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27 February 2010

Tsunami and the Wild Tigris-Feb 27,2010

San Cristobal, Sat Feb 27th noon--

We were awoken at 6 a.m. to panic. Marine report had just may-dayed us that an 8.8 earthquake had hit Santiago, 1500 miles to our south east, and a titanic tsumani was expected to start radiated out towards us.

Our first non-coffee fueled thought was to head for the top of the volcano ridge, the highest point on the island. We slammed whatever we could grab into bags....but then, shaking off last nights local "Big Beers" and rum and tonics, we gathered some logic.

Amid wild reports of a 131 foot wave headed our way, calm caption Sean, cranked up the engine, and we fled out to sea. If we reached water deeper than 225 feet, theoretically the Tsunami wave should pass under us as a large powerful mass of water, rather than catching us like a giant surfboard and splintering us on shore.

The race was on.

As we headed out into the rougher seas, friends and family called in with the best news available; the radio reports periodically blasted the warnings that the entire coast of S. America was being evacuated, and Robinson Crusoe Island, far to our south, was bracing for destruction.

Amazingly, in this day of super speed info and technology, we could not get an accurate report of when our danger window would occur, and how potentially devastating the Tsunami would be. Incoming media reports were very discouraging and fear mongering.

With all of us and the crew on deck, surrounded by our water bags, and any immediate supplies that we thought would be useful, we waited, scanning the sea and not knowing really what an incoming tsunami wave would look like in the middle of an ocean.

Then after two plus hours of steaming out to sea, we received very welcome news--the 131 foot wave was now reduced to an 8 foot wave hitting Crusoe, the Equadorian Govt was lifting the Tsunami Warning, and Sugar had brought lots of chilled champagne!

So the moral of this story: Don't pop your cork when everything seems against you! Wait for the appropriate time!

Thanks to all who helped us by sending the best info available. It was pretty harrowing being 550 miles off the coast, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on board a "liferaft," and not knowing whether to fear for our lives and prepare for survival, or relax and realize that the danger was diminishing.

22 February 2010

In the Galapagos Islands...

...until March 7th.

The Wild Ones will be hanging out in and touring around the Galapagos for the next two weeks or so; look for updates shortly before the boat leaves for the long leg to Hiva Oa in French Polynesia.

- the web gremlin

20 February 2010

Flying Squid!

We woke to finding we have been visited by the flying calamaries last night. Three black eyed beauties staring up at us from the deck.

Johan landed the biggest one,(4 inches) he found it in his head this morning... hmmm, one wonders what Johan was up to last night to attract one that size.

Casey stepped on one in the galley during his early morning watch. He assumed it was the wild ones who planted it just for tricks.

But no, unfortunitly we aren't that clever. The girls slept in during
their watches.

Apparently, squid are attracted to light, so that explains why the sea birds were having a grand time around the boat last night. In the biblical sense the squid were "approaching the light."

52 miles to San Cristobal, Galapagos.

01 06.960 S

88 41.870 W

10:51 AM Wild Tigris time

- Hollie

19 February 2010

Half way to Galapagos

218 miles on the first 24 hours to Galapagos or 9.08 knots average. Full genoa and main with engine at 10.5 to 14.5 engine revs. Hit the half way mark at 11:38 am this morning. 199.3 miles to go at this writing.

Many birds today wish we had a bird book of the pacific so we can tell what they are. One white bird with a long tail was most enchanting. Lots of movement on the water. Lots of fish jumping almost looks like circular patterns with the small fish in the middle looks like a fishing frenzy. More fish jumping out of the water than ever on the Atlantic. Ocean swells coming from the north and the south so the sea is confused but the boat is handling it beautifully.

Our first small rain storm with the wind going in a clockwise direction at 1 degrees 30 minutes South. The local low pressure systems in the northern hemisphere always go clockwise and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. Joke, good thing we changed the compasses to the southern magnetic pole type.

01 24.005 S

86 15.401 W

6:50 PM Wild Tigris Time...


18 February 2010

On our way to Galapagos!

...After finally getting cleared from mainland Ecuador - which did not happen until 8:30 pm last night. Anchor was up at 7:15 am, we are on our way to the Galapagos. The 570 miles should take us about 3 days.

First fish on the line was around 9 am, a mahi mahi which we let go - Johan wants tuna!

We had a great visit with an old high school buddy in Quito, Ecuador after not seeing each other for forty years.

Many things were fixed in La Libertad and the boat is ready for the long trip to the Marquesas.

02 07.608 S

81 11.830 W

9:40 Wild Tigris time


11 February 2010

Sailing over the equator with King Neptune

This morning we reached the equator at 7:41.

As we were toasting each other having finally reached the Southern Hemisphere, unsuspected, out of the deep blue sea came King Neptune!

His eyes were fierce and fiery. He wore a silver crown and carried an enormous trident. His laugh sent tremors through all!

"I demand all of you pay respect to my kingdom!" he growled. Forcing us to sit on the deck and drink his blood from his chalice (the blender).

