Thu Nov 30 14:38 2017 NZDT
Run: 40.7nm (73.7km)
Weather: Grey skies with periods of drizzle, but still oh so lovely and warm.

Had an absolute cracker of a sail down from Ballina to Yamba yesterday. 14-15k just aft of the beam with a lovely current lift saw Kiapa flying along to her 'resting spot' for summer. Yes, we are going to call Yamba 'home' for the next few months.

Tue Nov 28 19:19 2017 NZDT
Run: 67.4nm (122km)
Weather: Light and variable winds.

An early start saw us going through the Gold Coast seaway at dawn's crack and after a fairly slow 60nm passage to Ballina we crossed the river mouth bar around 4pm. Off to the RSL for dinner now.

Fri Nov 24 10:16 2017 NZDT
Run: 2.5nm (4.5km)
Weather: Blue sky all around - lovely lovely.

Moved from Bum's Bay to a much quieter spot on the western side of South Stradbroke Island - the continuous helicopter joy rides made us feel like we were in a war zone! Now we can only hear bird calls!

Good to see you are moving occasionally and the weather is warm and blue. All well here - just a little cool! Love C and A XX
Thu Nov 23 17:13 2017 NZDT
Run: 36.9nm (66.8km)
Weather: Beautifully sunny and warm with a light SE keeping things cool

Motor-sailed down the inside channels (on the western side of South Stradbroke Island) to Bum's Bay on the Gold Coast. Had a brief nervous moment when we had to pass under the overhead powerlines, but the weather instruments on top of the mast seemed to clear them quite easily. Phew! Now happily anchored with all the other 'bums', with sea planes, helicopters and jet skis completing the Gold Coast atmosphere!

These are the power lines we had to go under.
These are the power lines we had to go under.
Mon Oct 9 9:21 2017 NZDT
Run: 53.2nm (96.3km)
Weather: Lovely gentle drizzle this morning. Doesn't look like it will last.

We arrived at the fabulous Royal !! Queensland Yacht Squadron on Friday, and have been enjoying familiarising ourselves with all that is on offer at this fabulous club/marina. We plan to stay here for about a month.

Thu Oct 5 19:23 2017 NZDT
Run: 60.6nm (109.7km)
Avg: 2.5knts
24hr: 60.4nm
Weather: Blue skies, lovely and warm, with a gentle breeze blowing.

We cleared Wide Bay Bar first thing this morning - phew, no dramas. And what a totally FABULOUS sail we had down to Mooloolaba today. Not only was the sailing itself great, but boy, did we see some whales! In the distance, right next to the boat, leaping, broaching, cruising....... we saw it all. Where we are anchored right now has to be in the middle of suburbia as it is possible to be on a boat. See pic!

Where we are anchored - in the middle of suburbia!
Where we are anchored - in the middle of suburbia!
Mmmmmmm, a bit too close for comfort!
Mmmmmmm, a bit too close for comfort!
Wed Oct 4 19:18 2017 NZDT
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Weather: Cloudy with 10-15k SE blowing.

Anchored in Pelican Bay ready to, hopefully, cross the renowned (sometimes treacherous) Wide Bay Bar first thing tomorrow morning. This is the 'opening' from the sheltered waters created by Fraser Island back out into the open ocean. This morning, before sailing here, we visited the quaint settlement of Tin Can Bay. Tin Can Bay town is known for the dolphins which come to shore to interact with people, so we went along to participate. It's all very controlled, but I suppose it has to be for the safety of these beautiful animals. The bird life in the surrounding trees was also fab!

One of the visiting dolphins was 8 month old baby Joe.
One of the visiting dolphins was 8 month old baby Joe.
The beautiful,sulphur crested cockatoo.
The beautiful,sulphur crested cockatoo.
Tue Oct 3 14:56 2017 NZDT
Run: 35.8nm (64.8km)
Weather: Cloudy with a gentle breeze.

Motored through the very interesting shallow channels of the Great Sandy Straits to the west of Fraser Island this morning. Thank goodness for accurate charts and GPS's! The red line on the 2 photos below shows the route we took. Now happily anchored off the small settlement of Tin Can Bay.

The Great Sandy Straits of Fraser Island.
The Great Sandy Straits of Fraser Island.
Thank goodness for modern day technology to help us through this challenging bit of water!
Thank goodness for modern day technology to help us through this challenging bit of water!
Yes, we did get to see wild dingoes on Fraser Island yesterday!
Yes, we did get to see wild dingoes on Fraser Island yesterday!
Sun Oct 1 21:13 2017 NZDT
Run: 58.9nm (106.6km)
Weather: Lovely and calm here on anchor, but we had 15-20k ESE while sailing today.

Celebrating our first coastal sail in Aussie by sipping on a glass of bubbles while watching sunset. We are anchored off the World Heritage listed largest sand island in the world - Fraser Island. Who knows, we might spot a dingo while exploring ashore tomorrow..

Fri Sep 29 12:07 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Weather: Hot, with a strong northerly blowing.

We are enjoying playing 'Tommy the tourist' in the Bundaberg region while going through the process of importing Kiapa into Australia. Have you heard of Bert Hinkler? No, nor had we! Well, he is a famous Australian aviator who back in the 1930's was the first person to fly from England to Oz! And he hails from Bundy. The museum that pays tribute to him is well worth a visit. And of course we have also visited the rum distillery. But perhaps most enjoyable was walking through Australia's largest bird aviary.

Sun Sep 17 10:27 2017 NZST
Run: 150nm (271.5km)
Weather: Light offshore, beautifully warm.....

