Days before Thanksgiving weekend, the Ventura West Marina management reached out to us with an offer to move to a recently made available live-aboard slip. They needed to know for how long. Hoping to leave by Dec. 15, we gave a departure date of Dec. 20. They drew up the agreement. We gratefully accepted, signed, and moved to our new slip last Sunday, our fourth in six weeks. From here, we’ll either go to Santa Cruz Island for a few days, or directly to Malibu and Marina Del Rey.
Because of time restrictions associated with the French Polynesian extended stay visa, we’ll have to leave California soon after we get ours, which could take between 6-8 weeks to receive after our scheduled December 9 submission. Depending on which timeframe the French Embassy imposes, we’ve heard of two, we may not have time to visit either Galapagos or Easter Island. It takes about a week to sail directly to Cabo, 18 days from Cabo to Galapagos, 18 days from Galapagos to Easter, a week to Pitcairn, and then three days to Gambier (French Polynesia), an estimated total of 63 days. If the “120 days following the date of submission” rule applies, we wouldn’t have any time to visit the destination within which we intend to port. But, if the “90 days from the date of approval” rule applies, this would give us 27 land-days within which to visit them all, weather permitting. Frankly, these restrictions are putting Easter Island and Pitcairn at greatest risk, and possibly Galapagos as well . . . bummer. Seems sad to have to rush past so many beautiful anchorages, but necessary if we wish to spend as much time in French Polynesia as we would ultimately prefer. Or perhaps this will give us greater desire to visit them on the return leg, following transiting Panama. Decisions, decisions . . . .