Since meeting Will, I’ve been to my fair share of boat shows.
Last weekend at the Seattle Boat Show, John presented a seminar on self-steering (with exerpts from Karen, Will and I – nice work team!). After that finished, I had just enough time to slip into the room where Andy from Latitude 38 was giving the Pacific Puddle Jump seminar. Believe it or not, this was the SIXTH time I’ve seen it at the Seattle show! I’ve been a very dedicated dreamer. But it never gets old – the pictures of French Polynesia were amazing as always and the excitement of the whole adventure made my arm hairs stand on end. It was really cool to watch the presentation this year and think to myself “Eeeek, that is actually going to be us in a couple of months!”.
The ‘puddle’ is, of course, just a huge section the Pacific Ocean (approx 2800 nm).
The PPJ is a loosely organized rally in the sense that there is no start date or even start location. Boats leave from all over the North or Central American Coast and set off anytime from around now until the end of the spring (when hurricanes become an issue). The majority of boats make landfall in the Marquesas, although some go to the Gambiers. There’s no hand holding; the benefits of being signed up are not having to post the expensive ‘return flight’ bond in FP and also being able to connect with and share information with other cruisers who are doing the same thing.
There are at least twenty-five boats leaving from the Banderas Bay area and our plan is to try to have Hydroquest ready to go for Ben & Katy’s arrival in PV the third week of march. So exciting!!! Our team for the crossing will therefore consist of one Shellback (Will) and three Pollywogs (the rest of us). The boys have crossed the Pacific before (PV to Hawaii, Hawaii to Vancouver), while Katy and I are both first-timers. We’re so happy that we’ll have four on board, for the fun of it and to share the experience and also so we can all get a decent amount of sleep. A 24 hour watch schedule for 21-ish days doesn’t seem so daunting with all of us.
As excited as we are, we know this is a serious undertaking and so will be working hard to prepare Hydroquest and ourselves for the crossing over the coming weeks. The to-do list is the really scary part!