SOUTH PACIFIC 2019!!!!
What’s the plan for next year? The South Pacific of course!
Well actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
We have decided that we want to “jump” from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and we are currently in Panama. There are several reasons for that.
First we have some friends there we would like to see again.
Next is that there is a large amount of resources available for the “Pacific Puddle Jump” and the epicenter for that is in Puerto Vallarta. It becomes a good way to meet some of the people who will be transiting that year.
Next is that it’s only 2800 miles to the Marquesas from Mexico and it’s 4000 from Panama. We will need to make the 2000 mile trip north but it will only “cost” us about 800.
Next - We have a bunch of repairs and upgrades that we want to do before we make the “jump” to the south pacific. Some we will get done in Panama but we would love to have another big shakedown on the upgrades we do here. A trip north fits the bill. And then we have one last chance for any other upgrades or repairs!!
We will head to Mexico as soon as the hurricane season allows. Sometime in November is usually the case.
The plan is to leave Panama and head directly for Playa del Coco, Costa Rica. We can stage there and wait for a weather window to pass the blast of wind at San Juan del Sur Costa Rica.
From there we head to Marina Chiapas on the border of Mexico and Guatemala. We can wait there for a weather window to pass the Tehuantepec. Then it’s a straight shot to Puerto Vallarta.
Puerto Vallarta December to March
Puerto Vallarta is the largest gathering place for people heading off to the south pacific on the North American west coast. This means that there are lots of seminars and talks and other resources available here. It’s also a great spot to meet some of the people who will be travelling on a similar path as we are.
March/April – Off to the South Pacific!!
Finally! 2800 miles of open ocean. For most it is the longest open ocean passage they will ever do.
This is a classic time to head out for the Marquesas. It’s early enough to maximize your time there but late enough to minimize the risk of storms. Hopefully by now the trade winds have settled in and can make for a steady passage.
May - The Marquesas
First landfall in the South Pacific. Majestic mountains. Dramatic anchorages.
Then the tuamotus...
May/June – Tuamotus
We plan to spend 6 weeks in the Tuamotus. Much more remote than the rest of French Polenesia but it should have more snorkeling and diving which is what we are looking for!!
Then Tahiti and Bora Bora
June/July – Tahiti to Bora Bora
A little more well known and accessible but by now we will be ready for a bit more civilization.
Then Suwarrow in the COOK ISLANDS
August – Suwarrow in the Cook Islands
We plan on hitting the northern Cook Island of Suwarrow. A national park and a place many consider a highlight of their time in the south pacific.
September – Tonga
Some scuba and some snorkeling may be part of our trip here.
October – Fiji
Wrapping up the normal season with a month in Fiji. We plan to re-group and re-assess our options here. We can tackle some provisioning and final planning but I think the next step for us will be to head North towards
The MArshalls for the off season!!
1500 miles North. This gets us north of the equator and out of the Cyclone zone. This way it lets us keep cruising for 6 more months…
We will keep you posted.
We finally made it into Marina Vista Mar on June 8th, 2018 bringing our run to Panama to a close.
2000 miles, 33 Anchorages, 1 bar crossing, winds from 0 to 40+ knots, 3 friends visiting, various gear failures, multiple potlucks and sundowners.
An epic trip and the best shakedown for us and the boat that we could hope for.
We are going to settle in here for the next three months and tackle all the repairs, projects and upgrades that are waiting on our to-do list.
No rest for us!!
We plan to
Add a semi-permanent install for our washing machine including plumbing and electrical.
Add a 120v Electrical Panel at the galley to replace a growing rats nest of wires.
Clean out and Paint the Forward Cabin Bilge
Clean out and Paint the Salon Bilge
Paint the entire Engine room and prep for adding a watermaker
Upgrade our House Battery Bank adding 50% more Ah
Including welding in a new battery rack
Add 24v to 12v converters to remove our 12v needs relying on our 12v engine start batteries
And whatever else pops up.
All before we leave Panama in November.
Passage Notes May June 2018
Golfo Dulce to Marina Vista Mar Panama
Golfito to Armeulles
Mostly a motorboat trip for us.
Stopped by Guarda Costa Heavy Panga and checked our passports
Roadstead anchorages, rain and squalls.
Armeulles to the Isla Parida and Islas Secas
Light wind in the morning
Sailing by the afternoon
Islas Secas to Punta Mala
Water pump died so we were engineless.
Sailed off the anchor.
Light air by the islands with enough current to keep things interesting
Wind filled in once we left the lee of the island
Winds light and variable all the way to Punta Mala
2 days at 80 miles / day
Punta Mala to Vista Mar
We approached Punta Mala with trepidation. We had no engine at this point and there wasn’t much we could do to vary the timing of our approach. You get pinched by Punta Mala on one side and the shipping lanes leaving the canal on the other. Somehow we got lucky. We passed right around slack tide like we were hoping and the winds were light but steady.
We got past Punta Mala and headed for Marina Vista Mar. The winds got even lighter and we had more squalls chasing us around. It took us two more days to do the last 50 miles. The wind died completely within sight of the marina 8 miles away. We couldn’t take it . We put the dinghy in the water and hip tied it to the boat. Pretty soon we were doing 3.5kts using our dinghy and 15hp Mercury outboard.
We graciously accepted help from the marina for the last mile and into our slip.
We made it.
Marc and Laura.
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