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Blue Pearl - Experiencing the Pacific

About 200nm's out of Santa Cruz our Yanmar engine is humming away and
our boat is rolling around in the swells of the Pacific ocean. We are
moving at about 8.3 knots with the help of a steady current pushing us
along. Our mainsail is up to steady the roll and help a little bit to
move the boat forward. There is very little wind. We are heading for
latitude 5 South where the Pacific trade winds should kick in and allow
us the sail to the Marquesas and give the Yanmar a rest.

Yesterday, our first day out here, we experienced a perfect day of
sailing. Nice wind, quiet seas, beautiful skies and that same current
helping us along. We covered about 175 nautical miles in that first 24
hours which is pretty good going. At that average speed we will reach
our destination in 17days, wishful thinking all right.

We had left Santa Cruz harbor Friday morning, two days after the ARC
fleet left. So we have maintained our perfect record of being
disqualified for the race element of the rally. The fourth time..! This
time we were delayed because of a necessary repair to our water maker
and to give Laurie a little more time to deal with the consequences of
the challenge that the local cuisine presents to her. I don't think we
will be eating out in South America again.

Our new crew members are great. Jack and Colin, both, energetic,
enterprising, nature loving, young men. We sit around, they are busy,
Colin is learning to use a sextant, and both are now working on fixing
our corroded fishing rod to catch a few. They know how to sail a boat
too. Nice to have them around.

So, what is our final thought on the Galapagos Islands where we spent
the last 10 days. We can't help but tell you not to go there in a
cruising sail boat. Get on a plane, join a local tour and discover all
the things there are to discover about these beautiful Islands. Cruising
boats have limited access to the archipelago, and are subject to many
rules and regulations. Also, the local tour scene is very busy and it
can be a bit of a challenge to arrange the activities that are most

On a more positive note, it is a beautiful area and the Ecuador
authorities take great care to keep it that way. It is an ECO example to
the rest of the world, including the USA. We would certainly be happy to
go back there but by different means.

Looking forward to French Polynesia.

Captain Ruud.

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