Chameleon

Chameleon

Thu Jul 6 9:41 2017 NZST
Run: 39.6nm (71.7km)
Weather: Unsettled and cloudy with rain. The day of the welcome home to Emirates Team NZ

This is the first trial of the new yit Apple app. Hoorah. This is the position of Gulf Harbour Radio.

Fri Mar 17 22:12 2017 NZDT
Run: 2.7nm (4.9km)
Weather: 29%cc, 1027, chilly, var0-5 >

this is the southernmost anchorage on the west side of the Coromandel. Kirita bay with a small settlement Anchored in 5m of shingle on southern side. No life that we could see in the murky water but some interesting caves on northern side . Virtually no cell phone but maybe a Vodafone problem. Will head half way home tomorrow as it seems warmer there >

Thu Mar 16 13:27 2017 NZDT
Run: 4.3nm (7.8km)
Weather: 80%cc, 1025, chilly, sw to south east 10

this is Rangipukea island at the entrance to Te Kouma. Theoretically crew can walk on shore but there seem to be a few of the not very welcoming signs that are common in the Coromandel. PRivate property, no trespassing etc. also there is a very large bull which is probably more off putting. it is a pretty anchorage but then most are in this area. There is a stock race leading down to the water from a stock yard and the anchorage is sand and we are quite close in 6m. Lots of fishing around the headland and it will remain to be seen whether crew gets in the water. Don't place any bets on that. There is good cell phone coverage. Actually there was even coverage at Hook Bay on Waiheke and there did not use to be. No photos as after the last effort I am scared to take my camera or iPad topside. The new iPhone is acting up without any encouragement.

Wed Mar 15 14:12 2017 NZDT
Run: 15.1nm (27.3km)
Weather: now sunny, 1021steady, south east 15-29

now anchored in Deep Cove Whangarei island Coromandel . Quote of day "My seamanship is fine, I'm just lazy" We crossed the Firth of Thames in 21-29 kts of S to south east to ESE and 2-3m short seas. Have been up for a while as the wind turned to south south east at about 4am which made Hook Cove rather boisterous but the wind generator and new batteries thought it was great.
Yesterday was a lazy day and would have given better conditions but refer to quote above. However the captain found the French propane adapters so Tusi 2 Mike will be happy. The newly fixed 15 hours is about to go on the dinghy. At least the conditions will have knocked off some bottom growth but crew will need to attend to the dyna plate which seems to attract algae.
Thumbs Up are in This anchorage.

Tue Mar 14 9:57 2017 NZDT
Run: 23.1nm (41.8km)
Weather: 9%cc,sw, 1017,

Chameleon finally got away from the dock yesterday bound for Coromandel. Laptop not working. some letters will not work. iPhone not easy to use on yit so there will not be too many updates. We are at Hook bay and will head from Waiheke to Whanganui island Wednesday

Fri Feb 24 19:45 2017 NZDT
Run: 40.9nm (74km)
Avg: 3.6knts
24hr: 87.3nm
Weather: 10%cc,2var e/se /w, 1016, 1.5m NE swell, .5m SE swell

Back at the dock, B42, after a motor sail home. The main sail got aired and good that it was brought out as we have a self destructed out haul turning block. One more thing on the to do list. At 10.30am in the middle of nowhere we caught a fat king fish. 42inches long and it took a while to know he was dead. Nothing in his intestines so he must have been hungry.

A happy captain
Fri Feb 24 8:30 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.5nm (2.7km)
Weather: 100%cc,2var e/se, 1019,

Sad to leave but we are on our way as lots to do and fix onshore. Looks like a motor but we are ever hopefull for the 10e/se.
Another dinner of crayfish so Tusi 2 has lots of forecasts for this season! We did fish but nothing large enough to take home.

