San Francisco to the Marquesas

Safe in Harbor

Date:March 29, 2014, 9:32 p.m.
Position:9 48.25 S, 139 1.87 W

We have dropped the hook in PARADISE! It is beyond believable that we are here. It looks like lord of the flies, with sheer cliffs towering into the clouds, wild horses and beautiful lush vegetation. We have already been visited by several friendly cruisers who helped us run out our stern anchor, gifted us with pamplemousse and strange fruits the likes of which we have never tasted before, and let us know where we can do all of our provisioning. It is very laid back and we are happily drinking in the sights and smells of this incredible landscape.

We are 24 days to the hour from San Francisco. 3,400 miles on the odometer with all of our course deviations (jibes, wind shifts, equatorial waypoint) for an average of 5.9 knots, 141.67 nautical miles per day. Total fuel burned: 15 gallons (mostly getting off the continental shelf quickly from SF and 1.5 days in the doldrums). There is no need to run our engine to charge our batteries--we are making a whopping 24.1 amps from our solar panels right now!! Total time at the tiller: 15 minutes, plus one hour this morning upon landfall.

Maintenance: 2 control lines chafed through on the Monitor wind vane, engine shutoff cable corrosion, lost rubber plug for stove pipe cap, solenoid switch propane line failed. All have been repaired with spares on board.

Cruisers coming from Galapagos reporting no wind and motoring the whole way. Also interesting to note that Privateer's hull is perfectly clean, while the boat hulls from Galapagos are brown. We have certainly picked the right strategy leaving from San Francisco. It has been an incredible sail. We have come a long way. Way to go PRIVATEER!!!

--Atuona Harbor, Hiva Oa

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Date:March 27, 2014, 9:31 p.m.
Position:9 22.31 S, 138 14.56 W
SOG (kts):4.0

LAND HO! This evening at sunset, the mountains of Hiva Oa came into view on the horizon, 40 NM distant. It is unbelievable to see land after being so used to an empty horizon! Unreal.

We have slowed the boat down to 3.5 knots in order to make landfall in the morning ( we could have reached the harbor tonight at 2200 local). We are in great anticipation! Hove-to this afternoon and the ladies went for a swim around the boat, 14,000 feet deep! Topped up our water tanks and cleaned the boat for landfall. The gendarme will be closed tomorrow (Sunday) so we will be quarantined in the harbor for 24 hours at anchor, before we can head to shore. I'd normally say this would give us time to recover from the passage, but we are in top shape, well-rested, with full tanks!

Distance covered thus far is comparable to traveling from Minneapolis to Ireland, Minneapolis to Northern Siberia, or Minneapolis to Peru! All 100% under wind and solar power alone, and with a total of about 15 minutes touching the tiller. We are enjoying our last evening on the high seas, and a bit sad this this incredible leg of the voyage is coming to
a close.

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Closing the Gap!

Date:March 26, 2014, 9:30 p.m.
Position:7 50.56 S, 136 51.92 W
SOG (kts):6.2

We are quickly closing the gap to the Marquesas! It is unbelievable as of yet--we have sailed a long way. Bird life is picking up within 200 miles of the islands. We are readying the ship for landfall and she is at her best! Privateer continues to sail onward at great speed, making 153 miles yesterday. Smooth seas and steady breezes should carry us all the rest of the way. Remarkable--we haven't touched the helm since leaving San Francisco, and have full water and fuel tanks and even our spare jerry cans! Turned the clocks to local Marquesas Island time: 91/2 hours slow on UTC, a bit of a head scratcher...We are enjoying our last few nights at sea under the southern stars before making landfall soon.

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300NM to go.....

Date:March 25, 2014, 9:28 p.m.
Position:6 9.15 S, 135 12.49 W
SOG (kts):7.2

We are through the squalls and into clear, steady breezes. Remained on close reach and didn't touch the sails or helm for 36 hours--had one of our best mileage days yesterday noon-to-noon: 160 NM! Privateer does a great job sailing to weather. Winds are supposed to shift to beam reach tomorrow and slowly ease to ten knots as we near landfall, ETA Sunday afternoon. Played cribbage and hearts today while we blasted across the big blue sea. GRIBS are lining up very well--we've played a great sailing strategy on this trip, for the most incredible sailing we've ever experienced!

