MOONFISH

MOONFISH

Sun Oct 29 16:54 2017 NZDT
Speed: anchoredknts
Run: 229.7nm (415.8km)
Avg: 9.8knts
24hr: 235.1nm
Weather: Baro 1025. 100% cloud cover,

Whoops! I didn?t update our lat and long, so here is our position now.
well, we are home! We had a great last bit of passage, with Silveray coming to visit us at the entrance to the harbour. Thanks guys, it was great to see you with full sails up as we motor sailed in.
We are all cleared through customs and bio-security? who had to take the roast chicken that was in the oven, but oh well? we?ll just have to head into the Opua yacht club for dinner instead tonight? Question? why is it so cold here?

Sun Oct 29 16:54 2017 NZDT
Speed: anchoredknts
Run: 229.7nm (415.8km)
Weather: Baro 1025. 100% cloud cover,

well, we are home! We had a great last bit of passage, with Silveray coming to visit us at the entrance to the harbour. Thanks guys, it was great to see you with full sails up as we motor sailed in.
We are all cleared through customs and bio-security? who had to take the roast chicken that was in the oven, but oh well? we?ll just have to head into the Opua yacht club for dinner instead tonight? Question? why is it so cold here?

Sat Oct 28 17:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 10.1knts
Run: 225.5nm (408.2km)
Avg: 9.7knts
24hr: 232.3nm
Weather: Baro 1024. 85% light cloud cover, wind east, nor east approx 15 knots.

Hello Folks, apologies on not sending through a YIT update this morning, we have had a very exciting day of sailing today! Today started (for Sasha) at 2:56am when she finally awoke 4 minutes before her shift started. She relieved Mike from the helm and he went to bed, for a well earned sleep. After a good 3 hours sailing Tim-o-tei came up and took over just before 6am. And Sasha went back to bed and had a lovely sleep in until 9am ish. Once up the boys started to explain how exciting the morning (that Sasha had missed) had been. They had caught a skipjack, but not kept it, there had been random fishing boats talking on channel 16 (the first VHF chatter we have heard for days) and they had found more dead baby squid on the nets, which again Mike had thrown at Tim.
Breakfast was a vast array of culinary delights, Tim had left over curried sausages, Mike had an up and go over muesli and Sash drank the bit of left over up and go.
For lunch we settled into a few bits of roasted chicken each that Sasha had popped in the oven, and then we had warm blackberry and apple pies with cups of tea.
After sitting on the deck for a bit Mike and Tim both shouted shark! Tim exclaimed ?it looks dead?.. and then Sasha finally got a glimpse of it and thought it looks like a small manta ray, but then we all clicked! It was a MOONFISH! We kid you not!! We thought it was either a sunfish or a moonfish, we are not entirely sure how to tell the difference between the two, but it had these two big pictorial fins that when above the water looked very much like a shark fin, and a very large round body, with a white underside (which is why Sasha thought it was a manta). Amazing eh! We went from seeing nothing for days to this.. and then.. YES FOLKS it gets better!!! Mike and Tim both managed to spot a killer whale breaching out of the water, fully jumping out of the water! Sasha was in the galley at the time so she missed it, but got up on deck quick smart to see if it would breach again? alas it did not.
Apart from that the boys have been hand steering again today, top speed was taken out by Tim at 16.6knots, he was (to say the least) very excited when he got to shout out that speed! Tonight we are going to have the last of the passage meals, Chilli Chicken and Garlic Fried Rice, and then tomorrow once we are (fingers crossed) nicely tucked up on the Opua quarantine dock we will have roast chicken with roast potatoes and peas! That about covers off today?s excitement, oh! we?ve had a couple of 200plus nautical mile days too, which has been excellent after a very slow windless start. Oh and we are back in shorts and t-shirts today, was a lovely warm day, check out that baro it just keeps going up! All well on board

Welcome HOME!! I can see you already in the Bay of Islands. BRAVO to you all.

Yay! Great trip. The main must be fine, it hasn't cracked a mention! Here's hoping our voyage is as good.
Fri Oct 27 18:09 2017 NZDT
Speed: 8.5knts
Run: 67.4nm (122km)
Avg: 11.8knts
24hr: 283.8nm
Weather: Baro 1021. 25% cloud cover, wind east approx 15 knots.

Today Mike said he had had the best sail of his life! Now that?s something! The boys popped the screecher up this morning, and we made excellent pace all day long, with the boys taking turns to see who could get the fastest speed. Mike won with 16plus knots! Sasha made blueberry muffins, and Tim-o-Tei is currently making his now famous curried sausages on mash for our tea tonight.. it?s smelling really good! We?ve been in shorts and t-shirts today, the sun has shone and the sea state is like that of nice flat coastal sailing. Couldn?t ask for much more? well except another batch of Tim?s mum?s delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. We ate all of them?. knew there was something we should have rationed! Thanks Marg they were delicious! All well on board.

Fri Oct 27 12:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 8.9knts
Run: 171.2nm (309.9km)
Avg: 9.5knts
24hr: 228.3nm
Weather: Baro?s gone up to 1020. 50% cloud cover, wind east, sou? east approx 12 to 15 knots.

Had a great nights sailing, sitting around 9 and 10 knots, it was good to get some miles done. Nothing eventful again last night, this morning Mike found a flying fish on the nets, so he threw it at poor Tim-o-tei, gawd those things smell! (the fish, not Tim-o-tei). We all enjoyed hot showers this morning, so we feel very refreshed.
Approximately two and a bit days to go, this will be our longest ever non-stop passage, mostly because the conditions have been so calm and windless.
Apart from that nothing much to report, all well on board.

Thu Oct 26 18:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 9.5knts
Run: 50.3nm (91km)
Avg: 9.1knts
24hr: 219.5nm
Weather: Baro 1015. 100% cloud cover, wind sou? east approx 20 knots.

Going better now that we have more wind. Mike made brunch this morning, fried eggs on top of Sasha?s kibbled wheat toast with baked beans, it was just what the crew needed. Tim-o-tei is in the galley tonight making our left over taco soup into gourmet Parnell-esk cuisine. It?s a little rough at the moment, so we?ll leave it there? All well on board.

Thu Oct 26 12:57 2017 NZDT
Speed: 7.2knts
Run: 135.8nm (245.8km)
Avg: 6.9knts
24hr: 166.7nm
Weather: Baro 1015. 100% cloud cover, wind is building from sou? east approx 10 knots.

Apologies for the delay in this mornings YIT update folks, Sasha had a lovely sleep in again, as Tim-o-tei got up around 6:30am and took over Sasha?s shift which was suppose to finish at 7am.
Another night of motor sailing with very little wind, we may have had a little current against us too, as it was slower than normal motoring too. We were all happy to pop the screecher sail up this morning and get a burst of speed again.
We had Taco soup with corn chips for tea last night, and kibbled wheat toast with marmite this morning. Delicious! Apart from that Tim-o-tei is doing a great job, and is making curried sausages tonight which will be something to look forward too.
All well on board.

Wed Oct 25 17:24 2017 NZDT
Speed: 6.5knts
Run: 311nm (562.9km)
Avg: 39.1knts
24hr: 938.9nm
Weather: Baro 1016. 100% cloud cover, wind from south approx 15knots.

Slow progress today, the wind has picked up but attempting to sail the rhumb line is proving difficult, so we have tacked a couple of times today. We had thought we might stop by Minerva, but due to the wind (or lack thereof and the forecasts we have decided not to delay our travels home any further.
Mike made corn fritters for lunch today, with Tim-o-tei and Mike enjoyed while Sash had the left over spag bol.
Sasha?s made a loaf of bread today which is on the oven baking now.
Tonights dinner will be the Taco Soup, with corn chips.
Both Sasha and Mike have both had naps today, while Tim-o-tei kept watch. Haven?t seen any ships or anything today.
All well on board.

Wed Oct 25 9:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 7knts
Run: 105.6nm (191.1km)
Avg: 6.9knts
24hr: 166.2nm
Weather: Baro 1016. 100% cloud cover, wind from south west approx 12knots.

A slow motoring night last night, not a breath of wind. Tim-otei started shifts this time 6pm to 9pm, then Sasha did her one shift of the night 9pm to 12midnight, then Miwa did graveyard shift till 3am, and Tim-otei came back on till? well he is actually still up and doesn?t seem to want to sleep, so Sasha had a lovely sleep in till 7:30am, which is roughly around the same time Miwa woke up. We?re heating up frozen pastry raisin scrolls for breaky this morning, the weather is getting colder, we all have t-shirts on now.
All well on board.

Tue Oct 24 18:12 2017 NZDT
Speed: 7knts
Run: 60.8nm (110km)
Avg: 8.1knts
24hr: 193.3nm
Weather: Baro 1016. 90% cloud cover, hardly a poof of wind from the north east, so we are motoring currently and have been all day.

Coming to you live with another uneventful day out at sea! Yes that?s right folks SV MOONFISH has NOTHING to report? apart from the fact that the forecast was right when it said light winds? we have NO wind at the moment, it feels like we are coastal sailing.. er.. coastal motoring. The day started with Sasha seeing in the sunrise, another massive sun to add to the sunsets we saw from Musket in the days leading up to our departure. Then at 6am, Tim woke up and Sasha was off to sleep, Mike woke at 6:30am (while Sasha continued to dribble on her pillow) and the boys looked after things until Sasha woke around 8:30am. Top speed last night was 15.7knots.. we were speeding along, and managed a 206 nautical mile day. Our Raymarine chart plotter clicked over 10,000 nautical miles today, so the boys celebrated with a icy cold beer. After lunch Tim-o-tei and MiWa (Mike?s new nickname) both had a nana nap.
We just had Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner which went down a treat, and we will be settling into 3hr shifts from 6pm. Not that we are complaining, as the conditions out here are lovely, but just a few more knots of wind would be lovely! All well on board.

Great to hear. Not sure how much I can write here! All good, liam didn't make it to national premier league 1 but made it to last 15 so really LATE night last night. Everything ok - hurry up as missing talking to Timotei ... i know crazy only being one day! Love to you all be safe besos
Tue Oct 24 10:39 2017 NZDT
Speed: 7.5knts
Run: 170nm (307.7km)
Avg: 10.1knts
24hr: 242.9nm
Weather: Baro 1017. 85% cloud cover

Those of you with attention to detail will have realised the last heading we posted wasn?t correct, Sasha forgot to update it. An uneventful nights sailing, pleasant conditions out here and an extreme difference exiting Fiji yesterday, versus on the 4th of October? there was literally no swell it was very comfortable! We?re enjoying Bircher Muesli with grapes this morning. All well on board

Mon Oct 23 17:51 2017 NZDT
Speed: 10knts
Run: 34.2nm (61.9km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 144.7nm
Weather: Baro 1015. 85% cloud cover

Well, we are off. Tumeric Chicken Stew for dinner, it?s on the hob re-heating now. We only have 50mins on our Satellite phone so we will be keeping these YIT updates relatively short this time around. Especially as we will be using those same minutes to download predict wind weather forecasts.
All well on board, great sailing this afternoon.

All good here. XXOO
Mon Oct 23 12:10 2017 NZDT
Run: 5.3nm (9.6km)
Weather: HOT and sunny

Alrighty, shall we try that again? We have completed a very quick and FREE outward clearance at Denarau, and we are now on our way home to New Zealand. Our estimated date of arrival will be around the 28th or 29th of October. The forecast shows some very light wind in parts, so that may slow us down. We will be updating our YIT around 5PM (Boat Time/Fiji Time) and also in the morning (when Sasha get's up, and has had her go go juice).
We have four pre-made passage meals, 1. Chicken Chilli, 2. Taco Soup, 3. Spaghetti Bolognese and 4. a freshly made Tumeric Chicken Stew.
All well on board, looking forward to being home!

Thu Oct 5 17:16 2017 NZDT
Run: 4.4nm (8km)
Weather: Warm and sunny

So, we're back in Fiji.... we got out about 10 nautical miles in rough 3-5 metre swell, a top wind speed of 30 knots was recorded by ShapeShifter the other yacht that cleared out with us at Vuda yesterday. We had one reef in our mainsail and only had the staysail up. It was rough and uncomfortable but not unbearable. It was definitely the most water we've ever had in the cockpit! Sasha was white knuckled and perched on a beanbag at the back of the cockpit with lifejacket on. But even so we knew the conditions would be tough exiting Fiji, so Mike, Sasha and Tim settled into the cockpit expecting to eat muesli bars and bread rolls for dinner, and not expecting to sleep much for the up coming 48 hours.
Tim was sitting at the helm, he shifted sideways in the seat to take a look at the sails and then said something I can't repeat... all of a sudden all 3 of us were up out of our seats checking out what Tim had spotted... "The mainsail's gone! The mainsail is gone!" Tim said and repeated so we all heard over the wind. Sure enough a large split had appeared and a gaping hole had developed in our mainsail. Crap! It was a quick decision to turn MOONFISH around and head back to Fiji, not before we dropped the mainsail and trimming in our staysail for a depressing motorsail back to our departure destination. First time we've ever had to head back to a port after clearing out... and I can tell you morale was not high...
We rang the Fiji customs hotline and explained our situation, they were great allowing us to pick up Rhumb Coco's mooring ball in Denarau for the night (Thanks Wanda and Pete!). Customs would catch up with us in the morning to reverse our clearance and give us back our arrival documentation so we could clear again once our repairs had been sorted.
So we've been sorting out our options for repair today, removing our sail and folding it up nicely to take off the boat.
Tim will fly home tonight, so we had to fill in a 'crew Change form B'
thIs morning with immigrations so they had the documentation they required. And Mike and Sasha will most likely head back out to Musket while we wait for the repairs....
Plain sailing...... mmmm we think not! But we know it could have been worse, we are all well on board, so we have a lot to be grateful for.

What do you mean "we were destined for muesli bars last night" ? Dear First Mate - I can eat anything, at anytime. Not too keen on scoffing through those 1200 bars on board. Hey - have a good week or so and I'll see you soon (for your usual culinary masterpieces). See ya Seal ;)
Wed Oct 4 12:59 2017 NZDT
Run: 8.9nm (16.1km)
Weather: Warm and sunny

We are off, just getting our lat and long down on YIT so we can measure our daily distances.

Tue Oct 3 14:24 2017 NZDT
Speed: 6.2knts
Run: 4.6nm (8.3km)
Weather: Baro 1020. Clear blue sky. Sou? Sou East under 5 approx knots. Easily 25 to 30 degrees.

TEST to check out onsatmail is working.
The time has come to test all the old systems for our passage home. We are currently motor sailing from Musket Cove to Denarau to pick up our faithful crew Timotei. Yes that?s right!! Timotei is hopping back on MOONFISH for another passage south.. to the cold waters of the Long Wet Windy Cloud.
We listened to Gulf Harbour Radio this morning, albeit through their handy internet radio page. Lots of boats headed off yesterday from here, and the window looks okay, so we are heading out either this afternoon (if we make it in time to the customs office) or first thing tomorrow morning.
More to come as we go through the outward clearance processes here in Fiji? Let?s see if this YIT update gets through.

Wed Sep 27 14:17 2017 NZDT
Weather: It's getting hot here!

Here's the latest YIT update from MOONFISH!
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We've had a busy old time of late! We thought the cove would empty out after regatta and it would be quiet time, but that just hasn't happened!
We've been into Denarau and had a delicious Japanese dinner at Taka, (level two above the Indian restaurant) with a bunch of cruisers, Sarah, Alex & Matt off Black Pearl and Team Mahia. Yes Malibu and Pauline have finally arrived in the Cove after adventuring all over the northern tip of Viti Levu and the Yasawa's. So we all caught up and heard about their amazing travels.
We caught the $1 bus into Nadi so that Mike could visit a physio and get his aching upper back looked at. The physio counted 9 trigger points/knots in his upper left shoulder, she worked on each trigger point and then instructed Mike to ice it 3 times a day to reduce the inflammation and also to do a set of specific exercises each day too. Too much surfing Sasha reckons! Much to Sasha's delight the Physio made Mike promise that she would be the only one massaging him while he was receiving treatment from her, so Sasha is now off the hook.
We did a heap of food shopping, and Sasha has made three passage meals so far; Chilli Chicken, Garlic Rice, White Wine, Potato & Chicken Stew, and a Spaghetti Bolognese. The vacuum packer is sure coming in handy, as we vac pack each meal and pop it in the waeco to freeze it down. Makes for quick defrosting and re-heating while on passage too!
Mike's changed the oil on both motors, and had given the hulls a good wipe down to ensure there is no growth as that slows down the boat. The anti-foul paint we used is really good and is doing a great job keeping the hulls clean.
Last night we had a GREAT night at the Musket Cove Island Bar, Vasiti and Amelia were working in the bar, and they kept everyone with drink in hand as we had a good old catch up with the old gang, Team Mahia, Team Riada, and Team Taranui 2 are all in the bay at the moment. It was such a great night, and Jack from sailing yacht Hi C's rocked out his guitar and played a great set of songs, with everyone joining in and singing along. It was one of those amazing moments when you realise you truly are in the right place, with the right people. The wind had backed right off, the water was still and Jack was strumming away... it was just such a lovely night. Then out of the blue Team Rhumb Coco turned up too! So as the first lot of mates headed off to bed, Mike and Sasha got another beer and caught up with Wanda and Pete as well. Talk about busy! And here we thought we'd be the only ones here at Musket!
Another amazing moment that we have to share is from a couple of nights ago. Team Mahia had invited us to dinner so we headed over there with four bean salad in-hand and settled in for what is always a delicious meal! Mike was stoked as it was roast pork with the crackling! Malibu and Pauline had turned on the blue lights which light up the water at the back of the boat. Every once and a while as we sat in the cockpit enjoying dinner there would be a large knock sound, as if something was hitting the rudder at the back of the boat. Mike was first to suggest it was probably a manta ray, and then Sasha took a look over the back after a knock and sure enough there was a large Manta Ray doing somersaults grazing on the sealife that was attracted by the blue light. We couldn't believe our luck, and all stood there for some time watching this massive animal literally hanging off the back of Mahia, metres from our faces. It was (you guessed it) AMAZING!

