We motored over to the anchorage in La Cruz last Sunday to do the engine and hull checks. It wasn’t particularly comfortable in the afternoon as the wind picked up to over 25 knots and Ka’sala pitched and rocked on her anchor as if raring to head out to sea. Nonetheless, we were able to complete all the tasks assigned to this short passage. Doug changed the oil and checked the engine – tiptop shape. I re-familiarized myself with our sailmail program and confirmed I could communicate with my family, and on my blog, while we are at sea. Doug dove on the bottom, when the conditions were calmer the next morning, and cleaned the prop and bottom of barnacles and scum. Then he checked the zincs and made sure everything was fine below the waterline. The visibility wasn’t that great, and the water wasn’t all that warm, but the deed was accomplished.
|At anchor at La Cruz|
We met up with Jan and Joanneke, but were stranded aboard Ka’sala for a couple of hours waiting for the choppy sea conditions to settle down. In the early evening we reunited aboard Witte Raaf, then ventured into La Cruz to have one more fabulous dinner at Tacos on the Street. Puttering back in the darkness, to our boats, in our little dinghies, reminded me of all the many adventures we had shared together over our last few winters in Mexico.
The next day we returned to Paradise Village, and our E58 slip, as the paying guests of the Vallarta Yacht Club. Doug had been monitoring the weather and wanted to make sure we would have some breeze to push us off the coast of Mexico, out of the effects of the Sea of Cortez, and into the trade winds that would take us all the way to Hawaii. Of course, the weather is not precise a week in advance, but trends become apparent, and it appears that Monday, April 23, will be our departure day. Our planned destination will be Honolulu, approximately 2900 nautical miles away, a little over 6000 kilometres, or the distance between Vancouver, BC and Halifax, NS. All going well, the journey should take us three to four weeks - nonstop.
|Doug looks down from the bridge on Ka'sala in Paradise Village marina|
Over the next few days we will complete the final chores to have Ka’sala ready for the passage. Filling our internal and external water tanks (about 560 precious litres), our diesel tanks (about 390 litres or 600 nautical miles worth of fuel) will be essential. Assembling our life saving gear - such as our life raft and ditch bag (we use our dinghy, fully inflated on the foredeck with ditch bag and water tied in), harnesses, lifelines, jacklines, Jordon drogue, Epirb and radios. The sails and rigging have all been checked and the staysail and stormsail rigged. The self steering systems are ready to go. Inside we still have to re-organize for sea and, of course, find, buy, sort, and store a month’s worth of provisions.
In between all the preparations, we have been able to find time to spend with our friends Jan and Joanneke. They have joined us in Paradise Village and all four of us have been enjoying the great facilities here. J & J are planning to sail with us as far as the Revillagigedo Islands, about 320 miles offshore, where they hope to explore the underwater wildlife, before returning to the Sea of Cortez for the summer. We will continue on to Hawaii. And we will miss them.
|Joanneke and Jan|
While we are underway, we will be checking in with the Pacific Seafarer’s Net and you can follow our passage through their website as well:
- www.pacseanet.com. (Click on the Menu button on the top, then “position reports”. Our call sign is: VE0KSL (that’s a zero, not an “O”) and if you scroll down on the position reports page you will get more details about the reporting system.
- I also believe you can still follow our course graphically by going to the Yotreps website: www.oceantracking.com and clicking on “reporting boat list”. On the next screen you will see a yellow table. Look for our call sign, then look to the right and click on “track”. You should then see a map that shows where we are in the Pacific Ocean each day.
- And if you are still wondering, and love to play with technology, you can also track us through our AIS. Try the websites: www.vesselfinder.com or: www.myshiptracking.com and play around.
When we are at sea we have a lot of time to think. When I am on watch, especially, I find my thoughts drifting to family and friends who care for us and think about us when we are so far from home. I can feel your positive thoughts and prayers and they make me feel like we are not alone - not an easy thing when you are in a 34 foot sailboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. From the heart: thank you!