Field Trip

Field Trip

Tue Dec 12 11:57 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007.3 baro, 0-5kts W wind

We had two excellent dives yesterday and had a blast taking lots of pictures. We'll post some soon on our FB page. The currents have settled some as we have not been seeing the ripping currents we had during our first day here. We have a sunny day and are expecting to do 2-3 dives today depending on weather. We are also having a great time with my mom and Kerry (s/v Cel Citron) onboard along with s/v Perry. In total we have on average 4-5 divers per dive so it makes diving fun and we have generally two boats in the water for each dive.

Mon Dec 11 11:39 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 3.9nm (7.1km)
Weather: 100% cloud, 28C, 1009.3 baro, 5kts W wind

This new location is interesting. We are anchored in 34m of water, with ripping currents on either tide of 3-4 kts. However, the location is great for several very good dives up here in this area...so we are going to make due for now. We have two guests aboard, so we are having fun playing dive coordinator as we have been focused on diving and more diving the past 5 days. There is not much more to report, other than the weather has been very good until this morning.... :)

Sun Dec 10 11:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 111nm (200.9km)
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1005.3 baro, 0-5kts wind

We are anchored off a small island with a couple of good dive sites. It is a busy place as we generally have 2-6 dive boats here diving with tourists aboard liveaboard boats. We are going to do 2-3 dives today and explore the areas. Our dives yesterday were interesting, but not as good as some of the dives we have done father north. All is well and we are still enjoying Raja Ampat.

Thu Dec 7 12:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 137.2nm (248.3km)
Avg: 2.8knts
24hr: 66.9nm
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1005.3 baro, 0-5kts wind

We arrived to Wasai after an overnight on the E side of "The Passage" a very tight channel (30m wide) that can have ripping 5kt currents. We were fortunate to have it timed close with only 1.5 knots of current pushing us along the channel. Wasai is very nice in our opinion. We like the feel of the town, and we found a GREAT place to eat. 3 adults and 2 kids had a huge lunch with drinks for $12USD. Needless to say we were happy! :) We'll do some provisioning today at the fresh market and pick up some more supplies before heading off to more diving. Our plans are changing a bit, and we are now planning on spending a total of 3 months in Raja Ampat and 1 month in Triton Bay (SE of Raja Ampat) for more diving before working our way to Bali by late April(ish)....

Tue Dec 5 10:48 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 80% cloud, 28C, 1005.3 baro, 0-5kts wind

We are leaving our friends here at the Pearl Farm and the good diving to move towards Wasai. We did three dives yesterday, one a night dive, and it was a great day. Elizabeth did the night dive with us and she had a blast. We expect a motor most of the way, but are excited to get to a new place to explore.

Mon Dec 4 11:30 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1004.3 baro, 0-5kts wind

It's been a great couple of days here at our new location. We are on a mooring ball here by the pearl farm in Raja Ampat. The people at the pearl farm are great. It is managed by two Australian guys and they told us we could use their beefy moorings at no charge. The diving has been excellent and the snorkeling some of the best we've done. On our dive yesterday we got caught in a vortex of current, and our bubbles were actually going 'down' as we were hanging on the line for our deco stop. I let go of the line to just see how much suction there really was, and I went from 4m to 10m in very short order. I had to inflate my BC to swim up. It was a unique experience for sure. We went fishing yesterday with the Australian manger of the pearl farm after our two dives. It was great. No complaints and we are loving Indonesia and Raja Ampat!!!

Fri Dec 1 19:21 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 15.2nm (27.5km)
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1004.3 baro, 0-5kts wind

WOW. We decided to come to this location for a quick dive and snorkel. Only a day stop, and are we glad we did!!! It was a great dive with TONS of fish and pristine coral along with some great snorkeling. We dropped the hook in 23M and then backed up on the reef to 7M. It is just beautiful here. We are going to leave however for a better overnight anchorage. We highly recommend this as a day stop or even an anchorage with a stern line to the small island.

Wed Nov 29 10:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 14.6nm (26.4km)
Weather: 190% cloud, 38C, 1005.3 baro, 0-5kts wind, light drizzle.

We continue our move slowly to the south, and are anchored in the beautiful little bay. We are stern tied to shore, and are enjoying this location. There are a number of good dive in this area, one is supposed to be the premier dive site in North Raja Ampat. We'lll check out that dive later today weather permitting. We've had some strong swells coming in for the NE, so that will make in particular the cave dives on the SE corner untenable. Bummer as we wanted to do those dives.

Sun Nov 26 13:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 1.5nm (2.7km)
Weather: 30% cloud, 30C, 1004.3 baro, 0-5kts wind.

We moved around to the outside for better access to the four dive sites down here. It's a nice spot with a white sandy beach. We'll be here another couple of days before working our way south. All is well onboard and we are loving Raja Ampat.

Thu Nov 23 11:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 30% cloud, 30C, 1004.3 baro, 0-5kts wind.

Happy Thanksgiving! The interesting news is the m/v Octopus came into the area. It is a mega yacht owned by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. There are 60 crew aboard, and they were the only ones with no guests. They are up here exploring the area, diving, etc finding spots that Paul may like some day. Tough job! We also logged more dives and still are finding new things we've never seen before. Excited to post some photos as it is hard to describe the beauty without pictures. We'll be here today and tomorrow, moving about 5NM south to an anchorage on the souther side of this area for diving. All is well.

Tue Nov 21 21:45 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 30% cloud, 30C, 1004.3 baro, 0-5kts wind.

Candidly, I was a little pessimistic about how good the diving would be up here in Wayag. We were VERY happy to find the diving here to be outstanding. There are not a lot of fish, but the coral and macro photography is amazing. We did two dives today, and each one we saw new things we've never seen before and were amazed at the beauty. We will stay here through the week and start working our way slowly south.

Mon Nov 20 11:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 40% cloud, 30C, 1004.3 baro, 0kts wind.

We had a great hike yesterday up the pinnacle to view Wayaga. It's beautiful. We will be doing some more drone footage and photos so we can post when we get internet. We plan on staying here through or until the weekend as we are in no hurry to leave. Diving today!

Sat Nov 18 9:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloud, 30C, 1002.3 baro, 0kts wind.

OK, so here is the reality of being in Raja Ampat during the prime diving season. There are LOTS of boats around. Last night, after a nice dinner, we had visitors. About 20 people arrived to our secluded little beach that we are stern tied (25m off the shore), built a fire, brought food and chairs and music, and had a loud party that lasted until 10pm. Yep, so much for having this small little beach to ourselves. Evidently the charter boats use this beach as a party base since there are very few beaches in the area. Oh well, we'll see what tonight brings....hopefully peace and quiet....

Fri Nov 17 20:24 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 0.2nm (0.4km)
Weather: 60% cloud, 30C, 1002.3 baro, 0kts wind.

All we can say is WOW. This is a BEAUTIFUL location, and we've enjoyed the serenity of this location. We have not been diving yet, but plan on doing that in the next day or two. I'm in the middle of a couple of large boat projects, and need to get those done before we get in the water diving every day. There are a lot of charter boats here. We've seen four so far, so you can tell this is the diving season as it is a busy place. All good aboard.

Thu Nov 16 21:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 9.9nm (17.9km)
Weather: 80% cloud, 30C, 1003.0 baro, 0kts wind.

We arrived safely, and are anchored in an idyllic location, with a sandy beach, stern tied to shore. It's beautiful here. More updates later once we get in the water. Kids are ashore with paddle board playing on the beach.

Thu Nov 16 15:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 2.3knts
Run: 105.5nm (191km)
Avg: 3.9knts
24hr: 92.9nm
Weather: 20% cloud, 30C, 1005.0 baro, 5kts SW wind.

We just crossed the equator from S to N. This is the third time Field Trip has crossed the equator in the past six years. We are about 10NM from Wayag, so we should arrive this afternoon. We're excited to get back into the diving groove and start exploring Indonesia underwater.

Wed Nov 15 11:57 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 80% cloud, 28C, 1007.0 baro, 0-5kts SW wind.

Anchors up and we are off to Raja Ampat. We'll be spending the next six weeks there before heading back to Sorong for visa renewal and then we will sail to Misool. All is well aboard and we are ready to get to remote areas and away from the crowds.

Tue Nov 14 11:30 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts

We've been delinquent in giving updates. Yes, we are still in Sorong. We had to fly to Bali to get a passport renewed, do some shopping for the holidays and run a lot of errands around Sorong. We have not been much civilization and decent provisioning since Honiara, and that has been a LONG time ago...so needless to say we've had fun running around shopping and finding nice places to grab lunch. Overall we've been having good first impressions for Indonesia, and we are arguably in one of the least 'nice' places

Tue Nov 7 10:15 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1004.0 baro, 0-5kts SW wind.

We had a successful and busy day with all the Indonesian formalities here in Sorong. It was time consuming, but easy to clear into Indo from here. We'll be doing a Noonsite update as it was a very pleasant experience with no issues. We pick up my mom in about an hour and will do final provisioning before we leave later this week for Raja Ampat!

Sun Nov 5 20:06 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 31.7nm (57.4km)
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1001.5 baro, 5kts SW wind.

We are anchored in Sorong off Doom Island. We will clear into Indonesia tomorrow morning, and pick up my mom who is flying in on Tuesday morning before final provisioning and heading off to Raja Ampat. We are excited to check out the provisioning and town. There is a lot to do here so we should be busy for several days.

Sun Nov 5 7:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 3knts
Run: 67.9nm (122.9km)
Avg: 4knts
24hr: 95.3nm
Weather: 30% cloud, 27.5C, 1004 baro, 0-3kts SE wind.

It's a beautiful morning, with starry skies. We are motoring slowly as there is no wind and we are wanting to avoid any potential issues with logs in the water. We received an email from some friends 100NM behind us that went through an area over 10 miles that had 'hundreds' of floating logs. Ouch. We'll be arriving in the morning to Sorong. All is well onboard.

Sat Nov 4 14:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 4.8knts
Run: 119.1nm (215.6km)
Avg: 4.1knts
24hr: 98.4nm
Weather: 50% cloud, 28.5C, 1004.4 baro, 5kts W wind.

It's been an uneventful motor/sail the past 24 hours. The biggest items we have to watch out for are logs and the occasional FAD. Believe it or not we passed a FAD in 3,500m of water, and that rattled us a bit as we didn't thing the locals put homemade FADs that deep. Regardless by the FAD we hooked up with our Mahi Mahi in years...so that was fun! We plan on arriving tomorrow afternoon to Sorong.

Fri Nov 3 9:09 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 31.8nm (57.6km)
Weather: 20% cloud, 27C, 1004.6 baro, 0-5kts SW wind.

We are as close to the equator here in this anchorage as we have been since the Galapagos over three years ago. This is our last stop before we set sail in about an hour for Sorong. We've not been in such populated areas in a long time and it is odd to look out the windows at night and see a small city of lights all around us. We're excited to get officially cleared into Indonesia and off to Raja Ampat for a couple of months of diving. We plan on arriving Sunday to Sorong.

Thu Nov 2 10:54 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 59.4nm (107.5km)
Weather: 20% cloud, 27C, 1004.0 baro, 0-5kts SW wind.

We are anchored in a beautiful spot as the winds are from the WSW. The beach is black sand and there are towering mountains in the background. From our location you can't see any signs of life or industry, even though we are anchored on the other side of a small town. It's a great spot, and we slept very well last night. We will leave today as we stage for our final 200NM run to Sorong. We have been in debate about our best strategy as there are logs in the water, and we don't want to run over them at night...so we are trying to figure out our best plan to minimize potential damage. My mom flies into Sorong on Tuesday, so we will be there no later than Monday. All is well.

Wed Nov 1 8:36 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 11.8nm (21.4km)
Weather: 60% cloud, 26.5C, 1006 baro, 8-10kts SW wind.

We had a nice sail up here to a new location for Haloween. We are with another kid boat and had a fun time last night with the kids. It's beautiful here, and we wish we could stay longer, but we have to be in Sorong by Monday, so we are off again today for a short 50 mile sail. We have changed our sailing plans and are not doing any more night sailing. This is due to the logs in the water, as many friends have run amuck with these, some boat incurring damage to their props and struts.

Tue Oct 31 10:54 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 9237nm (16719km)
Avg: 384.1knts
24hr: 9217.8nm
Weather: 60% cloud, 26.5C, 1005.5 baro, 8-10kts SW wind.

We are currently at anchor, and will leave in about an hour for the next small island that is about 20NM north of here. It is supposed to have good diving and it looks like a nice place to spend Haloween. All is well.

Mon Oct 30 10:51 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5.8knts
Run: 9180.8nm (16617.2km)
Avg: 369.4knts
24hr: 8866.8nm
Weather: 80% cloud, 26.5C, 1005.5 baro, 8-10kts SW wind.

We are currently underway, leaving the whale shark area. We are heading for the Pulau Archipeligo here in the bay...not to be confused with Pulau the country. Swimming with the whale sharks was amazing. It was challenging to find the fishing platform that had whale sharks, but once we did, we got up close and personal to two whale sharks. They literally would swim around you and you could ride them. If you were not careful you would get bumped by their very large tail. The biggest downside was the visiblity. It was poor about 5-7m on the surface, which is where the sharks were. So...pictures and video were not great, but it was still an amazing.

Sun Oct 29 10:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5.2knts
Run: 126.6nm (229.1km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 129.8nm
Weather: 50% cloud, 26.5C, 1005.5 baro, 3-5kts SW wind.

We are underway, motor sailing as we approach the area where the whale sharks are supposed to live. We got the waypoints from some friends on another boat who were here four months ago. They said it was great...so we shall see. Overnight we had some more squalls with wind shifts of 180 degrees. Amazing how the wind can be equally strong within one hour between squalls going in the opposite directions. All is well.

Sat Oct 28 10:36 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 27.5nm (49.8km)
Weather: 20% cloud, 26C, 1006.5 baro, 0-5kts SE wind.

We are at anchor, arriving to this location yesterday around noon. We wanted to find a nice calm spot to spend the night and lick our wounds from the challenging morning. After the updates to YIT, we again got hammered by a large squall. This time it was massive. We had 40kts forward of the beam as we were reaching at 60 apparent. We were already double reefed, but the boat loaded up and we put in a third reef. No real damage other than a ripped leech cord on the genoa. After anchoring here we were greeted by a nice man who only spoke Indonesian. He offered to call the police, and did. We had the arrival within 30 min of two very formal police officers. No one spoke English. Fortunately we had our Google Translate on the phone and we shared 'text messages' back and forth about what was needed. Evidently this is a restricted area due to previous rebel activity - hence the large police presence. We were given permission to stay here for one night, and we leave this morning. They were very nice and we had no issues other than translation. We'll be off in about an hour for the southern part of the bay to dive with the whale sharks.

Fri Oct 27 9:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 3.8knts
Run: 85nm (153.9km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 81.4nm
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1006.5 baro, 6-8kts SE wind.

