Libertalia

Libertalia

Fri Dec 16 14:37 2016 NZDT
Speed: 9knts
Run: 9.4nm (17km)
Avg: 4.1knts
24hr: 97.5nm

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Fri Dec 16 12:18 2016 NZDT
Speed: 15knts
Run: 2.7nm (4.9km)
Avg: 8.8knts
24hr: 210.9nm

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8.8 wow..you're flying home. Welcome to beautiful Auckland.
Fri Dec 16 12:00 2016 NZDT
Speed: 13knts
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 80.9nm

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Fri Dec 16 10:11 2016 NZDT
Speed: 11knts
Run: 3.3nm (6km)
Avg: 7.5knts
24hr: 180.2nm

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Fri Dec 16 9:45 2016 NZDT
Speed: 16knts
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Avg: 51.4knts
24hr: 1234.3nm

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Fri Dec 16 9:45 2016 NZDT
Run: 47nm (85.1km)

Coastal nz sailing is great fun! Loving seeing double digits on the Speedo. Flat water really helps!

Wed Nov 30 16:54 2016 NZDT
Speed: 11knts
Run: 2.6nm (4.7km)
Avg: 7.2knts
24hr: 172.9nm

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Wed Nov 30 16:33 2016 NZDT
Speed: 12knts
Run: 1.8nm (3.3km)
Avg: 6.6knts
24hr: 158.9nm
Weather: Brrrr

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Wed Nov 30 16:17 2016 NZDT
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Avg: 7.8knts
24hr: 187.8nm

Not entirely sure how this works, but yit is now updating from my mobile phone. Farewell sat phone!

Wed Nov 30 16:16 2016 NZDT
Speed: 10knts
Run: 0.9nm (1.6km)

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Mon Nov 28 13:36 2016 NZDT
Run: 0.8nm (1.4km)

Woohoo! Washing Machines!!

Sun Nov 27 21:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 0.5nm (0.9km)

What a mint day!

Cleared in with customs, got a full health and saftey biosecurity quarantine blah blah check and we are free to go!

Set sail for Whangarei and sailed like a cut cat. The coastal trip was incredible sailing with 2m rolling swell that we could time just right and surf for something like 10-20 seconds at a time. We were regularly hitting speeds up to 15 knots in water that felt flat - thats ridiculously fast for our boat. It was an amazing sail.

We are now parked up right smack in front of a huge container ship on the Marsden Wharf. We are 2 boat lengths in front of him, but he is 180 meters long, so you could actually park 5 747-400 jets in between us. They would sink, and that would be a waste of some great aircraft, but you get the point :)

The little bees are busily loading logs on board, reminding us that there is this thing called primary industry that so many of us are completely ignorant to.

There is a hot shower calling out.

Cherio!

Sun Nov 27 11:05 2016 NZDT
Speed: 14knts

Automated update

Sun Nov 27 11:05 2016 NZDT
Run: 3.7nm (6.7km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 130.1nm

That was a lovely sleep, now we are off to Whangarei!

Sat Nov 26 20:12 2016 NZDT

All tied up with a tiny bit of day light to spare.

We recieved a standing ovation from a large group of cruisers dining at the Opua Cruising club... which broke my concentration and caused me to do one of the worst docking attempts of my life... in front of 100 sailors watching on for entertainment. It really wasnt that bad, but my pride was hurt and I sulked around for a while, upset that my moment of glory had passed me by, and left me standing in a cow pattie with my shorts on the wrong way.

Oh well.

Five and a half days from New Caledonia to NZ. Not bad. The weather was pretty much as we expected and we wouldn't do it any differently. It was a fun trip. Sorry, what did I just say?

I think ocean sailing is a bit like golf. Sometimes you hate it and you swear you are going to give up after this one, but then you hit a sweet drive down the fairway that makes you feel like a champion - golf is suddenly a fantastic game again. Then you lose a few balls and start grumbling, but next weekend all you can remember is the simple solitude and gentle excersise and cant wait to get out there again. I think hindsight wears rose coloured glasses.

We will be heading off to Whangarei as soon as we can.

Sat Nov 26 17:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)
Avg: 7.5knts
24hr: 180nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Welcome Home guys. Wonderful Sailing. Well Done. Looking forward to seeing you. Love Mum xxx
Sat Nov 26 14:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 7.9nm (14.3km)
Avg: 7.9knts
24hr: 189.6nm

"Land Ahoy!"
oops, no wait, that was actually a heavily laden container ship. Through our binoculars, it appears that Santas sleigh will bring some wet presents this year! We've never seen a ship so heavily laden!
Many hours later... "Land ahoy!" "Again!" ...but actually, probably actually land this time!
Shell says she can smell the land. My mind is cast back to childhood, cold mornings, the frost would crunch under hardened bare feet and we would stand in cow patties to warm our feet. Yep, thats the smell... In the tropics it smells sweet and smokey as the fires burn away the trash or prepare meals or burn coconut fronds. Here in Northland, it is the earthy scent of farmed land, it is rural New Zealand and it tells us we have arrived!
People and politics cast long shadows on a country, but from our vantage point there is no sign of either and we just enjoy the beauty of the land. Headlands emerge from the sea, small mountains appear through the haze and become green as we creep close enough to see colour.
It is a beautiful country, its name is printed on the stern of our boat, it is the new land in the sea.
It is ours.
We are blessed.

Sat Nov 26 12:03 2016 NZDT
Run: 7654.8nm (13855.2km)
Avg: 9005.6knts
24hr: 216135.5nm
Weather: 10-15kn WSW, scattered cloud, 1-2m gentle rolling swell

Wow! We planned this trip in a way that would have continually improving weather. Its nice to end on a high, and you certainly don't want to hit the rough stuff close to NZ. ...but we didn't plan it to be this good! The sky is blue with scattered cloud for texture. The breeze is cool, but not cold, and the sun is shining bright and warm. The sea is a gentle long period rolling swell. There is enough wind create occasional white caps on the waves. The sails are all up and out pulling us along in a 90 degree true wind angle. In other words, we are cruising in absolutely perfect sailing conditions! This is our last day at sea and perhaps the best we've ever had. We will arrive in Opua tonight and be ready for customs in the morning.
Meanwhile, the stereo continues to blast and we clean, write, plan and sail! We are blessed indeed.
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Sat Nov 26 8:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 7nm (12.7km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 168nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Looks like you might be in the que for customs...all of a sudden a flotilla has appeared. Call for water.
Fri Nov 25 23:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi Libertalians. Can't tell if you have gybed or changed tack yet or if you still holding your miloffee....im sure all will ho well..conditions willing. Goodnight..look forward to seeing your progress later this morning. Xx
Fri Nov 25 13:45 2016 NZDT
Run: 3.1nm (5.6km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 135.3nm
Weather: 15-20kn NNW, mostly cloudy, 2m swell

Hey there YITSters! Whats happening? We've spent the night and day riding the waves with a pleasant 20 knot Nor westerly blowing us vaugely toward NZ.
Its actually mildly inconvieniant and we are having to sail the angles. (Remember when everyone had the briefest understanding of VMG when the Amercias Cup, God rest its soul, was happening?) So, a northerly or Nor easter would give us better VMG, but we're not complaining! Today is a big day... tonight, after 5 days of sailing, we are going change tack! Yeah baby, if this were windward leewards, we'd be getting ready to round the bottom mark with all the other boats yelling about buoy room and who has rights and œStarboard and "Get outta there!"... yep, the addrenelin would be pumping, the senses keen, the body ready for action! It's going to be a bit like that, but only a little bit When the time is right, I'll have to put down my miloffee, don my lifejacket, meander around the boat making sure everything will run smoothly, release the barber hauler, wander back to the helm, stretch, yawn, stroke my 5 day shadow, and steer the boat through the wind with my foot as my hands pull on some ropes. In fact, to be honest, I'll probably start the engine an hour before hand and roll the headsail away to make things easier. We will be gybing in a passing weak front. It will be raining, and I expect the wind will be a bit all over the place for a while.
...and remember, we haven't changed tack at all in the last 120 hours of sailing - we're out of practice! With a little luck (always useful out here), there will be no yelling and there will not be a boat within 100 miles to see us make our turn. I think I'll call for water anyway.
I recall that I'm supposed to remember our non sailing audience when I write. Our audience is comprised of Mum1 and Mum2 - seriously, Shell calls it the battle of the Mums :-P. ...but today, I write, mainly for my own enjoyment, and the whole parallel of the way cruisers and racers sail is a subject of some amusement for me. Both are sailors, but much in the same way that lawn bowls and kickboxing are both sports.
I told Dave (Yeah, I know there's non Mums out there secretly watching!) that I was going to try and make it all the way to NZ without tacking. Given that a downwind gybe is not a tack, I think we're still on target! I'm hereby creating an award for a boat that reaches NZ from another country without ever tacking! The prize is a mystery, but it will be awarded by Libertalias admiral, who shall also give the winner a kiss! BoooYaah! Oh, and all is well aboard and were alive and all that other stuff.
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Thu Nov 24 13:36 2016 NZDT
Run: 1.9nm (3.4km)
Avg: 4.8knts
24hr: 114nm
Weather: 15kn northerly, clear blue skies, 1.5m inconsistent swell

Well, this is much more endurable! :). The sun is shining and the sky is blue. We have most of our sail out now, but will probably not see the whole thing this trip. We are cruising along at 8 knots with both sails reefed and that is fast enough.
We have formally notified nz customs that we are coming, so maybe the Orion will not buzz us, but we hope it does.
It's always odd seeing birds way out here. What are they doing? Where do they sleep? I picked up a dehydrated flying fish from the cockpit and threw it towards a bird this morning, but he paid no heed. Clearly not hungry.
All is well aboard.
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Thu Nov 24 7:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 8.2nm (14.8km)
Avg: 8.2knts
24hr: 196.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Good morning Crew, you have made great progress over night with Norfolk Island well behind you now. Hope you managed some sleep & rest during the night hours. Much Love Mum
Wed Nov 23 15:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 2.9nm (5.2km)
Avg: 8.3knts
24hr: 198.9nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Great to see you moving along so well. Yes treat yourselves when you get home. I will be flying off to Aussie to met Leif when you arrive home. I see Seacomber out there somewhere "nearish" you. Happy home coming to the Land of the Long White Cloud.XxC
Wed Nov 23 14:51 2016 NZDT
Run: 5.5nm (10km)
Avg: 8.5knts
24hr: 203.1nm
Weather: 20kn ENE, overcast or mostly cloudy, 2m swell

After the dramas of our first 36 hours, the last 24 have been a breeze! The wind is supposed to quieten down but it's still consistently over 20 knots. That's fine with us - the boat is sailing along just fine with two reefs in the main and reduced headsail.
The work around for the autopilot is fine. It means lots more work for me, and we can't sail as efficiently, but it basically works and I would never want to do this two handed without an auto pilot! It's a bit bumpy and despite the sea calming down a bit, we still have waves that are still crashing over us occasionally. That's just ocean sailing.
The idea of sitting back and reflecting after everything is clean and dry and tidy is very warming. Speaking of warming, the sun popped out of the clouds briefly, earlier today, just to let us know he really was out there somewhere.
We have been fantasizing about the simple pleasures of living on land and might just splash out on a hotel room to enjoy having a bath! ...Or watching tv and using unlimited high speed internet and ordering room service - it all seems so luxurious from here! All is well, we are on target to reach nz while all the good boys and girls are sleeping on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Thx for your messages, its always nice to hear from home when we are surrounded by a thousand miles of cold ocean.
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Tue Nov 22 15:57 2016 NZDT
Run: 4.8nm (8.7km)
Avg: 6.4knts
24hr: 153.6nm
Weather: 20kn easterly, overcast, 2-3m inconsistent swell

