Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Still Anchored in Omoka Penrhyn

Hello All,
We are waiting for the wind to come down a bit before we move across the lagoon. There is a very nice protected anchorage on the east side but I want to wait for the wind waves to come down before I try to get the anchor out of the coral. It feels hung up in a few spots so I will wait for the motion of the boat to settle before we try.
We didn't do much yesterday, just read books and chatted some. I read up on a few manuals for the systems on board that I haven't had time to read so it was time well used. We will go into town today and see about getting more of my money exchanged. There is no bank to do this, there are a few locals that have small businesses that can do it for us. We will try to get to the east side tomorrow afternoon so until then I will talk to you all later.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A very friendly island

Hello All,
We got visited by all the officials this morning. They were all very nice people. They came out to the boat and checked us all in. They have a few fees I needed to pay and so I needed to exchange some money. After that Jon and I went to the village to look around and went to find a place to change some American dollars into New Zealand dollars. There is a guy by the airport that we were told does this and so we walked 2 miles to go meet him. He has a little store with basic stuff and he told us he was out of money till Thursday. So we walked back to town and looked around a little more and met some really nice locals. One was the teacher at the school and offered us his computer to check internet emails and stuff. We ran into a few others that invited us in there home and just wanted to visit. It was really cool to be able to speak to them in English after 3 months of French speaking people. The Cook Islands are Independent but are very dependent on New Zealand for funding and capital projects. We learned today that Penrhyn has had better days for economy. They used to do pearl farming here in till the late 90s. At that time there were 2000 people that lived here, now there is 200 so you can imagine what the place looks like.
Tomorrow we will head across the lagoon to get protection from the 25 knot winds and 2 foot wind waves that are hitting us right now. As usual the chain got caught on a coral head tonight so we had to reset the anchor chain in the dark, I must be numb to this by now.
We were told that the east side of the atoll is very nice and has some good snorkeling and is protected from the east winds we are feeling right now so we will eye ball navigate our way across tomorrow and check it out. We will be back on Thursday to check out and move on to the next atoll so I will keep you up to date on our progress.
That's all for now and will talk to you soon.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Made it to Penryhn Atoll

Hello All,
We made it to the atoll at 0800 this morning (06-27-2010). We drifted on a sea anchor for 6 hours last night 20 miles south east of the Island. The wind was blowing 20 knots all night so I kept the main sail up to help keep the boat steady, it worked out great. We drifted to the west about 4 miles in 6 hours time so I was very pleased. It is the first time I have tried my new sea anchor and it worked awesome. For those of you who don't know what one is, it is basically a parachute that you put in the water and tie off to the boat to help you keep from drifting so far and it keeps the boat at a nice angle to the seas so it makes it more comfortable than just drifting. The motion is almost better than sailing the boat so it makes for a nice platform for sleep, work on the boat or just taking a break.
When we got to the pass of the atoll I saw some markers that were on the chart but didn't exist in the pass so I questioned where the pass was and had Jon air up the raft and go take a look for me just to make sure we were in the right place. He took his snorkel gear with him and headed out. He screened the whole area and snorkeled part of the pass and came back and said this is it. I know that sounds a little paranoid on my part but we had the time and coral reefs are not something that I want to bump into at all.
We eye ball navigated our way to the anchorage because there is no markers at all here and found a place right by the village to anchor.There is tons of coral heads here so we laid out the chain as straight as we could so as not to get it wrapped around one.
After we got settled the customs called up on the VHF radio and told us they will be out to the boat to check us in to the country in the morning. So all is good here and can't wait to go ashore and check the place out. We are the only boat here and I am told they like to visit with cruisers so I will let you know how it goes. This is mainly a stop for people heading for Hawaii so we are mavericks for this area still heading south.
I will talk to you guys soon.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Anchored off Penrhyn (Sat.6-26-2010)

Hello All,
We are hove to with the sea anchor 20 miles south east of the Island. Our timing put us here way to early so we are adrift at the moment. Last night was a good sail and decent weather and today it was blowing pretty hard so we had everything reefed down so it was a little slow going. We will be getting in about 0800 in the morning so we will have the tide with us going through the pass. We are all going to lay down here for a bit so I will be brief. I will write when we get settled in and I will give you all the details.
That's all for now.


