Navire

Navire

Mon Oct 23 16:48 2017 NZDT
Run: 90.7nm (164.2km)
Avg: 8.4knts
24hr: 201.6nm
35 18.779s 174 07.341e

Home!!! Safely tied up on the customs dock at Opua. 10 day passage. Arrived in heavy rain and couldn't see New Zealand till we were entering the Bay of Islands. So good to those green hills. Hopefully we'll have our phones going tomorrow and access to internet. Time for a whisky.

Cheers Janet


Hey, congratulations on arriving in New Zealand! Returning home is a great feeling. Bob and Kelly in Victoria

Odyssey conclusa. Nisi experientia et sapientia manere.

Como fazer tiara de renda para bebe passo a passo. http://www.klik-akademija.com/activity/p/5617/
Mon Oct 23 6:00 2017 NZDT
Speed: 7 . motorsailing.knts
Run: 220.1nm (398.4km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 168.8nm
34 01.628s 174 26.275e
Weather: W14, 1 metre swell, a few stars, bar 1012

10 hours to go. Will we beat the cold front forecasted for today? It's colder now, first time we have felt 20 degrees in a long time. Should be able to sight some time after dawn. Lentil curry for lunch. Maybe a whole night's sleep tonight.


You are in the home stretch! Hang in there and absorb the last few hours of the big adventure.

Good to see your almost back. The weather is not great, but it’s NewZealand!
Sat Oct 21 22:42 2017 NZDT
Speed: 6.1knts
Run: 79.4nm (143.7km)
Avg: 5.2knts
24hr: 124.5nm
30 51.663s 174 50.532e
Weather: SW25, 2 metre swell, cloudy, bar 1013

Motor sailing across a grey lumpy sea trying to get in by Monday before forecasted headwinds off Northland coast. 260 miles to go. Pumpkin soup for lunch. Bring on fresh food, NZ food, avocadoes, good cheeses, sauvignon blanc, a bath, solid ground, kiwi accents...It's been two and a half years.


Make the most of the reaching and running conditions. Front due Mon middayish. Good chance to wash boat in the rain :-) Then going WSW. Thanks for the memorable accounts of your trip. From meeting Sherrell and I aboard Loose Cannon, Beneteau 47.7, at Great Barrier we have enjoyed following you around the Pacific. WELCOME HOME.

Prepare for starboard tack as wind goes W then NW as front arrives. Will be a fast finish.
Sat Oct 21 7:24 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5.4knts
Run: 121.4nm (219.7km)
Avg: 4.6knts
24hr: 110.6nm
29 42.748s 174 52.265e
Weather: SW25, 1 metre swell, cloudy, bar 1016

Heading south again after horrible 4 metre swells. Even managed to play music in the cockpit yesterday afternoon, David on guitar, Mark on fiddle and Anna on spoons. Omlettes for lunch. 330 miles to go.


Melbourne.. 16deg, SW10kt, Curry Chicken, Rice, Green Beens. Bon voyage!
Fri Oct 20 5:03 2017 NZDT
Speed: .4knts
Run: 74.2nm (134.3km)
Avg: 3.3knts
24hr: 78.1nm
28 04.796s 175 36.675e
Weather: SE25, 2.5 metre swell, cloudy, bar 1019

Hove to last night in 40 knot headwinds and 3 metre swell. Wind easing a bit now but waiting for swell to reduce, and daylight. Lunch - Tinned ham and potato stew. 430 miles to go.


Thu Oct 19 6:15 2017 NZDT
Speed: 2.6knts
Run: 83.2nm (150.6km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 80.5nm
27 07.241s 176 09.408e
Weather: SSE 24, 2 metre swell, cloudy, bar 1017

Motoring to get easting. Can't wait to get home. Pasta with tomato.


Suggest staying on port tack at speed. Wind is going to clock around to W then NW 20 plus with front. Should be fast run in. Some rain with front Mon midday.

I hope the seas moderate and you continue good progress. I will reach St Jean Pied de Porte and complete my Camino Le Puy tomorrow.

Head for North Cape not East. Wind will go S then SW then WSW Sat arvo. Get to the lee of North Island then reach down coast to Opua.

Motoring always such a come down, esp' after 6 + knts! Here's to Easting, And more sailing.

Watching each update with nervous anticipation. Godspeed, which is a stupid thing for an atheist to say, but we wish you fair weather into Opua. Love Bill and Fiona.
Wed Oct 18 5:27 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5.8knts
Run: 144.6nm (261.7km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 148.9nm
25 57.293s 176 29.338e
Weather: SSE 25-39, 2 metre swell, cloudy, bar 1016

Pretty bouncy out here. Looking forward to lighter conditions in a couple of days time. 564 miles to go. Lamb shank braise and mash. Fridge crapped out again so canned food from here on in.


Tue Oct 17 6:09 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5.6knts
Run: 158.4nm (286.7km)
Avg: 5.7knts
24hr: 137.7nm
24 08.296s 177 38.066e
Weather: SE 20, 2 metre swell, clear, bar 1013

Brisk and bouncy. hard on the wind. 683 miles to go. Chili for lunch.


Your on the wind skills will be tested all the way. But nothing sinister in the forecast. 10 to 20 kts SE, S then SW around Fri. Low pressure developing well to SE may build the SE swell but again nothing sinister. If your trim is right you can lock tiller with a little weather helm and turn of auto pilot. Enjoy the anticipation of returning to the big smoke.....not! :-)
Mon Oct 16 2:33 2017 NZDT
Speed: 5knts
Run: 48.8nm (88.3km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 148.3nm
21 53.351s 178 06.877e
Weather: E12 1 metre swell, cloudy, bar 1011

Seas have eased and Janet feeling much better after seasick day yesterday. 821 miles to go. Day 1 meal: rotisserie chicken and roast veg. Day 2 Lentil curry. Beautiful night with phosphorescent wake.


Sun Oct 15 18:39 2017 NZDT
Speed: 7.2knts
Run: 213.2nm (385.9km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 151.6nm
21 11s 178 07e
Weather: E23 2 metre swell, 25% cloud cover, bar 1009,

Excellent first 2 days. 4POB all is well.


Sat Oct 14 8:54 2017 NZDT
18 06.580s 178 23.807e
Weather: 2 knots N, sea calm in bay, 37.5% cloud, bar 1009

Leaving Suva in less than an hour. Customs computer down yesterday so allowed to leave today with much better wind angle. And a less auspicious date, not that we are superstitious, however we are afraid of Murphy. 4POB. All is well except that Mark lost last night's card game.


Fri Oct 13 6:18 2017 NZDT
18 06.580s 178 23.807e
Weather: 5knots NE, sea calm in bay, 30% cloud, bar 1012 Sent from my iPhone

Leaving Suva this afternoon bound for Opua. 4POB


Thu Oct 12 7:39 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.9nm (3.4km)
18 06.580s 178 23.807e
Weather: Calm, 20% cloud, bar 1012

Looking good for leaving Fiji tomorrow.


Safe and happy sailing! Lots of love from Anna's Sydney housemates xx
Wed Oct 11 8:39 2017 NZDT
Run: 1.9nm (3.4km)
18 07.440s 178 25.274e
Weather: fine and calm, 10%cc, 1012

Still looking at departing FRi or saturday for nz


Mon Oct 9 13:09 2017 NZDT
18 06.580s 178 23.807e
Weather: ESE 5, sea calm, 50% cloud, bar 1010, 29 degrees. Sent from my iPhone

At Lami Bay near Suva. Passage weather conditions still ambiguous. Shall we, shan't we? Anna has arrived. Great company.


Sun Oct 8 8:15 2017 NZDT
18 06.580s 178 23.807e
Weather: E 5 knots, sea calm, 50% cloud, bar 1012, 25 degrees.

At Lami Bay near Suva. Passage weather ambiguous. Could be Monday or could be Thursday, or anywhere in between. Final preparations underway. Anna arrives today.


Fri Oct 6 6:51 2017 NZDT
Speed: mooredknts
Run: 2.1nm (3.8km)
18 06.580s 178 23.807e
Weather: No wind, Calm, 50% cloud, bar 1011, 25 degrees

At lovely calm mooring field near Lami. Shopping all done, I start cooking all the passage meals today. Weather for passage next week looks uncertain.


Thu Oct 5 8:06 2017 NZDT
18 07.362s 178 25.501e
Weather: E 10knots, sea calm in harbour, 100% cloud, bar 1013, 25 degrees.

Still off Suva Yacht Club as our kiwi band played music there last night along with a couple of talented Fijian men who joined in. Boat is all cluttered up with unstowed provisions.


Wed Oct 4 8:06 2017 NZDT
18 07.362s 178 25.501e
Weather: E 7 knots, calm, 40% cloud, bar 1016, 24 degrees Sent from my iPhone

Moving from wreck infested Suva Harbour to Lami Bay today. Fridge repair successful so far.


Tue Oct 3 10:48 2017 NZDT
18 07.362s 178 25.501e
Weather: 5 knot E, calm, 70% cloud cover, bar 1019

anchored in Suva, hoping to leave for NZ next week


Tue Oct 3 10:45 2017 NZDT
Run: 66.3nm (120km)
18 07.362s 178 25.501e

Back in Suva. Preparations underway for passage to NZ, hopefully next week. We are provisioning, filling gas bottles, water tanks, and fuelling up. David is executing a few repairs and the fridge guys are here right now trying to fix our poor refrigeration system. So exciting to think we could be home in a few weeks. Or month or two! We have to wait for the right weather window in order to minimize the chance of encountering storms and big seas on passage. Between here and NZ there is a sort of pattern of a high pressure system, followed by a low, then another high, over a period of 5-6 days. If they behave and we leave at just the right time we could have a relatively benign 8-10 day trip. Relatively. Not as easy as it sounds. But we managed it on the way back from Tonga seven years ago so it is possible. I'll be posting our conditions on YIT regularly from now on so that Gulf Harbour Radio know our position and intentions and can broadcast weather forecasts for our intended passage. Wish us luck. Cheers Janet


Sun Oct 1 8:12 2017 NZDT
Run: 17.6nm (31.9km)
19 02.839s 178 09.46e

Headed west from Kavala to Vunasea to track down one last family. Glorious sail and beautiful anchorage. Bright blue water and white sandy beaches. I'd forgotten its beauty. Here we made contact with Ala, Kuns, and Mere, part of the first family we met when we arrived at Kavala in 2015. How lovely it was to reconnect. After being fed glorious local food back at Solotavui, it was my turn to cook. Pretty low in provisions and despite pickings at local shops being pretty sparse, I knocked up a pretty impressive roast chicken dinner. The lovely John from DDU2 who has been accompanying us joined in. Now we head to Suva with only a week before we take the first good weather window. We have good internet till then so please send us messages/emails. Love to get news of home. X Janet Sent from my iPhone


Sun Sep 24 13:30 2017 NZDT
Run: 95.4nm (172.7km)
18 58.969s 178 25.131e

After an overnight sail we arrived at Kadavu, our final island stop before heading to Suva. We came here two and a half years ago and stayed three weeks. Lots of yachts come here and I wasn't sure how well remembered we would be. But the huge grins and hugs of recognition soon dispelled that. So lovely to see our Solotavui friends again. Sent from my iPhone


Wed Sep 13 14:03 2017 NZST
Run: 19.1nm (34.6km)
17 38.359s 178 45.079e

We sadly said goodbye to Harry at Rukuruku Village. Its a wonderful thing to spend time with one's adult children. While we wait for fair winds to sail to Kadavu we are busy preparing Navire for the final passage back to NZ. Our winter woolies festoon the boat, the warm breeze (27C) removing the musty odour of two and a half years of storage. In the village we've enjoyed kava drinking, meeting school children, some excellent snorkelling just near the boat, and a truck trip to town to buy fresh produce.

xx Janet


Sun Sep 3 13:12 2017 NZST
Run: 52.2nm (94.5km)
17 26.487s 178 57.188e

Arrived at Makogi island yesterday, a days sail south from Savusavu. It feels good to be heading south, homewards. Savusavu was hectic and it's nice to be on an island again. Really loving having Harry on board. Here we will explore the ruins of a leper colony, and snorkel. Many of the houses that were here last time we came, have vanished, destroyed in a cyclone 18 months ago. Xx Janet Sent from my iPhone


Thu Aug 31 7:15 2017 NZST
Run: 37.5nm (67.9km)
16 46.570s 179 19.703e

Back in Savusavu after a stunning 10 days in Kioa, and with my dear son Harry on board for a couple of weeks. At Kioa we feasted, explored the island and were made wonderfully welcomed into to the families of our friends there. After a magnificent farewell feast we were very sad to to leave, knowing we may not ever get back there again. Here in Savusavu we were welcomed back like long lost friends. Fiji really is such a treat. Today is a big day as the fridge repair guys come. Please all cross your fingers for us. We could have cold drinks by the end of the day! Saturday we head south to Makogi. X Janet Sent from my iPhone


Sun Aug 20 16:27 2017 NZST
Run: 38.8nm (70.2km)
Avg: 97knts
24hr: 2328nm
16 40.199s 179 54.197e

Back at Kioa. On our second day here we were invited to a funeral feast. Wonderful Tuvaluan fare, most of it grown on this island. We are visiting our lovely Tuvaluan friend Kailopa but have got to know many other people over our last several visits and are know quite well known in the village. We arrived with fish to give away from a large mahimahi, over a metre, that we caught on the way from Savusavu.

We only have about seven more weeks of this long sojourn to go. Next weekend my younger son Harry arrives which I'm very excited about. With him we travel back to Savusavu then down to Ovalau. After Harry leaves we have three weeks in Kadavu visiting the village that we got to know when we first arrived in Fiji over two years ago. The beginning of October sees us back in Suva preparing for the journey back to NZ. David's daughter Anna arrives to join us for the passage, as does Mark Durand, a friend made in Majuro, also fiddle player in the first iteration of BilgeWater Band. Then back to dear NZ. Sounds bloody cold there! The other night the temperature dropped to 20 degrees and we had to put extra blankets on. Now I'm sweltering in 30.

Once back in NZ I'm looking for a job and we want to buy a car, the job preferably up north but will take short term stuff anywhere. We are after an economic stationwagon. If anyone has any leads on job or car let me know.

We are very much looking forward to seeing all of you when we get back.

xx Janet


Sun Aug 20 16:27 2017 NZST
Run: 3.5nm (6.3km)
16 43.143s 179 53.525e

Naquiqui Creek, near Remote Resort We called into this lovely little anchorage on the way to Kioa to shelter from a southerly and stayed a few days. Travelling with John, Kiwi bass player, solo sailor from Tauranga. Enjoyed kava with a local family.

Janet


Sun Aug 20 16:03 2017 NZST
Run: 34.8nm (63km)
16 46.570s 179 19.703e

We settled into Savusavu for nearly a month, seduced by the music. The place was full of kiwis, several of then musicians. We reformed Bilgewater Band with John on bass, Jack on acoustic, Brian on keyboard, and occasionally the marina manager Horace on lead guitar. We were actually in demand and played one or two gigs a week at the marinas. I travelled down to Suva for dental work and enjoyed the big city for a few days.

Janet


Thu Jul 20 18:15 2017 NZST
Run: 6.7nm (12.1km)
16 40.340s 179 50.544e

Natuvu After David having to dive on the anchor and untangle it from the coral (for teh second time at Viani Bay) we headed round to Natuvu (see us on map in the link above) for the last stop on Aidan and Lisa's holiday. Had a rather dramatic stop with the dinghy painter (we have two lines attached after losing a dingy in Tonga seven years ago, rather foolishly the second one is not a floating line) got wrapped around the prop as we were reversing to dig the anchor in. Ripped out a deck fitting and one in the dinghy. Up before dawn we saw Aidan and Lisa onto their bus back to Labassa and their plane to Nadi.

Checked out the news while in range and see its rather chilly in NZ with roads closed by snow. We've just had our coolest day in 18 months at 24 degrees C. How will I ever cope with NZ.

Cheers Janet


Wed Jul 12 14:48 2017 NZST
Run: 6.5nm (11.8km)
16 45.071s 179 54.103e

Back at Viani Bay. More good music with Bubbles and Swift Sure. Pretty windy so played lots of 500 and started job hunting for me on our return to NZ. Foraged in the bush and got papaya, lemons, chilliest and drinking coconuts. Aidan had his first scuba dive under instruction from Kyle on Bubbles. He and Lisa cooked us the best looking and tasting nachos for dinner last night. Heading around to Natuvu for Aidan and Lisa to get bus tomorrow. Cheers Janet Sent from my iPhone


Tue Jul 11 11:06 2017 NZST
Run: 6.5nm (11.8km)
16 39.433s 179 53.639e

Back at Kioa with Aidan and Lisa on board. Travelled in a Fijian long boat with big outboard to pick up kids at Natuvu. Visited Kailopa at the Village and had a meal with Tupou, our host on the west side. Great local food. We took the guitar and swapped songs with the family. After another helping fabulous local fare at Kailopa's we head back to Viani Bay to hopefully get some diving for the kids. Janet Sent from my iPhone


how are you going to abandon the boat life when you are having so much fun.
Tue Jul 11 11:06 2017 NZST
Run: 38nm (68.8km)
16 45.071s 179 54.103e

Sailed from Savusavu to Viani Bay. 8 hours. Started off a bit breezy and lumpy but had to motor by the end of the day. We were greeted like old friends by Swift Sure and Blowing Bubbles. The social life was all on. Drinks on the beach, and two great music sessions on various catermerans. Went snorkeling on the reef. Viani Bay has good shelter except for southerlies, and good internet. Janet Sent from my iPhone


Mon Jun 26 16:51 2017 NZST
Run: 37.9nm (68.6km)
16 46.570s 179 19.703e

I love Savusavu. It's humming. Dozens of yachts moored here from all over the world. I've indulged my self in the vege market, a lovely music session with American boat Swift Sure, fast internet and cheap eating out. The next few days we deal with the mundane issues of repairing the fridge (again), tax return, provisioning etc. Then back to Kioa to meet up with David's son Aidan and a friend who will visit for a week. Janet Sent from my iPhone


Dear David, Lynda died today after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Actually, ‘battle’ is not entirely accurate. She accepted the inevitable outcome as soon as she received the diagnosis, and got on with life (and the planning of her death) in her inimitable style. Our children and her closest friends did a wonderful job in supporting her wish to die at home. I’m not sure that she fully understood how big a challenge she set us, but if it was a burden it was also a gift. Luke, Taare, Sam and Ari were all at the house when she died, and Luke and Taare were with her at the time. It was a peaceful end. She found freedom and joy in her later years (perhaps after she gave up trying to live with men; as my son-in-law Joseph once said “she has lousy taste in men”), and that was very evident in her final months, weeks even days. There were smiles when she was barely conscious. Signal of a life well lived. It is a strange thing to say goodbye to someone who was lover, wife, mother of my children, mortal enemy and finally friend. I’m glad we got to that point well before the end, and that she trusted me enough to give me enduring power of attorney. As it happened, her GP declared her mentally incapable of deciding and communicating her welfare needs just this morning, and I had finally had full legal control of my difficult ex-wife for a whole three hours before she made her escape. Perhaps that thought hurried her on her way. I wonder how you are, my friend. Tough stuff these later years, but you are setting the bar very high. Although I don't write, I think of you often. Arohanui, Bill

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Mon Jun 26 16:51 2017 NZST
Run: 6.6nm (11.9km)
16 45.084s 179 54.071e

Spent a couple of days in Viani Bay on our way back to Savusavu. Met Canadian boat Blowing Bubbles and had two wonderful afternoon music sessions with them. Back in internet range and loving it. Cheers Janet Sent from my iPhone


Sun Jun 18 14:03 2017 NZST
Run: 6.6nm (11.9km)
16 39.384s 179 53.708e

Visiting our dear friend Kailopa at Kioa. Enjoying quiet anchorage in the lee of the island. Although yesterday at 0730 we were boarded by the NZ navy and Fiji customs. Eight of them arrived in a zodiac to check if we were in Fiji legally and had our cruising permit. Fortunately that was all in order. We walk over the hill to the village most days but mostly hanging out on the boat. We said goodbye to dear cousin Douglas who has been with us since Wallis. A very enjoyable crew member. Today we hope to watch Fiji play Italy (rugby).

Back to Savusavu next week.


Good they (RNZN) did not check under the floor boards! Pleasure crewing aboard Navire - passage from Wallis to Fiji was quite special.
Mon Jun 12 7:39 2017 NZST
Run: 37.5nm (67.9km)
16 45.1370S 179 53.6536E
Weather: no wind, no cloud, 1013

sounds like a great diving day in Vianni Bay


Sat Jun 3 14:33 2017 NZST
Run: 2nm (3.6km)
16 46.572s 179 19.701e

Fiji is glorious, it's vibrant and lush and colourful. We arrived in Savusavu early Tuesday morning, after a three day passage from Wallis, tired but so so pleased to be back in familiar territory. At dawn we gratefully tied up to our mooring, and despite my having been awake since 11.30 the previous night we went exploring. The town was bustling, so energetic after sleepy Wallis.

I stood in the market and soaked up the greenness. We've been in a fresh produce desert for a year and a half. I loaded up with fresh pineapple, pink papaya, mouth tingling passionfruit, and salad goodies.

I propped myself up in the marina shower and sluiced my salty, sweaty body with sweet soft fresh water, my first land shower in months. Bliss. Every day has brought more delights. Lots of good company. The inlet is full with dozens of boats from all over the world, including kiwis. Eating out is cheap and tasty. Found a stainless steel welder for our leaking diesel tank, (late one night on passage discovered the full 110 liter tank was leaking - story to come in blog). And a fridge repair man who comes Monday to see if can revive our much needed refrigeration system. Massage, haircut....

We think we'll hang around up this end of Fiji for a couple of months, visiting various destinations from here. And oh yes... we have good fast internet - on the boat. Just luxury. Thanks for all your messages on passage, they are treasured. Cheers Janet


Tue May 30 3:45 2017 NZST
Speed: 1 notknts
Run: 134nm (242.5km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 160.3nm
16 46s 179 18e
Weather: 15-20 knots E clear starry night, bar 1012 3am. Hove to. In the morning we head into Savusavu to check in to Fiji after a two and a half day passage from Wallis. Looking forward to a long shower, full night's sleep, internet (especially emails from home -I've only had gmail access twice in the last 6 weeks), ice, Fijian curries, slightly cooler temperatures, fresh fruit and veg... x Janet

Hove to outside Savusavu waiting for dawn


Mon May 29 7:41 2017 NZST
Speed: 6.4knts
Run: 2981.5nm (5396.5km)
Avg: 66.9knts
24hr: 1605nm
16 09S 178 47W
Weather: 22 k SE, 10% cloud, bar 1013.1

ETA Savusavu early morning May 30. Fast tradewind sailing.


Sat May 27 11:06 2017 NZST
Speed: at anchorknts
Run: 2820.1nm (5104.4km)
Avg: 820.5knts
24hr: 19692.6nm
13 22s 854 11w
Weather: 15 knots SSE 50% cloud cover, bar 1010 After three lovely weeks in Wallis we have cousin Douglas on board for his first ocean passage. Today we head off on the three day voyage to Fiji continuing our voyage southward. We did manage to get access to internet for a millisecond on Wallis. Thanks to all who posted comments, just lovely to have communication with home. We'll have much better access in Fiji. Cheers Janet

Leaving Wallis for Savusavu Fiji


Sat May 27 7:39 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: 65%cc, 15SE, 1011

leaving Wallis today at 1400 to head for Savusavu Fiji


Tue May 23 7:33 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: beautiful day, 60%cc, NNE15, 1006

The Lark still anchored beside them. Good company


Mon May 22 8:17 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: rain all weekend, 100%cc, no wind

tanks full!


Sat May 20 7:35 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: sunny, ese20, 80%cc, 1009

Three boats inWallis now. The Lark arrived yesterday and there is also a norwegian boat.


Thu May 18 7:35 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: ene18, 95%cc, 1011

hard to hear on the radio today


Tue May 16 7:47 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: 19E, 30%cc, 1009

great folk. They hiked yesterday and got a lot of rides. And they are enjoying the cheese.


Mon May 15 8:00 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: NE16, 30%cc, 29C, 1010, 90%RH

will go ashore today for internet use


Sat May 13 7:48 2017 NZST
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: 15N, 100%cc, 1008, 27C, 85%humidity

a much better day after 3 days of torrential rain an d winds and thunder. It went n to SE to N but Ellas influence is now much diminished. David has a wonderful signal at the moment and really easy to copy him. Apologies for not reporting for the last couple of days but Patricia has been quickly leaving the radio room for the hospital.


Thu May 11 18:21 2017 NZST
Speed: at anchorknts
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)
13 20s 176 11w
Weather: 20 knots gusting 30 N 100% cloud cover, rain For those of you aware of hurricanes in this neck of the woods, yup, Ella is close by, but not dangerously so. Buckets of rain all last night and today, together with up to 35 knots of wind. We are in the most protected bay in Wallis, our anchor sunk in thick mud. We had planned a day ashore but have, instead, been boat bound, reading, playing cards and doing the odd chore while Ella charged along a couple of hundred miles south of us. Things should be a lot more placid tomorrow and we'll explore more of this magnificent island. Cheers David

Wallis


Great to see you are in Uvea guys, such a fantastic place and the locals are wonderful - hope you have some high school French to get you by. Most of all, make sure you get to Bird Island! GPS 13 11.156S 176 12.245W It is magic. Check the map on the Places page (under tools) on YIT for the other walks and snorkel sites we have recommended from when we were there in 2012. Or if your internet time is too limited then you can do a YIT places request around you and get the info that way. Enjoy!
Wed May 10 7:31 2017 NZST
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: no wind, 100%cc, 1009

sounds like they are enjoying the friendly folk of Wallis


You made it! Well done Intrepid Travellers. Hope Wallis is a nice place to be? Phew! What a journey...
Tue May 9 7:45 2017 NZST
Run: 16.4nm (29.7km)
13 17.22s 176 10.07w
Weather: no wind, 90%cc

will be checking in today


Tue May 9 0:30 2017 NZST

We made it. We arrived off the island of Wallis at dawn, the sea so rough that is was debatable if we'd get in to the lagoon through the passage through the reef. We hoved to for a couple of hours and tried at low tide successfully steering through the narrow break in the coral. We wove through the coral filled lagoon and dropped anchor in a sheltered bay. 11 days, 1500 miles, our longest passage yet.

David Delighted to be at anchor. Ahhhhhhh, flat water. So gorgeous. Lush green hills. Well kept houses. Within minutes we ha Janet Big thanks to Gulf Harbour Radio in NZ and yachts Seal and Swift Sure who were monitoring our position each day, also GHR gave us daily weather reports. Looking forward to getting 11 days email. More news once we have rested up Cheers Janet


Mon May 8 4:21 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.2knts
Run: 134.2nm (242.9km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 126.8nm
13 06s 176 19w
Weather: 12 knots WNW one metre swell 100% cloud cover squally Will update tonight from inside lagoon. Send comments so I get all this lovely communication from home when I finally get my gmail tomorrow. Cheers Janet

13 miles to go to waypoint at Wallis, then hope to go in pass at slack water in the morning


Good progress guys! You will be pleased to learn (I'm sure your already know) that Wallis and Futuna voted by > 80% for Emmanuel Macron. Hope abounds. Including that your last grounding is behind you! Keep heading south... Love Bill and Fifi.

You are taking on things that most of us would not even begin to dream of doing! Safe travels and kia kaha!.
Sun May 7 2:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.2knts
Run: 125.3nm (226.8km)
Avg: 5.8knts
24hr: 140.2nm
11 10s 176 30w
Weather: calm negligible swell clear, beautiful milky way. Janet

motoring. 130 miles to go. Saw a ship. Big event at sea. Arrive day after tomorrow!


You guys rock.
Sat May 6 5:30 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.4knts
Run: 121.9nm (220.6km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120.1nm
09 33s 177 20w
Weather: 5 knots SW half metre swell 100% cloud cover Day 10. 236 miles to go to Wallis. Two more night watches to go. Wind pipes up and dies down almost hourly. Got 30 knots from a nearby squall a few hours ago. More news when we get to Wallis. Cheers Janet

motoring


Fri May 5 5:09 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.7knts
Run: 148.7nm (269.1km)
Avg: 5.1knts
24hr: 122.2nm
08 01s 178 13w
Weather: 5 knots NW negligible swell starry starry night with flashes of lightening from the horizon Day 10. 338 miles to go. This 1500 mile passage is the longest we have done. It really feels as if we are in the middle of nowhere. No ships, no land but we did have a visit from a pod of dolphins yesterday, and two flying fish tried to join us but expired on deck. Its 4am and I sit on deck, gazing into the night, dreaming of the delights of arriving in Wallis. A swim, a full night's sleep, find some ice so we can have a cold beer, brie and French wine, fresh vegetables, lush greenery, hills (remember for 15 months we have been living on a narrow strip of coral no higher than 2 metres above sea level). If we are really lucky, a cafe. And internet so we can communicate with all of you (this is sent through a radio). Cheer Janet

motoring


Sounds blissful! Following your journey with interest.