Let's be honest ocean crossings are, more often than not, something you endure rather than enjoy. We have had both, but this one was always going to involve more enduring. We picked a boisterous departure window and the wind has been great. We have been making good progress and whilst bumpy and uncomfortable, the sea state isn't anything a sailor would complain about.
Our complaints come from the number of unpredictable things that have gone wrong since we departed, and a couple of small things that we kick ourselves for not inspecting more thoroughly.
The real kicker that almost had us crying and running to Norfolk Island was when the Autopilot died. We wrestled with it on and off and even considered running back to New Cal while we were still close... It tricked us into thinking it had just got upset by a rogue wave, but then a few hours later it packed a sad again.
The Admiral hand steered in rough sea while the Captain pulled at his hair and some cables, fiddled with switches and prayed for divine intervention. He even had a sleep to see if that would somehow help. It did! I found a simple solution that seems to be working well and actually spilt a tear or two as the pressure, exhaustion and emotion of it all came to a end.
The tech boys in NZ will replace something and everything will be golden eventually, but for now we have something that works and we don't have to endure steering by hand 24 x 7! Hooray! My admiration for Michelle bubbles over in situations that have the potential to get the better off me. She is an absolute trooper who just puts her head down and pushes on with patient endurance. There is no one else I would rather sail two handed across an ocean with.
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So glad you have been able to overcome a big difficulty. Go Michelle & Zane. You ARE Over Comers. So proud of you both. Love Mum xx
Mon Nov 21 10:12 2016 NZDT
Run: 2.6nm (4.7km)
Avg: 2.6knts
24hr: 62.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Z & S and libertalia...you are a strong team..God speed...love from the Trevs xxxx
Mon Nov 21 8:24 2016 NZDT

Final checks complete. All systems are go! God speed Libertalia! Fair winds and may the winds carry you home and may waves lift you above the troubled sea!

Have a safe journey back to NZ. Crew from Emotion2 - who are in Tassie and will head off this week from Melbourne to Perth.
Sun Nov 20 18:39 2016 NZDT

Shell decided to do a quick bit of washing before we leave, and it's been raining cats and dogs ever since. Looks like I have one pair of underwear for the trip and a whole lot of wet washing to carry somewhere! We decided to shoot over to Baie de Magic to make our departure tomorrow morning a bit easier and got hit by a squall as we headed out. The washing was flying everywhere, we couldn't see a thing in front of us, but the radar could, so we made it out and eventually the squall passed and eased back to just your basic storm conditions. The hulls are clean, the safety equipment is all checked, the anchor is lashed, the dinghy covered, the boat is ready and her crew are too. It's going to be nasty tomorrow, but we will take comfort in the fact that the worst day of our trip will be while we are fresh and alert!


Safe Journies Shelly & Zane. So looking forward to seeing you in NZ again. Love Mum
Sat Nov 19 19:15 2016 NZDT

After a couple of days of boisterous sailing we are now at our final staging post before launching to NZ

We'll be leaving early Monday morning in a blow and heading out into the wide blue sea... Its promising to be a pretty bumpy start, and generally a little rougher than we would like the whole way actually, but its the best window in the next 10 days or so and crossing oceans has never been a gentlemans sport anyway!

Watch this space for the official departure notification on Monday, and then hopefully daily updates as we cross the big blue!

Fri Nov 11 8:54 2016 NZDT
Run: 1.8nm (3.3km)
Avg: 3.6knts
24hr: 86.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Care package left at Moselle Marina office. Pls email them to advise when u will collect it. Heading 2 Ilse de Pins now.  
Sun Nov 6 11:21 2016 NZDT

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Thanks for update. Good luck with the coral ....enjoy south lagoon. Xx
Wed Oct 19 17:36 2016 NZDT

Back in the beautiful Kuto Bay, Ile Des Pins for some R&R while we contemplate whats next

Wed Oct 12 9:32 2016 NZDT

Sitting at Ilot Maitre and have just uploaded our Video walkthrough of Libertalia. Its kind of half video walkthrough and half just a Day In The Life Of... We recorded it all a couple of days ago as we made our way from the South Lagoon up to Prony.
The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alGk20taFV0

I watched your video whilst on my break from The Food Awards last night and found it highly evocative. Good work . It seems to have been veiwed many times. Good luck. Xx
Thu Oct 6 15:15 2016 NZDT
Run: 0.6nm (1.1km)

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi kids...I see you are back in Noumea near the Bay of Orphans...I read your interesting blog..you've worked hard..hope all goes smoothly for you. XX mum.
Mon Oct 3 11:30 2016 NZDT

A slightly more restful day after two days sailing from Ouvea. New blog post titled "Libertalia for Sail!"

Sat Oct 1 13:50 2016 NZDT
Speed: 2.5nknts
Run: 1.8nm (3.3km)
Avg: 3.7knts
24hr: 89.4nm
Weather: 5-7 knots from NE. Warm air. Mostly Cloudy. Baro 1013.1

We are off! Not really sure where to, but were running real short on time. Weve decided to skip most of east coast New Cal to buy ourselves time to get back to Noumea. If we smile nicely, maybe they will let us stay longer but I think its unlikely. The wind is fickle and forecast to do not much. We are not big fans of motoring, so we will sail slowly in a general WSW direction and probably make landfall before dark on Monday or Tuesday but probably Monday, maybe.
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Tue Sep 27 23:27 2016 NZDT

The entrance into the Atoll of Beautemp was a bit of fun. Just as well we had some friends / family there to point us in the right direction!

Go that way Captain!
Go that way Captain!
Mon Sep 26 9:06 2016 NZDT
Run: 16nm (29km)

Spearfishing, shark jumping, Mahi Mahi eating, outboard fixing, tree climbing, coconut hunting, and general assorted larakinism at Ile Deguala

The islands with many names
The islands with many names
Thu Sep 22 13:03 2016 NZST
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

Rolling around in Ouvea. Looking forward to hanging out with V&A when they arrive in... err.. a day or two or something.
We sailed for pleasure today... didn't really have to be anywhere or go anywhere... just went for a light air sail... for fun! :)

Rolling around in Ouvea
Rolling around in Ouvea

How refreshing to have a "for pleasure" sail...enjoy your next crew. We are thinking about making an Ark....you will be thankful you are not here....rain..rain...rain...xxx
Wed Sep 21 19:36 2016 NZST

We have been officially welcomed to Ouvea by our very own Manta Ray welcoming comittee. Four of these bus-sized creatures were playing near us as we poked around for a good spot to drop the hook and watch the sun set.

Manta Rays at Mouli Ouvea
Manta Rays at Mouli Ouvea
Sun Sep 18 14:36 2016 NZST

Parked up at a spot we call "Doking, No Joking!". Apparently, the lonely planet guide calls it Joking.

It's a pretty unique spot with deep clear water - we can see our chain snaking along the sand 15m below. We took a while to find a spot that was clear enough to drop our hook, but now we're very happy here. We're parked in front of some steep steps that rise up into the cliffs and will lead us to the village of Doking. The caves are something else - deep caves with stalactites (or mites?). We are outside one thatlooks like a huge shark with his mouth wide open!We're off to find the local chief this morning to partake in the custom of offering a gift and asking permission to be parked on his lawn. I get the feeling the don't really care in this particular village, but they certainly do in Ouvea, so it will be good practice :)

PS - Just took a quick photo that didn't turn out too well, but will add anyway... I took the photo to show how clear the water was and noticed our anchor chain, 15 meters below has gone behind an enormous coral mountain. No worries, we can see so clearly, we will just drive the boat in the right direction to avoid doing any damage to the ecosystem.

Anchored at Doking with the great shark watching
Anchored at Doking with the great shark watching
The stairway to Doking village
The stairway to Doking village
15 meters below, the anchor chain snakes along the sea bed
15 meters below, the anchor chain snakes along the sea bed

Great photos and prose. Hope the chief was impressed with your koha. Happy exploring Z&S...xxxx
Fri Sep 16 11:00 2016 NZST
Run: 1.7nm (3.1km)
Avg: 17knts
24hr: 409.1nm
Weather: 5knots from the east. Clear blue skies. Baro 1018 (not calibrated). ...and we also have our duvet on the bed!

After more than 6 weeks of fair weather island hopping, our overnight passage felt like hard work! Its funny how perspective can change so quickly. We pulled up the anchor as planned at 6pm and beat upwind to get out of the lagoon for 2 hours. The moon and the sky was clear, so visibility was excellent. The highlight came after interpreting the lights on a vessel we were to intersect - "Towing with a line less than 200m". Sure enough, we could make out the shapes as they passed close by - a military vessel with a submarine behind! We had to tack behind them and gave chase before setting our eyes on Lifou.
The wind was further forward than forecast - it's odd how often this is the case. However, our planned flat sea reach became a comfortable beat and we sailed on the same tack until we ran out of wind at the bottom of Lifou and motored the rest of the way. We finally arrived at Baie Du Chateaubriand - or the town of We... and more importantly, the only supermarket for a hundered miles! We inspected the reef by sight and by drone and could find no way through and no comfortable place to anchor, so we resigned to using the local marina. The little marina was deserted and the office is not answering the VHF or telephone. A local directed us to tie up in one of only two available berths and we sent him on his way with a thank you Pepsi, and some of the donated kids toys and books that we are carrying.
Michelle would like to add that she found the entire process of 'inspecting the reef' and 'meandering about the marina' very stressful and was somewhat stressed and overwhelmed. I'm sure the fact that she was a little sleep deprived didn't help.
I suppose we should go and figure out how to get to the supermarket, but we're beat... I'm sure they'll be open tomorrow.

Holding still while we inspect the reef
Holding still while we inspect the reef
The wee marina called Marina De We
The wee marina called Marina De We
Thu Sep 15 13:06 2016 NZST

Yate - where we went exploring up the river and found a power plant. We tried to find the local village but couldnt get ashore.

Yate
Yate
Tue Sep 13 16:36 2016 NZST

Sundowners at "Cute Bunny" - aka Kuebuni

Kuebuni
Kuebuni

Found you easily today...sounds like a quiet spot to enjoy nature and maybe a few challenges getting in there. Do you have a plan for arriving in the Loyalty Isles?

Found you easily today...sounds like a quiet spot to enjoy nature and maybe a few challenges getting in there. Do you have a plan for arriving in the Loyalty Isles?

We entered a break in the reef with big rolling waves either side and are now parked up in lake like conditions, surrounded by beautiful islands and a mountain range! To see where we are, you should be able to just zoom in... The map will be centered on our current location when you open it, so just zoom in and you should find us no sweat!

Wow..it took me ages to find you as you have criscrossed the seas in that area a lot..hope you are still enjoying your journey and had a great time with friends. It's fine here and lots of lambs. Xxx
Mon Sep 12 18:45 2016 NZST

We planned to stay the night at Ndo, but the anchoring options were not our cuppa tea at all! We high tailed it to... err... whatever this island is called. Still not the best anchorage in the world, but we're happy to call it home for the night! :)

Sheltering at Ieroue
Sheltering at Ieroue
Mon Sep 12 11:12 2016 NZST
Run: 4.4nm (8km)

Whipped back to Kuto Bay to quickly splice together and upload a You Tube clip. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/KVDsuj8q7AU

Baie de Kuto
Baie de Kuto
Sat Sep 10 16:51 2016 NZST
Run: 4.2nm (7.6km)

Anchored at Baie de Uameo

Anchored at Baie de Uameo
Anchored at Baie de Uameo
Thu Sep 8 14:30 2016 NZST
Run: 0.7nm (1.3km)

We negotiated through the reef with spotters on both bows, then sailed into some shallow patches to give the spotters some more excersise. Now wer are anochored in amongst some incredible little islands and rock formations. It feels like we've arrive in Thailand! The water is a gorgeous crystal blue and the surroundings are magical! Not sure how Eds & Debs are going to get a taxi from here, but little problems like that are best left till the last minute anyway :).

