Hola Amigos y Amigas!
We are back in Bahia Zihuatanejo preparing to cross the Pacific Ocean!
We spent the last week anchored off Isla Ixtapa. My mother, Danielle, came to visit us and we all shared an amazing time. She was a huge help by checking our Hobie kayak and hauling it through customs as well, while Alyssa lugged three more bags of boat parts at the checkpoint
As Danielle recalls saying to the customs officer, “It’s my surf! You know, my surf.”
Alyssa was a few families behind in line with the security guard helping tow the heavy bags. The officer asks, “Are you here alone?”
Alyssa replies “Yes, just on vacation.”
“By yourself? Where are your bags?”
She responds by pointing to the security guard, “Yes, just me. Those are my bags.”
“All of those bags?! Are you sure you don’t need to declare anything?”
“No, nothing to declare. Just vacation:)”
“Fine. Push the button.”
Green light. “Whew!”
We cabbed it to the beach where we loaded up the dingy with the bags while Danielle and Alyssa paddled the new kayak to the boat. We started the evening in Playa la Ropa lounging in beach chairs and sharing fresh seafood while watching the sun set over Bahia Zihua and then sailed north to Isla Ixtapa for a few more days at the amazing Azul Ixtapa Grand resort.
After Danielle departed we decided to get down to work and complete the project list that we would like to check off before departing for French Polynesia.
So far we have:
1) Bleached/sanitized the fresh water system on board
2) Completed engine maintenance (oil, filters, trans fluid, impeller, clean fuel vent line, etc)
3) Cleaned the ridiculous amount of barnacles off the bottom (took us three days and four dive tanks!)
4) Learn how to receive weather fax and additional GRIB files
5) Defrost and clean the fridge/freezer
6) Stock aforementioned fridge/freezer with beer and provisions
7) Fill and top-off all propane, gasoline and diesel tanks
8) Buy 5 new diesel cans (25 liters each); clean, fill, stow in cockpit (now we have over 100 gallons of diesel on board)
9) Fixed leaking SCUBA dive tank
We plan to finish the final items over the next few days, including one night at the marina so we can inspect the standing rigging, halyards and wash Ellie before we depart.
It hasn’t been all work and no play though! We have been anchored off Playa la Madera, where the main stage is! It’s the International Guitar Festival here in Zihua and we are thoroughly enjoying the awesome talent that has graced the stage over the past few nights. We have a front row seat from either the cockpit or the fore-deck, depending on the wind that evening.
After we check off the final items on the to-do list we will be eagerly waiting for a weather window with “bien viento” (good wind) to get us a couple days out of Zihua so we can catch the more consistent prevailing westerlies that will carry us towards French Polynesia and the Islas Marquesas.
We are planning to be at sea for at least a month before dropping anchor in the Marquesas. We are of the mindset that the crossing will take as long as it takes, comfortably and as low-stress as possible. I charted the rhumb line course at 2,970 nautical miles. The actual course will be much longer.
We are planning a combination of tactics: if there’s wind, we sail; no wind, but large swell, and ample diesel, we motor; no wind, no swell, limited diesel, we drift and host a fiesta with Neptune. This is our tentative plan, subject to change and the unknown.
We will make a final post before we depart.