Oh yeah! Forgot to say we arrived in Opua, NZ Tuesday from New Cal after an 8 day passage of motor sailing! Cold here! Let’s repair some boat stuff!
Hope to be there late Monday.
Departing Port Villa, Vanuatu, after nearly 5 months of sailing the islands. Heading to New Caladonia to await a window for New Zealand.
Turning back south towards New Zealand. Left yesterday from Ureparapara, the most northern Vanuatu Island we visited. Most excellent village life. It looks better than an movie set! You do need settled weather to visit there.... Overnight here in Sola at Vanua Lava, and preparing to bash our way south to Gaua Island today. Gail wants to climb to the top of the volcano there! Hoping to arrive in Port Villa by the end of September and take an early window to NZ hopefully in October. Dean And Gail
Been in Port Sandwich, Malakula Island, Vanuatu for a few days. We delayed departing today waiting for a rain front to arrive that never arrived. Gail is handcranking the sailrite sewing machine making a dress. I’m doing a few boat projects. Nice to be living full time in bathing suits. Though no swimming in this harbor due to the shark reputation. Heading north tomorrow...
Hanging in Port Villa, Vanuatu. Gail says there has been great improvements to the town since her last visit in 2015. Now they have a nice waterfront walk fr part of the town. Great veggies and a French bakery. Continuing North to more islands on Monday or Tuesday.
Been hanging in Anetyium, Vanuatu about a week now... Maybe stay another week? We are the only boat. Heard the cruise ship arrives next weekend, so we might stay till then to witness the zoo on the village as the tourists descend on Mystery Island! Next up will be Resolution Harbor at Tanna. We have a letter of permission from customs, and the local police captain said because of the letter, we can stay awhile. Hope we can stretch it out for another week? Gail is teaching at the school. Nice snorkeling. Nice people. Beautiful harbor, so why leave?
Departed NZ to Vanuatu today. Currently Gail is sleeping g and Dean s having nternet sailing in 10 kts wind off Cape Brett. A Smooth, moon filled night.
Local Talent, with Gail and Dean, are hanging in Whangarei waiting for the next window to Vanuatu. Most projects are done? Well, maybe not? The electric heater is on until we cast off from the dock!
We are sitting in Opua! Great to be back in NZ!
S. Minerva to Opua. Flukey winds last night, on,off,on, but we are hallin'butt to the barn! Opua arrival late Sunday-early Monday! DAVID, what happened to the sunshine out here? Our tropical tan is fading! Enjoy your weekend! Dean and Gail
S. Minerva to Opua. Winds went down as predicted and backed so we can now steer direct to Opua. Heading to the barn! Aside from the overcast, a perfect sail. Looking to shake a reef out this morning. Patricia! Legacy wrote us yesterday and said Frank on Another Adventure was tied up next to them, still at the dock at Noumea! They appear to be drinking French wine and looking for a late departure! (Again!)
S. Minerva to Opua. Breezy night! Ended up with only a double reeled main. This morning, wind backed a few degrees and slightly dropped. Fine Day ahead! PATRICIA... Have you heard from Frank on Another Adventure? Did he report departing New Caledonia? Still there?
S. Minerva to Opua. Motored all night, looking for wind today! Maybe this afternoon?
South Minerva, departing late this afternoon for Opua. 4 boats here. Gray sharks are getting a bit aggressive, even though the snorkeling on the reef between the figure 8 shape of the atoll, is beyond excellent! Magical place South Minerva, (in flat weather!) Hoping the wind will kick in tonight!
South Minerva, The best snorkeling ever! Amazing big fish, corral, lobsters, colorful clams! (Yes, a few sharks in deeper water!). Anchorage is a bit of a washing machine at high tide. (Flopper stopper required!) Well worth the stop.
Thinking of departing tomorrow? DAVID! How does a MONDAY 27th arrival in Opua look? We will be listening. Dean and Gail
Minerva. Gusts hit 34 last night! Just snapped the anchor snubber, which prompted us to move over to smoother waters on the North side of the reef! When is this rain stopping?
Yesterday wind peaked about 34kts, rain. Last night wind peaked 29. Still raining! Nice anchorage here in Minerva, but we could do with some Sunshine! Hoping to depart this weekend? What do you think DAVID?
Minerva, Snorkeled the pass. Got out of the dingy. Saw a 3 meter Tiger shark. Got back in the dingy! Hanging here enjoying the protection of the reef with 6 other boats, waiting for Lows to disappear around N.NZ. Dean and Gail.