Anchored in Gadji (our own little Thailand)
Anchored in Gadji (our own little Thailand)
Exploring Gadji
Exploring Gadji
Wed Sep 7 0:00 2016 NZST
Run: 1.1nm (2km)

An early morning and a trip to the local markets for some fresh vegetables and French language practice with the locals. Fun times.

Anchoring for a market run at Vao
Anchoring for a market run at Vao
Tue Sep 6 0:00 2016 NZST
Run: 7.9nm (14.3km)

The crew went aboard and named this place "Snake Island". Headed for the markets in Vao early tomorrow morning.

Mon Sep 5 17:54 2016 NZST

Sitting around at another Moro (Ile Des Pins)

Mooching at Moro
Mooching at Moro
Sat Sep 3 8:21 2016 NZST

Floating around in Baie De Kuto

Floating in Kuto Bay
Floating in Kuto Bay

Congratulations from the Mighty Hanse Off Crew on making it to Baie de Kuto. Has Eds caught up with you yet?
Fri Sep 2 16:30 2016 NZST
Run: 1.7nm (3.1km)
Avg: 3.8knts
24hr: 90.7nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hello Libertalia! Just checking your location before my family depart. Hope you are both well xxx

Hey Lisa! Nice. Next time, you can leave the kids with their parents and come and play with us! :-P

Haha that does sound like a good plan.... I am just a little bit green with envy!!
Fri Sep 2 13:00 2016 NZST
Run: 3.6nm (6.5km)
Avg: 7.8knts
24hr: 186.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sat Aug 27 9:12 2016 NZST

Sitting in drizzling rain at Anse Majic. Updating the blog with our latest story. Making plans to head for the abandoned Prony Village and penal colony.

Bonne Anse
Bonne Anse
Thu Aug 25 12:30 2016 NZST
Run: 20.2nm (36.6km)

Baie de la Torture!

Tue Aug 23 16:15 2016 NZST
Run: 16.8nm (30.4km)

Ilot Amadee

Sat Aug 13 20:21 2016 NZST
Run: 0.2nm (0.4km)

Very happily anchored at Ile Ndue and posting our latest blog

Fri Aug 12 14:39 2016 NZST
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 56.5knts
24hr: 1354.9nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Fri Aug 12 14:32 2016 NZST
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)

Brunch

Thu Aug 11 0:00 2016 NZST
Run: 11.3nm (20.5km)

Overnight anchorage in Lepredour canal

Wed Aug 3 19:12 2016 NZST
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)

Chilling at Ilot Signal today, Noumea for engine work tomorrow. Just wrote a new blog post. Enjoy!

Enjoyed the blog. You sure are having new experiences. Did you find any sign of Moses in the nest...looks like it was washed up there. Hope u got Dad email. Good luck getting motor sorted. XX Mum.T.
Sun Jul 31 9:57 2016 NZST

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Still following your journey. Thanks for Dads birthday email...I just googled Ile maitre...looks gorgeous. ..the huts over the water are a bit like a poor man's yacht....like a batch vs motorhome. Love Mum xx
Mon Jul 25 16:42 2016 NZST

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I'm guessing you've cleared customs and are settling in and making plans to explore your beautiful surrounds. How is Homeless progressing? Rest well sailors. Xx
Sun Jul 24 19:57 2016 NZST

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sun Jul 24 17:12 2016 NZST
Run: 0.5nm (0.9km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sun Jul 24 12:33 2016 NZST
Run: 6.3nm (11.4km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 151.2nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hope you get to enjoy another of God's amazing creations...the sunset..I know you will enjoy it all. Lol...I just remembered how we summoned the wind when you were a lad.....but setting the dingy adrift in your circumstances is a bit rash even for a TREVARTON. Xxx
Sun Jul 24 10:54 2016 NZST
Run: 1.6nm (2.9km)
Avg: 4.6knts
24hr: 109.7nm

We are now in New Caledonia! We are less than 8 miles from the reef that forms the New Caledonian SW edge. However, we are in a flat desert of sea and there is still no sign of life or land to be seen.
We are motoring / motorsailing in still air and will enter the lagoon through the northern Boulari Pass (Passe de Boulari Nord).
@ Lance, the Woodin Canal will have to wait for another day.

We are pushing hard to make the pass by 4.30pm which will give us a nice sunset cruise through the lagoon and allow us to anchor with some light and avoid the plethora of hazards we expect to find (mooring balls, unlit boats, fishing canoes, submarines, etc...).

All going well, we should be anchored (or maybe even tied-to) by 9pm NZST / 8pm local.
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Sun Jul 24 8:33 2016 NZST
Run: 6.7nm (12.1km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wonderful to see your progress and land nearly in sight. Zane I am sure you can smell the Coffee and Beautiful French Pastries in Noumea. Lots of Love Mum & Dad H xxxx
Sat Jul 23 22:33 2016 NZST
Run: 5nm (9.1km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wow..nearly there. I've been googling NC..it's looks beautiful. ..I know you'll have a wonderful time. Let us know when the Vikings arrive. Xx
Sat Jul 23 15:24 2016 NZST
Run: 6.9nm (12.5km)
Avg: 6.9knts
24hr: 165.6nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi Zane and Shell, Your making great progress. Are you going to Noumea through the Canal Woodin passage? Its a good way to go.. Safe sailing. Lance.
Sat Jul 23 12:30 2016 NZST
Run: 1.1nm (2km)
Avg: 3.1knts
24hr: 75.4nm

Having a crack with the blog post feature of yit. See if you can find our fist blog post.

Sat Jul 23 10:09 2016 NZST
Run: 6.6nm (11.9km)
Avg: 6.6knts
24hr: 158.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Great trucking..eyes on the prize although sounds pretty good where you are in comparison to a que at pak n slave. Xx
Sat Jul 23 8:51 2016 NZST
Run: 3.9nm (7.1km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 133.7nm

we are trucking on - motorsailing in fickle NNW winds. The sea and sky are calm and blue. The sun is bright and warm. We watched the full moon rise over the horizon last night - it was huge and quite spectacular. We would like to see the sights of the coast as we approach New Cal so we have to keep the pedal down now (or slow down by 12 hours). We've tried to just sail a couple of times, but it's an exercise in futility, so the engine keeps us on the straight and narrow.
.Peace.
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Thu Jul 21 21:27 2016 NZST
Run: 6.9nm (12.5km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 118.3nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Great prose,pictures and position. Enjoy the climb it really is an experience few get to encounter. Xx
Thu Jul 21 14:54 2016 NZST
No position sent.

I am convinced that our perceptions of the places we go are more tempered by the weather we experience and the people we meet than anything to do with the location itself. Sure, some places are more naturally beautiful, but you only see it when the weather and the people conspire to let you take it all in. Today the Pacific Ocean is laying it out for us. The pessimist would moan that there isn't quite enough wind to fill the sails, but there is only a realist and an optimist aboard this ship! The sun is gloriously shining down and drying out the foul weather gear so it can be stored away for the coming months. The sea is calm and only a gentle half meter swell is rolling under us, providing a gentle push as we motor sail toward our destination.
The morning has been filled with boat maintenance and cleaning. Basically sorting out the stuff that gets messed up when sailing in a blow. Shell went back up the mast again to sort out a wee tangle, and we got everything else back in order so we are ready for more boisterous weather. The forecast is for calm seas and decreasing wind, but it pays to be prepared anyway.
I've attached some photos which we hope are still good enough to see despite our aggressive satelite software compression.
The engine drones on, but we spent a lot of time & money getting those babies in ship shape and we are motoring faster and more economically than ever A big up side is that we now have lots of hot water.
Today... is shower day! :) We will descend into the hull as tired and salty dogs, but will emerge again as clean cut civilised folk, ready for an aperitif and canapes.
This place is fantastic. You should really visit! The weather is stunning, and the people are quite remarkable. The middle of the pacific ocean is a wonderful place to be! This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Going Up!
Looking around
Going down
Thu Jul 21 14:42 2016 NZST
Run: 4nm (7.2km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 135.2nm

I am convinced that our perceptions of the places we go are more tempered by the weather we experience and the people we meet than anything to do with the location itself. Sure, some places are more naturally beautiful, but you only see it when the weather and the people conspire to let you take it all in.

Today the Pacific Ocean is laying it out for us. The pessimist would moan that there isn't quite enough wind to fill the sails, but there is only a realist and an optimist aboard this ship!

The sun is gloriously shining down and drying out the foul weather gear so it can be stored away for the coming months. The sea is calm and only a gentle half meter swell is rolling under us, providing a gentle push as we motor sail toward our destination.

The morning has been filled with boat maintenance and cleaning. Basically sorting out the stuff that gets messed
up
when sailing in a blow. Shell went back up the mast again to sort out a wee tangle, and we got everything else back in order so we are ready for more boisterous weather. The forecast is for calm seas and decreasing wind, but it pays to be prepared anyway.
I've attached some photos which we hope are still good enough to see despite our aggressive satelite software compression.

The engine drones on, but we spent a lot of time & money getting those babies in ship shape and we are motoring faster and more economically than ever
A big up side is that we now have lots of hot water.
Today... is shower day! :)
We will descend into the hull as tired and salty dogs, but will emerge again as clean cut civilised folk, ready for an aperitif and canapes.

This place is fantastic. You should really visit! The weather is stunning, and the people are quite remarkable.
The middle of the pacific ocean is a wonderful place to be!

Going down
Going down
Looking around
Looking around
Going Up!
Going Up!
Thu Jul 21 10:27 2016 NZST
Speed: 6 (motor sailing)knts
Run: 2.9nm (5.2km)
Avg: 5.8knts
24hr: 139.2nm
Weather: 10kts SE (130T), 1.5m long period swell, baro 1013

Ahhh... sunshine! :). We're motor sailing dead downwind in light air and doing boat cleaning & maintenance. One of us is topless, so the cold is officially left behind! Thanks for your comments. We DO receive all of your comments, but can't reply directly from the satphone.
Will try to do a proper update later today with pictures! Ann & Bob, wherever you are, we have been thinking about you this morning. Please teleport Charisma over to New Caledonia and we can have sundowners in a quite anchorage somewhere :) This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Thu Jul 21 7:12 2016 NZST
Run: 7.6nm (13.8km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 145.9nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Good morning Team Trevarton. A few challenges but you are still making Great progress. Not a breath of wind here in the Waikato this morning so it is great to see you edging closer to Noumea. Love & Hugs Mum H xxx
Wed Jul 20 23:48 2016 NZST
Run: 0.7nm (1.3km)
Avg: 14knts
24hr: 336nm

So we have been stopped for an hour or so and im extra tired. Here is the summary...
We were messing around in the light air and arguing about something now long forgotten.
Things went clank and clunk .
We rescued 3 sheaves, and one went in the drink. Locktite clearly required for the screw that holds all that in place. Replacement part will be fitted in Noumea.
We removed the outhaul (rope that pulls the corner of the sail out and down) and set up a jury rigged one.
Something else went clunk, "ooh i see it...", splash! We messed around some more, gave up and started to put the sails away. (It's down to 5 knots out here, so Dave you were right) Shell went up the mast to fetch a rope that had decided to magically go awol. Honestly, it was magic! Upon inspection, the bowline was still tied securely and the shackle it was tied to was securely in place AND mouse tied (locked) with a cable tie. Houdini did it!?! ...And, as is always the case, it all happens in the dead of night .
All is well that ends well.
Moral of the story, if you don't want things to go wrong, don't leave your house, otherwise just learn to handle the jandall. And it helps to have a good team mate! The engine is running and I'm off to bed (again) This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Sorry you have issued but glad you both have skills to cope. Good team. Sleep well.xx
Wed Jul 20 20:51 2016 NZST

