in the water with the magic. We were illuminated by thousand of little indigo lights that surrounded us in the water THE PHOSPORESENT PLANKTON !!! It was like thousands of little magic ferries..... the Peter Pan style. The more we moved, the more it glowed and lit the water up. It was exiting and it made us jump and jump again from the boat. Even the fish under the boat seemed exited and glowed.

It was beautiful to see! It was like a second sky full of stars.

I even had to pinch myself to see if I was sleeping and dreaming. But yes it was true. I even got a sore neck from the crazy diving and excitement, proof that I'm not 20 anymore.

Sunset before the night of magic. 
The sky was on fire

Punta de Mita

Friday, March 15, 2013

Busby's First Days Video

Jonathan put together a French version of my previous post "Paradise Lost ... and Found".

He also added a video with some footage from his first days here, enjoy (video only on the blog):

Where we are...

Badabim Bada Boom!

Après tout ce bon temps, fallait bien mettre la main à la pâte... Laver les cordes du
bateau, réorganiser nos trucs, reficeler les cordes, laver le bateau et inspecter un
peu tout autour pour s’assurer que tout fonctionne à merveille. Nous avons constaté
que les poulies à l’intérieur du mât étaient coincées et mal organisées. On s’est cassé
la tête pas à peu près! Les poulies internes étaient inaccessibles.
Il a fallu tout démonter le système et tout réinstaller le cordage. Mon expérience
de planche à voile m’a bien aidé pour comprendre la logique des poulies. Il nous
manquait des outils, donc notre radio call nous a bien aidé. On a pu faire un appel à
tous pour nous faire prêter des outils par le bateau Hydroquest (thank you guys!)
Tout ce tralala a duré toute la journée et même jusqu'à 10 heures pm.

On n’a quand même pas mis notre belle vie de côté... Alors tout de suite après notre
travail acharné, on est allés prendre une pause dans le spa du méga hôtel voisin.
Résider dans la marina nous y donne accès gratuitement.

Badabim bada boom! On rush on rush! Ça a duré 4 jours comme ça, de course à
gauche à droite, en haut en bas. Les provisions au Costco, ouff ! On a acheté pour
1000$ de bouffe … une de mes plus grosses épiceries personnelles à vie!

Il nous reste encore quelques trucs à faire avant notre départ mais rien de
trop compliqué. Installer des portes pour tous les nouveaux trous à provisions,
construire et installer un rack pour notre annexe durant la traversée, un dernier
approvisionnement en légumes et truc frais et + lol ouin! pas trop compliqué, mais
quand même dans le «gros jus».

Vous croyez que vivre sur un bateau c’est le paradis? et que c’est la vie facile …hein?
Vous vous trompez totalement. Je crois que je n’ai jamais vu du monde rusher
comme ça non stop du matin au soir, même presque la nuit! En fait, bientôt ce sera
la nuit aussi pour notre traversée en plein océan.

Ca prend toute une organisation pour cette aventure, un mois en mer au beau milieu
de nulle part. Faut rien oublier, parce que le dépanneur va être loin en titi!
En fait, je n’aurai jamais été aussi loin d’un dépanneur de Chinois de ma vie. Mais qui
sait, peut-être qu’on va en croiser un flottant au beau milieu de nulle part.

Y a de la bouffe partout dans les murs, dans le plancher, sous mon lit, sous le four,
dans tous les petits coins possibles et inimaginables, même derrière la toilette dans
le mur! Capitaine Chris a même troué les murs du bateau pour ajouter de l’espace de rangement.

le rangement des truc en ziploc et sous vide ....

Ça fait 2 semaines que je suis sur le bateau et là, je peux dire que ça ressemble à un
bateau qui semble pas mal prêt à amarrer au large pour un long périple de près d’un
mois sans arrêt en pleine mer jour et nuit, 24 sur 24, 7 sur 7 …

voici une petite video que j'ai fais!

Where we are...

Mes premier jours sur le boat [French]

Salut tout le monde!

