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prep for pacific ocean crossing

Prepping For The Pacific Passage – Biggest Sailing Adventure Of Our Lives!

It’s nuts I tell you, nuts!  We’re on the home stretch, the final days before we take off on the biggest sailing adventure of our lives.  We’re going to sail across the Pacific Ocean!

Caffeine consumption is at an all-time high.  We’ve been planning and preparing for a while and yet, our to-do list just keeps growing longer.  Preparing the boat and ourselves for a 3,500 nautical mile ocean crossing is no joke and honestly a daunting task for a couple of newbies.

I remember the sleepless night before our first big hurrah, which was sailing across the gulf stream.  I was too excited to sleep, like it was the first day of school and if I closed my eyes I would somehow miss it. It felt like such a big deal at the time, but now it seems like a walk in the park compared to the adventure ahead.

We’ve probably gone over the pacific voyage a hundred times in our head and talked through a bazillion “what if” scenarios.

Our longest passages so far have been around 800 nautical miles; approximately six days at sea.  Our crossing to French Polynesia will be anywhere from 20-30 days.  Ya know, only four times longer…gulp.

We’re not afraid or scared, that isn’t the emotion at all.  It’s the nervous excitement that comes before any big adventure.  And this is the biggest, longest, most remote, self-reliant adventure we’ve ever taken on.  It feels like a big leap, a qualifying round that if successful, leads to a whole new world of possibilities.

It’s going to be just the two of us and the sea.

It’s okay, we’re underway!

The past month has been a tough one for us.  Our stress levels have been all over the map with all the boat projects, banking issues and emotional farewells.  To be completely honest, we were on the verge of burnout trying to make it all happen and keep up with our regular workload.  Because there is nothing like a little stress to make the smallest hurdles feel like Mt. Everest.  So, this departure was extra sweet.

I don’t know how to put into words the sense of relief, freedom and concentrated satisfaction that comes from watching the land slowly disappear.  As we turned west and set sail towards the setting sun, it felt like the end of one novel and the beginning of another.

preparing for the pacific passage

There is a lot that goes into preparing for a long ocean voyage.  Float plans, routing, weather, emergency go-bag, provisions, safety gear, medical kits, boat maintenance, visas… It’s far more than I can squeeze into this post.  But, if you are interested in knowing how we went about something specific, drop us a note in the comment box below.

furry supervisors

One of my general favorite resources so far has been Captain Fatty.  His book, Cruising Boat Basics gives a realistic overview of the lifestyle and things to consider.  It’s just good, practical, useful information for any sailor looking to sail about the world.  Thanks Fatty!   See the book here: https://amzn.to/2vhGyW4

sailing oceans

Watermaker Woes

We like our water maker, but it is over ten years old.   Running into problems is never fun, but it’s understandable.  Our high pressure pump failed and needed a rebuild.  It’s not a difficult job…but another one of those tasks that is more challenging the first time round.  Hopefully we won’t need to do that again for another ten years but if we do…should be a snap.

Alternator Belt & Battery Charger

We knew it was time to replace the alternator belt (what a pain that day and a half was) but we hadn’t anticipated the low battery.  Sooo happy we purchased a battery charger (it works for AGM, Lead Acid and our lithium batteries) and we definitely recommend having one on board. Here is our battery charger:  https://amzn.to/2OJRbJ4

preparing for an ocean passage

The sailor way:  If it doesn’t work, make it work.  Creativity is king.

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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (34)

  • Prayers for your safety and a great big HOWDY from us here in Nashville! I’m Dixie born and bred. I’ve never traveled, so I find your videos exhilarating beyond explanation. The beauty defies description and takes my breath away.

    Y’all be safe. You’re in my prayers and Nikki, please give that young man some hot buttered biscuits and fried chicken. I’m afraid a big wind will snatch him right off of that boat.

