Hello -is anybody out there?

This is day 8 of our Pacific crossing. One would think that I would have the words to describe this experience because I certainly have had enough time to sit around and think about it. It definitely is amazing with many ups and many downs and a lot of time just staring at the fascinating ocean.

Twenty six boats departed from the Galapagos on March 1st, all part of the World ARC fleet. The expected amount of time to cover the 3000 mile distance is 20 – 28 days to get to the first set of islands in French Polynesia called the Marquesas Islands. These twenty six boats range in size from 43 ft to 70 ft, and monohulls to catamarans. We are a 46 ft monohull and after the first night did not expect to see another boat for the entire journey. Incredibly, we have been very close for about 5 days now to our friends on Voyager II, in fact last night we had to alter course because we were too close. Voyager II is skippered by Andrew a cheerful Scot on his Oyster 46 and 2 guys Chris and Sven who are his crew. These guys are hilarious and as we are so close we can chat frequently on vhf. They regale us with stories of their fishing success and how to best catch a mahi-mahi and how many different ways you can eat mahi-mahi. They have strict rules about only fishing when they need the fish, mainly due to lack of freezer space. This rule has them resorting to eating fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner to get through it as quickly as possible and fish again. They even had fish curry for breakfast. Unfortunately we have not figured out a way to get some of their fish on our boat.

The other exciting part of our day is the morning and afternoon SSB radio net checkin. The purpose of this is to provide our location to the other boats in the fleet and report on the wind and weather and discuss strategy. It devolves sometimes into a “ my fish was bigger than your fish” discussion. It also involves sharing of banana bread recipes , because every one’s bananas are going bad. The strategy regarding which course to sail is always on everyone’s minds and assertively defending decisions is a huge part of these net discussions.

Those boats with internet through Elon Musk’s starlink have internet access. This is amazing for them and involves a whole new blog as to why we do not yet have starlink on this boat. These boats have real-time weather updates, those without this rely on weather updates every two days from the ARC headquarters. This is also supplemented by input from trusted family and friends. The strategic maneuvering of the fleet is literally all over the map. Unlike most of the fleet we elected to go south early to get into the trade wind latitudes as fast as possible. This enabled us to turn off our engine after only 60 hours and hitch a ride on the wind. Other boats elected to stay north and take a more direct lower mileage route but they had to motor for longer. In another eight days or thousand miles we’ll see who made the right guess. Hopefully our gamble pays off..

P.S. on a housekeeping note we love getting comments – unfortunately we can not reply to them without above-mentioned starlink. I hope this doesn’t disuade you – keep them coming.

9 thoughts on “Hello -is anybody out there?

  1. Catherine Schultz

    Hi Matt and Fiona,
    I’m not sure if you two are certifiable, taking on such a challenge, or rather the bravest, most adventuresome, carefree, undaunted, lust-for- lifers I have ever known!! The menu alone of fish, 3 times a days, would have stopped me cold from the get go. Yuck!!! Well, that and my penchant for horrible seasickness, even on a sunset, cocktail cruise on a cat, just off shore in Waikiki. I’m clearly not first mate material in any way but Cheers to you both for having the nerve to brave the open ocean on such an incredible journey and for taking us all along for the wild ride. Suggestion: Don’t read Moby Dick on the voyage.

    Happy Sailing and may the wind be at your back (aft?) and bring you safely into the harbour at journey’s end.

    Catherine and Stan the man


  2. Mary Erickson

    Love hearing about your adventures. You have a lot of us living your trip. Keep it up. And isn’t it nice that you don’t have to reply to anyone. 😊


  3. Kristin

    Frozen frisbee fish sounds like it would work. Flying fish over by drone might work too. I have a gigantic empty Sub Zero freezer here that could use some fish. All that’s in it is a gallon of Fosselman’s raspberry sorbet. I’m just sailing through life with this giant empty freezer. We are all sailors really. Life stretches out ahead. Doldrums or storms. Looking for a fresh wind of inspiration. Blow wind, blow. Looking forward to the next chapter.


  4. Brad Hind

    And why are you NOT catching your own mahi mahi??? Curried mahi sounds exquisite!! Maybe in lieu of Alex’s excellent suggestions, barter for some mahi. That’s unless you didn’t take any “pets “ off the Galapagos in which to barter with.
    Do you have any Spam? Wait, mahi mahi loves Spam so try that as bait.

    What ever happened with the hoisting up the mast? Inquiring minds want to know.

    So you’re not out of the loop, you’re missing some of the wettest weather we’ve had in about 20 years…. Its awesome!! Go global warming!!!
    It took Lake Arrowhead over a week to dig out (get the roads open) of the last snowfall that dropped 8-10 feet of snow in 5 days!

    Stay sane and I hope you get some mahi or ahi or anything hi!


    1. dawnliles1

      Greetings! Love hearing from you. It sounds like having Fiona there has kept you from going quite as “mental” as you did solo sailing from Hawaii. Haha. We love you and are very glad for this!! ☺️
      I like Alex’s suggestions for obtaining the mahi-mahi. Nothing seems too outrageous to me given your current situation!
      So fun to see Rob and Alex on here. Sending greetings to them for Matt’s baby sister.
      We are playing with Duolingo. If you have time that might be a fun distraction! Bonne journee! Navengando Feliz!


  5. Alex Johnston

    Great to hear more details of your Amazing Sailboat Adventure! Keep ’em coming!
    So I have a few ideas about how to solve the fish exchange conundrum. If you continue to sail close enough to Andrew, Chris and Sven to call them on the VHF, then you could sail close enough to have them throw Fish-balls over into your cockpit.
    Ideally they could mold the fish into a disc-shape, freeze it, and then chuck it over like a frisbee with a lot of spin.
    Less fun, but also they could make a little baby boat out of something, and place the fish in the boat, and then sail right in front of you during a calm moment, and set their baby fish boat adrift.
    Then all you gotta do is cruise up to the baby fish boat nice n easy and grab it with a boathook! Easy Peezy! It’s all about the Mahi-Mahi!
    Lemme know what else ya got for me to figure out for ya ; D


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