Our Proposed Route

Author:  Pete

Here’s our proposed route for our ideal circumnavigation, a lofty goal, to be sure.  Our itinerary has us leaving in November 2014 out of Florida and returning to the Caribbean around June 2016.  Best laid plans…  We created a course by taking the path of least resistance through the westward trade wind route, staying mostly in the tropics.  The itinerary shadows the retreat of the tropical storm season in each region of the world, marked on the map.

Click on the map to enlarge.  More details below.

Proposed Route

Nov 2014 – Jan 2015:  Miami to Panama

Feb 2015:  Panama to Galapagos

Mar 2015: Pacific Passage, Galapagos to Marquesas Islands

April – August 2015:  French Polynesia and South Pacific

Sept – Dec 2015:  South East Asia

Jan – Feb 2016:  Indian Ocean

March – April 2016:  Red Sea/ Mediterranean*

May 2016:  Atlantic Passage

June 2016:  Florida / Sell our faithful vessel!

August 2016:  Start teaching again in beautiful International School of Philenzublank!

 

*If the situation off the coast of Somalia doesn’t improve by January 2016, then we will need to make some alternations to our route.  Like we said earlier, this is just our initial plan and will probably change several times in the next two years.

 

As you will have also noted, most of our time is dedicated to the South Pacific and South East Asia.  This is an aggressive timeline, however, we are not planning to ‘see’ the world in this two year window.  We are international educators and plan to be living abroad ‘seeing’ the world much of our lives.  This adventure is about being on the high seas and the self-discovery that comes with it.

 

Come join us!   This trip was dreamed up to leave room for our family and friends around the world to visit us along the way!  Come do a passage, island hop, or meet us in a port city!  Our itinerary is dependent on the winds, so your travel plans may need to be flexible, but we’ll make it worth your while with a cold beverage in the sun and shining seas!  Email us if you have any interest in being a part of this adventure!  We’ll even put your face on the blog!

 

Here’s our backup plan for the whole trip:

Plan B:  Tour the Caribbean.  If we’re short on time, funding, or Dramamine, we may end up cruising the Carib for a year before hitting the books again.

Plan C:  Charter a boat in the Caribbean or South Pacific where we can’t get into too much trouble.

Plan D:  Keep taking classes and help move boats in our off time and do this trip or similar later in life with kids or during retirement.

Plan E:  Take an extended bath and slosh a lot of water around.

 

Climbing Cerro Plomo Ice Falls

P1110927

Author: Pete
Location: Cerro Plomo, Santiago, Chile
[S 33° 14′ 13”,  W 70° 12′ 50′]

 

Back on Cerro Plomo.  As we retreated from the storm just five days prior, Sergio remarked that the ice falls just below camp Federación hadn’t been so well formed in many years and that we should go back the following weekend.  I thought it was a dehydrated, altitude-delirious bluff, but there we were the following weekend.

P1110882

P1110907

 

Casey Overton in tow, we drove up early Saturday.  At Tres Puntas we loaded packs and waited for a new mulero to ferry our heavy ice climbing gear.  No show!  After an hour we set out with heavy hearts and heavier packs.  In three hours we were setting up camp below Federación.

P1110898

P1110889

P1110900

 

After lunch we slogged gear up to the base of the icefalls to help Queso acclimatize and make our climb day a bit easier.  Played with the gear a bit , climbed a touch on the low-grade stuff unroped.  Casey used Darlene’s axes and I used a nice pair of sponsored Petzls!  P1110909

P1110893

 

The ice as plasticy and forgiving.  Hero ice.  As we hiked back down through the steep scree we hoped it would be the same quality the next day.  Queso and I slept in the tent, which was plenty big enough for three, while Serg bivied outside.  Doesn’t like our smelly feet, I think.  Actually, I’m sure he was trying to soak up the mountains.  He’s off to Dubai next year.  Nido will miss him, and so will all his friends.

P1110926

P1110939

 

We slept long, maybe too long, but it was glorious.  I hadn’t had a chance to catch up over the week.  So we slept, and I didn’t mind.  Loaded light packs and scrambled towards the icefall we were eyeing.  An hour to the base in sucky scree, then some time outfitting.

P1110914

P1110949

 

First picks were sunk at ten-ish, at a respectable altitude of ~12,000 feet.  Sergio legged the lead.  The first part of the pitch was low angle, then turning more vertical.  I belayed as he swung picks and his fancy center-point crampons.  Show off.  He made it look easy, like most things he does, placing ice screws along the way.

P1110973

 

Showers of ice chunks of varying size and destructive capacity plummeted down at us.  At first it was fun, a bit like frogger, but eventually I lost the game and got cracked with a baseball size fragment from 100 feet up, right in the belay hand.  Owwie.  I dodged and weaved more apprehensively.  Serg climbed unhurriedly, and in the afternoon sun the rain of ice began to mix with rocks, cracked off gully face some 300 feet up by the expanding, sun-lit face.  By the time your eye would track them they’d be already going 200 mph, dark streaks embedding into white snow around us.  Glad to be wearing helmets.

P1110917

P1110953

 

When Sergio had set a top anchor Casey and I were ready to climb.  Happy to warm up from standing in the snow!  We climbed simultaneously on either side of the twin ice ropes.  Queso a bit above me, raining ice shards down my neck.  We climbed slow.  You end up in an easy rhythm.  Kick, kick, swing.  Kick, kick, swing.  That, mixed with some heavy breathing from exertion at altitude.

P1110975

P1110963

 

The rock rain increased and by the time we were all at the belay station a quick assessment made descending a good call.  We were too late, climbed too slow, and had too much fun in the process.  Tired and happy with our success, we set about making a V-thread, two ice-screw holes meeting in the ice with a loop of webbing that we rappel off of.  As the clouds cruised over our heads just outside the sheltered couloir we rapped down off the ice.  I was last, and therefore the only guy trusting only the ice.  I slapped it a kiss for good luck and descended the 150 feet.  So fun.

P1110980

P1120016

 

Packed up and trudged back to camp, our gear stained white from the minerals in the ice.  Our bodies melted a good deal while kneeling on the climb.

P1120024

 

I’ll be very sad to leave the people and places that have come to mean so much to me.  This is likely my last hurrah with Sergio and Cerro Plomo.  Goodbye my good friends.

P1120032