Friday, June 25, 2010

A little closer to Penrhyn

Hello All,
After writing you last night we had all kinds of fun. Can you say squall, we had so many I lost count. Most were just wet but a few had some wind to go along with, so I stayed up with Delphine on her watch and made sure we could get the sails down or help in any way. We did pull the jib down once after seeing one coming that was massive. It is good moon light right now so we could see well and they pick up on the radar also. After Jon came on deck things settled down and I went to bed. I got up this morning and it was sun shining and there was good wind. I asked Jon how it went and he said right after I went to bed it poured on him, he said it was a waterfall from the sky. I just laughed and said, I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets wet on a watch.
Our timing to make the atoll could be better. I figure us to be there to late to get in the pass with good light so I have slowed the boat down to get there Sunday morning. That is the plan anyway. I figure it will beat heaving to all night by the Island or circling it 50 times just to kill time. The atoll is only 11 miles long and 6 miles wide so this will be interesting to see this place. The closest Island to it is 200 miles away so it is all by its self.
We spotted some Orca whales today, at least that's what they look like to me, black with white spots, so that made our day. They were swimming around us checking us out and we were doing the same. That was the excitement for the day. I hope tonight will be less eventful and I can get some good sleep.
That's all for now so I will talk to you tomorrow.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Still sailing to Penrhyn

Hello All,
We are more than half way to Penrhyn now. In about 48 hours we should be at the the Cooks Islands Atoll. I hope it will be in the after noon. If not we will have to heave to all night out side the entrance till day light. All is well so far, every one is doing great. The sailing has been good. The wind let up a little today so we just dropped the main and put the Yankee jib back up. We are making between 5 and 5.5 knots so we are pleased. My McGyver fix to the radar pole is holding good so far, I am still holding my breath. Jon is trying a new fishing lure today so maybe we will have fish tonight, we will see.
That's all I know for now on the high seas so I will talk to you tomorrow.

Oh one more thing, my friend in Homer that has been updating my location on my web site has gone on a sailing trip for 3 weeks in Prince William Sound so the location on my site will be out dated till he returns.


Half way to Penrhyn

Hello All,
We are almost half way to Penrhyn Island. Wind and seas have been decent and we made 123 miles today. We did have some trouble though. The stainless steel pole that holds up my radar and my GPS antenna decided to break in half today. The sea wasn't to bad so all of us went to work to repair it with spare metal I had on board, hose clamps, a boat hook some twine and a pair of vise grips this will get us to Penrhyn I hope. Out side of all of that it has been just fine so far. We did have 2 squalls that hit us last night, lots of wind,rain and it all happens at night.
Well that's all for now, I will talk to you all soon.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heading to Penrhyn Atoll

Hello All,
We are 2 days out of Bora Bora heading for Penrhyn Atoll. It has been a fast trip so far, wind has been blowing 20 knots and the seas are about 8 feet. The wind is mostly on our stern so I am only able to fly the yankee jib. Even with just flying the one sail we have been making around 6 knots.I hope to be there by Friday sometime.
Jon caught a fish yesterday right before dinner, it was about a 15 pound Wahoo. I don't think I have had one of those before.Delphine cooked it up with some potatoes and boy was that good. All of us are working on getting our sea legs back. With just the one sail and a following sea the boat is rolling a lot but every one is eating and today we all feel much better. We have had a few rain and wind squalls but in between it is sunny and nice so life is good.
The boat made 127 miles in 24 hours so I am happy about that. Hope it keeps up.
That is all for now, so I will give you an update tomorrow.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stormy in Paradise

Hello All,
We are in the middle of a big storm that has come up from the south.We are on a mooring so as long as it doesn't let go we will be just fine.This is one of the finest anchorages in Bora Bora so we came to the right place.The wind has gusted up to 50 knots so far. The wind waves crossing the lagoon are meeting the sea at the reef and making waves at least 25 feet tall,it is an awesome site.We are just hanging out today not doing a whole lot.
Jon and I went to a night club just down the road last night and danced till 0400 so we are a bit slow today.I figured we would have one last night out before heading off tomorrow provided this weather comes down.If not we will be here till it does.
Well that is all for now so I will talk to you guys soon.


