Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pacific Crossing Pictures.

So long as I've got somewhat reliable WiFi I'll keep posting pictures. I'm slowly working on a video of our crossing.


Funny​...Never saw this outfit in Vineyard Vines. 

Jessica plotted our progress on our chart everyday 

We had two visits from helicopters

Our one and only catch

King Neptune and his daughters

Crossing the equator



Friday, April 28, 2017

Nuku Hiva happenings.

The people of Marquesas are as beautiful as the setting. Everyone has been so friendly especially when we've been trying to speak Spanish to them. This whole French thing is tough! There's not much here in our village (Taiohae) yet just enough for what we need. Our first meal was cheeseburgers, fries, Coke, ice cream and beer. Totally expensive and totally worth it. We'll be here for a few days till we venture sail around the island.



You didn't think he'd come to where tattoos started and not get one?

French baguettes are cheap and plentiful



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Day 24: Landfall in Nuka Hiva

After 24 days and 2866 we made landfall just after sunrise in Nuka Hiva. Everyone and everything made it in perfect condition inlcuding our 2 twelve foot kayaks strapped to each side of the bow.




24 days;
-Not wearing shoes
-Staring at nothing but water
-Enduring a sense of anxiety and/or stress knowing my little family and just about everything I own under the sun was at stake.
-Having wild food fantasies. Burgers from In n Out. Pizza from Track Town in Eugene. Anything from Souplantation. The list went on for days.
-Of being hungry but not able to eat much at all
-Being thankful for another day
-And not ONE bird landed on our boat. I credit Phil's work shirt that hung off the back of the boat which smells like a dead body.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 22: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

We are in the home stretch. Less than 48 hours to go! Which is great since both our girls have hit rock bottom. They're miserable. Over it. Ready to see land and stop sailing.

We originally set out to make landfall in Hiva Oa and have changed our minds and course to make landfall in Nuka Hiva. A few boats have reported that Hiva Oa has nothing to offer and that Nuka Hiva has more "amenities". By amenities we're referencing the 2 restaurants, a few "grocery" stores, and snack shack that awaits our arrival. We get a giggle out of the people who are asking us if we're ready for a marina and hot shower. Marina? No for a few more months. Thankfully we have hot showers on the boat.

Because we did not secure a long term stay visa, we have only 90 days to get through Marquesas Islands, Tuamotus Islands, and Society Islands. We're thinking at the end of our 90 days our last stop will be Bora Bora where we will check out, that's a lot of sea to cover in only 90 days. After checking out, it's off to Cook Islands, Niue, maybe Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. We really don't know where we're going....just head West.

The grocery stores in the Marquesas and Tuamotus are equipped with food that's been delivered by the supply ships consisting of mostly canned food and frozen meat. At the snack shack you can purchase a $2 can of coke, $7 drumstick ice cream and spend $5.50 for a can of beer (all costs in US $). Our first day on land we plan to live like kings. Regardless of cost we're going to be gluttonous having a coke AND ice cream. Heck we may even wash it all down with a beer. It's going to be amazing. There is a laundry facility. Our friends aboard Beach Flea took in 3 large contractor bags of bedding and clothes to be washed, and for $100 USD it came back clean!

Compared to Mexico things are going to cost a bit more which means we'll need to stick to our budget. Best way to stick to the budget is to write down every cent we spend, so I'll be back to posting my "Cost to Cruise" blog posts once a month. You all will get to witness first hand the depletion of our cruising kitty. Expecting that provisioning was going to be slim pickings and cost quite a bit for the next few months we packed the boat with about 3-4 months worth of food.

Off the boats that left La Cruz, all but Coastal Drifter, Tiger Beetle, Spill the Wine, Monark, Finally Finished, Danika, Mystic Ceti and Shakedown have made landfall (I'm sure there's more boats, but I'm referencing the ones who check in on the net). We should be next!

Next post should be from land!







-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/25/2017 2:17 AM (utc) our position was 06°05.32'S 135°25.34'W

