All days on passage are interesting, but some are more interesting…

Day 17 – May 3, 2013 3:15 PM Pacific Time – Richard
Current Location: 06 36.98 N, 123 36.27 W
Heading 208 T, Speed 3.4
Sail: Double reefed main & 1,100 RPM Iron Drifter

Temperature: Indoor 88F, Outdoor 82 F
+/- 1,350 Miles from Puerto Vallarta, 1,330 Miles to the Marquesas (Over 1/2 way there!)

After dodging squalls with lightning last evening we sailed until the wind reversed and came from the S around 0400. Motored on for a while but the Yanmar diesel was running hot (at first thought maybe the 84F water temp) and eventually had to be shut down. Well, at least we were in a no-wind and moderate swell zone!

The problem turned out to be the impeller in the raw water pump, which we should have changed eons ago but it never got high enough on the to-do list to get to-done. After fretting over it and reading the, nearly useless, manual (I did at least RTFM first) I dived in and it only took an hour or so and the engine is very happy with his new water pump, running cool and sweet now. In fact we’ve never seen such a fountain of water like that going on in the raw water strainer right now so the problem must have been of long-standing and the northern waters cold temperature masked it. I’ll post a picture of the old impeller on our blog when we get to the Marquesas, it is impressive that the thing pumped any water.

To make things even more interesting in the midst of tearing the boat apart to get at the raw water pump the AIS alarm went off. What? A big ship bearing down on us out here in the very middle of the Equatorial Pacific where, like Mad Dogs and Englishmen, only the crazy go. The cause of the alarm wasn’t any more crazy than we, and the 46′ sloop Covenant V is headed to the Marquesas too. But to meet up within 2 miles of each other in mid-voyage is a trip in itself. Have talked at length with them, what fun!

RED is back in the hunt, headed 209T at a stately 3.2 knots under showery but quiet skies. The GRIBs say we will get clear of this stretch of adverse wind and be sailing in light winds pretty soon, in the meantime we’re a happy boat and enjoying having a clean boat too thanks to the showers.

Oh, we had a beautiful black and white seabird about the size of a small gull land on the coach roof, he called the ball and caught the second wire and all. After napping for a while he went back to work fishing.


Richard & Fran


  1. I agree with Theda on what a great writer you are, Fran. I hope you will come out with a book of your journey!! I looked up what zone you were in, just had to educate myself. So, who did the diving to fix the impeller? Wow, you are more than half way there. Godspeed to you!

  2. Fran, you are an excellent writer. And, Richard is an excellent person to be w/when there are ‘things’ to be fixed. One year there was a rumor going around that on the anniversary of the Anchorage earthquake, there would be another. I quickly decided that if I was going to go thru an earthquake, Richard was the person I would want to be standing next to. Fortunately he was available for drinks after work that day. There was no earthquake, but it is still true that he would be my first choice to be standing next to if there were to be a disaster. Best regards, Theda