=20 Having left Tin can Bay yesterday with the outgoing tide, we anchored in Pelican Bay ,ready for an early morning departure today. The Wide Bay Bar was as calm as it gets, and despite it being spring low tide , we never saw less than 1.9mts below the keel, when we crossed at 6.00am. We motor sailed the remaining 55nm to Mooloolaba with a 1kn favourable current and calm seas, crossing the Mooloolaba bar at 14.30, 2hrs before low tide. We had a whole 0.4 mt under the keel as we made our way past the marina to the jetty we had earmarked for the night! The only real challenge of trip was whale dodging , with migrating Humpbacks and offspring, popping up way too close for comfort! We're on a public pontoon for tonight and, hopefully, tomorrow we'll go into the marina.
=20 We had quite an eventful morning at Pelican Bay yesterday morning. First an uncrewed fishing boat washed up on the sandspit and sank in the strong winds and waves. Then a yacht anchored way too close to us and, we think, must have tripped our anchor! In 20-30kt of wind we landed up with our rudder stuck in a sandbank having dragged quite a way. Fortunately, by winching in the chain and anchor and using all the engine power we had, we managed to get off the bank unscathed except for our frayed nerves! We decided to move to Tin Can Bay which had much more room and was way more sheltered. So here we are, with lots of space around us, awaited the next big winds predicted for about 3 days! Never a dull moment!!
=20 Safely at anchor in Pelican Bay, just short of the Wide Bay bar that we have to get over to get out to the open sea for the leg to Mooloolaba. We have just done the torturous route through the shallows to get here. We hope to stay here and relax for a few days until the high tide is early in the morning in order to get over the bar.
=20 Anchored at White Cliffs, very tranquil at the moment (long may that last). Bad night last night......wind changed and blew strongly. We hopped and bopped and at one point thought we were dragging. Eventually we ascertained that we weren't in peril and managed to get some sleep! Today is more like I'd imagined the Great Sandy Straits would be....blue water, sunshine and good visibility. We are in the middle of mangroves (we passed the white cliffs earlier) so hope we don't get too bitten by sandflies. We both react quite badly to them and itch for days. Tomorrow we'll do the "shallow" leg which we must do at high tide.
=20 Arrived at our anchorage behind Big Woody Island in the Great Sandy Straits. Left Bundaberg at 7.00h this morning. More wind than we expected and again directly behind us which is Sheer's worst point of sail. Cloudy dull day and very lumpy sea. Not a pleasant day and once in the Straits navigation is very demanding as there are sand banks everywhere, but they are marked. A heavy squall waited for us to get the anchor down before arriving, for a change!
=20 Safely moored in Bundaberg Port Marina. Arrived this morning at about 9.30h. Very difficult night, strong wind directly astern and fairly big sea which created a very uncomfortable situation. However, we made good time and here we are......back in Bundy!!
=20 At anchor off the south side of Keppell. Leaving today for an overnighter to Bundaberg. At the moment there is precious little wind from the south, which is not what we want. We will wait for the forecast northerly to fill in and then leave. We have plenty of time on this leg so we don't have to push!
At anchor off Long Beach, Great Keppell Island. Left Port Clinton at low tide this morning and although concerned about one section of our exit depthwise, we had no problems. Wasn't a pleasant anchorage though.....very safe, but swampy and thousands of bitey things arrived at dusk. And most of them travelled with us today!!
Safely at anchor after a 179nm overnighter from the Whitsundays. We're in Port Clinton on the mainland. It has a tricky entry through mudbanks into the mangroves where we are anchored with one other yacht. That's a third of the trip to Mooloolaba completed. Tomorrow, we'll depart early and hope to be anchored at Great Keppell later on in the day. The northerly breeze should still be holding.
Left Whitsunday Island 06.15h this morning. Motor sailed all day with some current assist. Decided to do an overnighter to Island Head Creek. The weather is very benign and is predicted to stay this way for the next 2 days, but we want to be in safe anchorage if conditions should change.