Sounds blissful! Following your journey with interest.
Wed May 3 23:57 2017 NZST
Speed: 1knts
Run: 60.1nm (108.8km)
Avg: 3.7knts
24hr: 88.1nm
6 11s 179 21w
Weather: 5knots S negligible swell 100% cloud cover Current taking us west. Can't find a course that takes us anywhere near our destination. So we are hove to awaiting some useful wind. Frustrated. I'm going to change the timing of the next post to about 5 am. Cheers David

hove to


Wed May 3 7:34 2017 NZST
Run: 46.3nm (83.8km)
Avg: 4.7knts
24hr: 112nm
05 22S 179 39W
Weather: 11ne

516 TO GO


Tue May 2 21:39 2017 NZST
Speed: 6.4knts
Run: 145.5nm (263.4km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 149.2nm
4 46s 179 57w
Weather: 3knots NE 0.5 m swell from NE mackeral sky Mackeral cloud on a black black sky. Crescent moon showering the smooth, undulating sea in silver. Stunning night. Crossed the dateline. Wahoo! Cheers David

motoring


Mon May 1 22:15 2017 NZST
Speed: 5.8knts
Run: 83.5nm (151.1km)
Avg: 3.4knts
24hr: 82.3nm
3 00s 178 54.114e
Weather: 3knots NE 0.5 m swell from NE clear sky

ghosted along all day at 2.5 knots under spinnaker. Lovely. Now motoring.


The decision to fire up the motor, it is a painful moment. But let the doldrums pass.
Sun Apr 30 21:54 2017 NZST
Run: 138.3nm (250.3km)
Avg: 5.5knts
24hr: 131.7nm
1 58.145s 178 16.356e

The fair breeze blew The white foam flew The furrow followed free We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea Down dropped the breeze The sails dropped down 'Twas sad as sad could be And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea Not so dramatic nor so complete as Coleridge tells it but the doldrums nonetheless. We did burst, with white foam, into that silent sea and ran thus for 700 miles, flying along. Now if we break 4 knots there is celebration. We motored some today on a flat sea, until a zephyr put shape in the sails, held and built, built to an astonishing 6 knots of speed but then died away. Then returned and died again. Right now we are barelling along at 4.5 knots. A stunning crescent moon in the black sky dancing silver coins on the sea, a sparkling path right to our ship. Magic.


Sat Apr 29 20:42 2017 NZST
Run: 152.8nm (276.6km)
Avg: 5.9knts
24hr: 142.1nm
0 24.648s 177 00.984e

Greetings from the South Pacific. We're over the equator. All well. Janet slowly finding her sea legs. Cheers David


Fri Apr 28 18:54 2017 NZST
Run: 132.7nm (240.2km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 148.1nm
1 24.231n 175 45.133e

Greetings from the equator, nearly. Another starry night and sunny day. We're making good progress, more than a quarter of the way to Wallis, but expect our pace to slow gradually. All good. Cheers David Click on the link below to see where we are.


Thu Apr 27 21:24 2017 NZST
Run: 89.4nm (161.8km)
Avg: 137.5knts
24hr: 3300.9nm
3 06.416n 174 51.899e

Day 3 and trucking along well. Closing in on latitude of Tarawa, Kiribati. Janet suffering sea sickness. Luckily I'm doing fine. Great weather - sunny days, starry nights. No moon for a few more days. No squalls apart from one leaving Majuro. Long may it last.

Cheers David


Thu Apr 27 20:45 2017 NZST
Run: 277.5nm (502.3km)
4 10.791n 174 08.448e

We are underway. Its been pretty windy, up to 30 knots easterly last night. I'm still seasick so will write more when feeling better.

Click on the link to see where are.

Janet


Mon Apr 17 13:27 2017 NZST
No position sent.

position 07 06.182n 171 22.427e The preparation goes on. We found out we could stay 14 days beyond our visa expiry which we were delighted about. We can now leave late enough to avoid the hurricane season down south. 11 days to go Despite careful planning it always seems to take longer to get ready than I expect. Provisioning is largely done but now the freezer is failing. Things really deteriorate in the heat up here and I'm having to virtually rebuild our Bimini. David has been up the mast checking the rigging and lubing the sail tracks, now his head is in the engine bay changing filters and oil. Plus a round of farewells including celebrating David's 67th birthday.

Stay in touch while we are at sea. We have a way of accessing email at sea but make them short with no pictures or attachments.

On the way home! Janet Sent from my iPhone


Tue Mar 21 17:57 2017 NZDT
No position sent.

position 07 06.182n 171 22.427e Hello dear friends, Suddenly, after lingering here for over a year it is only weeks till we sail south. I feel ready to move on again. And David nearly ready to move on. He put his back out and was in serious pain for a couple of weeks poor man. But in recovery now and is back into boat preparation. I'm enjoying provisioning and readying the boat for travel. The last of our orders from the US is winging its way here, final goodies till we get back to NZ. We've had good times and sad times with our freinds here. One of our number drowned snorkelling a few weeks ago, and David got to help with a burial at sea. More on that in a later blog post. Social life has been wonderful. It really does take time to develop a community. Its one of the things I'm really looking forward to doing back in NZ. Putting down roots. And of the edible kind too. We often talk about what we will grow at Rawene and have been trawling gardening books.

In just a couple of months we'll be in the South Pacific, hopefully Wallis Island, a little piece of France, with cooler temperatures, lush bush, hills, and best of all French cheese and wine. Then Fiji.

I just put up a post recently on running aground and noone said a thing! Surely despite us surviving to tell the tale you would send some "shock, horror" emails! Is there anybody out there? I'm not doing very well catching the blog up. I want to get the northbound posts up to Majuro then get posting on time on our way south, and intersperse our travel posts with stories about our time here in Majuro.

So now back to work, I am sewing a new strip along the edge of our headsail. A new skill for me. I hope my stiching is straight enough.

Cheers Janet


Mon Feb 13 14:57 2017 NZDT
07 06.182n 171 22.427e

Feb 13 The offshore preparation has started in earnest. David is sanding our tatty cockpit in preparation for applying non-slip paint, essential at sea for wet conditions. I have just finished sewing a windchute and will soon start on sail repair and restitching the bimini (shelter over cockpit.) I'm starting to think about what provisions to get, ordering stuff from US, immigration, checking safety equipment and electronics, and taxes and insurances (it seems these often fall due when we are at sea!).

I've just put up a post on YIT about a storm we encountered in Tuvalu - check it out, and some Fiji food posts on my culinary blog at http://cookingclubwellington1.wordpress.com/=20 Great job on sending us messages and emails - so good to hear from home.

Cheers Janet


David and I have enjoyed following your adventures at sea.Hope you have a smooth journey back to NZ, and to Rawene. This summer in Auckland not a great one for sailing - lots of grey and wind. And we've spent lots of time and money fixing things on our yacht - the joys of boat ownership! Looking forward to Easter , hoping to spend time at Kawau Island. You'll remember Lin and Larry from that night we met - sadly his dementia has got to the stage that Lin could not manage and he is in a Care Home on the mainland.Lin very active and involved in the community, and sailing her little yacht. Do get in touch when in Auckland. My mobile 0276444382

Love reading about your adventures mum!

test
Wed Feb 8 17:27 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
07 06.182n 171 22.427e

Three months till we head south! We have internet again and a friend on shore kindly lets us sit on her deck with our laptops and use her FAST internet connection. So now I can post regularly.

We love your comments on the blog. Keep sending them. I have had a few technical hitches on the blog - mostly user error but our ever patient blog master has guided me to the light and hopefully you shouldn't get any more 'access denied' messages. I'm working with him to try and get the blog icons to show on the Google map, and he's advised me to make the pictures bigger. So watch this space - the next story will be about a storm we weathered behind a one metre high island in Tuvalu. And there is a coral encounter to come.

January started with 22 days of no internet. Talk about cutting off your right arm! David wrote a song about it which always brings the house down.

Our timing was sublime and one day after the internet came back we both came down with a nasty flu for two weeks, leaving us boat bound and .... with no internet! But now we are out and about, good yachtie social life happening again, and are getting prepared for our 1500 mile journey to Wallis Island, a passage of about three weeks.

Send news from home.

xx Janet


Love your blogs. Enjoying everyone as they come along. Can't wait for the rest of the story. We're still in Westhaven. Plan to circumnavigate New Zealand next spring then off to the islands in 2018. Ian retires in September/October - yay!! Just love reading your stories - thanks so much for sharing. Cheryl and Ian xxx
Sat Jan 7 20:24 2017 NZDT
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
07 06.248n 171 22.386e

You know you are in a third world country when you have no internet for nearly a month. The undersea internet cable is damaged. It was going to take a week to repair. We can live without it for seven days we thought, but today, 14 days later, we get a radio message to say it will be January 18. And some, I imagine. No email, no Facebook, no bank site access, can't pay our tax, and definitely no posting blogs on YIT. I'm posting this via our single-side-band radio which sends text emails only. Fortunately the Telecommunications people are channelling satellite bandwidth to the banking system so I can use my credit card otherwise we'd be eating beans three meals a day.

Aside from feeling like my umbilical chord has been severed, 2017 is okay. After all we are coming home this year. Home to familiar things. Good food, old friends, family, cooler temperatures, English language with all its nuances,and INTERNET! NZ is a great country.

Happy New Year to you all.

Janet


Hi Janet Love your blog as usual. When you return to NZ will you be heading back to Wellington at all? I would love to spend as much time as you could spare discussing you adventures especially as we hope to follow a similar track in a couple of years time. I have lots of questions if you are happy to answer them. Do you have an e mail address I could perhaps contact you on ? How available have you found Gluten Free foods products to be? Regards Jan s/v Alishan

Happy New year you two! Ah, there's no place like home, especialy when it's NZ. Looking forward to catching up when you return.
Fri Dec 23 13:57 2016 NZDT
Speed: tom and partner jazz, and aidan in wellington; harry and partner chloe in wanaa, anna and partner robyn in manchester, and jacon in rome.knts
07 06.182n 171 22.427e

Church crawl IGNORE THIS IF YOU ALREADY RECEIVED IT. I AM RESENDING IT AS IT DID NOT SHOW UP ON THE SITE 12 months. We've been here nearly 12 months! Time to move on. But we can't leave yet as we have to wait out the South Pacific Hurricane season. Cast off time will be April or May 2017 when we head back to Fiji for five months, and then back to dear New Zealand in November. After living in this country, a harsh dysfunctional mix of the first and third worlds, albeit with some gorgeous tropical aspects and lovely people, local and expat alike, I have a seriously heightened appreciation for what a good country NZ is. While its been an interesting year we long to go come south again. South to cooler temperatures, to more familiar South Pacific cultures, to abundant local produce and interesting food cultures, then eventually to freinds, family and the familiarity of home. Often this year we have indulged in long conversations about living in Rawene, growing vegetables, and establishing a community there. Another dream that sustains me when I get sick of the heat and faultiness of this place is our plan to drive down to Wellington very shortly after we arrive in NZ , spending Christmas 2017 in Wellington and seeing most of you.

We plan to celebrate Christmas Marshallese style this year. We will join David's Marshallese colleagues and go on a church crawl. Like a pub crawl but with no alcohol. The plan is we go from church to church and sing and dance. And hopefully get fed local food. Its traditional in the sense that they have done it this way since the missionaries arrived in the early 1900's.Then we will sail out to a nearby island with a couple of Australian freinds and do it western style with much food and alcohol, probably on Boxing Day. We'll miss all those kids of our I've struggled to come to terms with the infiltration of western style commercial Christmas here. It is so incongruous to see fake Christmas trees in all the shops surrounded by fake snow, all the while it is 30 degrees outside under the palm trees. In this land where poverty prevails they don't need all the entreaties to to buy presents. Even in New Zealand I abhor the commercialisation of Christmas.For me Christmas is about food family and freinds.

David has just told me the tree at his work is a real pine tree, imported from the US. I rest my case.

Merry Christmas to you lovely family and freinds, from Navire and her crew at seven degrees north.


Fri Dec 23 13:33 2016 NZDT
Speed: 1knts
Run: 84.3nm (152.6km)
07 06.182n 171 22.427e

Writers Block "Janet, why aren't you posting on the sailing blog?" several people have asked. Its the sad story of writers block I think. Lack of access to internet hasn't helped but also being up here for so long is not entirely good for my soul. I got behind on posts. I lost my momentum. The less I wrote, the less confidence I had in my writing, the quality of prose deteriorated rapidly. But all is not lost. I have just started a local writers group and I'm on the up and up.

Two favours from you my reader I'd like some feedback from you. You are well aware that I am sadly lagging behind in my trip posts. I do want to do all the posts between Tuvalu and here and now, so that we have a good record of the trip. However I'd like to post about what's happening right now in Majuro too.=20 My options are to: Keep posting trip stories in order and eventually catch up OR Start posting stories about Majuro now and intersperse these with historical posts about the journey here.

Second favour I need someone to read my stories before I post and give me feedback.=20 Send me a comment or an email janet.nixon551@gmail.com.

Cheers Janet PS I'm communicating with the YIT webmaster to see why my last posts (in October) didn't show up on the map on teh YIT site, one post was full of glitches, and several people couldn't get in to read it either. Two posts not appear at all. I'm going to try re-posting some of them.

PPS I have been posting some Pacific culinary stories on my food blog if you'd like to have a look http://cookingclubwellington1.wordpress.com


Fri Dec 23 12:51 2016 NZDT
Speed: tom and partner jazz, and aidan in wellington; harry and partner chloe in wanaa, anna and partner robyn in manchester, and jacon in rome.knts
No position sent.

position 07 06.182n 171 22.427e Church crawl 12 months. We've been here nearly 12 months! Time to move on. But we can't leave yet as we have to wait out the South Pacific Hurricane season. Cast off time will be April or May 2017 when we head back to Fiji for five months, and then back to dear New Zealand in November. After living in this country, a harsh dysfunctional mix of the first and third worlds, albeit with some gorgeous tropical aspects and lovely people, local and expat alike, I have a seriously heightened appreciation for what a good country NZ is. While its been an interesting year we long to go come south again. South to cooler temperatures, to more familiar South Pacific cultures, to abundant local produce and interesting food cultures, then eventually to freinds, family and the familiarity of home. Often this year we have indulged in long conversations about living in Rawene, growing vegetables, and establishing a community there. Another dream that sustains me when I get sick of the heat and faultiness of this place is our plan to drive down to Wellington very shortly after we arrive in NZ , spending Christmas 2017 in Wellington and seeing most of you.

We plan to celebrate Christmas Marshallese style this year. We will join David's Marshallese colleagues and go on a church crawl. Like a pub crawl but with no alcohol. The plan is we go from church to church and sing and dance. And hopefully get fed local food. Its traditional in the sense that they have done it this way since the missionaries arrived in the early 1900's.Then we will sail out to a nearby island with a couple of Australian freinds and do it western style with much food and alcohol, probably on Boxing Day. We'll miss all those kids of our I've struggled to come to terms with the infiltration of western style commercial Christmas here. It is so incongruous to see fake Christmas trees in all the shops surrounded by fake snow, all the while it is 30 degrees outside under the palm trees. In this land where poverty prevails they don't need all the entreaties to to buy presents. Even in New Zealand I abhor the commercialisation of Christmas.For me Christmas is about food family and freinds.

David has just told me the tree at his work is a real pine tree, imported from the US. I rest my case.

Merry Christmas to you lovely family and freinds, from Navire and her crew at seven degrees north.


Sat Nov 12 20:30 2016 NZDT
Run: 11022.9nm (19951.4km)
Avg: 92.8knts
24hr: 2226.8nm
8 18.166n 171 09.348e

And so we begin our homeward journey south. This is as far away as we will go. Ailuk was at 10 degrees north and over the next 12 months we head back to New Zealand via Majuro and Fiji. We left Ailuk yesterday laden with magnificent handicrafts. It was very sad saying goodbye to our hosts Anious and Emily and their family. It was so good to reconnect with village life again, reminds me why we came out here in the first place.

After an overnight passage we are at an atoll called Aur to pick up the local doctor and take him to Majuro.

We are both well but going through a period of missing our wonderful country and all of you. We managed to catch up with the US election results on the BBC. What a sad day for the world.

Back on the road tomorrow.

xx Janet and David


Mon Nov 7 21:42 2016 NZDT

Ailuk is gorgeous. We've been here two weeks now and I'm really enjoying being in the 'rural' Pacific again. This little village is beautifully kept, with none of the rubbish that adorns much of the Pacific. I haven't seen any vehicles, hardly any motorboats even, the main mode of transport is sailing canoes.

We have been hosted by a warm welcoming Marshallese family who we initially made contact with on our regular SSB net. Anious and Emily and two of their children. Shore trips have consisted of much trading and exploring. David has been attempting to fix a radio and a weather station. Mind you he's had his hands full repairing things aboard Navire with success at reviving the depth sounder, SSB, and autopilot electrical connections, replacing the fridge compressor fanbelt, and this last week replacing a burnt out switch on the anchor winch.

Last week we took Emily and Anious out on Navire fishing and David had a day out sailing on the lagoon on a local sailing canoe However we've had lots of boatbound days, with strong winds in quite an exposed anchorage. We head back to Majuro later this week.

Janet


Sat Oct 22 7:21 2016 NZDT
Run: 11030.7nm (19965.6km)
Avg: 216.7knts
24hr: 5201.1nm

We made it to Ailuk. We found the passage hard going despite good sailing weather. Navire has suffered from ten months on a mooring. Despite through testing of all systems before we left we have wiring problems with the auto pilot power source failing, the depth sounder suddenly giving up (same problem we hope) and the fridge making deathly sounds. David had to use an old fashioned leadline to find our depth for anchoring.

I'd lost my sea legs an struggled to sleep between watches. But slept well last night.

This is the most remote place we have been, we are the only boat here. Today we go in to the tiny village of 180 people.


Thu Oct 20 4:27 2016 NZDT
Run: 73.2nm (132.5km)
08 02.753n 170 53.003e

0200 Thursday October 20 We creep through the empty ocean lit only by the nearly full moon. We finally got away from the clutches of Majuro yesterday. Very light winds but I don't want to run the engine and break the peace of the night. We are in no rush as need to arrive at the atoll in daylight to get through the pass.

Click on the link to see where we are.

Sounds like some of you couldn't get onto my last blog post. I'll email our YIT man about it when we get there.

Must go, thunderstorm hitting us.

Cheers Janet


Tue Oct 18 5:57 2016 NZDT
07 06.248n 171 22.386e

October 17 Tomorrow we hope to head offshore for a 200 mile sail to Ailuk, an outer island of the Marshall Islands. It is the first time we have been offshore in 10 months. We arrived back in Majuro, from our Canada trip, in early September intending to provision and head north. Alas we were thwarted by firstly no wind, then by ill health, both of us getting a mild persistent cold for three weeks.

We'll post each day of our 2-3 day passage for safety reasons, then do regular updates on life in a remote village.

Cheers Janet


Thu Sep 15 14:48 2016 NZST
Run: 6818.3nm (12341.1km)
Avg: 45455.3knts
24hr: 1090928nm
07 06.248e 171 22.386n

And a final update of the Canada trip to get us back to Majuro.

You know sometimes the trouble with traveling is the actual travel. The trip back took us a couple of days, losing a day across the dateline and being stuck in Hawaii for a night with a horrendously early flight to the Marshalls. But how glorious it was seeing Majuro from the air and landing back at our tropical home. It was lush, the coconut palms bright green, the lagoon almost luminous turquoise, and most exciting navire was still happily tied up at her mooring. After a couple of days recovering from jetlag we start preparing for our next trip, next week we sail 200 miles north to the remote outer island of Ailuk.

More on that soon.

Send emails and comments. We talk of home and you people a lot.


We so enjoy hearing of your travels. We are enjoying our latest (and probably final!) yacht - a 35 foot Wright design. Had my 70th birthday recently - unbelievable- and lucky that David and I still fit for sailing. But more modest outings than yours! Hope we can see you when you return to NZ. Cheers Judith

We so enjoy hearing of your travels. We are enjoying our latest (and probably final!) yacht - a 35 foot Wright design. Had my 70th birthday recently - unbelievable- and lucky that David and I still fit for sailing. But more modest outings than yours! Hope we can see you when you return to NZ. Cheers Judith

We so enjoy hearing of your travels. We are enjoying our latest (and probably final!) yacht - a 35 foot Wright design. Had my 70th birthday recently - unbelievable- and lucky that David and I still fit for sailing. But more modest outings than yours! Hope we can see you when you return to NZ. Cheers Judith
Thu Sep 15 14:39 2016 NZST
Run: 799.2nm (1446.6km)
43 45.41n 79 24.39w

Just a quick post to get us back to Majuro via Toronto.

Halifax was awesome. Meeting more family, visiting then site of a memorial to David's father's death (in 1952).

*** =46rom Facebook post: "Nova Scotia. It's not cold, I say to David. On this trip we have traversed Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic. I wade into the water wanting to connect with this ocean.

We are visiting a memorial to navy personal who died in peace time and listed there is David's father's name. A navigator, he died in an air crash when David was just two years old. It's a poignant family moment. Mary is a recently found cousin and her and David are swapping stories about the generations gone before.

We are staying in a gorgeous big house with Mary's daughter, husband J and 2 delightful children.

I visit the Halifax Apple store to get a part and the woman who serves me usd to work at Whitireia. We excitedly named all the people we knew in common. It gave me a warm feeling of connection.

Went berry picking with the children, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. We ate more than we took back to the house. Just like when I was a kid.

Later.

I'm sitting on the Halifax foreshore watching yachts sail past. And for the first time in nearly three weeks feel a moment of missing Navire.

Later At dusk we liked into J's boat and went for a tour of the lake. With a 150HP engine (compared to Nature's 40) it felt going at rocket speed. Suddenly just as it got dark J stopped the boat stripped off his t-shirt and leapt into the water. I didn't hesitate, strip down to bra and panties and leapt in too. A little colder than the Majuro lagoon but exhilarating.

Back at the house we ate locally caught clams and halibut." *** The drive back to Nova Scotia took two days, then train to Toronto and bus to Chiefs Island up in the Muskoka Lakes. A glorious five days there eating, swimming, hangign out with family.

Next leg was to Brantford to stay on cousin Fiona's farm and chill out in beautiful countryside and write for a few days. David left early and went sailing on Lake Ontario with cousin Douglas. We joined him for a day out with Mary and Angus too: =46rom Facebook post: "What an awesome trip this is. Four of the cousins and partners have gathered at Mary's including David and Douglas who sailed up overnight from Toronto.

We BBQed and drank too much last night but dragged ourselves out of bed to go sailing this morning.

We sailed through a canal with bridges that opened up to let us through, with more fine dining on the way. Then under a higher bridge back onto lake Ontario.

5 days to go before we fly back to 32 degrees, high humidity, imported produce, lousy restaurants, and our wonderful sailing community, swimming in the sea, Bilgewater Band, and fresh coconut juice." *** Back to Toronto to do last shopping for a year and spend time with the smallest cousins.


Thanks again for the lovely informative and enjoyable stories. Roy's group of guys will miss him again this November when we gather to swap stories, debate, analyze and drink to the Navire crew.
Sat Aug 27 2:54 2016 NZST
Run: 799.6nm (1447.3km)
44 41.96n 63 17.75w

Usually when I'm travelling I'm looking for the exotic, to examine cultures different to mine. But this time I'm content that this Canadian culture is so similar to my own. Although ultimately travel is about meeting people and exploring local food and this trip is rich with both.

Toronto was about visiting family and shopping. We haven't had access to good western shopping for 14 months and won't again for another 16 so there were a few things on the list.

The superb Canadian hospitality has continued with cousin Linda accommodating us in her beautiful house close tot eh city. We had our own bathroom, and a fridge stocked with stuff you can't get in Majuro.

From there we visited the newest member of the family, one week old Leandro, son of Jess and Manny, who also had the delightful Maya 2, and Danica 4. Next we visited one of the oldest members of the family Jim, who at 90 was in excellent shape. It bodes well that David has healthy longevity family genes. Jim took us to a local restaurant where I discovered crispy quinoa. More on that coming up in my food blog. [Blog link] More good food was had in an excellent Toronto restaurant with a friend of David's who he hadn't seen in 40 years Doug Flood, and his lovely wife Christine. Thanks for the meal.

Next stop Halifax. Subway and train and a 100km drive and we were at cousin Mary's. Mary is a recently found cousin and an excellent addition to the family. After another luxurious night we climbed into their truck and hit the road for Halifax to meet Mary's daughter and family. Next thing I knew we were in France. Well almost. We'd crossed the border into Quebec and all the signage was in French. No English. And everybody spoke French as a first language. Our destination was Quebec City. Established in 1608, the original city has been preserved.

The following morning we drove to Hopewell Rocks which has the highest tides in the world - up to 46'. Then on to Halifax. Its absolutely wonderful having someone else organise the trip. Mary mapped it all out, booked the accommodation, and planned food. I felt very well looked after.

Check out my facebook posts for more detail and photographs. Have just posted a blog with photos too.


Delighted to see that you reached Canada - not being into Facebook we had lost contact - really lovely to read your news and in the absence of any plans to visit the Marshall Islands we will look forward so much to seeing you late next year. Hope you caught up with my book on Kindle - see my website www.davidbarber.co.nz !! Lots of love and safe travels David and Ruth
Sat Aug 27 2:54 2016 NZST

Where to from here? "What are your plans from here?" Almost everyone we have visited here in Canada has asked us this question. Now yachties are not very good at sticking to plans as you never know where you are going to fetch up and get tempted to stay or discover another interesting island to visit. But here are today's plans.

We have one more week in Canada, reveling in the delights of the first world before we fly back to Majuro.

As soon as we land on the atoll we will be preparing and provisioning for a three or four week sailing trip to some of the remote outer Marshall Islands. Back in Majuro in October we will settle in till April 2017 when the South Pacific hurricane season is over. David is going to run some more suicide prevention courses for health professionals and I'll continue providing academic support for students at the university.

In April we'll head 1500 south miles to Fiji, maybe via Kiribati, or Tuvalu or Wallis. This time we want to visit people we met last time, spending our five months getting to know them better. And I'm going to get more intimate with the local cuisine. Having spent time in the culinary desert of the islands north of Fiji has greatly enhanced my appreciation for Fijian cuisine and the great local ingredients.

November 2017, at this stage, will see us sailing back to New Zealand. I will be hanging out to see friends and family so want to leave Navire in the Bay of Islands and take a road trip to Wellington in December.

Who knows after that? We may live on the boat for a while longer before moving into Rawene - you may remember we bought a little house in the far north just before we left New Zealand. I'd like to find work in the academic support area and David has some more trips planned. Anything seems possible when you are out here.


Tue Aug 9 13:42 2016 NZST
Run: 2103.7nm (3807.7km)
Avg: 133.1knts
24hr: 3195.5nm
43 42n 79 24w

Aug 8 Victoria to Toronto August 1


Back on the road again. 5am, bleary eyed, packing like a finely tuned machine.


Car, ferry, bus, train, plane.

"We are going to play poker," said an elderly man in the next seat. We'd managed to get on the right bus and he and his wife were giving us helpful directions to get to the airport.

"How long have you been playing?" I asked.

"84 years," he said, "I started when I was two".

Canadian people are very friendly.

Back on yet another airplane we flew five hours and lost four hours to Toronto. Gritty eyed we figured out Toronto transport system. Fortunately David knew it a bit from growing up here and a few subsequent visits. We got the very modern sky train to town, then subway, then staggered a few blocks in the dark to Linda's with our luggage which felt like it had doubled in weight. Linda, David's cousin poured us a glass of much needed wine. Yay we stop for a few days.

Toronto Aug 4 Usually when I'm travelling I'm looking for the exotic, to examine cultures different to mine but this time I'm very content that this Canadian culture is similar to my own.

Toronto has been a haze of shopping sensory overload. Makes me realise the demands choice has on us. When choices are very limited things are much simpler, less stressful. I've been in 10 clothing shops in a large mall today and very quickly my brain cried enough and couldn't cope with any more options. I had to feed it chocolate before it would work again. Peanut butter chocolate.

But enough grumbling. We stay in magnificent luxury at cousin Linda's. We have our own bathroom! She's a lovely host, and her fridge is stocked with stuff you can't get in a Majuro supermarket.Last night we visited the newest member of the family and I got to hold one week old Leandro, son of cousins Jess and Manny. I tell you those unfulfilled grandmother hormones were raging.

Our life in 38' of plastic and a sweaty 32 degrees seems so remote now. But I have another month of glorious Western civilisation to come yet.

Toronto Aug 6 Today we move on. Traveling and seeing new places is all very interesting. But travel and getting to know people is where the real richness lies for me. Then of course the food.

David is the master of reconnecting with old friends, and maintaining relationships with his geographically distant family, and on Thursday night we had dinner with Doug and Christine. Doug and David met in the late 60's, and 46 years had lapsed. Who knows what these people could have been like. But of course they turned out to be lovely, lively, intelligent, and interesting people. They shouted us to a top Toronto French restaurant, Le Select. What a culinary treat. Highlights were grilled goats cheese on pickled beets, and red deer with rye berries. The restaurant was elegant without excessive formality and the service very good. The abysmal service in Majuro temporarily faded into a distant bad dream. Doug it turned out is a guitar player and we are to meet again at the tail end of our trip and play music together.

Uncle Jim and crispy quinoa salad were the next day's treat. We borrowed cousin Fiona's car and navigated our way to Hamilton, a challenge because a) David having to drive counter intuitively on the right hand side, and b) a bit rusty not having driven a car at all for 18 months.

Jim is 90 and completely with it. I'm delighted that David has such good longevity genes in his family. Jim is extremely well travelled and made for great company over lunch in a restaurant in a lovely old house in his neighbourhood. My salad of lamb, feta and watermelon sang with the crispy element of fried quinoa. I'll add that to the Majuro salads. Back via yet another shopping mall to hold the week old baby again at Jess and Manny's. Ethiopian takeaways for dinner. We ripped up pieces of fluffy injera pancakes and scooped up spicy lentils. Injera is a sourdough pancake made with GF teff flour. Many thanks to Linda for her continued generous hospitality. I'm feeling very looked after on this tip.

Next stop cousin Mary's from where we leave for Halifax on the East Coast.


