Life onboard

Spoiler alert – we made it

May 3, 2019

How do you summarize something that demanded every ounce of your perseverance and patience for 36 days? Something that consumed every thought and decision for the months and years before that? Something that you’ve visualized and dreamed about for longer than you can remember? That’s what I’ve been pondering this week, ever since we dropped our anchor in a turquoise bay on the backside of a lush green island behind miles of coral reef in an otherwise uninterrupted ocean after a month at sea, and slept a long hard sleep.

It’s going to take me some time to process our pacific crossing, and I will likely roll out our experience over numerous blog posts and several weeks. But I’ll start with the spoiler alert: we made it! We successfully sailed 4,173 nautical miles from Panama to the Gambier Islands with our little old and sometimes cranky 40’ floating home. And it was really fun.

Since I don’t know how to describe the passage emotionally yet, I’ll start with our passage stats.

4,173: nautical miles traveled

36: days at sea

3: crew onboard when we left…AND when we arrived—Success! John, myself and Andrew from Scotland

734: hours spent sailing (or drifting)

130: hours spent motoring, which was more than we anticipated – the wind was unexpectedly light the last two weeks

90: gallons of diesel required to do all that motoring (we carried 105, so we had 15 gallons in the bank when we arrived)

44: sail changes, including 19 spinnaker hoists.

1: number of boats seen after passing the Galapagos (and it was Agape)

140: gallons of fresh water we used for three of us, including occasional fresh water “showers” and two buckets of laundry (an estimate because we collected an unmeasured amount of rain water along the way, and because our water tank likes to spill some portion of the first quarter tank into the bilge when we sail)

482: times Andrew solved the Rubik’s cube in under 2 minutes

1: the ONLY fish we landed was a beautiful blue fin tuna on the second day. 2 more (1 spearfish and 1 HUGE yellowfin tuna) shook the lure right next to the boat

7: lures lost… the rest of the fish were either too big or too strong and ran off with our lures

8: number of things we donated to Neptune, aside from lures (a few hats, a bucket, a shackle, a gopro…)

12: approximate number of things that broke (from the sat phone to the gooseneck, from the French press to the fishing pole)

80: episodes of Game of Thrones re-watched

124: bananas eaten from the giant stalk hanging in the cockpit (all in the first 2 weeks)

2: amount of fresh produce onboard on arrival (an onion and a half-brown lime)

11: hours I slept without moving our first night at anchor

And it was all oh-so-worth-it. We are loving our time in the Gambiers, and we are excited to spend an unhurried and indefinite number of months (years?) exploring the South Pacific. Stay tuned as we recount our time at sea and explore the atolls and reefs and white sand beaches of French Polynesia.

  1. Lee and Jennifer

    June 4, 2019

    I hope some of those 124 bananas were the ones we gave you from our garden on Saboga! Glad you alll made it safe and sound. We are now up in your old cruising grounds of the PNW and loving it!

    • halcyon

      June 11, 2019

      They were all from you!!! It was amazing to have so much fresh fruit. Thanks again. I’m a little jealous you are in the PNW! Enjoy

  2. Jane Weirich

    May 5, 2019

    Congratulations! Crossing an ocean is an amazing feat. Thanks for sharing your adventures

  3. Ollie

    May 3, 2019

    So glad to hear it went well for you guys keep us posted its just a shame those fish were to big .

Comments are closed.

John and Becca Guillote

John is the photographer. He portrays the layers of history, emotion, spirit and culture in each moment through his application of light, perspective, and detail. He also takes pictures.

Becca is the writer. She tells vivid stories of authentic moments, highlighting the beautiful, dangerous, dramatic and hilarious with grammatically correct sentences and her tongue held firmly by her cheek.


To receive the newest posts in your inbox (we won\'t spam you, I promise)

Follow us on social