Jour 1

Me voila bien arrivé …mon départ fut bref et intense, mais assez doux d’une émotion contrôlée et surtout connue. D’autant plus que c’est la 6e fois que je quitte pour un long terme . Je regardais ma maison en la remerciant de toujours avoir été là . J’étais fier, heureux et me sentais accompli, toujours avec un léger doute qui me traverse l’esprit . Un doute normal et sans réponse, jusqu'à ce que je revienne au bercail.

Je suis parti, Sabrina m’a reconduit à l’aéroport, de justesse, comme d’habitude. La routine, quoi! Je cherchais une hôtesse, de l’aide pfff…et hup! je me faisais sauver par une Mexicaine agente de bord qui me fit passer devant tout le monde pour sauver du temps au check in. J’ai finalement pas eu le temps de m’assoir  juste le temps d’aller aux toilettes  et boom, directement dans l’avion. J’étais assis à coté d’une dame voyageuse de croisière. C’était sympa de déjà jaser de voyage. C’était cool! Ça a passé le temps et ca me faisais déjà rêver de voyage.

Arrivé à Atlanta, me voilà en direction de ma nouvelle gate et soudainement, boom! encore  le coup de foudre … un coup de foudre qui me couta 450 balles. Je me suis laissé tenter et oui, elle est pro et se nome go pro avec sa suce qui colle à tout, au bateau sur  les surf aux murs et pour vous ramener des images de fou à rendre jaloux.

Chaque transfert fut rapide et pas le temps de niaiser  !

Arrivé au Mexique, mes amis Fox et Anne-Marie étaient la ready to go! Nous sommes partis de l’aéroport en autobus, une ride d’une heure. On s’est arrêté dans une place de tacos typiquement mexicaine avec une ambiance et une musique mexicaine avec évidemment de la trompette et leurs gros sombreros. C’était dans un petit village non loin de notre ancrage à Pointa de Mita .  

Après ce cancan, nous voilà arrivée au bateau et boom! me voici me voilà! Je me sens déjà chez nous. L’ambiance est trop parfaite. Je commence à placer mes trucs dans les petits trous du bateau.  Après tout ce trimbalage de transfert de 3 avions différents. Me voilà déjà au lit, bercé par les vagues pour un sommeil parfait.

Jour 2

Le 28 février au matin, je me réveille par le son des vagues et le mouvement du bateau qui oscille et un léger craquement de bois au-dessus de mon lit.  Léger et subtil, mais répétitif, comme une chaise de grand-mère qui berce. Me voilà levé a 6 h45, je monte sur le pont pour constater le superbe lever de soleil. 
Je constate à ce moment ma chance et ma fierté d’avoir choisi tout ca.

Petit déjeuner aux fruits frais, une petite chaleur parfaite et une brise de mer.
S’ensuit la préparation pour le spot de surf à seulement 10 minutes  d’annexe (dinki). Arrivé au spot, nous voici nous voilà en annexe derrière les vagues on met l’ancre et hop! à l’eau directement on the spot … les vagues sont belles et parfaites. Pour commencer, on a nagé en malade et surfé juste un peu, comme d’habitude, évidemment, tu nages ta vie pour rider seulement quelques secondes.
C’était beau et très amusant et ça me remet en forme.

Diner, petite sieste, pêche improvisée et souper confectionné par un chef très joyeux et absolument comblé, ça commence déjà à être irréel… je capote !

Jour 3

On se lève 7h15, déjeuner, préparation du bateau pour une navigation de l’autre côté de la baie où nous sommes. J’ai appris à poser les voiles et à lever l’ancre sur notre bateau, le Starship.  On a ensuite pris le large et Oups!  petit problème technique  déjà, le bateau n’avance pas comme il devrait. Chris plonge à l’eau pour aller observer le dessous du bateau et l’hélice du moteur.
Mmmm ! on constate que le dessous du bateau est envahi par de petits coquillages et des mollusques. Ça grouille sous le bateau! Il y a fallu s’équiper de nos équipements d’apnée et aller gratter le bateau. Ouf!pas facile et très épuisant comme travail sérieux, un bateau de 36 pieds à gratter en retenant son souffle c’est pas donné à tout le monde. Surtout qu’en sortant de l’eau, je constate toutes les petites créatures qui se sont collées à mon chandail. Ca grouille vraiment et c’est vraiment dégeux! On est replongés pour nous débarrasser de ces bêtes non désirées. Ouuuuuuwwwwach  !

