Brian and MV Furthur

Dear Seleners,

Welcome to the ninth annual Selene Rendezvous. I am writing this anchored in Taiohae Bay on the island of Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas Islands about 600 miles south of the equator. The emerald green water is eighty-six degrees and I will jump in for a swim when I am done. This morning I was served crepes at a dock side stand, I was returning from getting my daily baguette and fresh tropical fruit—yes this is paradise!

Since I left in September I have logged over 6,000 miles of ocean travel. The worst seas I have seen were just off the Washington coast and not as bad as I have seen in Puget Sound. Most of the time I had had following seas and light winds. Navigating Mexico, the Pacific-(one long way point) and the south sea islands has proven to be less challenging than a trip to Alaska—no rapids here.

Since I have left the good ol’ USA I have met a constant flow of marvelous people. The great friends I met in Mexico were a real treasure. We could all learn a lesson in family values from the Mexicans. The cruising community gets better and better the farther you get from home—it is a true community out here. I now know why the Polynesians lured sailors to mutiny for centuries they are truly beautiful people. At no time have I been made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, quite the opposite I am constantly overwhelmed by the hospitality, honesty and pure decency of the people I have met.

We crossed the mighty Pacific Ocean from Puerto Vallarta to Hiva Oa, 2720 nautical miles in seventeen days and seven hours averaging 6.6 knots and consuming just over 800 gallons of fuel. The trip was mechanically uneventful and spiritually amazing. There is nothing, absolutely nothing as stunning as the stars on a clear night at sea. The tranquility experienced in the middle of the ocean has to be experienced to be appreciated. We went two weeks without seeing another vessel. We did have radio contact with the other Puddle Jumpers twice a day on the SSB radio net, something we all looked forward to. Furthur performed flawlessly on the crossing, the Cummins QSL purred like a kitten at 910 rpm for 416 hours. I have had only minor systems glitches on the entire seven month trip. This is a tribute to the fine folks who commissioned her and the high quality of the boat itself.

I hope you all are following my blog but more so I hope more of you cut the dock lines and all the things that keep us marooned on land and get cruising, you will never regret it. I hope to see more of you as I circumnavigate this wonderful world of ours. As the saying goes, “just do it”. May your Selenes take you to the far ends of your imagination.

Happy boating,

Capt. Brian Calvert

MV Furthu Selene 482

Land Ho, after 17 days at sea

Paradise found

Furthur at anchor Hanaiapa Bay

The Adventures of Furthur
The Story of crossing the Pacific Ocean in a Selene 48’

“Brian is leaving tomorrow a.m.   He will be leaving with two other crew members.   He was in great spirits.  The first leg of his journey will be if you will the longest.  He will be sending position reports on a daily basis from what we understand.   I wished him well from all of us.  He will be non stop for about 24 days or so….”

And so began the journey as we understood it from the docks here in Seattle as we learned that Brian Calvert, Master and Commander of the motor vessel FURTHUR from the tropical paradise of Puerto Vallarta to another tropical paradise 2700 miles away in the South Pacific.

We got reports from Brian on his journey, detailing us about his fuel usage, daily sights, and the conditions of daily life aboard FURTHUR, the 48’ Selene Ocean Trawler.

The 48’ Selene “FURTHUR” is a 2005 Selene Ocean Trawler with a QSM-9 Cummins 330 hp engine. The cabin layout is two gorgeous staterooms below with a pilothouse above, as well as galley and main salon on the main deck level.

The crew of Motor Vessel (MV) FURTHUR were set to leave Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to head across the Pacific Ocean for the French Polynesian Islands of The Marquesas. These islands are some 2,150 miles south of Hawaii and 2,700 miles from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a journey projected to take 21 days.

Log Book Entry - MV – FURTHUR:

“1435 Zulu

Greetings from the great Pacific Ocean.  18.55.894N 107.30.415W. 26.5 hours at sea. 165 miles from PV.  calm seas, sunny. Whales, turtles and two ships last night. All is well. Brian MV Furthur.”

Humpbacks and other marine life are always on the move, so passing them can be as close as 5 feet away or a mile away. A sharp eye out for these wonderful creatures will show you that how abundant they are on the ocean.

Log book Entry of M.V. Furthur


Now on day 8 and 1100 miles at sea.  We are at 08.16.321N 119.22.278W.  The winds have picked up to 15-18 knots with ten foot seas.  The great Selene design combined with upsized stabilizers and the articulating rudder has produced an extraordinary ride in the large following seas.  We are experiencing only a 2-4 degree yaw in the largest seas we have seen.  This straight tracking results in a smoother ride and more efficiency.  Yesterday was out best day yet logging 166 miles.  No fish caught yet but soon I hope. Skies have been mostly clear with some cloud cover and the moon is at half now making the nights most enjoyable.  It is warm in the equatorial regions so even with 15 knots of wind the nights are warm-the trade winds are all they are said to be, pure boating pleasure.  

Tomorrow we hit the half way point and will have another celebration on board.  By then we will start to enter the ITCZ or the "doldrums, welcome to us but dreaded by the sailboats.

Life at sea has fallen into a relaxing routine and the days seem to zip by.  The few boat tasks are simple and done each day then we knap, read, and snack.  The best part of the day is the afternoon "hootenanny" .  We have not seen another vessel in 4 days but we check in with the Puddle Jump Net twice a day-always good to hear from our friends on the jump.”