Thu Sep 21 15:05 2017 NZST
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
Weather: Sun is shining, weather is sweet ya.

Long time no type! How the hell are ya? Apologies again for not YITing more often, we have been having such a fabulous time its been hard to keep up. The past 6 days have been truly brilliant here, at the magical Musket Cove, our home away from home. The past week has seen us participate in our very first regatta, the 34th Annual Musket Cove Fiji Regatta. And it was AWESOME!
The entry fee was a very reasonable $75 per person, this got you a regatta info pack (per yacht) and each person also receives a special wrist band which entitles the wearer to drink for free when there are designated regatta 'open' bars, and also funds two buffet dinners on opening and closing nights. Not to mention the DJ's and live entertainment, use of the Hobi cats when racing, and all the prizes (spot and winners) that are also provided. The value is fantastic, and it's important we note here just how amazing the Musket Cove team are, their entertainment, bar service and culinary skills made us feel right at home, it was the stuff of days gone by! Great service, entertainment, food and company. Simply amazing.
Kicking off on Friday (15th Sep) evening at the infamous Musket Cove Island Bar, all entered yachts were welcomed with an open bar, and various national anthems were 'passionately' sung by their respective patriotic sailors. A little drama did unfold during the singing, (in-true pirate form), but it was nothing that a cold beer and a bear-hug couldn't sort out.
After that we all headed to the delicious buffet that the Musket Cove team had put together, enjoyed many a icy cold $6 Fiji Gold and even jumped around the dance floor as the night went on. During the night Team SilverRay (one of the three Tim Mumby sister ships in the cove at the moment) offered up their 14 foot race stand-up paddle board to me/Sasha for the SUP race from Namotu Island to Musket Cove the next day. I/Sasha was notably excited to have such a speed-weapon for the race, and decided there and then to stop at 2 beers to be fresh and ready to race the next day.
Saturday (16th Sep) saw a bunch of yachts full of fancy-dressed Pirates head off for Beachcomber for fun and games and a buffet lunch. Sasha was hydrating most of the morning, and Mike was preparing himself to be water-boy extraordinaire. Team Equinox (Fi and Ian) had offered to take us to Namotu on their long boat, not before a quick snorkel for some arty underwater shots by artist in residence Fiona. We arrived at Namotu in time to enjoy the beautiful view from shady hammock swing seats, and hydrated some more while we (Fi and Sasha) waited for the start of the race. The 10km downwind race course was a little daunting for us both, with our goal being to finish... whoa were we stoked to place! Sasha was the first woman in, and Fi picked up 3rd place. We were very proud of ourselves.
Sunday (17th Sep) was a quiet day, a Golf Tournament was played in the morning, and two running races around Malolo were also held, Team SilverRay cleaning up in these! In the afternoon Sasha managed to coerce Colin from SV Lulu to race with her in the Hobi Cat sailing challenge. (Mike has a bit of a shoulder injury (too much surfing) so he had to sit that one out). The wind was really picking up, with a good 15-20knots ripping its way across the race course. Sasha was excited but also a tad concerned about capsizing as there had already been teams that had gone over due to the wind, and a few technical kinks with the mainsheet on a couple of the hobi's. When it was our turn, the race starter allowed Sasha to call the coin toss to decide which hobi we got, we won the toss, and elected the leeward hobi. Then the starter yelled go, and we hopped on quickly, Colin managing the rudder and mainsheet, Sasha up the front managing the jib. We had a great start, and were doing really well until after we completed our first tack and got a decent gust of wind which took us right... yes RIGHT over! The mainsheet had got jammed, and Colin was powerless to reduce the pressure, so we capsized. Sasha was just stoked she hadn't screamed, as Colin had said to her before the race 'What ever you do, don't scream in my ear' It was very exciting, and with the help of the Musket Cove Longboat support crew, we righted the hobi and finished the race, but came a very distant second (there were only two boats racing at a time).
Monday (18th Sep) saw Mike and Sasha aboard Lulu, a sleek Hanse 47ft monohull to compete in the Tauranga Marine Funrace to the sandbank. This was to be Sasha's first time racing a monohull, in fact it was the first time Sasha had ever raced a big yacht. It was a nail biting start with boats (not familiar with standard yacht race rules) doing all sorts of bizarre manoeuvres putting their boats, and the boats around them at risk of prangs and bangs. Unfortunately because of this crazy behaviour team Lulu was forced to do a full turn just before the start line, which disadvantaged us quite some. Once clear of the start line, after clearing the reef, Lulu settled in at a good pace on its way to the first marker. The team urging on the wind gods for just a tad more pressure, which didn't come. We headed around the marker, and back towards the sandbank, many a good tack and gybe being executed by the team on board. It was a great introduction for Sasha to monohull racing, and was also interesting to sail a yacht with electric winches (oooo lala!) and self-tacking headsails (yes please!).
Wednesday (20th Sep) the Fiji Water Round Malolo Classic, a brilliant day! Mike and Sasha were keen to get MOONFISH out and racing for the first time since they have owned her. And the loco Lulu boys were keen to be crew, so we prep'd the boat by taking our SUP's off, and picked them up with our dingy (which was on the davits for the whole race, unlike our competition) and got ourselves all sorted for the beginning of the race. The breeze was perfect for MOONFISH, and we had a great start with Skipper Mike navigating away from the scary cluster of racing yachts all circling behind the starting line. We headed around a small reef with just one other boat, and hit the start line just after the horn sounded with pace. We set the sails and started to knock off boat after boat... including our sister ship Toucan, much to their disappointment. As we rounded the corner we hit a hole, and watched some near misses as boats came to a stop and lost a lot of their ability to steer. All we could do was sit and wait as we watched all the boats we had just passed gain on us from behind, Mike on helm decided to head further out where there was more pressure on the water, instead of hugging the coast. It paid off, and we hurtled down the back of Malolo with a top speed of 15 knots! Mike said that's the closest we've ever got to flying a hull. We nailed a few more monohulls down the long back stretch, and made up ground against our nearest multihull competitor Cactus Island, a very light-looking pod catamaran with two masts. We watched as they tacked onto the home straight and there was a tense few minutes as the crew and Mike discussed when would be the ideal time for us to tack. Mike made the call, and the crew set about tacking, we headed towards the Black Rocks on a tight reach, all of us waiting in anticipation for the turn around them when we would be on a beam reach - this would be our only chance to try and reach Cactus Island... alas the course was too short for us to make the gain we needed. We were very pleased to be the first Mumby home out of the three racing. And were super proud to have received our first ever finish horn from SV Encore. The loco-Lulu boys were chuffed, so were Sasha and Mike, we all had smiles on our dials. Icy cold beers were cracked open, and Sasha popped a tray of rolled cheese toasties into the oven for a snack. Race discussions were had a plenty, with a resounding conclusion that we raced well, and made the right decisions.
After a power nap, we headed out for the closing event at Dick's. Prize giving was another great surprise with Moonfish called out for a spot prize! After photos, we settled in for a delicious buffet. Mike was very happy he could enjoy the roast pig on a spit. After dinner the sand-dance-floor was full, and Sasha headed out for a boogie with Leanne (Team Songlines).
All in all... an absolutely fantastic event! One that we will definitely be participating in again. Thank you Musket Cove, our home away from home! You have a very special place here.

Wed Aug 16 18:59 2017 NZST
Run: 0.2nm (0.4km)
Weather: Overcast and man did it blow for a couple of hours early this morning!

Well HELLO Everyone! Our greatest apologies for such a lag between YIT's! Hopefully everyone in NZ is handling winter ok, we heard that spring is just around the corner, so congrats you made it!
We have been surfing and kiting, and hurting ourselves (ok well.. maybe that is just Sasha) and then resting and healing and then surfing and then hurting ourselves again. Great fun all round, although this pattern is tiring somewhat.
Sasha's first injury occurred when she took Mike's brand new SURF kite board for a kite. It's a directional board, so it's a different way of kiting compared to what Sasha is use to on her twin tip. Anyway, after a successful first session, nailing the carving turns on this lovely $1k worth of board, Sasha made an error in judgement and rode it straight into coral. Two of the three surf board fins (bespoke to the board) were pulled out instantaneously from the impact and lost in the ocean. And many a cut and scrape along the back of Sasha's legs also occurred. Suffice to say after Mike got her back to the boat to 'make repairs' to her and the board, he was less than impressed the board he hadn't even had a chance to try out had been done-over without his participation. That was, until he suddenly realised that this meant a new board would most certainly be supplied on arrival back to NZ as payment for damaging this one.. where does he get these ideas from? After another yo-cheesecake and a banana cake to make up for her error, life on MOONFISH settled down to it's normal cruising pace, and there hasn't been another word about new surf-kite-boards mentioned, much to the delight of Sasha's bank account.
Two days ago after not one, not two but three fun sessions in the surf at Namotu, Sasha managed to maim herself again.
After an excellent session learning how to ride backhand on her birthday present ( a brand new 8.6ft surf SUP), Sasha managed to nail her right shin into her board fin as she came off a nice soft easy right hander at Pools. Yip... nailing life! ha!
Apart from that highlights over the past month include.. finding one of the best ever cos lettuce heads at Denarau, surfing, having an avocado, feta, walnut and pear salad with last nights dinner, walking around Mana island (even if the vibe was a little weird), having leaving beersies with Seaforth and Panthera at the island bar, (even if Sasha did manage to hurt herself there too! gah!), surfing, hanging with Fi and Ian off Equinox, they surf too!, kiting, not dragging in last nights unexpected blow, getting mobile wifi on the boat with 50gb a month (winning!), and promptly wasting that data on watching all the new music video's that have been released on you tube since we left Auckland and, you guessed it.. surfing.

Tue Jul 25 8:26 2017 NZST
Run: 0.6nm (1.1km)
Avg: 14.7knts
24hr: 352.7nm

Musket Cove

Tue Jul 25 8:24 2017 NZST
Run: 66.7nm (120.7km)

We made it to Musket Cove, we'll hang out here for a while. We've had one fantastic day of surfing, and two great days of kiting on the sand bar.

Wed Jul 19 0:00 2017 NZST
Run: 16nm (29km)
Weather: Sunny and warm

Our first night in Somosomo Bay.
We headed down the coast, and as we closed in on Somosomo bay we called Cormac up, and he said he would meet us in a boat at the pass. As we got closer we saw Cormac, he?d motored out in his aluminium long boat called Yeah Buoy made by the Chris?s at Bluewater Craft. Just as we reached the cut in the reef the sun came out illuminating the pass, Mike mentioned something about how lucky Moonfish is and Sasha couldn?t help but agree ? this boat has damn good juju! We followed him through the pass, into the large bay of Somosomo, and he pointed to a large anchorage and basically said pick where you like. The holding was great, sticky, mud sand.
Once anchored Cormac went and picked up his dad Andrew and Sama one of the team who works at their resort (apparently he?s the guy who fixes everything), and they all came out to check out MOONFISH, it seems like liked what they saw, they seemed genuinely interested in our story, and the boat, it?s designer (an Australian Tim Mumby) and where it was built. Then Andrew invited us back to their Fiji beachouse resort, which we later named the jewel of the coral coast. We all headed ashore on Yeah Buoy and the boys introduced us to the village spokeman, and said we would be back to do sevusevu later. Then we hopped into the truck, which has seating in the back as well, and headed west to the resort.
Sasha and Mike couldn?t believe their eyes, as the truck turned the corner down the driveway, the Fiji Beachouse is one awesome spot! Greeted with smiles, and a really special vibe that we had not yet encountered here in the Coral Coast. The atmosphere of this place is really special, it?s alive with people doing their thing, whether that be surfing, SUPing, kiting, swimming in the pool, relaxing in the sun on one of the many hammock chairs, or sipping on a cool beverage in the bar. The common area?s of the resort were built for an American reality TV show, the bar features a pool and foosball table, there is a balance board on the bar?s porch with ?Danger? written on it ? the place is just cool. The bar overlooks the pool, which in turn overlooks the beautiful white sandy beach, there is pass a short SUP paddle away, with reef surf breaks.
We sat down with Andrew and Cormac, cold beer in hand, a few minutes later lunch arrived, a delicious marinated chicken salad with fresh crisp salad greens, it was so tasty! And such a treat after the last couple of weeks where veges have been sparce.
After lunch, Cormac (who seems to always be on the go), was up getting his kite gear, talking about a downwinder. A few minutes later, we are in the truck again, this time riding in the back (pretty cool) and heading back to MOONFISH to get our gear. We loaded up the groups kite gear into Yeah Buoy, and headed to MOONFISH, after another tour for the guys who hadn?t seen it yet, we were all sorted, and headed around the coast east. Sasha thought it was quite a long way, and wondered how her body would handle such a long downwind kite, but she sucked it up, and remembered that saying ?do something that scares you everyday?, and the distance and unfamiliar reefs, plus several reef passes was more than enough to tick that box well and truly.
It was a great downwind kite sesh, the first for Mike! We all headed back to the boat, where Cormac dropped us off, and said he?d be around to pick us up later for dinner. Yes, that?s what these guys are like they are just so chilled, welcoming and so friendly.
After showering, we headed into the village in the tender, tied it up to what is left of the old Jetty, and met Cormac, and Sama there for sevusevu. They introduced us again to the spokesman, and we did our first ever sevusevu by ourselves, well, we were very lucky to have Cormac and Sama showing us the way but we were the only yacht there. The village welcomed us, and asked us if we wanted to try the kava, we politely as possible declined, and said we were heading to The Beachouse for dinner. They seemed ok with that, and we headed off in the truck again, back to our new favourite spot.
Cormac guided us to the blackboard menu, and talked through a few menu items, like the DALO fries, which are Sasha and Mike?s new favourite thing to eat. We ordered the chicken, with dalo fries. Cormac ordered a fish dish, and it was all ready in what seemed like a couple of minutes?.. Sasha is still in awe of how quick the food comes out! Dinner was delicious, the fries are so tasty, crispy and just so moreish. The chicken was full of flavour, moist and perfectly cooked. The fish dish came out in a big white sharing bowl, and Sama and Cormac tucked into that. During dinner, Dingo Dean and Scotty popped over with Justin (who had been on the downwinder with us that afternoon), they introduced us to their crew, and the driven to drink (because of them) tour leader Tom? poor fellow haha!
It had been a big day, and Mike and Sasha were pretty tired, so Cormac organised a ride back to the village, and Sasha and Mike hopped in the tender and headed back to MOONFISH for a well earned sleep. It had been one hell of an awesome day. If you get a chance go stay at the Fiji Beachouse, it's such a special place, with so much to do and Andrew and Cormac's chilled out ways just add to the vibe of the place, it really is the jewel of the coral coast, and made our first visit to the south side of Viti Levu 100% amazing!

Wed Jul 19 0:00 2017 NZST
Run: 13.5nm (24.4km)
Weather: Seems to be getting warmer and sunnier as we head west around the coast.

The next morning, we got up earlier than normal, headed straight to the Pearl cafť, grabbed two takeaway coffee?s and waited in reception for Team Bluewater Craft to pick us up on their way to work. Both Chris?s greeted us with big smiles, and we hopped in and headed east. It was a great chance to take a look at the coral coast by land. Once at the boat yard, the Chris?s showed us around, they were pretty busy with several jobs on the go, a 15 metre aluminium catamaran, plus a commercial dive boat, and several others. We saw where they cut the aluminium to plan using a plasma cutter, and how each bulk head fits together to make a hull. It was very interesting, and Mike was pretty excited at the possibilities for future projects. We also saw how they build aluminium boat names, and made a mental note to get our MOONFISH font to them so we could get one for our yacht too.
After the tour, Chris junior drove us back, but not before we stopped off at Lisa and Paul?s canal home for a tour, to check out their stunning treehouse right on the waters edge, with beautiful art and designer bamboo furniture. They were busy packing to head to Kadavu for a while. We said our goodbyes and Chris junior dropped us back at the Pearl to cast off the marina lines, and head back out into the Coral Coast. Our next destination was to be Somosomo Bay, to catch up with Andrew and Cormac from the Fiji Beachouse.

