Back to “The Ditch” We Go, with Best Prime Rib & Tropical Storm Eta….#53

As most of you know we spent a few months away from our beloved motor yacht Angelique to have some precious time with our family and friends. We were able to spend time with so many folks while we were in Portland and we are grateful for that! We surely had mixed feelings about leaving, as we were enjoying so much quality time with those we love, it was hard to leave. But Angelique is our home and we were glad to be back on her and we were starting to make our plans to go south again.

After arriving back on Angelique, we spent a bit of time talking about the plans for the following week. As always, our plans well layed can change in a moments notice. We are really good at being flexible when something demands change from us, ie; weather, waves in anchorage spot, unsafe situations, mechanical problems, heath issues, etc, etc. This is a key trait when sailing or cruising, folks that have hard dates or plans eventually get themselves in trouble by pushing on with risks looming.

During the first week back aboard Angelique, we spent time cleaning and provisioning, in addition to our planning activities. It is amazing how much dust and grime settles into and the boat when it is just sitting. With those tasks taken care of we welcomed our friend Deb on board on Monday evening. We had invited Deb to join us on our trip south in the ICW. She was interested in learning and traveling along with us to experience the challenges with the ICW.

We had the pleasure of meeting Deb on our way north and kept in touch as the months went by. She has another big Hatteras, “Mad Hatteras” that lives in New Bern NC. She is fairly new to boating and we welcomed the guest and extra crew along.

Tuesday morning we hit the fuel dock at Atlantic Yacht Basin before leaving the marina. This marina sits right on the ICW next to the “Great Bridge” and the park by the locks. After fueling we headed south on “The Ditch”. This is a slang term used to reference the ICW “Intracoastal Waterways” Being that we are from the West Coast, us Pacific Northwesterners don’t really understand the footprint and construction of these valuable waterways. I had to do a bit of research and have had some comments back to me regarding terms I used in previous blog articles.  Thank you Readers!

Here is a link ⇒ ICW Wiki for some good information about the Intracoastal Waterways and below some of my comments regarding this wonderfully, beautiful, complicated and useful waterway.

The IntraCoastal Waterway, also known as ‘America’s oldest highway’ ‘ICW’ or ‘The Ditch.’  This body of water consists of bays, lagoons, rivers, natural inlets, and sounds with canals some man made and lots of bridges. Some bridges are high enough to go under and many requiring you to stop, call on VHF and wait for it to open. (some have scheduled times that you must wait for) This waterway acts as a highway for traveling boaters, commerce and coastal trade. The ICW provides a safe and navigable passage along the Atlantic Coast line without hazards of traveling a long distance in the open ocean. This waterway was no accident and started shortly after the Revolutionary War (early 1800’s). States along the coast began to build canals in order to move goods seamlessly from one city to another. In 1909 Congress passed the Rivers and Harbors Act authorizing the US Army Corps of Engineers to complete a survey for an Intracoastal Waterway System. In 1913 the Corps proposed a plan for the Intercoastal waterway to go from Beaufort NC to Key West Florida. Today, The Army Corps of Engineers are still responsible for maintaining the waterways.

The ICW has nautical mile markers, Norfolk VA at mile 0 to Key West FL at mile 1243 with an average depth of ~10 feet. It is commonly stated amongst boaters travelling these waterways, “that it is not if you will hit bottom, but when”  To not complicate things more with just shallow channels, markings are also complicated. Normally it is said that “Red Right Returning” meaning that you always keep the red marker on your right when returning from sea. The ICW runs parallel with the ocean, so which way is returning? This adds complications with understanding the exact spot to be in the channel. Thank goodness for our electronic charts that mark the channel. (well, kinda — see our mishap later in article)

Here is a snippet I copied from BoatUS Article about how the ICW is maked:

“Here’s what to do: Going south on the ICW from New Jersey to Texas is considered a “return.” In fact, if you consider the ICW going in a clockwise direction (from north along the East Coast all the way south to Brownsville, Texas), the red is on the right. Following the same clockwise direction, boaters going north on the West Coast also keep the red on the right. But there are channel markers and then there are ICW channel markers.

ICW channel markers always have a yellow rectangle or square, and in the event two markers offer conflicting directions, the yellow colors supersede the colors of the actual red or green marker on which they appear. When traveling southbound, markers with a yellow triangle should be passed by keeping it on the right (starboard) of the vessel while markers with a yellow square or rectangle should be passed by keeping it to the left (port side) of the vessel.”