At anchor in Chance Bay, Whitsundays Island. Last day of our Whitsundays cruise. Very good day......Hook Island Passage in very hectic conditions......Tongue Bay, picked up a mooring and walked up to the lookout over Whitehaven Beach. Spectacular! Then we anchored off the beach for lunch. caught the right tide and went through Solway Passage to our present anchorage.
We have a favourable north wind for the next 3 days, so tomorrow we will start our southerly journey. Hopefully, Brampton Island tomorrow evening.
Safely anchored at Airlie Beach. The wind unexpectedly changed back to south in the night and so we were able to come here to do some things.
It's noisy and busy with jetskis and power boats creating an uncomfortable chop. Maybe tomorrow we'll return to peaceful Nara.
Anchored in beautiful Nara Inlet on Hook Island. Think we'll stay a few days before going to Airlie Beach for garbage removal and provisioning. Also will get some internet there!
Wind is turning to northeasterly so we had to forego our plan to visit Whitehaven Beach today and are peacefully anchored in CID Harbour. Will probably stay here until the wind resumes its usual easterlies in a few days.
Just dropped anchor in Burning Point anchorage on Shaw Island. Lovely calm spot. Spent 2 night at Goldsmith....it was too peaceful to leave!! We may stay here another day or push on to the iconic Whitehaven Beach tomorrow. Its good to be "on the road again"!
Finally left Mackay Marina after more than 2 months! Not enough wind too sail but we weren't going too far and the pleasure of being out of the marina outweighed the irritation of the engine noise. So we are at anchor at Goldsmith Island in the Whitsundays and we'll be bumbling around the area for the next week or so. It is a lovely anchorage!
We are in Mackay Harbour Marina today......a long story!!
We left South Percy before daybreak, intending to do a couple of overnighters to break the back of the passage to Cairns while the weather was still gentle.Well gentle it was, so we motorsailed most of the day until BANG at 16.00h ........the engine waterpump seized. We were at that stage about 24nm from MacKay, so we changed course, popped the genaker up as the wind was very gentle and from the stern. We ghosted along very slowly feeling very glum! To cut a long story short, it took us 10 hours to do the 24 miles, arriving outside the harbour at 2.00h powered by the dinghy lashed to the side of Sheer. Last night a ship had to take evasive action has we had no means of moving out of its path. This morning we were towed out of the path of a huge bulk carrier by the Pilot boat and later were towed into the Marina by Rescue 5. Our pump should be replaced on Friday (Thursday is a public holiday of course). Weather permitting we'll continue the journey on Saturday. Who said that cruising was fun?? It certainly isn't for sissies!
Left Island Head Creek at 8.00h this morning on an incoming tide. Had a really good fast sail to South Percy 46nm. We are anchored with one other yacht rocking gently at this time. That could change when the tide comes in, but we are hopeful that we'll have a peaceful night.
Had a really early start this morning, before daybreak, from Great Keppel Island. On a scale of 1-10, maybe 3!! Very rolly, shallow and not particularly attractive. However, it beat being at sea. Today was easy. We motored the whole way.....sea was relatively flat....but we had a 2.5kt counter current! The entry into Island Head Creek was interesting at low tide. However, the most shallow we got was 1m under the keel. So here we are, in a lovely lagoon anchorage, sheltered from the northerly winds predicted for tomorrow.
At anchor in very rolly Great Keppell Bay in the Great Barrier Reef. Had a rough and uncomfortable night at sea, a good shake down for boat and body after nearly 7 months on land!
Left Bundaberg this morning at 7.00h. We are en route Cairns to join the Sail2Indonesia Rally. Hoping to make Island Head Creek tomorrow for our first stop. Uncomfortable sea and rain on its way.
