Arrived Bundaberg wednesday 24th and been secured in the marina since then. We go onto the hard stand in the morning and then into dry storage later in the week. WE are leaving Silver Light here for 2-3 months while we return to NZ through until mid January, catch up with family and attend to several other bits and pieces that need doing.
On a berth in Moselle Marina for 2 days preparing for departure to Bundaberg tomorrow morning. Came off hard stand at Numbo yesterday after a week getting keel fixed. Sail now repaired and back on. Weather looking good for trip to Aussi, light winds most of the way so will be some motoring. Justin Throssell and Lyndsay Alderton now with us as crew for the trip so some crew bonding going on.
Arrived Noumea yesterday after two days motor sailing from Ile de Pins - over nighted at Ile Uo. Caught a spanish mackerelon the way through. Got a marina berth for the night at Port Moselle, and now anchored at Numbo bay ready to be lifted out at 0700 at the local yard. Need to check out a slight leak around the keel bolts, get the main sail repaired and change the main valve on the holding tank - full tank and no way to empty, not good. Boat probably out for a week to make sure we are ready for the trip to Bundaberg in a couple of weeks time. Annalise, Darren and kids depart tomorrow, has been a fantastic week with them.
Left Lifou for Iles de Pins and we've arrived. Three days to get here, overnighting at Ile Toupeti and Baie de Yate. Socialised with UDDER LIFE and SHAMAL both nights. All went our separate ways this morning. Annalise, Darren and family arrive tomorrow so just going ashore for a reccie and see what this place is really like. It's much calmer in the bay - we have a very sheltered anchorage here.
Currently anchored in Baie du Gaatcha, Lifou Island in the New Caledonia islands. Arrived here from Fiji earlier in the week. Cheryl and I managed our first ocean passage by ourselves in covering the 630nms in just over 4 days. Bit of rough weather but all went well. Have done some site seeing and re provisioning and getting ready to head to main island in the morning. Cheryl has been excited to dust of her french speaking again and has been helping interpret for other boaties. now looking forward to Annalise and family arriving in Isle de pins on Tuesday, we still have to cover 150 odd miles south to get there, all into the wind which is up a bit at the moment.
Currently on the hard at Vuda. Lift out to check keel after the incident with the coral. Some obvious scars on front and sides at bottom of keel. No damage where keel joins hull and no movement in bolts so all good. Ready to depart for New Caledonia. Being dropped in water Thursday, clearing customs and start heading West. Had 2 nights ashore in one of the chalets they have at Vuda, wonderful. Met up with Ross and Jo Blackman from Sojourn 2 for several drinks Sunday and Monday, they have provided us with some valuable info. for our French stay over next few weeks.
Moored up in Musket Cove Marina. Arrived here yesterday and had to tie up to fuel berth due to strong winds and boats with mechanical problems making it impossible for us to get into our assigned berth. Ended up getting a better one out back.
Joined the coral club yesterday when we first scraped the bottom of the keel and then crashed into an unmarked reef. Came to a dead stop ending up with both of us receiving impact damage when Cheryl crashed into the bench and then the floor and I planted my bottom lip on the helm. Managed to get out without being stuck but
now need to check for damaged under. Nothing obvious inside with keel bolts, frames etc. Another lesson learned.
Anchored in blue lagoon yesterday afternoon after motor sail from Cuvu Bay. Another great anchorage, no swell or roll. Had a sundowner at the Boatshed on shore last night, very nice. Will spend another day here and look to head South again tommorrow.
Moved from Lalauwaki Bay to Cuvu Bay yesterday. Beautiful calm anchorage. Met up with Ivy Ruby and Mezzaluna ashore for sundowners. Today will be checking out the Manta rays in the pass between Naviti and Drawaqa Islands. Cheryl checked out and confirmed her skills at getting into the dingy from the water yesterday, going to be needed today.
