Category Archives: Random

Pacific Crossing – Sailing with the Ketch „Te Vega“

Real time update (June 25, 2020) | While Kim stucks in Germany, James is back on the water. He is sailing with the crew of s/v Te Vega, a 1984 Mason 63, from Hawaii to California. They’ll heading north towards Alaska before turning to the east to ride the northern trades into the mainland. Overall it should be around 3000nm and three weeks of sailing.
For more information please watch the upload of our livestream on YouTube or track Te Vega’s journey here…

Of course James is filming the entire adventure – all about what it takes to get a boat ready for the trip, and what it’s like out on that passage. Stay tuned!

Boat shopping: Lafitte 44

Real time update | Zingaro is on the HUNT! James tours a Bob Perry designed Lafitte 44 monohull sailboat. He says: The boat is trying to speak to you, all you have to do is listen…

This isn’t only a boat tour, but also an explanation of exactly how he goes through the boat as a pre-purchase survey.

What James figured out…

This monohull is reportedly a great sailor, and it’s big enough to fit 6 comfortably. With two separate cabins, two heads, and a convertible settee, there is plenty of room for cruising in comfort. It’s the same boat, that my buddy Brandon is taking to Antarctica – you can see some of his adventures here: Sea Change.

The Lafitte really shines in the galley, and the huge workspace and double freezer/fridge is a big plus from Zingaro’s tiny little kitchen. I’ve been on much bigger boats with smaller cooking spaces.

The engine is relatively new, and looks to be well cared for. The layout is very weird: As you come down the cockpit companionway you are greeted, instead of a boat interior, with a wall of teak – making up the aft cabin. There is a double to port with a small seating/stowage area. I would have put another quarter berth here and don’t really see the point of this waste of space…

But the rest of the interior makes sense and is very well laid out. The nav table is comfortable, the settee converts to a bed, and the aforementioned galley is quite a sight. The quarter berth is very high up, so if you are limited in mobility or a big person you are going to have a problem sleeping here.

Really the only glaring problem I saw with the boat is the teak decks. They would absolutely need to be ripped out. This a a huge job, most likely entailing the re-bedding of every deck penetration and partial replacement of the deck. Also all of the cushions and headliners need to be replaced. If you were to pay someone to do this I would imagine it would get up near $20,000, but for me to do it I think more around $5k and a month of work (preferably on the hard).

As far as price, he wants $85k.

With the layout and the deck problems I’m not really sure I’m in love with this particular boat.

Stay safe and healthy!
James

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Boat Shopping With Zingaro

Real time update | I’d like to update everyone on what’s going on with Sailing Zingaro, the new boat, the Kickstarter campaign and anything else you guys want to talk about.

It’s been a little while since we checked in with all of you. That’s about to change! We’re going BOAT SHOPPING!!! Come join us to see what Zingaro II may look like!

James

Lessons From Our Shipwreck – Livestream

Our catamaran suffered catastrophic damage in a storm on route from Kiribati to Hawaii. In this live stream we will talk about the lessons we learned, and try to shed some light on why/how it happened and what you can learn from it.

I had a livestream to talk about lessons learned from our shipwreck. Here is the upload…

Hope you like it 🙂
James

End of the Campaign – Beginning of a New Chapter

Real time update | Our Kickstarter-Campaign was successful! We are so close to going out there again and doing what we love.

❤ Thanks to all of our supporters! ❤

Zingaro II is coming

When we arrived to Hawai’i on Dec 22nd, 2019, we thought it was the end for us and our wild plans to sail the world. At least for a while.

But we thought wrong! The fact that our community poured SO much love our way and made sure that we could keep going, seriously chokes us up.

Now we can actively search for a new boat, and the 169% funding we’ve received, has opened up some pretty cool options.

Zingaro I is gone – the weight lifted

Two days ago we signed over the title of our first catamaran. Zingaro is sold!
As hard as it was to say goodbye to our old friend, the feeling an hour later, when it really sank in was… We don’t know the words… Relief, alleviation, calmness, readiness.

This was the final crux keeping us from really letting go and moving on, and it’s finally finished. We are finally ready to start the next chapter. We are ready to let go of the past, and focus on the future.

Coming soon: adventures from the South Pacific…

Stay tuned for our next and last episodes with Zingaro I ! We will take you with us across the South Pacific to…

  • Easter Island
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Gambiers and Tuamotus
  • Tahiti and Mo’orea
  • Line Islands
  • From Kiribati to Hawai’i

Much love
J & K

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Season Two – Kickstarter Campaign

Sad to report that our Zingaro is shipwrecked: On Dec 22nd s/v Zingaro was hit by a violent storm on route from Tahiti-Hawaii. She sustained significant damage to the starboard hull, causing it to separate from the boat. Zingaro’s bluewater cruising days are definitely over.

We’ll never give up: Kickstarter Campaign & YouTube Livestream

With the help of our Patrons and friends, we’re going to find a new, stronger Zingaro 2.0, that will allow us to see rarely visited places like Japan, Alaska, Galapagos or Patagonia.

