The Long passage home to San Francisco

May 19 – June 21, 2014, The Pacific Ocean

On the afternoon of Monday, May 19th, I waved off On Delay from the dock at Marina Puesta del Sol in northern Nicaragua. Aboard were: Pete, Tony, Renan, a lot of diesel, and a lot of food.

Three serious sailors: Tony, Renan, and Pete.

Here they are, ready to go:: Tony, Renan, and Pete.

A journey of 4,000 miles begins with getting off the dock.

A journey of ~4,000 miles begins with getting off the dock.

Putting away the dock lines; they won't be used again for a while.

Putting away the dock lines; they won’t be used again for a while.

On Delay had begun her voyage to San Francisco.

My last snap of On Delay in the tropics.

On Delay heading out to sea.

The original plan was to take the “Clipper Route” — this is the route used by the clipper ships in the olden days when ships relied entirely on wind. Here’s a description of the clipper route from a sailing forum: “Sail hundreds of miles out, making a line for Hawaii, then gradually turning north as you catch favorable trade winds. You follow an elegant 2,400-mile parabola that ends in northern California. Or, as one experienced cruiser put it, ‘you set your sails and when you wake up three weeks later you’re in San Francisco.'”

Unfortunately, hurricane Amanda, the first Pacific hurricane of the season, interfered with this plan.

Amanda, sitting right where On Delay wanted to go.

Amanda, sitting right where On Delay wanted to go. Photo from

Instead of heading out to sea, On Delay mostly motored up the coast to Acapulco, arriving late on May 25th.

They caught some fine fish as they motored up the coast: dorado, yellowfin tuna, tunny, and wahoo.

Pete with dorado.

Pete with dorado.

Renan's big (25 lb?) wahoo.

Renan’s big (25 lb?) wahoo.

The port captain didn’t allow anyone to leave Acapulco until Amanda was downgraded to a tropical depression. That kept the sailors in port until May 29th. They got two nights free at the Acapulco Yacht Club, on the strength of Pete being a member of the prestigious Corinthian Yacht Club in the Bay Area. (Reciprocal privileges at last!)

The guys had a night on the town, and started with watching the famous cliff divers of Acapulco.

In Acapulco, the sailors had a night on the town, starting with the famous La Quebrada Cliff Divers show.

Cliff diver in motion.

Cliff diver in motion.

The sailors were happy when Amanda was downgraded so that they could leave Acapulco:

Renan's "selfie with friends" taken leaving Acapulco.

Renan’s “selfie with friends” taken leaving Acapulco.

The next leg to Cabo San Lucas also involved a lot of placid motoring.

Pete, relaxing off watch.

Pete, relaxing off watch.

They had almost a day of sailing as they approached Cabo San Lucas — a welcome change from motoring.

Arriving in Cabo San Lucas in late afternoon.

Approaching Cabo San Lucas in late afternoon, June 3rd.

In Cabo San Lucas, they provisioned, fueled up, and formally checked out of Mexico. On June 5th, they headed out to sea again.

You can see On Delay’s route and follow her progress here.

Update: June 21, 10 pm PDT, On Delay sails under the Golden Gate.

3 thoughts on “The Long passage home to San Francisco

  1. I’ve really enjoyed following your adventures via the On Delay blog. And what an adventure it was! And what an adjustment when you arrive back home “for good” — the quote marks because I’m pretty sure that you’re already thinking “okay, what’s our next adventure?” May you always have fond memories of these two years even after you’ve (possibly) completed the adjustment.

  2. Jane, little did you know at the time,but the dock lines you mentioned needed to be used a few more times before San Francisco. Also we did have a short stop in Ensenada, Baja California Mexico and that’s where I lost my phone…haha.
    Pete and Tony lets do it again.

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