Feeling so pleased to be here in Bundaberg Port Marina, safe and sound, with our trusty Fredlet (emergency autohelm Raytheon rubberband type) holding together to the end. We were checked in by super officials who were waiting on the dock as we tied up. Check in was quick and hassle-free. All fresh produce was confiscated excluding a prepared salad for supper. A frozen bolonaise was also overlooked so we'€™d have a meal. How great is that? So YIT, thanks for your support. We are over and out until May next year when we will move up through the Great Barrier Reef to Darwin. see you then!!
Just 32nm from Port Bundaberg Marina. Soon we'€™ll be there on the dock before lunch. Then there'€™ll be the dreaded formalities! Will be good to have a shower and a sleep!
Gentler winds and strong counter current have led to more motor sailing, more diesel consumption and a slower planned passage.
That said, conditions otherwise have been great '€“ calm seas, warm sunny days, lovely moonlit nights and a decent sized mahi mahi (one thing the Aussie Biosecurity won'€™t confiscate!) Timing for landfall in Bundaberg is now round about lunchtime tomorrow and we have only 159 miles to go. Eating well (calm seas means no mal de mer)......all the luxuries such as smoked salmon, French cheeses and smoked meats that we won'€™t be allowed to keep. All is very well on board!
As predicted, the seas have calmed and the wind has backed from SE to ESE, through E to ENE. The last 24 hours we have been sailing/motorsailing dead downwind in 11-14kt and with moderate to gentle following seas, a very pleasant change from the earlier beam on 3m swells. The wind is expected to clock further round to the NE this morning and we hope to fly the RSA asymetrical proudly for most of the remaining trip. Rubberband Fredlet is still putting fairly new Raymarine to shame and we are hopeful of arrival at Bundaberg on Wednesday morning. 281nm to go. All well on board!
Drifting along, goosewinged, breeze directly behind us and almost a knot of counter current. Beautiful sunrise and halfway to Bundy. All well on board.
Fred, our new Raymarine autopilot, failed at 10.00h yesterday, so we have had to rely on Fredlet, a little 25 year old rubber-band backup! We have therefore adopted a conservative sailing policy, with emphasis on balance and Fredlet'€™s survival, rather than speed! Despite that, we have progressed very well and even the sea state seems to be getting a little more comfortable with the beam on swells dropping to 2mt.
At this stage we are still on track for a Wednesday morning arrival in Bundaberg. Have now done 293nm with 536nm to go.
Still on the visitors dock in Port Moselle. Have checked out and will be leaving for Bundaberg tomorrow after refuelling.
We have been safely tied up on the visitors dock in Port Moselle for a few days, having been very painlessly checked by friendly and efficient officials!(FREE). Now we are preparing the boat for the dreaded entry into Australia. We will be going into Bundaberg and hauling out there for 4 months while we go home to Cape Town.
