After 8 months (245 days) and approximately 6000nM we are back home in Wellington. The passage across the Cook Strait this morning was fast - with Allegresse travelling at 10.6kts for a time along the south coast. Crew are well if somewhat tired - wondering what next....
We left D'Urville early Tuesday morning after a very sound sleep! We have spent the last two nights in the Sounds (Endeavour Inlet and Opua Bay). Thursday looks like a good time to make a dash across the Cook Strait - we are nearly home!
Finally made it to D'Urville Island. Typical the wind that we had been waiting for all day materialised as we entered Port Hardy Harbour - ho hum! Anchored and time for shower, beer and dinner!
Very slow progress. Wind finally dying around 4pm yesterday so we have had to resort to the 'Iron Sail'. The forecast 15NE has not kicked in, we are ever hopeful. Daybreak and sunrise over Taranaki this morning was spectacular, although too far offshore to get really good pics of the Mount Tarankai/Egmont. We hope to reach D'Urville Island before nightfall, for a good night's sleep before contemplating the weather and the push onto Wellington - so close!
Slowish progress overnight, around 8kts from the ESE at the moment, so the wind is slowly backing around to the east as forecast. After a clear stary night we have had another lovely sunrise and the day looks set for yet another great sailing day!
Today has been a perfect day in the ocean (or more correctly the Tasman Sea). Light winds - bt enough to keep us moving, flat sea, cloudless sky and a nice temperature. Slowish progress but we can put up with that. 8kts from the SSE at the moment, forecast to back around to the east in the next few hours which will help us with our course.
A pretty good first night at sea and adjustment back to life on passage seems to be going OK. We had over three kts of current around Cape Reinga for several hours that will help towards a good 24 hour run. A beautiful morning this morning with 10kts from the East in a fairly flat sea - oh and the sun is shining and it's about 20C at 7-30.
Currently in Mangonui Harbour preparing the good ship Allegresse for our return journey to Wellington. Forecast is for a lively first day and then a dying breeze - might have to motor the last sector. Depending on progress we may stopover night at D'Urville or the Sounds on Monday before heading home. Expect to be back in Welly Tuesday/Wednesday.
Nice sail across from The Barrier on Tuesday to Kawau. Anchored in School House Bay. A little disappointed to find that the DoC trails are closed due to 'professional hunters shooting rodents etc..." We'll have to come back but I suspect it will be busy! Heading to Gulf Harbour later in readiness for picking up our guest for the weekend :-)
On Friday we moved around to Fitzroy Harbour. Conditions were certainly very different to Thursday! Anchored in Smokehouse Bay Friday and moved to Kiwiriki Bay yesterday (after a quick stop off at Port Fitzroy). Current weather forecast is not conducive for moving very far, so we will try some landbased activities ie: trail walking before looking for an opportunity to head back to the mainland.
Yesterday's promised 15kt sou'wester ended up being a 6kt westerly, so we motored pretty much all the way to Great Barrier Island. Made the most of the opportunity to get around the east side of the island as there is negligible easterly swell. Stunning scenery and heaps of bird life around here. Caught up with SLice of Heaven who generously gave us two good sized snapper that we devoured for dinner last night - thanks Irene and Andy.
Perfect spinnaker run down from Bland Bay to Tutukaka today. Great catching up with Seabride (aka Ian and Doreen) for dinner over at Chez Peters at Sandy Bay - thank you
After two weeks in Opua and cruising the Bay of Islands we are on the move again. Today we rounded Cape Brett and had a great view of the Hole in the Wall - but no dolphins! Currently anchored in Bland Bay. A nice balmy evening, dinner on deck for the first time since we arrived back and all set for a lovely sunset :-)
Arrived in Opua at approx 2315 Sunday evening. A beautiful Sunday sail down the Northland coast - somewhat different to the preceding days :-) A week to windward from New Caledonia wasn't ideal but at least we didn't get caught in any tropical storms! Mind you - salt crust on the mainsail as far as the third batten tells its own story. Happy to be back - just awaiting customs and quarantine clearance on a lovely still morning in Opua/
SLow progress overnight which is frustrating as we are sooo close! 76nM to run but wind is right on the nose, so best course to windward! CAn tell we are nearly there the traffic overnoght has incresed somewhat as we have approached North Cape which is off our starboard bow. Revised ETA to Opua late Sunday / early Monday.
Brr.. another evening of chilly watches, nice during the day when the sun is out but it soon looses the heat....
Good progress on Friday with winds slightly east of south east with some favourable current pushing us slowly in the right direction. Revised ETA to Opua late Sunday.