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Date:March 24, 2014, 9:27 p.m.
Position:3 53.13 S, 133 29.76 W
SOG (kts):7.6

We are close-hauled to the wind with full yankee, storm jib and single reef main in 15 knots of wind clicking back the miles. It's a great sail combo for the few squalls that have blown through in the past 24 hours. Just before they hit we simply roll up the yankee on the furler and have an instant storm rig with which to ride out the squalls in comfort! They also give us extra deck showers and only blow about 20 knots. Reading up on the Marquesas and getting excited for making landfall soon!

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SE Trades

Date:March 23, 2014, 9:26 p.m.
Position:2 17.50 S, 131 52.94 W
SOG (kts):5.8

We are into the SE trades and riding a really nice 10-14 knot breeze with yankee poled out. Didn't have to touch anything at the helm today and had a relaxing day catching up on sleep, cooking and reading. The weather is a bit cooler (relatively speaking) now that we are out of the ITCZ. Kelsey actually wore a windbreaker on the graveyard shift last night. Amazing stars and phosphorescence at night. Made 128 miles yesterday, with 608 to go!

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Southern Hemisphere!

Date:March 22, 2014, 9:24 p.m.
Position:0 44.02 N, 129 30.04 W
SOG (kts):5.0

Hello from the land down under! We crossed the equator at 1730 UTC, gathered on the bowsprit amidst a spray of champagne and flying fish, clipping along at 7 knots in a fresh breeze. The Northern Hemisphere has treated us very well since leaving Alaska! Thank you North Pacific Ocean! We've sailed over 1/6th the distance around the earth's circumference, 60 degrees of latitude. The remarkable voyage continues as we have picked up the SE trades, which are showing to be 10-14 knots most of the way to the Marquesas according to the GRIB reports. We are about 730 NM from Hiva Oa, about the distance from Seattle to Juneau.

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Into the SE Trades

Date:March 21, 2014, 9:20 p.m.
Position:1 8.30 N, 129 54.96 W
SOG (kts):4.0

Close hauled in light winds under full sail. In between two light low pressure systems, which after passing should veer to light SE trade winds. Poised to cross the Equator some time tomorrow!!! Got a lot of small boat projects done today, cribbage, naps, reading etc. Cooler day today which was nice! Deep into the shipboard routine and watch rotation, Privateer is taking us to the Southern Hemisphere!

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Laundry Day

Date:March 20, 2014, 9:19 p.m.
Position:2 59.97 N, 129 20.76 W
SOG (kts):6.2

We are running under engine power through the Doldrums. We've only burned through a few gallons of diesel since leaving the Golden Gate and we're doing very well on fuel supply. The water is a stunning blue. Topped off our freshwater tanks today and did the laundry! Crisp linens line dried on the rail, nothing better! 94 degrees inside the cabin so we spent the majority of the day taking cold freshwater showers in the cockpit. Thank god for the Spectra water maker! We've rigged up full sun shade awnings and the golf umbrella is the perfect fit for the side! Makes a huge difference. Looks like a few days of calm before we pick up the SE trades, GRIBs showing nice 15 knots in 96 hours time. We're about 200 miles from the Equator and are officially 2/3 of the way to the Marquesas!! 130 mile day yesterday noon-noon.

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Into the Doldrums…..

Date:March 19, 2014, 9:17 p.m.
Position:5 12.00 N, 128 59.46 W
SOG (kts):4.8

130 mile day yesterday. Winds lightening up and we are close hauled under full working sails, ghosting along nicely. Looks like the ITCZ has shifted to the south a bit, we might still run through it around 3 degrees north latitude. Had some squalls last night, early this morning which gave us a nice lift and washed some of the salt off the sails and decks! Hot and humid as we near the equator.

