Apr 13

On the Cusp

Tag: Uncategorizedmattholmes @ 11:37 am

Well, people, hold on to your pants because we are about to cross the pacific ocean.  This will probably be the craziest thing I have ever done, or ever will do.  The passage from here to the Marquesas–the closest island chain in the south pacific–is the longest straight open ocean passage in the world; we will be in the ocean out of sight of all land for between three and five weeks.

We intend to leave the day after tomorrow–there are many last minute details, paperwork, and logistics to be worked out, as you might imagine.  The boat is ready (more or less).  We are ready.  We are beyond ready, actually.  Most of our fellow cruisers departed a few weeks ago.  Check out Io, Totem, Capaz, Mulan, and Trim, to see what the experiences have been so far.  These folks have been posting to their blogs from the middle of the ocean, via a modem connected to the ssb radio coupled with sailmail software.  We elected not to spring an extra $1000 for the modem, so you won’t be hearing anything from us until after we reach the marquesas and find some internet again.  Our SPOT tracking device will post our location until we get out a couple hundred miles, then we’ll disappear off the map.

Despite the straight line on the image below, the actual path we take will be more of an S-curve: we go more directly west to begin with, then when we encounter the doldrums we turn south and go perpendicularly through them (minimizing our time in this squally no-wind area).  When we exit the doldrums we turn west again, directly for our destination.

This is the sort of adventure we signed up for, so we’re all gung ho to get going with it.  See you on the other side!

12 Responses to “On the Cusp”

  1. Jodi Solem says:

    God bless you both as you go! Very exciting!

  2. Jonathon Haradon says:

    The best of luck to you! Truly a unique experience. Be safe, fair winds, and can’t wait to join you in two months.

  3. Ray says:


  4. Scott says:

    Incredible! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog so far, and can’t wait to read about the crossing. Safe travels!

  5. Mark McCormick says:

    Good luck you guys! Stay safe and have a great cruise – look forward to your thoughts upon landfall!

  6. Jim Sams says:

    Via con Dios! – Have a great crossing.

  7. Scott Crane says:

    Go go go!! & best of luck Matt & Karen! l’ll be eagerly awaiting to read about your safe crossing in a month!

  8. bongojonny says:

    best of luck!! memories for a lifetime are about to begin. your great grandchildren will read this blog and just admire the adventure in there genes!! godspeed

  9. Earl James says:

    For those following, here’s a post from a boat that’s been in contact with Syzygy:

    We have spoken to Sailing Vessel Syzygy almost every day via the HF Radio. Matt and Karen aboard wish to tell their parents that all is well and they are doing fine. They had a very slow windless start and therefore spend a few days floating just off the coast of Mexico going nowhere fast. But as of yesterday picked up a bit of wind and were well underway at position N15 22 W112 29 as of April 20 0200 UTC.
    Please note that we can only send in updates but cannot read the comments posted on the blog (as we have no internet aboard). We heard that you were following our blog via Ceilydh who we can communicate with via the radio.

  10. Jonathon Haradon says:

    Thanks so much earl for your last comment!! Awesome to know they are doing well. Here’s the website for the post that Earl referred to in the last comment:

  11. Earl James says:

    Playing around a bit with their position, it seems (if they left on the 15th) they’ve made roughly 500 nm in 4 days, averaging 125 nm/day, avg speed 5.2 knts. Rhumb line distance from their reported position to Hiva Oa is 2186 nm. At 125 nm/day, they would be closing in on Hiva Oa in about 17.5 days, around May 7th. Of course these are just ESTIMATES and don’t figure in extra miles to get through ITCZ (or better winds that could speed their avg vmg). Go Syzygy!

  12. Tresa ( Krise) Flowers says:

    Just getting in from a trip from calif. couldent wait to see where you were, i have butterflies in my Tummy for you guys , i will be excited to see new News about your adventures, stay safe xxoo Tresa

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