Remiss

GAL Thunderhead
Thunderheads surround and engulf Kandu on way to Galapagos

Since arriving in La Cruz, Bandaras Bay, the push for me has been to get Kandu going and to keep her so. Several unexpected problems of significant proportion required my undivided attention and complete effort: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Delays were compounded by the pressures of the upcoming hurricane season, the French Polynesian visa requirement that we arrive in June, and the disappointment of having to cross so many desirous locations off our list. These demands left little time for visiting Mexico or writing. I went to bed exhausted around 8pm and woke around 5am. The pressure was non-stop. We knew that once we left Mexico, any chance of getting parts would be very difficult, time constraining, and costly. It felt like “now or never.”

Eric on evening watch off Mexican coast aboard Kandu
Eric on evening watch off Mexican coast aboard Kandu

At one point, it looked like the lack of supportive wind would force us to cross Galapagos off our itinerary, a magical place I really didn’t want to miss. Realizing that the wind would not be dangerous, but variable, light, and rain-riddened, we made the decision to suck it up, spend the fuel, and go for it.

Red marks on RADAR heavy rain and Kandu in the midst.
Red marks on RADAR heavy rain and Kandu in the midst.

The sail to the Galapagos was uncomfortable and discouraging. Sailing in confused seas (again), motor sailing often, having to dodge thunderstorms and squalls day and night, all as we passed under the latitude of the sun and its intense tropical heat (sea temp 89oF), against the southeast trades and current, placed in jeopardy the whole idea of sailing around the world. Rain forced us to close all hatches and portlights, cutting off ventilation. Were it not for the portable 12-volt fans throughout the boat, we would have drowned in our own sweat. I often sleep in the cockpit so Bryce and Trent have easy access to me should they have any question. The last 4 days were the worst, as we tacked back and forth against ever-changing winds, through wet thunderheads, rocking in all directions, while discovering that our alternator charging system (the engine powers the alternator that makes electricity to charge the ship’s batteries) had failed for some unknown reason.

Land Ho! After 17 days, Isla Isabela
Land Ho! After 17 days, rain clouds shroud Isla Isabela at sunrise just below the equator.

Arriving in Puerto Villamil at the southern tip of Isla Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos islands, 17 days after leaving Mexico, we focus on meeting the complex entry requirements. Were it not for the help of our agent, JC DeSoto, we’d not have done so well. Entry permitted, and although many more standard issues beckon, I apply intense focus on resolving the alternator problem. It takes 8 days, more than half of our intended stay. In between the other boat maintenance requirement and preparing for the next, and longest crossing, I visit Galapagos with the family, taking several half-day excursions, land and sea.

Time constraints of the Galapagos and of French Polynesia require we leave now. Instead of sailing to Gambier, a less comfortable sail, we’ve opted for sailing directly to the Marquesas, a more favorable direction with regard to wind and sea. I can’t very much afford another uncomfortable crossing if I want to keep morale up for a 25-day crossing. In Gambier, we’d have to leave after a week or two. In the Marquesas, we can stay a month or longer, providing the rest and stability we all crave. Off to the Marquesas we go.

Marina Iguana Yoga
Marina Iguana yoga position

The intensity of effort to prepare Kandu for the Galapagos and beyond, combined with the power issue that developed along the way, prevented me from blogging. Although I have many stories to share, I’m going to have to wait until we settle into the Marquesas before I can publish. Appreciating that such breaks from regular posting are the death of a blog-site, I hope you’ll bear with us and reap the reward once we are able to share once again on a more regular basis. In the meantime, for those on Facebook and/or Twitter, we have been posting regularly to these sites via our satellite texting device, Delorme inReach SE, which provides not only the text, but a link back to our current position.  The same device provides the tracking and map location of Kandu, a link to which is provided on this site’s front page.  So if you’re needing your RigneyKandu fix, look for us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rigneyskandu or me up on Facebook (Eric Rigney) or on Twitter@RigneysKandu until we can get back to delivering more in-depth writing.

Thanks for sticking with us!!!

Eric Rigney

7 thoughts on “Remiss”

  1. Glad to hear from you and know you are are all okay. Starting to get a little concerned. Read the last FB post from Leslie. In the news here was talk of an active volcano close to the area you were at. The FB post was reassuring, thanks Leslie! What an adventure! I hope you are all journaling. I see a book in the future 🙂 Steve and I walked through the Los Gatos neighborhood last week. Hard to believe that was so many years ago. Hope the boys got to surf at the Galapagos Islands. Your all in our thought and prayers…Hugs to all…Paulette (Steve too) PS. We like the map 😉

  2. Dear Rigneys all, I hope your time in the Galapagos has not been too frustrating. It is such a wonderful place. Remember, if you did not see all of it, you can always go back after you return here.
    We have done several things with Annie, in between Gary having a bad cold, which is better now. Annie is looking forward to Bill’s return, of course.
    May you have the most favorable winds and straightforward seas on your way to the Marquesas islands.
    We always keep you in our thoughts and prayers. xox, betsyandgary

  3. Hey guys… great job. I was concerned that you had to spend so much time in the inter-convergence zone (AKA the doldrums) to get from southern Mexico to the Galapagos. Tell us how you hopefully fixed the alternator. Also loved the radar picture. Don’t sweat the blog postings… eventually we will find out what happened. Just stay safe and keep on sailing. Be sure to go to Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva (Virgin bay) and Nuku Hiva while in the Marquesas. Nuku Hiva has the most stores and population. We loved it there. Hope things go better for you in your upcoming passages. Love to all of you…

    Dan & Lidia

    PS. that water is pretty toasty, 89 Degrees . wow

  4. Hope you catch some good seas for a while. As an electrician, alternators aren’t to tough to troubleshoot, but finding parts at your local navigational buoy could be tough.
    We hope you have better luck as your journey continues.

    1. We had good wind speed pushing us to the Marquesas, but the seas were not in agreement so the motion was uncomfortable. We had to tack (turn back and forth to keep the wind at a comfortable angle) the last day and a half to get to Nuku Hiva. We only turned the motor on to charge the batteries, so we arrived in the Marquesas with nearly full fuel tanks, the opposite of our Mexico to Galapagos experience. Eric

  5. I admire your fortitude. Maybe you’re a little crazy too, and if so I admire that as well. No matter what happens it beats showbiz.

    1. Keith,
      All the kids’ shows I’ve seen on the value of perseverance poured through my head when I wanted to quit. At times, I move forward simply because to do otherwise is worse, not because I’m eager to. I have experienced many disappointments these past few years, and especially the sail down the California coast to Mexico, the Galapagos, and the Marquesas. Moving forward often seems an act of faith more than of reason, especially when exhausted. In the Marquesas, events have turned in our favor, making the effort seem worthy, although with hindsight, we could have arrived here with a lot less expense and drama. Oh well, I do the best I can with what I understand. Eric

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