The ITCZ is the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which encircles the earth near the Equator and is the area where the winds from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together. Often referred to as the Monsoon Trough, it is better known as the Doldrums. The erratic weather patterns of this area are often associated with stagnant calms interspersed with violent thunderstorms. This zone varies in size and location seasonally and drastically affects rainfall of many equatorial nations.

Log Book Entry – M.V. FURTHUR


Day 9, 1295 miles gone and 1295 miles to go!  6'23.603N 121'26.638W.  We are entering the ITCZ and have had cloud cover and rain squalls all last night and today, no lightning and only light rain so far.  The winds are still with us and have picked up a bit-15-20 knots.  This should ease up today.  

The rain has made a good opportunity to run the AC unit in the PH as it is 86 degrees and very humid.  The system works well off the inverter, draws 14 amps and 1kw draw on the system.  I try not to run it for long periods on the inverter to minimize the work load of the Balmar alternator but it is a real treat to have.

We will cross the equator on Sunday and have our celebration all planned including Liz's root beer floats.  

I transferred the last bladder yesterday so on day 8 we have 90% full tanks.  Full usage is as I predicted we have used app. 450 gallons at the half way point.  

The boat is performing flawlessly, the ride is great and the crew are all well.  

Brian and the crew of Furthur.

The Selene 48 has a fuel capacity of 1,000 gallons. Brian Calvert added fuel bladders that were kept on deck to be used first during the cruise, draining the on-deck bladders by gravity and then to clear the decks once they were emptied. Brian added 300 gallons of fuel in 3 separate fuel bladders, one located forward behind the Portuguese bridge and the other two on the side decks. These bladder tanks can be rolled up when emptied and stored below in the lazarette. They give you extended range without the addition of fixed fuel tanks. With 1,000 gallons, the range of the Selene 47 is roughly 3,000 miles. Brian added the bladders in part to provide an extra measure of safety, expecting to burn close to 900 gallons or so.

This is an example of a fuel bladder, which can be hooked to run through the Racor Filter and ESI Fuel Polishing System, then into the engine, thereby keeping your system safe and reliable.

Hiva Oa, FURTHUR’s destination, is the second largest island in the Marquesas Islands, which is a French Territory. The name means “long ridgepole,” possibly a description of the long central ridge that defines the island. Population is around 2,000 persons and was the final home of French painter Paul Gaugin. The Marquesas Islands are called Te Henua (K)enana for the North Marquesas and Te Fenua ‘Enata for the South Marquesas, both of which mean “The Land of Men”. The highest point in the island chain is Mount Oave on the Island of Ua Pu, and is 4,045 above sea level.

Log Book Entry – M.V. FURTHUR

“Day 13, under the watchful eye of Selene shining in the full moon, Furthur crossed the equator.   With cameras poised the crew waited as the latitude countdown began.  I have dreamed about taking this picture for years, Lat. 00.00.00 and we entered the southern hemisphere for my first time. One of life's great treasures for sure.

Liz had researched the rituals and ceremonies and came prepared with a list of things to do, some we passed on-like shaving our heads, some we observed.  As my watch was the one just before we crossed I busily scavenged for costume material.  When I woke the crew two miles before the crossing, I had the appropriate props ready.  Bob is our resident Shellback so he got the honors of being Kink Neptune, a tin foil crown made the distinction.  The Pollywogs, by tradition, do a sex role reversal.  Liz donned a white beard (made from an old t shirt) and I a long wig-(same t shirt) and a breast augmentation the likes of which are only seen at Florida boat shows.  

We toasted with non alcoholic Champagne and gave our thanks to Neptune for our safe passage.  We were now all Shellbacks.  Liz had prepared certificates which King Neptune signed indicating hers and mine transition into this elite group.   Once again I am reminded of how small a group we now belong. The league of pleasure boat owners who have made this passage is very small and those that have done it in trawlers is smaller yet.  We are all very proud to be in this league.

While ocean passage making is not for everyone, I can assure you that it is one of the greatest joys a boater can have.  We are in clear skies, light winds and fair seas. The last thirteen days have gone by very fast yet each has a special memory.  

We now have a great following current adding over one knot to our speed and we expect to be in Hiva Oa by Saturday.  Although we have all enjoyed the passage, the sound of "land ho" will be welcome.

Log book Entry – M.V. FURTHUR

“Furthur” in the Marquesas

The first crossing of a major ocean by a Selene is complete!!

After 17 days and 7 hours, 416 engine hours and 2719 miles we dropped the hook in Altuana on Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands early on the afternoon of 4/3. “ 

“It was a long wonderful largely uneventful crossing.  We only saw two other vessels, one large one small after we left the coastal traffic of Mexico.  We did not have winds over 20 knots and had mostly large following seas.  The boat performed flawlessly, the engine purred unchanged for the entire trip at 920 rpm.  I landed (with) just over 1/3 tanks so my fuel usage was as anticipated, about 900 usg. “

There are 9 boats in the anchorage and we are the only Yanks.  We have already made new friends and just enjoyed a magnificent meal with the crews from two boats.  We are in the land of French cooking! “ “The Marquesas are more beautiful than I imagined, a total treasure.   I have looked forward to this day for many years and it was all I had hoped for, I am full of gratitude.”

Keep an eye out for the next installment of The Adventures of FURTHUR! Happy Cruising, fellow Selene Ocean Explorers!