Thu Jun 27 8:51 2019 NZST
Run: 1.3nm (2.4km)
19 31.611S 169 29.7126E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wed Jun 26 23:21 2019 NZST
Run: 5.5nm (10km)
Avg: 5.5knts
24hr: 132nm
19 40.6914S 169 29.163E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

You’re making some curious zig zags ocean art, boys bring back a little kava with that tropical fruit?
Wed Jun 26 9:55 2019 NZST
19 32.05060S 169 15.93660E
Weather: Warm and muggy. Time for a swim!

The boys finally made it in yesterday at 3 with Dani (me) and Arlo joining shortly after following a brief stay with a lovely local family. Lads now back ashore to clear immigration and stick up on tropical fruit before we head around the other side of the island to escape the roll. Thanks so much for all your love and support for the boys on their adventure. They assure us there were some unforgettable stunning moments out there to balance out the frustrations of weather - curious whales, leaping tuna, dolphins, stunning sun sets and rises, and jumping off the boat into pure blue water in the middle of the ocean.

Yippeeeee! Well done lads. Great to know the whānau is back together too. May the next adventures be a little less dramatic!! Have fun!

Well done Mike and crew. Looking forward to following you, Dani and Arlo as you cruise. Great photo Arlo

So pleased to see you are all back together. What an induction to sailing for Andrei and Reece. You have a great story to tell and have earned a holiday swimming, diving and sunning yourselves. Keep up the with posts Dani. Arlo looks so big in that photo. He has had an exciting start in his short life!

Thanks for the update. Hope your plane trip went ok after the late start. A lovely photo of Arlo and friends. Great that you are back on the yacht again. Have a lovely day. A big cuddle for Arlo please xxxl
Tue Jun 25 20:06 2019 NZST
19 32.0454S 169 15.936E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi, guys. I've been trying to comment, unable so far, trying again, so here goes.Take heart, me hearties. All's not lost yet, and when you look back, you'll feel omnipotent! It was interesting watching you take the shortcut across terra firma. Looking forward to hearing of your reunion with Dani and Arlo. Love and fair winds to you all XXXXX

That short cut was very impressive! Looks as though you have anchored. Please delete 476 a.s.a.p.

Hello sailors! I hope you are now faring a little smoother and that your family is reunited. Following your journey with keen interest. Love from the Flanagans xxx

Make sure you let us know when you arrive and have Dani and Arlo back on board so we can celebrate too.


Tue Jun 25 19:06 2019 NZST
19 32.0448S 169 15.9354E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi guys. We are thinking of you. My class have been tracking you and think you are amazing, as do we. One of them said we should send you a care package. 😂 Loads of love Kate 😘
Tue Jun 25 18:06 2019 NZST
19 32.0484S 169 15.9366E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

What a wonderful sight those islands would have been after the slow passage up. Thinking of you all in those tropical waters with the vibrant underwater colours. Drizzle here in london, the brightest colour around is the mug my tea is in.do wish we were there instead.
Tue Jun 25 17:06 2019 NZST
19 32.0526S 169 15.933E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Oohhhh yeah!
Tue Jun 25 15:06 2019 NZST
Run: 8.7nm (15.7km)
Avg: 8.7knts
24hr: 208.8nm
19 35.8212S 169 15.687E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Kiaora Mike Praying for safe sailing and favourable winds. God Bless you and keep you safe. John and Marie

Dry land looking tantalizingly close now guys
Tue Jun 25 13:06 2019 NZST
Run: 9.2nm (16.7km)
Avg: 9.2knts
24hr: 220.8nm
19 50.3304S 169 19.866E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Can you see Tanna now? It’s looking close to me! This adventure of yours has greatly improved my Pacific Islands geography. Well, I know at least 6 of Vanuatu’s 80 islands!
Tue Jun 25 12:06 2019 NZST
Run: 7.1nm (12.9km)
Avg: 7.1knts
24hr: 170.4nm
19 58.218S 169 20.988E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Tue Jun 25 10:06 2019 NZST
Run: 7.7nm (13.9km)
Avg: 7.7knts
24hr: 184.8nm
20 10.392S 169 25.6008E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Thinking of you - I bet your really looking forward to being reunited!
Tue Jun 25 8:06 2019 NZST
Run: 8.2nm (14.8km)
Avg: 8.2knts
24hr: 196.8nm
20 23.325S 169 28.0812E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Looks like the yacht Elysium got to the small Island in front of you first, they have named it Aneityum. I suggest put some more sail up and quickly sail to the bigger Island behind it, you could name it Tanna perhaps.
Mon Jun 24 21:06 2019 NZST
Run: 2.7nm (4.9km)
Avg: 7.7knts
24hr: 185.1nm
21 26.5812S 169 39.4812E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

