Setting off around the world!

p.gazibara

Member III
It's been a while sinceI checked in. We sailed south through Mexico, and had some fantastic sailing. Mostly flat seas with sea breeze during the day and land breeze at night. Just jibed the Spinnaker twice daily. Once we got to Tehaunapec zone, we stopped flying the kite and fought our way through very light fickle winds (we waited for the clam to go). El Salvador was a beast, 70% of the time we had with David less than 10kts decent swell, and a counter current. We we're happy to see 3kts of boat speed.

We crossed the gulf of Fonseca and have been sailing hard on thewind all through Nicaragua.

It's all land breeze here, so we mostly stay near the coast so when the wind dies, we can anchor at a roadsteads until it picks up again .

Until southern Nicaragua... Where the papagallos are strongest.
We were pounding our way toward San Juan Del Sur when the wind gusts got truely crazy.

It blows maybe 15kts with gust over 40. There is also a 1-2 kt current. It was a fight. A fight we should have just waited out at an anchorage. The forecast said it would gust to mid twenties, but we were sailing under storm jib and the flattest I could make our second reef and hitting 5kts sometimes.

When it kept building we went to our 3rd reef (we had made in La Paz) but we didn't have enough drive to go to windward. It was late, we we're tired.

We hove-to until morning outside a little port called El astillero, but couldn't drive to windward in the gusts to get in.

We opted to turn and run and made it 25 miles north to Masachapa. On our way in, we we're met and boarded by Nicaraguan Navy saying we couldn't stay without a Zarpe.

We told them we were really tired the wind day were too strong and we just needed to stop, sleep, and wait for things to die.

They kept pointing and saying Costa Rica is that way!

Finally, they let us anchor out about 1/2 mile from shore in 35'.

I should also add, our primary anchor broke free of it's lashings on the bow that night with crazy gusts as we were pounding. It's gone.

Thankfully we have a suitable backup danforth and are anchored out now recouping.

What a wild ride Central America has been.
 

p.gazibara

Member III
Looks like you guys made it to Costa Rica...
We did! What an amazing place! First off, checking in is... Free! We licked or wounds in Playa Del Coco for a few days, then headed off to Bahia Samara to visit with friends from Seattle that moved here.

We have basically been hunkered down here for 2 weeks and this last weekend my cousin came to visit and brought us a brand new 35 lb Mantus! Great news, we can again use our Danforth as a stern hook and make our anchorage less rolly.

It was nice to get the surf board back out and take showers with fresh water again.

Next week we will head inland and explore this country a bit and see yet another friends who decided to visit (funny how that happens when you get to beautiful places)

Fishing is getting better as we are learning tips from the locals. It's nice to sit still a bit.

This warm water is really full of life though, stuff just keeps growing! I dive the boat every 4 days or so and scrape away. Fortunately it all comes off our Mexican paint easily.

We are beginning the maintanence check list for crossing the Pacific. We pulled the Genoa tracks yesterday and are rebedding then. I'm also going to pull my shroud tie rods and inspect all of the lower rod ends. (We pushed her pretty hard to weather getting here)

I'll go up the mast again to look things over and we need to replace every valve in our inflatable as she is not holding air. Our v Beth foam had seen better days and we are looking to replace that as well.

Cinderella is holding up great! Just need to fix a few pesky leaks and we will be ready to sail another 6k miles!

-P
 

p.gazibara

Member III
I also forgot to add, we have outlined or plan for crossing the Pacific. We decided to continue on south. The lows in the North Pacific should start cooking in a couple weeks, and we don't really want to play the game of "Dodge the low" so we will instead battle the light winds south.

We will be aiming for a little island about 300nm south called Isla Del Coco. It's apparently where they filmed Jurassic Park and one of the top 10 dive sites of the world.

From there we will aim west for about 3200nm eventually we will find the trades and sail downwind again, but for now we will keep battling light air that will probably be in our nose. Hopefully we find that Southwest setting current sooner rather than later.

That's all for now.
-P
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Really Good to hear from you.
You write well and sail well.
Fair Winds!

Loren

:egrin:

ps: several decades ago I transited a major portion of the Pacific, but did it by jet plane, flying 'space available'... attired in my dress blues and accompanied by a well-packed sea bag. Nowadays, I would like to do it by Ericson 35... or aboard our Olson. :)
 
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p.gazibara

Member III
Really Good to hear from you.
You write well and sail well.
Fair Winds!