Mon Aug 8 21:54 2016 NZST
Run: 58.3nm (105.5km)
48 25.43n 123 21.56w

Victoria August 1 Crossing from Vancouver to Victoria on the ferry had the same feel as being in the Marlborough Sounds. The ferry wove its way through narrow channels. Clear, clear blue sky, a myriad of pine covered islands dotted with cottages, and boats of all sorts cruising the waters.

A beaming Bob greeted us at the ferry terminal. We'd met Bob, and later his wifeKelly, en route to Majuro, and Bob's boat Stella soon became a regular destination for sundowner G&T's at Majuro. First stop off the ship we visited Stella while we waited for the ferry traffic to dissipate.

After a visit to a waterside brewery to sample more local beer we ate wild salmon, and the sweetest fresh corn I've ever had. Blueberries were on the menu for breakfast, helping fufill my desire for local food. Today we got a tour of the lower part of Vancouver Island.

After a second breakfast at a local café we meandered along the coast visiting a classic lighthouse. Off shore from the light were dozens of boats trawling for salmon. We stopped at beaches, marinas and stunning lakes. So glorious to be in the woods, to be hiking, soaking up the chlorophyll, amongst vast stands of tall, deeply ribbed pines. We were visiting Avatar, the gnarliest tree in Canada, a huge Western Red Cedar. Further along the highway we were treated to the sight of a dozen Roosevelt elk grazing by the side of the road. What a day of iconic Canada.

The day wasn't over yet. We stopped in small towns that had bands, players of our vintage, playing on stages in local parks. Bob insisted we go through Duncan. I was tired and felt I'd seen enough for the day but as we turned into the main street I saw a totem, then another, the town’s main street lined with them. It was great to see prominent indigenous art.
 Bob and Kelly filled us in a bit on the state of well-being of the first nation people. It's not good, poor health, alcoholism, high incarceration rates. Apparently New Zealand is widely held up as a country that does a good job of cohabiting with indigenous people, and God knows we have a long way to go.
 We spent our last day walking in the sun. I reveled in the orderliness and cleanliness of Victoria, hyper aware of it after the semi-squalor of Majuro.
 Our final treat was the Victoria Symphony orchestra playing on a barge on the inner harbour. The sun was low in the sky, the day still hot and the harbour dead calm. 40'000 Victorians turned up and the orchestra had all of us doing the Chicken Dance. But even better was a musical stairway. Bob and Kelly led us into a back alley and pointed to a staircase. We walked past someone who looked like they were doing a drug deal and climbed the first set of stairs. Kelly showed us how you make music by simply touching various spots in the railing. Each level has a different instrument or sound. I can just imagine groups of stoned people hanging out there, going up and down the stairs for hours saying “Hey man listen to this level”.

see Janet Facebook for photos


Sun Aug 7 3:27 2016 NZST
Run: 2709.5nm (4904.2km)
Avg: 12.6knts
24hr: 302.9nm
49 15N 123 6W

Canada update Vancouver Now you may note that on the Google map (if you click the link) our boat looks like it is in Canada but we flew here, leaving Navire moored back at Majuro.

Vancouver July 29 We looked expectantly at the gate as we came through customs. There was no old greying man with a red hat. Are they going to turn up? I was so so tired, I'd not managed to sleep on our overnight flight from Hawaii.

They did, these lovely people from the archives of David's past turned up. They'd shared parts of his life in Australia in the 70's.

Once again our luck was in. Bruce and Angela took us home for breakfast. Home was a large old house set in dense trees and a moist green garden. I almost melted when they showed us our room, dominated by a large House and Garden pristine white bed. Angela, a fellow foodie, finally gave me the breakfast I had been dreaming about. Fruit salad with peaches, plums, strawberries, blueberries - have you ever been two years without those orbs of quintessential summer flavour? She'd made gluten free granola, and provided GF toast. Crashed in the heavenly bed and made up a little sleep time. Then lunch - real cheese, fresh produce, I could go on. An afternoon tour of the neighborhood, a decent local curry and bed for the best sleep I've had in months. Thanks Bruce and Angela for your very enjoyable company and excellent hospitality.

Ready tio moe on to Victoria Islands Ready to move on to Vancouver Island.


Fri Jul 29 4:45 2016 NZST
Run: 2285.4nm (4136.6km)
Avg: 28.1knts
24hr: 674.7nm
21 17.23n 157 49.58w

Honolulu surpassed our expectations. So much for not having many people to see there. First our lovely host Nick. We met Nick in 2010 where he was sailing in Tonga with his parents. He crewed for us down the west coast of the north island on our return journey.

Nick took us to an excellent breakfast cafe in Honolulu for my first decent eggs. We then climbed a hill to check out Oahu's rugged coastline. First hill we've seen in a year. We quenched our thirst with a beer tasting at the boutique brewery where he works.

Serendipitously Donny of the dismasted yacht was in town having escaped Wake Island, the boat left there for a salvager.

We got a first hand account of the event.

I had a glorious girls afternoon with a Majuro yachtie friend Becky who was in town in her way back to Majuro. We ate local food and had a beer at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The day finished with another sailor for company.

Clifford was a friend of Mark from our band. He took us to a Japanese restaurant, ordered the food and sake, and wouldn't let us pay. Divine food and excellent company.

Day three we had a restful time taking a bus trip around Oahu stopping to buy local buttery garlic shrimp from a food truck and ate it on the beach.

Squeezed in one more beer tasting before Nick dropped us at the airport to head north.

See my Facebook for more detailed posts and pictures, especially food shots.

Next stop Vancouver.

Cheers Janet


Mon Jul 25 19:27 2016 NZST
Run: 7.7nm (13.9km)
07 03.53n 171 16.19e

Navire is sitting on her mooring in the lagoon at Majuro, abandoned by her crew who have opted for air travel for a change. We now wait, as you inevitably do at airports, at Majuro's tiny terminal, for the first leg of our six week trip. Honolulu first stop. We were to see some sailing friends from here, but they were dismasted on the way and abandoned their boat at Wake Island. Blog post to come on that.

Then to Vancouver and Victoria to visit friends before fetching up in Ontario for a month to visit family.

I am salivating for a taste of first world life, just for a little while.

And 5 degrees cooler. Hot but not sweating.

Next treat is breakfast out in Honolulu, fresh eggs, and good service, it's been a long time.

Cheers Janet


Hi Janet, enjoy your trip to Canada. Rebecca is there at the moment and will be at a music festival in Montreal this weekend. Graham and I have just bought Miners Camp in Endevour Inlet. Very excited. Take over 14 October.
Tue Jul 5 13:24 2016 NZST
07 06.248n 171 22.386e

Its dawn, although the light has trouble seeping through the heavy grey clouds. I'm watching the buckets at the back of the cockpit fill with water. As always we gather every precious drop, still mindful after the recent four month drought. The events of the last three days dance around in my mind looking for a place to settle, reframing my veiw of the society we are momentarily dipping into. I recently did a little rave on Facebook about the dysfunctionality of this place. And that still stands, but the prevention conference we just attended showed me that there are a many people doing a lot of good work on healing the people of this land. They have been harmed. First it was out and out destruction, 67 nuclear bombs were detonated experimentally on Bikini Atoll, with fall out affecting many other occupied fragile atolls. "For the good of mankind," the Americans said persuasively. And the fallout has lingered decade after decade. These people continue to have exceptionally high cancer rates. And Many of them are not of the land anymore. Whole communities were displaced by the effects of the nuclear fallout, previously occupied attolls still not habitable. Many many people have left the Marshall Islands altogether, to the land of milk and honey, the US, most not knowing the horrors of working in a chicken factory. And lastly the debateable spectre of global warming, this land only two or three meters above high tide.

Another legacy of the US bombings is money. Bucketloads of it. And with it its own destruction. Amongst the worst effects is the growth of a culture of dependency, and a loss of connection with their own culture. More on that when I finally get to do blog posts about this place.

But Kumit, where David works, has another vision for RMI. Kumit Bobrae is an organisation, albeit US funded, that aims to make people's live better. Their mandate covers substance abuse - drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and betel nut chewing, teen preganacy - rife here, and non communicable disease (NCD) a legacy of the ubiquitous western diet. With the advent of rice and spam has come a dramatic loss in the culture of growing and gathering local food. Suicide rates are high, in young men very high, and human trafficking. yes people are being stolen and abused, slave labour on fishing boats, enforced prostitution in the US, to name a couple. At the annual conference, the 6th one held, 2-300 Kumit staff from Majuro and the outer islands gathered to share their strategies. Despite most of the proceedings being in Marshallese (we were the only two ribelle, white people, there for 90% of the conference) many modern words were in English and the slides and videos told their own stories. My sense of hopelessness abated, infiltrated by the hope the speakers promoted.

David participated in this. At the end of day two he and his group of counsellors presented their strategy for suicide prevention. "Ask the question," the strategy being getting people to talk about suicide. Not just people who were contemplating the deed but families, teachers, health professionals. David shared his experience of suicide prevention at Victoria University and two of his students did a role play on asking the question, one playing the counsellor and the other doing a heart-rending perfomance of a young suicidal girl who was enduring sexual abuse from a family member. it brought some of the audience to tears.

The conference finished with a day of hilarity, a sports day complete with egg catching and tug of war.

Then its back to life as usual, David winding up the first of his counsellor training courses, me off to work with teachers from the outer islands on their assignments, then in three weeks we fly to Canada for six weeks first world time. Hills, greenery, a decent coffee at a cafe, shopping, and connecting with freinds and family.

This life is utterly fascinating.

Cheers Janet


Thank you, once again, for your most interesting, informative and often humorous stories. I really admire your adventurousness, your enjoyment of life and the great 'giving' that you engage in. May all your journeying be as good and safe as it has so far been.
Mon May 23 12:40 2016 NZST
07 06.248n 171 22.386e

David It rained. Several times. We are restraining ourselves from believing the drought broken, the summer rains arriving. Our cockpit remains festooned with every available container, now brimming with water, glorious, delicious rainwater.

I tentatively regard the course I'm teaching to be going ok. Of the ten starters, seven attend regularly and more or less on time. There is much humour and fun and even more discussion, questions and stories. Cases are discussed and several have asked for supervision. We are nearly half way through.

The fleet is thinning, some heading south to Fiji, others south east to Tonga, one or two sailing west for Micronesia and the Philippines, the rest, about seven, taking on the vast North Pacific sailing for Hawaii, Alaska, Vancouver and California. Soon there will be just nine yachts, three of which are here long term and three are Jehovah's Witness missionaries who are relentlessly lovely and just a little scary. They don't proselytise for which I'm thankful although we had a bible pressed upon us early on. It remains on board on the notion that, well, you never know. It's a big ocean out there.

Janet We are settling into a routine here. David works Tuesday and Wednesday, and has music practice on Thursday. I do laundry and shopping on Tuesday (senior discount day), and go to the university on Wed and Thurs. My one to one student work is slow to take off, there just isn't a culture of it here. However the students I do have are very pleased with the service. I continue to work on developing a business mentoring programme with one of the MBA staff. The rest of the time is domestics, the endless list of boat tasks and a remarkably buoyant social life, within the fleet and onshore.

David is rebuilding the galley bench. It was old and permanently stained. The stars aligned and a piece of good looking formica was going spare (someone had imported it, can't get anything decent here), and it transpired that the guy on the boat next door has installed lots of benches in his time (and is leaving soon), and is now David's advisor. So the time to do it was now. The new surface is transformative. Its clean!!! But God what a messy process it all is.

The boat is a total workshop. We are camping in the cockpit, washing dishes in a bucket. The bedbug fumigation man came for a second round this week too and so far things are looking good. We examine the formerly infested area with a torch each morning and are finding fewer and fewer bugs. Although I still keep imagining the bugs crawling on my skin. So by the end of the month we'll have a functioning galley, no bugs (fingers crossed) and maybe can reassemble the main cabin. Bring it on.

We celebrated Anzac Day at the Australian naval base. It was lovely gathering at dawn with a group of Aussies and one or two kiwis, and raising flags. There was even a bugle player.

Slowly getting to know our host nation. The few Marshallese we have got to know are mostly David's work colleagues and they are just lovely. They have welcomed us ribelle (white people) into their family. Now if you are imagining coconut palms hanging over the shore, pristine sea water with brightly coloured coral gardens, and thachted huts thats not this place. Where we are anchored off is not very attractive. The streets are dry and dusty, not many palm trees. The buildings are ugly. There is an extrordinary amount of traffic for such a small place. Customer service is not evident, the best place to eat in town is Navire, good food hard to find on land. The newspaper is full of stories about corruption. Our neighbour has been hired by the police as an adviser as the police force is not functioning very well. We are truly in a third world country. But all so very very interesting.

In just over two months we wing our way to Canada for six weeks vacation. Imagine shops, showers, the trappings of the western world. Will I be overwhelmed or love every minute of it? Send news of home. We love to hear about your lives, your families, even news of New Zealand. We haven't heard any international news for months, let alone about NZ.

Cheers Janet and David


Bilgewater band
lobster for dinner
All dressed up for Constitution Day

Hi David and Janet, We are from Wellington, based in Seaview marina now after being based at Mana Marina for around 20 years. We are planning to do a similar journey to yours in 2-3 years time. I was wondering if you would mind if I had your e-mail address (or your preferred method of communication & if you wouldn't mind) so I could ask a few questions and learn from your experiences to help with our planning? Regards Jan & Tony Braddock Yacht Alishan
Tue Apr 19 15:00 2016 NZST
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
07 06.248e 171 22.386n

It's David's birthday today. I took two chocolate cakes into David's work where he running a course on suicide prevention for 10 local counsellors here in Majuro in the North Pacific. They sang him a Marshallese happy birthday song. Now we have our one year visas we are settling into life here. I'm getting involved in a business mentor training programme. Life is very interesting. Click on the link in this email to see where we are. XxJanet Sent from my iPhone


Feliz cumpleaños David, I hope you are having a great time, well F. it you are having a great time, living the moment travelling, that's amazing, big hugs from Jess, Maya, Danica, Mili, loki, Unknown (July - August) and me. Cheers!

Happy Birthday, David. Absolutely love what you are doing and enjoy reading your blogs. Good on you for living the dream. It sounds just perfect. Cheryl and Ian xx
Wed Apr 6 12:16 2016 NZST
No position sent.

position 07 06.182n 171 22.427e April 4 Bilgewater Band did its first private gig yesterday. Our only Kiwi friend on the island, Liz, from Wellington no less, turned 40, and had an afternoon party on the edge of the lagoon. Ben, an English clarinet player and Mark, American fiddle player, joined us in some excellent music making.

Life is very good here in Majuro in the Marshall Islands. (Click on the link to see where we are). This week we apply to extend our visas, so we'll know by the end of the week if we can stay. My work at the university is slowly getting underway. I've been meeting with students and helping them with their assignments. Very satisfying. Mak, who runs the MBA programme at the university, wants to start a small business mentoring programme and I'm helping design it. Right up my alley. David is loving his work and the agency that employs him.This week he visited half a dozen agencies to offer places on a "Working with suicidal people" course he has designed. He discovered that they are all funded by his boss, Julia. She has her fingers in every pie going, including an ex-convict, late of San Quentin, who runs a large gang of other dubious characters, rebuilding the lagoon foreshore. More on that wonderful story when I get to that blog post.

On Thursday the organisation David works for, had a special lunch to celebrate several staff members' birthdays and to welcome us as part of their 'family'. We were the only white people in the room. It was good being part of a Marshallese event as most of our interactions are with ex-pats. I'm really enjoying that community, they are a cosmopolitan, well-educated, adventurous group of people. I think they are easy to meet and get to know because of the transitory nature of our lives, as it is with the yachting community. We all know we only have a brief time to know these people so we get on with it.

In the last update I mentioned the yacht club elections - well I'm the event director and David is the prize director.

We are still occasional sailors and converted Navire from a floating apartment to a yacht, to sail to a nearby island for Easter. The palm trees and turquoise water reminded me that I was in the tropics.

We are off on a bike ride to explore some more of this island.

Cheers Janet


I really enjoy your postings and your enterprise in what you are both doing. I have never really understood atoll living, picturing (without knowing) great ocean rollers washing endlessly over these amazing pieces of landfall. Will the islands survive the sea level rises? Doesnt look to me as though the rest of the world is going to change its living style to prevent such catastrophes . . . The internet images and Google info are wonderful to fill in my very incomplete picture. Thanks for your continuing stories about your lives!
Mon Feb 29 10:20 2016 NZDT
No position sent.

position 07 06.182n 171 22.427e We are not in Fiji! I recently started catching the blog up and posted two from Fiji, resulting in a few people thinking we were in there for the recent hurricane. We are over 1400 miles away, well out of the hurricane zone. Big change of plans. We are almost certainly staying here for a year. There are many skills shortages here and counselling is one of them. David got snapped up to work with youth suicide prevention counsellors. There is more work here than he could do in several years. I've potentially got some work at the University of South Pacific which may lead to paid work. We are really enjoying life here. It's very hot but we have acclimatised nicely. The social life is excellent. We have a group of people to play music with and the "Bilge Water Band" has had a little concert already. David is revelling in it. I have found fellow foodies and have had two great shared meals using local ingredients, a pumpkin night, and a coconut one. Yesterday we organised an outing to explore the atoll with 17 other people. It's very easy to meet people here but we have only met one other kiwi. Free yoga classes, good shops, laundromat. There is a drought though so we are very frugal with water. Today I went the local yacht club committee meeting and will put my name forward as events director. Another advantage of staying longer is that Fiji will be well into recovery when we go back there next year. We've heard some pretty dire stories from there. Cheers Janet


Thank you for the news that you are enjoying where you are. Sounds like you will both find work which extends the many skills you exercised in Aotearoa. Very good wishes for the year ahead, may it bring all the good things you are predicting. It is sad you will be away from us here for longer than I expected but it is perhaps good that nothing is certain as we journey. Life is 'wonder' full for us here just now, long may that continue. I look forward to your stories and ours when you return. Keep safe, Aroha, Roy

Hi, great to hear from you and that you are safe. I was sure you had put yourself in a safe place for the hurricane season. It sounds like you are in 7th heaven where you are - I am so pleased for you. Life at Punga Cove is also like heaven. I am still on holiday but the inevitable repairs are now getting shortlisted. The fresh water pump died and is now replaced, shower pump 2 is working again, I have parts for the repair of the switch for shower 1, toilet 1 is in bits being maintained, luckily toilet 2 is working. I have done a circuit or rust removal ion the deck and will start the hatches later in the week. So just the usual really! Bye for now! Gillian
Thu Feb 11 10:15 2016 NZDT
07 06.182n 171 22.427e

We've been here nearly a month now but have barely started on our burgeoning To Do lists. its taken this whole time to recover from a tenacious cold virus that struck us both low. I've had very little energy and it is a joy to feel the first tendrils of it emerge. Here's an update of our plans. We are in the Marshall Islands for the Hurricane season, then will head back to Fiji in April via Kiribati and Tuvalu. In November we'll sail back to NZ and settle in the Bay of Islands after a road trip to Wellington for Christmas. That's today's plan anyway. Majuro is an atoll, the capital of a large group of islands scanning seven to 12 degrees north. The Marshall Islands are in Free Association with the US so its a hybrid of a Pacific Nation and the US. Majuro itself is not a pretty place, most Pacific towns aren't. Because its on a long narrow strip of land there is no town centre, everything is spread out and you have to get cabs everywhere. No great expense at a $NZ1 a time. Food is dearer though, almost all imported from the US. Right now there is a drought and people are actually starving in the outer islands as the government ship is weeks overdue.

When I get to blog about this place I'll talk about the corruption and politics here. We are in a fleet of about 25 yachts, us the only kiwis. I'm enjoying the yachtie camaraderie. There is a thriving boat music scene going on, to David's delight. We have internet ashore, reasonable speed, which is a treat. We'll be here a few more weeks then will head out to visit the outer islands.

Cheer Janet


Fri Jan 29 13:26 2016 NZDT
Run: 410.6nm (743.2km)
07 06.182n 171 22.427e

It was a crappy passage to teh Marshall Islands. The prevailing winds were NNE and we were going NNW. I was reminded of the sailing adage "Gentlemen don't sail to windward" Well this lady would rather not do that either. We tacked, we pounded into it. But that was only part of the misery. I picked up a gastro bug in Tarawa and David got a cold, neither really apparent till we were underway. Add in seasickness for me and the generally not enough sleep you get on passage. On our last night at sea we arrived at Majuro attoll after dark and hove to off the northwestern corner. It was still bouncy but a lot easier than sailing. We entered the lagoon in daylight and sailed ten miles of unfettered lagoon, no coral bombies to zigzag through, then a huge fleet of fishing ships appeared, about 40 of them, anchored off the main town. Through the other side I could a couple of dozens masts, our community for the summer, or winter as they call it here. It's academic so close to the equator. Eric from Aerial IV met us in his dinghy and took a line from the bow to thread through our mooring. I pushed the button. The engine stopped. I breathed out. No more passages for a while.

Janet


Hi Janet and David I'm not sure if my last comments got through to you as I replied to the email (oops!) , which of course goes into cyberspace. Anyhow, always good to follow your travels and hear the truths about sailing offshore. So sorry to hear that your last passage was so hard and poor you Janet, sick and seasick. It must have been really hard on both of you. I hope you can rest up and enjoy the island that you are on and surroundings. We have just sailed to Nelson and back for the Nelson regatta. Went through French Pass and had some around the 'cans' events, The next few days we raced to Torrent Bay and then up to Tarakohe. Our little Ross830 Floozie actually managed a first and third placings. We finished 6th overall so were quite pleased. Let's hope 2016 has presented you with your challenges early and that now you can relax and enjoy the experiences. Get well my friend. Our very best wishes to you both. Kind regards Liz & Ron Ives
Mon Jan 18 22:22 2016 NZDT
Run: 34.2nm (61.9km)
01 22.067n 172 55.684e

After a lovely couple of weeks in Abaiang we sailed back to Tarawa to provision and clear customs and immigration. Horrible exposed bouncy anchorage. Looked like headwinds most of the way to Majuro but that was the prevailing wind so we went anyway.


Sat Dec 26 20:56 2015 NZDT
Run: 128.5nm (232.6km)
01 51.542n 172 59.130e

Merry Christmas from Navire At last we stop, for a few days at least. We are at Abaiang, a rarely visited (by yachts or imitang - white people) northern Kiribati atoll. We arrived at the southern end a few days ago and celebrated on Christmas Eve with the crew of four other boats. With ten people crammed in the cockpit we sang, played Secret Santa, and had a shared feast with the last of our provisions.

Christmas Day saw us scurrying up the atoll, zigzagging through the coral, to another village to escape the fetch from a strong northerly.

We have hosts here, Meriin and Tetau, a delightful young couple who live in Tarawa, who were our drivers on our big day out. We brought them up here on Navire to see parents for Christmas, and they have been providing excellent on shore hospitality.

The villages are gorgeous, the houses all made from locally sourced materials, thatched roofs abound.

For entertainment we are going to the Catholic church tomorrow, the building an almost Gothic edifice bestowed by the early missionaries, to hear the singing. On Monday we hire motor bikes to tour the island, and Tuesday join in a huge local party with music and feasting. Then we may have to move again for shelter as the wind strengthens and shifts direction. Shelter is a relative term, there really is nothing higher than a few metres up here.

Please send news of home. We will pick up our email in Tarawa at the beginning of January before we set off for Majuro.

We often think and talk of many of you, and treasure the emails we do get. It does feel a long way from home up here and I even had a bout of homesickness recently.

xx Janet


Sun Dec 20 20:57 2015 NZDT
Run: 534nm (966.5km)
01 22.067n 172 55.684e

Tarawa, Kiribati December 20 I've just put the Christmas decorations up, all five of them. When we get to our next destination we'll find a branch and decorate it with tin foil and clothes pegs.

Tarawa is an island of contrasts. The harbour is littered with wrecks, very exposed and too dirty to swim in. Betio, the town nearby, is, depending on the weather, dusty or muddy. There is an enormous 'Road Rehabilitation' project going on. We've been traipsing around in 30 degrees searching each supermarket for eggs, fresh fruit and veg, even potatoes, but none to be had. Yet this place has a vibrancy about it. There are lots of people around, people active and doing stuff. And they are so friendly.

I organised a day out for the fleet on Wednesday, on a truck. We drove to the other end of this island then waded across a passage to another one and had lunch at an eco resort. I briefed the driver and his wife to help us find fresh produce and we did, at people's houses, and little roadside stalls, it was an adventure and a half.

Tetau and Meriin, the driver and his wife have befriended us and they are traveling up to Abaiang with us tomorrow, so now we have an entree to one of the villages there where Meriin's parents live.

We will have Christmas at Abaiang with four other boats. We have planned a meal, Secret Santa and some entertainment.

Send messages. We can check our email when we get back here in a couple of weeks.

Janet


Sun Dec 20 20:57 2015 NZDT
Run: 94.7nm (171.4km)
00 00.001n 172 59.905e

We are in teh northern hemisphere!(written a week ago) 1045 Saturday December 12, 2015 David We crossed the equator a few hours ago. A big moment. This was the schedule of events: 1] The ritual abuse of all the initiates aboard and a welcome to the guild of transoceanic deep sea voyagers 2} a tot of rum over the side to all the sea gods we know plus some - Tangaroa, Posseidon, Neptune, Charibdis, Ra, Thor and Zeuse by thunder. 3}The singing of Navire's praises, 4} The reading of The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner in its entirety 5)Run a bucket of water down the sink to see if it goes the other way 6)A toast to the skipper, the mate, Navire and absent friends.

Unlike the ancient mariner, we've had a dream passage. Mostly 7 -10 knots, today 15-20, no squalls to speak of except just after the equator. The North Pacific welcomed us with a brief shower and a few minutes of 30 knots. No doldrums this time.

Janet We are heading to Tarawa the main island of Kiribati. We plan to have Christmas at one of the outer islands with some of the fleet we are traveling with. We are on a five day passage which is the longest David and I have done with just two of us.


Mon Dec 7 5:03 2015 NZDT
Run: 98.8nm (178.8km)
05 40.314s 176 07.071e

Nanumea, Tuvalu December 6 We made it into the Nanumea atoll. One of the fleet nearly didn't. Click on the link to see where we are. The pass into this lagoon is very narrow and shallow and has swell breaking on the ocean end of it. One of the yachts had just entered the pass when a wave lifted them onto the coral. At high tide. They thought their boat was a gonner. They put out a Mayday and the yachts with big dinghies went out to help, plus local boats. They managed to get off okay. it could have been any of us.

This is a gorgeous place, our first flat calm anchorage in a month. We haven't managed to get a lot going on shore, the local people are very shy. But we have had a very social time amongst the seven boats here, cooking good food and playing music and imbibing far too much alcohol. But the liver gets a week to dry out now. Tomorrow we head north 500 miles to Kiribati, where at last we will rest awhile. it will take a week or so. We just have to get through that pass again...

Cheers Janet PS I haven't got my gmail email for several weeks but we can access David's email if you need to contact me


Wed Dec 2 20:18 2015 NZDT
Run: 182.1nm (329.6km)
06 39.530s 177 09.524e

It's dawn and my six hour night watch is nearly over. My bunk is looking very appealing.

We are out in the ocean north of Tuvalu, six degrees south of the equator. I'm sending this email via single side band radio. I haven't had my gmail email for ages. Its all satellite up here and very slow and unreliable, and expensive.

I gaze out at an empty empty sea. There's not much traffic out here. David saw fishing boats last night. In Tuvalu, our last stop we saw 16 large Asian fishing trawlers. Normally there are very few yachts up here but currently there are six behind us and five ahead of us. Its fabulous traveling in a convoy. We have set up a daily radio net and check in to see where everyone is.

We left Fiji at the end of October to get north of the hurricane season which started in November. On our way we picked up a wonderful Fijian Tuvaluan man who wanted to sail on the open ocean to the land where he was born before he died. The two weeks he was with us was quite a treat, he taught us about the sea and sky. We planned to spend just a few days in Tuvalu and continue north to get to safer latitudes but spent three weeks there. First of all Kailopa got us involved in local things, then we formed the yacht fleet and enjoyed the social time that came with it. Then a tropical depression formed near here (it later turned into a cyclone) and we had to take 'shelter'. We anchored behind an island that was only a metre high (and with coconut palms), all the land is only that high up here, no wonder they are concerned with rising sea-levels, and behind a reef. We still got 50 knots of wind but the reef took the brunt of the seas. Pretty uncomfortable and a bit scary. The yacht next to us had their dinghy flip, drowning the outboard motor (we'd shipped ours before the wind came up), then at dawn I saw them dragging towards us. I radioed them and they had started their engine to move away from us but got a rope around their prop rendering their engine useless. Fortunately they just slid past us then their anchor caught on a coral bombie. No one got much sleep that night.

I just checked the horizons and there are squalls around us. They can hit with a lot of wind and bring rain too.

Now we head 250 miles, two days travel, to a very rarely visited northernmost island of Tuvalu, Nanumea. You have to jump through a whole lot of hoops to get permission to visit it after you have cleared customs and immigration, and they don't always say yes. One of the yachts is there already and said the locals are delighted to have us visit.

Then on to Kiribati on the equator. We'll probably have Christmas there at a remote island with a few other yachts and hopefully do something in the village too. There are a couple of foodies in the fleet and we are planning the menu and days events already. The Americans (we have yachts from US, Sweden, France, Aus and us from NZ) know Secret Santa so we may do that.

Oh yes, we are probably coming back to NZ at the end of next season so I'll get to see you all in a year or so.