It looks as though you have been making great time today. So pleased you are under sail and travelling a lot faster than by motor. Dani and Arlo are finally buckled after eight hours in Auckland. Not long until you will be hugging them both in Tanna.
Mon Jun 24 7:48 2019 NZST
Run: 4.5nm (8.1km)
Avg: 4.3knts
24hr: 102.9nm
22 37.4118S 169 55.8816E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sun Jun 23 23:45 2019 NZST
Run: 7.4nm (13.4km)
Avg: 7.4knts
24hr: 177.6nm
23 8.0142S 170 10.656E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hey Mike, Tāne and I here, repping another night shift for your NZ based support crew. I’m loving your comedic thriller updates and look forward to each one.
Sun Jun 23 21:45 2019 NZST
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.4nm
23 19.5096S 170 12.7524E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Tanna looks so close on the map now. I was excited seeing the report yesterday and thought you were cruising at great speed but sad to hear, ‘wrong again’. On the plus side, Dani and Arlo over their bugs today and so excited to flying to meet you! Love from us all in Otsku.

Well you have not long to go. The islands getting closer and so is the warm weather. It is 1.7 degrees in Christchurch now. Have you seen any more whales, sharks or dolphins? You might be heading into wet weather.
Sun Jun 23 9:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.8nm (10.5km)
Avg: 7.7knts
24hr: 185.6nm
24 16.6356S 170 24.3996E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

don't cut down that mast just yet as the wind is filling and will carry you through the last day into New Cal just to give you a taste of sailing albeit gentle .
Sun Jun 23 9:00 2019 NZST
Run: 1nm (1.8km)
Avg: 4knts
24hr: 96nm
24 21.265s 170 26.556e
Weather: still no bloody wind!

Still bloody motoring - day 5 of providing karma to mother nature by burning diesel for refusing to give us wind!! Lessons learned from this trip: 1) Don't change your prop to a sailing enhanced one, you won't be sailing end of story. Instead get the biggest prop for burning lots of diesel, because that's all you'll be doing.

2) On that note, convert all your water tanks to diesel tanks so you can carry more of the good stuff.

3) That brings us to water, get a 140l/hr water maker so you can just make water when you need it, as you'll have your engine running anyway.

4) Don't worry about trying to get antique self steering going ever, you won't need it, as those things require wind to work and since you'll be motoring everywhere due, to no wind, dump it or take it to the scrap metal dealers to get some more diesel money. But what about power savings I hear you say, well you'll be motoring and that 200amp alternator will be able to supply a small island nation with enough power to put them into space, let alone cover the needs of the auto pilot and other non sailing systems aboard.

5) Get rid of all solar panels and wind generators. You are not sailing since you are motoring and have all the power you could ever want. Run the microwave, use the bread maker, use the washing machine (remember water on demand) and even run the dry cycle!! And in their place put some deck chairs or recliners, as this is prime relestate with a view. And now those pesky winds generators are gone, relax and crank the stereo right up to max amp draw, which is not actually possible to achieve as you will be motoring with enough power to send a small island into space.

5) Onto the mast, don't replace the rigging it's a waste of money, which would be better used in buying massive amounts of diesel to fill your tanks for three or more seasons, because that's what you'll be using - diesel. Your mast is really just an aerial and radar holder and nothing more. If you think it's a good idea to put sails up on it, don't. While they may look pretty, they achieve absolutely nothing and have the functional equivalent of a painting on the wall. 6) When buying a sailboat don't believe the marketing spiel...ie the word sail in sailboat is a misrepresentation, you will actually be motoring and only ever be able to achieve that feeling of sailing by reading sailing magazines or watching sailing videos on YouTube. Everything else is a lie. 7) Someone else figured this out before me, and using the sage advice above decided to build a boat and called it a launch.

Still motoring, even after writing this novel on a tablet.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

In the old days they used to use the ships boats to tow if there was no wind obviously the captain didn't do any rowing that's what the crew is for.
Sun Jun 23 8:45 2019 NZST
Run: 4.7nm (8.5km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 112.8nm
24 22.041S 170 26.8878E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sat Jun 22 22:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5nm (9.1km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120nm
25 11.2788S 170 32.6178E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sat Jun 22 16:45 2019 NZST
Run: 1.2nm (2.2km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 127.5nm
25 41.7396S 170 35.8242E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

That speed must feel wonderful after those slow days. Hard to empathise though as we are on the French motorways, had our fill of cheese and wine indulgence, back to Blighty and some DIY for us.
Sat Jun 22 16:31 2019 NZST
Run: 5nm (9.1km)
Avg: 6.5knts
24hr: 155nm
25 42.7938S 170 35.754E

Automated update - Satellite

Sat Jun 22 13:45 2019 NZST
Run: 6.7nm (12.1km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160.8nm
25 58.0026S 170 35.1072E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Yay, much prefer those speeds. Must feel good to be sailing in those incredible blue waters again. Counting down to that wonderful moment when we finally join you x
Sat Jun 22 5:20 2019 NZST
Run: 3.3nm (6km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 134.6nm
26 36.258S 170 29.136E

Automated update - Satellite

Fri Jun 21 21:45 2019 NZST
Run: 2.8nm (5.1km)
Avg: 2.8knts
24hr: 67.2nm
27 2.4828S 170 32.5896E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Someone said it's the journey not the destination that counts. I'm not convinced this time hahaha. An epic voyage guys...sending the Goldilocks wind your way. Not too much, not too little, just right.
Fri Jun 21 8:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.2nm (9.4km)
Avg: 5.2knts
24hr: 124.8nm
27 50.379S 170 44.7216E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Or, the modern way might be to send your drone up high looking for sharks. No one/thing gets shot that way.

