Ms Murphy

Tue Oct 2 21:59 2018 NZDT
GPS: 35 18S 174 07E
Run: 152.4nm (275.8km)
Avg: 5.7knts
24hr: 137.3nm

Docked on Customs Pier at 9:30pm. Enjoying a rum and flat calm silence. Ahhhhh... To be followed shortly by Zzzzzzz.....

Mon Oct 1 19:21 2018 NZDT
5.5 kts
GPS: 33 22S 172 50E
Run: 157.2nm (284.5km)
Avg: 6.6knts
24hr: 157.5nm
Weather: NW 10 knts; NE 1m swell; 75%cloud; 1024 on the bar

Had another good day up until 4pm when the wind shifted to the NW - dead astern and hard to sail - rolly. Now motorsailing. 135 miles to Opua. ETA tomorrow night.

Sun Sep 30 19:24 2018 NZDT
5.5 kts
GPS: 31 14S 171 54E
Run: 160.1nm (289.8km)
Avg: 6.6knts
24hr: 159.1nm
Weather: 10-12 ENE; 25% cloud; 1m E swell; 1024 on the bar

After a night of motorsailing, I had a splendid day's sail in light easterlies and a fairly calm sea. All's well.

Sat Sep 29 18:15 2018 NZST
GPS: 28 59S 171 16E
Run: 172.1nm (311.5km)
Avg: 7.2knts
24hr: 172.8nm
Weather: SE 15; 50% trade wind clouds; 1024 on the bar; SW swell less than 2m and dying

Another lovely sailing day. Just about to head down the back of the high and head SE. All well.

Fri Sep 28 18:21 2018 NZST
6.2 kts
GPS: 26 38S 172 12E
Run: 75.3nm (136.3km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 166.9nm
Weather: SE15-18; 50% cloud; 2-3m swell from the south; 1021 on the bar

Another great day out on the briney. Apart from a slightly slower morning, we've been moving along nicely. All well.

Fri Sep 28 7:31 2018 NZST
GPS: 25 38S 172 41E
Run: 86.2nm (156km)
Avg: 6.5knts
24hr: 156.5nm
Weather: SE10-12, SW2m swell,

all well

Thu Sep 27 18:18 2018 NZST
6 kts
GPS: 24 29S 173 13E
Run: 80.4nm (145.5km)
Avg: 7.5knts
24hr: 178.9nm
Weather: SE15; SW 2m swell; 1018 on the bar; 100% light cloud

Great sailing day. SE 15 with waves that aren't breaking. 2m SW swell which is like driving over a hilly road. A hint of sun but not much.

Thu Sep 27 7:30 2018 NZST
GPS: 23 34S 174 00E
Run: 92.2nm (166.9km)
Avg: 6.9knts
24hr: 165nm
Weather: SE15-18

all well and a good signal

Wed Sep 26 18:06 2018 NZST
5.5 kts
GPS: 22 22S 174 38E
Run: 158.3nm (286.5km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160nm
Weather: SE 10-12; 100% Cloud; Bar of 1015

Wind eased throughout the morning down to about 10-12 SE this afternoon. I am motorsailing to keep my speed up. Certainly more comfortable.

Tue Sep 25 18:21 2018 NZST
GPS: 20 20S 175 46E
Run: 79.4nm (143.7km)
Avg: 7.5knts
24hr: 181nm
Weather: SE20; 100% Cloud; 1013 on the bar

Day 2 has been gray and lumpy. Passed by another yacht last night and have Dawn Treader about 20nm to my NW running along at the same speed.

Tue Sep 25 7:49 2018 NZST
GPS: 19 20S 176 22E
Run: 87.3nm (158km)
Avg: 6.5knts
24hr: 155nm
Weather: SE20, sw swell 1.5m 100%cc, 1012

all well and a good radio signal

Mon Sep 24 18:18 2018 NZST
GPS: 18 11S 176 55E
Run: 42.6nm (77.1km)
Avg: 3.5knts
24hr: 84.8nm
Weather: SE 20

We're underway. Anchor up at 11:00 and through the reef pass by 14:00. Tight reaching into SE 20-ish. So, a bit lumpy. Pills working and feeling fine.

Mon Sep 24 6:15 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 45.497S 177 23.156E
Run: 12.2nm (22.1km)

Clearing this morning for Opua. The weather looks good for the first half. Beyond that, it currently looks OK but could change. I hope to be in by 3 or 4 Oct.

Sun Sep 9 14:06 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 45.652S 177 12.007E
Run: 12.2nm (22.1km)

Having finally replaced the engine mounts and had the fuel injector pump repaired (broken spring and running on 3 cyls for months, I now think), I sailed over to Malolo for a few days. Good to have the donkey back in business.

