We have set foot on the North American continent here in Neah Bay - not exactly where we had hoped or intended, but it is all good, in any event! With gale force winds forecast for the Straits tonight, a downwind run to Port Townsend in those conditions was not how we wanted to end this epic voyage home from New Zealand. Besides, there is something almost poetic about having to stop here "on the way home" because when we left Port Townsend in late August 2010 to begin our "grand adventure" we had to stop in here to wait out bad weather before going on down the coast to California! Our last night out at sea was something of a challenge - "pea soup" fog (with smoke from the Canadian and Eastern Washington fires thrown in for good measure), with visibility less than 1/4 mile from about 100 nm out! Besides being wet and cold, those conditions made for some tense moments; there were some small fishing boats out as far as 65 nm, with no AIS and very hard to discern radar signatures, whose lights were barely visible at a quarter mile! And to top it all off, our "Land Ho!" was not Cape Flattery, but Bahokus Peak and Waadah Island as we neared the entrance to Neah Bay! But with the boat snuggled up next to the dock, with no motion whatsoever (the sound of the wind in the rigging be damned!), plugged into shore power with the electric heater on (it is cold outside - low 50's!), Linda with her glass of wine, and me with my second two finger pour of the good stuff (yes Patricia, Balvenie!), Life is Good and "All is Well on Board" the good ship Bright Angel tonight! It is great to be back in the Pacific Northwest (our only landfall in the past eight years without a palm tree!). Thanks for following us on YIT!
This will be our last report from the open ocean - we should be at Cape Flattery and entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca around noon tomorrow - PDT! (This horse smells the hay in the barn!). And with breakfast tomorrow we will also be serving "local time" - we have been on HST since leaving Oahu; we stayed on HST all this way because - as we got closer to the continent - Linda, who has the midnight watch, enjoys having sunrise at 3 or 4 in the morning, so the last couple hours of her watch are in daylight! We are now 95 nm from Cape Flattery; from there it is another 85 nm to Port Townsend, where we will be pulling a slip at Port Hudson Marina in the early am Thursday - 28 days out of Hawaii; a bit longer than we had planned or hoped, but all in all a good passage, with only a couple days of nasty stuff! Without a doubt, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Two words - Very Rough! Awful conditions last night and most of today; starting to ease up a bit now. Looks like we will enter the Strait on Wednesday. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
"Thar she blows!" Whales, whales everywhere! Last night we had some surface fairly close to the boat - about 50-60 feet away (a little too close for comfort!), but just a short while ago one surfaced about 30 feet off our starboard beam - headed right for us! It dove and went under the boat, while I dove for the liquor cabinet to get a stiff shot to steady our nerves! We also had more dolphins this morning, and - of all things - a seal! here was also a sizeable deadhead floating by this morning; never a dull moment! We motored in light winds thru the night, but set sails when the NW winds filled this morning. The waves are nasty already, and forecast to increase, so our final stretch will be the roughest yet. We are sailing now under reefed main and staysail. Aside from the uncomfortable conditions, and being a target for the whales, "All is well on board!" as we close in on Cape Flattery - only 360 nm away! Thanks for following us on YIT!
"Pardon me, Captain, but would you happen to have any Grey Poupon?" After being in what seemed like the middle of the tanker and cargo ship cross roads between CA and Asia a while ago, and then not seeing another ship for the past several days, today finds us right back in the thick of the traffic - as many as 5 AIS targets to watch at a time! Two have passed with 5 nm - about as close as we are comfortable with - but neither of them had any Grey Poupon to spare! And while we like to sing the praises of AIS, one must not get too reliant on the electronics - a short while ago a tanker appeared crossing our bow about 5-6 nm off, with no AIS signal! We hailed him by his lat/lon, and he answered, to inform him he was not transmitting; he assured us he would check his equipment - that was half an hour ago, and we still do not see him on AIS. Keeping our eyes peeled, and waiting for the wind to die off a bit more before we start the engine, our status remains "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The winds backed to the S last evening, and we continue to make good progress toward Cape Flattery - now only 640 nm away (then another 90 to PT). We expect to do some motoring over the weekend, before NW winds fill in to "take us home." We are starting to play the "this is the last ____day at sea, or next week at this time we will be doing ____" game - it's the little things that amuse! As usual, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The SW winds are still with us, and we continue to make decent progress toward Cape Flattery! Nothing too exciting to report - no dolphins, no sharks, and not much shipping traffic, either - that's a good thing, as is the fact we have not seen floating garbage for days now! As usual, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We found some wind, and are finally making some decent forward progress! (There was a time last night that thought was given to staring the engine!) If the forecast holds, we should have this wind until Friday. We are now, after 21 days at sea, a mere 975 nm from Port Townsend! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Winds are so far behind us now that we are sailing on a deep reach (AWA 120-130) to even point reasonably well toward Cape Flattery; hard to maintain decent boat speed as the apparent wind is down to 9-11 kts. Very frustrating, and this now looks like it will be our lot until Friday, when the winds are forecast to go westerly and lighter - 0-10 kts, which means more motoring! On the bright side, its very comfortable and the sun is out! No more meteor showers last night, but we did have a great dolphins show right as it was getting dark! And, yesterday afternoon, we saw what was most likely a shark - a fairly large dorsal fin, sticking out of the water, that just stayed that way as we sailed past; I guess that rules out swimming! This slow pace has taken all the fun out calculating possible ETAs in WA, but tomorrow we will drop into the triple digits for distance to go to Port Townsend! So, other than the lack of wind, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Winds are behind us for a while now, so our boat speed is down a bit; broad reach, not our best point of sail. It sure was "empowering" though, on a close reach, when we had to reef just to slow the boat down to 6.5 kts (to avoid bashing into the waves)! We hope to have those conditions again a couple of days. Had a great Perseid meteor shower display last night; saw some really spectacular meteors, including one that was a bright orange streak that seemed close enough to reach out and touch, and another that was much higher up and white that left a very visible trail a long way behind it! Fantastic. Today, the sun is out, things are relatively calm, so once again "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Two nice dolphin shows this morning, and I was fortunate enough to be on watch for the encore performance! The rhumb line distance from our current position to Cape Flattery is 1260 nm, plus another 90 nm to Port Townsend; its tempting to start calculating an ETA, but we know better than that just yet! Sail on! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We set sails yesterday afternoon at 1430 local time (HI), with SE winds that filled in earlier and more strongly than expected; Cape Flattery, dead ahead! We are flying a staysail, reefed genoa and reefed main, and we are charging along at rodeo speed; we could and were going faster before we rolled in the genoa, but the ride was a bit rough! With this sail combination, we should be able to shorten further to deal with any adverse weather up ahead. Great to be sailing again, and for the time being, in the right direction! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We should be sailing again by late afternoon or this evening, with SE winds that are starting to fill in now. There will be some snarly weather over the weekend and into early next week, but nothing we can't deal with. We should be able to continue heading toward Cape Flattery, although there is a possibility of more weather system dodging down the pike. The fog this morning was another reminder of what awaits us in WA; after all, it is "Fogust!" "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Premiere dolphin show this morning at sunrise - mamas, papas, babies, all frolicking around the boat doing synchronized swim routines, back flips and tail wags - and I missed it (asleep); but, the joyful expression on Linda's face when she described it for me - priceless! Don't know if it had anything to do with the dolphins, but I did get pancakes and bacon for breakfast today! We are on flat calm waters this morning, motoring toward the winds (we hope) on the north/west side of the high, and hopefully before the next low coming in from the NW clobbers us! And, the sun is trying to come out today! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
"Ready about?" "Are you kidding? Of course we're ready!" "Helm's alee!" And with that, at 0730 local (Hawaii) time this morning, we tacked back eastward. We were then at 39 54N 166 32W. We are "motor sailing" now - well, we are under way using the engine, but with such light and variable winds, there isn't a lot of sailing going on right now - genoa is furled but main is up - hopefully soon, within a day or so, we will find some southerly wind to resume sailing. And, in the meantime, since we are finally heading in the right direction again, we can find something else to carp about - like, when will we ever see the sun again? Its been days! Our friends at Gulf Harbor Radio called this cloudiness associated with high pressure cells "anti-cyclonic gloom" - and it is gloomy! On the bright side, we will be ready for fall and winter in the northwest, after spending lo these many past years in almost perpetual sunshine - gotta get over that! And one final thought for today - with all of this heavy weather avoidance we have doing as of late, we added over 500 nm to our projected route home - from 2700 nm and change to 3200 nm and change; we should still get home in August, barring any further major delays! Today, indeed, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