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Date:March 18, 2014, 9:16 p.m.
Position:7 13.05 N, 128 22.00 W
SOG (kts):6.0

We came into the ITCZ late last night with several squalls making our wind go a bit flukey, but we are still riding a steady 12 knot breeze. Another great noon-noon, 150NM! Our sleigh ride is over--it took us to just 441 miles north of the equator! Hopefully will be on the equator near 130 degrees West in several day's time in lighter winds and calm seas. A pod of whales closed in on Privateer today, 4 or 5 of them trailing right behind our fishing gear. Luckily Kari got it in before they took the line! They stayed with us for a half hour or so. Days go flying by…..

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162 Mile Day

Date:March 17, 2014, 9:15 p.m.
Position:9 39.49 N, 127 52.79 W
SOG (kts):6.4

Had our best noon-to-noon run yet today--162 NM! That's 6.75 knots average speed over 24 hours. We are absolutely flying through the trade winds. Massive swarms of flying fish--thumping into the dodger all night long. Psychedelic phosphorescent dolphin show at moonrise. Kari and I put put out the fishing gear at 0800 and before we even had the line paid all the way out we caught a nice tuna! Kari filleted it and it was still twitching when it hit the pan. Fed us all for breakfast and dinner. It was the most delicious fish I've ever tasted. Crossed down under the 10th latitude today, watching the big dipper and north star get lower on the horizon each night. Livin' high on the hog and EPIC sailing!

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Date:March 16, 2014, 9:14 p.m.
Position:12 15.97 N, 127 32.60 W
SOG (kts):7.0

We are officially halfway to the Marquesas! Slaughtering the miles in the trade winds here with an even 15 knot breeze. Flying fish are getting thicker and the decks are littered with eyeballs and bratwurst-sized carcasses. Kelsey took a direct hit to the face, many more bouncing off the dodger. Fine sailing.

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Fast Sailing!

Date:March 15, 2014, 9:12 p.m.
Position:14 44.55 N, 127 1.13 W
SOG (kts):6.6

158 mile sailing day yesterday! Excellent trade wind sailing, flying fish landing on the deck and jumping all around the boat. Dolphins jumping out of the waves under the full moon. We are knocking back the miles to the equator. Put out our tuna gear today and still enjoying veggies. This is awesome sailing. Beam reaching on dbl reef main, dbl reef yankee, stays'l, 15-18 knots, balanced out with magic Monitor steering away. We haven't touched the helm since the Golden Gate. Full fuel tanks, full water tanks thanks to the Spectra, solar power by day and wind power by night are keeping battery voltages fully charged and floating at 13.1-13.4 volts, even under full power demand. Totally rad.

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Hot Tropics!

Date:March 14, 2014, 9:10 p.m.
Position:17 13.84 N, 126 33.42 W
SOG (kts):8.2

146 NM sailing day yesterday, high mileages continue as we make our way across the well established trade winds. Screaming along at 8 knots and knocking back the miles at incredible rate. Got HOT today--boat must stay closed up below on the ocean for the spray. Down to bathing suits. Perfect GRIB scenario all the way to the equator. Tacos for dinner tonight!

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Riding the Trade Winds

Date:March 13, 2014, 9:08 p.m.
Position:19 22.23 N, 126 14.53 W
SOG (kts):7.0

Riding the NE trades, double reef main and staysail! Warm breezes today and ocean temps very warm! We are officially over 1/3 of the way to the Marquesas.

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Trade Winds

Date:March 12, 2014, 9:05 p.m.
Position:21 59.00 N, 125 46.13 W
SOG (kts):6.9

We have reached the NE Trades! Bounding along in 16 knot breezes, broad to beam reaching. Excellent fast sailing. Also crossed the Tropic of Cancer today, so we are officially in the tropics! 70 degrees in the cabin at night, and we are cutting the legs off our long pants. Unbelievable sailing conditions.

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80 Miles to the Tropics

Date:March 11, 2014, 9:04 p.m.
Position:23 50.42 N, 125 7.97 W
SOG (kts):5.6

We are officially over 1/4 of the way to the Marquesas! Making consistent 130 nm days and North winds holding steady and gradually transitioning to NE. Amazing sailing continues. Trade winds to establish themselves in the next 200 miles or so, and ITCZ forecast looks very promising--narrow band at 130 degrees west on the Equator, our next waypoint!!