SOOOOO…. with shallow channels, difficult markings, many bridges, and much attention needed for traveling  with its twists and turns. There is still one more item to understand! Passing another boat in the channel or being passed. It can be a very narrow passage in some places, so what is the correct way to pass a slow moving boat? Etiquette is: hail ahead to the boat you would like to pass and ask for “a slow pass”. What is being asking is to do a controlled pass of the other boat.  After notification, as you get close to the stern of his boat you will slow down to not wake him and he will slow down so you can actually pass with some speed. Both boat hug the channel of opposite sides and as soon as the pass is completed, you will both go back to our normal cruising speed.

With all the difficulty of the ICW, It is still an awesome adventure to see the sights and towns along the way! But you must always keep your alertness and attention on your driving and navigation while enjoying the calm water and beautiful sights. We take this knowledge along on our trip south.

Our first stop was a marina on the ICW just about 30 miles south called Coinjock Marina and Restaurant. We picked this location because we heard the Prime Rib was the best! We were not disappointed, though the smallest piece of prime rib was too big for anyone to finish. Leftovers were brought back for sure. We stayed one night.

Map of our stops along the way

Our plan was to anchor out the remainder of our trip towards New Bern. Which is what we did. Our second day we traveled through the Alligator River to anchor at the lower turn of the river. As Dan headed into the river mouth the chart we were following and the buoy’s were not lined up as we would have thought. The channel maker were way off the channel and Dan didn’t follow the buoy’s and we hit bottom… (Not IF, but WHEN was now) Luckily the bottom was mostly sand and silt and easy to back off of. Dan did a couple maneuvers until we realized what we did wrong. The channel had actually moved from what was on our plotter (see Phone Navionics Screen shot of a better chart to the right) and he didn’t notice it…. boy was I glad I wasn’t driving or I might be swimming in that muddy bottom river after a toss overboard of his first mate!

We always have a target in mind of where we might anchor, but we watch as we get close and maybe anchor earlier or further by a few miles as we are able to see the lay of the water/land and other boats anchored. We anchored a few miles early this night… as the sun was going down and we found a nice place where we felt safe. We had a nice dinner and evening and took off for the next location.

Our next day we spent traveling  to Belhaven NC up the Pungo River. Dan and I had been there before and really enjoyed the small town. We had stayed at the River Forest Manor and Marina marina. But this time we just anchored out in the bay. It had a nice breakwater so it was very comfortable. We planned on staying two nights so we could visit the town the next day and have dinner at the most marvelous restaurant in town, Spoon River Artworks and Market. We had eaten at this spot on our way north and thought that Deb would enjoy it. Us girls also spent a bit of time walking around town meeting shop owners and learning about what keeps their town afloat. One of the nicest ladies was owner of @dillyjeans ⇒ find her on Instagram! She also sells online! We loved the little town and we got a personalized tour of the River Forest Manor where they hold weddings and events. This manor was built by John Aaron Wilkinson in 1899 who was president of the J.L. Roper lumber company and VP of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad. This 13,000 Sq ft mansion took 5 years to build and it is the most stunning property I have ever seen. We totally enjoyed ourselves in this town.

The last stop was New Bern NC, well actually we stayed across the river in Bridgeton Marina. This is where Deb keeps her Hatteras “Mad Hatteras.” It is a nice marina and a bit quieter than over at the city marina. We planned on staying 2-3 night but the weather got bad and we had the tropical storm Eta move past us. It was a few miles out into the ocean and we were in a very protected area back off the coastline. We just had pouring rain for 2 days and quite a bit of wind. But it settled down quickly and we enjoyed the sun the next couple days.

A few more pics of our travels along the ICW

If you haven’t done the Intracoastal Waterway, We highly recommend it. But take your time and enjoy all the locations along the way!

Down the coast again… to see more of The Ditch!

Cheers ♥

Maintenance, Repairs and So Much More & Does Distance Make the Heart Grow Fonder?? … #52

I left Dan in Norfolk Virginia and headed home to help my daughter with her small outdoor wedding, not exactly what they planned but with the situation with the pandemic it is the best we could do without waiting for 1+yrs for everything to calm down.

Dan stayed back to attend a reunion with his USS Flying Fish buddies. (also smaller than planned.) He spent many, many hours working on the boat making her better. Which is the focus of this blog…. “The many improvements Dan spent his time on”

“53 days, the longest Dan and I have been apart in 14+ years”

Here is Dan, in his words… 

Well, as our cruising season came to a close by 4th of July 2020 in the midst of the Pandemic hassles, Angela needed to go home to help set up daughter’s wedding in Portland, Oregon.  I stayed behind to attend the reunion of my submarine USS Flying Fish, SSN-673 set for 23 August, and to do needed maintenance on the boat. Senior Chief George Perry was a great help and friend during this time – he took Angela to the airport early on, and we shared many fun times before the reunion, on which he had the lead.