We arrived safely in Bundy late on Friday afternoon, which meant we had to clear in on Saturday. Contrary to all the stories we'd heard, clearing in was effortless, and NO weekend overtime fees were charged. Oh it is so so lovely to hear all the birdcalls again. So far we've heard lorikeets, maggies, butcher birds, shags, welcome swallows, and even kookaburras. Lovely lovely! This morning we are heading off to the fresh produce markets in Bundy - time to reprovision with some fresh stuff after our fabulous stay in Chesterfield. I'll attach some pics of Chesterfield here, now that we're back online.

Special for you guys limited edition "I'm not with John" Tees. Actually they were inspired by the other John, John of the ICA, while we were in Vavau earlier this year. All the best Dinah and Bruce

Good to hear you arrived safely and check-in was easy. Hope to keep hearing reports of your adventures back in Oz.
Thu Sep 14 9:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 7-9knts
Run: 163.9nm (296.7km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 148.2nm
Weather: 20-25k N. Swell 1.5m 70% blue sky.

Tuesday's gallop was slowed down to a comfortable trot yesterday - due to lack of wind and still the strong counter-current. But last night the wind picked up and swung around to the north so now we are happily cantering again. Our rhumb line is Bundaberg rum line.

Wow, Kiapa has turned into a horse now I happy to see your grand crossing is going so smooth without the goofy throwing around that can jumble the innards...seeing your destination is in sight, you all must be either so excited or so curious as to what is ahead...we have our eyes on you, Love, Maria and Captain Bill

We're sure you're going to enjoy a few rums when you get there as well (or rum based cocktails) Nearly there now, its been a quick passage alright. Stay safe til tomorrow, lotsa love The Hunters
Wed Sep 13 7:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 8-9knts
Run: 199.7nm (361.5km)
Avg: 27.4knts
24hr: 656.5nm
Weather: 15-18k ENE. Swell 1.0m 60% blue sky.

It was a sad farewell to fantastic Chesterfield Reef yesterday morning - what a brilliant time we had there. We are now underway to the land of koalas and kangaroos, the final leg of Kiapa's Pacific Ocean Crossing which started 5 years ago. While the sailing conditions are good, the 2k counter-current is slowing down the gallop somewhat!

Wed Sep 13 0:00 2017 NZST
Run: 5.4nm (9.8km)

2-3m Tiger shark at Chesterfield reef. I felt much much safer swimming in the water with this shark than with John Hembrose from the Go West Go East , Go F yourself rally. A peaceful yoga picture on Longlines. The picture should be a cage fighter or Last Man Standing"

Mon Sep 11 14:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Weather: 12-15k ESE. Swell 2.0m 80% blue sky.

Lionel is a happy chappy - he has ticked something off from his bucket list. A swim with a tiger shark! Yip, you read that correctly! We had just returned to Kiapa after a most enjoyable kite session when we saw a shark swimming around the stern. It came up shallow enough to be identified, so quick as a flash Lionel grabbed his mask and slid in off the back steps to have a closer look. A tiger to be sure, about 2m long, ever so gracefully mooching around. And we've got video footage to prove it!

Sun Sep 10 9:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 5.2nm (9.4km)
Weather: 15-18k SE. Swell 1.5m 50% blue sky.

We have moved to the SE anchorage to check out the snorkelling and little island here. The last few days have been fantastic in many respects, but especially with reference to whales. Any and every time we glance 'out' and watch for a few minutes, we ALWAYS see whales. 2 days ago while dinghying over to a bommie in the lagoon for a snorkel we had a mum and bub practicing their aerial gymnastics with tail and pectoral fin water-slapping about 100m from us. Then while snorkelling half an hour later we could hear them singing to each other. And to top if off last night while watching the sun dip over the horizon we had another stellar performance - full breaching. Can you tell we are having a whale of a time?

What a Whale of a Time for you all...your private paradise.....Absolutely an experience of all experiences...Keeping an eye on you all, the resting up I am sure is making the crossing so much more enjoyable...Neptune's got your back....Hugs and love, Maria and Captain Bill
Thu Sep 7 8:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 299.5nm (542.1km)
Avg: 18.3knts
24hr: 438.3nm
Weather: 5-8k SE. Swell 0m 80% blue sky.

Man-oh-man, Chesterfield Reef truly is paradise. The sandy islands are covered in birds, and their song fills the background such that we don't want to listen to music. After snorkeling on pristine reef in the afternoon we enjoyed a bottle of bubbly on a coral cay while watching the sun setting and the full moon simultaneously rising. As I said, heaven!!

Hello Kiapa Crew, so happy to hear your sail is going so smooth and now your next new treat. Snorkeling with whales, what a wonderful stop over. The Neptune Gods have watched over you. I am glad your on YIT so we can watch closely your progress. Love to you, Maria and Captain Bill
Wed Sep 6 16:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 719.2nm (1301.8km)
Weather: 5-8k SE. Swell 0m 90% blue sky.

Very VERY happily anchored in the most turquoise of waters here at Chesterfield Reef after a very easy passage from New Cal. It is so unbelievably beautiful here - Kerry, Lionel and I think we are in aquatic paradise. The bird life is amazing with their constant 'chatter' in the background, and we have already snorkeled with whales. We're looking forward to exploring this little slice of heaven.

Looks great but are you sure you're coming home? It looks like you are heading to New Guinea!! Glad to know you are safe and having a beautiful time. Love JANET AND DAVID Xxx
Sun Aug 20 10:02 2017 NZST
Run: 2.3nm (4.2km)
Weather: Partly cloudy and very windy!

'Hiding' up The Carenage in Prony Bay as we wait for the strong westerlies to pass. Had a lovely swim in the small waterfalls a bit further up the creek. It's been a L O N G time since we swam in fresh water!

