s/v OCEANS pics. in the South Pacific

Touring Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Brief introduction: Taken from Landfalls of Paradise, Earl R Hinz & Jim Howard

” Only 6 of the archipelagos 12 islands are inhabited. Total land area of the group is about 492 square miles compared with the 407 square miles of Tahiti alone.
All are elevated, ranging in height between 1,300 & 4,000 feet, and are covered with a layer of deep and very fertile soil. These islands, mountainous & cut into deep valleys, are not protected by coral barrier reefs.
The group contains no indigenous land animals, but they do contain herds of wild sheep, cattle and pigs, that were left behind by earlier plantation workers. The islands do however, have many birds, the most interesting of which is a species of ground dove found no where else in the Pacific. Fish are also plentiful, and waters of the area contain a variety of enormous sharks.”

Pacific crossing-Part 2

Hello, 3,000 nm-nautical miles.  (in the English measurement system a nautical mile is 1.1508 miles or 6,076 feet, so it is more than a regular mile).

We the crew of s/v Oceans begin our 3hour watches, starting with Rick, Me & then Matthias.  With 3hr watches this gives us the potential of getting up to 6hrs of rest/sleep each.

Rick & Matthias put up our Code Zero sail, which is used when there is <13-15 knots of wind.  It is our “pretty sail”, the one that says “Sail With A Greater Purpose” on it, our Sea Mercy sail.  Unfortunately, it is short lived by being up, one of the stern blocks that lets the line slide through it, Breaks, so down comes the code zero.  Up goes the main sail and the genoa, the wind picks up & we are on our way.  YIPPEE!!!!!

Our watches seem to be going well, though it is hard to sleep as the ocean has been very rough with close choppy waves just about all of our trip since leaving Panama.  Matthias has lost all his Spotify music and all his audible books he was hoping to be listening too on his night watches.  Then mine are all gone also, well all except my Christian playlist, this is Very strange, since I could listen while in the Galapagos.  My playlist is only 26 songs, I love them!  GOD is showing us a sign, that HE is all we need.  (I will share on a separate post the contents of my playlist, if anyone is interested)

Day 6:  We sail through another time zone, our chart plotter lets us know when this happens.  Pretty cool!  1957 NM to Hiva Oa, Marquesas.

On Fri-8.3, we get a text on our InReach from my Brother, Brian, wondering how far we are away from Hurricane Hector?????WHAT????? Immediately, Rick sent off a text to our weather guru, Chris Parker.  Chris confirmed that we were far enough away from Hawaii, where the hurricane was expected to go.  We all knew that we were past the equator & Rick confirmed the fact that no hurricanes have crossed the equator North to South in the Pacific.  GOD has us, we are safe!  Soon after Rick noticed a squeak in the steering system, so he wanted to spray some lubricant on the cable.  Upon closer inspection, our steering cable was down to only 2 stainless steel strands out of a total of 7 strands.  Of course, this happens at 2000hr (8pm), All hands on deck!!!!  Rick & Matthias tried to splice & repair, but the cable didn’t have any tension on  it, due to the fact our autopilot was doing the steering for us.  We now have a back up in place, if the cable breaks completely.   Passed through another time zone.  Destination Hiva Oa-1400 NM to go.

Matthias has been making hearty German bread for us, I am trying to do an apprentice-ship with him.  We are so glad that Matthias is on board with us, he is a Huge help!

Day 14, 1,000NM from Hiva Oa.  Our mainsail starts to deliminate again, in the 1st reef we see 4-5 huge rips in the sail.  We are down to 2 reefs in the sail too use.  Rick says it doesn’t look too strong, but, we are safe!!!  We have diesel and hopefully enough to get us to land.  We are trying to conserve fuel, so we are going much slower with less sail area; 3-4knots.  Matthias makes more bread, yummy, I try to help.  Solar panels stop charging again.  I find myself praying continually.  We need YOUR help, LORD, LORD we need your help.

Day 15, Autopilot quits, 1330hr (1:30pm).  Now, we go to hand steering only & 2 hour watches, with only 2 stainless steel strands on the steering cable.  Since, I don’t know how to fix things, I am at the helm and Rick & Matthias try to fix the autopilot.  So, our complications are growing in number:  deliminating mainsail & genoa (worse than before the repair), steering cable breaking, low on diesel, solar panels not charging properly, loosing freezer food, rough, choppy seas, dinghy trying to commit suicide by breaking away from the boat, so much dirty laundry, very stinky, tired and loss of energy.  If it is going to happen, it will happen out here and most likely at night.

WOW, I often wondered when I would have a “come to JESUS ” moment, I believed that it happened when we were in Guatemala during our mission trip with PC3.  Do people have more than 1????  This adventure has brought me closer to GOD & Rick too.  I feel more intimate in my relationship with JESUS, than ever before.  By reading HIS Word and listening to the only music that stayed downloaded on my phone.  There is no one but YOU, JESUS, for us!  YOU parted the sea so we could sail right through it, YOU drown our fear in YOUR perfect love, YOU rescued us so we can stand and say, We are Children of GOD. (I changed the lyrics a bit).  Life is different out here!!!

On day 16, Rick & Matthias get our old autopilot to work, we go through another time zone, we are back to 3 hours watches.  Matthias’s engineering & electrical back ground has been very helpful to us.  We are grateful!  Rick thought it best to change course and go to Nuku Hiva, because it is a bigger island and we would have a better chance of getting repairs and parts completed.  <500NM to go

8.14-Land Ho!!!!  Port side is Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa is off our bow.

8.15-Day 20 Anchor is down at 1251hr. S08.54’/W140.06′ Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.  We celebrate with champagne.  Thank YOU, JESUS!   We will persevere!   J.R. Macduff: “It is better to weather the storm with CHRIST, than to sail smooth waters without HIM.”  Thank you, Sissy for sharing this quote.


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!!