In short order we should be tacking back eastward, either later today, or (weather router's recommendation) tomorrow morning; either choice okay as far as positioning ourselves with favorable winds on the west/north side of the high as it moves first SSE (towards us) and then NNE. Couldn't tack right now, in any event, as we have a cargo ship about 35 nm behind us, and heading our way; if we tack now, we will be heading toward his track, and if we keep going WNW we are moving away from it. Seems we are playing on the freeway here, for ships going between San Francisco and Asia - there have been quite a few in the past several days, but none approaching as close as the Andromeda Leader is now. Thank heaven for AIS! Anxious to be heading back in the direction of Washington, attitudes about this routing debacle notwithstanding "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
On we go NWly, and into the High - should be in the calmer stuff by Wednesday, which will be a welcome relief from the bashing into bumpy seas that has been our lot for several days now, even if it does mean having to listen to the engine! But the sun did come out for a brief showing this afternoon, and when it did a huge herd of dolphins (they do swim in herds, don't they?) swam by about 100 yards off our stern (thank you, Ann!), although they did not stop by the boat for a visit. Oh well, maybe next time! The exasperation continues with this prolonged passage and having to do the weather systems dance, but still "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Plans do change - sometimes they are written in the sand on the beach, but out here they are written in the foam of the last wave! We did not tack yesterday, but instead continued on our WNW course, after looking at the latest 72 hour Pacific surface analysis and seeing that monster low that is between us and Cape Flattery is actually forecast to not further south than originally forecast, but now looks to be headed back west - which would have been directly toward us had we tacked. As it is, we now are moving north and away from it and enjoying (?) an extended tour of the central north Pacific; wouldn't recommend it - looks just about like everywhere else, except even the garbage and the birds (and until Linda came on watch - even the sun) seem to have abandoned this patch of the Pacific! Oh well, we will get home eventually, and in the meantime we enjoy each other's company, we have plenty of food and water, and so far - as of our tenth day out - we only burned about 6 of our 190 gallons of fuel! The continuing exasperation with this prolonged passage notwithstanding, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
There is a maxim in sailing that says, whichever direction you want to go, the winds will always be "noserly." Well, maybe not always, but lately that has certainly been the case for us. In any event, we plan to tack later today and make an effort to head toward home! With the winds the way they are right now, we will be lucky to make any appreciable headway to the north, but at least will be heading back east! The exasperation notwithstanding, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are sailing on a WNW away from America! All part of a grand plan to avoid heavy weather; later today, or tomorrow, when the winds are expected to go to the NW, we will tack back onto a NE heading, and eventually aim for Washington. Nothing like zig-zagging around in the North Pacific! Still seeing alot of garbage float by - yesterday there was a doll's head (at least we hope it was a doll!) - rather weird! Linda reported seeing a whale blowing today, and for the past several days we have seen Albatross - beautiful, graceful birds that dip and soar on slender wings with a huge wingspan (almost as good as seeing dolphins, Ann!). The Albatross used to be what welcomed us back to New Zealand; these birds (we believe) are from a colony that breeds somewhere in the Midway Islands. TTFN! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We were headed last night about 0300 when the wind went light and backed to the north. So, rather than sail off to the west, we tacked and are now sailing off in an easterly direction - sometimes north of east by a few degrees, sometimes south of east by a few degrees, all depending on the wind strength and the ability of our wind vane to steer the boat (it really doesn't work well in anything less than 9 knots of apparent wind). So, we are basically just waiting for the latest update from our weather router to tell us where we should be heading; it will almost certainly involve some motoring, but in which direction we are not sure, given what we can see in the weather forecasts for what lies ahead. Until then, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are still slowed down to better position ourselves to deal with some adverse weather up ahead; it's such a beautiful day, and the seas are quite calm, so it is hard to be going so slow - the temptation is to "let her rip!" Ah, but knowing what the conditions might be if we charged ahead is enough to keep us content with the peaceful, slow ride now. So, back to the reading room (cockpit)! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We will not be talking about out daily run totals for a while now, as we have deliberately slowed down to better position ourselves to deal with some adverse weather that is brewing up ahead of us. On another somewhat unpleasant note, we are starting to see a lot of garbage floating by - really depressing; not what you want to see our here on the ocean! We were warned to expect this - all part of the North Pacific garbage "gyre" which is probably much further to the west of us. On the brighter side of things for today, we are a mere 60 nm south of the latitude of the US/Mexican border! And, most importantly, on this day (not that many years ago) a very special person was born - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We had another 135 nm run for the fourth day out; we don't expect those kind of numbers to hold for much longer, though, as the winds are forecast to go lighter in a day or so. On the bright side, that will bring calmer seas, which will be a welcome relief from the rough ride we are experiencing today! But, aside from being a bit uncomfortable, and cranky because rest is hard to come by in these conditions, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We had a 135 nm run the third day out - the decrease from the day before in part being due to having reefed down considerably almost all morning after sunup as we seemed to be in one continuous "rodeo squall". Those of you who have ridden out squalls at sea know what I am talking about; we all deserve a big silver buckle! Reminds me of a boat some friends of ours once owned named "Blue Rodeo" - seemed like a brilliantly appropriate name for an ocean going sailboat! (But, interestingly, that was not the inspiration for the name!) After yesterday's post, I was reminded by some other friends of ours (who have made this run from Hawaii to the mainland a couple of times) that it is too early for us to worry making easting; just concentrate for the time being on not going too far west. So be it; time to head back out to the cockpit with no worries and concentrate! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We had a great run the second day out - 145 nm! But, we are starting to get a bit concerned about not being able to make much easting. We have been sailing at an AWA (apparent wind angle) of 60 - fairly comfortable given the conditions - and today, with the seas down a bit more, we brought the AWA up to 55, only to get headed, which means we are now sailing more NNW than the NNE we had been sailing at an AWA of 60! Hopefully this is just a brief wind shift, and we will get back to heading toward the mainland again soon; we really don't want to go to Alaska! And last night there were no more warships about, but there was a war of sorts - between us and the boobies, which are big sea birds, about the size of a large sea gull, that just won't take "No!" for answer when you try to convince them not to land on your bow pulpit or, worse yet, solar panels! Not much we could do about those that wanted to land on on the bow - we had three up there that stayed through the night! - but we could bang a small pike on the solar panel arch and get them to leave or abort a landing attempt on the panels - so, guess what we did most of the night! Not that we are unsympathetic to their desire for a free ride, we just don't like the mess they leave behind, which can seriously degrade the ability of solar panel panels to do their job! But the boobies have all gone (for now), so it's back to the normal routine! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We have now officially left Hawaii - "Aloha" to the Aloha State! Our first 24 hour run was a decent 115 nm, especially considering the several hours of "slow go" as we made our way west along the lee of Oahu in a gentle sea breeze from Ko'Olina to Kaena Point - where everything changed! What a rough and rowdy ride it was getting clear of the channel and island effects and out into the trades again! Seas were 10-12 feet, and the wind was a steady 23-25 kts, with gusts to 30! Throughout our first night at sea the wind and seas were up, so were reefed down considerably to get a semi-comfortable ride. And then to make matters even more lively, it seems we were sailing right through a Navy war game - several warships passed close by in the night (with no AIS on!), with helicopters flying back and forth; hopefully we are now clear of their maneuver area (we haven't seen a Navy vessel for over 4 hours now). After a few morning squalls, the sun came out and is now pampering our solar panels, and the wind and seas have moderated to give a comfortable ride with decent boat speed. One day down, and only ___ to go (if only we knew!); maybe 20, if we are lucky! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We did get away from Honolulu yesterday, but we did not make it very far! We were tied to the dock overnight at Ko'Olina Marina, near Barber's Point, about 20 nm west of Waikiki. We came here for fuel and that was a goat rope - with high winds pinning us and charter boats boxing us in; took us over three hours to fuel and get away from the dock! We decided to take a slip for the night (by the time we we got away from the fuel dock it was almost 4:30 pm), primarily to have the chance to check on some possible wiring issues related to the GPS feed to our chart plotter. We will sort that out this morning, and should be back underway before noon. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Today will be our last full day here in Honolulu, where we have been guest since our arrival on June 6 of the very gracious Waikiki Yacht Club! We plan to head out tomorrow early am for Ko'Olina for fuel, then out the Kauai Channel for Washington. We have really enjoyed our stay here at WYC - wonderful restaurant and bar, lots of sailing and paddling programs for young and old, wonderful view of the Waikiki skyline (where there is a grand fireworks show every Friday night), and in the past week or so, lots of visiting yachts from both the Vic-Maui Race, and now the Pacific Cup - including Roy Disney's famed Pyewacket (he is a member of this Yacht Club). We have also done some of the tourist things here, like visiting the USS Arizona Memorial - very sobering! But, we are anxious to get sailing again, and to get back into our "home waters" of Puget Sound once again! Lots to do today, so we had better "turn to." All is busy and well aboard the SV Bright Angel today! Thanks for following us on YIT!
We tied up to the guest dock at Waikiki Yacht Club at 1115 today, a mere 25 days and 2900 +/- nm (who's really counting?) from Papeete, Tahiti - we were all cleared in by 2 pm! Then we had to sample the drinks and comestibles at the Yacht Club bar - not bad (I figure it will take us the whole two weeks we will be allowed to stay here to work our way through the bar menu, at a minimum!). As an added bonus, when we tied up, we looked across the pier and a saw a boat belonging to some friends we met in Mexico in 2010! We have since hard drinks and done some "catching up" with Mark & Dot, who have taken us under their wing and become our unofficial sponsors at the Yacht Club! And, to top off the evening, we just saw one of the nightly fireworks shows on Waikiki - spectacular! Tonight, certainly "All is well on board!" - but just don't wake us for our night watches! Thanks for following us on YIT!
This will be our final report underway on this passage; we should be at the dock in Honolulu shortly after noon tomorrow! The weather, as expected, is really nasty - too much wind from almost dead behind, big seas, and mixed swell; not too swell (pun in tended!). Looking forward to a tiring final night at sea! Nevertheless, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are now just off the SE coast of the Big Island of Hawaii - can't see it yet, as we are still too far offshore (about 45 nm). And we are just under 275 nm from our guest berth at the Waikiki Yacht Club, where we hope to tie up on Friday afternoon! We plan to stay in Honolulu until early next week, when we will head up to Barber's Point and the Ko "Olina Marina to finish our preparations for the finally leg of our voyage home. Happy Fourth Of July to all of American friends and family! Have a burger and a cold one for us, please! (And be careful with the fireworks!) "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
No change in course; still going in on the windward side. Making a concerted effort to get in on am or early pm Friday to avoid the heavier winds Friday evening - could still see 25 kts on Friday morning, with bigger seas than we have now, but nothing we shouldn't be able to handle. We have just over 400 nm to Honolulu! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Another nice day of sailing with blue skies, white cotton ball clouds, and fresh winds all day. Looks like the weather up ahead, on Friday or Saturday, could get a bit nasty - NE 30 kt winds and 3.5 m NE swell, 10 sec period - we will be watching that and possibly change our approach from windward of the islands to leeward (although that would leave us subject to funneling of strong winds through the channels). Also watching closely Hurricane Fabio off the coast of Mexico, currently heading W but forecast to turn WNW and then start to die out on Friday several hundred miles to the east. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Good sailing today! Winds and seas are down a bit from late last night and early this morning, when we had 20-23 kts, and were making 7 kts of boat speed with a reefed genoa and de-powered main! Much more comfortable now - lots of reading and catching up on rest! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Good day's run yesterday - 146 nm; but, not so good today. Wind started out okay, but then died down to the point it was hard to sail without dumping the wind out of the sails in the swell, so the "three knot rule" was invoked. Hopefully we will be able to set sails again before sunset. Just over 800 nm miles to go to Hawaii. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are definitely through the ITCZ now - and have been sailing with blue skies, white cotton ball clouds, and fresh winds all day. The seas were a bit lumpy early on, when the winds were up around 20 kts, but things have calmed down considerably and the ride is now quite comfortable. We have just under 1000 nm to go to Hawaii. "All is very well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
Forget what we said yesterday about being through the worst of the ITCZ - the high seas forecast we downloaded after posting yesterday's update indicated we weren't even to the ITCZ yet! Today's forecast indicates we might be in the middle of it right now - which would seem to match the fluky winds and squalls we have been experiencing most of the day. We did set sails this morning, turning off the engine at long last, with what looked like promising easterly winds at 11-13 kts, but as the morning wore on, the winds wore out; now we are slatting along at a breakneck 3.5-4 kts in anything from 7-9 kts of wind, from variable directions, and up to 21 kts in the fairly frequent squalls. It may be time to burn a few more fossils and get out of this soup! The frustration mounts as the fuel supply dwindles, but "All is (still) well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We may be through the worst of the ITCZ (at lest we hope so) - not too bad of a day today! But we are still burning fossils waiting for sailing winds to fill back in. The boat got a shower last night, and today we topped up the water tanks and the crew all got showers! And Linda made pancakes and bacon for breakfast. All we need now is wind, but in any event "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are in the thick of ITCZ "junk" - clouds, rain, squalls, light & variable winds (except in th squalls!), so we are burning fossils as we motor north to cleared skies and better sailing winds. The bad news is the actual ITCZ is a long way up in front of us. Other than that, "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
After a day of motoring, last night started out with a pleasant sail in light winds, but it only lasted four hours before the winds went so light we had to resort to motoring again. This morning dawned mostly sunny - a welcome change from yesterday's doom & gloom - and the wind seems to be filling back in. As soon as we hit send on this post, we will roll the sails back out and try sailing again! Yahoo! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
For our first night north of the equator, the winds went from zippy to zip, and we had to start the engine last night around 2:30 am. Still motoring this morning, and dodging squalls. Last evening, we had to change out the chart plotter at the nav station; the old one finally froze up and died. We had been having trouble with it since we were in New Zealand, so I bought a spare off e-Bay, and had it shipped to Riverside before we left. We also have a chart plotter at the helm, which is fine, but the one at the nav station feeds AIS data to the network, so we had to get that sorted before we start running into shipping "traffic" as we get further north; we have not seen another vessel since the Tuamotous, but that will change soon. TTFN! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
At 1336 hrs (1:36 pm) local time today (2336 UTC), at longitude 144 00.585W the good ship Bright Angel left the Southern Hemisphere! She has not been north of the Equator since May 2012. And our crew Tom is now a Shellback! Sure hope Neptune appreciated the single malt! "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are making good progress towards the equator; should be there late tomorrow! A little shy on easting, but should cross at around 143.5W, which will be just fine. "All is well on board!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
We are making some easting again! The winds are fresh, and for now the seas are moderate, so we are making good time and keeping the breakfast down! Today we will tick over our first 1000 nm since leaving Tahiti; only . . . . oh, too early for that! "All is well!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The ENE winds are back, making us give up some of our hard earned easting; and we are beating to weather in lumpy seas - who wrote this script, anyway? We had a couple of strange AIS encounters last night and this morning to keep us on our toes! Last night, around 2 am, two "buoy" targets appeared - "CC326Bouy-1" and "CC326Bouy-7." They were about 4 miles apart. Not sure if they were weather buoys, or buoys that marked the end of drift nets (there were no lights, and no other AIS or radar targets around) we steered to clear the closest one and avoid going between them. When we had done so, another one popped up on AIS - aft of us, but in line with the other two; so, if they marked a net, we had gone over it! This morning, two more appeared several miles off - one labeled "SHO11" and the other unlabeled - both with very peculiar MMSIs. Our best guess is they were all weather buoys. So today we are watching for buoys and hoping for the return of E or SE winds! "All is well!" Thanks for following us on YIT!
