Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


50,000 sea miles

Setting moon on Pacific crossing

Moon setting at dawn on our second Pacific crossing

So, to spill the beans… this summer when we were all out-of-touch and offline, we were sailing across the Pacific again. This second Pacific Ocean crossing was quite different from our first one in 2007, but more on that in a later post. I’m still processing the whole experience in my head (and in my photo file folders!), so for now this post is just a fun little look back:

  • When we crossed the Pacific this time, it had been 11 years since our first Pacific crossing.
  • It had been 8 years since we were last in the Southern Hemisphere,
  • and 7 years since we’d sailed in the Tropics.


    One of our last tropical ports on our circumnavigation

  • So that means we’ve now been sailing offshore for 12 years! (on and off, it hasn’t been full time all that time.) Here’s a fun little slideshow of highs and lows aboard HERETIC and CELESTE:
  • The crossing this summer was our 4th transoceanic passage. 

    Passage to Africa

    Moon on a beautiful evening en route to Africa,  towards the end of our 2nd transoceanic passage

  • We’ve also sailed across  4 seas – the Caribbean, the Coral Sea, the Arafura Sea, the Bering, and the Chukchi – and across 4 “gulfs” – the Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Alaska, the Gulf of Panama, and the Gulf of Carpentaria.


    Waves breaking on St Paul Island, central Bering Sea

  • We’ve been 3 times across the Equator and twice across the Arctic Circle. 

    Crossing the Arctic Circle

    Across the Arctic Circle

  • And partway through this summer’s Pacific crossing, we passed 50,000 nautical miles sailed, and said a prayer of thanks to the sturdy vessels that have taken us so far.


All Blue Water Boats Should Steer Themselves

So says Yves Gélinas, the incredibly accomplished and innovative sailor who invented the Cape Horn wind vane, and Seth and I agree wholeheartedly!Strong SE wind

Twelve years ago, Seth and I and two friends set off on our circumnavigation aboard Heretic with no self-steering gear at all. No electronic autopilot and no mechanical wind vane. We both came from racing (round-the-buoys) backgrounds and were used to hand-steering boats to get the best out of them at each and every moment. With four people taking turns at the helm, it was possible to make ocean passages like that, but it wasn’t much fun and it wasn’t very sustainable (in the most literal sense of that word, as in, able to continue indefinitely) for longer passages.

Cold sailing

Hand-steering Heretic off Rhode Island in November 2006. Me on the left, one of our friends – John – at the helm.

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