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Hi seafarers.You're making great progress well done.Fishing is easy when they simply land on the boat , saves bait and rods.I must try that next time we're up at the mussel beds.Pops
Wed Jul 20 19:51 2016 NZST

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Good to see you are not taking life too easy :) Great to know we can keep an eye on you. Happy sailing. Robin and Chris.
Wed Jul 20 18:54 2016 NZST

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Hi Guys! Glad all is going well! We're tuning in now and then to see your progress - hope you don't mind. All the best
Wed Jul 20 13:21 2016 NZST
Run: 7.8nm (14.1km)
Avg: 7.8knts
24hr: 187.2nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Thanks for the very informative and interesting update. Appreciate. I'm excited cause with one minimization on my screen I can now get Libertalia,Norfolk, and New Cal...a distance I know but it gives me a measure. Sail on well...love to you both xx
Wed Jul 20 10:00 2016 NZST
Speed: 7knts
Run: 4.1nm (7.4km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 151.4nm
Weather: 18knts WSW (260T), 1-2m swell, 1011 baro

Good Morning! Aside from a neck/back strain afflicting the older, wearker, more likely to die from man-flu, member of the crew, all is well aboard Libertalia. I'm still perfectly functional, I just whince and moan a bit more than usual. My ribs (just one actually) is mostly fine now - it's been somewhat overshadowed by the pain directly opposite. It's all perfectly bearable, I just mention it because you're asking.
The morning has greeted us with a warm sunshine and slightly lighter winds, and a more mild sea state. The temperature is noticeably warmer. The fish are even jumping on board to sunbathe (and then die). The breakfast menu was delicious as usual and it is wonderful to be able to eat properly on passage! Usually the sea kinda sucks the life out of us and we seldom feel like doing anything thats not completely necessary... and eating is certainly optional.
Passage making (sailing for days on end) is a lot like mountain climbing. Its a whole lot of tiring uncomfortable slog interspersed with moments of enjoyment and beauty... but you do it for the prize that comes at the end! We had some bigger waves last night which are fun to watch as they roll away, and it keeps the salt from crystalising too much when they crash over the boat every now and then. They really do make you feel small. One of our 'Homeless' Viking friends made a wise statement recently when we were discussing the size of their 27 ocean crossing foot boat. "We are all small out there!" she said. We all nodded.
We've left the strong winds behind now and are slowly turning towards Noumea. The next 48 hours or so will make for some tricky sailing conditions. We're expecting 10-15 knots and the wind will move to our aft quarter, but be constantly shifting... and of course we're expecting the major shifts to happen in the dead of night! Sailing dead down wind is slow and sloppy unless we put sails out both sides and steer by hand, which is a high concentration job that gets tiring quickly. We dont trust the autopilot to do it safely. Long story short, we will end up sailing the angles to maintain some speed even if it is not quite the direction. It will look a bit like we're beating up wind, but its the opposite, and much more pleasant! A well rested tactician with a fresh mind woud have some fun making the calls over the next few days, but I'm too tired for much more of that malarkey.
Oh, my kingdom for a Spinnaker! A big welcome to Scott, Kath, Case, Indie, & Joel who made it to NZ just as we were leaving it. Sorry we missed you.
Thanks for your comments, its nice to hear from home while we're out here climbing our way to the mountain peak! This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Tue Jul 19 21:57 2016 NZST
Run: 9.1nm (16.5km)
Avg: 9.1knts
24hr: 218.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Thanks to you guys my geography is improving. How are the ribs Zane? They must be getting a pounding. Hope you got some sleep today. I'll check your next position report and then goodnight...hope it's fast. See you in the morning. Xx
Tue Jul 19 17:57 2016 NZST
Run: 9.4nm (17km)
Avg: 9.4knts
24hr: 225.6nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Missed You! Looks like you guys are having a good run. How have the sea conditions been? Gutted we missed you but looking forward to hearing more from you soon.
Tue Jul 19 15:57 2016 NZST
Run: 9.2nm (16.7km)
Avg: 9.2knts
24hr: 220.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

What a great run guys. A great start to the Journey. xx Mum H
Tue Jul 19 11:06 2016 NZST
Run: 2.7nm (4.9km)
Avg: 13.5knts
24hr: 324nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wow sounds amazing guys. Glad to hear everything is going well. Will look forward to more updates. Love you guys.

Wonderful to hear from your little rocket ship. Glad the wind gave you a break for some sustenance and tying up. between lambing beats and YIT watch my life is full. Well done Captain. Well done Admiral XX Mum T.
Tue Jul 19 10:54 2016 NZST
Speed: 6knts
Run: 4.8nm (8.7km)
Avg: 6.4knts
24hr: 153.6nm
Weather: 15knts, 2m swell, baro 1010.6

All is well aboard LIbertalia and breakfast tasted particularly good after a fast night at sea! We left NZ like a race horse bolting from the gates! The next 12 hours were fast and fun with boat speeds of 7-12 knots, we average about 8.5. Thats pretty fast for us! The wind was usually around 25, but we saw some gusts up to 40 (still only 30 apparant for the sailors). We had our sails reefed appropriately, so it was flat fast sailing for us! Apparantly, we had a technical issue with our yit updates. Hopefully we sort that out this morning.
Oddly, the wind decided to take a break for breakfast. I had a delicious ham & eggs on vogels and Shell had some crackers with various bits of red and green things on top. It was a kind thought for the wind to give us a break, but the waves are still coming, so we just slowed down and slopped around a bit more. Speed is our friend! We are reefed for 25-30 knots, so we might put a bit more sail up while both of us are awake.... or we might not. Next job for me is some weather analysis and planning, and then it will be time for a kip.
Shell has isolated and secured most of the things that were banging and crashing around so feels much better about the general state of things.
Cherio for now! Us.
x

Mon Jul 18 18:54 2016 NZST
Run: 7nm (12.7km)
Avg: 10knts
24hr: 240nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

That boat bottom must be be silky clean...you are flying xx
Mon Jul 18 13:14 2016 NZST

After a few typical last minute issues, we are all fueled up and good to go! We've cleared out with customs and are now out of here! Its blowing out there, but its the right direction, so we will see if we catch up to some boatie mates on "Homeless" - 27 foot somethingerather that just cleared North Cape. We're a couple of ours behind schedule, but its a 6-7 day trip so whatevs :).
Farewell cold, farewell flat whites, farewell family & friends...
Farewell NZ!

Thanks for coming out way last November...much appreciated...so now KIA PAI TE HAERA. (Good journey)..Mum T.
Sun Jul 17 16:18 2016 NZST
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

So... 24 hours ago we set off up the Whangarei river. After waving farewell, the breeze kicked in and we had a magical sail out into the welcoming sea beyond. The water was flat and calm, the breeze was variable but sat mostly around 10-15 knots. We cruised along at a fair clip of 6-8 knots enjoying the flat water under our clean bottom. Much of the trip north was more of the same. The moon shone down on us and the weather was even better than we expected. Closer to Cape Brett, the ever present washing machine effect kicked in and we got put in the spin cycle for a spell. Once around the headland, the winds picked up as expected to a cool 25-30 knots and was coming straight at us. After a short attempt to beat the weather into submission, we surrendered our sails to their sleeping bags and motored upwind for a few hours to a bay we knew we could rest in for a few hours. This morning was more upwind motoring as we made our way in 30+ knots up to our new anchorage near Opua. The clouds are moving fast above us, but we are warm and sheltered and enjoying what we hope is our last night anchored in NZ.

just got home a few mins ago. hope to read you get away safe and sound tomorrow.
Sun Jul 17 1:48 2016 NZST
Run: 4.9nm (8.9km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 117.6nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

It's nice to know you are not the only ones awake at this hour.i just home from work.Your progress seems good. This little Irish blessing may be appropriate right now. "May you have warm words on a cold day....A full moon on a dark night...and the road be downhill all the way to your door....Mum T.x

:)
Sat Jul 16 16:48 2016 NZST
Run: 1.9nm (3.4km)

We're on the way! ...somewhere. The old chart plotter has been unceremoniously dumped and the shiny new one is installed. We're on our way to Opua and might be able to leave NZ on Monday. It was pretty special to be farewelled by V&A and waving family... They waved from the cool bridge that opened for us and then drove up the channel, stopping and cheering at opportune times. Shell was a bit emotional... in a good way :). We will save our farewells until we are cleared out of the country.

Mon Jul 11 17:00 2016 NZST
Run: 1.5nm (2.7km)

We thought the yard had overcharged for the length of stay, but sure enough, we had really been there for 12 days! We were working so hard we didn't notice the time flying by. Our time 'on the hard' is complete and its nice to be back on the water where we belong. It's entirely unnatural to be in a sailing boat up on blocks!
Zane managed to slip on the ice (aka frost) and bruise/break/crack a rib or two... the only prescribed treatment is painkillers and rest which has been re-interpreted as painkillers and 'boat jobs'.

We hatched a plan to spend the night in Whangarei town basin tonight, have a celebration dinner and then whip off to the Bay of Islands at the crack of dawn... and then maybe, just maybe head for New Caledonia on Thursday.
It was all looking like a good plan until it wasn't :). A technical issue has meant we had to send a part off to Auckland for repair, so we will take a few days here and get ourselves re-organised before heading north again.

We are conveniently parked a boot toss away from a restaurant that has recently re-opened, so we will treat ourselves out tonight and celebrate 9 years of marriage (in a row!), and thirty something years since Zane graced the world with his presence.

We almost caught up to Cat Impi and raced them to New Cal, but this latest delay will probably see the elusive Impi sneak away from us again. We'll catch them eventually!

Sometimes New Zealand just won't let you go! Sorry about the slipping accident. Sounds very painful.do take it easy....you are getting older! Just kidding. Happy Anniversary! We are anchored in between lots of little islands in the Broughtons and have just put our rain cover/tent up knowing that two days of rain are coming our way. The weather has been hit or miss up here but when the sunshine S it is gorgeous. Got to see bears, on shore, in our last anchorage....Beware (of the bears) Cove! Seems like you will be off soon...wishing you the best. Ann and .Bob, SV Charisma

Hi Ann & Bob, Bears, now that is not an every day sight! How spectacular. We are making plans to depart Whangarei very soon, head for Opua and make a run for it before the next front comes through. The season here in NZ has been pretty crazy and a lot of boats are still waiting to depart.. fingers and toes crossed, we'll be in the sunshine within the next few weeks and lapping up the warmth. Take care x Michelle and Zane

Thanks for update. A bit rough re the ribs...you and boats aye. Sorry I forgot your wedding anniversary. Just a warm up for the next 9 plus......enjoy the dining out. Look forward to your next chapter. Mum T.

Hi Mumma T, It was nice to celebrate together, slow down and enjoy a dinner out after the business of the last few weeks being on the yard. Planning to leave Whangarei in the next few days, head for Opua and wait for the next weather gap.. watch this space :) Shell x

Hi Guys, just read your post and have to commiserate, we are sitting waiting in Auckland with broken ribs, socks on varnish as opposed to ice, 5 weeks and nearly healed, we might hit the BOI before departing we will look out for you. We are on a PDQ 44 cat called Rehua. Our email is rehua@mailasail.com enjoy the anniversary! Sean and Audrie

Pages

Wed Jun 29 13:13 2016 NZST
Weather: 3544'21.5"S 17420'49.7"E

We've left the marina, braved the stormy weather, and made it to the slipway!
The camera stays hidden away from stormy weather and only comes out to play with the rainbows
in the dry Might think about trying to use the YIT blog feature tonight...