Wed Aug 29 9:39 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 45.522S 177 23.110E
Run: 8.1nm (14.7km)

Anchored off Denarau with multiple engine issues. It looks like I'll be here for a while as I replace engine mounts and repair the fuel injection pump. At least it's not cold and raining.

Fri Aug 24 19:42 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 38.529S 177 23.586E
Run: 15.1nm (27.3km)

We moved to Saweni Bay after a few days in Denarau sorting out the engine fuel problem. It turned out to be a stuck rack which was not letting fuel pass. Thanks go to Bryden & Andy at General Marine in Auckland and Charlie of South Seas in Denarau for helping me find and fix the problem. I still have the engine mounts to do, but at least I have power to use the anchor windlass. Now more hauling the second anchor up by hand. Now, hopefully, we'll be able to get out to do some snorkeling before Sioux heads back the chill of NZ.

Thu Aug 16 16:54 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 45.623S 177 11.968E
Run: 12.2nm (22.1km)

Sioux arrived yesterday for her holiday in the Mananucas and Yasawas. Ms Murphy's engine mounts had started to deteriorate and it was becoming unwise to do much motoring. So, I was planning a sailing voyage using the motor only to charge the batteries while using the anchor windlass. (Sioux brought me a new set of engine mounts that I will replace after she departs.) Yesterday afternoon, we sailed north from Denarau to Saweni Bay to make a few miles of northing. This morning after a leisurely morning, we set off north toward Waya Island. With no wind, I risked motoring a few miles to clear a couple of reefs. When I went to throttle back the engine, nothing happened. On she continued. I dashed down below to ensure the cable was attached. Sure was. A few jiggles and we got the motor off. Now, it won't start...

Following a process of elimination and a few calls to a diesel specialist, it looks like the fuel injector unit has a problem: no fuel is being pumped out. Bugger!! $$!! Luckily, a specialist from Auckland will be flying up next week to Denarau to visit some friends and has volunteered to have a quick diagnostic look. He also is said to know who in this region might be able to repair it. (Better than sending the unit to NZ and back.) So, in the meantime, we won't go as far and I will be forced to learn a bit more about how to sail...! Today, we sailed into the north side of Malolo LaiLai (Musket Cove) and will be here a few days, I think. It's still lovely and warm, and thanks to a 12v fridge, the beer is cold.

Fri Aug 10 14:12 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 45.354S 177 23.081E
Run: 12nm (21.7km)

Anchored off Port Denarau. Will be here until next Thursday when Sioux arrives.

Wed Aug 8 15:15 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 35.482S 177 26.614E
Run: 23.9nm (43.3km)

Gentle sail to Lautoka. Too late to continue further today - not that I know exactly where I'm headed...

Tue Aug 7 18:12 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 24.525S 177 45.055E
Run: 33.5nm (60.6km)

Sailed over the top on my way towards the west coast. Beautiful sail through the reef. Dropped anchor at 18:00 which is late according to the rules, but I was confident of my navigation in the inner channel.

Mon Aug 6 16:24 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 27.179S 178 15.387E
Run: 85nm (153.9km)

Lovely sail to Viti Levu Bay after quick crossing from Makongai followed by a slow wander up the Viti Levu coast.

Tue Jul 31 16:27 2018 NZST

Left Savusavu at 03:45 and had a great sail down to Makongai arriving at 13:30. Will probably be here a few days.

Sat Jul 28 14:03 2018 NZST
GPS: 16 46.66S 179 19.88E
Run: 3.6nm (6.5km)

Woke up this morning to a dusting of volcanic ash on the boat from the Ambae eruption in Vanuatu. That explained yesterday's haze. Will be departing next week for Makongai and then further westward.

Wed Jul 4 15:15 2018 NZST
GPS: 16 48.581S 179 17.277E
Run: 29.8nm (53.9km)

Sailed over to the Cousteau Resort near Savusavu in beautiful SE20kts breeze. Savusavu tomorrow.

Tue Jul 3 15:42 2018 NZST
GPS: 16 43.52S 179 43.79E
Run: 7.4nm (13.4km)

Moved to Fawn Harbour. Had to motor into 20kts from the East until I rounded Viani Bay. Then, when I should have been able to reach / run to the west, the wind died... So, more motoring.

Wed Jun 27 17:12 2018 NZST
GPS: 16 40.5S 179 49.7E
Run: 18.5nm (33.5km)

After a stop at Somosomo for some restocking of the larder (not much as the shelves were pretty empty), I moved over to Buca Bay. Should be in the area through the weekend at which point I will head to Savusavu. Lost another lure today. Must be BIG fish around here!