Hi - just wondering how you are getting on? Hope the trip is going well but not sure if conditions have been suitable for you to leave yet? Take care and look forward to chatting soon. Lv B&B x

Stay safe until those winds have passed look forward to more updates hopefully some marine life on the passage to photograph and send

Hi Irene and Lionel, travel safe. Look forward to watching the passage to Oz. XxxSSJ
Fri Aug 18 17:42 2017 NZST
Run: 45.4nm (82.2km)
Weather: Beautiful blue sky, and 'breezy'.

Oops, missed a couple of updates. In the last week since sailing from Isle de Pins we have stayed at Mato Island, Amadee Island, Anse Majec and now in Prony Bay. A strong westerly is forecast, so we are taking shelter in Baie de la Somme for the next couple of days.

The classic outline of Amadee Lighthouse at sunset.
The classic outline of Amadee Lighthouse at sunset.
Sat Aug 12 13:26 2017 NZST
Run: 8.7nm (15.7km)
Weather: Partly cloudy with a light NE blowing.

Anchored in Kuto Bay, Isle de Pins, where the sand on the beach is as fine as talcum powder. Hitched a ride to the local fresh produce market this morning (~10km away) where we stocked up on bits and pieces, including some local honey. Hiked up the nearby mountain Pic Ngo yesterday to be rewarded with stunning 360 degree views. Loving this beautiful island paradise.

Thu Aug 10 8:18 2017 NZST
Weather: Lovely blue sky today.

Still in Gadji, and loving it. Went scuba diving yesterday and saw some AMAZING sea life, including something none of us had seen before, let alone heard of - an electric, flashing, disco clam. You Tube it!! Also saw a Pygmy seahorse, a lacey scorpion fish and an enormous school of barracuda. Loving it here!

Sat Aug 5 8:39 2017 NZST
Run: 42.1nm (76.2km)
Weather: Cloudy and calm.

Anchored in stunning Gadji Bay, on the north-western side of of Isle de Pins. Even though it's cloudy the water is the most stunning turquoise. The snorkelling is fantastic around here, and catching a crayfish for dinner is a guarantee.

Wed Aug 2 8:29 2017 NZST
Run: 25.1nm (45.4km)
Weather: Cloudy with a light breeze.

Had a lovely sail down to Ouen Island yesterday - gotta love this sailing inside a huge barrier reef thing. 13-18k in flat water had Kiapa flying along very comfortably. Then, with sunset G&T's in hand we watched some whales breaching in the distance. How lucky are we? There's a huge reef close by which we're told is good to dive on, so plan to do so a bit later.

The view from our backdoor this morning.
The view from our backdoor this morning.
Sat Jul 29 14:19 2017 NZST
Run: 29.4nm (53.2km)
Weather: Lovely clear blue skies with a 5-10k SE blowing.

We welcome Kerry on board. Sailed out to Isle de Maitre, and enjoyed a lovely snorkel. While the corals weren't too colourful we did see a lot, including huge coral trout, 3 turtles, a tropical crayfish and a very well camouflaged octopus.

Tropical crayfish.
A well-camouflaged occy.
Tue Jul 25 16:13 2017 NZST
Run: 40nm (72.4km)
Weather: Gloriously sunny and warm with a gentle breeze blowing.

Had a slow cruise from Ilse de Pins to Mato Island yesterday. Were lucky enough to spot 2 whales on the way, and because conditions were calm, we decided to "pull over" and see if we could swim with them. And we did!! They seemed to be resting, and didn't move away at all! How spoilt were we, to swim with these gentle giants out in the middle of nowhere!

Sat Jul 22 7:54 2017 NZST
Run: 40.9nm (74km)
Weather: 9-11k S, 60% cloud cover

Had a gloriously slow sail from Prony Bay to the northern bay of Gadji at Isle de Pins, where the water is the prettiest turquoise. Sadly didn't see any whales on the way, but did catch a nice size fish as we came through the pass.

Thu Jul 20 9:03 2017 NZST
Run: 24.9nm (45.1km)
Weather: Very squally conditions with gusts in the high 30's and lovely rain.

Anchored in Prony Bay. Yay, the decks are getting a lovely rinse. We're on anchor watch in these strong gusts, so it's a day for board games.

Thu Jul 13 9:08 2017 NZST
Run: 29.9nm (54.1km)
Weather: Light SE blowing this morning with partly cloudy skies.

Back in Port Moselle to partake in the Bastille festivities tonight and tomorrow.

Mon Jul 10 9:36 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 15.6nm (28.2km)
Weather: 10-15k SE. Swell 0m 100% cloud cover.

Back at Mato Island. Weather not the best today - grey and blustery, but hey, at least it's still warm. Lionel is a happy chappy though - he has borrowed a fellow cruiser's hot knife so is having fun with that!

Sun Jul 9 9:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 15.6nm (28.2km)
Weather: 5-7k W. Swell 1m 50% cloud cover.

Enjoyed a glorious day of light wind spinnaker sailing yesterday to reach Kouare Island, New Cal's southern most island bar one other tiny one - yes, we are further south than the famous Isle de Pins! Kouare is the island closest to the outer fringing reef so if the wind stays settled we hope to head out to this reef to snorkel and snare some dinner. Here with 2 other boats - we enjoyed their company while sipping 'Kiapa Cocktails' at sunset last night.

Sat Jul 8 8:48 2017 NZST
Speed: 0knts
Run: 41.9nm (75.8km)
Weather: 0-2k SE. Swell 0m 80% blue sky.

Anchored in between the reefs surrounding cute little plum-pudding Mato island. This island is unique as the sea snakes slither ashore to shed their skins and lay their eggs. We had one sharing the rock we were sitting on right up at the top for sunset drinks last night. We've been snorkeling a few times, looking for crayfish, but no luck so far.

