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.
This video was taken in Ecuador, when we were beginning to explore the coast and the islands of that beautiful country.
The crew sails 60 miles to a beautiful island, only to be told we CAN’T swim there?! Cruising on a sailboat in Ecuador is harder than you think, there’s all kinds of paperwork, permissions and regulations you need to abide by, but the rewards are amazing!
Actually, in this episode we end up not seeing much and instead scrub the bottom for three days straight, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Somebody has to do the dirty work.
I hope You enjoy!
Sending You love from Mo’orea (in the middle of the Pacific)
James & Kim
Yeah… so I got installed sweet new 16:1 purchase adjustable backstays and all new rigging. What I didn’t realize was the amount of dyneema that needed to be stretched, and just how fast it would stretch out. Big mistake.
We went on a test run with Zingaro, when we had an accident. 30nm out from our home port in Ecuador the new standing rig stretched faster than it should have. Due to the strong wind and big seas we had to abort our shake down cruise and turn back.
This could have easily led to some serious damage on the boat and we’re lucky, that we could avoid a bigger accident.
Just for the record: our mast is still standing and synthetic rigging is the bomb. You just have to know how to use it…
Check out this episode to see what happened, it wasn’t a good day (even though James says it was).
Much love! Kim & James
He had it coming. He was such a bugger… Very difficult to live with, constantly complaining, a real nightmare. So, we did the only thing two sane people living on a boat together can do: we got rid of the problem! Who needs cold beer? 😀
The rest of this video is pretty fun as well, we’re refitting our catamaran to go across the Pacific in Ecuador – a place that is very difficult to refit a boat.
Hope you like.
Here is an episode about when we arrived in Ecuador. That was already a year ago! Whoa, how time flies! We had tons of work to do on the boat and Ecuador was really a great place to do that. Not too hot to work during the day and a low cost of living (we ate out on a daily basis because we were too tired to cook!).
The only problem was getting parts, because the cruising scene is basically non-existent there. 5200? Can’t find that. New anchor rode? Gotta turn the whole country inside-out to find it! A new 5hp two stroke outboard? Forget it!
It took a lot of running around for us to get things done, but luckily we don’t get frustrated too quickly 😀 and, very important, we speak Spanish! Ecuadorians are very helpful and relaxed people that will take their time to help You, but barely anybody we met spoke English. You can always do the hands and feet dance, but speaking their language makes communication way more efficient 🙂
Anyways, working is part of this life and that’s ok. As long as You don’t forget to have a little fun as well!
Lots of love
[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:
- 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.
Sponsored by SPECTRA Watermakers
This is an all-sailing episode! We go over how to sail safer, specifically on a catamaran. If you guys like to sail fast you like this episode!
Sailing a catamaran is a bit different than sailing on a monohull. We explain while crossing the equator into Ecuador. Come join us for this informative and funny example of what (not) to do when cruising around the world on a catamaran.
Also, this was one of our best and fastes crossings ever. 83 hours for 600nm. Woohoo!
Next stop: Mainland Ecuador. What a place!
-James & Kim
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!
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!
Living La Vida Broka (LVB) is back! This time, Zingaro is sending out three boat hacks, that I learned along the way.
These are things I didn’t know about when I started, that I wish someone had told me. Tips to save money and time on your boat. Learned during my circumnavigation, I’m passing the knowledge to You.
Hope you enjoy!
🙂 This is Kim’s very best episode so far: the intro, the endscreen, incredible underwater footage, narration and the choice of music… Check it out 🙂
Tiger sharks, Galapagos sharks and hammerhead sharks swim right under our sailboat all night and day long! Isla del Coco National Park is way better than we expected it and we’re glad we took the ‘detour’.
Sailing here was not easy, but that’s part of traveling the world as a live-aboard: Nothing is ever easy!
We jump in and freedive until our lungs couldn’t take it anymore! If you’ve ever been shark diving You’ll understand the thrill!
You want more? Become part of the CREW via PATREON…
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.
My boat was broken into and someone cut my radio cables when he tried to steal my radio. Fortunately the guard caught him just as he was trying to escape and he dropped it. I needed to re-solder the antenna cable, so used this opportunity to make a video to show YOU how.
If you remember in the last episode, we were just about ready to drop the boat back in the water…. BUT (and there’s always a but) the “Biocide-free” paint we used didn’t dry. Ever.
What are we suppose to do now? Sail away? Wait in the boatyard? Start going crazy on the paint manufacturing company? We’ll see. Watch and find out.
We made sure to follow the directions perfectly, but after 27 hours it’s still wet. Damn. So we let her stay up on the trailer for another 5 days while we try to get a refund for the paint, and see if it will ever dry (it didn’t, we got a refund 6 months later).
After we finally splash Zingaro Kimmi is in heaven being out to sea again, and the boat is WAY faster than it had been, and much safer.
We now just need to check out of Costa Rica, and head for the PIRATE ISLAND of Isla Del Coco 🙂
Hope you like the episode!
-James & Kimmi
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…
After sailing all the way to Costa Rica just to find a cheap yard to haul out, they kick us out!?!?! The dude does not abide. What are we going to do now? We need to repair the bottom of the boat and nobody will let us in!!! Well, there’s only one thing to do… We hoist the sails and go SAILING!
James and Kim
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
In this episode we finally got to Costa Rica, so we fill up the diesel tanks (we motored almost the whole way there) with 30gal of petrol and head out to the protected anchorages of Isla Tortuga, Isla Cedros and point Oregano. We do some much-needed surfing, and the fish are jumping in our boat!
Costa Rica was pretty amazing. Really cool parks, clear water at the islands, and FISH. We caught 5 mahi mahi in 1 DAY once. We were throwing them back…
In the next few episodes we’ll take you to Isla Caño, Mercialagoes, and Jaco/Herradura. Stay tuned for the fun!
Thanks, Kimmi, you did a wonderful job with this episode.
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.
Remember the $5k boat? Well the guy that owns that boat came down to get a taste of cruising. This whole episode is about our time together, and at the end he gives us an “exit” interview.
Cleveland records his REAL thoughts before departing and gives YOU guys a heartfelt, no BS description of the two weeks he spent with us cruising southern Panama.
We love ya Cleve! Had a blast with you bud. Good luck on all your future adventures!
Got a bit of everything in this episode. Hope you guys enjoy!!!
James & Kim