Got in to Scarborough Marina around 0800 this morning. Looks like this will be home for a while.
Coastal cruising in Australia - moving from Bundaberg to Scarborough.
Got to Bundaberg between 0800-0830 and started the check-in process. So far - no issues.
The wind is still blowing and I'm still sailing. Wind is expected to be the same all the way to Bundy. ETA 1 Nov in the morning. All's OK.
Wind has been up around 20 knots since yesterday, so I've been sailing since yesterday. ETA 1 Nov. All's OK.
Had nice wind up until 0200 this morning, been motoring ever since. Should get more wind this afternoon. LOB: a term used by sailors meaning Lost On Board. That's what has happened to one navigation chip. The one that's missing has data for New Zealand and Australia. I know I had it when I left NZ because I definitely used it on departure. And before getting to the islands I took it out and put in the memory chip for the islands. Now I'm trying to located the NZ/Oz chip before arriving there, but so far I've not found it in all the obvious places. Need to keep searching in all the not so obvious places. ETA changed to 1 Nov. All's well, except for the lost memory chip.
The wind died yesterday and didn't pick until mid morning, which meant I motored all night. ETA 31 Oct, but this is becoming more doubtful with each slow day. All's well.
Yesterday afternoon the wind died, so on came the motor. At sunrise the wind picked up, so off with the motor. Wind is out of the west so I'm close hauled. Forecast has me sailing close to the wind for the next 36 hours. ETA 31 Oct. All's well.
Slow going, but I'm enjoying not being in a hurry for once. I haven't used the motor yet but the geneker is getting more play time now than it has in the last few years. ETA 31 Oct. All's well.
Today is completely different than yesterday. Yesterday the wind was 25-30 knots with 2 meter seas. Today the wind is 6-8 knots with 0,5 meter seas. Yesterday I had only the head sail and it was reefed. Today I have full main plus geneker. Current forecast has winds less than 15 knots for the remainder of passage. It's been a long time since I've been able to sail in light winds and not have to hear the motor in order to stay ahead of the weather. ETA to Bundaberg is 31 Oct. All's well.
I've done the check out dance (actually, an agent did the dance for me) and will be departing in a few hours. Expecting the passage to Bundaberg to take 7 days.
First stop in NC. I haven't check in yet and I hope I don't have any thing to worry about. The only place to check in is on the other side of the island and everyone says it's OK to stop for the night first.
A lot more motoring than sailing. To be expected in these conditions. All's well.
Slow sail to New Cal. No, I'm not complaining 'cause this sure beats the conditions I had coming to Vanuatu
Back in Port Vila. Waiting for a weather window to either head south to Anetyium before sailing to New Caledonia or sail directly from here.
Made the jump from Port Stanley to Port Sandwich. Now waiting for favorable weather to go to Port Vila. Sunday is looking good at the moment.
Back in Port Stanley waiting for the prevailing winds to change so I can head south to Port Vila.
At the 2nd largest city (town) in Vanuatu, Luganville.
In Port Stanley to wait for the north wind and rain to pass by.
Moved to Nopul on Ambrym. There's a 3 day festival starting tomorrow, should be fun. There is also another volcano here, will have to see if this one is better than the one on Tanna.
In Port Sandwich on Malekula
Uliveo Island, part of Maskelyne Islands in Malakula, Vanuatu.
In Lamen Bay on Epi.
Back in Port Vila for a few days.
Left Pt Resolution, Tanna this morning for an all day sail to Dillons Bay on Erromango.
Made it to Pt Resolution in 24 hours. Sailed for the first 12 and motored the last 12 hours. This bay is rolly so I set a line from the stern to the anchor rode so as to be able to point the bow into the swell instead of into the wind. A few other boats thought this was neat and soon followed my technique.
Leaving Port Vila tomorrow morning for an over night sail to Pt. Resolution on Tanna.
Got in to Port Vila after 1300 local and anchor all set at 1400 local. It's still a little breezy in the anchorage, but I'll take 15 knots any day compared to 30 knots. Now to relax and wait for my official check in tomorrow (Monday).
Didn't get as much sleep during the night as I usually do since I was pretty close to a couple islands as I was making my way to Port Vila. Only 35 nmi to go. Which will get me in around 1300 local time. Except for the big waves, All's Well. And getting better each mile I get closer to dropping the anchor.
Change of plans: Original plan was to make first landfall at Pt. Resolution, which is only 15 nmi away. But the wind and seas are still over 20 knots and 3 meters and by all information available would not make for a pleasant anchorage. So, I've decided (along with Al) to proceed on for another day in this S%#@ (slop) to Port Vila for the promise of a much more comfortable anchorage.
How do I put this? The last 36 hours kinda sucked. The wind has been in the 20's, which I can handle. It's the subsequent waves that's a PITA. They're 3-4 meters, closely spaced, and coming from more than one direction. These really tosses the boat around and everything in it, including your's truly. The best part is it'll be over today. I should be anchored within the next 8 hours. Other than that, all's well.