Tue Jun 26 14:51 2018 NZST
GPS: 16 56.046S 179 54.01E
Run: 41.8nm (75.7km)

Sailed over to Paradise Resort on Taveuni in SE 15-20. Lost a fishing lure on the way. Must have been huge!!

Sun Jun 24 10:13 2018 NZST
No position sent.

I had about half of Nainbuna Village aboard yesterday for a spot of fishing. (Well, it seemed that way as I ferried them to and fro.)

I offered a hand reel for the first fish caught. The winner was one that I would have caught..!

The fishing wasn't great, but laughs didn't stop - especially when Loti, the winner, tried to steer Ms Murphy against the plotter course back to the anchorage.

Fri Jun 22 17:57 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 15.2S 179 21.8E
Run: 38.6nm (69.9km)

Motorsailed to Koro Island. Looks like a more prosperous island with a couple of resorts and some upmamarket houses. Still, no fish.

Tue Jun 19 16:36 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 48.619S 179 23.676E
Run: 16.1nm (29.1km)

Moved to Nairai Island. Trolled a line but no fish. May be here a few days as the winds are supposed to be light until the weekend.

Tue Jun 19 9:09 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 59.567S 179 14.495E
Weather: 10% cloud mostly over Viti Levu to the west. 1017 on the bar

Flat calm in the lee of Gau Island. Beautiful morning.

Sun Jun 17 15:06 2018 NZST
GPS: 17 59.567S 179 14.495E
Run: 54.9nm (99.4km)
Weather: SE10

Arrived in Herald Bay on Gau Island at 11:30 this morning after a quiet night passage. Coming through coral passes will take some getting used to. The bottom looks so close! Too tired to go ashore today and present myself to the village chief. Will do that in the morning.

Sat Jun 16 16:48 2018 NZST
GPS: 18 07S 178 25E
Run: 0.7nm (1.3km)

I've been in Suva for 10 days which is about a week longer than planned. But, then, I hadn't planned on being hit by a runaway ferry...

The extra week was worth it, however. The owners of the ship that hit me reimbursed me for replacement blades for my new propeller. (I can and will still use my old ones until I next haul out of the water. There will be some loss of performance but not much.) I also managed to get my lazy self in gear and do a few little jobs. Then, naturally, there was a wee bit of socialising with other yachties.

Tonight, I am leaving Suva on an overnight sail to the island of Gau. The distance is not far - only 50nm. However, if I left in daylight, I could not arrive in daylight which is imperative to see the pass through the reef. In Fiji, it is well known that you should only approach coral areas between 10am and 4pm when the light is best for seeing what lies below. So, I will leave at dusk and sail slowly through the night so I can have a safe entry in the morning.

Fri Jun 8 17:39 2018 NZST
GPS: 18 07.347S 178 25.491E
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

Renting a dive tank tomorrow to survey damage, but prop seems to be working in spite of the dents. Hope it will get me back home. Some stainless repairs to be made. Still plan to move on by mid next week.

Fri Jun 8 2:27 2018 NZST
GPS: 18 07.140S 178 25.275E
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

Chaos in Suva. T-storm winds sent an anchored ferry drifting through the anchorage collecting several yachts including Ms Murphy. 2am and just kedged off the rock bottom. Motorless as chain around my new feathering prop. I think that's going to be expensive....  I'll figure out how to put the full story on the blog page in the next few days. 

Wed Jun 6 11:03 2018 NZST
GPS: 18 07S 178 25E
Run: 52.2nm (94.5km)
Avg: 3.2knts
24hr: 76.4nm

Arrived in Suva at 09:30. It's HOT!! Waiting for Customs clearance and looking forward to going ashore.

Tue Jun 5 18:39 2018 NZST
GPS: 18 50S 178 10E
Run: 112.2nm (203.1km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 112nm
Weather: E5

Had to motor most of the day against headwinds. Now, almost none but right direction. 40 miles to go. Will sail slowly overnight to arrive at harbour entrance in the morning. Or, I'll motor some more....

Mon Jun 4 18:36 2018 NZST
GPS: 20 22S 177 36E
Run: 147.5nm (267km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.9nm
Weather: ESE10-12

After motoring though the night, the winds picked up for a good sailing day. 150nm to go to Suva. Should arrive late tomorrow or Wednesday morning.