Bye bye night passages in the tropics where shorts and t-shorts are the go, hello thermals and beanies! Night watches are certainly a little chillier! Currently making best course to windward :-) ETA Opua Sunday morning/
After nearly 24 hours of 20+knots we have had a better evening managing to get some sleep as well! Progress to windward slow, but hope to be in Opua by Sunday.
Slow progress during a rather robust evening - 25-28kts from the SE at times)! We have decided to skip Norfolk Island and are making our way home.
Still making reasoanble progress south towards Norfolk Island, with very light winds overnight, picking up this morning. Currently putting some easting in anticipation of the forecast south easterly winds.
Departed Noumea on Sunday morning. Making good progress towards Norfolk Island, where we will overnight on Wednesday (before continuing to Opua) if the swell conditions are suitable. All is well on board.
A peaceful night at Ile Mato and motor in very light winds back to Noumea today. Outlook looking OK to leave for New Zealand early next week, final decision on a departure will be made over the weekend.
What a stunning day in the Southern Lagoon, light winds, no swell and not a cloud to be seen all day. We had a beautiful sail from Isle de Pins to Ile Mato where we are anchored this evening. 6-8kts all day so the spinnaker was put to good use and we sailed all the way. Possibly the best snorkelling this winter season and one of the most amazing sunsets to finish it all off - not quite a green flash but two of those in one week would be too tall a tale to tell!!
A pleasant if rather slow beat down to Baie de Kune at Isle de Pins today in 12-15kts of breeze.
A short move today down to Bonne Anse - in preparation for a beat down to Isle de Pins tomorrow.
After spending a week in Noumea, eating and drinking too much and generallt being sociable it was time to head back out to the peace and tranquility of an anchorage. So here we are anchored at the far north end of the Baie de Prony. Very sheltered and peaceful, a couple of local boats to keep us company along with lots and lots of birds.
Just arrived in Noumea after a somewhat bumpy and fast passage for the first 24 hours although pretty happy that from Tanna to Noumea we did it in 36 hours. A lovely sail from Havana Pass up to Noumea, arriving at day break. Sunny this morning and an east north easterly breeze approximately 12 knots. Await customs clearance and then on a mission to find croissants and pain au chocolat - yum!
On passage to Noumea in company with "Lisa Kay". Just 15 miles north east of Havana Pass - we should be anchored at Noumea before day break. Last night was one to forget. Only about 20kts of wind but short seas from at least three directions made it one of the most uncomfortable nights we can remember. Tracey drew a sketch in the log of a washing machine with a yacht inside - not a bad comparison. Sea has eased nicely now and the wind too for hopefully a pleasant night sail around to Noumea.
On passage to Noumea in company with "Lisa Kay". We cleared out of Vanuatu this afternoon at Lenekal on the island of Tanna. Making good progress, ETA at Noumea Wednesday morning.
Anchored at Port Resolution (Tanna) after a day motor-sailing the 50 miles from Aneityum. We thoroughly enjoyed Aneityum despite some wet and windy weather. Tomorrow we will walk to the "worlds most accessible active volcano", even though it is in a quiet phase the boat is already covered in black ash, there'll be extra cleaning duties issued to the crew in the morning!
A good early morning sail in 10 12kts south easterly averaging 7knots arriving at Anelgowhat, Aneityum at about 8:30 this morning. A sheltered anchorage despite the southerly swell outside the reef. Beautiful looking island very lush compared to Fiji! Looking forward to a restful weekend of exploration!
Still making good time towards Aneityum. ETA 10a.m. Friday. Sea state has improved and the breeze continues to cooperate making for a lovely sail today, even had the kite up for a while.
Making good time towards Aneityum. Heavy swell is making life on board slightly less than perfect but the clear skies and moderate wind are not to be complained about. 15kt ESE, no cloud, 2.5-3m Southerly swell.
After clearing customs at Vuda Point Marina at lunchtime we are on our way to Anietyum in Vanuatu.
Arrival expected Friday afternoon. Wind is 18kt SSE, overcast sky and the sea is horrid with at least 2 different swells trying to compete with the SE wind waves.
Motored across to Denerau as there was absolutely no wind on Saturday morning. Time for jobs, re-provisioning and making sure that Allegresse is ready to head west early mid-week. Looks like we will have to head up to Vuda to clear customs as Denerau despite the advertising has not got this one sorted yet.
Pushed down to Malolo Island yesterday, anchored around the corner from Musket Cove. First few hours great sailing and then the wind 'died' and became very variable. 2knots this morning and clear skies, looks like it will be a warm one. Will probably go round to Musket Cove today before heading to Denarua where we ill prepare Allegresse for an ocean passage. Time in Fiji is coming to an end - very sad....
