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Te Vega – Pacific Crossing (pt. 3)

Here is the third part of the 4 part mini-series of my Pacific crossing aboard the 63′ Mason ketch Te Vega.

We’ve got a bit of everything in this one, fishing, maintenance, injuries, and, of course, a lot of sailing.

This part opens on half-way-day where we pop a bottle of champagne, give a little toast, and jump into the ocean 1000nm from ANYTHING! When I was in the Navy half-way-night was always a very special time, often we had boxes and boxes of frozen crab legs that the cooks would steam up and serve to all 165 of us. We always got extra time to eat on those nights, and the mood was pretty magical.

I hope you are all enjoying this series. It was fun to do, fun to film, and fun to edit (though since they are so long they take a bit longer than a normal episode.

If you’re wondering why I used the same song again… well… I hadn’t heard this recording until now, and it ended up pretty good, so why not. They ARE my videos, after all. 🙂 I promise that’s the last Kings of Leon cover for awhile. I would really like to record an album of covers, hopefully I’ll have a chance before I leave to go to the new boat!

Much love,
James

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Catch and Cook: Pacific Crossing on Te Vega (pt. 2)

Sailing and fishing for mahi mahi, Jake gets a hook in the leg (ouch!). Also we play with some really crazy looking glasses! Watch what happens next on this 3300nm adventure across the Pacific Ocean!

In this installment of Sailing Zingaro we go through another 5 days out to sea on Te Vega, the Mason 63′ as we cross from Hawaii-California.

We put a message in a bottle and get a big surprise! We lose the refrigerator and have to do some troubleshooting to get it back. There’s lots of diesel in the bilge. We work on the AIS to see exactly what is wrong with this thing. It gets super cold as we pass through 800nm north of Hawaii.

Hope you guys love it!

-James

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My Love Affair With a Million Dollar Mono (pt. 1)

Sailing across the Pacific ocean aboard a $1,000,000 monohull! Refit, sea trial, cast off, and starting a 3,300nm adventure that will take us from Hawaii to California! Come join the crew of Te Vega, a 1984 Mason 63′ ketch as we show you and in-depth glimpse of what offshore sailing is really like!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Te Vega… This girl is 70,000 lbs of sexy lines, comfortable births, and a whole lot of je ne sais quoi. She’s 1 1/4″ of solid, hand laid fiberglass from keel to toe rail, with enough teak to make any other boat blush. Her backside has the unmistakable allure of a crystal wine glass, with just enough overhang to make you look twice.

This 39 minute video documents the inspection and first 4 days underway on this not-so-short journey. This is part 1 of 4 episodes documenting the 20 day journey across the Pacific – from Hawai’i to San Francisco. I went through 260 GB of data just for this one episode, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through!

I really wanted to give everyone a good feel of what a crossing is really like. What happens daily. What breaks? What the hell are we actually doing out there?

I hope this gives you a good feel of what is required of a delivery captain, and the ups and downs of offshore sailing.

Hope you enjoy meeting the boat and crew. Let me know what you think. Much love!

-James

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After Three Years We Made it to TAHITI! – Ep. 77

In my FIRST VIDEO I put on the internet I explained that I had just purchased a catamaran and was going to sail it to Tahiti… I thought it would take around a year. Well, three years later and it’s finally here!

In this episode, Kimmi and I arrive to Oeno, the fourth and last of the Pitcairn Island Group. We visited ALL of them! Yes! Very cool.

We do some spearfishing, but the wind comes up with such ferocity that we had to make like a tree and get the hell out of there.

Then, on the sail to Gambiers we caught a wahoo, got caught in a storm, and ran out of propane! That last one was avoidable… but it’s difficult to fill propane when you’re out sailing.

Finally, we arrive in Tahiti!

Much love,

James

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

Pitcairn Island – Sailing Zingaro Ep. 76

We were blessed by weather, and got to spend 7 days anchored in the famous Bounty Bay in May 2019 (we’re behind a lot with our episodes). We will never forget our time in Pitcairn, and hope you all enjoy our little excerpt of it.

Let me tell you a bit about this not-to-often visited place…

First of all, in the 3 years we were cruising, this place takes the cake as the warmest reception we’ve ever received.

