Puddle Jump in Images – Part I

The time here has been split between sightseeing, bureaucracy, resetting Pesto to Coastal Cruising, sleeping, and swimming. Not much left to download, sort and process all the pictures taken during the Puddle Jump. But here it is, finally – a visual update of our 3,111-mile voyage across the Eastern Pacific.

But a quick disclaimer before proceeding: unfortunately there’s an awful lot of pictures of me barechested … it was way too hot/humid during most of the way, and I just didn’t think of dressing up before pictures were taken. For that, I apologize.

Ok, here we go now:

Departure #1, from Barra de Navidad. From left to right: Phil (sv Terrapin), Debra (sv Coastal Drifter), Janet (sv Cape D), Adriana (sv Pesto), Julien (sv Cape D), Jessica (sv Terrapin), Phil (sv Coastal Drifter), Aimee (sv Terrapin), Emma (sv Terrapin):

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We were making good progress on a tight reach in light winds – we would soon learn Pesto sails really well upwind:

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But the backstay fitting broke, and we had to turn back. The kids took advantage to reacquaint themselves with their friends in La Cruz. Here, Paulo receives a haircut from Adriana under close surveillance of his friends:

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The hydraulic fitting was fixed – despite the odds – making the skipper very happy – we were good to go again:

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Another departure, another occasion to bid farewell. Here the crews of sv Pesto, sv Kenta Annae and sv Enough met up for one last dinner at the local German Restaurant in La Cruz:

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We left early morning on a Monday. When the sun set that day, we were already out of sight of land:

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Back then, blankets were still necessary for the night watches on the cockpit:

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On the second evening we were glad to receive visitors:

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The boobies were so cute! We welcomed them on our back solar panel:

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We would soon regret it, but on the meantime, we were happy and distracted by the parade of sunsets and sunrises – one more beautiful than the other:

Familygonesailing-PuddleJump-Apr16-011Other than the boobies, we also had the occasional visits of Dolphins:

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Adriana and Paulo, in particular, are very fond of these visits and often spent long times on deck watching the dolphins swim by:

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On one of these visits, we were at the bow, camera on hand, waiting for the dolphins to surface again for yet another picture, and then THIS happened:

Familygonesailing-PuddleJump-Apr16-024This dude was a large bottleneck Dolphin, and he must have jumped at least 2 meters above the water, right in front of us. It was breathtaking – and even a bit unnerving!

Back on deck, the boobie situation now was getting out of hand. This guy landed on deck, and he was clearly different from the others. He looked of advanced age, was very tired, and had green feet. I tried to evade him – gently – but however I tried, he would fly back onboard. I figured he was nearing absolute physical exhaustion and didn’t have anything else to lose. I ended up letting him stay, and the kids named him “Lucky”:

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Familygonesailing-PuddleJump-Apr16-038The condition for Lucky to stay was that the others would have to go. Here, Adriana tries to evade one daring boobie who landed on our Radar:

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This sophisticated contraption (empty plastic bags) kept them away from the Radar for the rest of the voyage. The solar panel, on the other hand, would require ongoing surveillance (and a lot of cleaning):

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As a revenge, the boobies were now trying to land at the top of our mast. If they succeeded, they would destroy our wind sensor, and that would be a big nuisance for the rest of the voyage (we used the sensor during the night to adjust Pesto’s position to the wind). We learned from sv Enough, who were also enduring similar problems, that loud noises prevented them from landing. We spent many hours blowing our whistle as a result:

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And the days went on, together with the parade of sunsets and sunrises:

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After just three days at sea, we found ourselves at the edge of the Trade Winds already. It was Spinnaker time!

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With the big chute up, speeds were now steadily above 7kts and we were making excellent progress straight on to Polynesia. Pesto was happy, and the crew was happy as well:

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Every day there was something to fix on deck. Here, I am setting up a jury system to replace the boom vang which was giving up – not coincidently, another hydraulic fitting !

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Other daily chores included cleaning the decks from the flying fish that met their fate onboard during the night. Every morning there would be between 5 and 10 of these creatures lying around:

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Early morning was also the time to check in with the Pacific Puddle Jump net on the SSB radio. At that time I would broadcast our current position and take note of the positions of other boats doing the Jump as well. There were over 15 yachts along the way back then:

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For a while, Paulo and I tried to plot these positions on a large map. It was cool, but I confess the activity required a discipline that neither Paulo or I had. The seas were building and Pesto was rolling a lot. Moreover, the air was getting hotter and more humid, and time inside the cabin was reduced to the absolute minimum necessary:

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We had a fantastic time with the spinnaker up, flying it for 72 hours straight:

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But the winds kept freshening up, and it was now time to douse it. Boy it was quite a chore to bring all that canvas down in 25 knots of wind!

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Paulo wasn’t too happy at first:

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But he would soon realize conditions were getting a little too sporty. At this stage, we had the largest waves that we would (thankfully) see on this trip – at up to 3 meters. Paulo and I spent some time at the stern watching them roll under us:

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At one point, winds were so strong that even our genoa sheet broke. It was quite a fight to get a replacement tied to the wild sail under those conditions !

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With all that wind and all the action, time was flying, and we were gaining a lot of Latitude toward the Equator. Something was lurking in the horizon and we hardly noticed:

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That, and more, will be the subjects of the next post.

Stay tuned !

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