The ESE winds are still with us, and we are making decent progress again today, as we did last night! On our present course, our crew Tom only has 525 nm left as a "Pollywog!" Today, Linda was inspired to make Swedish pancakes for breakfast! Life is good and "All is well" aboard the SV Bright Angel today! Thanks for following us on YIT!
Hurrah - winds from a respectably favorable direction, at last! Just not very much wind - yet? And the sun is out, and the seas are calm - it's one of those "reward" days! Linda says if it stays like this all the way to Hawaii she'll be happy! (Boy, am I going to be in trouble!) And "Just Ann" you were right - last night, as the sun was going down and we were enjoying our Creole style beans & rice with chicken for dinner in the cockpit, the dolphins came to play. Lots of them! And they stayed for a long time, with the little ones doing back-flips out of the water! A spectacular dinner time show, and us with front row seats! Very cool! All is well aboard the SV Bright Angel again today!
Still waiting - for E or SE winds! The winds are now NNE, so easting is all but impossible without motoring. We did have to motor some yesterday in very light winds, and we did try sailing east on a port tack with the NNE winds, but we ended up going ESE-SE, so we tacked back and settled for west of north - in the general direction of Hawaii, at least! These winds are very frustrating, to say the least; still hoping for better wind direction soon. At least the ride is comfortable today - lots of reading getting done! And the sun is out! Life is good aboard the SV Bright Angel today!
Nice night last night, and nice day today! A few brief squalls this morning, but nothing to write home about - so, I won't. Crew is catching up on rest, which is a good thing! Our only complaint today is the northerly component in the wind - having to sail close hauled and makes it tough to get our easting in as we approach the Equator; fingers crossed for E, or better yet SE winds soon. All is well on board!
After a day of gloomy skies and moderate winds (22-24 kts), it turned into a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good night! As we entered the channel between Mataiva and Tikehau Islands last night, we took started hand steering to better negotiate manage the somewhat narrow distance between the islands, and to stay clear of a small cargo ship that was transiting between Mataiva and Rangiroa, just to the east of Tikehau. Then the squalls came - one right after the other; five or six in all (but who's counting?) lasting 30-45 minutes each, with winds over 30 kts; still hand steering! When the squalls died out, we went to reset the Monitor self steering, only to discover the actuator shaft for the wind vane had come undone - and there was no way to fix it at night, in rough seas! So, we all three of us took turns hand steering the rest of the night, through occasional squalls and high winds. We hove-to at 0600 for some much need rest and repairs. We were back underway again at 1400, with much improved weather conditions, and renewed positive outlook! All is well on board Bright Angel again tonight - let's just hope it stays that way through the night!
Our first night at sea was, as usual, a matter of readjustment, but went very well. We were cleared out by noon, at the fuel dock at 1300 (after their lunch time closure!), away from the fuel dock at 1400 with 430 liters bunkered, and out Passe Papette by 1530. We had to motor until almost 1800 to clear the lee of Tahiti, but then a brisk 18-20 ESE wind filled in, and we sailed for the better part of the night with just a staysail and reefed main doing 6.2 kts in relatively comfortable conditions; waves were about 2-2.5m just forward of the beam. this morning we are close reaching, but still enjoying a mostly comfortable ride! Tonight, about 2100 local, we should pass between the Tuamotus atolls of Mataiva and Tikehau, the last islands we should see until the Big Island of Hawaii - a mere 2800 nm or so down the track! For those of you drawing a straight line to Hawaii and saying "its not that far," bear in mind that we need to go a considerable distance east before we cross the Equator and then head back NW to Hawaii - our aim is to make that turn at around 05N 140W - so as to be able to sail the E-SE trade winds south of the Equator, and then the E-NE trade winds north of the equator! Well, that's the plan anyway; we'll see how it all turns out! For now, "All is well on board!" Cheers!
After a month and a day at the the dock in Tahiti, with the extensive repair list completed, tomorrow morning after our agent clears us out and a trip to the fuel dock, we will be on our way to Hawaii! Depending on which route, or variation thereof we follow, the distance will be anywhere from 2900 to 3200 nm (ugh!). All is very well on board the good ship Bright Angel tonight, and we are all looking forward to our last night full night of stable, peaceful sleep!
Well, that was certainly one for the books! A total of 23 days at sea, covering 2397 nautical miles, on basically a rhumb line from New Zealand to Tahiti, hand steering the last 450 nm, and motoring the last 305 nm (made hand steering easier, especially in the wide variety of fluky wind conditions and sea states we encountered)! We were tied to the dock by 100 hrs, local Tahiti time yesterday (Friday, 11 May), all clearance procedures completed by 1500, and in the bar at the head of the dock for Happy Hour (two for one beers!) by 1700. We will probably spend about two weeks or so here on R&R ("Rest and Repair") and doing some of the touristy things, before we head up to Rangiroa for a brief stop over before we leave for Hawaii. LIFE IS GOOD again, and "All is well on and off board." TTFN (Ta Ta For Now!)
We started motoring north in light winds last night just east of Rurutu Island, so as to avoid an encounter with the Lotus Seamount just east of the island (has some fairly shallow rocks), and kept on motoring through the night as the winds stayed light. Now, like a horse to the barn, Bright Angel (or, at least her hand steering weary crew!) prefer to keep on motoring to Tahiti, a trifle sailing wind from whatever contrary direction notwithstanding. We have the fuel, and as a good friend (who shall remain nameless, but he knows who he is!) once told me, "any ocean passage that ends with fuel in the tanks is a bad passage!" So, if all goes well, we will cover the next 240 nm to Papeete on a direct heading under power by mid-day Friday, 11 May. I think I hear that cold draft Hinano calling my name! "All is well on board."