From the first check in on the radio to the last farewell, we were treated like family. We were able to get cash from the local administration in the form of a wire transfer through New Zealand (we actually did this twice because we stayed here longer than we thought). We were given a bunch of fruits and vegetables on the day of our departure. We were even offered 8TB of movies from the local movie buff (which we politely declined, as we didn’t have nearly the space!).

About Pitcairn Island

There are roughly 36 residents on Pitcairn, and 14 support staff. There are new arrivals yearly, as the British government offers an incentive to any EU citizen who would like to emigrate to Pitcairn (not sure exactly what that incentive is, but there was a Finnish family expected a few months after we arrived). There are also departures, mostly to New Zealand, as the cargo ship makes it’s rounds. The thing is, Pitcairn is only accessible by boat, so if you leave with the supply ship, it will be around 6 months before you’ll be back! Imagine those travel restrictions.
There is one doctor on the island, posted by the British government on a 3 year term. I had sea boils at the time, so he lanced one for me, fixed me up, and even gave me some extra supplies for my medical kit just in case I got them again (which I did).

The people live in a commune, so all work is shared and there really is no “pay”. The necessities and a small stipend are supplied buy the UK, costing them in the order of ~£4M per year. As the UK’s only south Pacific territory that’s a fee they won’t be giving up any time soon.

The topography is very steep, as the entire island is a large volcano with Adamstown (the only city) situated in the center of the crater. The weather was amazing for us, but can be very volatile, as can the surrounding sea.

The real beauty of the Pitcarin island group is the water… It is the clearest water we have ever seen, and has been scientifically documented as some of the clearest in the world. Coral has been found down to 130′.

We were blessed by weather, and got to spend 7 days anchored in the famous Bounty Bay. We will never forget our time in Pitcairn, and hope you all enjoy our little excerpt of it.

Much Love!
-James

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

Raw Nature, a Lonely Atoll and an Unpleasant Surprise – Ep. 75

Henderson Island/Pitcairn – not a soul in sight on this lonely island. For it’s remoteness it has gotten the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yet the influence of our wasteful civilization on its beaches could not be more striking!

There are so many special places around the world that we don’t even know exist. That has always been why I loved traveling: It showed me how little I actually know, how wildly beautiful this planet is and how many secrets it holds from us. Too many to ever learn all of them. I believe James started sailing for a similar reason.

Henderson was probably our biggest surprise at the time. Little did we know that this island, a dot on a chart to most people and not even mentioned in most cruising guides, would open our eyes to the beauty of raw nature and the consequences of our consume-addicted society all at the same time.

You would think that these things are as far away from each other as they could possibly be, but it’s uniting these two conflicting worlds that make Henderson Island such a special place.

Henderson Island is basically as far from civilization as you can get on planet earth. Except for the 67 people that live on Pitcairn Island, 100nm away.

It’s remoteness makes it a very interesting place for scientists to study an untouched ecosystem, basically studying a pre-human world. But, and this is a big BUT, Henderson Island also holds the alarming record of being the most densely polluted place in the world. Let that sink in for a minute.

There is plastic trash everywhere, especially on the north beach, which is the side of the island that is exposed to the weather most of the time. An expedition in 2019 revealed that there was trash from all over the globe on the island. This beautiful raised atoll lies in the South Pacific Gyre which causes this extreme accumulation of floating debris on its shores.

Visiting these remote islands reinforced my drive to change my behavior as a consumer (to buy only what I need, refuse single-use wherever I can) and to fight for the imposing of laws that restrict companies in their abilities to produce unnecessary trash and to deliberately destroy our precious ecosystems like forests, coral reefs and the like.

We support Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd because we know they stand up for the protection of our oceans when others look away. I’m inspired by the relentless work and the dedication these people are putting towards making this a better place for all of us.

I hope this video makes you fall in love a little more with this beautiful place we live in! Maybe it can also inspire you to do small changes in your life reduce your contributing to the vast amount of plastic being produced around the globe and being swept into the sea. If You want to know more about Hendersons trash problem, read this: www.nationalgeographic.com

But remember, there’s a choice, the glass is half full and it’s not too late to protect what You love. Here is another good read from National Geographic about the reserve around Henderson Island and another good reason why we all should try harder: www.nationalgeographic.com

Thanks for reading and enjoy watching this Episode.

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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!