Left Yanuya Island early and made good progress to Waya Island. Difficult to find a sheltered bay; wind is whipping over the hills, into bays and not stopping for anyone. Anchored in Nalauwaki Bay, which has a village on the shore. Not so keen to visit as I believe they wanted to charge our rally colleagues FJD150 for landing on their beach. In this wind, we'd want to stay with the boat anyway.
Anchored SW side of Yanuya Island. Motor sailed from Musket cove enjoying the 10kt breeze assisting us. Easy days travel and ready for another tomorrow as we head for Yassawas.
Back into cruising now after our unscheduled visit to NZ. It's a great feeling to be back on the boat, which was well looked after at Vuda Point Marina. Left Vuda this morning and now anchored off Musket Cove in preparation to go further north into the Yasawas.
Left Vuda last Monday and anchored the night of Denerau. Picked up Kirsten and Neil Tuesday morning and sailed to Musket cove for the day. They caught the ferry back while we stayed the night. Yesterday sailed back to Vuda where we are now moored up. Unexpected family illness back in NZ means we are travelling back tomorrow for a week or so until it is resolved. Still hope to get to the Yasawas laterin the month or early next month.
Safely ensconced at Vuda Point Marina. The boats are packed in like sardines, Med style but it works. This is where we leave the trusty dinghy that was loaned to us for its owner to pick up next month. All dinghy duties completed. Took the bus to Lautoka Market for fresh veges and fruit - the best I've seen in Fiji. The bus ride was also an experience - another sardine experience - Ian and I thought we were on a seat for two. Wrong! It was a seat for three. Vuda Point Marina is charming - a dug out basin with boats around the edge surrounded by trees and great facilities for boaties. Pictures on my FB page if you're interested.
We were lucky enough to get a berth at Denarau for two nights - fully booked until the end of August - persistence pays off!! Being close to land made it so easy to collect our new dinghy and outboard; have repairs made on the chart plotter; to install the replacement wind generator; to replace our starter battery, and so on; not to mention refuelling and reprovisioning. Had the most amazing help from our agent, Sofi, at YachtHelp; Ifraz and Rav from Ravmarine. They've worked hard on our behalf. Fuel costs much better in Fiji - nearly half the price of Tonga; food on Denarau Island very expensive - only bought necessities. Opted to eat on the boat every night. $10 bottles of wine in NZ are between $40 and $50 here. A bottle of Gordon's Gin is $180. Needless to say, they stayed on the shelves. So glad I made some ginger beer at $2 a bottle. First tasting tonight! Also, our soda stream has proved its weight in gold - sparkling water goes down a treat in these temperatures.
Had a great morning exploring Lautoka market, churches, schools, medical facilities and villages. Motored 10 nm and anchored off Denarau.
Anchored at Lautoka, a little rolly even in the harbour but we're intending to stay overnight. A good motor-sail - the wind and waves came up as we rounded the north west corner of the island. Made ginger crunch with real ginger and also scones. Glad no-one is on board to eat the scones - I need a lot more practice. Ian's such a good sport - he doesn't mind them. If we're happy to leave the boat we'll go ashore and check out Lautoka, where 80% of the population are Indian ethnicity so I'm hoping to find a good curry. A lot of smoke in the air. It's coming from the sugar cane mills - lots of chimney stacks here.
Motorsailed to Ba Roads; anchoring here overnight. No water activities here. Sundowners in the cockpit tonight. And, perhaps an episode of Downton Abbey. LOL!
This is our second night at Nananu-I-Cake Island. Great protection from the sea and part of the northern inland passage across the top of the main island of Fiji. Spent the morning exploring in the kayak. Very pleasant. Burnt our paper rubbish on the shore - left nothing but our footprints. No villages here, only closed up homes waiting for their absent owners to return. Caretakers keep them in immaculate condition. Some smoke in the air as the locals are burning off sugar cane - apparently it's illegal but no-one polices the regulations. Looks like a resort across the bay but we're more than happy where we are. Looking forward to another beautiful sunset tonight.