Mon Jul 17 0:00 2017 NZST
Run: 10.8nm (19.5km)

Our second night at The Pearl Resort Marina.
We awoke refreshed after the first night sleeping in a marina since we left Auckland. Surprisingly neither of us had a cocktail hangover, must be the great skills of the Pearls bartender. Today was to be our quiet day, of rest and relaxation. Our massage was booked in for 10:30am, we spent several hours there, enjoying a tropical full body massage with a hair and scalp massage to boot! Mike was so relaxed he fell asleep on the table! After our massages we were led to the fully tiled, beautiful steam room, for a good ol? steam! Then we had luxurious showers under large waterfall showerheads. Once dressed and back in the spa lounge we were greeted with bottled water and herbal tea. So we sat for a wee while longer enjoying the tranquility of it all, re-adjusting to the world in our super relaxed state, reading magazines of tropical destinations, while we sat enjoying a tropical destination.
We returned to the boat, ready for our next adventure; a dinghy ride down the canals. So we took the tender off the davits and headed down the river to take a look at the big houses on the waterways of Pacific harbour. It was a great adventure riding past large resorts, golf courses, and people sitting in their mosquito netted framed rooms overlooking the water.
Later that afternoon we watched the film crew again, unloading from their day of filming. While we were watching in the cockpit, a group of people came down onto the marina finger and introduced themselves. ?We are just admiring your yacht? said the woman who we later found out was called Lisa. ?Well would you like to come aboard for a tour? Sasha replied. Two minutes later we had a brand new bunch of friends, that?s the greatest thing about cruising, the people you meet are the best part of it all! Lisa and Paul are an Aussie couple with a house they just recently sold in the waterways, they have been coming to Pacific harbour for years, Lisa explained she would be pretty keen to get a yacht and go cruisng too. Lisa and Paul?s friends also hopped on board for a look, Chris senior and Chris junior own Blue Water Crafts, a boat yard just down from the resort in Navua, that specialises in making aluminum power boats. They were super keen to take a look at MOONFISH, as they have always been interested in making an aluminum yacht. Once the tour was over, they said they were celebrating and that we should join them up at the bar, which we did.
What a great random night, we met even more locals once up at the bar, Andrew and his son Cormac had joined the celebrations, they own the Fiji Beachouse a resort further around the coast to the west. Hilariously this is the same place where Dingo-Dean and Scotty are currently staying! Sasha first met Dingo Dean in Melbourne on a group kite surfing tour, and then ended up on a group snowboard trip in Japan with Dean and Scotty. What a small world eh!
We heard many a great sailor tale as Lisa and Paul are sailors, who race quite a bit when home in Australia. The Bluewater Craft Chris?s invited us for a tour of their boat yard the next morning, and Andrew and Cormac gave Mike directions on our ipad as to where their place was, and said we should call them and drop in for a visit too.
Around midnight we got back to the boat, so much for a quiet night! Little did we know that these new friends would be the start of an amazing week of fun and adventures, visiting places we never would have even knew existed if it wasn?t for their friendly welcoming ways. if you're reading this guys, you are AWESOME and you really made our first visit to the Coral Coast an unforgettable one.

Mon Jul 17 0:00 2017 NZST
Weather: Overcast while in this part of Fiji, the mainland sure does seem to hold onto rain cloud.

Our first night at The Pearl Resort Marina.
During our stay in Beqa we emailed The Pearl Resort to see if they had room for us in their Marina, a 12 berth marina situated on the left hand side of the river at Rovodrau Bay in Pacific Harbour. The General Manager Natalie replied saying yes they could fit us in. Ah! luxury, we booked our full body tropical massages for Tuesday morning via email, weighed the anchor and set off from Beqa to explore the Pacific Harbour.
A short motor sail we were at the mouth of the river entrance, Sasha hailed the Pearl Resort on VHF but got no reply, we don?t think they have VHF either. Then Sasha called Natalie on mobile, it was promptly answered and shortly after that we were called by Frank the Activities and Marina manager and told to say to our starboard side when entering the relatively narrow river mouth. Frank met us at the marina, with a team of guys and they all helped to get us neatly and securely tied up.
That night we went to happy hour and had delicious cocktails, we met Rachel and Tiki, lovely kiwi?s having a wee break from the kids, they had also booked into the spa for massages.
That night we watched the American film crew unloading lots of gear after a long day?s filming a movie called ?Adrift?, turns out the consultant sailor on the set is someone Team Sky Pond knows, as they sailed with him on passage once. Such a small world. We met another guy from the set, we think his name was Wally, and he owns Bad Kitty, a catamaran back home in NZ.

Sun Jul 16 0:00 2017 NZST
Run: 4.7nm (8.5km)

LAWAKI BEACH HOUSE. Well Sunday was awesome, don't ya just love random cruising adventures that are spur of the moment and wonderful!
The night before in Malumu Bay at the resort there, we had joined Jim and Linaire off SV Panthera for some sundowners. We met Blair the dive guy, and his cute little yorkie puppy Reef at the jetty and quickly found out he was a kiwi too! We headed to the bar, and talked about shark dives and we also met the Canadian managers of the resort. Jim and Linaire told us they planned to head to the other anchorage in Beqa, called Vaga Bay the next day, we thought we would check it out too.
On Sunday morning we headed west from the eastern Malumu bay, around the northern top of Beqa and found Vaga bay. It was pretty gusty looking in Vaga, and we noticed Panthera had anchored further down the coast, (18 24.587S 178 5.313E) so we headed further south around the west coast of Beqa and anchored up next to Panthera.
The Lawaki Beach House cannot be missed when you anchor up here (see photo from anchorage attached) it?s a very well looked after property owned and operated by Christine and Sam Tawake-Bachofner. At first we thought it was a private residence, as there is no signage on the beach front, but then we saw a bunch of people leave with suitcases etc. We attempted to call them up on the VHF, but later (at a delicious dinner there) found out they don?t have a VHF. BUT DON?T LET THAT STOP YOU GOING HERE because it is awesome! Give them a bell on their mobile if you have a sim card +679 992 1621, they?ll be happy to welcome you ashore.
That afternoon Jim headed ashore in his kayak to suss out the place. A great idea before you attempt to dinghy in, as the area is a marine reserve so it?s a good way to familiarise yourself with getting to land. Jim?s mission was to figure out if they were ok with us anchoring there and see if there was any dinner available, Mike had also asked Jim to find out if they had any cold beer in the fridge, as MOONFISH was plum out.
Jim came paddling back after finding out that dinner was definitely available; a set menu of entrťe, main and dessert at a cruiser friendly price! The Lawaki Beach House is cruiser friendly, and loves welcoming sailors ashore, you won?t find them in the 2017 Fiji Mariners Guide, but they are planning to get into the next edition. Alas Jim announced that there was no beer, as they don?t have a liquor license, but they were ok with us bringing our own ? even better we thought! So wine and assorted drinks were popped into the freezer in preparation.
Jim and Linaire had wanted to come and see MOONFISH, so they headed over in their tender for a sundowner and then we headed into land together on Panthera?s tender. After one hair raising moment, finding ourselves (all of a sudden) on top of a rather large coral bommie (it was dark and our torch skills were a little lacking), Christine came down to the beach with a torch and showed us the way in. There is no path through the coral to the resort, and at low tide it is shallow so bring shoes or jandals with you just in case. The area is a Marine Reserve, and there is a pole outside the Lawaki resort highlighting the sacrificial part of the reef that can be used to tender into the beach. Stay south of the pole in your tender, in other words keep the pole to your port side.
The Lawaki Beach House is such a great place, it has a lovely chilled out vibe, with beautiful lawns featuring stepping stones to the restaurant area, coconut husks have been transformed into hanging baskets with tropical plants overflowing. Christine?s dogs are very well behaved, but will protect the resort early morning and throughout the night, so we were told to be wary approaching the Lawaki Beach House early in the morning as the dogs would come to see who was approaching.
Dinner was great, we had a very tasty pumpkin soup as the entrťe with a massive load of garlic bread, then our main was reef fish (Snapper), with rice, and stir fried vegetables, and a massive side salad with fresh tomato, cucumber and lettuce was also presented for each person (Sasha was in heaven!). Dessert was a fruit salad with cute little heart shaped ginger and pumpkin cake morsels. The thing that got us most about this place is the LOVE that goes into everything, it is very well maintained, Christine took us on a tour of the accommodation which is (like everything there) well looked after and presented very well. A great stop, off the beaten track, but not for long so get in and experience it before the whole world turns up!

Sat Jul 15 12:06 2017 NZST
Speed: 0 ?knts
Run: 220.3nm (398.7km)
Avg: 10.1knts
24hr: 243.1nm
Weather: Anchored in the calm (albeit a little gusty) harbour of Malumu Bay, at Beqa island?

Gosh food tastes so good after a passage! We just sat down to american style hotcake pancakes, with 100 percent real canadian maple syrup and crispy strips of honey smoked bacon. Mike is now in a food coma in bed. We had a great passage from Fulaga to here. We hooked up a new fish for us, and Mike fried some of it in butter with salt and pepper for dinner last night, it was DELICIOUS! A clean tasting fish, no fishy or salty notes, white flesh that flakes beautifully. We now have a new target species. I wonder if small billed spear fish are also known as walu? Can?t wait to get some internet, we have service coverage here, but the oh-so-smart network providers here won?t let you top up using their website for free, like Vodafone NZ does. So until we can get to some wifi, we have no internet as we can?t top up without internet. Go figure! Mike spotted a whale just as the sun set. With the wind at our aft quarter, it was a lovely easy passage, with the trades staying consistent throughout the night. We hit just over 13 knots at one point. Sasha did the first shift until about 1am, and then Mike took over from then to about 5:30am. We are both ready for a sleep, in fact Mike is already out to it.
Mappy emailed Sasha and explained NZ has quite a cold burst creeping up the country at the moment, with sleet forecast for Mt Wellington! That?s cold for sure! We hope everyone is warm and toasty and inside! The weirdest thing just happened, the boat is anchored, and there is the odd gust, but the wheel just did a 180 by itself! That has never happened before! Must have been some current or something to turn the rudders that quickly! Bit odd eh! All well on board, will be a quiet one today, Mike is asleep and Sasha is about to watch the much anticipated Moana, of which she will probably see a quater of it before she too falls asleep.
This evening we plan to head into for a well earned cold beer at the resort just across the way from where we are anchored.

Fri Jul 14 14:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 11.2 ?knts
Run: 24nm (43.4km)
Avg: 5.9knts
24hr: 142.2nm
Weather: 12 to 15 knots (approx) sou east in the big blue again

Well, we are on our way to the Astrolabe Reef, or somewhere south of Fiji?s Viti Levu, and we just caught a fish! We think it is a Short Billed Spear Fish! Bu of Mahia was still in VHF range, so we rang Mahia up and asked what they thought it was, and whether it was worth bringing aboard for eating. Bu said yip, we could fry it or smoke it. What a amazing coloured fish (photos to come), it?s a very thin, long fish, with a short bill, and a dorsal fin almost the length of it?s entire slender back. First time we have ever caught or seen anything like it! It was a iridescent deep purple, almost the same colour as the ocean.
Anyway, that?s all for now, all well on board.

Fri Jul 14 14:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 0?knts
Run: 24nm (43.4km)
Weather: 10 knots (approx) sou east, warm, turquoise lagoon waters, overcast with some blue sky?

Just realised our last update probably didn?t get through as I forgot one of the templates bits to make the auto-bot do it?s thing, this is our second attempt to send this update. Sorry if it?s a double up.
Firstly a wee apology for the typos in the last couple of YIT updates, I am not sure if it?s the apple auto correct, or Sasha unconsciously typing ?where? instead of ?we?re? or ?were? but she just re-read the last couple of YIT updates and is rather embarrassed by the number of errors. Ah the joys of free flow writing! Today is the day, we are leaving beautiful Fulaga (pronounced Fulanga). Sasha believes the primary reason for the departure is the distinct lack of beer left in MOONFISH?s stores. Captain Mike isn?t 100% sure WHERE we will head, but it looks like North Astrolabe Reef could be a goer, all depends how the sailing is, and how we feel when we get a bit closer.
Sasha is pretty keen to check out The Pearl Resort Marina, with is located on the south side of Viti Levu (Fiji?s main island), and is west of Suva, it?s close to Beqa pronounced Benga. Sasha is hoping there is a spa there, as she has promised Mike and herself a good sports massage. ah Dreams! When you leave a place like Fulaga it makes you think of all the memories you have made there. There are so many things we have done here, we found (in ankle deep waters) the vine like Nama, the miniature grapes that pop in your mouth releasing the salty flavour of the sea. We?ve kited at several different spots throughout the lagoon, we?ve played with whales and sharks, snorkled the most amazing pass, full with all sorts of coral as the current carried us along with ease. Sasha got to see a coral cabbage patch, finally! And it went on for ages! We?ve eaten at the village, things like grated boiled cassava, island spinach, delicate little clams and more. We?ve enjoyed sundowners in quite possible the best ever locations, white sandy beaches on our very own islets. We?ve been on paddle board safaris, and dinghy safaris, listened to the bird song in the mornings, and listened to the fish eating at night. Last night we had our leaving dinner with Team Mahia and Team Riada, Pauline had made a pork roast with crackling much to Mike?s delight. Sasha brought over a butterflied lamb with garlic and rosemary ?injected? into it. We all enjoyed an amazing dinner with roasted kumara and pumpkin, boiled new potatoes (Sasha is still wondering how Pauline managed to have so much root vegetables still), we had peas as well! And then Pauline rocked out a boat made apple and blackberry pie with whipped cream! What a fantastic night, many a giggle was had. One of the best things about cruising is these types of nights, where you get a bunch of people who are just such good sorted and you can chat and chat and have such a fun time.
Anyway, that?s all for now, Tony and Marg from Taranui 3 just arrived at Fulaga with spare eggs, so we?ve gonna head over and see if we can ?purchase? 6. oh yeah! Living the dream!

Fri Jul 14 10:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 0?knts
Run: 0.6nm (1.1km)
Weather: 10 knots (approx) sou east, warm, turquoise lagoon waters, overcast with some blue sky?

Firstly a wee apology for the typos in the last couple of YIT updates, I am not sure if it?s the apple auto correct, or Sasha unconsciously typing ?where? instead of ?we?re? or ?were? but she just re-read the last couple of YIT updates and is rather embarrassed by the number of errors. Ah the joys of free flow writing! Today is the day, we are leaving beautiful Fulaga (pronounced Fulanga). Sasha believes the primary reason for the departure is the distinct lack of beer left in MOONFISH?s stores. Captain Mike isn?t 100% sure WHERE we will head, but it looks like North Astrolabe Reef could be a goer, all depends how the sailing is, and how we feel when we get a bit closer. Sasha is pretty keen to check out The Pearl Resort Marina, with is located on the south side of Viti Levu (Fiji?s main island), and is west of Suva, it?s close to Beqa pronounced Benga. Sasha is hoping there is a spa there, as she has promised Mike and herself a good sports massage. ah Dreams! When you leave a place like Fulaga it makes you think of all the memories you have made there. There are so many things we have done here, we found (in ankle deep waters) the vine like Nama, the miniature grapes that pop in your mouth releasing the salty flavour of the sea. We?ve kited at several different spots throughout the lagoon, we?ve played with whales and sharks, snorkled the most amazing pass, full with all sorts of coral as the current carried us along with ease. Sasha got to see a coral cabbage patch, finally! And it went on for ages! We?ve eaten at the village, things like grated boiled cassava, island spinach, delicate little clams and more. We?ve enjoyed sundowners in quite possible the best ever locations, white sandy beaches on our very own islets. We?ve been on paddle board safaris, and dinghy safaris, listened to the bird song in the mornings, and listened to the fish eating at night. Last night we had our leaving dinner with Team Mahia and Team Riada, Pauline had made a pork roast with crackling much to Mike?s delight. Sasha brought over a butterflied lamb with garlic and rosemary ?injected? into it. We all enjoyed an amazing dinner with roasted kumara and pumpkin, boiled new potatoes (Sasha is still wondering how Pauline managed to have so much root vegetables still), we had peas as well! And then Pauline rocked out a boat made apple and blackberry pie with whipped cream! What a fantastic night, many a giggle was had. One of the best things about cruising is these types of nights, where you get a bunch of people who are just such good sorted and you can chat and chat and have such a fun time.
Anyway, that?s all for now, Tony and Marg from Taranui 3 just arrived at Fulaga with spare eggs, so we?ve gonna head over and see if we can ?purchase? 6. oh yeah! Living the dream!

Thu Jul 13 14:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 0?knts
Run: 0.6nm (1.1km)
Weather: 5 knot sou sou east, warm and sunny, although the water temp is a little cooler than up north.?

