40 Days and 40 Nights

We are finally putting together a few videos of our first season cruising! Here is the first one Josh has made of our time refitting Agape before beginning our journey around the world. It ended up taking forty days on the hard to finish most of the work we wanted to get done before leaving. Josh quit his job two months before our planned departure date in order to work on the boat full time. We hauled out in the Ventura Yacht Yard, but with the help of our friends and family we were able to complete the majority of the work ourselves.

To see more of our current adventures sailing in Central America follow us on instagram @voyagesofagape.

Finally Saying Goodbye

It’s been several months since we’ve left home and waved goodbye to our family and friends. The days are flying by, faster than they ever have before…

The last few months before leaving were a mad dash to get Agape ready for cruising. We were burnt out and exhausted after a 45 day refit in the boat yard, working 10-12 hour days, then we still had to provision the boat and make time to say goodbye to our family and friends. I don’t think we’ve ever been so physically, mentally and emotionally spent.

I had been trying to prepare myself for the emotional aspect of leaving, but the last two months at home there was little space in our lives to process all that was
happening. When the day came, and our family and friends waved us off, my heart was so overwhelmed with emotions. Six years of dreaming, planning, working and saving had finally culminated to this one moment and it all seemed so surreal. We were standing on our boat, looking up at the ones we love most and were waving goodbye, for who knows how long…

Team Agape!

Leaving to go cruising was all we had wanted the last six years. We had dreamed of that moment for so long, to finally push off the dock and head south to warmer waters, but I didn’t realize saying goodbye was going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We were looking forward to slowing down and enjoying each others company, to playing in the ocean and making new memories, but it was sad to think that we be doing life without our friends and family by our sides.

Looking back one last time at everyone waving goodbye, and thinking of all those who came to our going away party, filled our hearts with so much joy and we knew we were supported and loved, and as scary as it was leaving everything behind, we knew we always had the best part of our lives to come back to.

Sailing away from our home town.
My handsome captain.

Photo by Griffen Turner!
Friends following us out to wave us off.

That first night we sailed out to Santa Cruz Island under a magnificent super moon. It was a pretty rough sail and we were bashing into a head wind the whole way out with waves breaking over the bow. I was pretty seasick and Josh had to cook up a simple dinner. Luckily we got to the lee side of the island and were able to anchor in Smugglers Cove under the bright light of the moon. In the morning the wind and seas had calmed down and we continued our sail south to Marina Del Rey, where I’d work two more days before we could officially start our voyage to MEXICO! It was a beautiful morning and we had a great spinnaker run past the islands, followed by a school of dolphins for almost an hour.

Sailing past Anacapa Island. Photo by Ben Brue.
Jacuzzi and margaritas with one of our best friends, Joey Hernandez.

Two of our best friends, Ryan and Melissa Swan, came to wave us off the dock in LA and we headed out for my first overnighter. It was a pretty uneventful evening and I felt confident on my watches, as the sun rose and we pulled into the San Diego harbor we were greeted by one of our oldest friends, Joey Hernandez. We enjoyed a few days catching up with family and friends, stocked up on fresh food and even had our first big scare of the trip while we were anchored in Glorietta Bay, a beautiful and protected anchorage within the San Diego harbor.

After years of anchoring at the Channel Islands with unprotected, rolly anchorages we were amazed at how still we were anchored in the bay, it felt like we were back at the dock. The anchorage is marked by large yellow buoys and was full with boats visiting for the weekend. We let out our normal 5 to 1 scope, but later pulled it into 3 to 1 to avoid getting too close to the marker boys or other boats anchored around us. It was fine until the third night when a storm rolled through. We could hear the wind picking up and the rain pouring down as we went to bed, then I woke to a loud banging noise that I’ve never heard before. I made Josh get up to check on what it was, thinking we had swung around and were hitting the marker buoy. Josh reluctantly got up to check, not wanting to go out in the rain in the middle of the night. He quickly returned and in a surprisingly calmly voice, told me to put some clothes and come out because we were dragging anchor. I leapt out of bed and ran up the companion way steps to see Josh gunning the engine as we were just a few feet from hitting a large aluminum sailboat.

Agape anchored in Glorietta Bay.

Luckily we had kept the key in the ignition! We literally could have jumped off our wind vane to the deck of the other boat! The engine being thrown into gear so close to the other boat woke their captain and he came up to ask if everything was ok as we motored away, again Josh responded calmly, “Just dragged anchor a bit!”.

I then got behind the wheel to keep us pointed into the wind while Josh raised the anchor. Problem number one, I can’t see at night, especially without my glasses. Once he got the anchor up, I had to have him take the wheel so I could go down below to grab my glasses. Problem number two… wearing glasses in the pouring rain, at night, with 35 knots of wind, I couldn’t see anything anyways!!