Easter Isand - Kickstarter Campaign

We’re excited to announce that we’ve finally finished our kickstarter campaign! It launched on Tuesday, Feb 4th! Check it out: www.kickstarter.com

Also, we are having a livestream on YouTube at 5 pm (pacific time) on Tuesday, Feb 4th. Here’s the upload …

See you then!
Much love
James & Kim

Zingaro is Wrecked – Photos of the Damage

Real time update | After five days of recovery, we finally found the courage to go back to the marina in Kailua Kona (Hawai’i) and have a sober look at Zingaro. Without the adrenaline the boat looks horrible: Our floating home has broken in two pieces.

Seeing the damage now in the daylight, it amazes me that we were able to get the boat into harbor. Tying the boat together with Dyneema made all the difference and I am super proud to say that we did everything we could to save her, but our plan for the future is uncertain at this point.

Here’s the OFFICIAL story of how our sailboat split in HALF, and how we saved her …

Here’s the livestream talking about the accident that caused catastrophic damage to Zingaro: Recorded version of our live broadcast … (Action starts at 4:30)

Much love
James & Kim

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Zingaro Arrived in Kona (Hawai’i)

Real time update | The boat is in a disastrous shape. All the cross stringers in the starboard hull are broken, bridgedeck is ripped to centerline, most bulkheads are broken. Basically the starboard hull ripped off.

But we were able to save Zingaro. Coast Guard was following us to port, handed us 15 gal diesel last night, we motored with one engine to Honokohau Harbor.

I can’t believe we made it. It was very frightening: Huge waves, water coming in, repairs broke many times, starboard prop shaft snapped.

Most importantly we’re safe!

We haven’t thought far enough to decide what to do. At first we want to get off the boat for a few days. We’re totally exhausted, but in good spirits. This will be the start of a new adventure.

James

Real Time Update – Landfall in Kiribati

Republic of Kiribati is an area of the world rarely visited by cruisers, and even more rarely visited by tourists. The Line Islands consists of the scattered islands and atolls lying near the Equator and the meridian of 160°00’W. We have visited three of the islands in the group (so far):

Flint Island

The coral of this island was some of the healthiest we’d seen in a long time. Very green. There were HUGE turtles, and the spear fishing was excellent. Unfortunately we were driven away, after installing our own mooring for the day, due to the current and wind whipping around the island and driving Zingaro onto a lee shore… Overall, though, an excellent place. We did not make it onto the island, and didn’t see much of a reason to try, as was nothing outstanding to see.

Malden Island

We spent three nights on this wonderfully desolate island, though it was in very difficult conditions. The first two were on a mooring (i.e. tied to a rock) on the western extremity. The swell was small, but very present, and the current was 2kts+ for parts of the day. After two nights tied to our trusty rock the swell picked up and the breakers came dangerously close to Zingaro, so we moved to another rock in the SW lee of the island.

Beach Malden Island

Sailing Zingaro | Malden Island (Republic of Kiribati)

The really cool part about this location was there was an underwater shelf RIGHT next to the boat, where it went from 40′-80′ almost straight down, and the fish were EVERYWHERE. Super cool. The spearfishing was excellent, except for the sharks, who seemed to think we were catering dinner. Bastards were so fast.

Of note: We sailed through the Equator for the second time between these two islands! Go Z!

Kiritimati (Christmas Island)

We’ve been here for two days. Checking in was a joke. The immigrations office doesn’t have a boat so we picked them up from the big wharf they use for offloading the supply ship. We got them onboard to fill out a few forms and have them look through our vegetable stash (consisting of 1 orange, 1 pumpkin, 3 moldy potatoes, and a couple onions – which we were told need to stay on the boat). After which we checked to see if google fi worked… no go. So we went in and purchased a local sim card, and a handful of recharge cards (highest possible denomination: $6). We were not surprised when, after 4 hours of trying, we could search google, say hello to the Saloon, but nothing more. Uploading a video? HA. Not a chance. Luckily today we met a couple managing a hotel and they let us hang out to upload, chat, eat, and write this! Things are looking up!

So where to from here?

We are planning on leaving tomorrow, after a front passes through (20kts on the nose isn’t our idea of a good sailing window). We will stop by Fanning atoll, and, if we get permission, Palmyra and Kingman Reef. If not, we will leave from Fanning to Hawaii. Should take between 9-14 days to get to Hawaii, and we’ll be making as much easting as possible before turning North to get through yet another ITCZ and hopefully not be becalmed for too long this time.

Much love from James & Kim

Au Revoir, Tahiti – What’s up, Hawai’i?

Real time update | We set sail for Hawai’i over the Line Islands. We’re packed, we’re suuuper excited, we’re ready for this 2,500 nm crossing!

Bye bye Tahiti

Sailing Zingaro | We’re leaving today for Hawai’i, cheers us for a great passage!!!!