Bora Bora Yacht Club

Hello All,
We are back at Bora Bora Yacht Club tied to one of the moorings.We spent the last 2 days on the east side of the island anchored in 2 different places.It was beautiful and the water so clear but the weather has been horrible.We had 30 knot winds south of the island last night,I slept about 3 hours last night from all the rigging shrieking and the chain dragging around on the bottom.It has been over cast with dark clouds and rain.We anchored in 10 feet of water and even with all the weather you could still see the sand on the bottom and the coral heads.This morning we decided to head back the the yacht club on the west side that is more protected and wait for the weather.We will leave here monday for the northern cooks,it looks like we have a good weather window for the next 5 days and i hope to be there by then.I wished the weather was better, Bora Bora has so much to offer but i am way out of time now so we will move on the first of the week.I am ready to get going anyway,I guess its the truck driver in me.Been here done that so lets get on with it.
Well thats all for now,I will send an update along the way.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Hail to Pamplemousse

Hello All,
I have been wanting to write this story for a while now. I will take you back to the first time we set foot in the Marquesas Islands. It was a wonderful time where everything was new, the people the country and the fruit, oh the wonderful fruit of the Marquesas islands. One in particular was the Pamplemousse. This green citrus fruit ranges from 6 to 8 inches around and has a very thick skin. What is inside is laid out pretty much like a grapefruit but that is where the similarities end. The taste is sweet like an orange but with a slight sourness of a grapefruit. You can eat them like an orange with no extra additives to make it taste sweeter. It is heavenly just like it is.
I tried to find out the origin of the magical fruit but every time I googled it I couldn't read the history because it was all in French. The one thing I do know about it is, that it's grown in the Marquesas and sent to the rest of French Polynesia and sold at fresh fruit markets. You can get them for free from the locals in the Marquesas, in fact on one of our walking tours we had 4 locals give us 10 of them, our packs were so full we had to carry a few in our hands. Almost every one there had a Pamplemousse tree in there yard. Those were the days. After leaving the islands we never saw any more. If you wanted one you had to buy it from a market and I could never bring myself to buy one when I got so many for free. So I decided the Pamplemousse will just be a good memory, until yesterday when we moved the boat to the east side of the island. Jon and I took the dingy into shore on one of the Motu's and met a local that lived there. We talked to him for a few hours and told him all about the trip. He offered us some Pamplemousse that his dad sends him from the Marquesas and I was in heaven once again.


I will miss you.

East Lagoon of Bora Bora

Hello All,
We made it to the east lagoon of Bora Bora. It is a lot different over here, it is not as populated and the water is very clear. A few of the passes to get here are very swallow but it is very well marked. Jon and I went to one of the motus after dropping the anchor and met a really nice local. We visited with him for 2 hours and told him about my adventure. He was very interested in hearing about my travels. He told us about some good places to snorkel on the south of the island and gave us a few coconuts to eat. After that we came back to the boat and Delphine made us a really good dinner and we talked till everyone wanted to go to bed.
We will be here on the east side till Sunday or Monday waiting for good wind and I will let you know how it all goes.
I will talk to you soon.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Officially checked out and unofficially staying

Hello All,
I have never been a pirate but after midnight tonight I am one.We are all checked out of the country but havent left yet lol.I plan on staying until Saturday so we can explore more of the island.
Yesterday after checking out with customs and getting my bond back we moved over to the Bora Bora Yacht Club.They have moorings for boats and a small bar for sun downers and meeting fellow cruisers.They are really friendly folks and have showers and a washing machine.After checking in we went across the lagoon to another motu and went snorkeling,it wasent all that great but got to see some cool fish and got to cool off from the sun.
This morning Jon and I went to the beach and went for a walk to a view point to get some some pics and look around.More than half way up the trail we found a really good spot to take pics and continued on.Not far after that the trail got super muddy from all the rain lately and was to hard to walk in our flip flops so we made it back to the road and hitched a ride to the south of the island.There were a few beach resorts down there and a few shops and beautiful beaches,it was awesome.On the return back we had a drink at a bar called Bloody Marys,it is a famous bar here and has a list of celebrities including Jimmy Buffet,Warren Buffet,Bill Gates and Kurt Russell just to name a few.Delphine stayed on the boat today to read and just relax.
Tomorrow we will take the boat around the inside of the lagoon to the western coast.I have been told it is very beautiful and has some good snorkeling anchorages.
I will let you know how that goes and will talk to everyone soon.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Checking out