Before Angela left we got the boat ready to be tied up for a long time by cleaning it well and getting the holding tanks pumped. She also gave me lists of “to-dos”, and what to eat up out of our freezers.

My biggest projects were in the engine room. After 3 years and over 9000 miles of cruising some work was needed. I made plans but wanted professional advice before I started to make sure I was doing the right things. I hired Tommy Shook, an expert Detroit Diesel mechanic, to stop by and inspect my engines, “grade me” and advise on work to be done. He spent 2 hours with me poking around, starting and running the engines, and advising me.  Long story short, he gave me an “A-“, yay. He told me I needed to bathe the engines in degreaser and pressure wash them, and also to put matching belts on the starboard alternator.

I had some greasy maintenance still to do before I started that project. So, I went for it, changing the oil and filters yet again, and rebuilding all 4 of the main engine Racor Fuel Filters, and the 2 on the Northern Lights generators. The Port main engine Racor had a lot of undesirable tar like debris that could have cut off the fuel flow. But luckily, I caught it before it caused damage and didn’t shut down the engine while underway. I spent a few days doing all this work.

 Tommy Shook also advised I replace the seals on the valve covers. So, I ordered new kits for that from Diesel Pro.  I pulled the all the huge valve covers, one at a time, used rust remover, Barkeepers Helper, degreaser, and greenies to polish up all the chrome on each one, re-assembled and re-installed. Another few days to do this work.

Then I focused on the engine cleaning by hanging up poly sheets all over the engine room in prep for the washdown of the engines. I sprayed lots of degreaser and pressure washed with as little water as I could until those engines were clean. All that went into the drip pans and bilges (pumps turned off), and had to be shop vacuumed up, then poured into 5-gallon buckets. Once in the buckets, the oil absorb pads could be employed to get all the oil out before the dirty water was disposed of. That took a couple of days to finish. Those engines were clean, but I could see the paint job was about 5 years old and needed help. Luckily some other Detroit Diesel owners on FB had just done the prep and paint work on their engines and shared exactly how it was done. 

“Sanding, Vacuuming, Masking, then Spraying, just that simple” 

Well, maybe not so simple. It took quite some time to accomplish- I would do the work in the morning before it got too hot and humid. As with any paint job the prep was the hardest. I used Rustoleum White appliance epoxy spray paint. It holds up well.  After the engines were done, I had to paint the deck plates too, as they were trashed after all that.  As you can see from the before and after photos all that work made quite a difference! I am a fan of Rustoleum Black and White Appliance Epoxy spray paint.

For mobility around Virgina, Angela and I lifted the Suzuki 250 off the boat. It needed maintenance as well, so it got new special motorcycle oil and filter, rust removal and a wax job. It served me well, taking me down to Virginia Beach, visiting the General MacArthur memorial, and getting parts and groceries.

One of the shower sump bilge pumps failed, so I ordered and replaced that. We have 2 in the master sump, so no capability was lost. I check them when I do maintenance on the sump – cleaning replacing a nylon stocking over where the water comes in, to keep hair goo and lint out of the pumps.

I got to go Flounder Fishing with George one weekend. It was a fun trip and we caught 7 of them out in the ocean off Chesapeake Bay on his fishing boat.

In the afternoons I would do paperwork and warranty work, in the air conditioned salon. I successfully got a new Blink Camera, a new Guardline sensor, and a new Weems and Plath clock.  I also went online and got ordained as a minister…When Kylie asked me to do the honors at her wedding, I wasn’t qualified, but some studying and a bit of work on the internet fixed that!

1.5 years ago when we were back in Oregon we did a fuel tank repair that caused us do a deck cut in the cockpit.  I took this time to have a stainless hatch trim frame built and because sealant alone wasn’t holding up or looking nice.  I followed Ron and Ashley’s, @zephyrnorthwest, advice on symmetrical design! It looks much better than just a sealing line and much more secure too. 

Sometimes I got visitors. There was an 8″ long lizard who visited the bar one afternoon! Being tied up alongside the ICW at Great Bridge, I was able to view an amazing parade of boats, tugs, and barges proceeding up and down the waterway, right past my windows. On 4 August, the remains of a hurricane came through and raised water into the parking lots at the marina, but only minor damages from the 45 knot winds.