We’re leaving today, cheers us for a great passage!!!!

For current position, please follow this link …

Much love
James & Kim

Ia’orana from Mo’rea!

Real time update | We just returned from a magical weekend in the normally prohibited island of Mai’ao (where tourists are NOT welcome). You have to be invited, and we took a local boy that hadn’t visited his home for 3 years! Needless to say we got a warm welcome. We felt like members of the family. We found the famous Polynesian welcome once again. What a memory. We even took a pregnant woman and her family back to the big island for a doctor checkup. It is always a treat to introduce people to sailing.

Bye Bye, Mo’orea!

Real time update | So we’re technically checked out of the country, but we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from Mo’orea. It’s so nice here. We can swim with whales every day, dive, have friends over every night… it’s magical here. We’ve even been invited to go hiking by the guy we stole our dinghy from (lol, long story, we’ll get to that later).

Sailing Zingaro | Diving with Whales in Mo'orea

Sailing Zingaro | Diving with Whales in Mo’orea

We’re planning our journey towards Kiribati. We’ll be sailing to Makatea (the only raised atoll in French Polynesia) then heading towards Raiatea and Bora Bora before we jump off towards the Line Islands.

Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

Much love!
James & Kim

6 Months Watermaker Update – Q&A Video

[sponsored post] This is a video for you techie-types covering our thoughts after living with our Spectra Watermaker for 6 months.

We are talking about:

  • Maintenance
  • Real-world statistics
  • Why we chose Spectra
  • Why this model
  • What happens if we get hit by lightning
  • Do we need to take supplements

Hope you like! It’s a fun one, and Kimmi and I have a bit different opinions on a few things…. watch and find out. 🙂

This video is brought to you by Sailing Zingaro and Spectra Watermakers.

Much love!

James

Sponsored by SPECTRA Watermakers

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Solo Sailing Through the Tuamotus!

Real time update | While Kim is visiting her family in Berlin, I am solo sailing through the Tuoamotus, looking for the coolest places to bring her back to. This archipelago is definitely one of the most beautiful areas of the world!

Rangiroa Atoll

Sailing Zingaro | Rangiroa – the largest atoll in the Tuamotus

The Tuamotus are a group of atolls in the South Pacific. Very remote, very beautiful and very dangerous. Before the GPS age sailors avoided most of this area, because it was too dangerous to safely navigate. It is still dangerous if you’re not on your A-game – just this month three boats have been wrecked on reefs here. I saw one of them, when I was coming into the pass here in Rangiroa. It’s a constant reminder to be diligent.

Interesting notes on this journey:

My main sail ripped out of the mast track

Imagine you go outside at 2am and see your main flying in the wind, only held on by the halyard at the top and the foot at the bottom. And your alone. And it’s blowing hard with 6’ waves. But dangerous, that work. You can easily slip and fall in trying to wrangle the main. The only way I could do it was to let the halyard down almost to the deck, with the main spilling aft of the boat, and pull/push it back into the bag. Harder than it sounds, that thing is heavy. We are getting a new track shipped in, it’s and aftermarket tides marine track, they told me this happens after 10 years. Not sure the age.

No sleep – I start to hallucinate

It’s really nerve-racking sailing here solo. I usually sleep in 1 hour blocks, after the sun rises, no sails (drifting), and as long as I’m not within 20nm of land. I’m not sure how others do this… but here in the Tuamotus it’s hard to sleep because you know, if you sleep too long or the wind changes, you’ll loose your boat. At the same time after 36hr of no sleep I start to hallucinate (I know this from my navy days) and that’s no good either.

Sailing on/off anchor

I’ve really been trying to practice sailing on/off anchor, tacking with various sail setups (only jib, reduced jib, etc) and trying to learn the boat a bit better. Even after three years and 20k miles on her… I still have things to learn and I can still be a better sailor. That said, this last journey I sailed off anchor in one atoll, sailed 80nm to the next, through the pass, and sailed onto anchor in between a bunch of boats here. I’m damned proud of that. Too many people rely on the engines far too often. You don’t need them if you’re patient and willing to give it just a little more effort. It may pay off in the long run, as engines only fail when you need them the most.

Ok, enough ranting! Have a great weekend! Kim is finishing up the next episode about our arrival the Ecuador!

Much love!
James

Bonjour from Mangareva!

Kim and I had a chance to visit one of the outlying islands of the Gambiers last week: Isla Taravia. Wow, the coral here is amazing, but the really amazing thing is the size of the fish here!! Most of the reef fish have ciguatera, and because nobody eats them they get HUMONGOUS! We saw a world record triple tail, and grouper the size of Kimmi.

Since we’ve arrived to Gambiers we have been hanging out with our friends on Agapé (you can visit their Instagram and Blog). We met Josh and Rachel in Boca Chica (Panama) and it’s been 8 months since we’ve seen each other. But, as all good things must come to an end, they left a few days ago and we’ve been working like little dogs!