Loren

:egrin:

ps: several decades ago I transited a major portion of the Pacific, but did it by jet plane, flying 'space available'... attired in my dress blues and accompanied by a well-packed sea bag. Nowadays, I would like to do it by Ericson 35... or aboard our Olson. :)
I think the Olsen might be a bit more fun, so long as you don't load her down too much!

Our plans are shifted a bit. It's getting a bit late in the game to follow the boats from MX and start the journey sailing west in the North Pacific. Last year two storms hit MX at about the lattitude we would want to head to, yikes!!

We got a deal on some dodger rehab here in Costa Rica, so we are heading tomorrow for Puntarenas to get it installed. After that we will head South.

The plan right now is to aim for Isla Del Coco. We may not be able to get permits in time, but we will try to make a stop there anyway to moor for a night or so. Though it is only about 300nm from us, I expect it could take up to 10 days as it is the heart of the doldrums. We have heard that there is a west setting current between Isla del Coco and the Gallapagos that we are hopping to find ourselves in. That should help push us toward the trades.

From there we can start making good daily averages again.

My plan to get to the trades will be to keep the wind at the fastest angle we can and head in a generally south and west direction. I hope to take full advantage of the Eboats windward performance and I think the added apparent wind is what will keep our sails from flogging.

I have my fingers crossed that it won't take more than 40 days, but who really knows, we are an electric boat after all, and we are at home.

Cheers
-p
 

celtic sea

Member III
Yes that was really an inspirational post, thank you. After sailing my E27 for 7 yrs, I've had my 1975 #413 E35-2 for the past two years on NJ coast.And liveaboard full-time the past year.(only way to know a boat,lol) Pryer owner refitted and I tightened her up(In many ways) in preparation for 10/01 ..
Leaving headed Southbound. All the way.
It's good to know the Ericsons good to go!
Love this boat.
John
SV Dijan
 

p.gazibara

Member III
We headed up the Gulfo de Nicoya a few days ago and made it to Puntarenas, CR.

It's a really wild place, one side looks like a major fishing port, the other looks like the Amazon. Tides are 10' here, and you must come in on a high tide usually following a pilot so as to not run around (free with the Costa Rica Yacht club) the channel is not dredged anymore.

The sail was amazing, good wind, and timed with the flood, it feels like sailing the PNW. Beautiful islands, crazy currents, truely a sailing gem. The yacht club was slow to send a pilot, so we managed up the river ourselves until just before the moorings when they found us. I kept telling myself... There is a 10' high tide, Cindy will float anywhere in the channel...

We are so glad to have a majestic sail in the Gulfo de Nicoya after coming down the coast from Samara.

A few hours after we left, we we're hit with our first tropical squall. Rather than get soaked (our dodger was getting installed in Puntarenas) we decided to heave to. It lasted about 30 min and only really blew about 20-25kts, of course on the nose. Off we went for another hour until we hot our second squall. Same deal, we hove to and waited for about a half an hour. It was an eerie experience. So dark, no moon, I couldn't see the difference between the swell and the sky. Until the lightening lit up the sky with a fury.

A couple hrs later we we're hit with our first storm. Aftet sailing for 9 months! Nothing too bad wind wise maybe 30kt gusts 20-25 sustained, but it lasted about 6 hrs through the night. It brought extremely heavy rains and a much bigger swell. Though we couldn't see it until the morning.

We spent the night hove to and watched as water poured in through every crevise that needs attention. Mainly our bomar center hatch and the 60 some odd bolt holes of our recently rebedded genoa tracks, doh!

Around 4am it lightened and the rain stopped so we continued sailing to Bahia Ballena at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. We had to make back 24nm that we drifted while hove-to, but at least we weren't close hauled in the swell left by the storm.

We just got our new dodger installed today and have a few things to wrap up here before we jump the Pacific. We should be inside a week out now depending on weather.

The ITCZ has shifted North and it looks like we have wind all the way to Isla Del Coco and then onward to Hiva Oah.

More beating, but I'm going to inspect and return the rig here in the next few days. Let's hope I don't have any question marks come up.

