Monday, May 30, 2011

Photos and Position updates

Hello All,
The last few days we have just been relaxing and hanging out. I am at a local hotel using there Internet to up load some new photos and update my position so you can see where I am at on the planet. I am loading some photos under New Zealand and Fiji. so take a look when you get a chance. The Internet is a little slow here so bear with me. I think we will leave here on Thursday and Island hop up to Savu Savu so I should get more photos loaded when I get there.
Thats all for now so talk to you soon.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making Friends in Levuka

Hello All,

The last few days we have been here we have met some really nice locals. They have invited us to there home and fed us. They have showed us around and took us to a really cool water fall yesterday where we could swim in the pond. After the hike up it was really nice to jump in the fresh water. It is to easy to forget how kind the people are here so I am glad I have returned.
The weather has been rainy but today we got a break and had sun most of the day. We cleaned up the boat and dried out weather gear from the soaking wet passage up here from New Zealand. I found leaks in my boat I didn't know existed so I have been busy cleaning up salt water in some of the lockers. Finding the source of the leaks is another issue that I will have to look into at some point.
We will stay here for another week and do more exploring and visiting. This was the first capital of Fiji before the British made it a colony so the local motto is "You haven't been to Fiji till you have come to Levuka" I was visiting with one of the locals when we first got here and he asked me if this was my first time in Fiji, I said no, I was here last year but it is my first time here in Levuka, he told me, so it is your first time in Fiji lol.

That's all for now so I will keep you guys posted.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Made it to Levuka, Ovalau Island Fiji

Hello All,
We made it to Fiji this morning at 1000. Checking in was a bit more complicated than I remember but it's all settled now and we will be here a week.
I am very tired so I will keep this brief. All is well and we had lunch on the beach. It was really nice to see land again. I will keep you posted and try to find internet in town the next few days.

That's all for now.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

20 10.05S 179 53.55E

Hello All,
We finally got a little break from strong winds and high seas. We have been making a lot of easting on the passage to try to make Minerva Reef. After I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do because of the weather we turned towards Fiji. The wind started turning to the north so we were hard on the weather and it was not fun at all. The port rail was always in the water and the deck looked like a submarine from all of the water on deck so I found a more western approach to the Koro sea and we are now almost running with the waves at our stern. We should see the most southern Fiji Islands by this after noon then we will be just a day out of Savu Savu. We are all pretty tired of the passage and looking forward to being done.
Getting back to paradise hasn't been easy but it will make it be all the sweeter.
I will let you know how it goes through the Koro Sea tomorrow.


Monday, May 23, 2011

22 14.64S 179 44.43E

Hello All,
The last 48 hours have been high winds and rough sea. This is not the dream passage for a sailor but all that being said I am still full to the top with diesel fuel and I have been finding small annoying leaks in the cabin that I haven't been able to find in the past until now with all of the salt water spray and dipping the rails in the water. The wind has come down tonight but I don't expect that to last. It is suppose to be more of the same weather for the next few days. We had the first Tropical squall of the season last night. I can't say I was thrilled to see it but it is nice to know we are back in the tropics again.
I hope to be entering the Koro Sea Fiji by Thursday and Savu Savu by Friday. That is the plan and as usual all subject to change.
The guys are doing okay, this is there first ocean crossing and we all agree that we will be glad to get our feet on land again.
I'm on watch tonight so I better get.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

25 19.86S 178 50.01E

Hello All,
The last 24 hours has kicked are butt. The wind came up yesterday morning to 30 knots gusting 40 and has just come down this morning. For the first time on my trip I put up my tri sail, it is much smaller than my double reef main and is working like a charm. Seas built up to 16 feet but they didn't pose any danger, just a rough ride and we all got soaking wet. It's not over yet but I hope as we go it gets a little easier. Every thing is good but we are all a little tired.
That's all for now and I will keep you posted.


Friday, May 20, 2011

27 31.56S 178 15.84S

Hello All,
I am on a night watch at the moment so I thought I would take the time to fill you in on the last few days. The wind and the seas have come down to make it easier to type and still be able to stand up. I got the Main up today with a double reef with the staysail so the boat is moving right along. We haven't set and passage speed records yet but we are making good time. I have been down loading the weather and it looks like the trade winds are going to be a full on easterly to get us into Fiji in the next week. We will be passing the half way point today so we are pretty excited. I haven't decided if I will stop at Minerva Reef yet. I will wait and see and if the wind is good to go on in to Fiji we will just skip the reef.
Alex and Renaud have been doing an awesome job on the boat. The first 3 days were rough so I was really glad to have good hands to help out.
We haven't seen any other boats out here since are first night out but I can hear them on the cruisers net in the mornings on the radio. About 12 of us or more left on Monday for Tonga and Fiji.
I fixed breakfast for the guys this morning, eggs, hash browns and toast. It is a lot of fun to make fried eggs on a moving boat but I managed to do 6 with out breaking a yoke hehe.
Well, I better get back to my watch so I will talk to you soon.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

28 58.92S 177 27.77E

Hello All,
We are now in day 5 of the Southern Ocean crossing to Savu Savu Fiji. I would have written sooner but we have been to busy trying to hold on. We have made good time but the wind has been very strong and the seas have been 8 to 10 feet. We have just been flying the staysail since yesterday and we are still making 5 knots speed. It has been like this the last 36 hours. We are still making good easting so just to take a little break I think we will stop at Minerva Reef but that will be subject to change when we get closer.
Every one is doing well on board. We haven't made any gourmet meals but we are sleeping and eating.
That's all for now, I will talk to you soon