"Land Ho!" Only problem is, it's Rurutu Island in the Australs - not where we are going. We had some great sailing yesterday, even if it was with hand steering! But last night was miserable - high winds and squalls with very rough seas, and some lightening nearby. We will likely make our turn north to Tahiti tomorrow morning, with about 330 nm to go; hoping to get in Friday, if all goes well. In spite of everything, "All is well on board."
Well this weather certainly is a soup sandwich! High winds, rough seas, can't sail the direction we need to go in what seems like perpetual rain and squalls. If we ever get to Tahiti, sure hope the weather isn't like this! The list of boat projects for Tahiti is getting longer, the most recent addition being figuring out why our brand new Balmar alternator is not charging (ugh!). Other than being frustrated with the weather and broken boat stuff (did we mention the autopilot, too?) "All is well board." Thanks for checking our progress on YiT!
via Another Adventure as a bit late to hear them well on 8Megs. GHradio discussed the weather ahead. A front coming but not severe. Just a problem with on the nose winds. Not strong.
Gave up fighting the squirrelly, light winds yesterday afternoon around 1430 and turned on the engine. Around 2100 last night, winds came up enough to motor sail effectively; and then, at 0900 this morning, the engine was turned off and we have been sailing ever since! Fingers crossed for more of the same throughout the day! The big event on board today (besides starting to sail again!) was the inevitable switch over from NZ Standard time to Tahiti Time!. In the process we lost two hours, but gained a day; went from 0900 on Sunday, 6 May, to 1100 on Saturday, 5 May. Let's hope that this new attempt at Saturday is better than yesterday's Saturday! Thanks for checking our progress on YiT! All is well on board.
Is this the same ocean we were sailing yesterday? This morning dawned bright and calm, after a day of wind, waves and rain. Yesterday it rained so hard it flattened the seas, and you could not see past the bow of the boat; we haven"t seen rain like that since we went through the ITCZ on our way to the Marquesas from Mexico! All is well on board.
All is well on board.
Bob had a good radio signal again but GHRadio has a high pitched squeek this morning so he had competition. They have a sea water damaged computer so are using the all important spare and will be back doing their own reports tomorrow. At least the weather has moderated for them although they probably would prefer a different wind direction.
Bob and crew are really not enjoying the frontal system and are looking forward to calmer seas. Keep the faith Linda!
'It was a dark and noisy night.' The TWS hovered around 2-3 knots, clouds covered the otherwise full moon, and the Yanmar sang it's noisy song. The good news is, after listening to the engine for almost 16 hours, late this morning the wind finally filled back in enough to sail. The bad news is, its from the wrong direction, and we're sailing off in the wrong direction. The good news is, we're not going the wrong way very fast, and hopefully things will change before we get to Easter Island! In the meantime, "All is well on board!"
We are certainly on a slow boat to Tahiti - and it's going to get slower before it heats up! Winds are dying off, and forecast to go really light over the next day or so! "Ugh - not the motor, Please!" Today 's 24 hr run was 110 nm; we have covered 1120 nm since we left Whangarei 10 days ago (not all in a straight line, to be sure!). But all in all, it has been a fairly easy passage so far - bright blue skies and calm seas means lots of reading will get done today; my choice from the library today is Woody Guthrie's "House of Earth" - interestingly, albeit a passionate subject matter for him, the book, finished in 1947, was never published in his lifetime. Well, enough of the literature class for today, I'm headed back to the cockpit with my book! "All is well on board!"
Beautiful night (nearly full moon, too!), nice morning, no squalls, winds are behaving, seas aren't too bad, pancakes and hot coffee for breakfast - what is there to complain about?! "All is well on board!"
Wow - what a boisterous night it was last night - no squalls, but fairly high winds (up to 26 knots) and rough seas; trying to sleep off-watch was like trying to get rest in a washing machine! Things have calmed down a bit now, mid morning, so the ride is a bit more comfortable and "All is (still) well on board!"
Can you hear it? - the sound of the wind and the waves as the boat sails along on fairly calm seas, under a bright sunny sky! We sure can, and what a welcome relief after 16 hours of listening to the drone of the motor from yesterday noon until just before sunup today. At times the TSW was less than 3 knots, and never much over 5 or 6; not enough to move this old boat without some fossil power. But the calm winds throughout the night were not enough to dissuade the squalls - of which there plenty (with their own winds, up to 27 knots!); had me humming that old song "Squally, Squally Night"! Today though we are focused on something much more momentous and important: Linda is baking a great big chocolate cake, Tom is digging deep into the freezer for our vat of ice cream, and I'm chilling down a magnum of champagne - all so we celebrate Linda's sister Carole's birthday in style! Okay, may not with such accoutrements, but we do want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLE LOGAN! Carole has done so much over the years to facilitate our being out here cruising, like watching over our mail and keeping us informed of any and everything important, taking care of our car, bikes, and various other belongings, and always providing us a place to stay on our comings and goings from Washington. Thank you Carole, and today especially we want you to know that you are a big part of why "All is well on board!"
Frustratingly light winds last night and today (and probably until much later tonight); in a ridge of high pressure covering a large area. Low we have been watching will pass to the east and south of us; that's the good news! Other than being tired of hearing the engine (and worrying about all those fossils we are burning),"All is well on board!"
Sunny day again today, after morning clouds. Winds were mostly light throughout the night, right on the edge of "motor time," but we hung in with the sails until about 1000 hrs this morning, and then gave up when TWS went down to about 7-8 knots, which makes it hard for the Monitor to steer. Started the engine (noisy beast) for the first time since Bream Head (just leaving NZ); TWS is building back up again, so might be able to turn the engine off again soon! Total run yesterday was only 97 nm (due to light winds); 577 nm since we left NZ. Day six at sea and "All is well on board!"
Beautiful sunny day today. Winds are going lighter and the seas are settling down, so its a comfortable ride. Total run yesterday was 120 nm; 480 nm since we left NZ. Oh Boy! Only 1800 or so to go! Day five at sea and "All is well on board!"
Boat wash day today, compliments of Mother Nature! There was a ?squall in training? last night that barely knew how to rain or blow, but the instructor came by this afternoon with a real downpour and peak gusts of 37. Only about 2 miles wide, though - still nothing to write home about, but look what I'm doing! It was also shower day for the crew - Linda insisted! Day four at sea and "All is well on board!"
Winds have moderated a bit today, but seas (swell and wind waves) are up, making for a rolly ride on a deep reach. Second 24 hour run was 115 nm; total run at 1200 local was 237 nm. We have run with only a reefed main for the past 18 hours; ride is a bit more comfortable, and we are deliberately holding back on boat speed in anticipation of some heavy weather forecast for next week that we would rather have pass in front of us than run right into it. Visited by an albatross today; large, beautiful, grace birds, that will always remind of us of New Zealand! Day three at sea and "All is well on board!"
Heavier winds than expected today; lots of reefing and jibing. First 24 hour run was 122 nm; first night at sea in over one year! All is well on board!