We?ve just moved from this spot. It was a stunning bay, framed by Fulaga?s now infamous rock islets. We had a great time in this spot, and even had 3PM sundowners with Team Mahia and Team Riada on The Most Awesome beach near by, with it?s very own natural harbour bridge, made out of rock. (photo to follow on Insta). This morning, Bu (Malibu?s new shorter nickname) picked us up around 8:30am - we?d planned the evening before to all hope on Mahia and head out the pass for a spot of fishing. WELL! What an epic fishing session! While still watching for reef and rocks as we navigated the pass, the women on the front still spotting exclaimed when all of a sudden out of no where there was two rather large rocks to our port that we hadn?t noticed up until that point. It took a few seconds to register the rocks where large whales, we think they were of the Hump Back variety. The Mahia Whale Watching Tour began then, and we spend a good while following (at a respectable distance) these two massive whales as they played just off the reef of Fulaga. They dove several times, showing us their entire tails, it was so amazing we were all jumping up and down, so excited to be seeing what we where seeing. While whale watching we also spotted one of the largest turtles Sasha has ever seen in the ocean, he was a biggie! Once the whales headed off, it was time for a Shark Snorkel, Sasha was less than keen, but Pauline and Mike were keen, and that encouraged Sasha to go too. We headed back into the pass, where Bu dropped us at the start of the pass (closest to the land) and we snorkelled and drifted from the inside to the outside. It?s a great feeling going with the current, it feels like flying, especially as you fly over large coral heads, and through schools of fish. Sasha spotted the first of MANY reef sharks, hanging around the bottom, not really bothered by us it seemed. Sasha had to grab Pauline?s hand several times for a little more courage, as there were several sharks, and some got a little more curious that Sasha expected. Once at the other end of the pass, Mahia came through the entrance, and Sasha made a quick sprint to the back of the boat, while Mike and Pauline hung back watching all the sea life happen literally a couple of metres under the boat.
It was an absolutely fantastic morning?. once back we moved to another beautiful spot. Soon to be YIT?d as well.

Thu Jul 13 14:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 0?knts
Run: 9792.7nm (17724.8km)
Avg: 212knts
24hr: 5087.1nm
Weather: 5 to 10 knots (approx) sou? sou east, warm, turquoise lagoon waters, overcast with some blue sky?

Surrounded by rock islets, many of which seem to be defying physics as they sit on the tiniest amount of rock, and plume out into massive mushroom rock structures above. Such a pretty anchorage. Photos will follow on instagram.

Tue Jul 11 16:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 0?knts
Run: 9791.6nm (17722.8km)
Avg: 127.8knts
24hr: 3067.9nm
Weather: 5 to 10 knots (approx) sou? sou east, warm, turquoise lagoon waters, overcast with some blue sky?

Bula land lubbers! Yes? we are still in Fulaga and just anchored around the corner from our last YIT update.
Yesterday, after several days of prep (more on that shortly) Sasha attempted to make another pineapple and lime yoghurt-cheesecake, this time not baked, and whoa darn was it a goodie. It takes a bit of time because as you can imagine the usual main ingredient cream cheese is NO WHERE to be found here in Fulaga. I have promised Lisa (who we met with her hubby Dan on SV Meari last cruising season) and Roxy (from Team Skypond) the recipe, so instead of the first baked version I am going to give you all the second attempt no-bake recipe here, and then add it to facebook/instagram once we get some internet and can get a photo uploaded of it. She was a beaut!! SV MOONFISH?S Pineapple & Lime Yo-Cheesecake TOOLS YOU?LL NEED 1. Blender (we have a nutribullet on board, and LOVE it) 2. Non-stick 20cm cake tin with a spring base (sorry not sure what to call it, it?s a cake tin where you can release the sides, and the base separates from the sides, making it a hell of a lot easier to get the cheesecake out in one piece) 3. A level of boredom or should I say a desire so strong for cheesecake that it drives you to spend several days making enough yoghurt and letting it sit and drain for days. On a boat this requires significant refrigerator space management, as well as a keen eye in the morning to ensure said yoghurt is not eaten for breakfast by a hungry Mike. Rest assured many a conversation about the gratification of delayed gratification was had.
THE BASE 250g of your favourite plain biscuits (American?s, (Roxy that?s you) may want to use cookies instead, as I understand it a biscuit to you is more like a scone to us Kiwi?s. Don?t use scones haha!) Note: Sasha used a packet of Griffin?s Krispie biscuits, they have toasted coconut in them, which offers an additional tropical note, perfect for this South Pacific inspired Yo-Cheesecake.
50g of good butter (do not use margarine. Margarine is horrible stuff, and not worthy of use - this is Sasha-law) THE FILLING 1 litre of thick creamy greek yoghurt (with ALL OF THE WHEY drained out of it) 2 tsp?s of vanilla essence (use the real stuff here too, it?s just better) Two thirds of the Pineapple and Lime drizzle topping (see below) 6 tsp?s of gelatine mixed up with 1 cup (250mls) of hot water and left to swell for 10 mins THE DRIZZLE TOPPING Half a cup of brown sugar (yes you can use white, we just don?t have white sugar on the boat, we never do, Sasha figures the less processed brown sugar is slightly better for you, but has not proof of this) 5 rings of canned pineapple (use fresh if you can get it, nice work if you can get it here in Fulaga!) 3 Tbsp?s of the pineapple juice 1 Tbsp of lime juice (also from a packet, but fresh is best!) Note: We also have passionfruit pulp onboard for yoghurt and cocktails etc, this was a mighty fine addition to the topping as well, if you have it (see photos on instagram which include the passionfruit pulp) PREPARATION OF THE CREAM CHEESE SUBSTITUTE To make 1 litre of thick, creamy, luxurious GREEK yoghurt, there are several stages? INGREDIENTS 1. 800ml water 2. 12 to 13 Tbsp?s of full fat, whole milk powder 3. 3-4 Tbsp?s whey liquid (from your last drained batch of yoghurt) Step 1. In a saucepan mix up 800ml of water with 12 to 13 heaped Tbsp?s of good quality FULL FAT whole milk powder (I refuse to say the brand, but New Zealand ones are best).
Step 2. Heat the saucepan of milk until it is scalding hot - BUT DO NOT BOIL IT (this changes the proteins in the milk, or does something scientifically neat (see kids science is fun!) that means it?s one step closer to becoming thick creamy yoghurt) Step 3. Let the milk cool, Sasha often pours the milk at this point into her Easiyo plastic jar, so the milk-skin that forms, is easier to deal with. Pouring the milk after that milk-skin sets is a little more difficult.
Step 4. Use your little finger to check the milk temperature, when it doesn?t sting your little finger anymore it?s ready for you to add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the whey liquid from your last batch of yoghurt. The milk should be lukewarm, the perfect temperature for the starter culture you are about to add to breed. You can also use a couple of tablespoons of fresh yoghurt, or you can use a store bought starter.
Step 5. Boil kettle, and while that is boiling, add the whey ?starter? into the lukewarm milk and stir gently, then pop the lid on the jar of milk and starter mixture. Note: Sasha actually pours 1 cup of milk out into a cup and adds the starter to that, then mixes, and pours that back into the rest of the jar. Something she read somewhere told her to do that.
Step 6. Now follow the usual easiyo process, pop the boiling water into the easiyo maker thermos thingy, put the jar in there, and leave it for at least 12 hours? yes it takes longer for a milk based yoghurt to set.
Step 7. Once set, set up a sieve, with a cheese cloth (or muslin cloth) laid inside over a bowl, and pour the yoghurt into the muslin cloth. Chuck this whole set up into the fridge, and leave for another 12 hours. The whey liquid will drip into the bowl, leaving thick, beautiful creamy yoghurt in the sieve.
Step 8. Repeat all of these steps to create enough yoghurt to make a nice high cheesecake.
METHOD TO MAKE THE YO-CHEESECAKE 1. Blend or grind up the biscuits, and chuck this powdered biscuit into the bottom of your cake tin 2. Pour in the melted butter, and mix. Then press down the mixture to make the base of the cheesecake 3. Chuck all the (thick as cream cheese) yoghurt into a large bowl, add the vanilla essence, and two thirds of the drizzle topping mix well 4. Add the prepared gelatine, and mix well again 5. Pour the yoghurt mixture over the base and gently drop the cake tin a few times to remove any bubbles 6. Chuck the tin in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or until set. You can tell when it?s set as the cheesecake will wiggle but not slop around 7. Run a knife around the edge of the tin and the set cheesecake, then release the spring tin side and hope like hell the cake stays in one piece.
8. Pour the left over drizzle topping over the top, and it?s really well and truly delicious to eat there and then! 9. But? if you want something reminiscent of the old school KFC passionfruit cheesecake, then spoon a few tablespoons of passionfruit pulp over the top and you have what quite possible is The Best Damn Yo-Cheesecake in the whole South Pacific.
Right, we?ll leave it there for this YIT update, as Sasha is in the middle of baking her first ever cornbread to go with some good ol? american style chili that will be tonight?s dinner, and she needs to check it?s not burning in the oven.

Sat Jul 8 11:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 0?knts
Weather: 15 knot (approx) sou? easterly, warm, turquoise lagoon waters, 100% cloud cover with drizzle?

It?s hard to put into words just how beautiful and different Fulaga (or Vulaga as Navionics has it named) is compared to the other parts of Fiji MOONFISH has visited. The place is stunning, a massive milky turquoise lagoon, many white sandy beaches, with hundreds of limestone rock islets, all featuring their very own bonsai garden hairdo. Turtles make themselves known by popping their heads up every once and a while for a breath, only to register the fleet nearby and quickly retreat back to the depths again. Fish often break the water as they feed, and we?ve even spotted the odd baby black tip reef shark skirting around the edges of the islets. It?s funny you know, some of the cruisers in the fleet are loving the isolation and the lack of infrastructure here. Some have voiced their dislike of resorts and places like Musket Cove with the ease and luxury they offer; the hot showers, salt water resort pools, choice of restaurants and cafe and of course the infamous island bar with it?s icy cold beer and tropical cocktails. Others (including Sasha) find it a little disconcerting that the closest store is several days sail away. Cabbage and carrot is but a distant, tasty memory of crunch and nutrition. Sasha never thought she would want for cabbage and carrot so much while in Fiji, (a mainstay vege for cruisers in the South Pacific) but alas here at Fulaga there is none that we can find, there is no store here. Apparently trading is the key here, however it just feels plain wrong taking food from the villagers, although we have traded for some plantain and pawpaw. Don?t get the wrong idea though, Fulaga has to be one of the most well set up villages MOONFISH has seen, the majority (if not all) of the houses have solar panels on poles outside, with inverters inside connected to wired up lighting, but more on the village later.
Sasha loves cruising, loves the adventure, but definitely loves doing it with a stocked yacht, full of eggs, meat, and veg. There is something absolutely wonderful about heading out on an adventure, into an unknown sea but taking all the creature comforts of home with you. Lately however with a distinct lack of fresh veg Sasha has found it a little less inspiring to cook, something that she usually loves to do when she has all the time in the world to cook what every she would like. With only one egg left, that is being saved for another yoghurt cream cheese cake, we had chia seed (our only egg substitute) ripe plantain fritters for supper last night. We didn?t need a big dinner as we had spent the day in the village at a potluck lunch. Sasha thinks today for dinner she will rock out a traditional roast lamb with not so traditional instant mash potato and dried surprise peas, our only ?real? vege on the boat, apart from an onion or two.
We?ve been at Fulaga for quite a few days now, Mike?s been out for a couple of kites off the sand spit, but says the wind is gusty and it?s difficult to stay up wind. We have visited one of the 3 villages twice now, on our first visit we were allocated a host family, Rebecca (mum), with two boys, Dan (13) and John (17), and one little five year old girl named Eleanor. We sat with them, in their lounge room, no bigger than 3 by 4 metres, sitting on the floor on the handmade flax matting, drinking coconuts with straws made by mother nature - pretty cool! It?s hard to put into words how welcoming these people are, and how organised their village is, all the while they have so little when you look at it from a westerners perspective. Yesterday during our second and final visit we offered our host family a little care package; a few of Mike?s board shorts for the boys, as well as lures, hooks and other fishing gear. We added watercolour colouring pencils and some biro pens for Eleanor, and a few t-shirts for Rebecca etc. It was a little sad to see how expected it was when we arrived. Each host family seemed to expect something. The head elders running the village have really thought this ?host? family strategy through and seem to be doing rather well out of it. A couple of the cruisers did note that this was a village not at all in need of the basics, unlike some of the other villages in the Yasawa?s etc. There was plenty of carvings on display for sale, Mike chose a bowl in the shape of a frangipani with turtles and shells carved into it, and Sasha chose a small dolphin. The kindergarten children put on a dance, and asked for donations, then we were asked for donations for the potluck lunch by our Fleet leader, and then asked for more donations for a carved mask that one of the village men had made with all of the yachts names on it. By this point we had no money left. When it was time to leave we were asked by our host family to attend Church on Sunday, to which we declined, as we knew this would require further donations. If you can sense Sasha?s disappointment you?d be bang on the money with my current demeanour, I am all for user pays, and I have travelled enough to know that nothing is free. However I cannot help but feel we were put through the motions somewhat here, and that the path we trod was well worn. Perhaps Sasha?s expectations of the magical Fulaga were a little too idealistic? After all money is what makes the world go around, as much as we?d all sometimes like to deny it. However, there is no denying how beautiful this place is, how unique it is, and how I hope the village elders can retain control over Fulaga?s pristine environment, as this place surely is an absolute natural wonder and we are very grateful and thankful that we can be here and enjoy it.

Mon Jul 3 18:54 2017 NZST
Speed: anchoredknts
Run: 140.1nm (253.6km)
Avg: 4.6knts
24hr: 109.9nm
Weather: wow! Fulaga is all that they talk about and more! The lagoon is MASSIVE, and calm azure waters everywhere!

We made it to our destination Fulaga without any issues, we had a great passage that was kick started around 5:30pm with both reels whizzing off - double hit! We reeled in two massive yellow fin tuna! TARGET SPECIES!! Suffice to say we are very popular at the moment in the anchorage, with many a sailor explaining they really like tuna to us at this evenings beach sundowners. More to come, but now it?s time for sleep. Ps just realised for some reason our lat and long were not updating on the map. We?ve fixed the ones that weren?t showing when we had some internet, hopefully this one works?? oh! and we CANNOT WAIT TO KITE HERE!! IT?S GOT AN AMAZING SANDBAR!!! oh and Clive and Jill, Debbie or SHOEY says hi!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11886620. Your Food Bag in NZHerald

Sounds great and the current position is now showing up on line again. All good in Nelson. Dad
Sun Jul 2 12:18 2017 NZST
Run: 3.5nm (6.3km)

It feels like we are anchored in a massive version of the log flume ride at Rainbows end (without the cave gnomes). We've just come back from a short stand up paddle, around some of the mushroom islands, each complete with their very own rock garden, no doubt the result of a master gardener efforts. The water here is reminiscent of the overly chlorinated bumper boat pool (also at Rainbows End), its milky turquoise colour tricks you into believing this is just one massive stage in some warner brothers movie set. A two minute paddle north from this anchorage finds you surrounded by little rock garden islets, and in the centre a perfect, natural swimming pool made by Mother Nature herself. Sasha can hardly believe this place is real, it all looks too beautiful.
We're here for the afternoon waiting until around 4pm where we will head out of the reef and sail south to our next destination Fulaga. The word is, it's a stunning magical place, where sailors visit intending to stay for a week, but end up there for months - must be some very pretty mermaids to have that sort of effect on the nomadic ways of cruisers. If you get a chance hop on google earth and check this anchorage out, it's just amazing!
All well on board, although we have started to miss broccoli.

Thu Jun 29 0:00 2017 NZST
Run: 2.4nm (4.3km)

Short update to place in the YIT diary, Horse Bay (not Horse Shoe Bay as many a cruiser was calling it over the vhf while we were there). A lovely anchorage, with white sandy beaches, and large grumpy looking crabs. We celebrated Justin's (from Team Lola) birthday on the beach. Snorkling and swimming around here is great, lovely coral, even some staghorn, which we were very surprised to spot.

