Beware "experts" like us

Imagine two couples, both having left Canada at approximately the same time to go cruising, both approaching 1000 days off the dock. Both boats have reached the tropics, one couple left from the left coast and one from the right coast.

Besides the effects of their different personalities and boats, how different will their experiences be based on cruising in different oceans - the Atlantic vs. the Pacific?

Those nearly 1000 day Canadian cruisers are Mike and Rebecca from Zero to Cruising (in the Atlantic) and us (in the Pacific). Mike is writing on the same topic today, go check it out.

Through conversations with Mike I have been reminded that cruising region is huge in forming opinions on more general aspects of cruising.

Whether it is the availability of gas vs. propane, the usefulness of wind generators, the need to hip or hoist your dinghy, the availability of much of cruising is affected by where you are and where you have been.

We had such a great time at the Seattle boat show and we felt we had some real world recent information to share about French Polynesia. Even so, we tried to limit the reach of what we said. After all, we spent our first year cruising locally in Canada rather than tropical, were in French Polynesia under six months, and have visited only 2 countries in the S Pacific so far.  

As we approach 1000 days of cruising, we still have only experienced a small segment of what cruising can be.

When you listen to people yammer on about stuff it is always important to consider their experience, their situation, finances, boat type, hobbies, and personality and ask yourself how that fits with your dreams, strengths, and situation.

If you haven't already, I am suggesting that you add 'cruising region' to your BS filter as well.

We expect things to change when we travel further West. Some of the ways we are currently cruising will have to change to match. Even what we see as ideal, is only ideal for us...for now.

Land Locked Newbies Asking for Advice

You know the couple. They come to the boat show, or the forums. He has sailed and she hasn't. They live in a landlocked area and they have been reading a lot of books. They have never lived on a boat.

They say that they want to buy a boat and take off in just a few years and sail around the world. They ask some naive questions. They look and/or sound a little nervous. They don't know any cruisers personally and don't have any sailing mentors yet.

You wonder if they will ever go and if they will hate it if they do. You remember the dozens of other people who said the same things and never left.

That was us.

We were those people at the 2007 Seattle Boat Show and on Thank you to all of the people who took the time to help us, to mentor us, to encourage us, and pppphhhbbbttt to the few who rolled their eyes ;)

Movie: Ultimate Wave Tahiti (IMAX)


If you are dreaming of the South Pacific and haven't seen Ultimate Wave Tahiti, it is a must see.

We saw the film as a sneak preview at the IMAX theater in Victoria, BC before we left to head south and we drooled the entire time. Talk about feeding the dream. Stunning video of French Polynesia.

This week we were at a friend's house who has Netflix and had a chance to see it again because you can stream it. Having traveled in French Polynesia ourselves just made us drool even more on the second viewing.

You can stream it on Netflix, rent it or buy it via Amazon. Review

Almost 3 years ago we switched to all LED bulbs inside the boat - that purchase and vendor were discussed in this post.

We are very happy with the bulbs. The current draw is as advertised. The warm white is warm enough in our original fixtures. Of the 20 bulbs we bought 3 years ago, only 1 failed and I can't say whether that might have been from dripping condensation while still in BC.

I am ordering from them again right now. We are switching the light at our nav station which we rarely used 3 years ago but use all of the time on passage now. We don't get any kickbacks from the company - just reporting back. It was easy to report on projects at the dock but harder to remember to come back with the long term prognosis.

Haul out in Paradise - Images

When I first wrote about our haul out in paradise we were posting from our single sideband and so I didn't include any photos. Here are some visual tastes to go along with what I wrote.

We hauled out and lived for two weeks on the hard at a relatively newly opened haul out facility in the Tuamotus. Apataki Carenage opened in 2009 on their private, family-owned motu in Apataki atoll. We had a wonderful, albeit steamy, two weeks there and I will post a full review of the facility after our stay.

Midday swim break
Carol is no longer allowed to have the camera
Coconut water break in the heat
Carol auditions for the (toxic) blue man group
Our view from the cockpit on the hard

Logbook: Baie de Cook (Cook's Bay), Moorea

On our upwind trip back through the Society Islands in October 2012 we stopped in Moorea for a second visit. This time we stopped in Cooks Bay.

Our first visit to Moorea had been a stop in Opunohu - a visit full of sting rays, phenomenal views and good friends. We were in a bit of a rush to make Easting before the cyclone season picked up, and so our visit was short, but we were still impressed with the physical beauty of the island.

Even though we had spent some time in Bora Bora putting our boat back together after the passage from Penrhyn, the miles had left some gear needing maintenance. Our windlass was crusty with salt from all of the upwind miles and was starting to skip so we spent some time taking it apart, cleaning it, lubing it and putting it back together.

Moorea was just what we needed. We were still scrambling around to arrange the logistics of our impending travel back to N America and trying to make sure we had all of the supplies we needed for a haul out in a remote atoll Tuamotus.

With relatively light winds while we were in Cooks Bay we had a great place to get some work done while having such a stunning surrounding that we still felt like we were enjoying ourselves. Because we were off season we shared the enormous harbor with only two other cruising boats.

The Coconut Odyssey

It has been a long time since we had VIDEO FRIDAY!

These clips were taken in April 2012 in the Marquesas where we had our first experiences trying to crack open a coconut. We try with a sharp rock caveman style, with a professional husker, and finally with some firefighters we meet on the trail who make poisson cru for all of us with a machete, a coconut, a lime and some fish.

Courtesy Flags

There is something so exciting about buying an enormous pile of courtesy flags. A pile of possibilities and adventure in fabric form.

Our first courtesy flag was a last minute purchase of a Mexican flag at a West Marine in California. After that expensive but low quality flag shredded itself quickly, we started purchasing inexpensive stick flags.

Our first purchase was a stack of stick flags from Although these flags also shredded they were a small percentage of the marine store cost. We remove the stick, put a cord through the sleeve where the stick was and tie a loop on each side of the cord. Then we can hook our flag halyard clips into the loops.

We just made a second order from Tidmore flags while we are in the US and this order covers almost the entire Pacific. More countries than we are likely to visit but we the cost of being covered is low compared to buying any flags on the spot.

Plus, having those flags feeds the dream. Even though we are planning on thoroughly enjoying our more than year in French Polynesia, this pile speaks to a continuing journey that we are both so excited about.


Click on the dollar and buy Livia and Carol a cold frosty one:


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