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pacific Crossing: Day 20

It's day 20 and we are about 4 days out from land. Most of the crew is getting anxious and dreaming about pizza, beer, ice cream and the feeling of solid land under our feet. The past few days have been fairly uneventful. We burned a lot of diesel, but also have been making great time. The seas have been mellow and we are now finally getting into some decent wind. A couple of days ago, we had our second visit from a helicopter. It was the same type of chopper as before, but different pilots. They swooped in to check on us and flew away after we gave them a thumbs up. They had a Mexican flag emblem on the tail, so we assume they are spotters for Mexican tuna boats. That same day it was calm enough for us to all stop the boat and jump in the big blue to cool off.
The next couple of days we spent playing "dodge-squall" as they were popping up all around us. We saw a few today, but nothing came in close.
We did see every sailor's worst nightmare: a partially submerged shipping container. Aimee spotted it about 50 yards away off to port. These things are really scary because they sit about 3 inches below the surface and there is no way you would see one until after you hit it. If you saw that god-awful movie with Robert Redford, you know what I'm talking about. After Aimee saw the shipping container, she also noticed that it was surrounded by a pod of sperm whales! Not kidding. Later in the day, we saw a second pod and several of them were breaching clear out of the water. I didn't know sperm whales did that. It was very cool the see them up close.
In other news, two of our boat-friends made landfall at Hiva Oa today: s/v Slow Flight, and s/v All Day. S/v Wiz is also expecting to be coming into Nuka Hiva tomorrow morning.

So all is well aboard s/v Terrapin, just some salty, sore sailors ready for some solid ground!

-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/24/2017 2:10 AM (utc) our position was 04°42.39'S 133°26.24'W

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Day 17: Crossing the equator

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

Yesterday's exciting news was washing underwear in a 5 gallon bucket using a plunger. Nothing but glamorous out here on the high seas.

We had originally been sailing to cross the equator at about 4am this morning and thought it would be better to head west just a bit so that we would cross the equator in some day light. At 8:37am (according to the ships clock) and just as the sun was coming up we crossed the equator and became shellbacks! We each made an offering to King Neptune. Jessica threw over an infinity charm that she attached a small fishing weight to so that it would sink. Lora threw over some spare change she had with her, less than 50 cents US. Phil threw over 22 pesos. Emma and I being the cheapskates we are each only threw over 1 "lucky" peso.

Next we popped a bottle of champagne, poured two cups worth for each of the girls to sip out of and then passed the bottle between Phil, Lora and myself. It actually tasted really good! Next came the party streamers and bubbles provided by our friends of SV Scuba Ninja and SV Stray Catz. Both Jessica and Emma threw over a message in a bottle. Wonder where they'll end up?

After Emma, the scribe, was done filing out our certificates, Phil "disappeared" into the boat to see if he could summons King Neptune. Sure enough within a minute King Neptune himself appeared up the gangway and into the cockpit. He greeted us with his long white beard, crown and sturdy triton. King Neptune greeted us and told us he had certificates to commemorate our crossing of the equator. As King Neptune began to read the certificates for each of us he also began choking on the cotton balls his beard had been made out of. Apparently a cotton ball or two got loose and went straight for the wind pipe. Resembling a cat coughing up a hair ball, he managed to read the certificates and hand them out. I meanwhile was attempting to film while laughing so hard I was crying! As each of us was presented with our certificates Jessica placed our necklaces she had made us around our necks.

The girls had decided for the ceremony that they had wanted to wear Mardi Gras masks just for fun. King Neptune was nice enough to stick around so that the girls could get their picture with him. Super cute.

We have about 832 more miles to go and would appreciate everyone sending WIND. We're flying the spinnaker during the day and motoring at night when there is zero wind.

Spirits are high, but I got to say, this crew is so ready to get there!

SV Beach Flea and Me Too both dropped anchor today in Nuka Huva. Can't wait to join them.

THANK YOU so much for all the amazing messages people are sending us. You can't imagine how awesome it is to ready something nice from someone across the country just wanting to wish us well. Again, thank you!


-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/20/2017 2:27 AM (utc) our position was 00°26.99'N 127°25.85'W

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 15: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

My, my the doldrums are a welcomed treat. The first full day we actually had enough wind to throw up all of our canvas and sail. The seas were so smooth and with all the sails up it was like gliding over a melting pad of butter. With the boat smooth we all took good naps, I was able to cook a meal and the girls hung out all day in the cockpit.

The girls are getting us ready for the equator crossing. Yesterday Jessica made the cutest crown for King Neptune. Emma made King Neptune's beard out of construction paper and cotton balls....so cute. Jess create beaded necklaces for each of us to commemorate our crossing. Emma got out a calligraphy book that Journey from SV Namaste gave her, studied it, then made each of us beautiful certificates that the Captain will be presenting us at the time of crossing. Today the girls will be creating King Neptune's triton.

We're not entirely sure when we'll be crossing the equator as we've started a rhumb line for Nuka Hiva..last we heard shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Originally we said we would cross around 125 degree longitude.

