More About Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation


Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People covering Australia to Oman is now on sale! Read the first few pages on Lulu’s “preview” feature and read an excerpt from Chapter 1 here (starts on page 18)!

Jeff Merrill wrote an extensive book review for the Nordhavn.com site.

Many people have asked us why they should buy our book if they can read our blog for free. Just like Part 1, the book is very different from the blog. Here are a few of the differences between the two:

  • Prologue: Picks up where the Prologue of Part 1 left off. It focuses primarily on the research we did as we planned for our journey and addresses the majority of the questions we were most frequently asked.
  • Several new stories from the journey – And there are some really good ones!
  • Many details have been added that were best left undisclosed while we were still on the journey (sometimes we didn’t want our parents worrying about us; sometimes we didn’t want to incriminate ourselves!)
  • In Retrospect sections with great insights — so you can see the situation through the eyes of a newbie as we learn, while simultaneously seeing the same situation through the eyes of experience.
  • Streamlined stories – some complained our posts were too long and detailed, the book is a condensed version they will enjoy more.
  • Formatting is first person, through Christi’s eyes – Some complained they didn’t like the third person format, so they will enjoy the book more.
  • Actual dates on each post. On the blog, the dates are not real time, which is a significant piece of information for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps.
  • All profits will go to our cruising fund. The more books we sell, the sooner you can start reading about our next journey! So, buy one and get all your friends to buy one, too!

People have also asked us why we broke the series up into four books instead of only three. We had very different experiences in each of the four world regions, so it was best for each region to have its own volume.

  • In the South Pacific, Part 1, we spent most of our time in sparsely populated areas communing with nature. And we did a lot of rough sea time, learning about boating the hard way.
  •  In Asia, Part 2, we were mostly in densely populated areas building cultural bridges. Our sea experiences were also different from the Pacific, with both our best and worst passages occurring in this region.

Book Coming Soon!

Volume 1, of the yet untitled book covering San Diego to Australia will hopefully be ready to purchase soon. Many people have asked us why they should buy our book if they can read our blog for free. Here are a few good reasons:

  • Prologue: How we formed the dream and the early planning stages.
  • The entire 21 day passage from San Diego to Nuka Hiva has been re-written. At that point, the blog was in real time and we didn’t want people to worry about us. But the truth was that it was tough!
  • Many new stories from the journey – And there are some really good ones!
  • In Retrospect sections with great insights — so you can see the situation through the eyes of a newbie as we learn, while simultaneously seeing the same situation through the eyes of experience.
  • Streamlined stories – some complained our posts were too long and detailed, and the book is a condensed version they will enjoy more.
  • Formatting is first person, through Christi’s eyes – Some complained they didn’t like the third person format, so they will enjoy the book more.
  • Actual dates on each post. On the blog, the dates are not real time, which is a significant piece of information for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps.
  • All profits will go to our cruising fund. The more books we sell, the sooner you can start reading about our next journey! So, buy one and get all your friends to buy one, too!

Diving Hilma Hooker

We plan to leave tomorrow for a 5 day passage. The grocery stores in Bonaire, like most places in the world, have a poor selection of frozen foods, so Christi needed to make some freezer meals. She spent the morning cooking. She already had made some freezer meals over the last few days, but this morning was a flat out effort to make a lot of stuff at once. We also made a trip into town to check out with the officials. The check out fee was $10.00.

In the afternoon, we went on one last dive with Mike from Arielle. We went to the wreck that the dive center had recommended yesterday, Hilma Hooker. The rumor that we heard is that the boat had to make an emergency stop in Bonaire because it was taking on water. The authorities found lots of marijuana on board, so the Bonairian authorities seized the vessel. It was in bad shape and needed to be constantly pumped to keep it afloat. The authorities decided the best thing to do with the boat was tow it to a sandy site and let it sink, making an artificial reef. The facts that we know are it was deliberately sunk in 1984 on a carefully chosen sandy spot located between two reefs. The boat lies on its side. The highest point of the ship is 60 feet under the water and the lowest point, the tip of the mast is in 99 feet of water.