For your swim, get Reese to sit up the top of the mast with a spear gun keeping a look out for sharks. I cant remember if it used to be shoot the shark or shoot the person so they dont suffer. :)
Fri Jun 21 7:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.4nm (9.8km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 129.6nm
27 54.807S 170 45.8118E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

This is turning into an epic saga there could be a book or two in it a modern illiad in the making just needs a pasific version of lesbos and some sirens

Great to see you are finally north of Norfolk Island. If you go swimming look out for sharks.
Fri Jun 21 3:59 2019 NZST
Run: 1.5nm (2.7km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.1nm
28 12.5472S 170 48.696E

Automated update - Satellite

Thu Jun 20 20:12 2019 NZST
Run: 2.3nm (4.2km)
Avg: 5.1knts
24hr: 122.7nm
28 48.730s 170 56.570e
Weather: flat calm no wind, give me some wind! First too much now not enough!

We have been converting diesel into two parts wind and one part water today. We've filled our tanks, had showers, made washing buckets, filled Jerry containers and anything that will hold water. We've charged camera and laptop batteries, used the 240v drill with hole saws to cut new holes in the boat and anything that requires power as we have a 180amp alternator just sitting there twiddling its thumbs. The crew were in the suicide seat today, bow riding away. Andre thought he was on the Titanic and was pretending to fly, he just needed a strawberry milk in one hand and it would have completed it.

The bean bag made it on to the dodger roof to provide an epic view for whale watching, but alas there were none, the Japanese must have been through this way recently.

A car carrier decided to make a beeline for us, 1st it was 15 miles out heading on an intercept and then it was passing 1.3 miles in front which my may sound far, but given the size of those things had us all a little worried, except Reece who was down stairs snoring away. We would have saved him a spot inter life raft I'm sure. The ocean is a big big big BIG place, so really 1.3 miles away! We were on wind hold at the time in very light winds, and once it crossed into where our wind was coming from, Mirabilis manged to do a 90 degree turn due to turbulence - unless dolphins were messing with our rudder, yeah that's more than likely it. Meant to be an even nicer day tomorrow, perhaps we will stop the boat and go for a swim, well at least I'll go down the boarding ladder for a dip. Those sharks are sneaky bastards and probably have been waiting for us to take a quick dip the whole time, ready to pounce. We actually saw a shark today, well the others think it was a dolphin but I think a shark in disguise. It was alone and I'm pretty shore it's only sharks that are Nigel no mates.

Not even half way.......Are we there yet? Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Ha ha love the blog, good to hear your spirit is still high. enjoy the good days, there should be many more to come.
Thu Jun 20 10:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.9nm (10.7km)
Avg: 5.9knts
24hr: 141.6nm
29 35.6868S 170 41.5482E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Just arrived at our local french destination. This was the way to do it. No sea inside the boat, no night watches - and no old chicken pie. But we still get the cheese and patisseries Hope sailing continues in the right direction for you down there x
Thu Jun 20 7:54 2019 NZST
Run: 5.5nm (10km)
Avg: 4.8knts
24hr: 114.8nm
29 48.0324S 170 34.1304E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wed Jun 19 23:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.5nm (10km)
Avg: 5.5knts
24hr: 132nm
30 19.1934S 170 8.4864E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Is it as rough as having a shower in t bus when its moving and Paul is driving?lol
Wed Jun 19 22:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.4nm (9.8km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 129.6nm
30 22.7976S 170 4.8924E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wed Jun 19 17:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5.3nm (9.6km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 127.2nm
30 44.1564S 169 58.2222E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Doesn't sound like quite the trip I would be enjoying. But at least no-one can complain they're bored, as friends of ours did on passage. Glad the antique sail is still holding air and you're getting the odd calm patch to enjoy its prettiness. Hope the interesting weather settles down and you have a few days of tediously heading where you want to go🤞
Wed Jun 19 14:45 2019 NZST
Run: 4.7nm (8.5km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 112.8nm
30 56.6322S 169 54.7206E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

If you stop off at Norfolk Island I’m sure your cousin would be pleased to see you Andre, sounds like a good idea to me
Wed Jun 19 11:51 2019 NZST
31 04.154s 169 47.102e
Weather: 6knt n. 40% cc 1m e swell

It was almost impossible to go east or get some easting all I managed to do was go less West than the mother nature wanted us to go. Maybe we are meant to stop at Norfolk for a muffin! Right now the wind is coming right from where we want to go, so can't go that way.

Just heated and finished the chicken pie, yum. It's only a week old so let's hope it stays down. We made sure only 2 of the 3 crew are it so one could live to tell the tale.