We missed getting this report in before the net. We got slammed with a very large squall and a 180 degree wind shift. We filled up our water tanks as we got more rain than we have seen in months. In fact, it was the first rain we've had in over a week. In addition to the large squall we encountered an Indonesian vessel underway with no lights. It was hard to distinguish the vessel from the patchy squalls. Fortunately the vessel flashed a white light to alert us to the postion, and we got a radar lock...but NO running lights. We are heading for a village built on stilts over the water that we saw on satellite images. We don't think many vessels go there as it is off the beaten path. We expect to arrive in about a day depending on wind.

Thu Oct 26 8:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 3knts
Run: 92.5nm (167.4km)
Avg: 4.1knts
24hr: 99.3nm
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1005.5 baro, 6-8kts S wind.

We've been having some good sailing. With the exception of our 10 hour stop in Vanimo for clearance and Indonesian Visas, we've been sailing for six days. We've been averaging about 3.5kts for the entire trip, so we are not sailing fast, but we are sailing. Everything has been good except for yesterday morning when we got slammed by a large squall. Our prized bottle of wine we've been saving since we left Argentina six years ago broke on the floor and flooded the bilge. UGH. Needless to say we were not happy as we planned to drink the wine after our circumnavigation. Otherwise, all well onboard.

Wed Oct 25 9:39 2017 NZDT
Speed: 6.5knts
Run: 328.4nm (594.4km)
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1007.8 baro, 15kts S wind.

Finally! Our email is back online after over two weeks. Our subscription expired with Xgate, and we needed internet to renew...and we had no internet. We are off the coast of Indonesia, heading for diving with the Whale Sharks in the Cenderwash (sp?) Bay. We've had an excellent sail overall. Tonight was our first night in 5 days at sea with squalls. It's been slow sailing, but very comfortable save the last couple of hours where we have been hammered. We expect to arrive to a small deserted island for a night or two of rest later this afternoon. All is well.

Wed Oct 25 9:39 2017 NZDT
Run: 222.8nm (403.3km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 143nm
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1003.8 baro, 0-5kts E wind.

The eastern pass is not good for diving. In fact there is not much there at all so we moved to the western pass, and had a GREAT dive. For the first time in a long time we had friends diving with us, so it was four divers, and we had a lot of fun. Afterwards we went to a small deserted island for a beer and let the kids play on the beach. We look to leave late next week for Vanimo. All is well.

Mon Oct 23 20:14 2017 NZDT
Run: 164.7nm (298.1km)
Avg: 2.9knts
24hr: 68.4nm
Weather: Sunny, no wind, and very nice.

We arrived safely to Vanimo, Papua New Guinea. We arrived at 6am this morning, got a small bit of sleep, procured our visas for Indonesia from the consulate and checked out of PNG. We leave in about 30min for Indonesia. We will not spend the night here as it is unsafe. A boat was robbed at gunpoint 3 months ago while at anchor, so we are opting to get out of here ASAP before it gets dark. All is well. Email issues should be sorted out, and our updated should begin tomorrow.

Sat Oct 21 10:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 4knts
Run: 54.7nm (99km)

Good to hear them, via relay from Aradonna and know that all is well.

Thu Oct 12 8:59 2017 NZDT
Run: 5.4nm (9.8km)

Just in case you think a shark got the main scribe - all is well but their email system is down. Will try and get updates but they are quite a long way away and so they are hard to pick up.

Wed Oct 11 9:48 2017 NZDT
Run: 3.9nm (7.1km)
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1003.8 baro, 0-5kts E wind.

It is a beautiful morning, with sunny skies and light winds. Our friends on s/v Perry arrived yesterday, and we both moved to the eastern pass for diving. It was blowing 15-18kts E yesterday, so the outside was too rough for diving. Today looks great and we hope to see some large sharks on the outside. All is well.

Hi Guys, just love reading of your village experiences. Hope the diving is as good. Kate and Paul
Mon Oct 9 10:00 2017 NZDT
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1005.6 baro, 0-5kts ESE wind.

We said our goodbyes last night to the village and plan on leaving this morning for the next village. We won't stay there for more than a day or two before moving to the pass for diving.

Sun Oct 8 10:03 2017 NZDT
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1004.6 baro, 0-5kts ESE wind.

It was a beautiful and sunny all day so we spent most of the time in the village with Thomas. He gave us several lobsters that he caught as a gift and we played cards and the kids played football and volleyball. We must leave here soon to visit the pass for diving and two other locations that are suppose to be excellent dives. All is well aboard.

Sat Oct 7 9:18 2017 NZDT
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1007.6 baro, 0-5kts ESE wind.

We had our best visit to a village since we have been cruising. We had good weather and decided to go over to the other atoll via dinghy. We figured they did not get a lot of visitors as there is no pass into the lagoon. We let a couple of folks here know we were going so they alerted the village. When we arrived we were greeted by the entire school on the beach singing us a welcome song and providing hats with flowers along with a table of refreshments. The children did some dancing while we had some food (this is 8am in the morning). After the songs we were asked to talk to the school about where we were from so we did a presentation. Afterwards, we were provided a tour of the entire island, meeting each clan. The clans provided food at each stop as we spent lots of time talking and getting to know the villagers. We were the first yachties to ever visit the island, and they were very excited to have us. They pride themselves in being a friendly village, and wanted us to encourage others to visit their atoll. This reinforces our desire to find those spots that are rarely if ever visited by yachts. It was our best village visit in six years living aboard Field Trip.
After a long day of socializing and making new friends, we left around 4pm. While we had our dinghy anchored, the family that lived on the beach cleaned the bottom of our dinghy. We were shocked at their generosity and NEVER have had our dinghy cleaned while ashore. Heck, I don't even clean the bottom of the dinghy very often (grin). We did not have anything to give them for appreciation so we will go back with something to say 'Thank You'. All well and looking forward to another day.

Fri Oct 6 8:54 2017 NZDT
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.6 baro, 0-5kts ESE wind.

It was a busy day. We had three local kids aboard at 8am for school. Their teacher was off the island so a family asked if Sarah could teach the kids fractions. It was a fun morning, with the kids all going ashore for lunch and then playing on the beach. In the evening we put on a movie for the kids with our small projector. Everyone had a good time. Today we go visit another atoll via dinghy. It is about 10km SW of Mal. Should be fun as they don't get visitors from yachts since there is no pass into the lagoon.

Thu Oct 5 8:39 2017 NZDT
Run: 1nm (1.8km)
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.6 baro, 10-12kts NE wind.

We moved closer to another village on Mal island. It was a fun day spending time with Thomas and his family. He asked us if we could send an email for him to his friends that were here in 2011. We did, and received a reply with a picture. We printed the reply and picture out for his family and they were VERY excited. His son gave us a chicken (thankfully not alive and well plucked) as a gift. We will stay here for another several days before moving to another village in the lagoon. All is well.

Wed Oct 4 9:48 2017 NZDT
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.6 baro, 8-10kts SE wind.

They say leave the best for last. The Ninigos are in our top two spots in PNG that we have visited, and we've only been here a couple of days. It's rare to find a place where the locals are so generous, and insist on nothing in return. We received yesterday oranges, limes, coconut crab, lemon grass and papaya from the village. We asked what the wanted in trade and they said 'nothing, this is a gift'. We were a little surprised as we rarely get this response. We'll be working on baking some items and giving them some gifts today. We look forward to meetig more of the village and finding ways to show them appreciation for all their kindness.

Tue Oct 3 9:51 2017 NZDT
Run: 59.9nm (108.4km)
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1007.3 baro, 8-12kts SE wind.

We finally made it to the Ninigos. We averaged 2.9kts for the entire trip but it was a good trip. The kids loved the overnight drift and thought it was 'cool'. We caught the biggest giant trevally we have evert caught at about 20kg. Took me 20 min to land the fish as it was huge. The locals have been very nice and came out to greet us after arrival. All is well.

Mon Oct 2 9:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 1.5knts
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 0kts wind.

It has been a slow drift to the Ninigos. We have had zero wind for the past 12 hours and drifted all night. Current is 1.5kts so we are making some progress. It is a glassy lake out here. All is well.

Sun Oct 1 9:30 2017 NZDT
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 0-5 kts ESE

We had another great day. The reef and anchorage was smooth as glass as we had no wind almost all day with sunshine. We did two dives, and unfortunately they were just average as the visibility here is not great. We plan on leave tonight for an overnight sail to the Ninigos. Today looks like a nice day as well.

Sat Sep 30 10:00 2017 NZDT
Run: 4.5nm (8.1km)
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1008.8 baro, 0-5 kts ESE

It turned out to be a very nice day. We moved to the NW pass and did two dives and some snorkeling. We saw a large octopus eating something, while three grouper tried to attack the octopus to eat whatever it was eating..or maybe eat the octopus itself. It provided 15 min of entertainment before we had to ascend due to decompression limits. Today we plan on doing a pass dive and the wall dive where there are sharks, including at times hammerheads. We shall see....

Fri Sep 29 9:03 2017 NZDT
Weather: 90% cloud, 28C, 1008.7 baro, 0-5 kts ESE

It rained most of the day so we spent time aboard doing projects. We will go to the NW pass today. Not much else to report other than we are waiting on wind before we head to the Ninigos. All is well.

Thu Sep 28 10:27 2017 NZDT
Weather: 80% cloud, 28C, 1008.4 baro, 0-5 kts ESE

We finally had some rain last night with a squall. The s/v Fleur de Passion moved over to our location. It is the largest sailing vessel under the Swiss flag, and has onboard nine crew. They are sailing the Magellan route, and plan to be back in Seville Spain by 2019. We will move over to the NW pass later today and do some diving. It is supposed to be an excellent pass dive.

Wed Sep 27 9:36 2017 NZDT
Weather: 50% cloud, 29C, 1005.8 baro, 0-5 kts ESE

The swim with the mantas was excellent. We got some great photos and videos. The big news is we have seen our first yacht in PNG outside of being in Kavieng. There is a 34m wooden schooner that pulled in yesterday. They are heading to Raja Ampat and are here diving. We are not sure on the details just yet as they are anchored 3.5miles from us, but are moving to our spot later today to dive with the mantas. We'll have more to report tomorrow. The weather continues to be excellent...and we find ourselves wishing for some rain, but we'll take the sunny days while they last.

Tue Sep 26 9:03 2017 NZDT
Run: 6.2nm (11.2km)
Weather: 60% cloud, 29C, 1007.4 baro, 8-10 kts ESE

We have a lot to report this morning. We moved to 'Manta Pass', so we can dive/swim with the mantas one more time. Yesterday morning we did a dive in another pass, and it was outstanding. One of the best pass dives I've done (besides Fulanga South). Lots of large fish schools, and several types of sharks. I saw the largest grouper I'd ever seen, about 1.5-2m in length. It was almost as big as I was, and not afraid. He just sat there as I came in close for a look. Evidently this species of grouper can get over 2m in size. The other new news, is Bob, the person who lives here at Manta Pass, likes to feed Silver Tip sharks. He calls them up with empty water bottles that crackle under water, and then feeds these large 3m+ sharks by hand. We have not seen this just yet, but he says it took him two years to learn the tricks to do this 'safely'. I rather feel guilty paying someone to feed sharks, so not sure we are going to do this dive...but interesting for sure. They also have schools of scalloped hammerheads in the southern pass. We have not ventured there, other then our entry into the lagoon, but we may go back to dive if the weather holds out.

Mon Sep 25 9:21 2017 NZDT
Weather: 60% cloud, 29C, 1007.4 baro, 8-10 kts ESE

The pass dive was beautiful. It was a smooth 1kt of current going in, and this made it a nice slow dive, with the ability to actually stop in areas and explore without being swept too quickly inside. We'll do one more dive this morning and then head to the manta ray area for another swim there before working our way to the last pass in the NW corner. The weather has been overall very good, and we've been enjoying the quiet anchorages and clear water.

Sun Sep 24 9:39 2017 NZDT
Run: 2nm (3.6km)
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1007.4 baro, 8-10 kts ESE

We moved to the middle pass and did some snorkeling. There are a lot more fish in this pass than the NE corner. The weather looks a little dreary today, so we will have to see how things shape up. Our plans are to leave mid week for the Ninigo islands. All is well.

Sat Sep 23 8:57 2017 NZST
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1007.4 baro, 8-10 kts ESE

We had another gorgeous day. Unfortunately, I got wrapped up in boat projects and spent most of the day changing oil, and fixing a number of small items on the boat. So, the only water time was cleaning the bottom of the boat. Nothing much to report other than this is a great anchorage and it's been beautiful.

Fri Sep 22 9:09 2017 NZST
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1008.2 baro, 5-8 kts ESE

It ended up being a beautiful day, with light wind and lots of sunshine. We did a lot of snorkling and decided not to dive as the current was just a bit much and it would not be overly safe without someone in the dinghy to pick us up in case something went wrong. :) We'll try again today to see if we can get a dive in near the pass. We also made some minor repairs to the mainsail. All is well.

Thu Sep 21 9:33 2017 NZST
Run: 3.8nm (6.9km)
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007.2 baro, 5-8 kts ESE

We said our goodbyes to the village, and moved off to anchor at the NE pass. It is beautiful up here and the water is crystal clear. We will do some more exploring underwater this afternoon after school. We hope to strap on some tanks, but need to be very careful as the current RIPS up here and we are the only yacht...so caution is advised. We will hopefully see the silver tip sharks, but all depends on current and weather.

Wed Sep 20 8:21 2017 NZST
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 100.2 baro, 5 kts ESE

Finally, the winds have died down, and we will be swimming with the manta rays this morning. It's been a good stay. We prefer to be off the beaten path as the village experience is more genuine and less 'what can you give me' as with locations where lots of yachts visit. We'll push on to some of the remote areas of the lagoon before heading off to the Ninigo's. We've tried to find a remote island to visit, but the anchorages are less than ideal so we will probably stick with the beaten path until we get to Vanimo.

Tue Sep 19 8:30 2017 NZST
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007 baro, 10-12 kts SE

It was a very windy day yesterday. We had 17-20kts for a lot of the day, and not much rain. We did more fiberglass work and fixed a couple of other items in the village. We still have not had calm enough weather for diving the pass in the NE corner. This pass is supposed to have silver tip sharks, and we are eager to get diving, but need the wind to drop down to 10kts or less. Looks like we should have calmer weather later this week. We will also dive with the manta rays.

Mon Sep 18 9:03 2017 NZST
Weather: 100% cloud, 28C, 1009.3 baro, 10-15 kts SE

We did some fiberglass work, and spent some time working on a petrol generator. The weather has been rather windy and squally, so we have not done any diving just yet. We hope this will change soon so we can move around the lagoon and explore other areas.

Sun Sep 17 10:06 2017 NZST
Weather: 70% cloud, 29C, 100.57 baro, 5=10 kts SE

There is not much to report other than we had a rainy day most of the day, and stayed onboard, read some books and took a nap. We plan on swimming with the Manta rays today, and work on a fiberglass boat. All is well.