Wed Feb 22 14:24 2017 NZDT
Run: 2.6nm (4.7km)
Weather: 40%cc,4var SW, 1017,

Lovely and calm today. The water was like glass earlier on and the local land resident took a picture of us reflected in the water. I will put it on when we get home. Helen (Tusi2) and I walked up to the top of Mt Hobson yesterday on the new track. Last time I walked it there were over 1056 steps. Now about 800 more have been added so it is not really like a normal track and I was thankful for the good company. The view from the top is worth it though and the day was perfect for walking as only about 22C and no wind. We met the crews from Andiamo and Margansie at the top. They were returning via the path I took last time and did not arrive back until a good 2 hours after us as we came down the steps. Just under 2.5hrs to the top and less than 2hrs return. After trying out one of Tusi2's new toys ( they have a blow up canoe and paddle board) we moved to Oneuru Bay. It was meant to be var 10 but now south so our plans to go outside were thwarted so we will attempt to catch dinner around the mussel farm here.
The paddle board was easy to get back on when you had fallen in the water. I suspect such dousings have been recorded so another picture will go on soon.

Patricia trying the Tusi2 blow up paddle board

The paddle boarding looks beautiful! As much as I tell Mike off for buying too many toys for Mirabilis, I am seriously tempted by the SUPs I have to say.
Sun Feb 19 9:48 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)
Weather: 99%cc,10ne, 1020, rain on and off, sometimes heavy

Well the rain continues but crew took off to walk to the kauri dam yesterday afternoon and amazingly had it mostly dry despite the anchorage being in rain all afternoon. The track was semi destroyed last time and has been re routed and magnificently repaired with graveled paths, lots of drainage , board walks and steps! It took less than 1.5hrs to get to the dam and that included a fair amount of track tidying as the rain had dropped lots of fern and palm fronds. We moved to the other side when I got back to make it easier to socialize with Katie M11, Vixen 7 and Tusi 2. We almost feel we need a number!

Fri Feb 17 15:45 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.4nm (2.5km)
Weather: 80%cc,10nw g15, 1013steady

Moved in between torrential rain bursts this morning to Kaiara Bay. Well we up anchored in dry conditions but sadly for the captain the anchor went down in heavy rain. At least the thunder waited. We have had 24hr of heavy rain so the tracks will be boggy. More inside jobs like baking cinnamon rolls, replacing water maker filters ( yes who needs the watermaker!). Making a to do list and a things to buy llist.

Thu Feb 16 15:00 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Weather: 100%cc,10-15ne , 1012 steady, heavy rain

Heavy rain here today so everyone will have filled their tanks. The walk this morning was canceled! Yesterday was an interesting day at Port Fitzroy as an unusual sound filled the air just before 10am. An elderly radial engine float plane, reg. AMA, landed and taxied through the moored boats, right beside us. Then we were visited by a man in a tinny to say we needed to move to allow the rather large 'barge' the long Islander Navigator supply ship to arrive. We anchored at the northern end but it took a long time to leave and as the tide was dropping quickly we moved again before going ashore to stock up on fresh fruit and bread.
Then Kat and Dan from Camelot arrived for sauerkraut cake and cream - yes really. It is a chocolate cake with a twist! I found the recipe in a Chilean cook book which shows I was getting bored with other reading material. And delicious. No swimming here after seeing a rather large shark off the bow. So then we decided to go and eat dinner at the one and only option to eat out. With the forecast rain we decided to make the most of the opportunity. We enjoyed a cooks night off despite the aged terakihi.

Tue Feb 14 17:00 2017 NZDT
Run: 2.8nm (5.1km)
Weather: 100%cc,10ne g20, 1009 steady

left Nagle this morning for Fitzroy as needed to post letters and shop. The lack of a phone requires writing skills to be resurrected. Yesterday though the crew had another good walk as the NW25g35 never eventuated. At low tide you can walk around the headland on the rocks for quite a way. Then at the little beach at the end, between the homestead and the house on the next property, you can find the trail just passed the shed with the tractors. I walked up the tractor track to the top of the Nagle farm to look for the wind from the top where the two defunct windmills are sited. The farm is now owned by the Chinese and there is no manager anymore which is starting to show. Gorse of course is taking over and some of the sheep need docking. Back down again, and the other fork in the trail is the 5hr walk to Karaka Bay which I did not explore. Instead I walked along the rocks and through the rock cave to chat to the lady at the next house. Here I learned the local gossip. The forecast for the rest of the week is not good so after stocking up when the ship arrives tomorrow we will hunker down not too far from here.
There are a few familiar boats here in Fitzroy. Former dock neighbours Kat and Dan are here and Tony from Tactical Directions came and introduced himself. It is always good to meet those on YIT who we have talked to. He is heading back to Tonga mid May.

