Mexico to French Polynesia

Spring 2014




Crossing oceans can be a wet time

The princess (Romany Star) loves putting her nose through waves and making big splashes. The dodger earned its name, as we ran for cover while the boat said "wheeee!"

Final provisioning filled every nook, cranny and fruit net. We have an extra 10 gallons of washing water in the buckets (no salty butts in the cabin). The inflatable kayak is put away in its pack, though a couple times on the trip Bonnie wished she could paddle out front and pull us through the calms. The windvane steering apparatus (the tan paddle blade) is one of our most important pieces of equipment - who wants to hand-steer a boat for thirty days?

The Banderas Bay whales came out to say bye as we left. The calves were really enthusiastic - getting almost completely out of the water when they breached. They'll soon be too big to do that.

Life on Romany Star is a far cry from the deprivations sailors used to live through. This pesto-artichoke pizza, on Paul's light crispy crust, was part of the equator-crossing celebration. We think Paul feeds his crew this well out of a fear of being eaten while in the middle of the ocean.

Gunter, the fearless sailing penguin, did his part admirably. Mostly his part involved being cute down below, since getting salt off his butt would be difficult.

Bonnie kept wondering if she'd be able to recognize a squall on the open ocean . . . yeah, they kinda stand out. Luckily this first one came in daylight, and we got good at seeing and dodging the big ones. Sometimes it's nice to get the deck washed, though. By the end of the passage, we felt like most of the Mexican dust had finally been washed away.

Sometimes the dolphins came to escort us across their ocean. Mostly they're disappointed we don't make a better bow-wave for surfing, but they say hi anyways. We were especially touched that they stopped to see if we were ok while becalmed for a day near the equator. Dolphins always lighten the spirits.

The reason we were completely becalmed and not motoring was . . . well . . . there's this valve, see. It keeps the ocean from wandering into the engine when we're not motoring. One must open the valve before turning on the engine, or the exhaust has nowhere to escape. In a group effort of "but I thought you did it", we managed to blow a big hole in the muffler. At least it was nice and calm for the repair day. We think the chocolate-icing looking fiberglass and epoxy is actually stronger than the original box, but we haven't tested it by leaving the valve closed again.

"Sunrise, sunset . . . sunrise, sunset. Swiftly flow the days." We sleep and wake three watches in a day, so it's easy to lose track.

The sight of land and a calm anchorage brought smiles. Bonnie was excited to see the water change from the deep blue to the aqua shallows, and shocked to see bottom through fifty sparkling clear feet. It was a blustery upwind jaunt through the reef and around to Rikitea, the main community of the Isles Gambier.