Sat Sep 16 8:45 2017 NZST
Weather: 90% cloud, 29C, 1007 baro, 0 kts

It was mostly sunny day, and we got a lot of projects completed on the boat. We also delivered the new engine to the village. They were very happy and excited. Today we wil get some more projects completed and maybe do some snorkeling. It is an SDA village so being Saturday there is not much else going on until tomorrow. All is well.

Fri Sep 15 8:09 2017 NZST
Run: 6nm (10.9km)
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1006.7 baro, 0 kts

We moved to anchor by the village. It's deep, and we are in 35m of water. We could anchor farther away in about 10-15m, but decided for now to be up closer to the village vs. 1km away. The village has been great. Some friends of ours who were here last year made some very good friends here. They asked us if we would bring a new Yahmaha 15 as a gift to Ben here in the village. We said sure, and have had the new engine onboard for over 4 months. This morning is the day we will present the gift. Needless to say, it should be fun. We told our friends we would video the presentation. Stay tuned for an update on how this goes tomorrow. Otherwise, all is going well, and the weather is very calm.

Wed Sep 13 22:27 2017 NZST
Run: 29.5nm (53.4km)
Avg: 4.4knts
24hr: 106.5nm
Weather: 50% cloud, 27C, 1006.4 baro, 5-7 kts ENE

We just arrived safely and dropped the hook. Given the large entrance and open area inside we came in under satellite charts no issues at dusk. We will get some sleep tonight and then head over to the Luff Island anchorage. There is a lot to explore here with some good diving. Stats from the trip were 67hrs for 324NM, averaging 4.5kts. That is not terrible given we spent a lot of time drifting at 2.5kts waiting for wind. We got a nice punch of wind the last five hours today, 18kts out of the NE (forecast was SE winds 10-12kts) that moved us at 7-8kts to the entrance of the reef.

Wed Sep 13 15:48 2017 NZST
Speed: 3.5knts
Run: 317.3nm (574.3km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 128.4nm
Weather: 80% cloud, 29C, 1007.4 baro, 5-7 kts ESE

We've had email client issues and were not able to send or receive email for the past two days. Bottom line the email database was corrupt and I had to download a fix over the satellite internet connection (not cheap), but it is fixed. We are still underway for Luff island, and are about 25NM from the entrance. Let's just say the sailing at these latitudes can be challenging. The forecasts (and we use four different models each time we plan a trip) are just flat out inaccurate at best. We might get the forecasted wind for 3-6 hours and then it will swing 180 degrees, drop to dead calm, or get smacked with 25-30kts 90 degrees off the prevailing breeze. It's expected, but frustrating at times. We have boycotted using our engines, because we like the challenge of sailing up here, but it is SLOW going. In the past 14 hours our average SOG is 2.7kts....with 1kt+ of favorable current. We drifted for 5 hours with zero wind and all sails down. We're not in a hurry so it is actually rather nice and on a positive not the sail changes every 3-4 hours keeps me busy. The big news is we got to test out our Parasailor spinnaker in a 27kt gust of wind. I'm happy to report it did not blow out and we had a fast (12kts), but white knuckled run for about 15 minutes.

Mon Sep 11 4:30 2017 NZST
Run: 14nm (25.3km)
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.7 baro, 5-7 kts SE

This anchorage has been just OK, but not great. I came down with a small cold and was not able to dive, so Sarah and Elizabeth decided not to go without me. We have to leave today as the winds are good for our trip to the Luff islands, so we are leaving without doing any diving. The sail is 325NM. Sailing downwind we don't expect to make great speed, and are planning on a 5-5.5kt average SOG. Otherwise, all is well aboard.

Sorry to hear you were sick and missed the dive. Speedy recovery and safe sailing! Margy and Monty
Sat Sep 9 7:45 2017 NZST
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007 baro, 5-7 kts SE

It was another great day. Junior, the chief's brother wanted to go diving with us. He is a dive master and used to work on a live aboard here in PNG. He had not been diving in a while and had a blast diving with us and being our guide. After the diving, he took us with his family up the river on the mainland to his mother in laws house. It was a beautiful ride up the river and then we hiked to a waterfall. The kids had a great time as well. Elizabeth enjoyed the hike, but said "Dad, this is a good hike, but not as good as the hike with Sel Citron to the Ambryn Volcano". The hikes were not even similar, but she remembers that as her best hike ever and compares all hikes to Ambryn. We leave today for Chapmans Reef, about 12NM from here on the tip of the big island. This is supposed to be the best dive in all of PNG according to the local dive masters. Schooling hammer head sharks, lots of pelagic fish, etc, etc. We'll provide a report tomorrow.

Fri Sep 8 7:54 2017 NZST
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1008 baro, 0-5 kts SE

The wreck dive here is excellent. It is a very large Japanese armored transport ship that as sunk in an American air raid. We will dive the submarine this morning. The big news about this anchorage is the super yacht owned by Eric and Google was here three weeks ago. They had a wedding on this island, and both Eric and Larry were here in attendance. It was very hush hush, and the chief of the island was not allowed to advertise or tell anyone about the event. The PNG newspaper in Port Moresby heard about this and asked permission to run a front page story but permission was declined by Eric. We have been surprised at how many super yachts actually come to this anchorage by the log in the guest book. There have been about six yachts anchored here this year, and of those six four were super yachts. The surfing here is excellent in Nov-Mar so that is maybe some of the attraction.

Thu Sep 7 8:21 2017 NZST
Run: 20.2nm (36.6km)
Weather: 20% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 0-5 kts SE

Well, we decided to unexpectadly move yesterday before we did any diving. We went ashore to meet the head official (they dont' use chiefs in this village, only government officials). He insisted on a 100K (equivalent to one weeks wage here in PNG) anchoring fee from us for one or two nights of anchoring. It was not a good vibe, as we've never been asked for anything like this in PNG or the Solomons, so we left, and sailed about 18NM to a great place. This island was VERY welcoming, brought out fruits and assured us we were safe and there were no fees for being here. There are two wrecks here, a WW II Japanese submarine fully intact and another Japanese supply boat of some sort. We plan on doing these dives over the next day or two.

Wed Sep 6 9:39 2017 NZST
Run: 27.9nm (50.5km)
Weather: 80% cloud, 28C, 1008.9 baro, 0-5 kts SE

We've moved up north to another nice spot for some diving on the outside of the reef. We had a heck of a messy sail up here. When we left it was 0-5kts of wind, dead calm, and partially sunny. Within 2 hours we had 20-25kts of wind from the NNW, gusting 30, and rough seas. Needless to say with the wind on the nose, we cracked off and headed to the inside of the reefs and worked out way NW to our current location. We are hoping to see some silver tip sharks up here, but not sure as they have mostly been killed off by the locals for shark finning. An ugly trade that has hurt the shark population in this area.

Sun Sep 3 11:03 2017 NZST
Weather: 30% cloud, 29C, 1008.5 baro, 0-5 kts SE

We've been exploring some of the diving around the area. I have a small cold, so I was not able to equalize my ears below 10m. Sarah however was fine, and she ended up doing two dives yesterday. Her second dive was on a WWII Japanese plane wreck about 100m from our boat. Very cool to be able dive a wreck this close to our boat. The people here are very friendly, and we have had no issues or felt in the least bit unsafe. We did some more exploring in town, grabbed ice cream and in general had a good day. It has been especially hot, as every day has been mostly sunny, with not much wind. That means it has been 34C-35C onboard. Luckily we do have A/C and run it about an hour an night to cool off the boat before going to sleep. Our plans are to leave probably tomorrow for some more dive sites along the northern side of the island before heading north.

Fri Sep 1 10:33 2017 NZST
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 0-5 kts SE

Kavieng has been good. We've met a lot of people here in the past couple of days. Clearance was super easy, the people are very nice, and overall a safe place. We've been gathering local knowlege on dive sites, and are organizing a dive with the local dive operator to explore some of the wrecks. The weather has been excellent...and most importantly our new drone arrives today...so we will have a drone again! Our plan is to stay here over the weekend, and begin our journey almost due north to some remote islands that are off the beaten path of yachts. We found some real nice areas that I am willing to bet rarely ever get yachts. We also found that using satellite images from ArcGIS have proven to open up a lot more detail and remote possibilites as Google and Bing are lacking in these more remote areas. This means more exploring than previously possible as the islands we plan to visit are virtually not visible on Google or Bing.

Wed Aug 30 7:12 2017 NZST
Run: 83.1nm (150.4km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 82.8nm
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 5-8 kts SE

We arrived to Kavieng around 1pm yesterday after a great sail. We checked into PNG "officially" and it was the easiest checking we've done. It took about 15 min for customs and immigration. Quarantine was 10 mins of paperwork and we were finished. Total cost $18 USD. We will be here for 3-4 days before leaving for our next stop on the outer islands. More updates later.

Tue Aug 29 7:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 4knts
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1006.5 baro, 5-8 kts SE

We are currently underway to Kaveing, PNG. We expect to arrive in the afternoon. The sail has been good, but slow with light winds. We have been wing on wing most of the way, with the occasional broad reach on port and starboard. Needless to say we've been busy working the sails in these light and variable winds, but no complaints as we have been able to sail everywhere since leaving the Solomons, with zero motoring in the past six weeks. We will clear into PNG tomorrow, pick up a package, buy some provisions and head out probably over the weekend to the NW outer islands of PNG for more diving. All is going well, and everyone is asleep.

Mon Aug 28 8:12 2017 NZST
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007 baro, 0-5 kts SE

The diving and the weather have been excellent. Sunny with scatter clouds each day, and the water had been clear with some very nice reefs. Last night the locals had a dinner for us onshore that was very nice. It was a going away event as we are leaving today for Kaveing. We'll get in one or two more dives today before we leave. All is well.

Sat Aug 26 9:36 2017 NZST
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 0-5 kts SE

It was a beautiful day yesterday, and it looks like today will be another very nice day. We did some exploring underwater for some dive sites and found a couple worth exploring today. We also fixed a fiberglass boat and did an oil change in an outboard engine for the chief. All is well, and we plan on heading to Kaveing to officially clear into PNG early this week.

Fri Aug 25 7:54 2017 NZST
Run: 18.4nm (33.3km)
Weather: 40% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 0 kts SE

We arrived safely to Tabar Island. It was a slow but very comfortable sail. We averaged 4.1kts for the 88NM journey. Not too bad given the wind was aft of the beam and it was light. The village here is not off the beaten path. They are nice, but used to yachts...so that makes for a TOTALLY different experience. The past six weeks we have been where few boats venture, and that makes the villages in our opinion more pristine and simple. Here in this village we have received a number of 'asks', like for clothes, or cigarretts, etc. While we are happy to help, clearly they are used to asking and getting stuff from yachties. We never received one ask in the past six weeks until yesterday. Again, we are happy to help, but don't want to feed the expectations of asking and getting stuff for nothing.

Thu Aug 24 8:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 3knts
Run: 79.3nm (143.5km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 81.5nm
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.7 baro, 5-7 kts SE

Overall we have had a good sail. It's nice to be sailing at these latitudes, even if it is a little slow right now. We had one squall last night that packed 12kts of wind, and gave us a good boost in our sail. Otherwise, a very peacful and calm night sailing. We plan to arrive in the next several hours wind permitting. All well onboard.

Wed Aug 23 8:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1008.9 baro, 5-10 kts SE

We didn't leave yesterday. We decided to stay one more day as the winds were still hopping around 20kts in the morning. However, we may regret our decision as the winds have died down...so it will be a slow sail for our next destination that is 90NM NW of here. We did some diving (as usual) and saw some more nice fish. We will do one more dive today before we leave around 1pm. All is well.

Tue Aug 22 8:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 970% cloud, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 10-5 kts SE

The village had a 'going away' dinner for us. They cooked a meal, and we prepared some food and had an early dinner with the chief and his clan. It was very nice, and he made a nice speech telling us we were part of his new family and he wanted us to always remember his village. The people here have never asked for anything, and have been just great. We did two dives as well. One in the morning and one night dive last night. We saw some very bizarre fish during the night dive, and snapped some good pictures. We will probably leave today. All is well.

Mon Aug 21 8:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 12-16 kts SE

The diving continues to be great. We found more fish and nudibranchs we have never seen before. Elizabeth found a rare anglefish, and was very excited when she snapped a good picture. We also had the chief and some of the ladies over to the boat for tea. They ended up spending several hours aboard talking and sharing stories. The ladies played the ukelele and sang traditional songs. Overall a very good day. One quick funny story. We were somehow talking about coconut milk. The ladies were talking about using it in everything they cook. We said we did not, but used canned coconut milk. They looked bewildered. We showed them a can of coconut milk, and the local ladies just laughed, and laughed, and laughed. To them it was bizarre that anyone would buy coconut milk in a can. The chief even talked about trying to make some money selling coconut milk. Very funny.

Sun Aug 20 9:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 100% cloud, 28C, 1007.9 baro, 8-10 kts SE

We had a great day, hiking to the market in the morning and diving in the afternoon. The market was 5km each way, and a very unique experience. Rarely does the village on the other side of the island get white visitors, and we were a spectacle for everyone. There was a large crowd that followed us around as we looked for items to purchase. The market itself was average as best, consisting mainly of beetle nut, but we did find some pineapple, capsicum and bananas. The dive was excellent, and the water clarity pristine. We plan on doing another dive today.

Sat Aug 19 7:24 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 50% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 8-10 kts SE

The birthday party went well. We did some snorkeling around the island. The water is crystal clear. The reef is again average. It must had to do with the type of island this is, as with the atolls...since both seemed to be average at best with actual reef structure. We will do a dive this afternoon. This morning we are off to the market on the other side of the island.

Fri Aug 18 7:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 50% cloud, 29C, 1006.5 baro, 5-8 kts SE

Today is Elizabeth's birthday, so I am up early to make doughnuts for breakfast. No rain last night, and all is well. We'll do some diving today and get to know the village this afternoon. There is a Japanese graveyard here as well, so we will check that out from WW II.

Thu Aug 17 19:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 98.7nm (178.6km)
Avg: 2.8knts
24hr: 68.1nm
Weather: 30% cloud, 29C, 1004.5 baro, 5-8 kts SE

We had a great sail last night and arrived to Boang Island just after lunch. We caught a nice yellow fin tuna around sundown. After arriving to this new anchorage we were greeted by a lot of canoes. They rarely get yachts here according to the locals and there were a lot of curious people checking out the boat. The chief is very nice, and speaks good english. The villagers however speak very little english, so ti will be some work to get our pigeon up to speed to communicate. The water here is also crystal clear. It is similar to the clarity at Rancador reef, so we hope the diving will be good.

Wed Aug 16 8:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 40% cloud, 28C, 1006.6 baro, 5-8 kts SE

Today we are leaving. It is a beautiful day today, as it was yesterday as well. The winds are light, and we will be heading almost due East, so it should be OK for a slow but calm sail. I went for a dive yesterday and it was nice to be back in the water, even though the reef was below average. The village is putting on a cultural show with the 80 kids from the school as a going away celebration for us. Should be fun, and it begins at 9am.