Cheers guys!
-p
 

p.gazibara

Member III
Puntarenas projects, projects, projects. We were able to find closed cell foam at the local mattress shop in Jaco. For $125 we bought more foam than we needed of 2 different densities, hard and soft 5" and 2" respectively. We spent an afternoon/evening cutting the v-berth shapes out of the foam with the electric carving knife we have aboard. A little contact cement, and our new mattress was together.

To finish it off, we made a mattress cover out of a quilt and some cordura we had on board. It took us until 2am, but we had our mattress done and we slept like rocks.

We also got our new dodger installed and it looks great! Unfortunately, it makes the rest of the boat look perpetually dirty ;).

We found a machine shop here to build us a backup gooseneck fitting. Floggingly light winds really wore down the aluminum.

We have successfully cleaned all of the hard to get to spots (under the v-berth), and went through all of our deep storage foods to rid ourselves of the weevils that we found in our 40lbs of Mexican rice. While we were at it, we found new plastic containers for bulk goods, and loaded up on snacks at the Costa Rican cheap import store, Pequeno Mundo.

We also found cheap gifts that we can trade in FP: fishing line, hooks, electrical chord, solar lights, feminine hygiene products, and crayons.

Our genoa tracks that we rebedded started leaking again, we will be tightening the bolts hoping the butyl just needs a bit more toque.

Tonight I will be cleaning Rod's (our Raytheon ST4000+) electrical contacts with some contact cleaner we picked up. I have to lubricate our Aries's adjustment gears as the returns are starting to get stuck as well. Autopilots are very important devices...

Tomorrow we will be heading to the closest chandlery in hopes of finding Tef Gel and a length of dyneema that I can use in place of our hydraulic backstay adjustor in case of a failure. I will also be pulling the shrouds off to rebed the tie rods and retune the rig.

We were lucky to find a 12v LED replacement for our stern light at a local Ferreteria (hardware store). We also found a cheap plastic thru-hull for a water catcher, tubing, and a slew of other items for our ditch bag.

After that we will just need to bus to Caldera to check out of the country, and load up on fresh produce.

We are hoping to be ready to go by Friday, but it is looking more like a Saturday/Sunday departure from Puntarenas.

We want to check out at least one other anchorage here in CR on our way out, but that will put us back in the Pacific and heading South by Monday.

We will be updating facebook with messages from InReach and you can always find out where we are on our website.

www.sailingcinderella.com

Cheers!
-P
 

bolbmw

Member III
Amazing. Enjoy!

When I was in Costa Rica several years ago the highlights were certainly an overnight rafting trip down the Pacuare, Manuel Antonio (the national park, and a beach bar named Balu), surfing in Quepos and Tabacon, the luxury resort in Arenal where they've built into the hot springs to make a very special place. Can't forget the monkey's trying to steal our lunch either.

You can often see National Geographic doing tours in Manuel Antonio from one of their ships.
 

p.gazibara

Member III
33 days! 5 beating south in light winds, 5 more of really hard pounding in 20ish kts and about 6-8' steep seas, then 23 days of boredom. It turns out even our moderate designs pound like crazy in big steep seas at 6-7kts.

The Marquesas are amazing, I can't believe the beauty of this place. I learned about Cinderella en route. And even more about Ericson 35-2s the day we left, turns out the PO who did all the custom work on her was anchored in Bahia Ballena with us and we had pancakes with them before we set out.

Turns out there are lots of character flaws in the 35-2 I think most we're fixed in the 35-3.

Apparently Cinderella began life as Scampy, owned by the commodore of the SF Yacht Club. The PO who did all the work bought it from him and renamed her to Cinderella.

His big complaints were poor forestay tension, small rudder, lack of hull stiffness, and leaky hatches.

He said the deck stepped mast caused the boat to "bananna". That was his reason installing the keel stepped express rig. Which was much lighter than the original and only 1" longer than a stock express 34 rig. The new rig brought the shrouds inboard and allowed Cindy to point 8 degrees higher. Along with stopping the bannana and allowing for good forestay tension. The nitronic 50 rod probably helped there too.

He had oil can issues with the hull and when underway from ensenada to SF he watch the interior pan moving 3-4" back and forth when he pulled the floorboards and looked at the bilge. He cut the interior pan out completely and added stringers everywhere.