I attended a webinar by the Bahamas government, sharing what they are doing to open the Bahamas to yachts, so am confident we will be able to successfully cruise there this winter. They are setting up a Port of Entry in Fort Lauderdale to speed and ease entry into the Bahamas.

I had a great time at the Flying Fish reunion and won a cool, one of a kind, handmade plaque door prize.

After that it was time to clean up messes, vacuum, rig for hurricane and pack for the airport to go get Kylie married! I missed Angela tons and am happy to be with her again, fighting the Covid and smoke in Oregon. 

Thank you Dan for writing this article, I hope you enjoyed it. I of course worked on many items for the wedding such as; painting vases with a terra cotta color and texture for the wedding deco & cake tastings at home with a wonderful Red Velvet cupcake from “A Piece of Cake Bakery ” that was the standout winner! 

AND I did an awesome hike with my son Mitchell on Mt Defiance with Mt Hood in the background!

We will be back on Angelique heading south again at the end of October. If you are local in Portland Oregon and would like to meet up with us, please reach out! 

AND YES, We missed each other tremendously during our 53 days apart! 

We are happy to be back with each other and with our family and friends for a couple months. 

Crossing the Pacific Ocean, What Could Go Wrong?? See Our Friends’ Adventures, 1st Ever Guest Blog….#51

You think some of our adventures are on the edge?? Our friends headed out on their sailboat, crossing the Pacific Ocean for 26 days to the Marquesas Islands which is part of French Polynesia. I’d estimate no more than 100 boats arrive each year from North & Central America. Sounds like an amazing trip. Read our “Guest Blog” edition for a crazy tour of John and Janet Harrington’s adventures on Tango.

Remember from our last blog;  Angelique is in Norfolk VA with Dan doing boat projects and looking forward to a reunion with his Flying Fish Crewmen, while I am in Portland Oregon (home) helping my daughter with her tiny outside wedding! 

Dan and I met John and Janet in La Paz, Mexico. We were both part of the Baja Ha Ha cruise rally from San Diego to Cabo, Mexico. We just happened to be sitting at the same table during an event for the end of the rally celebration. (just for those boats that continued on from Cabo to La Paz) We quickly became friends as John and Dan seemed to be brothers from another Mother and Janet and I had remarkable similar personalities. We also realized that we had “kind of” met each other once in Cabo when I was driving our dinghy back to the boat from going ashore and John and Janet were dropping anchor a bit too close to Angelique, as I told them “they might want to move a bit further away.” We giggled about this encounter later once we had really met them. Them saying “I sent them away”…. seriously, they were happy to learn we had a big swing circle and moved down the coast a bit.

 

rBQmSFSwI’m going to tell their story, some of it will be in their words, so I will use quotes and italics when doing so.

A bit of history about them and their boat:

  • John and Janet met before Janet had a driver’s license!  “Dinosaurs were roaming the earth”   
  • John was in the US Coast Guard 26 years on Active Duty, serving in and commanding various units, retiring in 2000.
  • Janet was a stay at home Mom, “the hardest job ever!!”
  • Kids are grown and gone
  • Tango is a 38-year-old Tayana aft cockpit, cutter rigged sloop sailboat, purchased October of 2013 at Clear Water Lake, Texas
  • Moved on to their boat full time Thanksgiving of 2016
  • Started Cruising October of 2018, participated in the Baja Ha Ha Rally
  • List of their blogs at Tango Blogs 

tangoThey moved on to their boat full time in November 2016 and lived and actively prepared the boat for an extended offshore cruise.

On October 13, 2018 they headed under the Golden Gate Bridge and took a left down the coast south. If you haven’t been in a boat going under THAT bridge, it is truly an amazing event!

When I asked John and Janet if they would do a guest blog, one question I asked was; what some of your most memorable events was. Janet quickly said the swimming with the Whale Sharks in La Paz, and I would have to agree!!!