Another good day and night of sailing. Winds are forecast to pick up today from 15 knts to over 20 knts. ETA still Sat, which is tomorrow here. All's well.
Another 24 hours of sailing. The gybe north put the seas directly on the stern, this made for an uncomfortable ride with the 3-4 seas pushing the stern this way and that, plus a few more directions. The wind and seas eased overnight and things are better. Still have an ETA of Saturday, but depending how long the light winds last I may have to move it to Sunday. All's well.
Was able to sail all day and night. Boy, do I missed the motor .. NOT. No squalls last night but the wind has eased a bit. Should be turning to the north when the wind shift to the SE later today. ETA Sat 30 Jun with 450 nmi to Vanuatu. All's well.
Been sailing since yesterday morning. Had a couple squalls last night with winds to 40 knts. After the second squall the wind dropped all the way down to 4 knts. Had to get the wind back by starting motor. ETA to Vanuatu Sat 30 Jun. All's well.
Motor all night. Wind has picked up but somewhat on the nose. Might consider sailing. But primary goal is to get far enough north to beat the next cold front tomorrow. All's well.
Motored for the last 24 hours. Wind picked up to the low 20's at midnight. Hope I've gotten far enough north to beat the worst winds. Should kill the engine if things looks good when the sun comes up. All's well.
Left Marsden at 1015. Winds light and I expect to be motoring for a while. All's well.
Yeppie! The weather looks good for a Saturday morning departure. I estimate the sail to Vanuatu will take 7-8 days.
Testing to Facebook
Planned departure from Denarau on Monday 20/11/17 as soon as I'm finished with the officials.
In Matuku, Fiji
Ravi-Ravi (Hidden Lagoon), Vanua Balavu, Fiji
Little Bay, Vanua Balavu, Fiji
Bay of Islands, Vanua Balavu, Fiji
In Daliconi,Vanua Balavu, Fiji
In Bavatu Harbour, Vanua Balavu
In Susui, Vanua Balavu
In Viani Bay
Arrived at 0300, in bed at 0330. Next is to wait for all the officials to do their thing and get me checked in.
Less than 100 nmi to go. All's well.
Making good progress, ETA predawn Thursday. All's well.
Off to Fiji. All's well.
Will be leaving Minerva Reef tomorrow morning with a Fiji, Savusavu ETA on Thursday.
Made it to Minerva at 0930 this morning. Smooth entry into lagoon under sail. Then 2 hours later I had the Green Monster (aka fishing net) free from the prop and shaft. Now to enjoy myself, all's well.
Today's about the same as yesterday, just less wind. I still haven't seen the sun in days and still haven't put on shorts and T-shirts.
176 nmi to Minerva, I might be able to arrive tomorrow (Sat) but that would require beating to weather. No much fun in that. So I'll take a longer, slower, more comfortable route and arrive on Sunday.
Dropped the sails to check the situation. Green monster is only on prop, not keel. Looks like it'll require lots of work to remove. Winds will be light the rest of the day, stronger tomorrow.
Considering the situation, things aren't going so bad. The wind has kept up, although I'd hope for a better direction, allowing me to make good progress. A cold front is forecasts in two days.
Been better, could be worse. Last night when I started the engine I discovered a fishing net ensnared my propeller. I'm making way under sail and have an ETA to Minerva on Sunday or Monday. I don't anticipate any rough weather for the remainder of this passage.
Wind is easing a little, hope it last another day before I need to turn on engine. All's well.
Sun is out, wind from good direction, wind not too high, wind not too low, but it's still cold. Guess 4 out of 5 isn't bad. All' well.
This post is made the night before I depart NZ. Current plan is to see the customs guy (Bruce) for my 1000 appointment. Word is there will be 20 boats leaving Marsden tomorrow, each has an appointment every 15 minutes. The forecast has remained consistent and I expect light winds for my departure, lighter winds a few days out, then building wind as I approach Minerva Reef. If I make real good time the passage should take 5 days, but I'm planning on 6. If it takes more than 7 days then something didn't go according to plan.
Made it in to Marsden Cove Saturday morning at 0930.
So far the cold front isn't bad. Maybe my idea of staying north until the worse has passed is working. Ran engine for 6 hours yesterday so should be good to get me in when the wind disappears later today. ETA 0900 Sat.
Turned on engine at 1030 when I got feed up with constant rocking in 8 knts wind and 3 knts boat speed. So far no problems with water flow. Expecting winds 15-20 knts from Friday 0700 'till Saturday 0100. Still planning a Saturday morning ETA in Marsden.
Complete impeller failure. Replaced with new but most pieces could not be found and assumed to be in heat exchanger. Will use motor only when necessary. ETA Marsden Sat, 26 Nov 0900.
