We did it! We found a boat to hop on for the long sail across the Pacific Ocean. Rob and I officially signed on as crew for Llyr, a 53-foot steel ketch sailboat making the crossing from Panama to the Marquesa Islands this April.
Turns out that the McCutchen family liked Rob’s random repertoire of skills and my passion for making the crossing, even though we don’t have offshore sailing experience. Here’s what sold Rob: 8-foot headroom in the cabin. He’s still got scars from banging his head in our 26-foot boat on the lake all summer.
Just kidding. We’re thrilled to make the 30-day crossing with this family of 5, because they have a lot to teach us. Rob and I love meeting new people, and we think we’ll fit right in with Janis, Brooks, and their 3 teenage sons, Gavin, Connor, and Rowan.
We can’t wait to learn more about how they run their maple syrup farm in western Massachusetts, and share ideas on how to make the most of the reef research operation they are launching from Llyr in the South Pacific this year. Llyr has a 13-foot dive boat and is fully set up for scuba diving. We both bought new dive knives for Christmas, and Rob’s ready to unleash his Hawaiian spear into the watery depths. I’m ready to clean, cook and eat whatever’s on the end of the spear.
Our current plan is to meet Katie and Mark in La Paz, Mexico for a couple of weeks in late March, and then fly to Panama to meet theMcCutchens in Colon. We’ll help them take Llyr across the Canal (definitely on my “bucket list!”), and then head southwest for a month-long voyage on the open ocean. Hopefully, we’ll reach the Marquesas in French Polynesia by late May, just in time for the prime cruising season in the South Pacific.
Less than 3 months to go. Woo hoo!