Wed Jun 28 10:51 2017 NZST
Speed: anchoredknts
Weather: blue skies, warm calm lagoon waters

Community Notice: WE HAVE NO INTERNET SERVICE HERE, so please do not think us rude if you are emailing or texting our cellphones as we can?t get internet at the moment. If you need to contact us please email short emails to moonfish @ on sat mail . com (with all the spaces removed, cause we have received large size email spam to our satellite email inbox, which would prove VERY dangerous if this was to occur on passage as it means we cannot download emails - damn you spammers!) - we check this every couple of days.
Our last morning in Bavatu Harbour was a rather special one. We?ve been cruising with Mahia, Lola, Taranui 2, Sharpe Focus, and Lulu, and to communicate with them we?ve all been on a specific VHF channel so we can keep in touch, but not annoy the rest of the ICA fleet. Anyway around 5:30am on the morning of June 27th 2017, Lola announced that the Kiwi?s had done it, they had reclaimed the America?s Cup. What followed was a round of hoots and yahoo?s on the VHF, and then Mal-ibu on Mahia announced that a champagne breakfast was in order, with eggs, bacon and bubbles a must! We all headed over, Sasha had made up some special baked beans, with chilli powder and some fried onion, Pauline on Mahia had been hard at work making a lovely fruit salad and scrambled eggs, someone (Sasha is not sure who) made beautiful corn fritters, another person had bought sausages, and many had bought bacon which the boys got sorted on the BBQ. With bubbles and pineapple juice, coffees and teas in hand and a massive cruiser potluck breakfast (a first for Mike and Sasha) we toasted to Team New Zealand, and tucked into the food. It was an absolutely superb way to celebrate the win, and all enjoyed another great communal meal, with lots of different dishes to try. After breakfast it was time to head ashore to the yacht club building that was uninhabited, due to the fact it was still being rebuilt from cyclone winston 18 months ago. The flag pole required the flags to ensure the moment was appropriately acknowledged, so we all headed over on the tenders, and raised the NZ flag, and a silver fern flag, and took our photo to capture the moment. Then it was time to adventure around the yacht club building. Tony off Taranui 2 told us it had been a great place to meet, have a cold beer, and do a spot of barbecuing, alas it was still in rebuild mode when we visited it, but we did manage to jump off the dive board / plank that had been constructed over the edge of the stone cliff, which was great fun.
After that it was time to weigh anchor and head to the next anchorage further east, just as we headed out of the mouth of the anchorage, we saw a large number of the ICA fleet heading for Bavatu, so our timing was perfect to stay away from the crowds. Last night anchored here at Horse Bay, after a much needed afternoon nap Mike and Sasha welcomed team Mahia and team Lola aboard for drinks, which turned into a BBQ for dinner. Now we plan to head back to the Bay of Islands, which we skipped as the entire ICA fleet were heading there when we up?d anchor at Daliconi village. Each bay is as stunning as the next, with crabs running along the white sandy beaches. Mike and Sasha do enjoy the calm bays of the Lau, and have seen abundant fish life on their snorkelling adventures, with many a turtle, and even a Nemo or two! They are also pretty excited about getting to some of the outer islands to the amazing looking kite and surf spots around the Lau too.

Delighted to hear about the "NZCup" celebrations in the outer isles of Fiji. All good here.
Mon Jun 26 17:27 2017 NZST
Speed: anchoredknts
Run: 3.2nm (5.8km)
Weather: blue skies, warm calm lagoon waters

On Sunday the 25th of June, we up?d anchor and headed away from Daliconi village, after a wonderful feast, and not after we headed into shore in the morning to give Simeti (who we met up the hill) a little thank you parcel for giving us a drinking coconut and showing us around his property. Simeti was so lovely, that he went down and got another coconut for us - Sasha was a little worried that we were taking a limited supply of food from Simeti and his family because cyclone Winston from 2015 had wiped out most of the coconut trees. Here?s some facts we have learnt? it takes 3 years for a coconut tree to fruit, and a coconut tree apparently grows one frond for each of it?s years of lift, so a 12 year old coconut tree has 12 fronds, if (of course) it doesn?t get them all blow off by a cyclone. Any way we said our goodbyes, and Sasha asked Simeji?s wife how they cooked the taro leaf dish, as it was sooo delicious, apparently you just take the taro leaf, cover it with the juice of the coconut, then boil it, and then take your canned corn beef, and chopped onion and wrap up the beef and onion in the boiled coconut leaf and then bake it. Just delicious! Anyway, we headed out of the anchorage, and motored past most of the rally fleet all heading to the Bay of Islands. We plan to do that later, once the crowds have gone. We instead motored around the point and headed to Bavatu Harbour, where Colin from the sailing yacht Lulu introduced himself by heading over in his tender. Turns out Colin and his wife Glenys berth their boat in the same marina as Pete and Margo (the parental units we are still trying to adopt) and they also know our mates Clive and Jill! It?s one small world that?s for sure! Colin was coming over to let us know they were heading up the hill (nay MOUNTAIN) for a walk, and wondered if we would like to join, as they had been here before and could show us a great lookout spot over the Lau?s bay of islands. We accepted the invite, and shortly after headed into the tiny little bay, with a very small jetty and met them all in there, Mike and Marcia (friends and crew on Lulu) were there as well, so the six of us set off, up a dirt road, that soon became two narrow concrete paths, (driveway-esk). We all thought the place looked like something out of Jurassic Park, and walking (Nay climbing) up the road it felt like again we had wandered into some botanical gardens, with purple and green flax type shrubs looking too perfect, and too placed to be natural. Eventually the road gave way to a large clearing, that reminded Sasha of some type of apocalyptic battlefield. Large coconut trees lay strewn around like a game of pick up sticks, we later found out that most of these victims were over 100 years old. Cyclone Winston had wiped out over three quarters of the plantation. A derelict virgin coconut oil processing plant looked more like something out of a zombie movie, the only thing that moved was the hundreds of geckos (not sure of spelling sorry - tiny lizards), those and the ANTS! As soon as you stopped moving they were straight onto your feet, and right up your legs. We all took a few more sprays of the insect repellent that Team Lulu had cleverly brought with them.
We walked on, through very healthy looking cows, horses and funny looking orange sheep, which we later found out were a hybrid ?goat-sheep?. When we reached the small village, surrounded by a volcanic stone wall (reminiscent of Cornwall Park in Auckland), Colin shouted out a few ?Bula?s!? and we were greeted by Filipo a tall, slender Fijian man with a neat bunch of short dresdlocks situated at the back of his short shaved head. Filipo okay?s us to walk up to the lookout that overlooked the Bay of islands (photos to follow on Facebook and Instagram) but said if we wanted to walk around the houses on the edge of the cliff he would need to take us. A great days walk, with some epic look out photos taken, a real adventure. Team Lulu were super organised, and had brought with them a pile of neatly folded t-shirts and a cap, which they gave to Filipo after he said his goodbyes and pointed in the direction of the staircase that would lead us back down to the jetty. The staircase (photo also to follow) was like something out of a salvado dali painting, dotted with all sorts of tropical plants, it felt like we were walking through a massive bird aviary sanctuary. That evening we invited the Lulu team aboard to check out MOONFISH and have a few sundowners. Sasha made yet another great recipe from the Boat Galley Cookbook, this time one of the three refried bean dips, it?s a warm dip, with cheese, onion and some spices, and it went down a treat, and reminded Marcia and Glenys of them time in Mexico and Las Vegas, which led to a number of great travel stories, and made Sasha extra proud, because it sounds like the dip tasted just as it should have.
Well, we have to cut this short, as Mike is staring at Sasha right now, wondering why she is not ready to head over to Sharpe Focus for drinks and dinner.
Catch ya! Team Moonfish out.

This was my favourite narration so far! Great descriptions and information. XXOO Dad
Sat Jun 24 10:15 2017 NZST
Speed: anchoredknts
Weather: blue skies, less than 5 knots (approx) westerly.

Warning, long update ahead, grab a cuppa and enjoy. Oh how the world is a different place with a full tummy and a good night?s sleep! Yesterday Sasha and Mike woke refreshed after a very peaceful night?s rest. There is no need for duvets or sheets, it?s so hot and humid the air is enough of a blanket. On the morning of Friday 23rd June 2017, they enjoyed a hot cuppa in the saloon and with renewed spirit familiarised themselves with Lau charts, ?Fun and Frustrations in Fiji? by David Mitchell, and the Fiji sections in ?South Pacific Anchorages? by Warwick Clay, and ?The Pacific Crossing Guide? by Michael Pocock and Ros Hogbin.
As promised in the last short YIT update (posted to ensure family knew we were safe and sound) here is a rundown of the passage from Tonga to Lomaloma, Daliconi Village. Moonfish left Neiafu harbour, in Tonga?s Vava?u group mid-morning on the 20th of June in a leisurely state. There had been much radio chatter among the ICA fleet about the lack of desire to arrive at our destination in the dark, due to the unfamiliar route through Vanua Balavu?s infamous reef system. As mentioned previously, MOONFISH is not a sailing yacht that likes to go slowly, in fact her inability to do so has never really been an issue for us, until this passage. So, Sasha and Mike sat at Neiafu and enjoyed a relaxed morning, watching, as the rest of the rally fleet left, and then leisurely untied themselves from the mooring ball and headed out the harbour, to Faihava passage, where they did their 180 into the wind (close to Tungasika island) to put the mainsail up, with two reefs in. With backs to the land, they said their goodbyes to Tonga, and dreamed about the stunning turquoise blue lagoons of the Southern Lau in Fiji. A short while later as they sailed out into the big blue in togs, one of the reels let out the tell tail 'whizzzzzzz' sound and the small amount of headsail was quickly furled away to slow down the boat and better manage its position in relation to where the fish and (importantly) the fishing line went (no one wants a prop with fishing line wrapped around it in the middle of the ocean). Mike jumped on the reel and Sasha was on helm, maneuvering the back of the boat based on Mike?s instructions, so Mike could best reel in, whatever had taken the lure. Turned out to be yet another Skipjack, just as unappealing as the first one we caught. We know you can bleed them, and they can be great eating, but with a freezer full of good NZ meat, and with our taste buds ruined by mahimahi and yellowfin tuna, we threw it back. At this point we had a couple of yachts in sight, and we didn't even spare a thought to the other 28 yachts out further ahead. However, as evening succumbed to night we had reached the rest of the fleet, that is where the ?fun? began. Sasha took a photo of the chart plotter with the AIS lit up like a Christmas tree, it was one of those moments that wouldn't be believed unless there was ocular proof. To be in the middle of the ocean, the middle of nowhere and be surrounded by boats so much so, that it's like your sailing in a harbour (a really rough one) is a very weird feeling. There were yachts everywhere, and not just one or two, but twenty odd to try and avoid, in the pitch black, with no moon until the Cheshire cat's grin appeared in the early hours of the morning. At one point, we had a yacht showing up on the AIS plotter as very close to us, but with our night vision well and truly adjusted we couldn't see anything close by. At that point, Mike took out the flood light and pointed it in the direction of the mysteriously close yacht. This was to be one of the most frightening moments so far aboard MOONFISH, as both Mike and Sasha laid eyes on a boat very close to the stern, with NO lights on. Sasha got on the radio, (which had been very well used over the past several hours by a lot of the fleet checking on the courses of boats around them as their routes converged) and called the yacht on 8VHF, but there was no reply, again she called but nothing. The with angst she tried 16VHF saying the name of the boat and then repeating "You have no lights! You have no lights! Finally, a sleepy voice answered and all of a sudden, they were completely flooded with light, not just the tri colour on the top of the mast, but a bright light that flooded the entire front deck of the boat. Mike turned on the motors, increasing our speed and the space between us and the yacht, and we watched as the lights of the yacht joined the glow of the other yachts at a comfortable distance.
On the second day Sasha made a fresh pineapple and lime baked cheesecake, made with yoghurt cream cheese, a ginger nut base and a pineapple and lime drizzle. It became dinner and fresh out of the oven, it didn't really taste like the flavours melded well. Lunch was the main meal of that day, delicious fried plantain chips, Japanese cucumber salad (thanks to yet another recipe from the Boat Galley cookbook) ? which is proving to be a very worthy galley comrade) and Mexican mince and beans. During the night while Sasha was on shift, the wind up our butt, was shifting. As Mike went for a well-earned (and needed) sleep, he said to Sasha 'just keep an eye on the windex, we don't want to crash gybe'. Famous last words! About half way through Sasha's shift, as she lay in the saloon watching a movie. Caveat: she was being responsible, she had her alarm set for every ten minutes to do a visual check, and had the iPad set up with a mirror image of the chart plotter, so she could keep track of speed, heading and the boats on AIS. The one thing she couldn't keep track of in the saloon was the windex. And guess what? The wind shifted. A rookie mistake, that Sasha will never make again. MOONFISH's big mainsail (albeit with one reef in it) back winded. The preventer worked as it should have (stopping any major crash gybe from happening), however it was a big eye opener for Sasha, as the force of the sail back winded, made it impossible to steer. Sasha was forced to turn off the auto pilot and try to correct things manually, in in the hope that she could correct the yachts course and in doing so correct the sail. Alas, the sheer force meant there was no way she could correct the situation through steering. In a panic, Sasha screamed for Mike to wake up as she was holding the steering wheel as far as it would turn and it was futile. She was too frightened to let it go of the wheel to go wake Mike up in a more pleasant manner, just in case it sent the boat hurling in some other unwanted direction. Bear in mind all of this would be ok, and far less stressful if it wasn't for the large number of yachts surrounding us, at this point we had completed a right angle turn and were heading directly towards a yacht. Mike woke up, hopped up into the cockpit and slowly and smoothly eased the preventer, and then slowly pulled the traveler so the boom eased its way across to the other side, then he sorted the wheel and got the boat back on track, and turned auto back on and went back to bed. Sasha's panic slowly subsided, and tiredness took its place.
Mike took over helm around midnight as this coincided with us reaching our first waypoint, which meant we were getting close to Fiji's reefs, and navigating the boat would become more complicated with set routes required to be followed to ensure we stayed off the reefs ? our primary objective, apart from hitting other yachts.
After one early morning requirement for Sasha to get up to steer 180, (to take the wind out of the mainsail), so Mike could put another reef in, Mike woke Sasha around 7am to help look for coral bommies as we motored into the final reef system, before Daliconi village. After MOONFISH had cleared the last major reef pass, Sasha climbed down from sitting on the stack pack (one of the highest vantage points on MOONFISH) and was walking back to the cockpit where Mike was, when they both noticed a yacht motoring quickly to their port side. Way out of the line of all the other yachts. The cautious fleet was following one by one in a line navigating through the reef passes. The yacht was heading straight towards the reef, Mike had just called them on 16VHF to warn them when all of a sudden it was too late, the yacht hit the reef, it?s bow well out of the water, as it tried in vain to motor itself off the bommie. Mike slowed down and turned around to offer assistance, one of the men from the yacht jumped in the water. Sasha got on VHF8 and called to all the yachts behind, some of which had started to follow the stricken yacht. ?Do not follow X yacht! Do not follow X yacht!? Shortly after the yachts reformed the single file line, and slowly made it through the pass, while the man in the water made it to MOONFISH's transom, to discuss options, and ask what the tide was doing and discuss whether we could get a line to their yacht to tow it off. At that point, a local fishing long boat turned up, along with a large monohull with a much larger engine than MOONFISH, and offered a tow. So, Sasha and Mike moved on, as there was a bit of rubber necking going on, but not before Mike offered assistance again via 16VHF to the yacht and said we would go anchor up and sort out a plan with other yachts that could help. Just after anchoring, the yacht was towed to freedom, much to the relief of everyone. This was one of the most sobering moments we have had so far aboard MOONFISH, to make it all that way and then come unstuck in the last 30mins of the passage is heart wrenching, and Sasha couldn?t help but think about how horrid it would be for MOONFISH to be in that situation, our home? stranded, and in such an unfamiliar place. Thank goodness, the yacht in question was very sturdy, and only needed a little patch up job on the keel.
With the drama over, we surveyed our new neighbourhood, Daliconi Village, and tried to calm down a little as the adrenalin was in full force. Mahia with Mal-ilbu and Pauline (the first boat to make it to the final waypoint) were anchored off to our starboard, and low and behold in front of them was Sharpe Focus with Pip and John on the stern, welcoming us with a friendly wave, (We first met Pip and Sharpy at Swashbucklers in Auckland, New Zealand, on the evening that Mike had put his house up for auction, we were sitting in the bar, tending to a much needed calming beer, as the house was sitting with the sole bidder but had not reached the reserve, and they had 24hours to make a decision as to what they were going to do, suffice to say we were anxious as the house sale was required to fund getting MOONFISH to Cat 1 status). Anyway, Sasha was sitting on the stack pack (it holds the mainsail when not in use), to get a better view of any potential coral bommies that may cause issues if we swung on anchor. Her long-distance eyesight isn't the best, so it took her a while to figure out that it was none other than Sharp Focus. It was good to see them and while we waited to start the clearance process, Pip and John rode over in their tender to catch up, they were in good spirits and happy to be adventuring around the beautiful Lau.
A short while later the Biosecurity and quarantine officials came on board, the quarantine lady was a local from Daliconi village, but the Biosecurity man was from Suva, which must be cooler in climate than Daliconi, as he suffered badly from the same affliction as Mike, and could not stop his face from sweating. Poor man, Sasha gave him several handy towels to manage the moisture.
Next was the Yacht Help agent Eli who came aboard selling us a Fiji SIM card that we can?t seem to get working here due to a lack of coverage, then three customs and immigration women who completed our clearance and approved our Fiji Cruising Permit, enabling us to cruise all around Fiji. It was nice for once not to shell out several hundred dollars to clear a country, as it had all been taken care of via the Island Cruising Association fee we had paid to be on the rally. Once we were officially accepted into Fiji we headed over to Mahia, and enjoyed a cold beer, our reward for one of the most challenging passages (according to Sasha). We were all so tired that one beer was enough to feel the affects, and as Mike opened another, Sasha thought it prudent to get an early dinner sorted so there was some substantial food in everyone?s tummies before bedtime, (which turned out to be 6pm). Sasha headed back to MOONFISH around 3pm and started preparing yet another fuss free, awesome, cruising recipe from the Boat Galley book, plainly called Chicken and Rice Casserole, Sasha thinks it should be called Creamy baked Italian Chicken & Almost Risotto. Sasha knows she is going on and on about this Boat Galley Cookbook, but it really is such a great reference on a boat. The recipes often require American brands, but what is so good is the substitution chapter, that tells you how to make virtually any of the American shelf stable products if you don?t have them. This recipe called for something called ?Good Seasons Italian dressing mix? and a 10 ounces (yes there is a measurement conversions chapter too!) of cream of mushroom soup, two things not aboard MOONFISH. So, Sasha made up the substitute ?almost? Good Seasons Italian dressing mix with all the base spices and herbs she had provisioned, and then made up a substitute version of a cream of mushroom soup with milk powder, oxo chicken cubes, the dressing mix, and a can of mushrooms in butter plus a few other ingredients. Then she wacked it in the oven for 45mins to bake, and headed back to Mahia for another beer. Malibu, Pauline, Pip and Sharpy came to dinner that night, and with a few cans of Ratatouille we had a very tasty after passage meal that everyone enjoyed. Sasha was rather pleased with herself, especially after the baked cheesecake didn?t turn out as flash as she had hoped. After our early dinner, Sasha sent a very tired looking Pauline and Malibu home so they could get the rest they needed, and Pip and Sharpy left too so that Mike and Sasha could settle in for the night. Before bed, Mike and Sasha had a cuppa and tried the cheesecake again, this time with a little splash of maple syrup in the pineapple and lime drizzle. WOW! What a difference that made! Perhaps it was the tired state their taste buds were in, or perhaps after the overnight chilling of the gingernut base and yoghurt cream cheese filling but the cheesecake was far more delicious than the fresh out of the oven ?warm? version, and very easy to eat indeed. It was then that Sasha decided it would be good enough to share, and promptly made a mental note to bring a large slice over to Mahia in the morning so they could try it.
More to come, about our adventures visiting Daliconi village, and tips and tricks on how to use up left over Italian flavoured rice for dinner. PS ? hello to our Australian contingent, Auntie Patty and Uncle Craig, we hear from Mappy you are reading our updates, and think we are very adventurous, after this passage Sasha thinks she?s probably just a little crazy doing this ha!