DAVID, you were spot on for your weather last night for Minerva. Wind Peaked at 32kts with rain and lightning. 13 boats remain at Minerva, after 6 departed yesterday heading west for a day or two, then turning hard south to NZ under the guidance of Bob McDavit. Went to a weather meeting before, aboard "Sky Blue Eyes," to discuss, but they and others were focused to depart south? Did not look good to me with at least 2-3 days of head winds followed by a major Low on your tail before arriving in NZ? (Hope they arrive save before Friday the 17th) Also, Sending a good wish to Astarte today as they battle the big winds arriving in NZ. Dean and Gail.
Fine day to be arriving today in N. Minerva. Looking forward to some diving. DAVID? We will ask again tomorrow (Since you are off Sat. and Sun.) Should we depart Minerva Sunday or Monday for Opua?!!! Would we get hit by High winds approaching Opua the weekend of the 17th, 18th? (Or sit in Minerva till the next High on 21st/22nd?). Many thanks! Looking forward to meeting you both this year! Dean and Gail.
Question? DAVID? When should we depart Minerva for Opua?!!! Gail and Dean departed yesterday from Tonga to Minerva. We will arrive Minerva tomorrow AM. (Thurs-9th).
Departed Nukalofa Tonga at noon today. Heading to Minerva Reef. We should arrive Minerva on Thursday.
DAVID, our big question is how long (if at all?!) do we stay there? Seem to be something developing from the north side n about a week? We will be listening in the morning. Thanks!
Local Talent departing Nukalofa Tonga, tomorrow (Tuesday) for Minerva. We will hang in Minerva until DAVID recommends all clear for a departure from Minerva to Opua. (Which we assume will be about the 15th?). I know there must be at least 10 plus boats currently hovering in Minerva, I'm sure all will be interested about when to depart from there. Thanks!
Saturday, Nukalofa, Tonga. About 8 of the 20 boats have departed. We are hanging hoping for better conditions for a stop in Minerva followed by a good ride to New Zealand. Awaiting David's long term forecast with anticipation! Dean and Gail.
Hanging at Big Mama's, Nukalofa, Tonga with about 20 boats waiting for passage to Opua. Thinking of departing Saturday to Minerva for a few days, and wait for the high to continue onto Opua.
On passage from Vavauu to Hapaais
Still hanging in Vava'u, Tonga... a month from now we will be well on our way to NZ!
really nice sailing as they head north to Vavauu from Hapaais
We came to look for fresh vegetables, but its raging so much we are hiding on the boat. Gail is making Home made Pasta, and I'm doing nothing!
anchored at Hakafesia reef
New Zealand to TONGA!!! Day 14. Friday, May 26 Tonga arrival today! EXCELLENT! No more reports until we sail elsewhere... Thanks! Dean and Gail
New Zealand to TONGA!!! Day 13. Looking like (tomorrow)Friday, May 26 Tonga arrival! Sunny today. Wind and waves have dropped from yesterday's / last night's wild ride. The waves deployed the inflatable man overboard pole attached to the rail, and we lost it to the sea! This boat needs a clean up... Maybe we do too?
New Zealand to TONGA!!! Day 12. Still hoping for a Friday, May 26 arrival? Squally, raining, windy, shit conditions, but toasty dry inside of rolly Local Talent! Double reef main only. One time last night when it hit 35kts, I started the engine in reverse to slow the boat down because I didn't want to go outside and put a third reef in. It worked great! And the batteries got charged! Lots of water out here... both below and above. Gotta love sailing.
New Zealand to TONGA!!! Day 11. We are hoping for a Friday, May 26 arrival at Big Mama's yacht club? (I think Tonga Is getting hit with 40kt. Winds today?) We are 3/4 days South, hoping for "no squash zone" before arrival. Lots of water out here...
New Zealand to TONGA!!! Day 10. We changed course yesterday away from the Austral's due to this Nasty Low that would collide with us if we continued to Raivavae Island -We will wait another year and enjoy Tonga+! We've headed north, and will turn due West soon to stay below the big low (that might hit Tonga Tuesday - prior to our arrival?) We are hoping for a Saturday May 27 arrival at Big Mama's YC. We took the long road to Tonga! Excellent!
New Zealand to the Austral's - Raivavae Island (Hoping!) - Starting of Day 8! Still, 1295 miles to Ravavie Island! Last night mostly motor sailing in relative peaceful seas. Still thinking about how to avoid a large possible low developing between us and Austral Islands next week? Seems like we will head west (backwards!) at some point to circle below that approaching spinning ugliness for a couple of days, then proceed again east to Raivavae. What's a few more days at sea? Otherwise, all good. Some Sunshine!