    Love from Nashville…

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  • Hello from Wise County Texas! (Bridgeport to be exact!) I’ve been following you guys since your RV days and just wanted to thank you for bringing a little adventure and inspiration to my mornings! Best of luck to two of the bravest people I don’t actually “know” but it sure feels like I do! Happy Trails and Sail on!

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  • As a specialist vee belt reseller in Australia, I noted your frustration with the selection of fan belts for your replacement. In future, if you ask for a Dayco 13A1155 (17455 imperial no) or Gates 13A1155 (9455 imperial no), these belts are better suited for drives off a crankshaft applications, instead of the A43 etc Industrial sizing belts that you used.
    The size 13A1155 is halfway between a A43 and A44 sizing (13A series is just 13mm wide across the top and 1155 mm long next size up ) these belts come in smaller increment to the industrial A43 etc, series
    the next size up is 5mm longer at 13A1160 then 10mm longer at 13A1170 etc
    an auto spare parts shop normally carry this range of belts.
    Trust that will assist you in the future, great to provide any more technical info if you require
    Safe travels and keep up the great videos etc

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  • Roger Elmes

    PS. Long océan passages can be very relaxing and fulfilling, interspersed with periodic challenges (sometimes fingernail stretching). But what a great senes of achievement. Ay the wind be mostly at your back or at least abaft the beam and may you arrive rested, renewed and relaxed.

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  • Sleep, patience, checking for chaffing and other wear and tear, cotter pins secure etc. Enjoy the experience – it’s just a sequence of 800 mile passages and you have already done at least one of those. No rocks to hit enroute and hopefully no containers. Patience, sleep and persistence.

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  • Jeff

    For Jason,
    Re: Episode – Panamania 02: Nassau to George Town (Sailing Curiosity).
    My Dear Friend,
    13:57 in the video, you said you had struggled to beautifully and poetically express the majesty of the Oceans and Mother Nature, you wonderful man, you already do so with your videos. I have been binging your series on YouTube and I’ve gotten as far as Panamania 02 and the story that Nikki and You tell, the story of how you took to the sea for the experiences, has certainly covered it thus far. There is a romance to taking to the sea, in pursuit of beautiful sunsets, the colors, even the long talk moments are now reflected in the painting in my mind. My memory of the sea is like an old black and white photograph, it was fading, but your videos brought not just the photograph back, but gave it color and depth.

    Thank you, you two, I may not have sailed with you but I still feel like part of the crew.

    Cheers!
    Jj

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  • Joan Paucek

    Jason and Nikki, safe travels on your journey. Your videos are amazing and up lifting. Looking forward to future videos. God Bless.

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  • Rahul

    Good luck & have a safe journey

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  • Michael Magill

    What a informative video, thank you you two very much. Love getting your videos each week with the details of what was happening, and how you made your boat ready for the 20-30 day sail across the Pacific Ocean, it won’t be easy, and there maybe blips along the way, but Nikki and Jason , you will make it and we will be watching and cheering you both as you make it across, Safe travel and no storms for you. My one question is that if yo had not gone now you would have to wait a year to try again, can you explain why? Have a safe trip!!

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    • Curious Minion

      Hey Michael. Basically, half the year is good weather for making the crossing, and half is cyclone or hurricane season. You do NOT want to get caught by a cyclone in open seas in a 43′ sailboat.

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  • Alan Solomon

    Hey Guys,
    Another great video detailing your journey to your next port. I am really excited for you. I gain knowledge and learn sailing skills from your videos. I look forward to your next video.
    I hope you can find reception out there in case of emergency and for future videos?
    I wasn’t sure but, I thought I heard Nikki say that there is a problem with your water maker. I hope not?
    Safe Travels and Happy Sailing Throughout…

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  • JOHN SCHRETLEN

    The drove footage at the very beginning was beautiful. Said it before but thanks again for providing Patreon subscribers with the GPS data link. It was fun and exciting to follow your daily progress.

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  • Bill

    Thanks for sharing your adventure. Thinking of your safety and your experience daily.

