Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The great Pacific

Lately I've been sleeping a little badly. Could I dismiss it so far on the senile bed escape, it is this time something else. For days I have been downloading weather data from IridiumGo, which I receive via a subscription from Wetterwelt in Kiel, as a Grib file. The standard sea area of Wetterwelt for the Pacific is 800 kB and the download, via Iridium, takes about two hours. I set up a personal forecast area and was able to reduce the file size to 600kB. This gives me a half hour gain on the download. Still very long, but with four to six weeks, daily data reception, that makes 14 to 21 hours of time saved. I get the best reception early in the morning. Possibly that's why I sleep so poorly, because I don't want to oversleep the best time to receive data, or it's just the size of the ocean that gives me respect. Whatever the case, the Pacific Ocean is huge.

Vista Mar Marina, Panama

Besides the weather data, there are still a few things to do. I did the rig check last week and yesterday. The gas bottles are once again all filled and last purchases made. Whereby one can never say exactly with Gaby, when it is the last purchase. The weather window is crystallizing more and more, and if the weather continues to develop like this, it will be Monday or Tuesday next week. We will then say goodbye for about four to six weeks. During this time there will be no blog entries and no sign of life from us. For one or the other this will be a rest, but some people will also be anxious and can't wait for the day when we will report back. For the time we are on this vast blue ocean, we will maintain minimal communication via Spot and IridiumGo. Through Spot you will be able to track our route and location in real time. The Spot page is linked to our home page, which has a button on the home page that leads to our Spot account. Through IridiumGo, as mentioned above, we will receive weather data and maintain a voice connection with Philipp. So if anyone is interested in how we are doing, they can contact Philipp, who will be happy to provide information. The time difference is, at the moment -5 hrs UTC. On the Gambier Islands, our next destination, it will be -9 hrs UTC. The big time difference alone shows how big the Pacific is. After 4000 nautical miles, we have not even covered half of the distance of this ocean. Nevertheless, we are happy now that it will start soon. The Gambiers is a group of islands that are not visited by very many sailors. We hope that we can still experience the original Polynesia here. But with it, of course, various civilizational self-evident things are not present. Possibly it will be difficult after arrival on the Gambiers to give a sign of life from us, since the Internet is to be rather bad. Of course we will try to contact you as soon as possible. We will also document the days at sea and publish them at a later date.

Working in the airy workplace, Panama

On Monday we will clear out in San Carlos. According to our information, this should work without any problems. Afterwards we will buy fresh fruit and vegetables. We will also fill the diesel tank again, so that the term barge gains meaning again. I am curious what distance we will achieve in 24 hours.

On the way to shopping, Panama

Meanwhile, our new crew member feels very comfortable with us. We have named him Charly. The little gecko will hopefully not get seasick and will find enough to eat. At the moment he is just four centimeters. Let's see how much he can grow up to the Gambians. We are happy to welcome Charly on board.

New crew member. Gecko Charly

So far everything is in order. I will check our engine again today and go through the checklist to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. I wanted to get some pulleys, but unfortunately simple blocks were not available in Panama. When we were still in Shelter Bay, I had ordered a few from America. Unfortunately the vendor backed out and the time to our departure was too short to find another vendor. I first thought that this would not be a problem, after all, there are some chandlers on the Pacific side in Panama City, but far from it. The accessories for boats are mostly limited to fishing supplies and if you are lucky, a few Chinese stainless shackles. So nothing you can really use. Should one break, we just have to improvise. In this sense, we wish you all, always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip. We see and hear us again, on the dark side of the moon.