Hi Dave and Patricia we are close by in Kiwiriki Bay. Will keep an eye out for you in the Fitzroy area.
Tue Feb 14 9:06 2017 NZDT
Weather: 100%cc, 10NE g15, 1009 rising, misty

We are still in shock from the news that Hazel Saunders, SV Liberation, has passed away. Hazel loved the cruising life and was the always happy in or near the water or socializing with cruiser friends. We last saw her on new year's eve at Kawau and she looked full of beans buzzing around in the dinghy with Bill. Our sincere condolences got to Bill and their family. We have raised the big NZ flag in her memory as Hazel always liked to see the NZ flag flying. It is now dubbed the Hazel flag in her honour.

Mon Feb 13 9:09 2017 NZDT
Weather: 90%cc,10ne, 1004 steady

Still in Nagle Cove where the wind this Monday morning is meant to be NW15 rising to 25 gusting 35 this morning but so far is only 10NE. We were the only ones here the first night but the anchorage looks very different now with over 16 boats at last count. Even split between power and sail with two foreign boats. Joalea, a 16m Oyster from Canada and Avalanche, a similar length interesting looking trimaran from Colorado. Flying the state flag as well as the stars and stripes. All anchored well spaced except for a power boat that was 1.5 lengths in front of us! Sarita was second into the anchorage so had a lot of choice. He has just decided to move this morning thank goodness in case this forecast is correct. Where is Gulf Harbour Radio when you need them! Crew might have to do some inside boat work as it is also meant to rain today. She is getting sick of reading. It would have been good to have used this wind direction to get to Coromandel but without a reliable and working dinghy engine that will have to be put off until next trip.

Sat Feb 11 18:00 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.9nm (3.4km)
Weather: 10%cc,15sw, sw swell 1m , 1007 dropping

We moved today to Nagel Cove in anticipation of the NW blow tomorrow, but not before the crew had a wonderful walk in the hills behind karaka Bay. The track starts to the left of the black barn with the Hillary Outdoors sign on the front. It goes straight up the hill, through a couple of gates and winds its way over to Katherine Cove, Nimari Bay. A sign says 45mins but the same sign is posted about 20mins later so allow an hour to get there. It is mostly in Manuka bush so sheltered from wind and sun. About two thirds of the way up the trck splits and you take the left fork to the sandy beach beside the bay hat has the mussel farm. It was low tide when I got there and the beach is very clean. Land a dinghy left of centre as there are no rocks there. It is hard to find the start of the track from this end. Look for a huge multi branched tree on the right, walk through the agaves and you will find the start of the trck. The rest of it is wide and clear. The view from the lookout, if you take the other fork on the way home is spectacular as it looks out over the entrance to Abercrombie and out to Kaikoura island. Bird song is good. The Karaka Bay area is owned by a religious group, Orana, who lease it to the Hillary Trust. There is a tall and very long pest fence at the centre of the bay to protect the land on one side from rodents. There were a lot of rabbits on the walk I took by the way. Anyway you cannot start the Redfern track from here as you need permission and this is given at Fitzroy. There are a lot of traps around. The Hillary Trust welcomes people on their side and also offers a coin operated laundry. There is a long hose on the dock for those needing water so ask if you need it. there is a shop which David had hoped had ice cream and candy bars but no such luck. You cannot eat postcards! Nagle Cove is a good spot in a NW. We tucked in close around the headland as it is still sw but will change early tomorrow. We will have to go to Fitzroy nect week as we are running out of food.

