Tag Archives: living on a boat

Weather, a fickle mistress, Arrival, Recap

The weather in these parts can be quite the mess. So we were looking, as many other boats for nice weather windows to leave the ‘cyclone area’ for season and go somewhere “safe” ..

Well I guess there is no really cyclone/hurricane safe place. The systems will just be called by different names to lure you in. We will probably be dealing with typhoons next as we go further west. Ugh,

Anyway, waiting for weather is an extreme exercise in patience, boredom, itchy feet, mental stability all play a role, which might explain things.

In Fiji, we were waiting and watching, a Tuesday looked good – but further looking had winds on the nose. Then a Friday looked good, but had a constrained finish, had to arrive before the following Friday. So why not Thursday .. hmm maybe some on the nose, similar to the Tuesday that we passed on. Then Lola started to swirl around and make noise about coming to Fiji.

Cue “The Clash”, “Should I stay or should I go”.

Leave Thursday so there is a buffer on the Friday deadline. We did this trip last year in nice conditions and it was a 6 day trip, the models were showing 9-10 days for the Thursday or Friday departures. Doing math and redoing math and checking with weather people and routers etc.. It’ll make your head spin. Weather router said, “doable”, not a warm fuzzy by any stretch of the imagination. Doable did sound, well doable.

Thursday got the call, a few other boats were leaving, others were staying. Thursday did have the allure of a couple nice days at the beginning, to get your feet wet on the long passage, And running “away” from the future Lola that was brewing near by gave a bit of weight to Thursday departure. So we cleared customs and departed just after lunch.

Thursday evenings updated forecast after we left, had future Lola (had not be named yet) coming on our path. Ugh more math, double check dates. Want to turn back, more math, nearly 100 miles into 1100 mile trip we could turn back easier than the 90% left in front of us. Decision was, wait till next forecast, continue on. Whew.. next forecast kept future Lola north and not following us. Still had the Friday constrained by cold front from the Tasman sea.

Christine will have her own view of the passage, but for me, a couple nice days for decent sailing, a couple days of pure crap into the winds with demoralizing VMG (progress to destination) followed by a couple good sailing days, and still a looming Friday constraint. So we kept pressing hard and making forward progress with eyes on arriving Thursday, ahead of the Friday cold front. Amazingly enough that Friday constraint has been in the forecast and never wavered one way or another for over a week. We calculated we needed a 6knot VMG (to make 6nm every hour toward the destination) to make it by Thursday. Boat can be going 10knots and only making 3kn VMG which is what was happening on the ‘crappy’ days, where we sailed 80 miles off course because of the wind direction. We made it.

Lola did materialize and did start her way south, kind of regrouped into the forecast you see below. This forecast is for Monday, the boats in the picture should all be in on Friday or Saturday at the most. Just in time to hunker down. Hopefully we will be nicely tied up to a good strong floating dock by Thursday evening awaiting the Friday event that has now tuned into a possible bigger deal with the addition of Lola remnants.

Predicted forecast for Monday.

We averaged 7.3kn for 1200 miles, used a bunch of diesel, broke the jib car, but we made it before the deadline, now time to sleep, clean, secure the boat for 50 knots of wind in the marina.

As the crow files the passage is 1100, we did this in 160 hours so we made 6.8nm per hour as the crow flies. Our VMG goal of 6nm is what we needed to make our Thursday arrival. The 7.3 average was over the entire distance the boat went, of 1200 and change.

Arriving in the dark
Rounding the Whangarei heads at day break

Now back to your regularly curated blog posts.

Passage day, Sunday day of rest?

Starts out beautiful, tho not quite heading on course to New Zealand. On the horizon is a nice wall of clouds that further changes the cours.. Shorten sail, you never know what you are going to get. As momma used to say about a box of chocolates. And nothing really but a wind shift and now cloudy day.

New Zealand says, “Not today!”. We are home of Team Emirates, you must “want” to sail to come here!

At least the ‘Noser-lys’ were in the forecast where the wind was predicted to come straight at you for day or so. Our little pointy thing at the top of the mast is pointing to New Zealand as that is exactly where the wind is coming from. This is definitely NOT champagne sailing more of Jagger-Bomb sailing.

With Jagger-Bombs you never do them by yourself, same with this passage we are all swilling the Jagger today The top circles are the boats that left Fiji, and the others from Vanuatu and Tonga. Vanuatu boats were waiting for a bit, but they the cyclone activity pressed them into action. As the boats from Tonga had already made minerva reef when the activity picked up and initially forecast to head that direction too. Makes for a busy ocean out here.

Can’t go directly into the wind, unless you are in an airplane, or car, or well anything but a cruising sailboat

Morning can’t come soon enough for the Advil in the form of another wind shift(high pressure), this time favorable, that lets everyone recover from the Jagger-Bombs and remember that champagne sailing is why we do it..

Just short of being half way: 590 miles to go, all well shaken up on board. James bond would be proud.

A Mother’s Day Celebration in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is absolutely beautiful, green, lush, and full of friendly people.  We have enjoyed walking around the various towns (Jaco, Quepos), meeting “ticos” (locals), and seeing the wildlife.  It has been a fun adventure. We are thrilled we could share it with Matt’s mom, Monica.

Mother’s Day – 13 May 2018

We met her at the Croc’s Casino and Beach Resort and enjoyed some chat time before we headed to Poseidon Restaurant.  Matt and I had made reservations the day before so we were all set to enjoy our Sunday brunch.

Costa Rica celebrates Mother’s day in August. As a result the place wasn’t terribly crowded. It’s a cute little place with the seating and bar inside and the kitchen outside.  Very tasty food!  We ordered a chicken Caesar salad, Tropical salad and eggs Benedict with mimosas of course.

Our yummy meals from Poseidon

Our yummy meals from Poseidon

The day Monica left, we enjoyed a nice lunch by the pool along with some frothy drinks.  I had a Miami Vice, have you heard of that before?  It is 1/2 strawberry margarita and 1/2 pina coloda.  Perfect mix.

Cocktails by the pool to celebrate with Monica.

Cocktails by the pool to celebrate with Monica.

Matt and I found this beautiful bowl made out of Brazilian wood that has become our fruit bowl on the boat.  Important to realize, I bought this in Costa Rica and they were bragging about it being Brazilian wood.

My beautiful bowl bought in Costa Rica made from Brazilian wood

My beautiful bowl bought in Costa Rica made from Brazilian wood

They have several of these stores around town which just crack me up – Fruity Monkey Poop.  Obviously, it is a cafe that sells tourist items.

I forgot to post this photo during one of our tours.  They have wonderful art like this all around Costa Rica.   This is a beautiful bus stop.

Costa Rica art at its finest

Costa Rica art at its finest

In Costa Rica they make fences using cut down trees.  After awhile, the trees start to grow again.  The horses and cows eat from the tree fence while being confined to the pasture.  I took these photos from a moving van on the highway, can you tell?

Little blurry, but tree fences are prevalent all around Costa Rica

Little blurry, but tree fences are prevalent all around Costa Rica

We had many lovely sunsets while anchored at Bahia Herradura.  The top image is the sunset and the bottom is the view of the Los Suenos Marina at night.

Sunset at Bahia Herradura and a shot of Los Suenos

Sunset at Bahia Herradura and a shot of Los Suenos

Coming up Next

Sugar Shack was struck by lightning while we were celebrating Mother’s Day with Monica.  We will be working on repairs for the next several months. With this in mind, we will not be posting about the incident until it is 100% resolved and behind us. Thank you for being patient.