The blood-red drink was vile. Sophia, being a strong Swedish gal, drank the foul liquid in one gulp. Captain Sean complained it was quite chunky. The rest of us banished it over the side.

"You will give an offering!" King Neptune roared as he pulled out scissors, cutting a lock of hair from everyone and throwing it into the sea. No one was spared.

"Now that you have been initiated into my Kingdom, let's have pancake breakfast!" Somehow that meant using us as the frying pan. Without giving all the gory details, first there was flour, then milk, sugar, and the final step was cracking an egg on top of each one of us. Normally we would have gone for a swim, but Neptune decide he did not want to save us from drowning.

Apparently this was a "milked down" variety of King Neptune's visit. A Norwegian version of King Neptune's visitation has the first timers drink a shot of diesel fuel - which ruins the rest of your day. The shaving of all first timers is a normal event. Puking is the rule of the day for first timers. And of course the crew can now wear an earring in their left ear as proof of their having sailed past the equator.

The Ecuadorean coast is beautiful, with tall rock cliffs and tall sand dunes coming down into the ocean. Small fishing boats are even out miles off the coast. All in all a perfect day on the Wild Thing!!!

17:00 local time

01 17.541 S

80 54.745 W


10 February 2010

Captain's blog, 2 deg15 mins North

Wild Tigris and co. are currently slipping south at close to 10kts with the help of the El Nino current (and a 190hp Mercedes diesel engine!), a warm southerly current that gives its name to what has become a much larger effect. We have just over 265Nm to go and with the help of El Nino, should be in Puerto Lucia Yacht Club tomorrow evening.

With less than 135Nm to the Equator, we are becoming increasingly bombarded with Casey's 'What if...' theories with regards to minimizing the effects of King Neptune's visit. Over a delicious lunch of Ravioli and chopped salad, he proposed launching the tender and driving it across alone; swimming across; and several other hairbrained ideas before it hit him. King Neptune is all alone against five strong, healthy individuals. With this simple realisation, the dynamic onboard has changed dramatically and now for the first time in centuries of nautical exploration, King Neptune is sweating in his sailing boots!

"The beating will continue until morale improves"

09 February 2010

Fish for dinner...... :-)

Yesterday finally, Wild Tigris managed to cut the umbilical cord which is known to most other people as Flamenco Marina in Panama City after fueling up and some last minute provisioning... We were off like a prom dress...

Panama City with all its shopping malls, nightlife and activities disappeared behind us and we set course for Ecuador. The fishing rod came out straight away and after an hour we had hooked 4 Spanish mackerel, none of them deemed big enough for dinner so they won their freedom.

The wild ones set course 190 degrees true and after battling for "real state" with some very big cargo ships in the southern approaches to the panama canal we had a very calm Pacific Ocean in front of us, I guess that's why it's called the pacific...

This morning (Tuesday) started with a strike on the fishing rod and the "temporary swede" (not Sofia...) landed a 1,29 m long, 13kg (26lbs for non metric readers) Dorado which promptly became 2 nice fillets. At lunchtime we had another strike, an appr. 6' sailfish decided to take the bate and fortunately managed to unhook himself right behind the boat, because we didn't want that monster on deck...

Apart from fishing, reading and eating, everybody seems to have adopted Mr. N's philosophy... "stay shady"... Temperature is way above 30 degrees C (86F) and the equatorial sun is cooking us badly...

As I wrote this, Heidi managed to reel in another monster Dorado, this one 1,32m and 13kg (26lbs), unfortunately the hook was so far down we couldn't unhook her, so she's being filleted as we speak, Heidi's only comment was "I'm speechless". According to reliable sources it is the biggest fish she ever caught (I guess she doesn't count Casey then...).

The conclusion is: al is well with the wild ones, we're motoring along with a light breeze aft of the beam, and a nice 1 knot current from behind, we have 337 nautical miles to the Equator where according to rumours, King Neptune is lurking....

Pos. 17.00 (local time)

05 dgr 30' North

80 dgr West

480 nm to Salinas Ecuador...

Posted by JL
a.k.a "the temporary swede"

05 February 2010

Las Perlas Islands (Contadora island)

The Wild Ones have been neglecting the blog for a while. Please forgive us!

We have been in Flamenco Marina waiting for parts...That didn't arrive.

On Wednesday the 3rd of Feb. we left for Las Perlas islands. (Leaving Flamenco at high tide so as to not run aground unlike the Dreamcatcher the day before...)

We motor/sailed the 35 miles to Contodora Island - on the way south we saw about 40 to 50 Dolphins leaping 6 to 8 feet in the air, playing with us. Also 4 whales, many blows and one fluke.

Found a great anchorage off the end of the airstrip of the island, so once again we have a good view of the little planes landing and dodging the masts.

While in Panama we got a new 4 stroke/25 horse motor for the dinghy. New motor runs great, the donut has been eaten!

Yesterday, took a spin around Contadora in the dinghy. Planning on taking the dinghy to the island to explore and enjoy some refreshments today!

Tomorrow heading back to Panama to collect people and things for our trip down to Ecuador.

08 36.156 N

78 59.455 W

12:30 Local time