sharks attack in the tuamotus takes the amperage up a bit
This trip goes down as one, if not the finest expedition of my life. To qualify as an “expedition” it should have the following attributes: remote, rarely or never attempted, difficult, and requiring great planning and usually heroic effort. Having two amazing chefs and a luxury yacht probably removes ‘difficult’ from our list, but we topped the scales on remote and never attempted on this one, and if you add what our chefs went through to get food on this boat we definitely have heroic. Although swimming with dozens of sharks cannot be described as easy…
This log is a bit of mixed bag. I’ve elected to let the truth be told- a bit of the downside of my job, and bit of the glory. Usually logs are filled with the positive nature of the expedition, but it’s not always a walk in the park. Then again, it always has its little rewards that come just when they are needed. This is a story of the dark and light side that make up our days at sea.
Offshore Sailing rarely is this good. Come aboard the Best Odyssey as we head sw towards the Gambier islands
We’ve spent the last week and a half enjoying the “Enchanted Isles”, or “Islas de Colon”, or more commonly- the Galapagos. As much as I’ve heard and imagined these islands and their non-human inhabitants, the reality is still sinking in. We began with a day tour of San Cristobal, where we’re anchored and where we’ll likely stay anchored until we depart for Polynesia on April 9. As it would cost nearly $2,000 US per day to tour the Galapagos on Discovery we’ve decided to go it with the local boats, which are in abundance.
We take a quick pause for a swim in open ocean across the equator en route to the Galapagos
After three weeks of living in Panama City, I for one was ready to get underway again. Discovery has received nearly $15,000 in upgrades- new batteries, new anchor chain, new GPS and Radar (after they got fried in Colombia), fishing gear, sail repairs, a myriad of spare parts… Each day I would spend a few hours on the boat doing odd projects in hopes that by the time our departure date arrived it would be less chaos than usual. As we’ll be away from any kind of services, or even a marina for nearly two years once we depart, the time was now to stock up and get her ready, but there’s always a list that remains undone.
After saying sad goodbyes to the whole crew in Bocas we took two days trying to get some sleep, then departed for Colon. It was a fast, easy sail. With building winds out of the north Discovery took flight as she hadn’t in weeks, covering the 140 miles in no time. We arrived the Shelter Bay Marina by late Wednesday afternoon and quickly began arranging our transit of the Panama Canal. We’d already lined up an agent, a giant of a guy named Stanley who doesn’t waste time. We’d no sooner tied up the boat when he arrived, cell phone ringing incessantly, favors being called in, dollar signs adding up. But he got it done. Some boats wait for weeks to get through the canal. He arranged a slot for us Friday evening, 48 hours and closing.
This is our last day, the whirlwind is coming to an end. Last night we had our final dinner with everyone present and in my final parting speech I said something that was absolutely true and yet I still find incredible. I said that usually at the end of one of our trips we (meaning the crew) cannot wait for it to be over so we can take a break. Those trips are usually 6 guests at most. For this one, we’ve had in the neighborhood of 20+ every day. The workload has been trebled or more. Quite a few people are sick (me included), and everyone is exhausted. But I almost collapsed into tears last night at the thought of this one ending. This trip has been amazing on so many levels. Each person has contributed to its success, and the success has had nothing to do with what we set out to do, which was kite waves. Sure, we’re hopeful today we’ll get more time on the water, and yes, we’ve had some kiting and some great waves, but what stands out is the adventure and the people who’ve shared in making it.