Fri Feb 10 13:09 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.6nm (2.9km)
Weather: 50%cc,5var, ne swell 1m , 1011 droppping

Nice to have a calm sunny morning after the blow. After the ham net we motored around to Karaka Bay in Abercrombie. Anchored in 5m of good holding mud/sand. There seems to be an adventure park here with lots of Hillary structures for testing strength and agility. There was a problem with propagation on 20m this morning and the only person I had a good conversation with was Suzanne, N1QFE, who is single handing in a 40' Al boat currently at 47S and 179 33E. By lunch she will be in the western hemisphere on her way to Hawaii. An amazing sailor.

Thu Feb 9 8:57 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Weather: 100%cc,20-30ene, heavy rain, slight swell

Due to a fire drill a short while ago we are now in a slightly different position here in Nimaru Cove, Katherine Bay. It has been a torrid night. The rain started around 5pm yesterday and the wind kicked in at 10pm with a solid 35 plus all night, mostly as forecast from the SE. However this morning it turned to the ENE and a somewhat different sound from the stern had us checking topside. Hmm, clear water and no crays on the rocks a meter behind the boat! Note for file. The Royal Akarana Yacht Club was correct about indifferent holding here. There is more fetch now we have turned but we will not be heading out into the 3m SW swell or the 1m NE swell. Comfort food is in preparation.

Tue Feb 7 17:45 2017 NZDT
Run: 8nm (14.5km)
Weather: 0%cc,10nw, light seas, no swell

We moved today to the NW side of great Barrier. We were going to leave it until the afternoon based on the forecast of var 5 in the morning but reports from those on the ham net said that 100%cc and misty rain was already at Waihi and south auckland so off we went. had to motor sail but the water tanks are now full. We are in a lovely spot, Nimaru Bay a little cover in Kathryn Bay. And it is still 100% blue sky this evening. There is SE35 tomorrow afternoon so good we are in a great spot. Beautiful as no body living around here and we are protected. Also we are in board of a small mussel farm so there should be good snapper around. A 29m ship has just arrived about 200m away so we are not the only ones that think it is great.,Rain tomorrow so that will be good if it comes to my pot plants at home.

Mon Feb 6 9:39 2017 NZDT
Weather: 0%cc,1sw, light seas, no swell

Still at Arid/Rakitu Island. Incredible weather. Had an entertaining day yesterday. First off the lovely 80' power boat could not leave as its anchor was stuck. It was interesting seeing such a large vessel cope with something that smaller yachts deal with from time to time. They had anchored surprisingly close to shore and there are the odd bombies. Eventually one person got a tank and sorted out what to do and the rather small anchor was raised.
Then we managed to get the heavy 15hp onto the dinghy to replace the spluttering 2hp. Sadly, no luck getting the 15hp to fire. Not a fuel problem. All avenues there were fully tested. It seems to be ann electrical problem. So , no going ashore but crew got a good snorkel around the area trying to work out which rock the power boat had got stuck on. There is a buoy on the left side of the anchorage quite close to shore which could be used in an emergency as it attaches to a very heavy line that goes to something heavy beyond my visibilty. The viz was not good late afternoon.
We will stay here until Wednesday morning when the wind changes to the SE after a front. The only email we have is K6AHS@winlink.org. It is good that the 3 boats tethered together (new ones) will no doubt leave today as it is back to work tomorrow. They had two dogs between them, one very noisy! The kids seem to have different blood as they stay in the water a long time. oh to be young.

Sun Feb 5 10:45 2017 NZDT
Weather: 0%cc,5sw, light seas, no swell

Still at Arid/Rakitu Island. It is amazing what a wonderful spell of weather we are getting as we did not think we would be able to stay this long on the eastern side of Great Barrier/Aotea Island. Today crew will walk the island an come back for a swim - in nylon full cover and shortie wet suit. The nylon for protection against numerous jelly fish and the wet suit for warmth. There were about 9 boats crammed in here late afternoon, including 3 rafted together beside us which was a bit of a worry but they all took off for the evening. Phew. Just us and two power boats. If I had a couple of million I would put an offer in for Iridium, including the bacon smells that wafted our way this morning. And provided a lot of hash noise which destroyed our ham net. I could just work out that ZL4GD was there but that was it.
Not the boat - just conditions.