Sun Jul 2 17:35 2017 NZST
Run: 8.5nm (15.4km)

There is such a wonderful choice of islands close to Noumea to visit - and all with safe and comfortable spots to anchor/moor. Today we woke up with teeny tiny Ilot Mbe Kouen just there!

Sat Jul 1 8:12 2017 NZST
Run: 8.5nm (15.4km)

Anchored in extremely peaceful Baie Maa - with our 'cat team' of 6 other Aussie cruising boats. We enjoyed a beach fire and bbq last night, sharing jokes, stories and a sing-a-long with Neville on the guitar. Heading back out to the islands later this morning.

Sun Jun 25 10:44 2017 NZST
Run: 2.9nm (5.2km)

Back at CNC Yacht Club, watching the nail-biting AC races.

Fri Jun 23 10:33 2017 NZST
Run: 3.9nm (7.1km)

Anchored off Uere Island which has the most amazing fist-sized-pebble beaches, not sandy beaches like we have found so far. Mont Dore forms a pretty impressive backdrop.

Tue Jun 20 9:18 2017 NZST
Run: 4.2nm (7.6km)

Anchored off Port Moselle. Thoroughly enjoyed watching the AC racing the last couple of mornings. GO KIWIS!! No wind or surf forecast for the next few days, and it's pretty grey with rain threatening, so instead of heading back out to the islands are going to stay here and do some more exploring on the bikes.

Sat Jun 17 8:56 2017 NZST
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)

Moored off Ilot de Maitre, the 'kiting island' our friends have told us so much about. While the wind howled through the night it has now sadly, backed off. This means more swimming and snorkelling today. The image included here shows the extensive reef and sea grass beds that surround the island, which makes for excellent snorkelling. We've seen quite a variety of big and small fish, as well as turtles grazing on the grass. Later today we plan to head back to Port Moselle so that we can watch the AC tomorrow.

Thu Jun 15 10:47 2017 NZST
Run: 4.1nm (7.4km)

Oops, missed a couple of days of position updates! Since the AC Challenger Cup is over we have headed out to the islands for a few days (until the AC begins on Sunday again). We are LOVING the marine life that comes and lives between our hulls as soon as we are settled - yesterday we had an enormous barracuda, emporor fish, ramoras, a bludger trevally and a turtle. And stunning sunsets, oh my goodness.......

No photoshopping involved here!
No photoshopping involved here!
Thu Jun 8 13:34 2017 NZST
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)

Anchored off Port Moselle for the next couple of days. Needed to stock up on fresh produce, wanted to come and watch some of the America's Cup, and also to catch up with some friends. Poor Kiwis - hope they manage to fix their racing machine quickly! Have to include a pic of my favourite little fish I saw when out snorkelling at Ile Laregnere yesterday.

Hope that you are enjoying the croissants and stinky cheese in all that warm sunshine? Very jealous. Love from the landlubber Maunies xx

Good to hear you are enjoying New Cal. Your reports are making us keen to get there but still enjoying Vanuatu at present. Happy snorkelling. Iolea
Mon Jun 5 9:06 2017 NZST
Run: 8.4nm (15.2km)

Moored off the tiny little island of Laregnere, not too far from Noumea. There's good snorkelling to be had close by, so that'll be the order of the day.

Wed May 31 15:23 2017 NZST
Run: 1.1nm (2km)

Spent a couple of nights out at nearby islands and then came back in to Noumea to pop Don and Hugh on the plane back to NZ. BIG thanks to them both for their help with our passage. Tied up at Port du Sud Marina, mainly to have access to that ever precious resource, water! Done all the laundry and have washed all the salts off the deck, but still need to rinse halyards etc. Another reason for coming in to the marina was to try and get to a telly where we could watch the America's Cup. Success, the yacht club across the bay is showing it. Happy days!

A nice big screen to watch the AC on.
A nice big screen to watch the AC on.
Oh so French! Enjoying a strong black coffee with a croissant while watching.
Sat May 27 19:24 2017 NZST
Run: 2.1nm (3.8km)

We love New Caledonia! We have already had more swims than we had in our 5 months in NZ!! Checking in with Customs, Immigration and Biosecurity this morning was a breeze! We thought we may be 'boat bound' until Monday because we were told the government authorities don't work over the w/e here, but oh no, one phone call later Mr Immigration turned up in boardies, singlet and thongs, and 10 minutes later we were all set to go ashore! Right now enjoying a sunset drink and dinner on terra firma.

Fri May 26 12:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 8knts
Run: 239.3nm (433.1km)
Avg: 8.2knts
24hr: 197.7nm
Weather: 13-15k S. Swell 1m 90% blue sky.

Nearly there! What a glorious night's sailing - 100% the opposite to the night before! The screecher is out, the hairy chests are also out, and we are looking forward to checking in later today.

Thu May 25 7:24 2017 NZST
Speed: 7knts
Run: 186.6nm (337.7km)
Avg: 9.7knts
24hr: 233.3nm
Weather: 15-18k W. Swell 1-2m confused washing machine 40% cloud cover.

You know the song "Oh what a night"..... well that describes last night for us. We had a good day's sail yesterday and covered a lot of ground, but by sunset the sky was an ominous black and the swell had picked up, and yikes, the radar was showing an awful number of squalls around! Just as well we had bangers and mash for dinner - provided you stuck your banger in the mash it wasn't tempted to fly off your plate!! The boys did an AWESOME job keeping Kiapa trucking along safely, hand steering through gusty squall after gusty squall. Around 3am the wind switched to "on the nose" for the direction we are heading towards, so we made the decision - a first ever for us on Kiapa - to 'heave to' for a couple of hours which meant we all got some shut eye. And now it's daybreak and we can see again, always so much nicer! 145nm to Ile de Pins.

