CHANGES With reports this month on Mike Harker starting his 11-month circumnavigation with Wanderlust III; from Crystal Wind on the skipper having to issue his first mayday in 30 years; from Mico Verde on a punctual cruising from Seattle to Australia; from Aquarelle on a fourth season of cruising in the Caribbean, including Carnival in Trinidad; from Fleetwood in South Africa; from the Wanderer on walking the docks at Marina Vallarta, and all the Cruise Notes we were able to jam in. Wanderlust III — Hunter Mariner 49 Mike Harker A One-Year Circumnavigation (Manhattan Beach) I've finally gotten my new boat out of the Miami Boat Show so I can start my circumnavigation. It's going to be a quick one, for if all goes well, I'll be in Australia for the Sydney Boat Show in July, then continue on to South Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and back to Miami for next year's boat show. Even though my boat is going to be displayed at some stops along the way, I'm intending to complete the trip in 11 months. It sure feels great to get back on the water again! I find it exhilarating to be able to go from one exotic locale to another using only the forces of nature. I really missed that during the 18 months I waited for my new boat to finally be ready. And what a beautiful boat she is! Hunter listens to their customers and dealers, so even some of my design input made it into the 'Bluewater' version of the 49. There were a few things about my Hunter 466 that I thought needed improving, and a few things I wanted to add to the new boat for my own safety and comfort while single or shorthand-
After meeting Harker at the Miami Boat Show, Kimberly McKeag of Toronto joined him for the leg down to Georgetown.
ing in heavy seas. For example, I carry an emergency rudder that stows away until needed, then fastens to the stern with already-fitted pad-eyes. I also have a Viking 6-person SOLAS liferaft and two EPIRBS, including one that is a personal model. I have two complete charting and plotting systems — the Navionics Platinum charts for the world on the RayMarine E120, and Nobeltec world charts on a laptop powered by an isolated 12-volt battery pack. This gives me options that I hope I never need to use. The Bluewater version of the Mariner 49 has a 68-ft mast that is seven feet taller than on the standard model, and a deeper keel. I have a full-roach main with three inline reefs, a self-tacking staysail, and a 120% genoa. I also have the 8-gph watermaker, so I changed one of the three 80-gallon water tanks into an reserve fuel tank with transfer pump to the 120-gallon main tank. The water, not the fuel, is filtered through a twinfilter FilterBoss cleansing system. I have a twin propeller bow-thruster for tight marinas, a Flex-O-Fold threeblade folding propeller, and the FischerPanda 12 KW genset. I had the Hunter stainless department build an arch/bimini/davit system similar to the one on my old boat, and added three 75-watt solar panels on the top. By the way, the davit system for my dinghy works really well, no matter if I'm retrieving or launching. I had three journalists along from German television during my first week of sailing. Although I was born in Southern California and still live there, I have a lot of longtime contacts in Germany, and will be doing shows for German television as I go around the globe. I'd been so busy preparing my new 49footer to circumnavigate that I didn't get time to take many photos in the beginning. But now it's different, particularly since I met such a photogenic subject as Kimberly McKeag, who will be sailing with me down to Georgetown. She's 30ish, from Toronto, and I met her at the show in Miami. She has her Power Squadron license, but needs some sea time so she can sit for her Coast Guard license. It was the perfect excuse for her to sail with me to Georgetown. She hopes to rejoin me for another week in the South Pacific.
I'm off for Jamaica and Panama, and on that latter leg expect the typical boisterous conditions. I will be providing regular reports for Latitude and 'Lectronic as I go along. In addition, I'll have my www. sail-wanderlust.com website and blog up and running before I leave Panama. I hope to see some of the Puddle Jump fleet when I reach French Polynesia. — mike 03/05/07 Readers — Harker used to bike along the shores of Santa Monica Bay. One day he stopped at the Hunter dealer in Marina del Rey and picked up a copy of Latitude. After reading about the Ha-Ha, the non-sailor bought a Hunter 34 and did the Ha-Ha with several friends from Germany. Following a singlehanded Baja Bash, he bought Wanderlust II, a Hunter 466, at the Miami Boat Show. He singlehanded her across the Atlantic to the Med. Sailing with various crew around the Med, he then crossed the Atlantic again to the Caribbean, Panama, French
The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.