Cowabunga

Cowabunga

Wed Oct 18 22:54 2017 NZDT

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sun May 21 7:25 2017 NZST
Run: 6.9nm (12.5km)

Fri Jan 13 11:42 2017 NZDT

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Cowabunga - Light wind Tactics

We are on day two with no real wind to speak of. At sundown last night we put together our strategy for approaching the southern reef at Minerva, we thought we would be approaching the southern reef at about 3:00 in the morning. We are now 1:30 in the afternoon and still about 17 miles away! We are still an optimistic bunch After a long night spinning in circles while bobbing in the ocean, we were all ready to start moving. At sunrise we pulled out the assymetrical spinnaker. There were light Read more...

winds from the south and we thought it might help us with our progress. For about a half hour we were making 5 knots in 7 knots of wind. The wind became lighter and more shifty. Those who are interesting in learning to sail, light winds sure gets the mind ticking to find options. It is also nice to be able to experiment. At four in the morning, Ron and I put the genoa and main sail wing on wing. We had not tried to sail in that configuration before. When the spinnaker was curling in the variable winds everyone had a suggestion. There was a bit of cooperation amongst the guys and a bit of do your own thing. I decided I would just document this exchange. I have attached a photo of Martin on the trampoline. I am pretty sure he was praying to the spinnaker Gods and wishing the wind back. Zachary had his own idea and wanted to taunt them. For all novices looking for a solution if in similar circumstances, from an outside perspective, neither of these tactics seemed to work. Eventually, the spinnaker was dropped. As the guys contemplated this situation, I fixed some breakfast. Decided to have a sleep and got up and put out my lure still hoping for a fish for dinner. While I was laying down, the guys tried to repair our torn main sail. It is going to have to wait until Tonga. We are underway again, making three knots. My lure is doing its best not to sink as it is pulled behind the boat, fingers crossed a big fat fishy will take a bite. Trolling in light winds is a tactic I am trying out Maybe the bigger fatter fish that cannot catch a lure being pulled at a reasonable speed have been waiting for us to pass through. Funny how a few days changes perspectives. Ron and Zachary are reminescing about surfing down waves at 15.8 knots a few days ago. Hopefully, tomorrow we will be at Minerva.
Shannon Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Martin praying to the Spinnaker Gods
Zachary Taunting the Spinnaker Gods
Sail repair attempt
#Selfie At Sea

Cowabunga - The one that got away

We are travel on a course of 25 degrees magentic. The wind is 20 knots from the south east. The seas are moderate with swell from the east. We are reaching with a speed of 8 knots. The princess has put away her bucket! I am feeling much better. Thank you everyone for the nice emails. I even made an effort yesterday to try to look a bit like that pretty princess. Ron started the generator and we had some hot water. I had a nice hot water. I washed my hair, took a nice shower. I was feeling Read more...

much better. Until..... I went outside to collect a wave and get a nice salt water rinse in my clean hair only a few hours later. I tried.....
We had a pleasant day yesterday. The seas were a bit mixed up but a fairly consistent blow. We decided that we were ready to have some fish. Zachary got out our offshore Penn reel with 150 pound test. As requested, he attached the lure Stephanie bought Ron for a Christmas gift. He was able to sit on the deck (with his harness) and enjoy some sunshine. Putting out the lure attracted the Pacific flock of birds (Kerry Chickens). After a couple of hours, the rod tip bent and line was being pulled from the rod. The birds hovered with great interest. The drag got tensioned as tight as possible and Zachary could not budge the line. The 150 pound test snapped. We never got to see what was on the line. We have decided that Stephanie picked the perfect lure and next time we will run heavier line. Note to Steph: we will look forward to a replacement when you join us in a couple of weeks. I was more lively yesterday. I made some yogart and a pork roast for dinner. It was nice to have the energy and desire to get into the galley. The pork roast was 3/4 digestible. Martin was not feeling so well last night so the meal did not sit well. This morning it was fruit, cereal and yogart for breakfast. As the sun went down, the seas grew (not my imagination) and we got hit by a series of squalls. It is uncanny how this stuff happens at night. We were on our last reef on the main and third reef on the genoa. We decided it would be best to take down the main for the night. It settled the boat down but we were still getting breaking waves on our starboard side. As i write, the sun has started to peek out. There was a big beautiful rainbow of our stern. Hopefully we are getting closer to nicer seas and sunny skies. We are about two days from Minerva Reef. If all in our favor we are planning on stopping into the reef for a night or two. We are ready for the crays! Smiles, Shannon Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Well guy's, nothing like doing the hard bits first!!
At least you all took your time to prepare for this kind of situation. Hopefully this way the rest of the trip should seam less stressful, as long as Ron hasn't angered the weather gods with too many of his beer can offerings!!
Will keep an eye on the adventure as it unfolds.
Al & Chris

Well done team. Looks like you are through the worst of it.
I was in Dunedin and watching you cop that blustering - Not pleasant at all! Teresa and I thinking off you all and thankful for your solid preparations - bring on Minerva and crayfish - Take care, S&T

I'll be sure to bring some spare lures. Glad to hear you are feeling better!