Apparently the weight in the keel was just 2 hunks of lead set in place and glassed over. Over time water from the bilge got in and filled the other space. He fixed that by mixing lead shot with epoxy and filling it in completely. Apparently there is 400lbs more lead in Cindys keel. And after removing the interior pan and building his own, Cindy weighed in at 9500lbs. Considerably lighter than a stock e35. He was trying to make an Express 34 out of her I think.

It took him a month to rebuild the front hatch area and get rid of the stock mohagany that leaked like crazy. Cindy also has freedom 36 port lights and a Santa Cruz 50 companionway hatch.

The rudders are well known to be undersized, so he made a new one that was 25% larger. While at it, he removed the wheel and glassed in a custom rudder tube that connects the cockpit floor to the hull. And built a custom race tiller and tiller head. Apparently the boat flexed enough that the bushing alignment from the cockpit floor to the hull was way off. He also added a bulkhead in the stern to stiffen the stern.

He sealed the anchor locker in a built a custom bow roller that integrated to the forestay. He also added a tie rod forward of the v berth for a removeable inner stay. Which we use when we put up our storm jib.

Apparently there were 13 thru-hulls originally and he glassed them all back in except 3.

Overall, I am very fortunate to find such a rock solid boat with great improvements.

I'd say the 35-2 could take you across any ocean in the right weather window, but after our trip, I don't think I would take a stock 35-2 across the Pacific. But like I said, they fixed a lot of those issues with the mark 3 I believe.

Tomorrow we check out another anchorage and clean Cindy's hull!

Cheers,
-P
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hi Pajo,

Nice! Interesting that you ran onto the PO that did all of the mods on Cinderella the day you left for the Marquesas. When you were here in Santa Cruz I was impressed with all the modifications done to Cinderella, not your everyday E35-2. Any photos of your trip?
 

p.gazibara

Member III
Hey Mark! Unfortunately, wifi is very slow here, find our Instagram and Facebook. That is where we are posting everything. Maybe in Tahiti it will be better.

-p
 

p.gazibara

Member III
We found wifi! We have been exploring the Marquesas pretty actively over the past month. This is the most incredible place I have ever experienced. Food literally falls off the trees and the ocean is teeming with fish. We are finding that daysails from one anchorage to another yield tuna or mahi. One fish last us about 4 days and the bigger ones we share. The landscape is spectacular and the people are amazingly inviting. We just arrived in Nuku Hiva after a daysail and headed into town for wifi. we were invited to join in on a birthday dinner and given beers, life is good.

We unfortunately are not allowed to stay for more than 3 months, so we are off the the Tumumotos in a couple days and then to Tahiti and the Society Islands.

Right now the plan is to run out our visas in French Polynesia then head for Nuie, Tonga, and New Zealand for cyclone season. The idea is to keep the passages around 1000nm or around a week (or less). Cinderella is holding up great, but after 10,000nm the Aries can use an overhaul and we need to rebed everything.

-P
 

p.gazibara

Member III
BANG! That sound no sailor wants to hear

We lost our port lower shroud on a 500nm passage from Nuku Hiva to the Tuamotu Archipelago.

400nm into one of the best passages we have ever had, we hear that gut-wrenching sound.

We were slowing down, only sailing on a double-reefed main aiming to time our arrival at the pass on Kaheui atoll at slack. The sun was shi, everything was great, until it happened.

Fortunately our rig is keel stepped and we were both awake and ready to jump into action. I was able to steady the aluminum noodle before it sheered off, and we got a tow the remaining 70nm to the atoll by a buddy boat. The story is longer, and I'll be posting a blog about it soon on our website.

In the atoll, we used our dyneema lifelines to jury rig and sail the remaining 300nn to Tahiti.

We are here now and trying to figure out how to move forward. Turns out rod lasts about 20 years.

Unfortunately, our rig has to be converted to handle wire so the cost is nearly the same as getting new rod made, but they don't make rod here, so we would have to get it shipped from the US.

We are actually thinking about going to dynice dux to simplify and help Cindy sail even better. Word has it, it's cheaper than rod even through the conversion and it can fit in carry on.

Stuck in Paradise now.
-P
 
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