After a great week at Savusavu, sailed 5 nms and anchored overnight in the bay of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort ready for an early start the next morning to Makogai Island. Arrived before 1600, always our aim, jumped in the water for a snorkel but nothing to see except blue water and an anchor chain. Left Makogai early for Viti Levu Bay on the "mainland" - the only yacht here and enjoying the calm and sheltered anchorage. The next legs will be short hops as we slowly make our way to Denarau through the northern inland passage..
Tied up at Copra Shed Marina, Savusavu. Arrived yesterday after three day crossing from Vavau. Great crossing, wind at 15kts from the SE all the way. Son in law Darren a valuable member of the crew for the crossing. Caught a yellow fin and skip jack during the crossing, nothing like the taste of tuna fresh from the sea. Darren leaving us today and we have a week or so here working through boat stuff and where to next.
Moored back in Neiafu preparing for rally dinner and final arrangements prior to departure for Fiji. Weather looking good for the trip to Savusavu over the weekend.
Sailed to Port Maurelle on Monday. Walked to village. Snorkelled in Swallows Cave. A whale visited us and came out of the water to breathe right beside our boat. Phenomenal!! A fire on the beach to cook lunch today. Socializing in the wild brings out the best in everyone.
Currently on mooring in Neiafu, nicely tucked up in flat conditions. Did overnight sail from Hapai's last Friday, arrived 9.00an. And been enjoying some no moving on time since due to the strong SE blast coming through.
Sailed overnight from Ha'apais to Vava'u. 2145 to 0800 the next day. Beautiful moon. Unfortunately, confused seas. Just waiting for those idyllic tropical picture-postcard conditions. For a couple of days been on a mooring in the very safe and sheltered anchorage of Neiafu, which enables a full night's sleep. Today we're renting a car with Jude and Mark to explore the island and it's beaches.
Anchored off Pangai ready for saturdays annual agricultural show. King is visiting. Rally has a dinner ashore sat. night as well. Currently ashore and have been told the rally boats may need to move as we are causing a marine hazard-will have to see. Trying to sought out an outlook e mail problem, but having no luck so far. Will keep slogging away at it.
Anchored off the NW side of Ha'Afeva island. Sailed up from Nomuka yesterday. Anchorage there was a bit rolly, far more sheltered here. Thinking of staying for another night. We lost our dingy and new outboard from the shore at Nomuka Iki the previous night, washed away with the tide. Had it secured but somehow it came loose. Devastating to say the least. One of the fleet has kindly lent us an inflatable in the mean time.
Anchored of Nomuka Iti Island. A bit of a rolly anchorage with these winds. Arrived yesterday 1500hrs after a 0500 departure from Big Mama's at Pangimotu. Rained on and off most of the way, no sign of the sun. Sea was sloppy giving a rolly ride. We did catch sight of a few humpbacks breeching and slamming back into the sea as we got close to this area. Here for a couple of days and then looking to explore the Hapai's a bit more of the next week and hopefully more whales.
To travel north the wind was more in our favour on Friday so we are still anchored at Big Mama's off Pangaimotu Island and plan to leave early tomorrow morning (Friday) for Nomuka Iki.
To travel north the wind was more in our favour on Friday so we are still anchored at Big Mama's off Pangaimotu Island and plan to leave early tomorrow morning (Friday) for Nomuka Iki.
Check out blog for bigger updates. We are planning to depart here in the morning headed for Nomuka, 60 NM away. Wind looking light from the east or south east, might be a bit of motoring again. Still waiting to hear about clearance. Did a fuel run today and bought 120ltrs. in carry cans which we transferred into the main tank - should see us through to Vavau. All good, feel we are still not quite settled into cruising life yet, but can feel it coming on us.