We have been thinking of you!! A tricky night by the sounds of things - so pleased you have such a good crew on board! Do take care and safe sailing for the rest of the trip - hope you are there soon. With love, B&B

Hello Kiapa Crew....bangers, mash, games and squals what fun. Heaving too is perfect, when that happened to Peregrine, we headed in the opposite direction to get away for the kayos. after we thought, head scratch, why didn't we heave to...funny funny funny, maybe closing on the house tomorrow, fingers crossed..We have our eyes on you.. Safe sailing, love, Maria and Captain Bill

An exciting nights sailing! Sounds like the boat and crew are doing an awesome job. Love following your blog as are our family and friends. All well at home Hugh.
Wed May 24 12:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 8-9knts
Run: 243.8nm (441.3km)
Avg: 8.5knts
24hr: 203.2nm
Weather: 20-25k E. Swell 2-3m 90% cloud cover.

As I write this the sun is rising, and what pretty pinky orange hues are highlighting the horizon. The winds have 'settled' in terms of both direction and strength, so as there's no sail adjustments to make, 'the games have begun'. Not the boat speed games of yesterday, but board and card games. So far Lionel is champion. We also enjoyed "Don's Scones" for lunch yesterday. Can you tell all is well on board? 305nm to go. (This msg is not being composed by IridiumGo.)

Life at sea sounds pretty good!! Hope it lasts. Enjoying following your trip, Hugh.
Tue May 23 7:24 2017 NZST
Speed: 8-9knts
Run: 221.7nm (401.3km)
Avg: 9.3knts
24hr: 222.6nm
Weather: 15-20k ENE. Swell 2m 95% cloudy.

Yeehah, we are not wearing socks or slippers - well not during the day anymore. We had a good day's sailing yesterday and an even better night last night. Haha, boys will always be boys! As the swell picked up they decided to turn off the autopilot and take the helm to surf the waves to see who could get top speed. Hugo was the 'winner' with 16.8k. The sky was rather black and ominous looking at sunset, so we reefed the main in the event of the odd squall, and just as well! They marched through around 2-5am, just when Captain Kangaroo was on watch. 520nm to go to Ile de Pins. all very well on board.

REENIE you are having a ball with the boys, surfing waves and just letting the ocean do its thing, this is one of the funnest things that I would just be grinning ear to ear.....I want to get helicoptered you all

Very jealous - especially of those speeds! Enjoy the passage, we're following you as we get on with dull landlubber jobs. Xx

Woooooohooooo no more socks!!!! Ha ha you guys are doing so well can't believe you will be there soon!! Following you daily. So boys of course got away 11.30 Sunday. They having a great sail, I'm using my time in Akl to catch up with friends & getting some pampering!! I fly up to Tonga on Friday and to Ha'apai on Sat. So hope to have a couple of days sunning & swimming before they arrive. The updates are : lazing around, sleeping & eating too much!!! 20k with one Reef in main. All seem to be good! Laine & Warwick also doing well spoke to Laine yesterday they having a good sail & expect to be at Reef by Thursday. Will keep you posted my gorgeous friend!! Bye for now big hugs to you all, a kiss n squeeze for Lionel & Don!! Xxxxx


Mon May 22 7:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 6-7knts
Run: 134.4nm (243.3km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 152.3nm
Weather: 7-12k ENE. Swell 1m 90%.

We had a great start to our passage to New Cal yesterday. After motoring for a couple of hours to get out the Bay we motor-sailed and then sailed into the night. The wind was light and variable for most of the night which resulted in Lionel eventually unfurling our kick-arse screecher - yeehah. All good on board.

On ya guys, we are watching ....with envy.... all good this end, will see Hugh in a years time! CC8 P.S. Thanks for a great dinner on Saturday.

Nice you guys - sounds like your having a great run!! Gooooo Lionel!!! Have fun and happy sailing! Xxx
Sun May 21 10:19 2017 NZST
Run: 5.6nm (10.1km)

Yeehah, we are off the dock and underway to the tropics. New Caledonia here we come. We hope the passage will take 4-5 days, all going well. Thanks to Don Salthouse and Hugh Stocker for crewing with us.

Tue May 16 13:41 2017 NZST
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

Like everyone else, we are still 'relaxing' in Opua, waiting for the weather gods to organise a nice weather window for us to head north. Looks like the end of this week may be okay - we are looking at Saturday, in the hope the predicted 4.5m swell will have dissipated somewhat when we round Cape Reinga. In the meantime horse and bike riding keep us fit. Oh and of course there's LOTS of lovely socialising going on......

Hello PG and KK and CREW, bon voyage and a small swell to start hopefully. I've got my eyes on you and will keep them there until you are safe and sound. Love and smooth sailing. Maria and Captain Bill
Mon May 8 8:31 2017 NZST
Run: 41nm (74.2km)

Moved up to the Bay of Islands, waiting for the next weather window to head north to New Caledonia. While we wait for Cyclone Donna to dissipate we are enjoying getting out on the bikes - today we a going to do a section of the Twin Coast Trail.

Sunrise in the beautifully still but foggy morning a few hours ago.
Sunrise in the beautifully still but foggy morning a few hours ago.
Wed May 3 12:44 2017 NZST
Run: 3.5nm (6.3km)

Hanging in at Marsden Cove, waiting for the weather further north to improve - like everyone else, we don't like the look of the tropical depression near Vanuatu! This morning we woke up to an interesting new neighbour at the end of our dock - a 2-3m long leopard seal! It's unusual for them to be this far north, but apparently this big mumma has been hanging around for a while!