Tue Aug 15 8:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 80% cloud, 28C, 1008.6 baro, 5-8 kts SE

Sarah and the kids taught about 80 kids in school for 3 hours. It went very well, and everyone seemed to enjoy the class/presentations. I worked on fixing 10 fiberglass boats, and got those sorted for the village. Today we will begin looking for a window to sail to the next island, about 85NM from here. We plan on leaving either tonight or tomorrow night. The village has been very good, and and we are sad to leave, but we must get moving. If only the pass here was good for snorkeling/diving we would probably stay here for another week or two....

Mon Aug 14 8:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 80% cloud, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 5-8 kts SE

The time changed for us here at Nuguria. The locals use PNG time, which means we went back an hour. That puts the GHR net at 5am for us, so we will not be on the net daily as we were before. We'll still make the net, but not every day. On another note, we took the dinghy and explore the final two passes to the atoll. Needless to say it was not great, and overall we have been disappointed in the marine life here. It would be nice to know what is so different than the other two locations as it looks lik this place shoud be teeming with fish, but it's not...and the coral is average at best.

Sun Aug 13 10:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 80% cloud, light rain, 28C, 1008.8 baro, 5-8 kts SE

We had an excellent day yesterday with sunshine all day. Unfortunately the snorkeling/diving is not great. I was amazed at how barren the passes were. We went to three of them and they all were gray, few fish, and the coral was poor. This was true on the outside as well. It was a real bummer as we expected that we would have great diving here. We will go an explore the final pass that is NE of here about 6NM. We hope here it will be better as it is farther away from the village and on the other side of the atoll. We are starting to look for another weather window so we can sail to the next spot, and hope we will find better reefs. The past two were atolls/reefs were excellent so we are sure we will find another spot for lots of diving!

We just caught up with where you are. It looks like you have been having a wonderful time in the villages. Sad to hear about the drone though. Hope the rice trick works. Cheers Kate and Paul
Fri Aug 11 9:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 100% cloud, light rain, 28C, 1008.8 baro, 5-8 kts SE

The villagers are very friendly. We spent part of the morning fixing a large solar charging station that was installed by the government. It is 360watts, and has not been used for two years as the chief thought it was no longer working. We did some diagnostics, found the problem and got is going. Sarah met with the head master and is working on a teaching plan for this week for English. She starts today, teaching the teachers how to best teach the language to the 80 students. Today looks a little rainy, as we had squalls most of the night and it is drizzling this morning.

Wed Aug 9 18:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 68.5nm (124km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 113.8nm
Weather: 80% cloud, 29C, 1006.5 baro, 15 kts SE

We arrived safely to Nuguria Atoll about 3pm today. We had a great sail, all downwind, with comfortable seas. The bad news is the fish won the tournament. We landed two nice yellowfin tuna, but lost three Rapalla lures to three other very LARGE fish. Ugh. We just checked in with the chief after we arrived. They are a very nice Polynesian village. Similar to the Mortlocks (our last anchorage), and they speak the same language. We asked about yachts, and they have only had one yacht, a year ago, that stayed here for two days. Again, we found another spot off the beaten path, and are excited about spending time with the village and getting to know the locals better. All well, and I'm off to a good nights sleep...so we won't be on the net in the AM.

Wed Aug 9 4:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 5knts
Run: 113.7nm (205.8km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 126.3nm
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1008 baro, 10 kts SE

We've been having great spinnaker sail for the past 12 hours. We just did a sail change as squalls started popping up. We plan on arriving to Fead Island late this afternoon, and hope the winds pick up a bit. All is well aboard.

Tue Aug 8 6:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 40% cloud, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 7-10 kts SE

We are leaving at 0630 this morning for Nuguria Island (3 22S, 154 41E). We expect a spinnaker run for most of the trip with light winds. This atoll and village has been one of our top two locations in the South Pacific. We are sad to leave here, but must get going towards Kaveing to officially clear into PNG. All well aboard.

Mon Aug 7 7:36 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 40% cloud, 28C, 1009.5 baro, 5-7 kts SE

The weather has been excellent. Sunny skies, light winds and some great diving. We logged three dives yesterday and about 2 hours of spear fishing. The kids played for hours on the sand spits near this anchorage and also had a great day. Today we will do some more diving, and get ready to leave for the next island. Still waiting for the winds to pick up, so that is out biggest item at this point. All well aboard.

Sun Aug 6 7:36 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)
Weather: 30% cloud, 28C, 1009.5 baro, 0-5 kts SE

We had a great day yesterday, with beautiful weather. We moved to the small island, called bird island, in the northern part of the atoll. It is beautiful here with thousands of birds that nest on this island. We did a very nice drift snorkel in the pass, and will do some diving today. This morning is also beautiful, with mostly sunny skies as the sun pops up.

Sat Aug 5 7:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 0-5 kts SE

We had an excellent day. Early in the morning I went to the giant taro garden, and spent a couple of hours working the taro, and learning how village grows them so large. It was infested is mosquitoes. We wore face nets, long sleeves, long pants, and looked like bee keepers. I've never seen so many mosquitoes! After this, the school had a big event celebrating the last day of book week. This consisted of dancing, skits, music, food and a beauty contest. I was asked to be a judge, and was a little surprised when the high school age contestants were topless...but I managed to be a fair judge (I think). Finally the paramount chief provided some beautiful gifts for us, as we prepare to leave today for the small island in the north of this atoll. Overall and excellent day. We are humbled by the generosity of the local people. They were all sad that we are leaving, as are we!

Fri Aug 4 6:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloud, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 5-10 kts SE

It was a very good day. One of the elders of the village invited us to dinner with his family. It was a big dinner made with local food. It was great, and the warmth and hospitality of the family was amazing. The dinner took three hours, as we spent lots of time talking, sharing stories about our travels, and listening to family histories and village lore. Tomorrow we will leave for bird island, the northern side of the lagoon to do some diving outside the pass and wait for more wind before sailing to the next atoll. It will be sad to leave the village, but we need to get moving to the next location.

Thu Aug 3 6:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70 cloud, 28C, 1007.1 baro,5-10 kts E

We had the most rain in months. It rained most of the day. Almost felt like NZ... :) The other news is I crashed the drone while filming the canoe race. The race started after the rain stopped. Not more than 15 min into the rain, while I had the drone videoing, it started to rain. While flying the drone back to the beach I guess the rain was too much for the drone and it landed in the ocean. We were able to recover, but the drone is dead. A big bummer as we have been using the drone a lot documenting these remote atolls. Ugh!!!!

I read an article recently about a DJI Pro drone ( like I have) which was lost in a river and not found for a few days. Completely dead, so it was washed in fresh water, dried and left in a sealed plastic bag with rice for a few days. It then we eked perfectly again. May be worth a try! Good luck, and keep up the excellent reports.

What atoll are you on. It looks like Budi Budi. We were there in 2010. Very pretty place.
Wed Aug 2 7:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 100% cloudy skies with squalls and rain, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 20-25 kts NE

It's currently raining, with lots of wind in squall after squall. We've had the most rain since arriving to PNG. We are going to be heading to the taro garden at 7am, in about an hour. All well aboard.

Tue Aug 1 7:33 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 8-10kts ESE

We had our best day since being in PNG. It was sunny all day, and we had a great time with the village helping with the school and projects. We are going to the gardens tomorrow to learn about how they grow the giant taro and will also visit the cemetery. All is well.

Mon Jul 31 7:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70% cloudy skies, 28C, 1007.7 baro, 8-10kts SE

Today we will be presenting to the school. This week starts a week of learning about books across all of the PNG schools, so we will be donating some books to the library and giving a presentation about the importance of books. The weather is calm this morning. We had 20-23kts for several hours last night, but no rain. All is well.

Sun Jul 30 18:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 100% cloudy skies, 27C, 1007 baro, 8-10kts SE

The weather has been a little more rainy than we have had in the past couple of weeks. Today in particular we have virtually no sun. We had a good time in the village, getting to know more about their Polynesian heritage, and how this island, and the three other atolls in this chain are all very different than the typical Melanesian culture of PNG and the Solomon Islands. We will be visiting their gardens and learning how they grown their giant toro this week. Evidently the method used here at the Mortlock islands is unique in all the South Pacific. It takes 10-15 years for the taro to grow, and it is VERY large. Only men are allowed in the giant taro fields, and it is very much part of their custom/culture.

Sat Jul 29 7:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloudy skies, 27C, 1008 baro, 10-12kts SE

The wind has picked up this morning a bit. We had two nice days of low to no wind, with nice days and little rain. This morning seems to be another fine day. Ozzy Osbourne is no longer with us. After some tears being shed, he is now safely back in the village. Today should be a more relaxed day with no projects scheduled ashore. I hope to take the weekend off from projects and do some snorkeling, diving, etc with the family. All well aboard.

Fri Jul 28 7:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70% cloudy skies, 27C, 1008 baro, 0-5kts SE

It was another good day, with some small squalls but overall a very nice day. The wind is down < 10kts, and it's very calm here. There were more small projects in the village, some with fixing fiberglass, others with soldering radios. The kids named the chick "Ozzy Osbourne". Fitting for a chick that isn't 'quite right' we suppose. :-) All is well aboard.

Thu Jul 27 8:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloudy skies, 28C, 1008 baro, 5-10kts SE

We have a new temporary pet aboard. The kids found a baby chicken and adopted it for a week or so. The chick is deformed. It has only one eye and the beak is twisted in different directions. Michael said "Daddy the chick may look deformed, buy he is the cutest person onboard." Besides our temporary pet, we did a lot more fiberglass work in the village. We've been learning a lot about their culture, customs and history. It is a fascinating story. Up until the late 1900's, organized religion was not allowed on the island. This was because the chief wanted to keep the village isolated and preserve their customs. Bouganville, when needing custom dancers, would send a boat to this island group and bring back dancers because they were very authentic. This all changed during the civil war. Today we'll be doing some final fiberglass work, and probably start some work with the school. All going well, and we plan on being here for at least another week.

Wed Jul 26 7:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 28C, 1007 baro, 8-12kts SE

The weather was great yesterday. Sunny most of the day, with the occasional squall. It was a very busy day as well. We fixed 11 fiberglass canoes and one long boat. Sarah went with 35 ladies in the village to collect clams for a clam bake with the village. They were on the reef from 8am until 4pm, collecting clams. This morning she leaves at 6am to go ashore and help the ladies clean coconut shells for baking the clams. A very busy day yesterday, and it looks like a busy day today as well. This is perhaps one of the nicest villages we have been to in Melanesia.

Tue Jul 25 7:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70% cloudy skies, 28C, 1006.5 baro, 8-12kts SE

All is well. Yesterday was a holiday in PNG, and we spent the day celebrating with the locals. The highlight of the day was the canoe race. Each canoe was rigged with a sail and they had about 15 canoes in the race. We got some great video with the drone and shared it with the village after the awards ceremony. Today we will work on fixing some items, and the kids will go to school with the locals.

Mon Jul 24 8:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 60% cloudy skies, 28C, 1006.5 baro, 10-15kts SE

It was an interesting day yesterday. The locals here are very generous. We had a canoe pull up to the boat with 35 fresh green coconuts. They insisted we take them as a gift. They would not accept any trade items. Later we had a family give us a stalk of bananas. Same thing, I told them we would be happy to trade some kids clothes for the bananas. They insisted for us to keep the bananas, and there was no trade. We have not been to a village like this in a very very long time. They people are just generous with what they have and don't ask for anything. We are still in mild shock at how nice they are in this village.
The kids here go to school from 6am - 3pm. We've never seen a village do this much school with their kids. It's part of their local culture to educate. They even have a decent library on the island. In addition, their English is excellent. Better than most villages we have visited. Our first impressions of PNG are excellent. I am sure however, this is due in part to us going to the remote areas that are not influenced by the larger islands where we know it can be not as safe.

Sun Jul 23 8:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 97.5nm (176.5km)
Weather: 60% cloudy skies, 28C, 1007.5 baro, 15kts SE

We arrived yesterday in the morning after drifting most of the night since we got here so early. It was a very good sail. This island is very remote, and our first stop in PNG. They rarely get supply boats from Bougainville, PNG. They went at one point over two years before a boat arrived with supplies. Needless to say, they rarely get boats here, and haven't had a cruising boat in the village in years. They people are very nice, welcoming, and just happy to have visitors. The village has a very unique culture, mainly Polynesian. There are five clans that live here, with a total of about 300 people packed onto the small island. The larger island here in the atoll is uninhabited, except for a grave yard. This village was made 'famous' when a documentary was made in 2008 about part of the island being washed away in an unusual high tide. The documentary I believe was made by NZ. They do have researchers visit here from the Auckland to study the affects of 'global warming'.

Fri Jul 21 7:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 6.5knts
Run: 91.6nm (165.8km)
Avg: 3.8knts
24hr: 92nm
Weather: 60% cloudy skies, 27.5C, 1007.5 baro, 15kts SE

We've been having a great sail. We are making faster progress than expected as the winds are stronger than anticipated. We will probably arrive around 8pm and hove to for the evening before entering the pass at the Atoll. All well onboard.

Thu Jul 20 7:09 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 27.5C, 1007.5 baro, 5kts SE

It was a great day yesterday, with sunny skies most of the day. We have moved down to the SW corner of the reef, for hopefully some final diving before we leave for the PNG Atoll, about 180NM NW of here. We are going to wait for more wind before we depart.

Wed Jul 19 7:33 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 27.5C, 1008.3 baro, 10-14kts SE

We had an eventful day to say the least. After a couple of dives, while back to the boat, we noticed our dinghy had drifted away from the back of Field Trip. The painter had chaffed and let our dinghy break free and drift across the reef. I had to paddle board over to rescue the dinghy. Fortunately it was stuck on the reef at low tide and we were able to recover. If it has been high tide, the dinghy would be gone, and we'd have to sail back to the Solomons to order a new one. We are feeling very blessed to have recovered safely. Otherwise, all well onboard. We plan on leaving probably Friday for the next atoll.

Tue Jul 18 7:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70% cloudy skies, 27.5C, 1007.3 baro, 10-15kts ESE

The weather has been typical of the past month or so. We get sun, clouds, and a squall or two during the day. It's been cool with the breeze, and generally nice. The outside of the reef was very interesting. We had a large squall line approach, so we decided to keep the snorkeling short and head back just in case we got hammered, as we didn't want to leave the boat unattended out here. We are still planning on being here 3-4 more days, and will keep track of the weather for a good time to leave for the next atoll.

Mon Jul 17 7:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 7nm (12.7km)
Weather: 70% cloudy skies, 27C, 1008 baro, 15-18kts ESE

We had another good day with overall good weather. We've received very little rain, only one small squall in the past 48 hours. We actually would like more rain so we can put more water in the tanks as we are using a fair amount washing off ourselves and gear every day after diving. We built a makeshift rope ladder to scale the wrecked ship. It was eerie walking around the vessel, and the smell was nasty. We got some good video and pics and will be making a short video of the excursion. We had another dive, but not as good as the prior day. The visibility up at this end of the reef was not great compared to the southern end. We had about 30m of visibility up here vs. 50+m on the southern end.
Today we will venture to the outside of the reef for snorkling and diving.

