Category Archives: Random

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!

Hello from the Gambier Islands!

After Easter Island we spent 3 weeks going around the Pitcairn Island Group:

  • Ducie – The most southern atoll in the world!
  • Henderson – The most untouched by humans island in the world!
  • Pitcairn – Home of the Bounty mutineers (and so welcoming).
  • Oeno – The most beautiful, coolest, and northernmost atoll in the group.

We have behind the scenes videos complete for you guys, and tons of pictures, BUT the internet here is so slow. Like… crazy slow. We had to bribe the cafe’s owner to keep our computer for the night to upload our new episode.

Our plan now is to stay here and see this isalnd group for two weeks until the supply ship comes, then purchase 30gal of diesel directly from the ship (at $6/gal instead of $8/gal in the store here).

Then we’re headed to Hao Island in the Tuamotos. Apparently they have cell service there, and we can use our cell phone to upload all the awesome stuff we’re waiting to show you. Cool?

Much love
James & Kim

Our dirtiest day on Easter Island

What started of as a harmless afternoon hike, soon became the dirtiest adventure of our lives. I didn’t look as bad as James, but I was just as dirty! Good thing we were able to wash off well. Thanks to our sponsor Spectra Watermakers

Dirty hiking on Rapa Nui

Sailing Zingaro | Pretty dirty and happy hikers on Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Sailing Zingaro | True adventurers need to be muddy

Sailing Zingaro | True adventurers need to be muddy

Our friend Valentina send us into the ‘Cave of Virgins’ and waited for us at the entrance, because she ‘had seen it before’ 😂. We had no clue what was awaiting us!

It took us around 2h round trip, crawling through this lava tunnel with puddles and openings in the stone sometimes as small as 30cm (~1ft).

We Made it to Rapa Nui!

It took us 18 days to sail to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) from Ecuador.

The only fish we caught were flying fish, but luckily James is getting really good at making Pizza, so we were cared for. Our autopilot broke and we had to steer Zingaro with bungee cords for 1800nm. Bummer, but we made it and couldn’t be happier!

We arrived Wednesday, March 27th, and needed to wait for the authorities to give us clearance to step foot on the island.

The next day we got the officials on the boat, but by the time we were done it was 4:00 and there was nobody around to help us get in… The surf here in Hanga Roa is crazy, and the waves (called El Cruz) break over the entrance to the harbor. We need someone to guide us this first time.

So, we’ve got some awesome footage to show you guys. A teaser reel is already done (next episode is coming soon).

Finally, on Friday, we set foot on land for the first time in 3 weeks. It was exciting! You know what’s the craziest thing that stands out in my mind? The SMELL of land after 19 days. I’ll never forget that.

So we celebrated our arrival, we met our new friend Martha and danced for hours… 💃💃🕺

Cruising to Easter Island was great

The wind came over the beam for the most part of the journey, but its strength was very variable. While we didn’t have barely any wind the first three days, we were FLYING the 10 days after that. Reefed down to the bare minimum and still surfing these waves like there was no tomorrow. Then again we were becalmed or with little wind for the last 350nm. We had some opportunities to fly the spinnaker.

So much for the wind. Now to the things that broke: Astonishingly little! Only the autopilot did, which sucked, but it doesn’t sink the boat after all, so I give it a 2 on the drama scale.

We were prepared well this time (for the first time ever, probably), we checked halyards and sheets for chafing, provisioned well… It helps to be aware of the things that could go wrong, even though I could have done with out learning that the hard way!

Over all, we loved the trip and I believe it was our best one so far.

Kim

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Next Milestone: Watermaker installed!

[Sponsored post] Took me a few days. I’d say 16 hours to install and 4 hours to source parts. Now she’s done, she purrs, and she’s filling our tanks on SOLAR 6.1gph @ 12.6vdc.

SPECTRA Watermaker

Sponsored by SPECTRA Watermakers | Our new watermaker means fresh water freedom. Sailing Zingaro is ready for Pacific crossing.

I’ve been sweating my ASS off in our engine room for 5 days. Totally worth it. This watermaker is sweeeeeeeet.

Fresh water independence! We’re finally ready to set sail for Easter Island.

I’m going to edit the install video and upload it for our sponsor’s (SPECTRA Watermakers) approval. Then as soon as it’s public we leave Puerto López (Ecuador).

Much love guys, stay tuned, Zingaro’s watermaker video is coming soon.

James