Okay, obviously we are now in Tonga anchored and starting to get into the swing of this island cruising life. Some user issues with getting stuff onto YIT via the iridium during transit. However we have had an adventurous trip with highs and lows so to speak, one could say a game of a number of halves depending on which day you picked. We sure learnt a lot and fair to say at times during events it could be said we were wondering what the hell are doing out here. However now in secure anchorage and looking back it was great. Spent a great 30hrs in North Minerva reef. Had one 24hr period of pure survival mode as a front came throuhg. Silver Light has sure proved herself and we have total confidence in what she can handle. Look forward to updating further as we get out technical knowledge sorted.
Well, that's it we are in the channel heading out of Opua and at last we are on our way to Tonga, yyeehhaa. Looking forward to a great ride, wind behind most of the way. Bring on the warmer temps.
Down to the last few days now. Lots of last minute provisioning, fixing little things like a dodgy wind readout instrument and the main VHF radio, and other things taking up our time. Weather shaping up for a late Sunday early Monday departure and looking like a bit of motoring will be required as we get towards Minerva.
Now moored up in Opua Marina. Since last update have overnighted in Whangamumu and then into BOI at Aawaroa Bay. 20 plus knots between Whangaruru and Whangamumu. Exciting few hours sailing hard on. Now into final days before departure end of next week. Starting to catch up with other boats and crews heading away as part of Rally.
All morning in Pacific Bay working on comms - progress made but not complete, lunchtime left for Whangaruru Harbour where we arrived at 1600 and anchored in the shelter of Motukauri Island. Dolphins swam and played with us for part of the trip. Ian: I neglected to close some of the hatches when raising the sail and water collected from the previous night's rain substantially drenched the inner sanctum. As you can imagine, Admiral NanaSea was not impressed!
Left Kawau Island at 5.15 am and motorsailed most of the way with a short spell of sailing when wind allowed. Now anchored in Pacific Bay, Tutukaka, where we'll stay until after the low passes through on Sunday. Sailed through a huge pod of dolphins that were more focused on fishing than interacting with us.
Left Gulf Harbour after achieving all that we wanted plus catching up with old friends and meeting some lovely new friends - great sail to Kawau Island and now anchored in Mansion House Bay. After checking the weather for the next few days, we've decided to make an early start in the morning to get as far north as possible before the northerly sets in.
Yyeeaahhaa, passed our cat 1 yesterday. Final hurdle to heading off to Tonga. A few last things to tidy away over next couple of weeks. Looking to leave Gulf Harbour Tuesday/Wednesday and start drifting to Opua.
Motor sailed to Gulf Harbour yesterday, beautiful day. Here for three nights while we finalise Cat. one activity. Inspector on board Sat.
Motor sailed out from Westhaven to Chamberlains Bay, east end of Waiheke Island. Now anchored for the rest of the day and evening. Great trip out, relaxing and getting back into cruising mode after a hectic 5 weeks that saw the birth of a new grand daughter as well as a lot of work getting Silver Light ready for the upcoming adventure to Tonga and beyond. Now looking forward to some final prep. at a slower pace and a slow trip up to Opua pending departure.
Countdown time - less than 3 hours before our departure from Auckland on a slow cruise to Opua. The month in Auckland has been successful - beautiful new granddaughter delivered, Thea Olive; and most of the work required for Safety Category 1 Certificate has been completed.
Arrived in Auckland and berthed at Westhaven. Dropped by Motuihe Island on the way back. Now in final preparation mode for going offshore as well as awaiting the arrival of our eleventh grandchild. Will be berthed here for the month of April.
Anchored at Rotoroa Island. Sailed down from Great Barrier today, great sail, 10-12 kt easterly most of the way. Next few days around Waiheke before going back to Westhaven for a few weeks.
