UPDATE: s/v OCEANS, Panama to French Polynesia, Part 1

Leaving  La Playita Marina in Panama City on 7.10, Tues at 1630hr (4:30pm) was just not going to happen!  Crew:  Rick & I &  our good friend Matthias from Germany.  After leaving the slip we  headed to the fuel dock, but, both of our props just would not work properly,  we were going sideways to the fuel dock.  Very tense!!! After Rick worked the props back & forth, they managed to start working.  Yippee, we are on our way to French Polynesia.  Heading out the narrow channel into the Pacific Ocean, both props again stopped working, now we were heading sideways onto the rocks with a very strong current.  Praying, praying & praying, LORD, WE NEED YOUR HELP, WE NEED YOUR HELP LORD!  Rick managed to maneuver us to the anchorage area.  We put the anchor down at 5:07pm.  Obviously, s/v Oceans and the crew were not leaving tonight.  GOD, says again, Not our time!!!  7.11, Weds, 0610hr, anchor up, everything was working again.  We are on our way.  We start our 3 hr watches, Rick, Myself & Matthias.   We start to see sperm whales, huge schools of dolphins; butterflies, frigate and albatross birds, sunrises, sunsets and flying fish, and all the wonders of the

Pacific.  The Southern Cross appears, Uranus, Pluto, Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars, so beautiful.

Day 3, was just not a good day!!!!  The ocean got rough, very choppy, quick waves, heavy rainstorm & wind, stuff inside the cabin started to fly around, we could not stand up without holding on to something.   We saw several areas that were delaminating in the main sail, then  rips showed up on the geneoa sail.  Now our 2 most often used sails can not be used to their full potential.   Our dinghy decides to try to commit suicide, a  stainless steel bolt holding it onto the davits, breaks in 1/2.  None of us got sleep, but, no one got hurt!!  Rick is concerned that we will run out of diesel.  We all need some serious sleep.  What to do???  Jump off in the Galapagos & get emergency repairs? French Polynesia is a very long way off, over 3,000 nautical miles away.  At this point, no research had been d

one for entrance into the Galapagos, which is highly restrictive for privately owned vessels.  We just weren’t going there; too expensive, been there done that and we wanted to get to Fiji to serve with Sea Mercy.

As we are making these decisions, days from the Galapagos, Al & Jill Wigginton, s/v Dragonfly, very experienced sailors, we had met in Fiji in 2015 sent us a text on our inreach asking how things were going.  After telling them our situation, they immediately went into high gear and offered options and information.  Not having the ability of doing any research since no internet out in the middle of the ocean, we were grateful to have their help and assistance.  Al & Jill got us in contact with an agent to prepare for emergency arrangement in the Galapagos.

Arrival Santa Cruz on 7.19- 8days from Panama with bad weather, broken sails and a tired determined crew.  Thank YOU, JESUS!

The repair facilities are basically non-existent.  A dinghy repair contractor and an upholstery repair contractor teamed up to assist us.  A referral that Al & Jill got by contacting the local hardware store.  Thank You, Al & Jill!!  Using pieces of old sails and glue to patch dinghies, our sails were put back together.  Our mainsail alone weights over 300lbs so it took 1/2 day to take down & 1 whole day to put back on.  The bay at Santa Cruz during our repairs was subject to heavy swells, this means on a calm day, we had 4-6ft seas right where we were anchored.  On rougher days, they were 8-10 ft.  The scenery was beautiful, the people were wonderful and the animals were crazy.  Galapagos wildlife is unlike any other place on this planet.  Animals have no fear of humans.  We were fortun

ate to see; blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, sharks of many kinds, seal lions, albatross & frigate birds.  Even a yellow warbler bird came inside the boat for a while & looked around & then flew out.  Before we departed, we took a vacation day and went to Isabella Island.  It was a rough ride over & back in a small ferry like boat, but is was beautiful and we got to get up close to sea lions, lava lizards and marine iguanas.

7.25 at 1900(7:00pm) Oceans anchor came up, conch horn was blown and we are off to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia.  Goodbye Galapagos Islands, hello 3,000 nautical miles……

The adventure continues………we the crew of s/v Oceans are excited, and thankful.  Thank YOU,JESUS!!

UPDATE 2.10.18

As we try to remain positive, we sit in Las Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale . We had a mechanical issue that needed to have new parts ordered.  They won’t be in until the beginning of next week.

Our single side band radio, (SSB) is not working!  Now, even though most boaters say, this is “Old School”.  We had a personal experience,when we were crossing the Pacific with our friend, David Lawn.  A couple on a sinking  sailboat, lives were saved because of their SSB.  We will Not cross the Pacific without our’s working!

Hope to have ability to cross over the gulf stream, later this week.

Since there are many, many, more boat chores that need to be done,  IE: heads (toilet’s) fixed, wind instrument replaced, new MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) , updated information for AIS (Automatic Identification System).  There is always more boat chores, we are taking advantage of this time to knock things off the list.

Dinghy Repair

As we wait for a safe weather window & our bodies to heal from “Boat Bites”, we continue with little never-ending boat projects.    We reinstalled the rub rail to the dinghy, that came apart during the hurricane, and also tried to tighten loose bolts.  While checking the bolts, we discovered damage inside of the anchor locker, now, requiring additional fiberglass work.