Sunday, March 22, 2015

Family Circus is rolling in to the Big Blue! Day 1

Well we finally got underway! We ended up with many odds and ends, and then realized the bottom of our boat had an entire ecosystem attached to it that was going to dramatically slow us down. We thought we could do a quick clean before we headed out, but after jumping in I knew it was going to take a while, and we hired a local diver as well. A few hours later, we said our final goodbyes, raised the Family Circus Flag from the Bow and headed out of the marina. We were really taken by surprise, and got choked up, as close to fifteen boats set off horns, whistled and got on the radio to wish us well. One of the kids friends boat even escorted us out in their dinghy. It was a pretty cool moment, but also a reminder of the great local cruising community that we had gotten to know, and that we were now leaving behind. Some we'll possibly see in French Polynesia, and some we'll hopefully see elsewhere down the road. One of the aspects of cruising is that you rapidly meet people of similar interests, and you have more time to sit down and spend time with them, even if its only for a compressed time period. Hopefully, we'll get to host some of them in Lafayette, or meet them elsewhere down the road.

The late afternoon thermal was blowing and as we set the sails at around 1630, Family Circus took the bit in her mouth and headed out of Banderas Bay with a nice wake, doing 8 knots!. Unfortunately, we still have a chafe issue with our outhaul and our brand new line didnt last more than fifteen minutes before the cover parted. We made some better adjustments and think we're in good shape, but it pointed out that we didnt get a shake down sail in over the last two weeks in La Cruz.

We've settled in quite well and really made good time. The swells have unfortunately been on the beam (right angles to the boat) so we're rocking a bit more that we'd like - but the boat has been flying all night. We've averaged more than 7 knots, often close to 8, and even hitting 9 in a gust. The wind has been 11-13 knots, but has just started lightening up over the last few hours, and we now have the Gennaker up in 9 knots of wind, heading 248 degrees. Our current position is 19 degrees 36 mins Latitude North, and 107 degrees, 52 mins Longitude West, and we've covered 155 miles in the last 21 hours, which is a great start. The weather router and forecast, will keep us pointing in this general vicinity- we'd like to point at the Marquesas more, but will risk heading in to even lighter winds. We know it will go light everywhere in a 2 days but will try and ride what we have as far as we can.

Many on board are on sea sickness pills and hanging in there quite well. The sun is out today, the water is sparkly blue, and the breeze feels good. A reggae collection is currently playing the cockpit, and everyone is lounging around, snacking and adjusting to the boat motion. We finally put the fishing gear in the water, and also had 32 four inch squid jump on to the boat overnight, including up on the hard top! Its an interesting self sacrifice they make, but leaves quite a mess! I think it will take several more days until we really feel better, but we know it could be much worse and are making great progress.

We checked in to the radio net last night, and sent in a position report. Hopefully these start to get through and start to get posted to our blog. If any of you can keep me updated on that (and the Warriors games) through the secret portal that would be great! We'll be back on the radio net tonight as most of the boats doing the crossing are checking in nightly and its fun to hear their voices and compare notes on weather and progress.

Hope you are all doing great! Day One is almost in the books and its a great start! CHRIS

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