Wow, that all sounds like a rather sobering rite of passage. Well done to Capt.& crew!! all good here
Thu Jun 22 17:45 2017 NZST
Speed: anchoredknts
Run: 236.8nm (428.6km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 135nm
Weather: hot, sticky, and Sasha doesn?t care what the wind is doing cause she is too tired to think?

All well on board. What a passage!! Scary with 30 odd yachts all making the same passage, several near misses, one boat ran straight up on to the reef as we watched it. More to come. Just know we are safe and sound, and very tired. Will have a big sleep tonight and share all the goss tomorrow. Ps.. Sasha attempted to make a fresh pineapple and lime baked cheesecake during passage, with boat made yoghurt cream cheese, and a ginger nut biscuit base? filling was nice, base was nice, however together they are NOT a match made in heaven.
We just had a lovely Boat Galley recipe EARLY dinner on MOONFISH with Malibu and Pauline from Mahia and Pip and John from Sharpe Focus. It was a raving success, and was just what Team Moonfish and team Mahia needed before heading to bed. Team Sharpe Focus has been here a day already, and so they are ready to party, but they get why we need to have an early night. Sleep tight everyone, till the morrow.

Tue Jun 20 23:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 6knts
Run: 107.9nm (195.3km)
Weather: wind east, sou east, 2-3 mtr swell 5% cloud cover?

Sasha?s just taken over on shift, it?s 11pm. It?s official we have left Neiafu, Vava?u, Tonga, and are on our way to the Southern Lau, in Fiji. We?re scheduled to check into Fiji in a small village called Dalicon.
This morning occurred at a leisurely pace, we woke up naturally and had a morning cuppa, tidied the boat, and made up the aft cabin on the starboard side to sleep in. You see the forecast is for the trade winds to blow right up our butt the whole way, with 3 to 4 metre short swell and while a non-sailor may think, yay the wind is with you the whole way? we know that sailing in the lee, or sailing with the wind up your butt is not ideal. MOONFISH likes to sail angles (Sasha supposes all yachts do), wind across the boat, or beam reach is a favourite wind angle, so today we have gybed over the rhum line twice, in-between the other yachts in the ICA rally, to sail at angles in an attempt to have a bit more of a comfortable ride. Yes? comfortable ride, that?s the other thing? we?re not looking for speed during this passage, which is very unusual for us. We are dawdling along at 6 to 7 knots on purpose which not only feels wrong but also has a tendency to make us feel seasick with these type of sea conditions and wind angle.
You see this passage will take us about 2 days, (2 nights), if we go too fast, we?ll reach our unfamiliar destination in the dark, and that is never wanted when coral and reefs are about and only visible to the eye when the sun in high in the sky. So we will meander, and loiter under the stars for two nights, pondering life?s big questions, and thinking about normal people back home, sleeping in houses, in normal beds.
We had muesli with fresh sweet banana and apple this morning, Sasha baked the last of the croissants for lunch, and we had mexican inspired beef and beans tonight, with Tongan grown onions and green bell peppers. It always a good feeling to have a full belly as that seems to stem the seasickness a little.
Not much else to report, all well on board, Mike?s asleep, Sasha?s on watch for the next wee while, and she?ll just keep a look out as we yet again cross the rhum line and slowly sail around the other rally boats, all sailing a more direct line on the rhum line.

Sun Jun 18 10:03 2017 NZST
Run: 4.7nm (8.5km)

Well here we are at Malafakalava, yup great name eh? We've finally eased our way into the more relaxed pace of cruising life, it took a couple months to fully unwind.
Sasha always takes some time to find home. Especially after a passage, when home becomes transport, and accomodation. An old flatmate in Manly use to call it reconnecting with your house... she use to enjoy doing the dishes, because she said it connected her with her home. Sasha guesses there is something in that, just doing a simple task and being aware of your surroundings, slowing down, and being grateful for where you are and all the amazing things you get to experience.
We had Malibu and Pauline over for dinner last night. We had beef stir fry, onions and cabbage in a soy, oyster, and fresh grated ginger sauce, with garlic fried rice. Something Sasha has just learned how to make. Steamed rice, cooked in chicken stock, then fried with fresh minced garlic, it's so delicious, that it's hard to believe it's so simple to make. Sasha also managed to burn to a crisp some island kumala fries she had popped in the oven for starters.
Sasha has just read the above to Mike, who was less than impressed with Sasha's waffle. He wants me to let you all know he has mastered the double back roll kite trick, and is looking for a lucrative sponsorship, he suggests Steinlager would be a suitable sponsor.
That's all for now, we better go do something.

Thu Jun 15 10:59 2017 NZST
Run: 13.8nm (25km)

After leaving Pangai, Ha?apai Beach Resort, we headed north to the Haano Island, at the top of the Ha?apai group. When we got there we were the only boat anchored (however that never lasts long as yachts do seem to multiply once one anchors). We were situated right by Mushroom rock, where we had surfed on little knee high waves on our standup paddle boards last year. Eager for another afternoon of messing around in little waves, we got the SUP?s (Stand Up Paddleboards) out and headed for Mushroom rock. Alas the swell was even smaller than last year and the waves just weren?t enough to get a ride. We carried on closer to shore, volcanic rock rose out of the still lagoon waters, weary and battered from days when the swell must pummel it. The smell of hot rich wet earth was so apparent that Sasha mentioned to Mike, ?gosh it smells like the Winter Gardens in the domain?. To which Mike replied ?what are the Winter gardens?. Mental note for Sasha to take Mike to the Winter gardens, although she is not sure how good they are during Summer? We continued on around the rocks to the sandy beach just shy of the village, and had a swim, and walked the beach. By this time there were several yachts headed to the anchorage, so we headed back to the boat, for some dinner.
One of the boats that anchored, ended up being Cooee too (not sure of how that?s spelt). Andrew came over in the tender and invited us aboard for a drink after dinner, which was nice.

The next afternoon the boys from Kittiwake turned up, and so did Darren and Kirstin from Savanna Safari, and all four yachts decided it was going to be a good evening for a night sail to Vava?u. So we headed off in convoy style, north to Neiafu. Kittiwake took the lead, with Savanna Safari, then Cooee too up anchored, and we followed suit. By the time we caught up with Cooee Too, they were ready for us with pirate hats on, swords, pirate flag and matching ?ARRHHHS!?.

The night sail was fantastic, with the sails set, and a full moon we were humming, hitting 9 and 10 knots. Soon we were in front of the pack, and as night fell, and the lights of the other yachts faded behind us, we settled in to watch a few movies with 10 minute checks as Auto took the helm. We left Ha?apai around 5:30pm, and reached Neiafu at around 1:30am in the morning. We had a little trouble spotting a free mooring, but eventually found one and settled down for some sleep.

We've been anchored out at the beautiful Kenutu Island for the past few days. We had the whole place to ourselves for our first night here, and had a great kitesurfing session on the sand cay at low tide. The first morning we awoke to see the entire ICA (Island Cruising Association) rally on it's way out to Kenutu, all following in a line with Windflower at the front. It was quiet cute, like a whole lot of ducklings following in a row behind their mother. (photo to follow on facebook SV MOONFISH).
Yesterday we took Will and FX from Kittiwake out to the sand cay and we all went kiting, it was perfect conditions, and we were all exhausted afterwards. Well earned icy cold beers were our reward.

That's all for now, TEAM SV MOONFISH out.

Great update! Beautiful albeit windy day in Nelson after the temp plummeted to zero last night. All good here.
Sat Jun 10 15:21 2017 NZST
Run: 9750nm (17647.5km)
Avg: 145.9knts
24hr: 3502.5nm

It's official, WE LOVE TONGA and we have found paradise! We are in a place called the Blue Lagoon, and OH MY GOD is it heaven! We'll post again tomorrow with a proper update as we've had some amazing adventures, night sails, and market trips. Currently we are anchored here.... we are the only boat, surrounded by blue azure waters, and glorious sauna hot heat and sunshine. Cooie Too kindly gave us a drinking coconut, which we have used to make our first tropical cocktail, fresh juicy limes, Malibu, and drinking coconut juice, and a dash of passion fruit. So simple yet so thirst quenching. We are thoroughly enjoying our first real night anchored by ourselves, alone in this wonderful blue lagoon. The heat, sunshine, and company are all so perfect.

Tues 13/6 Chilly in Nelson with rain. I am wearing the armless back heavy duty jacket you gave me.. very snug. XXOO

Looking forward to the pics of your paradise... We have our first feijoa the size of a large egg. Sunny cool clear weather in Nelson.
Wed Jun 7 20:33 2017 NZST
Speed: anchoredknts
Run: 9605nm (17385.1km)
Avg: 337knts
24hr: 8088.4nm
Weather: 10 knots approx south east, 0 mtr swell 95% cloud cover, 1016 baro?

All well on board. Arrived in Pangai this morning and have had the busiest day since we left! Got into Pangai harbour and the customs officials cleared us almost immediately, which was great as we were all in need of a shower and cold beer, which happened once we were cleared.
More tomorrow on the last bit of our passage just wanted to let everyone know we are safe and sound and anchored off the Haapai Beach Resort.

Tue Jun 6 16:03 2017 NZST
Speed: 10knts
Run: 54.7nm (99km)
Avg: 10.3knts
24hr: 247.7nm
Weather: 15 - 20 knots approx south east, 2 mtr swell 95% cloud cover, 1015 baro‚®

Been a hum dinger of a day for sailing, consistent trade winds from the sou east have meant we have been screaming along with our mainsail and about half of our headsail furled out. Pappy d‚Entremont tells me via email that the extended family are reading this, so hello to Hectorine, it sounds like your our number one fan in Canada. Hopefully one day Sasha and Mike get to hear about your sailing adventures. Yay we‚ve gone global! Mike and Sasha have been pondering the passage to Tahiti that the ICA (island cruising association) has planned for 2018‚¶ we‚re not sure if we want to do a 15 day passage, that would be pretty hard on the old brain and body. Sasha would need several weeks just to properly provision for the passage. It wouldn‚t be the little hop, skip, jump like it is up to the South Pacific. There would be serious prepared meals required, with frozen vege playing a big part. We‚ve only been at sea for ten days and Sasha is seriously craving fresh, crisp vegetables. We still have a few apples to last us until we get to Pangai, but man on man Sasha is kicking herself not grabbing celery, as that stuff lasts for weeks once chopped and in the fridge. A corn, black bean and canned tomato ‚˜salad‚ will feature in tonights dinner, as we are out of all the fresh vege now. We‚re keen to meet up with everyone now, and see how everyone‚s liking Tonga. Also pretty keen to see how the lads on Kittiwake are going, from the sounds of it, Gert from Winds of Change, a large lagoon catamaran took them under his wing while they were at North Minerva, and invited them to have showers, and enjoy a lovely spread of salmon etc. Everyone in the fleet has been helping them out with water etc, very cool indeed. I think everyone is taking their hats off to them, as apart from a few new tech gadgets they are doing this in a boat what would be a similar size to Johnny Wray. Talk about adventure.
Anyway, not much else to report, the chart plotter is saying we are 6 hours to our first waypoint into the Haapai group, should make for an interesting night, falling our track from last year to ensure we don‚t hit coral in the night. All well on board

Team NZ capsized in the race with GB.. just now...! Snow is very dramatic on the mountains; a real joy with the sunny days and the green contrast in Nelson. All well here.XXOO

Well it sounds as though you're making a pretty good run of it and we hope Ray is performing up to standards again ? Sorry to hear about the lack of celery. You'll just be about making landfall soon. The Cup's been exciting - especially today with rather brisk winds. Emirates pitch-poled at the start this morning and smashed itself up pretty good. Although they won the first race, they were forced up to windward by BAR, were bearing off and tripped over their leeward board (or lost windward rudder traction), when rising up to chase BAR - who had the start nailed. (That will be something to watch for on Moonfish when you fit her with foils Mikey). Hopefully they'll have enough time to make repairs overnight but they'll need more than just that fancy carbon-fibre looking 3M sticky stuff so prevalent when Mike is bored and has a Stanley knife at hand. Great to hear you're making good progress and all is well on board. And......don't fret about Tahiti next year - I'll bring a stack of shortbread and pre-cut celery. That'll do the trick ;)
Tue Jun 6 10:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 8knts
Run: 154.9nm (280.4km)
Avg: 8.7knts
24hr: 208.3nm
Weather: 15 knots approx south east, 2 mtr swell 95% cloud cover, 1016 baro‚®

An uneventful night sail, with Auto doing all the hard yards. Sasha started off at 6:30pm and went through to 10pm, Drew took over from 10pm to 12:30ish and then Mike was up to do a long four hour shift (much to the appreciation of Sasha who needed the sleep), then Sasha was up at 4:30am to take over from Mike. We‚ll sail past Nuku‚Alofa today, the southern Tonga group. We‚ll have one more night sail and then we should be at Pangai. All well on board.

Mon Jun 5 16:54 2017 NZST
Speed: 8knts
Run: 50nm (90.5km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 150.9nm
Weather: 10 knots approx south east, 2 mtr swell 100% cloud cover, 1015 baro‚®

Well we‚ve left Minerva, and are on our way to Tonga. It was a slow start with not much wind at all, but all of a sudden we had a little more blow and MOONFISH was off, with mainsail and screecher close hauled, making close to wind speed on the rhum line. Arrrrrrh! that‚s how the modern day pirates do it! It‚s pretty cloudy today, so all of us are adding a layer over the shorts as it‚s a tad bit cool. The last of the passage meals tonight, another cottage pie. yum! All well on board.

Mon Jun 5 8:57 2017 NZST
Speed: anchored in the same place as yesterday.
knts
Weather: Variable sou wester, 0.5 mar swell 90% cloud cover, 1012 baro‚®

Just realised this update may not have gone through.
What a lusciously relaxed day we have had today, cup of tea in bed while reading the last pages of Castaway. Mike has started reading An Island To Oneself, he reckons we should head to Suvarov, where Tom Neale (the Author and Protagonist) spent his time alone on his own island. There are several sailors that come to visit Tom during the course of his stay there, so why not take MOONFISH up to Rarotonga and venture to it‚s outer islands. Would be an amazing adventure to go see the actual place Tom carved out an island life for himself.
We‚ve just had Corn, Onion and Cheese fritters for lunch, which went down a treat. And now we think we will all retire for a snooze or read in preparation for the eventual passage north.
Last night the boys from Kittiwake came over for some beers, and told us of their plans to head of that night, which they did. We‚ll see them either on the way up or when we get to Pangai.
All well on board.