Cowabunga - Mid Voyage Update and the laundry list

We have just crossed into 29 degrees. Things are looking good. The weather is warmer, seas are smoother with less chop and the sun is shining. It is nice for me to be able to look at a screen to type an update in the blog. The first several days of the voyage I certainly was the princess on board. Not the pretty kind who is heading off the ball, more like the high maintenance variety who spent most of her day with her head in a bucket. Absolutly nothing pretty about that. I will report on Read more...

the first few days of the passage as a sort of vicarious, out-of-body experience. Without Google, I am not sure the tense lol We pulled away from the customs dock at 6:10 on 10 June in the USA that would be 6/10. We had patiently been waiting for a great weather window. We wanted things to be easy. The forecast was for a whole lot of nothing. We expected to motor for about 12 hours to Fairwell Spit. Well.... As we left the cut, we passed the northern cardinal mark and became surrounded in a fog. We scooted along under motor with the fog closing in. It was very low visability. As we made way towards the Abel Tasman National Park, the winds picked up and we were able to put up some sail. We were pleased that the forecast was a bit off and were able to make some progress under sail. As we got about 10 miles off Anchorage, the winds increased. There were reports of winds going to 55 knots in the Cook Straight so we debated what we should do. When we started to get gusts of 40 knots true, we were reefed and decided to heave too off of Anchorage rather than peek around that corner in case we didn't like what we saw. We had a couple of hours heaving too and decided to head towards the spit. This is about the time my feet levetated out from under me, I went down the stairs bashing my back and head on each step. This is where the pink bowl comes into the story, the bowl is not really part of the boats story but from where I listened to all the sounds and activity going on around me with my head looking into the pink abyss. This is where the fun began, we had not even managed to leave our local stomping grounds when the second reef parted . There is no better way to shake down a boat than in 40 knot winds. This was good exercise for the crew to re-lash a reefing point from the top of the hardtop in 40 knot winds. On the 11th, the starboard bilge alarm sounded. While moving along in forty knots of wind, the salt water wash hose decided to split. A squall moved past the north of our position during this time and we had 40 knots apparent gale at Hokiange Harbour. (We were still in the forecasted weather report of receiving 15 knots). Just to keep things interesting, at 1515 on the 12th June when we were at 36.06 S 172.59 E we were getting 30 knots apparent so went to put in an additional reef. This is when the tear/rip in the head sail was noticed. We were wanting to be prepared for the squall heading our direction. We put in the final reef which was timely. At 1540 the gale hit with 40 knots apparent and 50 knot gusts. This was not enought entertainment so it was appropriate for the port bilge alarm to notify us of a new problem. The port forward bunk's hatch (Martin's berth) started leaking. The bed was drenched and bilges collecting water. Not exactly sure of what happened there. We haven't had any problems with leaks in the hatches. A couple of weeks before we departed, Ron even went around all the hatched to make sure they were tight. The 12th of June also offered up a batten car separtating from the mast travelor and the main traveler winch cog did not survive the 50 knot gusts. These all combined a real team building opportunity for the boys. I feel a bit bad that I was having my own issues of not being able to lift my head from the bucket and missed all this, but realistically things work in mysterious ways and I am a bit greatful to have missed out! The 13 June brought about the flogging kayak tied to starboard rail. Turns out getting beaten in high winds and seas for days is hard work for the stanchion. We now are making the presumption that the flogging kayak is what loosened Martin's hatch. Ron and Zach moved the kayak to the port side, returned to the cockpit to see that the paddleboards (deflated in their bag) had also shifted. We opted for the fingers crossed method at this stage. It worked after we sailed past Three Kings Islands on a heading of 15 degrees we noticed that the paddle boards were still hanging in there and they got secured. The boys opted for a nice hot shower after their adventures. I opted out, I could not fathom the thought of trying to balance, vomit and wash my hair. I was still not able to multi task, I could barely hold my bucket at this stage. Today, it a different scene. The sun is shining, seas are comfortable, things are staying where we set them. Zach has just put on his harness to step out on the deck to put our first rod out. We joked a couple of nights ago that no one was very interested in the thought of catching a fish, cleaning a fish, cooking a fish or eating a fish. I think there is a good possiblity Zach will catch fish. This morning Martin collected a flying fish that joined us overnight and wedged itself behind the mast. We are all enjoying the respite of the past couple of days. It looks like the forecast is going to give us a nice ride. We have decided to stop at Minerva reef in about 48 hours. We do deserve some crayfish. Spirits are good, all are well and we are looking forward to the coming days. -Princess Shannon Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wow, what a great story. Makes our NZ to Tonga/Fiji passages look like a sail on a sunny afternoon. I'm going to subscribe and follow your adventures. Cheers Janet SV Navire

Well your first few days have been very adventurous. May the prince and princess and crew enjoy the rest of the journey. I didn't hear of any blue bucket for the prince being required.

The weather guru's know how to make you loose weight, rather drastic in its method. However, i can assure you, Tonga will be a great experience for you all. Nothing better than hot, fresh crayfish with fresh bread and vinegar on the side.
Enjoy the Minerva's.
Wes

Cowabunga - Departure Planned for Friday 0600 NZST

We have made our appointment to clear New Zealand customs in Nelson tomorrow morning at 0600. There was a lot of hurry up and wait this week while we watched for a good forecast for departure. We had been sitting in nice sunny weather with no wind. The rain arrived this morning LOL Zachary woke up and thought that this looks like the worst weather for departure. Nice sunny warm days would have been more appealing to me as well. We are looking forward to the passage. Our weather software Read more...

is telling us our arrival in Tonga should be in 8 - 9 days. We will keep everyone up to date on our progress and you can always see where we are by looking at the tracker. Smiles, Shannon Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Good to see you are on the way. Will be following you daily. Solomons Airlines up and running again.

Happy travels. Looking forward to hearing about it.

All the best for the trip, look forward to hearing about your adventures! Take care, Andy, Sarah & Lowenna x

Cowabunga - Final Preparations and Countdown Begins

We are making the final preparations on Cowabunga for our passage to Tonga. Today we are celebrating our 28th anniversary, Wednesday Zachary arrives in Nelson to sail with us to Tonga, 2 June Ron turns 50 and weather permitting, we will depart for the islands on 3 June. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Have fun, we will be in Rarotonga from the 27th June till the fifth.Hope we can catch up.