Hello All,
I know i promised an update yesterday but due to internet connections and things to do I put it off till tonight.Yesterday morning all 3 of us went to town,we did a little shopping and just looked around.Delphine went to get on the internet and Jon and I took a walk to the Bora Bora Yacht Club to see about mooring my boat there for a few days.They were very friendly and have lots of spare moorings for boats.I costs a little to moor there but they offer a shower,laundry and water to fill the tanks.We were suppose to move there today but when I tried to check out of the country with the officials they wanted me to wait to check out the day before.So we are spending one more day here in town before moving over to the Yacht Club.
After having a beer at the bar of the yacht club Jon went hitch hiking to see the rest of the island and I met up with Dephine back at the dingy.We took a trip across the lagoon to a little motu,a motu is an island that makes up part of the reef,we went snorkeling by the motu to look at the coral,it wasent that great but the water was so clear we still had a good time.We went on the isalnd and looked around,it wasent that big but it was filled with palm trees and white sandy beaches.When Jon got back later in the afternoon he had a really good time exploring the island.He went all the way around,which is only 20 miles and said the best side is the east side of the island.
After we spend a few days at the yacht club we will take the boat around the island and find some cool places to snorkel and explore.We will be here past our official time but what are they gonna do ,kick me out lol.
I will keep you updated and let you know how it goes.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

In Bora Bora

Hello All,
We made it to Bora Bora this afternoon. All went well, we sailed for more than half the way then there were a few squalls that stole our wind so we motored for the rest of the way. This Island is amazing with the fringing reef surrounding it. We found a really cool spot to anchor right by town so we went and took a stroll around. We will look more tomorrow but it looks very cool and we will have only a few days to explore. I will let you know what we find out about the place tomorrow night. We are all tired so I will say goodbye. I will talk to you tomorrow. See ya.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Bike Tour

Hello All,
Today started off awesome,the sun was shineing very little wind,just a great morning.So I got out my bike and we all went to shore.Dephine and Jon rented 2 bikes and we set off to go around the north Island.What we discovered along the way was this is one of the most beautiful Islands I have visited to date.The road that goes around had an awesome view point of the bay we were anchored in the other day and it was breath taking.I got lots of pics of the whole trip and they turned out great.It took us 4 hours to go around.We took our time and just took it all in.We stopped at a store in one of the little villages and got a drink of Rotui juice,of coarse,and while we were there we saw a guy feeding eels in this little river.They were jumping out of the water to get the food,it was amazing to watch.Jon and I took a swim in the ocean when we got back to the north side of the Island.That felt really good after burning up all morning.When we returned back to the boat we got it all ready to set sail tonight.We are heading for Bora Bora at 2100.It is 53 miles so I want to get there by morning.We didnt have enough time here but at least we got to see it.
I will let you know how it all goes tomorrow.I hope we get to sail tonight.The wind has been light the last week so it is due to pick up I hope.
Thats all for now.I will talk to you tomorrow.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fare Village,Huahine

Hello All,
We made it over to Fare Village yesterday afternoon.After getting anchored we took a dingy trip to town.This is the coolest village ever.There is a bank,post office,lots of shops and a grocery store that carries everything you can imagine.We found a bike rental shop and we were scheduled to rent 2 bikes today to go for a ride but is has been pouring down rain this morning so i think we will postpone until tomorrow.As of now we are just hanging out on the boat and relaxing.Jon is toasting French baguettes ,Delphine is naming pics on her computer and I am talking to you guys.It has been an exciting morning so far.It looks like we will go re schedule are bike ride so I better get going.
Talk to you all soon.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Arrived at Huahine, Moreo Bay

Hello All,
We made it to Huahine yesterday morning. We had to motor the whole 80 miles due to no wind. I anchored in Maroe Bay which is on the east side of the island. It is actually in a wide spot in the channel that separates the 2 islands that make up Huahine. It is very protected and has been like a lake since we have been in here. We are the only boat anchored in here and it has been so peaceful. This is one of my top 5 most beautiful anchorages to date. The only bad thing about this bay is it is deep. I had to anchor in 100 feet of water. I got some good photos and I will post them when I can. There is a small village by where we anchored so we took a walk yesterday and looked around.
I think we will move this afternoon to the northwest side of the Island. There is a small town there called Fare. It is a popular anchorage for cruising boats.
That' all for now.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Still in Moorea