We had begged Jessica to cut her hair before we left and having just dyed the ends of her hair pink she didn't want to. Fast forward two weeks on a sailboat with hair blowing everywhere and she was all but begging her father to cut it off. Using our sharpest scissors, Phil cut off about 4 inches. It doesn't even look bad.

We haven't caught anymore fish, just the one.

We did however have a helicopter come visit about an hour ago. We could hear the helicopter well before we could see it. It flew close to us, circled us and then started to make a water landing. Paranoid that someone had accidentally hit a SOS button we all waved and gave the thumbs up. The pilot returned our thumbs up, waved good bye and started to ascend before taking off. We got it all on video too.

How's this for awesome? My high school friend Dina McClellan who's a 4th grade teacher in OK has her students watching our progress on the blog. Dina sent us a message last week with some of her student's questions. They wanted to know if we had swam in the open ocean, what type of animal sightings and what's our favorite part of the adventure. I responded to let her know we have swam in the open ocean so far on this passage and that we've seen blue, brown, yellow and red footed boobies. She took back the information and her class is now studying the different colored boobies. Her students have also learned what and where the doldrums are. We think it's so awesome that kids are using our blog to study from ! With regards to her students wanting to know our favorite part...I said it will be when we see land.

Two nights ago on my 2-6am shift, I came out to the cockpit where water was like glass the stars and moon were out and we were motoring as the phosphorescence were drifting by. I couldn't help but get nostalgic reminiscing about motoring in the Sea of Cortez. Made me a little sad. I told everyone the next morning about how it felt like we were in the Sea of Cortez and everyone got a little teary eyed. We hate to think about how we're not sailing the Sea of Cortez again. So...new rule on the boat. No one is allowed to get sad about missing Mexico or the Sea of Cortez till we're sitting among tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific. Here's to hoping lush tropical South Pacific islands will make us feel better for missing one of our all time favorite places. To all our friends in the Sea...enjoy for us too.

Time to chill some champagne for our equator crossing.



-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/18/2017 2:36 PM (utc) our position was 02°16.00'N 125°26.63'W

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day 13: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

Seas have finally mellowed out some as we make our way to the doldrums. We are beyond excited to hit the doldrums! Can't wait to stand up without being thrown down, maybe cook some food, take a dip in the ocean, start to feel human again and then fire up the engine with the 175 gallons of diesel we saved and motor this bitch to land.

We haven't been able to get a good copy of the Pacific Puddle Jump net so I don't have boats to report.

SV Monarch has left La Cruz for a second time and is headed across the Pacific

SV Me Too, Beach Flea, WIZ and All Day all crossed the equator in the last 2 days.

People have been asking what the girls have been to..not much.

Emma has been trying to read (she gets motion sick) and has been watching movies as well as the TV show I Dream Of Genie on her Kindle.

Jess has been reading a book or two and has been watching TV shows like Modern Family on her Kindle.

Each day we have the girls come out to the cockpit for what's turning out to be a daily event of food fantasies. We dream about our favorite restaurants and try not to drool on each other. Funny we can fantasize about food but we sure aren't eating much. I've thrown over rotten produce we didn't get to eat. I also threw over 60 eggs..there were 2 packages of 30 eggs. Each package had a cracked egg one package had larva in it. Holy Shit. The Smell. I can't even go there.

Not sure which daughter I'm more proud of. Emma who LOVES her bunk has given it to me so that I can sleep. It's the only place I won't get thrown out of bed. I've put her on the settee and she hasn't complained once! Jessica is helping where she can with meals and cleaning dishes taking special care of her little sister. Between myself, Jessica and Phil we're attempting to feed everyone onboard. For the first few days it was just me attempting to feed 5 people.

Second hand news from SV Coastal Drifter: SV Shakedown has lost a kayak and chain plate. They're also out a water pump (not sure if that's for drinking or engine).

We're doing better and hope to be doing great as soon as we hit the doldrums. We're hoping for landfall in Nuka Hiva (not Hiva Oa as previously thought) either 4/25 or 4/26



-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/15/2017 3:06 PM (utc) our position was 06°38.50'N 122°15.16'W

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day 10: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

Our crew member Lora told us that around days 7 and 8 we'll hit a low (mentally) and need to hit a reset button. For she was right. We knew that the hardest part of this passage was going to be mental. Boats (most anyway) are made to withstand worse conditions than they're put through, it's the human part that can take a beating. Lora, Phil and I are doing well but we had a 48 hour period where we experienced small bouts of dehydration and fatigue. We're doing well holding each other accountable for drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of sleep.

Winds have been plentiful and we've been sailing a broad reach this entire time. The sea state sucks and is responsible for 5 days of feeling like someone's trying to through you across the boat at every moment.

