PPJ Post-Crossing Survey

We joined a rally called the Pacific Puddle Jump, and they sent us a post-crossing survey. We thought the answers might amuse you regular readers as well.

How did your passage-making experience differ from your expectations before the trip? Were there any surprises?
It was much more relaxing than we’d expected. The start was a little slow, which was frustrating, but we kept plugging away and by the time we passed the Galapagos the boat was comfortable and we were happy. We were surprised how far from shore we kept seeing floating plastic bottles, and how much slime crawled way up our freeboard. 

They say a long crossing is often a balance of highs and lows. What were some of the high points, or low points, of your crossing?
High points were days on end of smooth spinnaker sailing in light winds. Low points were dead-air nights passing through the convergence zone, watching the boat drift north with the spinnaker down to keep it from drifting uselessly and chaffing. 

Can you remember the feeling you had when you first made landfall?
It was just a few days ago! Mixed emotions: we were disappointed to end the beautiful downwind jaunt we’d been having, but a little excited to have Arrived and to be Starting Something New. A little less excited to go back to working on boat projects and laundry. 

What advice would you give to future Puddle Jumpers?
“Boats Break.” It’s just what they do; expect it, and don’t freak out when it happens. Also, for couples or duos, 8-hour shifts are fantastic. If you keep the schedule strict enough to get used to, both of you get a whole night’s sleep, and you have time awake together during the day.

Departed from where? On what date?
Panama City, Panama, 5pm April 21

Made landfall where? On what date?
Hiva Oa, 9am May 23rd 

How many days was your crossing?

How many miles logged?
We didn’t record the start mileage so we’re not sure! But the route plan was 3875.

At what longitude did you cross the equator?

How many engine hours did you log (for propulsion)?
About 150 

Best 24-hour mileage?

Worst 24-hour mileage?
66 (but there were several close runners up)

Highest sustained wind speed you experienced? Gust?
Sustained, 26T, gust 32T 

Number of fish caught?
0, we don’t fish! 

Please list gear breakage and/or breakdowns.
A recent “professional” fiberglass repair cracked open. Toilet seat attachment bolts, plastic for some reason, vibrated apart and had to be replaced with some spares intended for the engine. One solar panel’s fuse holder melted apart (fuse didn’t blow, the case just couldn’t take the current.) A bolt worked its way out of our furler. Another screw worked its way out of… we have no idea, but we found it on our foredeck under way so it must have came from our boat…
Oh, and of course, right before we were about to leave the first time from Las Perlas, the bracket holding our alternator onto our engine sheared apart, and we had to go back to Panama City.

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