“Swimming with the whale sharks off La Paz was amazing (and suggested by Angela and Dan). We had friends visiting from California that week and the weather was still pretty warm even in November in Mexico. We went with a great whale watch company within walking distance of the Marina de La Paz. Our small boat with 8 passengers arrived on station with the other tour boats and as each guide got into the water, 4 passengers at a time could come and swim with the whale sharks. These beautiful animals were totally oblivious to the people in the water and would feed around us with gaping mouths. At one point, John and I were in the water as two whale sharks came toward each other with us in the middle, pretty exciting. We even got “pooped” on, bound to happen, right? Our guide said it was a first for her too.”

john-janet-victorsMid-January John and Janet joined us in Puerto Vallarta. We were in the middle of our own boat yard work which took 3 months and they were trying to schedule some work of their own. We did sneak in a dinner one night at one of our favorite Resturante’s, “Victor’s” where the tequila runs for free and YES it can kill ya!! (seriously free) As John and Janet prepared for their Pacific Crossing, we were planning our run up the Sea of Cortez.

In March 22, 2019 John and Janet left the safety of Puerto Vallarta and started the 4000 mile first leg into the Pacific Ocean. Hoping they had provisioned anything they might need along the way. They spent 2 months in Puerto Vallarta including a lengthy boatyard visit, provisioning food & boat parts, fixing/strengthening things that commonly fail. UMuGu6-QThey also had a crew member join them, Paul who is a good friend. They estimated 20-day journey and of course prayed for good weather and moderate winds.

Dan likes to say I’m a sailor now that I have 8000+ miles under my belt. But learning and reading John and Janet’s blog and seeing what it takes to sail rather than cruise our huge comfy boat… I think I have a lot still to learn. 

For the first week at sea Tango and crew had light winds which made for a comfy ride at 3-4 knots of speed, but the wind was mostly from the wrong direction adding miles to the overall trip. Everything was good as they settled in with their journey, Janet worked on meals, meal planning and baking bread, and the boys worked on the travel, weather, sail adjustments and closing hatches as they would pass through multiple daily storms.

By April 2nd, the winds had picked up and they were making good progress sailing at about 5-9 knots speed heading towards the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone).

This is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. It encircles the Earth near the thermal equator, though its specific position varies seasonally. When it lies near the geographic Equator, it is called the near-equatorial trough.

The intended target across the Pacific Ocean was the Marquesas, which is a group of islands previously claimed by the French. The Marquesas are one set of islands that are included in the Complete set of French Polynesian islands. They were headed for an island called Nuku Hiva.

As the days turn from one to another in the ocean, I can imagine that the doldrums kinda set in and one day blends into another. John Said “Tango and crew had anti-doldrums, being constant heavy squalls with 35-40kt winds.” BUT when something terrible happens, it marks a day in the week that you remember clearly. Two events during this time marked in their memory. 

Here is John’s details of the event on April 2. “During this mornings’ inspection of the rigging (a daily morning event) I found the nylonlock nut for the boom gooseneck on deck and the gooseneck within 1/2″ of becoming disconnected from the mast. The bolt has the mainsail tack hooks that are used to furl the sail; the tack grommet hooks to this part holding the forward corn or the sail in the furled position. The nut working off allowed the bolt to be pull up about 5-1/2″ of the total 6” length. The boom was barely connected and downward pressure of the boom vang kept it from separating. This part was rebuilt and reinstalled in La Cruz. A similar thing happened to the the boom vang gooseneck bolt where the locknut worked off and the bolt was moving upward. This happened a couple of days ago and I used threadlock as a quick fix for this other gooseneck.

This morning was a serious situation, nearly an emergency. Tango’s crew instantly her turned into the wind, furled both headsails, and dropped the main. I was then able to work the bolt back into position as Paul held the bow into the 8 ft seas. Once I got the nut reinstalled Janet turned the boat allowing me a more stable platform for final repairs. I was able to drill through the stainless hardware sets and install cotter pins on both the boom gooseneck bolt and boom vang bolt.”

On April 3, Tango passed the ITCZ and the halfway point. Only 1,443 NM to go

On April 7, “At 1230 local time today (1830Z) Tango crossed the Equator at 125-42.618W. With Paul, a Pollywog, aboard we conducted the appropriate rituals for Poseidon including sharing a glass of bubbly and some of Janet’s freshly baked brownies.”

April 11th, 700 nm NE of Marquesas the evening took a slightly different turn, Janet said it was the scariest day ever… “The day itself started out fairly normal. Rolly seas and a rain shower in the afternoon, enough rain to be able to take a quick soapy shower on deck. Dinner time was fairly calm, we ate in the cockpit as we did all of our meals. John and I were down below cleaning up dinner dishes when all the sudden Tango was heeling so far over to the starboard side that you could see only waves through the windows. John hollered for Paul to head into the wind and he flew up the stairs to the cockpit and took the helm.”