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Sailing Along…..

Date:March 10, 2014, 9:03 p.m.
Position:25 30.50 N, 124 37.37 W
SOG (kts):5.2

On starboard tack N-NW winds consistent 10-15 kts. Perfect sailing continues! Fired up engine for the first time to make hot water for showers--otherwise solar panels are cranking out the amps. Pretty much been able to sail right down the Great Circle so far, trades not far away now as we make our way off the SE corner of the high pressure. Couldn't be better conditions--this is totally awesome!

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Date:March 9, 2014, 9 p.m.
Position:27 43.75 N, 124 15.32 W
SOG (kts):5.3

Another awesome sailing day, yankee winged out on the pole and warm gentle breezes 10-12 knots. We are about 500 miles west of Isla Cedros and Bahia de Tortugas. Santa Ana winds are tearing up the coast and we're in the best spot out here, well offshore! 1,700 miles to the equator. Great GRIBS and Wx fax reports for the next 8 days. Hoping to pick up the NE trades in a day or two. ITCZ showing normal patterns and we are well poised to cross the doldrums at a narrow point on our current angle of sail.

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30 Degrees South!

Date:March 8, 2014, 8:59 p.m.
Position:29 36.00 N, 124 6.60 W
SOG (kts):6.5

Sailed across the 30th parallel today! Were on the 60th this summer in Alaska, so we've sailed 1/12th the way around the world so far. Wing on wing all day today with full main and poled out yankee. Unbelievable sailing conditions, bare feet, monitor all the way!! This is the "cat's pajamas" as Kathy would say. Loving every minute of the ride.

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Smooth Sailing

Date:March 7, 2014, 8:57 p.m.
Position:31 25.00 N, 123 49.80 W
SOG (kts):5.6

Making way in smooth seas. Fantastic sailing. Monitor vane is the best thing ever. Water color electric blue and dolphins all day long! Hot days and warm starry nights, gentle swell, 10-12 kt breezes. On our way to the trade winds! Unbelievably awesome.

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Mexican Latitudes

Date:March 6, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
SOG (kts):5.8

Entering into Mexican latitudes tonight! We screamed down the entire CA coast and are now in warming climates. Top boat speeds of 12.6 kts and past two days making 7-10. Sea temps up from 56 to 62 degrees, sunny skies and friendly seas. Using GRIB files to great advantage! Hoping to pick up the NE trades in 3 days time, until then looks like some good light N winds. Full sail under sunny skies and waxing moon! Monitor 100% awesome awesome awesome. One control line chafed through outer sheath--simple fix just giving it a 180. Spares on board. Spirits high and Kari is knocking out boat projects left and right! Everyone falling into rhythm and watch rotations. Fair winds and great forecast next two weeks out. YEAH!!!!

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Sleigh Ride!

Date:March 5, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
SOG (kts):8.7

Under sail since 0300 PST last night, double-reef main double reef stays'l. Totally awesome sailing NW winds 20-25 kts. We're closing in on Point Conception and ticking away the miles at an amazing rate! Monitor wind vane 100% helm duty, working solid. Making our way around the NE side of the high pressure and found ourselves in the right place at the right time! Sailed in close to Big Sur this afternoon and got a good look at the mountains. NW winds forecast all next week. Crew and Privateer doing very well--this is sailing at it's finest!

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Outbound San Francisco

Date:March 3, 2014, 8:31 p.m.
Position:37 24.00 N, 123 3.00 W

Great first day! Under power with double reef in main, calm winds, clearing the continental shelf. Very favorable forecast all week. Made first gallon of water with the water maker--awesome! Kari on her first night watch now, she's a great crew!

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Awaiting weather window in SF Bay

Date:Feb. 28, 2014, 8:28 p.m.
Position:37 46.54 N, 122 14.42 W

Welcome to the long-awaited journal of Privateer's World Voyage!! We are currently awaiting a favorable weather window in San Francisco Bay and making final preparations for the long voyage ahead. We will begin to post our journals from the Marquesas Islands once we make landfall, around the beginning of April. We may also provide brief updates from the high seas via SSB radio! Farewell North America, we're bound for the South Pacific!

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