Sat Jul 15 20:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 40% cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, 12-16kts SE

It was a GREAT day today. We had sun most of the day, and so far not a drop of rain. I am sure that will probably change in the future, but we'll take the nice day for sure. We spent three hours today in the water. We did a nice snorkel on several reefs, and a good dive after our snorkeling. It was such a nice day we wanted to make sure we spent as much time in the water as possible. The water clarity and coral is pristine. It was a beautiful dive with lots of fish. What was odd however, was seeing a tire on the reef. We are fairly sure this came from one of the several shipwrecks here on the reef, or maybe a fishing trawler came in here and dumped the tire. Regardless for such a remote area, it was odd seeing rubbish on the reef. The kids are excited because they are having their three week break from school, so needless to say they too were very happy to have a full day messing around our new anchorage.

Sat Jul 15 7:09 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 80% cloudy skies, 26C, 1009 baro, 12-16kts SE

We had a great night sleep last night. Happy to report the reef is still comfortable at high tide. We will be exploring the large the reefs today, and will provide a full report tomorrow. All well onboard.

Fri Jul 14 15:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 45.8nm (82.9km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120.8nm
Weather: 100% cloudy skies, 26C, 1009 baro, 5-7kts ESE

Well, we finally made it to Roncador Reef. The winds were spot on during the first half of the trip, and then completely died down to 8-10kts ESE for the last 70 miles. All four models we used, the two PredictWind and GFS and ECMWF all generally agreed with wind from 14-19kts SE for the entire trip. We got that for the first half, but absolutely did not for the rest...so it was slower going for us. In fact the last 25 miles we had winds 7-9kts. ARG. We ended up having to motor sail some as we needed to arrive here during prime time for light. More later as we explore this beautifil spot. The only other boats here are three shipwrecks on the reef. I very old, and two probably within the last several years. Much to do and see...now off to bed for a nap.

Fri Jul 14 6:48 2017 NZST
Speed: 4.8knts
Run: 130.2nm (235.7km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 130.5nm
Weather: 8-10kts ESE, 61 COG T, 1-1.5m swell, and 1007 pressure.

We r still underway for Rancador Reef. We've had some sloppy seas and less wind than expected. We plan on arriving around noon today. We hope we can see the entrance and have decent visibility.

Thu Jul 13 6:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 24.4nm (44.2km)
Weather: 60% cloudy skies, 27C, 1009 baro, 5kts ESE

We spent the night here at Wilsons Bay. The locals have been very nice. They told us the last yacht that came here was over two years ago...so needless to say we had a number of visitors. When we told them we were leaving today, and could use some more fresh produce, we had several canoes bring over some excellent fresh produce. They were happy to make a trade and we were happy to have the produce since the market in Noro yesterday was very poor. We are off in about an hour for a direct sail to Rancador Reef. This should be like Minerva Reef, but a lot less travelled as there are very few yachts up here....more later as we expect to arrive tomorrow around 9 or 10am.

Wed Jul 12 7:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 27C, 1009 baro, 5kts ESE

Everything is complete with provisioning, and we are checking out this morning for PNG. Our plan is to sail to a small village this afternoon, and then leave around 8am tomorrow to sail direct to Rancador Reef, about 150NM.

Tue Jul 11 7:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 8.4nm (15.2km)
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 27C, 1010 baro, 8kts ESE

We arrived to Noro yesterday. We are clearing out of the Solomons either today or tomorrow and then we head off to PNG. The big issue we have today is NO EGGS here in the stores. We are going to get this sorted as best as possible and get cleared out. Needless to say, Sarah is not happy. On a postitive note, the diving has been very good in some new spots we found. All gear is stowed for our passage to Rancador Reef. We'll give more updates as we progress.

Wed Jul 5 8:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 70% cloudy skies, 28C, 1009 baro, 5kts ESE

We had a great 4th of July celebration aboard Field Trip last night. In total we had 16 people aboard, grilled on the BBQ, and had a great time socializing with old and new friends. The weather was rather wet yesterday, so we were stuck not diving. Today there is some hope with the sun popping up this morning. All well aboard.

Tue Jul 4 8:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 28C, 1009 baro, 5kts ESE

We are still here in Munda. Nothing much has changed. The weather is on and off, but the diving is great, so we are happy. A couple more boat projects to get sorted, and we hope to get rolling soon towards PNG. There is a boat here that arrived yesterday from NZ. They too are divers and have loved it here in the Solomons. They head out for Australia today.

Thu Jun 29 7:09 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 90% cloudy skies, 28C, 1008 baro, 5kts ESE

Yesterday was a beautiful day! It was sunny most of the day and we had a beautiful dive. Today we will begin to help rebuild the dive compressor for SDA Dive along with Daryl from Brisbane. All well aboard.

Tue Jun 27 6:42 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 29.2nm (52.9km)
Weather: drizzle, 100% cloudy skies, 28C, 1008 baro, 5kts ESE

We left Tetapare and sailed to Munda yesterday. It was actually a motor/sail but all was OK and the seas calm. We will be here in Munda for about a week before departing for Noro and then checking out of the Solomons. All is well except for the trough that keeps hanging over our heads giving us cloudy days and rain. It's literally been the wettest we have seen in almost 8 months.

Mon Jun 26 8:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: drizzle, 100% cloudy skies, 28C, 1008 baro, 5kts ESE

The anchorage here is just OK at Tetapare. We get some roll when the tide is high as the swell has been up the past couple of days. The diving here is less than spectacular. In fact, I would say it is underwhelming. The outside may be great, but given the swell, it is not workable. We are going to leave today and go to Rendova for some wreck diving. That will be a much better anchorage. Otherwise, all is well aboard.

Sat Jun 24 8:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 41.8nm (75.7km)
Weather: drizzle, 100% cloudy skies, 28C, 1008.5 baro, 5kts SE

We finally left Mbili, and made our way to Tetapare. We had a decent sail yesterday, with a mix of motoring given the up and down winds. The seas have been surprisingly large up here. We had 2-2.5m seas and it was a little messy as we made our way to Tetapare. We've not be used to needing to check swell, but we will do a better job keeping our eyes on the swell and swell direction. Tetapare is the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific. We met the rangers yesterday, and will do some exploring. They have a large diversity of wildlife here on the island. We're excited to explore both above and below the water. The diving fee here is very reasonable. You are required to have a guide (national park rules) but the guide is $100SBD/day (about $12 USD, unlimited divers). You can dive all day for that price, AND the guide will be in the boat to pick you up when you are finished with the dive. Overall a very fair price. Now we just need the weather to clear...as this trough is balmy at best.

Fri Jun 23 7:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.8knts
Run: 6214.1nm (11247.5km)
Avg: 87.7knts
24hr: 2104.9nm
Weather: se7, 1007 LIGHT RAIN

Tue Jun 20 8:48 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: drizzle, cloudy skies, 28C, 1010 baro, 5-8kts SE

We didn't get this out before the net. We are beginning to wrap up our projects here in Mbili, and are planning on leaving later this week. We hope to get a couple more decent days for diving. It's currently drizzling. We've had the most light rain/cloudy skies we've seen in our almost 8 months of being in the Solomons. This trough will hopefully leave us alone later this week.

Mon Jun 19 8:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: drizzle, partly cloudy skies, 28C, 1009.5 baro, no wind

Well, it's been a great couple of days. We've been able to do a lot of work with the village and Lisa helping get items fixed. I've learned a lot about Bauer dive compressors as I pulled apartt a large Mariner for Lisa helping diagnose the issues. Daryl with Divetek in Oz has been great as he's helped diagnose issues over the sat phone using SMS. We also had a decent dive, even though it was overcast. Today will be another dive or two between projects. The big issue now is the water temp. It is 28C vs. 31C, so we are all wearing shorties while diving as the water is cold! :-) All is well.

Thu Jun 15 19:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 6168.1nm (11164.3km)
Avg: 72.4knts
24hr: 1736.5nm
Weather: drizzle, cloudy skies, 28C, 1009 baro, no wind

We arrived today from Honiara to Mbili. It's our favorite village in the Western Province, and our third visit. The sail was good. We did have a new experience, as we hit a squall that was 18NM edge to edge, circular, and absolutely ripping with wind. We had 30kts consistently for almost an hour, with gusts of 38kts. I was surprised to see the sustained strong wind. The gradient wind was 10-12kts when we got clobbered with the big squall. We saw it on radar, and doused the sails ahead of time, and we are glad we did as the wind went from 10kts to 30kts in seconds. We plan on staying here in Mbili over the weekend before heading out to Tetapare, the largest unihabited island in the South Pacific! The diving is supposed to be excellent as the entire island is a national park/marine reserve.

Mon Jun 12 6:42 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1009 baro, no wind

Our compressor arrived this weekend. We hope to have it through customs and delivered to the boat today. We had a great weekend. On Saturday evening we were invited to a dinner at the headmaster's house for the international school. There we met several other families living in Honiara, and had a great time learning more about the culture and life in the 'big city'. Our plans are to depart Honiara for Marovo Lagoon mid week and get back to more diving as we work our way up towards Noro for clearing out to PNG late this month.

Fri Jun 9 6:48 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1008 baro, no wind

We've had a good couple of days getting provisioning sorted out. Sarah and the kids are spending the day at the internation school today. Sarah has become fast friends with the Dutch principal, and they are going to be doing workshops with the teachers in the morning. All is well aboard Field Trip.

Wed Jun 7 7:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1008.3 baro, no wind

All is well here in Honiara. It has been a very pleasant stay so far, calm seas and wind, and clear skies. We are working on our long list of provisioning items. It looks like we will actually head back to Marovo Lagoon next week for more diving, and then over to Tetapare - an uninhabited island for about a week before moving to Munda and then checking out for PNG.

Mon Jun 5 6:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 131.1nm (237.3km)
Avg: 2.7knts
24hr: 65.6nm
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 25C, 1007.8 baro, no wind

We arrived back to Honiara yesterday around 5pm. It was an easy and generally comfortable motor from Mbili. The seas were a little rolly for the first 8 hours, but they calmed down, and we had 6-8kts of wind from the SE. We will now do final provisioning and pick up our dive compressor when it arrives. All well aboard.

Sat Jun 3 7:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 25C, 1006.9 baro, no wind

It's hard to believe, but we have been almost cold. It was 25C yesterday at 11am, with a water temperature of 30C. Chilly for us for sure, especially after diving. We have been wearing shorty wetsuits, not because 30 is too cold for diving, but it is down right freezing when we get out of the water! Today sadly is our last day here in Mbili, before we head south to Honiara tomorrow. We have made some very dear friends here in the village. They kids are sad to be leaving, as they said yesterday "Daddy, we have some good friends here, why do we have to leave??". The life of cruising.

Fri Jun 2 6:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 26C, 1007.0 baro, no wind

Still waiting for the winds to die down before heading SE to Honiara. Looks like we may be able to leave this weekend. We did a 1:35 min dive yesterday along a nice wall. Saw some great stuff, and a new species of Clown Fish that are endemic to the Solomon Islands. We have a couple more projects to finish with the village and dive shop before we are finished.

Hi Family Silverstein Great getting yr daily bulletins and hearing of your adventures, we look forward to them every day! Question: We have been asked our view on coral damage on barrier reef, but we only got as far as Just north of Whitsundays, and from our experience and the dive operators comments their doesn't seem anything untoward. Maybe further north? I wondered what your experiences have been in Solomons. We're still in Oz. Business commitments have interfered a bit, but we hope to go back in August. I guess Yu would recommend the Solomons? Best to everyone. Peter and Helen. (Common Crossing)
Thu Jun 1 7:09 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, 5kts ESE

Another good day yesterday with diving. Village kids came over to the boat and they swam for a couple of hours. Today we will wire up a new MPPT controller for the dive shop and do another dive. All good aboard Field Trip

Wed May 31 7:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.3 baro, 10-15kts ESE

We had a great day yesterday diving. We saw three different Nudibranches on our dive. The weather overall has been nice with good breeze from the ESE. We've decided to stay a little longer as they kids are having a great time (this is the only place we have been in the past year since NZ that the kids have both said they want to 'live' here...WOW). We are tracking the weather for a possible window next week to sail back to Honiara to pick up the dive compressor. Any info David has on the net about the big picture weather patterns up here would be great on the net.

Tue May 30 8:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, 5kts SE

We missed the net this morning. Argh. It was a late night last night so we slept in past 6am this morning. Today is the big day when the marine conservation conference starts. The kids will be attending for at least a day to learn from the guest lecturers. Hopefully we will have time to get a dive in this afternoon weather permitting. Our plan is to probably leave for Tetapare in a couple of days. We are waiting to see how the weather patterns shape up for next week as we need to get back to Honiara by June 10th or 12th, and don't want to beat into the trades.

Mon May 29 7:33 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.2 baro, 10-15kts SE

It's been a busy couple of days doing fiberglass work. We will hopefully get the last of the fiberglass work finished today. It is a little rainy with wind out of the SE. Sarah baked a cake yesterday for a birthday party with a six year old boy in the village. He was all smiles when she showed up with the chocolate cake. All well aboard Field Trip...it's going to be hard to leave. We plan on being here until late this week.

Sun May 28 8:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 28.5C, 1008.5 baro, variable breeze

We had a strong thunderstorm last night. The loudest we have had since being in the Solomons. Last night we had a movie night with the village and setup our projector and speakers to show a kids movie. Everyone had a great time. Today we are diving with Lisa on a new site. Should be fun.

Fri May 26 9:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 27C, 1008.2 baro, no wind

The fiberglass work is coming along slowly. We've had more consecutive rain than we have seen since being in the Solomons the past 6 months. Today is another drizzly morning. Elizabeth helped Lisa at the dive eco lodge paint some signs after school and Michael played with the village kids and swan for most of the afternoon. Overall a good day. The United Nations is sponsoring a reef management seminar next week here in Mbili. Six or seven eco lodges/dive operators will be in attendance. There will be three guest speakers arriving on Monday for the three day event, and staying here with Lisa and her dive operation. They will cover coral planting, reef management and other topics. We plan on attending most of the event next Tue - Thur. Should be very interesting and educational.

Thu May 25 8:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 26C, 1007.2 baro, no wind

Overall it was a good day. Lots of work on Lutans boat with grinding and general prep work. The kids made cookies for the village and then played ashore in the afternoon. We had a rain overnight. A first in almost three weeks. It was nice to get some rain. We'll have to wait today until things dry out so we can do more fiberglass work.

Wed May 24 8:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 276.5nm (500.5km)
Avg: 11.7knts
24hr: 281.2nm
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 26C, 1007.5 baro, 5-8kts out of the SSE.