Cheers Janet


Wed Nov 25 20:34 2015 NZDT
Run: 1.2nm (2.2km)
08 25.950s 179 07.425e

Funafuti, Tuvalu. A tropical depression is due to pass south of here and we have anchored at the northwestern end of the lagoon to get the tiny bit of shelter the small low profile island ahead of us affords, plus the reef breaks the swell. Except at high tide, like right now, we are lurching from side to side. Its like being at sea except we don't have to keep a watch. We are logging our position and depth in case of dragging, and wind speed and direction, and the barometer reading.

From here on in the islands are only about 1 metre high(plus coconut palms). I can see why the people up here are concerned about rising sea levels.

We have found fellow foodies and musicians in the fleet. On Saturday night we had a Mexican night complete with far too many Margaritas. Brian off Carla Catherine brought his accordion along and along with david ont eh guitar and all of us singing the music was fabulous.

After this low we'll go back to Funafuti and clear customs. We hope to get a couple of days of southerly to set us off on our 700 mile journey to Kiribati, our next stop.

Cheers Janet Conditions: Sheltered (somewhat from NW) 100% cloud, showers, NW 14, temp 30 degrees, bar 1004, humidity 75%


So glad Navire and Clara Catherine have found each other! Hope the weather isn't too bad for you and you catch lots of water! We are at Luganville, Santo and probably doing the passage to Oz next week...

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Tue Nov 24 8:38 2015 NZDT
Run: 9nm (16.3km)
08 25S 179 07E
Weather: 1008, 100%cc, convective activity

convection continues tomorrow with NW20


Mon Nov 16 7:50 2015 NZDT
Run: 0.2nm (0.4km)
8 31.603s 179 11.204e

Still are in Tuvalu, and may be here for a while. There's not much wind up here, and most of it is from the north east, the direction we want to go in. We get frequent brief squalls with welcome downpours. Although we had a long squall with 30 knots on Saturday. Another week maybe. It really does feel remote up here, eight degrees south of the equator. They get very few yachts up here but this year we are a crowd of eight.

Having a great time in Tuvalu. Fabulous people. We see Kailopa most days and keep meeting more of his family and community. Have been to two feasts, local drumming and dance, watched the plane arrive, a rugby match and have evening drinks with the other cruisers. I'm loving having a community of boats. We share stuff, we are all heading in the same direction, we talk over the weather, not just a social nicety in this environment.

Janet Conditions: calm, ENE 8, 10% cloud, 28 degrees, bar 1008.7 Hi David, would you give us some information on the convergence zone. We are eight boats here now, most listening in. Until yesterday we weere getting lots of squally weather. Is this increased by the MJO pulse? Is teh pulse over us now? When will it pass (as much as you can tell). Reception not so good in anchorage but I can get a relay.

At the moment we are trying for leaving at end of the week, when there are a couple of days of light ESE, SE, then we'll probably have to motor to Tarawa as the wind goes variable.


Tuvalu sounds like a lovely spot and so glad you have a small sailing community too. Cold here at home at the moment with overnight temps back to 4degrees and highs of 18. Brrrr, fire back on and winter clothes hauled back out of the cupboard. Spring sailing series has started at Waikawa with conditions either gale warning in force or becalmed by the end of the race. We are just reflecting on how consistent winter sailing conditions were. Ronnie has been busy doing some offshore racing. Not sure if I told you already. He sailed I the Coastal Classic from Auckland to Russell on Lion NZ, then a few weekends back he did the annual wine race on a friends yacht. a wellington yacht called Blink won, perhaps you know it. We are both crewing in the Off shore series this year. Yippeee! Getting closer to our dream.....yours now a reality. Are you intending to leave the yacht and fly back to NZ or do you have another plan now? Have fun, keep safe. Our very best wishes to you both, love Liz n Ron.

Hey guys, great to see you are Tuvalu. I hope we get there some day. If you get a chance at all it would be great if you could add an anchorage or two as we haven't had YITsters up there before. Anchorages are particularly easy to add if you are doing a status update for the same spot using the app. Hope you are still loving it!
Mon Nov 9 9:13 2015 NZDT
Run: 24.1nm (43.6km)
Avg: 65.5knts
24hr: 1572.7nm
8 31.491s 179 11.376e

Arrived safely in Tuvalu at dusk last night. Lovely wide open pass and coral free lagoon. Caught a fish on the way in. Anchored off Fongafale at Funafuti. Celebrated our arrival with a pina colada made with fresh coconut cream.

"Eight hours sleep - in a row," David declared as we went to bed at 8pm. But no, at 2.30am the skies opened and we rushed outside to set up the hoses and fill all our buckets. Unfortunately the rain filled the dinghy too which we'd left tied off the back, so bailed it, hoisted it off the side, and took the bung out.

Haven't cleared in yet. Hoping to get internet today. SEND NEWS! Conditions: heavy rain overnight. NW 30 knots briefly. Thunder and lightning. N12 Bar 1008.5, 95%cloud Thanks heaps GHR for weather up here. Four boats in anchorage and Exodus arriving midday.


Mon Nov 9 8:50 2015 NZDT
Run: 76.1nm (137.7km)
Avg: 2.7knts
24hr: 65.1nm
8 52.37796s 179 11.37e

arrived yesterday


Sun Nov 8 4:47 2015 NZDT
Run: 127.5nm (230.8km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 143.1nm
9 47.689s 178 34.769e

0400 very light wind from dead ahead. Motoring. Just had a few hours of thunderstorms and wind all over the place. Should reach Tuvalu today although may have to hove to outside reef for night if we run out of light for getting through the reef. Dinner: Corned beef cottage pie again with coleslaw - last of the cabbage, and beetroot. Watties tinned beetroot - the taste of home.

Coditions: 5NE, motoring at 4.7 knots, just had squalls and 33 knots NE. Bar 1008, 100% cloud.


Sat Nov 7 7:24 2015 NZDT
Run: 83.2nm (150.6km)
11 26.140s 177 43.208e

My watch. Not enough sleep. Nice day out here in the ocean though. Day two Rotuma to Tuvalu. We slide ever further north, NZ feels a long way away. Noone out here in this barren sea, although we know Exodus is leaving Rotuma about now. Rotuma was stunning. What an undiscovered jewel.

Conditions - ESE 15, cloud, bar 1009, 28 degrees (and rising), speed 6.5, course 26 degrees T, 193 miles to go


Mon Nov 2 5:04 2015 NZDT
Run: 29.6nm (53.6km)
12 29.239s 177 07.227e

We are in the north eastern anchorage at Rotuma. We had an easy enough three day passage although I do find them tiring. We unexpectedly and delightedly have crew. In September at Nananu i Ra we met Fijian/Tuvaluan Kailopa from Kioa, and he invited us to visit. So we did. Long story short he is travelling with us to Tuvalu. He is 67, has been in boats all his life and is wonderfully easy going.

We arrived yesterday morning pretty exhausted, (saw a whale on the way in) went to shore to find out where to watch the rugby. Then got up at 3 this morning to see the game. We arrived back at the beach to see Navire and the other yacht in the anchorage surfing down two metre waves. The wind was still SE but there was a wicked wrap around swell happening. We raced back out to the boat and up anchored to a half a mile out where we get a long swell but it's only a bit rolly. Should ease tomorrow when wind drops.

We are probably here for a week or so as the wind is too light to go to Tuvalu.

Its absolutely gorgeous here. When its calmer we'll go in and start exploring.

Cheers Janet


Sat Oct 31 0:47 2015 NZDT
Run: 183.2nm (331.6km)
Avg: 6.2knts
24hr: 147.7nm
12 35.781s 177 32.701e

Land ho! Its always an exciting moment to see land when you've been at sea. Kailopa spotted it at sunset. We all high fived. We will get close to the island tonight and heave to till the sun is up before we enter the north eastern anchorage. Lovely sailing with breezes of 12 to 15 knots all day.


Thu Oct 29 19:01 2015 NZDT
Speed: 6.4knts
Run: 45.7nm (82.7km)
Avg: 2.9knts
24hr: 70.4nm
14 25.489S 179 31.1E
Weather: wind SE 20

eta late fri or slow down for saturday.. Spending a few days at Rotuma then head to Tuvalu


Thu Oct 29 3:26 2015 NZDT
Run: 111.7nm (202.2km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 133.6nm
15 04.261s 179 39.907e

At sea en route to Rotuma. We have an additional crew member, Kailopa from Kioa. We met him back in Nananu i Ra and visited him in Kioa. He is travelling with us to Tuvalu. Caught a fish yesterday.

Weather: E16, 100% cloud, bar 1012.6 course 316T, speed 6, ETA Fri afternoon David would you let us know on radio if anything we need to watch out for. Gribs say SE15ish all the way


Wed Oct 28 7:22 2015 NZDT
Run: 12.3nm (22.3km)
16 40.212s 179 54.187e

Beautiful morning in Kioa. Three and a half hour trip yesterday, mostly motoring in very light winds. Kioa been a full on Tuvaluan cultural experience. This island in Fiji is owned by a Tuvaluan community, full story in blog. We arrived on day two of celebrations of their arrival 68 years ago. We met our host Kailopa in Nananu i Ra in September when he was visiting his nephew. We were treated to drumming and dance, a tour of the village, dinner and singing, then danced the night away. Today we head to sea for a three day passage to Rotuma.

weather: calm, bar 1014, 20% cloud, 22 degrees.


Tue Oct 27 7:32 2015 NZDT
Run: 29.5nm (53.4km)
16 43.645s 179 43.620e

Fawn Harbour, Vanua Levu Travelled 30 miles along the bottom of Vanua Levu. Alas 20-25 knot headwinds and motored most of the way. I was seasick. Very narrow coral passage into this lovely calm bay. Anchored far enough off land to have no mosquitos and could leave all the hatches open. Chicken and baked veges for dinner. Probably no more gourmet cooking till we get to Rotuma.

weather: N6 in lee of small island, 30% cloud, bar 1015, temp 24 degrees


Mon Oct 26 7:28 2015 NZDT
Run: 3.7nm (6.7km)
16 48.518s 179 17.393e

We have finally left town. We had a great time in SavuSavu but all provisioned now and ready to go. Sailed an hour south yesterday and anchored off the Cousteau Resort. Roast chicken and salad for dinner.

Heading east along the bottom of Vanua Levu. We have two overnight anchorages before we head to sea to go to Rotuma, 300 miles north of here.

There will be frequent updates for the next week with weather, position and menu. These updates lay a track across the map on our page on YIT giving us a record of our journey.

Cheers Janet weather: in lee of point south of SavuSavu, NE10, 50% cloud, Bar 1015


Sun Oct 11 8:51 2015 NZDT
Run: 52.4nm (94.8km)
16 46.641s 179 20.150e

Settled in on a mooring at SavuSavu. Lots of yachts get stuck here and I can see why. Its all here for boats. Cheap eating out, moorings, laundry, shops right on shore, and a fabulous social life. We have met about a dozen other cruisers already in two days, watched the rugby, had a fabulous music session with a violinist, and eaten out almost every meal.

This is our last supply stop in Fiji. From here we head east to Kioa for their annual arrival celebrations (more in the blog). Then we sail 300 miles north to Rotuma, Fiji's northernmost island. We will clear customs there and sail 250 miles to Tuvalu. From there we'll travel 900 miles to the Marshall Islands, 7 degrees north of the equator, where will stay for the hurricane season. There is a strong yachting community there as well as good facilities ashore. We plan to return to Fiji in 2016 and continue exploring. I am working on catching up blog posts now we are in one place for a while.

If you don't want to continue receiving updates and blog posts you can UNSUBSCRIBE by clicking on the manage subscriptions YIT link at the bottom of this email.

Please send news from home. We love receiving details of your lives. janet.nixon551@gmail.com or davidmason400@gmail.com. Don't include photos or other attachments.

We'll be on our Fiji phone number +679 8016862 for another couple of weeks then by limited email till we arrive in Majuro,hopefully before Christmas.

Cheers Janet


Love reading your BLOG and comments with YIT. We are working towards returning to Fiji and following your track in a few short years so are especially keen to read of your progress and adventures. Thank you for sharing this with others. Alishan crew

Fantastic website. A lot of useful information here. I'm sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your sweat! dkdeekddedbe
Thu Oct 8 6:51 2015 NZDT
Run: 19nm (34.4km)
17 26.445s 178 57.123e

At Makogai, former leper colony for South Pacific, and turtle sanctuary. Having great social time with Enorphin and Obsession. Heading to SavuSavu.

S 12, Bar 1017, 90% cloud, 22 degrees, 62% humidity


Wed Sep 30 7:15 2015 NZDT
Run: 25.5nm (46.2km)
17 38.402s 178 45.142e

Forecast overcast but sun came out to navigate the coral from Viti Levu to Ovalau. Motored in headwinds. Anchored at Rukuruku to look up a family we met here in 2011.

90%cloud, Easterly 6 and gusting, bar 1016, 25 degrees, 75% humidity


Tue Sep 29 16:08 2015 NZDT
No position sent.

In transit from Nananu i Ra to Ovalau. Anchored at Toba Basiga. Glorious day navigating coral yesterday. Weather was supposed to be overcast, not good for coral spotting, but the sun came out and king tides meant we could actually see the coral at low tide. Lots of it. Good to be back on the green side of Viti Levu. The drought is pretty bad on the west side.


Tue Sep 29 7:45 2015 NZDT
Run: 19.7nm (35.7km)
17 32.573s 178 22.695e
Weather: S4 95%cloud bar 1016 In transit from Nananu i Ra to Ovalau. Anchored at Toba Basiga. Glorious day navigating coral yesterday. Weather was supposed to be overcast, not good for coral spotting, but the sun came out and king tides meant we could actually see the coral at low tide. Lots of it. Good to be back on the green side of Viti Levu. The drought is pretty bad on the west side.

:position 17 32.573s 178 22.695e


Wed Sep 23 11:14 2015 NZST
Run: 26.1nm (47.2km)
17 18.219s 178 13.019e

:image catch of the day Anchored at Nananu i Ra, at the top of Viti Levu. Caught two fish yesterday! Resting up here for a few days to watch rugby and wait for favourable winds to sail to Ovalau. At the moment its strong SE headwinds for the rest of the week.

Anyone know what this fish is? (click on the link above to see photo and where we are) Janet


Fish number 2
Wed Sep 23 11:14 2015 NZST
Run: 35.9nm (65km)
Avg: 2154knts
24hr: 51696nm
17 22.801s 177 49.760e

Anchored at Vatia Point. Heading east over the top of Viti Levu, weaving our way through the myriad of coral reefs. Alas missed the NZ/Argentina game but well done team for the win. And to Japan for beating South Africa. Oh yes - not even a ripple here from the tsunami.


Wed Sep 23 11:13 2015 NZST
Run: 6.7nm (12.1km)
17 40.892s 177 23.169e

Couple of nights of luxury in Vuda Point Marina. Celebrated my birthday with fellow cruisers and watched awesome South Africa Japan Rugby World Cup game along with the sad defeat of Fiji by the English. Had a fabulous fish curry lunch aboard with some of our Indian friends.

Janet


Fri Sep 18 7:32 2015 NZST
Run: 4.5nm (8.1km)
17 35.915s, 177 26.391e
Weather: NE4, 1014, 22C

Hope you are really enjoying Fiji. I note that you are careful about bumping into the local coral, but are happy to run over an island. (According to your GPS!)
Mon Sep 14 13:20 2015 NZST
Run: 31.4nm (56.8km)
17 38.694s 177 23.529e

Back at Sawene near Lautoka to renew visas.


Mon Sep 14 13:20 2015 NZST
Run: 28.1nm (50.9km)
17 16.404s 177 07.048e

Heading south. Stopped at Naulawaki Bay top of Waya.


Mon Sep 14 13:20 2015 NZST
Run: 12.7nm (23km)
16 56.576s 177 21.958e

Relaxed for a few days at Blue Lagoon in Yasawas. Lynnis shouted me a fabulous night at the resort. Swam with Manta rays.

Janet


Yay, you got to the Yasawas. Glad you enjoyed some time at the blue lagoon. it's pretty cool swimming with manta ray isn't it. Have fun!
Sat Sep 5 8:31 2015 NZST
Run: 23.7nm (42.9km)
Avg: 1422knts
24hr: 34128nm
17 27.459s 177 02.751e

HEADLINE NEWS


Navire catches fish. A vicious delicious walu. The drought is

broken. Wahoo for walu.


This was shortly after we hit the coral. Its been a big day.


Motoring slowly up to a sandy cay to swim and explore, I prepared

to drop the anchor. Below the bow

I saw corals, purple and pink tipped staghorns, huge spirals of yellow green tabletop, turquoise parrotfish lazing in the fissured and canyons, dazzling angelfish hanging motionless and tiny electric blue fish darting about. All right there.


"REVERSEREVERSREVERSEREVERSEREVERSEREVERSEFUCKINGREVERSE!!!"


The prop desperately gripped the sea. The boat slowed, kissed the

coral and backed into feel blue water. We're missing a square

inch of antifouling from the bottom of the keel and several years

off our lives.


Kokodos entre and walu steaks for dinner. Yum.


Just as well the fouling paint was very thick! That's why I gave up an idea of sailing around the world many many years ago!
Sat Sep 5 8:31 2015 NZST
Run: 20.4nm (36.9km)
17 05.916s 177 15.785e

Settled in to bay at the top of Naviti Island at Somosomo village. Did sevusevu today. Villagers very friendly. Fabulous children. Got pawpaw, bananas, and greens. Sheltered from easterly winds.


Sat Sep 5 8:31 2015 NZST
Run: 8.5nm (15.4km)
17 21.938s 177 07.935e

Stopped for night at Kautu on southern end of Waya, southernmost island of Yasawas. Lovely snorkelling on nearby reef.


Sat Sep 5 8:30 2015 NZST
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)
17 46.406s 177 11.077e

Picked up Lynnis at Musket Cove


Fri Aug 28 16:07 2015 NZST
Run: 16.2nm (29.3km)
17 44.297s 177 08.860e

Back at Malolo Island sheltering from the very persistent winds here. Resting up till we pick up our friend Lynnis from Kerikeri on Monday and head up to the Yasawas.

Click on the link above to see where we are.

Janet


Fri Aug 28 16:07 2015 NZST
Run: 2.6nm (4.7km)
17 40.892s 177 23.169e

Tucked up in Vuda Point marina for showers, laundry, topping up all our liquids and filling the boat with food. Stayed five days. Hadn't planned to stay that long but I got sick. Once better I enjoyed the beautiful environment and catching up with other cruisers especially Wayne and Christine off Learnativity. Indulged myself in showers and laundry and one of the free cooking classes.Had an amazing day out with a local Indian family. More on that when I catch up with the blog.

Janet


Fri Aug 28 16:07 2015 NZST
Run: 16.2nm (29.3km)
17 38.694s 177 23.529e

Settled in Sawene Bay on on the western end of Viti Levu to drop Richard off and reprovision. Yesterday at Musket Cove to our great delight we met up with Bindy and Gavin from Distracted, and their guests Mike (founder of this wonderful YIT site) and Danica from Mirabilis, a Wellington boat reunion.

(wrote this a week ago and have been sick with a throat infection ever since.) Cheers Janet


Sun Aug 16 11:50 2015 NZST
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)
17 46.356s 177 11.197e

Anchored in the now calm waters of Musket Cove we went ashore to the resort bar and helped the All Blacks resoundingly beat the Wallabies. We'd diligently practiced the Maori words to our national anthem and thought we'd be the only ones singing it. But no, after the Australians in the bar sat quietly through their anthem, the bar erupted with the NZ maori version. That's our people, I thought proudly. It was a good start to a thrilling night.

Cheers Janet


I tried to postpone watching the AB's play the Wallabies til the Replay today. I managed to avoid News reports of the outcome - til 6.00 am this morning then couldn't stand the suspense any longer! Yah for Us!!! However I am surprised that our Win was so thorough!! Like you guys I listened to the NZ Anthem and felt the hairs prickle up on my arm and my eyes got a little teary. Is this patriotism then? (Not so good for our poor old Silver Ferns today though - only loosing to Australia by 5. A herculean effort ladies!)

good to hear that you have a good time over there. Since a week now we are living on Millennium Spirit ( mostly me) and loving it. I did put the boat now for the third time in the birth, and still am freaking out to get her in her spot, today after the second try I got her in place . Still figuring out how it all works, but I'll get there! Today we sailed a cruising race, and where second in over the finish line, she flies over the water, 7 knots is very doable in light winds! I really love my new baby/ mistress GG is almost sold , I got a guy who wants to live on her, so help me thinking in the right direction, we need the money to skip to my retirement funds. We are planning to go to the Netherlands in December and will be in the sounds in January, February etc we'lol see how it all works out. Ok , that 'll do for now, have fun, be happy and keep safe Titus
Tue Aug 11 12:33 2015 NZST
Run: 3.3nm (6km)
17 44.372s 177 08.873e

Bliss. We are at north west corner of Malolo Island in the Mamanucas and it is utterly gorgeous, so good to be out of the wind. Here we can swim and snorkel. We can't go ashore right here because there is a very exclusive resort onshore (over-the-water-bungalows $3000 a night) but close by is Castaway Island where we will go for a drink one evening.

We expected the anchorage to be full of boats doing the same as us, escaping the wind, but there was only one other boat, a New Zealand one, so of course we got together for drinks.

We are probably here till Sat when we'll go back to Musket Cove to watch the rugby. Send more news from home!! Cheers Janet


Hi there, Sounds lovely. Freezing here so you are in the right place. I've been working on a new story for the writing group. 'The future' is the current prompt if you feel like sending a story in for comment (email to me). Apart from that I've been working on getting the files for our first paperback 'you say which way' kids book off to the printers ... very exciting. Had a great jam with the boys on Sunday ... vodka was the winner on the day ;-) Cams got a few new songs which we are enjoying. Apart from that things go on. Hunkering down for winter and staying warm seem to be top of the priority list. In the meantime, take care and enjoy. cheers, B
Sun Aug 9 18:53 2015 NZST
Run: 29.5nm (53.4km)
17 46.423s 177 10.992e

Bouncing on our anchor at Musket Cove. We'd hoped to escape the wind by coming west but its howling here over in the Mamanucas. Sailed from Yanuca to Robinson Crusoe Island in Likura Bay. Windy spot too but went to a show at the resort, spectacular Fijian fire dancing. Lovely sail up here this morning with wind behind us and moderate swell, but anchorage exposed to the south. Alas it's predicted to be a particularly windy season this year. So those of you suffering the cold in NZ its much warmer here but we are suffering the vagaries of weather too.

Cheers Janet


Fri Aug 7 8:03 2015 NZST
Run: 48.1nm (87.1km)
18 08.253s 177 25.067e

Left Beqa in 30 to 40 knots wind, but glorious flat seas and bright sunshine. As we came along the south coast the wind eased and we encountered a two knot current so looked for closer anchorages. Most looked very exposed with surf crashing on the beach till we got to Yanuca. Suddenly we are in tourist Fiji anchored outside the Shangri La Resort. Had tuna baked in lolo for dinner. Tuna from fishery in Suva, alas our lures haven't yeilded yet, and coconut cream that David grated en route.

Thinking about Robinson Crusoe Island for the rugby tomorrow but can't get through by phone. Anyone know if they are still yacht friendly? Janet


talk about a contrast! I would want to be heading up into the Yasawas....... My dear wee grand daughter is just exquisite. her name is Elodie, and she is a spitting image of her dad when he was born! my best wishes for trying to watch the all blacks. we are off to a friends 70th instead. love mary hancock

Hi Janet and David, loving your posts. Good luck with finding a place to watch the rugby tomorrow. We, too, need to find a local pub to watch the rugby. It's like we're there with you. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Cheryl x

Robinson Crusoe still yacht friendly but no sky for rugby, best to stay where you are. 20k NE at Lautoka.
Wed Aug 5 18:45 2015 NZST
Run: 25.5nm (46.2km)
Avg: 2.8knts
24hr: 67.7nm
18 23.818s 178 05.855e

Arrived at Beqa. Very quick trip in 25 to 40 knots of wind. Lumpy sea, 2 to 3 metre swells. Sun came out for a while but at least no rain. Very gusty anchorage. Will probably move on west tomorrow. Good to be out of Suva. Looking for anchorage where we can watch All Blacks/Aus on Saturday night. Click on link above to see where we are on a Google map.

:-) Janet


Wed Aug 5 9:43 2015 NZST
Run: 3.2nm (5.8km)
18 09.350s 178 23.494e

Finally leaving Suva bound for Beqa Island. ETA 1500. Grey sea, grey sky and drizzle but forecast is for clearing. Good to be underway again. Janet Sent from my iPhone


Wed Jul 29 13:53 2015 NZST
Run: 2nm (3.6km)
18 06.554s 178 23.742e

We are back in Suva anchored at near Lami. On Sunday our friend Richard Moss joins us and we go west for some white sandy beaches. snorkelling and Margaritas. Click on the link and have a look at the blog to read some of our stories about village life in Kadavu, especially David's one "A Treasured Weight".

Send comments and emails.

xx Janet


Thu Jul 23 7:35 2015 NZST
Run: 66.1nm (119.6km)
18 07.440s 178 25.274e
Weather: 80%cc, 15-20e, 21C

Sun Jul 19 14:28 2015 NZST
Run: 17.6nm (31.9km)
19 02.855s 178 09.479e

Goodbye to Kadavu after five weeks here. Feeling rested and in good health again. Sailing to Suva tomorrow (Monday) 60 mile trip, eight to ten hours. Can't leave till daylight so we can see the coral reefs, and want to arrive in Suva harbour so we can anchor in daylight and avoid abandoned fishing boats, sunken wrecks and concrete bunkers. Ten days in Suva then off to explore more of Fiji with Richard Moss on board for two weeks. Send emails and comments janet.nixon551@gmail.com. Love to hear news from home.

Cheers Janet


Mon Jul 13 7:31 2015 NZST
Run: 9.3nm (16.8km)
18 58.87S 178 25.1E
Weather: rain 20se gusts, 1014

Kavala Hbr Kadavu Fiji


Fri Jul 10 7:36 2015 NZST
No position sent.
Weather: 2SE, 100%cc, 21C

Kadavu


Sat Jul 4 9:52 2015 NZST
Run: 4.2nm (7.6km)
18 50.790s 178 24.905e

Second week at Kavalu Bay, Kadavu. Lots of time pottering on boat, doing stuff with the people of the bay; visitors on the boat, playing music, lunch at the chief's house, taking his son in-law sailing, he taking David fishing, going to church for the singing, lots of cooking local food. Front coming through tonight from tropical cyclone Raquel (over Solomons). Hope we are well positioned. In good health now.

Cheers Janet and David


I really enjoy your postings. . . . A former brother-in-law, Kaliopate (known as Kalio) Tavola is from the Kadavu group, if I remember correctly. If you get this before you leave ask about where the Tavolas' may be found. He married Helen who is my first wife, Sylvia,'s sister. Still friends with them all. Kalio used to be the Fiji Foreign minister adn before that had many years in Britain and Belgium in ambassadorial roles . . . He and Helen are still in Fiji but visit here regularly. Charles

Glad to hear you're both well again, playing music and enjoying yourselves. Sounds like a lot of fun. Are the locals teaching you a few new songs? Or are you teaching them Wagon Wheel? ;-)
Sat Jul 4 7:31 2015 NZST
No position sent.
Weather: 90%cc, 8N, 1007, 23C

They seem to have taken residence here so Kavalo must be a good place


Mon Jun 22 7:21 2015 NZST
No position sent.
Weather: wind 5 knots northerly, 100% cloud cover, showers, barometer 1007 :position 18 58.900s 178 25.131e Moved to Kavala Bay yesterday. Had a local family onboard for afternoon tea and we sang songs to each other. Off to do Sevusevu and explorethe village and surrounds this morning. We are both fully functioning now and life is so much better. No internet at moment but I can now pick up emails through Sailmail (Shadowmail) so please send news of home to janet.nixon551@gmail.com. Blog posts about Suva and Ono to come when in full range. Cheers Janet

anchored


Hi there, we're travelling right along with you. Love your stories. Cheryl and Ian
Sat Jun 20 7:39 2015 NZST
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)
18 53S 178 28E
Weather: easing wind, 14E g20, 100%cc, shwrs, 1013

Bula! I hope you're enjoying the warmth you two. You're not missing anything in NZ apart from floods in the north, record snowfalls in the south and gales in Wellywood. Hope you are both feeling better. Take care and have fun.
Mon Jun 15 8:22 2015 NZST
Run: 52.8nm (95.6km)
18 53.212s 178 27.775e

Janet, June 14 We are out of Suva at last. Anchored at Ono in Astrolabe Reef north of Kadavu. Had a very brisk and bouncy passage down from Suva. Very gusty here, hope it settles down. Like being at Chaffers Marina in Wellington. David is now down with the cold and I am almost recovered. Even went snorkling with the neighbours, Clark Gable, this afternoon. We are mostly out of internet range for the next week or two.


Thu May 28 13:43 2015 NZST
18 07.402s 178 25.467e

Just got back to Suva. Went to nearby Nukulau island to try and give Piet a few days island R&R but David and I were both sick and not much fun. Made me feel homesick. We are dropping Piet off tomorrow and will anchor in a nearby bay to recover fully and then hopefully next week will be the beginning of our wonderful tropical experience. Still got a few bugs in our phone systems but will sort tomorrow. After Suva plan to go south to Kadavu, then East to the Lau group. All very remote and will be largely out of range for possibly a couple of months.


Sun May 24 10:40 2015 NZST
Run: 0.2nm (0.4km)
18 07.402s 178 25.467e

We made it! 13 days at sea. We arrived at Suva Harbour on Thursday, exhausted but happy. Its been a very busy time here doing official stuff and reprovisioning.

A huge thankyou to those who posted comments while we were at sea. It was a great joy to have them come flooding in when we hooked up to local internet.