This gives some idea of how huge she is!!
This gives some idea how huge she is!!
A scary big mouth - this species are known to be quite aggressive.
A scary big mouth - this species are known to be quite aggressive.
Bit of a bummer for Dirk! The seal tried getting in his dinghy (which was in the water) and punctured it in the process!
Bit of a bummer for Dirk! The seal tried getting in his dinghy (which was in the water) and punctured it in the process!
Sat Feb 25 17:12 2017 NZDT
Run: 29.4nm (53.2km)

No wind today so motored down to Urquhart's Bay. Nothing like dropping the anchor, jumping in the dinghy, and free diving for scallops. Dinner is going to be yummy tonight!

Thu Feb 23 17:12 2017 NZDT
Run: 58.5nm (105.9km)

Tacked up in Mimiwhangata with 5 other boats, after a beaut sail from Whangaroa today. We are headed for Marsden Cove and next week we are flying to Nelson to do the Grape Cycle ride with our Aussie mates.. We hope our yachty legs can pedal us around the course. Else we might have to stop at winery.

Sun Feb 19 12:24 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

On a mooring at Mangonui. Enjoying chasing the kitesurfing wind and waves on the northern tip of New Zealand.

Sun Feb 12 8:23 2017 NZDT
Run: 12.9nm (23.3km)

We had a relaxing sail from Whangaroa Harbour to Mangonui - powered by the screecheronly - a couple of days ago. This historic whaling town will be our base for the next couple of weeks. We have renewed empathy for hitchhikers because once we had Kiapa here we hitched a ride down to Paihia to pick up our car. It's been ages since either of us stuck out our thumbs!! Thank the lordy it didn't take too long - lovely Kiwis are such friendly and helpful peeps! We are now totally mobile, ready to find the wind for kiting or the waves on the west coast for surfing. Bring it on!

Thu Feb 9 8:39 2017 NZDT
Run: 24.9nm (45.1km)

Saw the unusually shaped sunfish sunning itself at the surface yesterday while underway from Paihia. Quite something!! Now snugly anchored in a very protected bay here in Whangaroa Harbour as buckets or rain wash the decks. We read there are winds of 30k + 'out there', but you wouldn't know it here where we are tucked in.

Mon Feb 6 14:57 2017 NZDT
Run: 202.4nm (366.3km)

Anchored off Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Today is Waitangi Day and we are enjoying watching the various celebrations to mark this auspicious historical event, including about 70 guys manoeuvring the Ngatokimatawhaorua (g'arn, have a go at pronouncing that one!!), the world's largest ceremonial canoe.

Sat Jan 14 12:07 2017 NZDT
Run: 157.9nm (285.8km)
Avg: 3.5knts
24hr: 83.4nm

Call Lionel on +64 (0)204 024 4212

Kiapa, Thestunning aqua-coloured Morelli Melvin designed 52ft (15.8M) catamaran, is for sale. Custom built in Schooner Creek Boatworks, Oregon, she is widely recognized as a fast, strong, sleek, performance-oriented cruising cat. Her simple but ingenious design enables true off-shore long distance cruising in saftey, comfort and style.

Fast? Is she ever! Her elegant, light hulls combined with her powerful rig and high tech sails easily push her along at near wind speed or better in light air. And the high bridge-deck clearance means she does so ?quietly? and in great comfort, even in the lumpiest of seas.

Professionally custom built to the highest standards and subsequently meticulously maintained, Kiapa is in immaculate condition and ready to sail you away on your next adventure.

Kiapa is perfectly suited toa couple or family. Her spacious interior is appointed with style, combining a traditional nautical theme with a modern European look. The large and well-appointed galley includes a two-door fridge, separate freezer, oven, cooktop, microwave and double sink. The saloon has a gorgeous mahogany fold-open table, easily seating up to 8 guests.

To starboard is the ?owners hull? with an airy ensuite which is also accessible from the transom.

To port is a double bed, 2 bunk beds, and a spacious ensuite.

Kiapa is fitted out with high quality electronics, winches, fittings and sails. She has a 12v 40 litre per hour Spectra water maker; 720W solar array (6 panels); sizable 11ft dinghy with 20hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard, gas BBQ, inflatable kayak, 2 EPIRBs and all the safety gear you need, including a ?ditch bag? that the US Coastguard commented on as the ?best equipped ditch bag he had ever seen?!

A full colour systems manual is also provided.

She is kitted out with all you need for blue water cruising, but great care has been taken to ensure that there is nothing ?unnecessary? and that all her systems are as simple as possible to keep maintenance to a minimum.

Kiapa is currently lying in Mardsen Cove Marina, Whangarei, 140km north of Auckland, New Zealand. This is a great launch destination for Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia or Australia.

The decision to sell has not been an easy one for the current owners. Having lived on board full timeand cruised extensively from San Francisco to Mexico, across the Pacific and to and from New Zealand for the past 5 years they are ready for their next adventure. Added to this is that the captain/owner has an old recurring hip injury which is causing some discomfort.

If you would like to be a high performance catamaran owner who does not compromise on speed or quality, and understands what it would take to build such a high quality performance boat from scratch, this is certainly a very special opportunity.

To arrange a showing please contact Lionel Bass (owner) on:-
phone +64 204 024 4212 or +64 21 02216106.
or email:-

A marine lawyer or closing (settlement) agent will be appointed to ensure the documentation is correct.