Better late than never! Left the dock today at 1035 hrs, after waiting out some less than pleasant weather, and rebuilding the fresh water pump that packed it in (essential piece of equipment, according to the Galley Chief!). Very nice conditions to set sail, but sad to be leaving New Zealand. Tom, our new crew, is learning the ropes and catching on fast - he says he will be ready for his first solo night watch tonight! Half a day down, and only twenty some to go (oh, its too early for that!). All is well on board! Cheers!
The project list to get the boat ready to go sea is now down to the last few reams of paper! The weather forecast for the next week is a mixed bag, and we have two fairly divergent forecast models to choose from - "pick the one you like best, and that is what it will turn out to be" - NOT! Oh well, nothing really foreboding in either forecast, and nothing more promising on the near term horizon (except the window closing on our VISAs!). So, clearance formalities are scheduled for 9:00 am tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 17 April), and by noon New Zealand should be in our rear view mirror! That will certainly be bitter sweet; we have spent a great deal of time in this beautiful country, and have made some great friends here - we will miss this place deeply! Next (scheduled) stop is Papeete, Tahiti - that should ease the sting of departure a bit! From there on to Hawaii, and then back to the Pacific Northwest - we hope to be home sometime in August. We welcome Tom Wendel aboard as crew for this voyage - something of a novelty for us shorthanded sailors, but his assistance should make those night watches and long days at sea for the next few weeks much more bearable! Cheers, New Zealand - thanks for the memories! We will be back; someday, somehow!
Position update for previous post (dumb guy with a smart phone, trying to navigate the app!)
At Marsden Cove, finishing up boat projects, provisioning, and keeping an eye on the weather, hoping for a good window to leave for Tahiti soon!
The final few miles into Marsden this morning were nothing short of magical - beautiful blue skies, flat calm seas with a multitude of sea birds, including the regal Gannet, and the majesty of Bream Head - aside from the feeling of "coming home" (this is our fifth trip here), New Zealand always inspires a sense of grandeur and seems like a masterpiece in God's Gallery - so good to be back here! We were at the Q Dock shortly after 1300, all cleared in by 1330, and fueled up and in our slip by 1430. We have cruiser friends here who just completed the trip from New Cal, as well, whom we met at the Marina's Friday afternoon "sausage sizzle" (a grand Kiwi institution!), with drinks to follow at the Marina restaurant; a great way to wrap up a mostly docile passage - and the silence (once we turned the engine off, which had been running for almost six days straight!) was absolutely golden! After a dinner of grilled NZ eye fillet steaks, and a bottle of good French Medoc, it will be a blissful night of sleep, uninterrupted by watch standing. Life is extraordinarily good, and all is very well on board the good ship Bright Angel tonight!
This horse smells the barn! We should be at the Q dock in Marsden by mid-afternoon tomorrow. (The champagne is chilling!) Still motor sailing for now - in light ENE winds, on a calm sea, under blue skies with plenty of sunshine; but make no mistake, we are no longer in the tropics - the uniform of the day is two layers of fleece! All is well on board.
Still motor sailing along (with wind vane steering) - in light ESE winds, on a relatively calm sea (swell is down considerably) under clear, sunny skies! The auto pilot even worked in the almost-no-wind conditions we experienced for several hours earlier today! Arrival at Marsden still anticipated for Friday late afternoon or early evening. All is well on board. NB: This post will show our correct longitude - 172E (I noticed the last post had us at 175E - we have done some detouring on this passage with fickle winds, but not that far east!)
Still motor sailing - and may be all the way to Whangarei if the winds don't start cooperating! (Fortunately, we should have enough fuel ti do so.) Last night was squally, and today has been a mix of sun, clouds, some wind and no wind (variable and erratic at times); at least it appears we are out of the adverse current (for now!). Arrival at Marsden now anticipated for Friday pm. All is well on board.
Started motor sailing last evening when wind dropped to single digits; heading basically toward NZ for a change! Arrival now anticipated Friday am, instead of Wednesday pm. Nice sunny day; seas are relatively calm, but there is large swell with long period. Spent the morning trying to resurrect the generator, but to no avail. Otherwise, all is well on board.
After passage of the front last night, wind filled in from the SE so we were able to tack back toward SW (were sailing E); now it looks like we we are en route to Norfolk Island (but wait, I thought we were going to New Zealand!?). Seas were very lumpy and uncomfortable last night, but have settled down some today; still hard to keep boat speed up with the chop! Looking forward to being able to actually point the boat in the general direction of New Zealand - maybe when the High moves in over the next day or so. All is pretty well on board.
Yesterday was such a nice day; blue skies, great sailing - but today, we are have had nothing but gray skies, periods of no wind, and now we are passing through a cold front with rain, with wind from the SW (wrong direction!), and on top of all that - the generator and auto pilot both died! "Boat For Sale - As Is, Where Is." But, other than that, all is well on board!
Left Noumea, New Caledonia bound for Marsden Cove, New Zealand yesterday at 0830 local time. Good sailing yesterday and throughout the night; first 24hr trip total 146nm. Some rain and lightning last night, but no heavy winds, followed by a distinct wind shift to the NE (passed through frontal band). Had been tracking S & W of the rhumb line, but started coming back with the NE winds. Wind went light about 3 hours ago, so started the engine when we could not maintain 4 kts boat speed. Only problem so far is with house battery bank; will not hold a charge under load (knew this was an issue before we left New Cal, but could not source replacement batteries there); lots of creative energy management and battery charging regimens in place for this trip, and new batteries in NZ! Other than that, all is well on board!
At P Moselle getting ready for the passage to Marsden Cove, Whangarei next week.
looking at sailing to grande Terre tomorrow
En route to Noumea, executing "plan B". When it became apparent yesterday afternoon that we were not going to make this morning's flood tide at Havannah Pass because of having had to ease off and slow down in order for the off watch to sleep the night before, and because the winds were not "as advertised" (SE instead of E-ESE), we motored east to get a decent sailing angle then deeply reefed the sails and set out on the last 130 nm to the pass at 3.2 knots, so as to make the Wednesday morning flood. We will then continue straight thru to Noumea. All is well on board!
We left Vila 0730 yesterday bound for Noumea. As we left Mele Bay, winds were E-ESE 20-25, seas 2-3m. Very rough ride to start, but comfortable now; winds and seas eased overnight. All is well on board!
On a mooring in Port Vila. Finishing up a few boat maintenance projects, reprovisioning (need more Tusker!), and getting a long overdue haircut today, while awaiting a weather window to head south to New Caledonia - maybe sometime this coming weekend (?).
We left Luganville (Aore Isdland Resort) on Tuesday, 9 August, and sailed to Vanihe Bay on NE Ambae Island. The next day we went around the corner and crossed the bar at high tide to enter Lolowai Bay. We left Lolowai on Thursday, 11 August, and had a rollicking sail across to Maewo Isdland, where we are now, anchored in Asanvari Bay, just off the waterfall; lovely spot. Tomorrow, Monday, 15 August, we will start working our way south along Pentecost Island with the plan to be at north Ambrym Island by the weekend to get settled in before the start of the Back to My Roots festival on Monday, 22 August. After the festival, we will start working our way back to Port Vila so we can clear out of Vanuatu and head to New Caledonia by mid-September. All is well on board!
Correction on current location: Lat is 17 33 (not 13). Might be time to get my vision checked again!
