Tiffany and I got ourselves a ship for the trip to Tahiti! Our friends Allan & Alison on FLY AWEIGH have decided to change their plans from sailing to Florida to sailing instead to Australia. Those of you following the blog for a while now will remember Allan and Alison from our many adventures in Baja Mexico, in Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Mazatlan and now Puerto Vallarta. They have asked Tiffany and I to accompany them over the first leg of the journey, basically to help them sail their boat over 3000 miles of open ocean … one of the largest expanses on the planet.
To give you an idea of what we have signed on for here, imagine driving from New York City to San Diego in a camper. Now reduce the camper’s speed to 10 miles per hour max, make it impossible to get off or stop the camper at any point during the voyage, remove all signs of life, habitation, fuel or help for your journey and put 4 people in the camper, one of whom must be driving at all times and two of which are vegetarians. Sprinkle in the potential for a few natural disasters and add a dab of motion sickness. Oh yeah, no cell phones, wifi or FM radio either. That’s not quite it, but it’s at least close to what we’re doing.
(Ok, this time Greg made a comparison to a camper van. Last time, he said we were “crossing the ocean in a bathtub powered by a bedsheet”…)
Naturally, prepping for this trip was a major project for the four of us and took us about a month to get FLY AWEIGH, an already well equipped and well maintained ship, ready for the journey.
How do I describe to you what we did to prepare our ship and ourselves for this undertaking? I mean, how many bottles of bleach does one need to cross an ocean?
And how many hours a day should you devote to the important task of de-moisturizing your mushrooms for storage?
We also got 2 new sails for the trip: a storm trysail in case of hurricanes and a spinnaker in case of light winds. Thanks go out to Mike of PV sailing who got the sails down to Mexico and took the time to do some training with us on them.
Overall it was a lot of work and the four of us all pitched in and made it a good time. This video gives you an idea of what it is like to prepare a ship to cross an ocean:
Another important factor in our preparation was mentally preparing ourselves for what I estimated would be 30 days living in a constantly moving 400 sq foot apartment with no means of leaving. Now the idea of unplugging for a month may sound rather appealing at first but, as I learned from my patrols in the Coast Guard, you have to keep busy or you’ll go bonkers after a while. To that end I had Tiffany bring back a few things for me from the states: a French review program (because in French Polynesia, that’s what they speak! – Tiff), an audio Bible and a ukulele. In our final month in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle here in Banderas Bay, I’ve managed to learn one song on this thing.
So either I’ll get better or they’ll kill me and dump my body in the ocean. Nothing like a little motivation to begin one’s musical career. Anyone know what song I was playing?