Kiapa additional specifications, equipment and information-

Designers; Morelli Melvin

Hull and Engines

Length;16.00 m
Breadth;7.70 m
Air Draft;21.6 m
Depth;1.2 m

Place of Construction:Schooner Creek Boat Works, Portland, Oregon, United States 2007
Build;FRP Vinylester and foam sandwich
Engines:Two 3 Cylinder Diesel Universal M40B (40hp) ,Approx 1830 engine hours each
Displacement9.9 metric tonne
Tankage Holding;75 ltr stb. 150 ltr port
Tankage Fuel;2 x 246 ltr (2 x 65 gal)
Tankage Water;2 x 190 ltr (2 x 50 gal)

Propane Gas;3x9kg cylinders= 27 kg

Spectra Catalina Watermaker 12v 40ltr /hr
Hot water
1.Propane gas on demand
2.Webasto Diesel HWS


4 x 130W Kyocera solar panels
2 x 100W Schutten solar panels Total 720W
Honda 2000eu 110 petrol/gas generator. Unused
Dolphin 90-265 VAC 220v-110v charger 80Amp
Alternators 100AH Belmar
Blue Sky Energy IPN Pro Remote battery monitor
Projecta 1000W sinewave 220v inverter
Xantrex 1800W sinewave 110v inverter
6 by 230ah AGM batteries = 690ah Discover EVCH6A-A


Furuno Navnet VX2 Radar Chartplotter
B&G Hydra wind and autopilot 2000
Furno GPS ? GP32 back up with separate antenna and chartplotter crossover switch
Basic roller ruler and dividers
Miltech AIS transponder and receiver
Richie 5in Binnacle compass

Paper charts from USA to West Coast of Australia
Cruising guides from USA to Australia

Rig: Cap Shroud: 15T Aramid , Lower Shroud: 7T Aramid

Mast: Ballenger Aluminium. Boom : Ballenger Aluminium
Carbon forward beam and prodder

Mainsail: Hydranet Radial 383 Spectra Area 92m2

Drifter: New

Jib: Blade Hydranet Radial 383 Spectra 35m2

Small Headsail: New

Screecher: bi-radial, luff 59.5ft, foot 30ft, leech 51ft,7oz 80.6m2
Assy Spinnaker: luff 56.9ft, foot 30ft, leech 50ft 150m2

Dinghy: AB 11ft aluminium,Rigid aluminium inflatable, Yamaha 20hp 4 stroke outboard New:- May 2016

3 cabins, sleeps 6

Starboard hull: Queen size double bed
Port hull: Queen size double bed
Port hull: 2 over/under single bunk beds.

Flooring Douglas fire on composite sandwich
Finish: Awlgrip painted surfaces
Mahogany foam sandwich saloon table
Mahogany cabinets
2 teak folding chairs
Leather saloon couches, seats 7
4 hanging lockers
Navigation station with inside steering
Navigation table and navigator?s chair
LED lighting
Plenty storage lockers

Galley equipment
Glacier Bay 9.5 cubic foot refrigerator 12v
Glacier Bay 2.5 cubic foot freezer 12v
Double sink
3 burner Tasco propane stove
Tasco oven and broiler
Countertops are honeycomb core aircraft granite
110v kettle
110v toaster
110v microwave oven

Deck hardware
Winches: Andersen 2x58, 3x52, 2x48
Various Harken blocks, Spinlock jammers and clutches
Galleymate stainless BBQ
Deck shower with hot and cold water
Custom bimini design
Custom lazy jacks
Mainsail cover
Harken batcars
Primary anchor: Manson 32kg (Rocna)
Secondary anchor: 10kg CQR
Tertiary anchor: Fortress folding.
Primary anchor chain: 250ft 3/8in stainless chain and 50ft 3/4in nylon rode
Secondary anchor chain: 20ft galvanized 3/8in chain and approx. 300ft of 3/4in nylon rode
Windlass: Lewmar V3
Trampoline: Spectra open weave 2007
Bumpers: 4 tubes 2 balls
Various dock lines
Open swim steps allowing for fins
2 sets of UV window screens, one for bright sun, one for mild grey days
Spare lines
Portata inflatable dinghy rollers to roll the dinghy up the beach

1in Straight shafts with PSS seals
Flexifold props and PRM counter-rotational mechanical transmission

Flares USCG minimum
6 Adult life vests
MOB gear; life ring and strobe
Waterproof comprehensive ditch bag including hand water maker
Galerider drogue and lines
Manual fog horn
Electric float switch bilge pumps in engine bays
Manual bilge pump
Laminated emergency tiller
Spare rudder
Comprehensive tool kit
Inflatable 2 person kayak and paddles

Personal effects, clothing, pictures, fishing gear, fishing poles (rods) and reels, surfboards, kiteboards, kites, bicycles.

Master cabin
Master cabin
Expanded saloon table, seats 8
Expanded saloon table, seats 8
Shiny clean bilges, underneath Douglas Fir flooring
Shiny clean bilges, underneath Douglas Fir flooring
Washing machine
Washing machine
Beautiful colour, beautiful water
Beautiful colour, beautiful water
Thu Jan 12 14:40 2017 NZDT
Run: 55.1nm (99.7km)

Back at Marsden Cove Marina, Whangarei, after 2 lovely weeks out at Great Barrier Island. Tomorrow we drive down to Tauranga to pet/house sit for some good friends of ours. Yay, some doggy and kitten time!

Mon Jan 9 10:04 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.6nm (2.9km)

Anchored in Kaiarara Bay the last couple of nights - another beautiful spot here at The Barrier. Hiked up to Mt Hobson, the highest peak on the island yesterday. Wow, what awesome views from the top. But the 'ole legs are feeling it today - nice and stiff!

Mt Hobson, the highest peak on the island, to the right. With beautiful Sel Citron in the foreground.
Mt Hobson, the highest peak on the island, to the right. With beautiful Sel Citron in the foreground.
Ooooh yes, it was windy on the top!
Oooooh yes, it was windy on the top!
Sat Jan 7 9:33 2017 NZDT
Run: 8nm (14.5km)

What wonderful Kiwi hospitality we enjoyed last night. Went ashore here at Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island to go for a short hike and do some hand washing (there are specially set up laundry tubs with old fashioned wringers attached) and the next thing we are invited to try some freshly smoked (hence the name of the bay) snapper and king fish by a couple of successful fishermen. And on top of that we came home with bags of both fresh and smoked fish! Gotta love the Kiwis.