Broke free of Port Vila on Saturday morning, 16 July (we were there 10 days), and motored to Mele (Hideaway Island) - enroute testing the autopilot we "recommissioned" in Vila to exorcise some sort of gremlin that possessed it on the passage from Tanna; all worked well (fingers crossed it will continue to do so!) - where we spent two nights and one windy, drippy afternoon exploring the local beaches and trying out the Beach Bar; good food, cold beer, and very good live music! Today we enjoyed an exhilarating sail under mostly sunny skies to Havannah Harbour. After passing up anchorages at Ai Creek and Matapu (neither of which looked at all appealing) we ended up near the head of the harbour at Esema Bay, where all of the other cruisers in the harbour (five other boats) are anchored. Very peaceful and quiet here; no "resort blight" - just lots of locals in seriously overloaded boats who love to wave and say "Hallo" as they go by! We'll probably relax here for a couple of days before heading further north. Tonight, though, we'll be doing our "homework" for tomorrow's grib lesson on GHR!
near the end of their passage from Tanna to P Vila
We're here - Anelgaohat Bay, Aneityum Island, Vanuatu! Anchor down yesterday at 0900 local time (1000 NZST). The bubbly was great (but it was too early for Scotch!). Seven other boats here; one more came in this morning. Clearing in yesterday was a piece of cake; despite the "official" admonition 'drop anchor and stay on board until cleared-in' (which came with our written permission from Vanuatu Customs to land here - not an official port of entry), we were told (via another cruiser) to go ashore at 1400 to clear in; Customs and Immigration officials, just up from their afternoon nap, gladly took our $Vatu, stamped our passports, gave us our cruising permit, and said "Welcome to Vanuatu" - no official ever came aboard, or even asked us what we had on board (dang! Think of all the extra IPA and Marlborough white we could have stashed!). After a bar-b-q'ed eye fillet steak and a bottle of good French red, we turned in for a 14 hour nap in blissfully calm, quiet and warm conditions! All is very well on board the good ship Bright Angel today. Now, off to do some exploring!
Land Ho! And by moonlight, no less - how cool is that!? We are less than 15 miles from the anchorage, with an ETA of 0815 local (0915 NZST); we are crawling along now under seriously shortened sails, so as not to arrive in the dark. It has been an interesting day weather and wind-wise, but who cares about all that now!? Bubbly is in the frig, and when that's gone, Skipper gets his Scotch! Even as easy as it is with modern electronic navigation, it is always a thrill to set out over 1000 miles of open ocean, dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws at you, and end up at the precise spot on the globe that you intended! It really makes you appreciate the challenges faced by earlier generations of mariners who did it all with a sextant, a stubby pencil and a paper chart; especially those who were making up the charts as they went along - thank you James! And thank you GHR for all of your assistance with the weather, both for passage planning and en route. All is indeed very well on board! Steak on the barbie tonight!
Winds have gone to the north of east, giving us poor sailing angle. Fortunately, seas are calming down somewhat, so beating may at least be tolerable. Just over 100 miles to go; will have to slow down or heave to, to avoid a nighttime arrival tomorrow. Other than being tired (tough to sleep well in these conditions), all is well on board.
Challenging conditions yesterday afternoon and last night; winds increased to 28-32, with gusts to 35 (despite gribs calling for 18-19 kts, and GHR advising "fresh breeze" of 17-21 kts!) which persisted until early this morning (2 am) when we entered a band of squalls with their own brand of fun! Its been like riding a freight train through a field of boulders! Looks now (6:30 am) like the squalls might be past, and the wind and seas have settled down a bit. That, plus the noticeable increase in atmospheric thermal agitation means life is good! We are about 240 miles out, so we should make landfall at Aneityum early Wednesday morning. All is well.
Nice day, but a bit blustery yesterday. Winds "freshened" throughout the day, and by evening were 24-26, with occasional gusts to 28-29 and showers. Seas built up, too, and below decks trying to sleep in the sea berth was like trying to sleep in a washing machine! Things have settled down a bit this morning; much more comfortable ride. A little over two days to go! All is well on board.
Beautiful sunny day yesterday; the multitudinous layers of fleece are starting to come off! We had a pod of small whales (largest was about thirty feet long) keep us close company (too close, really - as little as twenty feet from the boat at times!) last evening just about dusk; they stayed with us for just under an hour. The seas have calmed down, but never being quite satisfied we are now hoping for a bit more wind out of the SE! All is well with all on board.
Squally day yesterday, and through the night, with lightning for added fun! Max winds in squalls 30 kts. Sailing wind has finally shown up. Still cannot hear GHR well enough to make out anything they are saying; maybe tomorrow. All is well on board.
Warming up a bit - at least the Boss isn't being quite so vocal about the cold! Hoping the wind will build enough to turn off the engine today! All is well on board.
Dodging cargo ships and searching for he breeze. The Boss is complaining about the cold, but other than that, "All is well on board."
Last night in Marsden; clearing with Customs tomorrow a.m. and departing for Vanuatu. All is ready and all is well.
Still in Marsden Cove, awaiting a weather window to sail to Vanuatu; possibly departing on Tuesday, 14 June. The cabin heater is keeping the crew comfy and happy. All is well on board!
Moved "down river" from Whangarei to Marsden Cove Marina on the late afternoon tide today, where we will finish up some "non-essential" boat projects and wait for a decent weather window to sail to Vanuatu; could be a bit of a wait - but that's okay, we have lots of good books on board! All is well.
At the Q-Dock yesterday (28 Nov) at 1400 - a record passage time for us - 7 days, 5 hours. Sailed from Navula Pass, Viti Levu, Fiji on one tack for 830 nm before starting the engine and motoring the rest of the way with northerly (tail) winds, just to beat a front closing in on Opua. Total engine run time for passage was 34.3 hours, including 3 hours from Port Denarau to Navula Pass, and 2 hours from entrance to Bay of Islands to Opua Marina. Customs & Biosecurity cleared us into New Zealand within 30 minutes of our arrival at the Q-Dock! We then proceeded to our slip, F21, where we were met by our friends Rich & Cyndi (Legacy) and George & Ellen (Wind Dancer). We had an impromptu party in the cockpit before George & Ellen drove back home to Whangarei, and Rich & Cyndi drove us into Pahia where we had a wonderful pizza dinner, washed with great craft beer! Then the best desert of all - 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a quiet, motionless boat! All is extremely well on board.
On track for a record (for us) passage time - 7 days and (roughly) 6 hours; only 28 nm to go to Bay of Islands, and then another 10 nm to the Q-Dock. Motor sailing (and bucking an adverse current at the moment) to beat a weather system moving in. We hope to be in Opua by 3 pm NZDT. On our approach, dodging cargo ship traffic has been a full time endeavor! All is well on board.
Finally gave in and started the engine at 0540 this morning, and the wind dropped to under 10 knots from directly behind; last had the engine on as we cleared Navula Pass, 830 nm back. It was a good run, but we are the proverbial "horse to the barn" at this point - only 190 nm to go to Bay of Islands. We hope to be in Opua by dinner time tomorrow! All is well on board.
Happy Thanksgiving, from West of the Dateline! Although there will be no roast turkey with stuffing or baked ham dinner with all the trimmings for he crew of Bright Angel today (but that is not to say we don't eat well on board!), we will spend the day reflecting on our many blessings; we hope you do, too. We continue to enjoy excellent sailing conditions, with blue skies, plenty of wind (so far, anyway) and no squalls. We did experience a short-lived lull in the wind yesterday (9-11 knots) and a pesky west setting current that has fortunately taken its leave. Bright Angel is moving along smartly, with all her sails a flyin' - only 341 nm to go to Bay of Islands! All is well on board.