Currently anchored in Fitzroy Bay. Nice and calm here. Arrived from Tutukaka on Friday, wonderful days motor sailing,caught a skip jack tuna on the way, almost had a second, 2 seconds from being in the net Biggest issues has been the no coverage from Spark, had to purchase a Vodafone sim to get any coverage. Parked in Smoke House Bay first night and since then been hunkered down in Kaiarara Bay for the gale force easterly that came through. All good now, off around the island in a rental tomorrow.
Anchored for night in Tutukaka after a 13 hr motor/sail down from Mangonui. 83 nm. Nice breeze out of easterly direction until South of Cape Brett and then no wind. Very calm sea most of way. Heading for Great Barrier Friday.
Great sail north - on the way practised heaving to. Success! On mooring in Mangonui thanks to Steve, the harbourmaster, for the mooring. On arrival at high tide, motored a little way up river but the channel too narrow to anchor. Found this out through nudging the edge of the dredged channel on one side and nudging the bottom on the other side. Then, in the dark, Silver Light didn't turn with the tide and was at odds with the other boats - another little nudge but by the boat behind us this time. Put the motor on to re-position ourselves on the buoy, which worked, thankfully. A good night's sleep for both of us.
Now anchored in in Pararako Bay. Spent last night in Western Arm, fantastic spot. Climbed St Pauls yesterday,glad we did it for the views and the exercise.
Moved from Totara North to Whangaparoa due to predicted change of wind to South later. Will take in a meal ashore at the pub of fishing club.
Currently anchored in Totara North. Arrived Whangaroa Harbour 2 nights ago after a quiet 6 hr sail up from BOI's. Spent first night off South side of Milford Island, absolutely flat calm. Went into Whangaroa yesterday and had the compulsory beer at the Marlin Pub. Looking ahead at the forecast weather, seems a week of exploring in and around here is on the cards - few walks, perhaps a kayak or two.
Still hope to get to Mangonui before heading South again later in the month.
Anchored in Opunga Cove, BOI for night. Dropped Kay and Jebs in Opua early afternoon. Thanks guys, really nice to have great boat guests aboard. Just caught up with Trina and Grant from Magic for a sun downer, real nice. Looking good for a sail to Whangaroa tomorrow.
Anchored at Paradise Bay, BOI. for last couple of nights. Kay and Jebs Edwards from Kent have our boat guests for last few days - really nice few days, great guests. Some nice sailing and great fishing. A new level of knowledge to the fishing side of things has been brought to Silver Light, much appreciated Jebs.
On mooring at Opua - parked up for a couple of weeks while doing some land based activity, visiting family etc.
anchored in Orokawa Bay.
Still anchored in same place, wind has settled but lots of rain.
It will be roast dinner at the Russell Boating Club tonight and catching up with some locals. Also great bar prices.
Still anchored up in BOI's sitting out the not so good weather coming through
Silver Light - Tonga - The Friendly Isles
Captain Cook must have been an amazing man. I can't imagine what it would be like for Captain Cook or the Tongans to meet each other 250 years ago. Tonga has me really confused: the towns and villages are basic; Nuku'alofa has a main street that resembles a town. Everything is betwixt and between. One or two shops for the tourists are emblazoned with western paraphernalia such as window dressing displaying items that tourists may like; namely sarongs and shirts, handicrafts made of tapa cloth Read more...
The Chinese here are the most unfriendly people I've ever met. We were trying to buy some eggs from the Chinese stores and when asked if they sold them they said: "NO". End of discussion. Then I'd persevere and asked if they knew where I could buy eggs. Same response: "NO". Later, talking to a Tongan we found that we could buy eggs at the market and they would have known that. The ferry comes into Neiafu (Vava'u Island Group) once a week and this week they forgot a container of chicken and eggs on the wharf in Nuku'alofa so they were at a premium. My new Tongan friend, Mita, told me to write a list of what I needed at the market and she went and bought it for me. She told me the prices are too expensive for tourists so it's true, the Tongans and the Chinese are charging high prices. Make hay while the sun shines! Vegetables, except for yams, are at a premium. We're managing to get a supply of cabbage, carrots, green peppers and tomatoes. We're still eating tuna and mahimahi from the freezer, some we caught and some was given to us. For meat, we buy chicken, which reminds me of chicken in NZ years and years ago when we used to eat it only on Christmas Day. Pork isn't easy to buy even though many piglets and breeders are roaming streets and villages at will - definitely free range - but the tiny piglets are destined for the spit roast; a well-marketed tourist attraction is to attend a Tongan feast on almost any inhabited island. We were thinking if they fattened the piglets just a little bit, they'd get more meat and that would mean more profit, surely!
