• Five Days at Sea and a Surprise Destination

    08:30 Monday January 28, 2019 ~225nm SE of Cozumel

    Heading 135° towards the east end of the Gordo banks, doing about 6 kts under full headsail only with winds about 15 kts just off the port stern from the NW and large, lazy 2.5m swells that have agreed to take us towards our waypoint.

    Just finished a nice long and very hot shower, now in my cabin listening to Rush and thinking about last night. Last night we encountered a storm condition that I do not know how to identify, but I will try to describe it here as clear as I am able.

    We were sailing due east with the main sail in the 2nd reef, and the headsail furled deep into its 3rd reef. The swells were slight from the starboard beam and perhaps just 1.3m and were calming down. We were doing 8kts consistently, clear starry skies and all was well… but…

    San Andreas, Columbia - A nice Surprise

    San Andreas, Columbia - A nice Surprise

  • Panama Sail Plan - Take Two

    Ad Astra to Panama Sail Plan

    16:00 January 25, 2019

    We just finished checking out of Mexico – our second visit making 8 months we have spent here in the Hermana Republic.

    We are now watching the weather very carefully and trying to decide on leaving tomorrow morning, or 48 hours later on Monday morning. There is a northern front coming in tomorrow and we could roll with the front and sail south for a bit, and then make a left and make our easting as the front slows down as it goes south. The seas would be about 1.7m on the beam, just on the edge of our no-go size.

    If we wait for Monday, we get a beam or even aft of the beam sail to make our easting, and lower overall swells in the 0.8-1.2m range. Much more comfortable, for sure, but 48 hours delay – and the weather always changes.

    So I am posting this note now, and will check the weather again at midnight and in the morning, and will update this post on we do final anchor up.

    900+ nm to Bocas de Toro

    900+ nm to Bocas de Toro

    Follow us on our satellite tracker here…

  • My Dad

    9AM one Saturday in August 18 years ago:

    Knock! Knock!

    “So…. how did last night’s Match.com date go???” my dad boomed as I opened my door.

    “Uh, Dad, she is – here!”, I answered.

    Kaiwen peeked over my shoulder to see her date’s father.

    “Oh! Wow! That IS a good date then!”, he declared with a broad smile and chuckle.

    Kaiwen knows my dad just 12 hours less than she knows me. Our first date went magical and after some time at her place, we went back to my place on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. My dad brought my cousin Brandon along for a beach day of lazily good times.

    My dad immediately accepted Kaiwen as a dear friend and was generous with his affection and made her feel that she was a member of the greater Canby-Bethkania family on our first weekend together.

    That moment alone summarizes my dad.

    Neil Bethke loving life

    Neil Bethke loving life

    My dad took this picture the morning he met Kaiwen

    My dad took this picture the morning he met Kaiwen

  • Passage to Panama & Heavy Hearts

    June 2018 with my Dad having fun with Kyle and Max at Coba, Yucatan

    June 2018 with my Dad having fun with Kyle and Max at Coba, Yucatan

    We have not spoken about it publically, but my wonderful, warm father is fighting for his life against fucking cancer. His prognosis is grim, we are racing Ad Astra to get her to a safe port and marina so that we can tie her up and all go see my Dad and spend some time with him.

    All of us have to go through this with our loved ones. My heart breaks for my Dad, he is so in love with life and loved his work, and is getting more and more requests for his work to be brought to other institutions. He is so much fun, so thoughtful and full of love for me, Kyle and Max, and Kaiwen is heart broken as she knows my dad just 12 hours less than she knows me.

    I am grateful that we have had so many great adventures together - the beaches of Venice, Santa Monica, Topanga, Pt Mugo, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, France, the West Indies and Mexico. He has been such a cool grandfather and have inspired them both in many ways.

    Fuck. Cancer is bullshit.