Hello All,
I decided to stay in Moorea one more day.We went to the beach and explored around yesterday morning.We walked along the road for a few miles and and just admired the water front and the beautiful white sand beach.When we returned we had lunch with Curious and visited till it got dark.Brian with Futhur came by and so did a couple from San Francisco.We had a sundowner on Futhur later on and then went and had dinner with Steve and Trish.We also had movie night.They have never seen Captain Ron so I brought the movie over.We had a great time.
Today we will try to leave again.The boat needs cleaned up and I need to stow some stuff.I hope to leave by 1500.
I will let you know how it goes and I will give an update along the way.
P.S.As you can see I have managed to get 2 photos uploaded YAY!I will work on trying to get more up in my photos page.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tahitian Manta Rays

Hello All,
We moved over to Opunohu Bay yesterday morning.It took us about an hour to make the is basicly right next door to Cooks Bay.Futher was already over here at the anchorage.They have been exploring the area and passing on the info telling us all the cool spots to go.Curious came over also and after getting settled in we took a trip in steves dingy and went to go see the Manta rays and sharks.It is a spot about a mile west of here.The water was crystal clear with a sandy bottom about 4 feet deep.There was hundreds of sharks and Manta rays.Brian brought some fish food scraps and was feeding the Manta rays.They come right up to you and grab the food right out of your hand and then rub you with there fins in a very friendly way.I was petting them like a dog when they would come close enough.I have never been so close to sea life before.The sharks were up to 6 feet long and they swam around like we didnt exist,which was a good thing.That was such a great experience and like I have said before I dont know how I can beat it.
We will be moving on to Huahine Island about 1730 tonight so we can make it there by daylight.It is 80 miles north west of here.From there Bora Bora is only 23 miles away so French Polynesia is coming to a close for me.
We will have lunch with Curious today.This will be the last time we will see them for a few monthsThey will be hanging out here in French Polynesia for another month.We hope to meet up again in Fiji.I never realized how hard it was gonna be to say good bye.I have met some really fine folks so far and we will all meet up again down the line.
I think we will jump in the dingy and go exploring today so I better get going.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Dry Waterfalls

Hello All,
We started yesterday with a plan to see the waterfalls about 10 miles from here.We tied the dingy up at the hotel on the waterfront and the gentlemen we ran into at the office told us the waterfalls were dry and really nothing to see so we took a walk around the bay to the Rotui Juice Factory.I have been drinking the Rotui juice since we arrived in Polynesia and it is awesome.It is made out of all local fruit and only sold in Polynesia.They dont allow tours of the factory but they have a gift shop.I asked them about selling it in alaska and they gave me a card with the marketing salesmen's phone number.I think it could be a big hit.I can see it now,M&M Market now sells Rotui,the only place in the US that sells it lol.We spent an hour there and then took a walk to check out the beach.We went for a swim to cool off and had a picnic.We hitch hiked back because we were so tired of walking and as we got in the dingy Curious had showed up.We had an awesome dinner with them,We had Chinese food that Steve and Trish did an awesome job on,then they broke out a very fancy bottle of French red wine,some bread and french cheese.He told me before we started,now Rick you must first smell the wine and only sip it.I think he knows me to well now lol.
Today we will explore again,i am not sure where but I am sure we will find a place.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Moorea

Hello All,
We arrived on Moorea Island yesterday afternoon.We had a good sail over ,wind was blowing 20 knots and we were on a beam reach.We made pretty good time considering i have a green crew and just trying to get them used to all the systems on the boat.We arrived at 1700 and got the hook droped and had a sun downer and later we had a tuna that we caught on the crossing.Jon has brought good luck to the boat,only minutes after leaving Papeete we hooked a maui maui,it must have been 30 pounds,it got off the hook when we tried to bring it aboard.Oh well next time.
Today we took a hike up a mountain here and had a beautiful view of both of the protected bays here on the island.Right when we got back we met up with Futher at the beach hotel and went and saw some tahitian dancing with a live band..Tomorrow we were talking about seeing some waterfalls so we will get up and decide what we want to do.We are only here a few days so we are trying to fit it all in.
Thats all for now so I will talk to you soon