The site is close to the salt mountains. We tied to the mooring and jumped in. The reef around the mooring area is pretty, but we didn’t bother to stop and look around. Because this is such a deep dive, the plan was to descend quickly to the lowest point of the wreck, then slowly work our way back up. We’d enjoy the reef here at the end of the dive.

We all agreed that as we proceeded west it looked like the water ahead was murky with poor visibility. Each of us was wondering when this wreck would appear. Then it suddenly dawned on us that the dark area ahead WAS the hull, and in looking more carefully, we could see the line of the hull. We were staring at the bottom of the boat. Mike and Eric stuck to the plan, staying close to the floor. Christi was having trouble equalizing and was swimming along above them. She did eventually make it down to the hull, but never got down to the lowest portions of it.

We swam around the aft end of the boat to get a look at the topside. It looks creepy and haunted in the darkish water, as most sunken ships tend to look. The hull is still pretty well intact.

img_3488-small.jpg

The guys swam down to the mast and crow’s nest to check them out, but Christi couldn’t get down that low. The guys ascended to Continue reading Diving Hilma Hooker

Diving Class Bottom

We again talked Jack and Mike into taking us diving. This time we headed north to a wreck dive we had heard about. The wreck is in front of a dive center, and there was no mooring to tie to. We asked the dive center if we could tie up to their pier. They told us it isn’t a very good dive and suggested we go to a better wreck dive down south. Apparently, it was just a small wooden boat that is almost totally disintegrated now.

We motored over to the exact spot that the dive guy said the wreck was located and Jack stuck his face in the water. He agreed it wasn’t worth exploring. Since we were already up north, we decided to go to a nearby site that sounded especially nice. It is called Class Bottom. We tied up to the buoy. There were a lot of fish right under dinghy, especially sergeant fish and the little gray chromium fish. A good sign indeed!

Jack snorkeled around the general area, but once again, said it really wasn’t a very good snorkeling spot. Mike, Christi and Eric dove it and thought it was a great dive site. After we jumped in, we headed south to the next dive site marker, called Andrea I. The visibility here is the worst of all the sites we have been to in Bonaire, but it is still good. The visibility everywhere else has been phenomenal. There is very little trash around, and we expected a site farther away from town to be more pristine.

Once again, Mike brought his camera, so we can show you some of the fish we saw. The first is called a black margate. The second is called a jolthead porgy. The third is called a schoolmaster. The schoolmaster is in a giant sea rod soft coral. The three mounds in the foreground (left, right, middle) are great star hard coral, which Christi thinks looks like cells.

black-margate-small.jpg

jolthead-porgy-small.jpg

schoolmaster-giant-sea-rod-soft-coral-small.jpg

This spot has the best Continue reading Diving Class Bottom

Diving Sharon’s Serenity on Klein Bonaire

We had managed to sweet talk two of the crew on Arielle into taking us diving on Klein Bonaire, which is supposed to have the best diving of all in Bonaire. We have been wanting to go, but the wind and swell are way too strong for our little 2 horsepower dinghy motor to handle. First thing this morning, they picked us up in their powerful rib and we set off. It was actually a fairly long (and bumpy) ride. We went to a site on the west side of the little island called Sharon’s Serenity. One of the crew Mike, was diving, the other, Jack, was snorkeling.

Sadly, Jack said that it isn’t a very good snorkeling site. In all honesty, while Bonaire may be a diver’s paradise, it isn’t a great destination for snorkelers. The reefs aren’t really shallow enough for snorkeling. However, the dive was excellent. We are pleased to report that Mike has a dive camera and that he managed to get some phenomenal photos. The following pictures are all compliments of him.

The first shot is of Christi shortly after we descended, higher up on the reef. We like this picture because you can see the little gray chromium fish that are everywhere on Bonaire dives, and you get a good idea of what the landscape of the reef is like. Note the neat soft corals to the right. They really do look like they could be terrestrial plants.

chromis-corals-small.jpg

As we were making our way down, we had a huge school of Continue reading Diving Sharon’s Serenity on Klein Bonaire