Heading West

It’s Monday morning here in Puerto Vallarta. We’r wrapping up the at-sea boat prep tasks that have to wait until the last few hours: Stripping down the V-berth and topping it with oilcloth (stuff gets stowed up there during passages), stowing away all loose items in the cabin, making up our sea berths, etc. We expect representatives from the offices of the port captain, emigration, and customs to arrive within the next couple of hours to inspect us and – we expect – issue our zarpe, or exit paper. There is as much formal paperwork to do when leaving Mexico by boat as there was to do when we first arrived. Once we have the zarpe in hand, we’ll cast off our dock lines and head west.

The passage from Puerto Vallarta to Hiva Oa is approximately 2300 nautical miles. At an average of 5 to 6 knots, we expect it will take us three weeks to make landfall. This estimate is assuming the Intratropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ (“the doldrums”) isn’t too wide and we can get across it within a day or so, and that we have steady trade winds on both sides of the equator.

We don’t know how soon after we make landfall we will be able to access an internet connection. So this the last post we will put up for a while. We’re both looking forward to our first equatorial crossing under sail, ever. And to seeing the islands of French Polynesia. Until our next blog post …


9 thoughts on “Heading West

  1. I’m praying you across the Pacific! And for future plans you might want to know that we’re thinking of moving to Tasmania. Do you fancy a sail through Bass Strait and along the Tamar River for Christmas 2017?


  2. So do you shave your heads when you cross the equator? Have fun and best of luck. I am headed to LA to buy a modern land yacht. The Westy is up for sale. We are really enjoying your blogs. Mark and Carol


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