Our Fiji phone numbers are Janet +679 8016862, David +679 8016882. If there are any good calling deals going give us a call or text.

Tomorrow we head to Beqa Island nearby to give Piet an island holiday for a few days before he heads back to NZ on Friday.

I'll get started on the blog when we are anchored in a white sandy bay. More soon.

x Janet


Bula! I hope you've caught up on your sleep and are feeling pretty proud of yourselves. Well done. I look forward to reading some of your tales of adventure in the near future. cheers and don't drink too much kava.

Emagrecer com saúde e desafio de sustentar peso. https://www.70lifepoints.com/activity/p/72469/

Congratulations you two! Fantastic stuff. You can do it!!! Enjoy that sandy beach when you find it. By the way, I'm was at Ginny's 70th dinner last night in Days Bay, and Roy was there too, and there was lots of talk of you and your adventure. Lots of love John
Thu May 21 7:35 2015 NZST
Run: 40.7nm (73.7km)
Avg: 20.2knts
24hr: 485.4nm
18 07.440s 178 25.274e
Weather: 15SE

Suva in sight so a good sleep coming


such great news. I could finally visualize where you are! Enjoy the wonderful fresh fruit and veges

Fantastic! Rest well & great explorations ahead. A cool, wet, windy, hot soup (broccoli & blue brie) soup day in Welly:)!

Hi you lot. Trying again .Welcome to the end of your trip.Well donexxxPrue(Piet's Sister)
Thu May 21 5:35 2015 NZST
Speed: 5.1knts
Run: 134.2nm (242.9km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 150.1nm
18 35.522s 178 47.851e
Weather: 18-20knts E, 20% cloud cover, bar 1012, mod sea, 2 m swell

nearly there. Can see the loom of Suva and a light on Kadavu but won't officially see land till dawn in an hour or so. Yay last night watch for a while. I'm over it for now.


Wed May 20 8:07 2015 NZST
Speed: 5.4knts
Run: 49.4nm (89.4km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 166.9nm
20 31S 179 04E
Weather: 12SE

Wed May 20 1:01 2015 NZST
Speed: 6.6 even with double reef (we reef down at night as we can't see the squalls coming)knts
Run: 118.2nm (213.9km)
Avg: 6.5knts
24hr: 155.7nm
21 13.761s 179 07.878e
Weather: Easterly 15, 2m swell, 100% cloud cover, bar -1014 steady

Hoping for Suva tomorrow. Cottage Pie for lunch with avocado and tomato salsa. One zucchini left and a few stubborn hard kiwifruit. Bring on the markets.


It has been great reading your blog posts and is hard to believe that you will be sunning yourselves in Fiji tomorrow. I yearn for a holiday,me specially in the Pacific Islands. Good to hear the trip went well. Enjoy your shower, cold beers and relaxing island pace for a while. best wishes liz & Ron
Tue May 19 6:48 2015 NZST
Run: 114nm (206.3km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 116.9nm
22 54.346s 179 29.683e

Its 6am and my watch again. Surely I just got to bed, but no, I reluctantly drag myself back on deck. I feel like I've been partying all night and got involved in brawl on the way home.

We left Minerva Reef yesterday bound for Suva in a lumpy malevolent swell. We have 269 miles to go to Fiji. I while away my watch dreaming of a long sluicing shower, cold beer and a crunchy salad on the deck of the Suva Yacht club, then lying in a bed that is not moving, and sleeping all night, uninterrupted.

Meanwhile back to current business. Wind 12 knots SSE, course 288T, cloud 60%, occasional squall,bar: 1013.7, 3m swell, lumpy, speed 5.7.

Click on link above to see where we are and leave a comment. It will be lovely to arrive and get messages from home.


Lesley and I are following your brave journey and wish you a safe passage o Fiji. love Hilda

Cheers David & Janet, Just got in from the Victoria Day weekend in Muskoka. Lovely weather and calm waters! Both boathouses on Chiefs are still closed up. We opened last weekend and Jeff dunked in a few times 55F . . . too chilly for me! Daffodils are in full bloom. It was the quietest long weekend that we can remember. Lots of fireworks on the mainland last night, celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday. Julie and her friend Scott were visiting having returned on Friday, from two weeks in Hawaii. Jim & Carol got home this morning from their honeymoon in Bora Bora . . . married May 2nd. Fiji is looming! Hang in there! Bula! Love Joan & Jeff

Perfect timing to leave Minerva. Enjoy the champagne sailing conditions forecast to Fiji. 15-20kts SE. Regards, Roger.
Mon May 18 7:23 2015 NZST
Run: 0.4nm (0.7km)
23 39.721S 178 54.59W
Weather: 20-30 and swell

rolly at high tide


Hi. Good to hear you are safe and happy. Weather will ease over the next 36hrs and continue from a S to SE direction. Nothing sinister on the forecast so enjoy the hop to Fiji. Regards from Roger and Sherrell (Loose Cannon).
Mon May 18 6:47 2015 NZST

Still at Minerva. Waiting till the wind and sea eases a bit to head to Fiji. Haven't been able to get on the reef as its been too rough and windy. Spent yesterday studying weather, and doing domestics and maintenance. Last night's menu: roast kumera, potato and garlic, suateed chicken tenderloins with dill, and zucchini Provencale. Down to the last bits of green veg now.

Wind 24 to 30 knots, cloud cover 60%, bar 1012


Sun May 17 1:08 2015 NZST
Run: 0.4nm (0.7km)
23 39.460s 178 54.290w

Janet It's midnight and I'm on anchor watch. So much for getting my first full night's sleep in a week. Arrived at Minerva Reef yesterday morning in bright sunshine but by evening a large black front was upon us. We'd been aiming to get here before it hit. Encircled by an almost 360 degree reef we only get the wind and not the rough seas. On anchor watch we constantly monitor our position to check for any dragging of the anchor. We have a GPS alarm set. This morning we swam in turqoise water that caressed our weary bodies, then had the first shower in a week, and are nice to be near again. I cooked from scratch serving up an olive and tomato pasta with green bean and carrot salad.

Click on the link above and zoom right in to see the tiny lagoon we are in.


Sat May 16 7:44 2015 NZST
Run: 97.1nm (175.8km)
Avg: 6.7knts
24hr: 161.4nm
23 39.721S 178 54.59W
Weather: 10NW 50%cc

at entrance to Minerva. Good conditions


Fri May 15 17:18 2015 NZST
Run: 38.2nm (69.1km)
Avg: 3.9knts
24hr: 94.5nm
24 44.960s 179 53.176w

COG 34T. Speed 5.8 under motor, wind 12 N, 60% cloud cover - mackerel sky, bar 1010.2. ETA Minerva 0900 sat, give or take.

Minerva Reef in the morning, all going to plan. Slow upwind slog these last couple of days but ooooooh, it's warm. We're looking forward to having a few full nights sleep without all this rocking and rolling. And to experience the weirdness of putting our anchor down in mid ocean. Smorgasbord of curries yesterday and today - prep for Fiji. Piet says 'Hi Hazel'.


Fri May 15 7:36 2015 NZST
Speed: 6.9knts
Run: 92.5nm (167.4km)
Avg: 3.9knts
24hr: 92.8nm
25 16S 179 54E
Weather: NE25 down from 30 o/n, 1011.8, 40%cc

88m to Minerva


Ahoi! We do read your comments even if we don't write... awesome progress! Well done! Enjoy the warm climate as we are really having winter approach here with forceful rains... Keep tied up and make sure your dinghy is tied up too ;-) With love from us to you. Stephan
Thu May 14 7:40 2015 NZST
Speed: 7.6knts
Run: 39.6nm (71.7km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 147.3nm
26 35S 179 38E
Weather: 20%cc, E5, 1014

hdg to N Minerva


Great to follow your progress (and menu). We are having filthy weather here - you will be very glad to be out of Wellington Piet as they are taking a pounding not to mention flooding.

Your progress looks wonderful. you are inspiring me to think bigger. All the best. Enjoy Minerva and a good sleep. DT and will be in Capital Magazine shortly! An article on liveaboards at Seaview Marina. Will send link when published.
Thu May 14 1:13 2015 NZST
Run: 222.5nm (402.7km)
Avg: 6knts
24hr: 144.2nm
27 07.430s 179 25.354e

Its midnight out here, motoring through an inky black calm sea, under a starry sky. There is no wind. A gentle breeze is our ideal as we had all day yesterday, but I'll put up with no wind compared with 30-40 knots and a bucking sea we had last night (Wed night). We use this email to report our conditions to Gulf Harbour Radio who we check in with each morning: No cloud, wind 5 knots variable, barometer 1013,course 14, speed 5 knots, aiming for Minerva Reef, ETA Friday or Saturday. And its warm, no more cumbersome wet weather gear. We'll probably cross the dateline today.

Yesterday we had chilli con carne for lunch complete with platter of accompaniments, sour cream, limes, cheeses, avo, lettuce etc.

I look forward to Minerva - anchor down, sleep all night, company, there are a number of other boats sailing at this latitude, many heading for Minerva. Click on link above and send your comments which we will get on arrival.

Cheers Janet


don't do what Kathy (sails with Fantasia) did at Minerva - paddle off in the dinghy, wind gets up so strong they nearly didn't make it back to yacht! Have fun, let us know about the snorkelling/ diving there.
Tue May 12 12:11 2015 NZST
Run: 25.2nm (45.6km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.4nm
30 00.770s 177 48.271e

After motoring for 27 hours we're sailing fast over easy seas. It's getting warmer - light clothes on night watch. Almost half way to Minerva. Great passage. Thai chicken curry for lunch today, our main meal.


Tue May 12 8:03 2015 NZST
Speed: 5.5knts
Run: 118.8nm (215km)
Avg: 8knts
24hr: 190.9nm
30 15S 177 29E
Weather: NW 10, clear skies

TX for radio now sorted and loud and clear at GHRadio. All well


Mon May 11 17:07 2015 NZST
Run: 165.8nm (300.1km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 134.2nm
31 42.339s 176 25.049e

Flat calm and motoring. Sunny, warm and, apart from the engine, very pleasant. Moroccan chicken with rice and crunchy salad yesterday. Cottage pie with carrots and cauliflower with hollandaise sauce today. Yum! Click on the link above to see Navire's position.


Have a safe journey and all the best - oh and the oven works a treat by the way

All the best to you both. We will watch your blog with interest. Keep safe guys and enjoy the journey. Very envious! Enjoy! Kind regards Liz & Ron Ives
Sun May 10 11:28 2015 NZST
Run: 118.4nm (214.3km)
33 58.335s 175 28.833e

Twenty four hours at sea and all good. Light winds and slow going but this journey has begun. Next stop Minerva reef, in about 6 days time. Who can say when next we'll have our feet on NZ soil? Piet, our ever cheerful and willing crew, will be home at the end of the month.


looking forward to hearing your stories, Hope you have safe travels. We were out racing on Celebrity yesterday in the Lowry Bay rum regatta. Good fun but hard work so feeling battered and tired today. Looking forward to much more cruising on Celebrity than racing in the future! Take care

Congratulations. May you have many wonderful adventures and stories to tell.

Congratulations to you both and all the very best for a wonderful trip. Happy and safe sailing . . . xxx

Janet - go you! The maddest of all Mad Ladies! And David, you get to be an honorary Mad Lady for this wonderful adventure!! Keep us posted. Safe travel and fair weather. Much Love, Shelley

I am green with envy. May you have fair winds and sunny skies for as much of the journey as possible!

Pages

Sat Apr 25 16:21 2015 NZST
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)
35 16.388s 174 07.482e

Eight days till the first day we can cast off for the thousand mile trip to Fiji. Piet, our friend and trusty crew member, arrives on May 3 and we take the first good weather window after that. A promising passage prognosis is leaving on the back of a low pressure, just after a front has gone through, with a high pressure following it, ensuring winds from a favorable direction.

We have our CAT1 clearance, customs forms filled in, charts sorted, grab bag on the ready, and I'm filling any available space with food next week. We settle on the Rawene house on Wednesday. Its all very exciting and a bit scary too.

I'm sending this on Sailmail, an email system that transmits through our single sideband radio. I'm practicing for transmitting at sea.

Janet


Sun Apr 19 7:30 2015 NZST
Run: 36.3nm (65.7km)
35 16.388s 174 07.569e

Happy birthday David! David is 65 today. Call or text him on 0274253529, or email on davidmason400@gmail.com.

We're having a small celebration aboard today with cake and candles.

Cheers Janet Bay of Islands


happy Birthday David, have a great new year! Cheers Titus & Nicole
Wed Apr 15 13:09 2015 NZST
Run: 36.3nm (65.7km)
35 23.999s 173 30.128e

How did this happen? We?re aground on a acre section in Rawene. Heard of Rawene? Cute town. Sweetest village in the north. We?ve gone mad and bought 2 McDonell St. We weren?t long in warmer waters before we realized we were not going back to Wellington. But where then would we be when we finally swallow the anchor? We found ourselves idly looking at properties on Trade Me and one thing led to another. Be assured, we still leave for Fiji in May.


Rawene on the Hokianga
Rawene on the Hokianga
Rawene
Rawene
Houose
Houose
McDonell St. Our property on the right
McDonell St. Our property on the right

OMG That is so amazing. good on you! what a lovely spot to return home to. Xox

Wohoo! THis must be the year of the move. Angus and I are moving to Prince Edward County in June. One property sold. The other undergoing some serious renos with the hope of listing for sale by the end of April. And oh yes, me with a broken right wrist, just to make things interesting. Will send out email with full update to Mason clan as soon as the slave driver stops beating me!
Thu Mar 26 12:14 2015 NZDT
Run: 7nm (12.7km)
35 16.447s 174 07.608e

> Settled in at Russell for a while doing boat jobs. My phone is not picking up service so if anyone wants to call or text use 0274253529. Cheers Janet


Mon Mar 23 18:18 2015 NZDT
Run: 33.6nm (60.8km)
35 14.389s 174 14.585e

> Arrived at Bay of Islands this afternoon. Sloppy seas on coast on the way up. Been out of range at Whangamumu for a couple of days. Navire looking gorgeous with her clean bottom and polished topsides after the hard yakka in the yard at Whangarei. Just had a swim, still swimming in late March! Click on the link above to see where we are. :-) Janet >


Mon Mar 16 6:16 2015 NZDT
Run: 56.1nm (101.5km)
35 43.32s 174 19.33e
Weather: 40 knots, rain

Cyclone Pam is coming ever nearer. Apparently the worst will be here tonight. We are perched on props in a boat yard in Whangarei, preparing the boat to get CAT1. Its wet and windy out. The decks are clear, everything is tied down and now we just have to wait and see what happens. We are tucked up inside Navire, our antifouling completed yesterday. Back in the water tomorrow if its not too windy, then we'll head downriver and wait for the five metre seas to subside to head out to for a jaunt up north before coming back here at the beginning of April.

Send messages! xx Janet


Cyclone Pam
Cyclone Pam
Navire and her new coat
Navire and her new coat
Sat Feb 28 17:06 2015 NZDT
36 25.655s 174 49.162e

> > > > Life is very good up here in the north. We are moored at Waiheke Island on our way to Whangarei to haul out and start our CAT 1 process (certification to be able to leave NZ shores). I have temporarily abandoned trying to catch the blog up. Auckland was a huge whirl of social occasions, navigating the busy roads after not driving for two months, and major shopping excursions. > Three days turned into two weeks then we slipped our lines and first stop Waiheke. Spectacular island hospitality yet again. With first breeze sailed up here (very few breezes here this summer, makes for many worry free nights on anchor.) May, when we plan to head north to Fiji, is coming around fast.

> Keep up the emails to janet.nixon551@gmail.com, the connection with home is very important to us.

> To see where we are look in the 4th line down in this email, where there is a line that says Link. Click there to get map.

> xx Janet and David >


Stocking up at Waiheke
Sat Feb 28 17:06 2015 NZDT
Run: 28.8nm (52.1km)
36 25.655s 174 49.162e

> > > > Life is very good up here in the north. We are moored at Waiheke Island on our way to Whangarei to haul out and start our CAT 1 process (certification to be able to leave NZ shores). I have temporarily abandoned trying to catch the blog up. In short since we left Tryphena Harbour on Great Barrier Island we sailed up to Smokehouse Bay at Port Fitzroy where we spent about 10 days painting the decks. Moved into the Port itself, hired a car and explored the island. The next day was a trip musical highlight. Post coming from David shortly on that. Much drinking done with another cruising boat then a 10 hour sail to Auckland to get on with getting ready for trip. Auckland was a huge whirl of social occasions, navigating the busy roads after not driving for two months, and major shopping excursions. > Three days turned into two weeks then we slipped our lines and first stop Waiheke. Spectacular island hospitality yet again. With first breeze sailed up here (very few breezes here this summer, makes for many worry free nights on anchor.) May, when we plan to head north to Fiji, is coming around fast.

> Keep up the emails to janet.nixon551@gmail.com, the connection with home is very important to us.

> To see where we are look in the 4th line down in this email, where there is a line that says Link. Click there to get map.

> xx Janet and David >


Stocking up at Waiheke
Wed Feb 18 9:34 2015 NZDT
Run: 45nm (81.5km)
36 48.40s 175 02.02e

Settled in at Putiki Bay at Waiheke Island. So much happening that haven't had time to do post blogs since arriving at Great Barrier Island. Barrier was three weeks of meeting excellent people, exploring, music, and painting of decks. Had very kind offers of Westhaven berth and use of a car so headed to Auckland for three days and stayed two weeks. Got lots done in preparation for Fiji cast off in May, some planned, some unplanned. Back to painting decks and meeting more good people here going before north next week or whenever the wind comes in. Maybe back to Barrier or Whangarei. Blog posts coming soon. All is well on board.


Sat Jan 17 16:16 2015 NZDT
Run: 40nm (72.4km)
36 12.04s 175 19.87e

We are settled at Smokehouse Bay at Great Barrier Island doing a long overdue deck painting job and resting up from our hectic social life. From here we go back to Waiheke visiting, Auckland visiting and boat stuff, then Whangarei to haul the boat out and start the CAT 1 process for leaving NZ. More blog posts soon. :-) Janet


Mon Jan 5 8:42 2015 NZDT
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)
36 30.687s 174 43.477e

Janet is very appreciative of one of you drawing her attention to our coordinates east of Japan. She hadn't, until then, realised that we had taken this journey and is now, thanks to you, tickled pink recalling the adventure.


Ah. She tells me that this is not the correct interpretation of pink. She suggests 'chagrin' and has shamefacedly conceded that, in the arcane language of coordinates, E does not come before S. I have taken it upon myself to reverse these letters and you will see that history has been rewritten. We have not had a recent adventure in the North Pacific. Never have. And the sooner this is accepted the better things will be all around.


Wed Dec 31 11:22 2014 NZDT
Run: 74.7nm (135.2km)
36 26.26s 174 49.42e

Anchored at Kawau Island north of Auckland. No weather pressure at last. In an open anchorage recommended for settled weather and weve been here two nights without having to run! Last night played music and ate great food with friends from Obsession that we met sailing in Tonga. Had two Christmases that couldnt be beat, one at Waiheke and one in Auckland. Here for a few days then heading out to Great Barrier Island.


Mon Dec 15 6:49 2014 NZDT
Run: 25.2nm (45.6km)
37 02.91S 175 56.15E

Hunkered down off Slipper Island in rain and wind. Uncomfortable surge in the bay. Strong gusts. Too rough to get to shore. We thought we had left this weather behind in Wellington. Janet has made a batch of onion jam and one of cucumber pickle. I serviced the diesel heater and created wall mounts in the workshop for my and tenon and hack saws.


Thu Dec 11 10:44 2014 NZDT
37 18.425S 176 15.542E

Tuhua (Mayor Island). That archetypal safe haven, droolingly beautiful. Thick with pohutakawa, blushing red. Margaritas in the warm evening sun to mark our first anchorage of this voyage.


Navire - navire - 701 Jun 2017

Passage Log 1 Majuro to Wallis At last time to get some posts up about our 1500 mile passage from the Marshall Islands to Wallis, from the northern hemisphere back to the south. Currently we are in Savusavu in Fiji. *** Day 1 April 25, 2017 Janet Position: Majuro Up at dawn, battonning down everything that might fly around the cabin if we fall off a big wave. We were leaving Majuro in the Marshall Islands after a 15- month sojourn. Boarding ladder up, dinghy secured, food ready for snacks and Read more...

watch meals. I still felt like we could have been better prepared even though fellow sailors in the fleet sagely told us, "You are never completely ready to leave, just go". There were still final tasks to be done but I was psychologically ready to leave, ready to head down to the familiar South Pacific, ready to start our long journey home. I turned the engine on. Motoring gently forward we dropped the mooring that we had been safely secured to for over a year, and turned toward the west. Karen, now one of my dearest buddies, from the yacht Seal, blew on a hooter, and another boat called farewell. Yet more goodbyes came through the VHF. We were seen off properly. I felt sad about leaving the community we'd developed in our time on this tiny atoll. We motored the dozen miles across the lagoon to the pass in light winds and overcast conditions. Before heading out to the ocean we raised the main, shaking out half a year of dust from the sail. We followed a track on our chart out through the well-marked pass, we'd it laid on our incoming journey like the trail of slime a snail leaves in its wake. Just as well because at the very moment we entered the narrow gap in the reef the skies opened up, reducing visibility considerably. I felt rushed and a little anxious. I always do when we set out into the empty endless unknown planes of the ocean. I knew we wouldn't see land for at least a fortnight. I get anxious about the inevitable seasickness and tiredness that I know I will have to endure. Anxious about having to cope with squalls that pounce on the boat with their payload of sudden high winds and downpours, necessitating quick action reducing sail. I'm not a good sailor anyway and in the six months since our last outing I felt like I had forgotten the little I knew. Also this was our longest passage, and with just the two of us. Out in the ocean it was bit breezy so we put a reef in the main. To get east of Majuro atoll we were hard on the wind, bouncing through the waves. Conditions were 'Lumpy' as David wrote in the log. We got around the top of the atoll into the passage between Majuro and the neighbouring atoll Arno, and had Chinese takeaways for lunch on a more comfortable angle. Then the wind died. The wind dying is often not a gradual process where the boat slows down then you turn on the engine. No, it plays with you. Teasingly it flickers in and out. You adjust the sails or the course then the speed suddenly increases and whammo the boat is facing in the opposite direction, or heeled hard over, then it dies again, up and down till eventually the boat just wallows. Now, no wind. Nothing. So engine on. Turning the engine on at the beginning of a 1500 mile passage is no lightly made decision. We don't carry enough fuel to motor that distance. However sometimes motoring just a few miles can get you into an area of more wind, a good strategic move. And sure enough an hour later the wind kicked in, 10, 15, up to 23 knots by the wee hours of the night, so we switched the engine off and saved our precious fuel. Good run day one, 141 miles. Mostly in the right direction. *** Day 2 April 26 Position 5 53.013n 172 48.994e No squalls overnight but put a second reef in the main as the wind speed was 20- 25 knots all day. Chinese takeaways for lunch again. Eat, sleep, on watch, keep us on course. In my case, survive. David is doing just fine. But I'm feeling nauseous. All I want to do is sleep. But the environment is not conducive to it. One of us is always on watch, day and night. We watch for ships, but we hardly ever see one, in our thousands of miles of passages we have seen less than a dozen. We watch for squalls. Lots of these in this region. We watch the course, wind shifts and currents can change our heading. We watch the sails, adjusting them up and down and in and out, responding to the ever changing wind speed. Off watch we try and sleep in our sea berths in the main cabin. At sea the bow goes up and down over each wave making it too rough to sleep in our usual bed in the V berth. If you read any literature on sleep it recommends a cool, dark, quiet environment to get the best rest. Well its hot below, over 30 degrees C. =46rom time to time waves crash on the cabin top so most of the time we keep all the hatches closed. And its far from quiet. Waves crash on the hull, sometimes the wind howls and from time to time the engine roars into life, or the radio. The bunks have lee cloths to catch you as the boat rolls with each wave. Oh, yes, the sleep books say seven to eight hours is ideal. At night we do six hour watches so get five hours sleep in a row, if we are lucky. 128 miles today. Not bad. *** Day 3 April 27 Position 3 46.261n 174 22.051e This lowly crew-member is not in good shape. I'm nauseous, tired and injured. Late last night I was standing by the chart table when a larger than usual wave hit the boat. I crashed into the solid stainless steel bar that surrounds the stove and bruised my ribs. Now its painful to do anything with my left arm and I can't lie on that side. The sky is clear and sunny but the wind is blowing 25-30 knots and its pretty bouncy out there right now. Navire is happy though, in her element, she is leaping over the waves. Its hot, 30 degrees. And not likely to get any cooler as we get closer to the equator. I'd like to get my energy back so I can function and cook and eat. When I move I just want to head for the rail and throw up. My ribs hurt and g-forces from each wave threaten to smash me into something again. So I sit here checking the horizon every so often, making sure there are no ships, and keep us heading south-east. The chart table seems a 100 miles away. Every hour I make a supreme effort and go down and do the log. Then I dash back out, hook myself on, check the horizon and slowly recover.=20 David is on the foredeck. One of the skylights above the V-berth is leaking and our bed and all the stuff stored on it is drenched in salt water. Lovely. David is wearing a harness, clipped onto the jackline, naked. Mmm. I'm trying to make lunch. One trip down to put water on to boil noodles. Another to put the noodles in the pot. When they are done I add a prawn takeaway into it. I have no appetite but I make myself eat. It helps. On my watch we ran out of wind altogether and I turned the engine on. I know, I know, we can't motor all the way but it means we can get some easting and charge the batteries that are worryingly underperforming. 141 miles again. Powering along. ***=20 Day 4 3am April 27 Position: 0 52.604n 176 07. 317e Just endured a big squall that lasted quite a long time. We were all over the place - the wind increased and changed direction, and now the sea is rough. Took a few waves over the bow and one in the cockpit. But now I've got us pointing south-east again. I snuggle back into my dry(ish) corner in the dodger and dream. I'd like a double bed. No, make that queen size, and crisp clean cotton sheets. No salt, no sweat. And a bath. Oh yes, with scented oils, and the room lit with candles. The wind could howl outside my solid house and I wouldn't worry about going off course, reefing sails, or the anchor dragging. But for now we are out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I don't think I'm going to get much dozing this watch. You never know when the next squall is going to hit. I'm just going to give the wind vane another click to port. Less than a thousand miles to go now. Today we cross the equator. In another few days, the dateline. I mentally calculate our arrival time - if we are covering about two degrees a day, and Wallis is at 13 degrees south, we'll arrive in six or seven days. I feel salty and smelly. My hair is going into dreads. I think I'll have a shower today. Ah the joys of sailing. David is doing just fine by the way. He's much hardier than me. =20 =20 =20 =20

Navire - navire - 1703 Apr 2017

=20 Abaiang, Kiribati, One degree north of the equator December 22, 2015 (Posted from Majuro, April 2017) Abaiang, Abaiang. A destination to linger at, not a port of call on the way to somewhere else. I longed to stop awhile somewhere. Till then our journey had consisted of three or four day ocean passages between atolls. No sooner than we=E2=95=92d put the anchor down we were straight into provisioning, fueling up and watching weather for the next leg. But Abaiang was one day=E2=95=92s sail Read more...