Finally anchored after one of the toughest, roughest short passages we have done. The Eagle has now Landed...... Not sure that he'€™s got any feathers left, and if he has...theyre wet!! We were beating into winds( mostly SE in 22-24kn range,) but also lots of 28-32knot patches ,excluding the rain squalls! Seas were big much of the time (4-5mts), and when it settled back to 3mts, it felt like Xmas! The passage was wet, wild, and fairly fast given the point of sail, in those sea states. We had to slow down to 3.6knots for the last 60 miles to Havannah passage , as we wanted to arrive at dawn(5.00am), to catch the last 3 hour of incoming tide. Just as well, as we enjoyed up to 4.5knots with us at times,during the 20 odd miles to our anchor spot, where we will catch up on the sleep which was impossible on the trip! We would not have made Port Moselle, to clear in before dark, so decided to get some sleep, sort the boat out, and check in tomorrow in daylight! Hope the New Cal guys are tolerant and understanding! The slowing down bit was a whole new challenge, as we had to beat into winds between 22 and 28 knots most of the night,with 3-4 waves from the beam, plus a 1- 2knot current assisting us from stb quarter. Trying to persuade the autopilot to keep us on course , with so little boat speed through the water, was a learning experience for both us and the unit! Many times it would require a full lock correction, after being smashed by a big swell, but with no speed through the water, there was no response, so it just squawked ,and let go! It was definitely our longest ever Ferry Gliding challenge. Despite everything, we did the 288 miles trip, in 49 hours, with no breakages or injuries on either ST ,or SF. Very happy and glad to be here ! Regards, Rod and Mary
Took the gap and left Port Resolution 09.30hrs. Hard going out and around corner, with beat to bottom corner Tanna. Cracked off onto course 210M, in 4-5mts seas, and winds 24-28, gusting 30-32. Pretty wet and wild, with a few big waves slapping over the boat.Seas now settled down to 2.5- 3.0mts, and having gained a little real estate during the night, we have the luxury of dropping down 10degs to round Mare, before hardening up again for Havannah Pass. Thanks Patricia for the encouragement to take the Monday gap.... but I don'€™t think it was the kind of passage conditions we all would really want if we had a choice! But we needed to get to New Cal pretty soon, and there were no guarantees looking forward!! regards, Rod & Mary
Taking the gap later this morning, and heading for Noumea!Conditions not ideal, but probably as good as we can get,without sitting out another week or so. will reef down, take it easy, and hope the sea state is not too uncomfortable! At this stage we aim to pick up the low slack at Havannah Pass around lunch time Wednesday. Will keep you posted on yit each morning.
regards, Rod & Mary
Had great volcano experience on Saturday! Well worth the wait.Now waiting for window for good trip to NC. Thanks to Dave and Pats Email, we are now looking to set out for new Cal on Monday 12th, with more easterly winds, A few boats left yesterday, in what looked like nasty seas and too much SE. Hope they manage OK!! The propagation here is frustrating, as we can usually hear Pat pretty well at first, but noise level increases to level where we cannot hear David with the weather ! Heard up until Fiji weather both last 2 days, but lose him when he moves on to Vanuatu and the rest! Intend exploring a bit more ashore today, if the rain holds off! regards, R & M
Great Balls of Fire!! Had great volcano experience on Saturday! Well worth the wait. Customs came through from Lanakel to clear in 2 boats, so we completed Immigration check in, and arranged to go to Lenakel, via Ash fields, on Tuesday , to clear out, with a delayed departure option. (To leave over next week end from here.) Winds look to be easing and going more E. Enjoyed a village lunch , (for a contribution to school funds 1)and walks around PR area., which is very attractive and lush. Very interesting cultural fusion, between 1st and 3rd world lifestyles,as well as some typically badly thought out '€śforeign aid'€ť programs. Will cover some specifics in blogs at later date. Anchorage is far less rolly than we were led to believe in stronger SE winds, and are quite happy to wait here for the better window, chilling out with the other 7 yachts here at present. regards, Rod & Mary
Yesterdays Volcano trip did not workout, so going today /this evening instead.Having lunch in village today( Schoolfundraiser/donation, then volcano at 4pm. Looking to go over to Lenakel on Monday by car, and to checkout for departure to Numea on Tuesday, when wind looks to go ESE fo rest of week at around 20-22knots. Seas look to be pretty big and nasty for whole week, so not sure if its worth delaying? Whats your take on the trip Dave? regards, Rod & Mary
Turns out that the policeman was away until Tuesday, so we were made to feel welcome and enjoy ourselves until then! Explored Mystery Island, which is an absolute delight.... until the cruiseliners arrive on Tuesdays and Thursdays ! We had it to ourselves, in glorious weather.Checked in yesterday (10 000Vatu), with further costs on departure (5000? for Immigration). Intend sailing to Tanna tomorrow( Port Resolution), from where we intend to do the Mt Yassa Volcano tour . Thereafter, will wait for good weather to check out at Lenakel, and set off to New Cal.