Tuesday night at midnight we passed another sailboat. No idea who they were as they didn't respond on the VHF.

SV Beach Flea is still having visits from helicopters. At this point they think it's fun even if the helicopter comes to visit during deck showers and people are waving from the helicopter! Beach Flea could turn off their AIS sender and the helicopters would go away but then they'd lose their entertainment.

SV CAPE D has made landfall. After 4440 miles and 32 days they made it from Panama to Hiva Oa. We can't wait to meet up with them for drinks and burgers.

Vessels that checked in on last nights Puddle Jump net are as follows:

SV WIZ
SV Coastal Drifter
SV Danika
SV Slow Flight
SV Me Too
SV Ashika
SV Mayaluga
SV Music
SV Spill the Wine
SV Sky Blue Eyes
SV Fandango
SV Shakedown
SV Abthea
SV Finally Finished

THANK YOU to everyone who's sent us a message. We've responded to each of you...if you didn't get our response look in your Junk/Spam folder.

Tomorrow should mark half way there...we're looking at 120* to cross the equator, maybe in the next 4-5 days. We're getting there, slowly but surely.




-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/13/2017 2:50 PM (utc) our position was 09°38.18'N 119°19.14'W

Monday, April 10, 2017

Day 7: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

A HUGE thank you to those who have sent us messages. It's awesome to read words of encouragement, well wishes and jokes from people whom we've never met before. It makes our whole day to read what you're writing, again, thank you!

We have finally found some wind that has kept us steadily sailing for the past 48 hours. It's about time we make up speed from the 2 days of bobbing around. We're not quite into the trade winds but have a steady 10+ knots of wind. We've been mainly on a broad reach with a jib and jigger configuration.

The following vessels checked in on the Pacific Puddle Jump Net either 4/8, 4/9 or both nights:

Sv My Dream
SV Coastal Drifter
SV WIZ
SV Danika
SV Slow Flight
SV Sky Blue Eyes
SV Spill the Wine
SV Music
SV Fandango
SV Shindig
SV Mayaluga
SV Finally Finished
SV Me Too
SV Cynthia (sp?)
SV Pangea
SV All Day
SV Beach Flea
SV Southern Cross
SV Blessing
SV Nomad
SV Mystic Ceti
SV Ashika

It's great to hear what the other vessels in front of us are experiencing. Biggest gripe by the majority of boats is sloppy seas and cloud cover. In years past the biggest gripe has been no wind.

SV Slow Flight has reported that their spare alternator works like a charm and they're doing great, minus the boobie who crapped all over Kimi's Kindle....can't win them all.

SV Beach Flea is doing better. They were able to "trick" their autopilot into working in sloppy seas and haven't been hand steering as much. They are still without an alternator but report that they have enough gas for their generator that they're really not worried about it. They are thinking that the helicopter which hovered over them a few days ago was associated with a mass tuna fishing fleet. The same day there was a helicopter hovering over their boat they had to navigate safe passage around a parked tuna trawler.

Speaking of navigating safe passage around other boats, Terrapin must be a magnet for ginormous boats in the shipping lane. Just about every day we've spotted huge vessels that we have to change our course for.

To keep the girls sane, I've started an arts and crafts club from 2-6pm during one of my shifts. Two days ago we created paper airplanes and flew them off the boat followed by paper orgami. Yesterday I hauled out a stack of magazines and they each created collages from cut up pictures they liked. Boat school out on the open sloppy seas is a bust, however we were able to squeak in a day of Algebra.

We've been a full week at sea and I'm happy to report that for most of us it went by fast. Only a few more weeks to go ??


-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/10/2017 2:53 PM (utc) our position was 14°25.44'N 115°25.95'W

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day Cinco: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

All day Thursday was a slow ride..real slow. After watching the spinnaker flop around while bobbing aimlessly we decided for the engine. After working up a lather putting the spinnaker to bed, the water was looking too tempting not to jump in. Phil, Jessica and myself jumped in. Not sure why I was so surprised to see absolutely clear water and could see all the way under boat. Feeling refreshed we got back on the boat, started the engine and ran her till about 2:45am.

We now are on a beam reach in about 12 knots keeping Ole Terrapin cruising along at about 6.

We got a text from another boat who pulled a boobie through one of their hatches after it landed on their boat, wrote their boat name on the chest of the bird and then set the boobie free. Not to fear animal lovers, the boobie retaliated by puking all over the inside of their boat before being set free. So ya, there's a boobie flying around the Pacific wearing the name of a boat.