As I steered us into position to drop the anchor again we saw two other boats fly across the anchorage, dragging as well. We tried yelling and hailing the other boats on the radio. Luckily were able to set the hook on the first try, and put out ample amounts of scope. The other boats got safely re-anchored as well.

Getting ready to leave SD after the storm. Photo by Joey Hernandez.

In the morning we recounted how lucky we were that we hadn’t hit anything and we said we’d never again take for granted a calm anchorage. From now on, no matter what we always put out a minimum of 5 to 1 scope. It was a good lesson to learn, it was scary and not how I would have wanted to learn it, but I’m thankful it was at the beginning of our trip and that it didn’t come at a costly expense.

We are currently in Manzanillo Mexico and have been cruising full time for just over four months now. We plan to post a lot over the next two weeks as we try to catch the blog up to real time. Thanks for following along!

Life in Real Time!

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One day at a time.

After two months of hard work and finally saying goodbye to our family and friends, it’s time to start adventuring! Time is definitely not slowing down and we cannot wait to start cruising after months of planning and looking ahead to this very moment.

We’ve partnered with Pulsar to join in their #LifeInRealTime campaign to inspire others to live in the moment, whether it’s working hard or hardly working! Josh and I have learned just how important it is to be present for each moment during this last season of our lives. Soaking up each day, while being grateful for every good and hard lesson that might come along with it.

We are learning how to shift our focus from the future, to the present moment, each day directing our attention to the project, person or experience at hand. For us, simplifying our lives and quitting our jobs to go cruising is an attempt to slow down time. We have downsized our belongings and simplified our schedules to quit being busy and live more presently. It’s taken us six years and a lot of hard work but we are finally here, and it’s time to start cruising!

Agape finally back in the water! Full of joy and so much love for this beauty.

Heading out to the islands for our first shake down cruise! We were expecting Agape to sail a bit slower now that she is fully provisioned and sitting an inch deeper in the water, but she flies! We had 15-20kts of wind and we were sailing comfortably at 6.5kts.

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On our way out, I climbed the mast using our new mast steps, to catch a spectacular view of Agape with her sails up, slicing through the water. I wish I could freeze myself in time for moments like theses. Words cannot describe the emotions that encompass all our hard work, years of dreaming and saving, and now finally getting ready to set off on this new adventure. There is so much joy and anticipation, but it’s also accompanied by a sadness, realizing we are leaving behind an amazing community of loving friends and family.
5k9a0386#LifeInRealTime. Loving my new solar powered watch from Pulsar!

Excitement and fears, bubbling up as looked out to the horizon. So much is unknown and unplanned. We are finally free and Agape is finally ready. We have said our goodbyes and our hearts our ready for what this new chapter will bring!

Stunning sunrise at Prisoners Harbor.

We just got back to Ventura and only have a few things left to do before finally heading south. Josh found our water maker wasn’t working properly and after trying the best we could to fix the problem, decided it would be best just to send it off to have the main pump rebuilt. Shipping it off this morning and fingers crossed we’ll have it back in two weeks.

Agape is also waiting on her new stay sail to be finished, but until then we plan on several more island trips with family and friends to continue shaking down the boat before we finally head south. Our tentative date is November 13th!

Time is flying by and we can’t wait to share our upcoming journey!

White Tide – A Coccolithophore Explosion

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An areal view of the bloom from the Santa Barbara Channel.

Turquoise water!!!! Here in Southern California we recently had a massive bloom of coccolithophores, a chalk-producing phytoplanktonic organism. These coccolithophores make chalk — calcium carbonate — as microscopic plants they photosynthesize, but they also absorb carbon dissolved in seawater and convert it into hard plates called coccoliths.

blog1They form internally and are eventually push outside the cell membrane creating a white tide, turning the ocean a stunning turquoise color. These plates are made up of calcium carbonate, similar to clam and oyster shells. This biological process, represents one of the most important mechanisms by which the Earth locks carbon into solid material, some of which ends up in the seafloor.

The beauty of all this is that it’s a very efficient way in the long term of sequestering carbon in planetary terms. The oceans currently absorb about a third of human-created CO2 emissions, roughly 22 million tons a day and when carbon dioxide dissolves in this ocean, carbonic acid is formed. This leads to higher ocean acidity, mainly near the surface, which has been proven to inhibit shell growth in marine animals and is suspected as a cause of reproductive disorders in some fish. So this bloom is a big deal and a great way to learn more about these amazing plants!

These blooms can be so large that they can even be seen from satellite images.
View coming into Fry’s Anchorage.
The water looked as if it were glowing!
Transported to the Caribbean.
The bloom made the water visibility pretty crappy so we decided to explore the coast by dingy instead of diving that afternoon.
Weston fishing for dinner.
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Dolphins playing off our bow!
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A lone tuna crab.