Anchored Nalauwaki Bay, Waka Island. A bit of a bumpy night with wind greater than forecast which whipped up the swell a bit. This morning wind back to 5knots from the east.
Anchored at Somosomo Bay - Naviti Island in the Yasawa's with six other boats. Light and variable breeze, slight NW swell.
Anchored at Nunuya Island - otherwise famous as the 'Blue Lagoon' from the 1980 movie of the same name starring Brook Shields.
Anchored at Sawa=i-Lau Island, Northern Yasawa group. Great sail across from Yadua even if mainly downwind :-) Wind as forecast during the day 15-17 knots Easterly easing to 10 knots later in the day. Now like a millpond in the anchorage 3knots. Time for exploring and sevusevu tomorrow!
Anchored at Cukuvou Bay, Yadua Island after a fast sail from Cocoanut Point. Nice BBQ on the beach last night with two Scandavian boats. Wind is ~20kt ESE.
Left Savusavu this morning after a long weekend re provisioning, boat chores and meeting 'new' yachties. We are heading in the general direction of the Yasawas, currently anchored at Cocoanut Point after another great sail. Weather is hot, and wind is typical trade wind 12-15 knots -although seems to be dropping out.
Arrived back in Savusavu after a great run with the kite - top speed 8.6 knots. TC already has the laundry in the queue - hoping that we will have it back in a timely fashion. Time to stock up the beer supplies.
Last night and tonight on a mooring at Paradise Resort - one of the few that are yacht friendly. A meal ashore for the first time in six weeks, some diving at Rainbow reef for Mike and and massage for Tracey. Drinks aboard Somerset 33 finished off a relaxing day. Heading back to Savusavu tomorrow to re-provision before heading over to the east side of Viti Levu.
After a morning exploration ashore at Buakonikai, we headed to Kioa Island. A whole 7nM! A rapid reach across - 7knots boat speed in a 15-18kt south easterly, with only the headsail up:-) We are anchored in a bay on the north west side - very sheltered and now the cloud has cleared a lot cooler than earlier in the day - nice :-)
After a very relaxing weekend swimming, snorkel ling, paddle boarding and exploring at Albert Cove, we have moved on to Catherine Bay via Nuku where we had to 'check-in'. In addition we dropped Sam the 'guardian' at Albert Cove off with his sack of copra. Weather very varied today. Between 25 -30 knots with light rain on the trip round to Nuku, dropping out to 5knots, rising again to 15-20 for the move to Catherine Bay, again dropping out to 5 knots. All wind from the SE. Misty rain has set in - can't complain first rain we have seen in 5 weeks and the island are running out of drinking water.
Great early morning hike with guide at Cobia Island before moving onto Rabi Island (Ranbi) - anchored at Port Albert - terrific spot. A juxtaposition of cultures: simple island life ( simplest we have seen to date ) when we took ashore the fish we had caught in lieu of sevusevu, Allegresse and and enormous superyacht which anchored shortly after us.
Arrived Budd Reef after a great night sail. At anchor at Cobia Island having first done sevusevu at the village on Tuvuca Island. Wind E8-10kts.
On passage overnight from Lakeba to Budd Reef (Tuvuca Island). Wind E10-12kts, slight sea.
Arrived in Lakeba (Lakemba) this afternoon. Light easterlies to start - even had the spinnaker up and the neanbag out on the foredeck until the wind died out. We entered the pass at Tabou - this is quite narrow but with the right light and state of tide this was fine.
Anchored at Komo - just a short run today.
Anchored in a lovely sheltered anchorage at the west end of Namuka I Lau after a lovely sail from Fulaga in company with Vixen 7 and Tusi 2. The whole bay is just 4m deep. We'll part company with them tomorrow, them heading to Ovalau and us to Lakemba or maybe an overnight sail to Qamea, decide in the morning.
Still in Fulaga although looking for a weather opportunity to leave heading back north. Great drift snorkel through the pass the day after we arrived, but it has been too windy and 'cold' to partake in any further water activity. with the exception of exploration in the dinghy. We have also moved around the lagoon away from the main anchorage returning for 'events in the village. Beautiful place but time too move on.
Arrived Fulaga this morning after a great overnighter! The anchorage is busy at least 7 boats! Went ashore to do sevusevu. Roughly 20 minute walk. Feel a bit 'processed'. Did sevusevu (this time we did have to partake in some kava) and paid the levy, then we were attached to a family who will look after us for the duration of our stay. We were taken to the family house of lunch rice and daal with local fish - tasty. Then we had to hang around for entertainment - to which the other boats came - including Vixen 7 and Tusi 2. Entertainment very traditional with lots of kava being passed around. Then there was dinner. All good and to see that the locals are trying to welcome the yachties... Time for sleep.