from Tarawa, the main island of Kiribati. It had no main port, or supermarkets or gas stations. A place just to visit. *** The previous morning we upped anchor and followed our path back out through the coral of Tarawa harbour. Despite the forecasted wind not arriving we motored north equipped with letters from Immigration and Customs giving us permission for a ten-day stay at Abiang, an atoll just north of Tarawa. A puff of wind skittered across the glassy surface prompting David to put out the spinnaker and turn the engine off. The wind toyed with us for a moment then dropped to 1.5 knots. The spinnaker drooped so down it came. Motor back on as we had to get to Abaiang on time for high tide to have enough depth to go through the pass into the lagoon. We had five hours to make 20 miles. We had crew. On our truck outing around Tarawa we=E2=95=92d fallen in love with our driver Tietau and his wife Meriin. We=E2=95=92d visited their very simple little house in Betio, home to their large extended family, and shared Kiribati food with them. It transpired that Merriin=E2=95=92s parents lived on Abiang, along with her much missed five-year old son. When we offered them a ride up there for Christmas they jumped at it. *** =E2=95=A5We are moving away from the equator,=E2=95=99 I said with delight. =E2=95=A5We may have to use a blanket at night,=E2=95=99 David quipped. Yeah right, I thought, as another rivulet of sweat ran down my back. The blankets were staying stowed till we got back to Fiji the following year. We put Tietau to work grating coconuts and in no time he produced three jars of rich cream. He paused for a cigarette then David had him back straight on the next task. =E2=95=A5Your job is to catch us a fish,=E2=95=99 he instructed. Tietau happily obliged and played the line. I went forward to join Meriin on the bow. She was feeling a little queasy. She told me,=E2=95=A5I woke up this morning and said to Tietau =E2=95=98We=E2=95=92re going on the yacht today.=E2=95=92=E2=95=99 I was delighted that they had been excited as us about the prospect of travelling with on Navire. =E2=95=A5My parents don=E2=95=92t know we are coming,=E2=95=99 she said. =E2=95=A5And they certainly won=E2=95=92t be expecting us to arrive on a yacht.=E2=95=99 She was looking forward to seeing her five- year old son who lived on Abaiang with his grandparents. Long oily swells passed under the hull, but my stomach behaved, as it had all the way from Fiji. I=E2=95=92d had two months of no seasickness over several ocean passages. Now I just needed to nail sleeping well at sea. Headsail up, headsail down, motor on, motor off, the hours passed. =20 I spotted the low profile of Abiang on the horizon. All the islands in the area were less than three metres above high tide. But no one we spoke to seemed particularly concerned about rising sea levels, but there was plenty of evidence of it happening with significant amounts of seawall building activity going on. I longed for a good nights=E2=95=92 sleep. I knew Abiang would be calmer than Tarawa, less fetch likely. But I hadn=E2=95=92t solved the bug problem. At this stage I didn=E2=95=92t know how tenacious the bloody things were and that four months later I would still be trying to eradicate them. The culprits were like very large fleas. That night I caught two on my body, bloated with blood. *** The deck was too hot for us to eat breakfast outside. We had to be careful not touch any of the brass trim on the deck or it burned our flesh. I looked at the clouds on the horizon, peppered with squalls. We could do with one now, I thought, I would stand naked on deck and get drenched with fresh water. But the squalls passed us by. The sea was the deepest royal blue. So calm I could see perfect reflections of the puffy white clouds scattered along the horizon. I checked the fishing lines. Mmmm, looks like pasta for dinner, I thought. The engine rumbled on. Sweat trickled into my eyes. The water in the pass was so clear it looked very shallow. We kept checking the depth gauge to reassure ourselves the bottom was indeed several metres below us. Anahata, one of our fleet, volunteered to go through first and wove her way through the coral bombies, the rest of us following close behind, heading down to Tanuau at the southern end of the atoll, Meriin=E2=95=92s parents=E2=95=92 village. It was very shallow near shore so we had to anchor a long way out. We all dived in for a swim, first one in weeks not having wanted to risk our lives swimming at Tarawa. Chuck declared us the Polar Bears Club =E2=95=A8 maybe a North American thing, as swimming at Xmas is in mid-winter. The water is glorious. We finished the day with drinks on Free Spirit. Now that=E2=95=92s the cruising life. After a blissful calm night=E2=95=92s sleep, not being eaten by insects for a change, Chris from Anahata came by in a dinghy providing a taxi ride to shore. Before we even hit the shore Merriin was on the beach to greet us. We hugged like old friends. Wow, this place was super traditional. Every structure was made of local materials, thatched rooves, cooking fires, and even a sleeping platform out over the tide. No corrugated iron, water tanks, barely any modern building materials. =20 David We were ushered along a couple of logs to their over-water bungalow, recently completed. This was a thatched platform suspended about ten feet above the water, carpeted with pandanus mats and cooled by the breeze. Constructed entirely from local materials, lashed together with coconut fibre twine, it was utterly romantic. Just like the bungalows at Likiulikiu without the crisp sheets. We'd seen structures like these at a high end Fijian resort which, with the addition of crisp sheets and a mattress, were let for $NZ2200 per night. Janet On shore we met Merriin=E2=95=92s mother and father, the father had a little English, the mother none, and her gorgeous five year old son. Our arrival was obviously expected and lunch was served immediately. We sat out in the hut on poles above the lagoon. Crayfish arrived, crabs, fried fish, local sweet kumera, fresh coconuts to drink, and the ubiquitous rice. We imitang (white people) ate first, as custom dictates, with our fingers. We learn =E2=95=98kangkang=E2=95=92, delicious. We joked and laughed and the waves crash on the shore under us. We didn=E2=95=92t notice the wind building. We start making arrangements. Merriin explained that they have their Christmas meal on Christmas Eve day and go to church Christmas morning. We had been trying to work out a way we can return their hospitality. I asked if it was okay if we brought food to share to a meal, and Merriin shakes her head. But Lauri is more persistent and explained =E2=95=A5We haven=E2=95=92t got room to host a meal for you on any of our boats but could we bring a meal in on Christmas Day.=E2=95=99 =E2=95=A5Yes=E2=95=99, said Merriin, =E2=95=A5but only if we can supply the plates and do the dishes.=E2=95=99 No argument from me on that score. Back at the anchorage, Navire was bouncing. So much for a period of respite, I wanted tranquility, just a few days, please. *** I sit here in the cockpit and type. Just had a shower in preparation to go to Free Spirit for belated Christmas strategy meeting with Lauri and Berringer. God I=E2=95=92m sweating already. Navire is bucking on her anchor. This is not a good anchorage in this wind but we are committed to Christmas here now. If the wind continues from the north we=E2=95=92ll go and join Clara Catherine at the north end of the lagoon, several hours away. I want peaceful days and nights, calm swimming, no noise of wind, or concerns about dragging. No points for guessing what the weather did=E2=95=94 =20

Visiting Teitau and Merrin
Expert on the job
Fish for lunch?
Not a breath of wind
Meriin on the foredeck
Teitau and Merriin's mum
Traditional dwellings
Kitchen
Our dining room
Local food
Water supply
Lunch
The first night

Navire - navire - 2304 Mar 2017

Kiribati first impressions 01 22.067n 172 55.684e See updates from YIT December 2015 (Posted from Majuro March 2017) *** Just in case anyone thinks we are still on our way to the Marshall Islands, these posts are about our trip north in 2015. I'm still getting up to date. A quick summary of the interim time is that we arrived in Majuro in January 2016 and shortly thereafter decided to settle here for a year. Its now March 2017 and we are again preparing to go to sea, to head back to the glorious Read more...

South Pacific. I will get the upward journey posts up to Majuro, then jump to our journey south, hopefully interspersing this with posts about our time in Majuro. *** Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas), our first northern hemisphere landfall. Check out our position - 01 22.067n 172 55.684e December 17, 2015 David email to friend: What caught my eye on first gazing around our anchorage was the amount of rusting steel. I counted a couple dozen wrecks in various stages of decay. They were scattered on the reef to the west, on the foreshore of the town, and in the sea all around us. These were the visible ones. What wreckage lay beneath the surface? The holding in Tarawa was good but if you look at the atoll and where the main centre, Betio, is you'll see it's exposed from the east through north to WNW. Its a long fetch across the lagoon and a vicious chop is the norm, at least both times we were there. Our little dinghy actually managed it quite well but we always got soaked in unswimmably filthy water, generally had to bail and often felt in danger of being swamped. The dinghy tie-up area is even more filthy still and backs onto a rubbish tip so the air is disgusting. There is a road resurfacing project in which stage one, the removal of all old tar, was complete but no sign of a new surface. In the dry there was a cloud of dust and in the wet vast mud puddles to be forded. Driving is a slow business of avoiding potholes, which is impossible, and carefully easing your vehicle into and out of endless craters. An unpleasant place to be. *** Janet Yes it was a challenge for our little dinghy. Launching it was difficult with trying not to bash it against the side of the boat, scarring the hull. Motoring in to shore was not too bad but coming back into the waves was damp and dangerous as we were usually heavily laden with food, and diesel. Unloading was a nightmare. The land was dusty. It was hot and we sweated and struggled in the heat, leaking fluids by the gallon. Yet there was a certain vibrancy there. There were people everywhere in the streets, walking, unlike in Tuvalu where almost everyone was on a motorbike. And they were active, building the new road, building seawalls (lots of evidence of global warming), shopping, going places. *** We were a fleet of eleven yachts by then. I'll introduce you as these people had been our constant companions since Tuvalu and would be till we joined the larger fleet in Majuro Free Spirit, Lauri and Chuck, American, only together a year, and recently married. Delightfully and refreshingly in love. Anahata - David, South African but now resident in Canada, photographer, Crew - Chris, southern American gentleman from Virginia. Exodus - Deanne and Tim American aeronautical engineers, and their teenage boys Brendan and Alex Eos II - brave little Australian boat. Slade and Lahnee and their two very small and very gorgeous daughters Kiani and Ahia Kai. True Blue V - Australians Leanne and Craig Menkar - crazy French Giles and his professional online gambler son Sylvan Skua - French Paul, Aussie/French Berrenger and her lovely four-year old son Ulysses Clara Catherine - Americans Amanda and Brian (piano accordion player) Arial IV - Swedish, Eric, fleet doctor, and Bergitta Catharpin Blue - Marylin and Sam, American who we never managed to meet up with en route but they were in our daily radio net. Stella - Canadian Bob who we later visited in Victoria =20 We looked out for each other. People gave us rides in to land when the sea was too rough, and we shared information on what to buy where. The group shared a truck to immigration, and went out for dinner together. What a great chance to get to know people for more than five minutes. *** David Janet arranged a tour of the atoll for four yacht crews, on the back of a truck. One couple had the foresight to bring squabs which made all the difference. An absolute highlight. Our driver, Tiitau, pronounced Sitau - s is represented as ti - and his wife, Meriin, were special. They had good English, understood our wishes and did everything in their power to see that these all came true. Fresh produce and eggs, scarce on the island, were at the top of our wish list and we returned with fresh limes, bok choy, pumpkin, bananas, fresh basil, drinking coconuts, pawpaw but no eggs. We never tired of returning the enthusiastic waves of children, open mouthed at a truckload of Imitang, white people driving along the island's one road. At the end of the road not far past the airport we waded thigh deep to the next islet, Tiitau's home island. He explained the custom of visitors brushing their faces with sand, the gesture representing a joining with the new land. Faces suitably adorned we enjoyed a superb lunch of local ingredients, most dishes based around a seafood. No one was disappointed. Meriin and Tiitau, whom we had to arm-twist to join us for lunch, sang a local song in beautiful harmony so, of course Janet and I responded with Tu Tira Mai. We reveled in a couple of hours of textbook island paradise: thatched table looking out over turquoise coral palm-fringed foreshore on to a rippling cobalt sea, mysterious islets in the misty distance. Magnificent food, congenial company. Before crossing back to the truck we were shown through a boat-building yard - all wood construction of vessels ranging from local interisland launches, canoes, to a large trimeran for an Australian client. OSH would close the place in a heartbeat. The skies opened up on the homeward journey. We all got happily soaked and pleasantly cooled. Everyone's number one day in Kiribati. =20 =20 =20

Betio anchorage
dinghy tie up
heading off to clear in with customs and immigration
Fresh eggs
Tiki tour of Tarawa
Causeway
roadside houses
little market
church
fish farm

Navire - navire - 2303 Mar 2017

Kiribati first impressions TE 01 22.067n 172 55.684e See updates from YIT December 2015 (Posted from Majuro March 2017) *** Just in case anyone thinks we are still on our way to the Marshall Islands, these posts are about our trip north in 2015. I=92m still getting up to date. A quick summary of the interim time is that we arrived in Majuro in January 2016 and shortly thereafter decided to settle here for a year. Its now March 2017 and we are again preparing to go to sea, to head back to the Read more...

glorious South Pacific. I will get the upward journey posts up to Majuro, then jump to our journey south, hopefully interspersing this with posts about our time in Majuro. *** Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas), our first northern hemisphere landfall. Check out our position - 01 22.067n 172 55.684e December 17, 2015 David email to friend:=20 What caught my eye on first gazing around our anchorage was the amount of rusting steel. I counted a couple dozen wrecks in various stages of decay. They were scattered on the reef to the west, on the foreshore of the town, and in the sea all around us. These were the visible ones. What wreckage lay beneath the surface? The holding in Tarawa was good but if you look at the atoll and where the main centre, Betio, is you'll see it's exposed from the east through north to WNW. Its a long fetch across the lagoon and a vicious chop is the norm, at least both times we were there. Our little dinghy actually managed it quite well but we always got soaked in unswimmably filthy water, generally had to bail and often felt in danger of being swamped. The dinghy tie-up area is even more filthy still and backs onto a rubbish tip so the air is disgusting. There is a road resurfacing project in which stage one, the removal of all old tar, was complete but no sign of a new surface. In the dry there was a cloud of dust and in the wet vast mud puddles to be forded. Driving is a slow business of avoiding potholes, which is impossible, and carefully easing your vehicle into and out of endless craters. An unpleasant place to be. *** Janet Yes it was a challenge for our little dinghy. Launching it was difficult with trying not to bash it against the side of the boat, scarring the hull. Motoring in to shore was not too bad but coming back into the waves was damp and dangerous as we were usually heavily laden with food, and diesel. Unloading was a nightmare. The land was dusty. It was hot and we sweated and struggled in the heat, leaking fluids by the gallon. Yet there was a certain vibrancy there. There were people everywhere in the streets, walking, unlike in Tuvalu where almost everyone was on a motorbike. And they were active, building the new road, building seawalls (lots of evidence of global warming), shopping, going places. *** We were a fleet of eleven yachts by then. I=92ll introduce you as these people had been our constant companions since Tuvalu and would be till we joined the larger fleet in Majuro Free Spirit, Lauri and Chuck, American, only together a year, and recently married. Delightfully and refreshingly in love. Anahata =96 David, South African but now resident in Canada, photographer, Crew =96 Chris, southern American gentleman from Virginia. Exodus =96 Deanne and Tim American aeronautical engineers, and their teenage boys Brendan and Alex Eos II =96 brave little Australian boat. Slade and Lahnee and their two very small and very gorgeous daughters Kiani and Ahia Kai. True Blue V =96 Australians Leanne and Craig Menkar =96 crazy French Giles and his professional online gambler son Sylvan Skua =96 French Paul, Aussie/French Berrenger and her lovely four-year old son Ulysses Clara Catherine =96 Americans Amanda and Brian (piano accordion player) Arial IV =96 Swedish, Eric, fleet doctor, and Bergitta=20 Catharpin Blue - Marylin and Sam, American who we never managed to meet up with en route but they were in our daily radio net. Stella =96 Canadian Bob who we later visited in Victoria We looked out for each other. People gave us rides in to land when the sea was too rough, and we shared information on what to buy where. The group shared a truck to immigration, and went out for dinner together. What a great chance to get to know people for more than five minutes. *** David Janet arranged a tour of the atoll for four yacht crews, on the back of a truck. One couple had the foresight to bring squabs which made all the difference. An absolute highlight. Our driver, Tiitau, pronounced Sitau - s is represented as ti - and his wife, Meriin, were special. They had good English, understood our wishes and did everything in their power to see that these all came true. Fresh produce and eggs, scarce on the island, were at the top of our wish list and we returned with fresh limes, bok choy, pumpkin, bananas, fresh basil, drinking coconuts, pawpaw but no eggs. We never tired of returning the enthusiastic waves of children, open mouthed at a truckload of Imitang, white people driving along the island=92s one road. At the end of the road not far past the airport we waded thigh deep to the next islet, Tiitau's home island. He explained the custom of visitors brushing their faces with sand, the gesture representing a joining with the new land. Faces suitably adorned we enjoyed a superb lunch of local ingredients, most dishes based around a seafood. No one was disappointed. Meriin and Tiitau, whom we had to arm-twist to join us for lunch, sang a local song in beautiful harmony so, of course Janet and I responded with Tu Tira Mai. We revelled in a couple of hours of textbook island paradise: thatched table looking out over turquoise coral palm-fringed foreshore on to a rippling cobalt sea, mysterious islets in the misty distance. Magnificent food, congenial company. Before crossing back to the truck we were shown through a boat-building yard - all wood construction of vessels ranging from local interisland launches, canoes, to a large trimeran for an Australian client. OSH would close the place in a heartbeat.=20 The skies opened up on the homeward journey. We all got happily soaked and pleasantly cooled. Everyone's number one day in Kiribati.

Betio anchorage
dinghy tie up
heading off to clear in with customs and immigration
Fresh eggs
Tiki tour of Tarawa
Causeway
roadside houses
little market
church
fish farm

Navire - navire - 1302 Mar 2017

Putting aside the grounding, my memory of Nanumea, from this distance, is the flies.

Never before or since have we been so tormented. The other memory, especially from

this distance, is how Polynesian it was. This became evident only once we had passed

through the portal into Micronesia. I remember remarking to Janet almost immediately

we stepped ashore in Betio, Tarawa, "This is different. This is very different."

Up to Betio we had been sailing in a Polynesian Read more...

world, Fiji included. New Zealand

included. Our previous offshore passage too. All Polynesian. You'll be saying that Fiji is

Melanesian, which it is, but Fijians have rubbed shoulders with Tongans and Samoans

for hundreds of years. Some things rub off. The Lau Group, that enchanting string of

Islands to the east of Viti Levu, is arguably more Polynesian than Melanesian, more

Tongan than Fijian. Either way, in hind sight, we had been living in familiar territory

with familiar sounds, a familiar feel. At the time, of course, we didn't see it that way.

Each island, each new place was exotic and different.  But looking back from Micronesia,

it was all Polynesian, Nanumea as much as any. We had little of the language but we had

an understanding of how things were done. We could make assumptions and be

somewhere in the ball park.

After Nanumea it was a different world. Not least of the differences is where NZ stands

in their world. In the Polynesian world New Zealand, in tandem with Australia, is the Big

Smoke, the place to aspire to. Saying we were from New Zealand elicited a brighter eye,

a recognition and more often than not, a story of family down there or a powerful desire

to go there. Not so in Micronesia. In these islands the Big Smoke is the US.  Few aspire to

visit New Zealand, fewer still have been.  It's not on their radar. Its mention elicits no

gleam in the eye. New Zealand is just another country.

Different too is the manner in which Micronesians and Polynesians occupy their bodies.

How they move - their presence. To us, Polynesians often display a recognisable grace

and style in the movement of their, generally, very large bodies. Think Jona Lomu. 

Kailopa, a Tuvaluan, had that grace of movement in spades. Despite a crook knee and

very painful elbow, he could move.  I saw him dance on Kioa. You'd never know he was

in pain. His feet barely moved. Economy of movement.

Micronesians we've met are smaller, more compact. They have no more feel for rhythm

and song than we do.  Gone is the broad open face of the Polynesian.  But, as

everywhere, they are happy to meet, generous and gracious. 

Navire - navire - 702 Mar 2017

Nanumea to Kiribati THIS TIME WITH PICTURES Crossing the equator Dec 8, 2015 (posted from Majuro Feb 2017) Janet The bloody sails are flogging. We are in the light winds of the equatorial region. Dusk is falling. I wipe the sweat off my body with a wet flannel, carefully conserving our fresh water in case we can't catch any more before we get to the Marshalls. And did we sweat today. We very nearly didn't get far beyond Nanumea. *** You will have read David's piece on what is etched into our psyches Read more...

as "The Grounding". Like him, at the time I had this clear thought "This is it, this is what its like to run aground, what now?" but before I had a chance to catastrophise and start imaging what it is like to lose your boat on a remote atoll, we were afloat again. *** "You know how we don't normally drink alcohol on passage, " I said to David, once we were underway again. "I think this deserves a couple of vodka shots." David wisely declined. Later on the radio I checked out the idea with Brian, on Clara Catherine, who had seen the grounding from inside the lagoon. "I'd have drunk half the bottle," he said. I agreed, but settled for a cup of tea and a piece of ginger crunch. *** 0100 Dec 9th Oh I hated being wrenched from my bed in the dead of the night. It took me a bleary half hour to settle into the beauty of the night, to start to enjoy the stars and the glorious solitude. I hadn't slept well. It often took time to get into the watch rhythm, and I was itching like a child with chicken pox. Wearing a life jacket and nothing else I reflected on the day's events. We were bloody lucky. Grounding at low tide you always have the chance of the tide to float you off, but grounding at high tide is nearly always fatal, leaving you permanently high and dry. Our trip would have been over. We'd have to have got everything off our boat, then I guess get it on a local ferry and back to Tuvalu. Then what? By ship to Fiji, and another from Fiji to New Zealand. It was too much effort to go down that track with all its grief. I settled for a big dose of gratitude for being able to continue on our way. Lightning and squalls danced on the horizon. Sailing at 4.5 knots and on course, yahoo. Five hours to go till my next bunktime. *** 0500 - Journal excerpt Oh what a glorious night watch. Steady 10-12 knots of wind all night. Tossing up whether to wake David at 6 or leave him a bit longer. At last he sleeps. He was up at 0400, The Grounding on his mind. But I couldn't sleep on my 6-12 off watch period and I'm cross-eyed with sleepiness, and so so itchy, so I vote for waking him on time. 280 miles to go. Divided by 3 =3D 90, about three days. Dawn is splendid and so was a night without squalls. *** 0900 As soon as I wake I look out for the other boats. How many? I can only see Carla Catherine on our starboard side, travelling at the same pace as us. We have a light easterly ghosting us along on flat seas. Slept for three hours. Bliss. Woke feeling rested at last. Its nice out here on the ocean, the day hasn't heated up fully yet. But there is always a chance we are taking on water after The Grounding. We keep checking the bilge. All good so far. On my night watch I started planning for our next port of call - Tarawa in Kiribati. Menus so I can work out shopping for a month till we get to Majuro. Fill gas, water, get to a bank, and very urgent get to internet. I have stuff bouncing in my bank, and am dying to see my email, my umbilical chord to New Zealand. *** 1530 The day started at 30 degrees and just got hotter. I constantly wash myself down. I'm still being eaten alive. David is dozing in the cockpit, probably dreaming about The Grounding. So far no water in the bilge. We are motoring again. David put up the spinnaker as a geniker, a beautiful big blue thing but there wasn't even enough breeze to hold that up. However I'm grateful for an absence of squalls. I'm tired, but its only day one out of five. Savusavu takeaways for lunch with shaved carrot and apple Thai salad. The less ingredients I have the more creative I get. One carrot left and a few leaves of cabbage. What else can I do with cabbage? Broke out some of the frozen brownie. The bilge is staying empty. *** Thursday 11 Dec Champagne sailing. We've heard about this phenomena, and can now report it happens. We've had gentle breezes and settled seas for over 24 hours. The breeze is pushing us along at three to four knots. The sun is out. A pod of 20 dolphins escorted us for a while this morning. I made a chili for lunch with a tin of Spam, tin of black chili beans, and a tin of tomatoes. Salads was, yes, cabbage again, but with apple and onion, and another with some chopped up soft coconut, capsicum from a jar and lemongrass paste. Carla Catherine are sailing along next to us. Nice to be out in the vast ocean but have someone we can call up and chat to. We talk to everyone else on the net at 0830 each the morning. "Its so different to sailing to New Zealand," I said to David, "to know we are not going to definitely get clobbered by a front with high winds." There is always a chance of squalls though. This leg has been remarkably free of them. I touch the varnished cockpit edge. The most wonderful thing is I've not had an iota of seasickness on this leg. I feel normal. So this is why other people enjoy sailing passages. We chat idly, planning Christmas, renovations at Rawene, and what we are going to do when we cross the equator. I am one of the few amongst the fleet who hasn't crossed by boat before. I have a bottle of wine in the fridge in preparation. Alas it is still wine, we haven't seen a bottle of bubbly for months. How I will doubly appreciate good old Lindauer when we get back to New Zealand. There's lots of things I'll appreciate - fast internet, the range at supermarkets, my god we are so well served, good cheese, New Zealand wines. I won't enjoy the cooler temperatures and having to wear clothes most of the time. And oh yes I'll enjoy unlimited fresh water and long showers But meanwhile, I am contented. Really. *** December 12 (I think) 200 miles to go to Tarawa and about 100 to the equator After two dream days we are bouncing through the sea in 17-20 knots of wind. Too rough to write emails or watch movies. But its still nothing on the New Zealand passage conditions. Only got about three hours sleep, but we have two more nights to go so hopefully that will improve. I'm still being eaten by something. I slather myself with insect repellant and make David sleep in the most infested bunk, as the beasts don't seem to bother him. On the subject of bugs the cockroaches are taking over. Its depressing. Two and a half hours to go. Up till now I've had relaxing night watches, pampering myself, a movie, emailing. But tonight I've only read, and only with one eye, the other on the wind instrument and the sails. I've already accidentally tacked once, had to start the engine to get back on course, and then couldn't get the windvane set up again. David won't be happy. It'll be light in an hour. I got an email from my son Harry. I'm delighted that he is talking about doing an electrical apprenticeship. *** Next morning in the cockpit, I say to David "I thought the champagne sailing would go on for ever" "So did I" he rues. We jerk up and down as Navire gallops to windward. It's a gorgeous summer's day but I'm too tired to enjoy it. I feel seedy but have not had a drop of alcohol for days. We trawl the lines but some bloody beast is eating our lures. No fish. I fantasise. Imagine getting a tuna. Sashimi, seared steaks, tuna coconut soup... In 18 hours we will cross the equator, then Sunday we arrive in Tarawa. I check off the hours in the log book. *** David had a plan for the crossing of the equator, me being the initiate and him already a member of the guild by having done it in 1963 on a ship with his parents. All morning we watch the latitude numbers tick down. We don our outfits, me my canary yellow dress, my best despite the mildew that adorns the front of it. David drapes himself in his favourite Maori sarong and Asian hat with a selection of my plastic tikis around his neck. At the chart table David lines the camera up to catch the moment when the GPS says 00 00 001s but it rattles past and before he can click the shutter and the northern hemisphere numbers begin to climb rapidly. He snaps a shot of the boat crossing the line on the electronic chart. Time for my dunking. Out on the bow I strip, David takes great delight in sluicing me with a bucket of seawater. Back in the cockpit I pour a glass of wine and David sets up the computer to read The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner in its entirety. What better place surely? But nature has its own ideas. A squall bears down on us and we shut the hatch and reef the headsail. It passes, David continues the salty tale. The wine is Chilean crap and doesn't do justice to the occasion. I want a second glass but no, I need to be a responsible crew person. Lastly we do an incantation to the sea Gods Neptune, Poseidon, and Tangaroa. and thank our trusty vessel. I pour a tot of rum in the sea for luck, in the style of the eighteenth century sailors. "Coming up here has been much tougher and more intrepid than I expected," I muse.=20 "Me too" David agrees. Going to New Zealand for the summer would have been a much easier option, despite the difficult passage down there and back. The weather behaves differently up here. Mostly we ignore the windspeeds on the gribs (forecast charts). I find the wind directions moderately accurate but the speed always under reads, which is good up here as the gribs usually forecast very light winds. Its remote. There's hardly any land up here. Just a few isolated communities that get a supply ship every so often. I feel vulnerable after The Grounding. In New Zealand we would have immediately sailed somewhere and hauled the boat out to repair the damage to the keel. We check the bilge, fingers crossed. =20 Monday Dec 14 Still tired, but safely at anchor. Well relatively. David counted 14 wrecks, mostly on the reef right behind us. We hoved to on the fifth and last night of our passage to wait for daylight to traverse the pass into Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati. Dawn finally came and we hadn't drifted far. "Tarawa Radio, Tarawa Radio, this is EOS II. We would like to enter Tarawa Harbour." We hear our Aussie friends preparing to enter the pass. Tarawa Radio replies and instructs them to enter. "Tarawa Radio, Tarawa Radio, this is Free Spirit..." The fleet was arriving, they'd been hoved to around us in the dark, waiting for dawn. Our tired convoy negotiated the harbour buoys and dropped anchors near the wharf in choppy water. And went to bed.

Dolphins at the bow
King Neptune
The initiate
crossing the line
GPS reading

Navire - navire - 502 Mar 2017

Nanumea to Kiribati Crossing the equator Dec 8, 2015 (posted from Majuro Feb 2017) Janet The bloody sails are flogging. We are in the light winds of the equatorial region. Dusk is falling. I wipe the sweat off my body with a wet flannel, carefully conserving our fresh water in case we can't catch any more before we get to the Marshalls. And did we sweat today. We very nearly didn't get far beyond Nanumea. *** You will have read David's piece on what is etched into our psyches as "The Grounding". Read more...