Wed Jan 4 13:51 2017 NZDT
Run: 6.1nm (11km)

Although it's a super windy day today we are snugly anchored on the eastern side of Great barrier Island, just off the miles long white sandy Whangapoua Beach. Not really the weather for playing outside, so we are doing a few chores indoors.

Tue Jan 3 8:14 2017 NZDT
Run: 4.3nm (7.8km)

Anchored in pretty Nagle Bay at Great Barrier Island. Close by is little Oyster Island, so of course we had a little 'hunting and gathering' session for hors d oeuvres last night. Yum YUM!! No luck catching snapper off the back step for 'mains' though. Will have to keep trying.

Little Oyster Island off our stern.
Little Oyster Island off our stern.

kiapa - - 2702 Sep 2015

Kiapa's 2015 season in Musket Cove Fiji Just WHERE have the last 5 months gone? Have we really had to extend our visa twice already? As the old cliché saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!!”, and this has certainly been the case for us this winter cruising season. In some respects, this year has been quite different to the time we spent here in Fiji last year. First up, Lionel’s broken rib (from the passage up from NZ) meant our routine of his daily yoga classes Read more...

for cruisers couldn’t begin, and it also slowed us down on the surfing and kiting front. Who would have thought the healing of a broken rib takes about 3 months? Consequently, our penchant for exercise has been somewhat curtailed. However, we have had a lot of fun enjoying the company of friends. Of the 143 days we have been in Fiji we have spent one week back in Australia (more on that later) and 18 days without guests on board……. So let’s see, that adds up to 115 days of visitors………. and we have loved that! Of course all our guests are special, but three groups of friends are extra-special because we go way WAY back, as in 32 years back!! Yikes, that’s more than half my life ago! First up we had an old Uni friend of mine, Brigid, come and visit with her hubby Brandon and their 3 kids. Then we had Mike, who was best man at our wedding, followed by Adele and Duncan – Adele and I used to waitress together in Cape Town 30 years ago! Brandon, Mike and Duncan are all keen surfers, so having the opportunity to surf at either Cloudbreak, Restaurants, Namotu Left, Wilkes or Swimming Pools was a ‘dream come true’ for each of them. Brigid and Adele live in NZ, so we did see them over summer when we were down there, but sharing our home and spending time together here on Kiapa was a treat.
As was the case last year, we have teamed up with the Lions Club (Papakura branch in Auckland) to distribute reading glasses to Fijians who either do not have access to them, or cannot afford them. Overall I think we have held about 7 ‘clinics’ so far, distributing, I’m guessing, over 700+ pairs.
The joy and appreciation of some of these gentle folk is enough to break your heart. One elderly lady needed a +4, and she confided in me afterwards that she had not been able to see clearly enough to read for over 2 years! Can you imagine?? Other news? A major (and somewhat heart-breaking for me) decision that we made earlier this year was to sell our home in City Beach. After renting it out for the last 3 years some quite significant renovations were necessary – an expense we felt we could ill-afford. It sold at auction at the end of May. We flew back for a madly busy 5 days in June, and managed to give away probably close to 80% of our ‘stuff’ to Good Sammies and the like. Thanks to our dear friends who are kindly storing a box or 3 for us. So we are now really, truly “of no fixed abode”. If truth be known this makes me a tad anxious, but then I reflect on where I am and what I am doing………… Moving on to a more light-hearted topic……. Last week was Fiji’s premier sailing regatta, the Musket Cove Regatta. This equates to 5 days of fun in the sun, and while the 2 sailing races are the main focus (I think??), other shenanigans include a Pirates’ Day, Coconut Olympics (which Lionel and I volunteered to organise this year), a hairy chest competition, a quiz night (we were useless!!), a golf competition, some hobie cat racing, and a Shipwreck Party. While we registered for the regatta, we at first thought we wouldn’t participate in the 2 races, rather just enjoy all the fun events. The reason being the surrounding reefs are treacherous, and last year Lionel saw one catamaran T-bone another boat right in front of Kiapa, so he was understandably concerned there may be other skippers with a similar careless attitude out there this year. But once we saw the list of boats entered and also the weather forecast, we decided to have a go (luckily one could enter up until the night before the race). And what an exciting race it was. The course was around Malolo Island, which is quite mountainous, so of course this has an interesting influence on the winds.
We purposely started last over the start line in a light southerly of ~ 8 knots, which died right off in the lee of the island - at one stage Kiapa was going backwards, I kid you not! We then had about 10 k of northerly for half an hour, and then as soon as we rounded the eastern tip of the island we were back in the SE trades of ~ 20k. A small, very fast cat (which is not a cruiser’s home) was first across the line. Kiapa had a very good race with another cat – Kiapa’s ability to point really well into the wind combined with Lionel’s upwind tacking tactics ensured we snuck ahead in the last mile, so crossing the line in 2nd place. Thanks must go to friends Kerry and Craig, who were our knowledgeable and skilled crew. I’ll let the photos on our get jealous blog do the talking re all the other fun and games which all up made for a fabulously successful Regatta.
Our plans from here? We hope to cruise up to some of the Yasawa Islands over the next few weeks, and then from mid-Nov we’ll begin to study the weather (even more closely than we already do) for passage making to NZ. We are planning to head back to NZ via Minerva Reef, but more about that later…….
While I have included a few photos here, you may like to look at our blog if you are interested in some more (photos). See