Goodbye Auckland... see you again... one day!
Goodbye Auckland... see you again... one day!
C:\Users\Zane\Pictures\Picasa\Exports\2016-06-29
The skies parted just as we arrived at the boat yard

Great pics. At last you are getting to anti foul? Good luck with the weather.
Tue Jun 28 18:57 2016 NZST

Position report sent via Iridium GO

I see you are near Dads childhood beach..McGregor Bay. Have a peaceful night. Mum.
Mon Jun 27 19:11 2016 NZST

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Mon Jun 27 15:18 2016 NZST
Run: 1.2nm (2.2km)

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi. Not surprised you at Gulf Harbour. It's blowing hard and very changable here. X mum. Relearning to use this site.

Yeah... we didn't actually stop at Gulf Harbour... that was just an update on the way. We kept on going. It was blowing alright, but it was blowing in the right direction, so we took advantage of it and sailed north!
Fri Jun 17 0:00 2016 NZST
Run: 8.2nm (14.8km)

Working on the engines and getting our offshore communications sorted again. Engines needed a good run so we finally get to drop the anchor after an eternity trapped in the marina. We managed to fulfill a goal and anchor outside the Kirkhams :)

Fri Apr 29 11:48 2016 NZST

Its getting c. cc... ccoold. Hoping to head off for Fiji in a few weeks!

Thu Nov 12 7:27 2015 NZDT
Run: 0.4nm (0.7km)
Avg: 3knts
24hr: 72nm

We just got mobile coverage and had a quick look at YIT... blimey, i see what you mean! Look at all those boats!!! it might look like we are stacked up, but there is thousands of miles of ocean there. we never saw another sailing boat the whole trip. we did see some nav lights a few days ago, and this big fella had to deviate to avoid us. no fishing either - the freezer is still packed full of Marlin, Mahi Mahi and Tuna! This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

The reason someone is always on watch!
Thu Nov 12 7:19 2015 NZDT
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Welcome Home Shelly & Zane I am sure the land will be moving for some time under foot !! Well Done Awesome to have you back in NZ. We wondered about driving up in the weekend to Coffee with you. Let us know if you can manage an hour or two.. Love & Hugs xxxx
Thu Nov 12 7:19 2015 NZDT
Run: 4.9nm (8.9km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 117.6nm

Helloooo New Zealand! The wind picked up as forecast, in fact a lot more than forecast, and from much further forward! So it was one last bumpy beat into NZ just to shake out the cobwebs. We are motor sailing into the harbor now and will drop the sails shortly and motor the last 10 miles straight upwind to Opua. It's a bit of a dismal day and is blimmin c c cold, but we are happy to be here! Shell is excited and reckons the land smells like the farm. I can just smell the pancakes she is cooking ;). No rest for the wicked, we have a wedding to get to, so as soon as we get in, clear customs, refuel, buy a few supplies and pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin is bussing up to join us)... We will start the trek down to Auckland. Could be some tricky sailing in blustery conditions - we will see.
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Landfall in NZ
Wed Nov 11 18:08 2015 NZDT
Run: 6.4nm (11.6km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 128nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi Guys.I see you have company.Is this a mini ( rum ) race to Opua. Pops
Wed Nov 11 6:56 2015 NZDT
Run: 5.9nm (10.7km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 144nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi Guys, Looking good your progress it will soon be NZ Beef & Lamb on the menu .. Have a great day. xx
Mon Nov 9 20:43 2015 NZDT
Run: 3.3nm (6km)
Avg: 4.2knts
24hr: 101.1nm

We have just finished transferring 120 small peanut butter jars of fuel from one fuel tank to the other - that's 60 litres for the uninitiated. We are doing an awful lot of motoring on this dog leg of a trip, but the alternative was banging and crashing and slamming into the weather to our east, and after about an hour, that kinda beating gets old real quick! So here we are in calm conditions, flat seas, the good engine is humming away and the miles are ticking down. Just a little over 300 to go! On a good day, that would be less than two days for us, but the good days are eluding us, so it will be closer to three. Thai Chicken curry is on the menu tonight, and I've been instructed to have a shower before the restaurant will serve me - another advantage of motoring - nice hot showers and we run the water maker to keep the tanks full.
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Sunset in the South Pacific Ocean
Mon Nov 9 11:56 2015 NZDT
Run: 6.8nm (12.3km)
Avg: 6.8knts
24hr: 163.2nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

So Exciting watching you guys pushing closer towards 'The land of the long white Cloud'. A thought from Sir Peter Blake's' quotes, "It is easy to espouse worthy goals, but the hard part is turning them into a reality." And, 'if it isn't hard it isn't worth doing.' So proud of you both team Zane and Michelle as Libertalia makes her maiden voyage home and you turn your dreams into a Reality. You are doing great. Lots of love Mum
Sun Nov 8 14:10 2015 NZDT
Run: 0.9nm (1.6km)
Avg: 6.8knts
24hr: 162nm

Noumea was looking tempting there for a while but we have places to be so we continue the slog to NZ. It's not too bad, we are now motoring in a 15knot head wind and actually pointing at our destination which makes a nice change and is good for the soul. The sea has become a gentle rolling one which is also nice. The forecast is for the winds to ease so we will speed up a bit when that happens, but were will be motoring and motor sailing for a couple of days. After that it looks like it will get unpleasant again and we will be slogging into it for the last day or two, hopefully not three! A wave knocked us around a bit this morning and our fresh fruit smoothie went flying. It gave us something to do for a couple of hours as we took the oven apart and Shell tried to find the various nooks & crannies it had slid into.
Thx for the messages, its always nice to hear from home.
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Sun Nov 8 10:02 2015 NZDT
Run: 5.7nm (10.3km)
Avg: 5.7knts
24hr: 136.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi Zane and Shell I see you have tacked and assume you have had a favourable wind change..hope so.Great to watch your progress . Look after each other and hope you are getting some sleep. xx Mum.
Sun Nov 8 5:47 2015 NZDT
Run: 5nm (9.1km)
Avg: 4.8knts
24hr: 114.3nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Mornin Sailors.You are heading south away from Noumea,to late to order a pizza delivery ? See you soon
Sat Nov 7 9:44 2015 NZDT
Run: 7.3nm (13.2km)
Avg: 7.3knts
24hr: 175.2nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi,you might as well pop into Noumea since your heading in that direction!!!!!!!
Fri Nov 6 9:45 2015 NZDT
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 24.4knts
24hr: 585.6nm

At 4pm yesterday we sat on the bow steps drinking coke with lime, talking about how beautiful the sailing was - blue skies, flat seas, and just enough wind to keep us cranking with the full sail plan. We then discussed when we would put in the third reef for the coming storm (something we added to let us reduce the sail area a lot for stormy weather).
At 4am the wind turned SW and we knew it was beginning. We had reefed down at midnight in preparation, but left the full head sail out to help us push SW. In hindsight, were should have reduced the head sail much earlier. We donned our foul weather gear, life jackets, harness etc, and the skipper went to the bow to haul in on the head sail furling line (to reduce the sail area to one third). We have previously broken this line and are operating with a jury rigged system that means we can not winch it in. The wind was building very quickly and Shell steered the boat into the wind and eased the sheet to let the sail flap about like a wild child having a tantrum. We hadn't tested our jury rigged system in these conditions and it just wasn't working. We tried a few different techniques but succeeded only in getting bruised, sore, cold and wet. To top it off, the head sail was now in an even worse position than when we started. So, we sat exhausted on the helm seat, ducking waves and watching the instruments, hoping for the first squall to pass so we could try again. The windometer refused to dip below 30 knots, so we trimmed the sail to spill air and waited it out. We had been running our one working engine during the shenanigans, and Shell was keen to make the most of the hot water and get some colour back into her cheeks with a hot shower and return to bed - she was, after all, "off watch".
An hour or so later the wind eased off enough for us to get the sails set the way we wanted them, we were given a fantastic rainbow and then the next squall came. We are now sailing, banging, and crashing along in a respectable fashion... Well somewhat respectable. NZ is to the SSW. We are currently moving WNW in strong SSW winds - ie. We we going away from our destination. Oh well, such is life, the wind will turn eventually as we get into the approaching high pressure. In a day or two are will be able to turn due south for Opua!l To friends and family that are inclined to worry... We are both safe and happy. Libertalia is a very solid boat, capable of handling much more than we would ever want to throw at her. We have good access to up to date and high quality weather forecasting, including the services of a world class personal weather router. We have spent considerable time and money on safety equipment and know how and we take a conservative approach to how we manage the boat and our lives on board. We will reach NZ safe and cheerful in a week.
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Tidying up between squalls
Fri Nov 6 6:29 2015 NZDT
Run: 4.7nm (8.5km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 112.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Good morning Zane & Michelle. Have a great days' sailing. Good progress overnight. xxx
Thu Nov 5 13:30 2015 NZDT
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.4nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wed Nov 4 20:03 2015 NZDT
Run: 8.8nm (15.9km)
Avg: 23knts
24hr: 551nm

We have crossed over to the other side :) This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Before...
After
Fri Oct 23 7:51 2015 NZDT
Run: 0.5nm (0.9km)

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Hi Kids. Sorry no comments for a time...internet issues. Hope you and Libby all good. Are you provisioning for a move or waiting for weather. The main thing is to soak up you leisure time. xxx
Wed Oct 7 19:20 2015 NZDT
Run: 6.4nm (11.6km)
Avg: 9.8knts
24hr: 236.3nm

We can just make out the lights of Niue. We had hoped to visit, but time is not our friend and so we sail past another country just close enough to see.
This has been a very fast trip with ~25knots the entire time and generally from a favorable direction. Haven't calculated yet, but we think the average speed will be 8knots! That is quite something for this boat and a 1200 nautical mile journey! Only two more nights now and we hope to make it into Neiafu, VaVau group, Tonga, in time to clear in with customs before the weekend.
Thinking of friends and family and really enjoy hearing that you are keeping an eye on us here on YIT. Shell gets warm fuzzies every time someone let's us know they are watching.
Love & Muffins from Libertalia This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Mon Oct 5 10:02 2015 NZDT
Run: 9.7nm (17.6km)
Avg: 9.7knts
24hr: 232.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Still following. At the moment there is no satellite image but get position speed etc. You seem to be going really well. Hope the bread rolls were great. xx
Sun Oct 4 11:03 2015 NZDT
Run: 1.8nm (3.3km)
Avg: 13.5knts
24hr: 324nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

13.5 knots! smoking.....might need to pick up some tuna jet heads on your next stop (Tonga).
Sun Oct 4 10:55 2015 NZDT
Run: 7.8nm (14.1km)
Avg: 8.8knts
24hr: 211.9nm

Day 3 since leaving the officially uninhabited island of Maupelia. This would be disputed by Edgar who lives there with a few others and went Spearfishing with us and then cooked up all the fish we (he) caught. It was an amazing dinner in a surreal place with Poisson Cru, grilled whole fish, and coconut crab.
So we are officially past the "yuck" part of ocean passage making, and feeling good for it. We are making good ground in 20-25 knots from behind. 24hr average is 7.75kn which is a pretty good average for our little cruising boat. We have successfully sailed around some uncomfortable conditions, thanks to our world famous weather man - Bob McDavitt. It's pretty cool having him on our team.
At this rate we might cross the date line and make Tonga by their Friday which would let us avoid hefty overtime charges for arriving on Saturday.
Thought for the day: Don't be an island, but if you're going to be, at least be an inhabited one!