Least night was pretty much hell on Earth in terms of waves, wind, sleep and comfort. We were prepared but it turns out you never are really fully prepared for the fury of mother nature. A motorhome really is a great alternative to being out here! I can tow a 4wd or racecar (517hp Merc :-) ) with a motorhome.

We had sustained 35knts with a gust of 41 while trying to furl the headsail in some more as we had a tad too much rag out. So after that died back to 30 for the next 5 hours or so the waves started to hit. Several flooded out cockpit even though we have full cockpit clears. There was just so much water it was coming in the roof holes as if someone put a hose in every gap and let rip.

That only happened 5 or so times even when we had decided to run off down wind. We broached a couple of times resulting in getting hit. I turned the a Auto pilot onto full power which stopped more of those. We had oodles of power due to the trip wind generators pumping it in.

And now we are motoring, just like motorhomes do. Motorhome Current temps: Air 20 c Water 19.36 c Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Crikey Mike, this is one heck of a thriller for us landlubber viewers. I’m all for the muffin at Norfolk with the masked booby’s and green parrots. Also, motorhomes are a great earthquake preparedness/climate crisis strategy. Hope you get more visits from sea life and less from huge seas.

What a trip. I hope your new crew are enjoying the adventure. At least they won’t be bored and will have an experience to remember. I can’t believe you ate that chicken pie; even Dani wouldn’t have eaten anything that old! Please don’t get food poisoning out there!

Good thing Dani and Arlo took leave by the sounds. Hang in there mate it can only get better but could be more motoring so being happy with the prop is good hopefully.

Wow, sounds challenging. At least the air temp isn't tooooo bad with all that water around. It looks like you may get some decent battery charging done in motorhome mode over the next couple of days! That will be a good test of the new prop ;)
Wed Jun 19 9:45 2019 NZST
Run: 2.5nm (4.5km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 127.6nm
31 7.647S 169 56.1282E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Good progress team. Mike, FYI Masato wants to sell me an E63 AMG Mercedes. It only has 517 hp so might not be any good for towing.

You are making real progress now. It is -2 degrees here right now. Freezing and everything iced up outside including Dad's car. The cats refuse to go outside. Hopefully it is a bit warmer for you. Have a great day.
Wed Jun 19 9:16 2019 NZST
Run: 3.3nm (6km)
Avg: 7.7knts
24hr: 184.4nm
31 8.823S 169 58.254E

Automated update - Satellite

Wed Jun 19 6:45 2019 NZST
Run: 6nm (10.9km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 151.6nm
31 21.1872S 170 6.567E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Looks like you are heading over to Norfolk Island for a cup of coffee and a muffin.
Wed Jun 19 5:48 2019 NZST
Run: 6.1nm (11km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.4nm
31 25.3614S 170 10.1706E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

How's it going getting any warmer bit chilly here good southerly blowing through.
Wed Jun 19 3:53 2019 NZST
Run: 6.5nm (11.8km)
Avg: 6.9knts
24hr: 164.9nm
31 32.4696S 170 19.11E

Automated update - Satellite

Tue Jun 18 17:27 2019 NZST
Run: 4.1nm (7.4km)
Avg: 8.8knts
24hr: 211.6nm
32 13.9932S 171 21.336E

Automated update - Satellite

Tue Jun 18 15:57 2019 NZST
Run: 7.8nm (14.1km)
Avg: 7.8knts
24hr: 187.2nm
32 22.7106S 171 28.2066E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Yeah weather is changing all the time nothing really stable but I would still keep as East as you can to help once you get further north. most of the predictions show light patches if you take the rumb line but the trades still flow east to west . good to know the prop is functioning well happy sailing
Tue Jun 18 10:45 2019 NZST
Run: 5nm (9.1km)
Avg: 7.1knts
24hr: 171.4nm
32 54.549s 171 41.949e
Weather: what the hell is that?

Ummm ...... That's not daunting at all! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Riders on the storm

Oooops... it wasn't Paddy, it was Murray. And the prediction has now gone after the last position update.

As Paddy said... tend east! There's a lovely low forming right where YIT predicts you'll be in 24-48 hours, lol. The prediction looks a bit off though relative to your track. Hold on boys... it's gonna get bumpy again!
Tue Jun 18 8:18 2019 NZST
Run: 1.7nm (3.1km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 116.6nm
33 09.545s 171 42.068e
Weather: 14knt e. 100% cc flat seas 2m long long s swell

Red sky morning sailors hang on tight! Motored all night and hosted the main about 5am. Nice gentle breeze which will no doubt steadly climb into the ferocious beast that we are usually accustomed to around Wellington. Around midday from what I can tell till tomorrow morning. At least this time there will be no stupid oil rigs jumping out right in your way.