Last night's Pacific Puddle Jump net was really hard to hear therefore I'm not going to relay names that may or may not have been on the net, we can report that Black Watch made landfall in Fatu Hiva.

We can also report that the alternator and spare alternator have quit working on SV Beach Flea. They're checking wires and voltage regulator and had to resort to hand steering for the past 4 days. They also reported that a helicopter circled them at 20 feet..they're not sure who or why. SV Beach Flea is trying to get in touch with Steve off Landfall for anyone in La Cruz that can relay the message.

SV Slow Flight has also had their alternator crap out on them in addition to their hydrogenerator.

That's all for now...cruising along waiting to hop into the trade winds.



-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/8/2017 4:07 PM (utc) our position was 15°44.04'N 112°04.81'W

Friday, April 7, 2017

Day 4: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All onboard are doing well.

We had a slow day (Thursday) with winds hovering around 5 knots. We had the spinnaker flying which gave us a little speed and we were comfortably sailing at half the speed of smell. No complaints though, with smooth sailing we were able to take deck showers, cook and the girls enjoyed playing in the cockpit. This morning (Friday) the winds seem to return a bit and with the spinnaker still up, we're making better time.

At 4am Thursday a flying fish found it's way through Lora's hatch and started dancing on her face. A few screams and most of us were in her cabin trying to figure what had happened. It's amazing how wretched one small little fish can smell.

At about midnight last night during Lora's watch she enjoyed a 45 minute dolphin show complete with dolphins flipping and spinning out of the water. She said she felt like she was up front and center at Sea World...only better, these animals are wild and free.

The following boats checked in on the Pacific Puddle Jump Net Thursday 4/6/17;

SV Danika
SV Music
SV Coastal Drifter
SV Shakedown
SV Slow Flight
SV Me Tao
SV Wiz
SV Beach Flea
SV All Day
SV Shindig
SV Mayaluga
SV Blessing
SV Spill The Wine
SV Fandano
SV Pangea
SV My Dream
SV Ashita
SV Finally Finished
SV Mystic Ceti (sp?)
SV Nomad

SV Monark has safely returned to La Cruz to figure out their SSB.

We left Monday and it's Friday and for those of us with rotating shifts the time seems to keep clipping by....for the girls, not so much. They're a little bored and we're doing the best we can to help them spend their time.


THANK YOU SV Scuba Ninja and Stray Catz for the equator crossing gift, we can't wait to use it.

Fun Terrapin Fact: All 180 eggs onboard are still doing great.

-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/7/2017 4:08 PM (utc) our position was 16°25.88'N 110°35.35'W

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

First 48 Hours: Pacific Ocean Crossing

All is well aboard SV Terrapin

We motored for the first 2 hours in an effort to get out of Banderas Bay. Since then we've enjoyed a steady beam reach with winds between 8-17 knots and we've kept a steady 5-6 knot pace.

We were a little surprised at the amount of traffic coming and going from Mexico. We knew we were going to be crossing the Manzanillo shipping lanes, just didn't expect to feel like we were playing Frogger with fuel tankers, auto transporters, cargo container vessels among others. We haven't seen another vessel since 10pm last night.

So far it's been chilly and we've been sailing in warm fleece.

Vessels we have heard calling in on the nightly Pacific Puddle Jump net and reported as making progress and doing well are as follows:

SV Wiz
SV Coastal Drifter
SV Music
SV Fandango
SV Myaluga
SV Te Poe Rava
SV Slow Flight
SV All Day
SV Black Watch

SV Monarch had to turn around and head back to La Cruz due to a broken SSB radio.

Our favorite item on board thus far is the Delorme Inreach. With our unlimited texting we've been able to stay in constant contact with our weather router, read that North Carolina won the NCAA Basketball tournament by only 1 point and the girls can communicate with Julian off SV Cape D who left 3/11 from Panama and is within 700 miles of Hiva Oa. Our only issue has been making contact with those who have the Iridium. Although we have their email address we've yet to be able to make contact with Coastal Drifter, Wiz, Monarch and Slow Flight. Not sure if there's something we're missing, or what.

The girls are doing well. Emma's seasickness hasn't been much of a problem. Jessica is still her anxious self and pops her head into the cockpit throughout my shift to ensure I'm clipped in and safe.

Having a 3rd adult as crew has been like night and day. Having 8 hours off in between shifts versus 4 makes all the difference in the world.

We still have about 2500 nautical miles to Hiva Oa.

-- Sent via SSB Radio


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At 4/5/2017 4:23 PM (utc) our position was 18°01.36'N 108°09.07'W