Oh dear, I'm afraid you may have heard us chuckling, even from this far away, about your 31 January posting detailing the dinghy fiasco at Great Barrier. It makes us feel better about the event we failed to report wherein Doggie1 took on a full load of water AND built a little beach of its own at the transom when it got sideways to the swell on Koh Lipe several days ago. Waves kept coming and Robbie, even with the energetic help of two island guys with big plastic buckets, couldn't bail fast enough to lower the water inside the dink from a level very near the top of the pontoons. We have long held the position that we have more excitement with the d__m dinghy than with the yacht itself. Have you noticed that your electronics never go into the water when you've bagged them properly? Only when you've been careless... how can that possibly be? We're very glad to hear you found David under the dinghy and let him free! Ah, cruising. Truly never a dull moment. Fond regards, Bev and Robbie
Sat Feb 4 10:33 2017 NZDT
Run: 4.3nm (7.8km)
Weather: 10%cc, 15sw, light seas

We shifted this morning to the anchorage we had been waiting to visit but needed anything other than nw. There is a lovely walk on the island and lots of interesting things to explore in the craggy coastline here on Arid/Rakitu. It is 2.5m from the anchorage at Whangapoua. We took off but got passed by a very beautiful large power yacht Iridium, who clearly wanted first choice of position!. It is very protected here from virtually everything, not that there is much to avoid wind and sea wise.

Wed Feb 1 17:00 2017 NZDT
Run: 2.9nm (5.2km)
Weather: 90%cc, 24C, 10nw

A very pleasant morning meeting the folk on the beautiful 1936 power boat beside us. Crew did not mind being grounded! The day slowly became more cloudy so we decided to leave the beautiful anchorage (and the marauding bronze whaler) and head north a bit to Whangapoua as the wind is meant to strengthen tomorrow from the north. As we came into the anchorage we watched an orca about 50m from us cruise along crossing our bow. Only one. Anchored in 7m sand at low tide. There is good cell phone coverage here so a pity I drowned the iPhone yesterday.

Tue Jan 31 16:18 2017 NZDT
Weather: blue sky, 25C, 5ne

Well a day of action today. Most of it not good. The plan was for the crew to go ashore for a walk while the captain cleaned out the sail locker.. After the ham net I quickly tossed things in my back pack - nut bar, oranges, water, VHF, shoes and sox, and then at the last minute added the iPhone and good digital camera. Off we went with the boss muttering about getting ashore in surf. A beautiful day with blue sky and barely any wind. We cut the engine near shore and the idea was to go just after the bigger set. Well that turned out to be difficult as after the bigger set there is a lot of undertow taking you back out to sea! However I jumped off when it was shallow enough and headed to shore glancing back when I heard a string of expletives. The dinghy was near upright and the captain standing at the bow. Just as well he is a bit overweight as he managed to get through the wave looking like he was competing in the Mt Maunganui surf championships. Now I have learned over the years not to respond verbally or laugh at such events. The sanitised and summarized version of what he said was 'dearly beloved I told you this was a bad idea'., Anyway off I went and wondered through lovely farm land with black headed sheep and beef cows. It is DOC land and soon I cam across one of their camp grounds and headed off on a loop track that took you through the bush, up to the headland. Fantastic views and I was glad I had the camera. On the return I overlooked Chameleon and after a few photos I called David on the VHF. He replied but that was when my handheld lost power. It had been put in the charging bracket but not connected. He thought I was calling for a ride and said I will pick you up at the southern end! Oh dear. Here I was nowhere near - and on a ridge at the northern end. Off I ran but by the time I got there 20mins later he was back at the boat. And it still looked quite surfy and not much better than the northern end. So I stripped off to colourful underwear and waded out to waist height, tossed the backpack in the dinghy and scrambled in. Our dingly is not that easy to get into now as fittings have been put back in an awkward position. As I got in I looked behind and had an Oh Shit moment as a huge wave had grown further back from where they were most often breaking. It picked up the dinghy, turning it over , I fell out and we crashed towards shore. When I surfaced, there were lines, backpack, seat, and David's hat floating around but no david. The dinghy was inverted and stuck in the surf. It is a very heavy twin hard bottomed dinghy, with wheels so I had a bit of a problem. Somehow the adrenaline kicked in and I managed to lift the dinghy and he crawled out. he was too shocked to berate me especially as we now had an upside down vessel and engine stuck in the surf. We dragged it back out in between wave sets and after a couple of tries managed to get it right was up. I raced back to get the swamped back pack and other stuff from the shoreline and David rowed out past the surf with me swimming alongside. I finally got aboard when it was safe to do so and then the long row home with a stuffed engine. meanwhile another boat, the first, had come in from the other side and seen the fiasco. They put their dinghy in the water and came and gave us a tow home which saved a lot of energy.
An expensive walk as one iPhone 6S now caput, 1 good digital camera caput, one 2 hp outboard semi caput but recoverable. One handheld may recover. It is in the oven drying out. So we now have no internet or telephone. Just as well we have this system.
David has just read this and says it is lacking a mea culpa. Knowing big swells were coming down from Fiji I should have known there would be surf and should not have pressed to go. And although I had the handheld in a plastic bag the camera and iPhone were not as i had taken them out to use on the walk. Given I did raise the dinghy for him, and am making cinnamon rolls for him and our new friends, he has been pretty calm about the incident. He knows I have learned a lesson!

