Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Summary from Victoria

This is a summary Victoria wrote for her old classmates at the Shambhala School in Halifax.

Dear classmates,

It has been almost two years since I last saw most of you, and I thought you might be curious about what we have been up to. We bought our boat in Anacortes, Washington, and sailed from there to San Francisco and then San Diego. From San Diego we sailed to Mexico. We stayed in Mexico for the last year and a half, fixing what broke on the way down. There was a lot to fix, like the rigging, the steering, the autopilot, the fridge, the engine, the watermaker, the plumbing, and the electronics. My dad, with a little [a lot !] bit of help from my Grampy, fixed it all. Parts are hard to get in Mexico. Even if you can find them they can be fairly expensive.

Thankfully, in the marina we were at, there was another sailboat with some kids on it. While Dad fixed the boat, Johnathan and I played with the kids and did things like catching barracuda, building with Lego, playing at the beach, swimming in the tiny pool, and biking to the little town square. At the square, there was a little icecream shop that has some of the best ice cream that I have ever tasted. It was made right there in the little shop. Just a short walk from the icecream place, there was also a good source of fireworks. Nearby were two of my favourite restaurants. One had amazing ceviche and the other had the best tacos you could find anywhere. Ceviche is a Mexican food that is fish (uncooked) that has sat in lime juice until it turns from pink to white. This cooks the fish fairly well. Then they add tomatoes, cilantro, and onions.

Last year we went to the Sea of Cortez for a while. In the Sea of Cortez, it was wonderful. There was clear water, beautiful fish, and amazing snorkeling. The only down side of my time in the Sea of Cortez was that I got a fairly bad rope burn, which meant that I couldn't play in the water for a while. It is better now, but there is still a scar. Our engine broke again, but other than that it was an amazing trip. After the Sea of Cortez, we went back to Canada to see our family, and came back to Mexico in the fall. In December, Mom had my little baby brother Benjamin. Being at Benjamin's birth was an amazing experience.

In April, we set off for the South Pacific, which can be a month-long passage. It took us 21 days and 23 hours of non-stop sailing. We couldn't use our motor very much in case we needed the fuel later if a squall came. During the passage, we caught a marlin, a mahi mahi (also known as a dolphin fish or a dorado), a tuna, and a skipjack. It was rough at times and at other times smooth. Now we are in French Polynesia. We first arrived on the Island of Fatu Hiva. After that, we went to Hiva Oa to check into the country. After we checked in, we left because it wasn't a very good anchorage and the boats were coming way too close and the waves were getting big. We went to the island of Nuku Hiva. On the way, we caught another tuna and another mahi mahi. The anchorage looked like a beautiful postcard, with white sand beaches, coconut trees, and coral reefs. The only downside was that it was a long hike to the ancient Marquesan ruins, so we were going to go to another anchorage that was nearby so it would be a shorter hike, but our engine broke again! There was a nice man on another boat who had a lathe. He helped us use the parts we had to stop the leak.

In the new anchorage, we met the wife of the Doctor in that town and she agreed to take us to the ancient ruins. The ancient ruins were amazing. They had some amazing stone carvings and tikis (carved statues). We went for another hike and met a nice lady who helped us get two full shopping bags of delicious mangoes - for free! We have now moved to a new anchorage because the last anchorage was getting rolly. Here, it rains every day and the water is murky. It gets very hot when we have to shut all the windows. The only thing I like about this bay is that there are giant manta rays, from three feet wide to five feet wide. People say that there are fairly large sharks here, so it is not a good swimming bay. Down here we have gotten pamplemousse. It translates into grapefruit, but it is so much better. Even Benjamin likes the pamplemousse. The bananas are amazing here, and plentiful.

That has about caught up to where we are now. I hope it helped you understand how our passage has been going. If you want to check on how we are doing, this is the address to our blog:

Victoria Shaw
At 6/8/2014 6:18 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°55.00'S 140°06.00'W

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