John said, “Out of nowhere, instantly, we had 34Kts of wind on the port side with all sail set. Tango was over on her side fighting to come up. Paul’s reaction was to try and turn down wind, as I’ve been teaching him. However, this was the exception and we quickly got Tango upright by letting her turn into the wind as I took over the helm. With Paul and Janet below battening down the hatches I stuck the nose into the screaming wind maintaining steerage way with 4-5 knots of forward speed. Tango and I fought this thunderstorm like this figuring it would blow out in 45 minutes, like most convection storms. Nope. Not tonight. After about an hour and 15 min the winds started to let up and Janet and Paul furled up the Genoa, I waited for a right feeling time and turned Tango downwind. Off we zoomed under the staysail set about 80% and the main in its first reef. 9.5 kts in a fairly calm sea (going down wind). With time the winds decreased to high teens and low twenty’s and we were aimed right at the Marquesas. We ate the mileage up for the first time in days. Paul went to bed and Janet stayed up with me on the first 2-man watch of the night. Janet and I zoomed easily downwind. At 0200 Paul got up to relieve Janet… and the thunderstorms started in again. So far, only rain and no wind, as in calm again! Right now, Paul is trying to keep the whopping 7 kt wind on the beam. Tango and her crew did really well in a tough situation. This is why we have Tango. She is a blue water boat.”

I asked John how he felt during this event, as I would have been nervous and scared. But with his career in the USCG with so much boating experience he said “I felt like a ship captain, trained, experienced.”

April 15th, “Barring unexpected problems or seriously odd weather, not that that would happen to Tango, we will anchor in Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands Tuesday afternoon, 16 Apr 2019. That’s tomorrow! Our trip will have taken 26 days or 3 weeks and 5 days, or 630 hours, one bottle of vodka and several boxes of wine, about 4 showers for the crew (not counting the free washdowns in the rain), about 2 gallons of diesel fuel for the generator daily (fridge/freezer cooling, watermaking, USB device recharging (perish the thought that we let our cellphones die), 30 gallons of water/day starting out and decreasing to about 15 gal/day ending, no caught fish, and a short list of repairs.”

On April 16th, “Landfall! Radar picked up the peaks of Ua-Huka at 23 NM a few minutes ago. We have a total of 52NM until Tango’s anchor is on the bottom of Taiohae Bay, Nuku-Hiva.   –   Assorted photos below..

The crew will be boat bound until we clear customs and they only receive in-coming boats before 1130 on weekdays. We’ll be anchoring around 1330 so we will have to wait until Wednesday to get all the paperwork done. We have several things to keep us busy, like, not rocking and rolling, no engine noise, no sail tending, etc. We also have several important projects that we could start on. Some must be done before I’ll leave harbor. The important ones are:

j-j sailMend the mainsail and move those durn jackline cleats that catch the sail and tear it. Threadlock the sail car screws, again. This is a repeat, but we had the sail off in MX. Reattach the boom vang to the mast. This could be a multiple day job, but only if I don’t have the appropriate bolts aboard. Change fuel filters. The vacuum pressures have doubled since we last ran the engine for a long time. Crud in the MX fuel… Inspect the hull zincs and probably replace them. The MX piers were very electrically HOT, and this quickly wiped the zincs. Also need to scour the bottom of any growth. Adjust, lubricate, check this and that including the Hydrovane autopilot, the Hydrogenerator mount system, Tango’s basic steering gear (wire rope, chain in the binnacle, etc.” 

j-j NZTango, along with John and Janet, are now in New Zealand enjoying their stay during the Covid pandemic. They have tons of stories I didn’t have space to report on due to the length of this blog… Please visit their Blog if you would like to read more about their adventures @ “Two To Tango in the Wind” Blog

List of locations Tango traveled.

  • Puerto Vallarta to Nuku Hiva of the Marquesas Islands, 25 days to cross
  • French Polynesia for 90 days
    • Nuku Hiva to Rangiroa,Tuamotus
    • Rangiroa to Tahiti
    • Tahiti to Moore
    • Moorea to Taaha
    • Taaha to Raiatea (back and forth between Taaha and Riatea several times (both islands within the same reef)
  • Checked out from Raiatea French Polynesia to Suwarrow Cooks Islands
  • Suwarrow to American Samoa (lost auto pilot en route)
  • American Samoa to Tonga (83 days in the Vava U group of Tonga)
  • Tonga to Minerva Reef to New Zealand

I really enjoyed telling a story from another couple’s experience. Hope you enjoyed reading it too!

Stay tuned for the adventure!

Stay Safe, Happy & Adventurous…… Cheers!