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Te Vega – Pacific Crossing FINALE! (pt. 4)

I hope you’ve had fun watching this series. The wind has arrived! Heavy weather sailing, big waves, breaking boats… You’re not going want to be downstairs for this one! Dolphins, whales and seals usher us in as we call land HO!!

It was an awesome experience, the whole thing: the crossing, filming, editing, and producing. I’ve had a couple all-nighters to get these monster videos completed, but honestly it was a blast going through them. I’m laughing right along with you guys.

So, it’s with great pride that I present the finale in the ‘Te Vega’ video series. I really put my heart into these. I’m actually sad that it’s over…

This episode takes us from day 16-21, and arrival to Half Moon Bay. I do a tutorial on the Iridium Go. We figure out a workaround for a broken hydraulic boom vang line. The wind REALLY pipes up and starts breaking stuff. We spot land, and get escorted in my dolphins, whales, and even a pod of sea lions! No joke, that was pretty cool.

More awesomeness to come…

Much love!
James

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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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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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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

Swimming With Sharks and Whales | Season 1 – Ep. 79

Diver kicks and punches sharks to keep them away from the fish he has on his belt. Then, we had no idea this baby humpback whale would swim with us for over an hour! We’re so glad to have caught this moment on camera and be able to share it with all of you!

This episode documents a few very exiting days in Mo’orea. First of all, if you’re not familiar with Mo’orea, it’s the closest island to Tahiti. Approximately 14nm to the west. It really is a paradise. There is something for everyone, but our favorite is the underwater world.

In this video we take a couple locals and few other boaters out on Zingaro for a spearfishing/freediving adventure. While we’re out we have a very close encounter with a group of black tip reef sharks. They are not dangerous, but we still have to train them to not get too close. They are like dogs, you just need to show them who’s in charge and they will behave. We specifically chose this spot for the sharks, as this is a place where the local tour operators all come to feed these guys, therefore guaranteeing a show. We used some of the fish we speared to chum the water. That’s why there are so many.

At the end of the day we saw a pod of whales, and ended up getting a show by the little baby. I can’t tell you how special this footage is. We were in French Polynesia for 4 months, and swam with whales many times, but never had a baby play with us like this again, or for this amount of time. Big props to Rachel Moore on @voyagesofagape for the footage. Check out this link, you’ll dig the pics.

Hope you like it!
James

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

Say Hello to Our New Dinghy! | Season 1 – Ep. 78

In this Zing I episode, we arrive in Tahiti to pick up our new dinghy! The 3.5 meter OC Tender. We named it Nolikī 😉

We have an interview with Russ, the owner/builder of these fantastic boats.

Next we use the OC Tender to give “Sinky” to Katoosh: two brothers who are sailing around the world in a boat they were born on! They lost their rudder while we were buddy boating in the Tuamotus. Please watch the video to hear that story.

Lastly, we travel 14nm to go to the neighboring island of Mo’orea, have a jump-off with some old friends, and pick up a local to travel to the only raised-atoll in French Polynesia: Makatea.

Hope you all enjoy this episode!

Much love!
James

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

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

Diving Deep into the Beauty of Easter Island – Ep. 71

What makes this place so special? And why not everybody comes here?

Anakena – Our Favorite Anchorage

We start this story in the magical land of Anakena. This place has proven to be (and still holds the title) the best anchorage we’ve ever been to. Yes, I said it. Favorite anchorage of all time. Please don’t tell anyone.

“But, James,” you ask, “aren’t all of the anchorages on Easter Island dangerous and rolly?”

When it’s right, it’s right, and brother/sister when this anchorage is calm it is absolutely an amazing place to hang your hook.

If you look closely in the drone shots you can see a very small piece of bright blue water around the boats: that’s the sand. Everything else is coral. Wall-to-wall beautiful coral, with the underwater topography of lava channels, caves, lava tubes, etc. Add that to the 600-900 year old statues towering above and you get this one-of-a-kind location.

While we had the pleasure of staying here, we had a patron come down for a visit and bring us a new autopilot! Thanks Rick!! You rock brother! By the time we got him back to the boat it was time to scoot around to the eastern anchorage of Tongariki.

15 Moai in Tongariki

Tongariki is one of the coolest places on Rapa Nui. With it’s 15 Moai it also holds the title of the most statues in any one location. The scenery here is equally amazing, as you’ll see. The volcano you see behind the statue is the quarry they are made from. We’ll dive into that on a different occasion.

Then it was on to fixing the autopilot… They say cruising is “fixing your boat in exotic locations” and we definitely put that into practice. But, at the end of the day, after many hours of consulting, drawing, and planning – we’ve got a solid plan to get our autopilot back up and running better than ever!

Hope you love this one!

Much love
Kim & James

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

A Day in the Life of Cruisers on Rapa Nui – Ep. 70

We finally make it on land in Rapa Nui! If you ever get the chance to go here, please do. It was a magical place. A bit difficult to have a boat, but the people, the food, and the ambiance was amazing.

Definitely a hard place to get provisions on a sailboat. After they close the harbor we need to change anchorages, entering through big swell and surf only to hitchhike the 4 miles to get some fruit and vegetables.

