Almost to the Marquesas, but weren’t we further west three years ago?


All’s well on the boat today. Teresa mentioned most of the exciting stuff going on, we’re eagerly anticipating landfall Saturday morning in the Marquesas. It’s been a great passage so far with minimal bad weather, good fishing, and both boat and crew holding up very well.

We left Seattle in 2006 for Glacier Bay, Alaska then down to Mexico, points further south and then to the South Pacific. Three years later we are just making it to the South Pacific. If you’re wondering what took so long, here’s a synopsis of the geographic distances Yohelah has covered in the past three years.

Our first major destination was Glacier Bay Alaska and we arrived in summer of 2006, 900 miles north of Seattle. We then headed south to Mexico and made it to Zihuatanejo before turning north for hurricane season. The next year we headed south to Central and South America and summered over in Ecuador, 2800 miles south of Seattle. We then visited Panama, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos before pointing the boat once again southwest for the Marquesas. The distances traveled south are no surprise, but looking at the distance we traveled east-west is a little more interesting.

When we arrived in Panama City, Panama we were further east than Miami, Florida; pretty close to directly south of Charleston, South Carolina. We had to travel further near the equator to get there than if we had crossed the same distance at the more northern latitudes of the US. We journeyed to Costa Rica and then to the Galapagos. In the Galapagos we were directly south of Chicago – we started our South Pacific crossing south of the American mid-west! A few days ago we were 2100 miles out of the Galapagos and Teresa mentioned that we were once again due south of Seattle – 2600 miles off the South American coast.


So where are we now in relation to our previous travels? When we were in Glacier Bay we were at 137 degrees west. We’ll hit 137 degrees west later today and finally be back to the same longitude we were in Alaska three years ago. Of course, 137 degrees west is a shorter distance that far north, those east-west circles get much smaller as you approach the north pole. But it’s still kind of funny to think that after 3000 miles across the Pacific we are no further west than directly south of where we were in June of 2006!

So what’s taking so long? We’ll try to keep the boat pointed west from now on.