Making bread rolls while watching the swell roll
Sun Sep 27 18:33 2015 NZDT
Run: 208nm (376.5km)
Avg: 50.5knts
24hr: 1212.6nm

Apparently, there is a tsnuami chasing us but this has really been the >best passage. Nothing is broken, the water is also where it is supposed >to be, the sun is shining, and the wind is even coming from somewhere >other than straight ahead (actually its straight behind which is also a >pain, but it gets our vote :) ). We were also chased by imaginary >pirates last night. A fishing boat was coming right up our date, >whistling in the radio and saying something unintelligible in Tahitian.
>He was definitely aiming at us, probably curious and wanted a closer >look. Suddenly, when he was less than 2nm out a front passed, the wind >strength doubled and changed direction by 90 degrees! We were suddenly >flying along at 8-9 knots in flat seas! Itw as surreal and we left our >friends to concentrate on the fishing. Our own fish tally stands at 1 >despite trailing lures everywhere we go.we remain unpeturbed! :) >We are about 24 hours from Raiatea now, hoping the tsunami is a non >event on the land.

The Admiral working... on her tan
The Admiral working... on her tan
Sun Sep 27 18:33 2015 NZDT
Run: 208nm (376.5km)

We made it through the pass despite huge waves and strong opposing current. Maupiti is a beautiful place and we wish we had more time.

Resting in Maupiti
Sun Sep 27 14:26 2015 NZDT

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi just googled Motu Tiapaa and think you are near Bora Bora doing some tacking. Hope the repairs are holding up well and you are enjoying the sailing. xx
Fri Sep 18 9:05 2015 NZST
Run: 0.5nm (0.9km)

Apparently, there is a tsnuami chasing us but this has really been the best passage. Nothing is broken, the water is also where it is supposed to be, the sun is shining, and the wind is even coming from somewhere other than straight ahead (actually its straight behind which is also a pain, but it gets our vote :) ). We were also chased by imaginary pirates last night. A fishing boat was coming right up our date, whistling in the radio and saying something unintelligible in Tahitian. He was definitely aiming at us, probably curious and wanted a closer look. Suddenly, when he was less than 2nm out a front passed, the wind strength doubled and changed direction by 90 degrees! We were suddenly flying along at 8-9 knots in flat seas! Itw as surreal and we left our friends to concentrate on the fishing. Our own fish tally stands at 1 despite trailing lures everywhere we go.we remain unpeturbed! :) We are about 24 hours from Raiatea now, hoping the tsunami is a non event on the land.
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The Admiral working... on her tan
Sun Sep 13 8:54 2015 NZST
Run: 6.8nm (12.3km)
Avg: 6.8knts
24hr: 163.2nm

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Following your big adventure on YIT. Very exciting..take care and enjoy.
Tue Sep 8 16:55 2015 NZST
Run: 4nm (7.2km)

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That fish must have been delicious. Keep breathing that fresh air and singing out. There will be another season! xx
Tue Sep 8 10:02 2015 NZST
Run: 10nm (18.1km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160nm

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So... the boom is broken, we're taking on water in several places, the list of things to fix is depressing, and we're going to have to go back to Tahiti to fix some of them. However, the sun is shining, the lures are out, we're motorsailing upwind (its never downwind), the stereo is blaring and we're singing along! Life is really good and our first world problems can easily be put in perspective! We are finally headed for Fakarava and will be there in only a few more hours! Woohoo! :)

I love your attitude! Keep enjoying the Tuamotus. We loved Fakarava South! Good luck with the repairs and hope the bilge pumps keep up. Sing loudly! Catch fish!
Mon Sep 7 6:41 2015 NZST

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Glad to see you are out of Tahiti and enjoying yourselves!

Thanks Ann! We managed to break our boom on the way, so we're not exactly living it up yet... we'll get it fixed (just the gooseneck) and get to the happy place eventually :)
Mon Aug 31 6:38 2015 NZST

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Doing boat maintenance and ongoing fit out work in beautiful places. Its our reality. The Meerkat has fallen ill with some kind of tropical flu, so no wine for her, and no kissing!
Sun Aug 30 15:52 2015 NZST
Run: 0.5nm (0.9km)

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Aww, Hey there Mum T. Nice to hear from you. Yup, we're sailing... Still just working on the list of 1,000 jobs, but its a pretty place to do it! We're going to take 2 and head to the Tuamotus in a couple of days.
Sun Aug 2 13:23 2015 NZST
Run: 3.8nm (6.9km)
Avg: 3.8knts
24hr: 91.2nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

First time fishing with our own gear - 3 good sized Bonito and a tasty Mahi Mahi
Sun Jul 19 23:34 2015 NZST
Run: 0.5nm (0.9km)

Automatic position report sent via Iridium GO

Thu Apr 2 0:00 2015 NZDT

Testing YIT

Libertalia - Libertalia for Sail

I reckon its been about a month and weve been flat out with friends and family on board and all that entails, and doing a lot of sailing, and preparing Libertalia for sale! Yep, weve tod and frod, but ultimately decided that we must sell Libertalia. The sales process itself will be worthy of 1,000 words and we are already collecting scandal and intrigue that will make for fascinating reading even for those of us who experienced it the first time! However, we cant really write about it while Read more...

its happening, and by the time its all over, we may, or may not feel the love enough to publish our sales journey. So... feel like youre being told theres a secret we cant tell you? Haha... enjoy the suspense! For now we are choosing to sell Libertalia privately. This means we dont have a broker working for us, and we dont get to pay $40k for the privilege. Your typical broker will take something like 7-10%, but the world is changing and brokers arent as critical to the process as they once were. As such, some are willing to negotiate fees based on the value they add. A novel idea in the field! So, we may end up in a broker relationship or two. The biggest perceivable advantage of that for now is that we can list on the worlds largest and most popular yacht sale website. There is definitely a hole in the market for someone (maybe me) to build an attractive, intuitive, highly functional website that facilitates the sales and marketing of yachts worldwide, and is open to Joe Public. One of the hundred ideas we have discussed for Life After Libertalia. There is a great deal of water to go under the sales bridge yet. At some stage we need to leave New Caledonia and head somewhere else... It is likely to be NZ or Australia, but if a buyer wanted the boat delivered to Hawaii... The world is still our oyster, even though it is slowly trying to close up around us. Libertalia really is a fantastic boat and we havent yet seen a boat that we would rather have. Weve worked hard and spent an embarrassing amount of money to bring her to where she is today. Assuming we sell her soon, and there is a slim chance we end up keeping her, we will dearly miss her and all the wonderful experiences she has given us. There has already been tears as the reality of saying goodbye has begun to appear through the clouds. If you know someone who might be interested, or just want to have a nosey, this is probably one of the better listings here: https://goo.gl/GUxXD2 We have just completed a 2 day passage from Ouvea and we plan to be in Noumea at the end of this week. For now, life goes on - La Belle Vie!

Libertalia for Sail
Libertalia for Sail

Libertalia - Paddle Overboard! ...and we meet The Killers

We are on our way south, more or less, slowly making our way towards Ile De Pins.
At Baie De La Torture, some friendly Aussies popped over to torture us with their accents. They had spotted us out by a reef where Michelle was sunbathing on the dinghy and I was spearfishing. “Did yeer keel anything?” they asked. We shook our heads and conceded we hadnt speared a thing. These Aussies, however, were fair dinkum killers, so we agreed that we would head over to their place for a feed of Read more...

Billaroo aboard The Cray Trout… no, wait, it was a feed of cray and trout aboard Billaroo!
The Killers suggested that we come along with them the next morning, to a spot a few miles away, where we could dive the reef with the experts and fill our freezer with sea bounty. We made a plan to leave at 8am or 9am or talk in the morning on channel 16 or channel 72 or… something.
At around 8.30, the killers upd anchor and putted away. We discussed this for the next hour and half and wondered if we had made some inappropriate joke, or just missed the departure call, or what? Maybe they had decided to have a quiet killing session all by their lonesome? Maybe they tried to call before we turned on the VHF? Maybe the Sheila had gotten itchy and killed the geezer in the night and was making a run for it? Our wild hypothesise were finally interrupted by a call on the radio.. “Are you guys having a big sleep in, or do you have some kind of problem?”
OK, we clearly missed something. We whipped up our anchor and headed out of the anchorage towards the reef. Only a hundred meters out from the protected bay, the wind picked up so we cut the engines and sailed along at 5 knots with only the headsail. With only a couple of miles to travel, I decided this was my perfect opportunity to try out Paddle Ski Sail Boarding! I grabbed a rope, threw a paddle on to the board (just in case), and made a spectacular running start. 5 knots is less than 10kph, but when youre bouncing around on the waves and trying to step from a boat to a paddle board, its a bit entertaining. However, I made it over and was soon enjoying the views from my giant inflatable single ski. It was great fun and my technique was improving. I was carving it up and then the just-in-case paddle left the board. My brain froze for a moment, but I had to let go of the rope and stay near the paddle or it would be lost forever! I yelled something to Michelle, let go of the rope, and watched as the boat sailed away. Now I was too far from the paddle to reach it and the boat was sailing away at a fair ole clip! Michelle was prepared for this and pulled the boat into the wind, furled away the head sail and started the engines. I made some half-hearted attempts at a surfer style paddle towards my floating stick, but I was rapidly being blown downwind and my mind had created a school of hungry sharks that were waiting just below the surface to devour my limbs. So, I bravely crossed my legs and sat on the paddle board and yelled confusing instructions across the water at my rescuer. “Come and get me!”, “Keep an eye on the paddle!”, “Im over here!”… What ever would she do without my helpful guidance? Libertalia was now somewhere near the lost paddle, but her skipper was demanding rescue, so Michelle dutifully left it floating and came to pluck me from the hungry jaws of my imagination. In my defence, the sharks were reaaally hungry, and I figured that two crew on board was going to make everything a lot easier and safer for part 2 of the rescue.
Fifteen minutes later, I radioed the killers and told them of a rare and wild carbon paddle fish that could be caught in these waters. This was enough to lure them to our aid and four people aboard two boats spent the best part of the next hour hunting this elusive creature. We zigged and zagged, prayed and peered and beat back the demons that wanted to steal our hope and play the blame game. Eagle Eyes was clinging to the mast and scouting from atop the boom. I forced myself to keep some kind of search pattern and scouted with binoculars. We raced downwind to some playing dolphins and asked if they had our paddle,, but they were playing their own game and had nothing useful to contribute. The killers suggested we go back to the scene of the crime so we headed back upwind toward a spec of sea that looked just like all the rest. Our GPS guided us and we slowly drove the boat straight towards a waypoint that would later be renamed to “Davy Jones Paddle”. Billaroo was weaving some strange aboriginal trail behind us and leaving great S trails in their wake. They mostly avoided our track, figuring there was not much point in covering exactly the same patch of water.
Then the radio squealed something… I played the noise back in my head… wait, I think that was a Sheila… what did she say? I played it in my head again… “Eeets hee-ar!”… I rolled the sound around in my head again… “Its here!”. You have got to be kidding me!? They found it!? I spun my head and it looked like the killers had slowed down. They were not far off our starboard stern and I played the sound over one more time to be sure before calling out to the admiral “Theyve found it!”.
We stood on the foredeck, clapped and cheered as our paddle was plucked from the sea and brought safely aboard. The needle had been found! The haystack was no match for the diligence of our new friends. We must have passed by the paddle only 40-50 meters away.
This is why we have AIS PLBs inside our lifejackets. If a person goes overboard at sea without one, there is little hope of even finding them, let alone saving them. The first rule of ocean sailing is “Stay on the boat”, but if you ever do break the rule, I hope you have every bit of technology and know-how you can muster, working to keep you alive. I pray I never have to search the sea for anything more precious than a paddle!