What an adventure! Are you heading around to Fitzroy at all? We are anchored up here and would love to meet face to face- especially if the cinnamon rolls are still fresh ! We can also lend a Handheld VHF is needed. Spencer & Janet
Mon Jan 30 17:24 2017 NZDT
Run: 6.5nm (11.8km)
Weather: blue sky, 25C, 5ne

Motored down to probably the most beautiful anchorage on Great Barrier. Harataunga is just lovely. We may never leave! We are tucked into a little cove on the NW side. It is protected from the N swell (from Fiji) by Arid/Rakitu Island) and there is also an island on the southern side. The long beach has access to the walkways which has my interest. And there are not the number of jelly fish as at the last anchorage. We left there with three big dolphins this morning. They did not spend long there as they found the fishing was not good. We could have told them that. Anyway the place is just lovely and a commercial cray potter has arrived to keep us company for the night so it must be a good protected spot. I wonder what they need to trade!

Sat Jan 28 17:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0.0knts
Run: 50.9nm (92.1km)
Weather: blue sky, 25C, 10-15 NNW

Motor-sailed to Great barrier Island yesterday. Took 8.75hrs to get to the NE end, Rangiwhakea Bay. Blue sky and light to zero wind the whole way until we rounded the corner when it was stronger on the nose. Great to be out. Today, Saturday we are alone in the bay but in the middle of the night I counted 18 anchor lights! Maybe they will bring back fish as today is really lovely except for the wind. We assume the weird direction is sea breeze and it will revert to the SW soon. Will stay here a couple more days before moving down to Whangapoua or Arid Island. There is a track that leaves from where we are now and maybe it will get hot enough to get in the water.

Tue Jan 24 17:29 2017 NZDT
Run: 13.8nm (25km)
Weather: beautiful at last. Light S wind and 24C

Will await the mild front tomorrow and head off to the east side of great Barrier on Friday. really looking forward to getting away at long last. Especially as the Boss seems to think we will have at least a week of decent weather.. Will meander around Great Barrier and the Coromandel and Haurakei Gulf Islands for a month. This position is the home/Radio QTH

Chameleon - Still in Noumea

Still in Noumea as it is still blowing- as it seems to be in the entire pacific due to stationary highs. Oh well, the economy of Noumea is improving as we stock up on french shoes and clothes. The Bastille Day parade was very different to those in French Polynesia. David missed the hip swaying hula girls but enjoyed the military display. Very spic and well armed. All branches of the military and police were represented as well as the fire brigade and a pipe band- seen practicing near the marina Read more...

which alerted us to the parade. Some units had a mixture of french and local and male and female whereas others were solely male and french. And very fit looking. We will leave in the weekend for the south and hopefully (says Patricia) we will anchor near where the french foreign legion have their R&R.

fire brigade and a pipe band- Noumea