January 2004

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Bartolome Island, Galapagos. May 2003


Ocelot entering the Fakarava Tuamotu atoll

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 (December 2003) we're currently in the States on a vacation from French Polynesia, where Ocelot is anchored.  We'll be continuing our cruise in January, 2004.

We started in St. Martin in the NE Caribbean in December 2001, heading basically south and then west.  We entered the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal in March, 2003.  Our original plan to stay out for two years has been extended as we've taken a break to see family in the States and to renew our French visas.  This will allow us to spend an extra year in the South Pacific.  Our current goal is to sail for another year, ending in Australia in November 2004.  But who knows...


Ocelot anchored in Port Phaeton, Tahiti, while we visit the US

(Scroll down for more)


New On The Site - Check it out!

Ocelot in Ua Huka, Marquesas, after 25 days at sea Bienvenidos a Los Galapagos, and Bonjour a Polynesie Francais!  We have been having great adventures in the Pacific Ocean, but "internet cafes" are rare, and usually not fast enough for updating the website.


We have three major regions to cover in this update: Inland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and the beginnings of French Polynesia.  A completely new part of the site is our newsletters section, which contains our e-mails sent from the boat by radio while we were on passage.  They capture our day-to-day thoughts and feelings, and now they're illustrated.  Also, check out Sue's log page for her essay on the plundering of the Galapagos.


Latest News: After a short time in Panama, we went through the Canal and proceeded to Ecuador.  We took a short inland tour of Ecuador by bus, then sailed to the Galapagos Islands.  We explored the Galapagos from Ocelot and even took a multi-day cruise on a tour boat to explore places where yachts are forbidden.  We stayed as long as possible in the Galapagos, and met several new cruising families, but eventually had to leave on the long passage to French Polynesia.  When we finally completed the long and calm passage, we arrived in the beautiful and mountainous Marquesas islands (northern group in French Polynesia).  We explored the Marquesas for a few weeks, glad to be back on land, before pushing off for the much shorter passage to the Tuamotus.  In the low coral atolls of the Tuamotus, we got to do our first SCUBA diving since our certification in Bonaire.  We also saw lots of Polynesian dancing and got to interact with some local families.  Finally, we sailed to Tahiti (sorry, no page yet) where Ocelot is anchored while we took our first trip home to the Pacific Northwest as a family in 20 months.


Old News:  If you missed earlier editions of the website, don't despair.  You can check them out at our Web Archives section, including Amanda's excellent, hand-crafted & hot-spotted maps of our previous cruising grounds.


Site Stats:  Having added the new Pacific sections, we now have over 270 pages on the site.  (It takes us several hours to produce a fully polished page, so this site represents lots of work).  We've now included over 900 pictures and maps, and about 5,600 hyperlinks.  In all, the site fills some 50MB.  Check it out!


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

  1. Where did the name "Galapagos" Islands come from?

  2. The summit of what mountain (and in what country) is the farthest point from the center of the earth?

  3. What does Arthur (the cat) do for exercise while on passage?

  4. Which islands can private cruising boats visit legally in the Galapagos?

  5. What does the word "tatu"  mean, and where did the custom originate?


Last Update's Quiz Answers

  1. What's Ocelot's maximum recorded speed to date?  23.5 knots (surfing!) on our first passage.

  2. All four Hackings are now qualified to do what?  Scuba dive - we got certified in Bonaire!

  3. What's the main commercial crop of the Kuna Indians?  Coconuts.  The Kuna's live in the San Blas.

  4. What sea creature with its mouth on the underside of its body surprised us by jumping six or seven feet out of the water?  Spotted eagle rays in the San Blas.

  5. When you transit the Panama Canal from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean, which direction are you heading?  Northwest to southeast!  Check out our Panama Canal map.


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 pages.  The Web Archives section contains a synopsis of where we've been and what we've done, as well as previous home pages.  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.  Check out Sue's pages if you want birds, recipes, flora & fauna of the places we visit, and comments on the cruising life and changes to the Caribbean in the past 14 years.  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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