Prop is working well both motoring and definitely the best with sailing. I think it has enabled us to break free from NZ :-) Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

sunrise this morning.
Tue Jun 18 3:02 2019 NZST
Run: 0.7nm (1.3km)
Avg: 7.2knts
24hr: 173.8nm
33 35.1438S 171 41.982E

Automated update - Satellite

Mon Jun 17 16:57 2019 NZST
Run: 6nm (10.9km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 144nm
34 22.1994S 171 53.0646E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi guys , good to see you have now cleared the tip. Keep as East as you can as there is a bit of crap coming tuesday late then wednesday but this will lead into better angles following that blow when it drops off Happy days
Mon Jun 17 13:36 2019 NZST
Run: 3.5nm (6.3km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 129.2nm
34 38.007s 172 02.169e
Weather: 9knt sw. 60% cc 1m sw swell

image: crew posing.

We had quite an off and on night with bursts of high speed and slow patches so we kept 2 reefs in from new Plymouth with squalls coming through with gusts up to 26knts but mostly 17-20knts steady breeze but constantly moving the sweet spot on a course towards the shore. If we tightened up we were then crashing into waves more, so we choose to suck up some of our sea room to the coast in the hope the weather changed and allowed us to track parallel again which it did thankfully.

Seas are slight and the sun is out, the wind is nearly gone. We pulled out our awesome light air sail that was gifted to us and is as old as me! We are now drifting between 4.5 and 6 knots in 9 knots of wind, great for Mirabilis.

1st order of business today figure out why we have pooling water near the companion way hatch in the cockpit, normally it runs out the back. This usually means we are bow down, which means 1\2 ton of water in the front hold which totally is flooded. Bilge pump wire had corroded and broken in the rough weather. I tested it before we left, and quickly checked the connections, but guess not carefully enough. We busted out the emergency bilge pumps and pumped it out, emptied the locker of all the stuff we tried to give away at the marina and no one wanted and repaired the connection.

And the then we noticed we were being covertly shadowed by a medium sized highly camouflaged submersible whale of which Dre wanted to ride it! This guy was truly nosy and surfaced around us 3 times while we were changing to the light air sail. The last time was no further than 5m away. What type of whale was it I hear Dani asking, well it snorted, had fins was large and swam.

It's a low power day today, little wind, sun hiding behind sails and rigging and starting to get cloudy. Determined not to run the engine but might have to give in if wind dies to nothing so then it will be a high power day yay!! Soooo or house has now officially circumnavigated the North island of New Zealand.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Yeah seriously Mike, more details on the big swimming whale thingy please?! Oh n good luck! 😁

Well done guys. Remember you need to accelerate to terminal velocity to escape New Zealand's gravitational pull. I learned all about that at some science thing that Anna made me go to. Great to see you are making good progress and looking forward to stalking you all the way to Vanuatu. Cheers Paddy

Haha. Great update. Try again with the photo though maybe. Unless it is still uploading. And seriously though, what sort of whale?! Any white growths on its head? Short or long pectoral fins? One or two vapour spouts? Hope you got a photo. Arlo wants to see. - Dani
Mon Jun 17 10:43 2019 NZST
Run: 3.8nm (6.9km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 117.6nm
34 50.379S 172 9.228E

Automated update - Satellite

Mon Jun 17 8:57 2019 NZST
Run: 5.6nm (10.1km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 134.4nm
34 56.3736S 172 14.3778E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Nearly past the last jumping off point. Imagining a beautiful sunrise this morning and watching the full moon rise over the sea tonight. Arlo bravely fighting his cold and Dani dying to get word she can safely book her flight to join you. Speed on Mirabilis; we are watching you go.

Looks like you are about to leave New Zealand, you have had a good run. Hope the day is sunny for you. Bitterly cold here last night with a good frost. Hope you are eating well and getting some sleep. Maybe the roller coast effect has gone by now. Have some great sailing today.
Mon Jun 17 6:57 2019 NZST
Run: 6.2nm (11.2km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 148.8nm
35 3.0474S 172 23.5224E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

almost past NZ guys. Whats for breakfast, calm enough to cook? Don't touch Dani's muesli or you will be in big trouble...
Sun Jun 16 19:57 2019 NZST
Run: 11.8nm (21.4km)
Avg: 12.4knts
24hr: 298.1nm
35 58.8096S 173 8.3712E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Mirabilis on yit is officially the funnest site to hit Refresh on. Storming north now!

I could view the 2nd attempt pic you uploaded so they are working now.
Sun Jun 16 19:00 2019 NZST
Run: 7nm (12.7km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160nm
36 04.920s 173 12.299e

Retry the pic again, did it work this time Dad? Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

today's sailing
Sun Jun 16 17:57 2019 NZST
Run: 7.9nm (14.3km)
Avg: 8.3knts
24hr: 199.6nm
36 10.3764S 173 15.6306E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hi guys looks like a good days sail for you. I removed almost 100kg of books from my boat today.... might be able to keep up with Marabilis now.... all the best paddy
Sun Jun 16 17:00 2019 NZST
Run: 0.6nm (1.1km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 144nm
36 16.5066S 173 19.4688E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Very cool to see the boat progressing up on the website. Throw up the temp on a few updates if you want so we can compare. It was 2 degrees in CHCH this morning. One of the legs looked a bit crooked, was Reese steering on that shift?
Sun Jun 16 15:05 2019 NZST
Run: 1.8nm (3.3km)
Avg: 9.7knts
24hr: 233.9nm
36 28.7574S 173 26.064E