One small change for the better, GRIBs now show less winds in the cold front. I should enter the middle of the high around noon tomorrow. If the forecast does not worsen then I'll motor sail at a speed that'll put me in to Marsden at 0800 Friday. My contingency plans if the forecast worsens are to motor faster or divert to Opua.
My current two choices are to arrive before or after the cold front passes NZ Friday morning with 25-30 knots wind. Getting in before it passes means I don't have to deal with it at sea, but also means making the remaining 600 nm averaging more than 6.6 knots. Waiting until after it passes possibly means dealing with 25+ knot winds at sea. I'm currently sailing fast at 8+ knots on a beam reach trying to beat the cold front. I can always slow down and let it pass if this becomes impossible. Another option is to divert to Opua. Doing so will only save about 5 hours since I'm approaching from the north-east and not north or north-west. I'm also hoping the forecast changes for the better with a later cold front arrival, less wind, or both. Stay tuned to see how this plays out.
Diverting from the diversion. In other words I'm back on course to NZ. It took all my waiting time trying to get to Minerva by bashing into 20 knots of head wind. I had 100 nmi to go and at the rate I was going I'd have to leave before I got there. Current Marsden ETA is 25 Nov. I might be able to arrive on the 24th by motoring faster than my planned 5 knots and assuming I don't have to burn any additional fuel before getting to the high.
Diverting to Minerva Reef, I don't like the look of the weather at NZ in 6 days time. Will wait for 2-4 days until things improve. All's well.
Forecast not looking good for NZ arrival in 6 days, may divert to Minerva Reef and wait for better conditions. All's well.
Wind dropped, turned on motor. Marsden ETA 26 Nov. All's well.
Plan to depart Vuda today after clearing out and getting fuel. The winds are not favorable for a Minerva Reef detour, so I'll be heading directly to Marsden, NZ. It should take me 8-9 days and an ETA of 24 Nov.
At Vuda for a quick haul. Now to wait for my weather window before departing. Hoping to make Minerva on the way south.
In Muscat Cove, now to see what all the hoopla is about.
Will stay in Saweni Bay for a couple days, then probably move on to Vuda Pt.
Overnight stop on my way to Vuda Pt.
Next stop on my way to Vuda. A pleasant surprise x 2; Jean-Marie & Fluenta are coming to the same anchorage. I haven't seen Jax & Walter in a couple years and Max, Liz, & kids since NZ.
Making my way to Vuda. Caught my first fish in Fiji today, a 1 meter Walu. Not to be confused with Waho, they are not the same but are first cousins.
In Qamea for a couple days, then back to Savusavu.
In Viani Bay for a few days.
Stopped at Custeau on the way to Viani Bay
In Namena for a few dives.
Still in Savusavu. Waiting on the postman or postwoman for boat's registration and renewed passport. Should be next or the following week.
Made it before sunset with a half hour to spare. Was able to sail the entire passage except raising anchor in Tonga and motoring to marina to pick up mooring. Time for a beer and get ready for the check in dance in the morning. All's well.
Dropped anchor at 2230 last night. Engine stopped twice, once before and once after going through the pass. Needed to sail the last 5 miles to anchorage. After I get checked it I'll have to figure out what's going on with the engine.
ETA after sunset. Wind still light and from east. All's well.
ETA Tongatapu Sunday afternoon. All's well.
First time in a long time sailing with asym. I'll see how this will last. All's well.
I'm leaving Minerva today (Friday) and should be underway by 1030. Destination is Tongatapu with an ETA Sunday afternoon. Expecting SE winds; highest in the 15 knot range, lowest in the 6 knot range.
Arrive this afternoon at Minerva. Nice to be back. Looking forward to gathering more Crayfish. Will be here as long as the weather holds or until I get restless to move on. No one else here, but expecting one boat tomorrow. All's well.
The sound of flapping sails is more annoying than the sound of the engine, so I've been motoring for nearly 22 hours. The wind looks like it might be picking up and I might can have some peace and quite. ETA Minerva Monday afternoon. All's well.
Light winds, I'll see how long I can hold out before turning on engine because it's nice not to hear the noise. Put out fishing lines this morning. All's well.
Had squalls last night w/ winds to 35 knts. If wind holds could make Minerva in 3 days. All's well.
Made it. That is far enough north to miss the highest winds from the passing front. Motored for nearly two days of the first three days I've been underway. Expect that to change for the remainder of the passage, a lot more sailing than motoring.
Motoring to get north of the next front, all's well.
Weather looks good for Monday departure with a stop in Minerva, then Tongatapu, then Suvasuva Fiji.
In Marsden Cove waiting on a weather window. Doesn't look like one is going to happen soon.
Still in Whangarei finishing up on the last few projects and hoping the current weather window for next weekend holds up. If so, I'll set sail for Minerva Reef, then Tongatapu Tonga, then Suva Suva Fiji.
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