I am currently on a 5,000 mile sailing trip from the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal to Tahiti.
The boat is a Gozzard 36 owned by Jeff Young, an Australian. Additional crew for the first segment is Rick Woodward, a good friend of Jeff's, also an Australian. Additional crew after Rick leaves on Feb 22 is Ashleigh Allen, a 25 year old S. African woman who normally is professional chef on super yachts. I'm hearing lots of Aussie terms like "Good on ya mate" and words like g'day, mate, bloke, nackered and bloody this & bloody that.
I arrived in Panama on Jan 30 and expect to return home sometime mid-April. This is my longest trip both in distance and time and is one of my best boating trips as crew! Emails can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My son, Andrew, is posting updates to this blog as I can get them to him.
April 28th 2012
I am writing about these last few days of my adventure while sitting at my desk at home looking through the forest out over the marine park islands just north of Orcas Island with Georgia Strait just beyond and Vancouver and the coastal mountains of Canada 40+ miles in the distance. The temperature is cool and for the first time in 80 days, I am not sweating! It’s fun to re-live the experiences and I will be doing that for many years to come. If you have enjoyed reading this blog, please send me an email to let me know, email@example.com. I received many emails from people while on the trip and really enjoyed the feeling of being “in touch” with the rest of the world. If you are interested, you can follow my next adventure, ... read more
April 18th 2012
In the morning we rent a car for the day. We set out for a circumnavigation of Tahiiti Nui, the main part of the island, with a detour to Tahiti Iti, the small part of the island connected by an isthmus. Along the way we stop at a beautiful park with grottos, ferns, and lots of tropical plants. There’s another place with a fresh water swimming hole where the spring just bubbles up constantly. The water here is refreshingly cool and just across the road from the beach. On Tahiti Iti, we stop at a waterfront restaurant right on the beach for a hamburger lunch, then go swimming to cool off afterwards. The view is great. Further along, we stop and hike to an area with three tall waterfalls. It is the very picture of paradise, ... read more
April 17th 2012
Today we all go into Papeete to see what it’s all about. There are lots of shops (expensive ones!) and a great town market with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables (if only this wasn’t the end of the trip) plus good fresh feed. We have lunch here. Papeete has some beautiful parks with streams, fish, and tropical flowers. The waterfront is a nice park, but the view is ruined with a very industrial harbor right in front.... read more
April 16th 2012
We hang around the marina enjoying the benefits of civilization. . .showers – standing up and with unlimited fresh water! – lunch out (you won’t believe it, but we actually ate at McDonald’s, I’m embarrassed to admit), happy hour, then dinner at the marina restaurant.... read more
April 15th 2012
Last night’s restaurant looked like it has good snorkeling all around, so we dinghy over and snorkel for over an hour. The water is clear and there is a vertical reef with caves and literally thousands of fish. I spot a sea turtle, one of the few we see in French Polynesia. This is some of the best diving we’ve done (have I said something like before???). After our dive, we head to the Bali Hai resort and have rum punches and talk to guests at the hotel, swim in the pool, shower. . . .ummm, it is very nice here. Ashleigh sees a man she knows. It turns out he was the captain on a boat in which she was the chef recently. They talk and we get invited out to the 105’ super yacht ... read more
April 14th 2012
This is a leisurely day. In the morning, we drove back to a beach we’d seen yesterday. It has a nice grassy shore with coconut palms. The water was clear, the coral colorful and there were lots of interesting fish. We have a nice cocktail hour and dinner at a restaurant with a deck out over the water.... read more
April 13th 2012
We arrive near Moorea an hour or so early. From several miles out, we smell the sweet fragrance of frangipani. It’s dangerous to go through the pass into the lagoon in anything less than good daylight, so we hang offshore for an hour before motoring into Cook’s Bay. The mountains are very jagged and lush. We anchor in 50’ of water. This location is the essence of the South Sea paradise. Pictures and movies of Tahiti are, in fact, pictures of Moorea. We rent a car and drive around the island which is only about 25 miles. There is a reef around the entire island which makes for a calm lagoon with shallow, coral filled water next to the palm lined beaches. There is a steep, winding road that goes up the inland mountain for a ... read more
April 12th 2012
Not much to write today. It is just a pleasant broad reach sail all day long under mostly cloudy skies (so not too hot!). We have happy hour and finish watching last night’s movie, then settle in for the night still with great conditions. You can see the glow of lights on the horizon from Tahiti. We should arrive first thing in the morning at Moorea, our immediate destination just 10 miles west of Tahiti.... read more
April 11th 2012
Jeff goes back to shore for two five-gallon bottles of water and a couple more provisions. We’re out of garlic! We have croissants with apricot jam and cheese, juice and coffee for breakfast. Then a snorkel through this second pass. It is nice, but not as impressive as Manihi, so we return to the boat and at 2:15 pm depart, headed for Moorea/Tahiti. We have appetizers and drinks for happy hour, then start watching a movie. About an hour into the movie, we feel a few drops of rain and scramble to put things away. The last one and a half hours of my watch are spent drenched in a tropical downpour with lightning 2-3 times per minute lighting the sky all around. The wind gusts to 27k, then changes directions radically. Not pleasant! I turn ... read more
April 10th 2012
We head to a resort with huts over the water similar to the one on Manihi. This one has a buffet breakfast for $35. We are able to indulge in many foods of which we’ve been deprived during the past couple months. We have lots of fresh fruit, French pastries, French scrambled eggs, orange juice, good coffee, gourmet cheeses, etc. Then we go for a dip in the pool. We were going to ask permission to swim in the pool, but my philosophy on such things is that it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission. After about an hour, we are told the pool is for guests only. The Polynesian man who tells us this looks like a bouncer. But he is very apologetic and when we get out, he offers us huge beach towels ... read more