Log at 23:00 20/8: Left Vanua Balavu heading for Fulaga (Vulanga). An overnight sail approximately 110nM. Great conditions 10-12knots easterly most of the afternoon with an average of 7.5 knots. The wind is easing and is forecast to ease further overnight so our speed will lessen. We anticipate arrival about 8am, which may be a bit early to go through the pass. Conditions tonight are great flattish sea and a starry night.. :-)
Currently anchored in Little Bay on the North East end of the island. The past week has been busy socially, having caught up with Slice of Heaven, Vixen 7 and Tusi 2. Walks in Bavatu and from Little Bay have been great with interation with the locals. An exciting truck (local bus type tranportation) ride on Friday to LomaLoma. Snorkelling hasn't been as good down here as some earlier stopoffs. Weather is looking good for a trip down to Fulaga on Wednesday/Thursday.
Weligalala was as expected - lumpy except 3 hours either side of low water - so we had a solid 6 hours sleep. Sailed down to Vanua Balavu this morning in 20-25kts ESE - so hard on the wind. Relatively vigorous sailing that prompted one or two comments from the crew - like "it's not supposed to be like this in the tropics" countered by "it is if you are going upwind". Now anchored in beautiful Balavu Bay, its just like being in Fjiordland except a lot warmer - but currently just as wet.
After a lovely 36 hours at Matagi Island (great snorkelling and nice beaches) we took advantage of SSE winds today to head east. Anchored at Welailala Reef before heading to Vanua Balavu tomorrow. Anchorage is a bit lumpy just now as its high water on a spring tide and the waves are breaking over the reef - low water at midnight so should get a decent sleep!
A very showery day today. Pootled around to Matagi (pronounced Maa-tangi) this morning. Tricky little anchorage but we have put a stern anchor out. Off to explore the reef and island when it stops raining.
Report for 6/8/14: We were headed to Vianni Bay but after hearing from some friends that they possibly weren't leaving SavuSavu just yet we decided to make the most of the weather and head further round in preparation for moving towards the Lau Group later in the week. Anchored off the beach, in about 8m not bad.
Report for 7/8/14: A short day today, we had intended to stop and lunch at the top end of Qamea Island before moving around to Laucala but all a bit deep. Anchored in about 25m off Laucala Isaland. What is marked on the chart as an anchored has been taken over by a 'posh' wharf for the resort that has been built here. Mike went to see if we could go ashore to walk on the beach or use the restaurant but no - its only for the guests. Couldn't stop us taking the dinghy and having a snorkel on the reef outside though :-)
A lovely sail east today in 12-15knots SSE. Now anchored at Fawn Harbour, Mahimahi sashimi for sundowner snacks and for dinner too. In the company of Flour Girl. Ahsore tomorrow for bathing in the hot springs and perhaps a snorkel too.
On a mooring in SavuSavu waiting for the wind to pass through before heading off west. Quite social here - the river is full of boats - waiting....
Over the last couple of days we have moved from Levuka to Wakaya Island (last night) and then today to Mokagai Island. Both beautiful but Wakaya is private and you can't land there - it's full of right posh looking properties owned by the rich and famous. Mokagai has a small nicely kept village, tomorrow we will have a tour of the old leper colony (hopefully there's no lepers still there). We tried out our stand-up paddle boards today and somehow we both managed to stand-up on them, remarkable! We'll head to Savusavu by Wednesday or Thursday.
Anchored in Levuka harbour after completing all the formalities. Boat tidying and change of mode from passage-maker back to floating home in progress. All in all the trip north was excellent, boat performed superbly especially in the light conditions. The crew didn't do too bad either. The next few days will be spent here at the island of Ovalau, sleeping, exploring, chatting to the locals, exercising (particularly TC no doubt) and perhaps having a drink or two. This will be the last YIT update until we move on from Ovalua, Tracey willl be posting a blog at allegressecarter.wordpress.com in the next couple of days. Thanks for watching.
Positions sent to YIT are our midday (NZ) position on the day of posting. Ocean passage making doesn't get more comfortable than this, flat sea other than a long lazy south west swell, 10-12knots of breeze on the quarter and an upright boat doing 6knots. We caught our first fish today after just 20 minutes of trying, a modest striped tuna that was lunch, dinner and few meals to go. If anyone pops into Barton Marine in Wellington you can let Ginge know his lewers are the best! Highlight of the day though was a pair of humpback whales passing 3 or 4 hundred metres away on their migration south - it's always a treat to see such wonderful creatures, close enough but not too close. Last night on passage tonight, we'll be in Levuka around breakfast time.