We visit the port captain for another cruiser, and show you around Hanga Roa. Hope you like Rapa Nui!

Stay safe and healthy!

James & Kim

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Rapa Nui – A Difficult Island for Sailors | Ep. 69

Is it worth sailing here? A couple of days after our arrival at Rapa Nui (Easter Island) we realize that the stories about this island were true: Little protection for sailboats and dangerous harbor entrances for dinghies make it a very difficult destination for cruisers.

We still weren’t able to leave Zingaro

When we woke up on day three, the wind had changed to the north and forced everybody to move from Hanga Roa to the other side of the island. We raised the anchor and our sails and got on our way to the southern side of Easter Island. Was the trip to this remote island worth the trouble?

Watch to find out!

Hope you enjoy, much love
James & Kim

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Arriving to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) – Ep. 68

  • We could smell the land from 20nm out.
  • We had been out to sea for 18 days… 2500nm.
  • We had been hand steering for the final 24 hours.
  • It was worth every bit of trouble.

Three weeks on the Pacific Ocean, all by ourselves, we were fantasizing about a couple different things: Salad with yoghurt dressing and beer on the top of the list.

So close, yet so far: Stuck on our sailboat after our Pacific crossing

When we thought we could enjoy the benefits of being back in civilization as soon as we dropped our anchor, we thought wrong. The immigration procedure at first and finally our own equipment kept us from going ashore for another three days after our arrival.

We appreciated the beauty of the island, observing it from a distance and went diving off of our boat. The stoke of having it made to Rapa Nui, the island furthest away from civilization, was real.

We hope you enjoy our arrival to Rapa Nui. It was one of the best, coolest, and amazing passages we’ve ever taken, and hands down both of our favorite place we’ve ever anchored.

<3 Much love everyone! Hope this finds you all safe and healthy <3

James & Kim

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Sailing to Easter Island (part 3) – Ep. 67

In this video we’re slowly but steadily making our way to the remote Easter Island, we’re dealing with the autopilot and the very moody weather underway. It’s interesting how quickly the conditions can change.

One Minute you’re sailing along nicely and the next you are being chased by a storm and soon after you lose the wind altogether and drift for a whole night.

All that to say that on one passage, you come across many, very different oceans. But see for yourselves in our latest and  l o n g e s t  episode.

Much love from the Zingaro Crew, we hope You enjoy this video!

James & Kim

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

Sailing to Easter Island (pt. 2 ) | Sailing Zingaro Ep. 66

In this episode we find out exactly, what happens when you lose your autopilot 500nm out to sea on the way to the most remote inhabited island in the world.

In a phrase: You keep going!

But that doesn’t mean that we needed to hand steer the whole time. Please watch to find out what we did, and how far we made it towards this amazing place called Easter Island.

Hope you enjoy!

James & Kim

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

From Ecuador to Easter Island – Ep. 65

We’re BACK AT IT! In this episode we provision and start our 2500 nautical mile sail. We leave Ecuador bound for Easter Island (Rapa Nui)!

This will be, by far, the longest passage we’ve ever undertaken. We meet a cable ship and lose our autopilot 450nm out to sea!

Check out this cool episode, hope you love it.

Thank you all for helping keep this dream alive!

Much love,

James & Kim

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Season 2 - New Boat

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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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

How to Live on a Cruising Sailboat. Happily. – Ep. 64

I made this Episode more documentary style and longer than usual. It’s about how to stay sane while sailing around the world and why having fun should be on your to do list!

Only Beer and Bikinis?

The boat will not, I repeat, WILL NOT give you a break from work. Trust me on this one. When you sail around the world, whether solo or in a team, you have to remember to take time out of your schedule to enjoy the reasons you went on this exceptional journey in the first place. It is just as much your duty to keep the boat afloat & safe as it is to keep yourself mentally sound.

This is why in this fabulous video, we as a travel couple are documenting what a healthy working-life-balance looks like when cruising. We don’t always manage to balance work and fun this well. This week we spend in Ecuador sailing around with Ryan was everything we strive for everyday we’re out there.

Lots of Love from Hawai’i
Kim & James

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Someone Please Take this Girl Sailing! – Ep. 61

Due to our passage from Tahiti to Kiritimati (Christmas Island) it’s been quite awhile since we’ve been able to upload anything, but here’s the next installment in the Zingaro saga!

It’s rare on a cruising boat to use it for day-sailing, but after a disastrous livestream we pop open the gennaker and take Zingaro for a play day in the bay of Manta, Ecuador. Come join us for some how-to on the asymmetrical spinnaker and fun on the water!

Every once in a while it’s nice to take a break from the hustle and have a little fun. Do us a favor: Go out and have a bit of fun yourselves. 😉

Much love!

James & Kim

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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

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Episodes - Season 1 Videos

Humboldt Current Crossing – Cruising Ecuador (Ep. 59)

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

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Videos

Upload: Sailing Zingaro Live from Mo’orea

Livestream from a cyber cafe in Mo’orea (French Polynesia). It’s going to be about our time in Ecuador (where we are in the Episodes). We’re talking about sailing plans and attaining 50K subs on YouTube, plus some special announcements!

Wait where this channel will take you next… 🙂

All the best from Mo’orea, we wish You a great weekend!

James & Kim