We had a warm welcome from the village when we arrived to Mbili. Everyone was excited to see us. The Paramount chief - Lutan - was the first to greet us ashore with a big smile and hugs for the kids. He said we were part of his family, and we could dive all we wanted for no fees. He also asked about s/v Perry, and where they were. We told them we thought they were in Munda, getting ready to check out for PNG. We also have three fiberglass boats to repair, as people slowly came up to us and asked if we still had supplies to fix boats. We stocked up on resin and matting, so we are good to go and begin on the first boat this morning.

Tue May 23 8:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 273.6nm (495.2km)
Avg: 262.2knts
24hr: 6293.7nm
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.2 baro, dead calm

We have an uneventful 120NM trip from Honiara to Mbili in the Marovo Lagoon. We motored the entire way, but had .5kts - 1kt of favorable current so we made good time and had to sit at the entrance of the pass for about an hour until dawn. We will be here for a week or two diving and seeing old friends in the village from January this year. The kids are excited to see some of their friends again...and do a lot of diving. All good.

Tue May 23 7:36 2017 NZST
Speed: 3knts
Run: 131.8nm (238.6km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 129.9nm
Weather: 10SE

jogging around waiting for good light to enter the pass of an un spellable lagoon

Mon May 22 7:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: beautiful sunrise, mostly clear skies, 27C, 1007.6 baro, dead calm

And there were none. All boats have left Honiara. We are picking up the anchor in about two hours and will be going to Marovo Lagoon. It has been overall a very good stay here, meeting lots of new friends. We plan on staying in Marovo for three weeks until our dive compressor arrives from Brisbane...and then we sail back to Honiara to pick it up and then leave for PNG. All good aboard.

Fri May 19 8:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny, 27C, 1007.6 baro, dead calm

We missed the net this morning. Sarah and the kids were up at 6am getting ready for their presentations at the private elementary school here in Honiara. They are giving two presentations today to 4th and 6th grade levels about what it is like living and going to school on a boat. They are a little nervous as most of the kids will be expats and not local kids. We will be leaving Honiara on Sunday for Mbili in Marovo lagoon. We'll be up there for about three weeks before sailing back to Honiara to pick up our dive compressor, and then we will be off to PNG.

Wed May 17 7:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1008.0 baro, dead calm

A lot of boats have arrived to Honiara. We had a total of seven yachts here in the Honiara anchorage. It's been overall a good stay. One of our two packages arrived yesterday. We are still waiting for our final package, and will get out of here and head back to Marovo. Welcome back David! Glad you are doing better!!!

Tue May 16 6:33 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1007.5 baro, dead calm

We are still here in Honiara. Packages are still no here, so we continue to wait. Three more boats arrived in the afternoon. Two of the three boats have kids aboard. This is the most kids we have seen since being in NZ. We are surprised so many boats have kids up here in the Solomons. We had a fair amount of wind the past two days, in the 15-20kt range, all from the SE.

Sat May 13 7:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1007.5 baro, dead calm

The weather has been great. Every day is sunny, and the evenings seem to be a lot cooler. We plan on staying here for a bit longer as we continue to wait for our package. All is well. The other boats are still here as well, and don't plan on leaving until next week.

Fri May 12 6:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1007.5 baro, dead calm

We are still waiting for some packages to arrive. The weather is still very good for the anchorage, with the water very flat. We are in the lee of a SE wind, so we 'may' just be here next week as well. Tomorrow a friend will be here from Brisbane, so we have drinks scheduled Saturday night at the yacht club. They kids have been having a great time playing ashore with their new friends as well...so not much incentive to move just yet....

Thu May 11 6:48 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: clear skies (actually stars only at this point), 26C, 1008.5 baro, dead calm

It's been overall a very good stay so far in Honiara. We've found some great places to grab a good lunch, and have enjoyed civilization and socializing with our new friends on the yachts here at the anchorage. We expect the winds to pick up a bit from the SE later today and tomorrow, but we should be OK here at our spot. On some sad news, a french boat that we met earlier this year - a single hander - lost his boat here in the same anchorage. Evidently while he was off the boat a squall came up and his boat broke loose from and drifted to the seawall. It has been abandoned, and stripped by the locals. He flew back to France. Very sad, as he was very excited about sailing to Vanuatu. This anchorage is known to have holding issues, and get VERY rough in a squall. We don't leave our boat unattended while on the hook at this spot. There are two moorings here that are solid, both are currently being used, so we are on the hook, and have someone aboard 24/7 just in case a nasty squall creeps up.

Tue May 9 6:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 26C, 1007.5 baro, 3-5kts W

The weather has calmed down and we had a good night with calm weather. There are a total of three yachts here in Honiara. All are heading south to Vanuatu. It was nice to get some provisioning done and a nice lunch at the Waterfront Cafe. All is well here, and we hope to get our additional packages later this week.

Mon May 8 8:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 184.1nm (333.2km)
Avg: 3.7knts
24hr: 89.2nm
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007 baro, 3-5kts W.

We arrived to Honiara yesterday. Sorry for missing a day on the updates. It was overall a great sail. We were able to sail a majority of the way...which was a first in a long time up here at 8S. PredictWind was spot on with the weather. Upon arrival we had 18-20kts of wind out of the NW as predicted by PW. I knew this would create a crappy anchorage here so I almost delayed our trip by a day, but instead relied on the ECMWF which showed virtually no wind(

Sat May 6 6:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.5knts
Run: 484.3nm (876.6km)
Avg: 20.1knts
24hr: 482.3nm
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1006 baro, 8-11kts SSE.

Enroute to Honiara. Overall we have had very good conditions and have been able to sail most of the way. All is good aboard. We plan on arriving to Honiara on Sunday.

Fri May 5 6:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1006.8 baro, 5-7kts SE(ish).

We leave around 3pm today for Honiara. It is is about 240NM SSE of Liapari. We plan on the trip taking about 40-48 hours depending on the winds. Hopefully we will be able to sail at least half of the trip. We copy GHR 3/5 and 4/5 up here, which is great. If David can give us an overview of weather on the net this morning for this weekend that would be great.

Thu May 4 7:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 490.4nm (887.6km)
Avg: 20.6knts
24hr: 493.5nm
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1006.2 baro, light and variable breeze about 5-7kts.

We made it on a nice run up to Liapari yesterday. We picked up some items that were shipped to fix our freezer. Freezer is now fixed, and working great. We are planning to sail down to Honiara on Friday when the winds swing to the N to pick up some items that have been shipped. One according to UPS appears to be damaged during shipping, so we have to go and sort that out on Monday. Ugh. Anyway, all is well up here. There are a total of four yachts in Liapari, some doing boat projects, others just waiting for weather to move on. All boats here are heading up to PNG and then Indonesia.

Wed May 3 7:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.6 baro, dead calm, with no wind

The winds died down in the afternoon to about 5-7kts. Hopefully they will pick up again later in the morning as we head up to Liapari, about 15NM NNW of here.

Tue May 2 7:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, the wind is howling at 10kts from the south... :)

The biggest update for us is we are watching the weather to make sure the depression stays south of us. This will bring some good wind in the 10-15kts range, something we haven't seen in a long time. We hope to get to Liapari before the wind swings to the north.

Mon May 1 7:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 28C, 1008.3 baro, 0kts wind

We had some local kids as tour guides yesterday in the village. We hiked to a small lake, and then went for a dinghy ride up the river. It was beautiful, and the water was very cool given it was a river. We did not swim in the river as there are crocs. The local kids would not swim in the water either...so that was a definite sign to be careful. Evidently there is a large croc that lives up the river according to the locals. Fun fun. We had some nice rain last night that put some water in the tanks. All is well, and we are still the only boat here. Most boats have gone different directions as the cyclone season is ending and people are moving. All good.

Sun Apr 30 11:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 8.9nm (16.1km)
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 29C, 10078.3 baro, 0kts wind

We moved yesterday to a nice village called Iri. We were excited to get to a village and reconnect with the locals. We had a warm welcome ashore yesterday with a bunch of local kids, and they were excited to see Elizabeth and Michael. One of the boys had been bitten by an eel on his foot...so Sarah helped get him some medicine and bandaged up as it was a messy looking wound. They invited us to a fundraiser last night in the village at 8 or 9pm. That was a big late for us, so we told them thanks, but we would see them tomorrow. We are finally getting some wind up here, and actually had a great sail over from Gizo. We sailed the entire way, which was a first in a long time. No engines...just wind...albeit light in the 7-9kts range but on the beam so we managed about 5kts of boat speed.

Fri Apr 28 9:33 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 7.6nm (13.8km)
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 28C, 1007.8 baro, 0kts wind

We moved back to Gizo yesterday. We needed 3G connectivity to make some final orders online and follow up with items shipped to Honiara. We hope to have this sorted in the next day or two and get back to the remote locations and more diving. It's great not having connectivity, but not great when you need to get something ordered or done online.

Wed Apr 26 8:33 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly sunny skies, 28C, 1009.0 baro, 5kts NW wind

We started off with a couple of email alerts regarding the Chile earthquake. Fortunately no Tsunami warnings for here. We are still in the same spot. We met some more locals today, who fish and garden on this deserted island. They were very friendly, and one guy brought over lots of cucumbers and capsicum for trade. It is nice to get some interaction with the locals. We had a couple of dives, one was 1:37 minutes. It was back over at Grand Central Station. Lots of fish, but the viz was not as good as a couple of days ago. We did a second dive with the kids. We called the dive a scorkel because it was on the hookah and in 3m of water. We need to move soon to get some 3G to finalize shipping a couple more items here to the Solomons from Australia...so we may depart later today.

Tue Apr 25 14:24 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 29C, 1009.3 baro, 0kts wind

It was a good day yesterday. We had a nice dive, albeit with a fair amount of current, and ended the day with drinks and dinner on the beach with a campfire. The kids played all afternoon on the beach. Its a beautiful spot here, and will be hard to leave. We plan on staying here longer than expected. The fisherman are very nice that are in the area, and the diving is excellent....so we will stay a bit longer.

Mon Apr 24 9:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 0.4nm (0.7km)
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 29C, 1009.3 baro, 0kts wind

After a great dive, and some good snorkeling, we moved our boat to one of the best spots we have seen since the Reef Islands. We navigated around some coral heads to this small lagoon with sandy bottom and an island with a beautiful sandy beach. We are in 2m of water, and it is beautiful. The kids loved playing off the boat in the shallow water. Time to do a quick bottom clean today. We also had some good rain last night that filled up our water tanks!

Sun Apr 23 11:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)
Weather: mostly sunny skie, 29C, 1008.9 baro, 5kts N wind

We found another great spot. We just dropped the hook in 25m of sandy bottom near two islands with sandy beaches. The diving here is supposed to be outstanding...and we look forward to getting in the water later today for our first dive here. It's a beautiful day, sunny and nice. Our only wish is for some rain. It has not rained in almost over a week and a half...and we would like to get the boat washed. Arg.

Sat Apr 22 11:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 4.3nm (7.8km)
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 28C, 1008.9 baro, 0kts of wind

We moved over to this nice spot near a small village. It is very nice here. We are anchored in 30m of water, and had two great dives on a Japanese vessel. It was the best wreck dive I've ever done. Sarah had a great time diving as well, and it was excellent. We will be moving soon to the dive site Grand Central Station to check that out either later today or tomorrow. The weather is a little balmy today, so we may wait a day or so for more sunlight. We are in the process of sorting out a Bauer compressor for the boat as well, since we now have three certified divers onboard, and we like the freedom of bottle vs. the Brownie. All is going well.

Thu Apr 20 10:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1008.5 baro, 0kts of wind

And then there were 5. Half the yachts left yesterday. We plan on leaving soon, once we get some items sorted out online using the 3G connection. Once done, we will go and dive the Maru wreck. Visibility yesterday was reported at 40m++ so it should be outstanding. The weather has been outstanding.

Wed Apr 19 8:42 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1008.5 baro, 0kts of wind

The boats keep arriving. We now have 10 yachts anchored here in Gizo. A bunch will be heading off today, mainly heading south. We are waiting for some dive items today, and hope to be off soon as well. Overall Gizo is OK, but we actually prefer Noro for provisioning.

Tue Apr 18 9:36 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 4.1nm (7.4km)
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 27C, 1008.5 baro, 0kts of wind

We moved up to Ghizo to connect with some friends up here. Wow, there are a lot of boats here. Presently we have NINE yachts anchored here. It is the most yachts we have seen since leaving Luganville in November. WOW. We hooked up with our friends on s/v Iolea, who we haven't seen since Vanuatu. They are excited about exploring the Solomons, and we plan on meeting later today to go over some of the highlights as the work their way back to Vanuatu. All the yachts are anchored off the small island, and not off PT-109, which has a reputation for theft. So far no issues here in this anchorage, and some boats have been here for months.

Mon Apr 17 9:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 26C, 1006.3 baro, 0kts of wind

We had a good day. The big news is we had two crocs off the back of our boat last night here at Fat Boys. It was a striking reminder that we are indeed in croc country and we must always be vigilant. Regardless of what the locals may say. There are tourists here swimming in the water from the resort. It can become very easy to be relaxed and think we are safe because we are near a resort...when in reality, there are crocs, and they don't avoid tourist areas. We are working on our plans for the short term. A quick exploration of Gizo to find provisioning and then off for diving on the wall outside and a wreck dive before heading over to Iri village.

Mark, just curious to know about this crock business: how do you decide when it is safe to go diving?
Sun Apr 16 10:42 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 29.2nm (52.9km)
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 26C, 1007.5 baro, 0kts of wind

Happy Easter! We had a great motor sail up to Fat Boys from Munda. It was beautiful, and we were actually able to sail a bit with the wind. We are the only boat here, and it is nice and quiet. There are eight boats currently anchored in Ghizo. Evidently a lot of boats have arrived from Micronesia. We will be here for a day or two before working our way up to a village called Iri. Finally, we got word that our solar panels are shipping on Monday to Honiara. In addition we have ordered a couple of full dive kits for Sarah and Elizabeth to have onboard, which should be delivered around the same time as the solar panels.

Thu Apr 13 9:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 276C, 1009.0 baro, 0kts of wind

Sarah had a great day in the bush with the English teacher. She was impressed with the program this lady is putting in place to help the village kids (and parents) learn English. Our visas are finally finished, and should be arriving today to Munda. Our plan is to get rolling tomorrow, head up toward Ghizo for a short trip to scout the area for provisioning options and drop off visas for Perry. We will then move out back to Marovo for diving. The diving in Marovo was better than up here in Munda, and our friend Lisa at the new dive shop in Mbili has a great small operation and we are keen to get E on more tank dives while it is fresh. We will probably spend 2-3 weeks in MBili before heading back up here to get our stuff at Liapari and sail out towards PNG in mid to late June.

Wed Apr 12 8:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, 0kts of wind

It's official! Elizabeth is a certified Open Water diver. It was a great to have her certified and see her really excel at the process of learning details of diving from an instructor. While I have enjoyed teaching her to dive on our sytem over the past four years, and she has logged about 40 dives with me on the hooka, having her certified for full scuba is great. I can now strap on a tank and dive with more confidence with her has a dive buddy. Today I head to Noro to get some supplies and Sarah is heading into the bush to help teach English with Michael in a school. That's it for now.