Wind has started backing to the east. Good day of sailing yesterday; slight adverse current early in the day has been replaced with south setting current again. All is well on board.
Conditions have moderated considerably. Great sailing yesterday and last night; with the aid of a south setting current, had a 156 nm run from noon Sun to noon Mon. All is well on board.
Good day of sailing yesterday and last night - full moon, mostly clear skies, and shooting stars! Seas turned lumpy again before dawn - could be another "just put up with it" day. All is well on board.
Departed Port Denarau for Opua, New Zealand yesterday morning at 0905; out Navula Pass at 1200. First 18 hours we got thrashed; winds ESE at 28-33, gusting to 36+, with seas very rough at 3-3.5 m. Reefed way down for a more comfortable ride (if you could call it that!), but still had to sail on a close reach to avoid getting pooped by beam seas. By sunrise today, things had settled down considerably; winds are now 19-22, with moderate seas. Shook out some of the reef in the headsail, so now making much better time and sailing on a more comfortable beam reach. All is well on board.
Departing Port Denarau for Opua, New Zealand this morning.
enjoying a wind gusting to 6kts!
All is well that ends well! And here we are on the quarantine buoy at Vuda Marina, Fiji, awaiting our check-in first thing in the morning. The bottle of champagne gone now and the boat still at last, after a trying 8 days 21 hours at sea since leaving Marsden Cove (our fastest passage yet to the islands!), in some of the most trying conditions we have yet encountered; we would almost rather have a full fledged storm where we could heave-to and ride it out in a day or so, than the continuous 4 or 5 days of force 7 nonsense (near gale, 28-33 knot winds with heaped up seas and breaking waves) that we encountered this trip. But every day is a school day, and we have certainly learned a few things from this experience, and as the last drop of bubbly disappeared we were talking of the good times to come here in Fiji, and not of the past few days getting here. So, indeed, all is well on board the good ship Bright Angel tonight - until someone tries to wake me for my watch!
With wind moaning in the rigging, dawn breaks in the anti-cyclonic gloom of damp, dreary overcast after another night of thrashing in force 7 winds and lumpy, bumpy seas. Sort of brings to mind the old expression: "Floggings will continue until morale improves." For us that will come in about 24 hours time, when we make landfall and negotiate Navula Pass to the inside of the reef. We have slowed down now, with reduced winds and reduced sails, to ensure we arrive in daylight. For now, all is well on board.
A somewhat less miserable night; winds moderated a bit, seas are still rough but less so than lately. The end is in sight; well, at 230 nm to go, not really, but psychologically, anyway! So, all is well on board.
Another miserable night; high winds, rough seas; but thankfully, no squalls. A little tired (and a lot tired of these conditions!) but all is well on board.
Miserable night; high winds, rough seas, and about six hours of squalls - 1400 to 2000 (highest winds in squalls 40 knots). Fun meter for this passage is now pegged at zero; and on top of that, our Beam-Us-There-Atron seems to be broken. Notwithstanding all that, and several "BFS" moments, all is well on board.
Fairly comfortable night; motored thru light winds and some squalls (highest winds in squalls 28 knots). Will set sails at first light, as winds have filled back in. All is well on board.
Comfortable night; all is well on board.
Two days out of Marsden Cove, NZ, enroute to Fiji, and 250 nm down the track. We had the expected strong winds at the start (westerlies in the 25-30 knot range, some stronger gusts). We hugged the coast going north until we were just north of the Bay of Islands, then headed offshore looking to put the wind more on the beam. Winds were sw by mid day on Saturday, and have been off the port quarter ever since. Fairly comfortable ride now as the winds are down to the high teens and low 20s and the seas have calmed down - except for the occasional rolling wave that sets the boat to rocking and dumps the wind from the sails! Haven't seen much of the sun yet, and its still fairly cold; but that will change soon, we hope!
all well and all sorted after the turbulent start
via relay as still too close for 8MHz
Cleared out of New Zealand, will leave Marsden Cove for Fiji within the hour. Expecting strong (20-25 kt) westerlys outside, but will hug the coast going north until winds go sw, then will head offshore.
In Marsden Cove after a fairly rambunctious sail up from Gulf Harbour yesterday, 30 May. For our escape from the clutches of Gulf Harbour, where we had been holed up for almost four months getting a projected two month teak deck replacement job finished, Met Service forecast 15 knots NE, with slight seas and 1 m swell developing; what we got was more like 20-22 knots, with some fairly boisterous wind waves, and by the time we were abeam Sail Rock the seas were a solid 1.5-2 m, with a fairly short 6 - 8 sec period! Great re-introduction to life at sea, however, which, after we finish up provisioning and a completing a few boat projects, will come in handy when the next weather window for passage to Fiji presents itself. Right now, the prospects for that window look somewhat remote - maybe 10 days or thereabouts.
Anchored in Oneroa Bay, Waiheki Island. Enjoying our cruise of Great Barrier Island and Hauraki Gulf.
At the Q Dock, Opua! Quickest passage yet - 8 days, 22.5 hours - Denerau Marina, Fiji to Opua Marina, NZ. Awesome sail yesterday, and thru the night - nw winds, 17-19 knots during the day, and 22-27 at night, until it died out to 10 knots approaching the Bay of Islands. Time for a nice long, hot shower, and (several) cold beers! All is well on board.
Motored thru the night with very light (1-3 knot) s-sse winds. We are approaching the sw quadrant of the high pressure system; winds have picked up to 10-12 knots from the west - sailing again! We are just under 160 nm from "the barn," and anticipate tying up to the Q Dock in Opua on Sunday afternoon. All is well on board.
Sailed thru the night with sse then se winds. Winds died off around 4 a.m.; motoring again. At sun up were visited by an albatross; beautiful! All is well on board.
Passed thru front yesterday a.m.; few squalls, no drama. Southerly winds since; now 16-20. Motoring to make southing; very lumpy ride. All is well on board.
Approaching front. All is well on board.
Still motoring; under sunny skies yesterday, grey this morning. Wind is still light. All is well on board.
Glorious day of sailing yesterday under sunny skies, fairly calm seas, and fresh breeze. Wind went light last night at 2030 hrs, and we started motor sailing. On a somewhat more westerly corse now, as we expect to encounter a frontal system on Wednesday morning, followed by fresh southerlies; will need to tack ese to sail them, then tack sw towards Opua when the winds back to se. All is well on board.
Smooth sailing at last! Wind and sea has moderated considerably. On a comfortable beam reach with suit of sails in 11-14 knots of ese wind and a 1.5-2 meter ssw swell on the starboard quarter. Forecast is to lose the wind by evening, as we enter the middle of a high pressure system; then we will set the "iron main." Still making decent progress; 815 nm to go. All is well on board.
Rough start to the passage; thru Navula Pass at 1430 local, with strong sse winds 22-25 knots, and rough seas. Wind and sea moderated around 0100 this morning, but seas are still quite lumpy in 17-19 knots of wind with a 2-3 meter swell on the nose! Making decent progress. All is well on board.
Leaving Port Denerau, enroute to Navula Pass, then on to Opua, NZ!
Moored in Port Denerau awaiting Friday, 14 November early am departure for passage to Opua, NZ.
likely to head from Fulanga to Matuku tomorrow
arrived and waiting for Immigration etc
45nm to Vuda pass so nearly there
destination change to Vuda to make repairs
late tonight winds will go south as band moves NE
will gybe soon. Wind has backed from 18 SSW last night
have been busy with repairs and now know the Maine proverb "nothing too strong ever broke"
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