Hello MOONFISH! Was thinking about you guys and whether all was well. Checked the blog for the first time, and yes you are! Sun, tuna, whales, you got it all. Enjoy and look forward to seeing the updates.
Mon Jun 5 8:57 2017 NZST
Speed: anchored in the same place as yesterday.
knts
Weather: 10 knots sou, south east, 0.5 mar swell 95% cloud cover, 1016 baro‚®

Cuppa in bed this morning 5th June, and then straight into downloading the weather forecasts, and listing to the cruisers on 08 VHF all talking about what the wind is doing. The boys are preparing MOONFISH for the passage to Tonga, getting the screacher ready, and putting away any gear that‚s lying around. We‚re leaving today! dum dum de da de! North Minerva you‚ve been great, but it‚s time for us to seek out Pangai because we‚re running out of beer! The wind has swung to a south, sou east, which should do us nicely once it fills in on Tuesday and hits the 10 to 15knots predicted in the Euro forecast model on Predict Wind Offshore. We‚ll keep an eye out for the Kittiwake crew, and settle back into passage shifts, now with a working Auto! yay! All well on board.

Oracle beat TNZ yesterday &I scored bonus point which means they start Cup racing 1 up on challenger. Spithill is at his best slagging off TNZ. Hope trip to Tonga goes well xx
Sun Jun 4 15:15 2017 NZST
Speed: anchored in the same place as yesterday.
knts
Weather: Variable sou wester, 0.5 mar swell 90% cloud cover, 1012 baro‚®

What a lusciously relaxed day we have had today, cup of tea in bed while reading the last pages of Castaway. Mike has started reading An Island To Oneself, he reckons we should head to Suvarov, where Tom Neale (the Author and Protagonist) spent his time alone on his own island. There are several sailors that come to visit Tom during the course of his stay there, so why not take MOONFISH up to Rarotonga and venture to it‚s outer islands. Would be an amazing adventure to go see the actual place Tom carved out an island life for himself.
We‚ve just had Corn, Onion and Cheese fritters for lunch, which went down a treat. And now we think we will all retire for a snooze or read in preparation for the eventual passage north.
Last night the boys from Kittiwake came over for some beers, and told us of their plans to head of that night, which they did. We‚ll see them either on the way up or when we get to Pangai.
All well on board.

NZ v GB, 5.08; Sweden v Japan, 5.37; GB v NZ, 6.06; Japan v Sweden, 6.35. BUT!! ACRM have just informed that they are postponing today's races until tomorrow.
Sat Jun 3 14:48 2017 NZST
Speed: anchored 
knts
Run: 24.1nm (43.6km)
Weather: South 10 to 12 knots approx, 0.5 mar swell 100% cloud cover, 1012 baro‚®

Well Drew The Crew‚s fish pie went down very well last night, our last dinner at South Minerva. We motor sailed up to North Minerva today, only took a couple of hours. Sasha made blueberry muffins which were a sweet distraction from the lack of sun today.
The sleep quality at South Minerva wasn‚t the best, due to the high tides being unfortunately timed, in the middle of the night. This means the swell from the ocean rolls over the reef and right into the anchorage making the boat sway more, which means more noise, clanks, and bangs etc. So Mike and Sasha had another broken sleep. The wind swung 180 again last night so our anchor alarm app went off as well. But it was all worth it in the morning when the boys spotted a bunch of large angel fish swimming around at the back of the boat. Sasha enjoyed her morning coffee with them down on the transom, throwing them the odd bit of muesli which they seemed very keen on.
With the way the wind is playing up at the moment, Mike thinks Monday morning might be the most opportune time to leave North Minerva and head up to Pangai, Tonga. Sasha is looking forward to another day of sunshine on the nets, Castaway by Lucy Irvine is almost finished and Will from Kittiwake gave Mike an old book that tells the tale of a shipwreck at Minerva, so Sasha thinks it will be rather fitting to read that one next, while we are anchored in the place it all took place.
All well on board.

Fri Jun 2 17:06 2017 NZST
Speed: anchored
knts
Weather: North 15 knots approx, 0.5 and 1 mar swell as we are anchored at the northern tip of South Minerva, 70% cloud cover, 1014 baro‚®

Yesterday evening we had the three young lads from Kittiwake on board for some beers, and a large pan of roasted pumpkin and kumara. More sea tales where told, and Red and FX seemed a little more tired than during our earlier Lunch. Will the skipper was full of life (as always) and told a mean story or two. Later that night Mike dropped them back to their yacht and then Team MOONFISH settled into bed with cups of tea, a chocolate biscuit (or two) and books.
As the tide hit high around midnight last night MOONFISH started to rock more than usual which kept Mike and Sasha awake, while Drew (Sasha found out in the morning) had a fantastic sleep.
Sasha made the morning cuppa‚s and looked outside to survey the anchored boats. Kittiwake was no where to be seen, and for a second or two Sasha strained to scan the reef to see if they had dragged as the wind had swung 180 in the night, and they had anchored very close to the reef. Sasha could see no evidence of anything untoward and quickly assumed the boys had left the atoll on daybreak to start their journey towards North Minerva.
In between answering some calls from yachts outside the reef asking for waypoints, Sasha finally got to sit in the beanbag up the front, and enjoy her first tropical ‚˜sun time‚ with her kindle. GAWD IT WAS ENJOYABLE! The boys headed off for a spot of snorkelling, where Kittiwake had said there was some sharks which had shown signs of aggression, so they took their spear with them, but saw nothing.
Anyway, gotta cut this short as the boys are having beers and chatting and Drew is in the galley cooking his famous fish pie with the smoked fish he bought with him.
All well on board, we will look to head to North Minerva tomorrow.

Race 8: NZL vs JPN Race 9: SWE vs USA Race 10: NZL vs FRA Race 11: JPN vs SWE All good here! Grafted some plum scions today to see if they could survive winter. Pa

These tales of piracy and adventure are almost as intriguing as those of R L Stevenson - so keep them up ! We're living our lives vicariously through you guys and Drew sounds a pretty sweet crew person ;) Watch for those bitey things and take care of Mikey. Hope Ray is feeling better too after being intruded upon xx
Thu Jun 1 16:42 2017 NZST
Speed: anchored
knts
Run: 8.6nm (15.6km)
Weather: Sou east wind 10 knots approx, no swell as we are anchored in South Minerva, 50% cloud cover, 1018 baro‚®

As we motored at sunset into South Minerva yesterday, a familiar accent came over the VHF. It was hard to distinguish what was being said, but we had that issue the first time we met Will from Kittiwake. One night back in the Opua yacht club, during our long wait for a weather window we met Will from Hull, and his crew FX the french contingent (short for Francois) and Red from Cornwall (we guess he is named so because of his reddish hair) at the Opua Yacht Club. Mike had met Will earlier, and learned of their lack of a tender, Mike offered them a ride home that night, as they were planning on swimming across the dark mud brown Opua channel to get back to their boat, Kittiwake.
During our 5 day passage from Opua to South Minerva, there were a couple of times when we pondered how the three young lads on the small yawl had gotten on, after leaving over 5 to 6 days before we left. They had seen the unsettled weather, but figured by the time they reached that part of the ocean, the worst of the weather would be done and dusted. When Will called us on the VHF, we couldn‚t believe it was that very same yawl. They had got in the day before we arrived, and had spent 13 days at sea, some of that time hove-to waiting out the weather bomb that hit them. Will sounded pretty happy when we identified ourselves as MOONFISH, he‚d remembered us, and explained he had a small issue of salt water in his water supply and could we spare some fresh water. We obliged the next day and in return the bought over some of Raglan‚s best roasted coffee with the name of Kittiwake spelt on the bag which has come in very useful for this update. They also had gathered several crayfish which Drew cooked up and we all enjoyed a nautical tale or two about their adventures while slurping down icy cold beers and crayfish with two dipping bowls. One was a simple wasabi, mayo and cracked black pepper dip, the other was Balsamic and Apple Cider Vinegar with salt, pepper and finely chopped shallots from Drew‚s garden. Both accompanied the crayfish very well. This morning before all the crayfish and beer, Super Mike set to work on fixing Auto, which he accomplished after a few bloodied smashed fingers while attempting to get stubborn bolts and nuts etc loose. Sasha is very happy to have Auto back, however we still need to test him to make sure he‚s back up and running.
After lunch, after Mike and Sasha cleaned up the boat, and washed down the cockpit (crayfish is pretty messy eating), we put away the screecher, and got out the snorkel gear, and went over to Kittiwake to pick up Drew who had swum over with the lads after lunch to sail the boat slightly closer to the reef (as they have no tender, so that makes it easier for them to swim to the reef) then Sasha, Mike and Drew headed off down to the Sou western section of the atoll to check out the sealife. We saw a heap of large parrot fish, and many brightly coloured smaller fish, all frolicking in the coral, and we also spotted a turtle. No sharks were seen, but we know they are there.
Anyway, that‚s enough of an update. Hope all is well at home, we hear Team NZ is doing okay, but Oracle is going be some stiff competition. Keep the updates coming Mappy :) All well (and very rested) on board.

Team Japan beat Team France by 5 minutes and 59 secs Team New Zealand beat Team BAR by retirement Oracle Team USA beat Team Japan by 32 secs Team BAR beat Team France by 23 secs
Wed May 31 16:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 7
knts
Run: 46.3nm (83.8km)
Avg: 8.3knts
24hr: 198.4nm
Weather: no wind, no swell, 60% cloud cover, 1020 baro‚®

We are just arriving at South Minerva Reef, there is one boat showing up on our AIS, but it does not detail a name or size. I guess we will find out soon enough who they are. Drew cut up the Tuna, and unfortunately it was red as meat, we did bleed it but obviously not enough. Drew‚s been nibbling at some of the meat he marinated in lemon juice. Sasha‚s not so game to try it, after tasting her fair share of Skipjack, and Yellowfin, she knows which one she prefers by far.
Tonight the crew of Moonfish will feast on Burritos at a little mexican joint off the coast of South Minerva known as the MOONFISH cafe. Crew are all rested, and will enjoy a day in the sun tomorrow. Sasha has already planned to settle into a beanbag on the foredeck, with a nice vino, and her kindle, she is currently reading CASTAWAY, go read the book summary if you‚re interested, it‚s about this man and woman who head off for a year on a desert island in Torres Strait (top of Australia), the women gets so epically malnourished her anus collapses and falls out. Haha, who on earth would want to go through that? More to the point, who would write a book about it! haha. Hope you are not eating when you read this.

Praise the lord. The Pirates have arrived at Minerva. Great effort - considering you hand-steered for a lot of the way ! Bloody good. As for the fish ? Get into it Sasha ! Drew will be mortified if you don't give it a go. Hopefully the Mexican Cafe at South Minerva is still up to its high standards / Good luck with your repairs and watch out for those large "fish" in the lagoon ! Love, love
Wed May 31 11:09 2017 NZST
Speed: 6
knts
Run: 148.9nm (269.5km)
Avg: 8.1knts
24hr: 194.2nm
Weather: no wind, less than 0.5 mtr swell, 40% cloud cover, 1021 baro‚®

We are now in a westly longitude, oh the warmth and sun is glorious! Another great night motor sailing, Drew started and Sasha got up at 10pm to take over. Sasha had a decent sail for about an hour, with mainsail and headsail up. She used the constellation Lyra for most of the night to keep MOONFISH on course. Lyra is a compact constellation, marked by the 5th brightest star in the sky, Vega. Vega is the star Sasha used for most of last night. Mythologically Lyre was the lyre (the worlds first turtle shell seven string guitar) of the great musician Orphenus, whose venture into the Underworld is one of the most famous of Greek stories. It was the first lyre ever made, having been invented by Hermes, who used cow gut tied across it to create it‚s seven strings. Sounds like this rockSTAR guitar got Hermes out of quite a few tricky situations during his rockSTAR youth, when he stole some of Apollo‚s cattle, as he managed to calm Apollo with his soothing music and swapped the lyre for the cattle he had stole. Bit of a bargain Sasha reckons, here take my turtle guitar with cow gut strings, and I will take your cows.
Anyway we digress. After a decent sail with no motor hitting 8 and 9knots at time, the wind disappeared so Sasha started up the motor. Mike (who couldn‚t sleep anymore) got up at 2:30am and took over from Sasha, he furled the headsail away, and motored through to the morning, when Drew took over around 5:30am. A peaceful uneventful night sail, with quite a bit of 6 and 7 knot travelling, we believe we have hit some unfavourable current.
In other news SASHA CAUGHT THE FIRST FISH OF THE PASSAGE! Yes we have a rather large Tuna on board now, Mike was on Helm, Sasha grabbed the rod, and Drew gaffed it once Sasha finally reeled it in. Sasha did try several times to relinquish the ‚˜honour‚ of the rod job, but Mike kept saying, no it‚s your fish, and Sasha was pretty glad when the silvery Tuna arrived at the surface. We think it‚s a Pacific Blue Tuna, it kinda looks like a massive Skipjack to Sasha, but Drew spent some time on a Tuna boat and is pretty sure it is a Blue Tuna. We‚ve taken photos so we will work out exactly what is is when we get some internet. What ever it is, we are eating Tuna Sashimi for lunch today, and no doubt we‚ll have some Tuna steaks on the BBQ at South Minerva for dinner tonight.
All well on board.

Tue May 30 16:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 7
knts
Run: 70.7nm (128km)
Avg: 8.5knts
24hr: 204.4nm
Weather: 10 knts sou east, 0.5 mtr swell, 40% cloud cover, low and high cloud though 1022 baro‚®

Whales, whales and more whales. We sighted whales this morning, well‚¶ Drew did. And then this afternoon while we sipped cold beers, and enjoyed a twistie or two Drew all of a sudden was standing, and pointing, and we had whales way too close to the boat. Sasha was steering (with her toes) and humming along at 8 to 9 knots at the time. Mike and Drew raced to the starboard side of the boat and watched MASSIVE whales cruising along leaving MASSIVE footprints. So so cool. Sasha can‚t believe her luck. Last night she went to a rave party with the greek gods, well mostly just Bootes and Hercules, and the semi circle of stars between the two. Apparently the Corona Borealis as it is named marks a golden crown worn by Princess Ariadne of Crete when she married the god of Dionysus. The crown is supposedly made by Hephaestus the god of fire, and it was studded with jewels from India. Anyway‚¶ so last night Sasha was enjoying herself at a rave of the gods, and this afternoon she is spending it with WHALES. Best day so far.
The kumara is chopped, and ready for the oven for roasting, the chicken will be marinated in harissa paste, and the last of the cabbage will be saut'©ed. Spirits are high on SV MOONFISH, see ya tomorrow.
ps - how is the America‚s cup going? Pappy & Mappy perhaps you could email us on moonfish@onsatmail.com and let us know.
We heard Peter Mott from Northland Radio giving us an update yesterday on the SSB, which was good.

Great reports and hope you enjoyed the harissa chicken and kumara ! Lucky boys :) Hope the Minerva Mechanic sorts the steering out for you but the sights you describe make us envious ! xx
Tue May 30 8:27 2017 NZST
Speed: 6
knts
Run: 114.3nm (206.9km)
Avg: 7.3knts
24hr: 175.8nm
Weather: 5 knts east, 0.5 mtr swell, 40% cloud cover, 1024 baro‚®

Last night, Sasha started watch at 6:15pm and went through to 9:45pm, then Drew hopped on helm, and was taken over by Mike who woke up around midnight. Mike did a marathon 4 hours on helm, and woke up Sasha at 4am to start her shift, Sasha did 2 hours and got Drew up. An easy night of shifts for Sasha and Drew this time around. Around 8am this morning Drew woke up Sasha and Mike as he had spotted a large pod of whales, so all crew were on deck this morning watching the whales. Apart from that a very uneventful night of hand steering while motoring and the mail sail up, but it‚s not doing anything except flapping about. We‚re not complaining as we are loving the conditions out here, but an wee puff more wind would be ideal. Apart from that, a large flying animal of some description decided to bomb us overnight, so Sasha spend the first part of her morning scrubbing the deck which was covered in brown splatters, suffice to say she does not feel like breakfast any time soon.
Right my turn to helm, so better let Drew get some sleep.
All well on board.

Mon May 29 16:51 2017 NZST
Speed: 7
knts
Run: 49nm (88.7km)
Avg: 8.8knts
24hr: 211.9nm
Weather: 5 - 10 knts South, 0.5 mtr swell, 35% cloud cover, 1021 baro‚®

Another lovely day of motor sailing. We have had our black asymmetrical genneker up all day, it‚s given us another 1 to 2 knots on top of one motor. Sasha cooked up her signature mexican omelette for lunch today, kumara, chilli beans, eggs, sausage, paprika, garlic, onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, and tabasco sauce, topped with tomato relish. Tonight we are having the last of the prepared (store bought) meals, another lasagna, we‚re not 100% inspired, as it‚s got pork in it‚¶ who puts pork in a lasagna? I mean really, it‚s just so wrong. Oh a happy note the cottage pie was really good. All well on board, hand steering away. Ps, hi to Vicki and Brett and the Pattison family, and also to any Foodies peeps enjoying the adventure.