Automated update - Satellite

Sun Jun 16 14:54 2019 NZST
Run: 2.8nm (5.1km)
Avg: 28knts
24hr: 672nm
36 30.2442S 173 26.6574E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

As least you're heading in a warmer direction. Looks like the weather is fairly favorable from here north. Keep on trucking guys
Sun Jun 16 14:48 2019 NZST
Run: 4.8nm (8.7km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 128nm
36 32.467s 173 27.771e
Weather: 20knt sw. 35% cc 2.5m sw swell

had to alter the racing sail setup to tighten up into the wind. Not a bad days sailing, still can't believe we haven't even left nz waters yet and had so many different conditions.

I've added a pic of today's sailing conditions. Anyone leaving comments just a note they are being seen and enjoyed by us and it is nice to get them, it's just a little hard to be on the tablet on a rollercoaster and not get queazy.

Sun Jun 16 11:39 2019 NZST
Run: 6nm (10.9km)
Avg: 8.6knts
24hr: 205.6nm
36 50.535S 173 33.342E

Automated update - Satellite

Sun Jun 16 8:03 2019 NZST
Run: 2nm (3.6km)
Avg: 13.3knts
24hr: 320nm
37 15.142s 173 34.770e
Weather: 20knt sw. 30% cc 2m sw swell

We left New Plymouth yesterday about 4pm and headed back out into the deep blue. Our depth sounded stopped working at 450m deep and Waikato is 55 NM off our starboard bow ( we are 99kms out to sea from Waikato for those land lubbers agmonst you).

We had a relatively fast sail last night with 25-30knts the whole night so not much sleep was had. Things are calming down today so a good chance to catch up on sleep, eat and see if anything needs fixing on the boat after what feels like a 16hr rollercoaster ride.

Are we there yet?

Sun Jun 16 4:59 2019 NZST
Run: 1nm (1.8km)
Avg: 10.1knts
24hr: 243.4nm
37 32.2602S 173 38.97E

Automated update - Satellite

Sat Jun 15 18:54 2019 NZST
Run: 25.6nm (46.3km)
Avg: 24.4knts
24hr: 585.1nm
38 44.6622S 173 50.961E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Yay. You're away! All the best guys. Fair winds and calm seas to you xox
Sat Jun 15 17:51 2019 NZST
Run: 16.6nm (30km)
Avg: 38.5knts
24hr: 922.9nm
39 6.714S 173 47.256E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Sat Jun 15 17:25 2019 NZST
Run: 11.7nm (21.2km)
38 54.3426S 173 56.826E

Automated update - Satellite

Fri Jun 14 3:56 2019 NZST
Run: 7.2nm (13km)
39 3.47918S 174 2.65265E
Weather: Calm no wind ..... Yet

Arrived and anchored. Crew managed first food since departure ( chicken pie yum).

Cheers all, got everything under control, removing problematic gear off boat, got some new boots arriving by courier tomorrow and should be away off in the arvo minus 1.5 of the crew.

Arrr the power of the sea! Glad you are in port and all is well


Thu Jun 13 23:13 2019 NZST
Run: 6.7nm (12.1km)
Avg: 3.7knts
24hr: 88.4nm
39 5.62780S 173 55.13021E
Weather: Now calm thankfully

Heading to New Plymouth for repairs. Self steering gear failed yet again. I swear if it had a quick release pin it would now be 40 leagues below. I'm not sure when it happened but most likely before the two uncontrolled jibes in 30 gusting 40 ,(due to the autopilot freaking out as something else was controlling the boat). The self steering gear has again bent the shaft and now tube and is locked sideways causing a hard turn one way. It was not safe to remove in 4-6m hence new Plymouth here we come. Main needs some new cars as they popped during the jibes eeek!!

Bugger! Let me know if you need a mercy dash to bring anything up for you.

A wise move. Hope all the crew are safe and well. A big kiss and cuddle for Arlo from us. Take care xxx
Thu Jun 13 17:21 2019 NZST
Run: 13.4nm (24.3km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 80.4nm
39 23.856S 173 26.04E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Slow progress guys - must be calm out there. I hope you are all over being seasick. Not a good start for Arlo, especially as he hasn’t progressed to crackers yet. 😘😘
Thu Jun 13 9:21 2019 NZST
Run: 31nm (56.1km)
Avg: 4.5knts
24hr: 107.8nm
40 2.856S 173 59.166E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Thu Jun 13 2:27 2019 NZST
Run: 20.2nm (36.6km)
Avg: 5.1knts
24hr: 121.2nm
40 22.632S 174 22.992E

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Hello. Was thinking of you and imagining you were there already. Glad the dolphins visited, and happy to know you're alk on your first adventure together. Wishing you smooth seas, fair winds and calm tummies for all Xxx