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  • Rhonda Calhoon

    So exciting! Can’t wait for your next post.
    Safe travels,
    Rhonda

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  • Michael David Williams

    Amazing, Brave, Strong, Tough……etc. You are awesome!! We are so impressed and proud of you both. I wish we could be there. Makes my heart jump even though I know you made it across, but what a leap! BIG NADS!! Love it! You are wonderful and inspiring.

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  • Jim Evans

    Thanks for sharing your adventures! A couple weeks back I watched everyone of your videos and caught up to where you are now. Your style of writing and the videos you edit our wonderful entertainment, and again thank you. Have safe journeys and can’t wait to see how it all turns out when you get to the Marquesas!

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  • I watched the video and the belt change. While I’m not a professional mechanic, my Dad was and I’ve done a lot of engine maintenance and repair. Seeing all the rubber ‘dust’ doesn’t seem normal. Maybe the pulleys are misaligned or the alternator bearings are starting seize. Please keep a watchful eye out on that belt. It might need a belt sooner then you think.

    The two of your are great. I could never attempt what the two of you are doing.

    Good luck and safe travels around the world.

    Eric

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  • Roger Gale

    I enjoy your travelogue, have fun and be safe.

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  • Sean Balsamello

    Love following your adventure! Safe passage!

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  • Tammy Bjugson

    You guys are amazing!! Love your videos! Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your big adventure ahead!

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  • Brian D

    Congratulations on your major crossing Nikki & Jason! You have accomplished so much in your time as sailors! I’d be interested in your ditch bag preparations in an upcomg episode if time allows. I think you have a ditch raft as well but can’t recall for certain. What situations did you “what if” and walk thru in your preparations? Of course having the kitty’s aboard adds to the prep in the event of a ditch. We cruise with our lab and have talked through what to do but nothing like a 3500 mile crossing!

    Thank you both again for sharing your adventures as they are informative and entertaining! Fair winds and calm seas! Brian, Leslie & Skipper

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  • Bill Kline

    My grandmother used to say

    Use it up
    Wear it out
    Make it do, or
    Do without.

    Good advice for RVers and sailors.

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  • Jeff

    Safe voyage and looking forward to your blogs!

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  • Donald V Ambrose

    Safe journey. The finest travel videos on the web. Thank you for all your work.

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  • Janice

    Good Luck! Wishing you fare winds and swift currents in the direction you want to go!

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  • Loni Alexander

    Each and every blog post and video upload you do, you inspire me. We are set to hit the road soon in our Travel Trailer within a few months. Currently selling off stuff, selling the house, business etc. We are older than you both but I still find that I learn from you both and you help me find the confidence in myself I need. So thank you.

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  • Chuck Maurice

    Traveling mercies, from the Supreme Architect of the Universe…….Stay safe !

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  • Brian

    I must say, Jason your mechanical skills have come a long way since you first started RVing. I remember an early video where you mentioned your lack of skills and now you’re changing belts, rebuilding pumps, way to go. Both of you have an attitude of we can get it done. As always, love your videos, looking forward to the “ocean crossing” video, which I assume will be up next. Happy Sailing.

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  • Pam McClure

    Wonderful.

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  • Connie Woods

    Have a good passage! I may not be on here much lately but you can beat I think of you guys all the time with Big Love always! I’m really excited for this passage !! ❤❤❤

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  • Lynda Polk

    Wishing you a beautiful and safe sail! – OjaiLynda

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  • Noah Hurry

    I’ve been following your travels since your first RV days and knew you were getting ready to cross the Pacific soon so when I saw the hurricane path heading your way I was worried. I’m glad to see, according to your map location, you made it safely to Moorea. Thank goodness.

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  • Ashley

    Can you tell me more about your food prep for that many days? Did you get close to running out of food?

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  • Jeremy Tria

    Nikki,
    Thanks once again for the great story of your adventure. The troubles you experience and the lessons you learn are great information for me as one of your viewers. Good luck in your adventures, stay safe, and have a great time.
    Jeremy

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