On est repartis sur une bonne vitesse, en tout cas meilleure qu’avec toutes ces merdes. Partis pour 3 heures de voile dans la baie, on croise des baleines une maman et son petit à quelque 100 mètres de nous. Wow! Encore récompensé, ici c’est  la saison et il y en a plein partout à ce qu’il parait… 

Arrivée à  Paradise Marina. La marina des gros yatchs de mongols, ho my God ! C’est la rencontre des aventuriers qui traversent le Pacifique.  Conférence, explications, photo, procédure et cocktail.  On a rencontré deux autres Québécois dans la trentaine et un autre couple, de notre âge, aussi très cool. Nous allons passer aussi dans un magazine de bateau très connu, le Latitude 38, nous sommes le bateau avec l’équipage le plus jeune. Après le tout, on s’est fait une petite soirée hot-dogs et jasette sur notre bateau. Très drôle et vraiment bonne soirée pour la fin de notre journée.

Le monde du bateau est incroyable et très stimulant… ça me donne des ailles et ça me semble un mode de vie excellent. Les gens sont tellement débrouillards et complets, prêts à tout et a faire n’importe quoi. Ça me ressemble et je suis aux anges. 
La Cruz

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Paradise Lost ... and Found

Paradise Village Marina sounds like a great place to be doesn't it?

Paradise Village Marina - Can you spot our BFF Hydroquest??

Paradise Village looks like Mayan pyramids emerging from the jungle!

Well not for us! Being in a marina for us means money is being spent ... rapidly, and perhaps most importantly we can't go surfing with the same ease or frequency.

When we find ourselves in a Marina, it is usually because we have work to do which requires us to be still, as opposed to bouncing around at anchor. That was the case for our last 4 days in "Paradise", which was filled with 12+ hour days of boat projects.

The project list included:
  • Reinforce the goose neck track
  • Repair the sail out haul

    Who would have thought repairing something which is enclosed inside of a 15 foot
    aluminum pole would be so difficult??
  • Clean/inspect the standing rigging

    Everyone loves to see why someone is going up the mast.

    And have a lot of questions about the gear being used.

    Starship from the mast head

    Anne-Marie volunteered for the tough job of cleaning the back stay!
  • Wash all running rigging
  • Wash the boat
  • Wash our snorkeling gear
  • Fill the water tanks
  • Calibrate windvane
  • "Spinout" the standing rigging
  • Provisioning trip to Costco

    The gang heads to Costco on a mission

    Where are we going to put all this!!?!?!?
How does one manage to get 12 giant paper towel rolls, 80 toilet paper rolls and 12 boxes of Kleenex into a 36 foot sailboat you may ask?? Well it is quite easy with our revolutionary new, space age vacuum packing system!

Observe the tremendous space savings!

Simply pack contents into a Ziploc bag, apply compression forces,
and vacuum out the air, in this case via a straw.
Most days we would be done our work just in time to head over to the hot tub before it closed at 10PM.

Mandatory 30 minute beach break
Luckily we have found the true paradise again! ... as long as you consider paradise working like crazy and then surfing.

Punta de Mita here we come!

Paradise indeed!

I couldn't say it better myself! We're back!

Where we are...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Busby's First Days [English]

Hi everyone!

Day 1

Well ... I have arrived! My departure was brief and intense, but smooth and my emotions were under control, especially since this is the 6th time I have left for a long-term trip. I looked at my house thanking her for always being there. I was proud, happy and felt a sense of accomplishment, always with a slight doubt that crosses my mind. Doubt about how my house will be treated while I'm gone, but I will not know until I return.