Positions sent to YIT are our midday (NZ) position on the day of posting. A boisterous nights sailing last night - beating into 25 knots with three reefs in the mainsail and our tiny staysail - gave way to a lovely sail for most of today. We have a nice forecast to get us to Levuka by early Tuesday morning. Taking it easy now as we will have to slow down to arrive in daylight.
Positions sent to YIT are our midday (NZ) position on the day of posting. Its a game of two halves - after yesterdays perfect day today we are heading into a 25knot headwind and sea to go with it. It's a bit unpleasant but another 24 hours and we'll be on the home stretch. Expect to arrive early Tuesday.
Positions sent to YIT are our midday (NZ) position on the day of posting. Today was one of those days in the ocean that remind why you do it, light winds, slight seas and warm temperatures made for a perfect days sailing, capped with a perfect sunset. Mike was 'kissed' by a flying fish in the early hours this morning when it hit him squarely on the cheek and landed flapping in the cockpit, not sure if Mike or the fish were the most surprised - the fish got to live another day rather than go in the frying pan for breakfast. Motor sailing this evening in a flat calm.
Continuing to make good progress - 500 miles in first 72 hours. Positions sent to YIT are our midday (NZ) position on the day of posting. Sea temperature is reading 22 degrees - not sure TC is willing to try it out yet though. Both well.
Making good progress in pleasant conditions now that the squalls left in the wake of the last front have cleared away. Sea temperature has increased 5 degrees since leaving Auckland. Both well.
Fog cleared once clear of Rangitoto, although slow going. Good 15 hour sail overnight with the jib poled out, guided by the light of the silvery moon. Both well.
Finally - on our way again! Very foggy but keeping a look-out and using all resources. Heading for Levuka, Fiji.
Very frustrating waiting for a weather window, especially when reading the escapades of other yachties that made a May getaway! We have been in Auckland 5 weeks - three waiting to escape! Despite current weather conditions here and further north the forecast is looking promising for a departure early next week - fingers crossed.
Still in Auckland and getting itchy feet. Engine all in working order and finally have the right prop fitted (four different ones later!) Unfortunately, the weather gods have not been kind to us. Whilst we are ready - it is a game of waiting and patience! Tomorrow will mark four weeks in Auckland - neither of us had envisaged being here so long - there are worse places to be "stuck" though:-) If the window of opportunity does not open up soon, we will head up to Opua and wait to clear from there, this may mean that we head straight to Fiji missing out Tonga this time round. Bonuses of being here in Auckland so long: Three AB vs England tests, brekky with Andrea and on a separate occasion with Jared & Chelsea, lunch with Adele :-) Have the prospect of brekky again with Andrea again this week, hopefully we won't be around next week when Vicki and Adele will be in town - not that we don't want to see you girls - it just means we haven't gone anywhere! Hopefully the next post will bring good news ie: we are on the move :-)
Still in Auckland. Refrigeration back in commission. Galley back together. Sea trial - third time round (this afternoon) with prop number three and we are in business. We will be experts driving into and out of the travel lift! The delays mean that we have of course missed this week's weather window for departing NZ shores. Mike is busy looking at the next opportunity to get away. Hopefully we can be on our way to warmer climes soon :-)
Still in Auckland. It has been a very busy 10 days. Mike disassembled the old engine and has been working with Eric the engineer from Ovlov (yes that is Volvo backwards :-) ) to fit the new one. Finally installed and running on Saturday afternoon. She sounds great. So tomorrow we have the refrigerator man coming, the chippy to put the galley back together and then sea trials of the new engine. Fingers crossed we will be almost in a position to get going again!
Now in Auckland - apologies to those who may have been worried for lack of timely update. Assessment is that we need a new engine. Operations have commenced today (Friday). Hopefully we won't be delayed more than about 10 days - but who knows with boats!?!? We will keep you posted.
Now 90 miles to run into Auckland, ETA 11-00 Wednesday.
After having some engine trouble - emission of fumes into the cabin - which we have been unable to find the source of we have taken the difficult decision to head to Auckland. Difficult not least because we had a fair wind forecast all the way to Tonga. ETA Auckland Wednesday morning.
After a frustrating night last night and a bit of motoring, a south easterly breeze sprang up and to our great delight is taking us on our way to warmer climes. The sea temperature has risen 4deg since leaving wellington and the air temperature 7 or 8. All good on board
having a lovely (if rather slow) sail up the Wairarapa Coast - who would believe its winter? 1200 miles to Tonga
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