Pre-departure Drama and First Day on Passage

On Saturday morning we got up early with a few important tasks on our agenda. We needed to check all the engines (two auxiliaries and a generator), we wanted to clean the bottom of the hulls of some growth, and another Internet run was needed. Jason, Lara and I were doing the bottom cleaning and had an amusing moment when a penguin was swimming nearby and actually bumped into Jason. Not only that, but it let Jason touch it a couple of times and didn’t even run away.

We went back to cleaning and suddenly Jason hollered at me Lara needed help. Lara had swam into a small Portuguese man of war jelly fish! They are one of the worst jelly fish to be stung by (although usually not deadly). Its long tentacles got on Lara’s ear, neck, and both arms. She was in agony from the pain and trying to remove the tentacle(s). I got out of the water, and immediately ran to the galley to get some vinegar and poured it over her (the vinegar helps to dissolve the proteins which effect the sting). Jason got a razor so she could remove any tentacle remnants. Fortunately, Lara’s excruciating pain soon diminished. She later said the marks were much less pronounced than another time when she had been stung by one. Still it was a very traumatic few minutes for her.

We later finished the bottom cleaning and went ashore for one more Internet visit. Jason was trying to finish some business back home, and I needed to call home and pay some bills. We had some lunch and went through our pre-departure checklists before we were ready.

Tahina left Isla Isabela in the Galapagos by early afternoon. As forecasted the winds were light and on the nose initially, so we were motoring for several miles. After we got away from island effects we had a light wind enabling us to motor sail for most of the night. There were several other boats leaving the Galapagos at about the same time, and we amused ourselves by talking to each other on VHF while we were still in range. Later we checked into an HF radio net of boaters headed to the Marquesas called the Barefoot Net on 8122 Mhz at 0030Z hours.

With light winds and a bright moon, our first night was pretty easy going. Around 5 AM the winds picked up just a little and we were able to start sailing a bit. The winds got a bit more reliable around 8 AM and we were able to sail all day. We even had a little stronger winds around noon and actually hit 10 knots of boat speed very briefly.

We saw plenty of birds, but not very much marine life once we got away from the Galapagos. On the way out of the islands, we did see a few manta rays. One of the boats spotted a small whale. We did not catch any fish on the first day. Because of the light conditions, we only made 151 nautical miles in our first 24 hours.

Life on board has been very relaxing so far. With four people on board, the watches are pretty easy (3 hours on, 9 off during the night, with relaxed watches during the day). We have plenty of food and have made plenty of water so far. We’re just hoping for decent winds during the next few days. The forecast has greatly diminishing winds due to a large developing high pressure system in the area. If we get far enough south, we should still get enough wind to sail though.

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One Response to Pre-departure Drama and First Day on Passage

  1. Marshall Damerell says:

    Hi: I met your father at a birthday party for Warren Prince at Scientists Cliff in Port Republic, MD. I heard that his son was sailing around the world and I immediately had interest. My wife and I made this trip 1980-1983 on a 38 ft. Shannon Ketch. I like your approach to the trip and not make it a “racing” event. We stopped many places and got to know some of the local people and learned alot about local culture. Your route looks good, but pleae don’t take the Red Sea route. Political events make this very dangerous. Also So. Africa is a much better route. Please send me your blogs or other communications. Marsh Damerell, 506 Aldersgate Ct., Solomons, MD 20688-3013

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