Wishing we had spent more time here, and less in Fiji!!
Glad to put the hook down ,after slow-ish, (3day 18hr) trip. Believe we have left some wet and miserable weather in Fiji, so its nice to have sunshine and blue skies here! Have called Aneityum customs on the radio, but do not really expect any response. We will probably do so a couple more times, and then go ashore on Monday to try and find '€śColin'€ť, the policeman who performs the Official functions here.
Arriving at sunrise on beautiful morning, after bit of a bumpy squally night, and a countercurrent 0.7 '€“ 1.4knots! Now we look forward to checking in with the '€śpoliceman'€ť!
8nm from Aneityum
Flat seas, waiting for southerly breeze to fill in. Planning tomorrow morning check in Aneityum, 119nm away at 06.30am.
seas 1.5mts fromSE.Caught good Mahi Mahi yesterday, and had pleasant night sail in light breeze. Planning an early Sat morning check in at this stage in Aneityum.
seas 1.5-1.8mts, going well, all good on board
Preparing to leave Denarau for Navula Passage to begin our trip to Aneityum, Vanuatu. The weather fundits have predicted a good passage, so lets hope they '€™re right
leaving tomorrow for Vanuatu, Aneityum, from Lautoka
leaving tomorrow for Vanuatu, Aneityum, from Lautoka
Back in Musket, after a great couple of weeks in the Yasawa;s. Wiil spend a couple of days here, before heading back to Saweni, where we will stock up, and prepare to wait for a good window to Vanuatu, check out , and leave.
No fish today!!
Have spent relaxing couple of weeks in Blue lagoon area. Well protected anchorage,good holding, nice snorkling, beaches, Happy hour Lovo(earth oven feast), and Meke (traditional Dancing), as well if wanted. Now time to head back south, and looking to make a gentle start tomorrow.
Great sail back to Saweni Bay from Musket Cove. 7 -8 knots, 19knots of SE wind , flat seas! Time to stock up again, before heading back to Musket next week, where we hope to meet up with our cruising mates, and make plans for the Yasawa's.
A big high below Fiji is causing brisk to strong SE winds, from which Saweni is protected. We have just received an email from other mates in Musket, saying the wind is howling! Guess the kite surfers there will be having a ball!
Anchored at Mololo Lailai island (Musket Cove), having left Saweni Bay this morning. Wind predicted to be N,ENE, which gave us an easy run. Anchored in 18mts, with 70mts chain out, as winds predicted to be 20-25 tonight. Currently 15-17kn from North. This is a big change from the peace and quiet of Saweni, with jet skis, Para sailers, taxi boats, plus all the other frantic tourist hype!
Anchored in Saweni Bay where we will chill for the week end. Will deal with autopilot problem on Monday. Caught another new fish today! Yesterday a Torpedo scad, and today a Wolf Herring!Nearly ran aground on unmarked ( on Navionics charts!) shallow area while anchoring in Saweni. 17 38.60S,177 23.693 Shown to be 6-10mt on charts, but less than 2mts in fact.Does show up on Google earth overlays!ESE
Motor sailed around North of Viti Levu, from Nanau i Thake to Vitia Wharf, where we decided to drop the hook for the night. Caught nice Kingfish ( Trevally) en route, which will make a great Thai curry!
Anchoredat 16.30 in Nananu i Thake, just beating the rain yesterday ! Intend spending about 3 days here just relaxing and enjoying. Motor sailed the whole 50 odd miles from Makogai in what turned out to be ideal conditions for us. The rain and poor visability kindly stayed behind us right up until we anchored. Wind then went W, to SW to S, reaching 15-20 during evening.
At anchor in Makogai, where we would love to stay for a few days...but weather and boat issues dictate otherwise. So we will continue today, past Naingani, and on to an anchorage on Viti Levu NE coast.