Mon Apr 10 8:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1003.3 baro, 5kts of wind NW

It was a good day, with Elizabeth out diving for her class and a nice happy hour last night with s/v Rehua and an Italian boat and the dive instructor from Munda Dive. Today is the final day for Elizabeth as she does her final three dives and will become a certified open water diver...assuming of course she passes the class. We hope to get our visas today for PNG, and get moving Tue or Wed this week! Yeah!

Sat Apr 8 7:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1006.5 baro, 0-3kts of wind NW

We had a nice motor over to Munda yesterday. What a different a clean bottom makes. We added 1-1.2kts of boat speed by cleaning the bottom. Elizabeth has her class at 8am this morning. There are a total of four boats at Munda. Looking forward to E getting certified and then getting out of here. We are TIRED of resorts and want to get back to village life. The sooner the better!!!

Fri Apr 7 11:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1006.5 baro, 5kts of wind NW

A second night of great rain, filling our tanks. We have done five loads of laundry in the past two days. We only have two more to do, and we will be all caught up. That means Sarah is happy. When Sarah is happy, we are all happy! :) We are moving to Munda this afternoon. It's been a beautiful day.

Thu Apr 6 8:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1005.5 baro, 0kts of wind

We had a deluge of rain last night. It was great to fill up our water tanks. We have laundry in store for today. We have been getting up to date on blogs and other items while we have reasonable connectivity. All is going well. We plan to leave tomorrow for Munda.

Wed Apr 5 8:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1005.5 baro, 0kts of wind

We went to skull island to view the skull shrine that the villagers made. It was interesting to see all the skulls. The surf was not safe enough for the kids...so we did not do any surfing as we had hoped. Today some boat projects as we get ready to head back to Munda in the next couple of days. Otherwise, looks like the beginning of a nice day.

Tue Apr 4 11:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, 3kts of wind NW.

We spent the last two days doing diving off the back of the boat, both cleaning the bottom of the boat and letting Elizabeth work on her diving skills. The resort here has been very nice. We should be moving back to Munda on Friday this week. Saturday is the first day of E's dive class. s/v Perry is here with us, and this afternoon we are going to explore some more, and maybe even get in a surf on a nice break. We will see.... :)

Mon Apr 3 11:23 2017 NZST
Run: 7.7nm (13.9km)

We are at Lola resort. It is nice and there have been basically no visitors here...so very quiet. We've been doing some diving and plan to explore the outside reef probably later day. The weather has been good overall. We will be moving from here back to Munda for Elizabeth to get her open water certification. While we don't have a need to do this as we dive with our own equipment...I feel MUCH better knowing that she will be certified by someone besides myself..... :)

Tue Mar 28 9:36 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, 0kts of wind.

We went out to dive and had an equipment malfunction. The o-ring on one of the dive tanks was not working, so we ended up just snorkeling. It was a very good spot, lots of fish and the most sharks we have seen since French Polynesia. Today, weather permitting, we plan on giving the dive site another chance, and hope to get in a good dive. We will be in this are for a bit longer before we head to the northern side of the lagoon for more diving and exploring.

Mon Mar 27 9:21 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Weather: mostly sunny skies, 27C, 1008.2 baro, 0kts of wind.

It was a good day yesterday as we got settled into our new anchorage here in Munda. We spent some time ashore exploring the WWII artifacts. The locals told us they killed a 3-4m croc in the bay two days ago. Yikes. That was a big one, and not far from where we are anchored. So, we will be extra vigilant regarding swimming. Hard to see a croc when they can spent 2 hours underwater waiting for their target. :) Plan is to do some diving. Behind our boat there is a Japanese bomber that was shot down during WWII. It was thought to be the bomber that was sent in to rescue the stranded Japanese pilots after the US Marine invasion. Regardless, the bomber is in 15m of water, and somewhere behind our boat according to the locals. So, we will go and see if we can get more info and do a dive or two. There is an American plane crash on the island not far behind us as well...so we may check that one as too.

Sat Mar 25 16:01 2017 NZDT
Run: 62.3nm (112.8km)

We just arrived to Munda after two days in Noro. We were lax on giving updates the last couple of days. We've been very busy getting re-provisioned and actually getting some slow but usable 3G connectivity. All is good and we plan on staying here for a bit before moving up.

Thu Mar 23 10:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 19.6nm (35.5km)
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 28C, 1007.7 baro, 8kts from the north of wind.

We found a new anchorage that has crystal clear water and a sandy bottom. We are anchored in 18m, and can clearly see the hook. This is probable the clearest water we have seen in a long time, mainly due to the fact that we have been in lagoons for the past month. Oh, and....we actually had a nice sail today. Yup, our sails work, and we had great wind - 12-17kts out of the north during the entire trip. It was great to be under full sail. We also landed two of the four fish we had on our line. A nice tuna and wahoo. We lost the second wahoo as we tried to gaff. The fourth fish was a large barracuda. We released him as we were unsure of ciguatera in this region of the solomons.

Hi, Mark, Sarah, Michael and Elizabeth! We are back in Whangarei. Boat is getting launched next week. Been missing you guys! Hope all is well and that we meet again sometime!

Great to hear from you Margy. We have been enjoying the Solomons. It's been great. What are you sailing plans this season?
Wed Mar 22 9:42 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly cloudy skies, 27C, 1006.6 baro, 0kts of wind.

We saw two very large megapode nest areas. The rangers dug in deep and pulled out an egg for us. It is not egg season, so we could not keep the egg, but it was neat to see how large the eggs were given the megapode is about the sam size as a chicken. Today we head over to Choiseul. It will be about 25nm, and from there we will see how things go before heading towards Noro.

Hi Mark/Sarah, looks like we may be anchored alongside you in Noro? We're currently on anchor off Ebey in the Kwajalein Atoll (Marshall Islands). Hoping to get a decent weather window that will minimise the motoring we'll need to do as we approach the Solomons. Our plan is to clear into Noro; along with Rod & Brenda from State of Mind. Hope to see you there ... Paul & Kate
Tue Mar 21 9:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 3.8nm (6.9km)
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1006.6 baro, 5-7kts out of the NW.

We moved to a new island and anchorage yesterday. It is stil part of the same marine reserve. Normally yachts are not allowed to anchor here, but if you get special permission from the rangers, and pay our anchoring fee (100SB) in advance, you can come up here. It is a beautiful spot. The biggest issues are crocs and mosquitoes. The rangers told us 'not' to swim here as there are many crocs. So, we spent the afternoon exploring by dinghy. We are being picked up today by the rangers to go and visit an island that is a nesting area for megapode birds.

Mon Mar 20 9:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy skies, 27C, 1009 baro, 5-7kts out of the north.

One of the park rangers - Rudy - who has been here for about 10 years, along with another 10 year veteran, went diving. Rudy had never been before, and to see him fall in love with diving was just great. It was very cool to see someone who has worked here in the marine park for 10 years finally get a chance to dive this beautiful place. We did a 1:10min dive on the west side of the island, and the coral was pristine, and the fish abundant. It was like Los Angeles rush hour, but with lots and lots of fish in very large schools. It was beautiful. The most fish I have seen so far in the solomons. Since this is a marine reserve, and has been for the past 20 years, the fish were generally not afraid of divers (not very many divers come here as you must supply your own equipment and compressor), so that made it extra special to dive with these rangers. The Uepi dive resort said the diving here was 'epic', and I have to agree....but will probably disagree once we get to Raja Ampat! :)

Sun Mar 19 11:36 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly clear skies, 27C, 1008.5 baro, no wind.

The 'dive class' went well. A total of three rangers wanted to go diving, but I was only able to accomodate two. It was fun to see them experience breathing underwater for the first time. They had a lot of fun and we did an hour dive along the inside reef in shallow water. Two more rangers want to learn today, so I will do one more class today for the shallow reef dives. I plan on taking them around the corner to the outside wall. Today is looking very nice. We have not had much rain, and would like to get some as our water is about half full, and I would like to top up vs. using the water maker. We may move today to the other island after lunch. It will depend on the weather.

Sat Mar 18 8:42 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly clear skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, no wind.

We had another good day here with the park rangers. They are very nice guys and helpful in explaining the habitats. We went snorkeling with three rangers. They took us in their longboat about 2 miles away to a spot that was nice, but not great. However, the fish were abundant. The coral seemed damaged due to the surf, so it was just OK. Today we will be teaching a diving class to the three rangers. They have never been diving, so we are going to spend a couple of hours doing some water work off the back of the boat and then do a shallow dive. They are excited so we will see how it goes. We plan on staying here through the weekend before going to the next island that is also part of this same marine park.

Fri Mar 17 8:45 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: mostly clear skies, 27C, 1007.5 baro, no wind.

It was a great day yesterday. Unfortunately I missed the best part while taking a nap. Sarah and the kids went ashore to socialize with the park rangers while I took a nap. The rangers took them to the beach and they got to help baby green turtles that had just hatched get to the water safely. It was surreal to see the pictures and video they took, but I was fast asleep. ARG. Regardless, they had a GREAT time, and it made this trip well worth the effort. In the late afternoon we had to manta rays swimming around the boat to top off a great day. All is good aboard FT. Today we are going to go snorkeling on the reef with a ranger. This reef has been protected from fishing for 20 years, so it should be very good snorkeling. We will probably dive tomorrow.

Thu Mar 16 9:54 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 66nm (119.5km)
Weather: partly cloudy, 26C, 1008 baro, 3kts of wind out of the south

We made it to the island, and had a great trip. We had a lot of current against us, so it took us 12 hour hours to go 64NM, but it was worth the effort. We were fortunate and landed 5 fish, with the sixth fish getting away with our lure and chummers. That fish was a sailfish of some sort that took the line and snapped the lure and chummer away. It remained jumping and splashing as we sailed on with the lure dangling from its mouth. ARG. We were glad to catch the fish that we did as we had been on a drought for a long time with fresh fish. We checked into the ranger station here upon arrival and gave them a freshly caught tuna. They were happy, and showed us around the station. We will explore more this afternoon after school. Two nights ago they had a baby turtle hatch on the beach...so we will see if we can witness this tonight.

Wed Mar 15 5:30 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5.5knts
Run: 1.6nm (2.9km)
Weather: partly cloudy, 26C, 1007.5 baro, 3kts of wind out of the south

We are underway, leaving our anchorage at 3am this morning for the Arvanon Islands. We stayed three nights at Uepi. Overall a nice resort, but not the most yacht friendly. They were nice, but not excited to have yachts anchored near their resort...and understandably. They are generally booked out a year in advance, and just don't want or need the yacht business. We are excited to be heading up to Arvanon. It is a marine sanctuary with excellent diving and fishing. The owner of Uepi said it was a great place. His son told me it was 'epic'...so we will see. :) We expect to arrive around 2 or 3pm today.

Mon Mar 13 9:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 12nm (21.7km)
Weather: partly cloudy, 26C, 1007 baro

We finally moved from our great spot up to Uepi yesterday. It was a mixed feeling aboard as some wanted to stay longer (kids) while the captain and commodore needed some form of internet. Looks like there is not much internet here, but we will try today to see if the resort has fast enough internet for us to do our bills online. We plan on only staying here for a couple of days as we generally don't like resorts, and want to head up to the turtle and marine sanctuary NE of here by about 60NM. We will see how it goes today, and will begin to get ready to leave there assuming we get our internet items completed.

Sun Mar 12 7:30 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 256C, 1007 baro

We had a cloudy morning that was not great for diving, so we did school on Saturday, waiting for the weather to clear. In the end we decided to go ashore and build a fire to burn some rubbish. The kids had a great time stoking the fire and building sand castles on the beach. It's been nice here, as we have not had a visitor in about a week, and it's been just us and the uninhabited island. Maybe today we will head up north towards Uepi, or we may stay here a little longer to wait for good clear weather. No rush, and enjoying the anchorage.

Sat Mar 11 9:21 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: light drizzle, but sun is poking through, 25C, 1007.7 baro

The sqaull blew through and around noon the sun was shining and we headed for the reef. We went fishing with squid we caught off the boat, and caught was we believe was a shark. We had it on the line for about 15 min before the line snagged on coral and broke. Glad it broke vs. spooling our line. We had movies last night aboard FT with s/v Perry. Overall a good day. Today is squally, with the sun poking through at 7am. The good news is our water tanks are filling up again, and hopefully we will be able to hit this new spot we found for diving and snorkeling. We may move the boats up a bit, about 1-2NM to a spot closer to this area Matt and I found for more diving. Not sure yet when we will head farther north as the diving is great, and the anchorage excellent is shallow water with sandy bottom. Kids are loving doing swim parties off the boats in the shallow water.

Fri Mar 10 6:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: rainy, 26C, 1006 baro

We had a heck of a squall this morning. It blew off one of our petrol cans, and was blowing in the high twenties, possibly low 30s. I jumped in the dinghy in torrential rain to try to find the can. No luck. Just goes to show if a MOB happens in bad weather, at night...forget about it. I was in the water within a couple of minutes to find the floating can (it was empty) and could not find it after 20min of searching. Oh well. As for diving, we had another good dive, and plan on diving again today - one final dive assuming the weather is decent before we begin to head north sometime this weekend.

Thu Mar 9 8:57 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 26C, 1005 baro

Elizabeth and I did a couple of dives yesterday. The first dive was only 15min because we actually had too many gray sharks circling around us. They are genearlly not a problem, but with 4 circling around us and my 11 year old in the water, I decided it would be prudent and leave the area. We moved to another spot farther down and had a great 1 hour dive. The water viz was not excellent as we were diving in the afternoon during the outgoing tide...but it was still nice and she had a blast. Today more diving assuming the weather holds, and it looks good.

Wed Mar 8 8:30 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 3nm (5.4km)
Weather: partly cloudy, 26C, 1007 baro

We moved here a couple of days ago because the wall and reef are excellent. In general the water clarity is very good and the snorkeling/diving is the best we have seen so far in the Solomons. A very good spot. We are anchored in about 4m of water with sandy bottom. I think we will be here until the weekend before we head up farther north.

Mon Mar 6 8:45 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 26C, 1006.5 baro

We had a full day of rain yesterday...and now we have full water tanks. It was actually nice to have the cool rain as the rain is literally cooler than the ocean water. The ocean is between 28 - 29 degrees, with the rainwater in the 26-27 degree range. Today looks nice this morning with partly cloudy skies. Hopefully we can get in some diving on that amazing wall!

Sun Mar 5 11:21 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: light rain, 26C, 1007 baro

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Sunny all day and we found the best diving/snorkeling site we have seen so far in the Solomons. It is epic...and will be a great place for us to spend the next week exploring. This is a great place to anchor, and plan on moving a little farther north. All sandy bottom and the people that we have met have been very nice.