With our paddle safely in their possession, The Killers decided we would need to prove ourselves worthy before any transfer could take place. A vague destination was agreed, the sails were hoisted, and we danced for 12 nautical miles. Of course, we were just having a relaxed cruise, but the sails were trimmed just right and there was no time for idle banter. The lead changed hands numerous times and we jostled for position. Libertalia took a longer course, looking for more wind out further from land. It paid dividends, but then we got distracted and lost our wind at a critical juncture. We were neck and neck going into the final few miles and we made another move that cost us boat lengths. Their bigger boat accelerated past 9 knots, reaching in the higher winds. We were pointing high and fighting to keep in the game as our courses converged. The end was in sight and Billaroo was barely ahead as we entered the long Bonne Anse inlet. We were accelerating again and only the exact placement of the finish line would determine who would collect the honours.
…but of course, we were just having a relaxed cruise, so we meandered into Anse Majic, dropped our sails and prepared our boats for the evening.
We had proven ourselves worthy and Davy Jones Paddle could come home with his paddle-head held high.

haha. crikey, what an adventure!

Hi Michelle and Zane great to read your eventful & memorable moments. We are loving your Blogs Zane. The Beautiful pictures and stories of snake holes, man sized bird nests and the webs of hand sized spiders make captivating & dramatic reading as I drink my morning coffee. Take Care, Keep up the wonderful Biography and lots of love from NZ. Mum

I took a break from tailing (in the NZ) sunshine to read of your latest adventure...glad your Anzac mates eyes were sharp and clear...friends made in adversity are gold. ..hope you caught some fishes for them or maybe Shell cooked one of her fabulous meals...I look forward to next chapter...!

Paddle Ski Sail Boarding
Baie De La Torture

Libertalia - Counting the days

This post is inspired by the story of Salvador Alvarenga, a man who the world once labelled a scammer, but whose story will undoubtedly save lives in two quite different ways.

500 days ago today we took over the boat we now call home. So much water has gone under the bridge deck, it seems like that was an awfully long time ago. We have learned and grown and changed a great deal in this time. More, I expect, than we realise. Friends & family used to ask What will you do in two years Read more...

when it is time to move on?; We would answer that in two years, when its time to move on, we dont know who we will be!

438 Days is the name of the book I read (cover-to-cover) this morning. I remember when the story broke in the news of a man showing up in the Marshall Islands having had drifted in a small fishing boat all the way from Mexico. At the time, I joined the chorus of sceptics, but the book gives the true account and now sits atop my list of highly recommended! This book is entertaining and inspirational, but also reveals lessons for sailors and non-sailors alike.

283 days since we arrived on the shores of New Zealand, complaining about the cold, but glad to be home, if even for a visit. We never really thought of NZ as being cold, but when you have acclimatised to the tropics and you sail into the NZ winter, you discover that in actuality, The Winterless North, isnt!

27 days since we arrived in New Caledonia. Wow, one third of our time has gone already! Those 90 days will be gone in a flash. We are glad we are taking the time to record our memories in words and photos. Far too soon that is all we will have.

13 days until our next guests arrive and we get to give a taste of our life to our friends. Real life aboard is so much more than the glorious snippets we get to post online. Our first guests have departed last night (Au revoir Mum & Dad!) and got to experience the broader spectrum which includes wet dinghy rides and sun soaked paddle boarding, fast downwind sailing and bumpy upwind beating, calm bays and rolly anchorages, isolated tropical islands and busy bays, fast sharks and slow turtles, gourmet meals and unsettled stomachs (unrelated, I promise!), and of course a sneak peek into the world of boat maintenance. If youre not doing it, its doing you!

1 day until we return to Noumea to resupply and prepare for our journey south toward Ile Des Pins. We will take our time and explore Canal Woodin and Baie Du Prony on the way.

Here is to you Alvarenga. If we may be so bold as to call ourselves fellow seaman, we raise our glasses and thank you for your endurance and willingness to share your story.
May we never have the misfortune to be cast adrift at sea, or to consider suicide as an answer to our ails. Yet, if our vessel or hope is to ever fail us, may your faith and words be ours to carry us through.

Libertalia - Baie De St Vincent and Bon Voyage Vikings

They say that all good things must come to an end. That’s not entirely true, but most things do end and part of our human existence is managing the raft of emotions that come in to play when we are forced to say goodbye. It is usual, I guess, to bring to mind the happiest moments and store them away for safe keeping whilst simultaneously allowing the feelings of loss, however great or small, to accompany the goodbye.
Today we say farewell to Baie De St Vincent and to the Homeless Read more...

Vikings.
Whilst the optimist believes that we will surely see both again, the realist knows that this is most unlikely. So it is with a happy sad that we are now sailing South, away from Baie De St Vincent, and away from the Vikings who are now sailing North on a long journey to Indonesia.

Baie De St Vincent We came to the Baie to explore the area and find interesting places to take our guests (parents) when they come to visit next week. It’s closer to the airport than Noumea and is a large bay with numerous islands large and small that make up the Baie area.
There is also a small marina that doesn’t appear on any of our charts. With a little help from our landlubber friend (thanks Dave!) and the magic of Google, we found it and went ashore to practice our French. OK, so we actually went ashore to find out if there were markets anywhere, this is French territory, so French practice was the order of the day! For the most part the locals are good about our ignorance, and my conversations usually start with a simple apology. “Desole, je ne pa parle Francais”. One store owner in Noumea smiled broadly and promptly replied “Desole, je ne pa parle Englais”. Our exchange at the little marina called “Port Ouenghi” was similar, but we still managed to talk for a while and the proprietor looked up the number for a taxi and explained that we would need to walk for 20mins if we wanted to hitchhike, and it would take around an hour if we walked all the way to the village for vegetables… not a word of English was spoken. The owner was very kind and didn’t seem to mind our inability to speak the language.
Aside from this visit to Port Ouenghi, we also visited many other islands and bays: Ile Moro – A Giant rock with a petite beach and fascinating baby rock formations assembled like ducklings. We visited twice because we had coverage here and needed to get some Internet to pay bills… yeah, you know who you are invoice senders! :-P Ile Nduke – Where we chose to negotiate the narrow channel with hard coral on either side and we went paddle boarding after big fish in the mangroves.
Baie Uitoe – Where we did boat maintenance and swapped out our anchor chain and admired the manicured grounds of the shoreline.
Ile Ronhua – where it was gusting 25 knots and the white sand beach was overshadowed by our inability to decide where one would anchor in these conditions.
Ile Tenia – where it was still blowing like a birthday boy and we navigated big Bommies (or as the French call them, coral potatoes). We only stayed long enough for lunch and moved on to… The Lepredour Channel – where we found shelter at last. The cliffs from the nature reserve island towered above us, red and scarred and glowing as the sun set. The water was flat and we slept like drunkards.
And finally, the Baie De Mosquitos on Ile Hugon - which seems to be entirely pest free, unless you count the guy with the bonfire on the beach, or the dog on the other boat in the anchorage. Hey, as long as there are no mossies, I’m a happy little larry bird.
Oh, and as we sailed away the next morning, we remarked how the water was so flat you could ski… Thus we discovered Paddle-Sail-Ski-Boarding! Michelle mounted her paddle board and was towed along as we sailed. I sense a new sport in the making.

This morning as we sipped on our sunrise coffee, we received a message that we had been expecting, but not eagerly.
Our Finnish friends aboard “Homeless” sent a message to say farewell. We protested, and told them there was no wind to sail, and you can’t very well start a 3,000 mile trip by motoring! But they had cleared out of the country and were hoping to find breeze further out from land.
So, we hatched a plan, hoisted the sails, and plotted a course to intercept the Vikings! The Vikings were sailing North so we sailed out to the West and found them. We sailed fast below them and then came up along their windward side. “Fancy seeing you here” we beamed :- I had written a farewell poem with my second coffee and we had printed it out for them to take on their journey. We packed this into a dry bag along with a native New Caledonian flag and some tinfoil wrapped goodies (Chocolate!). We agreed that Homeless would maintain course and speed and we would maneuverer ourselves into position for the exchange. The bag, attached to a long line, was thrown between the boats and the contents were emptied. This is a bit like mum trying to pass the forgotten school lunch through the window of the bus to little Maxy as it speeds along the highway. So not something to be done without care.
After taking some photos of our little flotilla, we turned around and sailed South, happy that we had said our goodbyes in true style! Farewell Homeless Vikings, it really was too brief, and we hope we can meet again.
Farewell Baie De St Vincent, thanks for the adventures, we will see you in our memories.

Bon Voyage to the Vikings (the poem)
----------------------------------------------------
Its a beautiful morning with sun and calm seas,
All is quiet, there is barely a breeze.
We sit and ponder what today will hold.
The sat phone beeps and we are told
"Dear friends we are leaving! It was too brief,
But we are now heading out through reef."
No, You cant leave! We have not said goodbye!
And look, up above, not a cloud in the sky
There is barely a breeze and there's too far to go
You have yet three thousand miles to go!
The time is not right! We stand and protest
But all is prepared, this is no test.
Good things must end and yachts sail away,
Our Homeless Vikings will leave us today.
So we utter a prayer that you will be well
That the waves will be friendly as you ride the swell
As the journey grows long, be good to each other.
May the friends that you make be close like a brother
Fair winds to our friends, may the sea be kind.
May the wind always blow from somewhere behind.
So we sailed to sea and cast our eyes
We intercepted their boat and spoke our goodbyes.
I took a pen to the ships log and wrote
Farewell dear Viking... in the blood red boat!

Sailing with the Vikings
Sailing with the Vikings
Paddle-Sail-Ski-Boarding
Isle Kouen
Isle Moro
Uitoe Bay
Isle Nduke
Lepredour Canal
Baie des Moustiques
Isle Ndue

Libertalia - Snakes and Spiders, Turtles and Sharks

Many a sailor has been heard to talk of respect for the ocean. The wind and the waves harness great power, and man can quickly realise just how small he is. Beneath the waves is another world again and guide books are quick to warn about the dangers of touching the wrong kind of coral and the necessity to avoid standing on stonefish or stingrays or jelly fish or sea snakes. They also offer helpful advice if running afoul of some of the more commonly known sea creatures. A guide we were perusing Read more...

recently instructed that “In case of being attacked by shark, you should immediately get out of the water”. Who would have thought!? Oddly, the same advice is not given if one is bitten by a “non-aggressive” sea snake. We are, however, sea people. We’ve chosen to make it our home, and we are somewhat acclimatised to storms and sharks – although I doubt either will ever leave us entirely peaceful.
Today we ventured into sea and land.