This year the King is celebrating his birthday in the Ha'apais - another reason for no food stores in the other island groups. All produce is sent to the Ha'apais so that the king can celebrate his birthday in the style that he is accustomed. A wee bit of goss from the Tongan taxi driver. The Tongan Royal Family rules that they want to keep the royal line pristine - really! And they do that by marrying within their family, including first cousins. Currently, King Tupou VI is reigning and he married his first cousin. Eek! However, his older brother, now deceased, had a relationship with two women and offspring with both but they were not recognised in the royal line. If he married a commoner, he would lose all his royal rights. But what about this - the only person he could have married was his sister!!
So, here we are, in a beautiful part of the Pacific with friendly and unfriendly locals, depending on the circumstances; some produce available but mostly not because the King's birthday celebrations are taking all the produce; western prices in shack cafes, taxis plying for trade with the roughest cars ever, and then again, we have to keep our wits about us as the Tongans have got it sussed and know how to take our money off us. The other day, a guy paddled out to sell us some bread and he didn't want money but rope; I ask you, who got the better deal?
Just in case, you're going to stay in a resort in Tonga, check it out. Some of the resorts we've seen are nothing like resorts that are in our minds.
Most of you will know that we lost our tender and outboard, life jackets and other bits and pieces. The update is that we have purchased replacements in NZ and they are about to be freighted to Savusavu to meet us there when we arrive. Yay!!
Silver Light - Passage to Tonga
Ten days at sea with a 30-hour stop at Minerva Reef (North Minerva). The trip of a lifetime with a couple of lovely cruising days, one which we had to motor most of the day but the others saw us pretty much in survival mode. The boisterous seas, like a huge agitator washing machine tossed and pummeled us as we tried to negotiate our way between the cockpit, cabin and head. Imagine this, you're standing on a 45 degree angle in the head, watching the toilet heave one way then the other, trying Read more...
The normal nausea hit me for the first few days; best position is horizontal but then again when on watch the fresh air is good. Prepared passage meals were a Godsend; one-pot meals with everything in it, pop it in the oven, heat it up, dish it up, eat and that's dinner over for another night. The very worst day I ended up getting a small block of cheese and crackers in my cabin and for a good day and a bit when the hunger pangs struck, I nibbled at the block of cheese, had a cracker or two, and washed it down with water. Did the trick and, in the conditions, it seemed like a banquet! Had one happy hour on the very last night before arriving in Tonga. Didn't feel like it before that! Can't say I made up for it but I did have two rums and they were good!
Minerva Reef was amazing for so many reasons. The first boat that got there was approached by the Tongan Navy and told the Navy was conducting an exercise and they'd have to leave immediately. Well, yachties always have something up their sleeves and they told the Tongan Navy that they were the first boat of a fleet of 30, guests of the King of Tonga, all of whom had been invited to a Royal Dinner on the 30th June and showed them the invitation. Had to consult the Commander of the Ship now - the message came back that the Navy would conduct their exercise elsewhere and for the yachties to enjoy Minerva Reef for as long as they wished. The sea-life was out of this world - painted crayfish in particular. It was pouring with rain when at low tide we jumped in the dinghy to go for a walk on the reef but it was all part of it. Hard to believe that we were standing on a reef in the middle of the Pacific Ocean thousands of feet deep!! The sheltered circle of the reef was 20-30 metres deep and a huge circumference. This shelter from the waves was a great respite in what was really a gruelling trip.
