South Pacific Crossing Lottery

I still don’t quite have my head wrapped around it, but in the coming weeks Gregory, Oceanna, and I are going to set out on our biggest adventure yet. We are going to leave Panama City destined for the French Polynesian Islands of the South Pacific.

That’s 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) of Pacific Ocean. Way far and beyond the largest crossing we’ve ever attempted. In fact, it’s the largest ocean crossing available in the world. It includes crossing the erratic doldrums,  the celebratory equator, a stop over at the world-renowned Galapagos Islands, and then 3,000 nautical miles (5,500 km) of wide open ocean.

The passage from Panama City to the Galapagos takes approximately 10 days. Should we acquire the appropriate clearance we would then stay in the Galapagos for up to 21 days taking in the remarkable surroundings. (I’m in it for the penguins, Gregory for the surf. Who’s surprised?)

Once our time is up in Galapagos we’ll point the bows to the east for the Marquesas. A group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia. This leg of the journey is 3000 nautical miles of nothing but ocean. On average this crossing takes sailing boats three weeks to complete. That’s 21 days of water, 41 feet of boat, and 1 Greg to talk to.


Do me a favour and next time you look at a world map take in how much ocean is located on either edge.  Connect those sides and that’s a whole lot of water! So we heard of fellow cruisers starting a lottery for friends and family to guess their arrival time in Marquesas and I thought it’d be something fun to do here too. Although I don’t have much to give away by means of a prize there’s always the glory of correctly estimating the time of a trans pacific ocean crossing?!

So if anyone is interested please let me know and I’ll set up the details!


  1. Todd Lyon · · Reply

    My guess is twenty days, eight hours, thirty two minutes! Good luck and have fun.

  2. Our first guesses from Auntie Sherry and Pierre, and Uncle Wayne:

    Pierre and Sherry say 23 days and 13 hours on the crossing pool…

    Black Tip racer uncle wayne says 22 days….

  3. […] feel free to leave your crossing time prediction in the comments section of the “South Pacific Crossing Lottery” and keep an eye on the twitter feed on the homepage to get live updates from the middle of […]

  4. I wish you clear skies, favorable winds, and smooth sailing arriving at Marquesas safe and sound on Grandma Phyllis’s birthday, May 6th. So let’s call that 19 days and 19 hours. Take care and stay well!

  5. I’m gonna go with 120kn a day avg for Oceanna
    So 25 days.
    Enjoy guys. Amazing feeling. It feels like u r in space.

  6. 24 days 12 hours

  7. Sarah Stu G Schmidt · · Reply

    Fun vote: cinco de mayo (may 5).
    Real vote: may 9 at sunrise

  8. Aunty Susan · · Reply

    This may be considered ‘cheating’ but I’m adding my SPC lotto guess anyway…..May 7 at 3:30pm… that you are not landing in the dark!!I hope you have continued safe voyage!

  9. Lyndsey Carmichael · · Reply

    The crazy Carmichaels guess 22 days and 10 hours! Good luck guys! We love the updates and blog posts!

  10. Maria · · Reply

    20 days and 23 hours

  11. Wayne Baiton · · Reply

    Not really an underestimate,…I was expecting more ‘fish on’ the lines to interrupt progress!
    well done, and congrats…Thor Heyerdahl would be proud.
    If not, I am

  12. delma · · Reply

    Looks like Pam was right on the money–good thing for Grandma Phyllis’s Bd. Well Done. So happy for you two!! Can’t wait to hear some stories and see some pics!! Thanks for all the messages along the way–made the voyage easier for me(ha ha)

  13. Thanks Delma, I guess that’s all the recognition the lottery winner gets after a fair bit of worrying about sailors on the BIG Blue.
    I was telling people here that the winner should at least get a fish and I would even go pick it up!

  14. Greg Penner · · Reply

    Love your blog. Meghan E. told me about your trip. I will be watching and enjoying your reports. Have a good one guys. Our prayers are with you. 30 days on the crossing. I am totally jelous. I never had the guts to do what you’re doing.

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