Pacific crossing pt. 1 – 4 …

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

The Monoliths of Easter Island – Ep. 72

In this Episode we visit Ahu Tongariki: the largest Moai site of Easter Island. It has 15 moai lined up and includes the largest moai ever erected on the island.

The Moai Were Swept Inland by a Tsunami

You may have seen pictures, or perhaps been there, but did you know Its moais were toppled during the island’s civil wars, and in the twentieth century the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami?

They have (obviously) since been erected, but the hats that once. dominated the skies were too worn by weather to be able to go back on top. If you pay attention there’s a scene in the video where James is standing near them, and they are 6′ tall!

Zingaro-Crew Nearly Got Arrested!

Fun fact: flying the drone is not allowed here and we didn’t know that before launching it, so we nearly got arrested that morning. Oops. No signs if you come from the water…

“Honey Bird” of Easter Island

Then we, by chance, ran into the honey-man of the island: Omar. He calls his business Manu Meri (translation: honey bird) and I think it’s the best honey I’ve ever tried in the world. We were flush with honey for almost a year after this, and were super sad to eat the last of it. At $30 a (tiny) jar, there’ll be no refill of Manu Meri honey in our immediate future. If you can get your hands on some, it’s amazing. Better than Pitcairn (the next island we’ll take you to).

Hope you like this week’s adventure. This island was full of them. Just magical.

For your love and support, we love you all. Hope this finds you healthy and happy, stay safe.

Hope you enjoy!

Much love
James & Kim

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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.

<3 Thanks to all of our supporters! <3

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…

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

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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

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

The Amazon: Kim’s Solo Travel Adventure – Ep. 63

Got a special episode for you today! An epic, 20 minute split-screen extravaganza. We split up and go on separate adventures:

Sea level guy climbs the highest mountain

James attempts to scale the Chimborazo – the highest mountain in Ecuador (and, technically, the highest point on earth – click here for more info) and ends up with some serious altitude sickness. It goes south fast, and James ends up in a bit of trouble…

Kimmi – the Amazonian warrior princess

On this adventure she has to go alone. Kim heads to the Amazon, taking a camera and capturing some amazing scenes of her travels. She gathers her spear, blowgun and the strength needed to trek to one of the most beautiful, wild places on the planet: The Amazonian rainforest.

See how they forage to food, harvest cacao for chocolate and visit a traditional healer in this picturesque location.

Hope you all love it as much as we loved making it!

James & Kim

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Equator Crossing – Our Promise to Neptune (Ep. 55)

Episode number 55 covers the sail from the Coco Island, entering the South Pacific and arriving to Ecuador.

When we arrived the first time we had no idea how much we were going to see and how long we were going to stay. That country is so diverse: You have the coast, the mountains, the Amazon and Galapagos Island. Truly a destination for anybody that’s interested in anything! 😀

The next couple Episodes are going to be about us sailing all over the coast and even exploring the inland with their worldclass bus system. So cheap and so reliable, it’s amazing.

As You can tell, we loved Ecuador. I’m sure You’ll love it too!

Kim

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Cocos finale, pirate lore and treasure (Isla Del Coco #4) | Sailing Zingaro – Ep. 53

Here’s the last installation of our Isla Del Cocos series.

We try to discover the secret of the Treasure of Lima! Come hike up to the top of the island, listen to pirate lore, see some of the most amazing sights of this island paradise: Isla Del Coco, Costa Rica. Wow, that a place.

This is one of the more artistic videos we’ve produced, and I think Kimmi did a masterful job with it. It’s beautiful and interesting…

I’ll let you guys be the judge, and won’t give too much away of the finale.

-James

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Sailing to Jurassic Park (Isla del Coco #1) | Sailing Zingaro – Ep. 50

With a sordid past of pirates, mutiny, and buried treasure, accessible only by boat, the pirate island of Isla del Coco is the island that the book “Jurassic Park” is based on! We sail the 400nm to see what kind of adventure we can get into. Come join us in Isla Del Coco, Costa Rica.

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Sailing the “Bat” Islands & drone theft! Sailing Zingaro – Ep 47

Every cruiser’s nightmare: thieves. They stole our drone, radio, tools. Now the police are here investigating, taking fingerprints, and for what? Watch and find out…

See how the crew of Zingaro handled it in this installment of the life and times of Zingaro!

