About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi


"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ecuador at last!!!

Well, we arrived at the mouth of the Rio Chone yesterday morning just before high tide as scheduled.  But it wasn't an easy final push to the finish line of this passage!!!  On Thursday, the 5th and last full day underway, the wind built all morning, while heading from the SW more toward the S.  We found ourselves on a tight reach in 20-25 knots, with the seas not too large, perhaps 7-8', but very lumpy.  Moving around the boat became more awkward as we lurched about like drunken sailors (though only wishing we were!!!).  Spray over the boat was continual as it got dark, and it was a long night with sleep for the off watch sailor being hard to come by.

Finally, though, just past midnight, it was all hands on deck.  We were about to cross the equator, an imaginary line in the sea but a big milestone for both of us.  King Neptune was about to allow us into his realm, and see us no longer as pollywogs, but as full fledged shellbacks!!!  We joined him in a wee dram of rum, and after careful deliberation, he allowed the following:

"Whereas by our Royal Consension, Our Trusty, Well Beloved Adam Kerner and Cynthia Brennan have this day entered Our Domain.  We do hereby declare to all whom it may concern that it is Our Royal Will and Pleasure to confer upon them the Freedom of the Seas without undue ceremony.  Should either of them fall overboard, We do command that all Sharks, Dolphins, Whales, Mermaids and other dwellers in the Deep are to abstain from maltreating their persons.  And we further direct all Sailors, Adventurers, and other General Reprobates who have not crossed Our Royal domain, to treat them with the respect due to One of Us.  Given under Our Hand at Our Court on board the sailing vessel 'Bravo' on the Equator in Longitude 80d37.8' on this 29th day of June in the year 2012. 

(Signed)

Neptune  (Rex)

We downed our rum, King Neptune downed his, and we continued to bash our way through the night toward Ecuador, arriving on the coast at dawn.  All in all an excellent passage, rough on day/night 1 when we crossed the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) and the tight beat on day/night 5, delightful in the middle. 'Bravo' performed beautifully, taking a real pounding to weather and pulling through in fine form.  Here are a few shots from the voyage.

Boobie riding on the bow before dark.  He stayed sleeping there for hours, until a rude awakening when a squall hit and we had to furl the headsail and change to the staysail.  Sorry, buddy!

Passing Malpelo Island, about 12 miles away.

There's an old saying among fisherfolk...."When you rest, the fish rests..."  Here we're both taking a bit of a break!!!  Note the regulation fish fighting undies!!!

The beautiful sailfish coming to the boat before release.

Another squall line ahead.....Damn!!!

Squalls all around on radar.  Rings are 2 miles apart.  True wind speed in the lower left corner, boat speed on the right, as we flew along trying keep all under control.

Another squall on the way....
So, what are our first impressions of Ecuador??  Great!  We were met by our pilot, Pedro at the appointed spot, "the waiting room".  He came aboard to guide us over the shallow shifting sand bar at the mouth of the river.  Other than the shallows, it was a piece of cake...no breakers like we'd had in El Salvador.  Came in with a French catamaran, Zephyr, arriving from the Galapagos.

The entrance to the city of Bahia de Caraquez was an interesting juxtaposition, with Mayan Indians in dugout canoes fishing for shrimp in front of high rise apartment buildings. 

Bravo moored in Ecuador (center of photo)
We came around the corner and saw the mooring field in front of Puerto Amistad, which will be 'Bravo's home for the next 6 months or so.  Looks great to us.  The weather:  it's THE DRY SEASON here.  NO lightning, NO rain, NO winds to speak of!!!  And mid 70's at night for easy sleeping!!!  As much as we loved cruising in Central America, it became obvious to us that exploring the region in the rainy season was just, well, WRONG!!!  And we just learned that one of the boats we were with in Costa Rica, Espiritu, was just hit by lightning, making 2 of the boats we've shared anchorages with in the country being hit over the past few weeks.  It's just not worth the risk.  So we're excited to be here, with an entire continent of adventures awaiting exploration.  Yeee-hah!!!

Went for a walk around the city today.  Bahia de Caraquez, with around 28,000 folks, seems a peaceful typical small city.  Not at all touristy, it's clean and friendly and genuine, we liked it right away.  We think it will provide us with a great home base for a while. 

Walk along the malecon
 Transportation rules here seem a bit........... ummmmmm......casual!!!
A family takes their golden retriever to the beach.  How else, the scooter!!!
Room for one more little guy????
"All aboard!  Vamanos!!!"
Butterfly landed on the sidewalk at our feet.
I think we're going to like this town!!!!!



3 comments:

  1. I can already tell that you guys are going to love it there! The people appear warm and lovely!!

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  2. An Equator crossing -- how exciting! Congrats! Enjoy your upcoming travels, and maybe we'll be waiting for you in Ecuador when you get back. Just need to get Bella Star put back together again. :)

    Take care!
    Nicole
    s/v Bella Star

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    Replies
    1. Hola Nicole....as the tv commercial goes, "Come on down..." Hope your repairs are going well, as you await the pallets of new equipment. cheers from A&C

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