My friend Sabrina drove me back to the airport, we narrowly made it, as usual. I found a Mexican flight attendant who took me to the front of everyone to save time at check-in. I had no time to sit down, just enough time to go to the bathroom and boom, right into the air we went. I sat next to a lady who was on her way to a cruise ship. It was nice talking about travel already. It was cool! It helped to pass the time and it made me dream of the travel we had ahead.

At my transfer in Atlanta, I was walking in the direction of my gate and suddenly, boom! I stopped ... a cupid struck me with a $450 arrow. I was tempted and yes, she is a pro ... a GoPro with a suction cup that sticks to everything ... the boat, surf boards, kiteboards ... so I can bring you images of our crazy adventure that will make you jealous.

Each transfer was quick and no time fooling around!

Arrived in Mexico, my friends Fox and Anne-Marie were ready to go! We left the airport by bus, which took an hour. We stopped in to eat at a typical Mexican taco stand with a Mexican ambiance, music with trumpets and of course their big sombreros. It was in a small village not far from our anchorage Punta de Mita.

After all the commotion, we were coming to the boat and boom! Here I am here I am! I already felt at home. The atmosphere is too perfect. I started to put my stuff into the small holes of the boat. After all the running around and three plane transfers, I was ready for bed, rocked by the waves for a perfect sleep.

Day 2

28 February morning, I awoke to the sound of waves and the oscillating movement of the boat and a slight creaking of wood above my bed. Light and subtle, repetitive, like a grandmother in a rocking chair. I was up by 6:45, and went on deck to see the beautiful sunrise. I felt so lucky at that time and proud that I have chosen to be a part of this.

Breakfast with fresh fruit, a little heat and a perfect sea breeze.

After breakfast we prepared to go surfing at a spot only 10 minutes away (by dinghy). We arrived at the spot, anchored outside the waves and hopped in! We paddled a short distance right into the surf line up ... the waves were beautiful and perfect. To begin, we paddled a lot and surfed just a little, as usual, of course, you swim for your life and ride a few seconds. It was beautiful and fun and it got me into shape.

Lunch, nap, improvised fishing and improvised dinner crafted by a very happy and content chef, it is already beginning to be unreal ... it's awesome!

Busby working his magic
The advantage of having a chef onboard

Day 3

We got up at 7:15, breakfast, preparing the boat for navigation on the other side of the bay. I learned to put the sails on our boat, the Starship. We then took off and Whoops! Small technical problem already, the boat is not moving as it should. Chris jumped in the water to observe the bottom of the vessel and the engine propeller. Mmmm! We saw that the bottom of the boat is covered with small shells and mollusks. Chris and I put on our snorkeling equipment and cleaned the bottom. Whew, difficult and exhausting, serious work, a 36-foot boat bottom cleaning is not for everyone. Especially out of the water, I see all the little creatures that are stuck to my rash guard. Really swarming and it's really disgusting! We plunged back to get rid of these unwanted animals. Eeewwwww!

We left at high speed, much better than with all that growth. For 3 hours we were sailing in the bay, saw a mother whale and calf about 100 meters from us. Wow! So rewarding, it is the season and there are plenty around so it seems ...

Arrived in Paradise Village Marina. Crazy large yachts in the marina, oh my God! We are here for the meeting of adventurers across the Pacific ... conference, explanations, photos, procedures and cocktails. We met two other Quebecers in their thirties and another couple our age, also very cool. We will also appear in a well-known magazine, Latitude 38, we are the boat with the youngest crew. After the meeting, we had a little hotdog party and chitchat on our boat. It was a very fun and really good evening to the end of our day.
The one place Busby can stand straight
Paradise Village at night
The world of boats is amazing and very inspiring ... it makes my spirits fly and it seems a great lifestyle. People are so resourceful and complete, ready for anything and to do anything. It suits me and I'm in heaven.

La Cruz