Like him, at the time I had this clear thought "This is it, this is what its like to run aground, what now?" but before I had a chance to catastrophise and start imaging what it is like to lose your boat on a remote atoll, we were afloat again. *** "You know how we don't normally drink alcohol on passage, " I said to David, once we were underway again. "I think this deserves a couple of vodka shots." David wisely declined. Later on the radio I checked out the idea with Brian, on Clara Catherine, who had seen the grounding from inside the lagoon. "I'd have drunk half the bottle," he said. I agreed, but settled for a cup of tea and a piece of ginger crunch. *** 0100 Dec 9th Oh I hated being wrenched from my bed in the dead of the night. It took me a bleary half hour to settle into the beauty of the night, to start to enjoy the stars and the glorious solitude. I hadn't slept well. It often took time to get into the watch rhythm, and I was itching like a child with chicken pox. Wearing a life jacket and nothing else I reflected on the day's events. We were bloody lucky. Grounding at low tide you always have the chance of the tide to float you off, but grounding at high tide is nearly always fatal, leaving you permanently high and dry. Our trip would have been over. We'd have to have got everything off our boat, then I guess get it on a local ferry and back to Tuvalu. Then what? By ship to Fiji, and another from Fiji to New Zealand. It was too much effort to go down that track with all its grief. I settled for a big dose of gratitude for being able to continue on our way. Lightning and squalls danced on the horizon. Sailing at 4.5 knots and on course, yahoo. Five hours to go till my next bunktime. *** 0500 - Journal excerpt Oh what a glorious night watch. Steady 10-12 knots of wind all night. Tossing up whether to wake David at 6 or leave him a bit longer. At last he sleeps. He was up at 0400, The Grounding on his mind. But I couldn't sleep on my 6-12 off watch period and I'm cross-eyed with sleepiness, and so so itchy, so I vote for waking him on time. 280 miles to go. Divided by 3 =3D 90, about three days. Dawn is splendid and so was a night without squalls. *** 0900 As soon as I wake I look out for the other boats. How many? I can only see Carla Catherine on our starboard side, travelling at the same pace as us. We have a light easterly ghosting us along on flat seas. Slept for three hours. Bliss. Woke feeling rested at last. Its nice out here on the ocean, the day hasn't heated up fully yet. But there is always a chance we are taking on water after The Grounding. We keep checking the bilge. All good so far. On my night watch I started planning for our next port of call - Tarawa in Kiribati. Menus so I can work out shopping for a month till we get to Majuro. Fill gas, water, get to a bank, and very urgent get to internet. I have stuff bouncing in my bank, and am dying to see my email, my umbilical chord to New Zealand. *** 1530 The day started at 30 degrees and just got hotter. I constantly wash myself down. I'm still being eaten alive. David is dozing in the cockpit, probably dreaming about The Grounding. So far no water in the bilge. We are motoring again. David put up the spinnaker as a geniker, a beautiful big blue thing but there wasn't even enough breeze to hold that up. However I'm grateful for an absence of squalls. I'm tired, but its only day one out of five. Savusavu takeaways for lunch with shaved carrot and apple Thai salad. The less ingredients I have the more creative I get. One carrot left and a few leaves of cabbage. What else can I do with cabbage? Broke out some of the frozen brownie. The bilge is staying empty. *** Thursday 11 Dec Champagne sailing. We've heard about this phenomena, and can now report it happens. We've had gentle breezes and settled seas for over 24 hours. The breeze is pushing us along at three to four knots. The sun is out. A pod of 20 dolphins escorted us for a while this morning. I made a chili for lunch with a tin of Spam, tin of black chili beans, and a tin of tomatoes. Salads was, yes, cabbage again, but with apple and onion, and another with some chopped up soft coconut, capsicum from a jar and lemongrass paste. Carla Catherine are sailing along next to us. Nice to be out in the vast ocean but have someone we can call up and chat to. We talk to everyone else on the net at 0830 each the morning. "Its so different to sailing to New Zealand," I said to David, "to know we are not going to definitely get clobbered by a front with high winds." There is always a chance of squalls though. This leg has been remarkably free of them. I touch the varnished cockpit edge. The most wonderful thing is I've not had an iota of seasickness on this leg. I feel normal. So this is why other people enjoy sailing passages. We chat idly, planning Christmas, renovations at Rawene, and what we are going to do when we cross the equator. I am one of the few amongst the fleet who hasn't crossed by boat before. I have a bottle of wine in the fridge in preparation. Alas it is still wine, we haven't seen a bottle of bubbly for months. How I will doubly appreciate good old Lindauer when we get back to New Zealand. There's lots of things I'll appreciate - fast internet, the range at supermarkets, my god we are so well served, good cheese, New Zealand wines. I won't enjoy the cooler temperatures and having to wear clothes most of the time. And oh yes I'll enjoy unlimited fresh water and long showers But meanwhile, I am contented. Really. *** December 12 (I think) 200 miles to go to Tarawa and about 100 to the equator After two dream days we are bouncing through the sea in 17-20 knots of wind. Too rough to write emails or watch movies. But its still nothing on the New Zealand passage conditions. Only got about three hours sleep, but we have two more nights to go so hopefully that will improve. I'm still being eaten by something. I slather myself with insect repellant and make David sleep in the most infested bunk, as the beasts don't seem to bother him. On the subject of bugs the cockroaches are taking over. Its depressing. Two and a half hours to go. Up till now I've had relaxing night watches, pampering myself, a movie, emailing. But tonight I've only read, and only with one eye, the other on the wind instrument and the sails. I've already accidentally tacked once, had to start the engine to get back on course, and then couldn't get the windvane set up again. David won't be happy. It'll be light in an hour. I got an email from my son Harry. I'm delighted that he is talking about doing an electrical apprenticeship. *** Next morning in the cockpit, I say to David "I thought the champagne sailing would go on for ever" "So did I" he rues. We jerk up and down as Navire gallops to windward. It's a gorgeous summer's day but I'm too tired to enjoy it. I feel seedy but have not had a drop of alcohol for days. We trawl the lines but some bloody beast is eating our lures. No fish. I fantasise. Imagine getting a tuna. Sashimi, seared steaks, tuna coconut soup... In 18 hours we will cross the equator, then Sunday we arrive in Tarawa. I check off the hours in the log book. *** David had a plan for the crossing of the equator, me being the initiate and him already a member of the guild by having done it in 1963 on a ship with his parents. All morning we watch the latitude numbers tick down. We don our outfits, me my canary yellow dress, my best despite the mildew that adorns the front of it. David drapes himself in his favourite Maori sarong and Asian hat with a selection of my plastic tikis around his neck. At the chart table David lines the camera up to catch the moment when the GPS says 00 00 001s but it rattles past and before he can click the shutter and the northern hemisphere numbers begin to climb rapidly. He snaps a shot of the boat crossing the line on the electronic chart. Time for my dunking. Out on the bow I strip, David takes great delight in sluicing me with a bucket of seawater. Back in the cockpit I pour a glass of wine and David sets up the computer to read The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner in its entirety. What better place surely? But nature has its own ideas. A squall bears down on us and we shut the hatch and reef the headsail. It passes, David continues the salty tale. The wine is Chilean crap and doesn't do justice to the occasion. I want a second glass but no, I need to be a responsible crew person. Lastly we do an incantation to the sea Gods Neptune, Poseidon, and Tangaroa. and thank our trusty vessel. I pour a tot of rum in the sea for luck, in the style of the eighteenth century sailors. "Coming up here has been much tougher and more intrepid than I expected," I muse.=20 "Me too" David agrees. Going to New Zealand for the summer would have been a much easier option, despite the difficult passage down there and back. The weather behaves differently up here. Mostly we ignore the windspeeds on the gribs (forecast charts). I find the wind directions moderately accurate but the speed always under reads, which is good up here as the gribs usually forecast very light winds. Its remote. There's hardly any land up here. Just a few isolated communities that get a supply ship every so often. I feel vulnerable after The Grounding. In New Zealand we would have immediately sailed somewhere and hauled the boat out to repair the damage to the keel. We check the bilge, fingers crossed. =20 Monday Dec 14 Still tired, but safely at anchor. Well relatively. David counted 14 wrecks, mostly on the reef right behind us. We hoved to on the fifth and last night of our passage to wait for daylight to traverse the pass into Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati. Dawn finally came and we hadn't drifted far. "Tarawa Radio, Tarawa Radio, this is EOS II. We would like to enter Tarawa Harbour." We hear our Aussie friends preparing to enter the pass. Tarawa Radio replies and instructs them to enter. "Tarawa Radio, Tarawa Radio, this is Free Spirit..." The fleet was arriving, they'd been hoved to around us in the dark, waiting for dawn. Our tired convoy negotiated the harbour buoys and dropped anchors near the wharf in choppy water. And went to bed. =20 =20 =20 4 =20

Navire - navire - 2802 Feb 2017

Nanumea's Last Goodbye DAVID I have to write this piece because it was my fault. There's no way round it. Nanumea still had the unexpected waiting for us, held back for the very last moment of our time there. A day before leaving we tried lifting our anchor. One or two others had had great difficulty with chain wrapped around the many coral heads out of sight below our boats. Sure enough we too could not get free. Sylvan, off the French boat, Menkar, dove to free our chain. He had phenomenal breath Read more...

holding ability, easily two minutes while doing heavy manual labour twenty metres down. The following day five of the fleet lined up to run through the pass. Free Spirit were first out, holding their breath the whole way through the narrow, shallow channel. Anahata and True Blue V followed and then it was our turn. The tide had turned and was running into the lagoon against us, so I gave her quite a bit of throttle and we picked up speed as Navire slid into the narrow opening. At the outer end of the pass the gap seemed to be widening. We were all but out. I spied a much lighter shade of turquoise indicating a shallower patch and eased Navire just a little to starboard. Almost immediately the channel face loomed up a couple of feet under our starboard bilge and I turned Navire a little to port. At the same time the bottom front of the keel struck hard. Navire heeled forty degrees to starboard amidst the incredibly loud sound of heavy fibre glass tearing on an unyielding coral ridge. Janet who had been standing in the companionway was hurled across the cockpit. Navire's twelve tons was stopped in an instant although the awful grinding noise continued. I took the engine out of gear not wanting to push our home any further onto the reef. We perched there at an alarming angle grinding ever more of our keel to dust and just long enough for the thought "so this is how it ends" to pass through my mind. Navire then slid to port, the mast came upright and we found ourselves bobbing in the channel. I engaged the engine and motored into blessedly deep blue Pacific Ocean. The whole dramatic moment lasted less than a minute, the longest of my life. The VHF radio burst into life. Clara Kathryn and Skua, in the channel a little behind, were concerned for us and alarmed for themselves. Just what had we hit? Would they hit it too? They both exited safely and stopped close to us as I readied to dive under Navire. In the water I fumbled with flippers and mask, my heart still racing, my mind a blur of anxiety, shame and fear. There was a sizable gouge in the bottom, forward edge of the keel and a scar along its full length. Most single hulled yachts have several tons of lead bolted to the bottom of their keel which is in turn is bolted to the hull. An impact such as Navire suffered would have put enormous strain on those critical keel bolts. But Navire has her lead encased in the heavy fibreglass keel which is an integral part of the ship, not a separate attachment. Still I searched for cracks or any other sign of structural damage but could find none. Thankfully the keel was the only part of the boat that made contact with the coral. The rudder and bilges were unscathed. There seemed little sense in retreating to the shelter of Nanumea lagoon. Other than the ugly scar, the boat seemed fine. She was not taking on water. The keel was not about to fall off, nor was the boat about to sink. Tarawa, in Kiribati, less than three days away, was a better bet for hauling Navire if it came to that. For the next few weeks we would be watching for water in the bilge hoping to be reassured that I had not caused damage sufficient to pull our house out of the water. In the mean time we set our sails and headed north. =20

Ready to leave Nanumea through the pass

Navire - navire - 2602 Feb 2017

Nanumea 05 40.314s 176 07.071e December 3, 2015 (Posted from Majuro February 2017) Janet We made it. Outside the reef of Nanumea atoll, 300 miles north of Funafuti, we faced a line of breaking water at the head of the pass into the lagoon. Just in front of us was Tim, from Exodus, who'd come out in his dinghy to guide us in. They had entered the lagoon earlier in the week. The waves at the entrance threatened to push us onto the coral, but the pass was well marked and we worked out where to go. Read more...

As we motored in I looked over the side and could see the bottom, its clarity making it look only a couple of feet deep. I held my breath. We dropped anchor amongst the fleet in a tranquil location, flat sea, shelter all around and a village on shore. Surely a safe haven. Despite the early hour we decided a beer was in order. The cap was barely off the bottle and Deanne , Tim's wife, came alongside on her paddleboard to say hello. She was filling us in on life at Nanumea when the VHF crackled into life. "Northbound Fleet, Northbound Fleet, Free Spirit, Free Spirit, we need help. We have run aground at the entrance to the pass." said Lauri in a shaky voice. The magnitude of the event took a while to hit. We felt disbelief. It was a beautiful calm day, not the kind of day for something serious to happen. =20 "Free Spirit, Free Spirit this is Exodus, we will be out immediately." Came the reply moments later from Tim back on Exodus. They had a dinghy with a big outboard. Big enough to try and pull the yacht off the reef. Several other dinghies joined them. But not us, as our tiny motor would be more a hindrance than a help. Later we learned that on shore people ran for their boats and headed to the pass to help out. I was just beginning to think this was a fatal grounding, that Chuck and Lauri's Pacific trip was over, when we heard on the radio that they were off the reef, floating again. Later on, over a much needed drink, in the cockpit of Free Spirit, the still visibly shocked crew related their tale to us. They had been just about to enter the pass, well lined up with the outer marks, when Wham! A wave picked their yacht up and dumped it on the reef, forcing it onto its starboard side. "It was like hitting a brick wall," said Chuck. "For a moment I wondered if we were in the right pass," he continued. Later when they reviewed their chart they could see a bend in their track where they were picked up by the wave and bodily moved sideways onto the reef. The hull banged on the coral several times as waves came and went. The boat was so far over on its side that the starboard rail was underwater. "Radio for help," Chuck told Lauri. Five minutes later Tim turned up in his dinghy, but with no ropes.=20 "That boat is not coming off," Paul, who'd been with Tim, told us later. This was his first thought when he saw Free Spirit lying on her side on the reef, at high tide. "Grab a rope out of the lazarette," Chuck told Lauri, a difficult job with the boat on a steep slope. Heeled over so far meant there was no water getting into the engine to cool it but Chuck bravely carried on, gunning the engine each time a wave came over the reef. Then a slightly larger wave lifted them back into the water. A miracle. Grounding at high tide is usually certain doom. Later I snorkeled under their boat, and could see ragged aft end of the keel. There but for the grace of God I thought. Prematurely. It could have been any of us. And indeed it was to be. *** We spent a little time in the village. First we searched out Melee and her family who are Teamone's cousins. Teamone was Kailopa's brother-in-law and dear friend from Funafuti. They gave us a sack full of drinking coconuts. Chilled, their contents are a glorious thirst quenching nectar. We took Melee's four kids out to the boat. They peeked into every space in wonder. On Sunday I went to church with Exodus. The building was enormous, and ornate. One of the interesting and sad things about religion in much of the Pacific, is that is so Anglicised, all the trappings and traditions the same. Only the language is different. Even the plastic flowers were roses and carnations. The singing though was awesome, one woman in the choir should have been in Carnege Hall. Unusually the island only had one religion. We've been to many villages with four or five different denominations and churches for about 250 people. However this could have a dark side. The weekly ship from Funafuti arrived and a huge crowd was waiting to leave on her. A local woman told us that many of the people were being deported because they were the wrong religion. I've yet to verify this. Despite this atoll being a place to break the journey to Kiribati I don't recommend it to other sailors. The anchor snagging bombies gave most boats anchoring problems, and the flies were interminable. They pestered us from dawn till dusk. We had to cover the entrance to the cockpit with mosquito net, put mesh on all the hatches and live mostly inside. And we won't mention the pass. =20 *** With a fleet of nine we had a built in social life. We had music sessions with Brian and Amanda on Carla Catherine, dinner at Free Spirit, drinks on Exodus. When this group started getting together people would turn up with peanuts and popcorn. I would turn up with a delicacy; cheese with my various pickles, yes even tasty cheese is a treat up here. Even the kiwi onion dip was a hit. Then the other night I made gougons of tuna with Parmesan aioli. It elicited oohs and ahhs. I have been hoarding the last of my Best mayonnaise for just this kid of occasion. However not to be outdone, the food offerings from the other boats improved noticeably. *** =20 1300, Dec 8 "What time is lift off?" I asked. "10 minutes, we may need some time to get the anchor up," said David. We were on the cusp of heading out to sail 500 miles to Kiribati. We were a fleet of five. The rest of the boats had left the previous day. On the radio we joked about meeting at the start line, this side of the pass. Who will go through first, I wondered. I didn't think it would be Free Spirit after their reef encounter last week. Would we all make it through safely?

entering the pass
very shallow
safely through
The boys chatting
Visitors

Navire - navire - 1603 Feb 2017

Tuvalu to Nanumea December 1, 2015, (Posted from Majuro January 2017) *** Dec 3, 2015 Janet journal We left Funafuti several days ago after rushing around getting final provisions and food. Clearing immigration and customs, we then had a leisurely lunchtime beer at the pub with the remaining fleet crews. Back at the boat we raised anchor, motored across the lagoon, and headed out through the wide northern pass into the long smooth ocean swells. Day one out was pleasant with a reasonable amount Read more...

of sailing, the winds generally light. But day two was just not Janet's day. I was hot. I was very tired. I was struggling to sail the boat in the light fluky winds. My whole body was covered in itching red infected patches. A brigade of sandflies (so I thought) from Funafuti had hitched a ride. They'd wait till I was asleep before they began their nightly feasting. After a while the intense itchiness woke me and I scratched and scratched with no relief, then sleep came no more. My bum looked like it had been used for target practice. Then my back gave out. I just wanted to go home and lie down, somewhere quiet and still, and have a good cry. To have someone hold me and assure me everything was okay. Also to take off my sticky red spotted skin and don a sleek, cool, clean one. *** We 'd decided to try six hour watches at night so we could get at least five hours sleep in a row. I was noticing a pattern on my watch. I was wakeful for the first three to four hours, 12-4ish, then really sleepy for an hour or so, then came right till dawn. Trouble is I hadn't got the hang of sleeping from 6-midnight when I was off watch. We had other hitchhikers besides the 'sandflies'. At dusk last night two large birds took up residence in the rigging, one perched right on top of the mast. They were still there at midnight when I came on watch. I popped down below to check the chart and heard a squawking sound in the cockpit. I came back up to see one of the birds sitting on the lazarette. Inside the stern rail. I yelled at him but he didn't budge. Grabbing the boat hook I tried to prod him gently towards the sea. He wasn't having it and started flapping around the cockpit. I squealed and leapt out of the way of his long sharp beak. My shrieks woke David and he came out and did battle. It was awful. The bird just wouldn't go and we couldn't leave him in the cockpit. I grabbed another pole and we both prodded the very unhappy creature towards the stern. Then he got a wing caught in the windvane rope so David had to untangle that with the boat hook. We finally tipped him over the side. It was dark so I couldn't see how he fared. Our other stowaways were cockroaches, millions of them. We soak our fruit and vegetables in salt water when they come on board but the bugs come in with the groceries too. Inside the boat they are in clover, plenty of food and warm breeding conditions. I've sprayed many of the lockers but every day we see more creatures scuttle across the floor, up the walls and across the benches. Ideally I would take every thing off the boat and spray it heavily. But there is no way we can do that out here. *** Janet email to friend It's dawn and my six-hour night watch is nearly over. My bunk is looking very appealing. We are out in the ocean, north of Tuvalu, six degrees south of the equator. I'm sending this email via single side band radio. I haven't had my gmail email for ages. Its all satellite internet in the countries up here, very slow, unreliable, and expensive. I look around at the empty empty sea, although David saw fishing boats last night, not a welcome sight as they often have miles of prop fouling nets strung out behind them that you can't see. Most years there are very few yachts up here but currently there are four behind us and five ahead. Its fabulous traveling in a convoy, I like the sense of having a community. We have a radio net and check in every morning to see where everyone is faring. I just checked the horizon again and there are squalls all around us. I have to remain vigilant in case one hits with its treacherous load of rain and wind, and quickly leap into action to reef the headsail. Our destination is 250 miles, and two days travel away, Nanumea, the rarely visited northernmost island of Tuvalu. You have to jump through a whole lot of bureaucratic hoops to get permission to visit an outer island after you have cleared customs and immigration, and the officials don't always say yes. We persisted for weeks to get approval. One of our fleet is at the island already and said the local people are delighted to have us come visit. =46rom there we go on to Kiribati, almost on the equator. We'll probably have Christmas there at a remote island with a few other yachts. There are a couple of foodies in the fleet and we are planning the menu and day's events already. The Americans (we have yachts from US, Sweden, France, and Australia) know Secret Santa, so we may do that. It's nice to have some familiar things to look forward to. *** 0800 Dawn saw us hove to off Nanumea. We arrived in the dead of night but needed daylight and slack high water to enter the very narrow, very shallow pass into the lagoon. The pass was eight metres wide and three to four deep, with a strong flow when the tide was running. Fortunately it was a perfect sunny coral spotting day. We had three hours to wait till high tide. It was nice having this rest before we went in, usually its days and days of sailing then straight into a passage all the senses muted with tiredness. A mast appeared on the horizon. The first of the four boats behind us arrived and went on safely through.=20 *** =20

light wind sailing
unwelcome visitor

Navire - navire - 1302 Feb 2017

Storm at Tuvalu (Sent from Majuro Jan, 2017)=20 (Pics will be bigger next post!) Monday Nov 23, 2015 Funafuti After a quick dash around Funafuti we motored for an hour to the north end of the lagoon. There we anchored off a very small, very low profile, island in the hope of getting shelter from the high winds forecast to come in the next few days. It was a G-string of an island, less than one metre high, plus coconut palms. We really needed a full set of bloomers sort of island. We were uncertain Read more...

about just how much shelter it afforded. As the tide rose we got bounced around by the swell that came over the reef which extended out from either side of the island. The wind held us side on to the swell, each wave making the boat roll uncomfortably as it thwacked us on the beam. Feeling tired and vulnerable about our exposed situation, I took solace in tea, Christmas cake, and writing, then indulged in the distraction of a game of tiles with David. I looked outside and saw Free Spirit anchored nearby. It was good to have another boat there. The skies were grey was my mood. Our low-pressure system had been updated to a tropical depression (TD), one grade below a tropical cyclone. So far as we knew the higher winds would be south of us, near Fiji. However we would probably get strong peripheral winds from the TD, of 30 or 40 knots (35 is gale force). Earlier that morning we poured over forecasts and charts working out wind angles and swell directions. Gulf Harbour Radio, who run the radio net we=92d been on since New Zealand, said =93we weren=92t in a very good place,=94 for this weather. Great. =93If we anchor here,=94 David pointed to the chart, =93we=92ll get the full force of the wind, and the fetch, but maybe less swell. If we anchor here,=94 he pointed to an area to the northeast, =93we may get less wind but risk getting more swell coming over the reef at high tide. Mind you,=94 he changed the chart to a Google satellite picture, =93the reef on that side looks more substantial and may break the swell more.=94 We could have just flipped a coin. We reanchored and I settled into doing a load of laundry, anticipating catching some rain to top up our buckets as the low passed by. The weather settled for a while. =93Navire, Navire, this is Free Spirit=94 boomed the VHF. Ah, the neighbours calling. =93Free Spirit, Navire, go 17,=94 I dialed up the next channel. =93Navire, Free Spirit=94 =93Would you like to have a picnic on the beach?=94 asked Lauri. =93Why yes, what a great idea.=94 =93Good, will, radio in two hours. Free Spirit back to 16.=94 I rustled up a few delicacies and we motored in to shore in the dinghy. The small oval island was occupied by one man, the caretaker, a stone-deaf man we discovered when we went to say hello. We picnicked on the lagoon-side beach accompanied by a cloud of flies. Replete, we went for a walk around the island, David climbing a tree and liberating four drinking coconuts. Wielding a machete just like a local he lopped the ends off them. Back at the picnic area the tide was coming in rapidly and swamping the back of our dingy, which was hitherto pulled well up the beach. I looked out at Navire. She seemed a long way off, certainly not sheltered at all and was rolling side to side. We abandoned our afternoon out and headed back to the boat. *** Back on board we played tiles to ground ourselves. =93You know some people wouldn=92t like this =96 and I may be of them,=94 said David, referring to the uncertainty of the prospect of a night of stormy weather in an unknown location. He placed a few tiles. =93Right now I=92d take a freezing cold night in a sheltered bay in New Zealand, complete with huddling around a heater.=94 Meanwhile as the tide dropped the rolling and lurching eased. Two other boats arrived making us a fleet of four. Hopefully that was four good decisions about the best place to see out the low, as opposed to everyone just following us. *** At dusk the boat rolled gently. I felt melancholic. After a while I recognised the feeling. Homesickness. We left Wellington just short of a year ago. Just for a moment I longed for familiar things. Safe things, security, predictableness. Even being tied up in Chaffers Marina would do it. For a week or so anyway, till the low pressure and high winds passed and by then I=92d be up for the adventure and warm climate again. Everywhere I looked the boat was dirty, and we were infested with cockroaches (little did we know it was not only cockroaches), they came in with the vegetables, or in packaging from the supermarket. The next day would be locker cleaning day, emptying and roach spraying food spaces. *** Tuesday Nov 24th No it wasn=92t. Locker cleaning day I mean. Didn=92t even get the dishes done till late afternoon. You=92ll only get this post if we survive the next few days, I wrote in my journal. The anchor chain wrapped itself around a coral bombie so we anchored again. We waited for the storm. *** Wednesday Nov 25th We still watched and waited. We were in a holding pattern. We were at the highest part of the tide with the maximum roll coming across the reef. Free Spirit was still anchored nearby and called up. Just to say hello. Nice to have company out there. The other two boats moved to an island further southwest. We stayed put as we were getting to know the local conditions and knew our anchor was holding firm. I downloaded a forecast which predicted an increase in wind speed. We were recording our position and depth every half an hour, in case we dragged, and wind speed and direction, and sea state to compare to the forecast. The higher winds were coming sooner, Thursday and Friday, instead of the weekend. We shipped the dinghy. It had been hoisted up alongside and each time we rolled in the swell she banged on the sea. Darkness fell as the wind rose. *** 1930 The wind jumped from 10 knots to 30 knots, that=92s not triple the speed, its much more, as wind speed in knots is exponential. I was hoping it was just a squall. The rain pounded on the cabin top and Navire pulled up hard on her chain and bounced. She slewed from side to side, facing SW, W, WNW. We checked the latitude and longitude on the GPS. Good not dragging. Its always scarier in the dark, couldn=92t see the island. I went outside and stood on deck in the rain and washed all the sweat off my sticky body. Yahoo a free shower. The water buckets were filling before our very eyes. Whew, wind speed was dropping, a squall after all. *** Nov 26 0900 Getting dressed that morning consisted of taking my nightie off. 27 degrees and 80% humidity. And it was only going to get warmer as we headed north. Good night, no big squalls. The wind was up and squally, up to 34 knots, but they were brief. We=92d invited Free Spirit for morning tea. *** 0300 Morning tea was abandoned. It was too rough for the dinghy ride across the 10 metre stretch of water between the boats. It was coming on high tide and we were rocking and rolling. The wind built steadily all day. We collected rainwater in the frequent squalls. I continued my mission to obliterate the insect infestation, to eradicate what ever was biting me at night, even lifting the floorboards and cleaning and spraying. The day passed with endless games of tiles and chatting on the radio. *** 2300 and I was on anchor watch. The wind was up to 35 knots. Nothing on Wellington standards, but out there, anchored with little protection, it was a lot. It howled. The boat slewed from side to side, putting enormous pressures on the anchor and chain. David said I=92d hear if it let go. I jump a little every time the depth sounder beeps as we swing over the top of coral bombies. If the anchor moved my plan was to start the engine. The peak of the storm was in the dark of night, by lit by occasional flashes of lightning. *** 0200 I managed to stay wake for my three hours and just got my head down and David started the engine. I leapt out of bed. =93What=92s up?=94 =93I just saw 50,=94 that=92s knots on the wind speed indicator. David peered at the barometer - 999.7. That=92s the lowest we=92ve seen on the whole trip. We turned on channel 16. We caught part of a transmission of one of the large Asian fishing boats anchored off Funafuti. Hard to tell but heard something like =93Raise anchor=94. The fetch down there must have been hellish. I sat up for a while with David. Then I tried to sleep, and got maybe an hour. The wind calmed down to 30ish, the lightning storm still raging all around. A squall hit. 45 knots, and bigger waves slammed us, there was more west in it now, and no protection from the island at all, only a bit from the reef. As dawn came I could see the waves. Perhaps it was better in the dark. I look at the numbers on my pad and my code =96 increase in longitude means we=92ve moved east, increase in latitude means we=92ve moved further south. Navire slewed and bounced, there must have been tremendous force on her anchor. The wind shrieked in the rigging. I felt really uncomfortable =96 uneasy, anxious, vulnerable, so few choices. The westerly wind indicated we were at the upper end of the low pressure system which was travelling south east, so we waited for it to pass. Boy, were we going to celebrate when this was over. The winds for the next week were predicted light but I would not complain of sails slatting on oily sea, anything rather than this. As the howling diminished, I dared to hope things were easing. The wind was such a tease, I relaxed a bit and whammo it pounded us again. *** Nov 27 0600 We survived the night, but it was still pretty windy and squally.. The last blast was 44 knots and with a downpour. Dawn brought a reduction in wind but not of drama. In my sleep deprived haze I watched Free Spirit who were anchored ahead of us. Is she getting closer or does it look closer because it=92s getting lighter? I thought. I watched for a while. I went below to get David. I shook him awake and told him =93Come topside quickly and confirm if Free Spirit is getting closer to us.=94 Up on deck we could clearly see she was heading for us and I started the engine. Just then the VHF burst into life. =93Navire, Navire, Free Spirit, Free Spirit.=94 David dived down to the chart table and grabbed the mike. =93Navire.=94 =93We are dragging. We have a rope around our prop and can=92t start our engine.=94 Bloody hell. I start dropping fenders over port the side as their boat rapidly came closer. Fortunately just then the wind veered and Free Spirit hung parallel to us their anchor finally catching, probably on a bombie. =93Free Spirit, Free Spirit, we=92ve stopped dragging,=94 they go on to tell us that at about 3am their dinghy, which they=92d left tied off the back, flipped in the wind and drowned the engine. Then the painter (rope attached to dinghy) wrapped around the yacht prop. Made our night look like a picnic on a sunny day. We=92d shipped our dinghy early having been caught out before. In 2010 we were in Niue, on our first Pacific sailing trip, tied to a mooring off the east side of the island. This was usually the lee side. A rare, and strong, westerly came through and we were caught with our dinghy in the water. Niue has no protective reef, so the fetch was 300 miles from Tonga, giving us a huge bounce. Now its hard enough to ship the dinghy in high winds and big seas but even more difficult with the outboard still attached. Normally we take the dinghy to the stern and use a pulley to hoist the engine onto its frame at the back of the boat, before bringing the dinghy alongside to hoist onto the foredeck with a halyard. No way we could do that in those conditions, the boat was bouncing up and down too much. We had to get the dinghy up complete with engine, get the engine off while the dinghy was sliding around the foredeck, get it back to the stern and mounted, then get back and tie the dinghy down. All without damaging the boat, the dinghy and ourselves. So the rule is - big wind, we ship. ***=20 Sat Nov 28 The storm passed south of us, and it changed status from a tropical depression to a tropical cyclone and hit Tonga and Samoa leaving a trail of carnage. Back down at Funafuti. Everyone went in to town for a beer and shared storm stories but I stayed on the boat. Too tired after anchor watches the last two nights, and the tension of knowing how exposed and vulnerable we were. Even then at Funafuti we had an uncomfortable amount of fetch. I curled up with a soothing glass of white wine, an episode of Game of Thrones, and tried to forget where I was for a while. =20 =20 =20 =20