Awesome to see you guys out there. Hope you are all well and happy. Hope Arlo is enjoying his first sailing adventure. We are thinking of you. Pebbles xox
Wed Jun 12 10:58 2019 NZST
Run: 29.4nm (53.2km)
40 58.88566S 174 19.58207E

On our way. Sea sickness plagued our first few hours but most coming right now and just had our first dolphin sighting.

glad to hear your sea sickness settling now - have a fabulous trip :-)

All the best guys. Look forward to catching up in August and stalking you on the way
Sun Jun 9 21:04 2019 NZST
41 6.06352S 174 52.07243E

Went out for a quick sail today - sea trials for both Mirabilis (new rig, prop and self-steering gear) and Arlo (our new human). Looking good for a Wednesday departure for Vanuatu. Giddyup!

You haven't left yet, nor us either, thought we'd be WAAY behind you guys. But we are in the summer part of the planet at the mo. Wishing you fair winds and safe trip to sunshine and warm seas xxx

We will miss you all! Safe sailing and may the wind blow you in the right direction! We look forward to welcoming you back later in the year when Arlo will be ready for some pier Auntie company!! xx

Wait, you have a new human?! Hi Arlo! And congrats Mike & Danica!

Mirabilis - New Year at The Anchorage

We are now anchored in the popular “Anchorage” in Torrent Bay next to our old neighbours Dan and Alex from Chaffers in their new yacht Amok on board which we spent New Year’s Eve and watched the impressive fireworks show put on by the local, and very wealthy, Talley’s family. New Year’s Day was a windy one with most of us spending most of the day on board watching the wind speed spike with gusts up to 40 knots. We were pleased to not have ventured ashore when a yacht tried anchoring Read more...

in front of us and instead picked up the anchor of another yacht leaving them tangled and bearing down on Mirabilis for a nerve-racking 15 minutes while they tried to pry themselves apart without colliding into each other, us, or the shore. Mike and another tender had to push the nose round of one of them once they were free but left dangerously close to hitting the shore. It was a huge relief to send them on their way but not 10 minutes later we watched another drama unfold across the anchorage when a solo sailor came unstuck with anchor chain and windlass dramas which had him wrapping around another very nervous yacht. The boys were back in their dinghys ready to run interference if needed and dropping manpower on board to untangle the snubber and manually haul the anchor. Fortunately everyone came off unscathed and that was the last drama of the day; though we did hear that one of the other yachts had their dinghy flip with the outboard on - not the best start to a new year. Luckily our leaky dinghy was tucked in close and had so much sea water in it acting as ballast there was no way it was going to flip. With the wind easing we finally went ashore for the first time at 4 o’clock and went for what was supposed to be a short walk over to Watering Cove but was slightly extended as we inadvertently took a diversion along a considerably less well-kept biodiversity monitoring line track after being lured in by great views across the bay. The next day summer was back and we headed off early for a walk to a waterfall and a very quick dip for me for mandatory under the waterfall photo then back in time to scoff lunch and jump in the kayaks to make the high tide for a trip across the estuary and up to Cleopatra’s pool amongst huge river boulders complete with a rock slide at the base of the Torrent River. Great fun despite a graze or two. Wai Aniwa, another Chaffers yacht, is now here (as is Montego Bay) and we had a quick chat with skipper Roger Foley before retiring to Mirabilis for sundowners which morphed into a great fun party for two of an evening. Today is mercifully a lazy rainy scrabble, reading and odd jobs day - like finally bringing YIT up to date :-).

Mike on the pretty Falls River Track
Cascade falls
A VERY quick dip
Mike and Dan helping another yacht in trouble

Mirabilis - Totaranui & Separation Point

It is lovely and warm over here and as soon as we had set the anchor it was in for a swim followed by a quick trip ashore to explore and a lazy evening enjoying the warmth in the cockpit. The next day we paddled around the estuary and did a short walk in the park including a small loop track right next to the inlet that still has a couple of magnificent towering old trees - ancient relics of the past reminding us of what the forest around here used to be like and eventually will be again. Nikau Read more...

palms added a particularly lush feel to this tiny patch of forest otherwise largely surrounded by the contrasting dry manuka scrub and slowly regenerating bush. Back on board a swell had built up and even with a stern anchor out we were in for a rolly night. Mike was kept awake most of the night with the rolling, I was kept awake half of the night with Mike's grumbling about the rolling. Unhappily for Mike though I was determined to get a decent walk in after finding no decent walks on D'Urville so no sleeping in for us and we set off for a 20km walk to Separation Point. The walk was lovely with the occasional fur seal, pied and spotted shags a plenty, oyster catchers with little fluff ball chicks and a lone gannet soaring above the point - perhaps attracted by the faux gannet models and calls being played out of a huge megaphone where DOC and Project Janszoon are trying to reestablish a colony. Though with the hoards of tourists swarming all over the point at this time of year it might be a hard sell. A great spot for lunch watching a couple of fur seals patrolling the water below us. When we made it back to the anchorage we were delighted to discover that the yacht that we had seen sail past on our walk had indeed been our friends' new yacht Oceanus, which was now anchored next to us. The next morning was my birthday (and New Year's Eve) so I got to sleep in while Mike rustled up a delicious cooked breakfast and even did the dishes straight after as an extra special birthday treat. Then time for a bit of scurfing (like wakeboarding but on a surf board) before we said goodbye to Oceanus for now and headed for the next anchorage (following a bit of a false start and unplanned swim after I managed to wrap the dinghy painter around the prop - an embarrassingly rookie move).