Sun Jun 3 18:30 2018 NZST
GPS: 22 30S 177 40E
Run: 142.8nm (258.5km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 145.8nm
Weather: SE3 gusting 4

I asked for a break from the wind on Friday. I got it. None. Motoring all day. Dried out the wet stuff and cleaned up a bit. All OK

Sat Jun 2 19:00 2018 NZST
GPS: 24 34S 177 40E
Run: 62.5nm (113.1km)
Avg: 2.6knts
24hr: 61.2nm
Weather: NW15-20

Last night was bad. A low formed over me and winds increased from 15 to 40kts with gusts at 4am even higher. Scary stuff with huge seas. No damage apart from water finding its way onto my bunk from a couple places. Need a big wash and dry-out when I get to Suva.

Fri Jun 1 18:30 2018 NZST
GPS: 25 27S 177 27E
Run: 116.4nm (210.7km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 119.1nm
Weather: NE25

Rough day of nor'easterlies. Slowed down under storm sails when front approached. Trying not to get pushed west. Bumpy, bruised but OK.

Thu May 31 19:03 2018 NZST
GPS: 27 08S 177 30E
Run: 122.3nm (221.4km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 127.1nm
Weather: NE5-8

About halfway now. Wind died this afternoon. Motoring for a bit. All OK on board.

Wed May 30 19:57 2018 NZST
GPS: 28 49S 176 53E
Run: 143.8nm (260.3km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.9nm
Weather: SE10-12

A day of light air sailing. Big rolling seas. Full moon now. Container ship passed this morning. All OK on board.

Tue May 29 20:27 2018 NZST
GPS: 30 29S 175 27E
Run: 151.4nm (274km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 150.8nm
Weather: SE20

Good 24hrs sail to NE. Seas calming which is good. All OK but tired.

Mon May 28 20:21 2018 NZST
GPS: 32 15S 173 56E
Run: 168.4nm (304.8km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160.1nm
Weather: S20-25

Making good progress if a bit too far west. Now, on a better course. Still lumpy. Saw couple albatross.

Sun May 27 19:06 2018 NZST
GPS: 34 40S 174 18E
Run: 45nm (81.5km)
Avg: 6.8knts
24hr: 163.6nm
Weather: sw25-30

First night out. A bit rough but skipping along. Feeling pretty good.

Sun May 27 12:30 2018 NZST
GPS: 35 17.905S 174 06.634E
Run: 8.3nm (15km)

Cleared Customs and departed Opua at noon today. On my way to Fiji. Thanks to Sioux and Gary for a fantastic send-off!!

Mon May 14 17:39 2018 NZST
GPS: 35 10.967S 174 04.393E
Run: 19.4nm (35.1km)

Arrived in the Bay of Islands today. Will be in the area until my departure for Fiji end May / early June.

Thu May 10 11:06 2018 NZST
GPS: 35 21.149S 174 20.847E
Run: 18.9nm (34.2km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 113.4nm

Anchored in Whangaruru for next few days until northerly winds pass and I can sail up to Opua.

Thu May 10 7:06 2018 NZST
GPS: 35 33.299S 174 34.372E
Run: 30.1nm (54.5km)
Avg: 4.3knts
24hr: 102.5nm
Weather: SW8

Calm morning off Tutukaka. Had to motor a couple hours. Probably more to come.

Thu May 10 0:03 2018 NZST
GPS: 35 57.300S 174 47.096E
Run: 34.8nm (63km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 133.6nm
Weather: SW10

Beautiful night.

Wed May 9 17:48 2018 NZST
GPS: 36 26.897S 174 54.847E
Run: 31.6nm (57.2km)
Weather: SW20

Great sail north. Feathering prop and new headsail giving an extra knot or more! 

Fri Apr 13 18:27 2018 NZST
GPS: 36 54.30S 174 52.97E
Run: 0.9nm (1.6km)

Pactor test 2

Fri Apr 13 11:00 2018 NZST
GPS: 36 54.30S 174 51.97E
Run: 1nm (1.8km)

testing the Pactor

Wed Apr 11 19:27 2018 NZST
GPS: 36 54S 174 51E

testing the system - take 2

Wed Apr 11 19:24 2018 NZST
GPS: 36 54S 174 51E

testing the system

Wed Apr 11 19:18 2018 NZST
Weather: SW25


Ms Murphy - University of Hard Knocks

After arriving into Suva Harbour on Wednesday 6 June, I anchored in the small yacht anchorage off the Royal Suva Yacht Club. After clearing in at around 4pm, I went ashore and enjoyed a cold beer at the yacht club bar and then returned to the boat for a very long sleep.