Coral bombie
Now where will we anchor?
Picnic time
Exploring the island
Free Spirit in the storm

Navire - navire - 703 Feb 2017

Life in the Anchorage at Funafuti, Tuvalu November 2015 (posted from Majuro Jan 2017) Position 31.491s 179 11.376e *** Nov 18 "Doesn't look like we'll be going anywhere fast," I said to David, after my morning weather analysis. The viable weather window we had anticipated for the coming weekend had evaporated, and light north-east winds and calms prevailed. "So we stay longer," said David, sipping his coffee and playing cards on his laptop. I felt uncomfortable still being in the hurricane zone, Read more...

albeit at the outer limits of it. However we couldn't just motor for a week to get to Kiribati. The anchorage had emptied out as most yachts had sailed to the other end of the lagoon for a few days, but we had locals coming to visit so we stayed put. Then three more boats arrived including, Menkar who we'd met at Rotuma, Free Spirit and Clara Catherine. Clara Catherine had a guitar, mandolin, bones, and piano accordion. We immediately booked a music making session. We were nine boats in the fleet and our community was flourishing. We shared dinghy rides; I learnt more about weather from Deanne; the doctor in the fleet has been helping one of the group with an infected foot; I was writing a letter to customs for a boat that couldn't get back in time; some of us women went foraging for food together; and one volunteered her son to climb palm trees and get drinking coconuts for us. *** David - email to a friend As I write there is a large vessel parked off the town busy pumping the lagoon seabed onto the foreshore with the plan of reclaiming several hundred metres of shallow sea to add to their small landmass. Already there is a sizeable beach where on Tuesday was a rocky shoreline. They have previously pumped miles of sand onto a large strip of land further along the atoll, raising this by about a metre, and upon which is planned new housing. There are significant water storage facilities at every dwelling and, fortuitous for us, a glut of rain at present. We found, when searching for laundry facilities, that one could hire a washing machine as one might a power tool but no one was willing to let their water be used on a commercial basis. Not much use for us yachties who have all resorted to hand washing in the gallons that have been falling. A week-long conference among the leadership of these islands, recently concluded, was focused on sustainable development - solar power, water management, prevention of erosion. This week opens a two-week long Trades Fair presenting the wares of the private commercial sector here. It's hard to know who is regarded as the audience for this fair. Surely not us transient yachties or the few other visitors. Are there businesses unknown to the residents? Still, it speaks of effort for the future, of hope, optimism. And perhaps more money given than they know what to do with. Last night we had a sumptuous Mexican dinner among three of the yachts. One being the music one with a piano accordion and sundry rhythm instruments we made some promising music. Dinner the evening before put on by Kailopa and his friend Timoani. *** Nov 19. 0700 Janet journal entry What a bloody awful night. First I got too drunk on Margaritas at the Mexican dinner (fun though). Then we were up at 0230 shipping the dinghy because of squalls. Are you getting the idea that the sailing life is not always conducive to good sleep? 1900 Oooh, I don't like this. The wind has come up, clocking up to 25 knots, from the wrong direction, and we are on a lee shore (land downwind of us). We are bucking up and down over the short steep waves that are hitting us head on. There is seven miles of fetch (unfettered distance) across the lagoon for them to build up. We are planning to move to the other side of the lagoon tomorrow and settle in to a sheltered (relatively) spot to see out a low arriving at the end of this week. I wish we'd moved earlier today but its too dark to go now. I'm sitting at the chart table monitoring the GPS and the depth sounder to check if we are dragging at all. Earlier today we'd been safely dug in to a spot, confident our anchor was holding, but at about 5pm the guys working on the sand dredging came and told us we had to move, they wanted to dig up our nice safe bit of seabed. We reanchored further along the beach but were really uncomfortable about how close to shore we were, so in the dusk we anchored again, a bit further out. We may not get a full night's sleep tonight. Whenever we start the engine we check the engine water intake basket to make sure the water is flowing in freely and doing its job of cooling the engine. When we were about to move and reanchor the second time, we needed to do it quickly. I checked the basket, and there was a large piece of something that looked like white plastic in it. Bloody hell, I hoped it wouldn't block the water intake. The engine would overheat very quickly and that's the last thing we needed on the lee shore. "There's a boat moving out there," David called from the cockpit. Peering into the falling light we figured it was Menkar, the French yacht. "They are anchoring right ahead of us, right on top of our anchor," David muttered, and swore at them. "Looks like we'll be on anchor watch tonight " I said. I check our position again on the GPS and record the figures. Still in the same place. Good, but I feel a bit queasy, from the rocking and the stress. *** November 20 Janet journal entry Kailopa and his brother-in-law came for lunch today. First time on a mono-hull for Temoani. I commented on how many people are overweight here and Kailopa said that one reason was because there was so much money here. One major source is leases i.e. government buildings on leasehold land, and another is money given to the country from Australia, New Zealand, China and many other countries because of global warming. "People are eating a lot and not doing anything," Kailopa said, lamenting that even kids don't climb the coconut trees in the morning anymore. When he was young the boys would fetch 60 coconuts from the trees, and lop the tops off ready for drinking for the day. "Now they drink Coke and Fanta and tea," he continued. *** November 21 Janet We woke at 3.30am to found ourselves facing a nor-wester, on a lee shore, again. I got on Sailmail and did weather gribs and forecast for an hour then never really got back to sleep. I reviewed our options. We could stay here or move around the lagoon grabbing the meager amount of shelter the low lying islands and reef provide. Or, check out and go north to Kiribati and get ahead of the low that we were trying to avoid but right now there was very little wind to sail with. We had filled up with diesel but we didn't know how good the supplies were in Kiribati. Or, we could leave the following week and catch the edge of the low but that meant sailing 20-30 knots and rough seas. And of course that could all change with the next forecast. We opted to stay in Tuvalu and just as well we did. =20 =20 =20

Vege market morning
the regulars waiting their turn
Weigh in
Temoane and Kailopa on board for lunch
Land reclamation
the island expanding right before our eyes
Government buildings

Navire - navire - 704 Feb 2017

Life in the Anchorage at Funafuti, Tuvalu November 2015 (posted from Majuro Jan 2017) Position 31.491s 179 11.376e *** Nov 18 "Doesn't look like we'll be going anywhere fast," I said to David, after my morning weather analysis. The viable weather window we had anticipated for the coming weekend had evaporated, and light north-east winds and calms prevailed. "So we stay longer," said David, sipping his coffee and playing cards on his laptop. I felt uncomfortable still being in the hurricane zone, Read more...

albeit at the outer limits of it. However we couldn't just motor for a week to get to Kiribati. The anchorage had emptied out as most yachts had sailed to the other end of the lagoon for a few days, but we had locals coming to visit so we stayed put. Then three more boats arrived including, Menkar who we'd met at Rotuma, Free Spirit and Clara Catherine. Clara Catherine had a guitar, mandolin, bones, and piano accordion. We immediately booked a music making session. We were nine boats in the fleet and our community was flourishing. We shared dinghy rides; I learnt more about weather from Deanne; the doctor in the fleet has been helping one of the group with an infected foot; I was writing a letter to customs for a boat that couldn't get back in time; some of us women went foraging for food together; and one volunteered her son to climb palm trees and get drinking coconuts for us. *** David - email to a friend As I write there is a large vessel parked off the town busy pumping the lagoon seabed onto the foreshore with the plan of reclaiming several hundred metres of shallow sea to add to their small landmass. Already there is a sizeable beach where on Tuesday was a rocky shoreline. They have previously pumped miles of sand onto a large strip of land further along the atoll, raising this by about a metre, and upon which is planned new housing. There are significant water storage facilities at every dwelling and, fortuitous for us, a glut of rain at present. We found, when searching for laundry facilities, that one could hire a washing machine as one might a power tool but no one was willing to let their water be used on a commercial basis. Not much use for us yachties who have all resorted to hand washing in the gallons that have been falling. A week-long conference among the leadership of these islands, recently concluded, was focused on sustainable development - solar power, water management, prevention of erosion. This week opens a two-week long Trades Fair presenting the wares of the private commercial sector here. It's hard to know who is regarded as the audience for this fair. Surely not us transient yachties or the few other visitors. Are there businesses unknown to the residents? Still, it speaks of effort for the future, of hope, optimism. And perhaps more money given than they know what to do with. Last night we had a sumptuous Mexican dinner among three of the yachts. One being the music one with a piano accordion and sundry rhythm instruments we made some promising music. Dinner the evening before put on by Kailopa and his friend Timoani. *** Nov 19. 0700 Janet journal entry What a bloody awful night. First I got too drunk on Margaritas at the Mexican dinner (fun though). Then we were up at 0230 shipping the dinghy because of squalls. Are you getting the idea that the sailing life is not always conducive to good sleep? 1900 Oooh, I don't like this. The wind has come up, clocking up to 25 knots, from the wrong direction, and we are on a lee shore (land downwind of us). We are bucking up and down over the short steep waves that are hitting us head on. There is seven miles of fetch (unfettered distance) across the lagoon for them to build up. We are planning to move to the other side of the lagoon tomorrow and settle in to a sheltered (relatively) spot to see out a low arriving at the end of this week. I wish we'd moved earlier today but its too dark to go now. I'm sitting at the chart table monitoring the GPS and the depth sounder to check if we are dragging at all. Earlier today we'd been safely dug in to a spot, confident our anchor was holding, but at about 5pm the guys working on the sand dredging came and told us we had to move, they wanted to dig up our nice safe bit of seabed. We reanchored further along the beach but were really uncomfortable about how close to shore we were, so in the dusk we anchored again, a bit further out. We may not get a full night's sleep tonight. Whenever we start the engine we check the engine water intake basket to make sure the water is flowing in freely and doing its job of cooling the engine. When we were about to move and reanchor the second time, we needed to do it quickly. I checked the basket, and there was a large piece of something that looked like white plastic in it. Bloody hell, I hoped it wouldn't block the water intake. The engine would overheat very quickly and that's the last thing we needed on the lee shore. "There's a boat moving out there," David called from the cockpit. Peering into the falling light we figured it was Menkar, the French yacht. "They are anchoring right ahead of us, right on top of our anchor," David muttered, and swore at them. "Looks like we'll be on anchor watch tonight " I said. I check our position again on the GPS and record the figures. Still in the same place. Good, but I feel a bit queasy, from the rocking and the stress. *** November 20 Janet journal entry Kailopa and his brother-in-law came for lunch today. First time on a mono-hull for Temoani. I commented on how many people are overweight here and Kailopa said that one reason was because there was so much money here. One major source is leases i.e. government buildings on leasehold land, and another is money given to the country from Australia, New Zealand, China and many other countries because of global warming. "People are eating a lot and not doing anything," Kailopa said, lamenting that even kids don't climb the coconut trees in the morning anymore. When he was young the boys would fetch 60 coconuts from the trees, and lop the tops off ready for drinking for the day. "Now they drink Coke and Fanta and tea," he continued. *** November 21 Janet We woke at 3.30am to found ourselves facing a nor-wester, on a lee shore, again. I got on Sailmail and did weather gribs and forecast for an hour then never really got back to sleep. I reviewed our options. We could stay here or move around the lagoon grabbing the meager amount of shelter the low lying islands and reef provide. Or, check out and go north to Kiribati and get ahead of the low that we were trying to avoid but right now there was very little wind to sail with. We had filled up with diesel but we didn't know how good the supplies were in Kiribati. Or, we could leave the following week and catch the edge of the low but that meant sailing 20-30 knots and rough seas. And of course that could all change with the next forecast. We opted to stay in Tuvalu and just as well we did. =20 =20 =20

Vege market morning
the regulars waiting their turn
Weigh in
Temoane and Kailopa on board for lunch
Land reclamation
the island expanding right before our eyes
Government buildings

Navire - navire - 103 Feb 2017

Kioa Picnic (Posted from Majuro January 2016) Sat Nov 14, 2015 Funafuti, Tuvalu Janet We struggled to get the dinghy up the steep coral-strewn beach. Just through the coconut palms we saw our Tuvaluan friends, Kailopa and Joseph, standing in a large open fale. It was the annual gathering of the Kioa community. These were the descendants of Kailopa's Tuvaluan people, who had migrated to Fiji sixty years ago. Earlier that morning David had collected Kailopa and his grandson Joseph from shore and Read more...

brought them out to Navire where she was anchored in the lagoon at Funafuti in Tuvalu. On calm turquoise waters we motored down to the south-western end of the atoll, Joseph up the mast on bombie watch, Kailopa directing us to the far end of the island. With the dinghy well secured to a pandanus tree and Navire safely, so we thought, gently rocking on her anchor, we strolled over to the fale where Kailopa eagerly introduced us to several of his friends and family. "This is David and Janet from New Zealand," as he introduced us eagerly. "I came from Fiji on their boat." "Talofa, Talofa," they said nodding in welcome, as the story of Kailopa's passage on Navire was already widely known. I headed into the fale to check out the picnic. I was hungry. I wanted Tuvaluan food.=20 When I visit a country I need to taste it. Small groups of people were busy preparing food. A large woman in a bright yellow floral dress, sweat dripping down her face, was flouring and deep-frying chicken. The oil bubbled in a cauldron over a portable gas cooker, the chicken sizzling as it hit the oil. Sweet and sour, she told me. Doesn't sound very Pacific I reasoned. Tuvaluan culture is heavily influenced by that of Samoa, and Samoa has a strong Asian influence in their food, using rice noodles, and soy sauce in many of their dishes. Next to the sweet and sour lady a man tended two large pots, one of taro gently simmering, and another of white starchy chunks of cassava, both used in the same way we use potatoes. Outside in the midday sun several men sat under a Dr Seuss-like drooping pandanus tree playing cards and gambling with beads. I wandered over to another group of men standing around talking and laughing by a fire pit. Nearby was a man carving up a carcass and throwing large chunks into a large red plastic bowl of pig parts. One of them explained to me that they were preparing a lovo, similar to a New Zealand hangi (cooking in the ground) in which to cook the pork. "Local pork?" I asked one of the men. He made a gesture of a knife across his throat. "Still warm," he said, and grabbed my hand and laid it on the pork flesh. I swear I felt it quiver. It must have been 30 degrees already, and humid. I stepped back into the relative cool of the fale I wiped the sweat off my face with the back of my hand and dug out my water bottle. "Would you like a coconut," a young woman asked me. "Yes please!" She reached into a cooler and selected a pale drinking coconut from amongst the ice. Picking up a knife she deftly lopped off the top and handed it to me. I gratefully raised the coconut into the air, put the rough shell against my lips, tipped my head back then poured the chilled, sweet contents down my throat. Better even than a cold beer. And just as well as there was not a drop of alcohol in sight. People slept on mats on the bare concrete floor, and babies dozed on pillows. Young people wielded smart phones. But not on Facebook though, as 3G had yet to arrive. Someone set up a stereo and island music filled the air. Looking around it was obvious we were the only palangi, white people, here. Lunch clearly wasn't going to be ready any time soon so I sat under a frangipane tree and inhaled its scent, my favourite perfume. Under the next tree a man started playing a guitar and two other men joined him singing Pacific songs in three-part harmony. Meaty roasting smells wafted over with the smoke from the firepit. It doesn't get any better than this, I thought. =20 It was nearly 2pm before lunch was ready and I was salivating over the platters of food laid out on the seven metre long table. Chop suey, stir-fries, mutton curry, and platters of cassava (which they buy peeled and frozen - no land or soil to grow it in) lay beside the sweet and sour chicken, tuna and baked pork. About forty people gathered in the fale and an older serious looking man said grace, a mandatory practice in the deeply religious Pacific. Then it was all on. I eagerly dug into the trays of food, especially the pork, not carved, I ripped chunks of flesh off the bone with my hands. Next to it was a bowl of bright red sliced chilli. I copied the woman in front of me and sprinkled some on my pork. I inhaled the sweet yeasty aroma of freshly baked home-made bread. I wished I could eat it, but my wheat intolerance was a barrier to this treat. However David ate my share with relish and pronounced it indeed 'good bread'. It was the fresh tuna that made the meal, particularly as I'd learned to eat it in the 'correct' manner. They don't dally around with marinating it in lemon, or serving up wasabi, soy, or pickled ginger, it was just hunks of raw dark red fish. It was more about texture, its smooth firm flesh than flavour. "My husband caught it yesterday, " a woman behind the buffet table had told me in response to my query about how fresh it was. Looking at my plate I noticed that everything on it was imported, except the pig and tuna. There was not even a trace of lettuce or bok-choy from the local Taiwan gardens we had visited the day before. I realised it was probably going to be like this for the next six months till we got back to Fiji and lots of freshly grown produce. We could get scurvy. I needed to figure out how to use the dried seaweed in my pantry, and start growing sprouts again. Eating with my fingers local style, I paired a chunk of pork, with a chunk of cassava, relying on the pork fat for lubrication. The pork had notes of strong flavour, real pig flavour, dark and meaty. The chilli hit and I broke into a sweat, the heat nearly lifting my head off. But the flavour leapt up, it sang. Alas the pork was a little tough, needed more salt, and to be cooked longer so it was falling off the bone. =20 After lunch we piled into the back of a truck to go and watch Joseph's team play rugby. Walking across the muddy rugby field I marveled at the dark moist soil under my feet. Sitting in the stadium, carefully avoiding the rotting boards of the bench, wondering how structurally sound it was, I pondered, how come they weren't growing vegetables in this soil? How do they get this quality of soil on this sandy atoll? Kailopa sat down next to me. "You know where this soil comes from?" he asked me. "No." I scratch my head. "Fiji," he said. "It came in a barge over the open ocean." They'd bought it off an Indian guy in Lautoka. Turns out he didn't even own the soil. There is a court case under way about it, but its not as if they'll repossess it! *** 1900 It's dark out. I'm sitting naked in the cabin, listening to a Beethoven concerto, about to pour a much needed whisky. Navire is gently rocking on her anchor. What a life these two lead, you may be saying with a slight twinge of envy. Gorging themselves on local pork and tuna, drinking fresh coconuts and enjoying a local rugby game, set amongst coconut palms and tranquil turquoise waters. Well, an hour ago you wouldn't have swapped places with us. Sitting in the stadium watching the rugby, I noticed the sky getting darker and darker. At first I thought it just a squall coming through, a frequent daily event at this latitude. I looked up and stared at a long smooth dark cloud stretched across the sky. It looked more like a front than a squall, but different to storm fronts I'd seen further south. I started to feel uncomfortable. Navire was several miles away, anchored quite close to shore, near the fale. After all, we had thought, we'd be right there and could keep an eye on her. The wind started to rise. "I'm worried about the boat," I said to David. Kailopa immediately organised us a ride back to the fale. All the way back along the thin strip of island I watched the increasingly choppy sea. Time slowed down, each minute felt like an hour. At the fale I jumped out of the truck and looked out into the lagoon at Navire. She was bucking on her anchor, stern to shore, waves crashing on the beach alarmingly close. The waves threatened to swamp the dinghy as we launched her on the steep beach. David rowed hard to get us clear of the rough coral shore. It was difficult getting back on board Navire as the dinghy violently bucked up and down alongside. Aboard, David tied the dinghy off the back and went straight to the bow to raise the anchor as I started the engine and hastily turned the instruments on. I motored forward into the short steep waves as David started winching the anchor in. Once the anchor was off the ground, but not yet up on deck, it was hard to keep the bow of the yacht facing into the wind and waves. I motored ahead slowly but the bow would drop off and I'd have to increase the revs to get it back up, but then drop the speed as I didn't want to run over the chain and have it shredding the paintwork on the bow, or make the bashing up and down movement any worse for David. Meanwhile behind the boat the short steep chop was bouncing the dinghy around smashing it into the wind-vane. I hauled it alongside and tied the painter to a winch all the while trying to keep head to wind. I noticed our boarding ladder was being wrenched out of its fittings by the waves but neither of us could leave our posts to rescue it. Anchor up, we bashed through the waves back towards the main anchorage, the light dropping fast. Because we'd had our local navigator on the way over we hadn't had the GPS on and had no handy track to follow back. The howling wind clocked 30 knots. With David back in the cockpit and steering I quickly rescued the ladder before it succeeded in its bid to escape. Unable to see most of the rest of the yachts in the heavy rain at the anchorage we found a space and dropped the anchor but we were not finished yet. We had to get the dinghy up on deck, a difficult job in the high winds. Twenty minutes later the wind dropped and the sea calmed, just like that. It was a salutary lesson on how vulnerable we were in this area of the Pacific. There was no real shelter from now on, no land higher than two or three meters. I took a sip of my whisky and pondered the many flavours of the day. =20

David checking out the anchorage
squall coming
waiting for lunch
Cutie
card game
The next generation
zzzzz
Preparing the fire
Hangi cooked pork
Sweet and sour chicken
Food prep
Taro
Kailopa
Let the feast begin
A modest palangi portion
rugby stadium

Navire - navire - 2302 Dec 2016

Rotuma to Tuvalu Posted from Majuro Dec 23, 2106 (THIS ONE SHOULD BE BEFORE THE ONE I JUST SENT - MY FAULT THIS TIME) Position 8 56.91s 17178 59.56e Nov 6, 2015, (Posted from Majuro Aug 2016) Ahead the ocean was completely empty. Behind me the hills of Rotuma were growing smaller by the hour. Probably the last hills I'd see for five months. We were bound for Tuvalu 260 miles north, 65 hours sailing at four or five knots boat speed. The sea was pretty tame, a deep royal blue half metre swell, with Read more...

a light chop on the surface. Two fishing lines trailed behind us in David's endless quest for that elusive tuna. Back in Rotuma we had a salutary lesson on eating the 'safe fish' up here. Many South Pacific reef fish carry the disease ciguatera. If you eat this fish you may get ill with flu-like symptoms that can be quite severe and sometimes last for several months and there is no cure. Sylvan off the French boat, and Tim off Exodus came back from spearfishing two days ago with a huge barracuda, a red snapper and a trevally. We asked Kailopa if any of the fish were not safe to eat and he said the snapper could be poisonous. We heard the French ate the snapper anyway. I saw Sylvan at the wharf just before we left and he didn't look so well. Gilles' philosophy, "You must try things. Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good." He gave a French shrug. *** November 7, 0130 My watch. I'd woken hot, sweaty, and itchy. I quickly gathered up my things vacating the bunk for David. Dropping my watch bag on the deck I sat in the cockpit while he briefed me. The main thing he told me was to avoid accidentally going about, definitely a risk with the auto-helm which holds the course set regardless of wind direction. If it backed a little more we'd go about. The mechanical wind vane, on the other hand, holds the boat at a constant angle to the wind. When the wind shifts the boat moves with it. But these winds were too light for that instrument. David went below to collapse into his bunk for six hours shut eye. For a moment I envied him. I glanced at the sail and saw it was nearly flat. We were hard on the wind. I checked the horizon for ships (in the whole 1500 miles to Majuro I think we only saw one). More importantly there was no sign of any squalls. Squalls meant rain, good. But often they came with sudden wind shifts and large increases in speed, bad. Then I have to act very quickly and adjust the sails. I'm not very confident at that and occasionally have to wake David to help. I really hate disturbing his precious sleep. *** To pass the time I made a meal out of the last dregs of fresh produce on board. A piece of slightly soft cucumber, sprouts, a little brown on the ends, tinned corn and my new best friend, red onions. They last for ages without refrigeration and bring life to any kind of salad. I finished my snack off with brownie from the freezer and a banana. Some of you sailors may gasp at this terrible risk we take. We sailors have a number of superstitions. Carrying bananas on passage is supposedly bad luck. I guess if you carry them for long enough some bad luck may occur, says David, but we've got this far safely with them on board. We have some ocean sailing friends, normally sane-minded people, who will absolutely not carry bananas at sea, nor leave port on a Friday, another nautical superstition. One that has come down through David's step-father, a naval man, is no whistling at sea or you risk a dramatic jump in wind speed. I've tried whistling when becalmed in the ocean and it doesn't work. Replete, I settled into the cockpit. Blast, the wind started faltering and coming more from the east. At the beginning of my watch it was a pleasant 18 knots, propelling us along at 4-5 knots. The boat was much harder to sail in the light fluky winds. I whistled for a few minutes, to no avail. *** 1830 Sitting in the cockpit watching an ocean sunset I was feeling pretty intrepid. Only about 15 yachts each year take the northern option, sailing up to Majuro for the hurricane season. The weather conditions are so different in the area north of Fiji compared to between New Zealand and Fiji and Tonga requiring us to learn a new set of rules. And there is no real shelter to be had. We were still in the hurricane zone, we needed to be north of 5 degrees south but we were still at 11 degrees. We had to keep going. We hoped to arrive in Tuvalu the next day but knew we may need to heave to overnight in order to go through the pass in daylight. David talked to Exodus on the radio. They were way back in the dark cloud behind us. It was nice to hear a familiar voice. (I know, we'd only known them for a week but that's a lot of history around here). They reported that Sylvan, from the French boat was taken by ambulance to hospital with severe dehydration. From ciguatera we suspected. *** Sunday Nov 8 Cumulus clouds towered all around the horizon, fortunately none bearing down on us. We were a happy ship for a while. Kailopa was grating all our coconuts into thick sweet cream. If we caught that bloody tuna I would make ceviche. The sun was out and the breeze gentle. Too gentle alas. We commissioned the iron sail and resigned ourselves to motoring all day in order to get us to Funafuti, the main island of Tuvalu, before dark. We had goat curry from the freezer for lunch. Excellent. But the night before wasn't so excellent. I got five hours sleep in a row, superb, but came up on deck to really changeable conditions. A squall hit with 33 knot of winds and I had to get David up to help me reef. On the plus side we had heavy rain and I collected two bucketsful. The wind jumped around in speed, 22 knots, 8 knots, 20, and direction eventually settling in from the north-east. I accidentally went about. In my attempts to get back on course I lost all sense of direction. I didn't know which way to turn the boat nor what to do with the sails. When David came on deck to see what was going on we were heading back the way we'd come. He started the engine and got us back on course. I could have done that! Just would have taken me a while to figure it out. Alas when the GPS is on there is no hiding tactical errors, my delinquent path showed up on the electronic track that followed us across the screen.

Navire - navire - 2303 Dec 2016

Arrival in Tuvalu November 8, 2015 (Written from Majuro August 2106) REPOSTED DEC 23 AS IT DID NOT SHOW ON SITE Position 31.491s 179 11.376e "Dolphins!" I cried. They danced around us as if saying "Welcome to Tuvalu, well done, you made it." We easily traversed the comfortably wide reef-entrance into the waters of Funafuti, Tuvalu's main atoll. After crossing the unfettered lagoon, no hull snagging coral bombies lurking just below the surface, we dropped anchor behind two other yachts already Read more...

settled off the town of Fongafale. We easily fell into our arrival routine and dusk fell quickly as it does close to the equator. David had already raised the Tuvaluan flag and Kailopa was cleaning the barracuda we'd caught in the pass. With Navire safely secured to the seabed I slid into the water and rinsed off several days of sweat. *** "Eight hours sleep in a row," David declared as we fell into bed at 8pm. But sure enough at 2.30am we woke to heavy rain. We leapt out of bed excitedly. One of our logistical concerns about this trip north was whether or not we'd get enough fresh water in Tuvalu to see us through the 1000 trip to Majuro. In the cockpit by the light of our head-torches we were a finely tuned machine. Buckets out, hoses up. The four 10 litre buckets filled in minutes, and the showers, and every available pot and bowl, our naked bodies illuminated momentarily by the lightning that blasted the sky. Unfortunately the rain filled the dinghy too which we'd left tied off the back, so I bailed it, and hoisted it off the side, taking the bung out to prevent it filling again. It was hard to get back to sleep and I'd finally dozed off when it was time to get up and listen to the weather forecast. We were very interested in monitoring the low-pressure system nearby that must have been responsible for all the rain we collected. I also kept an eye on a band of clouds lurking near the equator east of us, that area being a potential cyclone spawning ground. *** The next morning we cleaned up the boat in case customs and immigration wanted to come out to clear us in. "There is no way they are coming in out here in our dinghy," said David. Its quite small and tippy, and adult Tuvaluan men can be quite large. We erected shade cloth over the boom to attempt to get some reduction in temperature. Twenty eight degrees and 82% humidity. (Ha! Luxury, I think now as I write here in Majuro in 32 degrees) *** Excerpt from David email: I write this in Tuvalu with droplets of sweat running freely down my arms and gathering on my upper lip. And this is with the weather overcast and drizzling. On a sunny day my shirt is constantly wet through. But somehow it's not unbearable.=20 Funafuti is not the tawdry, litter-strewn town I had been led to expect. The place is thick with mopeds ridden by all - large mothers, infant in one arm, throttle in the other, pillions balanced side saddle or holding a tuna by the tail, drivers balancing ladders, suitcases, umbrellas in the rain, trays of food. The place is overwhelmingly friendly, lush and green, with a vibrant energy in the air. And, thankfully, lots of rain this season. But best of all Kailopa is related to half the population here. We have been swept up in their enthusiastic welcome and some of the awe with which they regard him for having found his way aboard a Palangi vessel and crossed the hazardous open ocean. I expected Tuvalu to be friendly. We, of course, had doors flung wide by delivering Kailopa, one of their own. There was much anticipation and anxiety about his arrival. We stayed in Rotuma nearly a week which they had not understood (Kailopa had hoped to keep his visit a secret but his village in Fiji let it out). So there were frequent scans for yacht arrivals and some were asked if Kailopa was aboard. His nephew was on the dock as we came ashore. The usual round of tedious bureaucratic arrival formalities became a round of family reunions.=20 Kailopa's feat of getting aboard a Palangi yacht and crossing hazardous ocean at his advanced age, just 67, has giv