New Zealand to the Austral's - Raivavae Island (Hoping!) - Starting of Day 7! Still, 1387 miles to Ravavie Island! Wind gusts hit 40 last night! We and boat are fine. (Uncomfortable, but not as bad as it might sound) Looking forward to sun today! Now thinking about how to avoid a large possible low developing between us and Austral Islands next week? Whoops!!!
New Zealand to the Austral's - Raivavae Island - Starting of Day 6! Still, 1521 miles to Ravavie Island! Winds arrived last night as expected, 25ksNE. Winds clocked to the north overnight so we are able to maintain our due east heading, hoping to stay just above 33S where the higher winds of this low are lurking. Not any leaks, lots of creaks in this old Talent! All good.
New Zealand to the Austral's - Starting of Day 5! (Day 3 of motoring!) 450miles off the east coast of New Zealand. Still, 1750 miles to Ravavie Island! Hoping for winds tonight... but not too much! Brief squall last night resulted in a few hours of sailing in the wrong direction. Motor's back on. Having crossed the dateline, switching our brains to Tahiti time zone. Banana Bread! Food's great! (Hoping to hear Gulf Harbor Radio this morning? Couldn't hear yesterday. Are we that far away!)
New Zealand to the Austral's - Day 4! (Tuesday, day 2 of motoring?) 340 miles off the east coast of New Zealand. 1750 miles to Ravavie Island! Hoping for wind tonight!
New Zealand to the Austral's! Currently looking at a Monday of motoring, 220 miles off of the east coast of New Zealand.
New Zealand to the Austral's! 225 miles off of New Zealand, started motoring in rolling calm seas last night after sunset. Monday looks like a motor day! All well...
Departing NZ today for the Australs!
Waiting in Whangarei for a window East to the Austral's, then Tahiti...
I made to San Francisco on YIT! Nothing goes to weather like a 747!!!
California for the season! Local Talent on the hard in Whangarei!
After a great January-April 2016 summer sail in NZ - Mercury Island, Great Barrier, Poor Knights, etc. I'm spending this 2016 season hanging in California. I will be back to the boat in Whangarei in January of 2017, for another season in the islands. EXCELLENT!
It took a long time, just under 2 weeks in what should of been1200 miles and10 days... But hey! I had to avoid that storm blowin' around New Zealand's North Cape! So I diverted to Australia's Norfolk Island to sit it out for 24 hours. I had my 61st birthday solo in a flat, glassy, calm water in the middle of the Tasman Sea. Listened to a lot of music. Read some. Studied an enormous amount of weather charts about my situation. Didn't break anything. Forgot to dress up on Halloween like King Neptune? Cooked some good stuff. Motored maybe 4 - 24 hour days, sailed 8, anchored for 1. Had the wind peak at 39 knots. (Mostly 15-20 knots). Currently, I'm a few hours out from being greeted by the New Zealand customs. Now I'm looking forward reward to ordering food at a restaurant with cloth napkins. Overall, it was a good trip. But nothing sails to weather like a 747, so sometime in late November I'll head back to San Francisco for a couple of months, leaving the boat at the dock in Whangarei,
The epic journey is over. Enjoy a belated birthday dinner.
too close for us to hear now. 155m to opua, eta tuesday afternoon after marathon ride from New Cal
eta Monday or tues - good timing
anchoring at Norfolk for 24hrs
near Norfolk and hoping for NZ late Wed
Engineering Flowchart is working... Looks like I will be departing Fiji Thursday for Opua...
Stuck at Paradise Resort! The weather window says we should depart, but it is to nice here with the hotel offerings for the Yachts! 4 Moorings and Happy Hour at the Bar! Recommended Highly!
hove to waiting for good light to enter Vanua Balava, N Lau, Fiji
anchored in Fulaga
Departing Savusavu for Fulaga! Savusavu has been a great place to eat, drink and restock! Will return here after a tour of the Lau group. Departing Wednesday for a direct motorsail straight to Fulaga while the wind is light. Sabine is on board and ready for swimming and hiking.
all well and thanks to GHR for passage wx
all well and arriving tomorrow morning
achored besode Blue Note and they confirm there IS a flashing llight at N Minerva
10m form s Minerva and will be at N Minerva by dusk
170m to N Minerva
wind 20 at 4am, then 0, then went S
Minerva eta Friday
great radio signal
Departing Marsden Cove today heading to Minerva Reef, then Savusasu Fiji. Prepared for a few days of motoring at first, and then some wind. Hope to arrive Fiji around the 21st of May... We shall see!
Now hoping to depart Whangarei for Fiji, Sunday, May 10? The delay means I actually might polish the fiberglass cockpit? But, I'm sure I can develop another excuse to delay that project yet again!
Waiting in Whangarei for weather to sail to Fiji
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