Slowly, the temperatures started to warm up and layers peeled as we travelled north. In NZ, I started with 4 layers on the top and three on the bottom; after Minerva Reef much warmer and now in Tonga very warm. When we could start moving around the boat, we found that it wasn't that watertight. We arrived with heaps and heaps of washing that Big Mama took care of at $5 per kilo (weighed when wet we found out).
Have got to say, the whole trip in perspective was great - a bit bumpy, but not that bad. Life goes on, we all survived, our boats did us proud and we learnt heaps. The sight of land was the best feeling and we arrived on a glorious day in Tonga!
Silver Light - Comms and Passage Planning
Four weeks and we're still not quite on top of our comms and downloads. Nearly there. IridiumGo and PredictWind are great but the setup is something you wouldn't believe. Ian has been working on this almost non-stop. These apps will enable us to download weather forecasts from satellites when on passage or from anywhere in the world. Very slowly, of course. Apparently you start the download, prepare and eat breakfast, then, voila, you have the latest forecast for your specific area in the Read more...
The plan is that we leave Opua and sail to Minerva Reef, sheltering and exploring in both South and North Minerva; however, it looks like the wind may die out part way up and we'll have to motor part way. Not to worry, we have 400 litres of fuel - 200 litres in the tank and 200 ltrs in gerry cans. If we stick to 1500 rpms we'll be right. After a couple of days at the Minerva Reefs, we'll set sail for Tonga. We're one of 32 boats on the Island Cruising New Zealand Rally to Tonga. This week of preparation has seen us all meeting one another and helping each other out by sharing whatever skills. A great social time as well as lots of hard work going on; not to mention purchasing replacement items and spares. Self-sufficiency has a whole new meaning!! Burnsco Marine must be doing a great trade.
At the moment, it looks like we'll be leaving Opua Sunday night or Monday morning. Just watching that weather forecast.
Silver Light - Stress free Safety Category 1 - Yeah right!
List after list after list. Then lists of lists. Rationalising lists. Striking items off lists then adding three items for every one struck off. Tetchy with the system, with partners, with workload, with weather. Just under 100 pages with 5-10 tasks to be completed on each page of the Safety Regulations of Sailing 2017-2020 as prepared by Yachting New Zealand. Other sailors saying to us: Oooohhhh, Cat 1, we know what that's like! The first time is the worst. Well, this is the first Read more...
The benefits of Cat 1 are that we know our boat inside out, we have spares from here to Africa when we only need them to the Pacific Islands!! Every mechanical item has been serviced and/or replaced and the old parts kept as spares. Sails have been serviced, repaired and storm sails have been made. (Please note we don't plan to sail in storms but we're prepared if they happen upon us.) Life rafts and life jackets have been serviced - our jackets now have a light and a hood attached but the intention is never to deploy them in the ocean. We wear them on passage though. That brings me to the 36-page manual I wrote about the boat and safety guidelines for Silver Light - who will ever read it. Nonetheless, we have it now. If you come to sail with us, it may be a prerequisite to read it before any refreshment is offered! Do you think I'm joking? Comms and navigation - all devices have been bought however the connectivity side of things took a week to get them all talking to each other and for a greater understanding of all that they're capable of. We can download the latest weather forecasts in the middle of the ocean miles from anywhere, talk to, send text messages to, and email anyone, anywhere in the world. That is, if we have time to spare in between watches, sleeping and eating. And amongst the benefits of Cat 1, I must commend the support and assistance of our Cat 1 Inspector, along with his wealth of experience and knowledge, and his availability to answer questions and queries throughout the whole process to gain this sought-after certificate.
The downside of getting Cat 1 is some of the outdated ideas and some of the costs involved however the concept is above reproach.