We paddled ashore on our boards, intent on seeing what Ilot Signal (Marker Island) had to show us. During our initial exploration we were attacked by some kind of ball-of-thorns plant and I would later spend an hour pulling a hundred thorns from our crocs. Technically someone else’s crocs, but if the person who left a black pair of size 10 crocs aboard would like to claim them back, you know where to find me.
After dodging the thorn balls, we found ourselves on some kind of track that encircled the island. Michelle was walking timidly. She didn’t sleep too well last night. After seeing a couple of snakes in the sea, her subconscious was still processing and they slithered into her dreams and even sent her checking in odd places for stowaways. I have now learnt that whilst walking on a deserted island, it is not humorous to point at an S-shaped stick and loudly declare it to be a snake! I didn’t stay in the dog box for long. We rounded a bend and came across a magical little mini-lagoon where we stopped to take the obligatory photos. As we left the mini lagoon and headed back on to the track, what goes around came around. Territorial New Caledonian attack birds came squawking and swooping down at me. Why me? Was it the hat, or just the fact that I was the leader of our party? …or did they somehow know about my little snake joke? We moved on quickly and once free of attack bird territory, began to enjoy the uniqueness of the island again. The sandy track was riddled with holes as big as your head. It looked like a combination of sand crabs and erosion… Of course, Michelle wondered if they were snake holes! Then it happened… Whilst enjoying the view, the path under Michelles foot gave way and she fell into a shallow hole. She fell forward and then bounced up quickly, hopping and babbling and squealing. It seems she had fallen into one of the mysterious holes and her hands had landed either side of a snake skin. The snake was nowhere to be seen, but after a quick second look at the deflated snake clothes, we moved on quickly.
With her bird-like vision, Michelle then claimed to have spotted an eagle. It turns out it was actually an Osprey, but who knows these things? It was a huge carnivorous bird gliding about on the wind and carrying a small tree in its talons. At first we were confused about its cargo, but then old eagle-eyes spotted the nest. This was a birds nest in the same way that Buckingham Palace is a council flat. If the bird wasn’t a little daunting before, the fact that we could probably sleep cosily in the nest was enough. We moved on quickly! Why do I always have to walk in front? I stopped very suddenly and we both took a half step back. A moment before I had walked into it, the light had bounced on a web that hung across the path like a zip line. I don’t mind admitting I’m squeamish around spiders (among other things) and I was happy to duck under this web and generally keep well clear of its maker.
“Good call” eagle-eyes called out behind me. I turned around and followed her gaze. A spider, bigger than my hand, was crawling quickly away from her foiled trap. She sat, watched and waited at a safe distance. After ducking under the web herself, Michelle remarked “I think we would have fed that guy for a week!”. I shuddered, and we moved on… quickly.
Our path turned down to the beach where we came across another man sized bird nest and we eventually discovered the chimney structure that gives the island its name. An elevated wooden pathway then led us over the eroding crab holes and under a canopy of trees and led us back to our paddle boards. Land time was over! We paddled back to the boat, grabbed our masks and snorkels and jumped over board. The water is surprisingly cool here, but there is nothing disappointing about the reef. We swam with large tropical fish of all varieties and messed about with brightly coloured schools of smaller fish. The turtles regarded us with little concern and were quite happy for us to swim up close and personal. A shark meandered by and made a close arc around us before carrying on his way. We only looked back once or twice to check.
As we made our way back to the boat through mountains and tunnels of coral, we discovered it must be turtle nap time. Several times we came across a turtle, wedged in amongst the coral and lying motionless.
If the wise old turtles say it’s nap time, then nap time it must be! We are, after all, sea people.
This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Iridium Mail & Web software. Please be kind and keep your replies short.

great read. loving hearing about your adventures. lots of love. us

Picturesque mini lagoon at Ilot Signal
Look! A man sized birds nest!

Libertalia - The day the boat came to town...

When you sail in to another country, things are not quite as simple as they are at the airport.
For seasoned sailing cruisers, this is all old-hat, so this post is certainly directed at our land lubber friends and family :)

The process begins many many miles out to sea, or for those without any email at sea, before they leave the last port.
The first step is to notify the authorities in the destination country that you intend to visit their fine land. This is the first of many Read more...

forms you will complete where you repeat certain information so often, it quickly becomes memorised.
If everything goes accordin to plan (you’d be surprised how often it doesn’t!),
you find yourself in the territorial waters of the country you notified, and then raise the mighty Q flag.
Mariners just love their flags!
The Q flag is a simple yellow flag “Quarantine” flag, and it is raised up the flag halyard to announce to the world that you are a foreign vessel, and as such, potentially hazardous to the environment, and are hereby under quarantine. No person or object shall enter or exit the boat until such time as the captain has completed his or her clearances with the relevant authorities.
After a radio call or two you find yourself anchored or tied up in the designated area and the great foot shuffle begins.
This usually takes somewhere between 3-8 hours depending on how many officials you need to see, how far you have to walk to get to the next place, how well hidden they are, and how consistent the information is between bureaus. It is not unheard of for office A to send you to office B who tells you to go away because you dont have the pink form which is obtained from office C. Office C is closed for lunch, so you massage your feet for an hour and arrive at C, only to be told that the pink form comes from office A, but you don't need it to go to office B anyway... and so the shuffle proceeds. In some places, the officials thoroughly enjoy their power, but seldom seem to like their job, and it's not uncommon for officials to want more than the prescribed amount for their services rendered.

In our case, we arrived after dark and there was nobody to answer our radio calls. A cruise ship had just left - actually, lets pause and talk about this cruise ship for a moment...

...a few miles out of port Moselle, I watched a cruise ship heading out of the harbour. A few quick calculations and I said to Michelle "That guy is going to get in the way”. She thought he would go another way, and the bet was on! As we headed across the channel, the cruise ship disappeared under our sail and turned toward us. I watched on our AIS system which tells me about his speed and direction, and estimates the closest point of interest, and calculates when that will happen. The numbers were changing rapidly and he was coming toward us at 16 knots and accelerating. Meanwhile, the crew aboard another yacht we shall call “Muppet” were starting to become concerned. They were motoring in rapidly falling light with no lights, and a huge cruise ship bearing down on them! They turned to starboard... fair enough. Then they turned to port... errr what? Then they turned to starboard again... Michelle ran to get the camera.
I figured the cruise ship captain was going to have his hands full, so I made a courteous turn to port, indicating to him I not be any trouble.
The TCPA (Time until we get as close as it will be) was now less than three minutes.
Muppet was still changing course and clearly panicking.
The spectacle was hilarious, but quickly moving toward dangerous!
Muppet finally decided that port was the best option, and turned enough to avoid a catastrophic event.
In another senseless move, they then remained only meters from the ship, while the crew stood on the bow and chatting to the passengers who watched from their balconies.
The matter of the bet was long forgotten in the shenanigans.

OK, so the cruise ship had departed, and we decided we could fit into the space they had left :).
They next day, while I was out doing the shuffle, the port authorities came by (twice) to inform Michelle that we were anchored in the cruise ship area, and we had better move before the next one came along at 2pm.

We used our dinghy to get close to the various offices and Michelle, who is not allowed on the shore at this point, stayed in the dinghy and floated around while I filled out forms and smiled nicely.
Harbour master - Check!
Immigration - Check!
Customs - Check!
Quarantine / Biosecurity...
…We had been informed that New Caledonia is a bit like NZ. ie. they take everything! Cheese, meat, eggs, fruits & veges, frozen goods... everything!

The shuffle become a more involved exercise as we hauled bags of food from the dinghy and I hobbled to & fro (with my broken jandal). Biosecurity let us keep heaps of stuff we thought we would lose! Frozen beans, frozen fish, frozen chicken, pies, pizzas, even a cheesecake! Apparently, the fact that we had bought this stuff in NZ meant it was not a risk. Brilliant!! The fruit and vegetables were taken away, but they would easily be replace at the local markets the next morning.

The last item to surrender was the garden... Michelle likes to nest, and our assortment of succulents and ferns were to be handed over to the surprised biosecurity officials. I made the short hobble-hike back to the dinghy to collect the box full of plants. The officials were so impressed with the garden that they took photos. Michelle thinks they just wanted a record of her cool home made candle-pots.

Everything here was very straightforward and friendly. The French authorities have been well organised and easy to deal with. We are officially cleared in and can stay for three months.

We will stay anchored near town for now so we can work with local people to find the parts we need and make a few minor repairs.

Oh my...is that Muppet up by the ship. ...keep clear of them. Good pics. Enjoyed you blog. Glad les autorites were efficient and Shell is now famous for her creations. ..keep creating girl. Hope your repairs go well. We have 23 lambs on ground ..another one or two on way now. Love to you Zane and Shell. Xx

Muppet and the friendly cruise ship
Anchored at last!

Libertalia - First blog and the story of the Homeless Vikings

I've been toying with the idea of using the blog feature on YIT to record some more of our meanderings and experiences along the journey. It is for us as much as it is for you. I enjoy the process, so let’s give it a go!

I wrote a poem today to encourage some new friends who are languishing somewhere behind us. It's slow going with so little wind, from the wrong direction, and limited diesel.

The story of the Homeless Vikings
When a boat comes alongside a dock, there is Read more...

usually a helpful person around who will offer to take your lines and secure them for you. This allows a short handed crew to concentrate on manoeuvring the boat and to avoid all manner of mishaps that can happen in these last few
moments of a vessels voyage.
A good dock hand is golden, but a bad one can be rather troublesome!
Things can end badly with well meaning people who lack the competence to do the job, or occasionally, think they know better and will do various hazardous things contrary to instructions. A good skipper will be very firm and clear, but we generally find it best to just do it ourselves.
Our modus operandi, is for Michelle to smile and say, "Thanks, but I'll do it - I need the practice". We all need the practice right :)
Once in Tahiti, a helpful boatie watched Michelle tying up, looked at her sideways, chuckled and said "Oh, I think you've had plenty of practice!"

As we docked at the town basin in Whangarei, NZ, a relaxed looking young couple hopped off a small red Finnish flagged boat and offered to take our lines. They looked safe enough, and had a vested interest in helping us to dock cleanly as we attempted to slide into a gap between them and
another
boat.
I gave Michelle the secret nod and she threw the lines and relayed instructions like a pro. The Finnish crew were golden.
Over the next few days while we replaced our chart plotter and did last minute boat maintenance, we got to know our new neighbours and shared a meal, stories, tools, itineraries, and handwritten ‘boat cards’.
Their 27 foot boat is aptly called "Homeless" and thus, we have named them "The Homeless Vikings"

We agreed that we would have a very unofficial race from NZ to Noumea. The winner would be required to have champagne on ice for the second boat to arrive. As the bigger, faster boat, we would need to provide a measured head start to make things interesting. As fate conspired, the Homeless Vikings left from Whangarei and we finally left from Opua a couple of days later. We figured it would take a few days to catch them. We shot out of New Zealand in a strong sou'westerly and sailed a longer, but faster course at thri
lling
continuous speeds of 8-11 knots for 2 days. Within 24 hours we were ahead and Michelle was wondering how the Vikings would like "Libertalia champagne". Recipe – take cask wine, carbonate using soda stream maker, and then put into the freezer in a glass 'presentation' bottle. Nothing but the best here baby!
As the winds eased, we matched speeds and have stayed a little over 100nm ahead for a couple of days. But today, they must start rationing diesel as we both motor sail in uncooperative and fickle conditions, and so we will extend our lead again.
We've never sailed an ocean in company before, and though we have never been close enough to even radio them, we have been able send texts over satellite and it has been fun to know there is someone else out there on this incredibly wide ocean.

My poem sounds best when read slowly by Sean Connery. OK, so most things do.

From lands to the north and far beyond,
came the seafaring Vikings, fair and blonde
They sailed the seas to find a free land,
and took their time to survey New Zealand.
They were young and brave with a need to be free!
So once again they pushed out to sea.
They set off in waves and winds that were violent,
and yelled at the ocean until she was quiet.
Now they motor and long for a breeze,
that will carry them on to Noumea palm trees.
The race may be lost but they still stand to gain
On ice at arrival is the contenders champagne
Their progress is modest, they cannot gloat,
but the Vikings are coming... in their blood red boat!

Love your Poetry and Story Telling Adventures. Perhaps a Book in the making Zane.
We are looking forward to chapter two and seeing who won the race.! xxx Mum & Dad H

Great blog. So easy to access. God speed to the Vikings. So you're Sean C what is Shells 007 alias? Love Mum.xx

Wow. Most impressed. A poet in the making. :)
Can feel the tension as you race. Sounds like fun. Apart from the sea sickness we would love to be there :)
Robin and Chris

Libertalia and Homeless in the starting blocks
Homeless soaking up the ambience of the Whangarei town basin