The next day, I paid the health department bill (F$163.50!!) and got my cruising permit (free) and my coastal permit (free). These were all at different places, but luckily, taxis were no more than F$4.00 for any trip I Read more...

took. I finished off the excursion at the market by getting some fresh fruit and veg which was all cheap and fresh. Then it was back to the boat to enjoy a good fresh meal. At about 7:30pm and halfway through dinner, the wind suddenly started increasing rapidly from the south due to a thunderstorm over Suva Harbour. I became concerned about the strength of the wind - estimated later to be in excess of 40kts - and started the engine in case I needed to move. After starting the engine and putting on foul weather gear, I came on deck to find that I was about to be hit by two vessels that were fouled together and dragging anchor.

The two vessels were the mv Princess Civa (an old rust-bucket 100ft ferry) and sv Second Wind (a 44ft fibreglass yacht from Seattle). The master of Second Wind yelled out to me that the Princess Civa was dragging her anchor and in the process had hit Second Wind and taken her along. When the two vessels hit Ms Murphy, Second Wind was pressed under the starboard quarter of the Princess Civa at a severe angle of heel and unable to free herself. The point of impact for Ms Murphy was directy on our bow and against Second Wind's starboard quarter. Ms Murphy was unable to slide past Second Wind and was dragged along with Princess Civa and Second Wind for approximately 3 minutes – seemed longer! - before Princess Civa slipped forward enough to let Second Wind and Ms Murphy pass behind her stern.

Once free of Princess Civa, it immediately became obvious that the anchors and chains of Second Wind and Ms Murphy had become entangled. Both of us attempted to lift and separate our anchors without success. During these attempts, both vessels were slowly dragging northward toward the shallows.
Very quickly, we were bearing down upon the Princess Civa which had run aground and was laying broadside to the wind with her bow pointing westward. Ms Murphy and Second Wind were slowly dragging down directly on top of Princess Civa. To avoid ending up lying on the windward side of Princess Civa and pounding against her, I attempted to motor into the wind at full throttle and drag Ms Murphy along with Second Wind into clear water. Progress was made until the anchor chain wrapped around the propeller on Ms Murphy and stopped the engine. At that point, Ms Murphy was adrift and being blown northwards toward the shallows.

I deployed my second anchor - a 45lb Manson Supreme with 10m of 8mm chain and 30m of 14mm nylon rode. Unfortunately, 20 of the 30m of line ended up in a tangled mess of a ball. Worse, I only just managed to get the rope tied to the boat before it was wrenched out of my hands. The second anchor slowed us down but could not prevent us from going aground. Eventually, Ms Murphy touched with Second Wind about 20m away.

This all happened in under 15 minutes. I was soaked and shaking. So, I made a cup of tea and changed clothes to warm up. I found that it took me a while to get moving again.

Over the course of the rest of the night, I set about trying to kedge Ms Murphy off into deeper water with my third anchor. This meant launching the dinghy and putting on the outboard in a heaving sea and getting 100m of line sorted out. It's no easy task on your own in a small dinghy. It took several trips with the second and third anchor before I could winch myself into slightly deeper water. But, it worked ever so slowly.

At about 5am, I decided that I was floating just enough to be able to motor off. So, I summoned the courage and dived down in the murky water and freed the chain from the propeller. I tested the engine and was relieved to see that I had forward thrust. So, I buoyed and dropped my primary anchor and charin and began to motor off into deeper water. I hadn't gone a full boat lenght when a fishing net became wrapped around the propeller. Wonderful!! Down I went yet again to try to remove it. It was a huge snarled mess that I was unable to remove safely in the dark. (Think knife, net, darkness, moving boat, lack of breath and you soon see cuts and worse.) So, I had my third hot shower in 8 hours and took a nap.

I was eventually pulled off by a powerboat at approximately 8am. Second Wind didn't get off until high tide at 3pm.

Ms Murphy suffered the following damage:
1) The bow roller chain retainer was destroyed during the contact with Second Wind.
2) The blades of the Kiwi Feathering propeller were severely damaged by the chain when attempting to avoid drifting down upon the Pricess Civa.
3) The rudder bushes were damaged when pounding on the coral after grounding.
4) All paint on the bottom of the keel and rudder was been ground away.

I learned a couple of things: I should have let my primary anchor go once I saw it was tangled up, but I don't recall the thought even crossing my mind. If I had done so, I would then have been free to re-anchor and suffered less damage. My second anchor was not ready for deployment and took me several crusial minutes to assemble. It is set to go now.

Apart from the usual bruises and minor abrasions, I am fine as are all the people on the other 4 boats that were hit by the Princess Civa. Ms Murphy will sail on, and we learned quite a bit from the University of Hard Knocks which will see us better prepared in the future.

that was bad luck mate, murphy at her finest.

Princess Civa
Morning After
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