Kayaking around our anchorage
Totaranui inlet
Walk to separation point
A rather stinky fur seal
Oyster catchers guarding their little fluff balls
Headlands Track view over Totaranui
Fur seal swimming around Separation Point
Post swim snooze time
Ahh, Abel
Mike happily scurfing on NYE
Tucked up with Oceanus for the night

Mirabilis - Vava'u has kidnapped us!

So we reluctantly left the beautiful and deserted Ha’apai islands and arrived in Vava’u about a month ago and aren’t showing any signs of budging. Vava’u seems to have taken hold of us and Mike is threatening to apply for residency.
This place is completely different from the Ha’apai group and as Mike puts it, I get homesick for the outer islands or “Neiafu fever” if we stay in town (Neiafu) for too long. That said, we have met so many great and fascinating people and really feel Read more...

a part of the community here so do keep getting tempted back into town fairly regularly and there’s always the excuse of stocking up on fresh fruit and veg from the market.
Vava’u is known as a bit of a sailing mecca as we have discovered as the islands are all very close together and you can find perfectly sheltered anchorages in any conditions. There are some stunning places to visit too, Swallow’s Cave and Mariner’s Cave are particularly amazing for snorkelers.
Swallow’s you swim into to find you are sharing the cave with thousands of small schooling fish which you can then dive under and up through or just watch the beautiful shapes they form. The water is stunningly clear and outside the cave is a steep drop-off into the blue with coral and feather stars clinging to the wall as far as you can see and a myriad of colourful fish working their way between them.
Mariner’s is a trippy experience and quite magical. Once you find the cave that is... We found ourselves searching for Mariner’s Cave one day in our dinghy laden with us and three young trainee doctors who we had met a week earlier at Tonga Bob’s (the local pub) quiz night. We putted a mile across the channel from an anchorage on the eastern side of Kapa Island and started searching for the famous cave. However, this is Tonga so there was no big sign pointing the way, rather about a kilometre long wall of cliff for us to search for some sign of a cave entrance hiding beneath the surface. After a lot of surveying promising looking sites (including one where we surfaced in a cavelet with just enough headroom to take one quick breath!) we finally found a spot that looked like it had to be it...hadn’t it?! After much procrastinating I finally took a deep breath and dived down and in...and in... oh thank goodness, I spied the telltale sign of a large air bubble and surfaced to find myself in a huge cave. As I recovered my breath and started to take it all in, the cave started to rapidly fill with fog, almost completely obscuring the walls from view, then just as quickly it cleared and the air was crystal clear once more.
This pattern is repeated over and over with some episodes more dramatic than others depending on the size of the swell that drives this awesome phenomenon. Pretty freaking cool! Eventually the others joined me one-by-one. Mariner’s Cave was immediately placed at the top of our list of places to take any visitors to.
If you ever come to Vava’u make SURE you don’t miss Mariner’s Cave.
Other things that have been keeping us entertained here over the last month include a visit to a private island to join a three day party (complete with battle hip and poker tournaments), a bit of historic heritage with a visit to the remnants of a 400 year old stone wall for first borns, walks through a few small villages and plantations, snorkeling and diving, island circumnavigation either by kayak or on foot, beach combing, octopus stalking, pig racing (a fund raising event for the local conservation NGO which also included human horse racing, coconut husking and hermit crab racing) and a trip out to Kenutu Island, the eastern most island of Vava’u where you can anchor. The eastern side of the island is completely exposed to the full brunt of the ocean making for dramatic cliffs, blow holes and intertidal waterfalls that come and go with the surge. On the lee side, beautiful snorkeling over seagrass and shallow coral beds, and best of all it’s one of the quieter anchorages in Vava’u with most cruisers sticking to the western side of the cut so we had it all to ourselves.
Right, time to sign out as we’re off to pick up my uncle who is visiting for a week. Then it’s off to the Niuas for us – the smallest and most undeveloped of the Tongan island groups. We will update again in a month or so no doubt. Love Dani & Mike PS, if you want to pay the ransom it is payable in Whittakers chocolate, jars of marmite, cheese in all molds and moulds, vogels bread, good wine, chippies (for Mike of course) and oddly enough cauliflower and broccoli Bizarre the things you miss!

Snorkeling at Swallows Cave
Local kids from Makave village near the historic stone wall
View east from Kenutu Island
View from town out over the anchorage at Neiafu
Friday night social racing