January 2003

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Chris on the bow as we dodge reefs in Los Roques


After our overnight passage to Los Roques

Hello!  Welcome to the Hacking family website with Sue, Jon, Chris, Amanda, and Arthur (the sea-cat) on Ocelot, our 45-ft catamaran.  As we write this (January, 2003), we're currently in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.   We started in St. Martin in the NE Caribbean in Dec 2001, heading basically south.  We're now heading west towards Panama.  Our goal is to stay out for at least two years, and probably end up in New Zealand or Australia. 


15,000 ft in the Andes.  We do get off the boat & get cold sometimes!

(Scroll down for more)


New On The Site - Check it out!

Cruising along under our strange Chute!Bienvenidos a Venezuela!  Since our last update we've been immersed in the South American scene and loving it.  The political upheavals didn't really affect us until our last few days when the shelves in grocery stores were lacking beer and milk.  We never felt any danger in the least, but the problems caused friends and family to cancel their December visit to Ocelot.  Such is life in the Third World.

So check out all our new pages on where we went and what we did in Venezuela.  Our Landfalls section got so big that we've now split it into 3 sections:  Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, and Venezuela.  If you're considering coming down to visit and want to see how much fun our visitors have, check out the Boat Guests pages, including a checklist of what to bring Sue has added another "letter" (including comments on Venezuelan politics), and more info of provisioning the boat on her Cruising Cuisine page.  She has also taken over the Flora & Fauna pages and expanded them with both West Indian & Venezuelan birding pages as well as other Venezuelan Flora & FaunaJon has added a page on our haul-out with pictures of Ocelot out of the water and comments on Venezuelan politics.  If you didn't read Amanda's pages before, check out her Old News area to catch up on what we've been doing.  Chris has added a big section on our trip inland to Mérida & Los Llanos.  We've also added a site map in case you get lost.  And don't forget to check below for the latest Quiz Questions.


Latest News (January 2003)

October, November, and December 2002 were spent in beautiful friendly Venezuela.  Most of the time we were anchored on  the island of Margarita where we got several boat projects done: lots of fabric work (bimini extensions, aft deck coverings, new upholstery below), and a new washing machine.  We had a great 2 week-trip inland to the Andes and to Los Llanos for wildlife viewing.  Jon's brother, Tony, and his family visited us for three weeks and we sailed them to the mainland (Golfo de Cariaco), and the island of Blanquilla.  We also spent three days "on the hard" in Chacachacare, Margarita to re-paint the bottom and do some maintenance.  Our final blast in Venezuela was spent in the off-shore islands of Los Roques and Las Aves with their clear water and coral reefs to dodge and explore.

Click on the map to see our landfall page for it

Click on an island to see that island's page   (Scroll down to see more...)


Site stats:  We now have over 160 pages on the site, having added about 40 pages with this latest version, and modifying even more.  We have almost 500 pictures and maps, and well over 2,500 hyperlinks.  Check 'em out!


Old News (June to September 2002)

June, July, August, and September sped by.  We played in Martinique with cruising friends, then headed south to St. Lucia again, then to new territory -- the Grenadines and Grenada.  Two sets of friends (Amanda's teacher, John Hamilton, and friend Becky Haiduck, and Chris's buddy Kenny Quayle and his dad, Casey) got to cruise prime vacation land -- the Grenadines -- with their white beaches, palm trees and clear water.  We also participated in the Carriacou Regatta festivities and dinghy race, and danced to steel drums at the Grenada Carnival.  (Yes, it's in August...)  In southern Grenada we did lots of boat work like installing the radar and mounting a 2nd GPS.  Sue took a short trip to Seattle to see her mom, and then we headed off to Venezuela to be with some more cruising friends.


Old News (April to May 2002)

After three and a half months in St. Martin and its surrounding islands we headed south on April 7.  We stopped briefly in St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat (the volcano was wonderful) then sailed on down to Guadeloupe to meet friends.  We sailed with them to the Saintes, Dominica, and ended in Martinique.  We picked up Gina & Terry Cole in Guadeloupe in April and sailed south to Martinique with them.  Then we hopped across the channel down to St. Lucia to pick up Emilie Cobb, and sailed back north to Martinique with her.  We spent a month in Dominica in May, awaiting friends on Sea Eagle to  join us, then all headed south for hurricane season, repeating Martinique and St. Lucia.  Cruisers who don't have friends come visit don't do this sort of thing, but if we didn't have friends come to visit we wouldn't be having half as much fun!

Click on an island to go to our landfall page about it


New Quiz Questions! (You'll find the answers or information for them somewhere on the site.)

  1. What was the punishment for the first man to found Mérida?

  2. Why is the boat now completely covered in red dust?

  3. What was the first thing that Margarita ran out of during the "paro?"

  4. How many oil birds live in the Guacharo Caves?

  5. What poisonous snake does the harmless brown tree boa resemble?


Last Update's Quiz Answers

  1. How can you tell a rotten egg from a good one without cracking it? Spin it or float it.

  2. What's the most common seagull in the Caribbean? Laughing Gull

  3. What are the two most common activities of a beginning windsurfer? Get up. Fall down.

  4. On which island does everyone have seasoned food? Grenada


On The Site

If you're wondering where we are, or where we've been, (and what we each thought about it) check out the Landfalls page.  On the Ocelot page you can see pictures from all over the boat, and read its specifications and our impressions of the boat.  On Jon's pages you can read about the US intervention in Grenada in 1983, and his technical slant on some of the boat systems.  If you want birds, recipes, and comments on the cruising life and changes to the Caribbean in the past 14 years, check out Sue's pages.  Chris writes about our inland travels, his projects and schooling.  Amanda brings lots of pictures, plus stories about our adventures in Africa and New Zealand and Australia from past trips. The Boat Guests pages are designed to make everyone jealous of our visitors and want to come down themselves.

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