Category Archives: Boat Projects & Maintenance

In search of our very first coral ring

July 2016 Nine-foot breaking waves clawed at the reef and mammoth swell surged on either side of the disconcertingly narrow pass through the reef—the only way in or out of the lagoon. My fists were clenched tightly around the helm, and I was trying my best to steer Red Thread along the line we marked […]
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A sweat to the summit: The best hike in Polynesia

July 2016 The near-full moon casts an eerie shadow over Maupiti’s stately backbone tonight, and I can hear the roar of surf pounding against the reef. Although lights blink red and green to mark the channel through the narrow reef pass, the beacons are hardly an invitation for vessels to enter or exit this dicey […]
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Repairs & reunions in Papeete

June 2016 Sailors are enticed to major urban ports for four reasons: airports, repairs, parties, and clearance procedures. We were lured to Papeete, the main city in Tahiti, by the first three: the impending arrival of friends, Mark and Helen; the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous; and our desperate need to resolve our battery problem. Our batteries […]
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VIDEO Ep. 19: French Polynesia~The Gambier Islands

April 2016 After the challenging 12-day sail from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to the Gambier Islands, we savored our first taste of French Polynesia. The Gambiers are rarely visited by cruisers because they are off the more popular “Coconut Milk Run” route from the Americas, wherein landfall is typically made in the northern island chain […]
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All work and no play…

April & May 2016 Mike and Gill on s/v Romano arrived a few hours ahead of us, and despite the exhausting challenges they dealt with en route, they invited us over for dinner. We mustered the energy to bathe for the first time in nearly two weeks, to pump up Miss Sassy, and to row […]
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Ep. 15 VIDEO: The Galápagos-Part 3: Isla Isabela

March 2016 On Isla Isabela in the Galápagos, we saw our first tropical penguins and spent more time than we care to recall tackling repairs. We experienced one of the most memorable excursions of our entire trip at Los Tunneles. There, we snorkeled with dozens of giant Galápagos’ sea turtles, sharks, and cownose eagle rays […]
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Ep. 14 VIDEO: The Galápagos-Part 2: Isla Santa Cruz

February 2016 We didn’t expect to adore the Galápagos’ most touristy island, but we did! We explored the town of Puerto Ayora, walked some of the most incredible stretches of beach we’ve ever seen, marveled at the marine iguanas, trekked through a lava tunnel, saw giant tortoises in action (literally and figuratively) in the wild, […]
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Recommissioning: Days ‘n days in the yard on the hard + Ep. 9 VIDEO

January 2016 A blanket of damp, broiling heat enveloped us as we exited the large sliding doors at San Jose International Airport. Unlike our rookie cruising season, which began at 48° north and ended over a thousand miles south of the Tropic of Cancer, we wouldn’t have an opportunity to gradually acclimate to the tropics […]
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The decommissioning blues: Readying Red Thread for a rainy-season snooze

June 2015 One of the things we’ve learned since buying our boat is that not using a boat at all is far more detrimental than using it all the time. Walk the docks of almost any marina, and you’ll quickly eyeball which boats are used regularly and which have been abandoned in solitary confinement. Without […]
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No good very bad day

March 2015 Do you remember that game whack-a-mole? In case you’ve forgotten, it is a carnival game in which you whack a rubber hammer at a seemingly endless succession of “moles” that pop up from a series of holes in the table before you. The speedier you are and the more you strike, the higher […]
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Mexico and beyond: 5 borders in 5 days

February 2015 We arrived at Chiapas at 10 o’clock, tired, and beneath a heavy cloak of darkness. We had anticipated an earlier arrival, when the moderate afternoon winds we’d craved throughout our T-Pec crossing had at last arrived and then abruptly dissipated. We held out hope of sailing further until we could no longer bear […]
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Voyage stats: Our first FOUR months

One hundred twenty-four days ago, we waved goodbye to our family and friends in Seattle and sailed into a September sunset beneath the Olympic Mountains. In 124 days (September 30 – January 31), we traveled from Seattle, Washington, USA to Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. I figured this would be a perfect time to crunch some numbers […]
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Bitching and boating in Banderas Bay

January 2015 It’s dawn on the 15th of January. I’m wrapped in a blanket savoring the few moments of the day when the thermometer drops below 80 degrees. Thousands of silver fish with neon yellow fins dart behind the aft of The Red Thread. It’s the magical witching hour when the seas seem especially alive, […]
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Our last American port of call: San Diego + Ep. 2 VIDEO

After two days in Avalon, we began planning our next passage. We enjoyed our time in Avalon so much we had considered staying longer. Unfortunately, I had developed a mysterious rash all over my body, except for my face, and I was pretty distressed by the physical experience of the rash and its dreadful appearance. […]
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Monterey…for days and days

Monterey for days Monterey was an unexpected stop for us. Initially, we had hoped to sail roughly 300 miles directly from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, but we are learning quickly that Mother Nature will play just as large a part in voyage planning as we will. A large storm rolled in, which prevented us […]
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