The Final Provisioning Push


Spencer wasn’t sure if our rum stash was adequate so he decided to bring a personal addition. just kidding.


Two days to departure! Here’s how we are getting the ship stocked up for the trip… 


We’ve done 98% of our provisioning, which includes a huge amount of shelf stable food in our pantry. The local supermarket in Puerto Ayora (the town in Santa Cruz island of Galapagos) was quite good and we got 3 shopping carts worth of food. This supplements the 4 shopping carts of food from Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador. 


all the food items need to be migrated into plastic bins for storage


Aboard Aldebaran we’ve got many kilograms of pasta, rice, flour, granola, and everything else you can imagine, all carefully stored in containers in different bins, or vacuum bags to prevent bugs and moisture. Organizing all this is a huge project in itself which Sabrina has been mastering. 

All that is left… on Saturday morning 6am we’ll buy fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market and then get underway!! 

Oh yes, we also need to buy another case of wine – we discovered we can stack the boxed wine cartons under the beds 



Along the way, we make water for drinking with our small capacity watermaker (1.5gallons per hour, running off our 12volt batteries) but we don’t like to run it inside harbors like Puerto Ayora. Unfortunately there are sooo many ships here running generators that the water smells like diesel. 


we’re hoping to catch lots of rainwater. A lot easier than carting around heavy jugs of water!


Recall there is no dock here in Galapagos to tie up to and fill water. So the main option is to pay a water taxi to bring us water, which costs about $50 for 100 gallons. 


We collect water from friendly tourist boats with these 5 gallon jugs. underway we keep these for our drinking water only


Instead we learned a trick from our buddies Diego and Carolina who live on a sailboat in San Cristobal: going to all the tourist cruise boats asking for water. They have massive watermakers with multiple filters and enough water to pressure wash their decks, so we ask them for 15 gallons at a time. With her sweet smile Sabrina asked all the boats here in the harbor and filled 100 gallons of water to top off our 140 gallon tank. Awesome! 

We estimate this will last us about a month for 4 crew member, with just over 1 gallon per day, which is kinda skimpy! The way we pull this off is by using a lot of salt water – to wash dishes, bathe ourselves, even for some limited cooking – and then do a final short rinse with fresh water. 

 We hope to catch some rainwater along the way with our new cockpit roof, and we’ll make a little surplus water whenever we are motoring and using our watermaker… although that is a very slow process.


I’m not sure how long our 135 gallons of diesel will last, theoretically it can move us about 900 nautical miles. Our total distance to Gambier is close to 3000 nautical miles! Thankfully we are crossing the SE trade wind belt which is one of the most consistent breeze areas in the world, so we expect to arrive with plenty of diesel, in fact enough to get us to Marquesas (another 900 miles). 


we purchased a few cheap fuel jugs for diesel just for the passage, and since the diesel in mainland Ecuador was so cheap ($1.50/gal delivered; whereas in Galapagos it’s $3/gallon delivered)


We’re also bringing 20 gallons of gasoline for our dinghy and scuba compressor, which are efficient engines, and will hopefully be easier to replenish along the way…


Bob hanging out at the end of the rainbow on Isabela Island


The last “flammable” item is propane for cooking, which we have 2 big bottles worth (16lbs each). This is a tricky one as the propane fill in French Polynesia has unusual fittings, and it might be awhile before we’re able to fill those back up. Yet, those two large bottles should last us a little more than two months. 

We’re crossing the Pacific!

Approximate wind pattern expected across the Pacific… we’ll be sailing south into the trade wind belt (E-SE winds) and crossing into the latitudes of Pitcairn and Gambier, where the winds are more variable, before heading back north towards Marquesas.Only 10 days to departure on our  biggest passage ever, across the Pacific Ocean, almost 2700 miles!  Follow us on our Blog by subscribing on this link.

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Departure from Ecuador and 1001 Projects


Our last days in Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador. Aldebaran is at the end of the rainbow (on the far right)!

The engine alarm on our sailboat Aldebaran went off as we went around the rivermouth of Bahia Caraquez, in just 7 feet of water: Brrrreeeehhhhh!!!!! One glance at the engine gauges showed me it was overheating. What?!?

I shut down the engine. It was a terrible spot to be adrift: downwind just 200 yards was the beach with little waves, and to boot, the tide would start dropping soon.

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Provisions for the Pacific Ocean

breakfast huevosFarewell Bahia Caraquez! After spending 5 months in port, we were finally leaving. The boat motored at our usual clip of 6 knots — despite an extra ton of food onboard!  Aldebaran was full of provisions for 12 months of sailing in the Pacific. There was food (and rum!) in every compartment. How did we fit all that grub in the boat? How do we plan to feed ourselves, and deal with the exorbitant food costs of French Polynesia?

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New Cockpit Roof!

img_6606Ahh the tropics. So wonderful with their crystal clear warm waters. But there’s also lots rain and terrible heat. And ironically, it is hard to fill your water tank when there are no docks to drive your boat to. Here’s how we are trying to solve all these problems on our sailboat Aldebaran, with one new item: the bimini hard top (aka our new roof).

And we’re departing today! Follow our 5 day passage to Galapagos on Facebook

(If you’re here later, see our sat messenger)

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Mooring the Boat: our experience in Nicaragua and Ecuador, Part 1


Old School Tractors… this how some of the locals dragged their pangas up the beach in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua, where we moored the boat last year. This year, we kept Aldebaran in Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador.

As I buckled my seatbelt on the plane towards Quito, I wondered: how is the boat doing after four months in Ecuador? I prayed nothing went wrong or got stolen — we are planning to leave on our big ocean crossings to Galapagos and French Polynesia this February, so setbacks would be a bummer…  Here’s what I discovered when I got back to the boat — and a comparison with mooring the boat in Nicaragua the year before.

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From Seahorses to Uprooted Lives: Cruising with a Cause

The solar light recipients at Albuergue "Fuerza Sucre" - thanks to !

A few of the solar light recipients at Albuergue “Fuerza Sucre” – thanks to

From our sailboat, the city looked bombed, as if gone through a war. Seven story buildings are cracked in half. Concrete is fractured like massive stitches in wounded white elephants. We sailed into this dystopian landscape – resort beach town meets mayhem – which is the entrance to Bahia Caraquez, mainland Ecuador. Our trimaran Aldebaran was armed with a shipment of solar lights to give away to people living in tent camps, homeless from the massive earthquake of April 16, 2016.  Continue reading

Bringing Solar Lights to Ecuador’s Earthquake victims


Four months after the earthquake in Bahia Caraquez, where we plan to moor Aldebaran from September-January, hundreds of inhabitants are still homeless and have to live in the emergency structures called “albergues”.  The coastal town was 60% destroyed by the April earthquake (see NBC videos or BBC pictures).  Continue reading