Left SavuSavu yesterday evening, and anchored behind Cousteau resort near point, for early start today. Heading for Makongai to overnight, before carrying on to Viti Levu tomorrow.
Arrived safely in SavuSavu this morning 8.00hrs. Glad to be here after more motoring, and more diesel used in one trip than we normally use in an entire years Blue water cruising! I supposed in the scheme of things, it beats the hell out of the other alternative! Thanks Dave and Patricia for your Radio and weather service, which we found pretty on the button! We will periodically update our whereabouts as we move through Fiji. We will continue to stay in touch as we move on to Vanuatu, New Cal, and Australia. regards, Rod & Mary
Arrived safely in SavuSavu this morning 8.00hrs. Glad to be here after more motoring, and more diesel used in one trip than we normally use in an entire years Blue water cruising!
I supposed in the scheme of things, it beats the hell out of the other alternative! Thanks Dave and Patricia for your Radio and weather service, which we found pretty on the button! We will periodically update our whereabouts as we move through Fiji.We will continue to stay in touch as we move on to Vanuatu, New Cal, and Australia. regards, Rod & Mary
Now within 120nm of SavuSavu after quiet night of motor sailing with 7knots of NE wind, and numerous drizzly squalls, which added up to 17knots of welcome breeze! Skies 90% cloud covered, with band of sunlight on horizen.THis was obviously the "indeterminite trough" around Fiji, to which Dave referred on your net. Plan to check in tomorrow morning ,during office hours!
wind now dropped to 10-14 ENE, after being 18-20 most of night. Still got 2 reefs in main, which will change after SavuSavu Tuesday morning.Both well but bit short of sleep!
on way to Savusavu from minerva
Departed Minerva 15.00hrs yesterday, hoping to arrive Savu Savu Tuesday AM ,before the trough and NE . Knew winds would be light, and have motor sailed, or motored since we left. Hoping for wind to fill in from noon today.
another pleasant day in N Minerva
Still anchored in Minerva,with 6 other yachts, all probably waiting to set off for Fiji on Saturday. Walked around on the Northern side of the reef at low tide yesterday, and enjoyed a grilled steak on Scott Free, after watching a beautiful sunset. A quite magical place .... when the weather is benign! Expecting a weak trough to pass through today, and for the wind to turn SE thereafter.
will contiue to enjoy the experience of being anchored in the ocean.. 5 other boats there.
At anchor in a millpond in the middle of the south Pacific. Minerva Reef is an unique place! Here until some favourable wind comes up!
Motored through the night and at 0700h are approx 10nm from North Minerva Reef. We'll stay until that weak front moves through and hopefully some wind fills in. Its the skipper's birthday today, so am still hoping to get a nice fish for dinner!
Gently motorsailing to Minerva North. 130nm to go, so plan tomorrow mid morning entrance through the pass. Beautiful full moon night... pity there was only 6 knots of wind, so Perkins had to keep ticking over.
Still motoring, no wind. Hoping to pick up 10kt SE breeze later. All well on board, just weary of the engine noise!
Motoring for 12 hours, several very wet squalls. Just turned off the engine and sailing gently in flat conditions.....lovely. As I write, its just started to rain again!
Mostly good gentle sailing, flat sea, occasional squalls early morning, not packing much wind. All well on board.
Made good progress during morning, with 20kn wsw winds, buckets of rain, and the odd squall packing 30+knots. Wind dropped in pm, and cleared up some, before backing round to S, and dropping to 5kn in evening. Motoring due north at 4-5knots, with wing on wing to pick occassional 8-9knot puff!
Bit bouncy with winds fluctuating quite a lot,between 8 and 24, and wsw,sw to ssws
Moored in Opua Marina. Intending to leave for Savusavu tomorrow around midday. Will start our progress reports each morning while on passage.
Moored in the marina to charge batteries and do all the pre-departure chores
Anchored in Upunga Cove
Opua mooring, NZ
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