I take a Tico (that’s what they call a local Costa Rican guy – girls are Ticas) on a 200nm sail from Isla Caño to Isla Murcíalagos. What a great time. Here’s the real story on that one…

So we get up to this beautiful island chain, the “Bat” islands – named because of the shape of a bat made by the second island (you can see this very clearly at 2:39). This island chain is very rarely visited, mostly because it lays in a very dangerous zone – the Papagayo wind zone. This is an area of the Central American peninsula where the eastern trade winds from the Caribbean shoot through the mountains and make their way (very strongly) to the Pacific. Within 5 nm of land you are subject to 40kt catabolic winds, sometimes out of nowhere. Needless to say, it’s a dangerous place to bring a boat… so we went!

I laid out two anchors, about 60degrees from each other, and faced the boat dead east in a little cove (also visible in the drone shot). Super cool spot, but ass puckering dangerous. We were so close to the rocks that I barely slept, always coming out to shine a light and check to make sure the anchors were holding. It’s one thing to be anchored in 40kt winds, it’s another to be anchored 20ft from rocks, in 6ft of water, in 40kt winds.

But OMG the diving! It was amazing. We talked to the rangers, and got permission to spearfish. I actually took a shot at a mahi-mahi while we were out. We ended up getting lots of fish, and bringing the rangers a bunch, to which they were very thankful, as they had no boat to fish so were eating canned foods for weeks. Ugh. Great view though.

Bottom line: If you are ever in Costa Rica, try to get out to the Murcíalagos Islands. They are very special. Bucket list item for sure. Climb to the top of one of the islands and watch the sunset. You may get lucky like us and see whales breaching right afterward. What a night… Why is this not in the vid, you ask? We had the footage on our failed hard drive, not backed up. 100 videos are gone. That sucks, but you get the real story here.

The rest of the film is pretty self explanatory, Kim comes back (Happy Captain!), and we haul the boat…

– James

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The end of days (for the dink) | Sailing Zingaro – Ep. 44

Can you see what’s wrong with this picture? Find out in this week’s adventure sailing around Costa Rica on a plywood catamaran. The where, why, and when of one of life’s most intriguing questions: When will Zingaro’s dinghy die??

In this episode you’ll see “the incident” that finally killed our outboard. We ended up giving it away to a dock worker when we arrived in Ecuador. Funny enough, I needed some parts off of it later on and we were able to track it down and get the little pieces I needed for the new one.

Hope you like! This is a LONG episode, and took us quite a while to make. We think it’s got just about everything you’d need to get your sailing/maintenance/adventure fix today!

-James & Kimmi

PS: Big thanks to Sue and Pirate Pawl of Pitcairn island for the hospitality, food, drink, and love. We have some lifelong friends on one of the most remote islands in the world.

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We CREW for a long line fisherman in Costa Rica | Sailing Zingaro – Ep. 43

Ever wonder how long line fishing works? We met Arturo while we were hanging out in Costa Rica, and asked him what he did all night. He invited us to come along, and we couldn’t say no (though when he told us what time we were leaving we had second thoughts).

We hauled in a lot of fish that night, slept on a lancha (Spanish for dinghy, uncomfortable as hell), almost got stuck by numerous hooks, and got a very fast ride in/out of the bay.

We are exhausted by the end of the day, but pull in over 40 mahi mahi, and even get to take home the biggest one! It was definitely an experience.

Big thanks to Arturo for inviting us into his life and taking us on this adventure! Muchas gracias Arturo!

Much love, Pura Vida!

Kim and James

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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 <3

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).

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Lucie says goodbye | Sailing Zingaro – Ep 41

We’re loosing our crew! You guys have no idea how bad it’ll get without Lucie. She was the only cook aboard. She came, she cooked, she conquered. Bye, bye Lucie!

We’re just getting to Costa Rica at the end of this episode, and good times await us here! We’re going to sail the entire coast, all the way to Nicaragua. Islas Caño, Merciàlago, and even the elusive Cocos… Stay tuned!

We had some amazing adventures in CR. It was beautiful, expensive, crazy, locals came to the boat, Kimmi went back to Berlin, and James and a local went on a spearfishing/sailing adventure with a friend. We can’t wait to share all of this with you.

But, first, hope you like this one.

Pura Vida!
James & Kim

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