Sat Mar 4 9:33 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 358nm (648km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 118.9nm
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1005.5 baro

We missed updates for the past couple of days. s/v Rehua joined us from Tulagi and there are now three boats up here. We moved to this anchorage as it is supposed to have good diving and there are no villages. We spent one day in Mbatuna for the fresh market, which was good, and then moved over here. All is good, and we hope to knock out some diving today.

Wed Mar 1 9:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: cloudy with light drizzle, 27C, 1006 baro

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Matt and I left for a nice wall dive, only to find out that our dive compressor was on the blink. We did a snorkel instead and I ordered parts to fix. We must have this working, as the diving is great here in the Solomons, and it will only get better as we move towards Indonesia! We plan on moving today..although the weather is rather balmy right now, so we may wait another day to sun as we navigate the inner lagoon of Marovo.

Tue Feb 28 9:15 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1006.4 baro

Another day, another dive. ;-) Lisa at the local dive shop organized a Crown of Thorns collection spree on the reef here. In total 210 were collected in bags and removed from the reef. Today, another collection spree will begin to help protect the reef. In addition finally Matt and I were able to get the other boats fixed...so we only have one more today and we should be done. We leave tomorrow for Mbutana. Maybe we will finally get some 2G service vs. Iridium... :)

Mon Feb 27 8:42 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1006 baro

We had a day of diving yesterday. It was another good dive. Sarah and Elizabeth really enjoyed the wall and coral. We will be leaving this anchorage on Wed to head up to a good market in Mbatuna. It's hard to believe we have be here almost two weeks. The village is very nice, and the anchorage overall very protected.

Hi Mark, Sara and kids, I love getting your email nearly every day, it makes me feel good and bad at the same time now that I am landlocked.... Today I clicked on the link to see your position and it shows that you are in the middle of the ocean: GPS: 08 340.6S 158 11.5E from Feb 20th.... you might want to check that and correct it. Keep in touch and... Keep smiling Stefano
Sat Feb 25 9:33 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1007.1 baro

The weather was not great for diving yesterday, so we went ashore and spent time with the villagers and had a movie last night onboard with s/v Perry. Today is the sabbath for the village, so there will be no diving today, even if the weather breaks and the sun comes out. We plan on staying here until probably Wed...when we will move up to Mbatuna for the market on Thursday. Tomorrow we will attempt to fix three aluminum boats.... :)

Fri Feb 24 9:15 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1007.1 baro

Another great dive yesterday. We had sunny skies in the AM and had a nice dive with good light and some great photos. Today is a little more overcast, so we will see if we get out for another dive. We plan on moving farther north sometime soon, but have three more aluminum boats to fix in the next couple of days...so we will be here a little longer.

Thu Feb 23 9:30 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1008.1 baro

We went to the village school and did a two presentations about where we are from, where we have been and sailing. It went well, even though the kids were very shy and did not ask too many questions. Diving is on the agenda for today weather permitting. So far a sunny morning!

Wed Feb 22 9:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1007.5 baro

Well, word is out in the villages in the area about stuff getting fixed. We had another person come over from Mbili island and ask for the 'fiberglass man'...who is Matt. He said he heard there was a good fiberglass guy here and wanted something done to his boat. We dont' have enough supplies to fix everything so I said no, we can't. Regardless, he was very nice and happy to at least talk. Today we head to the school to teach. They asked Sarah to teach in the afternoon so we will be heading over around noon. Report tomorrow.
Regarding weather, it is very consistent, sunny in the mornings, and a rain shower or two late afternoon.

Tue Feb 21 9:42 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1007.5 baro

We had a great day yesterday, with lot of items fixed. Two boats were fixed, one aluminum and one fiberglass. In addition we fixed a couple of solar charging stations so the locals could charge batteries, etc. Previously they were charging batteries off of 19V and 21V panels with no controllers. It was boiling the batteries, and we explained to them the could not do this. So we had a couple of extra controllers, made some trades and they are very happy. We have one more aluminum boat to fix, probably not until tomorrow, otherwise it should be a slower day today and hopefully we will get in a dive or two! :) Weather has been steady, partly sunny skies, with the occasional squall. Very pleasant.

Mon Feb 20 9:06 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 346.6nm (627.3km)
Avg: 7.2knts
24hr: 173.8nm
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1007.5 baro

We moved over to another anchorage near the paramount chief's village. We spent most of the day working on his long boat that was damaged in a wave on the reef. Most is now fixed and today we will do a little more work. This is a calm spot, and all is well. We hope to get in some diving, but not sure it will be today.

Sat Feb 18 9:15 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1008.8 baro

We had a very busy day yesterday. We had another carving show of sorts with the paramount chief, and helped figure out ways to fix a long boat and another aluminum boat. We are scheduled to fix the fiberglass boat beginning tomorrow in trade for carvings. We also did a great dive yesterday after we did our village visits in the morning. The chief was very happy, and gave us full run of diving in this area. We have been told that sometimes he will not let boats dive here so we were happy to get the green light for diving, and plan on diving most days while here. It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, and looks like another beautiful day today.

Fri Feb 17 9:06 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 9nm (16.3km)
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1010 baro

FINALLY, we moved to a new spot. It is about 10NM from our previous anchorage, inside the Marovo Lagoon. It was a busy afternoon after anchoring as we received a number of canoes with carvings to sell/trade. s/v Perry was with us and we requested that we do a show on the beach. As seems to be typical for this area the carvings were very good. Similar in quality to carvings we saw in Peava, and in some particular cases even better. The hardest part is picking which ones to trade/buy as there are so many carvings and carvers that you want to buy something from everyone, and given there are no ATM machines here, it is rather difficult when cash is low. Generally they will trade for stuff without cash if you don't have cash, but their going in position is we are 'white guys' with 'money'...so this can be an obstacle. Regardless very nice people that are very skilled at carvings. Today we will look at some more carvings, see if we can fix the chief fiberglass longboat and engine...and maybe even get in a dive! WHEW, tired now even typing this! :)

Thu Feb 16 9:09 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1008.5 baro

The sun never came out yesterday, so we decided to stay here another day and wait for better light before we go inside the lagoon. Today looks better, and we plan on heading out after lunch. Nothing else interesting to report, other than this is a nice spot, even after 2.5 weeks.... :)

Wed Feb 15 9:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1009.1 baro

Another great day yesterday with more dolphins. We dumped the kids off in the water as the dolphins were swimming around the dinghy. We got some great video of the dolphins. Again, will share more when we have 3G. So far only satellite. We are leaving this village in the afternoon for a whopping 5mile journey to our next anchorage. It has been a nice 2+ weeks stay here, but time to get moving again as there are a lot of places and dive sites to visit in Marovo. We will update on our next anchorage once we get there. The weather has been great.

Tue Feb 14 9:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1010.5 baro

It was an amazing day yesterday. We started out with a great dive. In fact it was one of the best dives I've had in years. We got some amazing photos (which we will post once we have internet). The dive time was 1:22 minutes, and well worth the trip out to the island. It was about 5NM from our anchorage so about 30min by dingy. On the way back we ran into a pod of about 30 dolphins that swam off the bow of the dinghy. We stopped and jumped in the water to swim with them. As we stopped they stopped swimming around so we pulled each other behind the dinghy and the dolphins came back swimming around the boat as we slowly pulled a person behind. It was great fun and the kids had a blast! To top off the day we had a nice 30min squall with lots of rain to fill up the tanks and wash the boat. Great day!!

Sun Feb 12 9:51 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 10078.5 baro

Yesterday was a mild day with some rain, and general cloudiness. We didn't do much but read and relax while the kids had art class. Today is sunny, partly cloudy and no wind.

Sat Feb 11 9:45 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1007.5 baro

We had a good day yesterday. We did a nice dive off the small island and we had enough rain to fill our water tanks. We are still here with s/v Perry, and will probably be here for another couple of days. We would like to get in some more diving...and if it clears up a little today, we will head out. The village is SDA, so we are careful to honor their beliefs and are not going to do a lot of swimming, etc around the village. It was a big chilly last night and the night before. I may have a small cold as the covers fell on the floor and I woke up in a chill. Funny, because normally 26C inside the boat would not mean chilly, but it does now for us. It was 30C last night inside, and the commodore said she was cool, and no need to cool off the boat any further... :-)

Fri Feb 10 8:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1004.7 baro

Sarah and the kids had a 14km hike while I stayed aboard and did some work. It was overall a nice day. The biggest complaint we are having at the moment is we are not getting much rain. We have had rain in the forecast but have not received much if any in the past week. Our plan today is diving now that the winds are really dropped. Stay tuned for a report in the morning.

Thu Feb 9 9:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 25C, 1004.7 baro

We had a great day yesterday. The wind was nice, about 10-15kts keeping the weather cool with partly cloudy skies. We did some hiking ashore while the kids on s/v Perry and ours played ashore with the village kids. The village was happy we did not leave yesterday. Our plans are to stay here probably through the weekend as the winds are dying and we still have a lot of diving to do. Evidently the wall dive on the small island south of us is one of the best dives in the Solomon Islands...so today hopefully will be the day with lighter winds and partly cloudy skies.

Wed Feb 8 9:42 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 27C, 1004.3 baro

We decided to stay a little longer here as the weather has calmed down and the roll has abated. We had at one point 20kts of winds yesterday and full break on the reef outside. We went ashore yesterday to say our goodbyes, and by the time Matt and I got back to our boats - 4 hours later - it was fairly calm and the commodore said it was OK to stay a little longer. We are going to be doing a lot of diving over the next several days.
The village put on a carving show two days ago, and needless to say there were some really great carvings....and....we ended up trading for even more. Four in total. We need to get out of here so we don't burn any more trades on carvings...as each village will have some more carvings and want to trade.

Sat Feb 4 10:39 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: wind 0-5 kts NW, partly cloudy, 25 degrees outside, 1003.8 baro

FINALLY, we have our Iridium working! We have been without email, weather, etc since Wed last week, and we are now back in business and connected. Not fun not having weather during cyclone season...even though we are reasonably north.
The village here is great. The carvings are amazing. We have been happy with this location and are in no hurry to move on. We are going to be doing some diving and snorkeling over the next couple of days. All is well.

Tue Jan 31 11:18 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 132.9nm (240.5km)
Weather: wind 8-10kts NW, partly cloudy, 25 degrees outside, 1004.8 baro

We sailed overnight - or motored mainly - and got to this new spot. It was about 120NM, and a very comfortable sail/motor. We had wind from all directions, but it was less than 12kts except for one squall where we saw 19kts. This is a very nice place and we are looking forward to some village time. The crocs are in another area, so we are told there are no issues here. However, around the corner is a lake, and a young girl last year was eaten...so we still need to be careful.
On another sad note, we learned yesterday that a sailing couple we met in Luganville had a tragedy three days ago. They were diving and the wife drowned. She was 35 years old. We don't have specifics on the death, and will update more once we get exact details. I am leaving the boat name out of this for now, until all details are confirmed. It was a very sad day to hear about this accident.

Sat Jan 28 10:51 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Weather: wind 0-5ts W, partly cloudy, 25 degrees outside, 1007.3 baro

We picked up Sarah in Honiara and are now in Tulagi. We are anchored in about 30m of water off the resort. It has been overall very calm weather, with sunny days and afternoon showers. While hot at times, it is overall good. The biggest issue here is there are crocs in the area, so we have to be careful when swimming. They rarely come over to this side, but at night they have been spotted roaming the waters in the anchorage...so we are VERY careful. Our plan is to head towards Morovo Lagoon next week...probably on Tuesday when we have some wind. Too hard to tell now if it will be close reaching or reaching, but so far looking good to get rolling NW.

Thu Jan 19 10:33 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: wind 8-10kts W, partly cloudy, 26 degrees outside, 1006.5 baro

Well we had a heck of a night last night. At 12.30am our anchor alarm went off. We are tied to a mooring here, and have been careful to make sure it is relatively secure. I dove the mooring a week ago, fixed the chain and 'thought' it was all good. The line broke, and we drifted off in a squall. FORTUNATELY we did not go on the reef and we managed to get things under control with the help of the two kids...as Sarah is still in the USA. So, single handing, with two kids in a squall with a drifting boat at night wasn't fun but the kids did GREAT in helping get the boat sorted out. We are all fine now, and I will be diving the mooring this AM to see exactly what failed. Regardless, we never trust moorings and prefer to anchor, but here is is challenging in 30-40M of water with lots of coral. Stay tuned as we find out more we will share our experience. One thing I will say...ALWAYS use your anchor alarm, even if you are on a mooring. It could save you from being on a reef...especially since you drift faster when a mooring breaks vs. generaly a slow drag on an anchor slipping....

Scary stuff! You never really know what great stuff your kids are made of until these kinds of moments. Glad God is watching over you guys. Thanks for passing on the heads up regarding using an anchor alarm even on a mooring (and if a mooring breaks you drift faster without the drag of anchor and tackle!)
Tue Jan 17 9:24 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: dead calm, partly cloudy, 26 degrees outside, 1008.5 baro

Nothing much has changed here in our anchorage. We are still in the same spot, and will be until this weekend when we head back to Honiara to pick up Sarah from the airport. All is going well. It is just Field Trip here now, as the other boats have moved on. It's nice as the village is quiet and the location has been very good. Weather is still great up here. No complaints. Looking forward to heading farther north to the Western Province later this month!!

Fri Jan 13 11:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: dead calm, partly cloudy, 26 degrees outside, 1007.7 baro

We have another BEAUTIFUL day here in Roderick Bay. Sunny skies, and nice overall weather. We are going to stay here for another week awaiting Sarah's return to Honiara. No complaints, as things are going well aboard with me as teacher, chef, parent and mechanic. Kids are doing great and are enjoying being here with friends. I dove a mooring yesterday to repair for Johnny. The reef was beautiful. The mooring is not 'green' as it is tied to a large coral head, but that is the best the locals can do given they don't have funds for a proper concrete mooring. I felt a little guilty working it as its not good for the coral, but there are trade offs, and helping the local village keep a safe mooring for visiting boats is probably OK.
Thanks Patricia for keeping an eye on us as we experience earthquakes. Crazy how many we have had this year. WOW.

Tue Jan 10 10:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: dead calm, partly cloudy, 26 degrees outside, 1007.5 baro

We made a quick trip back to Honaira so Sarah could catch a plane. She is gone for two weeks back in the USA to visit family and friends. I am not back in Roderick with the two kids. Rehua is around the corner on another island that has a good dive on a WWII wreck and Perry is still here as well. We plan on being in this area for the next two weeks until Sarah get back, and then we will head north. All is going well, and we are in the hot weather groove, so no issues with the heat other than drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated...

Wed Jan 4 10:54 2017 NZDT
Speed: 0knts
Weather: partly cloudy, 29C, 1005.5 baro

We are still in Roderick Bay. We have had great weather, and a good time with the locals here. We fixed three of the four moorings, and Johnny is very happy. We will be leaving on Thur for Honiara, as Sarah is flying back to the USA to be with her sister after the death of her mother in law. I'll stay with the kids, and sail/motor back to Roderick for two weeks until Sarah flies back to Honiara...and then we will finally get moving north to Marovo Lagoon!

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