Jo said serves you right for having a bought lasagne. Given your flat platform we thought you might have made one on Moonfish. Just kidding. Glad to see you are making great progress despite your auto pilot woes.
Mon May 29 11:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 6
knts
Run: 212.1nm (383.9km)
Avg: 11.6knts
24hr: 278.2nm
Weather: 10knts SW, 0 to 1 mtr swell, 25% cloud cover, 1024 baro‚®

Arrrrrrh me hearties, we‚ve raised the BLACK! That‚s right, secret weapon two has been deployed. Our beautiful black asymmetrical genneker is up along with our mainsail, the motors are off, and we are sailing nicely in calm flat waters that are turning more indigo purple by the hour. Last night shifts went as follows, Sasha kicked off the 2 hour hand steering night shifts at 5:15pm, then Drew took over at 7pm through to 9pm, then Mike hopped on the helm at 9pm through to 11pm, then Sasha was back on and after a lovely cup of tea made by Mike, was able to continue through to 3am, a four hour shift, but with only the mainsail up and the motors humming it was quite easy to keep the boat pointed towards the warm north. At 2:45am Sasha woke an already stirring Drew, who hopped out of bed and took over. The previous night the boys had had a pretty tough time with Auto going on strike which meant neither of them got much sleep, so Sasha was glad she was wide awake for the graveyard shifts so both lads could get a decent sleep.
Last night the sky was crammed full of stars, shooting stars became the norm. The boys have both seen flying fish, Sasha is still waiting to see her first one.
Drew spotted a tropic bird this morning, a great sign we are heading in the right direction. We‚ll pass the Kermadec islands today, they‚ll be to our east.
Apart from that hello to Mum Watson, Tina and Ross, Mappy and Pappy, hope you are all well and enjoying the updates.
All well on board, so well in fact that Super Mike as we speak is sitting up on the foredeck in a beanbag sunbathing‚¶ how‚s that for Pirate Life!

Sun May 28 17:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 8
knts
Weather: 10knts SW, 1.5 mtr swell, 25% cloud cover, 1021 baro‚®

Super Mike has figured out what is wrong with the auto pilot, and will need to take the steering wheel off to complete repairs, so we are hand steering to Minerva, where we can take the wheel off. Cottage Pie with steamed broccoli and carrots for tea. All very well on board, have to make these YIT updates quick sorry, as Mike is on helm, and Sasha needs to take over so he can have some dinner.

Sun May 28 10:18 2017 NZST
Speed: 8
knts
Run: 184.9nm (334.7km)
Avg: 10.7knts
24hr: 256.5nm
Weather: 10-15knts W,SW, 1.5 mtr swell, 40% cloud cover, 1021 baro‚®

First day done and dusted, we had the screecher up all night, Sasha‚s top speed was 16knots, Drew had 14knots, and Mike had 15.5, it was a quick, black as night sail that is for sure. Only a sliver of a moon, so starlight showed us the way. We started from behind the fleet, and quickly made it to the front. Aaaah, true MOONFISH styles. However it hasn‚t been all plain sailing, early this morning, Drew was on the helm, just about to finish his graveyard shift (12pm to 3am), Mike was resting in the saloon, and lucky Sasha was fast asleep in the aft starboard berth, when Auto started to play up. Auto has been fine since Mike installed his new, fancy dancy gyro compass just before we headed off last season, but something caused him to have a spaz out last night, which is odd because he usually handles speeds up to 17knots easy. So Mike hand steered from 3am to 6am, and then Sasha took over until 9am, when Drew hopped back on. Breakfast was had, marmite toast and yoghurt and muesli. And ever since then Mike (soon to be SUPER Mike yet again) has been working on the auto-pilot. He‚s checked the motor, and the drive, and thinks the issue is an old cable from the original 2010 install of the auto pilot system. So it‚s hand steering for now, fingers crossed we get it sorted, otherwise it‚ll be one long night of hand steering, but hey if Johnny Wray can do it‚¶ so can we.

Bugger. Double bugger ! Hope you fix up Ray ! Want a new cable sourced etc and sent up ? Great speed though you guys. Really good. Even at 14 knots you could be looking at a 300 nm 24-hour run :)
Sat May 27 17:00 2017 NZST
Speed: 8.7
knts
Run: 51.9nm (93.9km)
Avg: 6.9knts
24hr: 166.2nm
Weather: 13knts W, 2 mtr swell, 40% cloud cover, 1015 baro‚®

Well we are finally off! And what a fantastic start! Screecher is up, as is our main sail, and we are enjoying a lovely sail. Lunch was champagne ham and castello cheese sandwiches, with fresh iceberg lettuce and tomato. And one of the prepared meals (lasagne) is almost ready to come out of the oven, we‚ll enjoy that shortly with some steamed broccoli (gawd we are gonna miss broccoli!) Apart from that the plan tonight is 3hr shifts, starting at 6pm with Mike the Skip, then Sash the BEST mate takes over at 9pm, Drew the crew get‚s graveyard from 12pm, and then Mike is back on at 3am, because (and I quote) it seems like that is the natural wake up time for Mike these days.. he‚s been preparing his body clock for the last week now.. hehe hardcore sailor! Sasha plans to send a YIT update each evening around 5pm, and each morning after her shift. Please note that many of the yachts on the ICA (Island Cruising Association) rally are using PredictWind this year, so if you want to track the fleet (not us, as we are using YIT), then head to the ICA website and you might be able to find some info on how to find the map that shows the rest of the fleet out here with us.
All well on board, Sash, Mike and Drew.

Sat May 27 9:30 2017 NZST
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

Well, we're still alive, having used the pressure cooker for the first time. Sasha made a delicious Chinese Beef which tasted like it had been simmering away for a day, but the handy dandy pressure cooker cooked it up on the smallest hob, at the lowest setting in 40mins, just enough time for a beer before dinner.
It's 9:20am, we're all checked out, thanks to Opua Customs officers, and we've just watched some of the fleet leave the marina on their way out into the bay. We'll be off soon, Mike's just taking one last look at all the weather forecast models, and then we'll weigh the anchor, possibly raise the black, and we'll be off on our adventure into the big wide blue.

Have an Enjoyable Safe Adventure. We shall be thinking of you and your crew ..often. Phil
Fri May 19 12:12 2017 NZST
Speed: 0
knts
Weather: 10knts SW, calm brown Opua waters, 100% cloud cover, 1023 baro‚®

test to check YIT email template for when we head offshore.

Fri May 19 11:01 2017 NZST
Run: 8.2nm (14.8km)

Yes, we are still here, and yes we like hanging next to Pirate Island, in the very brown waters here at Opua.
We've had a busy few days waiting for the unsettled weather up in the islands to stop. It's the same each morning, Mike or Sasha (Sasha admits it's mostly Mike) hops out of bed, pops the kettle on and then we settle in under the warm duvet with the ipad to check out the weather forecast models, PWE, PWG, GFS (Global Forecast System), and ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts). This morning was no different to other mornings, conflicting forecasts from the different models. This morning Mike expressed surprise at how different the PWG and PWE were compared to the GFS and ECMWF forecasts. Both of the PW (Predict Wind) forecasts show consistent trade winds up in the islands, where as the others (Sasha who is writing this can't remember if it was both GFS / ECMWF) show a high, which turns into a system over the forecasted period, and covers a large area including part of our route up to Tonga. It's enough to be concerned and delay our departure yet again. Mike and Sasha are happy to delay, as there's no reason to rush, we're on cruiser time. However it is a bummer all these delays, because we are eager to get into warmer waters, and also because Drew our crew arrived yesterday and we were all pretty keen to get started on the adventure. Unfortunately it looks likely it will be another week of waiting, and Drew will most likely head back down to do some more work in normal land.
Apart from that we celebrated Pauline (SV Mahia's) birthday in true style yesterday with carrot cake, and dinner, pizza's from the Opua General Store, very tasty!
Sasha had a minor freak out this morning, much to the entertainment of both Mike and Drew, when she opened up the beautiful looking toasted muesli that she purchased from BinInn in Glenfield, only to find both bags had webs in them. Sasha couldn't see any actual insects, but it was enough to get both bags dumped into a rubbish bag, which was promptly sealed and removed from the boat. SV Moonfish has never had any issues with weevils, and Sasha is determined to keep it that way. This was the first every purchase from Bin Inn, so she's not sure she'll be going there again.
Apart from that, Sasha better hurry up and finish her herbal tea at the Opua cafe and call Mike for a pick up, as the boys are keen to head out into the bay again, for a fish.
See ya
Team Moonfish

Mon May 8 13:54 2017 NZST
Run: 8.3nm (15km)

Ah, we remember this, chilled out sunny days in the Bay. The sweet sweet luxury of time. Tui chorus and tourist boats each entering and exiting our awareness. It has been like summer the past couple of days, sitting in togs, enjoying the sunshine, reading while sipping on cups of tea, or the odd icy cold beer.
Yesterday afternoon we played with a pod of large dolphins as we motored into our current anchorage. One very large cheeky one kept scratching his back on our newly anti-fouled bow, much to Mike's dislike. Our cruiser mates Jill and Clive told us about dolphins doing this last year, but yesterday was the first time it has happened to us.
We anchored up in an empty bay and enjoyed the serenity, overlooking a perfect yellow sandy beach with calm water lapping at its shore. Later that afternoon a kingfish made his presence known by breaking the water under our nets. Sasha was preparing to sautťe scallops for Team Roam, who were coming for dinner. That kingy couldn't believe his luck to get a feed of scallop-scraps for tea.
Then Team Roam SUP'd over, uggs and all for dinner. It was nice to get to know Mick and Liss better, and hear more about how they navigate through this cruising life we all love so much.
Today Sasha continues to read the Shark Man book Malibu and Pauline lent her. Mike is busy learning how to splice dyneema, so far he has made large and small single braid dyneema loops, such a cool skill to have when you live on a boat!
We've heard about a couple of boats that have turned around after departing for Tonga last week. Good call we reckon. We're thoroughly enjoying the Bay of Islands, it's a stunning place to hang out and chill before an ocean passage.

Hi guys, we have officially joined the Mumby club. Can you email me an alternative address so we can share the details. Cheers

YAY! welcome to the club, Mike read your email to us SVMOONFISH@gmail.com this morning! We are SO SO EXCITED for you! We can't wait to enjoy some Tim Mumby racing with you. Well done and congratulations. Lots of love Sash and Mike x

Good to see you still enjoy our life out here. It's magic. Good luck and bon voyage we look forward to reading your progress again. Take care safe sailing Jill and Clive xxx

Hullo Jill and Clive, hope you guys are out and about sailing around. We are still here, still waiting... but all is good, and we are enjoying the Bay of Islands. Take care out there! Sasha and Mike x
Thu May 4 18:43 2017 NZST
Run: 0.2nm (0.4km)

Donna... my mother warned me about hanging out with girls like you! Sounds like such a sweet and innocent name doesn't it? Well, that cheeky bird has had the nerve to delay our departure to the warm azure waters of Tonga! In all seriousness though, we're happy to wait out Donna's demo-derby right here in the calm, safe waters of the Bay of Islands. It's nice and sunny here and has warmed up considerably since the Arctic blast stopped yesterday - boy that was cold! We're spending the extra prep time getting ourselves well and truly prepared. This morning we listened to the ICA sked, then took the tender into Opua marina to do a load of washing (great facilities here), which is when Sasha unconsciously decided to wash SV MOONFISH's completed advanced arrival form for Tonga. It's important to ensure your custom forms are always extra clean, and wadded into a small, wet paper ball in your jacket pocket. We use sensitive surf powder, it does a great job. There is nothing better than filling out custom forms, especially when you get to do the same form twice! Apart from that debacle Super Mike has fitted the new ball valves to the cooling circuit for the shaft seals, polished the stainless tillers, and picked up the furling gear, now altered with a smaller endless loop so hopefully the loop won't jump off the furling drum anymore.
Smashing Sasha has tested the Sat phone, and successfully downloaded the offshore predict wind forecast files, thanks to John at ICA for the tips. Both Sasha and Mike have learnt a little more about forecast models. PWG and PWE are the ones we'll be downloading while on passage (about 40KB via Sat phone, who knew the Satellite image we were downloading was so huge? Now we know and won't be doing that again). PWG and PWE are great because they cover both the American and European weather forecast models. PWG (G for Gringo heh heh, actually it stands for Global) is the American based forecast while PWE (E is for YOU GUESSED IT, YOU'RE SO SMART! it's E for European) model. Also IMPORTANTLY Team SV Moonfish donated our $50 bucks to the good lass and fellows at YIT and Gulf Harbour Radio. You lot do a fab job, and any cruisers out there reading this, who use YIT should donate tomorrow because it's an awesome service Mike, Patricia and Dave provide, well worth you chucking a few bob their way. Happy to read P & D will be enjoying some cruising this year between mid-May and July, we guess that means that GHR transmissions will not occur over this time? We listened to the recording of today's GHR weather analysis via their website, and will attempt to live stream it tomorrow.
We've also been into Pahia with Malibu and Pauline, yes Malibu is back, but this time with his lovely wife Pauline, and on their own boat Mahia... gawd it's gorgeous inside and out! They have been working so hard to get the boat so pristine and their efforts have really paid off! Mahia is a stunner. That's about it for now, Sasha will attempt to blow up Opua with her brand new pressure cooker tomorrow, so stay tuned, and apologies in advance. Hopefully see you tomorrow still with eyebrows.

All good here; love the updates keeping us in the loop!XXOO

Hi Dad, will try to be a bit more regularly with the updates from now on, we've run out of data, and to top up, it's costing us $12 for 500MB, such a rip off in NZ, when in Fiji you can get 9GB for $20. Anyway, will definitely do some shorter updates as we sail about the bay over the next few days. Lub Sasha and Mike
Tue May 2 15:36 2017 NZST
Run: 29.4nm (53.2km)
Avg: 3.9knts
24hr: 94.5nm

Made it to Opua, safely anchored and all is well.

Wow, so speedy! All good here in cool crisp very lush Richmond.
Tue May 2 8:08 2017 NZST
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)

A stunning ly cold sunrise met us at the mouth of Tutukaka harbour this morning at 7:40am. With hot cups of tea in our bellies, and our new Gull evotherm core insulation technology cold weather gear on (thanks Mike at NZ sailing net, we are so warm!) , we up anchored in pursuit of Opua.

Mon May 1 18:34 2017 NZST
Run: 85nm (153.9km)
Avg: 8.8knts
24hr: 211.9nm

We made it to Tutukaka harbour just before sunset. Great sail up the coast today, with bacon & egg wraps for brunch. Hope to reach Opua tomorrow.

Mon May 1 8:57 2017 NZST
Run: 2.9nm (5.2km)

See ya later Auckland! We're off up north, stand by Opua, Team SV MOONFISH is on the way!

Have a great trip guys! Looking forward to living vicariously through your adventures ;-) Wishing you a fair wind and calm seas. Safe travels. Greg and Family. xxx
Sun Apr 30 22:25 2017 NZST
Weather: It's cold and windy, and we're looking forward to heading north.

Tonight is our last night at the marina. Tomorrow we start our way north to Opua to join the ICA rally up to the pacific islands. Today we spent the day with Mike's family, dropping off Mike's company ute, and leaving Sasha's car with Tina and Ross to take to the farm for winter (Thanks T&R!). We did a final shop for a few final bits and bobs, and then Mike's mum Barbara dropped us back to the boat (thanks for the sausage rolls today Barbara, and the lovely chocolate chip biscuits).
Being keyless, and carless has a slight unease to it, but Mike and Sasha settled in for their last dinner in the marina, Tarragon Chicken with white wine, roasted golden kumara & flash boiled broccoli. It was delicious. Sasha loves cooking, when SV MOONFISH is so well provisioned, there isn't a spice, or ingredients she could want for right now, the cupboards are packed full :)

Have another great adventure and I shall look forward to reading the daily log. It is cooler in Nelson with the autumn crocus (Sternbergia) in bloom but otherwise status quo with the garden bulbs thinking it is spring . Take care. XXOO Dad
Fri Apr 21 16:48 2017 NZST

Hello.... is this thing on? Hello? Testing 1, 2, 3!
Well we're back!!! After 6 months of building up a cruising kitty, a new meal kit brand launched on time to plan, and SV MOONFISH just back in the water today after some hard yakka from Super Mike to clean her bottom and ensure all is ship-shape.... we are on the final countdown, office work will fade into oblivion in one week, and 6 months of glorious TIME, luxurious TIME to do and think and feel whatever we like will once again happen. Oh the joys of life at sea! Stand by.... more random adventures will be posted here as we travel from Opua, NZ... back up to the South Pacific on our beloved cyber Catamaran SV MOONFISH.

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