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The Indian Ocean is not my favorite ocean!

Perhaps there has been another blog post of the same name; this is not a fun blog post; or a feelings story. This is just a tally; an acknowledgment that our exhaustion after a year and a half of travel is well earned, and a shoutout to the folks who live that cruiser adage “it’s just what we do [for each other].” We’re not entirely done with the Indian Ocean, but we have certainly crossed it. These nine months on this ocean between Indonesia and South Africa were hard on Convivia and challenging for the crew but as my friend Diane told me a year ago, “The Indian is rewarding.”


The damage:

Thing that Broke Cause Solution
 Strap toggle  Fatigue  broken, jury rigged, replaced (thanks Trevor & Gustaf)
 Monitor control line  Chafe  respliced/replaced
 Lazy jacks  UV  broken, repaired, broken, repaired
 North Sails Sail cover  poor design/UV  planning replacement
 Standard Horizon VHF  totally dead  replaced in Durban
 Shakespeare VHF antenna  poor reception  waiting for replacement
 Dinghy thwart for mast on Fatty  snapped under pressure  waiting for replacement
 Full River Batteries  1/2 totally dead, removed from system,  replaced in Richard’s Bay
 Raymarine Anemometer pretty broken rewired and epoxied back   together (for the second time), reads wind direction
Honda generator  dead  but not removed from the lazarette (Tucker!?!)
 Toilet  one totally broken  replaced in Durban
 Toilet reduction fitting  broke during maintenance Gustaf, you are my freaking hero for welding us a new one
 Harken Profurl M3 Furler  top of cage broken  replaced with homemade substitute (also cage dropped into the sea and retrieved after an extensive SCUBA search, thanks again Gustaf you legend)
 Aeropress  broken, second Aeropress overboard, third Aeropress broken  ordered two new ones (of course)
 Glasses, lime squeezer, muffin pan  broken, corroded and rusted through
 Drawer handle on one drawer  smashed to pieces, massive bruise on my ass
 Hela Fans  broken or pretty well worn out (god damn these fans) replaced with Caframo
 Flip flops  approximately 10 pairs walked through or broken
 Favorite Keen sneakers  worn through  tossed in the trash at the end of a hike
 Clothing  outgrown, stained, ripped and patched (100% of Miles’, less so for the rest of us)
 Engine overheating problem Kinked hose, & heat exchanger cleaning, also overhauled the impeller pump  fixed (Gustaf again, seriously, this guy’s hands are in that picture because his hands are in EVERYTHING)
 Weather cloth  ripped, ripped again  patched and reinstalled
 Engine off switch (morse cable) seized  repaired (thanks Gustaf for your help!)
 Monitor hinge  broken  welded and spare made in Phuket
 Lewmar Windlass  broken and repaired electrical problem  (Trevor, you climbed into my anchor locker and called it “spacious”)
 Windlass  fire in Imtra solenoid  replaced with spare
 International “Perfection” (I beg to differ) Paint  scratched like crazy in a couple spots
 Slug on mainsail  ripped out  resewn
 Baja filter  overboard (oops)
 Kitchen scissors  overboard (MILES!!!)  replaced
 Ruby’s favorite Adidas skirt  overboard (78 knot gust, after she handwashed her own laundry)  will be replaced
 A couple of jerry cans  cracked, taped together  trashed
 Raymarine Autopilot  totally dead, hand steering now if we have to motor (what is it with this company?)  awaiting replacement
 Snubbers  broken, broken, broken, broken  replaced
 Pillow  overboard (possibly sabotage)  replaced
 iPad chargers  Dead  replaced
 REI backpack  zipper corroded, cut the flashlight out (lifetime warranty means nothing out here)  T9
 Outdoor Research rain coat  that I LOVE, side zips corroded, front zip barely works  T9
 The book Hatchet  Survival story, didn’t survive the wetness in Miles’ berth (Sorry Gwynn but I promise no less than four people read it on two boats and two book reports were based on it)
 Three insulated water bottles (2 Hydroflask, 1 Swell)  rusted trashed
 Teeth  one grown up tooth broken (Miles, due to Ruby), one baby tooth broken (Ruby, due to Ruby)
 Engine  dry exhaust rusted through again, black soot everywhere  replaced in Mossel Bay
 Engine starter  failed  replaced, but in the meantime I learned how to hot wire a boat 😉
 iNavX  All the things; from not being able to delete  a waypoint from a route, to the NMEA disconnecting every 5 minutes (This program went from rock solid to a buggy pain in the ass in the span of 4 months. I’ve got words…)  Looking at other options


This is just my top of my head list, there must be more. My recommendation to future sailors: buy everything you need to get around the world and return back home in just under three years. Everything will be within warranty and you will have arrived in the nick of time before it all wears out. Alternately we can remember what Robin Lee Graham said, “At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”

  • Stay tuned for the follow-up, “What Survived”

Editorial note: This list was (of course) complied by Vick. The ultimate keeper of lists. The little parentheticals are mine (Tucker) ultimate keeper of snide and compliments!

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Indian Ocean: Not That Much Fun

Imagine you are sitting down, enjoying dinner. It’s Taco Tuesday® (but on Thursday, because you have no sense of time). Suddenly the salsa jar becomes a projectile, it jumps straight up, then banks hard to  the left and hurls itself at you, missing by inches. The jar (which you forgot to put the lid on […]

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Nets, and Squalls, and Waterspouts

The last 72 hours have been some of the most surreal, exhausting, and exciting of my life. I wrote about some of the first two days’ highs and lows here. The following night and day were just as full on. Things started out calm enough that I thought I might just watch a movie on my first […]

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dolphins on the bow

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GBR 2014 In Photos

I was going to hold these for an epic post about our trip but time seems to have gotten away from us. In lieu of a narrative, here is a little photo essay!

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What Sailing Feels Like

Most of the time when I’m sailing I feel like a 14 year old boy, getting into some harmless but possibly significant mischief. I stand looking over the dodger, just soaking it all in as if, at any moment some authority figure is going to send me home.

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Best Day Ever

I have a hard time assigning superlatives. I tend to experience life in an abstract way that doesn’t depend heavily on specific, quantifiable metrics. So when I say that this was the best day ever, take that with a grain of salt. There were other best days. They might have been better, who knows. Not […]

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Sundowners

Is this even a term that non-cruisers know? If so, does it even mean the same thing? We went for sundowners on Condessa del Mar tonight. The last time we did that we were in a deserted island with 6 other boats, all of whom were sharing this quintessential cruiser experience.

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A Laundry Tour of the South Pacific

A reader on a women’s sailing group I’m part of asked if it was possible to sail the South Pacific without washing laundry in a bucket. Laundry was much harder for me than being on a boat for 24 days straight, cooking underway, or  seasickness, and something I stressed out about far more than the […]

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