Sunday, August 18, 2013

To Jump or Not to Jump

We're getting itchy feet and jones'n for some sea travel while marooned here in Seattle getting the LRV (land recreational vessel) tuned up and taking care of business.  Meanwhile Traveler is content in the heat of Mazatlan patiently waiting for our return.  Our talk is turning toward plans for the next cruising season and the question keeps coming up, "Will we make the puddle jump to the South Pacific next spring or not?"

Is the boat ready?
Yes:  Many systems have been overhauled including, standing rigging, the hull, engine and drive train, water tanks, batteries and electrical components, wind vane steering, GPS, and Single Side Band.
No:  Need to update the solar panels, fix or replace our 1.5 gal/hr water maker, consider buying a life raft and gather books and charts about the South Pacific.

Are we ready?
Yes:  Jones'n to go, fairly comfortable with the boat and its systems, healthy enough.
No:   A little cash strapped, not sure about having only a crew of two at sea for +- 30 days, got a rental house in Tumwater to worry about.

In the meantime, in the blog world, we're reading about our friends Richard and Brian on Osprey, currently in the Cook Islands at Aitutaki and we are reading about our friends Kirsten and Patrick on Silhouette,  in the Cook Islands at Rarotonga and we are reading about Nicole & Aaron who we don't know but we do read their blog, on Bella Star, also in Rarotonga.  Seems like everyone is in the Cook Islands.  Everyone but us!  Wouldn't it be most wonderful to cruise Pacific Mexico this winter then just before we need to call it quits because of the hurricane season approaching, we jump across the equator into an upside down world where summer is winter and winter is summer and the hurricane ( called cyclone in the southern hemisphere) season is not starting but has just ended?  Gosh, that would be cruising for 12 months straight with 12 months of summer-like weather.  ***Endless Summer ***

If we are doing the jump then there are some things we should take care of while we are here in the States.  Maybe we'll go ahead and prepare a bit, just in case. So we are getting a few things together so that just in case we get the urge, we can jump.

But then again.....
Green route VS red route.  Which seems most straightforward?

Connie had a thought.  We want to really exercise the boat, and really exercise the crew in preparation for going halfway around and maybe all the way around the planet.   Here is her suggestion.  We cruise Pacific Mexico this winter then come May, we jump across to........ wait for it..... Hawaii!

Western Hemisphere
Yes, Hawaii.  That would be a long passage. 2850 nautical miles, about the same as from Mazatlan to Nuku Hiva.  But at the end of the trip we'd be in the U. S. and poised for another crossing, this time from Hawaii to British Columbia, another 2400 miles at which time we'd be cruising down the outside of Vancouver Island, one of our favorite places. "So much for endless summer...", says Connie. 

Then we'd head down to Puget Sound to our old stomping grounds.  Why is the place you are most familiar with in your past called a stomping ground?  But anyway, we'd be back in Puget Sound and could take the big old boat all around the stomping ground.  We'd end up finally in Olympia and be able to live on the boat while we fix up Connie's house in Tumwater to sell or rent it again.  

A side benefit to this plan is that we'd be near Fisheries and West Marine so we could chase down all those important refit thingies and get a little further along on preparations for being gone from the western hemisphere for many years to come. 

"Being gone from the western hemisphere for many years to come."  Now that's a frightening, challenging, interesting concept. 

The Cascadia Flag
A further challenge would be the trip south in September down the west coast of Cascadia and Californica to our origin at San Diego where we acquired Traveler in March 2011.  From there it would be familiar territory down the west coast of Baja, over to the mainland, then down the coast.  But this time we'd continue south past the terrifying Gulf of Tehuantepec,and continue on to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama before FINALLY doing the puddle jump over to the Marquesas. 

Whew! That sounds like a lot of traveling in old Traveler, just to avoid making the jump this next season.  Maybe we should rethink this a little bit more.


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