Monday, May 16, 2011

33 16.36S 175 34.55E

Hello All,

We are making way heading north to the tropics. The wind has been blowing 25 to 30 knots off of the beam for the last day and a half. We have 2 reefs in the main sail and flying only the staysail forward. We are making good speed and the seas are about 8 feet. We are heading more east than Fiji to get into more favorable winds after getting into the tropics.
There is a small fringing reef on our way called Minarva Reef. It has no land, only a reef protecting the lagoon. I am told it's like anchoring in the ocean but with no swell. I have a few cruising friends that are going to stop there so I hope to meet up with them there. We have about 5 more days to go at our current speed.
The guys are doing good, we have only fixed simple meals because of the roll of the boat but it is suppose to ease up in the next few days so will be easier to make something good.
It has been a long time since I have been out here on the open water but I am getting used to it all over again.
I will talk to you later.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Leaving Today

Hello All,
We checked out with customs this morning and I went around and said my goodbyes. It looks like there is about 10 boats or more leaving today. We got the boat all ready to go so now I am just getting ready mentally. We are all very excited to get going and the weather looks good.
I will be writing blogs on the passage so you will know where I am at. I wont be able to update my position till I get to Internet again.
I am going to get busy so I will talk to you later.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Leaveing New zealand Monday

Hello All.
The weather looks like its good to leave Monday. We met with a guy that has sailed to the Islands from here for the last 30 years and he says Monday is the day for us to go to Fiji. We took the 10 minute ride on the Russell ferry across to the Island where he lives and paid him a visit at his home. He was kind enough to explain the southern weather to us. He is originally from Germany and is a really nice guy and we met up with him today to look at the forecast. I learned allot about the southern ocean from him because of his experience sailing here and his knowledge of the area. Steve from Curious and his crew went along also.
We will get the last minute things together for the boat tomorrow and head out Monday afternoon. We are all getting excited to go and I hope it all works out for an awesome passage.
I am ready to leave but have made some good friends here so will be hard to say good by. New Zealand has been beautiful and an awesome place to wait out the cyclone season but I am ready to move on.
I am looking forward to Fiji again and all I have missed there and the places I haven't seen yet so I guess I will talk to you soon.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bay of Islands sailing tour

Hello All,
We just finished a 4 day trip of cruising around some awesome anchorages I have been wanting to visit all summer. We sailed to to most of them and ran the engine very little. We ran into Compass Rose at one of the Islands and had a good visit and a hike around the Island. We stayed the night there and moved to another anchorage the next day and took a 2 hour hike. The weather was great till yesterday when we anchored off the town of Russell which isn't to far from Opua. We went into town and looked around and had a beer. We had very strong winds and rain yesterday so we stayed put on the boat.
This morning was much better so we went to check out the museum. Russell is an old whaling town from years ago so it has allot of history. The museum even has a 1/ 5th model of Endeavor, Captain Cooks boat he came to New Zealand on. After we got back to the boat we took it over to Paihia and went to the fresh fruit market and did a few other things.
We arrived back in Opua at 1630 and got the boat back on the mooring. We all took a shower and went and joined Curious for dinner and what we thought would be the last time I see Steve for a while. He was planing to leave tomorrow but the weather didn't look good so they will leave on Monday.
Speaking of weather it looks like we will be leaving on Monday also. The weather models are starting to show more consistent wind for here and up North which hasn't happened in a few weeks so it looks good for now.
It is getting down to days now and we are all excited. The crew did an awesome job the last four days and we had a great time hanging out. This will be a good passage no matter what happens. We will get the boat fueled and water topped up Sunday and keep are fingers crossed for good weather.
Well thats all for now and sorry it has been so long for an update.
I will keep you posted.


Friday, May 6, 2011

New crew joined the boat

Hello All,
It has been a few days since I have posted. My new crew is on board and we are waiting for a weather window to leave.
Steve on Curious showed up a few days ago and we walked to town so I could get my meds for malaria for the places I will be visiting in the next few months and he went shopping to stock up the boat. We had a great time visiting along the way of there travels of the south Island the last few weeks. Rob on Compass Rose showed up here also and have visited with him. I am sure we will all leave together with good weather to get there.
Alex and Renaud just joined me on the boat last night and we went shopping for groceries today. Bernie on Mo Mo gave us a ride to town to get a few things. I think we will have a great time , they are nice guys and easy to get along with. I hope to get them out sailing tomorrow to get to know the boat and weather permitting we will head out next week sometime. They have both been on sailboats so its nothing new to them. I am glad to have experienced crew on board for the crossing to Fiji. We will go cruise the bay of Islands while we are waiting and will be cool to visit anchorages I haven't seen yet.
Well that's all for now and I will keep in touch.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Storm warnings and pouring rain

Hello All,
I have got all of the good summer weather out of New Zealand and now I am seeing there fall. Since I last wrote we have been seeing pouring rain and 50 knot winds here in Opua. The North Cape of the Island reported 80 knot gusts yesterday. It has come down a bit this morning and is suppose to be nicer by mid week. It dosent look like there is a good weather window to head north for at least a week so I hope my crew can get up here in a timely manner so we can get the ,beep! out of here. This sucks worse than an Alaskan fall.
It is time to get back to beautiful clear water , sandy beaches and coconuts.
I will keep in touch so talk to you soon.